I Love Ebola!

I know that democrats, Republicans and corporations love Ebola as well. In fact, they love it so much, they are counting on you to fear it, become obsessed by it and ignore everything else they are sliding by you while their media dangles the shiny keys of the Ebola crisis in your face. Here is the short list of things they want you to forget about:

1. Trans Pacific partnership: This trade agreement will override the constitution, negate congressional oversight, reverse gains on the environmental front and loot the US treasury in favor of corporations. Obama wants to fast track ratification after the election.

2. XL keystone Pipeline: The administration put off a vote on this until after the mid terms. The US will see minimal job gains; in the dozens, not hundreds or thousands. The US will see no benefit in lower gas and oil prices. We are essentially the mule for Canada’s dirty fuel which will ultimately be shipped overseas. The Koch brothers will, however, reap tens of billions.

3. Fracking: With the US essentially a pin cushion for frackers communities are being deprived of water, contamination is on the increase, communities are endangered by radioactive waste from fracking, and earthquakes are on the rise in places that have never seen earthquakes before, like Ohio and Arkansas.

4. ISIS The cost not the war: estimates are for $40 billion annually. Pentagon sources say we could be at war with ISIS for 40 years. Sounds like someone is thinking of long term profits. By last count ISIS was thirty thousand men or so. How did we beat the Germans and Japanese simultaneously in the Second World War with a combined force of about 25 million soldiers?

5. The economy: The administration has hit the markers on traditional economic metrics in the economy, like the stock market and the unemployment numbers. The real indicators are private debt, savings and consumer spending. One is way up and two are way down. 85% of the stock market is is controlled by the top 10% earners in the nation. Your 401k, and those of a hundred million other working class Americans is merely the lubricant to the market and represents a miniscule fraction of the market. What they really want is to get a hold of your Social Security. Think of that the next time you are trying to afford the heating bill and there is one of those regular market corrections!

6. Police Militarization: The issue came to light nationally out of the Ferguson issue. A debate on the militarization and growing brutality of the police was just beginning to take shape in the country right about the time the CDC flew home an Ebola patient. A month later the first patient trundles into a Dallas emergency room. Suddenly Ebola is the greatest threat to the union.

That’s just the short list. There are many more things you should be concerned about before Ebola. I didn’t get to government spying, foreclosures, the banks, the next Attorney general, Global Warming, racism, manipulation of gas and oil prices by the government for political gains, global warming induces invasions by insects destroying crops and soil fertility, corporate and special interest interference of the education system, privatization of government services that drive up the cost and inefficiency of government, and more than $1 trillion in subsidies and tax forgiveness to corporations.

If 50,000 people had Ebola your chances, in a country of 380 million, of catching it would be slightly better than winning the lottery. The wife and I have been playing Lotto for about 10 years, 2 tickets per week and haven’t won a penny. The government says that you can only catch it from exposure to an infected person’s feces…never going to be a problem…having someone vomit on you…avoid that…and blood…if you are living in a Law and Order episode! Relax America. There are even worse diseases that are far more common. Heart disease and strokes kill almost a million annually, mostly because people eat way too much fat and salt, but I don’t see authorities setting up checkpoints to confiscate contraband packs of Kraft Mac N Cheese!

CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. He is currently working on a new book “Shoot Down: An unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com

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Coming to a school district near you…Why California’s decision on tenure is important to you

It is likely that you missed this story; a gaggle of really conscientious kids sued the teacher’s union in California, because these kids feel really, really, really super strongly about their education. These go-getter kiddos realized that it was that thing called “tenure” that helps all those horribly inept educators keep them from that god-given education they so richly desire. And wouldn’t you know it those kids won, and now tenure is over in California, and all those nasty teachers, paid at the top of the scale, as prescribed by a contract signed by the state, can now be fired. The corporate media heralded the win by these 9 great kids over those evil unions who just want to protect terrible teachers. Oh, wait, not so fast!JP-TENURE-master675

Apparently it really isn’t about the kids, and certainly not these 9 little urchins, apparently pulled straight from central casting to divert charges of racism by anti-union, pro-corporate lawyers to cover a high finance, high stakes assault on unions and teachers. Remember how outraged we all were at terrorists reportedly using civilians as human shields? Well, not all terrorists carry a gun, some of them carry a briefcase and a writ.

The case, Vergara v. California, was indeed brought by those 9 school children, but the evidence clearly points to a supreme manipulation by anti-union activists and zealots hoping to inspire a national precedent that would undermine and dismantle seniority, the cornerstone of union organization. A good thing you say, to rid the world of this unfair scourge? Not so fast. The reasons for seniority are many fold, including the achievement of levels of expertise and experience. It is also protection from discrimination, preventing unscrupulous employers from firing workers because of their age, their wage or to rob them of a pension earned over the course of a career.

Behind our 9 blissful angels in California is a veritable who’s who of corporate and white collar attorneys and a couple of billionaires. Heading up the legal team are Theodore B. Olson, co-lead counsel for Plaintiffs in Vergara v. California, and Theodore J. Boutrous, Jr., partners in the law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. Call me cynical that Mr. Olson was Solicitor General of the United States during the Bush Administration 2001-2004, and was part of Reagan’s Justice Department from 1981-84. Why, Mr. Olson just happened to argue both Bush v. Gore cases after the 2000 presidential election, and Citizens United. Now it seems Olson just wants to help out some kids who busted open their piggy banks for a better education.

There is more here, much more, and I am just skimming the surface. The curious thing is whether several of the attorneys on this auspicious dream-team of corporate ambulance tailpipe suckers had trained previously for this very case. Joshua S. Lipshutz and Theane Evangelis-neither of them kids by the way-and both with, you guessed it, Gibson, Dunn & blah, blah, blah both worked for Chief Judge Alex Kozinski of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

That name might not sound familiar to most, although rather comedically Kozinski, appointed to the Ninth Circuit by Ronald Reagan, “maintained,” The Los Angeles Times reported in 2008 “a publicly accessible website featuring sexually explicit photos and videos.” While that isn’t necessarily significant, Kozinski was heavily criticized over Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow, another education issue that was to have national implications. What emerges along with a fleet of lawyers known and experienced in championing power establishment and elites, working to protect companies accused of everything from clean water act violations to sexual harassment and discrimination, is an attempt at precedence destined to assail a teacher’s union near you. And they, in my opinion, are loathe to repeat the travails of past cases.

The organizers are doing this nasty work from behind children. On their website this seemingly innocuous group describes “Students Matter’ as a national non-profit organization dedicated to sponsoring impact litigation to promote access to quality public education. With the help of Students Matter, nine California public school children filed the statewide lawsuit Vergara v. California against the State of California in May 2012 to strike down the laws handcuffing schools from doing what’s best for kids when it comes to teachers.” Sounds like something kids would write to me.1acrap

But this isn’t about teachers union and tenure. It is about much, much more. If left unchallenged Vergara v. California will resonate far beyond education. This will open the door to challenges that could allow companies to openly and with impunity fire older, senior and mature workers because they are nearing retirement, or because they can be jettisoned in favor of lower earning younger workers. While that may, and likely does happen now in the shadows, this ruling opens the door for a virtual genocide on workers with seniority, driving down wages and increasing the gap between the uber-wealthy and the rest of us.

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