Thursday, April 12, 2018

Remember The Maine

One hundred twenty years ago the battleship USS Maine exploded in Havana harbor killing 260 of 400 crew members. The Maine was there to serve the campaign of ridding the American neighborhood of Spanish imperialism in Cuba and Puerto Rico. The emerging US imperialist clique blamed Spain, claiming they blew up the Maine with a mine. The US didn't need no 'stinkin' investigation which would have revealed a fire that ignited the Maine's ammo stocks. Two months later we declared criminal war on Spain, garnering our first empire of Cuba and Puerto Rico nearby, and the Philippians and Guam in the Far East. We slaughtered about 300,000 Filipinos who took umbrage over the new imperialist defiling their country.
One hundred and twenty years on we're still ginning up war with rush to judgement claims of a Syrian gas attack, likely a 'false flag' event by Syrian rebels, if not a non-existent event. Candidate Trump made utterly insincere noises of tamping down America's raging militarism round the world. Now as president, after already tasting blood from his April, 2017 bombing of Syria over another non-existent Syrian gas attack, he's getting ready to light the fuse again. Trump is smart enough to know the real power in Washington is the war party....and that war is the health of the state.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Roskam tax cut plank he won't tout to voters

One of the major threats to achieving world class education is the student loan crisis. While many industrialized economies provide easy financial access to higher education, the US has becomes a student loanshark's dream. Usury interest rates approaching 7% have saddled 44 million current and former US college goers with $1.5 trillion in debt; an average over $37,000 per student. But the greedy money lenders weren't satisfied. They lobbied my congressman Peter Roskam (IL-6) and his tax cutting, deficit busting Republican buddies to strip away one important financial safety net for cash strapped student families. Roskam's Tax Cut and Jobs Bill Act, better named the Deficit Busting Rich Man's Tax Windfall Act, inserted a provision to decrease second mortgages to pay for college costs. How? By eliminating deducting interest on such home loans if used to pay for college. The advantage of such loans had been an interest rate less than half of student loans. Additionally, such loans were included if bankruptcy occurred. Not so with student loans which follow the hapless student borrower to the grave. Disregard for the student loan crisis, which degrades America's educational system, is a disgrace. Making it worse to reward the money lenders who support your lifetime congressional seat is a travesty.