Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Ted Folkert – January 18, 2021

We all know who Dr. MLK, Jr. was.

But we should all remember what he was, what he tried to do and who he became in his short life – his brave quest for nonviolent social change. John Lewis, another hero of the quest for equality of opportunity, who we lost recently, and many other brave anti-racism marchers walked proudly across the Pettis Bridge with MLK, Jr. in 1965 into their expected beating by white racists, a beating for expressing their desire to be “free at last” of slavery. This came to be called “Bloody Sunday.”

And then in 1968 Dr. King was murdered by an assassin, obviously hired by some of the rich who felt threatened by Dr. King’s message.

Dr. King and his followers made some progress during their lives but racism still persists today in this country. It will continue to exist in the form of inequality, uncompensated labor, and obstacles to financial success for the blacks in this country until we tax the 800 billionaires by half of their wealth, which amounts to 3 trillion dollars or more, and use these trillions of dollars to pay reparations to the millions of black descendants of the enslaved, those who were and still are denied equality of opportunity in this country.

No one becomes a billionaire on a level playing field. No, they all found a way to garner or extort wealth by “taking more than they give” like the line in the song “Alfie,” – “… should we take more than we give, Alfie?” All the billionaires must realize that they can never spend all their wealth. They must pay it back to those upon whose backs they amassed such fortunes. This isn’t a complicated mathematical equation. It is simple arithmetic, third grade arithmetic.

The wealthy have garnered massive wealth far beyond their contributions to society and they did it on the backs of the workers who were denied their share of the rewards of the free-enterprise system which we seem to cherish. However, it still isn’t free enterprise. It is enterprise owned, operated, and controlled by these billionaires who were clever enough to elect and convince those who control government to enact the laws which enable them to earn abusive profits on the necessities of life which we all must have for survival – an electoral system bought and paid for by a Supreme Court decision called Citizens United, which should be called Billionaires United.

This is what we remember that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was about. This is the movement we should all connect with if we want to support equality of opportunity, that principle which is mandatory for survival of humanity here on Planet Earth.

Josh Hawley, anarchist

Missouri voters could do well by recalling Josh Hawley as a US Senator. He defies our constitutional democracy and is merely looking for fame and fortune at the expense of the working class of our society who rely on democratic principles for survival.

Electoral Sour Grapes

Electoral Sour Grapes

Ted Folkert – January 5, 2021

We used to have two vibrant political parties, both of which held majority positions in local, state, and federal governments. Neither party was dominant for any extended period of time as voters vacillated from one to the other as good times and tough times prevailed. And as such a change in political power took place the lesser party worked harder to gain more control over the way we are governed. That is the definition of politics. That is what makes democracy work, not perfectly, but better than other forms of government such as monarchy or plutocracy.

Such a system has always been considered a healthy diversion of political ideals and has been accepted as a normal sequence of events. It has served to temper extremes from liberalism or conservatism, a much preferred system than one with numerous political ideals, or one with scattered voter segments too numerous to support a sensible system for a sharing of political power.

But now, in a time of the voters preferring a more liberal government, one which leans more heavily toward support of all the people, particularly those who suffer from joblessness or lack of income sufficient to support themselves in a reasonable fashion, we have a Republican Party which cannot accept the desires of the majority and choose to contest the decision of the voters to elect a president of the United States and, because they are not victorious, declare massive voter fraud, voter fraud without any evidence whatsoever. This is a dangerous decision by disgruntled politicos and a dangerous trend for the salvation of a strong and vibrant political system in a sharing of ideals in a democratic electoral process.

The experts tell us this won’t change to results of the elections but it certainly is a drastic diversion from a majority rule system which has prevailed for hundreds of years and is a dangerous trend for the future of a viable democratic system of government. We can only hope that these sore losers, such as Josh Hawley of Missouri, can swallow their pride and resist the urge to get their name in the headlines, and back off of a movement which could serve to render their political positions toothless in the future. This entire sour-grapes movement will be labeled as such and label those leading this movement to gain political recognition with an undemocratic display of losers remorse as extremists lacking common democratic principles.

If those who consider themselves losers wish to instill change they should do what political parties have always done, work harder to change to minds of the voters in upcoming electoral processes. That is what we call democracy.

Think about it!

The only new year’s resolution that matters right now

The only new year’s resolution that matters right now

Ted Folkert – January 1, 2021

Goodbye, 2020 – What a year to remember. A year of painful challenges from Covid19 and the universal negative impact it has had on our health, our lives, our economy, and our way of life.

And welcome, 2021, a year of hope in overcoming this pandemic disease, this killer disease, this highly contagious disease, and all of its devastating impacts on our health, our livelihoods, and our lives.

But changing the number from 2020 to 2021 is not going to change anything unless we all comply in every way possible with the steps necessary to overcome this pandemic challenge to human life. We must stay away from each other at all times possible. We must follow the advice of Dr. Fauci and the other experts on pandemic diseases by social distancing, wearing masks at all time when in any form of contact with others outside our households, getting vaccinated as soon as possible to protect ourselves and prevent transmission of the virus to others, washing our hands frequently and getting tested when there is any indication of infection.

This is not a time for showing our perceived toughness or fearlessness. Such childishness only endangers us and everyone around us, perhaps those who we most cherish as family members, friends and associates.

Do it for your family members. Do it for your co-workers. Do it for your classmates. Do it for you recreational associates. Do it for your neighbors. Do it for those who you appreciate more than anyone else. Do it for yourself. Do it for humanity. All of the above are under threat of this disease and it will only be eliminated as a threat to humanity through everyone’s cooperation.

Happy, 2021.

 

Coronavirus

Pfizer says they can produce 50 million doses of the vaccine next year. That immunizes 25 million people. We have 330 million at least. They say we need 70% immunity. That would be about 250 million. So 50 million doses will immunize about 10% of us. We need more manufacturers of more vaccines and we direly need mask wearing and social distancing. This is a threat to the life of every American, young or old. Compliance has never been more important in our lifetimes.

An Unfortunate Oxymoron

An Unfortunate Oxymoron

Ted Folkert – November 17, 2020

One thing we all can agree on is that this virus is awful. It is obviously awful for those infected, but particularly awful for those who have lost loved ones to this dreadful pandemic. The announcements of vaccines is encouraging and provides some much-needed hope for all of us who have been either affected by the virus itself or by the inconvenience of preventative measures which most of us have endured and adhered to.

We are social animals. Staying home is not what we do. Wearing masks is not what we do. Avoiding interaction with friends and relatives is not what we do. Being depressed due to isolation, confinement, hibernation, or quarantine is very painful. We hate it. But it beats the alternative – an alternative that includes spreading the pandemic and infecting more people and enhancing its disastrous impact on humanity. This is a time when we must not only protect ourselves but protect all those we interact with, all those with whom we come into contact.

This is not a time to focus on the profit motive, enhancing our wealth, gaining advantage on those less clever, getting an edge on our competitors, winning the game of wealth accumulation. We have to keep paying our way but we can reduce the impact of unnecessary contact with others until vaccines are broadly distributed among the population and we all feel less vulnerable to this dreadful disease. Once this takes place and we get some positive results regarding the spread we can get back to the normal human impulses which drive the market for goods and services and accumulation of wealth, wealth which we will never spend.

Money, wealth, things, possessions, treasures and comforts and pleasures in life drive the economy, whether that is good or not so good, depending upon your take on the process. But these are also the things which drive diseases and interfere with the control and elimination of such. It is a simple equation, like third-grade arithmetic – the more human interaction, the more spread and the more of a challenge to cure the ailment – the less human interaction, the less spread and the better and faster the recovery.

This isn’t rocket science. It is simple arithmetic, but only if we all cooperate and inconvenience ourselves for a short period of time.

The unfortunate result of this is the negative impact on the economy. That is an impact that is impossible to distribute with any sense of equality. Some of us will be affected more than others. The only salvation is that once we have got the disease under control we can make up for lost time – the pent up demand for goods and service will prevail and we can begin to recover financially. Unfortunately, the longer we resist and delay the healing process the longer and more difficult will be the recovery.

This may be the definition of “oxymoron” but it is the only promising course of action.

We are all in this thing together, we are suffering it together, and together we must be in its defeat.

The Rolling Stone Defines Trump

Rolling Stone Edition – November 2020:

“Biden will be confronted with the challenge of rebuilding a government corrupted by Trump and his henchmen. The current administration, led by a president impeached for inviting foreign interference in our elections, has politicized pillars of our government that previously operated above the fray. Attorney General Bill Barr has acted as the president’s personal lawyer, telling U.S. attorneys that they work not for the people but for the president. Even the Postal Service has become complicit in Trump’s anti-democratic schemes, with Postmaster Louis DeJoy ripping out mail-sorting machines in blue districts to disrupt the election. “At the heart of DeJoy’s and the Postal Service’s actions,” a judge ruled in September, “is voter disenfranchisement.”

Trump is a narcissist and an egotist, a shameless liar and an open bigot, a man who simply cannot understand the notion of sacrifice for the greater good, even as he demands unthinking fealty from those in his service.”

Sean Wilentz tells us that: “Before Donald Trump got himself infected with the coronavirus, he had firmly secured his place as the worst president in American history.” He further tells us: “By refusing to pledge to a peaceful transition of power should he lose, Trump has revealed hid plan for a coup d’etat, with Republican support.”

Tessa Stuart tells us that: “The sheer volume of changes to U.S, policy has been staggering under Trump, and it will take a huge investment of time and money to undo.”

The Rolling Stone further states: “…. the country has been reeling with a broken man at the Resolute Desk. Trump is a narcissist and an egotist, a shameless liar and an open bigot, a man who simply cannot understand the notion of sacrifice for the greater good, even as he demands unthinking fealty from those in his service.”

A New Start for Democracy

President Trump is being relieved of duty, a huge step in the right direction for America and the world. Obama started us on a track to placate the disastrous effects of global warming, which Trump calls a hoax. Trump took us back and wasted four years of potential progress. He not only dropped the ball, he never picked it up. Now the Biden-Harris team can pick up where Obama left off and set us back on a path of progress on this potential demise of humanity.

Perhaps we should now heed the words of Savern Suzuki, a 12 year old girl in 1992, 28 years ago, at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro: “I am fighting for my future. I am here to speak on behalf of the starving children around the world. I am afraid to go out in the sun because of the holes in the ozone. I am afraid to breathe the air because I don’t know what chemicals are in it. Did you have to worry about those things when you were my age? You don’t know how to bring the salmon back up stream, to bring an animal back from extinction, to grow back forests where there is now desert. You grown-ups say you love us, but I challenge you. Please make your actions reflect your words.” (Comments quoted from: “Hot, Flat, and Crowded,” by Thomas Friedman.)

Now the ball is in the Biden court!

Prudent Political Punditry

Prudent Political Punditry

Ted Folkert – October 31, 2020

Thanks to efforts of such true politically-inspired Americans like Jim Hightower, author of the compelling and inspirational monthly serving of “The Hightower Lowdown,” grassroots organizations are alive, well and growing.

His October offering discusses the numerous organizations that are beating the odds against success by pursuing what is right for the benefit of all the people, instead of merely enriching the rich and powerful who have dominated the airways and publication channels for decades while convincing those of us who do the work on this planet that they are our salvation.

Hightower discusses the “newcomers” on the political scene, those who are “rejecting the money-paved political path that has led so many elected officials astray.” He state that “instead of being drawn to politics by the perks and prestige of office, these newbies are driven by community needs.”

His list of newcomer organizations includes: workingfamilies.org, workingamerica.org, poorpeoplescampaign.org, ourrevolution.com, movement.vote, peoplesaction.org, and blackvotersmatterfund.org.

We should all visit “Hightowerlowdown.org” and subscribe to this compelling newsletter which focuses on the working-class instead of the rich and powerful, a meaningful step toward a more democratic society and much-needed action for saving our fruitful planet which we continue to take for granted as we unconsciously abuse with actions which will render it incapable of supporting humanity in the not too distant future.

Think about it!!

How important is this Election? That is the question.

How important is this Election? That is the question.

Ted Folkert – October 27, 2020

Why do we need a new president and a Democratic majority in Congress? Because – as Al Gore, Thomas Friedman and many others tell us – “we are destroying our planet.”

Al Gore has been telling us this for decades as was explained in his book “An Inconvenient Truth.” The right-wingers laughed at him, calling him names like “tree-hugger, sissy, girly-man, liberal” – all derogatory expressions by those who are either uniformed, misinformed, cowards who think they are tough, or simply don’t care about the future of the planet to support human life – only what’s in it for them today.

Thomas Friedman tells us in his book, Hot, Flat, and Crowded, that: “We are the people we have to overcome. We have been consuming too much, saving too little, studying too laxly, and investing not nearly enough. Our political institutions are the institutions we have to overcome. As long as our political system and Congress and Senate seem incapable of producing the right answers to big problems, as long as our politicians can only act like Santa Claus and give things away, and never like Abraham Lincoln and make the really hard calls, the greatness that America is capable of will elude us in this generation.”

“If we want things to stay as they are, if we want to maintain our technological, economic, and moral leadership, and a habitable planet, rich with flora and fauna, leopards and lions, and human communities that can grow in a sustainable way – things will have to change around here, and fast.”

He said all this more than a decade ago. It seems that not much has changed. Time is of the essence.

Please think about this before you cast your vote. We need a change and we need it fast. We won’t get it from those we have allowed to rule our country for the last four years or more.

Vote for Change!!

We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both. Louis Brandeis