||Issue No. 148||16 August 2002|
Interview: Labor Law
Unions: Critical Conditions
Bad Boss: Shifting The Load
History: Peeking Out
Safety: Flying High
Corporate: Salaries High, Performance Low
International: War on the US Wharves
Review: And the Signs Said...
Poetry: Tony Don't Preach
Satire: Latham Dumps Rodney Rude as Speech Writer
The Locker Room
Another Capitalist Party?
Justice For All?
Kill the Photos!
Right Wing Lackies
And the Signs Said...
Just went to view the new "summer blockbuster movie" "Signs". To me, M. Night Shyamalan, the director who brought us the excellent film "Sixth Sense" has created, in all candor, a replica of the standard 1950s sci-fi B movie.
Film critiques aside, "Signs" does offer a parody to what's presently threatening the majority of U.S. families: "Elites". Since these super rich are so far removed from the other 99 percent, they are truly "alien" to us. The aliens in the film, sneaking around using crop signs to signal their ships, reminds one of how the "1 percent" top dogs in our economy operate. As in the film, our "aliens" also have to reveal their "signs" to us--if we dare open our eyes to look.
During the 2001 California "energy Crisis" Vice President Cheney was placed in charge of the committee to "save California's consumer" (for whom?). Their premier recommendation: "build some Nuclear plants" - strange advice for an earthquake prone state, no? Not really, when you hear the name Brown and Root Co. (based in Texas) as the biggest builder of nuclear plants. Guess who they're a subsidiary of? Halliburton Corp. (presently under dark dark clouds of fiscal impropriety). Guess who was the former CFO of good ole (boy) Halliburton? I give you Claude Rains from Casablanca to exclaim: "I'm shocked to find out it was Dick Cheney!"
Lets move to suggestion #2 from this "humanitarian" energy committee. They stated we needed to drill for oil in the Arctic Wildlife Reserve--yet California does not burn oil in its power plants! Guess what committee member gave his okay for this Alaskan drilling scenario? None other than good ole Don Evans, Bush's Secretary of Commerce. What was Don's private sector job before he "volunteered" to serve America? Claude: "I'm shocked to find out he was CEO of Tom Brown, Inc., a billion dollar oil and gas corporation!"
In 1998 Bush Sr. lobbied on behalf of Mirage Casino Corp. (great name hah?) to have Argentina's President Carlos Menem grant them a gambling license. Soon after his efforts, Mirage Corp. "donated" $449,000 to the Republican Party (just in time to help with Jr's "run for the oval"). Poppa Bush also wrote to the Kuwait oil minister, lobbying on behalf of Chevron Oil Corp.-- they in turn donated $657,000 to the Repubs. Senior Strub was retained to speak to the Global Crossing Corp. board (now under dark clouds of impropriety) and earned himself $13 million in stock - the company soon after kicked in approximately one million to the "party of Lincoln". Boy, those "crop signs" are all over the place.
Finally, the Income Study Project has found that from 1983-97, 1 percent of Americans owned 85.5 percent of our wealth. During that period, U.S. personal income zoomed-- yet 4 out of 5 families received a 0percent increase! As far as the stock market: that same 1 percent of our population owns $2.9 trillion of the $3.5 trillion invested in U.S. stocks and bonds. Is this because our working folk are not productive? Well, since 1983 U.S. workers produce more per hour (up 17 percent) while earning less in real wages (down 3.1 percent).
Near the end of "Signs" the family under alien siege are huddled together, securing themselves in the basement. Outside the locked and bolted door we can hear the aliens scampering about, banging and thinking of ways to get at the frightened family.
The film does have a happy ending. Can we say the same for the 99 percent of us?
Philip Farruggio, son of a longshoreman, is "Blue Collar Brooklyn" born, raised and educated (Brooklyn College, Class of '74). A former progressive talk show host, Philip runs a mfg. rep. business and writes for many publications. He lives in Port Orange, FL. You can contact Mr. Farruggio at e-mail: [email protected]
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