Life in the Age of Electronics

Casualties in the War on America

#1 Fire Kills Man In Freezing Home

Detroit, February 17, 2003

"A local man trying to protect himself from the cold died in a fire Monday morning."

Fire investigators said that Earl Wright's clothing caught fire from a hot plate that Wright was using to stay warm in his home, where the temperatures were below freezing. Detroit Edison, the local utility, had shut off Wright's heat and electricity three years ago because he couldn't pay the bills. Fire investigators suspect that Wright had tried to douse the flames with water from the toilet, but the water was frozen. Wright had rigged an "illegal" electricity hookup to power the hotplate, and that might have contributed to the appliance overheating.

Just to connect the dots: Corporation keeps necessity from human being; human being forced to take matters into own hands, and cross the line of "private property" (in this case, electricity); increasing chances of disaster; which indeed comes to pass. Sacrificed on the cross of property.

#2 How many holes does it take?

We received an email from Daniel Pino in California: "I am a part-time union employee. Recently I constructed a web site that I would like to share with you. It briefly discusses the fallout of globalization, the destructive factors of Corporate Americana, and the gross movements that compromise our free speech." See:

In one recent piece, Pino talks about driving down I-5 in Sacramento, hitting a huge pothole in the highway, totalling his only vehicle, not having health care, etc. -- the terrifying chain of events set off by a superficially random thing which isn't random at all:

There's the plunder of California by the energy companies; the draining of the state treasury by the prison-industrial complex; and the general state of the economy that is crippling state budgets across the country. (States will have a $49 billion shortfall in 2003, and an expected $69 billion shortfall in 2004, according to Business Week; and since they can't run a deficit like the federal government, they must cut, cut, cut.) And add to that:

"The state has no ability to respond to growing problems, which are by definition easily solved under different formats of operation. California has been transformed into a bureaucratic dullard..."

Less road work means more potholes means more chances of putting the front wheel of your van into one.

#3 Whose America are we defending?

On March 7, the U.S. Labor Department reported that the country lost 307,000 jobs in February, in just about every sector. Between job cuts, budget cuts, privatization and war...

The article from the March People's Tribune/Tribuno del Pueblo pretty much sums it up. The Republicans and the Democrats can find the money to spend anywhere from $60 to $200 billion to bribe Turkey, bomb Iraq, and pay vice-president Cheney's former employer, Halliburton, to fix the oil wells after we blow them up...

Or, from Steve Miller's "Congress in disgrace!" column from last November: "How long will people go on believing that the rulers are not a toxic class of exploiting criminals who are consciously implementing a war on America?"

Jim Davis

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