“Joe the Plumber” & The American (Pipe) Dream

“I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half.”
-Jay Gould, Robber Baron

The 15 minutes of fame awarded to republican mascot, Samuel Wurzelbacher, aka “Joe the Plumber”, confirms what I have long considered to be the single greatest psychological problem afflicting working people in the US. Not the taste for mass-produced,  country “music” that is pumped from Nashville into large motor vehicles and  suburban and rural homes like sewage, but that steady journey to a mirage of an oasis, in this social desert. Mr. Wurzelbacher embodies the economic Stockholm syndrome of working people confusing their desires with those of the elites.

A lesser evil was the form that some of the corporate media/liberal blogger attacks against Mr. Wurzelbacher took. Not having internet access, at the time, I missed out on some of the more entertaining, but sadly untrue rumors such as the ones where his dad was Charles Keating’s (of McCain’s “pre-maverick” days) son-in-law. There’s no way I wouldn’t have bitten on that one. I fully comprehend that he volunteered to be a partisan combatant and should not have been surprised when bureaucrats in Ohio and elsewhere ran his numbers. The media focus on his back taxes and inability to complete a specialized training program and obtain professional licensing, portrayed being working poor as a moral failing, since millions of us have been in those kinds of situations. The liberal strategy of combating phony populism with genuine elitism seems somewhat misguided.

Why such a “great american”  who is connected to an astrofturf pseudo-union would choose to lie and associate himself with something as “marxist” as trade union (on myspace and facebook) is beyond me, especially when said trade union had given the member dues to the opposition candidate. Personally,  I’d no sooner pretend to be a member of plumbers union than a motorcycle “club”.

Like many people in the US, Wurzelbacher suffers from the delusion of cross-class mobility. Some people are willing to suffer any indignity, not just higher taxes in the here-and-now and allow the wealthy to get away with anything, in anticipation of a massive rise in personal income, like lottery winners and Bill Gates and Michael Jordan and Metallica and they can’t bear the thought of their dream wedding, hypothetical fortune being overtaxed. It’s Stockholm syndrome. How many people toil their lives away under the mistaken impression that they will one day buy the business they work for? I have about the same chance of buying that plumbing company as he does. Is it just another version of “being rewarded in heaven” or an economic Rapture? If a corporate entity is large enough, even the working poor who toil for it can buy stock in the company they work for. It is regarded as great privilege to possess a speck of a symbolic representation of the means of production. You become a gambler, although a less than insignificant one, and your low wages and paltry benefits and even your layoff, should it be deemed necessary, are all fixes implemented to benefit and improve the odds, for you, the shareholder. Your 401(k) depends on large groups of other workers and the planet itself being done even worse than you are.

Even in the US, these market fundamentalist, folk traditions often exact an even higher toll than mere degradation and wholesale boredom and they are not without their martyrs. Some people work themselves to death much faster than others in pursuit of the “American (sic) Dream”.


Donnell Summers’ Felony Charge Dropped

The trumped up charge of aggravated riot, against North Toledo resident, Donnell Summers has been dropped. The persecution prosecution finally ran out of delays, and were unable to engineer enough evidence.

Lucas County Assistant DA Jim Vail seemed surprised that Mr. Summers would refuse to accept the State’s version of events, as if they were doing people a favor by incarcerating them:

“We’re fine with it as compared to the other defendants’ behavior and his behavior, and as far as what we could prove at this time,” he said.

“The state treated the other co-defendants in this case based on the evidence we had at the time,” he said. Dozens of people have pleaded guilty to the aggravated riot charge.

(Warning: above link is to corporate media account, which states in the first paragraph that Donnell Summers “accepted responsibility for his role.” They are worse than the courts. Neither the media nor the legal system accept responsibility for their role.)

Donnell plead guilty to a misdemeanor riot charge, for convenience’s sake, and is scheduled to be sentenced August 16. The charges stem from the October 15, 2005 rising, when North Toledo residents and antifa made no distinction between those who embrace fascism as a hobby, such as the National Socialist Movement, and the real stormtroopers, the ones who get a paycheck for it (not to mention combinations of the two, as these groups love to snitch on each other, there was at least one FBI informant). Lagrange rose up when the State mobilized to force the populace to bow before visiting groups and individuals, who advocate, among other things, genocide against huge segments of the community.

In Lagrange, as in poor neighborhoods throughout the US, the role of the police force becomes abundantly clear. The occupation of Iraq, and the treatment of ‘detainees’, are simply US police work. Intimidation, corruption, brutality, sexual assault, and the use of false evidence and exaggerated charges to subjugate the population (these are only examples from Toledo), and the police are often viewed as “just another gang”. Normally, though, they have more sense than to seamlessly blend in with a Nazi parade. Perhaps they were inspired by the Orange Order hate marches in the north of Ireland, who were recently lionized at the Smithsonian.

Of course, the resistance in North Toledo elicited the typical reaction from pundits and preachers in $1200 shoes, alike. The classic “don’t stand up for yourselves, you’ll look bad”.

Bad to who? The fascists in cub scout uniforms? We know what they think. The police? They don’t just wear outfits similar to the boneheads. White Liberals? Not only do they believe that Nazis have a “right” to “free speech“, they hate any poor person who refuses to be ‘saved’ or ‘civilized’ by them. Same with the preacher man with tailored suits and his “cursed are the ‘uppity’, for they can’t go to heaven”.

They can all go to hell…

News from Toledo, OH Rebel/Political Prisoner, Lasandra Burwell

More News from Lassandra Burrwell!

gall03standoffap.jpgPlease Forward

We received 2 letters from locked down Toledo Rebel Lasandra Burwell in the past month. For those that don’t know Lasandra is doing 5 years in state prison for throwing bricks at police and smashing a police cars wind shield at a Nazi rally on 10/15/05.

She is thankful for the letters and support and goes on to say in part “Keep writing cuz letters are like fresh air, when I hear was goin on in the outside world… Its like a dark cloud hanging over this place. But I try not to let it get me down, if its nothing positive I stay away …. I’m missing my husband and kids dearly. I spend the days I’m not
working reading and trying to stay out of the way.”

She made a couple requests for support. Keep in mind all books sent to Ohio prisoners MUST come from a bookstore or the publisher. The Books 4 Prisoners Crew is an approved distributor of books to Ohio prisoners and is happy to forward on any books to Lasandra you may have. All books should be paperback and in new or like new condition. Contact us for more info.

1. Any books by Jerome Dicky
2. Dutch by Nikki Turner (I got the impression from her letter that this might be a series)
3. Any books by E. Lynn Harris

She also says her husband cannot afford to send her care packages. Care packages from friends and family were banned in Ohio a couple years ago under the guise of security and now must come directly from a third party for profit vendor at inflated prices. She says “This places food is no good.” and requests if anyone can afford it to send her coffee and creamer but mentions she would be grateful for anything. Check out


Lasandra can also get up to 3 embossed envelopes per letter (NO loose stamps!). With collect calls from prisoners running as high as $3.30 – $7 for 15 min (with phone company’s giving kickbacks to the state to prey on prisoners family’s with these outrageous charges). Letters are one of the only ways for her to keep in contact with her family. Please show Lasandra she is not forgotten and support her in one of the above mentioned ways. Even a letter will help keep her spirits up.

In The Struggle,
The Books 4 Prisoners Crew
P.O. Box 19065
Cincinnati, OH 45219

Lasandra Burwell #63658
Ohio Reformatory For Women
1479 Collins Ave.
Marysville, OH 43040