This letter is supposed to be an actual letter to the passport office, but I didn’t “snope” it as I figured it feels accurate and makes a valid point. Be forewarned, the language is a bit rough, but you can sure feel his frustration:
I’m in the process of renewing my passport, and still cannot believe this. How is it that Radio Shack has my address and telephone number and knows that I bought a cable t.v. from them back in 1987, and yet, the Federal Government is still asking me where I was born and on what date.
For Christ sakes, do you guys do this by hand? My birth date you have on my social security card, and it is on all the income tax forms I’ve filed for the past 30 years. It is on my health insurance card, my driver’s license, on the last eight damn passports I’ve had, on all those stupid customs declaration forms I’ve had to fill out before being allowed off the plane over the last 30 years, and all those insufferable census forms that are done at election times.
Would somebody please take note, once and for all, that my mother’s name is Maryanne, my father’s name is Robert and I’d be absolutely astounded if that ever changed between now and when I die!!!!!!
I apologize, I’m really pissed off this morning. Between you an’ me, I’ve had enough of this bullshit! You send the application to my house, then you ask me for my address.
What is going on? Do you have a gang of Neanderthal asses working there!
Look at my damn picture. Do I look like Bin Laden? I don’t want to dig up Yasser Arafat, I just want to go and park my ass on a sandy beach.
And would someone please tell me, why would you care whether I plan on visiting a farm in the next 15 days? If I ever got the urge to do something weird to a chicken or a goat, believe you me, I’d sure as hell not want to tell anyone!
Well, I have to go now, ’cause I have to go to the other end of the city and get another copy of my birth certificate, to the tune of $60. Would it be so complicated to have all the services in the same spot to assist in the issuance of a new passport the same day?? Nooooo, that’d be too damn easy and maybe make sense. You’d rather have us running all over the place like chickens with our heads cut off, then find some idiot to confirm that it’s really me on the damn picture – you know,the one where we’re not allowed to smile?! (bureaucratic morons) Hey, you know why we can’t smile? We’re totally pissed off!
Signed – An Irate Citizen.
P.S.. Remember what I said above about the picture and getting someone to confirm that it’s me? Well, my family has been in this country since 1776 ……..I have served in the military for something over 30 years and have had security clearances up the yingyang……….However, I have to get someone ‘important’ to verify who I am – you know, someone like my doctor WHO WAS BORN AND RAISED IN INDIA !
You Sure In The Hell Should Know Who I Am
What sank in after I got done laughing (a gesture of sympathy, I promise), was the fact Abdulmutallab, was from Nigeria and lived in Yemen in 2004 and 2005, and yet was allowed to board an airplane for the United States without a passport at all.
As a matter of fact, authorities should have been clued in for a number of reasons.
British intelligence say they had told American officials of Abdulmutallab’s reported conversations with Muslim terrorists back in 2008. British officials are said to have been convinced his student visa application was bogus and refused to renew it in May 2009, whereby they placed him on a British watch list barring reentry into the country.
In August the bomber returned to Yemen, and was reported to be attending classes at the Institute for the Arabic Language. In the fall, US intelligence picked up chatter regarding an Al Qaeda terrorist plot centered in Yemen. A recruit identified only as “The Nigerian” was said to be deeply involved. The intercepted conversations between Abdulmutallab and at least one Al Qaeda member - said to be extremist Yemeni American cleric Anwar al-Aulaqi , who also was reported to be the contact for Major Nidal Hassan, the shooter in the Fort Hood terrorist killings.
On November 19, more than a month prior to this incident, Abdulmutallab’s respected banker father told the US embassy in Nigeria of his concerns regarding his son. He described him as “missing” and supposedly relayed to personnel at the embassy his son’s terrorist leanings including the fact the son stated he would be ”sacrificing himself”. It is reported the embassy relayed the message to the US State Department.
His name was never added to the no-fly list, nor was his US visa revoked. As a matter of fact, nothing was done, no one in a position to stop him was notified. He was allowed to get on the plane with no hassle, allowed to stay on the plane in Amsterdam with no questions.
Janet Napolitano, Homeland Security Secretary said emphatically, immediately following the incident, the system is working. Excuse me? I guess that depends on what your definition of ‘Is” is.
Let’s take this one step further. These are the same people trying to mandate everything we do. They want to put all our medical records in a database and use it to deny or grant permission for treatment. They want to measure our energy usage and fine us if we don’t fall in line with their expectations. They are hiring IRS agents like mad, yet they don’t pay their taxes.
They have screwed up every task given them. Look at any department, any division and what you will find is a bastion of inefficiency and corruption.
They have the rolls reversed. They feel they are accountable to no one. If there is any hope and change in this country, I can only pray to hope for a change in our government!
People are now beginning to realize America is under attack. However, I am not sure they realize just how engrained the attack is in certain segments of our society. Today we will attempt to show you how pervasive it is. From religious institutions to unions, and how they are directly related to Cloward and Piven.
Rev Jeremiah Wright (introduced by Robert McChesney) speaking at the 60th anniversary celebration of the independent socialist magazine Monthly Review. The event was held on September 17th, 2009, at the New York Society for Ethical Culture in New York City. The full half hour presentation is available in my Vodpod theatre at right.
by Anthony B. Bradley Ph.D. at action.org
….Black Liberation theologians James Cone and Cornel West have worked diligently to embed Marxist thought into the black church since the 1970s. For Cone, Marxism best addressed remedies to the condition of blacks as victims of white oppression. In For My People, Cone explains that “the Christian faith does not possess in its nature the means for analyzing the structure of capitalism. Marxism as a tool of social analysis can disclose the gap between appearance and reality, and thereby help Christians to see how things really are.”
In God of the Oppressed, Cone said that Marx’s chief contribution is “his disclosure of the ideological character of bourgeois thought, indicating the connections between the ‘ruling material force of society’ and the ‘ruling intellectual’ force.” Marx’s thought is useful and attractive to Cone because it allows black theologians to critique racism in America on the basis of power and revolution.
For Cone, integrating Marx into black theology helps theologians see just how much social perceptions determine theological questions and conclusions. Moreover, these questions and answers are “largely a reflection of the material condition of a given society.”
In 1979, Cornel West offered a critical integration of Marxism and black theology in his essay, “Black Theology and Marxist Thought” because of the shared human experience of oppressed peoples as victims. West sees a strong correlation between black theology and Marxist thought because “both focus on the plight of the exploited, oppressed and degraded peoples of the world, their relative powerlessness and possible empowerment.” This common focus prompts West to call for “a serious dialogue between Black theologians and Marxist thinkers” — a dialogue that centers on the possibility of “mutually arrived-at political action.”
In his book Prophesy Deliverance, West believes that by working together, Marxists and black theologians can spearhead much-needed social change for those who are victims of oppression. He appreciates Marxism for its “notions of class struggle, social contradictions, historical specificity, and dialectical developments in history” that explain the role of power and wealth in bourgeois capitalist societies. A common perspective among Marxist thinkers is that bourgeois capitalism creates and perpetuates ruling-class domination — which, for black theologians in America, means the domination and victimization of blacks by whites. America has been over run by “White racism within mainstream establishment churches and religious agencies,” writes West.
Perhaps it is the Marxism imbedded in Obama’s attendance at Trinity Church that should raise red flags. “Economic parity” and “distribution” language implies things like government-coerced wealth redistribution, perpetual minimum wage increases, government subsidized health care for all, and the like. One of the priorities listed on Obama’s campaign website reads, “Obama will protect tax cuts for poor and middle class families, but he will reverse most of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest taxpayers.”
Black Liberation Theology, originally intended to help the black community, may have actually hurt many blacks by promoting racial tension, victimology, and Marxism which ultimately leads to more oppression. As the failed “War on Poverty” has exposed, the best way to keep the blacks perpetually enslaved to government as “daddy” is to preach victimology, Marxism, and to seduce blacks into thinking that upward mobility is someone else’s responsibility in a free society.
Monthly Review , the subject of the celebration Rev. Wright was attending in the video above, says it ”speaks to workers, labor organizers, activists, and academics. A scholarly, accessible critique of capitalism” http://www.monthlyreview.org/
Among contributing writers, you will find Richard A. Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, the two original authors of Cloward - Piven strategy . In a more recent article, written, I believe, in 1997, called “The Era Of Power” they write:
…Thus dominant interdependencies, and dominant forms of power, reflect the co-operative activities that generate the material bases for social life, and that sustain the force and authority of the state. If workers withhold their labor, production stops; if they withhold their votes, regimes fall. And, of course, the one set of relations is deeply intertwined with the other. States define and enforce property rights, regulate money and credit, and regulate the relations between employer and employees, for example. The relations between class-based interest groups and state authorities inevitably focus importantly on these economic policies. And the broadly parallel evolution of industrial capitalism and electoral-representative institutions in the twentieth-century means that working-class economic challenges are systematically transported into the relations between voting publics and the state.
This emphasis on power capacities shaped by the interdependent relations which constitute economy and polity is clearly consistent with the Marxist view of working-class power as rooted in the role of the proletariat as a force in capitalist production…. And it fits Schumpeter’s model characterizing the capitalist state as the “tax state” which, because it depends on economic resources it does not control, ties state authorities in close interdependence with the owners of private property who do control those resources.
The left confidence in working-class power was also expressed in the belief that working-class power would grow. Marx had rooted the growth of proletarian power in the development of industrial capitalism; Bernstein saw roughly parallel possibilities for working-class power in the development of electoral-representative arrangements. Social democratic perspectives later melded the power yielded workers by industrial capitalism with the power generated by electoral representative arrangements, so that working-class power resources were said to grow in tandem with both industrial capitalism and electoral democracy. In the happiest variants, these power resources resulted in a welfare state compact which promoted the “decommodification” of labor, and therefore a fundamental empowerment of labor in market relations.
…With these points made, it is clear that the globalization thesis cuts to the core of left political conviction. The effective exercise of labor power has always been premised on the limited ability of capital to exit or threaten to exit from economic relations. Globalization, together with postfordist production methods, seems to open unlimited opportunities for exit, whether through the relocation of production, accelerated trade, worker replacement, or capital flight, all of which seems to radically reduce the dependence of capital on labor. Workers, for their part, tied as they are by their merely human fear of change and rupture, can never match these exit options. And while working-class voters may still be able to make regimes topple, the significance of voting power depends on the significance of state power. But, so the argument goes, states whose sovereignty is confined to fixed territories also must knuckle under to the whims of a mobile capital. Economic globalization thus presumably eviscerates both economic and political forms of working-class power. As a result, workers and voters in the mother countries of capitalism are now pitted against low-wage workers and feeble governments everywhere, and pitted against technological advances as well. So, if the globalization thesis is true, it is devastating to the left as we have known it.
No wonder the determination with which MR authors (and we as well) scrutinize and challenge the argument. But scrutinizing and disputing the extent of global trade or capital movement does not quite grapple with the realities of class power under new conditions. What is at issue is not simply whether it is still capitalism, or whether capital is still dependent on labor in the abstract, or whether nation states still matter, but whether economic changes have undermined the conditions which once made at least the partial actualization of economic and political power from the bottom possible.
…since the relevant contributions to ongoing economic and political activities typically involve numerous individuals, people must develop a sense of solidarity and some capacity for concerted action so that their collective leverage can be deployed against those who depend on them, for work, votes, or acquiescence in the rules of civic life. This is the classical problem of organizing, whether workers, or voters, or community residents. And finally, the threat of exit, including the threat that employers will turn to replacement workers or that politicians will court alternative voter blocs must be limited, or at least the prospect of exit must not be so frightening that people cannot imagine enduring it.
… Meanwhile, economic change also creates concrete new possibilities for worker power. People work at new and different occupations, they have different skills, and in time they will see the power potential inherent in the interdependencies of a new and fabulously complex and precarious communications-driven economy that is as vulnerable to mass disruption as the manufacturing-driven economy was. In time, maybe only a little time, they will develop the awareness of commonalities and capacities for joint action which will make working-class power possible again. And they are also likely to find the imagination and the daring to break the new rules governing communications which are even now being promulgated to criminalize the exercise of power from below.
It is the end of a power era. It is also the beginning of a power era.
For More understanding of Marxist and Maoist theology, I recommend the Definitions page on angelfire.com .
Guess Who is visiting the White House?
To see the list of who is visiting the White House click here .
Unions have become catalysts for Marxist Change. That being said, from the National Education Association Website:
Recommended Reading: Saul Alinsky, The American Organizer
Reveille for Radicals
by Saul Alinsky
Vintage; Reissue edition (October 23, 1989)
Rules for Radicals
by Saul Alinsky
Vintage; Reissue edition (October 23, 1989)
An inspiration to anyone contemplating action in their community! And to every organizer!
… Alinsky practiced what he preached. He said, “Tactics means doing what you can with what you have … tactics is the art of how to take and how to give.”
He uses eyes, ears and nose for examples…
“If you have a vast organization, parade it before the enemy, openly show your power.”
“If your organization is small, do what Gideon did: conceal the members in the dark but raise a clamor that will make the listener believe that your organization numbers many more that it does.”
“If your organization is too tiny even for noise, stink up the place.”
Alinsky devised and proved thirteen tactical rules for use against opponents vastly superior in power and wealth.
1. “Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.
2. “Never go outside the experience of your people.
3. “Wherever possible go outside of the experience of the enemy.
4. “Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules.
5. “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.
6. “A good tactic is one that your people enjoy.
7. “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.
8. “Keep the pressure on.
9. “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.
10. “Major premise for tactics is development of operations that will maintain constant pressure upon the opposition.
11. “If you push a negative hard and deep enough it will break through into its counterside.
12. “The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.
13. “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.
“The real action is in the enemy’s reaction. The enemy properly goaded and guided in his reaction will be your major strength. Tactics, like life, require that you move with the action.”
Alinsky was hated and defamed by powerful enemies, proof that his tactics worked. His simple formula for success… “Agitate + Aggravate + Educate + Organize”
This should illustrate to you how important it is you get involved. On every level, they are attacking our values, our morals, our decency.
One such place to start is the 9.12 Project – check out your local branch today.
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Is there a perfect answer? Probably not. But what bothers me is that people stubbornly stick to their solution, even in the face of overwhelming evidence that it’s not working.
For example, Detroit, whose mayor has been indicted on felony charges, hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1961. Buffalo has been even more stubborn. It started putting a Democrat in office back in 1954, and it hasn’t stopped since. Unfortunately, those two cities may be alone at the top of the poverty rate list, but they’re not alone in their love for Democrats. Cincinnati, Ohio (third on the poverty rate list), hasn’t had a Republican mayor since 1984. Cleveland, Ohio (fourth on the list), has been led by a Democrat since 1989. St. Louis, Missouri (sixth), hasn’t had a Republican since 1949, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (eighth), since 1908, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (ninth), since 1952 and Newark, New Jersey (10th), since 1907. The only two cities in the top 10 that I didn’t mention (Miami, Florida, and El Paso, Texas) haven’t had Republicans in office either — just Democrats, independents or nonpartisans.
Over the past 50 years, the eight cities listed above have had Republican leadership for a combined 36 years. The rest of the time — a combined 364 years — they’ve been led by Democrats. Five of the 10 cities with the highest poverty rates (Detroit, Buffalo, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Newark) have had a Democratic stranglehold since at least 1961: more than 45 years. Two of the cities (Milwaukee and Newark) have been electing Democrats since the first Model T rolled off the assembly line in 1908. Two cities, 100 years, all Democrats…
If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, the asylums in those cities must be as full as the soup kitchens…
“Detroit, remember, was going to be the ‘Model City’ of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, the shining example of what the ‘fairness’ of the welfare state can produce. Billions of dollars later, Detroit instead has become the model of everything that can go wrong when you hook people on the idea of something for nothing – a once-middle class city of nearly 2 million that is now a poverty-stricken city of less than 900,000.”
- A “living wage” ordinance, far above the federal minimum wage, for all public employees and private contractors.
- A school system that spends significantly more per pupil than the national average.
- A powerful school employee union that militantly defends the exceptional pay, benefits and job security it has won for its members.
- A powerful government employee union that does the same for its members.
- A tax system that aggressively redistributes income from businesses and the wealthy to the poor and to government bureaucracies.
Would this be a shining city on a hill, exciting the admiration of all? We don’t have to guess, because there is such a city - Detroit
Detroit has been dubbed “the most liberal city in America” and each of these “progressive” policies is alive and well there. How have they worked out? In 1950, Detroit was the wealthiest city in America on a per capita income basis. Today, the Census Bureau reports that it is the nation’s 2nd poorest major city, just “edging out” Cleveland.
Could it be pure coincidence that the decline occurred over the same period in which union power, the city government bureaucracy, taxes and business regulations all multiplied? While correlation is not causation, it is striking that the decline in per capita income is exactly what classical economists predict would occur when wage controls are imposed and taxes are increased.
…A similar pattern has played out in public education. It is now conventional wisdom among the political class that higher pay for teachers and increased spending per student lead to improvements in teacher quality and student performance. Again, correlation is not causation, but Detroit Public Schools strongly suggests that this theory must be rejected. It has chronically underperformed state averages, yet reforms are vehemently opposed by the system’s powerful school employee union.
At the same time that union, the Detroit Federation of Teachers, has won rich salary and benefits packages for its members. Median compensation for a DPS teacher is $76,000 and Detroit spends the third highest amount of money per student among 76 large cities nationwide. Statewide, Detroit’s spending per pupil is in the 91st percentile and DPS teachers are paid at the 96th percentile. For all that, by almost any measure Detroit schools have for decades failed their students: test scores, safety, drop out rates, etc. For example, Detroit’s public school students perform at the 3rd percentile in the state – that is, they are in the lowest 3 percent, and the district is in its second state takeover in a decade.
The fact of the matter is, high school drop out rates for these cities are staggering! Detroit- 78%, Cleveland -56%, Memphis 51.5%, Philadelphia 44.5%, St. Louis 50%, Milwaukee 55%, Buffalo 54%.
Money does not appear to be the real issue, either. As with Detroit, the Democratic governments and unions have been able to drum up financial support year after year, without showing any result in improvement of education. So what is the problem?
I think perhaps the Acorn worker said it best. Why would you want to educate them? Could it be that if the masses remain uneducated they will then continue to support failed systems. Us (the democrats) against “The Man” (the republicans). The truth is, in these cities, “The Man” is the Democratic party and the Democratic unions. The Democrats are not your friend. The Democrats are nothing more than a corrupt matrix of left wing causes, most of which are not at all what they pretend to be. All this talk of social justice is BS. The Democrats are WORKING FOR THEMSELVES, not the people the portend to help. This is evident and obvious. You only have to look around you to see that.
If you want to change the result, you must change the input. Stop electing these corrupt, self serving cock roaches into office. DEMAND SATISFACTORY RESULTS. Why do you continually limit your choice to one party? Why would you do something so foolish? People fought hard to give you CHOICE. Use it! Pay attention and arm yourself with facts. If you do not get the results you want, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! If you don’t like the results you are getting from your schools, either change them or enroll your kids in schools that actually work. Take responsibility to have the life you want instead of the one being provided for you by “The Man”.
Unions are no better. What started out as a good idea so many years ago, has, too, been morphed into nothing but organized corruption.
This is not to say that by changing the party in charge your life will be better. Changing the quality and character of those in charge will, though. Consider the person and their background, along with their friends, when choosing whom to vote for. If you don’t see any one worth voting for, go find them. Change starts with you. Change does not trickle down. CHANGE TRICKLES UP!
People need to wake up. Advocate FOR YOURSELF! Do not allow others to advocate for you. Change your culture and you will change your life. Why are children allow to perpetuate the cycle by wallowing in hip hop and rap music? Why is cool to be uneducated? Why are drugs and crime permitted and condoned as a way of life? Only those who are impacted by this can answer this question. Slavery has not been abolished – it is self imposed by all who allow these conditions to exist.