Sunday, November 21, 2010

Inequity, War and Civil Disobedience

I finally got a real post done for World Wide Hippies (When the Political gets Personal) .  During this process I learned that it's harder to write for other sites than it is to write for my own.   Over here, I say whatever comes into my head with minimal fact checking.  Over there, I have to research and verify.  For example, I was trying to find current statistics on Wealth Distribution in America, and although plenty of people toss around numbers, it's practically impossible to find consistent percentages.

I finally abandoned the post about Smurfette and the Patriarchy because I got bogged down in researching the Constitutional Congress and Slavery, which was only remotely connected to Smurfette in the first place, but I was making a point.  I'll make that point another day.  Today I've got to go up to Tree Hugger again to pick up Velvet.  Normally he'd ride home on the bus or the train, but he's been sick.  The health center told him it was a virus, and he's feeling better but I still hate to think of him all wheezy with a fever blister on the bus until midnight.  Some might say I'm coddling Velvet, but he is my baby for all that.

Fortunately, I'll be back in time to go see Davis Fleetwood aka Dennis Trainor who is doing stand up Tuesday night at the Gotham Comedy Club.  I'm not sure that I'd even go get Velvet if it meant I would miss Davis Fleetwood because meeting Dennis/Davis is important for The Resistance.

In this video, Davis says:
. . . The disparity between the rich and poor is not acceptable. Health care for all, while cutting out the profit based insurance companies- is a non negotiable. Expensive, illegal wars of aggression must end. On these and so many more issues, there is no middle ground. There is no compromise. And unless you look at the world through confederate flag lenses . . . you know this. It is time to start fighting for it.
He's not recommending violent revolution.  He's thinking more along the lines of Progressives need to leave the Democratic party and create our own or find another alternative.  At World Wide Hippies, I recommended participating in Buy Nothing Day - a simple, comfortable, individual way to engage in sociopolitical activism.  I actually said that we all have to stop buying stupid shit we don't need every single day of the year.  When Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel and his wife each contributed the maximum amount to Michele Bachmann's campaign allowed by law, it's like you're handing a dollar to the Teabaggers every time you walk into Target or Best Buy. 

Anyway, I'm feeling like it's time to step away from the computer and into the Real World.  Inequity in the United States is becoming a matter of life and death.  Suicide rates have been rising since the recession began (Brain Physics 7/27/2010) with a 36% increase to suicide hotlines in 2008 and another 15% in 2009.  Couple that statistic with the fact that suicides account for nearly as many military deaths as the battlefield in Afghanistan (NPR) and we can see that our government is squeezing the life out of its citizens.  And for what? Corporate Profits.  

I'm only a preschool teacher and don't pretend to know what to do about the government, but I'm thinking we should look at the 1968 Democratic Convention for some ideas.

This video is tremulant444 's 2007 project for history class.

An essential difference between life today and in 1968 is that as a result of right wing policies in Education and in Economics, the all-volunteer military has become the only career path available to disenfranchised segments of our population besides a life of crime - which suits folks like Dick Cheney fine since they make as much money off prisons as they do off war.

If people were being drafted today to die in Afghanistan, even Jon Stewart would agree that the sane response to this government is civil disobedience.


Gail said...


You have your writing hands full, huh? Statistics are important bu a bitch at times to access. phew.

trravel safe to get Velvet and I hope he is o the mend. Dolan is coming home Wednesday night - "YAY"!!

Peace to you and "thanks" for all that you share so wisely humorously, intelligently and creatively.

Love ya girl

PENolan said...

Gail, since Homeland Security is stopping by the blog anyway, they might as well find a lot to put into my file . . .

Have a great holiday. I think I'll have a living room full of Velvet's fraternity brothers from Hookah House here on Friday because of some concert.

Makes me remember that the first mothers day was a response to World War I.

jadedj said...

Holy shit! " Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel and his wife each contributed the maximum amount to Michele Bachmann's campaign allowed by law". I truly missed this disturbing piece of new somehow. We were at Target yesterday buying the small one some winter clothes. Never again.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

I agree with your point about spending at Target and stores of their ilk but sometimes it's the only option and if we stopped buying at places that had different politics than ours, then we'd end up not being able to shop anywhere.

PENolan said...

JadedJ, That little tidbit of information was easy to miss because it came out at the same time as the gays were boycotting Target over corporate contributions.

Truly, I don't know where to shop anymore except for local businesses and even then it's tricky.

On another note, those are funny TSA bumper stickers at your place.

PENolan said...

Doctor, as you can see - I was making a similar point to Jaded when you weighed in.

It's kind of like voting. Sometimes you just have to hold your nose and choose the lesser of two evils.

Lisa said...

I agree that we need to organize, but I'm also figuring out first hand that if you demoralize people enough, they lose all their ability to fight the current.

I keep wondering when the will to survive switches over to something more powerful, but right now I'm pretty much out of steam on all of it.

PENolan said...

Lisa - demoralize and isolate. That's why your unemployment diary is so important to so many people. By sharing your experience and insight, you establish connections with others that relieves isolation. For the demoralization, though, I suspect we need to support each other because when you're struggling it's easy to forget how wonderful you are and the contributions you make.

That's also why we have to stick together. Nobody has enough energy and optimist to resist the constant denigration. When one of us gives out, another rises up.

I just feel like we've been fighting the same rich assholes in one way or another for 5,000 years.

Beach Bum said...

He's not recommending violent revolution. He's thinking more along the lines of Progressives need to leave the Democratic party...
Inequity in the United States is becoming a matter of life and death.

Right now the general population is, in my opinion, a bunch of frogs in a kettle of water with the temperature slowing being raised to boiling. As long as the credit cards work and the television is dominated by mindless crap the proles will stay blissfully ignorant.

Its amazing to see how dependent most people are on the current comsummeristic society with most everyone certain that the grocery store shelves will always have that three day supply of food handy.

I get a small chill of dread everytime I ponder what would happen if such a system had somesort of monkeywrench thrown in it.

PENolan said...

Beach - I hear you about boiling frogs, but in 1968 when there were plenty of groceries on the shelves, people still demonstrated for Peace and Civil Rights.

If we continue on this plutocratic path, then we will wind up with inequity as great as Versailles or the Romanovs - both of which led to bloody revolutions. As you rightly point out, that shit is alarming.

There's got to be a better way.

Vancouver Voyeur said...

Have a nice trip up to Tree Hugger. I'd do the same for my baby. I don't think it's coddling, I believe it's showing your child how to behave when someone you love isn't feeling well.

Jennifer said...

I was going to say the same thing as VV. I could never think of any good reason to not do something nice for my kids.

Isn't it funny that "buy nothing day" and not buying shit we don't need is civil disobedience? Just like it was funny that Americans were told to go shopping as a response to 9-11.

I think it's really positive that there has been a trend away from consumerism for some time - toward local and slow foods, simpler living, not buying shit we don't need from companies without morals. But then again, "Christmas" is starting the day after Halloween. W

I guess we soldier on - and as you say, to it together.

PENolan said...

Actually, Jenn, I was thinking more about the 1968 DNC in Chicago as Civil Disobedience ;) It was pretty dang silly when both Rudy and George told us to go shopping to combat terrorism. Sheesh.

V.V. Thanks and you have a happy holiday too

Velvet Report: This virus has kicked his ass. The fever is gone, but he's been sleeping 14 hours a day and has a mouth full of cankers. He's having such a hard time eating that he's been surviving on ice cream.

Looks like we'll skip turkey all together for Thanksgiving and just have mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie

P M Prescott said...

Private Buffoon recomended this site. I don't have to select a "buy nothing" day. I have many of them because there's not much in the bank to buy anything with. As more and more people encounter this problem the 1% at the top will find they've killed the goose that laid the golden egg.

Susan Tiner said...

I agree with your note to Lisa about the importance of sharing her experience.

"I actually said that we all have to stop buying stupid shit we don't need every single day of the year."
Amen to that.

PENolan said...

She's the best, Susan.

PM, thanks for stopping by. As it happens, about 5 out of 7 days are BND at my house mostly for the same reason. But we've got a lot to celebrate.

Right now I'm imagining all of us out there in blogland, dressed up like hobos, singing:

We ain't got a barrel of money, maybe we're ragged and funny
but we travel the road
sharing our load
side by side

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