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MARX: A HERO FOR OUR TIME? — Suddenly, everyone from the Wall Street Journal to Rolling Stone seems to be talking about Karl Marx. Louis Proyect delves into this mysterious resurgence, giving a vivid assessment of Marx’s relevance in the era of globalized capitalism. THE MEANING OF MANDELA: Longtime civil rights organizer Kevin Alexander Gray gives in intimate portrait of Nelson Mandela and the global struggle of racial justice. FALLOUT OVER FUKUSHIMA: Peter Lee investigates the scandalous exposure of sailors on board the USS Reagan to radioactive fallout from Fukushima. SOUTHERN DISCOMFORT: Kim Nicolini charts the rise of Matthew McConaughey. PLUS: Mike Whitney on the coming crash of the housing market. JoAnn Wypijewski on slavery, torture and revolt. Chris Floyd on the stupidity of US policy in Ukraine. Kristin Kolb on musicians and health care. And Jeffrey St. Clair on life and death on the mean streets of an America in decline
According to the 2000 census there are over 105 million households in the U.S., containing an average 2.59 people each. The median household income is $37,000 per year (for the 2.59). Doing division, that works out to around $14,000 per person. Taking all things into consideration, does one honestly think that anyone earning that little […]

Time for Real Change

by Philip Farruggio

According to the 2000 census there are over 105 million households in the U.S., containing an average 2.59 people each. The median household income is $37,000 per year (for the 2.59). Doing division, that works out to around $14,000 per person. Taking all things into consideration, does one honestly think that anyone earning that little per year should accept:

–seeing our tax dollars pay for stationing our army and navy all over the world? Plus billions for high tech armaments and a "defense shield" that will never stop terror attacks anyway?

–allowing private enterprise to continue to profit off of lighting, heating and cooling our homes? (The CEO of Florida Power & Light took in over $36 million for himself in one year, as rates kept going up.)

–officials, with Enron and Global Crossing as flagships, using corporate dollars to steer our "ship" of government in their direction? I might add that the recent campaign finance reform bill does little to "harness" those elites. having to shell out, on average, $4,000 – $5,000 per year per family for inadequate medical coverage through private insurers? And how about the 44 plus million out there with zero health coverage?

Mark Twain realized what would continue to transpire when he gave us his brief and poignant definition of the purpose of government: "to protect us from the crooks and scoundrels".

Look around you. Are we protected?

In certain "nicer" neighborhoods, many are protected from the poor fools who prey upon anyone to buy that next "fix". Yet, who protects us from a banking system that strangles the homeowner for $300,000 on a $100,000 sale, through a mortgage system that reeks of feudalism? A banking system that, in many instances, charges depositors to visit with a teller, or call for account information. You bounce a check, they hit you with a $25 or $30 charge. You need to cash a paycheck at your employer’s bank? They can hit you with a $5 fee.

Where is Twain’s "protector government"? Out to lunch with Kenny Lay perhaps?

Confucius said "you succeeded because you tried again". Its time for the general public–those of us earning anywhere in shouting distance of that median level–to demand entry into the political process. If more of the "least protected" made our presence felt, locally first, statewide next, and finally nationally –these politicos would have no recourse but to listen. If a few hundred residents of any community showed up at a city council meeting, behind one common issue, changes would begin to occur.

If a few thousand voters sent notice to their statehouse rep, on one common issue at a time, changes would begin to occur. If tens of thousands of voters sent notice to their Senators on one common issue at a time, bombarding them with phone calls, faxes and e-mails, priorities would begin to change.

In the 60s we did tune in on one truth. We said "you’re either for us or you ‘re against us." I say "you’re either for a true democratic republic, or you’re against it!" Think wheat, not chaff!

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, he runs a manufacturing business and writes for many publications. He lives in Port Orange, FL. You can contact Mr. Farruggio at e-mail: brooklynphilly@aol.com.