That Was the Year That Was – 1970

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That Was the Year That Was – 1970
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In 1970, the self-made builder’s son Edward Heath came to power promising a "quiet revolution" that would turn around the fortunes of Great Britain PLC.

The 1970s began under Tory rule, with Ted Heath as Prime Minister. Yet it was a very different kind of Tory party. Heath was a liberal Conservative who believed in a “third way”. He was pro-union and pro-EEC, and launched the Department of the Environment. He favored devolution of power to Scotland and Wales. When Rolls-Royce aircraft engines was about to go bankrupt, he led a successful move to nationalize the company until it could be returned to a stable financial footing.

Then things started to go wrong, as they did almost immediately when council workers went on strike in October 1970 (a foretaste of the “winter of discontent” eight years later), Heath quickly buckled to the prevailing conventional political and economic wisdom. Failing industries were bailed out or nationalised. And as the government pumped up demand in a bid to contain rising unemployment, a succession of baroque incomes policies were conceived to keep a lid on inflation.

Of all post-war decades, the 1970s has undoubtedly had the worst press, but the truth is that most ordinary families in 1970s Britain were better off than ever. "With higher wages for the working classes, access to affordable housing, free health care, free higher education and low levels of crime, all in a much less unequal society, life then was superior to life as experienced by most of us today".

1970 you were likely to die at 68

You smoked heavily. You missed out on university. You didn’t take foreign holidays. You didn’t have a car. You had a job in a factory. And you were likely to die at 68.

It sounds like a pretty grim picture nowadays, but hold on a minute. That was probably you – at least if you were a man in 1970.

If you were a woman back in 1970, much of that catalogue might have applied to you too, and in addition, you were married and would have had your first baby before you were 25, and you were spending a fifth of the household income on food (whereas these days, your biggest expenditure will be on energy bills, probably for all those gadgets you own).

It shows that during the course of over four decades, our lives, while similar in broad outline, have changed in a myriad subtle ways: we are living longer, being educated for longer, being alone more, taking more holidays and are healthier in some ways (fewer of us smoke) but are less healthy in others (more of us are obese).

With the benefit of over 40 years’ hindsight, life in 1970 appears to have been ludicrously cheap. A loaf of bread cost 9p and the average weekly wage was around £32. Today, a loaf costs 53p and weekly wages are about £475. Property prices have also risen. In 1970, homebuyers could expect to pay £4,975 for a house. Today, their children would not get much change from £140,000.

It was a similar story on the roads. The Range Rover, which was launched in 1970, could have been yours for £1,998. Almost a quarter of a century later, a 4.4 litre Range Rover Vogue will set you back £57,700. The Mini, which celebrated its 11th birthday in 1970, cost around £600. Its redesigned descendant now sells for £10,500.

A glance at Britain’s social life in 1970 is equally intriguing.

A trip for two to the cinema cost less than 90p, compared with at least £9 today, while a bottle of plonk was about £1. Today it is £4.55. For those with more spirited and extravagant tastes, a bottle of whisky cost £2.69 back then, compared with £12 now.

Pub prices, too, seem foreign. A pint of lager in your local was 20p, a far cry from today’s average of £2.10. And cigarettes, which enjoyed a lot more popularity then, were 20p for 20. Today, the habit costs about £4.65 a pack.

Still, it’s not all doom and gloom. Prices have gone up but so has our spending power.

And some things have even risen for the better. In 1970, the average life expectancy in Britain was 72. Today, it is 77 – giving us five more years of spending.

Life expectancy is perhaps the most notable single change. In 1970, when Edward Heath had just become Prime Minister and The Beatles were breaking up, for men it was 68.7 years and for women it was 75 years; over 40 years on, these figures have shifted substantially. Male life expectancy is now 77.8 years, and for women it is 81.9 years. Doubtless the fall in heavy smoking has played a part in that. In 1974, 24 per cent of men and 13 per cent of women in Britain who smoked regularly were classed as heavy smokers, whereas in 2008 the figures were 7 per cent of men and only one in 20 women.

But not all of us have become more healthy as the years have gone by: many of us have piled on the pounds. Although figures recording obesity only go back 15 years, there is a clear increasing trend.

1970 Music

1970 Music continues to make significant impact with the largest ever rock festival held on the Isle of Wight with 600,000 people attending, including some of the biggest name in music including Jimi Hendrix and The Who. This is also the year The Concord makes it’s first its first supersonic flight. Another significant change is the age of voting is now lowered to 18 in the US.

The Isle of Wight Festival takes place . 600,000 people attend the largest rock festival of all time. Artists include Jimi Hendrix, The Who, The Doors, Chicago, Richie Havens, John Sebastian, Joan Baez, Ten Years After, Emerson, Lake and Palmer and Jethro Tull.

Jimi Hendrix dies of barbiturate overdose in London age 27

Janis Joplin dies in a cheap motel from a heroin overdose age 27

Simon and Garfunkel release their final album together, Bridge Over Troubled Water. The Title Track won the Grammy for song of the year.

The Beatles break up. By the end of the year, each member had released a solo album.

George C. Scott gives one of film’s most memorable performances in Patton. He won the Best Actor Oscar for his turn as the title character, but refused the gold statuette.

The first festival at Glastonbury

The first Festival was held on the day after Jimi Hendrix died, over a two day period and before long “word had got around”. It was the Blues festival at the Bath & West Showground that had inspired Michael Eavis to begin a festival of his own although on a smaller scale.

The first festival at Glastonbury was not free and was decidedly overshadowed by the 1971 event, probably for good reasons . This festival was very sparsely attended , despite having Marc Bolan , Ian Anderson, Keith Christmas , Quintessence , Stackridge , Al Stewart, Amazing Blondel and Sam Apple Pie on the bill- hmmmm, perhaps thats why so few people showed up. Not exactly household names – even in 1970 – although all very respectable acts in their own right .

Badly advertised, poor organisation , not exactly an auspicious start to one of the longest running rock festivals of all time. But it was a nice site and the precedent was set as regards having a festival in the area.

Apparently government health inspectors visited the site as part of a report they were compiling about health standards at rock festivals. Interestingly, after all these years of warnings about the health hazards of food /sanitary conditions at festivals, I have yet to hear of a severe outbreak of food poisoning occurring.

Acts included: Marc Bolan, Keith Christmas, Stackridge, Al Stewart, Quintessence

Attendance: 1,500.

Price: £1 including free milk from the farm.

1970 Timeline

1 January – The age of majority for most legal purposes was reduced from 21 to 18 under terms of the Family Law Reform Act 1969.

The half crown coin ceased to be legal tender.

The National Westminster Bank began trading following merger of National Provincial Bank and Westminster Bank.

Control of London Transport passed from the London Transport Board (reporting to the Minister of Transport) to the London Transport Executive of the Greater London Council, except for country area (green) buses which passed to London Country Bus Services, a subsidiary of the National Bus Company.

4 January – The Who drummer Keith Moon fatally runs over his chauffeur with his Bentley while trying to escape a mob outside a pub. The death is later ruled an accident.

16 January – John Lennon’s London art gallery exhibit of lithographs, Bag One, is shut down by Scotland Yard for displaying "erotic lithographs"

18 January – The grave of Karl Marx was vandalised by anti-Germanic racists at Highgate in London.

21 January – Fraserburgh life-boat Duchess of Kent, on service to the Danish fishing vessel Opal, capsized with the loss of five of the six crew.

22 January – A Boeing 747 landed at Heathrow Airport, the first jumbo jet to land in Britain.

26 January – Rolling Stone Mick Jagger was fined £200 for possession of cannabis.

Simon & Garfunkel release their final album together, Bridge Over Troubled Water. It tops the album chart at regular intervals over the next two years, and becomes the best-selling album in Britain during the 1970s.

February – Chrysler UK launched its new Hillman Avenger small family car, which would be built at the Ryton plant near Coventry and compete with the likes of the Ford Escort and Vauxhall Viva.

11 February – The film The Magic Christian, starring Peter Sellers and Ringo Starr, is premiered in New York City. The film’s soundtrack album, including Badfinger’s "Come and Get It" (written and produced by Paul McCartney), is released on Apple Records.

13 February – Garden House riot, Cambridge: A demonstration at the Garden House Hotel by Cambridge University students against the Greek military junta led to police intervention; eight students subsequently received custodial sentences for their part in the affair.

English band Black Sabbath released their self titled debut album in the U.K., credited as the first major album in the heavy metal genre.

14 February – The Who records Live at Leeds in Yorkshire, England.

19 February – The Prince of Wales joined the Royal Navy.

23 February – Rolls Royce asked the government for £50 million towards the development of the RB 211-50 Airbus jet engine.

28 February – Led Zeppelin perform in Copenhagen under the pseudonym The Nobs, to avoid a threatened lawsuit by Count Eva von Zeppelin, descendant of airship designer Ferdinand von Zeppelin.

2 March – Ian Smith declared Rhodesia a republic breaking all ties with the British Crown, four years after the declaration of independence. Wilson’s government refused to recognise the new state.

6 March – The importation of pets was banned after an outbreak of rabies in Newmarket, Suffolk.

12 March – The quarantine period for cats and dogs was increased to one year as part of the government’s anti rabies measures.

13 March – The Bridgwater by-election became the first election in which 18-year-olds can vote. Tom King won the election for the Conservative Party.

17 March – Martin Peters, who scored for England in their 1966 World Cup final win, became the nation’s first £200,000 footballer in his transfer from West Ham United to Tottenham Hotspur.

19 March – David Bowie marries model Angela Barnett.

21 March – British-born singer Dana wins the 15th annual Eurovision Song Contest for Ireland with the song "All Kinds of Everything".

23 March – Eighteen victims of thalidomide were awarded a total of nearly £370,000 in compensation.

1 April – Everton won the Football League First Division title.

10 April – Paul McCartney announced his departure from The Beatles.

11 April – Chelsea and Leeds United drew 2-2 in the FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium, forcing a replay.

16 April – Dr Ian Paisley entered the Parliament of Northern Ireland after winning the Bannside By-election.

18 April – British Leyland announced that the Morris Minor, its longest running model which had been in production since 1948, would be discontinued at the start of next year and be replaced with a new larger car available as a four-door saloon and three-door fastback coupe, and possibly a five-door estate by 1975.

29 April – David Webb scored the winning goal as Chelsea defeated Leeds United 2-1 in the FA Cup final replay at Old Trafford, gaining them the trophy for the very first time. Last year’s winners Manchester City clinched the European Cup Winners’ Cup with a 2-1 win over Górnik Zabrze of Poland in Vienna, Austria.

8 May – The Beatles’ last album, Let It Be, is released.

16 May – The Who release Live at Leeds which is their first live album. Since its initial reception, Live at Leeds has been cited by several music critics as the best live rock recording of all time.

19 May – The government made a £20 million loan available to help save the financially troubled luxury car and aircraft engine manufacturer Rolls Royce.

22 May – A tour by the South African cricket team was called off after several African and Asian countries threaten to boycott the Commonwealth Games.

23/24 May – Hollywood Festival, Newcastle-under-Lyme is staged featuring a line-up including The Grateful Dead, Black Sabbath, Free, and Jose Feliciano. Everyone is completely upstaged by the previously unknown Mungo Jerry, whose debut single "In the Summertime" becomes the best-selling hit of the year.

24 May – The Britannia Bridge, carrying the railway across the Menai Strait, was badly damaged by fire.

28 May – Bobby Moore, captain of the England national football team, was arrested and released on bail in Bogotá, Colombia, on suspicion of stealing a bracelet in the Bogotá Bracelet incident.

29 May – Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act abolished actions for breach of promise and the right of a husband to claim damages for adultery with his wife.

1 June – Harold Wilson was hit in the face with an egg thrown by a Young Conservative demonstrator.

2 June – Cleddau Bridge, in Pembrokeshire, collapsed during erection, killing four, leading to introduction of new standards for box girder bridges.

4 June – Tonga became independent of the UK.

10 June – Just a few months after the Conservatives had enjoyed opinion poll leads of more than 20 points, opinion polls were showing Labour several points ahead of the Tories with eight days to go before the general election. If Labour won the election, it would be a record third consecutive general election win for the party and would probably result in the end of Edward Heath’s five-year reign as Conservative leader.

13 June – Actor Laurence Olivier was made a life peer in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. He was the first actor to be made a lord.

14 June – England’s defence of the FIFA World Cup ended when they lost 3-2 to West Germany in the Mexico quarter final.

17 June – The bodies of two children were found buried in shallow graves in woodland at Waltham Abbey, Essex. They were believed to be those of Susan Blatchford (11) and Gary Hanlon (12), who were last seen alive near their homes in North London on 31 March this year.

British Leyland created a niche in the four-wheel drive market by launching its luxury Range Rover, which was to be marketed as a more upmarket alternative to the utilarian Land Rover that had been in production since 1948.

David Storey’s Home premiered at the Royal Court Theatre.

18 June – The General Election was held, the first in which 18-year-olds could vote.

19 June – The General Election proved to have been won by Edward Heath’s Conservative Party by a majority of 30 seats, a major surprise as most of the opinion polls had shown that Harold Wilson’s Labour were likely to stay in power. Among the new members of parliament are Neil Kinnock and John Smith for Labour, and Kenneth Clarke, Kenneth Baker, Norman Fowler and Geoffrey Howe for the Tories.

21 June – British golfer Tony Jacklin won the U.S. Open.

22 June – The Methodist Church allowed women to become full ministers for the first time.

26 June – Riots broke out in Derry over the arrest of Mid-Ulster MP Bernadette Devlin.

29 June – Caroline Thorpe, 32-year-old wife of Liberal Party leader Jeremy Thorpe and the mother of his two-year-old son Rupert, died in a car crash.

3 July – Three civilians were killed and 10 troops injured when British Army soldiers battled with IRA troops in Belfast.

4 July – 112 people were found dead among the wreckage of a British Airways Manchester to Barcelona aeroplane that went missing yesterday. The wreckage was found in the mountains of Northern Spain, and there were no survivors.

8 July – Roy Jenkins became deputy leader of the Labour Party.

12 July – Jack Nicklaus won the Open Golf Championship at St Andrews, defeating fellow American Doug Sanders in an eighteen-hole play-off.

15 July – Dockers voted to strike leading to the docks strike of 1970.

16 July – A state of emergency was declared to deal with the dockers’ strike.

16–25 July – The British Commonwealth Games were held in Edinburgh.

17 July – Lord Pearson proposed settlement of docks strike.

30 July – The docks strike was settled.

31 July – The last issue of grog in the Royal Navy was distributed.

9 August – Police battled with black rioters in Notting Hill, London.

20 August – England national football team captain Bobby Moore was cleared of stealing a bracelet while on World Cup duty in Colombia.

21 August – The moderate Social Democratic and Labour Party was established in Northern Ireland.

26–31 August – Third Isle of Wight Festival attracted over 500,000 pop music fans, with appearances by Jimi Hendrix, The Who, The Doors and Joan Baez.

27 August – The Royal Shakespeare Company’s revolutionary production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed by Peter Brook, opened at Stratford.

9 September – BOAC Flight 775 was hijacked by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine after taking off from Bahrain—the first time a British plane had been hijacked.

17 September – Jimi Hendrix makes his last appearance, with Eric Burdon & War jamming at Ronnie Scotts Club in London. Hendrix dies the following day from a barbiturate overdose at his London hotel, aged of 27.

18 September – American rock star Jimi Hendrix, 27, died in London from a suspected drug-induced heart attack.

19 September – The first Glastonbury Festival was held.

September – The Album musical Jesus Christ Superstar, by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, was released.

3 October – Tony Densham, driving the "Commuter" dragster, set a British land speed record at Elvington, Yorkshire, averaging 207.6 mph over the flying kilometre course.

5 October – BBC Radio 4 first broadcast consumer affairs magazine programme You and Yours; it would still be running forty years later.

12 October – After a debacled launch only 18 months previously, British Leyland announce a much improved Austin Maxi featuring a new gearchange, increased engine size and much improved trim, answering many of the critical points raised by the motoring press at the car’s original launch.

15 October – The government created the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of the Environment.

Thames sailing barge Cambria, the last vessel trading under sail alone in British waters, loaded her last freight, at Tilbury.

The last narrowboats to carry long-distance freight commercially on the canals of the United Kingdom arrived with their last load, coal from Atherstone for a west London jam factory.

19 October – British Petroleum discovered a large oil field in the North Sea.

23 October – The Mark III Ford Cortina went on sale. At launch a full range of models are offered including 2 door and estate variants. Unlike previous models this Cortina was developed as a Ford Europe model sharing the floor-pan with the similar German Ford Taunus

25 October – The Canonization of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales by Pope Paul VI took place.

17 November – The first Page Three girl appeared in The Sun.

20 November – The ten shilling note ceased to be legal tender.

27 November – The Gay Liberation Front organised its first march in London.

10 December – Bernard Katz won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine jointly with Ulf von Euler and Julius Axelrod "for their discoveries concerning the humoral transmittors in the nerve terminals and the mechanism for their storage, release and inactivation".

26 December – Athlete Lillian Board, 22, died in Munich, West Germany, after a three-month battle against cancer.

31 December – The Beatles split up after 10 years.

Richard Branson started the Virgin Group with discounted mail-order sales of popular records.

The last forced child migration to Australia took place.

Nijinsky became the first horse for 35 years to win the English Triple Crown by finishing first in the Epsom Derby, 2,000 Guineas and St Leger.

Mathematician Alan Baker won a Fields Medal.

Trade union membership now accounts for nearly 50% of the workforce.

Computer Floppy Disks Introduced.

Spot the Scahill @ NYC WALL ST. BAILOUT PROTEST?
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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:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeremy_Scahill
blackwaterbook.com/
www.thenation.com/directory/bios/jeremy_scahill

Friends,

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.

HOPEfully NOT.

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:

OBAMA:
Total:US0,767,963
Bundlers:605
LobbyistBundlers:17

MCCAIN:
Total: US2,525,058
Bundlers: 851
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 !

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