Thursday, May 15, 2014

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Postcard from the End of America: Manhattan

by Linh Dinh / May 5th, 2014
Getting off the Greyhound bus at the Port Authority Terminal, I immediately saw a man in his mid 50′s digging through a garbage can. With his right hand, he held a plastic tray on which were placed whatever edible scraps he could find. Lickable flecks clung to his ample brown beard. Chewing while scavenging, he was quite leisurely with his task and no one among the many people sitting or standing nearby paid him any attention. Done with one trash can, he moved to the next, and since there were so many in this huge building, I imagined his daily buffet to be quite ample and varied.
Like central libraries, bus stations are daytime havens for America’s homeless, but the man described above is a throw back of sort, for his number has dwindled considerably ever since Giuliani decided to hose most of them away. Los Angeles has its Skid Row, San Francisco the Tenderloin, and you can find hundreds of roofless Americans sprawling all over Northwest DC, the showcase quarter, but much of Manhattan has become quite sanitized, purged of not just the homeless but any other kind of poorer Americans, as well as the artsy, Bohemian types, who have mostly migrated to Brooklyn. Pumped up by Wall Street, much of Manhattan has become off limits to all but the super affluent. You can work there, sure, after taking two trains and a bus, but don’t think of moving in, not even into a closet, or curtained off corner of a roach motel-sized, shared apartment. As the rest of the country sinks, this island is buoyed by bailouts and quantitative easing directly deposited into its too-big-to-fail swindling houses, but hey, the Bangladeshi cab drivers and CUNY-graduated waiters and bellhops also get their short stacks of nickels and dimes, so don’t bitch, OK? Dwelling in this Green Zone, it would be easy to think that this country’s near collapse is but a ridiculous rumor.
Speaking of Gotham cabbies, only 8% are native-born these days, and pointing to this fact, Pat Buchanan blames the liberal welfare state for the decline of the American work ethics. What he ignores is that the terms for driving a cab in New York are so bad, even many Pakistani immigrants have stopped driving. Instead of pocketing a share of each fare, most drivers must rent their vehicle at a fixed rate, so that they may even lose money at the end of a 12-hour shift. Thanks to an increasingly superfluous supply of labor, however, you can always get someone to do anything, and this is the direct result of having a porous border in a sinking economy. Globalism is not just about exporting decent jobs, but also importing cheap labor until everyone everywhere makes just about nothing. That’s the master plan, dude, so although ningĂșn ser humano es ilegal is self-evidently true, it’s also a smoke screen to make slaves out of us all.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Media Pile On

Don Sterling Yes, the Empire NO!
by Phillip Faruggio / May 4th, 2014
Let me preface these new thoughts by stating that what another billionaire says or does because he feels ‘above the rest of we serfs‘ is never surprising to me. What Don Sterling, owner of the Clippers basketball team, said and implied is murmured to this writer many times by many people… always in either whispers or in secure settings. Racism is alive and well in Amerika, as it always has been since our founding. What cracks me up is how much television and radio time is reserved for this latest “major scandal”. One can understand the sports media jumping all over this incident. Yet, even they have devoted too much time in bombarding us with what this man said, past and present. Enough already! Oh, yes! The league is suspending him for life from the game, but… he will keep ownership of his team. But wait! They may push him to sell… for over $500 million for a team he bought for less than $20 million. Poor Don Sterling.

▶ Zero : An Investigation Into 9/11 - YouTube

▶ Zero : An Investigation Into 9/11 - YouTube

Friday, May 2, 2014

Lessons Learned as I Prepare for Retirement

I have looked forward to retiring for years. The idea of having control of my time to do what I want sounds about as good at it gets. As an obsessively organized person who likes to have a bit of control over things, I am not comfortable adopting a wait and see attitude, especially when it comes to something as important as planning for my retired life. I don't want to let retirement just happen. I want to do what I can to provide for the best second act possible.
About four years ago I began seriously researching retirement. I visited popular websites, read books, subscribed to newsletters and joined AARP in an effort to get a better handle on what was ahead. During the process I created a blog to share my discoveries and get feedback from those navigating their own personal retirement journey. What I have learned has caused me to adjust some of my initial perceptions and raised my optimism for the future.