Strike by Bryan Adrian 1996
click here for STREET NEWS articles by Bryan Adrian and Seymour Durst
HBO documentary series THE JINX: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst--VIDEO Trailer
The Electronic Whip front pageFor your comments, questions, letters, etc. please check out this website
STRIKE!: "The Song of the Streets", by Bryan Adrian
As the number of our homeless and unemployed increase, our industries and housing infrastructures decrease. If you listen to the wind you can hear the wild call of "merge me!" buffeting through the elevator shafts of many business towers in most American cities. Meanwhile, more and more Americans are learning "The Song of the Streets," in cadences going back to the early slave ships. Take New York for example.
Seymour Durst, speaking from New York City, a house-of-mirrors reflecting many of America's worst social ills, says, "...rent control and zoning make it economically and legally unfeasible for real-estate developers to build affordable housing. Not many poor people benefit from rent control in New York. There are well-to-do insiders here paying almost nothing under rent control for apartments big enough for dinosaurs. Without new housing there is never going to be a solution to homelessness."
"The City of New York holds so much property that sometimes I drape myself with scrolls of their housing foreclosures for tax delinquency, those that give the City of New York possession, to emphasize the extent of cronyism and the degree of larceny here."
"Thousands of small, honest contractors should be given a chance to build small apartment buildings without much of their own investment. Reasonable loans should be awarded quickly to these small contractors, then city Government should just set the zoning and then stay out of it."
Non-immigrant newcomers don't come to live here in New York from other states like they used to in the former days of playwright Eugene O'Neill, nor do enough sincere American arts practitioners of genuine talent, because they seldom are able to find an affordable place to live, nor a decent landlord who keeps up the maintenance on the overpriced property. This syndrome is endemic not only in posh Greenwich Village, but in all the neighborhoods and boroughs of New York City as well, even in the slums. Struggling artists can no longer afford even the escalating rents in the once bohemian East Village. No one in their right mind can afford the layer upon layer of city and state taxes which accrete like fat around the waists of a few giants, their ham-fists grasping nearly all the jewels not yet pilfered in the concrete jungle. These fleshy fists are the direct beneficiaries of rent control, foreclosures, repossession, taxation and real estate subterfuges, and graft.
The Durst Organization
The Durst Organization is a major real estate and development organization run by Seymour's sons, his brother David, and David's sons also. The grand old man Seymour is now out of the real estate fray and remains a wise old enigma within an expanding Jewish-American family, now approaching four generations in the United States.
The Dursts own more than 4.5 million square feet of prime commercial mid-town space worth well over $1 billion. They have planted many trees on the roofs of their towers -- magnolias, Japanese yews, Hollywood junipers, and others -- in a gesture towards ecological correctness, a testimony to Seymour's love of nature (he grew up in the suburbs). The Durst's enormous wealth, unfortunately, does not approach the fortunes amassed by the Reichmanns, nor the Bronfmans, who reside in Canada, nor the Shorensteins of San Francisco, nor George Soros the Hungarian-American gold speculator, nor many other Jewish dynasties in New York City and Hollywood.
Ecological correctness and tree planting, however, in the area of Times Square, including our historic theatres of old Broadway fame on 42nd Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues, is a swan's song. Today this very long and historic strip is a modeling ramp for assorted losers -- exhibitionist pimps, whores, petty crack entrepreneurs and inventive rip-off artists. The rip off artists here, however, show far more talent than the pseudo-revolutionary messages and non-sequitur quips posted in block letters on the dirty and abandoned film and theatre marquees. The last time I looked, these messages, penned by various freelancers hired through the Times Square Development Project, declared existential truths such as, "Go Where People Sleep and See if They're Safe," and "a tourist stopped me in Greenwich Village and asked me how to get to Greenwich Village." These two aphorisms may be the deepest of all the facetious marquee pronouncements placed on the public marquees recently. Some critics friendly to the Times Square Development Project call this "art".
Art it ain't. It's purpose is to pacify anyone who wishes to investigate further into what's really going on with this property that has stood idle for a long, long time at Times Square. Investigations of this nature are very difficult and often lead nowhere. One gets led into a murky and mysterious labyrinth of contracts and records and bureaucrats and gangsters, who no longer fit the Italian stereotype. The subway system under this strip, the Times Square terminus, is painfully underdeveloped and poorly operated, an underground mecca for crime, dinginess, sordidness, overcrowding, odors and exploding tempers. Such a conspicuous mismanagement of tax money and obvious lack of regard for citizens' concerns can't be attributed to the London or Moscow underground transportation networks. Other national capitals would never get away with such a con job over their people. Their taxpayers are not as easily cowed through extensive television and newsprint propaganda and silly hype about the benefits of an On-Line community in cyberspace as here in the USA.
Such rip offs aren't neatly confined to merely Times Square. They are pervasive in the federal government too. Seymour affirms: "the CONGRESSIONAL REPORT shows only a $300 billion deficit. The more than $100 billion borrowed out of government trust funds, particularly Social Security, isn't even counted. They don't count the money they take from the trust funds and Social Security, thus the saying in knowledgeable circles 'you can't trust the trust funds.' Maybe we could coin a new word --- "CON"-gressional Accounting."
"The U.S. Government collects taxes for social security in order to pay it to people when they need it; but then they lend it out to themselves so that when the people ask for it, the government has to tax all over again to regain it. Any Treasury Department that is doing so will prove to be a much greater threat to our country than any other reckless group or individual."
Durst can't sleep in peace until there are remedies for many of our societal ills. Among his dearest pet peeves are: homelessness in America, disuse of real estate property in New York City by bungling bureaucrats, misuse of tax payers money in Washington by careerist politicians, and the abuse and threat of extinction of fine old landmarks and theatres around Times Square and the rest of the nation. What inflames him mercilessly is the obscene layout of idle, languishing or condemned real estate.
New York City
Why is so much property idle, you may ask? According to Seymour, "vast areas of Manhattan are currently zoned for manufacturing in accordance with ancient and outdated city regulations.
These areas could be used to build residential housing. "The number of people currently working in manufacturing has dropped from one million in 1960 to less than 300,000 today, yet we have TWICE the amount -- 20,000 idle acres -- reserved for manufacturing than we had in 1960. That land is doing nothing more than serving as parking lots, or garbage dumps, or worse." [manufacturing jobs are by and large outside the metropolitan New York City area]. Temps, who earn radically lowered wages than permanent employees or union-member workers, are filling most factory jobs nationwide now. They are rarely if ever given insurance, benefits or compensations. The creation of new real jobs in New York City lags behind even the aerospace industry regions in Southern California. Surprisingly, many Americans have been forced to expatriate themselves to China to represent multi-national concerns if they want to keep their positions.
Employment for Americans is up in China, whereas here at home the biggest new employer of downsized Americans are the temp agencies. Temps are being forced more and more to split a 40-hour work week into two 20-hour weekly jobs shared by two temps. This form of underemployment is a quickly growing national trend, two to a job, so the employer can avoid all government laws that protect and/or benefit the Amercian worker. [One of the newest members of the circle of powerful lobbies in Washington is the consortium of temp agency owners represented on the Hill.]
Durst used to write a bi-weekly column in STREET NEWS, the paper to "help the homeless help themselves," before it was driven into extinction by its new management. He readily admits that shelters provided in New York City for the homeless are so terrible that they make even down-and-out mercenary soldiers tremble in fear and repulsion when first assigned a cot for the night. "Shelters for the homeless should be named after each politician who contributes to holding back housing," says Seymour. Babies have been raped in front of their mothers and senior citizens stabbed in the eye with ice picks while sleeping in New York's malevolent shelter system.
The current mayor of New York City has an unpublicized policy now that seems to say, "round 'em up as they sleep in the cold streets or bash 'em in da head," to the law enforcement officials, which forces many homeless families to choose between two evils -- police brutality or a lawless shelter.
Mr. Durst is not alone in his criticisms or allegations. In our age of national communal numbness, there still remain a few primal screams to help awaken us from our coma. Theresa Funiciello, author of, "Tyranny of Kindness," and a genuine reformer and progressive, lends us her vocal chords.
She long ago in a "Nation" magazine article aggravated sundry intellectuals -- especially those adept at sitting complacently on lobbies and corporate boards, yet quite maladroit at toiling in social service departments. In her article she lambasted bureaucratic meddlers:
"Under the rubric of 'helping the homeless,' social welfare empires were expanded and strengthened, careers were boosted and media stars were created overnight, diverting scarce political resources that could have been devoted to solving the real problems. We've made it all but impossible for poor people to represent their own interests in the political forums that could benefit them, telling ourselves instead that the poor cannot or do not know what's best for them."
Seymour ups the ante in such polemics:
"...political people in New York and Washington covet their jobs and thus spend most of their time trying to get re-elected, so as to perpetuate their job."
"Careerism means ineffective government. A man of integrity must contend daily with careerists. I doubt there are any geniuses in Congress who aren't replaceable."
The reforms we desperately need today
A small number of people, however, are indispensable to our government, and we just can't live without them. Not everyone, believe it or not, is owned by a powerful special interest group. The reforms we desperately need today have been extolled for decades already by other reformers.
The Lone Ranger of federal reform, Senator Henry Gonzalez, of Texas, has been virtually unheard of in the media, until only recently, due to his loyal defense of President Clinton over the inanities of the Whitewater Investigation (Bush and Reagan must be having a really good laugh now at the seriousness with which the American public is taking Clinton's frequently publicized "alleged" misdemeanors); nor has Senator Gonzalez been referenced sufficiently by judges in state or federal courts, even though he has championed our constitutional rights and democratic ideals for ages. It might strengthen America, as a people, considerably more, to educate the young in the classroom with the achievements of men like Senator Gonzalez, or with books of the stature of Andrew and Leslie Cockburn's "Dangerous Liaison," and Victor Ostrovsky's two alarming books detailing the Israeli secret police agency, MOSSAD, and its illegal dealings on American soil, rather than forced-fed public school viewings of Spielberg's "Schindler's List," as already indirectly legislated in some of our States.
What has been done with American taxpayers enormous and involuntary cash contributions? Why is it so difficult to walk around anywhere in America and feel proud about the distribution of our wealth, as the Germans, the Japanese, and even the French can easily do? What are the State and City of New York doing to declare Times Square a national landmark? When will taxpayers and subway commuters and train passengers and the few new hires in today's "rightsizing" mania organize under one flag and be able to boast ardently "Look how grand, our government's made a stand ... (through us!)"
Fort Knox to Little Israel
When will we stop handing out Fort Knox size amounts of capital to little Israel (over $10 billion in total tax breaks and assets, not including the sweet deals made on our stock market by Israeli speculators with their many friends on Wall Street), a country of under six million and which the UN has repeatedly criticized for contempt of international law?
What has been done at all to abate the constantly swelling ranks of unemployed and homeless and uninsured right here on our soil, you may ask?
Let's chop this challenging economic and cultural question down to a modest scale first -- and return to the manageble scale of the Times Square model. The Lyric Theatre on Times Square's 42nd Street had it's exterior refurbished at the Dursts' expense in an attempt to save and restore it, and several other broken down architectural ladies of the stage -- including The Old Victory Theater, The Old Apollo, The Old Empire and The Old Times Square theatres -- that are also on this legendary strip.
New York State and City bureaucracies, particularly the State Urban Development Corp. (UDC) and the 42nd Street Development Project, two kinds of merry-go-rounds that protect their own and other Special Interests, condemned these buildings long ago in their first sly step towards ownership. Says Seymour about these city and state agencies, "We had good lawyers, but they had good judges."
Integrity is bought off dirt-cheap today in our courts. Despite this, baskets of uneaten day-old bread are often too much to hand over to poor and hungry outstretched hands in today's gladiator-style, winner-take-all public arena. Social safety nets, including the preservation of our long standing and hard earned cultural achievements, are frequently sacrificed as unworthy or unpopular issues. Millions upon millions of plain folk don't have medical insurance or decent jobs or job training or neighborhood access to the media/press machinery. Cadres of brokers who have the means to elevate the well being of the average citizen laugh off positive social programs, due to their complete lack of community incentives and their undying loyalty to "preferred" clients.
Touch of Civic Pride
The 42nd Street Development Project made a slight effort months back to seek outside funds to save a historic and colorful, fireproofed stage curtain, in one of the old 42nd Street theatres. The curtain depicts a sailing ship entering New York harbor from the Hudson River in 1609.
The New York State and City agencies watched this nearly 1000-pound, retired stage curtain disintegrate for a long time. These agencies habitually show little concern for history or humanity until someone steps in and adds a gigantic private cash donation to their touch of civic pride.
Nowhere in the endless taxation superstructure can the well paid bureaucrats find even one small sack of taxpayer's money to designate for such a restoration. The credo of the agencies controlling the heart of 42nd Street, in it's most elemental form, is "money talks, history walks." It's becoming our new national anthem. Soon this credo will become our national anathema; the legions of unemployed and homeless will soon be singing "Song of the Streets" and walking in organized committees, intent on standing bad politicians on their heads, or better yet, publicly horsewhipping them for their betrayal of the blind faith the electorate had initially placed in them.
Michael Eisner, representing the Disney Empire, did an about-face earlier in his negotiations after he had declared an interest in pouring capital and concrete into the 42nd Street/Times Square power pit.
He made offers to renovate the derelict New Amsterdam Theater, but was quickly discouraged after dealing with the various City and State agencies that control this coveted corridor. The State Urban Development Corp. later found that their interests would make rather good bedfellows with Disney's interests.
What "Beast" this marriage will bring to Mr. and Mrs. John and Jane Doe of Everytown, USA, or to the millions of strap-hangers of the New York City subway system is still to be seen. Shall playwrights like Sam Shepherd or David Mamet see their plays performed soon on the stages of renovated 42nd Street theatres? Or will we get another turkey like Euro-Disney replicated on and on and on, taking us on a fast national ride into a themepark poorhouse?
Some insiders say this strip of land on 42nd Street is sought after more rapaciously by billion dollar takeover operatives than the recent chopping down and gobbling up of Paramount Communications, Inc., a corporation that itself had taken over numerous oil companies, banks, and publishing houses on its way into an obliteration of many small and unsuspecting shareholders' palm- sized nestegg.
The board of directors of Paramount guided the company over the last few years to absorb already-bloated conglomerates, including recent acquisitions Simon & Schuster and MacMillan Publishing. Paramount, among a club of other mega-corporations, has become an exclusive billionaire- merger clique, as it merges further and further, passing off losses to shareholders as stocks take death defying plunges and leave massive hemorrhaging of the labors of American workers in huge pools of bloodletting on Wall Street.
Ask the Japanese Morishita family of Matsushita Company, former owners of MCA-America, why they distrusted their own American executive managers in Hollywood, among them Mr. Lew Wasserman and Mr. Sidney Sheinberg, whose close friend Michael Ovitz served as a trusted go-between (a "nakodo"), and why they discovered little measure of fairdealing in Hollywood- Wall Street dealmaking. The Morishitas will probably illustrate in their reply a universal fear of losing one's pants, and maybe even the household, and everything in the cupboard, to such wolves in sheeps clothing.
Mickey Mouse philosophy
The financial repercussions of so many mergers and theme parks and world wide webs will soon devastate our many little shareholders and be plainly evident on every Main Street across the nation. This is the new Mickey Mouse philosophy of the 90s. One doesn't need huge circular ears pinned to their head to hear and understand the message.
We have our own Wizard of Oz types right here under our noses but never hear anything about media manipulation or economic fascism on American soil. The finger points here in our New York controlled national media only to Berlusconi over in Italy and towards other distant lands, such as Iraq. The foresight needed to ensure our national self-preservation has been blinded -- and our urge for improvement suppressed -- by a type of media control that dangerously approaches a Big Brother commodification and a Special Interest group mania that embraces a form of religious intolerance and fanaticism.
We are now nearly catatonic as a People in our inability to recognize ourselves as a nation of self-determining people -- soon we will be mere slugs crawling in the slime towards every carefully planned media and consumer and special interest lobby concept.
When the Hungarians, Checks and Poles were stepping out of the slumber of communism and into the ice-cold shower of Western consumer economics in 1990, our government and business leaders supplied them with astringent caveats to get their development started immediately -- to rely heavily on the issuance of "free ownership coupons" to their new market economy citizens, coupons that closely resembled the shares we use on our stockmarket; these free coupons were to rejuvenate thousands of disabled factories, public facilities and properties.
Our experts conveniently forgot to heed their own advice. Today it would be a great idea for us to follow, starting at Times Square and radiating outward to all other badly mismanaged public properties, including many cultural landmarks and long standing national institutions that have been "disrespected" by elitist financial manipulators throughout our national landscape.
The Time Is Now Ripe
The time is now ripe to compose the community lyrics to a truly everyman's national musical. Its title shall be called "Give Us Broadway," and it will feature the soon-to-be-hit single, "Song of the Streets." But first we must issue all Americans a small but proportionate sum of free shares (representing ownership) for the stretch of 42nd Street between 7th and 8th Avenues and then "let the market decide its fate."
New York City money dealers and Euro-Disney CEOs have rarely allowed the "market to know best." Planned development through elitist committees, such as Times Square Development Project, State Urban Development Corp., and Disney Inc., we have already seen, brings on the antithesis of free market dynamics. The public never knows what's up or what's falling down, despite the deafening chatter of our tongue lashing talking heads on the TV.
"The contemporary world," says Seymour, "has been shaped by ideologies. In America, television has shortened the attention span, patience, and memory of Americans. It has also made them less self-reliant. Americans as a people don't see until they feel, and only during rare moments do they motivate themselves out of the herd mentality and into action. They need an emotional pull or they remain uninspired. Television exploits and manipulates this national susceptibility." Most of our foolish military campaigns, i.e. Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, la Guerra Malvinas, Palestinian displacement programs, and the Gulf War, are a result of this susceptibility. On a lighter note, Seymour adds, "American humor, however, is one of our better national traits."
American humor has barely a chance to survive as long as television sit-coms suppress and numb our native humor. The large armies of unemployed and temporarily employed have very little to laugh about in general. Television as it is today corrupts one of our most valuable national assets -- American humor -- and plunges us into a spiritual vacuum.
Where can we find today the moral equivalent or inspiration of a Mark Twain or an H.L. Mencken or a Dwight McDonald? Our humorists and critics of talent today are muted by the dissonant music of dueling machine guns in psychotic TV dramas that guarantee big advertising dollars.
Our daily role models are tough gum chewers with big guns that speak in monosyllables. Ours is a very bleak future -- with up to an estimated five hundred cable channels, one will seldom if ever find a meaningful TV drama or a simple productive fable that depicts wisdom, or a moral order to the universe. Lafontaine's "Fables" from the 1600s in France still speak with more vitality and appeal than all our Saturday morning cartoons combined. The so-called "serious" historical docu- dramas produced by the major American networks have at best been mindlessly cartoonish, reflecting the souls of the producers who manufacture them.
Humor Slipping Away
Not only is American humor slipping away quickly. So are optimism and dozens of other native strengths needed to weather our current storms -- tempests which are quickly approaching the dimensions of Russia's difficulties. Any reform or popular program that might lift people up in a wave of enthusiasm for change and improvement is under vigilant and constant assault.
One conspicuous example of the failure of our present day social spirit that quickly comes to mind is the loss of the Jewish-American radical social reform spirit of the 1920s and 30s. Compare it to today's denial and passivity. Scarcely in evidence today, radical reform is going ... going ... gone.
The contemporary Jewish magazine of conscience, TIKKUN, can't be compared to the genius nor the activism nor the unquestionable spirit of self-sacrifice demonstrated in the 1920s. The list of enthusiasms extinct today is long and limp. The insincerities of vibrating lips abuzz with hollow rhetoric thunderclaps throughout both the liberal and the conservative landscape.
Slipping on the Rocks
Perhaps in today's climate only eccentrics like Durst can morally inspire the general population -- all those many Americans slipping on the rocks of current economic uncertainties who need able leaders to find their way toward safer ground -- to take imminent and calculated risks.
We haven't yet at this dangerously late date begun to find the solutions to the problems laid out on the workbench a few years ago by Francis Fukuyama in his book "The End of History and the Last Man." American born and neoconservative trained Mr. Fukuyama is far from finding the solutions, himself. We need more men and women of action who can translate needed social change into practice and initiate the Start of History, unalloyed to Israeli shadow organizations. The urgency to find solutions is painfully critical today.
The endless conciliations of President Clinton's proposals and gestures seem to be well intentioned, but he practices his terribly ineffective compromises on a daily basis. This method worked far better in his pre-Presidential days on his cushy Hilton Head Island retreat among trusted buddies, than in the jaws of the lion where he now resides -- known by the various pet names -- "The Loop" and "Lobby" and "Secret Intelligence Cabalas".
Carried by Military Convoys
It has been duly noted in some government circles, and denied in a Penthouse feature article, that Vince Foster was murdered by Mossad agents because Mr. Foster was investigating parental complaints concerning the suicides of more than a dozen U.S. soldiers who had blown the whistle and reported to their commanding officer their observations of large drug shipments carried by military convoys through interstate highways.
Freedom Fighters We Need This Now
The media is trying to pin this dubious Foster suicide on Clinton instead of investigating the urgent pleadings of the overwrought and silenced parents. Still, Clinton drinks at the same trough as Mossad (U.S. tax dollars) and continues with his empty speeches.
Noam Chomsky, world renowned linguist, contributor to "Z Magazine" and astute political diagnostician, and Ben Bagdikian, author of "The Media Monopoly," are among the few lucid voices in the kitschy theme-park of 1990s America-Lite.
Another penetrating voice is that of Edward Said, author of many books that illustrate the numerous mechanisms of electronic and cultural control that lead us to foolishly think that our chemically flavored popcorn at the movies might be real buttered lobster if only we tried a little harder to play the game.
Our milquetoast Pennsylvania Paul Revere of the 1990s, Edward Hermann, who in a recent article detailed unacceptable excesses perpetrated by the AIPAC Lobby in Washington , has heated up the Letters to the Editor section of several radical and cultural publications. These are the early baby brushstrokes we should take to heart and hand as a nation, and paint our own future modeled on the efforts of the previously mentioned freedom fighters. We need this now more than ever, especially since our President seems to be suffering from a massive hearing disorder, unable as he is to take in the SONG OF THE STREETS.
Anti-Arabic and Japan-Bashing Prejudices
Considering the anti-Arabic and Japan-bashing prejudices whipped up by our ever merging "media monopoly," it seems unlikely that today's immigrants will have it as good as the Dursts and other Americans who have "made it" in the last three centuries.
With our exploding numbers of unemployed and homeless, new immigrants will face severe competition in the brutal realities of our streets. Many will never find or build a home.
Unless more reform minded news publishers and broadcasters, without special agendas, do something socially constructive very soon, we all stand to suffer as the nation weakens more and more from being poorly managed and advised. Our trust has been badly misplaced into the hands of a few owners of nearly all our television, newspaper, film, and publishing and sports institutions.
The Case in American History
It has been the case in American history, by and large, that what is good for the immigrant is good for America as a whole -- for all Americans. Most of our forefathers came here from Europe as immigrants, bringing the same aspirations and vitality as today's new Asian and Arabic mix of immigrants.
The only U.S. citizens who can claim a heritage other than that of an "immigrant" past, are the descendants of black slaves brought here by global free marketeers, and the native-american indians, who were the first hundreds of millions to be forced into retreat and extinction here in this land, long before the modern day expulsion of Gazans and Palestinians from their own homeland. Let's hope the newer tribes that have taken root here, legally and spiritually, are not treated likewise by global free marketeers, and ground down into fertilizer for agribusiness, weapons manufacturers, or any other trans-continental corporation.
We just can't deny it -- Americans will always be fundamentally different than the peoples of European nations on the other side of the Atlantic, and from old cultures, such as China or India or Japan or Palestine, that have historically maintained within their borders a limited number of original and founding traditions and tribes, in contrast to the constantly shedding off of traditions and source cultures of the USA, like a writhing native rattlesnake.
It is our unique identity to be a land of immigrants with no common genetic, nor common tradition-supported, nor common religious bases, and most of our leaders insist we should fight to preserve this pattern. We certainly can't afford, for yet another election, to continue to fight one another, all under the watchful eye of a powerful and unified AIPAC lobby. With some patience, and forceful new leadership, we must struggle against the truly antagonistic forces: homelessness, corruption in high office, special interest groups with awesome control of elected officials, and last but not least the astonishing degree of moral lapse and extreme financial prejudice directed against us by our corporate boards as they entrench themselves on our soil and abroad.
Our duty to aid the homeless, the unemployed, the uninsureds, and to assimilate new legal immigrants into the traditions of our American way of life -- before all of us are discarded or dehumanized -- brings with it numerous benefits to the greater whole.
Thousands of Years of Nomadic Experience
Americans of African descent are to this day still denied equal-access to the well-traveled avenues of opportunity and affluency already rubbed smooth as glass by the better mobilized "minorities" that came here with privileged status, bringing with them thousands of years of nomadic experience and networking skills from other highly developed worlds to our "multicultural society."
Black intellectuals must be constantly vigilant if they dare to even hesitantly question the sanity of FBI or MOSSAD policies on our soil, or the unending banalities and cliches streaming out of our mainstream media, which blindly follows the cult-like obsessions of The New York Times.
U.S.-born second generation Mexican-Americans, their forefathers predating the mythological cherry trees of George Washington's father by many centuries (the old legend of "George cannot tell a lie" was one of our first publicity stunts through manipulated information channels), must still contend with second-class status.
Native American Indians, comparable to the bald eagle in their vulnerability, lack the wings which might enable them to fly away from toxic dumps placed on or near their reservations, or to soar high above the federal agents who periodically harass them over their inalienable freedom of religious expression or their legal veneer of tribal empowerment to operate casinos on their land, a minor victory won through centuries of painstaking treaties, made easier to swallow by unending shiploads of British gin and Barbados rum, made cheaper & cheaper by generations of African black slave labor, since the first Huguenot and Calvinist pilgrim fathers sailing ships.
Homegrown Militant Militia Groups
The Dursts are no longer an underdog. Today they are members of a very well positioned exceptional chosen peoples -- the most autonomous, wealthy and powerful religious-political entity in our republic -- the 20th Century American ruling class. They should serve us well as a lighthouse, shining to all others who land onto our fabled shores, arriving with no more than hope in their pockets and ambition in their eyes.
Without towering models of accomplishment, how could any national group, legal immigrant, or the numerous daily additions to our swelling ranks of homeless, unemployed, and uninsured, manage to climb out of their hole and make it?
Why do so many financially and medically cornered and pinned down people of our nation feel that their lone protectors are the homegrown militant militia groups that rightfully mistrust the intentions of impostures claiming to be representatives of our people, our "government?" These protective groups run a broad gamut, from Louis Farrakhan's black Nation of Islam to the white Michigan Militia. Both black and white sense they are cornered by outside obstructions. They should be on the same team since they are threatened by the same forces.
We Need Intelligent New Programs.
We need intelligent new programs. We need legally prescribed public accountability procedures for our business leaders and government officials. We don't need jobs sold down the river by somebody high in a skyscraper or on a luxury boat, who for indefensible reasons wants simply to improve a "balance sheet," or to service an acronym that rhymes with NAFTA. Nor do we need voodoo healing as the Clintons lull us to sleep with their mantras from Sociology 101 textbooks.
Let's not let special interest groups and unacknowledged networks be the demise of our still promising and no longer in its infancy, nearly 225-year old nation. And let's not let irresponsible government officials play with property and housing and tax-bases to such an extent that people are forced into the streets.
The multitudes of people forced into submission and failure will soon have only the cold electron glow coming from interactive television sets and computer monitors to keep them warm. Cold-blooded social and economic engineers sitting behind bullet-proofed windows with emotionally dwarfed techno-cybernerds will seldom if never step away from their computer screens and into the vortex to help this bewildered multitude.
Nor, should we blindly assist the "information superhighway," now being discussed so uncritically, to become little more than an extension of the housing and employment imbalances already written into our social formulas.
We don't want to see fiber optic cables used by people in despair to hang themselves more effectively. The fiber-optic cable transformation must be legislated for restricted uses only and not for any future national surveillance by big brother oppressive nets -- we must use it for ourselves, on such themes as job training and quality of life enhancement, or to examine the accomplishments of geniuses from the many nations of the globe, or to greatly reduce on-line downloading rates for independent research, unaffected by elite sponsors.
Never before has the prospect of so much invasion of privacy been before us as now, with the ever deepening penetration of information superhighways
We have enough shallow entertainment rubbish in our radio archives alone, not even counting video, at this time to carry us mindlessly through another 200 years. The last thing we need is increased volume in our current inventory. Rock hard laws are needed to protect the privacy of citizens. Never before has the prospect of so much invasion of privacy been before us as now, with the ever deepening penetration of information superhighways. We must in addition immediately enforce anti-trust laws that are already in the law books, to vaccinate ourselves from the succubus of monopolies claiming to be our democratic-minded messiahs.
A Display of Integrity And True Value
Do we want to see abandoned or unused or unrented buildings and/or factories used as Economic Refugee Camps, rather than refurbishing them into adequate and affordable schools, hospitals, homes and venues of employment? NO! All the interactive computer monitor screens in the world don't equal one home or one school that displays integrity and true value, nor one factory that endows a town with a self-respecting livelihood.
We can overcome these most unpleasant of scenarios if we simply step out of our daily routines and join the homeless and the home builders, the humble and the self-sacrificing proud, the conscientious and the caring, in a national chorus, and sing together the "Song of the Streets" to new Broadway melodies and Hollywood lyrics still unwritten, that we compose for ourselves and become, as our Constitution trumpets gloriously to the world, truly self governing -- and not mindless mickey mouses, nor saddled like summer camp ponies by powerful special interest groups, both foreign and domestic.
Alvin Plantinga, a philosophy professor at Notre Dame, says that despite the surface discord, these electronic exchanges will ultimately help people from many religions understand the common ideas that bind them together. "One of the sustaining causes of religious disagreement has been the sense of strangeness, of pure unfamiliarity," he says. "The communications revolution will not wash out the important differences, but we will learn to grade our differences in order of importance." Rached Ghannouchi, an Arab philosopher from North Africa, argues in a Webzine called The Electronic Whip that it is imperative that the inhabitants of the small, networked village the world has become find a way to understand one another. "Otherwise," he says, rather apocalyptically, "we are all doomed to annihilation."