Daily Archives: March 7, 2011

Last Comic Standing finalist Mike DeStefano dies at 44

Comedian Mike DeStefano, best known for his stint on last season’s installment of Last Comic Standing, died yesterday of a heart attack at age 44.

In a statement, his representative said: “We are indeed incredibly saddened by the loss of this amazing man. He had touched the lives of many with his unique brand of comedy and was looking forward to sharing the same with so many more. Mostly, we will all miss his huge heart and incredibly loving and selfless passion for people. Our friend Mike DeStefano passed away on March 6.”

A former heroin addict, DeStefano had been clean for 11 years as well as HIV positive at the time of his death. Prior to competing on “Last Comic Standing,” the Bronx native had appeared on other shows, including “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” and Comedy Central‘s “Live at Gotham.” The comic was set to take his one-man show “A Cherry Tree” back to his home borough on Wednesday. He had also recently wrapped up a line of sold-out shows called “Drugs, Disease and Death: A Comedy.”

As the world unravels before us, we have decisions to make…

Chris Hedges has posted quite a long article in Truthdig called This Time We’re Taking The Whole Planet With Us. It is devastating… not because it makes up a fantasy of destruction, but because it deals directly with the truth. Here are 2 excerpts, but I urge you to go HERE and read it all… then tell your friends and even casual aquaintences to read it… then look at what is being done in Wisconsin and Ohio and Indiana and other places dominated by Tea Party attackers and decide to join the rest of us in doing something…anything…about it (I recommend listening to Michael Moore’s speech from Saturday which I posted earlier this morning.

These from Chris Hedges:

Civilizations rise, decay and die. Time, as the ancient Greeks argued, for individuals and for states is cyclical. As societies become more complex they become inevitably more precarious. They become increasingly vulnerable. And as they begin to break down there is a strange retreat by a terrified and confused population from reality, an inability to acknowledge the self-evident fragility and impending collapse. The elites at the end speak in phrases and jargon that do not correlate to reality. They retreat into isolated compounds, whether at the court at Versailles, the Forbidden City or modern palatial estates. The elites indulge in unchecked hedonism, the accumulation of vaster wealth and extravagant consumption. They are deaf to the suffering of the masses who are repressed with greater and greater ferocity. Resources are more ruthlessly depleted until they are exhausted. And then the hollowed-out edifice collapses. The Roman and Sumerian empires fell this way. The Mayan elites, after clearing their forests and polluting their streams with silt and acids, retreated backward into primitivism.

As food and water shortages expand across the globe, as mounting poverty and misery trigger street protests in the Middle East, Africa and Europe, the elites do what all elites do. They launch more wars, build grander monuments to themselves, plunge their nations deeper into debt, and as it all unravels they take it out on the backs of workers and the poor. The collapse of the global economy, which wiped out a staggering $40 trillion in wealth, was caused when our elites, after destroying our manufacturing base, sold massive quantities of fraudulent mortgage-backed securities to pension funds, small investors, banks, universities, state and foreign governments and shareholders. The elites, to cover the losses, then looted the public treasury to begin the speculation over again. They also, in the name of austerity, began dismantling basic social services, set out to break the last vestiges of unions, slashed jobs, froze wages, threw millions of people out of their homes, and stood by idly as we created a permanent underclass of unemployed and underemployed.

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Jared Diamond in his essay “The Last Americans” notes that by the time Hernan Cortés reached the Yucatán, millions of Mayan subjects had vanished.

“Why,” Diamond writes, “did the kings and nobles not recognize and solve these problems? A major reason was that their attention was evidently focused on the short-term concerns of enriching themselves, waging wars, erecting monuments, competing with one another, and extracting enough food from the peasants to support all these activities.”

“Pumping that oil, cutting down those trees, and catching those fish may benefit the elite by bringing them money or prestige and yet be bad for society as a whole (including the children of the elite) in the long run,” Diamond went on. “Maya kings were consumed by immediate concerns for their prestige (requiring more and bigger temples) and their success in the next war (requiring more followers), rather than for the happiness of commoners or of the next generation. Those people with the greatest power to make decisions in our own society today regularly make money from activities that may be bad for society as a whole and for their own children; those decision-makers include Enron executives, many land developers, and advocates of tax cuts for the rich.”

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We have allowed the complete and utter greed of the Koch Brothers, huge corporations like Dow Chemical and GM and GE and Exxon Mobil and A T & T… we can go on and add in all the Banks and Wall Street Investment Firms (especially the ones Obama seems to fish in to catch Administration officials instead of looking for the ones who are screwing the folks who voted for him), but it is more frightening the deeper into it we look.

I would never have said this a year ago… or even six months ago… but I am seeing the advantage in being a Socialist and convincing everyone I can to become one, too. It means that we are all economically responsible for each other… and those who decide to suck the marrow from our fettered bones need to be stopped.

If we don’t learn from history, then we deserve to have our news programs filled with coverage of Charlie Sheen and the Royal Wedding and opposition to gay marriage. If we truly believe that teachers salaries bring down the economy while tax cuts are given to the top 1% of our wealthy…people for whom Billions of Dollars are not enough… or that politicians have our best interests at heart when the support more and more military activity instead of spending the money… or even a fraction of it… on solving the economic crisis, then there is little or no hope for us.

Join in. Help. Be aware of what is happening to you as the people YOU elect take away YOUR FREEDOM AND DIGNITY.

Sorry to get so carried away, but I am truly pissed off.

Related Articles

Is our economy a Ponzi Scheme? Activist Post thinks so.

clipped from www.activistpost.com

Economy Hit with the Ultimate Smokescreen: Biflation

You can tell when a Ponzi scheme is approaching its collapse by the increased number of smoke and mirrors needed to cover up the counterfeit foundation of the scheme.
The U.S. government, who already grossly disfigures the real numbers for GDP, unemployment and inflation, is constantly having to twist reality to keep their scheme afloat.
The government recently reported that unemployment numbers reached the lowest point in nearly two years at 8.9%, “sparking optimism” in the establishment media.  Many analysts point to two months in a row of “job growth” as evidence that the U.S. is well on its way to recovery and it should be good news for job seekers.
Try telling that to a random unemployed commenter who responded to the news with the following:

All lies. Why not just up the ante and say the unemployment rate is 5%? The last job I applied for had 440 applicants, many of whom had Phd’s, for the whopping non-living wage figure of 35K.

blog it

So much is being revealed by sites that don’t get covered by the bigtime press (Hell, the NYTimes has been downplaying Wisconsin!).

Looking at the Economy as a whole gives you a hint at who controls the major publications… and they aren’t ordinary folks!

Thanks to the Web we are still getting information and proof that we need… until the biggies find a way to take it from us.

Did you hear Michael Moore’s Speech in Madison on Saturday?

I reproduce it here. Moore was in front of approximately 50,000 protesters as he spoke from the steps of the Wisconsin capitol building. It was brilliant… and related to the economic disaster that has been brought on to our whole country. It’s about half an hour, but I recommend you listen to it all:

Last Friday the Press Sued Scott Walker to Release E-Mails Which He Claims Support his Actions…

Great Seal of the state of Wisconsin

… and, in violation of “Wisconsin Open Records Law and Wis. Stat. § 19.37(1) by withholding the requested email messages and delaying granting access to the email messages,” the Governor has, so far, refused.

This from The Isthmus’ Daily Page:

clipped from www.thedailypage.com
Isthmus newspaper and the Wisconsin Associated Press today filed a lawsuit against Gov. Scott Walker over his office’s failure to respond to open records requests regarding emails received by his office.
“The governor said he had gotten more than 8,000 emails as of Feb. 17, with ‘the majority’ urging him to ‘stay firm’ on his budget repair bill,” says Isthmus News Editor Bill Lueders. “We’re just trying to see these largely supportive responses.”
Isthmus made its request by hand-delivered letter on Feb. 18, a day after Walker referred to these 8,000 emails and about an hour before he held another press conference saying the number had since swelled to 19,000, again mostly positive.
The Associated Press, through reporter Todd Richmond, emailed its request for the referenced 8,000 emails on Feb. 18.
As of today, the governor’s office and his legal counsel have not responded to these requests for records, or provided information on their status.
blog it

So now we wait to see what comes next. Can this criminal Governor do anything to justify his refusal to preserve the negotiating rights of his working citizens? Will the people in Wisconsin further stimulate the workers of the whole country to take a stand against the rich bankers and Wall Street robbers who have made billions while the average Joe has lost job, home and future?

Have a nice Monday.