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NYC – Close to Ending Key Housing Program – article in the NY Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/01/nyregion/new-york-city-close-to-ending-key-housing-program.html

By MOSI SECRET
Published: May 31, 2011

With New York City’s shelter population near all-time highs, the Bloomberg administration is on the verge of ending its signature housing program for homeless families, saying the program’s generosity might have contributed to the problem.

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The program, called Advantage, started in 2007 and offers subsidies for up to two years to help people in shelters afford their own apartments, provided they work or take part in job training. (etc., )

(article linked above – my brief explanation on the article’s subject below) –

NY State, Federal funding and NYC funding for the Work Advantage Program which helps homeless families get their own apartments with a short-term (2 yr) financial aid for it, has been de-funded leaving the participants homeless in the streets of New York. At one time, New York was a shooting gallery where tourists were mugged and looked more like a war zone than a city. Apparently, that is a more desirable way to handle poverty in the over-priced housing market there, than to give people a hand up and inclusion in their society.

My Note –

Reading the comments on this article has been very disgusting and disheartening because of the cruelty expressed, the narrow-minded misogyny blatantly obvious in so many of the comments, and for the obscene level of prejudice and intolerance shown in such a vast number of them. It reminded me of listening to am talk radio, almost any Christian church program on tv or in person and at least a few of the right-wing websites. Not all the comments were like that, but so many were and so many included assumptions about the people in the story, the people in the shelters, the people in the Advantage program and the people who are homeless in general. It doesn’t set the blame for our economic Depression on those whose bad plays and bad policies created it, but rather on those who had nothing to do with it but are suffering as a result.

This isn’t America anymore – it is nothing but a place where the right-wing conservatives constantly scream, talk and write some excuse for ethnic, religious, moral or “other” cleansing of all those who don’t measure up to their idea of valuable Americans, including those who are simply homeless, elderly, disabled or economically disadvantaged. That is wrong. It doesn’t matter if that attitude is present as the reason for exclusion, for genocide, for rounding up people as they did in Nazi Germany, or here in America promoting cruelty, intolerance and denying people even the most basic needs of survival – it is wrong.

I’m lucky – I personally know the girl in the story and in the video. The people making those comments could not even begin to imagine what the import of their words mean. Nor could they begin to understand because they don’t want to know. The cruel and intolerant comments make it obvious that they have already decided about the people around them and it doesn’t matter if those are fellow Americans or not. There is no enemy who would need to destroy our nation when we have community members like those who would turn on anyone as if their life were not worthwhile simply because they have sorry economic conditions and few economic opportunities.

– cricketdiane

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And then there’s this –

The Real Housewives of Wall Street

Why is the Federal Reserve forking over $220 million in bailout money to the wives of two Morgan Stanley bigwigs?

By Matt Taibbi
April 12, 2011 9:55 AM ET

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-real-housewives-of-wall-street-look-whos-cashing-in-on-the-bailout-20110411

Most Americans know about that budget. What they don’t know is that there is another budget of roughly equal heft, traditionally maintained in complete secrecy. After the financial crash of 2008, it grew to monstrous dimensions, as the government attempted to unfreeze the credit markets by handing out trillions to banks and hedge funds. And thanks to a whole galaxy of obscure, acronym-laden bailout programs, it eventually rivaled the “official” budget in size — a huge roaring river of cash flowing out of the Federal Reserve to destinations neither chosen by the president nor reviewed by Congress, but instead handed out by fiat by unelected Fed officials using a seemingly nonsensical and apparently unknowable methodology.

Now, following an act of Congress that has forced the Fed to open its books from the bailout era, this unofficial budget is for the first time becoming at least partially a matter of public record. Staffers in the Senate and the House, whose queries about Fed spending have been rebuffed for nearly a century, are now poring over 21,000 transactions and discovering a host of outrages and lunacies in the “other” budget. It is as though someone sat down and made a list of every individual on earth who actually did not need emergency financial assistance from the United States government, and then handed them the keys to the public treasure. The Fed sent billions in bailout aid to banks in places like Mexico, Bahrain and Bavaria, billions more to a spate of Japanese car companies, more than $2 trillion in loans each to Citigroup and Morgan Stanley, and billions more to a string of lesser millionaires and billionaires with Cayman Islands addresses. “Our jaws are literally dropping as we’re reading this,” says Warren Gunnels, an aide to Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. “Every one of these transactions is outrageous.”

(etc., etc., etc., – including – )

“That doesn’t seem like a whole lot, considering that Goldman Sachs alone received roughly $800 billion in loans from the Fed.”

and the two housewives of Morgan Stanley who received loans without any business background whatsoever.

**

The writer says –

“This is what welfare for the rich looks like.”

**

And from the last page of the article, this note –

Even more disturbing, the major stakeholder in the Bahrain bank is none other than the Central Bank of Libya, which owns 59 percent of the operation. In fact, the Bahrain bank just received a special exemption from the U.S. Treasury to prevent its assets from being frozen in accord with economic sanctions. That’s right: Muammar Qaddafi received more than 70 loans from the Federal Reserve, along with the Real Housewives of Wall Street.

Perhaps the most irritating facet of all of these transactions is the fact that hundreds of millions of Fed dollars were given out to hedge funds and other investors with addresses in the Cayman Islands. Many of those addresses belong to companies with American affiliations — including prominent Wall Street names like Pimco, Blackstone and . . . Christy Mack. Yes, even Waterfall TALF Opportunity is an offshore company. It’s one thing for the federal government to look the other way when Wall Street hotshots evade U.S. taxes by registering their investment companies in the Cayman Islands. But subsidizing tax evasion? Giving it a federal bailout?

(and there’s more . . . )

**

Apparently our Treasury is a private banking club for the wealthy and Wall Street, including New York’s most elite who got in over their heads on bad bets and lost their money making risky gambles. But, the taxpayers bought those risky assets that weren’t worth the paper they were written on – and put hundreds of billions (which added up, are the trillions we now owe in deficits across every state and the federal budget, along with creating the unimaginable US debt which we, the taxpayers are paying out more in interest than nearly our entire revenues combined . . . – and that is my note about it.)

But, for some reason – the value of those people who put our nation into financial meltdown is considered “above reproach, above the law and above the rest of us” and every other human life in America, especially those of the poor, elderly, disabled, economically disadvantaged, economically struggling, young mothers, children and babies is disdained with no considered value whatsoever. The comments on the NY Times article about the Work Advantage program being suddenly de-funded along with a multitude of other social safety net programs being de-funded by Republican budget cuts recently, including the WIC program to ensure milk, eggs, cheese, cereal and fruit juice is available to pregnant women, babies and toddlers across America – make it obvious that NY and Washington believe the “bad guys” are the economically impoverished, not Qaddafi or hedge funds or mega bankers or Wall Street who actually devised the consummate downfall of the world’s economic foundations, including our own.

That was a handful of a sentence to say this – Our politicians are serving those bastards that sit at the table with them and Americans aren’t at that table – but they are using our money to do it. And, out of everyone in New York including the richest 1% who hold nearly all the US funds available to anyone for anything – if there is anyone who is preventing the recovery of our nation’s economy, it is them – not someone who needs an extra $400 a month to afford a single room apartment in New York in order to live there, work there and care for herself and her child. If New York City hadn’t diverted the Section 8 housing vouchers’ money to their rich friends wanting to use it to buy and refurbish real estate in the city, their wouldn’t have been the kind of homeless problem there is now.

If the Governor’s financial team had included American citizens instead of financial brokers from Wall Street, the Federal and State’s matching funds for the Advantage program wouldn’t have been decimated to divert it to cover Nassau County’s Wall Street portfolio losses and costs that cover the richest suburban county in the world. It rather decries of ineptitude and complacency that people don’t even know that. It doesn’t matter to them as long as they believe what they are told to believe by some high school graduate on a right wing talk radio show making millions sponsored by gold and silver traders like most of them are. The hate perpetrated by the conservative right and threaded through the comments on the article about the homeless in NYC, indicates an unwillingness to deal with reality which, in every way imaginable states factually, that we are all in the same boat. It was not the homeless individuals, the disabled, disadvantaged, elderly, infirmed or single mothers that caused the boat to be sinking – and not one of us, including those making snide hateful comments on the article are at the table with the bankers, insurance companies, CEOs, Wall Street firms, hedge funds, large corporations, commercial real estate developers, oil speculators, options traders, or gold traders that have run this country into the ground. Not one of us sits at Mayor Bloomberg’s table or Governor Cuomo’s table when decisions are made. Neither the homeless, nor the average financially stable American citizen is at that table, nor invited to be. They are serving Moammar Qaddafi, not us. They have been serving Hosni Mubarak, not us. They are in love with the thinking of vile dictators whose favor they want, not ours. They are worshiping Exxon and BP and anyone else that represents a corporate interest who were given the greater rights as citizens than the citizens themselves in America, as of many years ago during Republican administrations which have been ruling America.

So, after insisting that “every life is valuable” with a “unique and valuable contribution” to make in America and for America, the real deal described by the conservatives and right-wing policy makers, talk show hosts, comments such as those on this NY Times article, Christian churches across America, Tea Party candidates and other ultra right wing Republicans is that – What?

What does it say actually? That the real deal according to them AS SHOWN BY THEIR ACTIONS AND WORDS  – is What exactly?

I think it does not make it right or accurate or factual or “the truth” or correct or best for America – regardless of what that attitude conveys . . .

And, I will say that first – because it looks like “they” are saying, “the girl in the NYTimes story and everyone like her anywhere in America, along with their children, are not valuable to America, nor to their fellow Americans, nor to the communities in which they live and work, nor valuable as contributors, nor valued as a part of America.” And, it implies as well as states and re-states, that the ruling class, money hungry and never satiated, consider the people of America to be in “their way across their America and in their New York and at any place anywhere in America where these less than millionaires might be hanging on by a thread.”

Hmmm……….

Aren’t those the same right-wing conservatives whose children beat a homeless man to death for “fun”? And, the same ideologically based group of people whose words perpetrated dragging a gay man behind a truck for several miles after nearly beating him to death and then left him on a barbed wire fence to die in the middle of nowhere? Aren’t they the same ones who frequent the expensive and most perverted of all madame services in Washington, New York and elsewhere and the only ones who are running lines of cocaine up their own and their children’s noses? Aren’t they the same ones supporting the re-invention of the American dream to exclude every single American family, except their own? And, aren’t these the same thinking people whose ideas, voices, talking points and politics are given to them in an endless stream of talk radio right wing conservative intolerance, prejudice, bigotry, misogyny and demands for the separation of our nation into 50 sovereign nation states rather than one great indivisible nation?

Aren’t they the same ones who make money off prisons as a business, divert funds for community social nets into conservative think tanks instead, and talk endlessly about whatever soap opera or reality show or Jerry Springer type show draws their attention while shunning any news shows that don’t tell them what to think and how to think about the news stories of the day? And, aren’t these the same ones that preached from their Christian church pulpits, every reason in the world to hate those around them for being homeless, for being smelly, for being badly clothed, for being a member of some other church or some other faith, for being different, for thinking differently, for being gay, for being of a different race or nationality, for being an immigrant, for being fat, for being anorexic, for being a single mother, for being a woman out of wedlock, for being unemployed, for being underemployed, for being old, for being ill all the time, for being on crutches holding up all the regular people trying to get in the door, for being mentally disabled, for being a person with a menial job, for being a person with only a part time job, for being a temporarily employed person, for not having a pension, for not having a car, for not being a property or land owner, for not being a Republican, for not being a conservative, for not being a right wing believer and supporter, for not being passive enough, for not being cooperative enough, for not being socially fit, for not being blonde, for not being manicured, for not having on the right shoes, for not having on the right clothes, for not being a member of the church, for not being as well-off financially as the church’s general membership, for not being the “right color”, for not saying the right things, for not thinking the “right” things, and generally for not getting up at 7 am to live on the regular schedule used by everyone else in the same manner and time that everyone else in America (according to them) are using it.

Yep, those are the same people who have run this nation for the last thirty years, during administration after administration of Republicans and state upon state run by Republicans – and when did the jobs leave America? While the Republicans were running things. And, why is that?

– cricketdiane

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