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Work Detail (Short Story-Fiction)

Posted by jeremiasx on May 17, 2012

I woke at six to the sound of sirens. Breakfast. What’s on the menu today? The same thing as every other day. A hard boiled egg and a piece of moldy toast. My first vision was the stained and decaying ceiling tiles above my rack. I get used to the scenery just like anyone else would in this situation. I have no choice.

A month ago I was living the good life with my family in my hometown. I had a good job, I had a car and a home. I played video games and visited friends. Sometimes we’d get drunk or high together. Listen to music. Simple stuff. One morning I woke up to a loud knock on the door. I could hear the loudspeakers in the street saying something about remaining in our homes. I think mine was the first door they knocked on, coincidentally or not. I’d said some abrasive things about the current regime on the Internet.

These days I don’t have to wonder what’s going to happen. They made the choices so much easier. There really aren’t any. I get up and eat a quick bite, hopefully food that isn’t going to make me sick. After chow we will line up in the courtyard for health inspections and work detail assignment. It’s always the same for me. I failed my aptitude tests and got stuck on shovel detail. We’re building a new light rail system. Someday people will ride on it and won’t even remember how it was built. They won’t hear the gunshots that ring out when a worker falls from exhaustion. No, they’ll be happy to have affordable and quick transportation to their work assignments. Everyone gets an assignment now, no one has to make a choice. Choices lead to disorder.

Last week I think I popped something in my spine. I asked about a doctor, but they said they can’t afford to treat camp workers like real citizens. Real citizens have demonstrated the patriotism and service that keeps our amazing country firing on all cylinders. Real citiizens understand the importance of keeping the economy going. All I could do in my ‘free life’ was sit around and write silly songs and poetry. There was no place for me in an industrious society.

The guards are passing out work gloves and shovels. When we first got here we lost about fifty people to blisters and the bullets that soon followed. I’m glad it’s not like that anymore. Now all I have to do is hide my chronic pain from the overseers and keep leveling the ground that will keep people moving on those “light” rails.

We head across the courtyard after roll-call into the cattle cars. Guards are screaming, dogs are snapping at our heels. An old man stumbles on his way into the car and is trampled underfoot. If you slow down, you die. No one wants to be that guy. Today wasn’t his day, I guess.

As I stepped up onto the high side of the cattle car I felt something give a little in my spine. Shit. This day isn’t starting out well. They say we’re increasing our production goal. The rail system isn’t on schedule. We’ve worked hard every day, and workers keep coming in, but just as many fall due to exhaustion and sickness. Is today my day?

A two hour ride to the jobsite over the highway isn’t bad, but we’re not on the highway. We’re trailblazing, man. We’re going where only the natives have gone before. Society has never stretched to this point in this country before. The rough and rugged road isn’t doing much for my sense of well-being. Pain shoots up and down my back and I don’t know if I’ll make it or not. Glancing around I see several have already given up hope and are sleeping on the metal floor. Some kids, some elderly. They won’t live to see tomorrow. So it goes.

We finally arrive at our assignment and I brace myself for the worst. When the overseers come in they usually come in kicking ass. The door slides open. More dogs snapping. The bitch is in charge today, I see. Who’s the bitch? Glad you asked.

The bitch is about thirty years old, she has blonde hair and blue eyes. She’s our medical supervisor and makes the determination on who lives or dies. That’s the truth of the fucking matter. She’s supposed to be watching out for us or giving medical attention, but I think the only medical attention she really administers around here is the terminal kind. She doesn’t take care of that herself. Armed guards do that. She just holds the clipboard and makes the final call.

We rush for the exit. I feel the head of a child squish a bit beneath my work boots. Do I have time to care about that? No..it’s just about survival. Remember, choices lead to chaos.

As we pile out orders are barked. We head to our assigned positions. They give us certain quotas on work performed. Workers get ‘units’ for work completed. If you get enough units you get a lunch. If you get more credits you get an actual break to eat the lunch. Get more than that, and you make all the workers look bad and are likely to be strangled to death in your rack . Crazy, huh?

I observe that the terrain we’re working with is particularly rocky. A bad omen for me. I press hard on the shovel in the hopes of finding purchase, or leverage. The tip of the shovel penetrates but I’ve hit a hard stone and the shockwave sends blinding pain up and down my arms, which circuits up into my back and suddenly I can’t feel my hands. I’m stunned for a moment.

A moment is all it takes. I hear a whistle blow, and the bitch is walking toward me, clipboard in hand. She asks me if I’m in too much pain to continue. I shake my head vigorously, ‘no’, but my body has betrayed me one final time. My muscles are twitching all around the injury site. She can see it through my shirt which is already soaked through with sweat and stuck to me.

“Guards, we have a patient in need of treatment. WORK DETAIL!! SEE!!  This is what happens when you don’t take care of yourself! Haven’t you learned yet? You MUST take care of yourselves! If you had done this in your lives before you wouldn’t be here for re-education and extra duties. When this man falls he represents the worst of what you are. Your weakness, your inability to give your all to the whole. Prognosis…unfit to work.”

I bow my head. I hear the racking of a machine gun bolt behind me. The birds are singing and shovels continue clicking merrily along.

Posted in Activism, America, Bizarre, Civil Rights, Conspiracy, Dissent, Economy, Fiction, Freedom, Freemasons, Human Rights, Journalism, Justice, Law, Law Enforcement, Liberty, Life, Money, Opinion, Politics, Prophecy, Protest, Resistance, Revelations, Revolution, Society, Tyranny, Uncategorized, Weird | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Fifth Of November, Pt. 1 (Short Story–Fiction)

Posted by jeremiasx on May 13, 2012

“What do you want from our collective?”

The teenage girl with purple and green hair asked me with the half-interest that Generation Y/Z has made infamous. I couldn’t tell if the hair was real or a wig, my vision still being blurry, but it was bobbed close and there were two long colored braids. She was probably still in high school. Sensory overload overwhelmed me after what seemed like hours without the benefit of sight or sound due to being hoodwinked with a modified balaclava mask. I vaguely recalled the ride across town in the trunk of a nondescript sedan that bore no badging or identifying characteristics of any kind. I’m pretty sure it was a hybrid of some kind because the motor cut in and out during the short journey through the city.

“I was told to contact you as soon as I got to Newark. I’m not even sure what group you represent. You could be with the assholes that kidnapped me back in Cali or even work for the government for all I know. I’m operating on nothing but blind faith here.”

I tried to get some kind of bearing on my current location. A cursory glance around didn’t provide me with much. Grey concrete walls with old rusty streaks that might have been blood complemented a cement floor with similar markings. It smelled dank but there was also an odor of recent disinfectant.

“Your caution is understandable, and we can appreciate that. You asked for this meeting, now what do you want with us?”

I sat a few moments without speaking, taking in the meaning and underlying meaning of everything she said. She didn’t seem to be the techno-punk type apart from the wild hair. She wore an expensive grey suit with a wide-collared blouse. A brand new laptop hummed quietly in front of her. A webcam on top was pointed across the table at me. Next to the computer and her purse was a small pistol. I’d guess a Walther PPK or something like that. My mom carried one just like it in her purse. Plenty deadly at close range, and since I was unarmed as agreed I wouldn’t be able to do much if she decided she didn’t trust me without ventilating me a few times first.

“Can I smoke in here?”

“Sure, go right ahead. Ash on the floor.”

I dug in my pockets and suddenly remembered having been thoroughly searched, groped in every unmentionable spot from shoulders to boots. My cigarettes and lighter were still in my right front pocket but I could feel the distinct absence of my cell phone in my left pocket and I was pretty sure they had taken my wallet. My ass met the chair a little harder than I was used to. A little padding never hurts, I learned that as a youngster in parochial school. My gym teacher swung a mean paddle, believe that. I pulled out the pack of Camels and popped my Zippo open with two fingers and in one smooth motion lit it by rolling the striker across the top of my thigh. An old habit. I’m a sucker for style, even at the cost of emphysema. Besides, in a few days I’d likely be deader than dirt.

I inhaled deeply, the rich smoke filling my lungs and chasing away the nicotine craving that the cigarette industry counts on for billions each year. I studied her reaction and her eyes. She never looked at the monitor even once to check her Facebook or email or whatever. They stayed fixed intently on me. The pistol on the table gave her a sense of security, but not enough for her to truly relax. Still yet, her air of professionalism outshone her obvious youth, and there was business to be done.

“I need your group to provide a distraction for the NYC cops in a few days. I’m not at liberty to discuss the operation, and have no details, so don’t bother asking.” I was pressed for time, and just wanted to get this over with.

“As if I care,” she retorted with an audible air of what seemed to be true apathy. Mercs are like that whether they fight battles for someone using a gun or computer code. It’s just a paycheck.

“I sense your trying to pull off the old ‘Swordfish’ routine, and while I honestly don’t give a fuck or not if it works out for you I damn sure hope that dead-drop you made was the only contact with our group you’ve attempted. We have no interest in swinging from the gallows with you, Mr. Reynolds, no matter how glorious you believe your cause to be.”

“No. You’ve got me wrong. I’m not even in this for my own sake or ‘glory’ or whatever. I’ve never seen you before and never want to see you again. I’ll be lucky if I don’t end up with a bullet in the back of my head by the time this is all over. This isn’t even my operation, I was pushed into it by…”

“Again, Mr. Reynolds, I truly DO NOT care. Tell us what you need us to do, and what your terms and method of payment will be.”

So I did.

***-

Remember, remember, the fifth of November…no problem there, buddy. Today is the fifth. I’m in New York City standing near Rockefeller Plaza watching people ice-skating and having the time of their lives. I will definitely die today.

I never imagined that I would get tangled up in a terrorist plot to overthrow the government. I’m not a fan of the rat bastards that screw us over on a daily basis but I’ve been a pacifist ever since I heard John Lennon’s epic masterpiece, “Imagine,” and watched the movie “Ghandi,” during an introduction to Political Science course my freshman year at Berkeley. I dropped out during my junior year and joined a nascent grassroots populist movement full-time. To hell with college, I didn’t need a degree to change the world. I’m the kind of guy that wears a lot of tie-dye and sandals, smokes a lot of pot, and likes to jump in the sack with as many hippie chicks as I can convince to do so at any given rave or music festival, preferably under the influence of mild or heavy psychedelics. Most days I hold a sign in front of a bank or lobby my local congressman.

It was during one of those music festivals that my life took a seriously unexpected turn just last week. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I know a lot of people are going to die due to my actions whether I want them to or not. They’ve got my whole family and all my friends in the crosshairs, and I know they’re serious. Yesterday they killed my fourteen-year old sister, Sarah Jean, just to prove a point. It was staged to look like a random hit-and-run. I know for a fact it wasn’t.

***-

The sign at the end of the pavement read, “Mushroom Mountain Harvest Jam” and I knew I was finally about to participate in the most epic folk-rock festival this side of the Rockies. On the calendar it fell upon a full moon weekend just before Halloween, and attendance was estimated to be upward of twenty thousand folks. I figured by the line of cars and graffitied VW buses and RV’s that it was probably a good estimate. I usually show up a day or two early to set up my campsite and help my usual group of social misfits set up our group kitchen and art displays, but a busted radiator on my old Galaxie 500 kept me stuck in Santa Cruz for an extra day or two, and now I was suffering the consequences. It’s funny how even when you go to society’s fringes you still can’t escape traffic. I figured if I was going to be waiting a while I might as well get high. I pulled out my trusty “chillum” and sparked a bowl of some serious green I scored at the dispensary while waiting for the car to be fixed. I have back issues and anxiety, you see. It’s all legal here in Cali and good medicine in general…not to mention it sure as hell beats sitting in a line of cars for hours while sober. Fuck that.

The car ahead of me, an old 80s model Grand Marquis with more rust coloration than paint stopped just before the curve ahead leading down the hill to the gathering spot in the valley below and to my right. Twilight was coming on and the Sun peaked through the Sycamores and mountain pines with an orange and pink hue. Crickets stirred. I had noticed the Asian girl in the back seat kept looking back at me, but I thought nothing of it because most folks like my car. It’s cream-puff white and has a big psychedelic peace sign on the hood. Maybe she thought I was hot? It didn’t even occur to me that anything was wrong when all four doors opened and all the passengers jumped out with what seemed like maniacal purpose. I guessed it to be a “Chinese fire drill,” no offense to the aforementioned Asian delight.

It wasn’t until I glanced in the rearview mirror and saw people jumping out of the black conversion van behind me that I began to get the distinct feeling that something was definitely amiss. The fact that they were all wearing bandannas, sunglasses, and ball caps drove it home. For the first time in my life I was truly afraid. Not edgy, not paranoid, but completely and utterly terrified.

“Keep your hands on the wheel and don’t move!!”

The voice was female, perhaps the Asian girl, but all I cared about was the submachine gun pointed at my head through my window. I’m pretty sure I pissed my pants. My hands couldn’t have moved of their own volition even if my life required it. My head started pounding and the cool buzz turned into justified paranoia and the surreality of it all grew as my door was yanked open and I was gagged and dragged back to the sliding cargo door of the black van. They pushed me against the door long enough to tie a blindfold over my eyes and bind my hands and feet with zip-ties. It seemed to take less than a minute, if that, and I was unceremoniously tossed headlong into the darkness. I’m pretty sure I passed out after hitting my head on the interior wall of the vehicle.

***-

“WAKE UP, you hippie fucktard!”

The voice in the darkness sounded gruff and I distinctly got the impression that not only were we not at the festival, but that my life was about to change forever, and not in a good way. I was sitting in a hardback chair and the temperature was warmer than a late Fall evening. We were indoors somewhere. I couldn’t smell the forest. I thought I could smell the distinct odor of cannabis drying, which in other circumstances would have been quite welcome. My face was still covered but I discovered that my hands and feet were unbound. Still, I was hesitant to try to make a break for it. I didn’t even know where the hell I was. There could be guns pointed at me ready to cut me down if I budged a muscle. The probability of that seemed high.

“What do you want?” I asked.

“You’re going to achieve your dream, Owen. You don’t have the guts to do it of your own free will, but we’ve found a way to motivate you.” The voice was female, and slightly more pleasant than the first. It almost sounded familiar.

“Mr. Reynolds, you were not chosen at random. You’re going to be an instrument of change for the betterment of the world. You will set free the oppressed masses from the bonds of oppression and tyranny under which you’ve suffered your whole life. Soon you’ll be famous. Dead, but quite famous, indeed.” Shed-dule. This one was British, undoubtedly. I began to wonder if it was all some kind of elaborate prank.

“I don’t want to be fa-..” I was cut off by the sudden impact of something very hard across my jaw. Perhaps a rifle butt?

“You don’t have a choice!” No game. “If you don’t do exactly as we say, when we say, we’re going to kill your whole fucking family, every person you’ve ever called a friend..we’ll straight up kill your goldfish, dude, just for fucking spite.” The first, harsher voice again.

They explained to me that they had picked me nearly at random from a group that recently protested against a large federal banking institution. They liked my fervor and they thought my looks and physique would make me a perfect posterboy for their cause. I was blonde and had blue eyes. I was good looking and well-liked among my peers. In short, I was the kind of person that people would copycat for years to come, so they hoped. While I was passed out they even cut my hair to make me more appealing to a larger demographic. Shit. man, I loved my long hair.

Their objective was a conference of bankers and politicians (surprise!) as well as some unfortunate media personalities and movie stars that would be convened at a certain posh hotel in New York City on November 5th of this year. Only a week or so away. I was not informed of the specifics of exactly how I was going to kill them, and that made it even scarier. I would be flown (first class!) to Newark International on November 4th. First I was to provide a distraction using a group of hackers in New Jersey. Arrangement protocols to meet a contact within that group were explained to me, and I was not to forget even one minute detail. Next, I was to meet my “handler” in NYC on the morning of the fifth at Rockefeller Center. I was to wear certain articles of clothing that would identify me, namely a plain black ball cap and a pair of bright orange Crocs.

“You’ll be reimbursed for the hat and the Crocs when it’s all over,” the female voice assured me, “not that you’ll ever need money again.”

Suddenly I realized I did recognize the voice, and I even knew where from. It was the girl who gifted me a last-minute ticket to the Mushroom Mountain festival in exchange for my promise to pay it forward to another person someday. An anonymous “friend” from Craigslist who I’d only spoken to once by phone, and I remembered her voice. It didn’t even matter if I knew what she looked like. Nothing mattered anymore. I was screwed.

“One thing more, mate…just so you know, we’ve tapped your cell phone and will be monitoring your progress all the way there. If you try to turn the phone off or deviate one smidge from the schedule, we’ll kill you and everyone you love. No funny business, my boy.”

Again with the James Bond voice. It was official. I was stuck in the middle of the world’s worst movie. No popcorn, no 3-D glasses…certain death, the price of admission.

***-

Posted in Activism, Al Qaeda, America, Bizarre, Conspiracy, Conspiracy Theories, Dissent, Drugs, Economy, Fiction, Journalism, Law, Law Enforcement, Liberty, Life, Military, Money, Peace, Politics, Prophecy, Rainbow Family, Random, Resistance, Revolution, Sex, Society, Terrorism, Tyranny, Uncategorized, Wall Street, War, War on Drugs, War on Terror, Weird | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

OCCUPY THE REVOLUTION!!!

Posted by jeremiasx on May 9, 2012

It’s been a long time since we’ve last had a nice chat and visit, hasn’t it? Let’s talk about what we know so far. The worldwide economy is in the shitter, fascism is on the rise both home and abroad, and it’s 2012 and I STILL don’t have my flying car. Lying ass cartoons. I know it’s not an original joke but it does pretty well sum up the feeling I have when I see the myriad ways the world has not lived up to my expectations. Mankind was capable of anything, but his largest accomplishments to date are organized religions and sex droids. I’m not impressed.

For the last few years I’ve been moving quietly through both the ether and the physical realm. I kick up a little dust here and there but not enough to get imprisoned in a FEMA camp or killed by an unmanned drone..at least not yet.  I’ve been touring the Occupy sites around the country since the inception of the movement and I have some good news to report.

The Occupy movement has made several major accomplishments. It is waking people up worldwide, and the slumbering and apathetic masses have FINALLY begun to rise. As I’ve said for years, most people usually really only care about something when it affects them personally. My disdain for peoples’ willful ignorance aside, I’m quite proud of everyone who has taken to the streets or stormed the Internet in a show of solidarity for freedom and truth. Millions of people around the world are uniting to do what people were meant to do. People were never meant to be slaves. They were given choice from the beginning and from time to time they let some fat cats get the best of them but historically they can break free if they are willing to make some sacrifices.

Speaking of sacrifices, I’m living out of a medium-size ALICE pack and hitchhike around the country to different occupation sites to learn what I can from my compatriots and to spread whatever knowledge I can to help. I sleep outdoors usually but this American Spring has brought a more favorable climate for all our operations. I survive currently through the combined efforts of many, not just myself. We are all part of what it takes to make this happen. Occupy isn’t a paying job, and it must never become one. We have no leaders, we have no followers.

Every person is a sovereign individual free to make any choice they like. We largely prefer nonviolence in agreement with the mission statement of #OWS but understand that not everyone is able to maintain a stoic attitude in the face of direct oppression, brutality, and tyranny. That’s what we have seen across the movement. THE PEOPLE of Occupy are a class-act and have demonstrated time and time again, despite provocations and abuse, that we will not be pushed into ANY manner of action that hasn’t been reached by consensus.

Don’t get me wrong. I firmly believe there WILL BE a violent revolution in this country if things continue the way they are going, and I often wonder if that’s what the authorities really want. I would hate to see the nation I love ripped apart by bloody conflict, but I’d hate to see an oppressive fascist regime come to full fruition even worse. At some point we’ll have to make a choice. It won’t be long. JFK once said, “Those who make peaceful resistance impossible make violent revolution inevitable.” He was right on that one, at least.

A few important observations:

1. I would prefer a peaceful, political revolution to an armed conflict.

2. Armed revolution is ugly, bloody, and has numerous unknown outcomes including but not limited to: more tyranny and fascism (now “justified” in response), a government that is somehow worse, or even a foreign power taking control of our country if it were to be weakened too much by infighting.

3. Sometimes there is no other option left other than to fight. It’s difficult to reason with mass murderers, don’t ya think??

You’ll never have to second-guess what side I’m on. I love my country. I love our people and the freedoms we USED TO HAVE. Voting won’t get them back once they are lost. We must do more. Time is running out fast. Godspeed, and good night America.

Posted in Activism, Arkansas, Censorship, CIA, Civil Rights, Conspiracy, Democracy, Dissent, Economy, Education, Federal Reserve, Freemasons, Human Rights, Journalism, Justice, Law, Law Enforcement, Liberty, Life, Media, Military, Money, News, NYC, Opinion, Patriotism, Peace, Politics, Prophecy, Protest, Random, Republicans, Resistance, Revolution, Society, Stock Market, Technology, Terrorism, Tyranny, Uncategorized, Wall Street, War, War on Terror | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Cheney Sinks To Killing Hookers? WTF?

Posted by jeremiasx on May 4, 2008

LOL…this is really funny stuff…believable or NOT you gotta hear it from the Alex Jones radio show (NO, I do not listen to Alex Jones OR ANY OTHER radio personality regularly)…what caught my interest is the audio is supposedly the DC Madame saying she had no plans of hanging herself in a recent interview. All that aside, the more important question I’m asking myself…why would I even doubt that a guy who is guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity would end up facing allegations over a dead hooker? Well…DICK…you are teh suck. That’s why.

One final note…in the pantheon of conspiracy theories of late this one is certainly the most amusing and plausible…it’s not hard to fake a suicide, just ask Hillary. Enjoy the vid.

Posted in 9/11, Activism, America, Arkansas, Censorship, Cheney, Comedy, Conspiracy, Conspiracy Theories, Dissent, Funny, George Bush, GOP, Impeachment, Journalism, Justice, Liberty, Life, Media, Money, News, NSA Wiretapping Scandal, Opinion, Patriotism, Peace, Politics, Protest, Psychology, Religion, Republicans, Resistance, Revolution, Ron Paul, Sex, Society, Uncategorized, Unexplained, War, War on Terror, Weird | 1 Comment »

What A Homeless College Kid Doesn’t Know About Homelessness

Posted by jeremiasx on February 18, 2008

Adam,

I recently read the article on your experiences “living on the street” in Charleston…and that you were able to (in the end, after some apparent difficulty) obtain a truck (no make or model specified, no mention of sales tax, registration, reinstating of insurance, you know…all the little things you have to pay to have the privilege to drive, and your background applies here, I’ll explain later concerning credit.) You launched yourself into an apartment, got a job…good for you. It’s still not a realistic scenario for most homeless people…and I’ll tell you WHY.

It really rattled me when I read your story zooming up the charts on Digg, and there are a lot of things I’d like to point out, and one of the main points is this…I don’t believe your situation does not represent the situation of the average “homeless person” in the country. It’s not even CLOSE for several reasons. I know you probably don’t make that claim on SOME levels, but the results of your study are skewed by your personal circumstances.

I believe it harms the cause of advocating for services for the homeless in general., which are WOEFULLY inadequate in most areas of the country, especially in the face of a looming (now ongoing) economic crisis…this is a topic we will see revisited before all is said and done, I assure you.

Here’s something to consider…your study begins with you leaving college and (I’m going to assume) basically being debt-free and without a negative credit history…and that matters. I don’t care that you kept your credit card and your degree in your pocket. Many DECENT jobs in this country are awarded or NOT awarded to people based on their credit history. I’m going to take a wild leap (without even doing an investigation on statistics) and say most homeless people have SHIT for credit. Guess what that means? Insurance rates for automobiles are affected, and sometimes insurance medical insurance is denied outright by the companies with the big names and reasonable premiums.

As the majority of homeless people lack medical coverage they rely heavily on ER visits that end up on the credit bureau and most of them are lucky to be over a 400 FICO if you count all the damage that happened when they “dropped out” of polite society. ER visits also don’t do much for the chronic conditions that many homeless are usually afflicted with..everything from alcoholism and related maladies to AIDS and chronic diabetes. Many are so far gone in their mental condition that there’s a better chance of their feet rotting off than a good ole preventive checkup a few years hence might have spared them, but I digress..

Your study is also fails to acknowledge the time and transportations constraints the real homeless face daily. Alcohol and addiction recovery, antisocial or borderline personality issues, along with the numerous other physical disorders…all those appointments and programs take TIME away from homeless people that isn’t spent directing them towards a life of self-sufficiency, so their ability to launch from a homeless shelter, as you probably already KNOW from your experience there, would not be like yours or mine. There are MANY things that the DESCENT into homelessness does to a person…on an emotional, physical, fiscal, and mental level…none of this happened in your case.

In your case you entered into the situation VOLUNTARILY. How many homeless people made a singular CHOICE (and I don’t mean choices in general) but a singular CHOICE to be homeless? You made that choice, Adam. That changes everything. I spent some time on the street checking things out myself…but I didn’t go to a nice southern city with a good bus system and plenty of transitional living centers just to the immediate southwest of the city and I didn’t stay in shelters for the most part. But anyhow, that’s my story, not yours…lol…I digress. I also looked at it up close and personal, and by singular choice. I guess I’m just not quite as optimistic about the situation the homeless face, Adam. Hell most cities don’t even have decent shelters and what shelters they have are full and/or unfit to stay in. Many times I chose to sleep outside instead just to avoid the diseases and desperation. I was literally turned away in Youngstown, Ohio at an SA (Salvation Army) because I didn’t want to commit to a monthlong drug and alcohol treatment program, and all I wanted was to get out of the cold for a night or two. Anyhow, experiences on the street can be pretty different for most people and I’m sure yours gave you some unique insights.

However, as to your “success” story from rags to riches in 70 days… no big deal. You started out with nothing to lose in the first place, the pressure wasn’t on, and you didn’t have to provide for your own way. It’s not hard to sit in the shelter and save $300 a week (at LEAST that, working for any moving company) to boost yourself into self-sufficiency in 70 days when you have no outside issues (from a broken life) to deal with, Adam. With even $200 a week saved income a person can be back in the saddle in a few months time. It’s not hard to labor for a minimum wage paycheck when you pay no rent or utilities or insurance or food (and in most shelters all those things are fortunately gratis) …and it’s not hard when you’re only doing it for YOURSELF (and not a spouse or children.)

Adam…I think your story sucks. It was a good idea, but you didn’t “go there” bro. Not even close. Also, it doesn’t help when people perpetuate false claims of equal opportunity and access in this country in general. Again…what a nice STORY.

-Jeremias X

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Posted in Activism, America, Democracy, Democrats, Dissent, Economy, Education, Finance, Freedom, GOP, Homeless, Human Rights, Journalism, Justice, Law, Law Enforcement, Liberty, Life, Media, Medicine, Money, Opinion, Outdoors, Peace, Politics, Poverty, Psychology, Rainbow Family, Random, Religion, Republicans, Society, Uncategorized, Weird | 4 Comments »

Bush’s Report Card…Looks Like Straight F’s

Posted by jeremiasx on January 29, 2008

From ThinkProgress.org :)

bushprogressreport.gif

Posted in 9/11, 9/11 Truth, Activism, Arkansas, Cheney, Comedy, Conspiracy, Democracy, Dissent, Economy, Education, Energy, Environment, Finance, Freedom, Freemasons, George Bush, GOP, Impeachment, Justice, Law, Liberty, Life, Masons, Military, Money, News, Newton County, Opinion, Politics, Poverty, Protest, Random, Republicans, Resistance, Revelations, Revolution, Ron Paul, Society, Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

How Bushenomics Raped Our Nation

Posted by jeremiasx on January 21, 2008

REPOSTED ENTIRELY FROM ALTERNET

Originally Titled “The Fraud Of Bushenomics: They’re Looting The Country!”

by Larry Beinhart

The New York Times made it official. The Economy is a problem!

So, now, at last we can discuss it.

Not just discuss it, in rapid order “recession” became the word of the day, from White House, Congress, the Fed and the media.

It’s blamed, mostly, on the subprime crisis.

But that’s not the problem. It’s a symptom. It is the logical, and probably one of the necessary results, of Bushenomics.

Along with low, or no, job growth. Little or no business growth. Depressed wages. And the crashing dollar. (The president has a different vision of the economy. In his vision it’s booming! And the number of jobs is growing! Though there is this little blip.)

The idea under which Bushenomics was sold is this:

  • The rich are the investor class.
  • If the rich have more money, they will invest more.
  • Their investments will create more business.
  • Those businesses will create more wealth, thus improving everyone’s lives and making the nation stronger. They will also create new and better jobs.

Whether or not the people who say such things truly believe them, I cannot say. But that’s their pitch, and the media certainly seems to buy it, as do most of the establishment economists.

A more realistic — and less idealistic — view of Bushenomics is that the Bush administration and its cronies came at the economy with the attitude of oilmen.

  • They inherited a vastly wealth country.
  • They looked at it like the oil under the Alaskan wilderness. They craved to pump it out, turn it into cash and grab as much of that cash as possible.

Wherever possible, they literally sold off the assets. This was called privatization. Our biggest asset — in terms of size — is, of course, our defense establishment. With privatization, one dollar out of every three for direct military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan goes to private contractors like Halliburton and Blackwater. So when someone says, “Support the troops!” with budget appropriations, they should really yell, “Two-thirds support to the troops! One third support to Halliburton, et al.!”

This is just an estimate. The degree of privatization is unknown. Presumably, that’s deliberate. Nor does it count the amount of money the military spends with private purveyors to supply the troops and their operations. It is only the amount that goes directly to private contractors.

But for the most part, the assets of the United States, our collective wealth, could not be sold off in such a direct manner.

In order to turn them into cash, what the administration did was borrow against them.

That is, they cut taxes while continuing to spend lavishly, creating debt.

The debt is owed by all of us, the collective people of the United States.

The tax cuts hugely favored rich people. They also favored unearned income (dividends, capital gains, inherited money) as opposed to the kind of money people have to work for. The very richest got richer.

The spending was — to the degree possible — directed to themselves, their friends and their supporters: Big Pharma, the medical industry, insurance, banking and financial, among others. And, of course, Big Oil, from whom they have spent close to a trillion dollars of our money to conquer a big oil field for private exploitation.

Now let’s take a look at some numbers.

The numbers will tell us if their idealistic tale about unleashing the capitalists to create a better world for us all is correct. Or if it’s a fairy story that masks uncaring greed.

The big number is that the economy has grown.

As measured by the GDP it has. From 2001 to 2007 it went up by 35 percent.

GDP stands for Gross Domestic Product. It could more accurately be called Gross Domestic Transactions, because it is the sum of all the financial transactions in the country.

Now let us look at job creation.

In the first six years of the Clinton administration, 13.7 million jobs were created. In the same period, under Bush, only 3.7 million jobs were created. Barely keeping up with population growth, if that. (Source: Fox News)

Now let us look at median income. That’s as opposed to average income (If Bill Gates walks into a bar with 10 people, the average income of everyone in the room goes up by $17,5000,000. But the median income just moves up half a notch, from between the fifth and sixth person, to the sixth person’s income). From 2001 to 2005, median income, for people under 65, went down $2,000.

That’s worth restating. From 2001 to 2005, the income of the average working person declined by $2,000.

Now, let’s look at the value of America’s businesses.

A good rough measure of the market value of America’s best businesses is the stock market. Under Clinton, the Dow Jones went up 324 percent. Wall-to-wall, after the dot.com bubble burst, it more than tripled in value.

Bush arrived in 2001. Since then the Dow Jones is up just 10 percent. Adjusted for inflation, that’s absolutely flat. (It was briefly up 23 percent. It is now below the 10 percent mark, and tumbling down as this is written). Just pain, no gain.

If jobs have not increased, salaries have gone down, and the value of business has not risen, where is that 35 percent growth in the economy?

There is a number called the M3 money supply.

The M1 is basically cash, plus checking and “current” accounts. The M2 adds savings accounts, money market accounts and CDs up to $100,000. The M3 adds in the big CDs, Eurodollar accounts and other large exotics.

Already rising very fast, the M3 took off like a rocket after 2001. The Fed stopped publishing the M3 in 2006 (conspiracy theorists, please note.) But a quick look at the chart of its growth, and assuming its trajectory continued, clearly shows that the M3 grew by something in the range of 35 percent.

The entire growth of the economy under Bushenomics is accounted for by growth in the money supply.

The administration did not directly inflate the economy by 35 percent.

They pumped it by the size of the deficit. The rest happened this way.

When a government is “printing money” (running big deficits), the big fear is inflation.

Particularly in the financial community. Bankers make their money on interest, and inflation eats their profits, point for point.

The administration, very proudly, grew the economy (or at least the amount of money in circulation), without inflation. Which actually is a pretty good trick.

In part, they were able to do so precisely because the policy was a failure.

If it had created business growth — actual business, not just financial business — that would have created jobs. Then there would have been inflationary pressure. Especially if they were good, high paying jobs. If salaries for ordinary people go up, even a little, the total is a big sum because there are so many of us.

But due to free trade, outsourcing, bad economic policy, policies aimed at keeping wages down, and relentless union busting, good jobs were lost, to be replaced with low-wage jobs, when they were replaced at all. The proof is in that median income figure (down $2,000 per worker).

Due to free trade and outsourcing, consumer goods mostly went down too. The exception being in favored industries like pharmaceuticals, insurance and oil.

Finally, and this the key to the next step in the process, the Fed kept interest rates down.

Low interest rates mean that it’s cheap to borrow.

The administration largely believes in supply-side economics (otherwise known as “trickle down,” or “piss on the people.”); if you increase the supply of something, consumers will appear to buy it.

The actual results are a perverse triumph of the idea.

The supply of money was increased. The price of money was kept artificially low.

Think of borrowing as buying money. It is.

People (and businesses and corporations) did rush forward to buy it. Once they had it, what was there to do with it? There was no new trend, no dot.coms, no high techs, no bio techs, no nothing.

So they went out and sold money. That is, they made loans.

There are two big retail loan areas, credit cards and housing loans. Both were pushed very aggressively. With cheap, cheap money available to finance home buying, that market heated up. At the same time, commercial interests started aggressively buying up loans, packaging them together, and reselling them as financial instruments. That created more desire to make more loans (sell money). Financial institutions bought more money (borrowed), in order to sell it at a profit (make loans). Since the loans were quickly resold — and profit taken off the top — the quality of the loans didn’t matter to the people who made them. The housing market — or rather the loans that fueled it — grew into a bubble.

The subprime crisis, the housing bubble, whatever you want to call it, is not the problem.

It’s a symptom of pumping in money with no place to go.

Other symptoms are no job growth, no business growth, no stock market growth, falling median incomes, disappearing pensions and health plans, and the fall of the dollar.

When Bush came into office, a Euro cost 95 cents. Now it costs a $1.50. The Canadian dollar (the Loony) was 70 cents. Now it costs a dollar. Most mainstream economists and pundits will opine that a low dollar is good for American industry, because it will help us sell our goods. That’s only true if we’re producing things that no one else is — or producing them better or cheaper — and we’re not.

Also, many foreign exchange rates are being kept artificially low against the dollar. Some, like many of the oil countries, are pegged to the dollar. They’re making up for it by raising the price of oil (currently traded in dollars). Others, like the Asian manufacturing countries, are keeping their currency down to retain their edge in selling here, thereby canceling whatever advantage we’re supposed to get from declining currency.

One way to think of what the administration has done, is as a leveraged buyout. That’s when someone buys a company, using the company itself as the collateral for the loan used to purchase it, usually at very high interest, then pays off the interest by cutting the work force and salaries, selling outsets and even breaking up the company.

It’s good for the guy who makes the deal, skims the cream off the top and gets rich. (The company that Mitt Romney got rich working for specialized in doing that.) It’s good for the lenders, who get a good return (if the buyer is able to squeeze enough money out of his purchase), but it’s bad for the work force, bad for the company, and, if no one comes along to replace it, bad for the business as a whole.

We’ve experienced a leveraged buyout of the national economy.

Our politicians, the media and economists are just now waking up to the fact that the economy is in trouble.

The current numbers make it clear that we are probably in, or probably headed for, a recession.

Also, the polls show that people are concerned about the economy, and it’s an election year. The people are out ahead of our governing and media and professional economic classes on this, because they live in the real economy, the one that’s been leveraged, and the professionals are either in, or work for, the investor class that has been doing well.

So there is, at last, talk about doing something about the economy.

The Feds will cut interest rates!

George Bush wants a stimulus package. Tax cuts, tax cuts and make my tax cuts permanent! After all, that policy has worked so well. He said the cuts must be at least 1 percent of the GDP. That will be $145 billion.

Harry Reid and Nancy Policy (the King and Queen of Effective Politics) will offer a competing one (tax cuts, tax cuts!). Although they promised pay-as-you-go economic policies from a Democratic legislature.

Pundits in the media talk about a crisis in consumer confidence. And how the fix is to restore it. So we will go out and buy. Presumably on credit.

How about consumers think there’s a problem because there is one. Not because they’re weird emotionally. They reasonably see themselves so overextended, with so little hope of being better earners, that they won’t be able to pay things off. Not even with a one-time government check of somewhere between $300 and $1,200.

In short, most of those solutions will go to making things worse.

The real solutions are pretty obvious and pretty simple.

First, we have to make a choice: Do we want a sound economy for all of us and a strong America? Or do we want to have a few people of unlimited wealth who use that wealth, among other things, to control the government so that it helps them milk more money from the rest of us?

By the way, this is not a call for socialism! Or other ism! Except a call for sensible and effective capitalism. Based on what we’ve seen work and seen fail.

In the real world, there are no such things as free markets.

In the real world, business people manipulate and conspire to control markets, and governments both control and collude with business, while tax policies and government spending have a major affect on the economy.

Let us accept that, and then the argument is only over how best to do it.

Simply giving money to rich people doesn’t work.

Bob Novak, the conservative commentator who calls the investor class “the most creative class,” is flat out wrong. As we’ve seen, outside of their ability to buy influence in politics, the media and the law, the rich are like the rest of us, relatively passive and unimaginative, prone to putting their money in the easiest place that promises a return, in whatever bubble is in fashion at the moment and wherever some salesman who gets their attention tells them.

Money has no mind of its own. It has to be directed toward areas that will generate and support business and good jobs at good wages. As it happens, our economic goals are on the same road as the social good.

The No. 1 target has to be alternative energy.

Energy that can be produced here, in the United States, renewable, nonpolluting, and not, like corn-based ethanol, requiring as much petroleum to produce it as it replaces. One-third of our balance of trade deficit is oil, year in and year out. If the United States can become the world leader in alternative energy and conservation technology, we will, at last, have something to export.

The No. 2 target is infrastructure.

By it’s nature, infrastructure has to be largely produced here with local labor and it stays here.

Hard infrastructure, like roads and bridges, cleaning up New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, protecting our coasts from future storms, internet and phone service as good as Europe’s, Japan’s and Singapore’s.

Soft infrastructure, like education, youth services, parks and recreation programs, public safety, and a saner criminal justice system. The United States has 5 percent of the world’s population and 25 percent of the incarcerated population. That’s expensive. And wasteful. Unsafe streets and high crime are expensive and wasteful.

Infrastructure makes doing business easier, quicker and cheaper. It becomes an invisible subsidy for all businesses. Try to imagine, for example, Fed Ex, that entrepreneurial triumph, without a national web of airports, flight controllers and roads.

The No. 3 target is health care.

Health care in the United States costs at least 50 percent more than the next-highest spending country and double what it does in most other modernized countries. All of them have better health than we do. They live longer and in better condition.

The difference is that they have national health plans. Mostly single-payer, usually tax-supported. Our plans are based on a hodge-podge of a thousand private insurers.

A single-payer national health plan should cut the costs of our health care by at least 25 percent, possibly 50 percent. That’s an astonishing number. That money could go to more productive things. Or to even more health care.

American businesses who supply health care to their employees claim they are noncompetitive with companies from countries that have national health. This will make them more competitive. This will make American labor more competitive.

The No. 4 four target is a balanced budget.

There are, in fact, times for deficit spending. Just as there are times in our personal lives to borrow and times for business to borrow.

This is probably not one of them.

There is an ocean of money sloshing all around the world, looking for a home. If there are real business opportunities in America (like taking the lead in alternative energy, bio tech, and whatever is next around the corner), it will come.

Especially if there is a sound business environment and dollar investments return to being the most reliable in the world. That means paying down our debt.

How can all this be done?

Raising taxes…on the wealthy. And on corporations. That’s not class warfare. That’s simple practicality.

After your first $20,000, how much of the next 20 do you need, to live, thrive and survive? Damn near all of it. After your first 20 million, now much of the next 20 million do you need? Not a nickel.

The rich will whine, writhe and scream that they won’t do business, they’ll be driven out of business, that business will collapse. Bullshit. If they dislike keeping 20 or 30 or 40 cents of each dollar of profit so much that they won’t take the dollar, someone will come along who gladly will. That’s how markets work.

All of this is pretty straightforward and common sense.

The illogic of Bushenomics is obvious. The results were foreseeable. After all, similar effects took place under Reagan and Bush the Elder, until they reversed courses.

The alternatives are equally obvious. The facts bear out the theory. Go back to Hoover and Roosevelt, then look at the down, up, down, of Bush the Elder, Bill Clinton, and Bush the Lesser. (We do note that there are minor industries dedicated to proving that Franklin Roosevelt was, in the words of CNN’s Glenn Beck, “an evil son of a bitch,” that the New Deal really, really, really didn’t work, and that Bush the Elder was really, really, really responsible for the boom of the Clinton years and that Clinton was responsible for the first recession during the reign of Bush the Lesser. But they are like people who see the image of the Virgin Mary in bread sticks and crullers.)

None of our politicians, pundits or economists are addressing the fundamentals.

The last time we switched from the nonsense of worshiping unmitigated greed, disguised as free marketeering, it took a market crash and the Great Depression to move us out of our public relations-manufactured delusions and make us understand that when we all do well the rich get richer too, so let’s start with the common good.

Based on the dialogue as it stands now, we will go with tinkering and twaddle, doing more of what doesn’t work. And only if the whole things collapses will we address the real problems.

Larry Beinhart is the author of “Wag the Dog,” “The Librarian,” and “Fog Facts: Searching for Truth in the Land of Spin.” All available at nationbooks.org.

Posted in Activism, America, Arkansas, Censorship, Cheney, Civil Rights, Conspiracy, Democrats, Dissent, Economy, Education, Federal Reserve, Finance, Freedom, Freemasons, George Bush, GOP, Impeachment, Investing, Journalism, Law, Law Enforcement, Liberty, Life, Media, Money, News, Newton County, Opinion, Patriotism, Politics, Poverty, Prophecy, Protest, Religion, Republicans, Resistance, Revelations, Revolution, Ron Paul, Society, Stock Market, Tyranny, Uncategorized, Wall Street, WTC | 4 Comments »

Financial Armageddon (Pic)

Posted by jeremiasx on January 21, 2008

homeless.jpg

Posted in Comedy, Dissent, Economy, Education, Federal Reserve, Finance, Freemasons, Funny, George Bush, Investing, Journalism, Life, Money, New York, News, Opinion, Prophecy, Society, Stock Market, Uncategorized, Wall Street | 1 Comment »

GAO Comptroller David Walker Warns Of Financial Crisis

Posted by jeremiasx on January 12, 2008

This guy has been running through the streets ringing alarm bells for YEARS now…not that Bush would have anyone know that or dwell too much on it in the past.  

Via BlackListedNews

Posted in Activism, America, Bizarre, Censorship, Conspiracy, Democracy, Democrats, Dissent, Economy, Education, Federal Reserve, Finance, Freedom, Freemasons, George Bush, GOP, Hillary Clinton, Impeachment, Investing, Journalism, Life, Media, Money, News, Opinion, Politics, Poverty, Prophecy, Random, Republicans, Resistance, Revelations, Revolution, Ron Paul, Society, Stock Market, Uncategorized, Wall Street | 1 Comment »

Faux News W/Frank Luntz FRAUD EXPOSED (Video)

Posted by jeremiasx on January 7, 2008

I found this over on Digg posted by “VoteRonPaul” a bit ago…they (FOX NEWS) are SO BUSTED. Watch it! Sorry for all the tags…but hey…I want maximum exposure and PLEASE REPOST this FAR AND WIDE. OH YEA, DROP FOX NEWS FROM YOUR CABLE SERVICE…it’s time they pay for this masquerade as a “fair and balanced” news program. I hear their stock is dropping anyhow. Might as well throw some well-deserved salt on an open wound while we’re at it, right?

Posted in 9/11 Truth, Activism, Al Qaeda, America, Ann Coulter, Arkansas, Bill O'Reilly, Bizarre, Brit Hume, Censorship, Cheney, CIA, Civil Rights, Comedy, Conspiracy, Conspiracy Theories, Democracy, Dissent, Economy, Education, Energy, Environment, Federal Reserve, Finance, FISA, Florida, Football, Fox News, Freedom, Freemasons, Funny, George Bush, Global Warming, GOP, Health Care, Hillary Clinton, Human Rights, Immigration, Impeachment, Investing, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Journalism, Justice, Karl Rove, Law, Law Enforcement, Liberty, Life, Masons, Media, Medicine, Military, Money, Music, Myanmar, MySpace, NAACP, New Hampshire, New York, News, Newton County, NSA Wiretapping Scandal, NYC, Opinion, Pakistan, Patriotism, Peace, Politics, Poverty, Prophecy, Protest, Psychology, Race, Rainbow Family, Random, REAL ID, Religion, Republicans, Resistance, Revelations, Revolution, Ron Paul, Science, Society, Sports, Stock Market, Technology, Television, Terrorism, Turkey, TV, Tyranny, Uncategorized, Unexplained, US Attorneys, US Attorneys Scandal, Wall Street, War, War on Drugs, War on Terror, Weird, WTC | 2 Comments »

 
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