Re-Enforced Cynicism

December 5, 2010 at 4:28 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Last week, I took my 5 year-old granddaughter to McDonald’s so she could play on the indoor playground. While she romped, I became so bored that I read the Happy Meal box. To allay my guilt at supplying the yellow-arched juggernaut with more money the box proudly proclaimed, “Now with every Happy Meal or Mighty Kids Meal purchase, a donation is made to Ronald McDonald House Charities.

My sensitivity to corporate weasel-speak immediately set-off my bullshit detector. “…a portion…” eh? How large a portion of the $3.09 I paid for the Happy Meal is McDonald’s going to donate? I suspect most sheeple would give the matter little thought & expect perhaps 50 cents, a dollar, maybe 2 dollars to be channeled to such a worthy cause. But if that were the case, then the box would proudly state the generous specific amount.

“Probably a penny.” I said to myself with a smirk.

Within a split-second I berated myself for my cynicism. I reminded myself to give McDonald’s the benefit of the doubt. No wonder my wife, Myrtle, teases me about being such a pessimist. I felt shamed.

And then my eye fell upon the tiny footnote at the bottom of the box: “McDonald’s donates a penny per Happy Meal or Mighty Kids Meal sold.”

So McDonald’s trumpets its benevolence & then gives the smallest coinage possible. Once again I am reminded that I was not born a cynic but became one through long years of experience.
———————————————————————–
I saw in today’s headlines that official unemployment has “leaped” to 9.8%. That is a laughable statistic in light that actual joblessness in America is easily double that figure. And two years into the economic depression, the only reliable solution our pathetic so-called leaders have devised is to let unemployment benefits lapse for the long-term jobless as they’ve been letting happen since summer. The jobless who are no longer eligible for unemployment payments are no longer counted as “unemployed.” Viola! “Unemployment” problem solved.
————————————————————————
About once a year I re-read Kurt Vonnegut’s brilliant 1990 novel, Hocus Pocus, a prescient satire about America in 2001 when the nation has been thoroughly raped by its Capitalist owners & sold-off to other countries. Here is a brief excerpt taken from where the college-professor protagonist recollects a speech given by the college’s Writer in Residence. A speech that causes consternation among the college’s Board of Trustees:

He predicted, I remember, that human slavery would come back, that it had in fact never gone away. He said that so many people wanted to come here because it was so easy to rob the poor people, who got absolutely no protection from the Government. He talked about bridges falling down and water mains breaking because of no maintenance. He talked about oil spills and radioactive waste and poisoned aquifers and looted banks and liquidated corporations. “And nobody ever gets punished for anything,” he said. “Being an American means never having to say you’re sorry.”

Could have been written in 2010, huh?
————————————————————————–
Somewhere along the line I read that President Ohwhatabummer plans to let the Bush tax breaks for the rich keep on rolling for another few years. That is, long enough that he will have been voted out and then the new Republican president can finally make the tax breaks permanent. Also, I see B.O.’s Deficit Commission is getting bolder about letting us peons know just how much they are going to hammer us. Gotta pay for the billionaires’ tax breaks so wave goodbye to Social Security!

And you can be sure that in 2012 a whole bunch of liberals will still delude themselves into believing that Obama is worth their vote.
————————————————————————-
I am curious. Just when did you finally realize that our system simply exists to work-over every non-wealthy sentient being in the Milky Way? For me it was last summer when all that oil kept gushing into the Gulf of Mexico & millions of ex-workers were losing the lifeline of their unemployment benefits & the multiple wars were grinding on and the attitude of our government toward those crises was one of… peaceful detachment.

The U.S. has now reached the level of the old Soviet Union. Our economic, government, & social systems are completely wrecked & getting worse by the day & instead of fixing the mess the elites in charge spend their time grabbing all they can. And the common people have divided into 2 camps: a small percentage who still believe the lies or at least hope those around them still do & hope to grab some swag for themselves & the majority who know it is hopeless & we are going off a cliff.

If you are one of the shrinking minority who thinks our democracy will repair itself, I urge you to take a look at what is happening surrounding the revelations of government & corporate lies exposed by Wikileaks. There is a clear-cut case of “shoot the messenger.” It is enough to make baby Jesus cry.

Advertisements

Permalink 1 Comment

One More Outsourced Job

November 15, 2010 at 3:31 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

This week during his visit to India, our inspiring leader spoke of the necessity for Americans to embrace global economics (big surprise, huh?). Mr. Obama, as one of those who can be comfortable that his job will never be shipped abroad, is convinced that globalism is just terrific.

But the smug attitude of our Republicrat politicians makes me pause & think: Since our domestic “leadership” is pf such poor quality, perhaps America should outsource it to some place cheaper like we have so much else. And after all, the Chinese, Mexican, or Sri Lankan politicians who would take-over the job of running America could not possibly have less consideration for the needs of ordinary citizens than have the U.S. politicians for these past 30 years.

The irony of the global economy is that it has turned into a real-life version of one of those corny movies like “The Prince and the Pauper,” where two people, one rich & one poor, trade identities & the next think you know the poor one is getting rolled in some seedy tavern. In this version, countries like India get the high-tech jobs and get to have a middle class while America winds up unemployed & mugged in some Detroit back alley.

So much for Barry renegotiating the free trade agreements or passing legislation to stop rewarding companies that ship their jobs overseas. Remember how he promised to do those things during the 2008 campaign? Yeah, well he was hoping you wouldn’t.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Sisyphus Shrugs

November 2, 2010 at 3:59 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

During these past two years, overheatedly indignant Libertarian/Republican wackos (indignant, of course, about the election of black Communist Barack Obama to the presidency) have harkened-back to their college-days’ admiration of flaky author Ayn Rand’s work. Indulging their inner-brat, they fantasize the “truly productive” members of society (that is, the criminal-Capitalists) enacting the scenario from Rand’s homage to greed, “Atlas Shrugged” : The virtuous & brilliant owners of big-business, tired of bearing the weight of the world (like Atlas, get it?) while being unappreciated by the masses, reach the end of their patience & go on strike (shrug, get it?), withdrawing from society & causing the total collapse of the financial & industrial world.

Sales of Rand’s screed have been climbing since the 2008 economic collapse. Apparently, Social-Darwinist dunderheads find solace in its message that ordinary people are robbing the rich of deserved compensation for providing the rest of us with their leadership. All those pesky rules & regulations are dragging-down the supermen & we best be careful or the mighty just may go off someplace & sulk, leaving we lesser-humans to ruin civilization much like “Planet of the Apes.”

What is most laughable about this threat is the threatener’s absolute lack of awareness that the heads of big-business & finance are exactly the ones who repeatedly rape the environment, crash the economy, and continually feed-off the masses while providing very little (if anything) of real value to society. Time after time it is the peons who must pick-up the pieces & clean-up the mess caused by the crony-Capitalists.


If anyone should “shrug” (strike) it should be the masses who toil day after day, year after year, trying to get ahead in a system that swindles them at every turn. After a lifetime of work, most people cannot rely upon having sufficient income, retirement, & health care in a culture that strives mightily every day to knock them back to square one. America’s workers are like Sisyphus, whom the gods punished to toil exhaustingly each day pushing a huge boulder up a mountainside and when reaching the top watched helplessly as the boulder rolled down to its starting point.

All those vultures who style themselves as put-upon Atlases wouldn’t last two weeks without the people who do the real grunt work of this world.

Permalink 1 Comment

Get Out & Vote!

October 29, 2010 at 5:52 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , )

Election Day is next Tuesday. I have voted in every election since I was first eligible in 1976. I have never been an ideologue for any political party, so I’ve voted for candidates from a variety of viewpoints. There have been some times of satisfaction with the politicians & many more times of disgust with the politicians. But never have I been so thoroughly disillusioned as I am now with our system from the top in Washington to the bottom in our local communities.

I know there are concerned, competent, & compassionate people wanting to lead our cities, states, & nation. But they usually lose-out to the crooked & self-aggrandizing.

I am sure most the people working in our government bureaucracies are dedicated & hard-working. But I think they are sabotaged by the lazy & uncaring.

I believe a large portion of the business community still plays by the rules & wants to positively contribute to a better world. But they are outmaneuvered by a huge & growing culture of shysters & slave-owners.

Leading-up to this election, we have seen an even stronger emphasis than usual on a message of blindly boosting one of the two wings of America’s big-business party (known as Democrats & Republicans). While I respect the rationale for voting once-again for Democrats who are just Republican-lite, I just cannot do it anymore. I cannot vote again for Democrats who have not earned my vote by standing-up & speaking-out for ordinary citizens. Our system will never change as long as we keep only electing candidates presented by the two wings of the big-business party.

In any race where a left-leaning third party candidate is fielded, then I will back that candidate over Democrat or Republican. Obviously, that means the Libertarian & Constitutional Parties are not under consideration. If a race has only Dem or Rep options, then I will vote Democrat only if that incumbent candidate has FOUGHT for people of my socio-economic class or the non-incumbent Democrat has publicly strongly pledged to do so.

If the choice in a race is between a Republican & a DINO, then I will leave that race blank on my ballot. I cannot imagine voting for any Republican & Democrats are no longer my default choice.

Here in Ohio, I intend to vote for the Socialist candidate, Daniel LeBotz, for U.S. Senate.

For Governor, my vote is going for Anita Rios of the Green Party.

And so, my fellow Americans, I urge you to ask not only what you can do for your country but what your country can do for you. VOTE. But not for the lesser of the two very evils that are generally presented to us by the Republicrat Party. Shake things up by making our leaders EARN your vote!

Permalink Leave a Comment

Corporations & Government Exist for Us!

September 20, 2010 at 5:53 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Surely you noticed how much better the economy has gotten in the last 15 months.

Happy days are here again! Break out the bubbly!


You haven’t?

Well, neither have I. But the National Bureau of Economic Research, the august body charged with officially declaring when recessions start & stop, has officially declared that our latest recession ended in June 2009. An expansion started in July 2009.

Yes, I know, like you my first inclination was to almost fall out of my chair laughing. But in its report the NBER reminds us that they “…did not conclude that economic conditions since that month have been favorable or that the economy has returned to operating at normal capacity. Rather…the recession ended and a recovery began in that month.” Then they caution that business activity sometimes lags well into an economic expansion.

Sure, I think we all understand that the economy doesn’t instantly return to normal after a downturn. But 15 MONTHS should be more than enough time for the ground to stop falling out from under the feet of the bottom 90% of the country! And out here in the real world, that is the world outside D.C. & NYC, the ground is continuing to fall. Businesses are still closing, houses are still foreclosing, & jobs are still evaporating. And yet the NBER declares we are in a 15 month economic expansion & the politicians will happily grab onto that declaration as an excuse to keep ignoring the disaster they have brought upon the nation. After all, why help the jobless & poor when the rising tide is again lifting all boats?

Well, I think it is obvious that if the measurements show this is an economic expansion then THERE IS SOMETHING VERY WRONG WITH THE MEASUREMENTS! I do not pretend to know how the books are being cooked, do you? I suspect that all those bailouts to banksters & Wall Street con-artists & increased profits for offshoring our jobs is now being falsely measured as rising GDP (Gross Domestic Product). When a large portion, perhaps a majority, of a nation’s citizens can be on the financial ropes but the statistics show things getting better & the experts believe it, then the wrong things are being measured & the experts are fools.

One last thing. I keep hearing the “leaders” & “experts” telling us that we are in a long-term “jobless recovery.” They better keep in mind that for 300 or so million Americans it doesn’t matter how great corporate profits are or how high the Dow average or even how much the GDP grows. If all those things don’t translate into prosperity & a good quality of life for the citizens, then to Hell with the corporations, the government, & the few people who are doing great for themselves. That is why the corporations & government exist in the first place… to bring a good life to our communities!

Permalink Leave a Comment

American Shmoos

September 8, 2010 at 3:56 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Today, Jerome Doolittle, over at the Bad Attitudes site posted the above cartoon under the heading, “God save us one and all…because we plainly can’t do it by ourselves.”

I wrote the following into the comments section:
“But the Republicans have learned something: That American voters are just as gullible, ignorant, forgetful, & pliable as Republicans expected.

Silly me, I thought most Americans would remember for at least a few years how incredibly lousy Republican governance can be. But the right-wing’s ownership of all major media & continued control of all branches of government makes them able to induce an amnesiac-trance-like state in the citizenry.”
————————–
Barry Goldwater’s 1964 landslide loss to President Lyndon Johnson was devastating for the Republican party. But more than that, it was an overwhelming repudiation of ultra-conservative politics. Most Americans had lived through the Great Depression & racist oppression. They still remembered what Social Darwinism & laissez faire economics had gotten them. Living Americans had memories of times in which:

Most Americans did not own their homes or much of anything else. They made very little money at their factory, farm, or service jobs where their workweeks stretched for 60 or 70 hours. There was no vacation, no health insurance, no sick days, no safety laws, & no retirement.

Schooling, especially beyond elementary grades, was rare as young people often had to help support their families by working in backbreaking, dangerous jobs. What we think of as the carefree childhood years of play & freedom were usually reserved for offspring of the upper class.

Women & minorities were very limited in their choices for work, education, & general lifestyle.

Very few workers could look forward to ever retiring. Very few got pensions & most never made wages enough to save for their old age. They literally worked until they dropped-dead.

Anyone who fell upon hard times, such as widows, the ill, the injured, or those who lost their jobs were just s.o.l. unless they could find charity.

Wealthy people could afford to hire servants very cheaply because, after all, what other options did an uneducated, beaten-down workforce have?

This list could go on & on but I think you get the picture. And a fairly grim picture it was for all but a fortunate few. The truth is that life, for ordinary people, was all too often a tougher slog than we moderns can fathom.

My point is that those conditions improved drastically, particularly after the Socialist-lite reforms of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. As I said, a lot of Americans in 1964 had lived through tough times, knew how bad they were & what/who had caused them & could not be suckered-in by reactionary calls to return to the “good old days.” But after that blistering election defeat, the hardcore right decided to get a lot smarter & meaner. Some of the bolder wingnuts had already had John Kennedy’s brains blown-out but liberalism kept on coming. So they kept murdering or sabotaging popular lefty leaders while segueing into more subtle but more effective ploys. Over the following 45 years these budding fascists:

Bought-up all mainstream media & used it to propagandize for their cause. They flooded the airwaves & press with a conservative worldview that entirely froze-out all discussion of progressive solutions. And all the while they ridiculously asserted that the media had a bias in favor of liberalism.

Mongered lessening fear of racial, sexual, class, & religious differences back into full-blown phobias. They used this to capture the Republican party & the fundamentalist “Christian” churches. This hatred of the “other” is nearing its culmination as we face the very real prospect of worldwide “Christian” religious war against Islam along with permanent second-class citizenship for groups such as homosexuals & the poor.

Nursed America back from “Vietnam Syndrome,” which had caused the nation to become disgusted with war. By using movies (like Rambo) & other media to recast the wrong-headed war as having been lost by gutless liberals & commie sympathizers and then rebuilding troop morale & citizen patriotism by kicking the asses of pipsqueak countries (Grenada, Panama) the modern Machiavelli rekindled American’s love of war. Also, by fawning over the the military & anyone else who wears a uniform while doing a dangerous job, they have won the undying devotion of all those “heroes.” Sadly, those heroes don’t notice that after they risk their lives, rightwing leaders have no problem throwing them aside like a used paper towel. The scum who run our country now tell us we are in endless war.

Dumbed-down the educational system & poisoned the food, air, & water to rob the people of health & critical thinking capabilities. If the rapidly smartening American masses were rejecting conservatism, then the solution was to make them fuzzy-brained enough to start thinking conservatism makes sense.

Invented the overblown War on Drugs & later the War on Terror as means to persecute & imprison millions of mostly minority citizens. Mostly they were a justification for circumventing the Constitution to monitor activities of law-abiding Americans & squelch dissent.

Made sure money became more and more a vital part of the electoral equation. After all, how many of those corporate personhoods & millionaire/billionaires are going to support politicians who want the rich to do more to help the rest of us? And how can small donors compete with the mega-donors? This has reaped a bought system in which it is impossible for the non-rich to get fair treatment.

This list could also go on & on. But let us suffice to say that after 45 years of this steady re-education most Americans are totally brainwashed. They think trickle-down economics worked, they think labor unions are a bad thing for their standard of living, they think the U.S. is #1 in all the important measures of life, they think the poor are what bankrupted the treasury, they think Muslims are scary & dangerous & hate us because of our freedom, & they are ready to fight at the mere mention of Socialism/Communism. They are deluded enough to think it is possible that they, themselves, may become one of the super-rich in the very near future & so they want all those fantastic rich-people tax-breaks preserved.

We have witnessed the results of a huge & complex sociological experiment. Question: Is it possible to take a population & feed it a steady diet of misinformation, disinformation, erasure, & lies until the population no longer is capable of discerning, much less defending, its own best interest? Answer: It sure looks that way.

And the thought occurred to me: By Gad, this evil experiment is turning Americans into Shmoos!

For those of you too young to remember the famous Lil Abner newspaper comic strip of the 1930’s-1970’s, Shmoos were white, blob-like creatures who can lay eggs or give milk & butter. They are absolutely elated to have themselves sliced-up, thrown into a skillet to be eaten by a hungry human, and they can change to taste like anything from chicken to steak to catfish. They can be sawed into pieces to use as lumber & their eyes can be used as clothes’ buttons. In short, they have no sense of self-preservation & live only to please their masters. And they require nothing but air to live upon.

The new breed of Shmoo-Americans are ideal for the approaching Capitalist paradise. Schmoo-workers will not drain Capitalist resources for healthcare, Social Security, or daycare for their Shmoo-kids. Shmoos will allow themselves to be entirely consumed in the cause of benefiting the wealthy, whether it is by fashioning themselves into a nifty speedboat or being burned as fuel. And no matter what, the Shmoo-Americans will keep voting for the very ones who turned them into Shmoos in the first place.

Permalink 2 Comments

Impeachment? Bring it On! (And Pass the Popcorn)

September 3, 2010 at 2:44 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

This afternoon I took a break from my internet job search & joined Myrtle’s 22 year-old son in doing some yard work. While we worked, I mentioned to him that I had gotten on the website of a major retailer that has a large nearby catalog-center (they have a huge sign out front advertising there are jobs available & to visit their web address). But I could find nothing under the “careers” tab referencing jobs here in our area; indeed, I could find nothing that admitted there was any facility anywhere near here, everything was in far-away places such as Delaware . The young man agreed by saying that he, too, had visited the website recently & was stymied by the same thing.

A short time later, it occurred to me how odd it is: a man of my age & experience reduced to applying for the same entry-level jobs as youths. By age 22, I had landed a well-paying position with a large company where I would spend the next 22 years, working my way up to management. I mean no denigration to those who make near minimum wage manning fast-food counters, selling tickets at the cinema, or delivering newspapers. But 30 years’ ago those were kids’ jobs. Grown-ups had higher-paying positions which also came with fringe benefits. Now here I am (and I am far from alone) seeking employment that doesn’t pay what I made when my daughter was born 25 years ago. How are Americans going to support their families on the low wages paid by the majority of employers?

I have no doubt that, if our nation’s “leaders” had screwed the workers this much back when my parents were my age, those leaders would have been dragged out of their cushy offices into the street & soundly beaten or worse. The “Greatest Generation” remembered the Great Depression & what it was like to have no job, no money, & maybe no future while seeing the fat-cats do nothing to help. They never would have allowed themselves to be put back into that box.
————————————————————–
I see that a new literary sensation is climbing the New York Times’bestseller list. The number 7 book is “Crimes Against Liberty: An Indictment of President Barack Obama” by David Limbaugh and it’s moving up fast. Some speculate that if the Republicans win these upcoming mid-term elections they will seek impeachment for President Ojellyfish. Instead of hand-wringing about such a tragedy, I will quote Obama’s mentor, President W. Bush: “Bring it on!”

My interest in B.O.’s political or personal survival would not register on even the most sensitive lab instruments. I see nothing he has done or likely will do that will benefit ordinary citizens in any way. He has neglected & insulted those who believed in his election. I am so fed-up with seeing his endless stream of glitzy vacations & appearances on tv talk-shows that I would happily assist the Republicans by reading the impeachment articles in front of Congress.

However, the Republicans would never be stupid-enough to impeach the best thing they’ve had going this side of Dick Cheney. The power structure tricked us into putting B.O. into office as a way to de-fang the youth, the liberals, the poor, the peace-nicks, and the blacks. Those groups will never become militant as long as the first African-American president sits on the throne. He provides cover for he oligarchs’ continued gang-rape of the nation. In the next 2 years, he will help the incoming Republican majority torpedo Social Security.

Impeach the emptiest suit to occupy the presidency in at least 150 years? Once again I say: “Bring it on!” But it will not happen. Republican political bosses would not risk reinvigorating the constituents whom B.O. & company have so completely dis-heartened over these last nearly 2 years.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Spine

July 20, 2010 at 9:50 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

By Reverend Hothoneywater, Special Correspondent

The Bible many “Christians” spend time thumping but little time reading says:

“If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered.” (Proverbs 21:13)
——————————————————————————————————————————

Congressman Alan Grayson, of Florida’s 8th District (location of  DisneyWorld), has told it like it is about Republicans & their attitude toward the jobless victims of economic depression. It is the sort of thing President Obama & every Democrat should be saying in public every day, on every news program, in every newspaper, and all over the internet. It is the sort of think every church, synagogue, & mosque in the nation should be reminding their congregations every week. Watch the video here.

Now Mr. Grayson is no pauper himself. He is a millionaire. But he has not forgotten his upbringing as a poor boy in Bronx, New York. And he nails it when he paints his Republican colleagues as unable to relate to those without jobs facing financial hardship:

“They’re thinking why don’t they just sell some stock . If they’re in really dire straits, maybe they could take some of their art collection and send it off to the auctioneer. And if they’re in deep, deep trouble maybe these unemployed can sell one of their yachts.”

This is a speech that Franklin Roosevelt would have been proud to give.

This is by no means the first time Representative Grayson has blasted the reactionary right-wing. This photo from the so-called “healthcare debate” illustrates Grayson’s bravado. 

I got on Rep. Grayson’s website to email him my thanks. Its says due to the volume of email he gets, he only accepts mail from his Florida constituents. So I phoned his Wash DC office & spoke to a very courteous & happily surprised receptionist.
I encourage you to call with your support for this brave man. Phone 202-225-2176.
If you can, send him a contribution; he’s running for reelection & we need his kind in Congress.

Permalink Leave a Comment

What a Country!

July 17, 2010 at 12:22 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I’m taking a few minutes out from my frantic year-long job search to comment on a few things.

Wall Street’s crooked gambling casino that we in America call “the market” was pleased that new unemployment claims dropped this past week to “only” 429,000. Meanwhile, the millionaires’ club a.k.a. the Senate failed to help the long-term unemployed. And by the end of July we will have 3,000,000 jobless who have lost their unemployment payments. Well… that is 3,000,000 minus the half-dozen or so who will manage to find jobs by then.

As many of you know, under America’s system of measurement one can be jobless & not be counted as “unemployed.” “Unemployed” is a term that only applies to those who are eligible for unemployment benefits. Our government is seeking to solve the “unemployment” problem by simply making millions of jobless ineligible for unemployment. To borrow a punchline from Russian comedian Yakov Smirnoff, “What a country!”

No, I do not believe government is inherently evil. But government run by the bunch we have as “leaders” sure is.

Here is a “report” (and I use the term loosely) from an Ohio newspaper that could have been ghost-written by one of those millionaire Senators who hate the unemployed. It is a perfect example of why thinking people have abandoned the mainstream media. In case you cannot find my comment below the article, here is what I wrote in reply to this atrocious pablum:

” Wow! Was this article written by someone in the employ of a right-wing think-tank? The only way this article could be more one-sided & damaging to the unemployed is if the following sentences were removed:
“Still, Durant supports extending unemployment benefits. “It’s still the right thing to do, because it’s bad out there,” she said.

and
“Even critics of the unemployment extensions agree that nobody’s getting rich off of unemployment benefits.”

Otherwise it is filled with ridiculous & unfounded charges against the jobless that the hack reporter never questions nor counter-balances in any way. For instance when the assertion is made that the people are turning-down jobs that pay up to $15 dollars per hour because they make more off unemployment, even after taxes, said reporter never questions that it would mean the unemployed make about $700 + per week. Here in Ohio, the maximum unemployment is about $350 if you have dependent children, so this stuff about turning-down $15 dollar an hour jobs is highly suspect of being pure b.s.

I could go on but I won’t. This article is pure drivel. ”

Next up. I am not a bit surprised that joblessness is causing a surge in calls to suicide prevention hotlines. Maybe if enough of we jobless kill ourselves it will bring down the unemployment figures. Come on you lazy jobless, do it for your country!

My bankruptcy was final last week. In case you wonder where I got money to file bankruptcy ($1500), I borrowed it from my 90 year old mommy. My attorney is a very nice fellow. After the hearing, he asked me how I’m holding-up. I confessed that two weeks ago I’d checked myself into the psych ward of a local hospital because I’d gone suicidal over my various financial problems (I’m not alone, see the above paragraph). He cautioned me against such a rash act and admitted he had tried to kill himself when he was 21 and despondent over a broken romance (he is now 60). His advice to someone as “young and sharp” (that’s why I like hanging around older people) as me is that I should move to another, better country with more opportunity. As those of you who have read some of my other blog postings know, I am considering that very action.

I hope all of you are doing well at weathering the economic storms. Remember “Non-Corborundum Illigitimi !” (don’t let the bastards grind you down).

Permalink Leave a Comment

Making a Difference

April 27, 2010 at 1:07 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Political cartoonist-author, Ted Rall wrote a critique of the Tea Bagger movement in which he wonders why African-Americans would vote Republican. In fact, he goes so far as to compare it to Jews voting for the Nazi party. How can I disagree? Although the GOP was largely founded in the 1850’s upon the idea of abolition of slavery, after Lincoln’s murder in 1865 they rapidly threw concern for the former slaves overboard and morphed into the party of big-business. 150 years later they have more in common with the car than with the Great Emancipator.

Certainly anyone other than a rich, white, middle-aged, heterosexual, fundamentalist Christian, male who votes Republican is likely suffering from a form of self-loathing (and the remaining Republican voters loath other humans). So, they either go Republican from self-hatred, a kind of long-range ethnic suicide, or they are trying to “fit-in,” to gain admittance to that good old boys club of wealth & power.

Whenever I see the spectacle of a black Republican, my mind goes back to memories of when I was 15 years-old and helping bale hay on a farm owned by the father of one of the girls in my school class. The rural town outside Dayton where I grew up was all-white, so being around a member of any minority was extremely rare. There was a crew of about a dozen of us baling hay that hot summer. And all of us were white except an older black man (That is, he seemed old at the time. He was probably in his mid-40’s) called “Cousin Jim.”

Jim was not really a cousin of anyone at the farm, he was a hired-hand who had been with them a long time. He was wiry and worked like a pack mule. He did not talk a lot (none of us did, it was too hot & dry for much talking). But what surprised me was when he did speak it was usually some unsolicited put-down of his own race:
“Most n—–s don’t want to work!”
“You can’t get them lazy n—–s off their behinds and get ’em to do an honest day’s work!”
“They oughta ship all them lazy n—–s back to Africa if they don’t wanna work!”

Some of the others on the work crew seemed delighted with Cousin Jim. They would cackle as he entertained them with his comments. I was repulsed by him. I judged him as an “Uncle Tom” who debased himself to curry favor and avoid conflict and I openly said-so. Of course, I was younger, smarter, and less forgiving back then. Now I know much more about how hard it can be to swim against the tide or risk your job and sometimes your life by being different in the wrong-way.

Having been born in 1958, I voted for the first time in 1976, registering as Republican because my parents & grandparents were Republican even though they were all blue-collar workers. My family had voted for Nixon against John Kennedy and Goldwater against Johnson. The tale is told that, during the Great Depression, my maternal grandfather was enraged to learn that my grandmother had (gasp!) voted for FDR. My parents were disgusted when I voted for Jimmy Carter. But through the years, even though I called myself a Republican I almost always wound-up voting for the Democratic candidates.

At dinner one night during the 1984 election, my brother-in-law finally asked my assembled family the logical question, "Why would any working person vote Republican?" then he explained in detail the differences in the way the parties treated the common American. He showed us that nearly everything that made-up the special “American way of life,” like great wages, civil rights, owning your home, had all been supported by Democrats and opposed by Republicans. He made so much sense that by the early 1990’s nearly my entire family had switched to voting for Democrats or Independents. And almost without fail, during every election season someone in the family still brings up that question of his and reaffirms that he was correct. It just goes to show that, sometimes, one person speaking-up can make a difference.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Next page »