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Nurse Ratchit

Why Bradley Manning is naked.

The opening salvo

My oldest son lives in an apartment downtown that strikes me as a fairly obvious firetrap. He’s been there for five years or so, and I finally bought him smoke detectors last summer when I noticed he didn’t have any. (The owner installed the wired ones required by code about six months ago.)

The front windows have large cracks covered by rotting duct tape. Oy.

He has two roommates. In the past week, power surges have blown out a total of five of their surge protectors. (Whee!) The landlord is renting the downstairs storefront and, as they’ve been working to separate the electrical system for separate billing, it keeps blowing out the rest of the building.

I found this out when my son called to ask me if it was “normal” for surge protectors to burn up. (As in “melt.”)

Anyway, I’ve often wondered how they could rent this place in such bad condition. I didn’t get involved because, well, it’s cheap and it’s near where my kid works. But I did a little search last night and found out the property is owned by a politician. (You saw that coming, right?)

My son’s really stressed out because his roommates say they’re going to move out and stick him with the lease, so I offered to speak to the rental agent on his behalf.
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Refi redo

Ted Rall:

Time bombs

Mind you, this article is in Marketwatch, not the Socialist Workers Daily. Go read the whole thing, it’s food for thought!

Yes, the rich live in a different world. And no, information won’t change them. But a revolution will. Revolutions build slowly over a long time. Then, suddenly, a critical mass, a flash point, something totally unexpected ignites the ticking bomb.

It happened recently in a remote Tunisian village. Mohamed Bouazizi, a 26-year-old college graduate, unable to pay bribes, set himself on fire to protest police confiscation of his unlicensed vegetable cart. That triggered a revolution. And his death rapidly led to the collapse of a 24-year dictatorship.

Today we have four hot time bombs, tick-ticking, soon to make history; any one can easily accelerate the revolution that’s already killing Wall Street from within.

1. Wealth gap: Super-Rich vs class wars, death of democracy

The gap: In one generation, America’s wealthiest 1% has exploded from 9% to 23% of America’s income, while middle-class income has stagnated. Even Buffett admits: “There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and winning.”

But my rich friend tells the real story, of their social disconnect. The rich just don’t care. They live in a different world, live by a self-centered code lacking a moral compass. The public welfare is honored only if supported by tax benefits.

The wealth gap is widening and soon something unpredictable will ignite a Wall Street revolution.

2. Wall Street’s doomsday capitalism vs rule by anarchy

A key Supreme Court decision accelerated and codified Wall Street’s ability to use billions stolen from taxpayers to lobby Washington and solidify its power, all for its own self-interest, through campaign payola, senators’ votes, presidential access, manipulation of regulators, grabbing tax benefits, etc. And it’s every man and woman for themselves.

Don’t believe it? Know this, democracy is dead and you’re in denial. Wall Street CEOs and Forbes 400 billionaires are either engaged in a secret conspiracy, or a classic anarchy picking apart America, oblivious of the fact they are setting up the next big revolution.

3. Pentagon’s perpetual war machine vs America’s budget time bomb

The mathematics of our $75 trillion Social Security and Medicare deficits often seem insurmountable, but can be recalibrated. However, the war-loving mindset of America’s neocons — fueled by China’s military actions, the insatiable expansion of our military spending and a Pentagon prediction that global population growth — is putting more and more pressure on the world’s scarce resources, and will, in turn, increase global wars and the demand for more war spending, increasing the risk of sudden revolutions everywhere.

4. Global population explosion vs resources, jobs, better lifestyles

As the world population explodes from 7 billion to 10 billion in the next generation, the demand for more jobs and the pressure on scarce resources will increase, while expectations will fall as the ratio of haves to have-nots increases, making the world all around Wall Street a burning powder keg setting up a revolution.

Bottom line: Forget jailing Wall Street’s dictators. It’s naïve and too late. We missed that opportunity. But a revolution will do the trick, give us a second chance to jail the crooks.

Until then, remember, these four factors are building to a head, merging into a critical mass that will accelerate into a revolution and destroy Wall Street from within: The widening wealth gap, capitalism’s new rule-by-anarchy, the high cost of feeding the Pentagon’s costly war machine, and the huge global population explosion.

Extraordinary machine

Fiona Apple with the original version:

Oh my heart

R.E.M.:

My moon, my man

Feist:

All apologies

Nirvana unplugged:

Discoverer

R.E.M.:

Missing you

Allison Krauss and John Waite:

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