Not long after finishing the previous post, the earth in these parts shook. Stuff in my apartment shook, especially my "tower" fan. For a couple of seconds I had that queasy feeling I had in a quake in Boston back in the eighties. It seemed to stop, but things kept on swaying. I looked out the back door and saw a large tree limb had fallen. It wasn't big enough to have made the place shake, though. There were multiple posts on ibrattleboro.com. News wires lit up. You'd think that it was a slow news week and the starving reporters were descending upon their prey.
Buuuutttt, if you look around just the tinniest bit, you'll find stories like "USA becomes Food Stamp Nation?" As it turns out, over 46 million US citizens have, oh, what was the phrase? , “food insecurity”. That's 15% of the population. And that's an increase of 74 percent since 2007, when the poor already knew we had a problem on our hands. Last year, the US spent $68 billion on the program. Some time back the neo-con Republicans suggested giving the states block grants as funding The grants would mean the states couldn't, say, be able to stretch to cover disasters, unless they paid for it on their own dime. But what it really means is that the federal program is in the power broker's view. Just remember - it's not that they want a piece, a share - it's that they want the whole thing.
Also reported today: the US Department of Agriculture has refused to ban sugar laden soft drinks from Food Stamp eligibility. The USDA was noted as saying that it would be too big and complicated to implement. In addition, the department had concerns over its "potential viability and effectiveness."
Say WHAT? Get the feeling this idea pissed off major money? Are they really so enamoured of collecting big sales, raking in the attendant medical costs, and etc., and so on and so forth, or are they fattening us up like Turkeys on their way to Tanks giving? Whatever they're up to, the question isn't if they will be using those 30 million surveillance cameras that have been installed since 9-11, the question is why they feel that they need them.
Another story I read this morning: did security businesses and their attendant sales and services suddenly multiply? Or can I still get in? Video surveillance is about a $3.2 billion dollar business - and that was in 2007. The msnbc senior editor writing this then noted: "Although advanced security measures are now commonplace, they are rarely being used to nab would-be terrorists. Instead, security cameras often serve other purposes, such as catching students or workers who are misbehaving, or tracking down common criminals." The article went on that "In the wake of Sept. 11, and thanks also to technical advances, it’s become far more commonplace for companies to use devices such as keystroke trackers, which monitor everything you type on your computer."
On the ABC Network news at 6pm there was an interesting bit of footage. A judge dismissed the attempted rape and assault charges of Dominique Strauss-Kahn (former head of the IMF) on a question of the credibility of the Maid who brought the charges. Never mind that there are several such charges which have come to light. As Mr. DSK exited the building, he had to push through a growing crowd of maids. They were there protesting. There were a lot of them. They were black and Hispanic..
Direct quote: "Strauss-Kahn's lawyer Benjamin Brafman described the encounter in his luxury suite at the Sofitel Hotel in Manhattan on May 14 as quick and consensual. "She was a willing participant," he told Reuters in an interview. Assault was implausible largely because "she towers over him," he said."
Didn't we already fight all this out in the 1960's and 70's?
And then there was this little bit about the teenage family members who went on a crime spree. Mug shots got released I guess.
They were compared to Bonnie and Clyde. When those two were in their day, the Depression had changed the poor's situation considerably. People were going mad, losing their minds. Look at the stereotypes above. From the left, there's a sulking smoldering look right out of the gang movies of the 1950's - or to be more precise, the 1970's when the movies made those same figures (anti)heroes. The middle one has gone bug eyed crazy, like a movie psychopath of the late 1920's and early 1930's. The woman looks to be in charge. And she looks like an especially diabolical mass murderess on a tv show. Kinda like the depression and prohibition eras, huh? Do you suppose they were entertainment for those 30 million surveillance cameras?
What's it all imply? That the poor expand into a larger underclass, the rabble (Marat we're poor) who are expendable? That there will be riots in the streets? That they know they're going to need those surveillance camers? Maybe they are counting on the war+ business trainee soldiers of the Mideast wars to put down "terrorist" uprisings? Translation : they are preparing, getting ready. And what have any of us done lately?
Before I forget, a little after the earthquake, when things had settled down, I heard a woman screaming "Get away from me." I looked out the window and saw her walking north on Putney Road. She was wildly gesturing while she talked, engaged in discussion. I shifted around to get a better look. She was still talking. I looked to see to whom. There was no one there.
August 23 is the 235th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 487 days remaining until the end of time.