“Requiem for the American Dream” film with Noam Chomsky coming to the Loft Theater




STARTS FRIDAY, MARCH 18 at the Loft Theater, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. Tucson

“Requiem for the American Dream is the definitive discourse with Noam Chomsky, widely regarded as the most important intellectual alive, on the defining characteristic of our time – the deliberate concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a select few.

Through riveting and candid conversations filmed over four years, Chomsky unpacks the principles that have brought us to the crossroads of historically unprecedented inequality – tracing a half- century of policies designed to favor the most wealthy at the expense of the majority – while also looking back on his own life of activism and political participation. Profoundly personal and thought provoking, Chomsky provides penetrating insight into what may well be the lasting legacy of our time – the death of the middle class, and swan song of functioning democracy. (Dir. by Peter D. Hutchison, Kelly Nyks & Jared P. Scott, 2015, USA, 73 mins., Not Rated)”

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Carolyn Classen
Carolyn Sugiyama Classen, a life long Democrat, was born & raised in the State of Hawaii, was a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye on Capitol Hill, and practiced law for a while. In Tucson she worked as a tribal staff attorney for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and later was the Interim Executive Director of the now defunct Domestic Violence Commission. In 2008 she became a “My Tucson” guest columnist for the Tucson Citizen newspaper, then continued blogging for Tucsoncitizen.com for over four and a half years. Her blogsite was entitled “Carolyn’s Community” about community events and some political news, until Gannett Publishing shut down the site on January 31, 2014. She started with Blog for Arizona on Feb. 11, 2014. Part time she has been sitting as a Hearing Officer in Pima County Consolidated Justice Courts Small Claims Division since April, 2005. She is married to University of Arizona Distinguished Professor Albrecht Classen, a native of Germany. They have one son, who lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and daughter. She is also the Editor of the Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition website, www.southernazjapan.org (since Jan. 2013).


  1. Thanks for all your comments. Now I’m sure this movie will have a successful run at the independent Loft Theater. Noam Chomsky will be here in person inTucson on March 25. See the Calendar listing for that day.

  2. Thucydides speaks! Y’know dude, that kinda high-falutin’, pointy-headed intellectual talk at a Trump rally could get your ass beaten up as badly as if you were a BLM demonstrator: “When I hear the word ‘culture’, I want to reach for my gun” (Nazi playwright/poet Hanns Johst)

  3. This whole blog is a troll a significant percentage of the time- “evil bastards” etc.

    However, in the spirit of the critique, let me be more diplomatic.

    Philosophy has degenerated to a 1800 year assault on Plato but Plato is still standing. From Aristotle to Hume, to Hobbes, to Paine, to Kant, to Marx, to AJ Ayre, to Sartre, to Chomsky.

    Consider the role of positivism on our current affairs. Positivism essentially says, if you say it is so then it is so. Or, if enough people say it is so then it is.

    The science of Global Warming is so absurd that you can punch through it in a few minutes of research once you know what to look for.

    The science of taxation is even more absurd. The top one percent pay hugely more at tax rates far below the 72% of 1980. But, we have a slew of slickster research articles saying it never happened.

    Plato’s allegory of the cave never applied so aptly as it does to our current day circumstances.

      • Droll and drivel. Alliterative but poorly chosen insults. I would have chosen pretentious for an insult because I felt pretentious writing the comment. Although I have spent perhaps hundreds of hours studying philosophy over the last two decades, I have never discussed it with anyone. So, the comment felt strange in the writing. However, you all are advertising Chomsky, the “grammar is mind control” guy, the nihilist, the deconstructionist, the positivist – the perfect antithesis of Plato. Someone ought to say that there are issues here.

        Where else have we heard his phrase “grammar is mind control?”

        Plato allegory of the cave applies to all of our current issues. In the allegory, he writes of an artificial reality in which all of society believes things that are not true and when even exposed to the truth, they prefer the artificial reality and chains of the cave desiring to put the truth teller to death.

        We believe that higher tax rates will create a greater prosperity and greater revenues when lower tax rates brought in monstrously higher revenues.

        We believe that CO2 is toxic when there is no evidence that this is true at all. The opposite is true.

    • But how much tax do the 1% of the top 1% pay?

      The people who don’t add anything to the economy, that never lift a shovel or put a band aid on a cut?

      None. And those are the people financing the politicians who continue to give them tax breaks and subsidies.

      They’re leaches. Rich and perfumed, but disgusting leaches all the same.

      They are are not job creators, middle class demand for stuff creates jobs, they are extracting the wealth of my country.

      Supply side was exposed as a sham in 1981 by David Stockman, climate change deniers have been exposed by Exxon’s internal documents, you get your data from sham science bought and paid for by big oil. Learn to research your sources..

      That you cannot tell propaganda from reality is concerning given your previous position in education.

      Oops, made the mistake of mentioning education….to the others here, I apologize for the inevitable barrage of cherry picked facts.

      • The Fortune 50 amount to 1/4 of 1% of the world’s population yet they produce 29% of the gdp of the world. That’s what the top 1% of the top 1% do, they organize the rest of us. Steve Jobs revolutionized 7 different industries by apply the Platonic concept of abstraction to derive the absolute essence of each one, essentially developing a Platonic form for each industry. Steve Jobs created value beyond belief. He took the ideas given to him by a high school philosophy teacher and his adopted parents to unimaginable heights.

        Sam Walton revolutionized the retail industry giving a previously unimaginable standard of living to every poor person in America. Walmart by itself drove a 1% productivity increase through our economy for ten straight years. Yet, Walton drove his 1957 pickup truck and lived in his $150,000 house and worked 12 hour days right up till his death consuming not even 1/1000 of a percent of the wealth he created. Every penny he made was reinvested to reduce prices and create jobs for poor people.

        My wife is one of these people. She created a home health business starting with her and a college friend. When she started the business she had to do all the home calls herself because she couldn’t afford to hire someone. That meant she had to work 24 hours a day. Night after night, 1 am, 2 am and 3 am screaming with the pain of severe sleep deprivation she went out on call. But, it worked, she grew a reputation and a business with eventually 500 employees.

        Three of my brothers are these people. They all started started businesses in their garages. Buying machines, starting manufacturing businesses (the most brutally competitive arena to compete in). They all started by working unimaginable hours month after month year after year until things got rolling.

        Our mythology of the “robber” barons is just that – mythology. The robber barons succeeded by driving down prices creating the gilded era from 1870 to 1900. Copper became affordable enabling the electrification of America. Oil became affordable, enabling the lighting of America and Vanderbilt drove transportation prices so low that he gave away transportation making his money by selling food on the trips.

        All of the “robber” barons oppressed people all right, people who were charging high prices. If you were charging poor people high prices, you were wiped out by the robber barons- Vanderbilt in transportation, Carnegie in steel.

        Per capita income in the United States was $377 in 1914 compared to Britain in second place at $244, Germany at $184, France at $153, and Italy at $108, while Russia and Japan trailed far behind at $41 and $36.

        That was back when we didn’t have an income tax and the top 10% of the 1% were trusted to organize everything. If you continue the trend line of the period before we developed an income tax, we would be at a gdp of 38 trillion instead of 18 trillion.

        We owe all of modern society to the 1%. Take Robert Noyce for example, the founder of Intel. He single handedly created Silicon Valley by creating the modern hi tech organization. He operated out of a desk and an office that was identical to that of everyone else. Not the slightest hint of pretention. It simply is more efficient and effective to operate like this. He priced his semiconductors at 50% of cost gambling that he could bring the cost down by the middle of the contract. He revolutionized the world by freely giving away his technology to his competitors.

        • Half of the workers at Walton’s are on food stamps, because they don’t get paid enough to live on. The Walton’s are building their family fortune with my tax dollars. I want those back.

          They even give training to their employees on how to apply for assistance, and they have in store food drives for…. their own employees.

          Throw in the ‘externalities’ as economists call them, meaning damage to the local community, and that everything in a Walton’s in made in China, and you prove my point.

          I used to be a fiscal conservative/social liberal, Cheney and his pretend WMD’s and the aftermath of the 2008 housing crash cured me.

          I woke up one day and my house was suddenly worth half of what we paid for it, same house, same neighborhood. After the original speculators (capitalists) were cleared out, the cash buyers (Wall Street) moved in.

          So I realized that my fiscal conservative philosophy wasn’t working. The world proved it.

          And I started doing my homework.

          The Walton’s take my tax money (in the form of food stamps for their employees) and give back very little.

          Whereas if we paid their employees more, I’d have less taxes, they employees would spend the extra money and so would I.

          And that would be the tide that lifts all boats.

          Good for your family starting their own businesses, I’ve started a few myself. It’s tough work, but it has NOTHING to do with the current system that is rigged for the top 1% of the 1%.

          I wasn’t born a raving progressive, people like you made me this way.

          The Walton’s are the ultimate robber barons.

          Learn some history.

          • Get real. First, minimum wage is incredibly destructive of opportunity for the poor. Just look at the 90% unemployment of blacks from 16 to 24. Locked out of the marketplace that would allow them to get started. If a person can get started, at any wage, they quickly move up. 85 percent of all employees starting at the bottom move above minimum wage within three years.

            Second, overinvestment in housing was created, not by breach of Glass-Steagall, but by collectivist impulses which created “liar loans” by which people without the ability to repay loans could easily access them and then government entities backing up that stupidity. Those collectivist impulses primarily originated from democrat lawmakers. The so called breach of Glass-Steagall is pure myth like many others that protect collectivists from responsibility. The investment banking activities associated with overinvestment in housing were never even illegal under Glass-Steagal.

            Finally, Walmart is just a whipping boy for failure of national policies of overregulation, welfare entrapment and overtaxation. Sam Walton created 1.4 million jobs in the US. Hundreds of thousands of their higher paid employees started at the bottom and were provided the opportunity of a ladder to higher paid positions. Over 1.1 million in the US have complete health care coverage.

            Their coverage is more complete than Target and other major retailers.

          • John,

            ?About half of all workers in the bottom 20 percent of wage earners (roughly anyone earning less than $10.10) receive public assistance in the form of Medicaid and the six primary means-tested income-support programs, either directly or through a family member. These programs include the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC); the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps; the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP); the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC); the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program; and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program (TANF) or equivalent state and/or local cash assistance programs.”

            Source – http://www.epi.org/publication/safety-net-savings-from-raising-minimum-wage/

            In the system as currently constructed, companies like Waltons and McDonalds are transferring wealth from the middle class to themselves.

            The 1% of the 1% are parasites.

      • Is NASA Exxon?
        Other researchers, paid for by the United Nations no less, found this far earlier than NASA.
        Read it carefully. The Antarctic has 90% of the world’s ice. Note the quandary between the Antarctic having record ice and the rise in ocean levels. The math doesn’t add up. The rise in ocean levels has to be a fraud or more diplomatically, an error like the previous errors concerning Antarctic ice volumes.

        NASA Study: Mass Gains of Antarctic Ice Sheet Greater than Losses

        A new NASA study says that Antarctica is overall accumulating ice. Still, areas of the continent, like the Antarctic Peninsula photographed above, have increased their mass loss in the last decades.

        Map showing the rates of mass changes from ICESat 2003-2008 over Antarctica.

        Map showing the rates of mass changes from ICESat 2003-2008 over Antarctica. Sums are for all of Antarctica: East Antarctica (EA, 2-17); interior West Antarctica (WA2, 1, 18, 19, and 23); coastal West Antarctica (WA1, 20-21); and the Antarctic Peninsula (24-27). A gigaton (Gt) corresponds to a billion metric tons, or 1.1 billion U.S. tons.

        Credits: Jay Zwally/ Journal of Glaciology

        A new NASA study says that an increase in Antarctic snow accumulation that began 10,000 years ago is currently adding enough ice to the continent to outweigh the increased losses from its thinning glaciers.

        The research challenges the conclusions of other studies, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 2013 report, which says that Antarctica is overall losing land ice.

        According to the new analysis of satellite data, the Antarctic ice sheet showed a net gain of 112 billion tons of ice a year from 1992 to 2001. That net gain slowed to 82 billion tons of ice per year between 2003 and 2008.

        “We’re essentially in agreement with other studies that show an increase in ice discharge in the Antarctic Peninsula and the Thwaites and Pine Island region of West Antarctica,” said Jay Zwally, a glaciologist with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and lead author of the study, which was published on Oct. 30 in the Journal of Glaciology. “Our main disagreement is for East Antarctica and the interior of West Antarctica – there, we see an ice gain that exceeds the losses in the other areas.” Zwally added that his team “measured small height changes over large areas, as well as the large changes observed over smaller areas.”

        Scientists calculate how much the ice sheet is growing or shrinking from the changes in surface height that are measured by the satellite altimeters. In locations where the amount of new snowfall accumulating on an ice sheet is not equal to the ice flow downward and outward to the ocean, the surface height changes and the ice-sheet mass grows or shrinks.

        But it might only take a few decades for Antarctica’s growth to reverse, according to Zwally. “If the losses of the Antarctic Peninsula and parts of West Antarctica continue to increase at the same rate they’ve been increasing for the last two decades, the losses will catch up with the long-term gain in East Antarctica in 20 or 30 years — I don’t think there will be enough snowfall increase to offset these losses.”

        The study analyzed changes in the surface height of the Antarctic ice sheet measured by radar altimeters on two European Space Agency European Remote Sensing (ERS) satellites, spanning from 1992 to 2001, and by the laser altimeter on NASA’s Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) from 2003 to 2008.

        Zwally said that while other scientists have assumed that the gains in elevation seen in East Antarctica are due to recent increases in snow accumulation, his team used meteorological data beginning in 1979 to show that the snowfall in East Antarctica actually decreased by 11 billion tons per year during both the ERS and ICESat periods. They also used information on snow accumulation for tens of thousands of years, derived by other scientists from ice cores, to conclude that East Antarctica has been thickening for a very long time.

        “At the end of the last Ice Age, the air became warmer and carried more moisture across the continent, doubling the amount of snow dropped on the ice sheet,” Zwally said.

        The extra snowfall that began 10,000 years ago has been slowly accumulating on the ice sheet and compacting into solid ice over millennia, thickening the ice in East Antarctica and the interior of West Antarctica by an average of 0.7 inches (1.7 centimeters) per year. This small thickening, sustained over thousands of years and spread over the vast expanse of these sectors of Antarctica, corresponds to a very large gain of ice – enough to outweigh the losses from fast-flowing glaciers in other parts of the continent and reduce global sea level rise.

        Zwally’s team calculated that the mass gain from the thickening of East Antarctica remained steady from 1992 to 2008 at 200 billion tons per year, while the ice losses from the coastal regions of West Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula increased by 65 billion tons per year.

        “The good news is that Antarctica is not currently contributing to sea level rise, but is taking 0.23 millimeters per year away,” Zwally said. “But this is also bad news. If the 0.27 millimeters per year of sea level rise attributed to Antarctica in the IPCC report is not really coming from Antarctica, there must be some other contribution to sea level rise that is not accounted for.”

        “The new study highlights the difficulties of measuring the small changes in ice height happening in East Antarctica,” said Ben Smith, a glaciologist with the University of Washington in Seattle who was not involved in Zwally’s study.

        “Doing altimetry accurately for very large areas is extraordinarily difficult, and there are measurements of snow accumulation that need to be done independently to understand what’s happening in these places,” Smith said.

        To help accurately measure changes in Antarctica, NASA is developing the successor to the ICESat mission, ICESat-2, which is scheduled to launch in 2018. “ICESat-2 will measure changes in the ice sheet within the thickness of a No. 2 pencil,” said Tom Neumann, a glaciologist at Goddard and deputy project scientist for ICESat-2. “It will contribute to solving the problem of Antarctica’s mass balance by providing a long-term record of elevation changes.”

        Related Link
        •Learn more about this study

        Maria-José Viñas
        NASA’s Earth Science News Team

        Last Updated: Oct. 30, 2015

        Editor: Rob Garner

        • So, because it snows at the South Pole, this proves climate change is a hoax.

          You sound like Sarah Palin, who thinks weather is climate, and since it’s winter at her house, climate change is fake.

          When you come across these websites/books/movies that claim climate change is a hoax, search for the source, look up where their funding comes from, and it will take you back to Exxon and the Kochs.

          Learn to be skeptical of what you read, but be warned, following the money led me from right leaning to progressive believer.

          Oh yeah, and who does Palin’s hubby work for again?

          • No, what it proves is that the Climate Change case is a hoax. Not only has Antarctic ice not shrunk as all the scientists have been screaming for the last 25 years but it has grown, significantly as shown by over 100 million laser measurements.

            This also means that not only have the oceans not risen as scientists have been screaming for the last 25 years, but they have fallen.

            These aren’t studies by Exxon, this is NASA and studies financed by the United Nations. This is the very best research. These were courageous scientists who braved the scorn of the herd of morons that depend on climate alarm for billions in revenue.

            And, this is only half the picture. The other half of the picture is that Carbon Dioxide, as the fuel for photosynthesis, is incredibly beneficial to mankind and that if CO2 levels rise as projected from the current 400 parts per million to 700 parts per million not only will the rate of growth of food crops such as wheat and forests increase by over 30% but more land will become arable because it will take less water to grow crops.

            This will also be healthier for our bodies because we were created in and built for environments with much higher levels of carbon dioxide.

        • There goes that cherry-picking Huppster again.

          “A new NASA study found that there has been a net increase in land ice in Antarctica in recent years, despite a decline in some parts of the continent. The study’s lead author astutely predicted that climate science deniers would distort the study, even though it does nothing to contradict the scientific consensus on climate change or the fact that sea levels will continue to rise.”


          • Its the total ice that counts, not sea ice. Read again, total ice is at an all time record.

          • The NASA study proves the entire Climate Change case to be a fraud. Repeatedly, we have been told that the world’s ice has been decreasing and ocean levels rising. All those prior measurements and statements are proven to be false. Now we know, the world’s ice is at a record meaning that the measurements of the ocean have to be a fraud also.

            Even now, commenters on this thread are clutching at straws, pointing to statements about sea ice which is less than 9 feet thick and less than 48 gigatonnes and ignoring statements about the Antarctic Ice Sheet which is over 15,600 feet thick and amounts to more than 20 million gigatonnes.

            When I sat beside Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel prize winner being given an honorary doctorate, at an ASU graduation. I gave him, purported author of the first IPCC report, a simple pop quiz. How much ice, in total, exists on the surface of the earth? I would have accepted an answer in cubic miles, cubic kilometers or gigatonnes. He did not have a clue. It was obvious that he had never considered the importance of the number.

            You all are trusting that he properly made the case.

            It appeared to me that they just slapped his name on the report to leverage his Nobel prize.

            The philosophy of positivism and Chomsky. If you say it is so, then it is. Words have no meaning. They are only about power.

            This contrasts with the philosophy of Plato which is a relentless search for the truth.

            It is no accident that Chomsky is here to talk about the false problem of income inequality when the real problem is that the poor do not make enough money because they are trapped in a cycle of welfare dependency. Two researchers layed out just how powerful this trap is: Meyer and Rosenbaum, 2001. Large labor response to welfare benefits. So did highly ranked economist Rogerson.

            Chomsky’s answer: damage and destroy the job creators who are the only people who can rescue those trapped in poverty.

  4. Your morons create policies from false research and fake philosophy that trap people in the welfare state and then relentlessly attack the people who would liberate them: job creators.

    • I would suggest that calling your hosts morons is in really poor taste and deportment. Citing false research to inform policies is also most certainly the expert domain of your political party and its wealthy benefactors.

      • I am not calling the host morons – that’s not necessary. I am calling your economists and philosophers morons.

        A philosophy of Positivism and failure to correctly specific econometric models for both supply side economics and climate change have richly earned the adjective.

        Goolsbee is just straight forward about the false specification. Right in his research papers he documents everything that his model doesn’t take into account. They figure that nobody reads original research so they are safe talking to each other within the text.

        When Karl Marx’s research came out, only 3000 people in Russia read it. That’s all it took to straightjacket a nation for over 80 years. How long will we be straightjacketed by the false research on Climate Change and Supply Side economics?

    • Your hypothesis that the 1% have prospered at the expense of the 99% is testable. Take every country around the world and run a regression analysis of the 1% in each country versus the other 99% or the middle 20% or the bottom 20%.

      Your hypothesis states that we would find a negative relationship. That as the 1% get wealthier, the other segments get poorer. “the rich get richer and the poor get poorer”. Nope, that is not what you find. What you find is that as the rich get richer, the poor get richer. The rich reinvest their earnings to increase opportunities and reduce costs for the poor. That’s not even taking into account streets, parks, museums paid for by the $500 billion a year they are paying in taxes.

      America’s poorest families are at the 80th percentile worldwide. That’s if all they have is food stamps. In other words, our poorest families are rich on a world wide scale. And, they are only rich because they are being carried on the backs of the 1%.

      We have regulated, taxed and completely beaten the shit out of the super organizers who could rescue us all.

      • You’re not getting it. Being rich is great, being a parasite sucking off the government dime when you’re rich is disgusting.

        “About half of all workers in the bottom 20 percent of wage earners (roughly anyone earning less than $10.10) receive public assistance”

        This is wealth transfer. The very thing you claim to be against.

        I’m done, you’ve become tiresome.

        • You are not getting it.

          Few people came from poverty as deep as I. Our house cost $500 to build. I experienced hunger every week of the year.

          What I know is that welfare traps the poor in poverty and that is what the research makes clear also. Just look at New Gingrich’s welfare reform in 1996. Half of all recipients just abandoned welfare and went out and got a job. The economy exploded. Welfare is the tool that liberals use to oppress the poor trapping them in a life of dependency.

          If we got rid of the welfare system, we wouldn’t need the welfare system. Our churches and charitable organizations could easily handle the remaining challenges.

          These arguments are all about how we create an environment that maximizes opportunity for the poor.

          • Churches and charities weren’t pulling the load prior to Social Security prior to the 1930’s and welfare in the 1960’s, so what has changed since then?

            What? Exactly WTF has changed?

            I can’t stand hearing this fake “charity” nonsense.

            Welfare wasn’t created for no reason, Falcon9.

            Capitalism has winners and losers, and capitalism requires a certain amount of unemployment to keep the labor force “liquid”.

            There will never be full employment. Unregulated capitalism eats itself.

            You’re good at parroting the Cato folks but not so much at understanding what you’re saying.

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