Tuesday, April 6

New York State Budget Crisis

New York State is in the midst of a 9 billion dollar budget gap, and unlike the federal government which can simply sell its debt to china, all states must balance their budget. Naturally the politicians, who gave billions to the banks and corporate executives who arrived at the white house in private jets, decided to place the debt on the backs of the working people of New York. As if cutting student metrocards, which provide public school students necessary free public transportation to school, wasn't enough: now millions of working people will get kicked out of their homes. Because of a $45 million dollar deficeit, New York will revoke Section 8 rental vouchers. Section 8 is a low income rental assistance program that endless New Yorkers rely on to make it hand-to-mouth every month working tough jobs and making the city work. Unfortunately the corrupt capitalism government fails to realize that the people of new york city need the section 8 program since they are more concerned with an economic recovery that somehow leaves out the vast majority of people with unemployment hovering at 10%. The New York Housing Authority tells people in section 8 to move into public housing complexes, but fails to realize that public housing complexes are overcrowded with waiting lists for years.
A couple years ago I laid back on my ex's coach as she answered calls for her parents private house in the bronx that had an empty apartment and a "FOR RENT" sign out front. Every minute of the day someone called, and every caller was looking for a lanlord accepting section 8.
The fact that the same politicians who gave billions of tax dollars to bankers and executives, are now suggesting cuts on social programs indicates that capitalism as an economic system is a broken gamble.

Sunday, February 28

Greek Philosophy and the Development of Modern Western Society

Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle’s struggle was one to save humanity if you really think about it. While the Sophists thought they were smart and cunning for their discovery of a fundamental truth, Their discovery would lead humanity down the path of greed, capitalism, war, and deceit. That truth is essentially that if you take immoral and deceitful steps in life, they can benefit you. The most blaring example is of a politician who lies to his constituency in order to win their following and then use that to proceed his actual hidden agenda. For example George Bush using 9/11 as a means to start wars, and a reason to lie to the public at large, or Ancient Athenian politicians deceiving the masses for their own selfish purpose. The most classic definition of justice can be traced back to the moment when Socrates publicly criticized corrupt politicians despite the consequences for history to admire, and Plato’s idea that the city must have egalitarianism between specializations of labor. But the greatest injustice occurred when Socrates was put to death. It is a metaphor for triumph of sophist immorality in humanity, despite the gentle trickle of Socrates revolutionary ideas down through his students.
Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle were all philosopher of a respective time period who saw the influence of the sophists on society, and those who created vice and sin, and attempted to warn society against such self-destructive practices. Socrates focused on rewards in the afterlife, Plato on rewards in the current life, and Aristotle was more concerned with happiness and health. Yet despite their differences like Marx, Lenin, and Mao, they all share the same fundamental ideology. For the Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle it was this belief that society could be run by moral good rather than rampant addiction to power, wealth, and pleasure that leaves us feeling empty inside.
The Sophists on the other hand, sought rampant power, wealth, and pleasure and their beliefs have had unimaginable influence on the modern world. As they executed Socrates; only Plato’s student was left to teach other free thinkers in society the truth about being moral. This represents how social justice movements throughout history have always been underground struggling against corrupt oppressors. Socrates’ death paved the way for absolute control of the hierarchy in western society by those who put morals aside and get the job done with a iron fist. When taking office George Bush had sought to invade Iraq in order to open up the state-owned oil company to him and his buddy Cheney’s oil company Halliburton. When terrorists attacked the country however, he cleverly deceived Americans into blaming the middle east as a whole allowing him the breathing space to begin war maneuvers against Iraq. That’s the result of injustice created by the execution of Socrates. If Socrates had never died such leaders would not exsist.
Plato’s city in interesting because it stress egalitarianism between leaders, workers, and soldiers in terms of material goods, and this redistribution of goods based on what makes the most logical sense to attain general happiness of the society as a whole has been the struggle of revolutionaries since the day of Plato. Plato’s city illustrated in a very basic way that there was a way to avoid divisions within a populace, make everyone happy, keep specialization of labor, do away with poverty, and have a happy functioning society. This is a key ancient definition of justice.
In summary, the Sophists triumphed over moral Greek philosophers through their deceiving and cunning use of power. Their whole demeanor may represent what is unjust in society today. Although originally deceiving for goals, they end up only in search of power, wealth, and pleasure. Socrates and his followers faced death and persecution for warning all of western society of the dangers that unmoral sophism would bring, and now we are left with a crumbling capitalist economy, global war of terror, and people dying due to the lack of infrastructure their country has been left with due to the rampant greed of lying filthy rich capitalist politicians all over the world.

Saturday, February 27

2 Interesting Poems about City Life

My Struggle

Born In The Gutter, A baby who never muttered
I Only Yelled. Now I'm All Grown and all alone
But through my fighting and my writing I become a clone
immortalized in words and ideas of Freedom and Dreams that we demand
as the judge glares down at your cuffed hands on the stand or when the doctor says no to treatment when your hearts bleeding and wallets sleeping

So in wrath I took class, but never believed words of an ass
or the curse of the madman elephant whose war was hellbent
on destroying the community and youth to who my mind stayed true

Our Generation made of strong heroes
Born from the Ashes of Ground Zero
Our potential reveal in the first Black Presidential
Going Back to My Past, All I can ask
Is If Gods up there, He Love me and let me stay blessed
So cops give me no stress, my clothes fresh, and live life enjoying what's best; a college knowledge to solve global problems

Urban Legend

When I was locked up
A kid on chalk and no luck
Forwarned me not to write on the prison wall
And since the day I’ve avoided Jail all-in-all

It may be an Urban Legend forged in heaven by dread bredren
Or a jynx as old as the great sphinx but me thinks god protected me from a broken legacy.

Oppressors fail to realize the crime in their lives
They lock men up millions on average
Because in New York a man is no less than an animal savage

You come to me seeking wisdom and peace
Water, bread, success, and something to eat
Lady Liberty… on your lovely island
Don’t you see the youth of America is crying?
Our Life is haunted by the jailhouse frying and injection
This is the Section 8 legend…

Two interesting HS Journalism Articles: Obama's Continuation of Bush's Programs? and The Anger at the MTA taking away NYC Student Metro Cards

The War on the Middle East is Draining America

The War in Iraq and Afghanistan is in its ninth year, and most students can barely remember a time when America wasn’t at war. A recent random-selection school poll cleary indicates that over 80% of students say we need to pull out, and over 50% of the general public disapproves of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan according the Washington Post. Yet President Obama, pushed by republicans and weak democrats in congress, recently increased troops in Afghanistan contrary to the overwhelmingly strong public opinion against the war.
The argument in the mainstream media is that the wars have become wars of necessity for the safety of America, but this brings to question, when will we be able to stop fighting? The arguments and motives of keeping US forces in the Middle East are similar to those of US forces in Vietnam in the 1960s. Albeit, the US army was a draft army in Vietnam, students still are rightfully wary and tired of the endless wars.
David Simantove(’11) said “I want us to pull out, but it’s tough to see an end to it.” This kind of sentiment is supported by the fact that the US in the midst of the greatest recession since the great depression.
When Common Sense interviewed and surveyed students about how the recession has effected their family, students were quick to express their concerns. Rebecca Smith (’10) told Common Sense Newspaper, “My father lost his job and now he doesn’t pay child support anymore.” Similarly Emma Wilde (’12) responded that, “My uncle and my cousins have lost their jobs in this recession.”
A cash-strapped federal and state government has voted to cut social services like student metro cards, yet bailout bank executives whose incompetence helped lead to the recession, and continue to fund the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. Resident Economics teacher Mr. Evans expressed serious concern, “…If anything, the war drains resources. We already have an unpaid $2 trillion debt to this war.”
And that’s only Iraq. Many students claim that they don’t know as much as they should, don’t care, or that we should stay in Afghanistan because its “the good fight.” The reality is that the wars are connected, and have similar consequences of draining resources, killing soldiers and civilians, and creating anger that leads local Iraqis and Afghanis to join insurgencies. Freshman Kate Mallary (’13) added, “ I think more money should be put into the schools, so many countries have tried in Afghanistan and failed, so we’re just dumping money over there.”
Although troops report not having adequate body armor, and complain that they are paid less then privately contracted mercenaries like those of the recently indicted blackwater corporation accused of massacring scores of innocent Iraqis, Obama insists on the necessity of continuing a war with significant opposition on the home front.
Despite the fact that US bombings have destroyed infrastructure in both countries leading native people to join terrorist insurgencies in response, and despite the fact that the US army is relying on recruits promised college education and a chance at the American dream in impoverished areas, politicians insists that it is in the interest and safety of America.
The interest and safety in America right now really relies on restoring economic faith. While economists claim the economy has already recovered while enjoying lavish vacations in 5-star hotels, Americans on the street know that the 10% unemployment rate indicates that its only over for the rich, and just beginning for the poor.
Instead of creating public works programs, building public housing, and improving schools and job placement programs in inner-city communities, Obama has instead chosen to continue the policies of his predecessor, the president with one of the lowest approval ratings in history.
As troop and civilians death tolls rise daily, it appears the only solution to ending the war lies not in the hands of the government, but soldiers, students, and people who mount a public outcry against the war. It was the public pressure from yearly protests in big cities across the country in the war that led our politicians to draft the “timeline” for pulling out of Iraq. It’s up to Americans to keep them accountable, and push for an end to the draining war in Afghanistan.

Say Good-Bye To Your Student Metrocard, But Hello to Resistance

In December, the MTA announced a plan to snatch student full-fare metrocards from out of the hands of over half a million students who use them on a daily basis. The plan will entail the distribution of half-fare metrocards next semester and then entirely getting rid of the metrocard program by 2011.
Although the situation appears bleak, student from Bronx Science to Boys & Girls have begun organizing against what they call an encroachment of a hard fought for right. Junior Ian Turley said, "It is a moral mockery to be forced to spend money for free education." This sentiment was echoed by both lowerclassmen and upperclassmen here at HSAS. Senior Melissa Olivo quickly stated, "I hate it. I hope the MTA headquarters explode." Sentiments like these are alarming to government which intends to keep schools running efficiently, despite the anger of students, and the threat and blackmailing tactics of the MTA in order to secure further fare hikes or funding. Resident Economist and Commodities Trader Arnold Mansdorf stated that the blackmailing tactic of the MTA is, “political football… They’ll never do it. How do the expect families of two to four kids to pay 10 to 14 dollars a day?” This highlights dissent from not only poor students, but suburban teachers, and all stratas of society.
Last month, a student protest in front of MTA headquarters on 42nd street attracted approximately a 1000 students from the 5 boroughs, fiery speakers talked about mass civil disobedience and storming the headquarters, but the protest remained peaceful and suprisingly well organized.
Most troubling about the situation is the vow by students, who can't afford the $2,500 cost of transportation to-and-from school for one year, to simply not go to school anymore. Despite the fact that the government was able to provide banks with billions of dollars in the infamous bank bailouts started under Bush, the government claims its pockets are empty when it comes to money for jobs and education or the people whom the government is supposed to represent. Senior Kadacia stated that, "It'll take a toll on my mom, and they should cut something else." In fact a recent survey indicates that over 90% of students agree with this, they just feel too isolated to actually take action to protect their metro cards
Bloomburg's maitenance of a sizable police force, larger then the original invading force of Afghanistan, has continued guliani's policy and created heavy strain on the city economically and socially.
Aside from the murder of citizens like Amadou Diallo and Sean Bell, Officers have drained the city of money for social programs, and put it towards the overpolicing of urban communities. When questioned whether Officer Castro believed that cutting the police force and funding school metrocards would be a good idea, he responded, "that's not good we gotta keep the crime down." But the Bronx has the one of the highest dropout rates, most arrests, and intrusive searches by police of students with a high rate of racial profiling.
These police officers will be paid to arrest students as they jump turnstyles and refuse to pay court summons as they attempt to get to school.
Senior David Greenblatt and other concerned students have begun organizing against the metrocard cut by collecting expired metrocards from last semester with messages to the board of education. Although a small step, only through greater student activism will the MTA begin to pay attention to the demands of students.

Spend Just One Night...

Spend Just One Night...

Dark of the night leads to light in the park. I stare at the lone souls on the barren snow covered cold. They make homage to the snow and blow it everywhere. This is my block, my park, and my night of dark. All those who lurk here hold no fear, Selling in the wrong place results in your face smashed. Cash made on Marcy, Cash made is larcency for many. The blunt cold holds no prisoners, it starves you and carves you into a new man. Just one night in the cold mista mayor, just one night in the blizzard player. That's all we ask before you tell us the poor are lazy, and the homeless are crazy. These streets are amazing to the outta towner, which is why im trying not to be a downer, but spend just one night on em. Spend just one night under those street lights.

The economy sunk, kids flunk, moms lack of pay leaves the food situation outta luck. soleless shoes smell like skunk, and broken boots are in cahoots with socks of cloth that lack being waterproof. Days like these no please, so as a teen i lived on selling anti-government trees, but as a kid we lived off that government cheeese, so in places like these its pretty hard to dream, spend just one night, and you'll be cooking up schemes...

O Spend Just One night mista mayor, Just one night with us, those of us who now ride in the back of the bus. Those of us who lust for just a fraction of your pizza crust. Spend one night with us, and ill trust, youll see that public housing bill thru. You're eyes will be covered in black&blue, and your wallet left empty as Aldei the Truancy School.

Spend Just One Night and fly kites with us on project roofs, Aloof from the truth, will politicians ever understand those of us who think like John Wilkes Booth? Desperation plagues not this nation, but this city, a type of gritty you just can't understand unless you move to this land of skidrows and addicts for blow gilded with riches and paid cop snitches

Spend Just One Night with us on these streets

The Story of Students X, Y, and Z

The following short story is based on real & recent events in a Bronx High School. The events highlight the infamous power of the capitalist state to suppress free speach through a variety of techniques. Of course the state, school officials, and police are not allowed to openly state in public that these students were persecuted for their beliefs in socialism and progress, at the same time , it was clear to all students who paid attention that the inventive techniques of suppressing the students are merely the state using different methods to accomplish the goals of a fascist state, through covert means.

High School X is just your average Bloomberg-era high school. After years of failing schools and cesspools of hopeless gang violence, and teenage pregnancy, the Board of Education and Bloomberg started splitting up large schools into smaller environments which "supposedly" would focus on students, and create a better situation for the youth. In reality, the small schools drained resources and good students from the big schools. This created horrid enviroments in the big schools resulting in their closure and replacement with charter schools, and schools that could be run with profit in mind.

So what does High School X have to do with it? High School X is is a small trailer filled with the best students from not only the bronx, but all NYC. Thus we are nationally ranked at 19 by US new & world report.

On our first days of global history and american history we learned about the suppression of free speech in the USSR and China. But never could we imagine that we would learn America is no different.

It all started freshman year. two students name Student X and Student Y, concerned by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, interested by economics of socialism, and fascinated with American politics, decided to create a political action club to get students involved in social justice and liberal politics. The club was first called the "revolution club." School officials did not originally respond in overt anger or violence against students, but started talking to the freshmen and explaining to them the bureacracy and impracticality of the club. After blackmailing teachers for their job, the club could not start as it could not find a faculty advisor.

Sophmore year, radical students again attempted to create a similiar political club. This time under the name of "Act Now to Stop War and End Racism." Again the administration denied the students requests, but took a more seriously concerned approach. This time they threatened the students claiming that running the club could involve in a impeachment and suspension in school, if they proceeded.

Oddly, a wealthy conservative student was granted permission to start a club with conservative political leanings and an agenda of teaching students moderate views on the issues. His club was called "Political Action Club", yet its lack of getting anybody involved in anything at all made it a sham.

Junior year, the all-city school enacted two new troubling policies. One which would accumulate points and convert them into detentions and suspensions for every minute late to school despite having students who travel 2 to 3 hour commutes on unreliable MTA trains. Meanwhile wealthier students who paid upto $5000 to ride the bronx science school buses to school were given excuses, and allowed to make up missed 1st period exams/quizzes. Second, the school started kicking out students who failed classes, rather than offer than a path to make up their credits on campus. This tore apart classes, and was used as an excuse to toss struggling students to the curb and encourage them to drop out.

As a result Student X decided to run for student representitive. Student X ran on a platform of reversing the aggressive school policies of the above paragraph. When he put up posters, the school tore them down, and threatened him multiple times with suspension and explusion on the grounds of "insubordination." Insubordination is essentially the legal grounds master and slave.

Student Y posted stickers on campus for a 3rd party candidate in the 2008 election named Gloria La Riva, and was forced to pay hundreds of dollars in summons for his expression of free speech, while major party candidates were given space in school, and their position on issues were taught in class.

Senior year. Student X arrived in school a minute late after a 2 hour commute from brooklyn, and was barred from an examination. Later he causually speaks to his peers in revolutionary whispers. A teacher approaches, and student X casually mentions that the schools unfair policy of subordinating students and barring students from taking tests, kicking students out who are struggling, and suppressing free speech is what creates drug dealers and schools shooters and drop outs. As a result of this statement, student X is placed in a suspension center.

The suspension center works as a re-education center. While some students are in there for fights with cops, others are in there due to political statements. The trailer is gaurded by armed officers, metal detectors, and there is no way out of the barred windowed orange trailer. On all the walls it says "learn how to speak with authority, learn how to speak with police" and "teachers" walked in educating us on the functions of the american government, our rights, and the great american democracy. When Student X asked why he was there the teacher responded, "Because your a radical and people like you need to be cleaned up."

After a week Student X went AWOL from re-education camp and found a civil liberties lawyer. After months of a long hard fight, the board of education cleaned the record of Student X realizing the danger of the decision they had just made: They had violated the very first amendment of the constitution, and locked someone up for it.


Student Z is witnessing all this from a neutral perspective. All his life he has seen struggle and strife accross the street from the poverty of the Mott Haven Projects. Suddenly he finds his calling in a sea of injustice. He writes a poem critiquing how bloomberg is "planting a million trees" in a place like Mott haven, when trees won't do anything for hood. He writes about the uncoincidential moments of life and how one must seize the day at every moment. He writes and writes creatively.

Student Z then shows the poem to the school as a gift for the yearbook, however, the schools recognizes the radicalized nature of the poem.

Days later worried Student X attempts to make contact with Student Z... Student Z sends him a video.."To all those classes in school... let this be my message... I bet .. I bet you have never seen me in hospital robes like these.. Well let me tell you how I got here. I wrote a poem as a gift to the school to show them my creativity and free thinking... and look where I ended up." Student Z had been placed in a Pysch Ward for his beliefs, but his close friends knew better, and Student X knew better for sure.

The Story you have just read is true. Students X, Y, and Z are real people who have been politically persecuted for their belief in socialism. The school has subversively used the mechanisms of the state to suppress free speech, and free thinking in school zones, and brainwash a future generation of robots for the white collar workplace. If you are at all angered by the story you have just read show it to concerned friends and family, media, and whoever. We need help because we the students feel targetted and unsafe to speak our minds.

Back Again: New Life Lessons Bring this Blog New Meaning

Hello all, I have recently taken an all to long hiatus from my writings, but that time is up. Blog writing is a stress reliever, a means of communicating your ideas to the world, and a means of self-improvement in your own writing. What has been the cause of my hiatus? Well... my beliefs in socialism and liberation have caused many problems in my pursuit of my education. America's intolerance of ideas that threaten the very foundation of our society brought me many troubles so for a while, I took time off and focused on beating the failed public education system, and attempting to create a future for my self.

With my acceptance to Stony Brook, one of the best state universities in the world and one of the best writing/journalism programs, I feel it is time to return to one of my callings in life of writing. The new RRR! blog will continue to contain social polemics of the past, but will now also include urban poetry and short stories as well. These stories will be in the line of socialism, as the experiences recounted have led many New York City Dwellers onto the path of socialism.