February 27, 2011


H/T to K E Harelston, and RyanHarveySongs

A call to the Wisconsin National Guard to refuse any orders to fight against working people.

Alternative Currency: BitCoin

For more info: BitCoin.org

And if you think this is totally insane, check out this episode of This American Life:

This American Life: The Invention of Money

I'm still suspicious of it, only because I haven't had a chance to think it all the way through yet. I'll tell you what I do like about it:

*It's decentralized, meaning that bankers cannot control it. Because there are no bankers.

*The money supply supposedly cannot be fiddled with. It will increase steadily over time, until it reaches a cap. Which means that it is not subject to inflation or deflation.

* It's not backed by anything other than trust, much like our own fiat money supply, except credit doesn't need to be artificially borrowed from Goldman Sachs, er *cough* I mean, the New York Federal Reserve Bank... which means that the value will not fluctuate based on the availability of some arbitrary mineral resource like gold or silver.


VIA Dandelion Salad

by Ralph Nader
The Nader Page
February 25. 2011

The large demonstrations at the state Capitol in Madison, Wisconsin are driven by a middle class awakening to the spectre of its destruction by the corporate reactionaries and their toady Governor Scott Walker.

For years the middle class has watched the plutocrats stomp on the poor while listening to the two parties regale the great middle class, but never mentioning the tens of millions of poor Americans. And for years, the middle class was shrinking due significantly to corporate globalization shipping good-paying jobs overseas to repressive dictatorships like China. It took Governor Walker’s legislative proposal to do away with most collective bargaining rights for most public employee unions to jolt people to hit the streets.

Republicans take rigged elections awash in corporatist campaign cash seriously. When they win, they aggressively move their corporate agenda, unlike the wishy-washy Democrats who flutter weakly after a victory. Republicans mean business. A ram rod wins against a straw all the time.

Governor Walker won his election, along with other Republicans in Wisconsin, on mass-media driven Tea Party rhetoric. His platform was deceitful enough to get the endorsement of the police, and firefighters unions, which the latter have now indignantly withdrawn.

These unions should have known better. The Walker Republicans were following the Reagan playbook. The air traffic controllers union endorsed Reagan in 1980. The next year he fired 12,000 of them during a labor dispute. (This made flying unnecessarily dangerous.)

Then Reagan pushed for tax cuts—primarily for the wealthy—which led to larger deficits to turn the screws on programs benefitting the people. Reagan, though years earlier opposed to corporate welfare, not only maintained these taxpayer subsidies but created a government deficit, over eight years, that was double that of all the accumulated deficits from George Washington to Jimmy Carter.

Maybe the unions that endorsed Walker will soon realize that not even being a “Reagan Democrat” will save them from being losers under the boot of the corporate supremacists.

The rumble of the people in Madison illustrates the following:

1. There is an ideological plan driving these corporatists. They create “useful crisis” and then hammer the unorganized people to benefit the wealthy classes. Governor Walker last year gave $140 million in tax breaks to corporations which produced the $137 million deficit for this fiscal year. Note this oft-repeated dynamic. President Obama caved to the Minority party Republicans in Congress last December by going along with the deficit-deepening extension of the huge dollar volume tax cuts for the rich. Now the Republicans want drastic cuts in programs that help the poor.

2. Whatever non-union or private union workers (who are giving ground or losing jobs) think of the sometimes better pay and benefits of unionized public employees, they need to close ranks without giving up their opposition to government waste. For corporate lobbyists and their corporate governments are going after all collective bargaining rights for all workers and they want to further weaken The National Labor Relations Board.

3. Whenever corporations and government want to cut workers’ incomes; the corporate tax abatements, bloated contracts, handouts and bailouts should be pulled into the public debate. What should go first?

4. For the public university students in these rallies, they might ponder their own tuition bills and high interest loans, compared to students in Western Europe, and question why they have to bear the burden of massive corporate welfare payouts—foodstamps for the rich. What should go first?

5. The bigger picture should be part of the more localized dispute. Governor Walker also wants weaker safety and environmental regulations, bargain-basement sell-outs of state public power plants and other taxpayer assets.

6. The mega-billionaire Koch brothers are in the news. They are bankrolling politicians and rump advocacy groups and funding media campaigns in Wisconsin and all over the country. Koch Industries designs and builds facilities for the natural gas industry. Neither the company nor the brothers like the publicity they deserve to get every time their role is exposed. Always put the spotlight on the backroom boys.

7. Focusing on the larger struggle between the people and the plutocracy should be part and parcel of every march, demonstration or any other kind of mass mobilization. The signs at the Madison rallies make the point, to wit—“2/3 of Wisconsin Corporations Pay No Taxes,” “Why Should Public Workers Pay For Wall Street’s Mess?”, “Corporate Greed Did the Deed.”

8. Look how little energy it took for these tens of thousands of people to sound the national alarm for hard-pressed Americans. Just showing up is democracy’s barn raiser. This should persuade people that a big start for a better America can begin with a little effort and a well-attended rally. Imagine what even more civic energy could produce!

Showing up lets people feel their potential power to subordinate corporatism to the sovereignty of the people. After all, the Constitution’s preamble begins with “We the People,” not “We the Corporations.” In fact, the founders never put the word “corporation” or “company” in our constitution which was designed for real people.

As for Governor Walker’s projected two-year $3.6 billion deficit, read what Jon Peacock of the respected nonprofit Wisconsin Budget Project writes at: http://www.wisconsinbudgetproject.org about how to handle the state budget without adopting the draconian measures now before the legislature.

February 26, 2011

Working People vs Wall Street part 2

Now, I never aim to inspire defeatism, but today I aim to inspire disillusionment, which is a very different thing. I think we can all agree it’s a good thing to be without illusion, and right now there are far too many of us who believe in this illusion that the folks at the top got their through legitimate means, and maintain their position through legitimate means, that The Man’s game is a fair one.

The Man? Yeah. Normally, I don’t like abstractions like this, but for the sake of understanding our economic situation, I find it’s easier to understand if we lump the so called “captains of industry” together into one entity. If we lump the Wall Street Banks, the Globalist Chemical Companies, the Globalist Factory Farms, the Military Industrial Complex, everything that isn’t Labor, into one entity. Because it really is, us versus them.

Right now we’ve got a Republican President who is pretending to be a Democrat, and we’ve got a Republican Party who is trying to send our nation back to the time of Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle.” We had a regressive corporate shill in Clinton who totally fucked working people of America over with NAFTA and the WTO. We had regressive corporate shills in GW Bush and Reagan who busted unions and rolled back labor protections, environmental protections, consumer safety protections, all in the name of the fuckers at the top making shit loads of money while you die of cancer because of their pollution in your air, water and soil.

An illusion we need to dispense with is that we all share equally in our nation's prosperity, that a rising tide lifts all boats, as it were.

Truth is, as the rich get richer, we get poorer, which is clearly demonstrated by this chart you can view over at StateOfWorkingAmerica.org

The lower 90% of Americans, by income bracket, have actually seen their mean wages decline since 1977, while the top 1% by income bracket, have seen their income balloon wildly, seeing their already absurdly high income triple, while our income has declined. We’re working more today, for less money.

Another illusion is that most people you know are middle class. This is bullshit, pure and simple.

Most people who think that they are middle class are actually working poor, and hover just above the poverty line.

I see the Tea Party protesters out there in Wisconsin, complaining that they don’t have a right to organize, or to strike, or to call in sick. Well, dipshits, it’s because you don’t have a fucking union. If you had one, YOU TOO could enjoy the right to strike, and would probably get higher wages. Instead of pissing and moaning about how the Union Labor gets all the bennies, why don’t you get off your lazy ass, risk getting fired, and through months and months of hard work, organize a union and get a better standard of living for yourself?

And to the Union Labor in WI, who is saying publicly that they’re willing to negotiate all their benefits away... This isn’t a time to be negotiating. This is a time to get aggressive. Shit is getting serious, people are losing their homes, the whole fucking economic system is collapsing, and people are suffering. This is the time to go for the whole goddamn cake.

Why? Well, there’s something you should know:
It was never in the plans for you to make any money, to make anything of yourself.
It was never in the plans for anybody but the rich, the REALLY rich, to get ahead in life.

That is an illusion started with the Horatio Algers stories of rags to riches. We love these stories here in America. They show real life examples once and a while as fluff peices on the nightly news. But these cases are extreme statistical outliers, you’re more likely to get rich playing the lotto than by working hard and keeping your head down. It doesn’t matter that it’s never going to fucking happen to you. The Rags to Riches story still a cornerstone of the American Dream. But Horatio Algers wrote fiction, and dreams are fantasies experienced while asleep.

You are poor. How do I know? I don’t. But by pure statistics alone, I’m certain you are. You might be in denial about this, but the truth remains, you’re poor.

You’re just one severe illness away from being homeless, and losing everything, but maybe you don’t know it. There are middle class people, people with insurance, who get cancer, cap out on their claims, lose everything, and die homeless. And with cancer rates rising every passing year, this is lottery game you’re far more likely to win.

Unless things begin to change, and I mean REALLY CHANGE, you're going to be poor FOREVER, too. And your kids are going to be poor. My generation is the first generation that will do worse than their parents. Not because we’re lazy, but because the free-market economic system is collapsing in on us, and we’re being forced to take shittier jobs, without union protection, without benefits, with lower wages. Thanks to NAFTA and the WTO, my generation has to compete with children in China who are literally working for rice. We have to compete with workers in Mexico who get paid 7 cents and hour. Unless we change things, we’re going to keep getting poorer and poorer.

When you get poorer, the rich get even richer.

How? That’s just the rules of the game. The game called “Free Market Capitalism.”

The Super Rich, the parasites down on Wall Street, they own the whole goddamn Monopoly game. They own the playing board, they own the shoe and the thimble and the scottish terrier, they own the dice, and they own the money. They are The Man. We all play by their rules. Don’t beleive me? Have you checked your credit score lately? Oh, it doesn’t look so good does it. Maybe that’s because you have too much credit card debt. Or not enough credit card debt. Or maybe you don’t pay your statements off fast enough. Or maybe you pay your balance off too fast. Or maybe it’s just all just fucking bullshit set up by the bankers on Wall Street to control your spending habits so they can steal even more of your goddamn money by making interest off of your debt.

So, What are the rules?

The rules go like this: you work for them your whole life, give up every waking moment to earn that money that you so desperately need to stay alive, and then when you get it, you pay rent back to your capitalist master for permission to keep living. So that you can keep living to do what? To keep working, until you get too old to work and become either social securities problem, or if social security is gone by then, you become your kids problem. And if your kids can’t support you because they’re competing against workers in Mexico who get 7 cents an hour, then you end up on the street curb with the rest of the trash that nobody wants.

You’re a fool to think that the money you earn is ever really yours. That money is owned by The Man, and he’s only lending it to you temporarily, so that you THINK you’re making progress. They’ll take it back from you soon enough. And no I’m not talking about taxes. The Man gives you just enough of their money so that you stay just happy enough, or just confused enough, that you don’t fully realize you’re being totally fucked every moment of your life.

Every breath you take, they are snatching their money back from you. You want to buy food so you don’t starve to death, you pay The Man. You pay Kraft Foods, Inc and you pay Con Agra and you pay Monsanto. You can’t get to your job by public transport so you have to buy a car. You get your loan to buy your from The Man.

The Man charges you interest on this new debt you just created, and The Man immediately begins to trade your debt with his buddies, as if it were money.

If time is money, it stands to reason that money is time, and when you are in debt, you owe your time on this earth to the Man. When the man is trading your debt like money, what he’s really doing is trading your life away. He is selling derivatives on his ownership of your every breath. He’s trading in futures of YOU, with the implicit guarantee that you’ll keep slaving your sorry ass to the bone so that The Man can turn more profits, because you promised to give The Man back all the money he just gave you and then some.

So now you’re working for The Man for free. How does it feel to be a slave? Shut up, go watch TV. Don’t talk politics. How dare you question America, the greatest best country on earth that god ever gave to man? Gave to man? Or gave to The Man?

February 25, 2011

Working People vs Wall Street part 1

Right now in Wisconsin their Koch Brother funded, dick-wad Governor is trying to strip public employees the right to organize. What’s hidden behind the awesome demonstration in which labor has occupied the capitol building, is the fact that the labor groups have conceded to every budgetary demand, except losing their right to organize. Gov Walker won’t budge, proving that this is about one thing and one thing only: Union busting. And any attack on unions should be viewed as a full-on assault on the middle class.

This is class warfare motherfuckers.

America, we’ve been so scared shitless, and so willing to compromise away everything that we have, we’ve got nothing left to bargain with and so now begging just to hold on to our last shred of dignity. And even then we’re trying now to parse that last shred into slivers and use them as bargaining chips. We have been so passive, that we have allowed all the gains won by the labor movements of the 1920s and 30s, the socialists of the midwest, and the wobblies and the communists during the 1940s... all of it to be taken away.

Our forefathers in the labor movement must be rolling in their graves.
They were beaten, shot at, and died for your right to a 40 hour week.
They were beaten, shot at, and died for your right to a weekend.
They were beaten, shot at, and died for your right to organize.
They were beaten, shot at, and died for your right to overtime pay.
They were beaten, shot at, and died for your right to safe workplace conditions.

These are all things that we take for granted. But to get even these little consolations, they had to be beaten, shot at and killed.

February 17, 2011

So This Is America...

I just learned through friend, former colleague, and current head of New Hampshire Peace Action, Will Hopkins, that 71 year old former CIA intelligence analyst Ray McGovern was arrested and brutalized for wearing a Veterans For Peace t-shirt at a speech by Hillary Clinton.

The irony is, of course, that her speech is on the subject of oppressive governments who beat and shoot protesters.

Now, you're probably thinking, "well shit, he must have been screaming and yelling like a Code Pink lady to get hauled out, right?"


By the account over on JusticeOnline.org he did nothing but wear a t-shirt.

So this is America:

Said Will Hopkins, "[I] just watched the video of two cops roughing up Ray McGovern at a Hilary Clinton event. Made me ill. [I] don't even want to admit that the administration I helped get elected is so callous and brutal. It's Ray McGovern, he's 71 and devoted his whole life to this country. A more honest and true patriot there has never been, and for standing and turning his back quietly on the brutality of our nation, he was beaten and thrown in jail."

According to JusticeOnline.org's report, he was then roughed up by police. The guy is 71 years old for fuck's sake. Is it really nessecary to rough up an old man? According to McGovern's attorneys he was left bruised and bleeding in his jail cell.

So this is America.

In order to export Democracy and Freedom overseas, does that require us to disassemble it here at home first?


A more full account of the events from VotersForPeace.org is here:

February 13, 2011

Obama: Worse than Bush?

With Bush, at least liberals and DNC apologists knew that the person in the White House was trying to fuck us over.

So today, February 13th, it’s been reported in the AP, that an administration official says that Barack Obama is proposing to cut $100 billion over ten years from Pell Grants.

What happened to the state of the union?  What happened to “investing in our future?”  How is it that Barack Obama is still being supported by Democrats, liberals, and progressives? 

Well, here’s how this is all going to go down:

First, actual progressives are going to raise a red flag and say, “WHAT THE FUCK?!  THIS IS BULLSHIT!”

Second, the conservatives with step in and say, “OBAMA ISN”T GOING FAR ENOUGH! WE need to cut pell grants entirely.  Let the free market decide who needs an education and who doesn’t.”

Third, with this new conservative foil to play against, mindless DNC apologists are going to step into the fray and defend Obama and thus defend these massive cuts to college education. They’ll try to tell you that it’s not as bad as it seems, or that it would be worse if Palin was president, so we should just shut up and be happy with what we have, and that actual progressives are just a fringe minority who don’t know what we’re talking about.

This dialogue will play out in the media so that the national dialogue becomes whether we should cut Pell Grants by $100 billion over ten years, or cut them entirely.  The progressive position of “why the fuck aren’t we raising taxes on the rich, and cutting military spending?” Doesn’t fit into the dichotomous narrative of liberal vs conservative, and so it doesn’t get heard.   Because it’s a position that’s only advocated for by “fringe wackos who don’t know what they’re talking about.”

When it ends up being “only $100 billion” that's cut, the DNC apologists will say, "phew! It was a tough battle, but we won!  Let’s pat ourselves on the back for this victory!"

And the rich will continue to to get richer, just like under the Republican.
And the middle class will become working poor, just like under the Republican.
And the number of the poor will continue to grow, just like under the Republican.

Time to say hello to the cool people! A big thank you to:
James Sullivan
Sophia Batchelor
Brian Bergman
Gina Dennis
Stephen Totten
Patricia Pool
Maike Both
Jason Dawson
Michelle Duffy
Patti Ellis
Billie Rae Lucoff

These are people who make my videos possible. If I can get to 60 subscribers, I will be able to afford to do these videos on a weekly basis. If you would like to become a regular supporter, please go to my blog at PunkPatriot.blogspot.com and subscribe. thank you.

February 10, 2011

If you're never willing to lose, you're never going to win

Ralph Nader discussing a possible run in 2012 for president.
When he discusses all the bullshit that third party candidates have to go through just to get on the ballot, he seems pissy. But, I don't blame him. I feel pretty pissy myself. It's kind of like how in Egypt other parties are allowed to run, except they are disqualified for technical reasons.

February 5, 2011

The Punk Patriot Performs an Experiment

Hi there. It’s been a while.
I’m a little fuzzier than last time we talked. I know you might have liked me better clean-shaven, but it’s cold outside, so I ask that you just put up with it.

So a little housekeeping to start. I want to point out that in a past video, I said that congress would never pass a repeal of DADT. Some of you asked that I make a retraction. So here it is: I was wrong about that, and I’m glad to be wrong about that. Now I can say things like “Shouldn’t all our soldiers be allowed to marry whomever they want?”

However, I don’t feel I’m wrong that both parties use wedge issues to fire up their base, and that neither party actually cares about these wedge issues. When Republicans rail against illegal immigration, and then it turns out that they have illegal immigrants working at their mansions as full time staff, that’s not hypocrisy. That’s just flat contempt for the stupidity of the voting population. When Democrats say that they care about poor people, but refuse to talk about Single Payer healthcare, or a living wage, that’s not their playing to the middle. They just don’t care. They’ve got corporate dollars to chase after so that they can fight the next election battle. Which brings me to another point I would like to develop more in a later video-- the real power center of the USA isn’t in Washington, DC. Those familiar with the term, “Soft Power” will recognize that the place where the bulk of the nation’s decisions are actually made is on Wall Street, in New York City. Protesting in Washington DC to be heard by congress or the President, is like yelling at a McDonald’s cashier about the rain forests being cleared for cattle in Brazil. It might make you feel better, but the kid behind the counter isn’t the person making the decisions for the company. He’s only there because that’s where he gets his paycheck. His job is to sell you on the idea of buying the apple pie... which isn’t even really an apple pie, but some sort of strudel in a cardboard box. and Ain’t that America?

One more item of housekeeping. This video is sort of an experiment. I want to see if actually want me to keep making these videos or not. If you do, please subscribe over at my blog for whatever level is right for you. We can work together on this. If I can get say, 60 people to subscribe at $10 a month (that’s $2.5 a week) I’ll be able to afford to quit my job, where I’m currently working 54hrs a week, and find part time work. I can also start making a Punk Patriot video every week.
Currently, I have 5 subscribers at the $10 a month level. They are awesome people who get it. Thank you to: Maike Both, Patti Ellis, Jason Dawson, Michelle Duffy, and Billie Rae Lucoff.

Others are saying, “Wait! Didn’t you get rich with your YouTube Partnership and your thousands of views on your last few videos?”

No. Due to a glitch, google ad-sense never linked with my YouTube channel, and I was never able to collect my massive monthly paycheck of a whopping 38 cents in ad revenue.

And now some of you kids who think everything on the internet should be free, I want to tell you something-- things in real life aren’t free. And if I’m going to work all the time so that I can afford to stay alive, then I won’t have time to make videos. So if you’re okay with that, please don’t donate, and I’ll go away.