Inspired in part by a post I saw a while back on Beach Bum's The Life and Times of a Carolina Parrothead blog.
Tuesday, May 2, 2017
It's miserable outside today, with heavy rains and thunder. It seems like it's been gray, cold, and rainy for most of the past 6 1/2 years, ever since conservative Republicans roared back into power by retaking Congress in that fateful election of November 2, 2010. It was the most stunning political upset in our entire history, and I still can't believe it happened! As we all know, they completely destroyed any possibility former President Obama may have had of enacting anything on his agenda, and defeated him overwhelmingly in a record landslide on a dirty campaign of lies, innuendo, and misinformation two years later. They even reversed and repealed his health care reform legislation by a huge majority! UNBELIEVABLE!
I think I'll be moving again soon. I've never been paranoid in the past, and I don't think I'm being that way now, but I just don't feel safe here anymore. Yesterday was a terrible day. Congress passed the "Free Enterprise, Free Choice Act of 2017", effectively making labor unions illegal. ILLEGAL! After the price and wage riots in March, I figured there would be some sort of crackdown, but I never imagined THIS! I've lost track of my old leftist blogger friends like SJ, MyCue23, Burr, Vigilante, Manifesto Joe, Suzan, Max's Dad, Oso, mud_rake, MadMike, Holte Ender, Stella by Starlight, Marc McDonald, Truth101, TomCat, Beach Bum, Punky Penny, and all the rest. I hope they're FREE, ok, and SAFE, at least, because I know they're not happy. Maybe they've all gone underground, as I plan to do. I got a smuggled letter last Friday from Gwendolyn Barry, who used to write A New Global Myth before Senator Liz Cheney's restrictive "Patriot Information Act" was passed on November 9, right after the "re-election", which has led to the arrest of many bloggers, leftists, and union union officials on charges of being security threats. GWENDOLYN'S not happy! She mentioned she had been relocated to some type of work detention camp, and she HATES it! I guess being made to help manufacture bombsight materiel for the military isn't her cup of tea. I'D hate doing that, too, so I'm going to hit the road, blend in anonymously somewhere, and become an American Dissident/Fugitive until either this corrupt regime is removed from power (which seems all but impossible now), or I get caught and thrown into a camp like Gwendolyn was. Sadly, I suspect many of my other old pals have suffered her same fate. It didn't take long for these kinds of roundups to begin. For this isn't the "land of the free" anymore. It's become the land of the conservative, militaristic, and wealthy so far as government policy is concerned. I never in my wildest dreams thought I'd see a situation like this occur!
When the President (whose name I STILL can't bear to even write or say to this very day) took (STOLE) office on January 20, 2013, I, like most of the rest of the country, was in absolute shock. Shock that someone SO stupid, SO shallow, SO dishonest, SO self-centered, SO unqualified, SO narrow-minded, SO in love with money, fame, and the military/industrial complex, and SO vile could have been sold to voters and could have ever attained the office. We on the left all thought, after the disastrous presidency of George W. Bush, that the ultra-conservative Republican Party was dead and set to disappear altogether. Boy, were WE ever wrong! They came roaring back with that infamous "teabagger" movement they so skillfully manufactured in the summer of 2009, and they haven't looked back ever since! They began feeding the public a non-stop stream of steady lies and distortion, so much and so often, that voters have now come to accept most of their phony claims as accurate fact. Secretary of Public Information Glenn Beck has seen to that, as the newly-created (2014) Department of Public Information (I call it the "Apartment of Public DISinformation") headed by he and Deputy Secretary Rush Limbaugh, is further cementing this fearmongering spin. It has even started a subtle rewriting-of-history campaign to feed the public lies about the past. Secretary of Education Karl Rove has begun implementing this disinformation throughout our public elementary and secondary schools. The Kennedy half dollar has been replaced by the new Reagan piece, and I hear the old FDR dime is up next for a revision. The White House stopped giving all press briefings two years ago, and has now resorted to using staged "interviews" with only one network - Fox "News" and only John King or Dana Bash from CNN. ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, and the almost defunct PBS have all been shut out of the direct info pool. Yes, these dreadful, corporatist, plutocratic, ultra-conservative Republicans have become awfully bold and brazen of late, especially since the President was just "re-elected" by such a wide margin last year and they were able to slightly increase their already large congressional margins...
I don't think it's any accident that this hideous "Free Enterprise, Free Choice Act of 2017" was passed and immediately signed into law on May 1; "May Day", the traditional day dedicated to workers worldwide among Socialists (and the old Communists). With a 313-125 conservative Republican majority in the House, a 73-27 conservative Republican majority in the Senate, and a 7-2 conservative majority on the Supreme Court, these ultra-conservative Republicans have gotten awfully arrogant these days. Led by Vice President Michele Bachmann, I'm sure they were smacking their lips with absolute glee at the thought of squashing working people's only means of leverage once and for all by outlawing unions! Rumor has it, since she was successful in a push for "abstinance only" sex "education" in the schools and the complete banning of ALL abortions nationwide, teen pregnancies are skyrocketing, as are deaths from back-alley abortions. Of course, you'll never hear this from a White House or Department of Public Information press release. Pundits are already speculating that Bachmann has a lock on the 2020 Republican presidential nomination and will almost certainly win the 2020 election. God! Vice President BACHMANN? And maybe PRESIDENT BACHMANN? How did this nightmare HAPPEN? How in the hell did this extreme, wacko, delusional woman ever even get elected to the HOUSE, let alone become VICE PRESIDENT and probably now will even become PRESIDENT in three years?
Since the National Guard has undertaken training of militia groups in the countryside to crack heads on the poor and leftists in the inner cities and urban areas, it has freed their regular contingents to continue our three year-old war in Pakistan and Iran, and our sixteen-year old war in Afghanistan. To think we were once on the verge of pulling our troops OUT of Afghanistan! After DICK Cheney (before his fatal heart attack in 2013) and other far-right neocons engineered the phony terrorist incidents in the summer of 2012 (which scared the living hell out of the public and helped knock Obama out of office), the military/industrial complex has had a field day. Defense Secretary Jeb Bush, in his brother's best tradition, has dished out non-bid military contracts like appetizers at a cocktail party. As such, an end to this militaristic gluttony is nowhere in sight. Thanks to their having underwritten our exponentially expanding national debt for much of the past thirty five years, China has now finally built up a military roughly equal to our own in nearly every category except numbers, of course, where they outnumber us 20 to 1. Naturally, the military/industrial complex doesn't mind, because they have been profiting handsomely all the while. And you'll never hear reports of this nature on Fox "News" or coming out of the Department of Public Information! Big business is happy, too. Ever since gigantic new tax cuts for business and sweeping deregulation changes became effective in 2013, and now that nearly all of us working Americans are working 60+ hour weeks and are being paid what would have been considered a mere 20% above minimum wage only ten years ago, and with labor unions now outlawed, corporate executives are in ecstasy. I'll give these Republicans credit for one thing, though: they succeeded in getting the unemployment rate down to a scant 3.1%, and that's what's enabled them to get by with this economic murder. For it's come at a terrible price. Now we all have jobs, but UNDERemployment stands at a staggering 47%, so we have jobs, but no money. The last time I had a good steak dinner was at Christmas; my shoes and pants have holes in them; and going out to eat in a fancy restaurant or taking a nice long European vacation are luxuries that have disappeared into the lost decades of a distant past. As we might have expected, once the President issued an executive order ending all affirmative action, unemployment among blacks and Hispanics has shot up dramatically, to 31,7% and 24.5% respectively. A lot of us are now too tired and old to raise much hell about all this anymore. But not me, and that's why I'm hitting the road and going on the run...
Who would have ever thought wages would dip this far? Who would have ever thought unemployment benefits, overtime pay, and welfare would have all been done away with, as they were in 2015? Who would have ever thought that every major bridge in every major city would have dozens of homeless people "living" under it as we now have today? Who would have EVER thought the Republicans would successfully privatize Social Security as they also did in 2015, leading to a gigantic leap in the number of those over 70 becoming destitute almost overnight?
I keep thinking, over and over: HOW IN THE WORLD DID THIS HORROR STORY HAPPEN? I mean, IF ONLY WE ON THE LEFT HAD ACTUALLY VOTED AND HAD NOT STAYED HOME IN THE 2010 AND 2012 ELECTIONS! IF ONLY WE HAD FURIOUSLY FOUGHT TO EXPOSE EVERY SINGLE TEABAGGER/CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICAN LIE WHEN WE HAD THE CHANCE! IF ONLY WE HAD ARGUED MORE FORCEFULLY TO CONVINCE INDEPENDENTS AND THE APOLITICAL THAT THE CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICAN AGENDA WOULD BE CUTTING EVERYONE'S THROATS! IF ONLY WE HAD PUSHED PRESIDENT OBAMA FURTHER LEFTWARD INSTEAD OF ABANDONING HIM ALTOGETHER! Surely, had we been more proactive, things would have turned out far better and much differently than they are today. And I wouldn't be going on the run...
The consequences of voting against your best interests
10 minutes ago