Category Archives: signs of apocalypse

My friend Dan heckles Mitt Romney, Romney declares “corporations are people too.”

“We have to make sure that the promises we make in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are promises we can keep, and there are various ways of doing that,” Mr. Romney said. “One is we can raise taxes on people.”

“Corporations!” the protesters shouted, suggesting that Mr. Romney, as president, should raise taxes on large businesses. “Corporations!”

“Corporations are people, my friend,” Mr. Romney responded, as the hecklers shouted back, “No they’re not!”

“Of course they are,” Mr. Romney said, chuckling slightly. “Everything corporations earn ultimately goes to people. Where do you think it goes?”

When someone in the front row angrily suggested that “it goes in their pockets,” Mr. Romney, becoming increasingly animated, asked: “Whose pockets? People’s pockets!”

Romney to Hecklers: ‘Corporations Are People’ (NYT)

So not only is this exchange awesome/horrifying in it’s own right, but that handsome man heckling Romney in the above video is my old friend Dan. We went to high school together, he took over the ACLU club after I graduated, and also ran a successful student council presidency campaign on the platform “MAKE SCHOOL LESS F****D UP.”

Go Dan! So happy you’re still fighting the good fight. I’m totally beaming right now & full of CHS pride. Looking forward to the revival of your student council platform on a national scale.

Anyway, Dan’s out in Iowa now working for the Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement so if you enjoyed his performance consider a donation.

The full exchange:

“This is why I’m proposing to make my school a prison”

Nathan Bootz, a school superintendent in Michigan, writes a public letter to his governor:

Dear Governor Snyder,

In these tough economic times, schools are hurting. And yes, everyone in Michigan is hurting right now financially, but why aren’t we protecting schools? Schools are the one place on Earth that people look to to “fix” what is wrong with society by educating our youth and preparing them to take on the issues that society has created.

One solution I believe we must do is take a look at our corrections system in Michigan. We rank nationally at the top in the number of people we incarcerate. We also spend the most money per prisoner annually than any other state in the union. Now, I like to be at the top of lists, but this is one ranking that I don’t believe Michigan wants to be on top of.

Consider the life of a Michigan prisoner. They get three square meals a day. Access to free health care. Internet. Cable television. Access to a library. A weight room. Computer lab. They can earn a degree. A roof over their heads. Clothing. Everything we just listed we DO NOT provide to our school children.

This is why I’m proposing to make my school a prison. The State of Michigan spends annually somewhere between $30,000 and $40,000 per prisoner, yet we are struggling to provide schools with $7,000 per student. I guess we need to treat our students like they are prisoners, with equal funding. Please give my students three meals a day. Please give my children access to free health care. Please provide my school district Internet access and computers. Please put books in my library. Please give my students a weight room so we can be big and strong. We provide all of these things to prisoners because they have constitutional rights. What about the rights of youth, our future?!

Please provide for my students in my school district the same way we provide for a prisoner. It’s the least we can do to prepare our students for the future…by giving our schools the resources necessary to keep our students OUT of prison.

Respectfully submitted,

Nathan Bootz, Superintendent, Ithaca Public Schools

http://gcherald.com/letterseditor/letters-to-the-editor-may-12-2011-issue.shtml

Lapham on Yale’s New Admissions Video

He faulted the new video not for its failed attempt at Sontagian camp but for portraying the university as a kind of summer camp for élites. “It’s a variation on Marie Antoinette in the garden of Versailles,” he said. “I’m surprised they didn’t dress the girls as shepherdesses. In the ancien régime, this is the kind of thing that would have prompted the French Revolution. Are we supposed to send this to struggling youths in Asia and Africa?”

The New Yorker

(For those of you fortunate enough to have missed it, he’s speaking about these 17 minutes of institutionally-sanctioned musical theater hell.)

Yasha Levine muckrakes Cali’s water crisis

When left, right, print, broadcast and mainstream media outlets agree, it has to be true, right? Well, not exactly. Here’s what an end-of-the-year update published in November 2009 by the US Bureau of Reclamation had to say about the drought: precipitation in 2009 was about 94 percent of average in Northern California, which is pretty much the only region that matters since it is where three-quarters of the state’s water comes from.

Ninety-four percent of average? That does not sound like severe drought conditions at all. But don’t tell that to California’s Department of Water Resources, which still has a huge DHS-style “Drought Condition Severe” orange alert plastered on its Web site.

The power of simple fact-checking aside, why would California officials exaggerate — if not outright lie — about the drought? Well, the issue here is less about the drought itself and more about what a drought — real or not — can help achieve. If there is one thing 2009 revealed about California’s “action hero” governor, it’s that he is eagerly willing to serve as the front man for the sleaziest, most crooked business cartel in the state: a de facto water oligarchy made up of billionaire corporate farmers who run vast stretches of the state like their own personal fiefdoms, exploiting migrant workers for slave labor and soaking the taxpayers for billions of dollars in subsidies every year. And like all good businessmen, they aren’t letting a good mini-crisis go to waste. Their objective is to whip up fears of a drought-related calamity to push through a “solution” they’ve been having wet dreams about for the past five decades: a multi-billion-dollar aqueduct the width of the Panama Canal that would give them near total control of more than half of California’s water supplies.

Billionaire Thugs Plot To Steal California’s Water And Everything They Tell You Is A Lie – By Yasha Levine – The eXiled