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A TAYUU is an OIRAN is NOT NECESSARILY a TAYUU is a PROSTITUTE
Image by Okinawa Soba (Rob)
A TRUE CONVERSATION OLD SOBA HAD WITH A JAPANESE BUSINESSMAN WHO WAS LOOKING AT MY PHOTO COLLECTION :
ME : Look at this old photo of a prostitute.
HIM : That’s not a prostitute, it’s an Oiran.
ME : Well, an Oiran was a prostitute.
HIM : No, they are completely different.
ME: Huh ? What’s the difference ?
HIM : Oiran charged way more for sex than a regular prostitute.
ME : Well, OK then. An Oiran is a high-priced prostitute.
HIM : YES, THAT’S TRUE …….but, she’s still not a prostitute, she’s an Oiran.
ME [Under my breath] : Holy Mother of God…..
CONCLUSION : Both then and now, more than a few Japanese males have a hard time coming to grips with reality, or using what Westerners call logic. It’s also why the Japanese still use the words COMFORT WOMEN instead of SEX SLAVES to describe the unfortunate girls who were sexually trafficked, enslaved, and raped on a daily basis by the Japanese Military as forced prostitutes during WW2.
It’s a shame when an entire nation and culture become enslaved to the use of EUPHEMISIM to the point where they cannot connect the euphemism to what is being euphemised.
The TAYUU and OIRAN were all Prostitutes. From the ages of five, six, or seven, they were in training to eventually become prostitutes. For most, it is said that they “got down to business” at the onset of puberty — a nebulous age that could be reduced in proportion to the amount of money offered to her pimp for the “pleasure” of being the first to use her. After paying their dues, and arriving at the top of their profession, these girls could eventually say NO to any "John"….er, "Mr. Taro"….that they didn’t care to sleep with.
The customers that they did said YES to paid a steep price for their "cultured company" and sexual services. They were, in effect, the highest priced "Call Girls" of old Japan.
As Judo Dad tells us in the comments box, this IS a very pretty shot of one of these most highly desired women in old Japan.
Whether she was ever loved by her father, or any other man for that matter, will never be known. However, as an object of entertainment and wealthy men’s carnal desires, she lived in rarefied air at the pinnacle of her profession.
It should be stated here that this was not an adult decision on her part to leave her job at the Tokyo Wal*Mart in order to make more money by (1) sticking a bunch of shoe-horns in her hair, and (2) going down on a few of the local bankers and politicians. Rather (as mentioned above) she was sold into this profession at a young age, and assisted the elder prostitutes until she herself started taking customers at age 12 or 13, and spent her days knowing nothing else.
Again, these "Pretty Prostitutes" were here for other than personal need or desire to engage in prostitution. They were sold and "trafficked" into it by their own parents, within the borders of their own country.
This, of course runs against the modern-day Western use of the word "Prostitute", which is usually used to describe a relatively more ADULT women who enters this trade by choice — for reasons ranging anywhere from nymphomania to financial distress to funding a drug habit — or those forced into it as a "slave" situation via human trafficking, or bondage by deceit. And in any case, all activities surrounding it being perceived in the mono-theistic West as "sin" or "vice".
The OIRAN / TAYUU of Japan was neither of those, and is a product of a unique culture that both contained and glorified such women from tender ages at the request of their parents, involving negotiated contractual parameters understood by Japanese society at large, with the acquiescence of her close family and community.
As flickr member Tokis-Phoenix points out in her well-written and thoughtful comment #7 below, it is as much or more the fault of the rulers who allowed and maintained this system, while at the same time making the brothel system — fed by little girls far too young to reason through or understanding what they were being sold into — one of the most famous "default options" given to Japanese parents in their impoverished serfdom as a way to make some quick money.
The following is my own PERSONAL take on the matter, while acknowledging that there are OTHER takes, of different degrees, and varying nuance of opinion; especially when it comes down to each one of us having to answer the question, "……Would there ever be a time, place, or situation in this world, where I would ever sell one of my OWN little daughters to a whorehouse — even if it was legal, and 10 of my neighbors had already done it with their own daughters ?…."
My own answer is….. NO, I would not. But, that’s just me
Okinawa_Soba does not personally accept the "Time-Place" cultural feature of Japan, or any other country that sells its children into prostitution — even if Japan and their poly-theistic / Confucian neighbors throughout Asia did think it was normal and OK. For me, "Time-Place" provides no reason, and no circumstance as an excuse for it.
If "Time-Place" makes anything OK, then every culture, tradition, and custom we have in the world RIGHT NOW must also be OK, too. And if you believe that everything is OK when it comes to things of a sexual nature, then by all means please stand up and cheer for the millions of little girls who have their vaginal plumbing sliced away every year at the hands of modern day "Time-Place" family butchers with dirty knives, perpetual ignorance, and male-dominated attitudes for the control and subjection of women.
Just like America being built on the multiple backs of Slavery, Child Labor, and the wholesale slaughter of the Native American and the Buffalo (and etc), "time-place" and "moral relativity" arguments cannot and never will excuse our fore-fathers conduct. Nor does it excuse those cultures and traditions where Fathers and families sell little girls into a life of prostitution…. including me, if I were also to have done it.
THIS DISCUSSION CONTINUES ON WITH READER FEEDBACK AT COMMENT # 7.
That being said, I will now get off my soap box, switch gears, and get down into the grit and dirt where the proverbial rubber meets the proverbial road concerning the pretty girl in the picture.
Please excuse some occasional repetition as we nail things down here :
First, it’s time to get over this "She was a Courtesan" nonsense, and other "elevating euphemisms" I see all over the Web right now . The girls you see in these photos were NOT "courtesans" in any way. She was"HIGH CLASS" SEX FOR HIRE and that’s it.
If any of the xenophobic spoiled brat leaders of Japan’s "Royal Court" wanted a little "nooky" on the side, they had plenty of first-cousins and "local girls" to fill that need (no doubt, the family being remunerated) — all WITHOUT the aid of the Porcupine-headed OIRAN and TAYUU.
The Western word "Courtesan" is a very poor English translation of the above prostitute’s "Job Description", and should be tossed into the trash can along with other spurious attempts at describing certain aspects of Japanese culture by using ill-fitting English words and social concepts.
OIRAN was the generic Japanese name for these prostitutes everywhere in Japan.
TAYUU was the special, regional name for them ONLY IN KYOTO.
SO… a TAYUU WAS ALSO AN OIRAN… but an OIRAN was not always, or necessarily, a TAYUU….unless she was an Oiran in KYOTO….where they would call her a TAYUU.
Six of one, half-dozen of another, and a Rose by any other name is still a Rose.
Or a Prostitute.
From now on, please use one one of THREE WORDS : The Japanese OIRAN or TAYUU (which, unfortunately, have lost their true meaning, even for the Japanese of today), and in your own language, the word PROSTITUTE. Any other euphemistic padding of her Kimono is simply dishonest.
Her lone advantage was being able to say NO to anybody she didn’t feel comfortable about sleeping with. The other middle-of-the-road prostitutes generally did NOT have this option, and had to sleep with any any paying slob that wanted them.
Strangely, I have been told anecdotally that certain orders of the lowest "caged prostitutes" were given [perhaps out of pity] the same right of refusal via a certain ritual that involved a tobacco pipe. However, I would imagine that only in the most extreme cases was such a refusal ever resorted to…..
The only reason an OIRAN had the "luxury" of being able to turn down a few "Johns" here and there (as opposed to her sister prostitutes left behind while she was rising up the ladder of male lust) is simply because she had been through the ringer, earned her kudos, and beat out the less attractive prostitutes with her ability to "Polish a Guys’ Knob". For those new to Flickr, that means "Rolling a Guy’s Cigar".
I was going to use the more common euphemism "Blow Job" in the above paragraph. However, due to being so extensively used, it has become more inappropriate to say "Blow Job" than to use the REAL term : "FELLATIO" (from THE Latin felare, fellare — to suck). For those new to flickr, and not up to speed on your Latin, FELLATIO means ORAL SEX.
Isn’t it amazing how we can use one euphemism to to get around using another euphemism until the euphemism itself raises eyebrows? Speaking of which, please remind me to tell you sometime about the many Japanese girls who (under the influence of warm sake) asked me if I wanted to see how well they could "Play the Bamboo Flute" (!)
In any case, SEX was the thing, and these OIRAN / TAYUU were damn good at it !
She was SO GOOD AT IT, she even trained LITTLE GIRLS to grow up to hopefully take her place :
Oh…..she also had a few more "Awards" for being able to sing LESS out of tune than the other girls, dance without tripping over her herself (most of the time), and being able to hit a little TAIKO drum better than a monkey.
As for that multi-purpose lightning-rod of a hat rack over her pretty face, I have fully described it’s construction and dangers at my other flickr pic HERE :
Nowadays, the Japanese — ever in love with the fashionable decor of their prostitutes and symbols of sex for cash — even make HELLO KITTY Tayuu and Oiran dolls as "wholesome gifts" for their little girls (move over, Barbie !). Modern-day reenactments of their old "Parade of the Prostitutes" can still be seen in Kyoto — including the decorative presence of the little girls parading along with them who (in the good old days) were already in training to eventually become prostitutes in their own right. However, the "reenactment" Oiran and Tayuu of today are only a fake shell of the original — all you get is a little song and dance, a lot of high fashion, and…no sex.
For what it’s worth, most Japanese today would take issue with half of what I just said above, deny that Japanese children were EVER involved in ANY form of prostitution — either directly, or as assistants, or "students" in the trade — and that being a foreigner, I would have NO idea or understanding about such things in Japan, anyway.
It should be made perfectly clear that an OIRAN is NOT A GEISHA…and a GEISHA is NOT A PROSTITUTE. If I do not say that, someone named LIZA DALBY will take out a contract on my life, with the killer instructed to beat me to death with a giant slab of raw tuna fish laced with wasabi.
Mmmmmmmmm. Yummy ! What a way to die !
PS. Okinawa_Soba has absolutely nothing against ADULT prostitution — either morally or socially — as a free enterprise affair where the woman enters the business as a qualified adult, does it out of a love of sex (and not necessarily a love for her customers), engages in it happily by her own free will as a true Nymphomaniac, and remains un-coerced by men in her decision to sell herself, and un-motivated by dire financial need in order to survive (to be taken advantage of by men with money in their pockets)……all while fully accepting the potential health consequences of her decision to take on as many men as possible, while absolving the taxpayer of all liability for costs involved in dealing with her related health issues, possible abortions, and the raising of any fatherless children produced by her liaisons with paying customers.
And I have nothing against single men frequenting the prostitutes described above, as long as all of their other bills are paid first, they use a full body condom, stick to the same prostitute, and get checked for AIDS and other STDs every two months.
If you are a married man, the same rules apply, but you can’t sleep with your wife while you are frequenting prostitutes, and for 6 months after you’ve stopped sleeping with them…….and have been given a clean bill of health before touching your wife again.
By the way, the above parameters are still "on hold" and "under construction", and "subject to change"…… just as soon as I hold a meeting of all prostitutes and their customers who fulfill the above requirements, and I can get their opinions on the matter….which will never happen….
Spot the Scahill @ NYC WALL ST. BAILOUT PROTEST?
Image by eyewashdesign: A. Golden
New Yorkers Protest the US0 BILLION (US TRILLION) Wall Street BAILOUT: Wall Street, NYC – September 25, 2008
Phototgrapher: a. golden, eyewash design – c. 2008.
I swear, Jeremy probably thinks I’m stalking him. As a matter of fact, it feels like every time I’m photographing, or attending a lecture, there pops up Jeremy Scahill. Admittedly, I do have a bit of a crush. OK, a BIG CRUSH. What’s NOT to love? Intelligent, good-looking, well-spoken, hard-working, a HUSTLER, an injustice investigator, a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute, an accomplished writer. Perhaps I am stalking him, because every New York female knows a good man HERE is HARD to find. We simply take the hard portion of the latter when we can and consider ourselves fortunate. Hahaha! If anyone happens to be zero degrees of separation from Mr. Scahill, please let him know he has an blushing admirer!
For more information on Scahill:
The richest 400 Americans — that’s right, just four-hundred people — own MORE than the bottom 150 million Americans COMBINED! 400 of the wealthiest Americans have got more stashed away than half the entire country! Their combined net worth is .6 trillion. During the eight years of the Bush Administration, their wealth has increased by nearly 0 billion — the same amount that they were demanding We give to them for the "bailout." Why don’t they just spend the money they made under Bush to bail themselves out? They’d still have nearly a trillion dollars left over to spread amongst themselves!
Of course, they are not going to do that — at least not voluntarily. George W. Bush was handed a 7 billion surplus when Bill Clinton left office. Because that money was OUR money and not HIS, he did what the rich prefer to do — spend it and never look back. Now we have a .5 trillion debt that will take seven generations from which to recover. Why — on –earth – did — our — "representatives" — give — these — robber — barons — $ US850 BILLION — of – OUR — money?
Last week, proposed my own bailout plan. My suggestions, listed below, were predicated on the singular and simple belief that the rich must pull themselves up by their own platinum bootstraps. Sorry, fellows, but you drilled it into our heads one too many times: THERE…IS…NO…FREE… LUNCH ~ PERIOD! And thank you for encouraging us to hate people on welfare! So, there should have been NO HANDOUTS FROM US TO YOU! Last Friday, after voting AGAINST this BAILOUT, in an unprecedented turn of events, the House FLIP-FLOPPED their "No" Vote & said "Yes", in a rush version of a "bailout" bill vote. IN SPITE OF THE PEOPLE’S OVERWHELMING DISAPPROVAL OF THIS BAILOUT BILL… IN SPITE OF MILLIONS OF CALLS FROM THE PEOPLE CRASHING WASHINGTON "representatives’" PHONE LINES…IN SPITE OF CRASHING OUR POLITICIAN’S WEBSITES…IN SPITE OF HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE PROTESTING AROUND THE COUNTRY… THEY VOTED FOR THIS BAILOUT! The People first succeeded on Monday with the House, but failed do it with the Senate and then THE HOUSE TURNED ON US TOO!
It is clear, though, we cannot simply continue protesting without proposing exactly what it is we think THESE IDIOTS should/’ve do/one. So, after consulting with a number of people smarter than Phil Gramm, here’s the proposal, now known as "Mike’s Rescue Plan." (From Michael Moore’s Bailout Plan) It has 10 simple, straightforward points. They are that you DIDN’T, BUT SHOULD’VE:
1. APPOINTED A SPECIAL PROSECUTOR TO CRIMINALLY INDICT ANYONE ON WALL STREET WHO KNOWINGLY CONTRIBUTED TO THIS COLLAPSE. Before any new money was expended, Congress should have committed, by resolution, to CRIMINALLY PROSECUTE ANYONE who had ANYTHING to do with the attempted SACKING OF OUR ECONOMY. This means that anyone who committed insider trading, securities fraud or any action that helped bring about this collapse should have and MUST GO TO JAIL! This Congress SHOULD HAVE called for a Special Prosecutor who would vigorously go after everyone who created the mess, and anyone else who attempts to scam the public in future. (I like Elliot Spitzer ~ so, he played a little hanky-panky…Wall Street hates him & this is a GOOD thing.)
2. THE RICH SHOULD HAVE PAID FOR THEIR OWN BAILOUT! They may have to live in 5 houses instead of 7. They may have to drive 9 cars instead of 13. The chef for their mini-terriers may have to be reassigned. But there is no way in hell, after forcing family incomes to go down more than ,000 dollars during the Bush years, that working people and the middle class should have to fork over one dime to underwrite the next yacht purchase.
If they truly needed the 0 billion they say they needed, well, here is an easy way they could have raised it:
a) Every couple makeing over a million dollars a year and every single taxpayer who makes over 0,000 a year should pay a 10% surcharge tax for five years. (It’s the Senator Sanders plan. He’s like Colonel Sanders, only he’s out to fry the right chickens.) That means the rich would have still been paying less income tax than when Carter was president. That would have raise a total of 0 billion.
b) Like nearly every other democracy, they should have charged a 0.25% tax on every stock transaction. This would have raised more than 0 billion in a year.
c) Because every stockholder is a patriotic American, stockholders should have forgone receiving a dividend check for ONE quarter and instead this money would have gone the treasury to help pay for the bullsh*t bailout.
d) 25% of major U.S. corporations currently pay NO federal income tax. Federal corporate tax revenues currently amount to 1.7% of the GDP compared to 5% in the 1950s. If we raised the corporate income tax BACK to the levels of the 1950s, this would give us an extra 0 billion.
All of this combined should have been enough to end the calamity. The rich would have gotten to keep their mansions and their servants and our United States government ("COUNTRY FIRST!") would’ve have a little leftover to repair some roads, bridges and schools…
3. YOU SHOULD HAVE BAIL OUT THE PEOPLE LOSING THEIR HOMES, NOT THE PEOPLE WHO WILL BUILD AN EIGHTH HOME! There are 1.3 million homes in foreclosure right now. That is what is at the heart of this problem. So, instead of giving the money to the banks as a gift, they should have paid down each of these mortgages by 0,000. They should have forced the banks to renegotiate the mortgage so the homeowner could pay on its current value. To insure that this help wouldn’t go to speculators and those who tried to making money by flipping houses, the bailout should have only been for people’s primary residences. And, in return for the 0K pay-down on the existing mortgage, the government would have gotten to share in the holding of the mortgage so it could get some of its money back. Thus, the total initial cost of fixing the mortgage crisis at its roots (instead of with the greedy lenders) is 0 billion, not 0 BILLION.
And let’s set the record straight. People who have defaulted on their mortgages are not "bad risks." They are our fellow Americans, and all they wanted was what we all want: a home to call their own. But, during the Bush years, millions of the People lost the decent paying jobs they had. SIX MILLION fell into poverty! SEVEN MILLION lost their health insurance! And, every one of them saw their real wages go DOWN by ,000! Those who DARE look down on these Americans who got hit with one bad break after another should be ASHAMED.! We are a better, stronger, safer and happier society when all of our citizens can afford to live in a home they own.
4. THERE SHOULD HAVE BEEN A STIPULATION THAT IF YOUR BANK OR COMPANY GOT ANY OF OUR MONEY IN A "BAILOUT," THEN WE OWN YOU. Sorry, that’s how it’s done. If the bank gives me money so I can buy a house, the bank "owns" that house until I pay it all back — with interest. Same deal for Wall Street. Whatever money you need to stay afloat, if our government considers you a safe risk — and necessary for the good of the country — then you can get a loan, but WE SHOULD OWN YOU. If you default, we will sell you. This is how the Swedish government did it and it worked.
5. ALL REGULATIONS SHOULD HAVE BEEN BE RESTORED. THE REAGAN REVOLUTION IS DEAD! This catastrophe happened because we let the fox have the keys to the hen-house. In 1999, Phil Gramm authored a bill to remove all the regulations that governed Wall Street and our banking system. The bill passed and Clinton signed it. Here’s what Sen.Phil Gramm, McCain’s chief economic advisor, said at the bill signing:
"In the 1930s … it was believed that government was the answer. It was believed that stability and growth came from government overriding the functioning of free markets.
"We are here today to repeal [that] because we have learned that government is not the answer. We have learned that freedom and competition are the answers. We have learned that we promote economic growth and we promote stability by having competition and freedom.
"I am proud to be here because this is an important bill; it is a deregulatory bill. I believe that that is the wave of the future, and I am awfully proud to have been a part of making it a reality."
FOR THIS NOT TO REOCCUR, This BILL SHOULD HAVE BEEN REPEALED! Bill Clinton could have helped by leading the effort for the repeal of the Gramm bill and the reinstating of even tougher regulations regarding our financial institutions. And when they were done with that, they should have restored the regulations for the airlines, the inspection of our food, the oil industry, OSHA, and every other entity that affects our daily lives. All oversight provisions for any "bailout" should have had enforcement monies attached to them and criminal penalties for all offenders.
6. IF IT’S TOO BIG TO FAIL, THEN THAT MEANS IT’S TOO BIG TO EXIST! Allowing the creation of these mega-mergers and not enforcing the monopoly and anti-trust laws has allowed a number of financial institutions and corporations to become so large, the very thought of their collapse means an even bigger collapse across the entire economy. No ONE or TWO companies should EVER have this kind of power! The so-called "economic Pearl Harbor" can’t happen when you have hundreds — thousands — of institutions where people have their money. When we have a dozen auto companies, if one goes belly-up, we DON’T FACE A NATIONAL DISASTER! If we have three separately-owned daily newspapers in your town, then one media company can’t call all the shots (I know… What am I thinking?! Who reads a paper anymore? Sure glad all those mergers and buyouts left us with a STRONG and "FREE" press!). Laws Should have been enacted to prevent companies from being so large and dominant that with one slingshot to the eye, the GIANT FALLS and DIES. And no institution should be allowed to set up money schemes that NO ONE understands. If you can’t explain it in two sentences, you shouldn’t be taking anyone’s money!
7. NO EXECUTIVE SHOULD EVER BE PAID MORE THAN 40 TIMES THEIR AVERAGE EMPLOYEE, AND NO EXECUTIVE SHOULD RECEIVE ANY KIND OF "PARACHUTE" OTHER THAN THE VERY GENEROUS SALARY HE OR SHE MADE WHILE WORKING FOR THE COMPANY. In 1980, the average American CEO made 45 times what their employees made. By 2003, they were making 254 times what their workers made. After 8 years of Bush, they now make over 400 times what their average employee makes. How We have allowed this to happen at publicly held companies is beyond reason. In Britain, the average CEO makes 28 times what their average employee makes. In Japan, it’s only 17 times! The last I heard, the CEO of Toyota was living the high life in Tokyo. How does he do it on so little money? Seriously, this is an OUTRAGE! We have created the mess we’re in by letting the people at the top become bloated beyond belief with millions of dollars. THIS HAS TO STOP! Not only should no executive who receives help out of this mess profit from it, but any executive who was in charge of running his company into the ground should be FIRED before the company receives ANY help.
8. CONGRESS SHOULD HAVE STRENGTHENED THE FDIC AND MADE IT A MODEL FOR PROTECTING NOT ONLY PEOPLE’S SAVINGS, BUT ALSO THEIR PENSIONS AND THEIR HOMES. Obama was correct to propose expanding FDIC protection of people’s savings in their banks to 0,000. But, this same sort of government insurance must be given to our NEVER have to worry about whether or not the money they’ve put away for their old age will be there. This should have meant strict government oversight of companies who manage their employees’ funds — or perhaps it means the companies should have been forced to turn over those funds and their management to the government? People’s private retirement funds must also be protected, but perhaps it’s time to consider not having one’s retirement invested in the casino known as the stock market??? Our government should have a solemn duty to guarantee that no one who grows old in this country has to worry about becoming destitute.
9. EVERYBODY NEEDS TO TAKE A DEEP BREATH, CALM DOWN, AND NOT LET FEAR RULE THE DAY. Turn off your TVs! We are NOT in the Second Great Depression. The sky is NOT falling, Chicken Little! Pundits and politicians have lied to us so FAST and FURIOUS it’s hard not to be affected by all the fear mongering. Even I wrote to and repeated what I heard on the news last week, that the Dow had the biggest one day drop in its history. Well, that was true in terms of points, but its 7% drop came nowhere close to Black Monday in 1987 when the stock market in one day lost 23% of its value. In the ’80s, 3,000 banks closed, but America didn’t go out of business. These institutions have always had their ups and downs and eventually it works out. It has to, because the rich do not like their wealth being disrupted! They have a vested interest in calming things down and getting back into their Jacuzzis before they slip into their million thread-count sheets to drift off to a peaceful, Vodka tonic and Ambien-induced slumber.
As crazy as things are right now, tens of thousands of people got a car loan last week. Thousands went to the bank and got a mortgage to buy a home. Students just back to college found banks more than happy to put them into hock for the next 15 years with a student loan. I was even pre-approved for a USK personal loan. Yes, life has gone on with little-or-no-change (other than the whopping 6.1% unemployment rate, but that happened last month). Not a single person lost any of his/her monies in bank, or a treasury note, or in a CD. And, the perhaps the most amazing thing is that the American public FINALLY didn’t buy the scare campaign. The citizens didn’t blink, instead telling Congress to take that bailout and shove it. THAT was impressive. Why didn’t the population succumb to the fright-filled warnings from their president and his cronies? Well, you can only say ‘Saddam has the bomb’ so many times before the people realize you’re a lying sack of shit. After eight long years, the nation is worn out and simply can’t take it any longer. The WORLD is fed up & I don’t blame them.
10. THEY SHOULD HAVE CREATED A NATIONAL BANK, A "PEOPLE’S BANK." Since they’re really itching to print up a trillion dollars, instead of giving it to a few rich people, why don’t We give it to ourselves? Now that We own Freddie and Fannie, why not set up a People’s bank? One that can provide low-interest loans for all sorts of people who want to own a home, start a small business, go to school, come up with the cure for cancer or create the next great invention. And, now that we own AIG – the country’s largest insurance company – let’s take the next step and PROVIDE HEALTH INSURANCE FOR EVERYONE. MEDICARE FOR ALL! It will SAVE us SO MUCH MONEY in the LONG RUN (not to mention bring peace of mind to all). And, America won’t be 12th on the life expectancy list! We’ll be able to have a longer lifespan, enjoying our government-protected pension and will live to see the day when the corporate criminals who caused this much misery are let out of prison so that We can help re-acclimate them to plain old ordinary, civilian life — a life with ONE nice home and ONE gas-free car invented with help from the People’s Bank.
P.S. Call your Senators NOW !!! —> www.visi.com/juan/congress/
Since they voted against passing the extension of unemployment benefits and skipped out to "campaign" to us to be re-elected…call them and tell them you will vote for the other "guy" if they don’t get their act together!
UPDATE: THE PEOPLE HAVE VOTED! A HISTORIC MOMENT: NOVEMBER 4th 2008!
——> THE Historic ELECTION <——
"A work in PROGRESS."
Nov. 4th, 2008.
A great American leader once said, "As individual fingers We can be easily broken. But TOGETHER We make a mighty fist." These words too were spoken by a minority leader. He was the venerable Chief Sitting Bull. No, Barack Obama’s not the first American minority to speak eloquently and he most certainly won’t be the last. Though, in the end, this election wasn’t even close !!! The world watched as, "YES WE CAN!" turned into, "YES WE DID!" as it now ushers in, "YES WE MUST!" time is NOW!
What WE do with this moment shall define US, forthright. America has now elected a man with a background of partial African – American descent as President elect. A new leader with roots from Kenya to Kansas (with a step-father from Indonesia), will be working in conjunction with a vice-Presidential of Anglo-European roots. This is something in which citizens of ALL races – both here and the world ’round – have loudly REJOICED. Why talk about race? Is race important? You bet! Because – like it or not – race has dominated and governed Our daily lives for thousands of years. After all: "To know where We’re going, We must first know where We’ve been".
We’ve come a LONG Way baby! What was once "acceptable" in 1965 is no longer in 2008 and THANKFULLY.
This is a changing of the guard. Especially since forty-percent of America’s population is considered to be a "minority". Only four generations removed, the repression of African slaves by Anglo Saxons caused hundreds of thousands of brothers to kill brothers in a viscous and bloody battle that changed the fundamental principals of this Constitutional Republic from rhetoric to reality. This too was a significant changing of the guard.
For the first time in the history of the country, the ancestors of these very same people who so passionately fought for slavery have now OVERWHELMINGLY voted for a minority leader. This too ushers in a new chapter in the history of America. This is a tremendous nod to those great American leaders before Us who risked everything so that We find ourselves at this precise moment in time. We must give thanks to these men and women who both tirelessly and unselfishly gave their lives to cross and to help shatter the racial, sexual and social boundaries imbued in the history of the United States of America.
It has now taken place. There’s a palpable renewed sense of HOPE for a better tomorrow – a HOPE that these same crippling boundaries shall finally once and for all be erased. Yet it is wise to also remember the adage, "Actions speak louder than words" and Our rhetoric must now be turned into action. The ability to truly rise above differences and to not just speak of doing so, tells much of Our long and continuous journey. If We remember the old North American Indian saying, "We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children." We might just have a fighting chance.
The People have spoken! A record-setting 130 million Americans’ turned out to vote in Tuesday’s election, in which Barack Obama made history on a Democratic tidal wave of victory. Polling suggests voters came out in record numbers because of growing concerns over the economy, jobs, health care, energy, and the war in Iraq.
Clearly, the Obama administration and the new Democratic majority in Washington have a chance to make profound changes in Our lives – stretching from Wall Street to Main Street. Yes, this moment shows decency about human possibility and let’s face it, We could use just a little decency RIGHT NOW.
Perhaps more importantly, this moment speaks volumes as it’s an utter rejection of the right’s politics of fear and greed? It will now be decades before there’s another Republican majority in Congress. Never have the words, "Ask not what Your country can do for You, but what You can do for Your country," seemed more true for SO MANY. For, We-Are-Our-country. And We’re at a MAJOR crossroads. Where, oh where to begin?
OBAMA / BIDEN Campaign.
Here in New York, Working Families voters, members, affiliates, supporters and chapter leaders poured everything they had into critical campaigns that proved successful. Many are now understandably exhausted – though more than a little proud of what was accomplished. And, the results were terrific ~ if not downright Historic. For the first time since the mid-1930, the State Senate will NO LONGER be controlled by Republicans. It’s now in the hands of a Democratic Working Families majority! Just-take-one-moment-and-soak-this-in. MASSIVE Democratic majorities in BOTH the HOUSE and the SENATE!
Together, the W.F.P built a solid partnership with Senate Democrats, knocking on more than half a million doors for progressive CHANGE. And, in the end, "We the People" overwhelmingly responded. This is a MILESTONE. There’s now a renewed sense of real HOPE resonating from Washington, indeed, around the world. This is powerful. Because, without HOPE, there’s simply nothing to gain.
However, We must be careful not to fall prey to disillusionment. If illusions tear People asunder, then disillusion outright kills the human spirit. In other words, divided THEY conquer, united, WE stand. That this historic moment was ushered in during Native American Indian month is apropos. Because, We must not forget the very real foundations of this idealistic country and pay homage to the 500 plus year struggle of Our First Peoples’ for the basic rights afforded them in Our own Constitution. Obama’s victory is indeed a victory representing the multitudes. It is precisely because his success mirrors the masses, rather than a few wealthy, power-elite that this is so electrifying. A VERY palpable, "Finally!" was the expression heard ’round the world.
The world woke up WEDNESDAY with the real possibility of a very RARE OPPORTUNITY – the best in most Our lifetimes. This is a chance to truly transform America.
But, We mustn’t forget the VERY hard realities existing in this country. Just ask any woman…any "person of color"…or, any First Peoples living in this "great" land. For, as long as Native American Indians in Our country still live in policies of containment on reservations without the very basics, such as running water, electricity, or heat… as long as more than 75% of the prison population includes African-Americans, First and Taino Peoples …as long as We continue to allow Our tax dollars spent to be three times more for each of these prisoners per head than on Our own school childrens’ education…as long as American women continue to earn less than men for the SAME work…as long as We allow privately held corporations to exist without extreme MAJOR reform…as long as We continue to allow Our children to trample on foreign soil to kill and to be killed in "Our" names…as long as We sit idly by expecting or content to let others to "Do the right thing," for us… as long as We DON’T ACTIVELY PARTICIPATE TOGETHER in challenging and fighting for OUR OWN WELL-BEING for the betterment of future generations… as long as We choose to remain ignorant and in denial to Our faults…TRUE CHANGE can, and will NEVER HAPPEN.
Though, like anything rare and unique, We must first take proper time to Honor…to give thanks to those before us who, without their dedication and sacrifice, made this moment possible. We must come together. Immediate formulation and a real plan to guard and to protect this moment with fierce determination is required. New leaders are needed and will emerge so We ensure moments like this become the norm, rather than a mere token fluke. If We HOPE to transform Tuesday’s results into a real break from the shipwreck of the most immediate last thirty years – We MUST start by realizing this election represents just that – a START. It’s Round One of Our LONG and CONTINUOUS struggle.
And, Round Two will be just as tough, if not more so. Staying the course can easily be forgotten when People are dying from inadequate health care; when they’ve found themselves on the streets for lack of shelter and as they grow ever more desperate due to lack of job opportunities. Just ask people of Native or African American descent. Or, one of Our homeless veterans living on America’s streets of plenty.
Yes, the house of cards has fallen HARD and FAST. And, President / V.P. elect Barack Obama and Joe Biden have inherited many seemingly insurmountable challenges. REAL CHANGE – not rhetoric – is what’s needed. And to get it, We MUST demand it. We MUST march and be watchdogs for the sake of the coming generations. Communication with Our politicians is a MUST. MOST importantly, We MUST stand TOGETHER and be willing to fight to protect what is right and what is good for the MANY, NOT the FEW.
UNITED We STAND, DIVIDED, We FALL.
A President Obama will need to be simultaneously supported AND pushed. His training as a community organizer gives one confidence that he’ll not only understand, but should also expect this dynamic. It’s imperative for us to mind the trusty, "Follow the money" strategy. Don’t forget, President elect Obama dually made history by raising the most unprecedented amount of campaign dollars in the HISTORY of U.S. Presidential elections. According to CNN, if annualized, the Obama campaign’s ad spending on the post-primary Presidential campaign would come to US0 million. This amount is only exceeded amongst large corporations such as Verizon and AT&T – both heavy sponsors of the Republican AND the Democratic national party conventions.
At the start of October, the Democratic National Committee announced it raised US.9 million with US.5 million sitting in the bank. The party raised money through joint fund-raising events with Obama and was able to use that money to assist his candidacy. These numbers were only possible because he opted out of the public financing system for the fall campaign. John McCain chose to participate in the system, which limited him to US million for the September / October stretch prior to the election. After initially promising to accept public financing if McCain did, Obama changed his mind after setting primary fund-raising records. In fact, by the time the primaries hit, Obama was raising as much as US million each and every day. The Obama / Biden campaign raised more than US0 million in September alone – a stunning and unprecedented eruption of political giving. This extraordinary fund-raising is bound to set a new standard in politics that could doom the current taxpayer-paid system set up in the 1970’s.
The party presidential nominees – Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain – together spent more than US BILLION, also an unprecedented figure. According to White House for Sale, a nonpartisan group that tracks political giving, Obama had 605 bundlers, or donors who collect money from friends and associates and bundle them together. Four years ago, Democrat John F. Kerry had 588 bundlers and, in 2000, Al Gore had none. McCain had 851 bundlers working for his campaign, compared to 557 who raised money for the Bush-Cheney re-election committee in 2004. George W. Bush is largely credited with institutionalizing the role of bundlers in 2000, when he recruited a then unprecedented 555 surrogate fundraisers.
Ask Yourselves: Who really benefits most from having donated to the Obama / Biden campaign?
President – elect Barack Obama & John McCain’s U.S. Presidential campaign funds details:
Lobbyist Bundlers: 77
See the Center for Responsive Politics Presidential campaign monies for a better perspective:
2008: Obama AND McCain – US.3 BILLION
(Obama: US0,767,963 million / McCain: US2,525,058 million)
2004: Bush AND Kerry – US.2 BILLION
2000: Gore AND Bush – US.56 MILLION
1996: Dole AND Clinton – US.82 MILLION
1992: Clinton AND Bush – US.24 MILLION
* TO SEARCH FOR MEGA-DONERS, CLICK here: www.whitehouseforsale.org/searchDonor.cfm?CandidateSelect… McCain&StateSelect=&SortOrder=Last_Name, First_Name, Middle_Name, Suffix.*
Democrats in Washington and will be under enormous pressure to "play it safe", even as everyone knows We need bold action and some kind of new, New Deal. And, if We allow the "play-it-safe" crowd to dominate, then Obama (and We) will not succeed. Make NO mistake: the corporate big-wigs and free-market fundamentalists see this for exactly what it is: THE FIGHT OF A LIFETIME. They want nothing more than for the Democrats to disappoint, because then the HOPEfulness that Obama represents can be stuffed back in the bottle and cynicism can once again regain its place in Our national political culture.
WE Can’t Let This Happen!
Whether it’s revamping our health care system…implementing a new fair-based trade policy…creating a sound, realistic and well thought-out immigration plan…jobs programs…organizing rights in Washington, or campaign election reform, family leave or fair taxes, this election has set the stage for an ENTIRELY NEW social contract between the government and the People. This election opens up a real possibility – small, but real – that We could make genuine progress as a society, in terms of equality and freedom and true sustainability. In other words, the democracy We preach, but don’t teach. What comes next is up to US. And, We need to seriously ready OURSELVES.
In short, the real meaning of this election hasn’t yet been decided.
Overall, there’s a lot of work to do. It’s imperative that EVERYONE do his share – whether this means attending a neighborhood or union meeting, signing a petition, organizing or riding a bus to a demonstration, going on a lobby visit, making a financial contribution, or just talking to a stranger about the need and desirability of the common good.
Thanks for all you do!
Live your values. Love your country.
And, remember: TOGETHER, We can make a D-I-F-F-E-R-E-N-C-E !