Thursday, December 30, 2010

One Step Forward, Two Back,0,4869113.story

Now Powelson's son, identified in court papers as T.G., is one of 20,000 students across California whose mental health services may be in jeopardy in the new year because of a line-item veto by the governor. In October, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger slashed $133 million in funding for what are known as AB 3632 services, a 25-year-old program that requires state and local education and mental health agencies to jointly provide education-related mental health services.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Rant On, Charlie

If we often define "freedom" in entirely political terms, we will understandably focus on the recent assault on civil liberties, notably in the United States. Yet in today's all-encompassing, profit-driven Marketplace (erroneously termed a "society"), most people are "indefinitely detained" in economic servitude. Abjectly dependent upon imperious corporations for survival itself, an employed person readily sacrifices his first and fourth amendment rights in order to earn a paycheck in the privately-owned workplace.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

An Army Against One

Several police patrol units went to the Oak Lawn Hilton this afternoon after learning that a man who brandished a gun at his former workplace in Ford City in Chicago was in one of the hotel's rooms, authorities said.

Before police could locate the man, he had turned the weapon on himself in an attempted suicide, police said. According to hotel manager Rick Harmon, the man survived the attempt and was transported to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn for treatment and a psychiatric evaluation.


Police officers prepare to enter the Oak Lawn Hilton this afternoon. (Chicago Tribune/Warren Skalski)

Before arriving at the hotel, the man reportedly created a disturbance at his former employer in Ford City by brandishing the weapon and then leaving behind a suicide note, authorities said.

There was no barricade situation at the hotel, and no hotel guests had to be evacuated, authorities said.

"At no time during this unfortunate incident was anybody at the hotel at risk," Harmon said.

Both the Chicago Police Department and the Oak Lawn Police worked together to keep the situation under control and contained. They did not even draw their weapons at any time during the situation."

-- Wendy E. Normandy

Monday, December 20, 2010

Joy To The World,0,3428487.column

Regardless of the time of year, Americans are stressed, and often it's job-related, experts said. Three of four Americans surveyed this year said they experienced an unhealthy amount of stress, according to the American Psychological Association's 2010 Stress in America survey released in November. The association didn't provide comparison figures for earlier years but said stress has been a continual problem for the last several years.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Dismally Hard At Times

And what is CBT?

It is a form of talking therapy that encourages depressed patients to exchange their self-destructive thoughts for healthier ways of believing and acting.

It is the modern equivalent of telling people (gently) to shape up, smarten up and take responsibility for their own lives.

Except that you could not possibly convey that time-honoured message with such stark clarity these days. Apparently, we are all too fragile to hear such sage advice: the shock might send us rushing to the medicine cabinet.

That is a terrible shame. All the antidepressant drugs and therapy-speak in the world cannot take away the simple, honest fact that life for all of us can be dismally hard at times.

For most of us, though, the healthiest option is to face our problems vigorously, rather than disappear down a black hole of antidepressant dependency.

That is an especially important message to spread during this economic downturn. Times are getting harder.

But instead of grasping for tablets, we would be far better off being encouraged to rely on our own resources — positivity and self-reliance.

Read more:

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Anti-American Feel Good

America, Y Ur Peeps B So Dumb?

f you hang out much with thinking people, conversation eventually turns to the serious political and cultural questions of our times. Such as: How can the Americans remain so consistently brain-fucked?

Joe Bageant is author of the book, Deer Hunting With Jesus: Dispatches from America's Class War. (Random House Crown), about working class America. He is also a contributor to Red State Rebels: Tales of Grassroots Resistance from the Heartland (AK Press). A complete archive of his on-line work, along with the thoughts of many working Americans on the subject of class may be found on ColdType and Joe Bageant’s website,

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Lab Rats

Duh. Didn't See It Comin':

Increasing levels of information overload from computer and smart phone screens cause a “bottleneck” in the brain and prevent any deep thought, according to Nicholas Carr, former executive editor of the Harvard Business Review.

His comments add to the weight of evidence that our addiction to technology and the snippets of information it provides is damaging our ability to apply our power of thought in a meaningful way.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Waiting For Flying Saucers

Live Bait & Ammo #160: Waiting for Flying Saucers ?

UAW President Bob King and his corporate partners at GM, Ford, and Chrysler-Fiat will blame the competition they’ve rigged on workers and relentlessly degrade them into believing they are worth less and less as profits rise. That’s not a guess, it’s the drill.
History lessons must be revised before the profiteers of war and labor are able to con workers with the same old lies. We have to be literally vigilant. The most common words in the con man’s lingo are “free” and “lucky”. As in, you are lucky to have a job but you are free to quit if you don’t like it. Unless, of course, you’re enlisted. In which case, you defend freedom while the lucky sit home and collect dividends. The only reason we have enough volunteers in Afghanistan today is because there isn’t enough opportunity in the land of the free. It’s an old story.
When the Confederacy failed to acquire enough volunteers, they instituted conscription with exemptions for important people. Slave owners decided slave owners were too important to fight in the war to defend slavery. The Confederacy granted one exemption for every twenty slaves owned. Thus, a plantation master with one hundred slaves could have an exemption for himself, his three sons, and a nephew. It was, as workers said back then, “A rich man’s war and a poor man’s fight.” Men who refused conscription were hung. Their property was confiscated and friends and neighbors were warned not to help the draft dodgers’ women and children.
Today, working people in the south commonly sport the rebel flag. They’ve been conned into believing that the Civil War was about some principle other than the privileges of slave owners. Through a revision of history, they’ve come to believe that defending slavery was a war for freedom. In fact, the only thing free was labor. Slavery, which provided free labor for the rich, depressed wages for all workers regardless of color. White southern workers not only got screwed, they fought for the honor of getting screwed, and some of them are still defending that honor.
Sometimes the truth is too painful to admit. When facts defy our cherished beliefs, something has to give. We can reject the beliefs we were taught, or we can reject the facts and alter evidence to sustain beliefs that bolster a more glorious version of events.
On December 21, 1954 Marian Keech and a small cult of followers gathered on a hill expecting that the world was going to end and that they, the true believers, would be rescued by flying saucers. When the world didn’t end and flying saucers didn’t appear, Marian and her followers claimed that their faith had saved the world from destruction. Faith can dominate experience because beliefs are not bound by hard facts or natural law. The supremacy of belief over reality is self perpetuating.
We have our own true believers in the UAW. They still believe Bob King and his enforcers have our best interests at heart when they claim that concessions save jobs and workers have to be more competitive. UAW members who believe this Concession Caucus boilerplate are like the workers who fought to defend slavery while the slave owners drank sweet tea on the verandah and cheered them on. One has to wonder where they’ve been for the past thirty years.
How many more times will American workers be conned into “A rich man’s war and a poor man’s fight?”
A goldfish lacks foresight because a goldfish doesn’t have any memory. Every time he swims around the bowl, the view is brand new. The struggle against oppression is a struggle against denial and the tendency to forget painful memories. America invaded Iraq because America forgot the Gulf of Tonkin.
- Gregg Shotwell

Friday, December 3, 2010

Technology Noose

There's A Place For Us...:,0,603742.story

Her classmate Krishna Mundada, 17, of Vernon Hills, said he witnessed others being bullied, insulted and even stalked on the site.

"It only brings out the coward in people, and it's only making matters worse for everyone," Mundada said.