I’ve finally arrived. End of the line. My last benefit check comes next week. The finality of it is chilling. With no job, my house teetering at the edge of foreclosure and with no prospects to speak of, I could easily fall into a white hot panic right now. But as an inspirational poster once told me: “Courage is not the absence of fear, but the control of it.” So I must have control. I’ve got to be the rock climber on that poster.
Between anxiety attacks, I’ve been thinking. Big questions. What am I doing with my life? Mentally and emotionally speaking, have I become a ward of the state? Is now the time to reinvent myself? Should I follow my passions? Do I have passions anymore? Has being unemployed for over two years diminished my self image and my capacity for hope so significantly that I’m just a zombie now? Partly, yes. Sadly, the fear and the anxiety have taken a toll. I’m chronically depressed. I second guess myself all the time. And in interviews, I feel like I’m asking for a handout. The list of side effects goes on. But is this psychological deformation reversible? I hope so. It has to be. I cannot let my worth and my identity be prescribed to me anymore. In a cruel way week 99 is helping me see that.
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I’m trying to figure this out. It’s very frustrating.
I love this guy, he’s one of the few mainstream economics writers who gives a crap about poor and working people.
DAVID CAY JOHNSTON
THURSDAY, Feb 3, 6pm pacific | 9pm eastern
David and Jay plan on an extended discussion about our economy, its rules and who benefits.
LISTEN and comment on the web at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/virtuallyspeaking/2011/02/04/david-cay-johnston-virtually-speaking-with-jay-ack
Background here: http://blog.virtually-speaking.com/
ABOUT DAVID CAY JOHNSTON
A Pulitzer prize winning journalist- for exposing tax loopholes and inequities – best selling author and Distinguished Visiting Lecturer at Syracuse University College of Law, where he teaches the tax, property and regulatory law of the ancient world.
David’s newest book, The Fine Print, is about price gouging by corporations, will be out later this year. The Fine Print supplements earlier books on tax and economic policy:
• Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense; Stick You With The Bill, about hidden subsidies, rigged markets, and corporate socialism;
• Perfectly Legal: The Covert Campaign to Rig Our Tax System to Benefit the Super Rich—and Cheat Everybody Else, was a New York Times bestseller and won the Investigative Reporters and Editors 2003 Book of the Year award.
I’m pretty darned happy with my new Roku, which enables me to watch Al Jazeera on my teevee instead of being glued to the computer.
Roku boxes are small and inexpensive, starting at $59. (I’ve seen them on Craigslist for $30. You can also get an Apple TV box, or watch Netflix through your kid’s PlayStation.) They have a lot of content, and they’re adding more all the time. I thought I’d be using their Netflix streaming instead of the Comcast premium channels, but I spend most of my time watching their free content – including Al Jazeera.
All you need to make this work is broadband. You install it on your teevee, register it online (so it can maintain your channel selections) and watch. Now I also get to watch YouTube on my teevee, which is a lot more freakin’ awesome than you might think.
Imagine having a huge library of BBC documentaries at your disposal — free. Live NASA stream. Just about any radio station that offers streaming. NPR podcasts. Food channels. The Onion Network. Original comedy like My Damn Channel. Japanese anime. Astro Boy. Those really old black and white cartoons, which I love. NHL and MLB (so far, no NFL.) Lots and lots of news!
Because Roku runs on an open source platform, developers are constantly adding new private channels (also free. And yes, they do have pay-for-porn.)
And those network shows you love? You can get them all, including the ABC and Fox shows that Comcast doesn’t offer through on-demand, for $8 a month through HuluPlus. (Or you can simply run an HDMI cable from your computer to your teevee, which is free.)
Tired of hotel TVs that only carry three channels? You can take it with you when you travel, too.
Anyway, for anyone looking to get out of the corporate media cable prison, here’s a glimmer of light.
Via Cos, some uplifting news!
WASHINGTON (AP) – The former head of a whistle-blower protection office under President George W. Bush must spend at least a month in jail, according to a ruling by a federal judge that could threaten to derail the ex-official’s plea deal.
Scott Bloch, who headed the Office of Special Counsel, pleaded to a misdemeanor charge of criminal contempt of Congress in April 2010. That plea, U.S. Magistrate Judge Deborah Robinson said in an opinion late Wednesday, requires a sentence of “imprisonment in a common jail for not less than one month.” She rejected arguments from prosecutors and defense lawyers that she has the discretion to impose a lower sentence and that other defendants who have pleaded guilty to the charge got probation, including baseball star Miguel Tejada last year.
Bloch admitted withholding information from House investigators about having private technicians “scrub” computer files used by political appointees at the Office of Special Counsel in December 2006.
Bloch was to be sentenced Thursday, but Robinson postponed that until Monday because of her ruling. It’s one of many delays in sentencing since Bloch’s plea because of the jail time issue.
“The court finds that no authority supports the requests of counsel that the court either interpret the sentencing provision as discretionary, or, alternatively, disregard the provision,” Robinson wrote. “The court therefore declines the invitation to do so.”
It’s really gratifying to see totalitarian tactics turned back against the people who use them:
The online group Anonymous said Wednesday that it had paralyzed the Egyptian government’s Web sites in support of the antigovernment protests.
Anonymous, a loosely defined group of hackers from all over the world, gathered about 500 supporters in online forums and used software tools to bring down the sites of the Ministry of Information and President Hosni Mubarak’s National Democratic Party, said Gregg Housh, a member of the group who disavows any illegal activity himself. The sites were unavailable Wednesday afternoon.
The attacks, Mr. Housh said, are part of a wider campaign that Anonymous has mounted in support of the antigovernment protests that have roiled the Arab world. Last month, the group shut down the Web sites of the Tunisian government and stock exchange in support of the uprising that forced the country’s dictator, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, to flee.
Mr. Housh said that the group had used its technical knowledge to help protesters in Egypt defy a government shutdown of the Internet that began last week. “We want freedom,” he said of the group’s motivation. “It’s as simple as that. We’re sick of oppressive governments encroaching on people.”
You know what? I like sex. I like it a lot. Most people do. Most people like sex so much because done properly, it makes you happy and you have a better day. Some people apparently are not doing it right, because they spend more time worrying about how to keep other people from having it than they do trying to figure out how to have MORE sex.
They are very upset at the thought that women somewhere might be having sex without being punished — in this case, by a pregnancy they neither want nor are emotionally and financially prepared to follow through.
They should mind their own fucking business.
It’s not about abortion. It’s not about “the babies.” IT’S ABOUT SEX.
I feel sorry for people who have such unhappy sex lives that they can spend so much time and energy planning everyone else’s sex lives. They are sick, twisted fucks and yes, they make the Baby Jesus cry. If there is a God and God designed the universe, He/She did a pretty good job of designing us for pleasure.
So fuck these sex-hating people. They make my head hurt.
Just a little example of how these things usually work behind the scenes: They needed to protect Meehan’s congressional seat, so Summers agreed to keep his mouth shut and take the fall, in exchange for something — but since we have Tom Corbett in office now and he picked the AG, I’m guessing Mr. Summers will get house arrest. That’s how Delco rolls!