Saturday, October 3, 2015

America, the land of immigrants, could use some intelligence and energy recharging; is help perhaps on the way from our latest immigrants?

Could the idiot, Trump, provide the very jiu-jitsu 
to help win this conflict over bigotry?

  The daily horridness thrown at us from the Donald Trump snake-pit has now begun to include such things as posters, painted by children, with such bigoted, non-childlike messages as, "Let's take out the trash!" and, "Go home!" and, "America for Americans!"
  Now, I don't believe that Trump himself is any kind of mastermind for those forces of malice. More likely he is just a dumb stone (a billionaire stone to be sure) ready to be prompted by the right-wing politics (he has plenty of malice all right, but he couldn't mastermind his way around a game of tic-tac-toe).
   Right-wing masterminds are currently using their extreme politics to work to achieve their nasty ends.  They play on the inbuilt bigotry of too many of us, and they use our human failings against ourselves to leverage us down the slippery slope right into the cesspool.
  My first thought on contemplating Trump and the idiot noise he has been making was to say that he would be so blatantly stupid that any traction that he might develop would be so ludicrous that it would collapse from its own weight.
[Then I had to remind myself that I felt the same way in 1980 when Ronnie Reagan began campaigning for president.  There are a lot of smart people here, but we also have a lot of the other kind.  Consequently our capacity for duping ourselves is enormous.]
  Just as idiot Ronnie did not collapse from his own weight in 1980, so idiot Donald may also not collapse from his own weight without some kind of unexpected force.  However, by attacking Hispanic immigrants with his particular brand of vitriol, he may help wake up that unexpected force.
[Could that unexpected force be supplied by our latest immigrants to America, which after all has been built primarily by immigrants?  Could those latest immigrants, the Hispanics in America, be riled out of their normal equanimity by the insulting, senseless, bigoted bombast of the billionaire, Trump?  Having been so aroused, will they go to the ballot box to rid themselves, and us, of this annoyance from beyond the fringes of any reasonable thought?]

  Their numbers have been growing, in a larger and larger group of our states.  Will this latest boost from a dimwit like Trump be just the trigger that unleashes that force?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Twenty-first Century Sharecropping

Slavery: the creation of non-persons

  Slavery was the means of permitting anyone who could lay down enough money to acquire total control of another human being.  It was only during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries that the specter of slavery began to be abolished in the advanced nations of the world.
  Today slavery has been officially eradicated as an offense to humanity.  [Unofficially however, it still persists in those places where economic conditions conspire to allow a kind of slavery to predominate, even though it is usually not called slavery.]    
   You'd perhaps think that such an abomination could exist only in the poorest of nations.  However, we might need to look more closely at another aspect of twenty-first century slavery that has been creeping upon us for the last thirty or forty years.  This newest kind of slavery has been making alarming inroads upon the advanced nations during that time, including the United States - especially the United States.
The Reverse Class War
  The dweeb who was put in office at the turn of the century inadvertently put his finger on the real problem (he actually thought he was being ironic) when he intoned, "class war, class war" to a bunch of journalists who were pointing out the growing difficulties being faced by Americans in health care, education, and the extreme inequality of income and wealth.  George thought he was completely dealing with the problem with his stupid little chant.
  Behind George's miasma was of course the fact that there really was (and is) a nasty class war going on, only it is being conducted by the rich against the working Americans and the middle class.  They have used their money and the political clout that the money can buy to organize an economy and a political system that lets them pile more and more of their nasty incursions onto us.
  They are digging into our democracy and our combined wealth at a rapidly increasing pace, and dislodging great chunks of that to be diverted from the good works that our well-earned abundance could be providing for all of us to make everyone's life better instead of just filling the fat pockets of the filthy rich.
    Of course George probably didn't understand the full extent of his actions in making the filthy rich even filthier.  [Not that he would have behaved any differently had he understood what was going on.]  Understanding anything more complicated than thoughts that can be conveyed using only words of one syllable was never George's strong suit.  He was a perfect tool for the atrocious rich to use to begin putting their brand of sharecropping into place during his watch.

Some characteristics of the new order the rich are going for
 - They're fine if more of us get trapped into Walmart-like jobs.
 - They're also fine if more of us get trapped into jobs that, being part-time, carry no benefits nor any security of employment.  They prefer to call these people "associates" rather than employees who could qualify for, and demand benefits.
  - They want to neuter any government clout that could be used to truly make our American reality far better than it is under the rich man's rules.
  - They have set it up so that money rules the roost and has the extreme head-start in controlling the financial reality of the majority of Americans.
  - They have set it up so that the millions of us who are not on their payroll will not be called slaves, but I suppose could be called "sharecroppers" after the post Civil War society that formed after Lincoln's assassination in 1865.  With sharecropping, the wealthy were able to receive most of the benefits of slavery without having to tackle many of the duties of owning slaves.
  - Those rich man's benefits in the Twenty-first Century will, as we know, be intended to stop short of angering us so much that we overthrow the wealthy [a-la Roosevelt and the house-cleaning Congress in 1932].  They want this reality to be theirs for the long term.

Sharecropping of us by the wealthy will not be toppled easily
  No, they have dug in extremely deeply this time.  They have both houses of Congress, they have the Supreme Court, they have a majority of the appellate courts, they have made slick use of the state/federalism dichotomy to keep government from accomplishing very much that is positive, meanwhile they have increased the ability of government to say "No" to anything positive that the government might do to make the lives of Americans better.
  As with the "sharecropping" that occurred after the Civil War, in some ways we will be getting into a societal makeup that will be harder to get rid of than outright slavery.  As sharecroppers, they will target fine-tuning us so that we may grumble, even grumble loudly, but they're estimating that we won't get angry enough, provoked enough, to actually toss the wealthy and their flunkeys out of office.
  If, on the other hand, we were to actually get serious about such tossing of the rich, we could begin the long process of correcting the hundreds of transgressions against our rights and our combined wealth.  It won't be easy, but we can be encouraged by the goal.

 No, it's not going to be easy, and the rich boys 
are fine-tuning to keep us from getting as angry
as we became in 1932, when many Americans
 were were out of work and starving.

  They've gone to their twenty-first century version of sharecropping as their means of keeping the pot boiling just hot enough that they hope to make maximum financial and political gains for themselves without provoking us into house-cleaning again.

Challenge to the best brains of America:
  Can we find a way to make a majority of Americans angry enough to do what Roosevelt and an aroused Congress did in 1932 in spite of the fact that the rich are doing their damndest to do as much damage as they can without tripping the alarm? 

Can we get that political alarm tripped,
By highlighting the nasty damage that 
The wealthy are doing?

Can we stop just being share-croppers
for the rich?

We've got the numbers, 
We just need the will and 
the chutzpah. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Paul Krugman coming extremely close to one of our blog's themes

  In the March 20 issue of the NY Times, Krugman's column titled, "Trillion Dollar Fraudsters" appeared in the Times.  Now I'm pretty sure Krugman is not following our lead here, but his conclusion that what is happening is trillions of dollars being transferred from the poor and the working class into the pockets of the rich.
  That, of course, is pretty much what this blog has been harping on for these last three years.  To read Krugman's column just click on the following:

                                    Trillion Dollar Fraudsters

  The far Right, under the guidance of the Koch Brothers has been working this mission for many years.  Of course Krugman does not mention the Kochs in his column.  However he does note that the Republicans are behaving far more brazenly than they have in recent years.  That brazenness is directly attributable to the ownership of the Republican Party by the Kochs and their fellow right-wing billionaires.
  For instance, we have long claimed that the multi-trillion dollar tax cuts from Reagan and Bush were simply transfers of those huge sums away from our own public service funds into the pockets of the rich.  I do not doubt that Ronnie and Georgie were led by the nose in making those tax cuts.

Under their heroic guise of saving money 

They are fully intent on stealing our money

And flattening our government into uselessness

Friday, March 13, 2015

I mean goddammit!

There's no secret to inequality.
The rich have pirated away our wealth.

And they've been using our own wealth against us.

   We've seen the indexes that show how the divide between rich and poor has widened enormously now, under the onslaught of the Kochs and their many cohorts, to the point where it has caught up with that fateful year of 1929.  We are all pretty much aware of how the wealth and incomes are getting wider and wider, but maybe if we just see that as numbers, instead of as real people, the import escapes us.  
  You only have to read a little of the impact of the Great Depression on the majority of American families to understand the devastation that the extreme widening between rich and poor can portend:
Homelessness (and the Hoovervilles)
     Many people became homeless because they lost their job and couldn't pay their rent.  The homeless then did anything to keep a roof over their head, including making shacks out of anything, forming Hoovervilles.  The hardest hit people were those on the bottom of the economic ladder.  People who couldn't pay their rent moved in with their relatives.  The homeless built shacks out of tar paper, cardboard, scrap material .... anything.
  The more people that were homeless, the more competitive the job market became.  Discrimination increased during this time because  Americans were in competition for a shrinking amount of jobs.  The ones that suffered the most were the minorities (African Americans, Hispanics, and in the west, Asian Americans).  The white laborers began demanding the low paying jobs that were normally filled with these minorities. 
Starvation and Illness
  Starvation and illness were devastating to a great swath of the country.  Everyone who did not have a job was having a hard time feeding themselves and paying the rent.  If they could not eat, it made them more prone to get an illness.  If someone was unemployed, it is likely that they are living in a "Hooverville" or tight quarters where it is easier to get sick.  And living somewhere without a bathroom or running water, things were not very clean.  Children also suffered most from the long-term effects of  a poor diet and no medical care.
Loss of dignity and increase of nastiness
  With the loss of almost all of the higher paying men's jobs, the wives and children made a great effort to fill the gap with their lower paying jobs.  With the nastiness of the rich, those pre-Koch types (the robber barons) the woman often got fired if the employer found out she was married.  The men suffered loss of dignity from not being able to support their families.  In a majority of cases, it was their wives and children who were supporting them.

We all know how Americans finally reacted to that situation
  We booted Hoover and the robber barons out of political office.  Yes, we did boot them out resoundingly, thus beginning several decades of America actually trying to do what it has always proclaimed that we do. 
  From the political toppling of the robber baron government, to be immediately replaced by effective government spending accelerated by the advent of World War II, we had about three decades of significant and beneficial government involvement in our directions and affairs, highlighted by the achievements of the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations.

However, here they come again, bearing the old inequality
  Yes, what's the phrase(?) "money never sleeps."  Well that's for sure.  The money didn't sleep after Eisenhower and Kennedy finished completing their triumphs using government funding for the federal superhighways and the moon landings.  The money has now re-emerged from the rich man's morass to begin re-grabbing what the robber barons were obsessively focusing on in 1929 (their own wealth and benefit.)

Since 1929 the money has gotten a lot nastier with the Kochs
  No, these newer guys have gone to school on how to deal with any political hits they might take from an FDR or an aggressive liberal Congress.  They want to keep the pot boiling but just low enough that we don't thresh around like lobsters, and begin tossing them out of office.  There have been some recent happenings that show that they intend to keep that pot boiling just below the "toss them out of office" level.  [John Roberts' vote to not declare Obamacare unconstitutional comes to mind.]

With the guidance of the Kochs, they've got us in barbed wire
  Yes, they've captured both houses of Congress and the Supreme Court.  We have the Presidency, but that's a little like a pop gun going against a massive cannonade.  

We need the best liberal minds focused on a political upheaval
  Yes, we need a political upheaval that matches what we did in response to the Great Depression in 1932.
  Now, we don't have a handy Great Depression to cause us to propel into office an FDR plus an aggressively liberal Congress, all-the-while mounting a political outcry against the troglodytes in the Supreme Court.  However, I'm betting that we have some brilliant minds out there who can mount some political jui-jitsu to create a 1932-type upheaval in 2016.
  The godawful widening between the rich and poor that we experienced in 1929 just before the Great Depression slammed all Americans is storming over the horizon again.  The Kochs and their buddies are planning to hold the heat down so that it only hurts us all badly, but does not go far enough to make us throw them out of office.  
  I'm convinced that somewhere in the Liberal domain there are those razor-sharp minds that can turn this widening rich/poor gap into a second coming of the 1932 political eruption without just sitting and waiting for the catastrophe.  
For a 1932-type political upheaval,
they hit us with another depression