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Zalatix's Journal
Zalatix's Journal
October 31, 2012

I disagree that we as a country need a divorce, aka split in half.

It would not be very liberal of us to set loose 56 million bigots (see: voters who went for McCain and Palin despite all their craziness) and leave them to fend for themselves. It is sheer insanity that we would separate ourselves from so many wrong-headed people.

Think of it like having a violent husband who beats the living tar out of you and every time you call the cops he has a vote in whether justice is served. Oh and he pays the cops more than you can so the cops keep siding with him. Think of it as the co-tenant of the apartment building who keeps setting your shit on fire every time you have an argument, or who bashes in your car's windows because you're black. Would you have these menaces removed? No, because that's insensitive and uncharitable, you'd be abandoning them to the elements. Even as they're breaking your legs and spiking your food, you must keep them around and try to convince them of what's right!

Truly charitable Americans would much rather keep trying to convince these people to see the light even when every effort we make intensifies their outbursts of rage. It's downright uncharitable for us to choose to move on without them when we could take the noble route. That route, of course, has the right wing crazies engaging in rampant obstructionism, holding the nation ransom, at a bloody standstill, until it is simply too late to avoid a total collapse from global warming or an economic meltdown, aka "Starve the Blue Beast". We must work with them no matter how many schools they privatize, no matter how many jobs they move overseas, no matter how much money gets hidden in the Cayman Islands, no matter how many states allow rapists to seek joint custody of the children they sired through violence, no matter how much welfare gets cut, no matter how many roads or whole cities get privatized (see: Governor Rick Snyder's city managers).

We must keep America together, even if it means we all get brought down by the political rioters and ruffians they call the Conservative movement. If the Republicans must take America to hell with their madness then by God we're obligated to go with them!

Okay, now this is sarcasm, of course. But the fact is, even if we do take Congress and retain the Presidency, you do not stop 56 million crazy hard-headed nutbags without doing additional, phenomenal damage to the country. These people will severely poison the political well for decades beyond today. We will have to fight them in countless statehouse elections, and they will bombard us on all fronts with corporate money.

Do you see how tough the GOP is at the ballot box now, after all this madness? Wait'll they change up their strategy with a Marc Rubio approach. Romney's an overt nutjob, Rubio knows how to hide it much better. Rubio will charm people with his superior (to Romney) public relations skills and when he gets into office... we'll take a full 50 year step backward. He is a classic Stealth corporate statist.

I know tons of people will throw a fit of absolute RAGE at the idea of America splitting in half but this much is absolutely certain and undeniable: as much as you hate what America will look like split in half, you will hate it even worse when we go to hell-on-earth together, with the GOP dragging us screaming into the abyss. And even with a population of 300 million, no country can survives the disastrous effects of 56 million people trying their damnedest to pull America down.

It is completely, hopelessly, no, laughably impossible, for America to survive another half-century as one nation.

October 30, 2012

Remember how increased productivity was supposed to reduce working hours? Well we got our wish.


But after nearly five years at Fresh & Easy, she remains a part-time worker despite her desire to work full-time. In fact, all 22 employees at her store are part-time except for the five managers.

She earns $10.90 an hour, and with workweeks averaging 28 hours, her yearly pay equals $16,500. “I can’t live on this,” said Ms. Hardin, who is single. “It’s almost impossible.”

While there have always been part-time workers, especially at restaurants and retailers, employers today rely on them far more than before as they seek to cut costs and align staffing to customer traffic. This trend has frustrated millions of Americans who want to work full-time, reducing their pay and benefits.

“Over the past two decades, many major retailers went from a quotient of 70 to 80 percent full-time to at least 70 percent part-time across the industry,” said Burt P. Flickinger III, managing director of the Strategic Resource Group, a retail consulting firm.


October 28, 2012

Gentlemen, you MIGHT need a new wingman if....


October 28, 2012

Be patient with people like Colonel L. Wilkerson and Colin Powell.

The former Colin Powell staffer has denounced the racism that he acknowledges as totally infesting his party. Yet he still calls the GOP his party.

Colin Powell has been a party to war crimes under Bush's administration. Yet now he has endorsed Barack Obama, first as a candidate and now as the incumbent President.

It's understandable to be pissed at these guys for what they've done. However, it is possible that both of them are experiencing a shift to the left. It may be temporary but they've had a shift. They obviously cannot stand what the GOP has become. This is growth in anyone's book.

Lower the pitchforks and try to talk to people like this around you. You might be able to win them over.

October 28, 2012

Immigration is back up due to improving economy. First time since 2007.


And given that employers from the agricultural to factory manufacturing sectors are chomping at the bit to get this cheap, easy-to-abuse labor, it is obvious that Obama and our Democratic Congresspeople should take action in his second term. (And at this point I'm pretty much assured that he'll be here for 4 more years.)

First of all, a hard crackdown on employers who abuse workers. Unsafe workplaces such as Hormel's meat processing center in Austin, Minnesota, should not be allowed to exist. And farms can no longer be allowed to stay exempt from safety laws, either. There's no reason why anyone should be dying of heat stroke on the farm. We in California are fighting the good fight, but as you can imagine, we face serious opposition from farmers, and a horrible shortage of inspectors - 200 inspectors to check over 35,000 farms. Perhaps the reason they've been successful in obstructing this law is the rampant and BS scare stories of apples going up to $50 a bushel? Then we're our own worst enemy - we're addicted to cheap food at the cost of exploiting workers. Think on that for a second. We need a Federal, nationwide version of this law, and a budget to support enough inspectors to investigate every complaint within 3 days. President Obama, Democratic representatives in Congress, please put this on your second-term agenda.

Finally, employers have a long record of using immigrants to replace Union labor. For instance, this case which led to a raid in 2008. So in the long term this fight goes beyond Capitol Hill - as Democratic activists, we're going to have to pursue a state-by-state extermination of right-to-work laws so immigrants can unionize and fight back at unscrupulous businesses.

People say the Democratic Party isn't the party of the left. Well, we can at least be the party of the working class... can't we?
October 28, 2012

So you can't badmouth China or they ban you and your work.

The enemy in the 2012 remake of Red Dawn was changed from China to North Korea, because otherwise the film wouldn't have been allowed in China. And this is not the only such example. The new Iron Man movie, it turns out, won't use a Chinese actor for the villain known as Mandarin, because it would get the movie banned in China.

In short: China's censorship tactics are dictating what we Americans get to see.

Why, exactly, do we trade with these guys again? Why do we let them run all over us?

October 27, 2012

Let's say your liberal Democratic neighbor was killed by a drone strike.

He or she was labeled as a terrorist and you know for a fact they were not.

Would you still be in favor of summary executions?

October 26, 2012

The devastating impact of globalization upon poor, minority communities

No sensible person can say globalization has helped poor minorities in America. In fact it has made their situation worse.

One thing you'll never get out of a fan of globalism is what they think happens to one of these communities when a factory closes and moves overseas. It's a whole lot different than moving out of state. Hint: moving to a job outside the country requires a passport and immigrating or getting a work visa, either of which is a long, expensive and horrific process in addition to the cost of moving, that is assuming the other country will even let you in. Nope, you won't hear about that, because then globalism isn't looking so great, is it? Especially if you're a poor minority.

But hey, as long as we aren't "protectionist" it's okay to throw the poor minorities under the bus, right? Right?


Globalization, the Global Trope, and Poor Black Communities: The Recent American Experience

Today, in the shadows of shiny gentrified blocks and gleaming downtown skyscrapers, many poor African American neighborhoods in America continue to suffer. Globalization continues to afflict these already punished terrains in ways that are now well chronicled. Most conspicuously, globalization engulfs these terrains and eradicates decent paying jobs and lowers pay rates. Hyper-frenetic, globally coordinated businesses and corporations, increasingly dominating urban economies, potently order and re-order locations of jobs, investment, and physical infrastructure (notably plant and store locations). In a process described by David Harvey (2000, 2005), capital’s continuous search for profitability takes the form of a restless and relentless re-making of the spaces of production. In its wake, these communities experience intensified poverty, underemployment, and unemployment.

But the impact of globalization on these communities has another dimension. Less recognized is that globalization, as a kind of cultivated imagining that is aggressively spoken, is widely put in the service of neoliberal urban politics (via diverse kinds of communicating) that deepens the production of these disadvantaged communities. Here, what globalization is thought to be by people is seized and wielded like a cudgel to punish and discipline planning measures, social welfare programs, and urban policy. Planning, political expediency, and opportunistic pronouncements of a new ominous reality meld into one potent political force. In the process, the public often comes to casually accept an “entrepreneurializing” of cities that afflicts these racialized communities. Let me provide specifics about this profoundly influential but only dimly recognized process (see also Wilson, 2007).

These poor African American communities today continue to suffer with a strengthened functional logic assigned to them: to warehouse “contaminants” in the new competitive, global reality. These communities across Chicago, Cleveland, New York, Los Angeles, and the like have, for decades, warehoused the racial poor as the real-estate sectors in these cities have used planning and policy to keep key housing markets healthy and profitable. But in the latest twist on this, ghetto maintenance has increasingly involved wielding the recent fear and obsession within a supposed new era: globalization. This elaborate rhetoric, now served up heavily in newspapers, planning documents, and politician oratory, has been a key trigger to mobilize and put into play crucial ghetto-afflicting forces (targeting of government resources to cultivate a robust entrepreneurial city, retrenching the local welfare state, rhetorically attacking these populations and spaces). This rhetoric, which I term “the global trope,” typically extends neoliberal principles and designs into common thought and city planning measures (particularly the notion of the private-market as best determinant of social and land-use outcomes). The global trope, in this frame, is served up as a frank and blunt package of truths about city realities and needs that can no longer be suppressed. In assertion, its pleas correspond to core truths; deft interpreters read and respond to clear truths as a policy prescriptive, progressive human intervention onto a turbulent and fragile city.

The rhetoric of the global trope has thus been a perceptual apparatus with profound material effects. It has served up a digestible reality that, following Robin Wagner-Pacifici (1994), guides construction of programs and policies by making certain actions thinkable and rational and others not. Imposed webs of meanings, like symbolic cages, build bars around senses of reality that place gazes within discrete and confining visions. One reality is ultimately advanced while alternatives are purged. Here is Mikhael Bakhtin’s (1981) implicit dialogue with other points of view, the simultaneity of asserting one vision and annihilating others. This strategic affirmation and rebuke, forwarding what exists and what does not, continues to make this rhetorical formation a fundamental instrument of power. As this apparatus has resisted and beaten back competitive visions of city and societal realities, even as it is contested and struggled against, it grows stronger in many U.S. cities.

October 25, 2012

Check in if you think we shouldn't get tough with China!

Check in if you believe China didn't get where they are now by manipulating their currency.
Check in if you believe China didn't get where they are now by stealing foreign intellectual property.
Check in if you believe China didn't get where they are now by putting up big tariffs against American products in the past.
Check in if you believe Americans should buy goods from undemocratic nations.
Check in if you believe we should buy goods from heavy polluters overseas while claiming to reduce industrial pollution here.
Check in if you believe that big trade deficits don't devalue a nation's currency and drive up its debt.
Check in if you agree that Americans should continue to lose their jobs as people like Mitt Romney close factories here and set them up in China.
Check in if you think it's xenophobic to want to keep your American factory job rather than be unemployed.

Check in if you believe American workers should continue to be the pariahs in the global economy.

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Member since: Fri Dec 16, 2011, 10:30 PM
Number of posts: 8,994

About Zalatix

I'm a liberal looking to make a difference in politics.
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