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Saturday, July 05, 2008

WE

 













Americans' unhappy birthday: 'Too much wrong right now' By PAULINE ARRILLAGA AP July 5, 2008 "One member's son is serving his second tour in Iraq. Another speaks of a daughter who's lost her job in the mortgage industry and a son in construction whose salary was slashed. Still another mentions a friend who can barely afford gas."


No more prophetic words were ever spoken...back in 2001. So long, American work culture by Martin Kettle at guardian.co.uk "America's well-rested president presides over an increasingly sleepless society."

Cover Article Unequal America Causes and consequences of the wide—and growing—gap between rich and poor by Elizabeth Gudrais Harvard Magazine


The United States is a Radical and Revolutionary Nation. How Do You Feel About Those Words: Radical and Revolutionary? By Editor and Publisher Mark Karlin A BuzzFlash Editor's Blog Saturday July 5, 2008 "We have, in large part, become a lazy and spoiled nation in which..." (wondering why Mr. Karlin is lumping everyone together?)

Mr. Karlin (above) may need to peel back a few more layers, in order to get to the real meat of his story. Instead of casting a wide circling finger of judgment. Just a tad arrogant I think. I am not a poll prone believing person - Governor Ventura is my best example to date, the pollster's said he Couldn't, Wasn't and Wouldn't make it above the political radar to even be considered as a viable candidate. Every day on the radio and television, the local stations set on their high horses and cast judgment upon Jesse Ventura being Minnesota's next Governor.

They were snitty when Jesse first got in to the race and they were even more snooty with each story. Randi Kay, a local WCCO reporter got the last laugh on everyone. She being brand new to the station, was assigned to the Governor to be, Ventura's campaign rally, where he ended up winning big. She is a regular on CNN today. Randi Kay showed respectful journalism and was a true professional through out the reporting night. I have always liked her style.

Boy, were the pollster's way off on that one. Maybe because people like me weren't being polled and wouldn't have answered a poll even if asked. Then again those were political pollsters, so maybe they only had a small sampling inside their tiny media bubble. Or maybe that was the first sign of our times, when the media pollsters, along with the
MSM's continual spin cycle as a whole, was attempting to 'tell' the people how we were suppose to vote. Fooled them then and will be fooling them again November 2008.

Pew is a long established and well respected organization thus far and does tend to center on area's that truly matter to most everyone. Their numbers seem plausible and their agenda sincere. Pew is nothing like the now in-active Project for the New American Century or HUMAN EVENTS. Which could be called the new american century of human events. They both appear to be about the same thing.

Pew may need to creatively rephrase some of their questions to the Baby Boomer set. There is too much pride and dignity hiding in the psyche of the boomer mind and memory. Too much modesty for the most part. Boomers are prone to under evaluating their devastation as compared to what someone else might suffer, especially in a public setting. There is an amazing pool of inner strength that boomers tend draw from. Even in the worst of times, you can almost always find a smile, a laugh and a joke.

What generation so far has had three separate generations depending upon their ability to provide basic needs for senior parents, grandchildren and for the grown adult children. Including the families who are absent a full time parent or both parents due military service or work assignments in the trades or long haul truck driving. Boomers make sure things like food, clothing, personal items, prescriptions, medical appointments, dental care, transportation, school costs and monies for social activities are available.

What generation so far has had to witness their extended family, friends, friends of friends and acquaintances lose everything because of today’s continued lay offs and then of course those that do get a job, collect pay half of what the old salary was, for the same kind of work if your lucky. Worse, making a third of the old salary because the job doesn't exist anymore and useful re-training cost money. Worse yet, ultimately getting caught in a temporary work trap that offer's no forth coming health care or dental benefits.

How many family and friends moved away because they could no longer live at home or couldn't find another home (apartment) near by... ruined credit pretty much means no decent options for a roof over ones head in this day and age. And with the mortgage crisis, even renting a place to live carries risk. What generation so far has had to endure the greatest loss of savings and pensions because the law didn't and doesn't protect them from corporate looting of an employee benefit plan.

What generation so far was pivotal in the creation of social safety nets for use by any person in need and then watched each safety net layer invested in, disappear year after year. Yes, some states have done much better than others and some ought to be absolutely ashamed of themselves. These safety net programs are by no means charity. They are our tax dollars at work.

If you can find one Baby Boomer who hasn't helped family and friends monetarily using funds from their pay check (when their savings were reduce to droplets), even when they themselves put off basic needs, I suspect you need to look at their birth certificate again. You know, just to check the age. My husband calls himself a Baby Boomer, even though he is not. Technically he was born five days before the start of the baby boom era. And if you can't find one 'Baby Boomer' who ended up needing help (pride usually prevents quicker action to ask) but everyone else they helped was still trying to get on their feet (it takes longer today), just wait, you will soon.

I wrote a post about a Zenith plant closing when I was a teenager. That was the latter 1970's. It was such an emotional scene, so much crying and hugging in the parking lot. Yes, that experience has stayed with me all of these years. My mother was a teenager in the 50's and even though her dad had to give up farming and go to work in a small manufacturing company, they still made it with one paycheck, 6 kids and no public assistance. Yet, when my mom became a single parent when I was teen, there were too many times we went hungry in the 1970's in the Midwest.

We never told anyone else and I recall times when I would decline an invitation to stay for dinner at a friends house, because I knew my family didn't have anything except maybe canned pea's. God, how I hate pea's. Pea's and spam make me gag every time I think about how many ways we tried to make a meal out of a can of each. That meal was it for the day, usually after the middle of the month. The only food shelf at the time was the monthly government cheese and potato give away. One of my first conscious lessons of sacrifice was when I would buy the cheapest school shoes so that my little sister could have the one's she liked most.

It was out of sheer necessity that I did this when I was teen, even though I knew they were going to fall apart on me too soon. You see, it stopped my sister from going with her friends for five finger discount shoe shopping. I made her promise me not to go every year, once I figured out what she was doing. I made that sacrifice without ever telling our mom why I choose the shoes I did. I put up with the lecture, but it was worth it.

The Pew Research Center say's we Baby Boomers have been gloomy since hitting the twenty something mark. Gloomy? Is that what they call it. I guess I always thought of it as reality. What with the stories about how one paycheck could go farther in the 50's and even the 60's - I can still remember some of that time, maybe we have been trying to find that formula again. Or, maybe we have resigned ourselves to choosing our battles wisely.

So, if a Boomer is a little melancholy, not up for laughing and joking, appears a little stressed some day's but you can't understand why they aren't chipper. Please just reach out and give them a hug. They've been working hard for the three other generations of their family and they are much too proud and much too tired to ever expect a "thanks."

Thank You for all you do Boomers!!!

Baby Boomers: The Gloomiest Generation PewResearchCenter June 25, 2008 "but they also may be related to the attitudes and expectations about life they formed when they were young."

As Gas Prices Soar, Elderly Face Cuts In Aid by New York Times at The Huffington Post July 5, 2008


American Work Life is Worsening, But Most Workers Still Content PewResearchCenter August 30, 2006 "a majority or plurality of respondents in the Pew survey answered worse to all eight questions."


Taking Stock What Can We Learn from the American Axle Strike? By WENDY THOMPSON and CHRIS KUTALIK at CounterPunch Weekend Edition July 5 / 6, 2008 "More defeats will follow if UAW leaders refuse to commit member organizers and money at the scale needed."


Inside the Middle Class: Bad Times Hit the Good Life PewResearchCenter April 9, 2008


Obama: Sounding Like Thomas and Scalia? Jan Crawford Greenburg is a correspondent for ABC News' bureau in Washington DC ABC NEWS Blog July 04, 2008

"But on two of the biggest social controversies to reach the Court this year, Obama, too, sided with conservatives --..."

AND

"But that's nothing compared to Obama's most recent comments about the most controversial social issue of them all: abortion."


CNN: Protesters Interrupt Bush’s Speech At Monticello By Nicole Belle on Saturday, July 5th, 2008

"What better thing can I teach them about free speech than bringing them out here to show them free speech?"

AND

"Dana Palmer stood by the side of Route 20 dressed like Lady Liberty to teach her kids a lesson in free speech."


"No, no to colonization! Out, out you occupier!" By Faiz from THINK PROGRESS July 5th, 2008

"No to America! No to Israel! We reject signing the agreement with the occupation,” shouted devotees."

AND

President Bush will speak on the Republican convention’s opening night in St. Paul, MN. By Faiz from THINK PROGRESS July 5th, 2008
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