Let’s dispel the myth right now – there is no budget crisis here in California – all the resources we need are already right here. What we do have though is a political crisis.

On the right hand, they say that there’s nothing that they will do and on the left hand, they say there’s nothing they can do. The fact is that both hands – right and left – are in the pockets of the corporations and ultra-rich – beholden to their financial backers.

We’re all fed up with establishment. In this political climate everyone is claiming to be anti-establishment, but let’s face it, the truth of the matter is that both the Democratic and Republican parties ARE the establishment. Voting for either of the major parties is voting to keep all these broken, dysfunctional policies in place.

The only solution is to break with the major parties and stand up for what we believe in. They say, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” Well they must take us all for a bunch of fools, because every time they keep playing us against each other with choices that range from bad to worse, and we keep voting for them.

Is it any wonder why we’re in such a mess? When multi-billion dollar corporations like Northrop and Exxon not only pay no tax at all, but actually receive huge multi-million dollar tax refunds.

California is the only State in the Union that does not charge royalties for oil and resource extraction. Instead we pay subsidies to companies who then ship all our jobs overseas, to China and India. It’s not immigrants who are taking our jobs away and destroying our economy – it’s the Wall Street crooks and CEO’s who care more about lining their pockets than the well being of Americans – those are the ones who are plundering our wealth and not paying their fair share and it’s about time that they start being held accountable.

It’s also time to end all bank foreclosures. They have stolen enough of our homes and thrown enough people on the streets – they have been paid three times over in bailouts and tax breaks. Enough is enough.

The only thing these establishment politicians in Sacramento care about is cutting what little we have left. Our schools have been pillaged left and right of all their resources. These are our children’s futures that are being auctioned off, but there’s plenty of money for prison cells.

Do the math. It costs $40,000 a year to house one prisoner and $100,000 a year to maintain each police officer. In the City of Los Angeles alone we have 10,000 police officers – that comes up to a whopping $1 billion. If we were to invest that kind of money into our schools and social services, we would have the best public education in the world and a huge reduction of crime.

And let’s look at our health care – or lack thereof. In a state where we have the 6th largest economy in the world, there is no excuse why our health care ranks at the bottom. Universal Health Care not only works, but it’s cheaper too. We can afford it and we must put that bill back on the Governor’s desk.

... to be continued ...
Third Populist Manifesto

The sons of another
     Whitman awake
Retake the word
Retake the song
There is no time now
     for sleeping till noon
          in your shuttered rooms
There is no time now
     as New York crumbles
          beneath our feet
               under the trampling
                    of a nation of sheep
     as Kabul is wiped
          off the map
     as the Palestinian
          follows in the footsteps
               of the Native American
     gone with the echoes
          of a thousand mother’s cries
               everyone asking “Why?”

Not for freedom
Not for democracy
But for a new kingdom
ruled by philanthropy

Yes, blood is thicker
     than water
but not as thick
     as oil

How many must still
     be killed
     to keep the drills

Where are the new Ginsbergs
     the new Dylans
     the voices of a new generation
     with their cut-up jeans
     and back packs?
Where are all the great
     minds of today
Still roaming their
     dark alleyways?

Yes, Ferlinghetti is still alive
     but so too is Berlusconi

The usurper is still
     in the House
And all the voices
     remain silent

How many Kyotos
     must be rejected?
How many Johannesburgs
     over-ruled by a party of one?
How many rulers selected
     and promises broken
before we stand up
and speak out
and take back
what should be ours
     guaranteed by birth?

Whitman’s wild children
     are all alive and well
So put down your glasses
     and pick up your pens
Get on your buses
     all going “Further”
And let your voices
          be heard.