Tough times for Hagabee
Dear Rogue Readers:
To the many fans of my writing, you may have wondered why I’ve been on hiatus. Well look around, people. There’s a real estate crisis in our country! And as usual, whenever the market takes a plunge, the people that get hit the hardest are the ones that can least afford it — realtors and land developers like myself, and their families. Sometimes, we have to get away, and that’s where I’ve been.
When you feel stressed you may go in for drink, marijuana-pot, vandalism, anti-depressants, domestic violence, or what have you. People a little higher on the social scale go the way of massage, meditation retreats, or communing with nature in some way like a spa in the mountains — we tend to deal with our problems in a more sophisticated way. When I get down, I go look at property I own in Nevada, Wyoming, and Oregon.
I have no itinerary when I go there. It’s just quality “me” time where I roam my property and sometimes bring along a tape measure which I use to re-measure the property lines, I envision the place in 10 or 20 years, when the economy is better and all the empty fields are covered with thriving buildings. I will also sometimes take a 3-wood and a couple Titlist monogrammed balls and from a corner of the property line, see how far I can whack a ball or two. It makes me feel good to know that no matter how hard this world knocks me down that one day when I am dead, someone will find my balls in the dirt and think of me.
I wish I could say I’m optimistic about things getting better soon. If you know me, you know I try to paint a positive light. But families are suffering. We Hagabee’s are getting the shaft from both ends. We don’t vacation nearly as much as we used to and we’ve had to lower the rent at some of our rental properties, just to get people to move in.
And if you’re looking to politicians to help, don’t waste your time. We’ve got three Democrats running for president and none of them have a plan to help people build more. All they talk about is the lracky war. Locally, the voters are trying to throw out the only people who know how to get us out of this crunch — the pro-SLO politicians like Jerry Lenthall, just because he doesn’t try to save every g-d fing eucalyptus tree on the mfing planet! Excuse my language.
No, I’m afraid that if our community is going to make it out of this crisis that it will once again have to be “us” that pulls together. Pitch in any way you can. If you are a private contractor, landscaper, electrician, painter, or laborer, consider volunteering a portion of your time to the real estate industry. I’m not saying work for nothing. I’m just saying volunteer maybe one day a week, or 15 percent of your pay to stimulate the market. If you are in another sector of the workforce, you can still do your part. Come in one day a week off the clock, so that business owners don’t lose their shirts. A little sacrifice now can go a long way to getting us all out of this mess. Otherwise, you are going to see families like mine out on the street wearing Wal-Mart rags and clipping coupons and pretty soon you won’t be able to tell anyone in this country apart.
When I got back from my properties, I felt reinvigorated and refreshed, and I felt even better when I saw Dell Franklin’s article, “Hippy hypocrites and boomer bullshit” [April, 2008]. Hippies are to blame for a lot of the problems we have had in history and probably deserve most of the blame for the current housing crunch. The modern-day hippies don’t buy houses because they are too busy playing around with hacky-sacks, and for liberals they sure are conservative when it comes to soap and razors. During the ‘70s, razor manufacturers suffered greatly, especially the makers of women’s razors for underarms. I am still trying to figure out how we still even have hippies in the year 2008. Did they all watch the same Woodstock documentary or something? They hang out in juice bars and listen to Jack Johnson sing about his “Three R’s”: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Well, if I was Jack Johnson I would write a song about the "Three B’s": Build, Buy and Bankroll. News Flash to Hippies: No housing means nowhere to live, and with nowhere to live, what good is a planet?
DUANE G. HAGABEE, Creative Writer
San Luis Obispo
Sooo not cool
I came across The Rogue Voice during my vacation in SLO County last weekend [in April]. I’m very impressed with your publication. It was really good to read a political/social journal that is filled with excellent ideas and writing without the air of “we’re sooo cool” that we get here in southern California too often. Keep up the great work!
Daniel, thanks for your note. We work hard to give readers authentic stories and views with humor and pathos, sadly lacking in today’s waaay cool culture.
Take me back
The following response comes from our April blog post (www.theroguevoice.blogspot.com) of Dell Franklin’s “Hippie hypocrites and boomer bullshit.”
Thanks for the glimpse — it took me back there to that time of turbulence and tranquility (of course I’m listening to The Jefferson Airplane at the moment, which totally enhanced the experience).
Made me feel like I was looking through a fabulous stained glass retro window of some sort and had me totally riveted.
I actually found my way over here from the CommonDreams Website and your article “Fascism Is Creepy,” which is almost exactly how I feel about the whole scheme of things. I have reprinted it on my blog.
Good Luck and thank you for being out here.
[Blogger Rainbow Demon]
We sent an expanded version of “Fascism is creepy” to the website, www.CommonDreams.org, on April 15, Tax Day, and quickly received more than 90 responses, some of which are included below (to view all the responses, visit the Common Dreams web page).
Deal with the devil
From the birth of this republic, capitalism has been able to provide the American people with several powerful incentives to buy into the program. Five percent of the world’s population is invited to consume 30 percent of the world’s resources by way of imperialism. Then the white American majority is invited to enjoy a disproportionate share of that material wealth by way of racism. An especially comfortable place is provided to politicians, intellectuals, academics, bureaucrats, and entertainers in the narrow strata of society Marx called the petty bourgeois.
Nowadays though, the deal with the capitalist devil is becoming more and more difficult to keep! The U.S. is being integrated into a global economy as capitalism searches for the lowest possible wage and the greatest possible profit. The process is steadily reshaping ours into a subsistence-wage service economy. The jobs of elite industrial workers, from auto and steelworkers to airline pilots, are disappearing across the country along with their health benefits and pensions. Even white Americans have begun to feel the pain of a declining standard of living. It is a process that will not be reversed.
Now as capitalism enters its final stage, just as Mr. Warde describes, a nearly seamless political transition to fascism is well underway in the United States. The mass media, the electoral machinery, and both major political parties are under corporate control. The trappings of bourgeois democracy are a hindrance on profits and so they are being shredded. The Constitution and its Bill of Rights are being rendered meaningless by plans for perpetual war, by presidential signing statements and the theory of the unitary executive, extraordinary rendition, government surveillance programs and the like. Programs based on democratic principles like the public schools, Social Security, and Medicare are being starved to death. Separate and parallel Internet and military forces are being constructed along with internment camps and the legal construct for a martial law declaration. Blackwater is the growing private military force of the ruling class, protecting them in Baghdad and patrolling the streets of New Orleans for them now. Because there are too many sons and daughters of the working class in the US military it can not be trusted by the bourgeoisie when the order is given to attack the American people. Likely the two militaries will one day face each other in combat.
Welcome to my world!
America has been a fascist country since its inception. Blacks in America have always been subject to the treatment that the author of this article describes. The America you now see is the result of its origins. The so-called founding fathers established this country as a oligarchy. It was the intent of this country’s founders to allow none but white persons with land access to the voting booth. The United States has never been about freedom. If it were about freedom my ancestors would have never been enslaved. The United States is, and always will be (until its destruction), about money and power.
I cannot help but watch what is going on with amusement. The things which are going on in America have always been going on. Now the oppression, privacy violations, and unwarranted arrests are happening to white America. Welcome to my world!
Wanna be a hero?
This country always leaned a bit fascist. They have made end runs often times before but were stopped. What stopped them I believe was a free press. That does not exist any longer. Here is a plea, which will go unnoticed I’m sure. Anybody out there in the news business want to become a hero? Blow the whistle on the ruling elite, neocons, corporations, any and all responsible for this mess.
Keep it local
Globalised neoliberal capitalism is by definition, undemocratic, whereas, local economies supported by their communities are always based on democratic values. Is it any wonder that the countries of the Global North are losing their democratic tendencies? How many cobblers, dressmakers, farmers (family-type), dairies, member cooperatives, etc., are there in your communities? It is these diverse economies that keep a nation democratic.
A Voice Apart
Critical thinker in the house?
A key ingredient to this problem is the affliction referred to as “America Exceptionalism.”
As I understand it, this is the commonly held belief that America is special, exceptional. America is exceptional because we were the first and most advanced democracy. We spread that principle to the world. We conquered the totalitarian political foes Fascism and later Communism. Finally, our favor in the eyes of God is confirmed by our tremendous success in acquisition.
The idea that the government of America today could accurately be described as “Fascist” is so repugnant to the prejudice of American Exceptionalism that there is no chance Americans could look at it objectively and have an honest moment in the mirror.
You can just hear the internal cognitive dissonance, “Wait a minute! We’re the good guys! We defeated Fascism!”
The antidote is an education that leads to historical context and critical thinking.
Of course, there are some that would give the Cheney response — so? I know some that admit that Nazi Germany was onto something and have no problem with it.
Look what we’ve become!
Some of us have been trying to point out the American fascist movement since Leo Strauss was at the University of Chicago mentoring people like Paul Wolfowitz and Abram Shulsky…
Strauss came over from Germany in 1938 and started selling his brand of fascism to the Jewish “Intellectuals” practically right away…ironic that the Jews would embrace the very same tactics used by Hitler and Mussolini, but on the other hand, who else would know how effective those tactics can be!
Wave the flag, tell the people that everything you do is for their safety, call anyone who opposes you a traitor or a dreaded “liberal”… glorify the troops … push religion as being “on your side”… manipulate the media … and take away ANY law that limits your power… it’s worked like a charm over the past decade.
…and look what it has done to our nation.