THE WAR ON THE POOR

A classless society is beyond reach

One lesson in the teachings of a holy man two-thousand years ago truly stuck. Here it is, “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them” (Matthew 7:12). You can call it the “golden rule” or you can call it the overarching philosophy of Christianity, but I call it freedom to pursue happiness, peace and self-esteem.

Let me place this in a modern perspective. I would never tell the Governor of Florida what he can or cannot do in his bedroom, and I certainly don’t want him to restrict my actions or freedom of speech based on his personal dogma, but that’s exactly what he does. As an older, retired person who is financially comfortable, this is more philosophical than a face-to-face fight, but for many poor or disadvantaged people this is the large boot on the neck that Justice Ginsberg talked about, a metaphor for control through laws and proclamation.

Let’s consider this first bit of reality, Roe vs. Wade. You can talk about what is or isn’t moral or what was decided rightly or wrongly, but by eliminating convenient and legal family planning you are pushing poor people of all color back into a box of arrested development. When a woman cares for one or more children, she necessarily must give up other things. If the child is unwanted because of rape, incest or a dominate male who was more interested in sex than support, she will likely enter the unending circle of multiple jobs, lack of money, and in some cases, lack of supervision of those she brought into the world. How can any sane democracy allow their government to dictate such a personal decision? When the laws of the land impose a ceiling on economic and upward mobility, it’s simply war on the poor.

We would rather shovel up the sleeping homeless and dump them in a camp outside of town than confront the problem of how they got there in the first place. It’s totally amazing to me that in the richest country in the world we have many families without food, and what some experts believe is close to half a million homeless people. How can we let this happen and still claim to be a moral nation? The reality that we throw out 80% of the food grown or processed, is unforgiveable.

Now, there is another virus going through the land based on the stupid concept that college is too expensive and not necessary to be successful, but I find it annoying that people put down education. Oh, I get it, some neo-conservative and libertarians claim college educators with tenure are there to groom our precious offspring and lure them into a liberal, bullshit-laden, cancel-culture American cult, but I thought going to college made one smarter.

People with college educations live better and vote differently than those who wander around the capitalistic bullfight ring trying to spear a high-paying job. Sometimes they get “replaced” by more educated and smarter people, then they walk around with a chip on their shoulder labeled “disenfranchised.” College is hard, and the discipline to get to the promised land comes with a judgement of who you are compared with others your age. When you get booted out for goofing off, that’s on you. If you leave early because you have a huge business dream, like Mark Zuckerberg, you might find yourself not driving a plush car when the marketplace rejects your idea. Hey, college is a fantastic way to find out what you might have in the brain of yours.

The real driver here is the cost of education. There is a general resentment that after you did the work you must constantly excel to pay off the debt. Bill Maher, who tells jokes and has stood out in his craft, berates college because of what they have become not what they offer. A person highly gifted in a certain discipline, software coding for example, can go places without an education, but working in an advanced science like nuclear engineering requires a college education.

But let’s get back to the war on the poor. We know that minorities and less advantaged people in America have a harder time qualifying, staying in and graduating from school. Of course, highly valued student athletes don’t need a piece of paper because of their gift, but the number of those lucky ones is so small we shouldn’t even consider their stories. The focus should be placed on the people who spent their whole life training, working and exercising but didn’t make a professional league. They may have enjoyed sixteen exciting Saturdays in their college life, but then… nothing. And the question arises, what are they qualified to do? There aren’t that many professional sports organizations in other countries to take all these former college “stars.”

Conservatives rail against socialism but liberals don’t have an answer, a plan or the will to pass Bernie Sanders’ proposal of free college for everyone. Okay, but Bernie, college is not for everyone. Its very nature limits access to those who qualify, but then, many desks, dormitory rooms and books are held by those so-called “legacies,” the offspring of the parents and grandparents who attended the same school. It’s a hierarchy that defies logic, but those older family members produce large endowments and cash flow and we look the other way when a C-student takes the place of an A-minority with no athletic prowess. And so, the beat goes on.

Attending college will neither lower crime nor produce an idyllic, equal and happy society, but it will make people smarter. Sadly, the lower percentage of college students these days will likely bring us more Marjorie Taylor Greenes. By the way, she attended a university and look what happened. She has a business degree from the University of Georgia, a great school, that produced a total idiot. How did she even graduate?

The poor are being pressed to the sidewalks of America by a new class of bigots, fools and racists. Those who fight against affordable housing are waging war with the poor. Those who want a total ban on abortion are declaring war on women, particularly poor women. And those who put down college education, are myopic misfits. Why the war on science, education and the poor? We quoted Jesus to start this post, and it’s clear that many Republicans in Congress don’t give a shit about poor people; or even obeying the “golden rule.” And I’ll go so far to say they are the money changers. They are changing your money into big houses they give to their children.

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AN OPEN LETTER TO BERNIE SANDERS

No Longer Joe Biden His Time, Let’s Rumble

Bernie, how are you? Are you still angry and yelling loudly so people can hear you? Are you thinking about what is best for America, or is your cause and movement more important than ridding the nation of Donald Trump? You are a great American and let’s talk about the greatest things you’ve done with your two presidential campaigns.

First, you spoke to millions of Americans who feel alienated by economic and health systems that are stacked against them. Workers across America have been taken advantage of by large corporations and greedy politicians. Urging the country to raise the minimum wage is a valid and important part of equality in the United States. It is very clear we can track the ever-increasing wealth of the 1% and see the lack of advancement of those who supply that same 1% with labor and manpower. Thank you.

Next, your viewpoints on healthcare have been profoundly validated in the last month. The healthcare system of America is poor and has gotten worse under Trump. The idea of universal healthcare for all has merit, but the pharma-hospital-corporate complex may be too powerful to let that happen. That isn’t to say it wasn’t a good idea, but it was unwieldy before the COVID-19 crisis and probably impossible now with the treasury and central bank giving away most of the money that could have been used to jump start that idea. We need to create a more secure medical system, the same way we have spent billions on our military. This is not so much an insurance effort, but a new way of life. I know you know this and thank you for pounding the idea into people’s brains for the last five years.

When you announced your withdrawal from the campaign, I understood you had to say certain things to the millions of people who sent you money, but quite frankly it was less than convincing. Take this the right way, but if you really want to defeat Trump, you have to teach your followers that completing the fight is not just feeling the Bern, but getting the whole Trump family as far away from government as possible. I know it’s hard to pivot from your attacks on Hillary Clinton, and Joe Biden, but you must. Having a coalition of anti-establishment power, I know it will be hard to say, “Hey,  Bros, vote for this establishment guy Joe Biden,” but you must. You’ve got to bring the same passion and conviction as you’ve done with your most important issues to the quest of removing Trump.

There are times when I am less capitalist and more socially conscious, but there are also times when I must keep my powder dry to defeat diseases in my body. There are times when we all must move forward, even if we sometimes feel we are moving backward. I have an idea for you, Bernie. Joe Biden should win the election and appoint you to the position of healthcare czar. He should give you the power to fix the system and keep America safer than whatever those goofballs in the Trump administration will leave us with.

You are a good guy and you need to stay alive and active in the righteous fight you have started, but you must use your power and talent of persuasion to solve our biggest problem, Donald Trump.

Bernie, it’s time for you to take all the money you have in your campaign bank and start a serious effort to help America. Please stop talking about keeping delegates and using that to demand the party move to your philosophy. You are either pulling out of the campaign and joining the fight to beat Trump or you are playing a power game. No one will admire you for the latter. It’s now time to march with the many who want change. It’s time for you to feel the Biden. Thanks for all that you’ve done for the country, but you’re not done yet. You need to get to work.

If you read this book, you can see why all this happened to us.

The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs shows how we’ve wasted our GOLD on bad wars and corruption. While GOD is there for many people as a spiritual enrichment and the provider of glowing feelings, the truth is just praying and believing will not change our major arc. We don’t determine who gets a GUN. We aren’t sure if we have paramilitary groups ready to storm the White House or a White Castle. There is no control of weapons. The GOOFBALLS with the power constantly try to manipulate us into spending more money on bombs and tanks and wars. When all of our institutions are infected with neglect and fall in disrepair, we will only have ourselves to blame. This book is not an antidote for the left or right, it’s an accelerant to move the middle off their collective asses to go do something positive for America.

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.

 


DEMOCRATIC GAME PLAN

How to Beat Trump in 2020

Sometimes people do the opposite of what they need to do to get what they want. It reminds me of the time a friend was having trouble with her marriage and said, “We decided to have a baby to help us fix our problems.” Sure enough, they had a baby and then got divorced. Democrats keep talking about beating Trump in the November election, but there doesn’t seem to be any person on a clear path to do it.

When I moved to White Plains, New York twenty years ago, I decided to get engaged in politics. I wrote a letter to one of the guys running for mayor, and the next thing I knew he was buying me a coffee. That is how small-town politics work. He was attempting to unseat a multiple term mayor with a famous family political name and wanted my help.

As I worked on the campaign, it became apparent that the ideas generated by his supporters and campaign workers weren’t aligned with his goals. He was less than encouraging one on one, and the night he lost the election it became clear that he was a bad candidate. Years later, when we were trying to remove a mayor who was charged with domestic battery, my old candidate cast the final, singular vote that kept me from talking at a party meeting to discuss the ouster of the bad seed. You see, this is what turns people off to politics.

The next thing that happened was rather intriguing. One of the common council members consistently voted with the mayor on issues his party opposed. This caused many members of the local Democratic party to question his loyalty. At the next election the party leaders told the wandering party member he would not be their candidate. I was astonished, “They can do that?” Yes, they can, and they did. He ran as an independent and lost.

Had the Republican party just said Donald Trump wasn’t going to be their guy in 2016, things would have turned out much differently. The party hedged their bets early on and imagined that Trump’s words and actions were solely designed to get attention and they believed he would eventually moderate and bring the country together.

The vast divide that Donald Trump has created in America is far beyond repair. The Iowa Democratic caucuses have shown us that it isn’t going to be easy to gain the faith and respect of the electorate. Donald Trump and his gang of sycophants are saying the system is rigged and we have a debacle in our processes. Some people believe Trump and his cronies are right, and that is wrong.

Outside of our borders there is a common criticism of our electoral process that says our campaigns are too long and involve too many people. I used to think that as well, but now I feel our methods have great value. As things change and get reshaped, we must see a whole field and not just one obvious candidate. The “chosen person” routine, along with leaked emails, controversial investigations and Trump’s lies, damaged the Democratic party in 2016. I can’t help wondering if there is a way around this massive pile of political dung.

The gravity of American interest has always been based in drama. As the saying goes, one cannot have drama without conflict, and so it is with the Democratic party. We have this dramatic divide between pushed liberal ideals and sober moderate philosophies.

I use the word “pushed” because older people like me are being pressed by younger people who grew up with a whiff of fairness mixed in with a need to change things. I get it. When I was young, I and others my age wanted to get rid of Richard Nixon and end the Vietnam war. I think we helped do both, but Nixon and the war were so corrupt that the adults of that time finally woke up and made changes.

If you write down on a legal pad all of the good and bad things about Donald Trump, you will begin to see how difficult it will be to defeat him in November of this year.

Yes, the economy, as hot as it can possibly get, is a giant strength for Trump. Unemployment is low and lots of people are working. There is probably some kind of job for anyone who wants to work. That is not a mountain, that is a monument. Wages are going up, never fast enough, but there is some evidence that giving rich corporations big tax breaks made them feel guilty enough to give a little back to the folks who drive their successes.

What the hell is Tom Steyer talking about when he says he’ll take Donald Trump on the economy? Does he claim he will make it better? Hardly. Then there’s Michael Bloomberg attempting to buy his way into the nomination with well-crafted TV ads, but is that enough? He has the personality of an undertaker. Bernie and Warren will be cast as horned communists by Trump and millions will buy it. Trump wouldn’t know a communist if he shook their hands. Oh, wait, he already has: Putin, Xi and Un.

Buttigieg is interesting. What will Trump do with a well-spoken logical Christian homosexual. Is Pete ready to be president? That will be the number one question for pundits to unravel, but no human is ready for that job. And with all due respect to Amy Klobuchar with her levelheaded demeanor, she tends to keep telling us why she is running and how good she is, rather than just proving it.

Joe Biden may have been “Joe Biden his time” up to this point, but he’s already been punched in the face by Trump. The Donald didn’t need Ukraine’s help in defaming and denouncing Biden He has generated enough doubt for people to throw him out. Sorry Joe, the train has left the station. As much as Biden has the experience to do the job on day one, he’s going to stumble and stutter through a campaign that, in the end, will not defeat Donald Trump. Correct me if I am wrong, but is there any Democratic candidate with overwhelming edge and power to defeat Donald Trump? Am I wrong? Or am I painfully correct?

Machiavelli’s “The Prince“ highlights different kinds of leaders, “…one is generous, another greedy; one cruel, another tender-hearted; one is faithless, another true to his word; one effeminate and cowardly, another high-spirited and courageous; one is courteous, another haughty; one impure, another chaste; one simple, another crafty; one firm, another facile; one grave, another frivolous; one devout, another unbelieving.” I bolded those words that remind me of Trump. The great historian and author Stephen Kinzer detailed in his books how America used the CIA to overthrow governments we didn’t like. The people who executed those undemocratic actions were just a reflection of our citizens. We have many haughty, greedy and frivolous people who are exactly like Trump. Sorry, but hey, the truth hurts.

Congress had their chance to unseat a terrible president who has exploited the system at every turn on his way to the most powerful office in the land. The way to take down Donald Trump is for someone in the government to leak his tax returns. They hold the secrets of his past and near future. He has fought so hard to keep them secret. There mut be something there. Without that information in the public domain, Donald Trump will be reelected. Who is that brave American who can do what must be done?

New Book About America

The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs shows how we’ve wasted our GOLD on bad wars and corruption. While GOD is there for many people as a spiritual enrichment and the provider of glowing feelings, the truth is just praying and believing will not change our major arc. We don’t determine who gets a GUN. We aren’t sure if we have paramilitary groups ready to storm the White House or a White Castle. There is no control of weapons. The GOOFBALLS with the power constantly try to manipulate us into spending more money on bombs and tanks and wars. When all of our institutions are infected with neglect and fall in disrepair, we will only have ourselves to blame. This book is not an antidote for the left or right, it’s an accelerant to move the middle off their collective asses to go do something positive for America.

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.