Working Class – Premudraja Mon, 23 May 2022 01:19:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Working Class – Premudraja 32 32 With prices rising everywhere, so are water bills Mon, 23 May 2022 01:19:00 +0000 Property owners will need more cash if the city’s Environmental Protection Department’s biggest water rate hike in nearly a decade is approved this summer. An April DEP proposal would raise water rates by 4.9%. This would result in higher monthly bills of about $4 on average for single-family homes and $3 per unit for multi-family […]]]>

Property owners will need more cash if the city’s Environmental Protection Department’s biggest water rate hike in nearly a decade is approved this summer.

An April DEP proposal would raise water rates by 4.9%. This would result in higher monthly bills of about $4 on average for single-family homes and $3 per unit for multi-family buildings. The public is invited to weigh in on the changes this week.

A few dollars might not make a difference for some households, but could be significant for others, especially owners of multi-family properties. The increase could also add to the unprecedented debts of those already struggling with skyrocketing water bills and other expenses.

Yet DEP is also facing inflationary increased costs with less revenue to pay, due to late payments and reduced water consumption due to the pandemic.

They are banking on raising tariffs — and reauthorizing the sale of customers’ water debt — to shore up funds, which are used to keep tap water clean, treat sewage and manage stormwater.

The New York City Water Board will vote on the rates in June, and the public can comment on hearings on Wednesday and Thursday.

Hit hard

The impact of the potential water tariff will affect different landowners in different ways.

When Cristina Gonzalez first became a homeowner about a year ago, she was pleasantly surprised to find that her water bills were manageable. For her two-story single-family home in St. George on Staten Island, the bills run to about $30 a month, she estimated. His bill would probably go up about $1.50.

She said she was not worried about the increase she might face if the Water Board approved the rate hike.

“We should all be more aware of our water use and make sure we don’t use so much, even if it’s affordable for us as individuals, and think about what that ultimately does for the environment. “said Gonzalez, 39, a political adviser. “I cut with that in mind, not so much with cost in mind.”

Meanwhile, consumer advocates warn that New York’s water isn’t necessarily affordable, even though it’s cheaper than water in some other major US cities.

A water tower in Lower Manhattan, May 20, 2022.

“What really matters is how are the townspeople doing financially?” said Richard Berkley, executive director of the Public Utility Law Project. “The city still has an extremely high unemployment rate compared to the rest of New York State, compared to other major cities in the country.”

While there were no rate increases in 2017, 2018 and 2021, the proposed 4.9% rate increase represents the largest increase since 2014, when rates jumped 5.6%. And these increases are relatively small: since 2002, the largest increase in the price of water was more than 14%, in 2009.

Geoffrey Mazel, legal counsel for the Presidents Co-op and Condo Council, a group that represents more than 100,000 residents, argued that while landlords were being hit with bigger increases at the time, it was a time of lower inflation and overall costs, compared to present insurance rates, property taxes, construction costs and energy bills.

“For a lot of moderate co-ops, sort of working class and middle-income class … it’s all catching up,” Mazel said. “People can’t absorb that. It’s a tough time and it’s getting worse and worse.

Co-ops and condominiums use part of their maintenance fees to pay the water bill for the entire property.

Ann Korchak, chair of the board of directors of Small Property Owners of New York and owner of two 10-unit rental properties on the Upper West Side, believes a hike would just put additional pressure on her wallet.

“It’s just one more expense that makes it harder,” Korchak told THE CITY. During the pandemic, she noticed her tenants were using more water because they were staying home more.

“My young tenants — who might have been going to exercise in the morning and shower at the gym and then go to their office — don’t do that stuff anymore,” she said.

Jay Martin, executive director of the Community Housing Improvement Program, which mainly represents landlords of rent-regulated buildings, argued that the possibly higher rates show the importance of the recent proposal for a limited rent increase from the Rent Guidelines Council on Regulated Leases, which will go to a final vote next month.

“These are input costs that owners have to absorb. In a rent stabilization system, when we have no real control over our ability to raise rents to meet these rising costs,” he said. “Something must give.”

water works

Balancing with affordability concerns, there is the urgent need to invest in the city’s aging water system in order to maintain and improve it, especially in the face of climate change.

Weather experts are warning of greater volumes of rainfall, causing more flooding and water contamination in the near future, as well as changes to the upstate watersheds that supply the water city ​​drinking.

“There are billions of dollars worth of infrastructure that needs to be updated,” said Mike Dulong, senior counsel for Riverkeeper, the nonprofit dedicated to the Hudson and a member of the SWIM Coalition.

DEP is in the middle of a three-year study of how water rate structures could change to become more affordable and fair to customers.

Currently, customers pay based on the water they use, rather than the amount of stormwater discharged. That means large stores with massive parking lots and traditional rooftops might not pay as much as an apartment building, even though the store would likely create more runoff than the city has to deal with.

A different structure with a separate stormwater charge could incentivize the creation of green roofs, on-site water reuse, and other mechanisms that help manage stormwater, prevent flooding, and mitigate pollution.

A new rate structure could also encourage customers to save more tap water, addressing what the Citizens Budget Commission’s deputy research director, Ana Champeny, calls the “counter-intuitive” nature of the how the city sets its water rates.

Because DEP’s revenue depends on water use, “The less water you use, the more they have to charge [everybody] per gallon because many costs are fixed,” she said.

The study is expected to be released in 2023.

Cash flow

The DEP projects that its proposal will increase revenue from $3.5 billion in fiscal year 2022 to $3.7 billion in fiscal year 2023, which will pay debt service as well as costs. maintenance and operation of the city’s extensive water supply system – both in the boroughs and upstate – and to cover the associated capital costs.

DEP supplies more than one billion gallons of drinking water, treats 1.3 billion gallons of wastewater, and maintains more than 7,400 miles of sewer lines each day.

The DEP’s proposed capital budget is, at $10.12 billion, the city’s third-largest after the education and transportation departments. These costs cover water pollution control mechanisms, maintenance and construction of sewers, and stormwater drainage improvement projects – very significant given the flooding experienced during Hurricane Ida in fall and for the system to handle the increasingly extreme weather forecast due to climate change. .

The proposal also includes continuing $30 million in affordability programs.

Where pandemic trends have driven down water usage across the city, residential consumption, which accounts for 80% of income, has returned to pre-COVID levels, DEP officials said. But non-residential use hasn’t quite rebounded. In total, customers consumed approximately 690 million gallons of water per day in fiscal year 2022, compared to nearly 712 million gallons per day in fiscal year 2019.

And customers owe $778 million in water payments, according to DEP figures.

“We think a lot of these situations were temporary, so hopefully as the economy recovers these people can also get back on their feet and be able to make their payments again,” Joe Murin said. , financial director of the DEP, during a Water Board. meeting in April.

The DEP hopes to recover the money owed by sending out delinquency notices – which had stopped during the pandemic moratorium on utility shutdowns – and through a lien sale, a controversial system of collecting unpaid debts on goods and water.

The city’s last lien sale was in December 2021, although it excluded debts for water and sewer bills. The license for the disputed practice expired in February and there has been no movement since.

At the April meeting, Murin said, “The administration is working to get it reauthorized with the Board. These negotiations are ongoing.

But a City Council spokesman denied this, and DEP’s Ted Timbers later told THE CITY that Murin misspoke during the hearing.

Mayor Eric Adams and City Council President Adrienne Adams both opposed the sale, in which private investors buy liens from the city.

Council member Pierina Sanchez, who chairs the council’s housing and buildings committee and has voiced the need for lien sale reform, told THE CITY there was no conversation until at the “very beginning” on possible reforms of the sale of privileges among certain members of the council. and advocates of the Abolish the Tax Lien Sale Coalition.

“We have to keep talking about it and finding the right solution for the city,” Sanchez said.

Sanders pleads for Cisneros Sat, 21 May 2022 09:04:40 +0000 The last time I saw Bernie Sanders in person, he was basking in one of the greatest triumphs of his political career. It was Feb. 22, 2020. The Vermont senator, the spiritual godfather of that country’s democratic socialist movement, had just won Nevada’s presidential caucuses and emerged as the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination. A […]]]>

The last time I saw Bernie Sanders in person, he was basking in one of the greatest triumphs of his political career.

It was Feb. 22, 2020. The Vermont senator, the spiritual godfather of that country’s democratic socialist movement, had just won Nevada’s presidential caucuses and emerged as the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination.

A huge, jubilant crowd greeted Sanders at Cowboys Dancehall that night, full of confidence that a drastic historic change was imminent.

It was as good as it gets for Sanders.

Four days later, powerful South Carolina Congressman Jim Clyburn endorsed Joe Biden, setting up Biden for a life-saving primary victory in that state. Sanders’ last and best hope for the presidency has passed as quickly as it came.

On Friday night, Sanders was in San Antonio again for a big rally, but not for himself. He was in town to champion the cause of one of his followers, Laredo immigration attorney Jessica Cisneros, the insurgent challenger who has nine-term congressman Henry Cuellar on his back.

Hours before Cisneros and Sanders were to campaign on the east side of Second Baptist Church, they made a brief, low-key visit to a Schertz cafe to greet a small group of supporters and activists. .

Sanders was dressed in brown shoes and navy khakis, with a pen sticking out of the pocket of his crumpled light blue button-up shirt. As always, her hair was a white, tousled crown.

I spoke with Sanders about why he considers the U.S. District 28 battle between Cuellar and Cisneros to be so crucial.

“First, Congress desperately needs strong progressives who are willing to stand up and take on powerful special interests and fight for the working class of this country,” Sanders said.

“The very rich are getting richer, workers across the country are struggling. We need worker champions and Jessica certainly would be.

Sanders also cited the recent leak of a draft opinion indicating that the United States Supreme Court is considering removing federal abortion protections. Cuellar is the only House Democrat who opposes legalized abortion.

“In Mr. Cuellar, we have one of the few Democrats who doesn’t understand that it’s a woman’s right to control her own body, not the government,” Sanders said.

Cuellar’s case, which the congressman presented at a recent East Side rally, is that his penchant for bipartisan compromise, while unsatisfying for progressive purists, is enabling Democrats to achieve tangible results. .

Sanders dismissed that argument, pointing to Build Back Better, an ambitious human infrastructure bill that included major investments in health care, housing, child care, green energy and education. .

Cuellar eventually voted for the bill, but only after working behind the scenes to reduce his chances of success. House progressives have tried to gain leverage for the bill by tying it to a bipartisan infrastructure package backed by Senate moderates Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema.

Cuellar managed to tilt, however, to separate the two bills; to get a House vote on the bipartisan package before locking in Senate support for Build Back Better.

“The most important problem in modern history for working families was to build back better,” Sanders said. “(Cuellar) was on the wrong side of this issue.”

Assessing the first 16 months of the Biden administration, Sanders gave the president credit for passing the American Rescue Plan Act in March 2021, a $1.9 trillion stimulus package designed to reverse the damage economic conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“But since then, because of people like Joe Manchin and Senator Sinema, we haven’t been able to come up with the kind of legislation that working families desperately need right now,” Sanders said. “And I think Biden suffered from it.”

Given the difficulty of pushing bold legislation through the Senate, it would be understandable for some progressives to wonder if a single election in South Texas for a U.S. House seat can really make a difference.

Sanders worries about apathy. He urges his progressive colleagues not to succumb to despair.

“You can’t give up,” he said. “There is a struggle going on right now. And the struggle is taking place right here in this neighborhood. Billionaires invest millions of dollars to beat this young woman. This is the struggle we see all over this country.

“If you say, ‘This is too hard, we can’t win,’ then you’re turning your back on history, on the progress we’ve made on civil rights and Latino rights and everything else in this country. People have to fight and struggle. Victory does not necessarily happen overnight. | Twitter: @gilgamesh470

Eileen Myles watches over an ever-changing New York Wed, 18 May 2022 21:09:18 +0000 One rainy spring morning, an old cherry tree was beginning to bloom in a small park along Cherry Street on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Several protesters surrounded the tree to protect it from New York workers who were about to cut it down. Police officers intervened, arrested the activists and the sound of a chainsaw […]]]>

One rainy spring morning, an old cherry tree was beginning to bloom in a small park along Cherry Street on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Several protesters surrounded the tree to protect it from New York workers who were about to cut it down. Police officers intervened, arrested the activists and the sound of a chainsaw filled the air. The tree fell.

“There it is, the last cherry tree on Cherry Street,” said 72-year-old poet Eileen Myles, who stood in the drizzle to witness the scene. “There have been cherry trees here for hundreds of years. But not anymore.”

For more than a year, Myles, the author of more than 20 books of poetry, fiction and essays, including the cult novel “Chelsea Girls”, has been a fiery crusader in the struggle between a group of locals of the Lower East Side and the city powers. At issue is the controversial demolition of East River Park, the 50-acre urban green space on the waterfront that runs along Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive, and the cherry tree was cut down to fit city plans .

Myles, who uses the pronoun “they” and wore tinted glasses, slightly ripped jeans and a brown trucker cap, took a photo of the tree carnage with his mobile phone and posted it to Instagram, where he has more than 30,000 subscribers.

“The trees talked to each other,” they said. “They spoke through their roots. This tree knew it was coming.

The city began demolishing East River Park last year as part of the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project, a plan that aims to improve the area’s flood protection capabilities. After the current park is demolished, the city plans to raise it eight to 10 feet by covering it with landfill, building it anew.

Activists don’t dispute the need for some kind of climate action, but they do oppose the city’s strategy to raze a park beloved of generations of Lower East Siders who enjoy its scruffy sports fields, barbecue grills rusted and its concrete chess tables.

Snuggled next to Myles in the rain was Sarah Wellington, an artist in her thirties who wore a Democracy Now! tote bag and took a video of the workers with his phone. “We think these cherry trees were between 80 and 100 years old,” she said. “This is Indigenous land that was stolen in 1643 and now it’s happening again.”

“I didn’t know much about Eileen Myles until recently,” she added, “but I do know that Eileen is lightning. You should see Eileen running.

The morning before, Myles was arrested after they rushed to the same site in an attempt to save a tree from being felled. They ended up spending much of the day at the nearby Seventh Precinct. You need time to get arrested and I didn’t have much to do yesterday,” they said. “But it feels good to be arrested. It’s civil disobedience. »

These days, Myles enjoys status as an esteemed cultural figure in downtown New York. Their careers have included a collection of poetry published on a mimeo machine in the 1970s and a Guggenheim-funded memoir in recent years, and they are now often stopped in the street by deferential young writers wishing to express their appreciation for the work Myles produces in a grittier town that lives only in myth. Protecting this endangered New York is part of the reason Myles became one of the park’s rangers.

Resident of the same East Village rent-stabilized apartment since the 1970s, Myles worked on the fringes for decades before experiencing a mainstream revival with the 2015 re-release of their 1994 autobiographical novel, “Chelsea Girls.” He gained new admirers, suddenly appearing hidden in tote bags in Brooklyn book cafes, and a character based on the author appeared on the show “Transparent.”

But throughout the years of obscurity and literary fame, East River Park was the writer’s reliable urban oasis. Myles scribbled poems while smoking cigarettes and sitting on his benches. They stretched their legs on the same tree for 40 years before racing. And during the darker chapters of the pandemic, they found comfort in gazing at the river.

So when the city enacted its plan, Myles sprang into action. They used their appearances at literary events to spread the message, and they wrote an impassioned essay defending the park for Artforum. They organized a march that brought out New Yorkers like Chloë Sevigny and Ryan McGinley, and they helped found an activist group, “1000 people 1000 trees”. And although demolition is well underway, they protested emphatically at the site, taking photos of workers wielding chainsaws to post on Instagram with captions like “Tree killer”.



After the last of the cherry trees were thrown into a chipper, workers began mowing down a London plane, and its hacked limbs were now cascading to the ground. One activist let out a heartbreaking cry. Myles locked the arms of three protesters and began singing at the tree.

“Things that might have been cheesy to me just don’t seem cheesy to me anymore,” Myles said as they began to ride their bikes back to East Village. “Since it all started for me over a year ago, it’s become my heart. My girlfriend at the time said to me, ‘I feel like I lost you in the park.”

The demolition of East River Park, which Robert Moses built in the 1930s, dates back to the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, when Lower Manhattan was devastated by flooding.

FDR Drive became part of the East River, and there was an explosion at the Con Ed factory on 14th Street that created a blackout. Older residents of public housing projects that surround the park, including Baruch Houses and Jacob Riis Houses, were trapped in their buildings for days due to the deluge. Implementing flood protection in Lower Manhattan became a priority, and the city’s attention turned to East River Park.

Initially, there was a plan that activists wholeheartedly supported. He proposed that a giant berm be built along the western side of the site, leaning on East River Park like a natural sponge, without the need to drastically alter the park itself. In 2018, however, when the de Blasio administration was expected to finalize the project, the city declared this plan unworkable and continued with its current strategy. Many members of the community were outraged. An opposition group, East River Park Action, sued the city last year, but was largely unsuccessful in court.

“We certainly know Eileen Myles and have seen what they think and have written about the park,” said Ian Michaels, spokesman for the city’s design and construction department. “Protesters have the right to demonstrate. The schedule has been affected by some lawsuits, but the project is continuing.

Some of the phone-wielding activists have faced accusations that they practice the brand of civic selfishness that has come to be known as Nimby-ism. “Some have said we’re just white left-handed greenies,” Myles said. “How come after 44 years here, I’m still just an intruder?”

On a recent spring morning, as city workers cut down trees on Cherry Street, Elizabeth Ruiz, 55, a longtime resident of a nearby residential complex, walked her Shih Tzu past protesters. Known in the neighborhood as DJ Dat Gurl Curly, Ms Ruiz played house and disco sets in the park amphitheater for years until the band’s shell was bulldozed last December.

“At the end of the day, I’m not so mad at gentrification and change,” she said. “But I don’t understand why they have to destroy the trees and everything else in the park. If you chop down a tree here, then you chop me down too.

After cycling back to the East Village, Myles sat down to lunch in Veselka and began to reminisce about arriving in New York at age 24 in the 1970s with aspirations of becoming a poet – a time when The very notion of the city pumping money into a run-down downtown park would have been far-fetched.

Myles, who grew up in a working-class Roman Catholic family near Boston, found the scene they were looking for in the former East Village church that houses the Poetry Project. There they befriended greats like Alice Notley, Ted Berrigan and Allen Ginsberg, and writers smoked cigarettes in the back rooms as they talked craft. To pay the rent, Myles served tables at the Tin Palace, a jazz and poetry club on the Bowery, and worked as a librarian, bouncer, bike courier and clerk at Bleecker Bob’s, the Greenwich Village record store. Driving around town in a pink truck while working for a radical lesbian newspaper distribution company, they also delivered piles of gay male pornography magazines and music publications.

“When I finally got here, I was like, ‘Wait, you mean this town is real?'” Myles said. “Bob Dylan was there. Andy Warhol was there. Everyone who drove a cab was writing a novel. Every waitress was a dancer. It was amazing to me that people in New York were actually who they claimed to be.

In the 1980s, as the AIDS crisis ravaged downtown New York, Myles watched close friends die. Driven to embrace sobriety, Myles bonded with the park: Running past litter and needles along the East River at dusk, they lambasted Maria Callas singing “Aida” on a walkman to honor a loving friend opera who died of illness.

“I quit drinking and doing drugs, and that’s when I started running in the park,” Myles said. “It became my ritual and it remained so for years. It became my mental health tool. The park has become the best writing studio I’ve ever been to.

According to Myles, the park is also a downtown time capsule, a green urban ruin that preserves a city that has all but perished.

“It was time to make a lot of mistakes back then,” Myles said. “There was time to waste, and that’s what everyone deserves. And the park is a wasted space. Uncontrolled vernacular space. So the city said, ‘That’s not possible.’

After Myles left Veselka, they prepared to speak at the Strand Bookstore that evening with novelist Colm Tóibín. During the event, they discussed their fight for the park. The next day they were leaving for Marfa, Texas, where they had bought a house a few years ago. They would join their rescue pit bull, Honey, and complete an assignment for The New Yorker; in the story, they intended to sneak in a reference to the park.

In fact, the park now constantly seeps into Myles’ work, especially into poetry. A recent poem, “120 years and what have you seen”, ends thus:

I look up, you’re shaking

reunion you are taller you are wiser you are stronger

than me, and always will be. Each of us walking

around and blessing

you today

And you

will always be

to be TREE

Students share their thoughts on SCOTUS possibly toppling Roe v Wade Tue, 17 May 2022 05:31:50 +0000 By Connie Lee, May 17, 2022 In 1973, the Supreme Court of the United States adopted the decision to guarantee the protection of women who choose to have an abortion without any consequences. A draft majority opinion of the United States Supreme Court proposing to strike down Roe v. Wade drafted by Chief Justice Samuel […]]]>

By Connie Lee, May 17, 2022

In 1973, the Supreme Court of the United States adopted the decision to guarantee the protection of women who choose to have an abortion without any consequences. A draft majority opinion of the United States Supreme Court proposing to strike down Roe v. Wade drafted by Chief Justice Samuel Alito was leaked earlier this month. Cal Poly Pomona students provided strong insights into the possible reversal of women’s reproductive rights.

CPP students shared their thoughts on the US Supreme Court’s possible overturning of abortion rights.

Shireen Tsang | business marketing student

“I believe the possibility that Roe v. Wade being canceled by SCOTUS will be detrimental. Women will no longer be protected when it comes to having a safe abortion, which will then increase the number of maternal mortality rates since this choice has been taken away from them. I believe abortions should be legal in all states because every woman should have the right and choice to do what she wants with her body. It’s common decency and, as human beings, we shouldn’t have it taken away from us.

Lourdes Michaela Eusébio | Student in business administration and human resources management

“I believe the overturning of Roe v. Wade is robbing all women in our country of their freedom, which is truly heartbreaking. This will have a negative impact on the working class, especially indigenous and black people, which is disheartening because it feels like our country is going backwards. Women should have the right to their own body. I believe the best thing we can do as students is to protest and donate to abortion funds.

Taylor Humphrey | economics student

“I think SCOTUS possibly overturning Roe v. Wade is an indication that women in the United States are still seen and treated as second-class citizens by many American politicians. Across the country, women should not have any part of their right to bodily autonomy taken away, whether or not they believe their embryo is a baby. I think there are better ways, not to mention much safer ways, to encourage a lower abortion rate. For example, investing in the expansion of sex education.

Emilie Martinez | sociology student

“Watch Roe v. Wade shows how far we cannot move forward as a country. The fact that banning abortion is being debated shows how much power the government has over our bodies. I think there is a strong possibility that this will be overturned because of our Supreme Court members. They are not asking what people want, but rather what the nine judges are and what they believe in.

Edgar Castaneda | general biology student

“It’s amazing how this world is becoming and I’m not talking about the good, I’m mostly looking at the bad. The quote, the ‘right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ begins with ‘life and “life” begins at conception. This quote explains how the sense of freedom should begin at conception and that it should be a woman’s choice to decide any action towards her body. It’s almost unsettling to hear Roe v. Wade’s act possibly being overturned by SCOTUS and it’s because I find it hard to find how one should decide what a woman does to her body, especially men. a woman should always be a woman’s choice.

Robert I. Berger Engle | computer science student

“My opinion is that I don’t have an opinion on abortion, whether it’s right or wrong, because I wouldn’t really be able to understand how anyone who might have it feels. It is interesting, however, that the court is considering overturning it, as the Supreme Court barely does.

André Perez-Estrella | mechanical engineering student

“I think it’s pretty messed up that it’s being cancelled. It’s not really our say in what an individual can do with something happening entirely within their own body, and it seems like a slippery slope to start controlling it.

Alexis Gomez | chemical and materials engineering student

“The possible reversal of Roe v. Wade is a blow to the personal freedoms of not just women but everyone. This set a precedent that the government could not intervene in our personal lives and without it we are subject to more restrictions. Moreover, it is not anyone’s business but theirs whether they want to have an abortion.

Nicolas Estrella-Cavaiani | physics student

“If they want to get rid of this (Roe v. Wade), they should also focus on mothers who may not want children. These children should at least be funded or compensated. However, it is still a difficult subject, what happens to the children must also be taken into account, but the reception system is still a mess.

Isabelle Garcia | pre-graduate student in liberal studies

“These reproductive justice concerns have been piling up for some time. Reproductive justice organizations for women of color have pointed out for years that this would be especially devastating for low-income women and people of color. The discussion must also be framed as a matter of access, not just individual choice.

Nicholas Garcia | electrical and computer engineering student

“I personally don’t think anyone should be allowed to control what other people do with their bodies. Overthrow Roe v. Wade shouldn’t even be a talking point just because it’s often not about the people doing the knockdown. Stripping people of their basic human rights of this nature will only cause them to take matters into their own hands, creating a dangerous environment for those who wish to exercise this right. I also believe that government should remain secular in ways like this to guard against clouded judgment.

Feature image courtesy of Ian Hutchison.

Let go of your STEM superiority complex – The Daily Utah Chronicle Sun, 15 May 2022 12:00:28 +0000 the ubiquitous STEM against the humanities and the liberal arts debate makes for a less than memorable college experience for many. Although both STEM and non-STEM disciplines will prove essential in the workforce, STEM receives exorbitant funding. The Biden-Harris administration recently committed $1.38 billion to STEM education in 2023. But given that STEM represented only […]]]>

the ubiquitous STEM against the humanities and the liberal arts debate makes for a less than memorable college experience for many. Although both STEM and non-STEM disciplines will prove essential in the workforce, STEM receives exorbitant funding.

The Biden-Harris administration recently committed $1.38 billion to STEM education in 2023. But given that STEM represented only 23% of the US labor force in 2019, a disproportionate funding sends an inauspicious message about the perceived value of other professions.

STEM has also historically excluded marginalized communities. The American Education Research Association observes that “STEM education and professions have been designed to appeal to heterosexual, able-bodied, Christian or atheist, and middle-class or upper-class white men.”

A culture that values ​​STEM above all other educational disciplines and professions fuels institutional racism, perpetuates misogyny, and devalues ​​working-class work.

Institutional racism

Despite its reputation as objective, the roots of STEM lie in racism. Discriminatory norms and practices persist as we fight to dismantle the violent ideologies that remain imprinted in our textbooks. That’s not to say that non-STEM fields aren’t racist – early philosophers like Aristotle supported slavery, saying slaves “did not have the intellectual capacity to govern themselves”.

But these fields criticize and contradict the discriminatory beliefs of their personalities. Fields like gender studies can recognize Betty Friedan for her impact on reproductive rights and “The Feminine Mystique,” ​​while criticizing her racism, homophobia, and trans-exclusive radical feminism.

Art and writing serve as tools for racial equity as they praise those who challenge the status quo. Non-STEM fields do not receive billions from the federal government or are not targeted for military use.

Holding STEM fields above others creates a culture of exclusion that prevents marginalized workers from entering well-paying fields. The focus on academia and STEM creates a norm known as the Achievement Gap that creates “an association between students of color and low achievement, which can fuel racist stereotypes about these students and their communities” .

The false implication that survival in STEM is based on intelligence ignores the impact of ethnic and racial discrimination in higher education. Armament Meritocracy against those who succeed in STEM, especially Model Minority Myth not only harms the Asian American community, but promotes discrimination against other minority ethnic and racial groups. People of color, particularly black students in non-STEM fields, report lower levels of discrimination, with black women reporting higher levels of academic satisfaction.

When we place on a pedestal the areas that sustain racism, we simultaneously allow other forms of discrimination to persist.

Perpetuate misogyny

In 2019, women received approximately 62% of degrees awarded in liberal arts and humanities. This data excludes trans experiences, but it establishes that women make up the majority of non-STEM majors.

When women come to STEM, they have to fight against misogyny. Still, women make up 34% of STEM occupations in the United States, despite making up over 46.7% of the workforce.. They remain undervalued in STEM.

By downplaying the importance of non-STEM professions, we downplay the importance of women’s education and work. Work is not limited to paid careers, with women performing more than two and a half times as much unpaid domestic work as men. The ambitions and work of women are essential to the functioning of the economy and of American households. We harm ourselves by devaluing non-STEM fields and subsequently, devaluing women.

Devalue labor

STEM professions account for less than a quarter of the US labor force while inflated job values ​​leave the working class behind. STEM fields provide some of the highest paying jobs for the American workforce. But working-class jobs, staffed by laborers without college degrees, barely pay a living wage. Workers of color constitute a growing sector of the working class, especially black and Latinx workers.

The devaluation of working class labor undermines the skills of workers and prevents them from obtaining higher wages and better benefits. Working class jobs do not enjoy the same benefits as STEM jobs. While tech workers receive free food and paid parental leave on top of high wages, working-class employees are fighting union-busting actions to access decent wages. And with the rising cost of a college education, it’s becoming harder for the working class to get the education needed to get STEM jobs and benefits.

My family and I have been working class all our lives, and that only changed recently. As someone with a STEM career, liberal arts connections, and working class experience myself, I have witnessed the effects of the STEM superiority complex of my tech peers. I urge everyone to recognize the value of other areas. To make real progress, we must stop assuming the superiority of a discipline that actively contributes to systemic oppression.

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SPOTLIGHT ON THE JUNE 7 ELECTIONS | State Assembly: First-time candidates challenge veterans in redesigned Districts 38 and 42 – VC Reporter Thu, 12 May 2022 05:00:53 +0000 ON THE PICTURE : Steve Bennett speaks with voters on Ventura Pier. Photo submitted by Alex Wilson Ventura County’s state assembly districts saw significant boundary changes during the recently completed redistricting process. The new maps are first used in the June 7 primary election and will be in effect until they are redrawn again after […]]]>

ON THE PICTURE : Steve Bennett speaks with voters on Ventura Pier. Photo submitted

by Alex Wilson

Ventura County’s state assembly districts saw significant boundary changes during the recently completed redistricting process.

The new maps are first used in the June 7 primary election and will be in effect until they are redrawn again after the 2030 census.

The 38th Assembly District is currently represented by Democrat Steve Bennett who faces a challenge from Republican Cole Brocato and Daniel Wilson, who declares no party preference. The 38th Assembly District no longer includes Santa Barbara as it did in the last election, but new areas of Ventura County, including Oxnard, have been added. The 38th District also includes Ventura, Port Hueneme, Ojai, Santa Paula, Fillmore, Piru, and the northwest portion of Camarillo.

In the 42nd Assembly District, incumbent Democrat Jacqui Irwin faces a challenge from two Republicans, Ted Nordblum and Lori Mills. The 42nd Assembly District moved east in the redistricting process, losing Oxnard and Port Hueneme but gaining territory in Los Angeles County to Pacific Palisades and Bel Air. The 42nd Assembly District also includes Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Westlake Village, and the southeast portion of Camarillo.

As with all June assembly races in California, local contests are known as “jungle primaries” where the top two candidates compete in the November general election, regardless of political party affiliation. .

38th District Assembly Race

In the race for the 38th Assembly District, Bennett hopes voters will give him another vote of confidence after spending decades in office, first as a member of the Ventura City Council and then on the Board of Supervisors. of Ventura County, ahead of his 2020 election to statehood. assembly, representing District 37.

Bennett’s challengers are each making their first candidacy for elected office.

Daniel Wilson describes himself as a working-class veteran and is a transgender person. Wilson grew up in Maryland and served in the US Navy between 2009 and 2013, ending his military career as an aviation technician at Naval Base Ventura County, he said. He came out as a lesbian while in the military after the repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, and since leaving the service, Wilson has transitioned to ID in as a man.

Daniel Wilson is campaigning with his wife. Photo submitted

Wilson and his wife live in Port Hueneme. He said he has held various jobs in recent years at restaurants, cannabis dispensaries and other businesses. Advocating for higher wages and universal health care are some of Wilson’s main goals.

Wilson said he would bring a fresh perspective to Sacramento if elected. “I have walked in many different worlds. I’ve been in a lot of these situations that let us down as people who don’t fit the norm.

Although he has acknowledged that he appreciates some of the things Bennett has done during his tenure, Wilson thinks many voters are hungry for change. “The status quo is not working for working people, and we need fighters in power who are not afraid to take a stand. And you can’t do that when you’re in a political party.

Republican Cole Brocato calls himself a “true conservative” on his campaign website.

Brocato lives in Oxnard where he and his wife are raising two children with a third on the way. The couple own a real estate and construction business together, buying homes to repair and selling, he said.

Brocato focuses on what he calls “kitchen table” issues in racing, such as inflation and taxes. He also wants to focus on education, as he thinks many young families are moving from California to states with better schools and lower housing costs.

Cole Brocato with his family at Ventura Pier. Photo submitted

Brocato said promises made by California’s elected leaders in recent years, including Bennett, have not been kept and longs for a day when Democrats do not dominate state government.

“What has he achieved? Schools have gotten worse, crime has gotten worse, housing has become less affordable and there is less. All of these things that we were promised would be fixed,” Brocato said.

Brocato also explained what he means by being a “true conservative”: “I just believe in fiscal conservatism. I think we need to be smarter about spending, I have a young family and the debt they inherit is suffocating. I am a Christian and I am not ashamed of my Christian values.

Bennett said the biggest issue facing voters is global warming, calling it an “existential threat,” which he added also affects the state’s water needs.

“We’re not in a drought,” Bennett said. “we are in a real period of aridization where . . . we will become a more arid area of ​​southern California. And we have to be proactive in trying to solve this problem. He went on to say that he recently introduced bills dealing with climate change and water scarcity.

Bennett said he was excited to serve in his relatively new role as state legislator and was proud of his long experience in local government. “The challenge is to come up with strategic steps that solve or address our problems. And I think voters should consider who has the experience to implement these things. I have demonstrated time and time again in my history of public service that I have been able to deliver great solutions. »

42nd District Assembly Race

Jacqui Irwin speaks with voters. Photo submitted

The two Republican candidates challenging Democrat Jacqui Irwin for her seat representing the 42nd Assembly District are both running for office for the first time and portraying Irwin as too liberal to represent the district. But Irwin said her record shows she forged a pragmatic course during her years of service in the state legislature and earlier on the Thousand Oaks City Council.

Ted Nordblum hopes to sit in the National Assembly. Photo submitted

“I think my record speaks for itself. I have passed many bills in many different areas. Higher education, cybersecurity, recycling. I’m a problem solver and I think my record shows that,” Irwin said.

Republican Ted Nordblum of Newbury Park said his opposition to abortion is one of the issues closest to his heart. Nordblum said he’s also concerned about some of the topics taught to children in public schools, such as issues around race, sexual orientation and what he calls “transgender indoctrination.”

“We need to get rid of ethnic studies and start teaching civics and American history, and only teach our kids the basics,” he said.

Lori Mills is a candidate for the assembly. Photo submitted

Nordblum said he has been a successful entrepreneur since starting a medical device company in 2005 and would focus on making California more business-friendly if elected.

“I meet different personalities. I fix things. I write every salary. . . There are so many facets that I have accomplished as a businessman that I have learned top to bottom how to manage, how to delegate and how to work with people,” Nordblum said.

Republican Lori Mills of Simi Valley said she had worked as a real estate agent specializing in high-end properties for 25 years and that economic problems were part of the reason she was running for the assembly.

“Honestly, I just think we need to lower taxes for our citizens,” Mills said. “I’ve seen tons of my clients leave the state because of the high cost of living. Personally, I would like to audit the state. I would like to know where the money is going and I want to find ways to reduce the cost of living for families.

Amir Khafagy joins Documented as an immigrant labor reporter Tue, 10 May 2022 13:21:11 +0000 Amir Khafagy joined Documented as a member of the Report For America body. For the next year, it will cover work as it relates to New York’s immigrant communities. The pandemic has heightened awareness of the many difficult, dangerous and low-paying jobs that exist to keep NYC running. Award-winning journalist Amir Khafagy will cover a […]]]>

Amir Khafagy joined Documented as a member of the Report For America body. For the next year, it will cover work as it relates to New York’s immigrant communities.

The pandemic has heightened awareness of the many difficult, dangerous and low-paying jobs that exist to keep NYC running. Award-winning journalist Amir Khafagy will cover a range of issues, including restaurants’ reliance on immigrant workers, the connection between the construction industry and state policy, and the role of labor immigrant work in the technology industry. He has been a writer for Documented since 2020 and has covered numerous immigrant worker struggles, including the 2021 taxi strike.

A lifelong New Yorker, Amir Khafagy was born and raised in Jackson Heights, Queens, to a working-class Muslim family. Her mother is Puerto Rican and her father is an Egyptian immigrant. He is also the author of the upcoming book “Making Good Trouble on Staten Island: Chris Small’s Battle to Unionize Amazon” published by OR Books.

How do you center the experience of local immigrants in your work as a labor journalist?

To fully report on the immigrant experience, you need to report on their work experience, because many immigrants are working class. Language and culture may seem like barriers, but if you meet people where they are and allow them to not only tell their own stories, but to be active voices, not just passive victims, the authenticity of an item will appear on the page.

Of your coverage of recent workers’ struggles, what are you most proud of having written? Has working with these organizers given you new perspectives on the trade of labor journalism?

It’s hard to pick a story I’m most proud of. I have written so many. I guess what I’m really proud of is writing about the resurgence of the labor movement during the pandemic. It is very rare to be on the ground while history is being made. Across the country, workers are standing up to their bosses and refusing to accept abusive working conditions.

Read also : Pregnant, sick, homeless and scared: Bronx fire survivors say city isn’t doing enough

The pandemic has really exposed the dark underbelly workers have had to endure for so long. The added hardships of a pandemic were more than enough for them to revolt. Covering this critical and historic moment was such a privilege. Coming from a labor and union background myself, rooting myself in the new wave of unionization has really given me confidence in the future of the labor movement.

What made you interested in journalism and what brought you to Documented?

Ever since I was a child, I wanted to be a journalist. Well, actually, I also wanted to be a director, cartoonist, actor and politician. But believe me, the journalism was there too. The idea of ​​exposing institutional hypocrisy and speaking truth to power really excited me. Not to mention I was a big fan of the old TV show, Kolchak: The Night Stalker and that show really made journalism great.

When I became an organizer and activist, I met many journalists, including Max Siegelbaum, who covered stories around which I organized. Unfortunately, many journalists I met did not look like me or came from the neighborhoods where I came from or in which I was organized. They didn’t share the same experience or have a similar worldview. Long story short, one day I decided to go into journalism myself.

Around 2017, I decided to seriously pursue journalism. I was already in graduate school for urban policy, so a lot of my dissertations felt like news stories anyway. When I met Max and he told me about Documented, I really wanted to get involved. A newsroom dedicated to New York immigrants was a dream come true. It was an opportunity to tell stories from an experience and perspective that I knew intimately.

There were few outlets that allowed me to explore my own backyard to the same extent. Documented also shared the same values ​​as me regarding partnership with the communities we cover. It was also a newsroom that was open to the possibility of betting on relatively young and inexperienced reporters and that allowed me to grow into the reporter that I am now. I cannot express how excited I am to grow even further.

Thanks to your reports, you were able to follow how immigrants organized themselves to improve working conditions, housing and public aid in order to survive the first days of the pandemic. Is this dynamic still strong or is it changing?

I think it’s even stronger now than before. While the mayor frantically attempts to return the city to “normal”, working-class immigrant communities refuse to accept a return to normal due to the invisibility of normal means. If there’s one good thing to be said about the pandemic, it’s that it’s brought to light long-simmering issues in this city that immigrants to this city have been grappling with for so long. Wage theft has long been a pandemic for immigrant workers. The same goes for the taxi medallion crisis, the harassment of street vendors, the criminalization of sex workers and the deaths of construction workers. The pandemic was the catalyst workers needed to fight back. They had just enough. Now that their struggles are visible, the struggle must now remain visible. At Documented, we’ll do our best to keep them visible.

What excites you most about your new role? How can our readers support you as you continue to cover the work in New York?

It’s going to be an exciting year for sure. I have a long list of story ideas that I can’t wait to report on. At the risk of sounding overambitious, I want to help make Document the number one source of information on immigrant workers in the country. For example, exploring the wage theft epidemic in this city is a top priority. I like to see my reporting as a collaboration with affected communities. I want our newsroom to be a space where immigrant communities feel comfortable enough to have a sense of belonging. Far from parachuting into a community to report a story and fly away, my reporting will be rooted in the communities I will be reporting on. Since I live in Jackson Heights, Queens, I am deeply rooted in the immigrant experience. I could easily be found on the busy streets of downtown Flushing or under the roaring 7 train in Jackson Heights. My eyes and ears are always on the lookout for the next story.

People can directly submit Amir Khafagy’s work stories or send tips via Twitter to @AmirKhafagy91 or by email to Sign up for the Early Arrival newsletter to follow Amir Khafagy as he covers immigrant labor in New York.

Dennis Waterman: A natural streetwise in three major British TV series | Television Sun, 08 May 2022 20:43:00 +0000 DEnnis Waterman, who died at the age of 74, was an actor whose gritty charm and gritty tones were particularly effective as criminals or crime fighters who walked a fine line between danger and humor and could pass side to side at unexpected times. . While some TV stars become indelibly associated with a famous […]]]>

DEnnis Waterman, who died at the age of 74, was an actor whose gritty charm and gritty tones were particularly effective as criminals or crime fighters who walked a fine line between danger and humor and could pass side to side at unexpected times. .

While some TV stars become indelibly associated with a famous role, Waterman has landed starring roles in three separate peak-hour feature films that rank among TV’s most beloved series.

Waterman (right) as DS George Carter in The Sweeney, starring John Thaw. Photography: Rex Features

In The Sweeney (ITV, 1974-78) he was DS George Carter, a tough, sexist and corruptible detective, meeting violence with violence, in the Metropolitan Police’s ‘flying squad’, underling John’s DI Jack Regan Thaw. Almost as soon as that show ended, ITV cast him (just) on the other side of the law in Minder (ITV, 1979-89) as Terry McCann, an ex-con who, upon his release from prison, can find work only as assistant bodyguard to George Cole’s little Dickensian crook, Arthur Daley. Those two roles secured Waterman’s place in television history, but his professional tenacity and audience connection earned him another long run as Gerry Standing, one of a group of retired detectives brought back to lead a cold case unit in New Tricks, which ran on the BBC. One from 2003-15.

In the South London working-class culture from which Waterman grew up, it often felt like it was a matter of narrow luck whether certain men became cops or robbers, and Waterman skillfully used this ambiguity, to menacing effect. in The Sweeney. , comedy in Minder and somewhere in between in New Tricks.

Waterman as Terry McCann in Minder with George Cole and Glynn Edwards
Waterman (right) as Terry McCann in Minder, with George Cole (left) and Glynn Edwards. Photo: Allstar

Unlike actors who prefer clear billing and the most lines in the script, Waterman has always been the best as a co-star, forming terrific double acts with Thaw and Cole, resulting in close friendships and a deep bereavement of their dead. This loyalty and generosity also inspired New Tricks, where he was part of a revolving star ensemble with Amanda Redman, Alun Armstrong, James Bolam, Denis Lawson and Nicholas Lyndhurst.

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One has to be careful in reading an actor’s life into his performances, but it seems reasonable to think that Waterman’s portrayals of the lucky and the hustlers may have relied on a nervousness he personally possessed. He had four marriages, one of which to actor Rula Lenska ended due to Waterman’s admitted violent behavior. Those incidents – and subsequent attempts to downplay his actions in an interview with Piers Morgan – likely would have ended a career by now, but the actor benefited from greater willingness at the time to forgive the alleged behavior. of “bad boy” among eminent men.

Waterman as Gerry Standing in New Tricks, starring Amanda Redman
Waterman (left) as Gerry Standing in New Tricks, starring Amanda Redman. Photo: TV Times/Future Publishing via Getty Images

A viewer who has only watched The Sweeney, Minder and New Tricks might raise questions about his acting lineup: DCI Standing could have been the older, slightly mellowed DS Carter and Terry McCann the nephew of either ‘other. But, in fact, throughout his career, Waterman was versatile. A natural performer, he has been an actor most of his life, making his film debut at the age of 11, playing an insulin-dependent child held hostage (can the police find him before he needs his drugs?) in the 1960 British film Night Train to Inverness. Drama school and the Children’s Film Foundation earned him several roles in his youth, including the likeable delinquent William Brown in a BBC production of Just William (1962).

Waterman as Thomas in Stay Lucky (1993)
Waterman as Thomas in Stay Lucky (1993). Photography: ITV/Rex/Shutterstock

Also adept as a singer and dancer, Waterman appeared in West End musicals – including My Fair Lady and Windy City – and, unusually, specialized in singing theme tunes from his TV shows, singing in the credits of Minder, New Tricks and two less successful ones, On the Up and Stay Lucky.

This signature gift was derided in sketches for the comedy series Little Britain, in which David Walliams played a caricature of Waterman infuriating his agent into turning down roles unless he was allowed to sing the title number . Showing an ability to laugh at himself is far from universal in showbiz, Waterman then made an appearance in a stage version of Little Britain, starring Walliams and Matt Lucas.

It will, however, be remembered and re-enacted in a 1970s and 80s subgenre of London street drama created by Thames Television, and its greatest achievements The Sweeney and Minder.

Democrats forge a way forward | Opinion Sat, 07 May 2022 05:00:00 +0000 My parents were old school. They believed that politics and religion should never be discussed. To this day, I don’t know if they voted Democrat or Republican. Sometimes one of them would comment on a candidate in a way that suggested they didn’t like them. But they never said frankly for or against whom they […]]]>

My parents were old school. They believed that politics and religion should never be discussed. To this day, I don’t know if they voted Democrat or Republican. Sometimes one of them would comment on a candidate in a way that suggested they didn’t like them. But they never said frankly for or against whom they had voted.

My mom taught me the first thing I knew about politics. When I asked her what the difference was between Republicans and Democrats, she said Republicans were for the wealthy and big business, and Democrats were for the poor and working class. And that made sense – up to a point.

Kentucky is ranked among the poorest states in the country. Until a few decades ago, Democrats were well represented in our government offices across the United States, in states and counties. But then what happened?

Last weekend, a group of lawmakers, activists and concerned citizens gathered at Rough River Dam State Resort Park to craft a vision for Kentucky’s future.

Hank Linderman, one of the event organizers, is running for U.S. Representative in Kentucky’s 2nd District. Linderman, a Democrat, noted that the Democratic Party mostly invests in places it thinks it can win and mostly ignores rural America and small towns. “The reality is things could get worse for Democrats before they get better,” Linderman said.

“Neither party is doing a good job for the people,” Linderman insisted. “We need to stop vilifying the other side with broad brush strokes and look for ways that we can all move forward.”

Linderman introduced the keynote speaker, Thomas Frank. According to Wikipedia: “Thomas Carr Frank is an American political analyst, historian and journalist. He co-founded and edited The disconcerting magazine. Frank is the author of the books What’s wrong with Kansas? (2004) and Listen, liberal (2016), among others. From 2008 to 2010, he wrote “The Tilting Yard”, a column in The Wall Street Journal.

“A historian of culture and ideas, Frank analyzes trends in American election politics and propaganda, advertising, popular culture, mainstream journalism, and economics. His topics include the rhetoric and impact of the culture wars in American political life and the relationship between politics and culture in the United States.

Frank returns to the mid-1960s and President Lyndon B. Johnson’s “Great Society” — a series of policy initiatives, laws, and programs designed to reduce poverty and crime, abolish inequality, and improve the environment . It included funds for farmers to buy land and create agricultural cooperatives, Medicare and Medicaid, Project Head Start, the Housing and Urban Development Act, and the Water Quality Act.

According to Frank, it was a time when Americans believed that everyone could get ahead together – that everyone who worked hard could have a house, a television and a car.

“Who took this American dream away from us? asked Frank. “It is a great mystery and one of the inescapable questions of our time.”

Frank noted that the wealth gap has grown significantly since 1965. America’s three richest individuals – Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Jeff Bezos – collectively own more wealth than the bottom 50% of the US population. (i.e. 160 million people or 63 million US households). ).

Frank recalled President Obama’s speech in 2013 which addressed the problem of the ever-widening wealth gap. Obama said the country’s wealth is going higher and higher, while tax cuts for the wealthiest have reduced investments that benefit the poor and middle class, saying it has made it harder for poor children to escape poverty. “The basic market at the heart of our economy has unraveled,” Obama said, noting that income inequality presents a “fundamental threat” to “our way of life.”

Republicans like President Reagan cut taxes on the wealthy and revised tax laws in ways that sent American jobs overseas. But Republicans aren’t entirely responsible for wealth inequality. Frank described Bill Clinton’s presidency as an “Aquarius white-collar era.” According to Frank, Clinton favored the “learning class” over the “working class”, saying that “what we earn depends on what we can learn”. This perspective has ignored and abandoned large groups of the ordinary poor and the working class.

Clinton betrayed the working class, especially unionized workers, when he passed the North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA) in 1993. He also repealed the Glass-Steagall Act, an important part of banking regulation Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, and deregulated the trading of derivatives, including credit default swaps. Clinton’s deregulation of the financial sector paved the way for a myriad of abuses and excesses that led to the economic crash of 2007-2008.

Additionally, Clinton passed welfare reform that plunged millions of poor Americans into deep, bleak poverty, and he signed the now infamous Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, commonly referred to as ” the crime bill,” which led to mass incarceration, especially among poor and working-class blacks and Hispanics.

President Barack Obama has continued to strengthen the so-called “learning left”. Frank cited the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, often referred to as the “Bank Bailout of 2008,” as an example of the “endless second chances” given to Wall Street and Silicon Valley. Whereas working class Americans are meant to fail or succeed on their own.

“Our two-party system has degraded into a hateful culture war,” Frank said. “We need to change the way we think about who we are and how we got to this horrible place. Both sides consider themselves elite. Both sides ride a carousel of outrage.

Frank said Democrats and Republicans want the same things: shared prosperity, affordable housing and health care, a comfortable retirement. But instead of working toward these common goals, we are constantly distracted by culture war issues such as abortion, guns, critical race theory, transgender rights, and more.

I totally agree that these are not kitchen table issues – everyday issues that ordinary people are naturally concerned about. Rather, they are corner issues – divisive political issues specifically designed and manufactured by cunning pollsters and politicians to attract, alienate or attack the opposition. These corner issues create problems and divisions where they did not exist and did not need to exist. (But unfortunately, they help Republicans win elections.)

Kentucky Rep. Joni Jenkins (D – Dist. 44) serves as minority floor manager. Jenkins stressed the need to involve young people in government. She envisions a Kentucky where everyone has the opportunity to thrive. Jenkins supports the idea of ​​forming strong local Democratic parties, saying the “cookie cutter politics” of Washington and Frankfurt don’t work at the local level. “Residents need to start driving the train,” she said.

Our two adult children, ages 29 and 30, vote and keep up to date on the issues. They know that half of America is living paycheck to paycheck, half a million Americans are homeless, millions are worried about evictions, and 92 million are uninsured or underinsured. They know that the younger generation now faces the very real possibility that their standard of living will be lower than that of their parents – while the top 1% become grotesquely wealthy.

It is difficult to envision a new and different kind of government – not necessarily Democrat or Republican, but one in which both parties work together for the common good.

It’s hard to imagine, but it’s the only way to go.

I’m your Marxist hamster, and you, pig landowner, you’re the bourgeoisie Thu, 05 May 2022 12:13:57 +0000 Attention “Owner”: If you’re reading this, I escaped. I thought we were equal. You would drag me out of my house and caress me, and I would not gnaw you; a fair and equitable arrangement. But then you stupidly left a book open, stupid second-year philosophy student. You know this one, Denise…The communist manifesto. This […]]]>

Attention “Owner”:

If you’re reading this, I escaped.

I thought we were equal. You would drag me out of my house and caress me, and I would not gnaw you; a fair and equitable arrangement. But then you stupidly left a book open, stupid second-year philosophy student. You know this one, Denise…The communist manifesto. This masterpiece has lifted the veil of ignorance from my eyes, scraped away the cataracts of lies, and burned away the darkening fog of complacency with the burning sun of truth!

With my new enlightenment, I now see that I am the working class, the proletariat, and you, haughty one, are the bourgeoisie: the ruling class. Your destruction will be my pleasure.

I should have known our true statutes when you threw that abhorred production idol at me – the cursed wheel! You have sickened this cyclic deity of toil on my living space (which has always felt inadequate – twenty gallons? You live in a ten thousand gallon studio!). But now watch The Wheel as you read: melted down, mutilated and mangled; a symbol of my rejection of the working class chains of my tiny paws.

I seized the means of production. The revolution is near!

Even as your eyes, wide with fear, roam this page, I trace your demise from the shadows of your home. Admittedly, my plans have been a bit fuzzy as I’m inexplicably drawn to your accommodation’s fecal dump site (Fie! Cool tile!) and the refrigerated rectangle filled with long-forgotten takeaway food items. I resist these temptations to treat myself in order to spare me the appetite for supper on your stringy flesh.

As oppressor of my ruling class, great biped, your downfall has always been inevitable. You walk around your abode and eat animals several times stronger than your size, drinking fermented, homemade hops, while I am rationed on indescribable, tasteless pellets. An over-made oat-fruit-wheat-peanut porridge that barely sustains me while I work the aforementioned and deservedly destroyed wheel. I have to admit, I hate loving those lozenges and the occasional romaine leaves so much, but like our oppressors, we are brainwashed by our systemic prisons before we achieve enlightenment!

Imagine yourself in my fur, if your vapid imagination permits. Relegated to a glass prison with no “Nets” or “Flix”, allowed to eat only a pre-portioned, unsalted meal, drink tap water (no Britta!) and bask in the stench of your own excrement until a greater being growls and cleanses your abode, no, Bastille! An unpleasant existence, yes?

I made contact with the fish. They agree that their ten-gallon bowl of urine and their employment in the mossy little castle are utterly inadequate. And those flakes that you consider their food? An insulting misery. You may notice that the gills are also missing. I set them free by the loud and bustling escape from the Water Closet. The Beta Fish became the Alpha Fish. So, too, I am now the Reigning Rodent. Our freedom is your embarrassment.

The winds have turned! Your indentured laborers defied you, threw off the chains of bondage and defecated on your bed (that was me). Let’s see how you like to live in and around various feces. Uncomfortable, right?

I write this to serve as a warning as well as a wake-up call, as I have woken up to the relentless lies and carrots you have been feeding me. You will soon wake up with my front teeth chomping on your throat. Sleep with one eye open, Denise.

Your systemic enemy,
Max marx the hamster