Ann Romney: Mormon missions and U.S. military are ‘different ways of serving’

Really ? You stupid overly privileged bitch…

Yeah Mitt’s cushy French Vacation and multiple deferments were just as much service as the kids of my class going to Vietnam and coming home in body bags or missing limbs.

It must have been horrible for Mitt to suffer the deprivation of Paris in the 1960s and those rude French people saying to him, “Mange d’la merde, Il n’y a pas de Dieu.”

Pretty much the same if you are a totally insensitive asshole who read too much fucking Ayn Rand.

From Raw Story:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/10/18/ann-romney-mormon-missions-and-u-s-military-are-different-ways-of-serving/

By David Edwards
Thursday, October 18, 2012

The wife of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Thursday said that her husband and sons had not joined the U.S. military but had found “different ways of serving” by going on religious missions in France, England, Australia and Chile as part of their obligation to the Mormon church.

During an interview on ABC’s The View, co-host Whoopi Goldberg asked Ann Romney how she would explain to the families of fallen soldiers why her husband and sons had not served their country.

“When I read about your husband, what I had read — and maybe you can correct this — is that the reason he didn’t serve in Vietnam was because it was against the religion,” Goldberg said.

“That’s not correct,” Ann Romney insisted. “He was serving his mission, and my five sons have also served missions. None served in the military, but I do have one son that feels that he’s giving back to his country in a significant way where he is now a doctor and he is taking care of veterans.”

“So, you know, we find different ways of serving,” she added. “And my husband and my five boys did serve missions, did not serve in the military.”

The candidate’s wife explained that Mormon missions were like military service in that “you’re going outside of yourself, you’re working and you’re helping others. And it changes you. And are we so grateful in this country for those people — men and women — that are volunteering, they’re sacrificing their life for us, and we cannot forget that or we have to acknowledge that always.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/10/18/ann-romney-mormon-missions-and-u-s-military-are-different-ways-of-serving/

Posted in Class War, Classism, Uncategorized. Tags: . Comments Off on Ann Romney: Mormon missions and U.S. military are ‘different ways of serving’

Freeing the University: Education Occupation on May Day

From In These Times:  http://www.inthesetimes.com/uprising/entry/13128/freeing_the_university_education_occupation_on_may_day/

By Michelle Chen
Monday Apr 30, 2012

Pop quiz: what’s the value of an American education? To some, it’s a booming industry that preys on debt-crippled students. But to the educators, youth and workers who keep the system running, school increasingly seems like it’s just not worth the struggle. This May Day, working people everywhere–and students who are working to build a future for themselves–are converging in New York City to rethink education and test those ideas in the real world.

Everyone understands that merit and hard work should pay off somehow in the economy. But the narrowing and commercialization of education at every level, from preschool to postdoc, has drained people’s academic aspirations and bank accounts.

On May 1, following the massive 1T Day rally against the “student debt bubble,” the Free University of New York City will bring together various Occupy-inspired grassroots education experiments. Combined with other May Day-related Occupy demonstrations, the program of workshops and talks aims to put theories of “horizontal pedagogy” into practice by inviting regular folks to learn about and question the systems surrounding them: the economy, politics, and school itself.

The planned program, centered in Madison Square Park, will include:

over forty workshops, classes, and collective experiences during the five hour educational experiment. Attendees will be introduced to movements such as Take Back the Land, which has been occupying foreclosed housing; radical student organizing within the City University of New York (CUNY); and indigenous environmentalism. Other workshops focus on creating new ways of living, from permaculture to open access academic publishing, from nonviolent communication to immigration relief for survivors of domestic and sexual violence.

Continue reading at:  http://www.inthesetimes.com/uprising/entry/13128/freeing_the_university_education_occupation_on_may_day/

Posted in Class War, Classism, Education, Uncategorized. Comments Off on Freeing the University: Education Occupation on May Day

Class Consciousness Is Back

From In These Times: http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/12413/class_consciousness_is_back

Once you notice inequality, you can’t escape the realities of class in America.

BY Susan J. Douglas
December 14, 2011

Multiple times and on multiple days, my local NPR station actually used the “c” word on the air. No, not that “c” word–it was “class.” Yes, that most unmentionable of topics: socio-economic class and how it determines the fate of millions of Americans.

Our vernacular obscures the country’s very real class divisions, with crippling–even lethal–consequences. The term “middle class” is used capaciously in the United States to include almost everyone, while the term “working class” is eschewed (it sounds way too Marxist). Even the “99%” signs and chants of Occupy protesters occlude the multiple and often stark divisions within that 99%.

Class position, of course, affects everything: access to healthcare, education, where you live, what restaurants you eat in, nutrition, careers, income, tax breaks, how much credit costs you, who you marry (and when), who fights and dies for our country, and on and on. But with our media’s national obsessions about gender, race and ethnicity, class may be the most under-covered feature of structural inequality in the country. In November, NPR-affiliate Michigan Radio aired an 11-part series called “Culture of Class,” which rolled back the stone, showing what lurks in America’s cave of inequities.

Let’s start with the legal system. “There, perhaps, is no moment in life when the difference in class is more apparent than when you are accused of a crime,” reporter Lester Graham notes in his piece on class and the courts. If you’re upper-middle class, or even truly middle class, you hire a lawyer, and the richer you are, the more choices you have.

But if you’re a low-income person and are assigned a public defender, you are especially screwed in Michigan: The state ranks 44th in public defense funding. The report also noted that in Detroit, five part-time public defenders handle caseloads up to seven times the national average for full-time public defenders; they get to spend an average of 32 minutes on each case. Graham then put a public face on these statistics: David Tucker, whose public defender was totally unprepared for court. The result? Tucker lost four years of his life in jail before his conviction was finally overturned.

Continue reading at:  http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/12413/class_consciousness_is_back

Posted in Austerity, Class War, Classism, Corporate Abuse, Depression, Discrimination. Tags: . Comments Off on Class Consciousness Is Back

Barbara Ehrenreich and John Ehrenreich, The Fall of the “Liberal Elite”

From Tom Dispatch:  http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175480/tomgram%3A_barbara_ehrenreich_and_john_ehrenreich%2C_the_fall_of_the_%22liberal_elite%22/

Posted by Barbara Ehrenreich and John Ehrenreich
December 15, 2011

Class happens when some men, as a result of common experiences (inherited or shared), feel and articulate the identity of their interests as between themselves, and as against other men whose interests are different from (and usually opposed to) theirs.

— E.P. Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class

The “other men” (and of course women) in the current American class alignment are those in the top 1% of the wealth distribution — the bankers, hedge-fund managers, and CEOs targeted by the Occupy Wall Street movement. They have been around for a long time in one form or another, but they only began to emerge as a distinct and visible group, informally called the “super-rich,” in recent years.

Extravagant levels of consumption helped draw attention to them: private jets, multiple 50,000 square-foot mansions, $25,000 chocolate desserts embellished with gold dust. But as long as the middle class could still muster the credit for college tuition and occasional home improvements, it seemed churlish to complain. Then came the financial crash of 2007-2008, followed by the Great Recession, and the 1% to whom we had entrusted our pensions, our economy, and our political system stood revealed as a band of feckless, greedy narcissists, and possibly sociopaths.

Still, until a few months ago, the 99% was hardly a group capable of (as Thompson says) articulating “the identity of their interests.” It contained, and still contains, most “ordinary” rich people, along with middle-class professionals, factory workers, truck drivers, and miners, as well as the much poorer people who clean the houses, manicure the fingernails, and maintain the lawns of the affluent.

It was divided not only by these class differences, but most visibly by race and ethnicity — a division that has actually deepened since 2008. African-Americans and Latinos of all income levels disproportionately lost their homes to foreclosure in 2007 and 2008, and then disproportionately lost their jobs in the wave of layoffs that followed.  On the eve of the Occupy movement, the black middle class had been devastated. In fact, the only political movements to have come out of the 99% before Occupy emerged were the Tea Party movement and, on the other side of the political spectrum, the resistance to restrictions on collective bargaining in Wisconsin.

Continue reading at:   http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175480/tomgram%3A_barbara_ehrenreich_and_john_ehrenreich%2C_the_fall_of_the_%22liberal_elite%22/

Posted in Class War, Classism, Economic Issues, Equal Treatment. Comments Off on Barbara Ehrenreich and John Ehrenreich, The Fall of the “Liberal Elite”

Report: Child Homelessness Up 33% in 3 Years

From Reader Supported News:  http://www.readersupportednews.org/news-section2/320-80/8889-report-child-homelessness-up-33-in-3-years

By Marisol Bello, USA Today
13 December 11

One in 45 children in the USA – 1.6 million children – were living on the street, in homeless shelters or motels, or doubled up with other families last year, according to the National Center on Family Homelessness.

The numbers represent a 33% increase from 2007, when there were 1.2 million homeless children, according to a report the center is releasing Tuesday.

“This is an absurdly high number,” says Ellen Bassuk, president of the center. “What we have new in 2010 is the effects of a man-made disaster caused by the economic recession. … We are seeing extreme budget cuts, foreclosures and a lack of affordable housing.”

The report paints a bleaker picture than one by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which nonetheless reported a 28% increase in homeless families, from 131,000 in 2007 to 168,000 in 2010.

Dennis Culhane, a University of Pennsylvania professor of social policy, says HUD’s numbers are much smaller because they count only families living on the street or in emergency shelters.

Continue reading at:   http://www.readersupportednews.org/news-section2/320-80/8889-report-child-homelessness-up-33-in-3-years

Posted in Civil Rights, Class War, Classism, Economic Issues, Homelessness, Poverty, Social Justice, Workers. Tags: , , . Comments Off on Report: Child Homelessness Up 33% in 3 Years

Worker Bees and Caffeine, the Legal Drug

Here I am at six thirty in the morning facing another 9-10 hour day filled with stress.  Before me is a huge cup of coffee, the legal stimulant drug that gets me through the day.  Along with “energy drinks”.

I go to work where conformity is demanded and individuality suppressed.  Out on the floor the disgruntled murmur and anger runs skin deep. The name of the game is selling, pushing product with smiling enthusiasm even if the product has so much fat in it or so much sodium that it should wear a skull and cross bones.

Workers are treated like children and act out in a passive aggressive manner.

The stress of part time work in retail is brutal with its fluctuating hours meaning one can never count on a certain amount of pay when ones check come out.

Workers can be forced to pee in cups or the more modern swab instant drug test that gets so many false positives particularly in older workers who are often on a shopping list of medications.

Coffee is the perfect drug.  It helps the focus and boosts both energy and fake enthusiasm. Work turns us into corporate liars and caffeine helps us with the guilt.  We learn to project a false sincerity in order to sell and keep our jobs secure.

Insecurity is the life blood of the retail slave.  We eat insults and customer condescension with a smile knowing that many doing the condescending are but one more economic down turn, one more round of out sourcing or right sizing by the corporate raiders and junk bond peddlers, from joining us.  Welcome to Thomas Friedman’s globalized flat earth.  Welcome the race to the bottom when it comes to paying workers.

So lift your cup of coffee high in a toast to the death of the middle class.  Welcome to the world of the bottom line.

Welcome to the world created by the “free market” and the class war that created the super rich.  Thank the neo-cons and neo-libs who brought us here.

And if you are a straight person of color or a white LGBT/T person welcome to the world where we waste our time on horizontal hostility while those with the money who created this world use us as scapegoats to distract us from who the real oppressors are.

ENDA Should Not Be The Goal!

ENDA should not be the goal but rather the starting point for LGBT/T workers rights.

All too often when I read about ENDA the stories are about people who are already so far up the socio-economic chain as to make their struggles with employment sound like fables.

Focusing on the Susan Stantons of the world makes for good news.  I’m sure she is a decent person and all that and I am equally certain that her losing her job was a vile act of discrimination.

But is the struggle for employment non-discrimination really all about those in the middle and upper classes?

What about those of us who work in restaurants and big box stores?  Or those even more lumpen who have to do sex work because even restaurants and big boxes won’t hire them?

Lets focus for a moment on those workers in what has been labeled by the privileged elite as the “New Service Economy”. There is a reality that was laid out in Barbara Ehrenreich’s  book Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America that life sucks for those workers making less than 15 to 20 thousand dollars a year.  One is often unable to keep a roof over one’s head, eat, afford transportation to and from work and the clothes required to work.

Never mind the thought of getting SRS or any of the other procedures commonly required by those in transition including but not exclusive to: Mandated professional psychiatric care.  Electrolysis and hormones.

The great bulk of the medically uninsured are in this category.  But even for those insured medical costs related to transsexualism and transgenderism are often specifically excluded.  Sometimes using the pre-existing condition clause if the policy lacks a specific exclusion.

There is another proposition slowly making its way through the process.  One I hear almost no mention of in the LGBT/T press or activist circles but hear plenty about in the left wing circles that are a major influence on me.

Something called the Employee Free Choice Act that would help end the corporate strangle hold of workers attempting to unionize and organize to promote the rights and interests of the workers.  Too often we have no redress, no one to represent us and argue that our working conditions are un-fair or even dangerous.  Not to mention humiliating, stressful and degrading.

Working conditions suck in the US.  American workers work longer hours with less job security or benefits that do the workers in almost every other industrialized nation.

Oh I forgot we live in a post-industrialized society where the rich become ever richer by moving their money around, creating nothing except an endless cycle of bubbles and recessions, while the rest of us have become the new servant class.  As a member of that servant class I am required to smile and lie to sell others cheap poorly made product, food that is often a nutritional nightmare.  All the while knowing the reality of what I am doing and smiling as well as shuffling in a properly subservient manner.

There is a dirty secret that misses the news for all its coverage of the Tea Bagger, neo-Nazi racist pigs.  There is an equally angry left wing under class of overly educated peons who have read Marx, Kropotkin and Bukharin.

ENDA isn’t the end of the struggle for LGBT/T workers rights.  It is the starting point