The Class Disparity Is Becoming Downright Dickensian

This week’s blog has additional comments by celebrated curmudgeon and  economic journalist, A. Nonnie Moose.
Eric Cantor is alarmed, as well he should be.  The Tea Party took root in the AstroTurf planted by the Koch brothers – that was fine with Cantor, because it was pure synthetics. Suddenly a real, spontaneous grass roots movement is under foot, and suddenly they’re a frightening “mob” and neither Eric Cantor nor any of the other Stepfords can manipulate the ground beneath their feet.  Cantor is frightened by the “Occupy Wall Street” movement because he can’t control them or endear himself to them.  Perhaps the Virginia earthquake that hit Cantor’s district last month was a tiny tweet from the great almighty aimed directly at him and his cronies.  One man’s mythology is another man’s comedy.
Eric Cantor was delighted when he saw Tea Partiers spitting at Congressmen, spewing bile about 2nd Amendment remedies and brandishing posters depicting Barack Obama as Hitler.  As a Jew Cantor should have been outraged, but he wasn’t – he was completely comfortable with who and how that movement was being orchestrated.  I walked Winnie past a Tea Party rally in Independence Hall “featuring” Andrew Breitbart, and saw a poorly attended pond of bone-white faces topped by very foolish hats.  Occupy Wall Street is multiracial, across age and ethnic boundaries with one thing in common:  Everyone in attendance is being pushed off a financial cliff by Wall Street greed. 

The longer this “pre-Republican Presidential Primary Prom Queen Contest” goes on the more the truth of the GOP/Tea Party is revealed.  It is painfully obvious that without complete and total propaganda cobbled together out of nothing but falsehoods and fabrications and pure vitriol the GOP/Pee Party would have nothing whatsoever to say.  Their “debates” shun real discussion or debate on the economic issues which are on virtually every citizen’s mind and, instead, focus on “wedge” issues which are unimportant to the vast majority of citizens.  Furthermore, it is patently obvious their only motivation is to torpedo the Obama Presidency and in the process worsen the economic crisis they created through the Presidencies of “B-list Actor” Ronald Reagan, George H.W. “Daddy” Bush and “Your Village Is Missing It’s Idiot” George W. “Baby” Bush.  The GOP/Tea Party is dominated and orchestrated by, the likes of the Koch Brothers, Grover Norquist, Dick Armey, et al.   They have absolutely no regard for Americans, except for the uber-rich.  Former Sen. Bill Bradley is correct when he asserts, based on historical research, that the true platform of the GOP is to return the nation to the policies of Pres. William McKinley, i.e., to totally turn the federal government and as many of the state governments as possible, over to the complete domination and control of “big business.”  In other words, a return to the era of the “Robber Barons” of whom Sinclair Lewis wrote in his famous book “The Jungle” and child labor and “company towns” and the “company store” about which “Tennessee” Ernie Ford sang in a bygone era.

The fact is that the U.S. federal government is the smallest of all the other developed nations of the world.  It is also true that the U.S. has the most convoluted tax structure of any of its industrialized, private enterprise, wealthy, democratically elected governments of the developed world.  It’s also true that in return for the taxes paid by most of our developed trading partners every citizen has access to universal health care (and consequentially pays less overall because those citizens do not have to pay taxes AND pay large out-of-pocket health care costs).  It is also true that our developed world trading partners have a much higher cure rate for treatable diseases than do we here in the U.S.  And it is true that those countries pay a much smaller percentage of their Gross Domestic Product on health care than does the U.S. while achieving better overall health of their citizens.  Healthy citizens make better contributors to the economic health of their country.

The GOP/Pee Party are being driven by and, in fact, are the “slaves” of the Koch Brothers, et al, whose true design is to run the entire country for their own personal profit and to hell with the middle class, which they are systematically destroying – and especially to hell with the lower socioeconomic class where 98% of the population will find themselves before our children and grandchildren even know what has happened to them.  Of course, the cluelessness of our descendents will have a direct correlation to the dumbing-down of our public school curriculum’s and text book content because of the caustic effect of ultra right wing religious conservatives on the school boards of states such as Texass and Florida.
Watch out for the Occupy Wall Street movement; it’s spreading.  Those kids born between 1982 and 1992 or so aren’t going to tolerate this crap from their “elders” for much longer.  They are opposed to “corporate greed” but not necessarily to “corporations.”  They may use video cameras, still cameras, smart phones, Internet web sites created and operated by corporations, but they will not long tolerate a “dictatorship” of corporate CEO’s and Board Rooms squashing them under their manicured thumbs.  And there is no guarantee their “displeasure” with the greed and avarice and hubris of their “elders” won’t turn very ugly.
Dissociated Press Contributor:  A. Nonni Moose, 10/11/11

Wall Street is a Mosh Pit

I admit it – I’m an old Hippie from the 1960’s.  We were the generation filled with hope, – not to mention peace, love and rock and roll.  We were going to bring about a better world.  

What happened?

Be it naive in hindsight, I still adhere to the same hopeful belief that our world can be a better place.  It’s been a stomach-turning blow to witness the dumbing-down of our nation, watching registered voting slack-jaws allow slick criminals to take-over our country and run amok.

No, I’m not referring to Barack Obama.  Everything just blew-up on his watch.  We’re now reaping what was being sewn 40 years ago – with corporations controlling government leadership, and not the other way around. 

There is a popular misconception that the Democratic Party are all “tax & spend” while the Republican Party are supposed to be “fiscally responsible.”  NOT…!!!

Today, young people graduating from college can face up to a quarter-million dollars in student loans, only to find themselves lucky to get the midnight shift waiting tables at Denny’s.  Anyone over 50 who lands themselves out of work can kiss-off the idea of starting over – no one wants you.   In the workplace, age is not respected, and youth is to be exploited.  People my age have paid-into Social Security and other safety nets for our entire lives only to find those things moving dangerously close to the chopping-block.  Money doesn’t disappear – it merely goes somewhere else.

Generally speaking when money disappears, it lands in the wrong hands – lining the amoral pockets of insulated corporate moguls.  I hope those top executives have been looking out the windows of their cushy offices during the American Autumn “Take Over Wall Street”  - Madame Defarge has taken-up residence knitting right below your window.

We are in an economic mess of Wall Street and government’s making.  Neither political party is blameless, but I haven’t trusted the Republican Party since the Nixon Administration, and they’ve given me little reason to feel otherwise in all the years that followed.  Republican avarice and greed has been honed-down to a science through an unholy alignance with corporate America and Wall Street.  Corporate America, Wall Street and government are like Siamese triplets joined at the hip.  It’s time to say the unspeakable: You don’t get rich in America by working hard – you get rich in America by legalizing and legislating theft as the acceptable norm and hope the voters are too busy watching sports on TV to notice.  Even worse, you also don’t get elected unless you’re in bed with the money-brokers.  The so-called “Citizens United” Supreme Court “decision” was nothing more than a gang-rape of the genuine American’s right to elect a government of the people’s choice.  This is where talking heads like Mitt Romney gets confused by referring to corporations as being “People too, my friend.”  Corporations are NOT people.  I’m not even sure if corporate CEO’s are humanoid.

Here is a small sampling of the profits corporate America enjoys counterpoint to the taxes they pay while the rest of us eat rice and beans and your local bus-driver pays higher taxes proportionally speaking than General Electric, Exxon Mobil and Bank of America combined.  Of course proportionally speaking ANYTHING is higher than ZERO.

The “Take Over Wall Street” movement is being criticized as having a lack of focus.  I see it differently – the focus is crystal-clear with 3 primary objectives:

1.)  Reinstate the Glass-Stegal Act of 1933 originally enacted to prevent us from landing in the very financial disaster we’re currently suffering.  

2.)  Repeal the Bush-era tax-breaks for the top 2% of the nation while closing corporate loop-holes.

3.)  Arrest someone OTHER than the protestors – like, say – for instance bank presidents, hedge-fund managers and crooked legislators.  Let the Koch brothers and those like them face fines, trials and if at all possible, prison time where there isn’t a golf course.  These people have methodically destroyed the American dream for all but a very small sector of the populace – and they need to be taken to task for their crimes.

Curious connections can be drawn between how American jobs shipped overseas resulted in high unemployment in the United States while Koch Industries made a financial “killing.”

Everything is out of kilter.  Teachers, fire-fighters, EMT’s and police have the most difficult jobs in the country, but get paid next to nothing for their work.  Veterans returning from the twin debacles in the Middle East face dim job prospects and a lack of assuredness as to whether the country they served will even make-good on healing their physical and emotional wounds.

If this is class-warfare, why is it so few of the wealthy show any kind of “class” let alone conscience?  The middle-class is shrinking and people have every right to peacefully protest without being hit with pepper-spray or having their camera equipment wrongfully demolished for dispassionately recording the facts.   

The camera doesn’t lie, and the liars know it best.

Yesterday while I was following the protests on the news, I switched to CSPAN and laughed out loud listening to sports pundits seriously discuss obscene multimillion dollar NBA contracts for basketball players as if their “plight” was to be compared to the unrest on the pavement outside Wall Street.  If only educators were paid like sports stars… 

I wish my generation, the so-called ‘peace, love and rock & roll’ folks had not sold-out our original principals believing it was all part of growing-up…  But what am I thinking?  It was only ever a dream.  Most people live life blindly “maneuvagating” (my own word) the path of the least resistance against the magnetic draw of the lowest common denominator.  But for a brief period of time in the 1960’s and early 1970’s prior to the advent of disco and greed becoming the creed in the 1980’s – my generation did at least try to change the world.  Granted, we had terrible taste in clothes, but war still remains a bad idea – not an economic stimulus program – and greed will never be good regardless of fashion.

Duck is back in style wearing retro-60’s counter-culture couture.
A sampling of the percentage ratio of the average worker’s pay when compared to that of CEO paychecks worldwide.  To make it clear, the average American CEO makes 475% MORE than the average blue-collar worker.

Today is Winnie’s 2nd Anniversary with Beihl

Today is Winnie’s 2nd Anniversary living with Beihl.  It’s been a horrible day.  It was 2 years ago today I brought Winnie home from the shelter as a poor little thing trembling with fear and anxiety.  Today we reenacted that historic event with a flea and tick bath in conjunction to my running the vacuum-cleaner and making the poor baby wear an Elizabethan collar all day.  She gets pills later.  The vet can’t find anything wrong with her in particular aside from mysterious hot-spots, just like world-peace or global-warming and every-bit as elusive.

While fleas have been suspected, none have been detected.  I bug-bombed and did the bed-clothes all the same.  

I think Winnie’s picking-up on my anxieties and imitating my nervousness.  She’s so suggestible.  It’s difficult not to be nervous in this world – the Arab-Spring has come to Wall Street and I don’t have 2 nickles to rub together just as I realized there’s NO WAY I’m going to fit into last year’s winter fat-jeans.  I’m in dead-elastic stretch-pants as I write this.  I’ll be the size of Chris Christie by the time the holidays are over.

The holidays have started by the way.  I heard Christmas carols on TV the other day – purposefully blocking the name of the offending advertiser.  The next three and half months are going to be consumed with consuming shit we don’t need to save an economy that’s already dead.

I’m not playing along.  Besides’ I’m too poor.

Winnie didn’t get anything special for her “Very Merry un-Birthday” aside from some of whatever I got to eat and the pleasure of my company all day.

Poor dear.  

We aren’t either one of us ready for winter.  Do we risk getting critters and buy winter clothes at a thrift-shop or layer summer clothes with a pair or two of cheap jeans and insulated T-shirts?  That’s what I vote.  No need investing more than I have. 

Which is less expensive?  Designer clothes from the thrift-shop for pennies on the dollar – used – OR – having my house fumigated for bed-bugs?  It’s the bottom line that counts.

Happy birthday/anniversary Winifred P. Jumpingbean.  In spite of it not being the day either of us might have hoped, we spent it together, in good company.

Lead Zeppelin

The republican candidates haven’t yet metastasized into a clear frontrunner.  That’s why Long Island Iced Tea candidate, Duck D. Duck has been biding her time to jump-in.  No one believes Chris Christie is going to run in a field where the mere association with other debaters is the political kiss of death.  If drafting Christie takes flight, like the other dirigibles gone before, he’ll go down like the Hindenburg – yet another notable New Jersey disaster.
It was Duck’s plan to officially jump into the race at the last minute with an announcement during a special televised Pay-Per-View mud-wrestling match with Sarah Palin, but Duck hadn’t planned on squaring-off in the mud-pit with Christie…  Not to worry, Christie’s too smart to run, he knows the 2012 presidency is the Republican Party’s to loose – quite literally speaking there isn’t a winner among the field.  Jumping-in now would only cement the obvious desperation of the the GOP while dashing Christie’s own presidential hopes in 2016.  It will take Christie at least 4 years to take-off the necessary tonnage to be both physically fit-enough to take-on the challenges of the presidency AND be palatable enough to sway voters that he’s fit…  for polite company.