Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Unforgivable

In the summer of 2003 I made a very grave mistake. The sort of mistake that society has determined to be unforgivable.

You see, I had recently injured my back, I wasn't thinking as clearly as one ought to have been before making a decision that will irreversibly alter the course of the rest of one's existence. But I wanted to be self sufficient. And I had two young children and a wife depending on me to be breadwinner. And I knew that my physical limitations meant I'd have to do something differently, going forward.

I'd seen the ads on TV promising flexible schedules, so I went to see about the opportunity in person. I listened to the slick sales pitch, how it would all be manageable financially. How I would get a degree that employers were looking for. How it was an ever-growing field, with no slow-down in sight. How this was a path to self sufficiently.

And then I made the worst mistake of my life. I signed up for the drafting program at ITT Technical Institute. And I allowed myself to be saddled with $36,000 in tuition.

Early on, I got the inkling I'd been had. It turned out that classes started an hour earlier than was promised, which was a major issue for someone who worked eight hours and got off at 2:00 AM. I seemed to have limited aptitude for the technical part of the work. AutoCAD was familiar to most of my classmates, but we hadn't had it in my High School in the mid 90's.  Despite the "flexible schedules" promise in the television ads, the classes were only offered for my course material at 7:00 AM. And the instructors kept making a point that if anyone left the program early, their loans would be due immediately.

In 2004, I got more of an inkling that I'd made a mistake when ITT corporate offices were raided by George W. Bush's Department of Education.

Despite these obstacles, I managed to muddle through, with the help of outrageous amounts of caffeine, and Graduated with a 3.42 GPA. Then I began looking for work in the industry.  The trouble was, that despite the claims that the recruiter had made, there were didn't seem entry level positions that paid as well as what I was making as a janitor. My back had largely healed by this time, and I genuinely regretted my decision to attend.

Over a month after graduating, I finally found a position that paid a few cents more than my janitorial job. Unfortunately after going to school full time, and working full time, and being a parent part time, for over two years, I just didn't have enough left to learn this new position at the rate necessary. Add to this, that the chronic abuse of caffeine had left my attention span depleted.

It took over a year, but eventually my working errors caught up to me, and I lost that job.  I got rehired by the janitorial company I had worked for before, and tried to put myself back together.  The amount of credit card debt that my household had increased while I was attending ITT Tech, and this continued until we declared bankruptcy and my marriage fell apart in 2010.

And that's where this story gets it's title. Because whereas loans for for-profit colleges could have been forgiven under the bankruptcy code that was on the books when I entered school, by the time I had earned my degree a new law had passed.

TThe Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 passed a few months before I graduated. It included language that made my loans unable to be forgiven, even though at the time my other debts were being discharged, I was living poverty.

I lived in a studio apartment that I had had to clean up in lieu of paying a deposit. I ate mostly refried beans smashed between two corn tortillas and pan fried, because this cost less than $2 a day. I worked janitorial at a local university, and had to park off campus, because I couldn't afford parking fees. I still had back and other physical pain all the time. I had no credit. And I still owed over $20,000 to an entity that should have known better than to loan to a fraudulent predatory educator.

The truly unforgivable part, is that they knew that this fraud was going on when the law passed. I know that because I was attending when the corporate offices were raided. It can only be surmised that they knew this was an economic bubble that would pop, unless they sacrificed a generation of people to fix the mistake.

The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 enjoyed bipartisan support too. In fact, one of the Democratic Party candidates for the presidency in 2020 voted in favor of it, and one that doesn't have any plan to forgive or otherwise help out the victims of predatory educators:

So, regardless of who else is in the running for president, I can never vote for Joe Biden. Because like the worst mistake in my life has been for me, that vote is unforgivable.


Sunday, October 13, 2019

Jubilee

Hey, it’s a national shame
A great hypocrisy
Even a peculiar institution
Updated for the modern day

Under the thumb of subjugation
These generations are just trying to be
The myth we were taught to believe in
That we had the right to be free

But it’s not that simple in practice
With stumbling block of a guilt complex
Told to do better than those before us
With this millstone around our necks

Hey, Heyyyyyyeee!

Olly Olly Oxen Free
Olly Olly Oxen Free
That’s the way that the world should be
Like the year of the Jubilee

Under the thumb of subjugation
These generations are just trying to be
The myth we were taught to believe in
That we had the right to be free

Ignorant; we were cheated
Asleep, we’ve been surprised
Divided; the yoke has been forced upon us
Heavily laden; lest we might try to rise

Too late once we became enlightened
Now awake to the fraudulence
Many factions find themselves united
Disobedient but ever vigilant

Hey, Heyyyyyyeee!

Olly Olly Oxen Free
Olly Olly Oxen Free
That’s the way that the world should be

Like the year of the Jubilee

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Making of a Nothingburger



"The killing of Khashoggi, the way it was done, was meant to send a message... they killed him – violently. They cut him up while he was still alive and then put his body through a meat grinder.”--Ali al-Ahmed [1]

As we have seen plainly in the uncovered phone call that was illegally classified by the administration, this President is more than willing to trade favors to do away with his enemies. [2]  We had already learned of him having Jared Kushner hand over an enemies list to Mohammed Bin Salman Al Saud, with the intent of doing away with those on the list. [3]

And we know very well that--just as he had promised to do for Ukraine in exchange for favors--he sold Al Saud weapons, in defiance of congress. [4], [5]

We know that Jamaal Khashoggi was banned from writing in Saudi Arabia after he wrote criticisms of Donald Trump [6]

And we know that Trump's first response to the news of Khashoggi's demise was to assassinate his character: 
' Representatives of Saudi Arabia say that Jamal Khashoggi was an “enemy of the state” and a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, but my decision is in no way based on that ' [7]

Based on the exposure of Trump's modus operandi during the Ukraine call--and according to his former lawyer, the sort of coding he used [8]--it seems more than likely that he was intimately involved in conspiring against Khashoggi, because the journalist had dared to speak ill of him.

Congress must find the courage to get to the bottom of this!


[1] https://augustafreepress.com/saudis-under-scrutiny-on-anniversary-of-khashoggis-death/

[2] https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/09/26/whistleblower-complaint-against-trump-read-full-declassified-document/3773047002/

[3] https://theintercept.com/2018/03/21/jared-kushner-saudi-crown-prince-mohammed-bin-salman/

[4] https://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-vetoes-bill-that-would-have-prevented-arms-sales-to-saudi-arabia-and-uae/

[5] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lc8L4dQFQK8

[6] https://www.newsweek.com/saudi-arabia-banned-khashoggi-speaking-writing-after-criticized-trump-1226762

[7] https://www.scmp.com/article/2174244/heres-donald-trumps-full-statement-about-jamal-khashoggis-killing-its-636-words

[8] https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/09/28/how-trump-tells-people-do-bad-things/

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Brutish Desideratum

'Tis not for light nor transient cause
Usurpation under guise of law
Peaceful petitions now de facto banned
Redress of grievances left to common hands
Hearts were hardened against the people's call
Arrogance set the mighty up for a fall

A little rebellion now and again
'tis like a storm in the atmosphere
for the Tree of Liberty must
be watered from time to time

A little rebellion now and then
Necessary medicine
better a dangerous liberty than
living as if in the stillness of the grave

When patient sufferance eventually proves
contrary to rights inalienable
The Laws of Nature hold
That some social bonds must dissolve

A machine not quite so blind as balls and bombs
be we martyred, keep our memories embalmed
For necessity impress by Nature's call
By duty's spur our souls absolved

Rather than bind our posterity under subjugation
Better half the world come to desolation
After all, what has artifice improved upon
the innocence manners of Eden.

A little rebellion now and again
'tis like a storm in the atmosphere
for the Tree of Liberty must
be watered from time to time

A little rebellion now and then
Necessary medicine
better a dangerous liberty than
living as if in the stillness of the grave

Monday, May 22, 2017

Parasite

You ask why I'm turning to skin and bones
Got a parasite!
If I'm this young, why do I feel so old
Got a parasite!

Its against the law not to have a home
So better pay your rent or beg for a loan
Either way--You got another... of many parasites!

They build everything so you can't walk to there from here.
They do it for the parasites.
If you pay for a license, they've got a road to go 'round the mess.
Pay it to the parasite!

Put you to work and make you pay for it
two and three jobs to a worker, because they won't hire for shit.
Just build more gilded fences to keep out the starving poor.
Don't let them see... the boated parasites!

They'll keep you working until your final hour.
Because corporations are the new Slave Power!
What medicine rids mankind...of such parasites?

Monday, November 21, 2016

Public Servant

You never thought that you'd be hired
But tragically the fates conspired
Or rather too many bumpkins
are too primitively wired

But now you're on the hook, it's true.
There's no recourse; who can you sue?
The gig is up, you'll be exposed.
The emperor has no clothes.

Don't dare tell us lies! You're the public servant!
Don't you patronize! You're the public servant!
It ain't gonna fly! No, public servant!
It's not a game of disguise! No, public servant!

And we ain't gonna take... No lip... from the help!
No, no, no, no... we ain't gonna take no lip from the help!

You've got a real job for once, you'd better get your sleep
Don't let us catch you up, sending late-night tweets
For disunion looms, you whiny little bitch,
Torches and pitchforks, not trumped-up bullshit!

For your sovereign will take you to task
We the people command; we won't kindly ask
We won't accept your promise of so many Acts
of Tyranny, without a Mask

Don't dare tell us lies! You're the public servant!
Don't you patronize! You're the public servant!
It ain't gonna fly! No, public servant!
It's not a game of disguise! No, public servant!

And we ain't gonna take... No lip... from the help!
No, no, no, no... we ain't gonna take no lip from the help!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Contrasting abortion stance of 11 GOP Candidates -- 11 Sharia Governments

Abortion exemptions of 11 Governments which have Shariah Law:


Saudi Arabia

Grounds on which abortion is permitted:


To save the life of the woman              Yes

To preserve physical health                 Yes

To preserve mental health                   Yes



Kuwait

Grounds on which abortion is permitted:


To save the life of the woman              Yes

To preserve physical health                 Yes

To preserve mental health                   Yes



Qatar

Grounds on which abortion is permitted:


To save the life of the woman              Yes

To preserve physical health                 Yes

To preserve mental health                   Yes



Bahrain

Grounds on which abortion is permitted


To save the life of the woman              Yes

To preserve physical health                 Yes

To preserve mental health                   Yes



Pakistan

Grounds on which abortion is permitted:


To save the life of the woman              Yes

To preserve physical health                 Yes

To preserve mental health                   Yes




Algeria

Grounds on which abortion is permitted


To save the life of the woman              Yes

To preserve physical health                 Yes

To preserve mental health                   Yes



Jordan

Grounds on which abortion is permitted:


To save the life of the woman              Yes

To preserve physical health                 Yes

To preserve mental health                   Yes



Eritrea

Grounds on which abortion is permitted


To save the life of the woman              Yes

To preserve physical health                 Yes

To preserve mental health                   Yes



Comoros

Grounds on which abortion is permitted


To save the life of the woman              Yes

To preserve physical health                 Yes

To preserve mental health                   Yes



Kuwait

Grounds on which abortion is permitted:


To save the life of the woman              Yes

To preserve physical health                 Yes

To preserve mental health                   Yes



Morocco

Grounds on which abortion is permitted:


To save the life of the woman              Yes

To preserve physical health                 Yes

To preserve mental health                   Yes



Source: United Nations

http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/ng-interactive/2014/oct/01/-sp-abortion-rights-around-world-interactive

_______________________________________________________________________


11 GOP Candidates' support same abortion exemptions, based on their statements and/or voting record:




Marco Rubio

Grounds on which abortion is permitted:


To save the life of the woman              No

To preserve physical health                 No

To preserve mental health                   No



Scott Walker

Grounds on which abortion is permitted:


To save the life of the woman              No

To preserve physical health                 No

To preserve mental health                   No



Bobby Jindal

Grounds on which abortion is permitted:


To save the life of the woman              No

To preserve physical health                 No

To preserve mental health                   No



Rick Perry

Grounds on which abortion is permitted:


To save the life of the woman              ?

To preserve physical health                 No

To preserve mental health                   No



Ben Carson

Grounds on which abortion is permitted:


To save the life of the woman              ?

To preserve physical health                 No

To preserve mental health                   No



Rand Paul

Grounds on which abortion is permitted:


To save the life of the woman              Yes

To preserve physical health                 No

To preserve mental health                   No



Ted Cruz

Grounds on which abortion is permitted:


To save the life of the woman              Yes

To preserve physical health                 No

To preserve mental health                   No



Jeb Bush

Grounds on which abortion is permitted:


To save the life of the woman              Yes

To preserve physical health                 No

To preserve mental health                   No



Rick Santorum

Grounds on which abortion is permitted:


To save the life of the woman              Yes

To preserve physical health                 No

To preserve mental health                   No



Mike Huckabee

Grounds on which abortion is permitted:


To save the life of the woman              Yes

To preserve physical health                 No

To preserve mental health                   No



John Kasich

Grounds on which abortion is permitted:


To save the life of the woman              Yes

To preserve physical health                 ?

To preserve mental health                   No


Updated to add:

Donald Trump

To save the life of the woman             Yes

To preserve physical health                Yes

To preserve mental health                   No

More on Trump's anti-choice stance:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQfJpTUYr2Q

_________________________________________________________________________________

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"Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for the profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men: Therefore the people alone have an incontestible unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government; and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it." -- Constitution of Massachusettes (1780)