What about Cranbrooks’ part in Mitt’s attack on John Lauber?

 Schools know there is a difference between hijinks and assault.

What about consequences? Isn’t being required to face consequences for behavior and performance an important part of a proper education?

Something that needs to be brought up in the national discussion of high-brow prep school ‘hijinks’ is how the school reacted. Have yet to see this addressed.

Is there ANY evidence that the Cranbrook School took any disciplinary action against Romney and the others who participated in this assault on John Lauber? Were any punishments meted out for this? How could young men form a small mob, assault a classmate and not get thrown out on their asses at the very least?

 John Lauber was expelled from Cranbrook School for reports that he was seen smoking.  Sneaking a smoke got the assault victim bounced out of school!

Mitt Romney graduated from Cranbrook.

Mitt crossed a big line when he acted violently upon a classmate. He put together a small mob to help him. That was not leadership, it was cowardice and it was willfully malicious. 

The others knew it was wrong, they were all well past the age of knowing right from wrong. Many of them acknowledge they have been haunted by their part of the attack on John Lauber since they participated right through to the present.

Mitt mislabels his assault on a classmate as ‘hijinks’. Would be interesting to know what he would call such an attack if some kids did it to his own sons when they were in school, or his grand-kids now. Willing to bet Mitt would have a team of lawyers all over the perpetrators, the parents, the school, and the cops to make sure punishment was swift and harsh.

Mitt Romney graduated from Cranbrook but John Lauber did not, because it was reported John Lauber was seen smoking on campus.

Evidently Cranbrook School was pretty confused about boyish hijinks. One would think an institution that charges the kind of tuition Cranbrook  does would be run by people who knew better, people of high moral convictions.

As we ponder what makes Mitt tick, we might give some thought to the fact that it sure looks like the system the elite grow up in has an impact in reinforcing sociopaths’ sense of security in acting on bad impulses.

In no way should Romney’s behavior be blamed on the school, he was well past the age where we hold young people accountable for their actions.  But the school needs to take some responsibility for what life lessons it teaches. Boarding schools, in particular, bear the burden of being more than just classroom education. Boarding schools, but structure, act  in loco parentis.

How many other scions of the privileged class grew up knowing the system would back them no matter what? That brutality is rewarded and empathy is not required? No wonder the nation is in such a mess.


‘There’s nothing to do’? Got community radio in your community? Look for the possibilities

Do you have teenagers? Have friends, neighbors who are teenagers? Do you have a community supported radio station in your area? Do they offer fun opportunities like this: a summer morning ‘day camp’ for teens who want to learn about how to operate a live radio station?

Maybe it would be good to find these things out. Maybe, if there is a station but they don’t offer such training, well, maybe you could get it going. Maybe, if there is no community station, you could join others and get one going.

This is a really cool idea: Teens can spend mornings learning about all the aspects of operating a local radio station. They can learn about music they would not otherwise be exposed to. They can meet artists and community organizers. They can learn about how non profits operate by becoming involved with the people who govern and operate one.

Think of the possibilities that could result from getting local young people interested and involved in radio broadcasting. In this era of massive media ownership by very few corporations, community radio could be the ‘pirate radio’ that helps save some community identity. If more people got involved in radio, there might be more radio to choose from, and that might lead to less audience for the propaganda spewing damage hate radio does.

Think of young people learning the nuts and bolts of broadcasting. WOLVERINES!!!? Yeah, LOL, it might be a tool in case our high-schoolers have to fight some invading force, but face it, the invasion has been domestic. Maybe, maybe knowledge of basic broadcasting could help a new generation battle the current political/economic paradigm, or maybe it would just help them build sustaining groups and coalitions in their communities, groups and coalitions that can give local alternatives to people who just do not want corporations to be the only influence.

Think about the fact that too many public schools have dropped programs in art and music. It has been proven that exposure to the arts enables better problem solving through broader thinking and actual physical enhancements of the human brain. Think about ways to make up for that horrible loss of the arts programs ‘budget cuts’ have wrought. Think about how hands-on learning in a place where musical variety is the norm and exposure to a lot of artists happens on a weekly basis.

Think of some of your local teen-aged neighbors having fun, building some skills,  learning that they don’t have to be entertained, they can be the entertainment. What impact could that have on some young people, taking charge and not relying on whatever crap media wants to shove down their throats for corporate motives? Betting more than a few of them would take that lesson and apply it to other areas of their lives, discovering that they don’t have to settle for the lives some corporate entity wants to funnel them into. Think of the benefits of teaching they can do more to define the parameters of their lives.

Please note that community radio is not Public Broadcasting like PBS and National Public Radio. It’s local community supporting, and community supporting radio.  It’s treasure for your local area.

OK, I freely admit it, I love this particular community radio station, though I do listen to others online too. No commercials, very wide variety on the play lists, music from local and global artists you won’t hear anywhere else, discussion and human interest programming. Yes, it is my favorite and I am glad I can listen online.

One big reason I love this station is that they really are part of the community. They are involved in a lot of festivals and community events. They offer people the chance to volunteer and learn about radio broadcasting. They are an antidote to hate radio and community ennui.

My guess is there may be a community radio station you could pick up, listen to, enjoy, and learn from. Find out. And find out what sort of opportunities they have for you and yours to get involved. I know this particular station offers adults the chance to volunteer and learn. It’s great that they are working to get the young people involved too.

Check it out, and hunt up other community radio stations to love and support. If we want to fix what’s so horribly broken in the world today, community resources and community celebration is important. All those pols who are owned and operated by giant corporations started locally in their communities. We can build the antidote locally too, and get good people involved in all aspects of influence and educating the voters. Some of the people we meet in such efforts will have the potential to go into politics and challenge the status quo.

Who knows what exposure to a different paradigm might accomplish. If your local kids can have fun while laying some foundations for so many possibilities, well, that’s important too.


Rupert is unfit to exercise stewardship of a major international company, and he isn’t the only one

The report of a committee of the British Parliament investigating Rupert Murdoch’s news publishing ventures’ foray into illegal wire taps, hacking, and bribery of police has come out.  Some MPs come right out and dismiss Murdoch as an unfit corporate leader.

 Rupert Murdoch “is not a fit person to exercise the stewardship of a major international company”, MPs have said.

Took long enough. But this truth-telling didn’t go far enough. Not nearly far enough.

It’s not just this one corporation that exhibits bad corporate governance, it is a slew of them. For any MP to take this long to notice is the root of the problem. Same in US in regards to Congressmen.

These monster huge corporations get so big and willfully corrupt because the people elected to office do their bidding instead of the people’s. Corporations buy the legislation to make legal what ever it is they want to do. They buy the legislation to make it illegal for someone to do what the corps don’t want people to be allowed to do. If huge multi-national corporations are being run badly, it is because pols let people like Murdoch buy government and order legislators around.

Rupert is a vile human being and he seems to reward results at any cost. He isn’t alone in that. Failure to regulate is the problem. Push-over pols who are nothing but whores are the real governance problem.

Glad somebody is starting to get vocal. Now, if the good MPs will just get some spines and start dealing with bad corporations. Same here in the US with Congress. The world is a mess because ‘capitalism’ owns governments and there is no such thing as ‘free market’ The market is owned and manipulated. The people are lost to the wolves.

Rupert is the tip of the very big iceberg. He’s old and not long for this world, so he is a safe scape goat for the whole stinking system.


Labels and the Propensity of the Right to Mame Language to Mislead Masses

Truly a fun read about how GOP pols and pundits have diminished meaningful communication through the misuse of language.

John Viall creatively captures the RW spirit of using labels as pejoratives rather than functioning aids to communication.

Here’s a sample of Mr Viall’s premise:

When pressed to clarify such statements later, Mr. West backed off slightly, but his campaign manager, Tim Edson, insisted when speaking with reporters that labels weren’t the point. And by that, I believe he meant “words in an actual dictionary.” Maybe none of the Democrats in Congress were actually card-carrying commies. So what?

“We can quibble about the terminology used to describe them,” Edson grumbled, “but it’s clear. Whatever you call people that oppose capitalism and free markets and individual economic freedom —maybe it’s ‘socialist,’ maybe it’s ’communist’ —but that’s the point the congressman was making, and he stands by the words.”

It struck me, on reading Edson’s response, that he would have been just as happy if his boss had called Democrats in Congress toaster ovens or card-carrying poltergeists. And that’s when it finally hit me. For fringe conservatives, at least, labels no longer meant what they meant in the English language.

You could call the president or any liberal a communist, a curmudgeon, or a cucumber. It wouldn’t make an ounce of difference.

The linked essay is a fun read, and hits on a very salient point: We can’t communicate when language is rendered meaningless by the barrage of ill-used labels in our political discourse. Yeah, it’s deliberate on the right. Sound-bites move herds faster than facts and a common language.
Writer/lyricist Alan Jay Lerner had dear Professor Henry Higgins singing “Use proper English, you’re regarded as a freak….” We often consider how Huxley and Orwell were prescient. Well, Lerner was too. “One common language I’m afraid we’ll never get….”

Giving serious consideration to becoming a “card-carrying poltergeists” my own bad self. Thinking the meetings might be fun, if illusive.

Now, which poltergeist group to join? American Poltergeists United? Or, Poltergeists Without Borders?

Re Barney Frank on Paul Ryan’s budget scam

Congressman Frank rightly points out that Paul Ryan’s budget is a scam, that it does nothing to cut deficits while cutting critical social safety net. Barney is dead on pointing out that increasing DOD budget at this time is out of line, considering the realities of threats the DOD is charged with addressing.

The US spends more on defense that the next several top spending nations combined. If deficit reduction was really important, the GOP pandering pols would put DOD cuts on the table.

If Paul Ryan’s budget scam were for real, he would specify what loopholes used by the have-more-than-enoughs and have-way-too-muches  he would close while he cuts what is left of the social safety net.  Barney Frank is spot on. No specifics = scam in the making.

Seldom do I disagree with Barney Frank, but his statement: “There is no force out there in the world capable of taking away our freedoms.” is wrong.

Not only is there such a force, but it has been pretty successful in the campaign to take away our freedoms. That force is called greed. So long and that is the master so many politicians serve, be it their own greed or their donors’ greed, our freedoms are being butchered, along with our national sovereignty, to the interests of huge, multinational corporations.

Greed is the force that had devastated the economy and put people in such peril that too many are willing to give up all manner of regulation, protection, and effort for the common good in hopes of keeping their jobs and a roof over their heads. When people are struggling for survival, they are willing to give up too much freedom. Greed has set the stage for putting millions in a struggle for survival.Greed has been the driving force for the deliberate crashing of many economies.

DOD is a sideshow,  just one more diversion to keep people of seeing the real enemy, the monster corporations that know no allegiance save to greed. Paranoia is one of the means of assuring the people want the money to pour into DOD no matter what. Paranoia, like ignorance, is carefully cultivated in the masses. It is cultivated because it allows the greedy to keep the money flowing while the nation falls into dangerous decline.

Ran into one of the Ronulan Paulistas on the interweb tubes

Guess it being a holiday and all, the adolescents  chaffing against rules but enamored of Ayn Rand are home with time on their hands. ::sigh::   So many minds going to waste for want of resources for facts.

In honor of President’s day, and in hopes of arming the warriors for truth and justice (economic and legal) here are some links. Bookmark them. They come in handy when you need to pull arrows of reality from you quivers while fighting the good fight for truth, justice, and sane discourse.

Increases in the National Debt by year and party

Information from US Dept of the Treasury, Bureau of The Public Debt . Facts just seem to have that LIBERAL BIAS, huh? Why is that? Oh yeah, because liberals deal with reality and facts in order to help all Americans in that life, liberty, pursuit of happiness stuff

How Congress spends the money

Page is on federal budget.com <–yeah, a well known LIBERAL blog fer sur!

National Debt Graph by President

Hey, the numbers are what they are and they aren’t hard to verify!

Who Increased the Debt?

Information source? Again, the US Dept of the Treasury. Ouch! That has to leave a mark! Boo hoo GOP and patsies

Cost of tax cuts to top roughly = to Social Security shortfall*

*IOW, GOP took our payroll deducted Social Security payments and gave the money to the uber rich after a bit of money laundering. 

Cost of Bush policies: $5.1 trillion 2001 to 2009/Cost of Obama policies: $983 Billion 2009 to 2017

A nifty little block graph that breaks down the money and where it went/goes

Info source is the Social Security Trustee Report and Center on Budget and Priorities (CCBP.org) based on Congressional Budget office and President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2012 budget.

There ya go. Facts at hand.

Not that any of the Romulans, or Right Wing, delusional zealots and slaves to ideology will accept such things as facts, reality, hard numbers.

99% is a pretty big mandate, if we just recognize it and use our power

Just read the saddest comment on a news story.  Someone made the remark that each of us was on our own in this economy. Guess that is a variation of the ol boot strap mythos and a vote for the Cainian crap that the poor and unemployed have only themselves to blame, since anybody can be employed and/or rich in America.

My reply to that hopeless (without hope hopeless) soul:

The 1% wants us to believe (and act like) we are all on our own. Pay and benefits are not the only reason the Hoarder Class hates unions and spends a lot of money to make others hate them too. Unions illustrate the power of people who choose to work together for common goals. The Hoarder Class will go to extreme lengths to keep the 99% from recognizin­g the power of joining together.

As long as they keep the masses fighting each other, the tiny little Hoarder Class wins. We need to look to the common goals and dreams and beyond the media/psyc­h blitz we have had for over 30 years. Union is good. That is why the founders created a UNION of states.


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