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Posts Tagged ‘George Bush’

Perhaps it’s an unwritten message from President Obama to Al Qaeda: Like Luca Brasi, Osama bin Laden now “sleeps with the fishes”. Of course the burial at sea also has the advantage of eliminating the possibility of creating a shrine to one of the most famous of the world’s terrorists, although it is unlikely he could compete favorably for the title of greatest terrorist of all time if we also consider Adolf Hitler, Genghis Khan, Oliver Cromwell, Attila the Hun, or Josef Stalin. Perhaps he might deserve a more appropriate title, like Terrorist of the Decade. Soon to be forgotten, in two generations he will be nothing more than a footnote in history – if that.

However, there is a legacy he leaves behind that may affect the world for a long time to come: he taught us mistrust. Bin Laden’s message to the world was that he could not be trusted, nor could his followers. It didn’t matter if you knew them or not. It didn’t matter whether you were in the fight or not. It didn’t even matter if you knew what the fight was about or if you even knew there was a fight. You were in danger from bin Laden and his gang of murderers. It sounds like insanity, doesn’t it? Perhaps it was. Perhaps it is. Even so, it will have a lasting impact on how we live.

Anyone who used to fly on airplanes before 9/11 and who now flies on airplanes is well aware of bin Laden’s legacy. But it’s not only aviation that is affected. Governments around the world now take all sorts of measures to protect things that we never thought needing protecting; things like subway systems, sporting events, ocean liners, water supplies, natural gas depots, and so forth. The list could go on and on because during Osama’s attempted  reign of terror nothing was truly safe. Not that they ever were, because accidents happen all the time anyway. But Osama thought that he could force something to happen by his actions. However, Osama is gone and the political world has been little changed by the actions of Osama and his Al Qaeda followers.

Even so, his legacy is all around us – a legacy of mistrust. How long will it permeate world society? One can only wonder; however, there is another aspect of Osama’s legacy: the way he died. A U.S. Navy Seal Team surprised him in his home in the middle of the night and killed him in a heartbeat. Death from above.  This is terrorism turned upon itself. It wasn’t long after Osama was killed that another Al Qaeda leader, thought to be Osama’s successor, was killed without warning by a Predator drone, and only recently another Al Qaeda leader was killed at a police roadblock in Somalia. It would seem that the members of Al Qaeda have also received a legacy of terror from their leader. For the foreseeable future they must live with the knowledge that they might die at any moment without warning. He who lives by the sword…

It seems that all that Osama bin Laden succeeded in doing was increasing the uncertainty level in an already very uncertain world.

It is interesting to note that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan do not seem to have had much involvement with the recent losses experienced by Al Qaeda. This, of course, is to be expected. The Iraq War had nothing to do with Al Qaeda. It was an attack on Saddam Hussein by George Bush with a trumped-up charge about “weapons of mass destruction” that Iraq did not possess. Could it be that it was more likely revenge for Saddam’s earlier attempt to assassinate the first President Bush? Certainly Saddam was captured and hanged. But there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and Saddam hated Al Qaeda, so it wasn’t that. So far, the U.S. government has never given a satisfactory explanation of what the Iraq war was all about. We just know that it had nothing to do with fighting terrorism. Remember when Vice President Cheney was talking about a different kind of war that would be fought clandestinely? It would be our secret agents against Al Qaeda’s secret agents:

In 2001, Vice President Cheney appears on NBC’s Meet the Press and says, “We also have to work, though, sort of the dark side, if you will. We’ve got to spend time in the shadows in the intelligence world. A lot of what needs to be done here will have to be done quietly, without any discussion, using sources and methods that are available to our intelligence agencies, if we’re going to be successful.”

I guess that wasn’t going so well and that’s why we sent the army into Iraq and Afghanistan. So far we have spent a little over 1.2 trillion dollars on these two wars (that’s $1,200,000,000,000.00 approximately). I guess that is also part of Osama’s legacy. We have spent our fortune conducting a traditional war against an untraditional enemy.  However, in the end, it was the spy vs. spy approach that killed Osama bin Laden. Nevertheless, couldn’t the cost of these two misguided wars be considered his legacy because that was the excuse the Bush administration gave for waging them? Of course these wars were not paid for by taxes (we borrowed the money from China), so now we are in debt up to our eyebrows and the national and world economies are teetering on the brink of another collapse. Could this economic catastrophe also be part of Osama’s legacy, although most certainly an unintended one?

On the other hand, who would have thought President Bush would act so irresponsibly as to conduct two wars for which he had no money? Come to think of it, since the US and world economic collapse was probably the last thing on Osama’s mind, it’s probably not right to say that it is Osama’s legacy. Let’s call it George Bush’s legacy; that would be more accurate.

So what did Osama accomplish? He made us mistrust each other more than usual. He temporarily increased the uncertainty in an already very uncertain world for everyone, including his own misguided followers.

Compared to George Bush, it’s not much of a legacy is it?

 

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If there is one thing that can be reliably deduced from American voting patterns it is this: the people want change.  Consider the case of Bill Clinton. If you look at his record while President, he rescued the economy from an impending collapse due to the economic fantasies of Ronald Reagan and the economic incompetence of Bush #1. During the Clinton years we had an era of prosperity that was among the best the country ever enjoyed. Furthermore, as President, Bill Clinton pretty much kept the United States out of war – a feat achieved by very few Presidents in our history. Bill Clinton’s problem was his intern that he kept under his desk. True to our Puritan heritage, the American people just could not handle that, and come the next election they voted for CHANGE, i.e Bill was a Democrat, so they voted Republican.  (Our CHANGE button is basically a binary switch, for all practical purposes you get to choose between a Democrat or a Republican – that’s it.)

When Bush #2 became President we became the victims of a man who was arguably the least intelligent man to ever hold that office. He promptly reverted to the insane economic ideas of Ronald Reagan while following the Republican economic battle cry of “No controls, no government oversight”. The result was a plunge into an economic abyss, the likes of which hadn’t been seen since the Great Depression. That President also involved the country in a mindless, unjustified war in Iraq that cost uncounted billions of dollars and the loss of many lives. That President also made a mess of the war on Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Again billions of dollars were spent, many lives lost, and the supposed objective of the war – the elimination of Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden – was a failure.  So, when it came time for the next Presidential election, the American people voted for CHANGE.

When America voted for Barack Obama to become President they knew they weren’t getting a white knight in shining armor who would wage wars with the enemies of America and who would right all the wrongs of the previous President. They thought they were getting a black knight in shining armor who would do those things. They just wanted a fearless and true knight – just like in the fairy tales. The problem is that after two years on the job, our black knight hasn’t led the attack. He has played “let’s make a deal”. True to his background as a United States Senator, he thought he could negotiate his way to achieving the “shining city on a hill”. Well, that didn’t work, did it?  Sure, he did save the country from a mind-numbing plunge into an economic abyss – but it’s one thing to be hanging by the life-saving strands of a safety belt, it’s another to be climbing to the top of a mountain. This isn’t what the American people voted for. They want the mountain top.

So, as we approach another election day, it looks like the American people may well push the binary CHANGE button again. If so, we will be facing more people in Congress who are the economic disciples of Herbert Hoover (the President who presided over the crash of the stock market in 1929 and the resulting Great Depression).  The problem is our binary button. We often have to vote not for the best of all possible candidates, but the least of the evils.  We have to vote for either the failed policies of the present or the failed policies of the past. Our CHANGE button doesn’t work. That is the message of the Tea Party, but the sad thing is that the Tea Party doesn’t bring any fresh ideas either, just ultra-extreme Republicanism which might have worked well in the early days of the country when you could just grab the land and natural resources from the Native Americans. (Those were the good old days, weren’t they?) But those days are gone, and the “every man for himself” philosophy is not a recipe for a modern functional society. Even the Republican Party knows that.

The recent meltdown of the world’s economy demonstrated, to anyone open-minded enough to objectively look, that Herbert Hoover and his disciples are wrong about economics in a capitalist system. They were wrong in 1929, they were wrong in 2007, and they are wrong in 2010. Hoover/Reagan/Bush economics always leads to economic disaster, and this is the problem we now face because when the voters push the CHANGE button on Tuesday it will toggle our economy back to a plan for economic disaster. It’s not the CHANGE we need, nor is it the change for which we voted two years ago. The change we need is this: our black knight needs to put on his shining armor and fearlessly lead this country forward. He needs to understand that we are not playing “Let’s Make a Deal”. President Bush never made a deal, yet he was able to do all of the insane/illegal things he wanted to do: things like illegal wiretaps, torturing prisoners, waging war for fabricated and untrue reasons. Bush, like a European Emperor or a Russian Czar, simply scoffed at the rules and did what he wanted to do. I don’t hold this up as an example for Barack Obama, but I think he needs to learn that he is a President and not a Senator anymore. He needs to put on the shining armor and get out there on the field.

The question is: is it too late? Will the American people push the broken CHANGE button again? It looks like it, but the CHANGE that will come on November 2nd won’t be the one they want or the one we need.

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If one were to listen only to Republican hype and the hysteria of the Tea People one might think that the only thing worse than paying taxes is to be boiled in oil. The question we should ask is this: are both of these groups crazy or is it only the Tea People?  The answer, of course, is that the Republicans aren’t crazy; they’re simply cunning, like a tiger, or maybe more like a snake that stalks its prey relying only on deceit. The Tea People just don’t know any better.  Like children following the Pied Piper, they believe anyone who says taxes are bad, and they willingly follow anyone who promises to reduce or eliminate taxes – people like the cheerleader from Alaska who seems to think that all you need to do to win a debate is shout the loudest and drown out the opposition. Honest debate is simply out of the question.

The question we might ask is why is there this odd coalition of nasty, crafty, old rich men and undereducated, cheerleader-following, poor people? Why? Because it works. It works for the cunning, crafty old men that is. As for the unsuspecting Tea People, they will simply be dessert for the snake – after the large middle class has been devoured by the unquenchable appetite of the wealthy.

It has been claimed by many, myself included, that our country is already in the clutches of a ruling oligarchy. The evidence is not hard to find. Just look how our businesses have been allowed to export our jobs to China and India and so many other countries. Just look how our banking system was allowed to destroy the world economy with no adult supervision.  Just look at how the gigantic energy companies are allowed to destroy the environment with gargantuan oil spills and the total destruction of mountains (yes, entire mountains) in the search for coal. Yet, clean nuclear energy that provides almost all of the energy for countries like France, and clean wind energy that supplies large amounts of power for Scandinavia and the UK is opposed on all fronts. Just look how President Bush became President even though he received fewer votes than Al Gore – even in Florida.

Under the reigns of Republican presidents like Reagan and Bush our economy has been practically destroyed and our national debt soared into the trillions. Under Bush taxes on the extremely wealthy were drastically cut while the poor received almost no break at all – and all of it justified by the lie that it had to be done so the rich could create more jobs for the poor people. Except they didn’t. At least not for the poor of America. The simple fact is that they eliminated all the jobs the poor people had – the unskilled labor jobs – and exported them to even poorer countries. Then they started on the skilled jobs, IT jobs, pharmaceutical jobs, jobs that needed a college education – and they exported those jobs too. So what was left for the citizens of the USA? Not much. That’s why people resorted to buying and flipping houses – they had to make money somehow.

Then it all fell apart and the wealthy Republicans started with their tax lies again. Don’t tax the rich – their money can help create jobs. And the Tea People? They just don’t have a clue about what’s going on. They just know they are desperate. Money is hard to come by and, thanks to the conniving of George Bush they have no tax relief. They know they would be better off today if they didn’t have to pay taxes. These are poor desperate people who can’t afford their tax burden. So what do they do? They align themselves with the Republicans!  That’s like thinking you can be friends with a snake. They don’t know they are dessert.

The truth about taxes is this: we need them. Without taxes there is no police force, no fire department, no roads, no municipal water, no schools, no army, no navy, no marines, no air force, no coast guard, no city hospitals, no railroads, no airports, no centers for disease control, no snow plows, no life guards, no federal aviation administration, no national transportation safety board, no food and drug administration, no FBI, no CIA, no sidewalks, no border patrol, no national guard, no sheriffs, no ambulances. Without taxes there would never have been an Internet. There would have been no Moon landings. There would be no Interstate Highway System.

The truth is that society needs taxes in order to operate. The Republicans know this; that’s why they write all those laws that tax the poor.  The poor Tea People are just lost. They don’t understand. They think that teaming with the Republicans will save them, but such an alliance will only lead to their destruction. You can’t make a deal with a snake.

The truth is this: a society can only function well when the major burden of taxes falls upon the wealthy – after all, they’re the ones with the money. Our country used to know that. It was obvious. We had a graduated income tax – the more you made the more you paid.  Pretty simple rule – and it worked. The Republicans turned that sensible notion on its head and created a disproportionate system that unfairly taxes the lower-income people and allows the wealthiest people in the entire world to pay absolutely no tax at all. This is simply untenable. A country cannot long exist that doesn’t tax its wealthiest citizens. The poor Tea People don’t get it. They just know they are suffering and they want to stop paying taxes and the Republicans say they’ll help. Pure deceit.

We need to reinstate our graduated income tax – with no exceptions. Tax the wealthy more than you tax the poor. That’s right, John McCain, redistribute the wealth. What do you think taxes are anyway, if not the redistribution of wealth? If Republicans had their way we would reenter the Middle Ages and have a feudal society – a society where the only people who pay taxes are the peasants and they pay them to the wealthy landowners.  So Tea People, if you want tax reform, I’m with you all the way. But let’s be sensible. Tax the rich – we really need their money – and they have lots of it.  And don’t tax the poor at all – they need their scant resources far more than we do.

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It’s sort of like the Emperor’s New Clothes, isn’t it?  Everybody pretends that we have waged a successful war. Mission accomplished!!  It’s like we don’t want to admit what surely everyone knows: the whole thing was a fraud.  Remember the reason we went to war? I do. Weapons of mass destruction – that was it. Old George Bush told us the Iraqis had them. He was sure of it. They had nukes. They had yellow cake from Niger. Colin Powell dragged out the high altitude photos – just like the Kennedy administration did before the Cuban Missile Crisis. Remember how the U.S. had taken photos with U-2 spy planes of the Russian ICBMs that were being set up in Cuba? I do. So there was old Colin Powell doing the same thing, showing the world the photos taken from spy planes or satellites. “Look.” he said, “biological warfare equipment!! Chemical warfare equipment!!”

The sabres rattled.  The stern warnings were pronounced. Saddam Hussein loudly protested that he had no weapons of mass destruction. He didn’t have any nukes, he said.  He didn’t have any biological warfare labs. He didn’t have any chemical warfare labs. “Hah!” said George Bush. “You’re a liar, Saddam. A rotten liar.” we all said. (We meaning the U.S. collectively – not necessarily you and me.)  Saddam kept protesting and old, sly George just rattled the sabre more loudly. The we launched. Shock and awe. Death from above. That would do it. Those Iraqis would surrender in a few days, right? No. They didn’t.

Then, as we were constantly told that victory was imminent, this new entity comes along – Al Qaeda in Iraq.  Whoever heard of them anyway? Saddam hated Al Qaeda. You never heard a peep from Al Qaeda when Saddam was in power, but when the U.S. drove him underground (literally), they surfaced. And then the U.S. found that if they  were looking for a fight, well they found one.  And so, the war on weapons of mass destruction (which never existed and old, sly George and old, sly Colin, and old, sick, sly Dick probably knew that all along – from day minus one even) was quietly forgotten and the war in Iraq became a war against the terrorists – who were happily saying goodbye to our troops in Afghanistan who were leaving to fight the war against terror in Iraq.

Well, I am glad to report the war on terror and weapons of mass destruction in Iraq is over. Yep. The last of our combat troops are gone. President Obama was true to his word and now we can all sleep better, knowing we don’t have to worry about those Iraqi “nucular” missiles.

Here’s the thing I don’t understand: as of the end of 2009 there were 4287 Americans killed in Iraq and 30,182 wounded. Where are the protests? Doesn’t anyone get it? This wasn’t a patriotic war. Iraq didn’t attack us. They didn’t have any weapons of mass destruction. George Bush just decided he was going to eliminate Saddam Hussein and he did, all based upon trumped up “evidence” that was shaky on the day it was created.  Where is America’s outrage? Where is the Tea Party when you need them? Where is Sarah with her indignation? Doesn’t she get it?

When I look back at Vietnam and the riots in the streets and the civil disobedience, I wonder why we were so indignant then about a war that had a very tenuous justification and now we are OK with a costly war in both human lives and our treasure. But now I know why. It’s the draft. Or, more precisely, the lack of a draft. See, in the old days when Uncle Sam beckoned you had to go. Now, you don’t because Uncle Sam doesn’t beckon – he just pays good money to people, many, many of whom can’t hope for a job that pays as well as being an Army grunt. We have a professional military these days. (Thanks to Tricky Dick Nixon) Some would say we have  a mercenary army. So why should anyone be outraged about all the unnecessary deaths and ripped apart bodies? They’re all volunteers aren’t they? And that is really it, isn’t it? There are no demonstrations in the streets because if you don’t want to go you don’t have to go.

So what about, you know, the ethics of the whole thing? You know. The lies, the fabrications, the complete ignoring of international law. What about that? Who cares? Or so it seems, anyway.

So, as we celebrate our glorious victory in the name of Pax Americana, our legions return home from the lands of the foreigners. They go to their bases and prepare for their next war. Professional soldiers.

Meanwhile, sly George smugly sits and gloats while sick Dick lurches from hospital to hospital and Colin is still trying to figure out what happened to his career and his reputation. And the American people? What do they think?

Tea Party People!  Please enlighten me!  Was the whole thing just a big mistake? Was it a secret plan crafted by geniuses in the White House basement? Was it all for nothing? Are we wrapping up a glorious era or a gory error?

You can Go ask Sarah, I suppose, but I don’t think she’ll know. (My apologies to Grace Slick.)

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About a year ago, when it looked like the world was about to end and the economies of countries around the world were beginning to melt away like a Salvador Dali painting, the leaders of the U.S. government, i.e. President Bush and Treasury Secretary Paulson told us that we had only days, maybe only minutes, left to rescue those great bastions of Capitalism – the banks of Wall Street.  Everybody panicked. We couldn’t shovel money into the banks fast enough. If they died, we died – or so we were told anyway.

Today, the dust has settled, the banks are alive – having been given massive transfusions of life-giving money – and the people of America are left wondering: what just happened?  Here’s what happened: we were robbed by the banks.  After Lehman Brothers melted into a little puddle of red ink, there were reports that Goldman Sachs might be next.  Goldman Sachs!?!?  How could that be?  Isn’t Goldman the underlying sine qua non of American capitalism? If Goldman goes down won’t the entire country just dissolve? That’s what we were led to believe by Bush, Paulson, and their cronies.

So what happened? We (that means you and me, the American taxpayers) gave them a loan, called TARP, to keep them alive. We gave a lot of banks a lot of money because we were told we couldn’t survive without them.  They were “too big to fail”. Of course we didn’t give them our own cash, because we were also drowning in the melting economy – so we just printed the money and decided to let our descendants pay the government back through their tax bills over the coming centuries.

Here is where the big scam comes in: while Americans made a lot of stupid decisions buying houses they couldn’t afford at prices they couldn’t pay, the banks were equally – if not more – stupid because they gave us all those loans that we couldn’t pay back.  If the banks had the intelligence of a rock they would have realized that making such loans was pure folly.  They used to know that, but in their greed they put aside their knowledge as they chased the huge profits that can be made in a bubble economy.  So, what had happened was that we, the people, lost a bundle and so did the banks, but the banks got reimbursed for their losses – by us! But nobody reimbursed us! So now, not only do we owe the money we foolishly invested in overpriced houses, we are also on the hook for all the TARP money we printed because a lot of that will never be paid back.

Meanwhile, the bailed out banks – the ones we can’t live without, the ones that are too big to fail because our Capitalist economy depends on them – don’t want to play Capitalism anymore. They don’t want to lend money anymore. Instead they are hogging all their TARP money, refusing to lend money to people who need money for many purposes. In other words the big hog banks aren’t really functioning as banks anymore, which leads one to wonder why we thought they were too big to fail. In a sense they have already failed.  If they aren’t lending then they have failed in the principal purpose of a capitalist bank – making capital available. So if they have failed in their role, and yet, here we are, still alive and functioning, doesn’t that mean that they really weren’t “too big to fail” after all?  Aren’t the big hog banks proving every day that we really don’t need them after all? Isn’t this the big lie of Bush and Paulson?  Isn’t this the big lie of Wall Street?

One of the great drags on our economy now is the lack of available capital to restart businesses.  If we had simply nationalized the banks we would now have government-run banks that would be in the business of lending money to us because we would be the owners of the banks! They would sort of be like giant credit unions.  Instead, we have the Boss Hogs of Wall Street sitting on 200 billion dollars of TARP money, unwilling to do that for which we bailed them out.  The TARP bailout didn’t rescue the economy – the money we gave to the banks is still sitting in the banks, so how could it have any effect on the economy? The only thing TARP did was prove one thing: the whole Too Big To Fail story was nothing but a Big Bank Lie that only passed on the losses of the big banks to the American people.  We were duped. We were done a huge disservice by former President George Bush and former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, and we will be paying the price for this for generations to come.

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It is John McCain’s greatest fear: the redistribution of wealth.  He’s not the only one who is afraid of course, there are plenty of other people like him.  They have made their fortunes one way or another, and they are damned if they are going to share it with anyone.  Good Christians all, I suppose.  It’s a touchy subject for the very wealthy – they would rather we talk about something else, like lowering taxes or the right to bear arms or freedom of choice in health care.  All good subjects, no doubt, and all emotional trigger issues that are guaranteed to distract the easily distracted from something they would rather not dwell upon.  America has become a country polarized by unequal – very unequal – distribution of its wealth.  Current estimates are that the total wealth of the United States is about $53 trillion. That is a lot of money.  The thing that John McCain would prefer that you don’t know or dwell upon is that, of this amount, about $18 trillion (a bit more than 1/3 of all the wealth of the U.S.) is owned by only 1% of the population.  The other thing that Johnny doesn’t want you to think about is that at the other end of the spectrum, the total wealth of almost half the people in the country – add up the wealth of 150 million Americans – is only about $0.5 trillion, i.e. less than 1% of the total wealth of the country.  Of course John McCain and the other rich folk think this is perfectly OK – and let’s talk about something else, can we? Like freedom, or the enemy, or taxes, or big government, or something.  Anything else. This is America, right?  Anyone and everyone has an equal chance to be a billionaire, don’t they?  So stop whining.

I am reminded of a new song written by a very good Irish songwriter, Jimmy McCarthy, called The Sky Road.  It tells about a young man named Danny who, I suppose, left Ireland long, long ago – centuries ago.  It starts like this:

Danny’s made his mind up

He’s leaving for America

He’s leaving for America

Leaving all of us behind.

He says there’s nothing here not drenched in beer

In blood and retribution

And the wealth distribution’s

Been weighing heavy on his mind.

Allow me to put this in a little perspective:

In the aftermath of nearly a thousand years of defending itself from constant invasions from England, Ireland finally fell to Oliver Cromwell’s extraordinarily savage attacks in the mid-1600’s. (This was at exactly the same time that English colonists were busy taking America from the Native Americans in the “New World”).  Ireland now belonged to England (soon to be called The British Empire) – all of it.  Mostly,  Ireland belonged to a very small number of people – the English aristocracy.  They had promptly declared it to be  illegal for any Irish person to own land in Ireland.  There was little for people like Danny to do except leave, particularly when the potato crop failed in the mid-1800’s, and the Irish starved to death, literally by the millions.  All the while, the English-owned plantations in Ireland continuously exported massive amounts of food (beef, pork, butter, grain, and so forth) to England.  It’s a story of genocide not usually taught in our American schools, is it? One can only wonder why…

The society in Ireland before the famine in the 19th century had become polarized into two classes: a small but enormously wealthy upper, aristocratic class, and a very large class of poor, landless laborers who worked for the aristocrats.  For all practical purposes, nineteenth century Ireland was a feudal society – and the English aristocrats were delighted with that.  The important thing to note here is that the aristocratic class, those who had attained their wealth through theft and murder, hadn’t the slightest care about the welfare of the poorer class. Good Calvinists, they felt justified because they believed it must be God’s plan – otherwise things wouldn’t be that way, would they?

Today, in America, a nation of equals (at least theoretically), we find ourselves in the midst of an argument about health care. Is it a right for all?  Should it be paid for by taxes? Why should the wealthy pay for the medical needs of the poor?  The Wall Street Journal has leaped into the fray calling our Congress “reckless” for even considering higher taxes on the wealthy in order to pay for a health care plan. We are hearing commentators talking about possible class warfare and the evils of the coming wealth redistribution.  The important thing to note about all this talk is that the extremely wealthy people in America, the ones who have benefited the most from the Bush tax cuts and the elimination of the estate tax, feel entirely justified in tightly grasping and hoarding their billions of dollars while they do absolutely nothing to help those who are suffering.  After all, this is surely God’s will isn’t it?  Otherwise it wouldn’t be this way.  And therefore, aren’t these wealthy people demonstrably God’s elect? Surely they have no need or obligation to help the poorer people – let them help themselves.  Didn’t John Calvin say as much?  Christianity at it’s best.

I can still hear John McCain’s voice from the campaign trail as he warned about class warfare and wealth redistribution.  He is typical of the new class of would-be American aristocrats.  Content to sit back and do nothing while they watched the people of New Orleans drown, they are equally happy to bomb the people of Hanoi or Iran or anywhere else that suits their needs.  This new society of American aristocrats, led by their genius, George W. Bush, are without a conscience, caring only for their own wealth and intent on deceiving the American people that health care for all is the worst thing that could happen in America.  The fact that their Republican political party has aligned itself with the so-called “Christian” churches in America is an extraordinary irony.  Never mind “What would Jesus do?” What would Jesus say?

History has shown time and again that when a society becomes extremely polarized, and a small number of very wealthy people dominate, an unstable society is produced.  It is always the case that the poorer people suffer under the domination of the wealthy and that the wealthy use all their power and wealth only to amass even more wealth. We are in such a situation now.  For the past eight years, the extremely wealthy have used their power to enrich themselves, while in the process bringing the world’s economy to its knees.  The extremely wealthy have used their power to rewrite our tax laws so they could significantly decrease their tax burden while simultaneously increasing the tax burden on the poorer people.  We need only to look at the catastrophe of Czarist Russia to see what happens when a large poorer class is continuously abused by the wealthy few. It is the lesson of history  that has occurred over and over again.  And this lesson is what our current American aristocracy fears the most, which is why we hear the cries of “class warfare” and “wealth redistribution”.  Even so, they won’t relent.  They don’t believe they should subsidize anyone’s health care, and so they propagate their lies about European health care – which is in fact, far superior to U.S. health care.

In the end, the struggle is not about freedom and values and patriotism;  it’s all about money and wealth.  And greed.  Lots of greed.  The wealthy American class has tried mightily to convert us into an aristocratic society – and they have succeeded.  Now they want to keep it that way.  It’s worth remembering that two hundred years ago, when Danny left Ireland for America, he had a reasonable hope of being treated fairly in a new country where the English aristocracy didn’t already control everything.  However, our situation is different from Danny’s.  If we quietly allow our fair country to continue to spiral downward into a John McCain/George Bush style aristocracy, where only a very small number of people own all the wealth of the land, we won’t have anywhere else to emigrate to, because there is no other America.  This is it.

It is time for the vast numbers of ordinary people in the United States to stand up against the lies of the wealthy, otherwise they must inevitably surrender and forever live under the heel of this new and heartless American aristocracy.

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