Thursday, February 25, 2010

Ain't That America?

When John Mellencamp sings "Ain't that America," the song is decidedly tongue in cheek. Well, me too. Several exhibits explain why:

  • Washington State, which is as broke as all the other states of the Union--a $2.3 billion deficit--is considering giving Microsoft Corp., which as we all know is a struggling, cash-strapped company, a $100 million annual tax break and amnesty for about $1 billion in past tax evasions. WTF?
  •  The widow of the poor wretch who got killed when Andrew Joseph Stack III flew his private plane into the IRS building in Austin, Texas, is suing Stack's widow for, get this: not warning other people about how dangerous her husband was. Here's what needs to be done. This woman's lawyer, one Dan Ross, who said this is the best way to find out what assets, including insurance, would be available for compensation, well, this guy ought to be taken out to the public square, stripped to the waist, and flogged till he promises never again to practice law.
    ==>>At least 50 million people are ill-fed -- up from 37 million just a year ago -- including 17 million children. 
    ==>>30% of the nation's 50 million homeowners own a home whose value is below its mortgage balance, and this number could rise to an almost unbelievable 50% by year-end 2011.   
    ==>>Even the nation's 130 million full-time workers have had an average economic loss of 15% just since December 2007 -- an average effective work week of 34 hours rather than 40 -- which means that the number of unemployed workers, measured economically, is actually as high as 50 million. 
    ==>>For every earned income level except the top 10%, average household income hasn't changed a bit for 10 years, . . . for the bottom 60% of wage earners it hasn't changed for more than 20 years . . . 90% of workers in America have been standing still earnings-wise.
     ==>>100 million people, fully one-third of the entire U.S. population, are at or below "200% of the federal poverty line of $21,834 for a family of four", which is a needs-measure made lame by the fact that no family of four can actually comfortably live on such a low annual income.*

    • Finally, this from Gestapo America, which is always lurking just below the surface of anything happening in this country. In Germantown, Pennsylvania, a 13-year-old girl student was escorted from her classroom by two uniformed school cops for refusing to say the pledge of allegiance to the flag. Apparently her teacher absolutely freaked when she did not stand, yelled at her, and sent her to the office for her defiance. When it happened again the next day, the teacher called the cops. Don't you kind yourselves, brothers and sisters, this is what you can expect from our system in its current manifestation. You better be overtly patriotic (in the yahoo sense), or you're going to be branded an enemy of the country.**
    Well, now . . . ain't that America?

       *"Without an immediate all-of-government commitment to creating upwards of 30 million new jobs (not the 9 million that the administration has identified)," the author concludes, "without stimulus efforts that specifically target the entire struggling middle class, and without very specific initiatives aimed at breaking the back of general wage stagnation, there is not even a medium-term prospect of anything approaching real full employment and healthy economic growth that benefits all Americans." Cheery, huh?

      **For the record, I do not pledge allegiance to the flag, sing the national anthem, remove cap, put hand on heart, or perform any of  the other obeisances expected of people "who love their country and the flag." These rituals have become so distorted, misdirected, and contrived in this country, that those of us who love the America we're supposed to be are considered well nigh traitors. I often joke that I'll be among the first rounded up. It's not really a joke.
        Post a Comment