• For a long time, I’ve been referring to the ugly suburban-sprawl developments that us Vermonter’s can have to see from the highway as we pass through Williston as “American settlements“.  My point has never been to down-play the horrific “Israeli settlements” in Palestine or to pass an unconditional judgement on the folks who- for what I’m sure are a variety of reasons- find themselves living in such an encampment (hey, I grew-up in the suburbs outside of NYC, though admittedly the houses were a whole heck of a lot more, er, modest than what seems to be typical these days).  More so, my point has been first to quickly articulate what everyone I know thinks of such housing tracks- that they’re ugly, wasteful, inefficiant, and an intrusion (and perversion) of all that Vermont and Vermonter’s are.  Secondly, I like this little coinage of mine because it helps, I think, to put a more visual and understandable context for us all about what people are talking about what we hear from the newsmedia this entirely foreign and Greek term- “Israeli settlements”; it’s tossed around endlessly but no one ever bothers to mention what the actually of it is.  It’s a housing development people.                                                                                                                                             Anyway, I do have a point here.  The reason I got thinking about all this is because, well, the U.S. just essentially nationalized the home-lending industry here.  I think this is huge for at least two reasons: first, the propaganda/journalists as mouth-piece angle; it’s like a feeding frenzy in the press and from the government lips when Venezuela nationalizes their energy industry, or Russia does the same.  But somehow, that one word, nationalization, fails to make most of the stories (certainly most of the ones I’ve read, seen and heard).  “Government take-over”, “bail-out”, or “rescue” seem to be what this story is all about.  And this, of course, is partially because that word is used so effectively as BS PR when the pigs at the top of the heap don’t like something and don’t want us to like something.  But the even bigger story here, that no one in the oh-so-pathetic Forth Estate seems to be willing or able to write, is the multitude of ways that this action by the Feds shows so clearly how fucked the idea of “free markets” and “market solutions” really is.  Truth be told, what floats out there in the “free market” is either a “success” in that it makes a few people really fucking rich while destroying the planet and exploiting the hard work (and lives) of others, or it is a “failure” that must be nurtured, protected, and coddled by the State.  Now, if we were to allow ourselves the imagination to abstract the State bureaucracy and functionaries out of the picture here and saw before us a system of socialized lending, in the hands of the public for the good of the public, well, then we might be on to something.  At any rate though, the failure of virtually every aspect of the capitalist economy- and the subsequent regulation, “bail-out”, etc which almost inevitably saves said hemisphere, is proof positive of capitalism’s reliance on the State (and subsequently, the shear stupidity of the neo-con “free market” rhetoric as well as the libertarian right’s diarrhea of an idea of economics).

 

  • In the house-keeping department, I added a link to Integral Liberties to your left.  He doesn’t seem to put-up new posts very often, but when he does they’re beautifully written and quite good.  And hey, another anarchist interested in integral ideas?  he was probably as surprised to find me as I was to find learn of him.  Definetly worth popping over to check out.
  • For you presidential election junkies: I just want to quickly relay a story from a friend of mine in town visiting from Las Vegas, where she’s been working tirelessly for the past couple of years organizing nurses and hospital staff for SEIU.  She told me how, before the Nevada caucuses, and before her local (about 5,000 people) endorsed Obama, Clinton sent in to their union offices, of all fucking people, a known union-buster who just before starting to work on HRC’s campaign had sent thousands of striking janitors in Houston, well, down the drain, to the SEIU offices to say “give us your endorsement”.  Juxtaposed on the Obama people, who came in saying “what are the issues on the ground for your people”, well, I can’t say it’s a mystery that they chose to endorse who they did.  As B.S. as presidential elections are, I will at least say that I’m glad that that mentality didn’t win nomination.
  • So, while I’m at it, I will remind you of my prediction for the presidential election:  Obama, with at least 55%.  I was getting a bit nervous after that Palin convention speach, and I’m still a bit un-easy now with national polls giving McCain a 1% lead (less than the margin of error, mind you)… but I’m sticking to my guns on this one.  I know Vermont’s a bubble, and I’ve been all around this country, many, many times, and I see and hear what plays out in the media ad nauseam, but I just can’t wrap my little brain around the idea that Obama and his 10,000 + person crowds is really going to loose to grandpa McCain.  By the way, no disrespect to you personally, grandpa, who would certainly be a better prez than this joker.
  • Finally, if I seem to get a bit grumpier over the next few weeks (especially during the beginnings of the week), I apologize in advance.  I cherish football season more than any other sport, but being a Dolphin fan (don’t ask) does not do any good for my blood pressure.  Don’t worry, the start of basketball in a couple of months should help calm me down.
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