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MSNBC: Mark Ames and Yasha Levine
Broke the Koch Brothers' Takeover of America
Yasha Levine

This article was first published by TruthDig (

In recent days, students have been rallying and barricading themselves inside buildings on University of California campuses to protest a 32 percent hike in tuition fees. Last Wednesday and Thursday, scuffles broke out between police and student protesters on UC campuses around the state, with dozens of students arrested and a few roughed up by eager cops. The protesters’ mood was combative, and they were boiling with anger that three days of protests had had little visible impact. But the students would be even angrier if they knew that the tuition increase, instead of funding essential services, was going toward securing cushy pensions for baby boomer university employees to the tune of $340 million a year. (more…)

Posted: November 25th, 2009


This article was first published on

A group of water oligarchs in California have engineered a disastrous deregulation and privatization scheme. And they’ve pulled in hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars without any real public outrage. The amount of power and control they wield over California’s most precious resource, water, should shock and frighten us — and it would, if more people were aware of it. But here is the scary thing: They are plotting to gain an even larger share of California’s increasingly-scarce, over-tapped water supply, which will surely lead to shortages, higher prices and untold destruction to California’s environment. (more…)

Posted: November 19th, 2009


How about this for a plan for sprucing up our nation’s crumbling housing projects: ship lazy black folks out to the subprime suburbs, privatize their apartment buildings and hand them over to real estate developers. That’s what T.A. Frank, a New America Foundation think tank shill, thinks Los Angeles needs to do with Jordan Downs, a notoriously dilapidated and crime-wracked project in Watts: (more…)

Posted: November 17th, 2009

housing crash

Here’s yet another depressing area in which Victorville excels: According to the latest Housing Hall of Misery stats released by the National Association of Realtors, the greater San Bernardino metropolitan area came in 3rd place in the race to the bottom of the biggest collapse in last quarter’s home prices. And while it’s not #1, the area did manage to edge out some pretty fast-crashing competition from the likes of Phoenix, Reno, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale. (more…)

Posted: November 14th, 2009


Ames emailed me a New York Times blog post from last February by one Casey B. Mulligan–which may sound like a fictional baseball player’s name, but no, he’s real all right, just another in a long line of insane econ professors from the University of Chicago. In the blog post, Mulligan cheerfully announced that when it comes to commercial real estate, we’ve got nothing at all to worry about. There’s no danger of a CRE  crash, like the one we’ve experienced in the residential market, so we can all go back to being happy free market beneficiaries.

No CRE crash? Ha-ha! I just love these Chicago School alchemy frauds! It is truly a joy to see them make such fools of themselves on the permanent public record. And not surprisingly, although Mulligan struck out, he’s still at the plate, batting out barely comprehensible economic fatwahs for the New York Times like nothing ever happened—that’s the kind of free market a real Chicago School economist likes. (more…)

Posted: November 4th, 2009

Bank robbery, High Desert

We had ourselves one hell of a crime-filled summer out here in the greater metropolitan area of Victorville. And it’s only getting hotter as the High Desert transitions into the icy nights and gale-force winds of autumn that are starting to roar through. Case-in-point: just in the past week, there were three four bank robberies, a triple homicide, a couple of deadly shootings and a foiled drive-by (and that’s not counting all the usual petty crime and DUI manslaughter stuff). (more…)

Posted: October 9th, 2009


Fuck, why did I listen to the asshole who told me that ground water up here in the desert was some of the cleanest in the nation? I’ve been drinking it straight out the tap for six months now, and just yesterday I found out that I’ve been gulping a whole lot of arsenic down with it.

The EPA recommends that there be no more than 0.02 ppb (parts per billion) in drinking water, and California’s set the limit to 0.01 ppb or less. In Victorville, most recent tests show a concentration of 11 ppb. That’s a 1,100 times over the limit! Let me repeat that: the concentration of arsenic in Victorville’s water is ONE THOUSAND TIMES  over the threshold of safety.


Posted: October 2nd, 2009