Archive for November, 2012

He doesn’t believe in evolution, but when it comes to social Darwinism, well, that’s another matter. Social forces can have their way with the poor and disadvantaged; however Rick, along with his like-minded zealots, won’t lose any sleep over it because these social casualties simply weren’t fit for survival.

What guys like Rick don’t understand, though, is that a mutation will develop such that these poor, disadvantaged folk will evolve into very pissed off and vengeful people with long memories.

You see, Rick, it’s just evolution.

(Greg, this was just for you.)

Advertisements

Union Beach, NJ, Saturday, November 24, 2012. To many people in New Jersey and New York hurricane Sandy is a bad memory. To those living in Union Beach, New Jersey, a working class community on Raritan Bay, it’s an ever-present nightmare, one that I experienced first-hand as a volunteer helping homeowners to clean up the mess they call home.

When I arrived in Union Beach on Saturday morning I was astonished to see how many volunteers where there to help. And I was told that it’s the same every weekend. Whether they were men, women, teens or seniors, they came ready to work and to go home dirty.

This is my work-group. It was assembled by a progressive advocacy organization called BlueWaveNj, which is headquartered in Montclair. See below for contact information.

To volunteer for Sandy clean-up call (201) 247-4668 or email info@bluewavenj.org.

I was also astonished to see how much work still needs to get done. First floors are a shambles and debris is piled everywhere. In the two houses my group worked on we removed water damaged sheetrock, still-soaked insulation, hardwood floors, paneling and a couple of unusable toilets.

This is the first of two houses our group worked on.

Piles of debris such as this litter many of the streets of Union Beach.

While helping one homeowner get a new boiler out of his car, he pointed to a 20-odd ft. boat sitting on blocks in his back yard. He said that storm surge water lifted that boat to the height of an upper story window where he was able to hang on to it as it slammed against his house. Without doubt there are many stories like that in this ravaged town, but the overarching story is that lots of people who used to feel secure about where they live don’t feel like that any longer. Sandy is a bad memory that just won’t go away.

FEMA is on the case.

Food tents serve hot food to both volunteers and homeowners.

Enough said…

I confess to the temptation, when writing about this subject, to write too much. But I won’t because the argument for a third party is simple. Whether a Republican or a Democrat sits in the White House, working class people get screwed. That doesn’t mean I’m unhappy with the election results; quite the contrary. Romney and his fascist/theocratic supporters scared the crap out of me. However, don’t forget for a minute that it was Bill Clinton who pushed hard for NAFTA and Obama who pushed for a free trade agreement with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. In the case of NAFTA the result has been the loss of nearly one million jobs, a wage race to the bottom, and a trade deficit with Mexico. School is still out with respect to Colombia, Panama and South Korea but it’s unlikely to be any different with respect to lost jobs and continued downward pressure on wages.

So this is a class struggle pure and simple, and the Democratic party and the White House need to know that its two fastest growing constituencies, African Americans and Latinos, will not go quietly into the night after elections are over.  As Paul Krugman said, “This newly effective coalition could be shattered if taken for granted.”

Without this coalition no Democrat will ever again sit in the White House.  That makes a third party not only viable but necessary.