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Joined: 03 Oct 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:34 pm    Post subject: Society Lavishes on Wealthy; Stiffs Needy (Where's Obama?) Reply with quote

These articles appeared on the same day in the New York Times. While I am not a supporter of lavish social programs, something is badly distorted. There is unlimited money for the greedy; none for the needy. Society totally abandons those in dire need; people who cannot rely upon their parents, community, schools or freinds.

The bank bailouts, when contrasted to the deprivation of resources to the poorest of the poor, to our most vulnerable, show how a vile demagogue such as Obama can be elected.

I was ready to puke when I read this issue of the paper.

A Glimpse Inside a Troubled Youth Prison(link)
THE guard made Edwin a deal.

He was an aspiring ultimate fighter, and he wanted to practice his holds. If he won, he would take the candy he knew Edwin had hidden in his desk. If he lost, he would bring Edwin some takeout from Burger King.

They grappled once, then a second time. The third time, the guard lifted Edwin and flipped him onto the floor, hard, though not enough to cause any lasting injury. But, Edwin said ruefully, “he got all my snacks.”

For Edwin, it was just another day at the Highland Residential Center, a drab collection of run-down cottages planted in a forest not far from Poughkeepsie, N.Y., part of a state juvenile prison system under fire for its abysmal and sometimes dangerous conditions. He spent five months in a small, airless room at Highland last year, sent by a Queens family court on a graffiti charge, after a journey from skipped classes to drugs and alcohol, through counseling programs and failed stints in city-run group homes.

Highland is one of New York’s 28 prisons for youths, most of them black or Hispanic boys from New York City. A state task force concluded last year that the entire system — currently holding more than 800 youths — was fundamentally broken. It now faces a federal takeover and a class-action lawsuit.

Edwin, who turned 18 on Tuesday, was released from Highland in July, and enrolled in a therapy program at Children’s Village, a social services agency in Harlem that arranged for him to be interviewed on the condition that his last name not be published. His story provides a glimpse inside the much-maligned system and, according to critics, echoes those of hundreds of others: He feared for his safety, received little counseling and left no better prepared for life outside than when he arrived there.

By his own account, Edwin was no model prisoner. During his first months in state custody, in a facility near Middletown, N.Y., he fought constantly, cursing at counselors, throwing chairs. Like most youths in state prisons, he had emotional and behavioral problems, including attention-deficit disorder.


But there was often nowhere to turn. In group therapy, Edwin said, “you don’t want to show no weakness” in front of peers. The therapist assigned to him left; a replacement therapist promised she would take care of him. She came back once a few weeks later, and then never again.

It is difficult to confirm some details of his story, since juvenile court records are sealed. A spokesman for the Office of Children and Family Services, the agency that runs the state’s youth prisons, said he was prohibited by state privacy laws from commenting on Edwin’s case.

But in an interview, Gladys Carrión, the agency’s commissioner, acknowledged that Edwin’s account did not surprise her.

“Unfortunately, that is the experience of many young people in the system,” Ms. Carrión said. “I have absolutely no reason to question his individual experience. They deserve better.”
Battle Over the Bailout(link)
February 11, 2010

THE critical lawsuit challenging that mystery of finance known as the Bailout started, oddly enough, with a casual newsroom chat.

Mark Pittman, an investigative reporter for Bloomberg News, had filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Federal Reserve Board, seeking the details of its unprecedented efforts to funnel money to the collapsing banks of Wall Street. Mr. Pittman, sometimes known as Bloomberg’s Yoda for his Jedi-like command of economic issues, had quietly surmised that the Fed was holding tightly to the secrets of the bailout. So he was hardly surprised when, after four months, it had failed to even answer his request. He was nonetheless annoyed. One day, even grumpier than usual, he approached his boss, Amanda Bennett, as she stood talking in the company’s East Side newsroom with an in-house lawyer named Charles Glasser.

“Pittman was this big shlumpy guy and he was wandering around going, ‘Argh argh argh,’ ” Ms. Bennett said recently. “So we asked him, ‘What’s with your FOIA?’ And Mark says — he used some colorful language — ‘They won’t answer us.’ ”

“That was when we all sat down and said, ‘So what do we do? They can’t just get away with not answering us,’ ” Ms. Bennett recalled. “Charles said, ‘You know, I suppose we could just sue the Fed.’ So we went to Matt” — Matthew Winkler, Bloomberg’s executive editor — “and said, ‘What do you think about us suing the Fed?’ ” As she recounted this story, Ms. Bennett punched her left palm with her right fist — precisely, she explained, as Mr. Winkler had. She added, “He loved it.”


While the Fed does customarily release data in the aggregate about its lending — the bank bailout is about $2 trillion, all told — it has always shielded information about specific loans to specific institutions. If released, the documents in this lawsuit would punch directly through that shield: Who got money from the Fed? How much did they get? In exchange for what collateral? And under what terms?

That, said Charles Geisst, a finance professor at Manhattan College, would represent an unparalleled move toward openness. “It would mean that the transparency we now demand from our corporations, for example, would spread up all the way to the Fed,” he said.

In its own briefs, the Fed has argued that such disclosures could “stigmatize” financial institutions by suggesting they were desperately in need of government money and, therefore, weak. In its doomsday scenario, the Fed has worried that these weak banks could be subject to 1930s-style bank runs and that, in the future, even strong banks that were considering taking money might instead retreat in trepidation, preventing the Fed from practicing the already delicate art of monetary policy.


The Federal Reserve has wrapped itself in secrecy since the turn of the 20th century, when a select group of financiers met at the private Jekyll Island Club off the eastern coast of Georgia and, forgoing last names to preserve their anonymity among the staff, drafted legislation to create a central bank. Its secrecy, of course, persists today, with Ben S. Bernanke, the Federal Reserve chairman, refusing to tell even Congress which banks received government money under the bailout. There is also a heated battle to force the Fed to disclose its role in the controversial attempt to save the insurance giant American International Group.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No offense, but the needy did not cough up the dough to get Obama elected. They were too busy with the obesity epidemic.

PS. In case you can't tell, I am sick of overweight people, with cell phones and new cars claiming to be hard up and needing more. Screw the poor. You do not even know what poor is, there is no concept of it in the west. Poverty simply has not existed in this country or the US in living memory.

Obesity used to be a visible cue of wealth. The world is upside down.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kwlafayette wrote:
Screw the poor. You do not even know what poor is, there is no concept of it in the west. Poverty simply has not existed in this country or the US in living memory.
There are real poor. The trouble is that hte demagogues don't really seek to help them since they don't bother to vote. The truly poor have no influence, and the programs designed for them are either totally unfunded or all the money goes to overhead.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes I agree that relative poverty does exist, however I place that at the feet of those caring folks who parasitically draw vast dollars from the cause into their pockets. It is totally counter intuitive to allow some one who is "curing" poverty to make the huge salary and benefits a lot of these folks do. Why in the heck would they actually do something that would cause them to be with out a paycheque, dental, medical, sick leave, pension?
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Society Lavishes on Wealthy; Stiffs Needy (Where's Obama?)

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