Clouds of capitalism
While the national media focus on SARS or the latest picture-perfect yuppie couple embroiled in a heinous-murder mystery, I thought I would use my space this week to provide some statistics about THE REAL SH-T going down—or going up, as is the case with the national unemployment rate, which the Bureau of Labor Statistics just announced has hit 6 percent (the highest in quite some time, for you kiddies out there). People are getting screwed, plain and simple.

Let’s take a gander at facts, shall we?

• The current unemployment crisis started before 9-11. That’s right, back in February of 2001, when Dubya announced his “plan to provide relief to all income taxpayers,” we began to see the downturn: 500,000 jobs lost in the six months between the tax cuts and Sept. 11.

• Thirty-seven states and 173 cities have lost jobs and seen their workforce reduced since Bush took office. Twenty-four cities lost over 4 percent of their workforce (among the worst hit were Boulder, Colo., which lost 16.7 percent, San Jose lost 15.9 percent, San Francisco lost 10.2 percent, Flint, Mich., lost 7.7 percent, Greenville, S.C., lost 6.8 percent).

• More than 2.3 million jobs have been lost since Bush took over.

• More than 73,000 jobs are being lost per month—the worst in the last two decades. The “president” would have to create 141,000 jobs per month in order to not have the worst four-year job record for a president in 60 years. The long-term unemployment rate is roughly 3.3 million, the worst since the heyday of Bush I.

(Statistics provided by David Sirota, communications director, House Appropriations Committee.)

In just 18 months, Americans will go the election booths and hopefully remove one of the most fascist, corporate-owned presidents in our nation’s history. It’s time for the “forward” thinking party (Dems) to get behind their candidate and unveil a new strategy for gaining back young voters and left-wing Democrats who have jumped ship.

But rest assured that we’ll still have the same problems if a Democrat defeats Bush. Maybe if more people read and looked at the course that unchecked global capitalism is charting, they would understand that involvement has never been more crucial than right now in Amerika. But having responsible citizens might require fixing education, domestic jobs, health care and our national media. And that would actually require spending money at home—instead of raiding and bilking the rest of the world. No fun for the ultra-rich Monopoly lords, now is it?

Perhaps the esteemed American actor/whore-lover Charlie Sheen said it best when he wondered aloud in the film Wall Street, “Where does it end? How much is enough, Gekko?” Or something like that.

Weekly props
1. Happy Momma’s Day!

2. Terminal Waste Band and Dan Cohen at Bustolini’s

3. The Erotic Art Show at the Drive By

4. In the mix: Gandalf, The Jayhawks Rainy Day Music

5. Austin Chick’s XX/XY