Archive for April, 2011

Unraveling and Not Caring

April 8, 2011

Since I started writing and getting published, I have always held some very strong convictions.  Always try to be fair and to tell the truth.  But as I have seen in the past 40 years, my truths aren’t necessarily seen the same by everyone else.

In the past week, my way of looking at things have been skewered by several things that go against everything that I have been taught or learned.  And I have never been a conspiracy guy or a believer in prophecies, but I think they may hold some water.  OK, so it’s fluoridated.

I thought we had a government for the people and by the people, but in the past week, that tenant has been proven wrong.  The events in Wisconsin and here in Michigan have led me to believe that people don’t matter anymore.  Seniors, the poor, teachers, they are to be discarded or shamed into giving up their pensions because they are the cause of the economic crisis.  Unions, dangerous to American prosperity (or should I say American’s for prosperity).

Scott Walker, the cross-eyed Boy Blunder Governor of Wisconsin, threw out 50 years of progressive policies in Wisconsin last week when he stripped the state’s public employees of their rights to collectively bargain.  It’s about the budget, he told everyone.  Teachers and sanitation workers are rich and evil and we need to take that money away from them.  Well, the 14 Democratic State Senators who saw what this was about walked out. Left the state and thousands of people protested and then last week, the Republican-controlled Senate separated the budget bill in half and voted it out, proving that it wasn’t about the budget, it was about busting the Unions.

The only people who were happy about this were two billionaires in Nebraska, who, for the time being, have started a potential domino effect of other states, like Ohio and Michigan and Pennslyvania, doing the same thing.  It’s not about the budget, folks.  It’s about power and influence and money.  And the demonization of people who work in education and municipalities.

In Michigan, Governor Snyder is about to sign a law that would give the governor (him) the right to dissolve or combine school districts, townships, and cities.  We’re in a crisis, according to the Governor, and everyone needs to sacrifice.  Well, not everyone.  Just seniors who are on a pension and the working poor.  The rich, like the DeVos’s, they get a $1.8 billion tax break, to help them spend more money overseas.  In the meantime, people are mad and angry, but wait, “The Bachelor” or “American Idol” or “Celebrity Apprentice” is on, so, as much as I would like to think these recall elections are going to take place, I’m probably just wishful thinking.  But I did find it mildly amusing that the estranged wife of Wisconsin State Senator Randy Hopper signed the petition to recall him.

The Koch brothers, Charles and David, are combined worth $400 Billion.  The Koch’s are the scions of Fred Koch, a founder of the John Birch Society.  They are libertarians and ardent Anti-Obama activists.  They have given to the Tea Party and gave $43,000 personally to Walker’s campaign.  Yet, they claim never to have met him.  And Charlie Sheen is clean and sober.

They are anti-climate change and anti-environmentalists.  Greenpeace and other environmental groups call Koch Industries the worst polluters in America.  In 1980, Koch was the Vice Presidential Candidate on the Libertarian Party ticket.  Koch spent two million dollars in the vain attempt to win with Ed Clark at the top of the ticket.  According to The New Yorker, the platform in 1980 sounds familiar.

Many of the ideas propounded in the 1980 campaign presaged the Tea Party movement. Ed Clark told The Nation that libertarians were getting ready to stage “a very big tea party,” because people were “sick to death” of taxes. The Libertarian Party platform called for the abolition of the F.B.I. and the C.I.A., as well as of federal regulatory agencies, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Energy. The Party wanted to end Social Security, minimum-wage laws, gun control, and all personal and corporate income taxes; it proposed the legalization of prostitution, recreational drugs, and suicide. Government should be reduced to only one function: the protection of individual rights. William F. Buckley, Jr., a more traditional conservative, called the movement “Anarcho-Totalitarianism.”

Read more
Well, well, I think that the late Mr. Buckley would have said the same thing about the Tea Party and its various front organizations.  Americans for Prosperity, all of these organizations that have sprung up since 2009, have been beneficiaries either directly or indirectly from the brothers’ sphere of influence.
See, as I have said before, the problem with the Tea Party is that the candidates that they helped put into office, with very few exceptions, are all politicians, with their own agendas.  And being that they are ALL Republicans, well, there you have it.  The budget extensions and the stripping of union rights are just the tip of the iceberg for these folks.
So, now today, it will finally happen.  The Taxed Enough Party will finally get its’ way.  Oh, i’ll still get my social Security and my food stamps, for now, but my nephew won’t get paid over in Afghanistan and my other friends in the Military aren’t going to get their benefits and all over Social Issues.  Holy shit, it really isn’t about the budget with these folks.
Just to be clear: George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbra were on the board of the Houston chapter of Planned Parenthood.  Until 1980.  Funny (or not) how that year keeps coming up.  As my friend Jeff Friedman likes to point out, that was the last change election. And not for the good.  The dismantling of America began with Ronald Reagan’s election.  “Government is the problem,” he liked to say.  Well, in some cases, it is.  But for me, i need it.
Look, you think I like living on dissipating, stagnant income?  It’s going to be a lot of fun paying for my medical expenses if Paul Ryan’s budget goes through.  It won’t, but that’s not important right now.  Because, according to the GOP, I don’t matter.
Last fall, we had a election.  The Republicans said it was all about jobs and the recovery.  It turns out, they lied.  Big surprise there.  The GOP’s number one priority is to insure President Obama doesn’t get re-elected.    But it seems their immediate priority is to gut every social program out there, like medicaid, medicare and Social Security.  And de-fund Planned Parenthood, NPR and PBS.  And give the money to their corporate overlords.  Like the Koch Brothers.
It is said that a society is ultimately judged on how it treats its’ most vulnerable.  Well, for the so-called, self-proclaimed, “Greatest country in the world,” we certainly are falling short.  And that is the reality of all of this.  Everyone, including the President, has failed us.