Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Why doesn't the Progressive Review spend a little less time bemoaning the state of the Democratic Party and a little more time excoriating the Green Party for moves that only serve to marginalize their movement? Cynthia McKinney would be laughable if she weren't so pathetic. And a hip-hop artist for VP? - Matthew Donoghue


This seems a little suspect. What are we to make of Japan where a good deal of soy product is consumed and they don't seemingly suffer from loss of brain function with age? - Lars

Japanese-American men who eat a lot of tofu have been shown to have the same memory issues. However, the fermented products, particularly tempeh, have been shown to aid memory.


The thing that pisses me off about John McCain and his supporters is that he admits he broke under torture and gave the position of his ship and his bombing route from it. Which means he wanted to live enough to sacrifice his fellow pilots. So my question is why is it a pampered coward ass admiral's son can have a breaking point but poor people who've struggled every fuckin' day of their lives just to survive cannot have a breaking point?


Col. Joe Kittinger investigated the possibility of escape and survival from a faltering spaceship. During the investigation he made a host of ever-higher jumps culminating in the 102,000 ft record shattering jump, making him the first man in the edge of space and making a record that has yet to be broken. The spin-cord entanglement was from an earlier jump. The last jump was made with a missing glove, but he survived.


In recent days, leading news organizations around the country have reported on the housing policies of Senator Barack Obama, following a feature article published in the Boston Globe which highlighted the example of the Grove Parc Plaza Apartments, a subsidized housing complex in Chicago's Woodlawn neighborhood that we call home.

The Globe Article, while rightly raising concerns about the failure of the private sector to adequately provide for the housing needs of the poor, unfortunately leaves out half of the story. Grove Parc is not just an example of the failures of past policies, but a beacon of hope for the way forward. Tenants have not only stopped foreclosure and the displacement of some 500 low income families, but also brought in new management committed to working with the tenants to rebuild affordable and quality housing for all residents. In so doing, we have highlighted two fundamental principles that both presidential candidates would do well to heed as they finalize their housing policy platforms,- first, the full participation of tenants, who have the biggest stake in housing policy, and second, the guarantee of quality housing for all as a human right and social responsibility.

Millions of home-owners are facing foreclosure. Gas, food and utility prices are sky-rocketing. Thousands of units of public housing are being torn down from New Orleans to Miami to Chicago and close to 500,000 families - including many elderly and disabled - may soon be put out on the streets due to Congress under-funding HUD's subsidized housing program by $2.8 billion this year. Homelessness and poverty will continue to rise until we treat housing as a human right rather than a source of profit for speculators and developers. In Chicago, for example, a recent study published in the Chicago Tribune shows that a minimum wage worker would have to work 97 hours a week, 52 weeks a year to afford a modest two-bedroom apartment. Low-income communities of color, in particular, are being ravaged by this crisis, which extends far beyond housing. Displacement weakens our communities and in so doing makes problems like youth violence and unstable schools even worse. The promise of "mixed-income" communities has been a smoke screen for a set of policies that have involved tearing down lots of housing and replacing very little of it. The people affected by these policies are never at the table when they are created.

While the Globe article raises important points about the problems in both public and subsidized housing, it fails to highlight the role played by massive budget cuts to HUD, which has created a lack of oversight over all HUD programs. These cuts have been carried forth by both parties, and their effects have been made even worse by rampant corruption in the last HUD administration, whose Bush-appointed National Secretary, Alphonso Jackson, recently stepped down amidst allegations of contract steering.

Our nation needs to guarantee the human right to housing for all of its citizens, regardless of income and race, and to ensure that the people affected by policies are active participants in creating them. As a start we call on both candidates to commit to:

Fully fund HUD: The 2008 HUD subsidized housing budget was under-funded by $2.8 billion dollars, threatening to triple the rents of 500,000 families overnight (40% of whom are the elderly and disabled)

Support tenant empowerment and oversight: Grove Parc is turning around because as tenants we are taking control of our housing. We chose a new management company, stopped HUD from foreclosing on our complex, and have won awards around the country for our efforts. Grove Parc is proving that when the people who live in housing finally have a voice in how it is run another future for subsidized housing is possible.

Declare a moratorium on demolition of public housing and foreclosures: Most of the public sees housing subsidies as hand-outs to the poor, not realizing that the vast majority of HUD subsidies go to first time home buyers. Ironically, now both groups are in the same boat, unsure of where to look for housing as banks are bailed out but homeowners are left hanging while the few safety nets that exist continue to be decimated by the current administration.

Create a comprehensiive plan to ensure the human right to housing for all: We hope that the both campaigns will see this as an opportunity to take a strong stand for housing as a human right and to take a critical look at the failure of privatizing housing and the need for strong public oversight and tenant control. Some will undoubtedly use the stories of wasted money and failed housing in the Globe article as justification to further cut these programs. Cutting badly needed subsidies in any housing program, especially in economic times like we are in, is irresponsible, unethical and inefficient, creating many unforeseen costs to society. - Grove Parc Tenants Association


As a recently processed user of cannabis, I believe decrim at this point is at least a step in the right direction. I am hoping to live and experience a slightly less stressful environment. I have yet to see two smokers get up and fight about anything. I have however been privy to the most insightful and enlightening conversations of my life. I recently lost one of the closest, most intelligent smokers I have ever met. So all things considered I am really hoping Obama will meet us half-way and actually start with the decriminalization of marijuana.


This was a definite trend in Britain long before 9/11 and the beginning of the west's Muslim hunt. It was part of the longstanding prejudice there against all dark-skinned immigrants from Britain's former colonies.


The First Amendment allegedly provides for free speech, which would include comments such as the one the victim made. The police are supposed to be protecting the public from criminal activity, not beating them senseless because of a catty remark.


If i could buy into a nationwide government plan I would, but that option is not available to healthy younger people like myself (46 years old single, continuous buyer for 25 years, currently paying $268 a month for Blue Cross, soon to climb to prices higher than most mortgages, at which point I'll have to drop coverage because i won't be able ot pay $800 per month premium at 50+ years of age). I am stuck buying overpriced, state based, constantly cherry picked (private for profit health insurance, so as you can see America is not a land of choice for me when it comes to health insurance


I think giving the other points of view is fine. This is nothing compared to what some liberal educators are teaching in school and hiding behind tenure or the unions.


I'm moving to Canada before they can put me in a cage for not paying a parking ticket. Who in their right mind thinks a person who has committed a criminal offense is going to be rehabilitated by being surrounded by criminals all day everyday? - Bad Bart


We all know that McCain is somewhat limited in his administrative capabilities, so we are truly grateful that McCain has decided to follow the same planning process that the MBA president used in program design and oversight. The primary models used will be the Iraq occupation, Katrina relief response, the Medicare pharmaceuticals plan, Homeland Security, and of course national debt doubling.


At July 16, 2008 8:27 PM, Anonymous furthermore said...

Re; "the thing that pisses me off about John McCain".
What pisses me off about Barack Obama and his supporters is that he rode on the backs of John Brown, Frederick Douglass, James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison, Thurgood Marshall, and Martin Luther King; then he spits on freedom, the Constitution and everything his forbearers fought for because he wants to be fuckin' President.

At July 17, 2008 4:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've found the hip-hop crowd to be more informed and aware than the stale offerings the two corporate parties trot out for President. The Green Party is looking better and better!

At July 19, 2008 8:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I've found the hip-hop crowd to be more informed and aware than the stale offerings the two coporate parties trot out for president". While I agree that it wouldn't be difficult for nearly anyone of average intelligence to be better informed than the two television performers hauled before us every four years, I think it's displaying a fair amount of naivete to really believe that self-indulgent entertainment figures would serve us any better as effective domestic and international leaders. But it doesn't surprise me that the cynicism of the American electorate has grown to a point where many can find it pretty easy to begin buying into such fantasies. I believe it's known as the 'anything looks better than what we've currently got' syndrome, which can be very appealing on the face of it--but I have a feeling a lot of these 'stars' would be just as venal, inept, and stupid as the established politicos. After all, it's largely the same culture of corruption of thought through mindless entertainment that fuels them both.


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