Club Country

12 Oct

I understand that a lot of wealthy folks have had it with poor folks! They are at their wits end trying to figure out ways to stop spending all of their money on entitlement programs for poor people who are lazy, shiftless and lets face it, just not hard workers like they are. So much money is being spent on Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security and unemployment insurance and welfare and food stamps and who knows what all and it is just crippling the rich in America. Why I have heard that some women out there get pregnant just so they can have their government pay for the abortion. (which apparently is a lot of fun for women) Then they get pregnant again and have the baby for the government welfare. Then it’s abortion, baby, abortion, baby etc. etc. etc. until; pretty soon most of this country will be pregnant ladies and babies and everyone of them illegal aliens too!

Have you heard about this? Apparently it’s the poor who are getting all of the money! Well, the poor and THEIR government! The government used to be run by wealthy people but somehow they lost control and now the teaming irresponsible masses have taken over and socialized everything. (Damned that Statue of Liberty and her beckoning light) OK let’s not go crazy. I know it’s not ALL of the money but it is MOST of it, or soon will be. What is a wealthy person in America to do now that the poor have taken control? It’s getting so it’s no fun at all to be rich anymore.

Have you heard about this too? It makes me glad that I’m not wealthy. Boy would I be mad then! I mean really, rich people must be getting pretty fed up because where have all of the wealthy people gone? I can tell you that they all moved out of my neighborhood! Where did they go?

I suspect they are about to form their own private country club that will be so big they are going to call it Club Country; with their own flag and government and everything. But since only wealthy people will be allowed into the new country, they will have no need for a government (why would they need one?) because they will need no entitlement programs! Everyone will just pay for themselves for whatever they need. No taxes, no police (why would there be any crime in Club Country?) no government workers on an ever growing and endless payroll…just wealthy people for as far as the eye can see.

I hear that Club Country will be on an island because poor people will of course try to get in. And if the poor folks try to swim or sail or organize flotillas to get to the island (looking all poor and destitute and hungry blah, blah, blah) there will be no bleeding heart liberal socialist government force to rescue their sorry asses and bring them to the island and then shower them with government services against their will! Nope, because club country is for rich, hard working, upper class, well to do folks who know how to work hard and take care of themselves through their own initiative, self sacrifice and did I mention hard work?!

It will be paradise! What could go wrong? And without the poor around to sap all of their wealth away the citizens of Club Country will remain wealthy and free forever!

Imagine being able to live in a country without the poor?! Wouldn’t it be great!?

The Next Bubble to Burst?

11 Oct

According to the U.S. department of Agriculture It will cost an estimated $241,080 for a middle-income couple to raise a child born in 2013 for the next 18 years. That’s an average of over 13,000 dollars per year, and like most things in life you can count on it getting more and more expensive each year. Of course the more money a child rearing couple makes the more they will spend on their child and conversely a couple with less income will spend less on raising their child.

But sadly, while costs continue to increase each year, salaries in America have not been keeping up, especially when it comes to health care, child care and education where the financial gap has widened at a pace faster than more ordinary cost of living expenses.

And what happens when your child, born in 2013, turns 18 in 2031 and wants to go to college? By 2031 you and your spouse might be facing bills for college tuition and room and board that will equal or eclipse the 241,000 dollars that you just spent raising your child to the age of 18!

When I attended college in the 1970’s tuition at a state college cost around $900 per semester. That figure is now 10 times more and if the trend continues state tuition plus room and board should easily top $30,000 per year with private school costs easily topping $50,000 per year…if they haven’t already. I’m not sure because I haven’t sent a child to college since last year!

Besides, what parents in 2031 are going to want to spend as much money sending their children to college for 4 years as they just spent raising them for 18? Especially when you consider that children (and parents) here in 2014 already owe over 1 trillion dollars in student college loans! That’s more than people in the U.S. owe on credit cards and by 2031 (if these trends continue over the next 18 years) College loan debt will probably be greater than the national debt…if you can possibly believe that…but after all, we are trying to pay down our national debt. Can anyone say that about college loan debt? Certainly not banks and colleges.

I’m sure that students are trying but they need jobs first and getting a well paying job is not something that banks or governments or even colleges and universities guarantee to someone with a college education. You’d think that for 1 trillion dollars in loans that (thanks to Congress) can never be erased or forgiven like ordinary debt, college students might be guaranteed something, (besides debt) wouldn’t you?

So, what will parents of the future, do? And how will colleges of the future sell their bucolic educational resorts and the future trillions of dollars of debt that will go along with it, to the young students of the future whose parents and families will most probably still be paying off their own trillion dollar college debt?

Perhaps they will offer some college courses on how that can and will be done?

Where Have all the Fauna Gone?

8 Oct

Perhaps you have heard about or read about this: Half the Earth’s animals – birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish, have disappeared between 1970 and 2010, according to a new report from the World Wildlife Fund…and they don’t mean disappeared as in hiding, but rather disappeared as in no longer living on the planet! Two years ago they estimated the decline at 30 percent so we humans have really stepped up our exterminating efforts lately.

Actually I cheated and rounded out the decline. It’s really 52% and if you’re a fisherman the decline in fresh-water fish is even worse at 75%…so fishermen, start throwing them back!

PLANET EARTH!: Now with 60% fewer elephants and lions! Oh my!

And wouldn’t you know it, The situation is worst in poorer countries because richer nations actually saw a 10 per cent increase in wildlife numbers. So the rich get richer…even in animals! The report blames the animal loss on human activity, including deforestation, overfishing and hunting, and climate change…if you believe in such things. It seems that rich countries outsource biodiversity loss to poor countries by buying products, such as palm oil, etc. that are unsustainable…and I’m sure they do lots of other things too, like drilling and digging and fracking and slashing and burning and pillaging and other fun stuff…far away from where the wealthy folks live.

But don’t despair… because what do we have more of since 1974? We have more Humans! We’ve gone from 4 billion to 7 billion with a bullet…that’s almost 100% more humans…in just 40 years. So on the bright side, while being human has become more superfluous, being an animal has become more special! Or is that the dark side? Anyway, Back in 1955 when I was born I was 1 in 2,755,823,000…now I’m just 1 in 7,265,872,000. I’m becoming more and more insignificant everyday!

The report also ranked countries by their “ecological footprint”, which is the area of land each person needs to support their lifestyle. Being a Qatari is the worst, or most wasteful or most special, depending upon how you look at such things, because the lifestyle of each Qatari requires 25 acres of resources. The average American only requires about 17 and a half acres while Brits need a measly 12.5. The lowest ecological footprint was in East Timor at a mere one and one quarter acre per person. Ahhh, if only we could all live like East Timorians! (How do they live, I wonder?)

The report went on to add that If all people on the planet had the footprint of the average resident of Qatar, we would need 4.8 planets just to sustain ourselves…Those wasteful Qataris! We Americans could do it with just 3 and 1/3 Earths! Besides, most of us Americans don’t even know where Qataris and Qatar are, let alone how to live like one.

So What are we poor humans to do? Our world’s human population has experienced continuous growth since the end of the Great Famine and the Black Death in 1350, that was over 600 and 60 years ago! Since then we’ve done our best to control our own growth. We’ve tried religious wars, colonial wars, world wars, slavery. genocide, ethnic cleansing, holocausts, eugenics…but all to no avail. Ever since we solved our difficulties with food production and disease Our human population just keeps on keepin’ on…I suppose nothing can control animal populations like famine and disease can.

And get this. I recently read in a New York Times article that Louisiana loses one acre of land every hour to erosion, sea level rise and wetlands destruction. Thanks in part (and a big part) to our never ending search for more fossil fuels through drilling, fracking and extraction. But can you blame us? We all just want to live more comfortable, happy and exciting lives with the best technologies available for a modern society… can you blame us? Can you stop us? Can we stop ourselves? And that’s just land we’re losing in Louisiana, USA. What about the rest of the world’s land liquidation in the name of progress?

Did you happen to see that photo recently of the 35,000 walruses that came together in record numbers off Alaska’s northwest coast because they couldn’t find enough sea ice to rest on. That can’t be a good sign for anyone, let alone walruses.

PLANET EARTH: Now with 10% less earth!

How will it all end and where will we go from here? Today in the mail I received a brochure to attend a free Bible study class where we can discuss the exciting “End Times” that we are all living in. Whoopee! There’s a positive answer to our problems, which perhaps, according to my brochure, aren’t problems at all?

If you ask politicians they’ll say, “Endless growth is what we need!” Ask theologians and they’ll say, “Endless bounty and dominion over the Earth and its animals is what we’ve been promised!” Ask Red Lobster and they’ll say, “Endless Shrimp!” They can’t all be right…something’s gotta give sometime…doesn’t it?

Isn’t this all at least very interesting…and frightening? Will we humans finally learn to live more humbly and in harmony with each other and our mother, Earth? Will we all finally learn how to share and share alike with each other and with all of God’s creatures… or are we humans simply just modern age dinosaurs waiting to go not so quietly into that meteoric light of someone or something elses brand new day?

So Stay tuned!…because… whether you are interested or simply find this all quite droll and utterly unimportant in the grand scheme of things, considering all of the troubles you have already… How can you not? We Earthlings are a captive audience! We’ve no place else to go!

Now Playing: PLANET EARTH: In its 4.54th billionth season! And still…The only Planet in town!

The Greatest Dick in the World

27 Sep

http://rightweb.irc-online.org/images/uploads/dick-cheney.jpg670px-dick_cheney

Dick Cheney…of course!         Anyone care to disagree?

Suit Up!

26 Sep

I think that women need a uniform. That’s what all men have. Think about it: Whenever a man has something important to do he puts on a suit. He doesn’t even have to think about it. He knows when it’s time for a suit or not…An important job? An interview? Appearing before the public? Going to a wedding? Appearing on television? Getting married? You name it. If it’s important. Men just put on a suit. The only thing men have to think about is what color? (if you have more than one suit of course)… And which tie?… Those are our only decisions.

But women?…What do I wear? Dress? Skirt? How long? Pants? Top? Which one? Which kind? Earrings? Necklace? Hair?!!!

And then, how much skin do I show? Legs? Arms? Breasts? What’s appropriate? What’s appealing? What’s naughty…or nice? What statement will I be making with my clothing? What will people think of me? Will they find me attractive? Or, god forbid…Un? This kind of decision making has to not only be difficult and nerve wracking for women but is also completely unfair.

But for men? Just suit up! It’s our uniform for what’s important. And men don’t have to worry about what kind of suit to wear like…Should I wear the one that shows more of my chest? Or go with short sleeves…maybe sleeveless? Maybe wear the short pants with that jacket? Nope! It’s a suit! There’s only One kind…and it fits all!

That’s what women need for when they have to go out and do serious business, wherever, whenever and whatever…just like men. When men dress for success all we show are hands and faces. That’s all we have to worry about.

But without their own uniform…uniform, it seems to me that women are at a decided disadvantage?

What say you women? Whose idea was this anyway? Or to make it more fair, perhaps, should men be required to start showing more… skin?

Who Has the Mob Mentality?

21 Sep

Here is something I didn’t know…

From 1882 to 1968, close to 200 anti-lynching bills were introduced in the U.S. Congress. Only Three passed the House and those were later filibustered in the Senate and never received a vote. Seven presidents between 1890 and 1952 petitioned Congress to pass a federal law but none was ever passed.

A lynching is when a mob (usually a group of white people) kills someone, (usually a black person ) especially by hanging, for an alleged offense and done without legal authority.

I’m supposing that the mob felt that there was safety in numbers because since there was no federal law prohibiting mass murder of this type (with the mass being on the opposite side of the murder equation) so it was left up to the states to enforce or prosecute said lynchings…which they usually did not…even when photos of the perpetrators were taken and made available. (usually by the perpetrators themselves!)

I became curious about this subject while watching the new Ken Burns documentary on the Roosevelts (oddly enough this was never a topic of discussion in public school even though lynchings were still occurring and were “legal” in my lifetime)

Anyway, anti-lynching bills came to the fore during the years of Franklin Roosevelt’s presidency and although he is well know as a social reformer President Roosevelt did not support the federal anti-lynching bills because he feared that support would cost him Southern votes during his many elections. (perhaps “feared” is the wrong word here) In any event he apparently believed that he could accomplish more for more people simply by getting re-elected and in 1939 he created the Civil Rights Section of the Justice Department and directed them to start prosecutions to combat lynching. How did they do?  They failed to win any convictions until 1946.

Things apparently got so bad that after WWII and during the cold war even the Soviet Union (of all unions) criticized the United States for the frequency of lynchings of black people and later in 1951 the famous actor Paul Robeson and the Civil Rights Congress argued at the United Nations that the U.S. government was guilty of genocide under Article II of the United Nations Genocide Convention because it failed to act against lynchings… The United Nations of course…took no action.

But then the FBI helped…by declaring people like Albert Einstein to be communist sympathizers for joining Mr. Robeson’s crusade.  J. Edgar Hoover (everyone’s heard of him) even went so far as to direct more attention to investigations of civil rights groups for communist connections than to Ku Klux Klan activities…like lynching.

So when exactly did the United States Congress pass legislation making lynchings a federal crime in America?

Amazingly, the answer is: Never

But On June 13, 2005, not Congress, but the U.S. Senate, formally apologized for its failure in the early 20th century, “when it was most needed”, to enact a Federal anti-lynching law… and by a voice vote no less (not a roll call)…I wonder why?

Thankfully people as a whole, or groups, have pretty much decided that lynchings are no longer in vogue and so we don’t have… any? or… as many? anymore… but can you imagine what must have been going through the minds of the protesters in Furguson Missouri while they were staring into the massed weapons of the police’s armored vehicles and automatic weapons following the shooting of Michael Brown?

Weren’t the police just daring them to go ahead and try something that night? To see what they might get? I’m sure the police had absolutely no doubt what they, the police, might get should they be “forced” to fire upon a goaded and angry mob of militant protesters…Off…does anyone doubt that?

Racism is not dead in this country. Dormant in most places, maybe, but dead? How could it be? Who has really tried to kill it or seriously eradicate it? I mean really… until it was just snuffed out…you know, like Native Americans at Wounded Knee… seriously, who?

What’s In a Name?

9 Sep

The High School in which I was a teacher for 31 years always offered a course in the study of The Holocaust. The town in which the high school was located had a long and rich history that included many Jewish residents and visitors and so this particular course touched upon a subject that was both near and dear to the hearts of those who lived and worked and taught within the town.

But of course the importance of teaching such a course was to instruct all of the students and residents of the town that such a horrible atrocity could never be forgotten and that this monstrous injustice could occur somewhere else and at some other time to any group of people and anywhere within our world where people did not remain vigilant or were willing to forget or disbelieve that humans could ever treat other humans with such cold cruelty.

And of course the corner stone of the course, if you will, was always the phrase: “Never forget”. We must never forget what happened in the Germany of WWII lest an atrocity of similar horror happen again.

And so over the years the course was taught, and as fate would have it, over the years our classes, students and public school community gradually changed complexion until one day I was listening in when a young African American student, looking a bit bored with the lecture, raised his hand and said, “Who cares about this. What about slavery?” as many of the other students of color began to mutter their agreement.

And I will never forget what the teacher’s response was…and this is going to sound like I’m making it up although I swear to you, on my honor, that I am not…

The teacher’s response was: “Son, that was a long time ago. You’re going to have to forget about that and move on with your life or you’ll end up going nowhere.”

And that is why The Washington Redskins need to change their name! And Daniel Snyder, the Washington team’s owner, should know better…especially than to say to USA Today and the world…”We’ll never change the name. It’s that simple. NEVER — you can use caps.”

Because Never is a word you use…when you forget.

 

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