Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Bending Under the Weight...

A Heavy Burden
Ok, so here's a rundown of news that running us down. The Walmart gender discrimination lawsuit got thrown out by the US Supremes, setting a dangerous precedent for future class action lawsuits that deal with all forms of discrimination.

A 59 year old North Carolina guy robbed a bank, demanding only one dollar because he decided that prison would be the best place to get free health care to have a painful tumor in his chest treated. But because he didn't take much or have a weapon, he might not get the full three years of care that he was counting on.

New York State will vote on same-sex marriage tomorrow and Obama, who will be doing a fundraiser for LGBT folks. The ticket prices for this donation event range from $1,250 to $35,8000. Will he have any words of wisdom, even though his opinion is still "evolving" on the question of full civil rights for queer folks.

Housing prices are dropping, temperatures are rising, storms are brewing, collective bargaining rights are being legislated out of existence, the public sector salaries, benefits and pensions are being raided and drained and we now have a class of permanently unemployed and unemployable ex-workers. Income inequality is becoming an impassable abyss and the U.S. infrastructure is decaying.

The US postal service has stopped paying into retirement for its employees and will no longer have mail delivery on Saturdays. Postal collection boxes have all but disappeared from street corners.

I attended a reading at a local newly opened bookstore. Amazingly, they didn't have any restrooms for the use of those attending. This is the first time I've ever come across an issue like this at a public place in the United States. Even in places like Mexico and Turkey public facilities exist although they might not be all that clean.

Just coming out of the BART station to work this morning all the escalators were out of service and have been all week. I have no idea how disabled patrons are getting to street level.

In the vain hope of finding some solution to these problems, my partner and I went to a meeting. We were quickly identified as an enemy element because, along with a few other group members, we were pushing for more concrete, activist solutions, instead of just their standard "house parties." The presenter informed us that to have any kind of a mass mobilization she would have to get permits and insurance very far in advance. I'm old enough to remember organizing situations where LGBT rights were being rescinded state by state and we just showed up and marched. Well mentioning the memory of another type of organizing got us both labeled troublemakers and not "real" Americans. To the moveon leadership."real" Americans don't live in Berkeley and have political sympathies with the "family values" bunch. Nightmares in the face of their attempt to "save the American dream," they even removed our names from their email list.

It's enough to make a sane person throw in the towel.  Americans are depressed, despondent completely resigned to the doom and destruction that awaits us. And our mainstream political parties and organized groups are not helping us out of our deepening rut. Zapata said, "It's better to live on your feet than die on your knees!" I guess that until we can stand up, we'll just keep crawling along.