Bono of U2: George W. Bush saved 1 million lives

Egypt is having elections today. It’s for a parliament without governing power. The military dictatorship is in fact solidifying its grip on power even as elections are held in the wake the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings for democracy. The free election is going forward without the participation of banned candidates, banned parties, or thousands of demonstrators in Tahrir Square who are calling it a sham. And they themselves are carrying on without many of their friends because they’ve been jailed, tortured, disappeared or killed – certainly that doesn’t resemble the dawn of democracy either.
It’s World AIDS Day 2011. Bono is praising George W. Bush for giving the world, particularly Africa, lifesaving AIDS medicines. He credits the surge in medicine for saving at least 1 million lives. While other U.S. Presidents throught small and thought mitigated, that one thought big, according to Bono, the lead singer of U2. And today the fight against AIDS may see the announcement of a dramatically better treatment. It’s a rumor. Today 5,000 troops will come home from Iraq. 5,000 troops a day are coming home as the largest evacuation of military personnel and equipment since World War Two takes place. And 26,000 troops will leave Afghanistan this month as well. For good.
In Fresno, dry winds are whipping crispy leaves about the town into leafdrifts all over the streets, sidewalks and yards under a creamy December sunshine glaring from a baby blue sky. As Winter’s grip descends slowly down the continental United States, news headlines morphed from one meaningless thing to another, from the triumph of Black Friday shopping to the bailout of Europe’s banks that triggered a Wall Street rally totaling a 5% gain in value on the last day of November.
One reporter breathlessly reported all 401(k)’s grew dramatically in value yesterday, and the Markets of Wall Street are back in the black for the year! Now there’s a meaningless statement. To be “back in the black for the year” all you have to be is at a higher value that you were at the beginning of the year. The first day of the year could have been a pathetically deep pit in the value of the Market. Given the volatility of the market, very meaningless statement.
Black Friday shopping was spent chasing items for lowest price, with no scrutiny of where anything came from, including its brand or quality. It’s a $2 waffle iron! Whoopie! It’s a $199 39-inch flat screen HDTV! Gotta camp – all night – for that! There were occupy camps in front of Best Buys coast to coast. Occupy camps of shoppers, that is. At the end of the day, the frenzy led to another meaningless statistic that this Black Friday was bigger than last year’s. The crowds at shopping malls were met by equally impressive armies of temporary help in the shops. Nicely that boosts the numbers in that area – sending the unemployment rate down, but that will be followed by post seasonal layoffs. Numbers as weak and meaningless as they are, the very ones the news reporters last night used to bolster their case everything has turned around.
The market has been so volatile, yesterday’s rally was not the only 500 point rally this year. It seems there have been several, maybe not on the same day, but week to week, 500 up, 500 down. And what triggered this rally? Was it reform of the markets? No. Have we seen the last crisis for a long time? No. Has everyone’s life improved overnight? No. We still have record foreclosure, wages are being frozen, jobs cut, college tuitions hiked, infrastructure projects stalled. Nothing has improved. What was the cause of the rally?? It was another bailout. The only thing causing this stupid rally we had yesterday was a government bailout in Europe. Nothing has been fixed. Nothing has been reformed. Nothing has changed. Nothing is different.
Well, one thing is different. Law enforcement cleaned up two more Occupy Wall Street encampments this week, leading MSNBC to declare only two remained: Boston and DC.

Fresno can't get no love! We never did earn a dot on the Occupy Map.

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