Sunday, January 29, 2012

The End of Jane Addams Hull House in Chicago


This is a tremendous blow to the community and to the overall history of the city of Chicago. This effectively snuffs out one of the few remaining links that people have to their past.

When someone brings up "the good old days," remind them that women used to live in routine fear of being beaten to death by alcoholic husbands and that children were routinely neglected and abandoned. That's what went on in the good old days, and that's what still goes on today, and that's what Jane Addams Hull House fought against for 122 years until the money ran out and the lights got turned off.

Tomorrow, someone is going to be in need of assistance, and this organization won't be there. What a tragedy.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

So Much For Beating and Macing the Protesters


Even the indifference of the national news media couldn't make a dent in the Occupy Wall Street movement. Where are all the heavy-handed cops now? Where's the mace? Where are the rent-a-cops and their bigoted insults?

This is going to be an interesting election year. People are going to flock to the OWS banner in the spring, if not before, and make their voices heard.

If it was ever time for a movement to die of neglect and disinterest, it would be now. That does not appear to be happening.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Towards a More Permanent Underclass


There are a lot of things to despise about this.

First of all, it hits poor people harder than anything else. And the poor are not the problem--the predatory financial class is the problem. Few, if any, are not creating jobs, they are destroying the American economy by gaming the system, and they know that they can buy their way out of political or legal trouble.

Second, it inflates the cost of education even more in this country to the point where it forces people to chase diplomas and certificates and pay the ever-increasing costs associated with them. If you have left high school, who do you have to pay in order to get GED training? That's right--a for-profit company that will cash in on the desperation created by this bill. And if you want to climb above the level where people are scrambling and competing and improve your situation, it makes it more expensive to get above the GED level because, after all, no one is just going to give you a degree. Especially if it is a for-profit outfit that, hooray, can now go on screwing people even more, thanks to this Congress.

Third, it wrongly cuts off unemployment insurance to people who have worked and who have earned their insurance benefits under the system. It allows the unemployment insurance system to keep money that was paid into it. It's not going affect the people who don't need unemployment, of course. They would be the ones walking away from their job with a buyout, a pension, and a golden parachute.

If the Democrats want to win this fall, they have to isolate and highlight issues like this--issues where the Republican Party, once again, screws the working poor and create a permanent underclass of people who are trapped and desperate and are made even more so by the prospect of losing their unemployment benefits simply because they don't have a GED.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Would This Be a National News Item if it Happened in Cleveland?


This seems to be a story driven more by where it is happening rather than what is actually happening. Criminal damage to property like this happens in a lot of American cities, but I don't think it would get this much attention (and thus, likely, fuel more car burnings through copycats and whatnot) if it hadn't gotten so much media attention.