Selected Shorts

              Catch 22 — Revisited

“You mean there’s a catch?”

 “Sure there’s a catch ,”  Doc Daneeka replied, “catch – 22. Anyone who wants to get out of combat duty isn’t really crazy.”

There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one’s own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn’t, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn’t have to; but if he didn’t want to he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle. That’s some catch, that Catch-22″, he observed. “It’s the best there is, “Doc Daneeka agreed.

Catch-22 Joseph Heller October 1962

Food For Thought

What sort of person does not think there is anything wrong with asking the folks that are tasked with teaching our children to take a 20% cut on a $50,000 annual salary, but think it’s a terrible idea to ask millionaires to pay an additional 3% in taxes?

First Cuts

Salary of retired US Presidents ……………$180,000 FOR LIFE
Salary of House/Senate …………………..$174,000 FOR LIFE
Salary of Speaker of the House …………..$223,500 FOR LIFE
Salary of Majority/Minority Leaders ……… $193,400 FOR LIFE
Average Salary of a teacher …………….. $40,065
Average Salary of Soldier Deployed in Afghanistan………. $38,000
I think we found where some cuts should be made!  Pass it on! 

Being Invisible

“During my second year of nursing school our professor gave us a quiz.  I breezed through the questions until I read the last one:  “What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?”  Surely this was a joke.  I had seen the cleaning woman several times, but how would I know her name?  I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank.  Before the class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our grade.  “Absolutely,” the professor said.  “In your careers, you will meet many people.  All are significant.  They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say hello.”  I’ve never forgotten that lesson.  I also learned her name was Dorothy.”      Joann C. Jones





The Door is Open Now: How to Get Medicare for Everybody in Broome County

By  Ron Jones

In 2009 when Washington was all tied up with the health care reform debate, Montana Senator Max Baucus, Chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee said everything was on the table for discussion except “single payer.”  A group of doctors, nurses and others Single Payer advocates in the gallery that day stood up to protest.  Baucus had them arrested and hauled away. Read the rest of this entry »

Wall Street Is Here!

By Dave Duncan

Occupy Wall Street people are in Binghamton, NYC, Oakland, Ca and other cities throughout the country and the world,  protesting the transfer of funds from one class of people to another class of people. While poverty, homelessness, infant mortality, and hunger, unemployment are at levels not seen in most of our lifetimes, we have a government that only knows how to feed the wealthy.  The working class of this country is providing the sweat and the taxes that are used to line the pockets of the millionaires and billionaires. Read the rest of this entry »


On Wed. night around 11pm firemen came to evacuate my 85 year old mother and me. I thought the alarm installed by ANITEC on our corner should have gone off-it didn’t! We were told we were going to the RED OAK but when we got there it was closed. The firemen were pretty upset.  We finally ended up at McDonalds on upper Front St.  – 1st ward neighbor Read the rest of this entry »

Chavez versus Obama: Facing Presidential Elections in 2011

Summary of Essay

Submitted by James Petras


            Two incumbent presidents are running for re-election in 2012, Hugo Chavez in Venezuela and Barack Obama in the United States. What makes these two electoral contests significant is that they represent contrasting responses to the global economic crises:  Chavez following his democratic socialist program pursues policies promoting large scale long-term public investment and spending directed at employment, social welfare and economic growth:  Obama guided by his ideological commitment to corporate financial capitalism, pours billions into bailing out Wall Street speculators, focuses on reducing the public deficit and slashes taxes and offers government subsidies to business in the hope that the banks will lend, the private sector will invest.  Obama hopes the corporate sector will start to hire the unemployed.  Chavez’s economic strategy is directed toward increasing popular demand by increasing the social wage.  Obama’s strategy is directed toward enriching the elite, hoping for a “trickle down” effect.  Chavez’s economic recovery program is based on the public sector, the state, taking the lead in light of the capitalist market induced crises and the failure of the private sector to invest. Obama’s economic recovery and employment program depends wholly on the private sector, utilizing tax handouts to stimulate domestic investments which generate employment. Read the rest of this entry »

More Tales of Resistance

By The Recalcitrant Gourmet

As our society declines into an abyss of corporatism our food supply has also been co-opted by conglomerates and factory farms that place almost all their meaning for existence on profits over people.

One prime example of this is Monsanto’s production of Genetically Modified Organisms or GMO seeds. While there is ongoing scientific debate as to the environmental safety and healthfulness of these crops, one fact remains: that many GMO’s are designed to tolerate excessive levels of another Monsanto product: Round-Up herbicide! Yes most GMO’s are simply a way for “farmers” to use more poison around the food we eat. Read the rest of this entry »

Flood 2011

By Legs Akimbo

Forty five days and counting…that’s how long ago the flood ended and the wait for FEMA trailers began. The Binghamton Press reported 5,000 homeless people throughout Broome County because of this tragedy. What urban renewal couldn’t finish the flood has…namely the forcible removal of many of the poorest people in our community. The temperature last night dropped to 42 degrees and promises to go into the 30’s sometime this week. So many questions remain…are the trailers insulated, will they be sited at their former dwellings or grouped together in some strategic hamlet without benefit of economic development (i.e. laundry, bus shelters/stops, the ability to get a loaf of bread or milk for breakfast)? Read the rest of this entry »