Cognitive Dissonance

"Democracy! Bah! When I hear that I reach for my feather boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

Posts tagged crisis

18 notes

Rebloggable by Request: Please Signal Boost!

I don’t want to be nosy, but are you doing alright financially? I know you just had your appendix out and had trouble a month or two ago with making ends meet, and you’re too awesome to run outta dough.
 Anonymous

Meg at Cognitive Dissonance:

Thank you for asking! No, we’re pretty shaky at the moment. I had to take nearly two weeks off from work. We will likely have difficulty paying rent on the first, we’re behind on the car payment, and the bill hasn’t arrived yet.

I was going to put up a donation ask once the bills arrived for the surgeon and the hospital. Update: The page is done! I might be able to get some written off, and I had the less-then-stellar Student Medical Insurance from UW, so I’m not sure how much I owe at this point. My in-laws were kind enough to help some, but it’s likely we will fall behind in the next two weeks.

Two steps forward, one step back. And sometimes it’s the other way around. If there is anyone out there who is willing to help us, I would be very grateful. We were just recovering from a pretty nasty financial hit when I needed emergency surgery. If you are able to donate, please use the box on the sidebar, click here, or you can use my PayPal email: meglanker@gmail.com.

I’ve posted a new page via WePay because ChipIn is shutting down on March 7th. I’ll also be keeping readers up to date.

Thank you to everyone in advance. I know we’re going to be hanging off a cliff in the next week or two, and if you want to throw us a rope, we would be incredibly grateful. 

Cheers,

Meg

To read the full story, go here.

Filed under please help signal boost medical bills crisis

55 notes

Occupy Tulsa Denounces Ron Paul and Other Republican Candidates: “Puppets for the One Percent.”

Occupy Tulsa issued on its website today a condemnation of Ron Paul and other Republican presidential candidates, calling them “puppets for the One Percent.” Group organizer Daniel Lee writes, “The Republican Party has worked for years against the working class of this country, promoting crony capitalism and unregulated corporate corruption, handing tax breaks and corporate welfare to the rich, while slashing public support programs for the poor and encouraging the exploitation of the people. Ron Paul is no exception.”

[Lee] continued, “His blatant racism and fanatical support of rampant unregulated corporate greed under the guise of ‘free markets’ poses as great a threat to the freedom and equality of the people of this country as bloated, openly bigoted Republican bureaucrats like Newt Gingrich or the trust-fund club elitists like Mitt Romney.”

Occupy Tulsa, now as ever, does not promote or endorse political parties or candidates. However, it is committed to exposing corruption and cronyism wherever it is found, and it bears a strong responsibility to the people to warn of candidates seeking to adopt a populist stance while promoting the interests of the One Percent, such as Ron Paul. Paul’s strong defense of Mitt Romney’s record as a venture capitalist shows clearly he is on the side of the very institutions which have exploited the American people and ruined our economy. Despite his stance on the war and other popular libertarian issues, Paul’s public social and economic policy would bring this country to a complete state of ruin, and dismantle what little safety net is left for minorities, the poor, and the working class.

As such, his positions are incompatible with the ideals and goals of the Occupy movement, and concerted attempts by Ron Paul groups to co-opt the movement should be taken as a serious threat to the cohesion and unity of the revolution. As always, all individuals are welcome to join Occupy Tulsa as part of the 99%, but it is imperative that the movement remain true to its founding ideals of direct democracy and complete social and economic equality.

I’m delighted to see a condemnation like this for one significant reason - in recent debates and interviews, Ron Paul has begun stating he sympathizes with the plight of the 99%. Notice he also essentially states he empathizes with the one percent as well, using the same language as Romney about punishing success, then typically moves into claims it was too much government regulation which caused the financial crisis. 

If over-regulation were the case, the decrease of government oversight, coupled with the increase in severity of crises and complexity of risky financial instruments, makes for an awfully interesting correlation.

Using the language of populism does not make one a champion of the working class.

Filed under Ron Paul One percent 99 percent politics Occupy Occupy Tulsa populism crisis economy economic crisis

75 notes

I need your help

You folks came through for me in December and for that, I thank you. However, our rent is due and we’re down to our last $40. Our financial aid has still not come through, and there seems to be no one who knows what’s going on at the university. My rent is $725. I did not expect us to still be hurting so badly. If you can help, please do. I don’t know what else to do. I really don’t. I thought it was going to be ok.

Thanks,

Meg

cognitivedissonance:

Typically during Christmas vacation, I’m able to pick up odd jobs and photography work. This year, it hasn’t been coming through. My husband, Andrew, is working full time but it’s not enough. We’re falling behind rapidly in our bills and I’m appealing to the good readers of this blog for help. It’s becoming an emergency - we’re facing possible shutoff of utilities.

I’ve checked with local groups, and they’re stretched thin. Since we have no children, it’s tougher to qualify for assistance. Our families are unable to help, and many of my friends are in the same boat.

So I decided to ask the folks who read and appreciate this site to help if they are able. I know quite a few people are facing the same difficulties we are, and don’t think for one second you should feel guilty for not being able to help. If you can help, you have no idea how much the both of us would appreciate it.

You can help in 3 ways:

  1. If you’re in Central/Southeastern Wyoming and you need help with housecleaning, holiday party prep, etc. - I’m your gal. I’m cheap, email me at meglanker@gmail.com
  2. Need holiday photos on the fly? Visit my site, Meg Simons Photography, and let’s work out a holiday package to fit your needs. I also do engagement pictures, senior photos, pet photo shoots, etc. Travel within a 100-mile radius incurs no extra cost, outside of that is negotiable. Contact information is on the site.
  3. If you live nowhere near me, you can chip in to help. Jobs in Laramie are scarce, and my job as a tutor for the athletic department at the University of Wyoming is essentially suspended until school starts again. The widget below is compatible with PayPal and other methods of online payment. Your kindness will go a long way. (Click here or visit the link on the sidebar.)

We’re doing everything we can, including pawning possessions and selling clothes on consignment. But it’s just not enough. January will be better because I go back to work, and our financial aid will come through. This December is shaping up to be brutal. I will be most grateful for any help you can spare.

Happy holidays to everyone, no matter what you celebrate - or not! And thank you sincerely for reading Cognitive Dissonance.

-Meg

Filed under Please help Personal Thank you holidays crisis

75 notes

I need your help

Typically during Christmas vacation, I’m able to pick up odd jobs and photography work. This year, it hasn’t been coming through. My husband, Andrew, is working full time but it’s not enough. We’re falling behind rapidly in our bills and I’m appealing to the good readers of this blog for help.

I know some of you folks helped me get to the conference in South Dakota, and for that, I thank you. I didn’t want to appeal for help, but it’s becoming an emergency - we’re facing possible shutoff of utilities.

I’ve checked with local groups, and they’re stretched thin. Since we have no children, it’s tougher to qualify for assistance. Our families are unable to help, and many of my friends are in the same boat.

So I decided to ask the folks who read and appreciate this site to help if they are able. I know quite a few people are facing the same difficulties we are, and don’t think for one second you should feel guilty for not being able to help. If you can help, you have no idea how much the both of us would appreciate it.

You can help in 3 ways:

  1. If you’re in Central/Southeastern Wyoming and you need help with housecleaning, holiday party prep, etc. - I’m your gal. I’m cheap, email me at meglanker@gmail.com
  2. Need holiday photos on the fly? Visit my site, Meg Simons Photography, and let’s work out a holiday package to fit your needs. I also do engagement pictures, senior photos, pet photo shoots, etc. Travel within a 100-mile radius incurs no extra cost, outside of that is negotiable. Contact information is on the site.
  3. If you live nowhere near me, you can chip in to help. Jobs in Laramie are scarce, and my job as a tutor for the athletic department at the University of Wyoming is essentially suspended until school starts again. The widget below is compatible with PayPal and other methods of online payment. Your kindness will go a long way. (If widget doesn’t work, click here.)

We’re doing everything we can, including pawning possessions and selling clothes on consignment. But it’s just not enough. January will be better because I go back to work, and our financial aid will come through. This December is shaping up to be brutal. I will be most grateful for any help you can spare.

Happy holidays to everyone, no matter what you celebrate - or not! And thank you sincerely for reading Cognitive Dissonance.

-Meg

Filed under Please help Personal Thank you holidays crisis

106 notes

On the 1% advocating for the 99%

The red and blue is not be taken as representative of political party. However, it IS an interesting breakdown of where the interests of the US Congress fall. Alan Grayson has also pointed to lobbying influence as well. At a 2010 conference, Grayson said, “We’re now in a situation where a lobbyist can walk into my office…and say, ‘I’ve got five million dollars to spend, and I can spend it for you or against you. Which do you prefer?’”

Much has also been made of Occupy Wall Street promoters like Michael Moore being in the 1%, so why don’t they just give away all of their money and make everyone equal, etc… I’m tired of this strawman counter. That’s like telling a group of physicians concerned about the situation in Appalachia regarding medical care to stop advocating for change, and to instead donate all their time, money, and supplies to fixing it, or else they are an illegitimate organization and have no right to bitch.

Moore has given generously to charity, including 60% of the profits from Fahrenheit 9/11, he donates half of his royalties from books sold at local bookstores to local libraries (plus the bookstores running the events have all agreed to donate $1 from their sales price) at each stop on his recent book tour, he works with several progressive organizations and with unions, and began the non-profit, mostly volunteer-run Traverse City Film Festival in Michigan - among other efforts. Here, he further explains his thoughts on charity to Sean Hannity.

So let’s pretend for a moment that the rich redistribute to the jobless of their own free will. Then what? Do jobs magically appear out of thin air? The need never re-occurs?

Moore explains his viewpoint well on being a member of the 1% and fighting for the 99% in a post entitled "Life Among The 1%" [emphasis mine]:

"How can you claim to be for the poor when you are the opposite of poor?!" It’s like asking: "You’ve never had sex with another man - how can you be for gay marriage?!" I guess the same way that an all-male Congress voted to give women the vote, or scores of white people marched with Martin Luther Ling, Jr. (I can hear these righties yelling back through history: "Hey! You’re not black! You’re not being lynched! Why are you with the blacks?!"). It is precisely this disconnect that prevents Republicans from understanding why anyone would give of their time or money to help out those less fortunate. It is simply something their brain cannot process. "Kanye West makes millions! What’s he doing at Occupy Wall Street?!" Exactly - he’s down there demanding that his taxes be raised. That, to a right-winger, is the definition of insanity. To everyone else, we are grateful that people like him stand up, even if and especially because it is against his own personal financial interest. It is specifically what that Bible those conservatives wave around demands of those who are well off.

Anyhow, money is not electing Michael Moore. However, money is electing those who set the policies leading to such wealth disparity in this country. We must pay attention to those who’ve sold us out and continued the same policies since before many in my generation were even born. Campaign finance reform is crucial, and perhaps we should begin rethinking this whole neoliberal, late capitalism thing.

If your biggest bone to pick with Occupy Wall Street is that Michael Moore is advocating for it, we’re well on our way to winning.

(Source: cognitivedissonance)

Filed under Michael Moore inequality politics protest 99% 1% poverty capitalism economy financial reform crisis late capitalism wealth injustice charity

51 notes

The richest 1% of US Americans earn nearly a quarter of the country’s income and control an astonishing 40% of its wealth. Inequality in the US is more extreme than it’s been in almost a century — and the gap between the super rich and the poor and middle class people has widened drastically over the last 30 years.

Meanwhile, in Washington, a bitter partisan debate over how to cut deficit spending and reduce the US’ 14.3 trillion dollar debt is underway. As low and middle class wages stagnate and unemployment remains above 9%, Republicans and Democrats are tussling over whether to slash funding for the medical and retirement programs that are the backbone of the US’s social safety net, and whether to raise taxes — or to cut them further.

The budget debate and the economy are the battleground on which the 2012 presidential election race will be fought. And the United States has never seemed so divided — both politically and economically.

How did the gap grow so wide, and so quickly? And how are the convictions, campaign contributions and charitable donations of the top 1% impacting the other 99% of Americans? Fault Lines investigates the gap between the rich and the rest.

This episode of Fault Lines first aired on Al Jazeera English on August 2, 2011 at 0930 GMT.

http://english.aljazeera.net/programmes/faultlines/

Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/AJFaultLines
Follow us on Facebook: http://facebook.com/AJFaultLines
Follow us on Tumblr: http://ajfaultlines.tumblr.com

Watch this. Now. Share it far and wide.

Filed under Al-Jazeera politics inequality poverty wealth income Wall Street Globalization Capital capitalism Working class working poor labor finance capitalism crisis economy economic crisis public policy deregulation