Why can’t we all get along?

Why can’t we all get along?

Ted Folkert
April 19, 2015

Where is Rodney King when we need him? Okay, just kidding. But, it seems he is better known for his statement after his beating by the LAPD many years ago than for the actual beating. As we all probably remember he was quoted as having said: “Why can’t we just all get along?” Not saying that he was one to always get along, but his presumed statement is a good lead-in for what we are talking about today – human existence.

It is the big question, a rhetorical question that occurs to many us as we note the statistics of the way we are “all getting along” in this world of ours.

7.3 billion, and counting – the population of the planet, as we speak. Since the dawn of human history, approximately 50,000 years ago, the estimates of births on the planet are 90 to 100 billion. If these estimates are correct, 7% of all those born in 50,000 years are still alive today. A big burden on the planet’s resources and an even bigger burden on us “all getting along.”

As we speak, the armed conflicts, those where we are killing or have killed each other that are going on in the world or have occurred in the last year, are overwhelming. Here is a partial list of countries where such are or have occurred:

Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Iraq, Israel, Central African Republic, Chad, Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Libya, Mali, Mexico, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, Yemen, and Ukraine – did I miss anyone? Of course, but the list is already overwhelming. We obviously are not “all getting along”.

And are there other countries involved in such conflicts, actually killing people and destroying infrastructure, that don’t actually have military conflicts in their own countries? Of course, and here is another partial list:

United States, Russia, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Jordan, Egypt, Iran – and again, others we omitted.

And, although wars are about political ideals, power struggles, territory, trade abuses, and numerous other inexplicable reasons, some of the more current that we can identify are religious in nature. Although we all probably need some form of religion in our lives and most people would agree that we should all honor religious freedom, the religions with members being killed today include:

Christians, Jews, Islamists, Muslims, Shiites, Sunnis (totaling more than 50%) – and again, others we omitted, including non-religions, agnostics and atheists (16%).

If we consider the countries with the largest populations, such as: China – 19%, India – 18%, United States – 4%, Indonesia – 3%, Brazil – 3%, Russia – 2%, they total more than 50% of the population of the planet. These countries have been able to keep war off their shores for the most part for several decades, while at the same time arming the smaller countries as they kill each other’s people and destroy each other’s infrastructures of life. (Kind of reminds of the financial community in our own country as they pillage the lower and middle class while smiling all the way to the bank, which they own, by the way.)

We are consuming the finite resources available to support generations of future humans in order to manufacture weapons, such as planes, bombs, missiles, drones, etc., so that we can destroy infrastructure that we created out of these same finite resources – and doing it to settle infinite disagreements between countries, between political ideals, and between religions.

What have we learned? We profess to live by the lessons of the past. We profess to live by what was written by political and religious leaders. These are the essence of the political speeches around the planet as would-be leaders seek power. The King James Version of the Bible contains more than a thousand pages, much of which is about human behavior – as I would imagine is the Koran and other religious texts – just as thousands of the volumes of history surely contain. But what have we learned?

Economic benefits take precedence over human life, (i.e., someone else’s human life). Hostility as a resolution of disagreements takes precedence over peaceful resolution. The war-mongers take precedence over the peace advocates. The munitions manufacturers take precedence over infrastructure builders. The proponents of military might take precedence over education, health care, and support for those who need a helping hand.

We have the dog wagging the tail when it comes to the economic benefits of warfare, and we have the tail wagging the dog when it comes to administering human kind, and together human existence is in peril.

What are we thinking about? The surgery was a success but the patient died?

Think about!

Please help us elect better leaders.

Al Martinez – letter to the president

Al Martinez, a beloved writer for the Los Angeles Times for many years, posted this letter to the president just prior to the US invasion of Iraq in 2003:

Style & Culture; Al Martinez; With a finger on the trigger; Al MartinezLos Angeles Times. Los Angeles, Calif.: Feb 14, 2003.

To George W. Bush, President of the United States

Mr. President:

Today is Friday but I’m writing you on Wednesday, so all of this could be coming too late. The smart bombs may already have hit their marks in Iraq, along with the bunker busters, city killers and that fire from hell called napalm. But if it isn’t too late, then I ask you, for myself and millions of others, to wait another day.

A day isn’t much in the vast stretch of time, but it’s often the difference between serenity and calamity, a tick of the cosmic clock that divides well-being from horror. Another day of rethinking options, of talking, of trying to find a better way isn’t too much to ask of a man who holds the fate of the world in his hands.

War sounds easy for someone who hasn’t been in one, but down on the level where people get hurt, it’s very personal. Although all the patriotic bluster and jingoistic flag-waving may grant you the spotlight you desire, when the enemy hits back, we won’t be able to hear the ringing words for the dying screams.

Peace advocates all over the world are trying to tell you that they don’t want war and they don’t see why one is necessary. With the possible exception of what might emerge at the U.N. today, the inspectors have come up with little to justify a full-scale attack, but you’re still shaking your fist in the face of the world, damning anyone who disagrees.

You talk of going it alone, without the U.N. or NATO, maybe just us and jolly old England, defying words of caution coming from France, Germany, Russia and even Belgium. Those are countries that have known war, Mr. President. Bombs have fallen on their cities and millions have died. I have an uneasy feeling that this time America will know war on its civilians, and the bloodshed will be great.

Fear clouds the nation with a darkness rarely experienced. We never expected that the realities of military conflict, the bombs and the flames, would reach us during other wars. We felt safely distant from the fires of combat. But this time it’s different. They’ve reached us already, and you tell us more horror is surely in our future.

I’ve heard whispers of fear in conversations throughout L.A. for the past several weeks, and I’ve seen expressions of fear on faces that have never known terror before. I interrupted a group’s conversation at a deli in the Valley to ask what frightened them most, and one of them said it all when he said, “Tomorrow.”

I overheard a similar conversation at an exclusive four-star Westside restaurant. Two women were talking about the havoc rain causes on the freeways, when one of them suddenly wondered aloud how it would be to evacuate if war came. The question lingered in silence, unanswered.

It was the same at the MOCA opening for the Lucian Freud show, among parents picking up their kids at a Topanga school, at a peace protest in Santa Monica, at a gathering of friends in Woodland Hills, at a church in Canoga Park. We too wondered “what if” and dared not ponder further.

We’re afraid, Mr. President. Not just for us, but for everyone and everything we love. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say the people in Baghdad feel that way too. Civilians aren’t the ones who declare war. War is begun by kings who threaten and posture and who, seeking history’s laurels, lack the vision to foresee where ego gratification can lead.

Your attorney general tells us to go about life as usual. Go to concerts, go to hotels, get on planes, board trains, go to school. But then he warns us that attacks by Al Qaeda terrorists could be imminent, especially if we bomb Iraq. Lights of danger flash to high alert. We’re told to keep three days’ supply of food and water in our homes, to place emergency kits in the backpacks of our kids and to think about where we might go if the cities, for one reason or another, become uninhabitable. Life as usual just isn’t possible, Mr. President.

No one wants another Hitler to imperil the world, but you haven’t convinced us that Saddam Hussein is even capable of becoming one. That will take more proof, more inspections, more convincing and more attention to the will of the people.

Listen to us, Mr. President. We don’t want anyone killed in any country of the world to sate the appetite of kings. Give it time, Mr. President. For the sake of us all, the millions you hold in trust, don’t pull the trigger. Wait another day.

Yours in desperation,

A Human Being

Think about it!

Impudence, Imprudence & Ignorance of Hubris

Impudence, Imprudence & Ignorance of Hubris

Ted Folkert

April 13, 2015

The amazement never diminishes. The decisions are never justified. The sense of it all is never explained. The justification, the foresight of the aftermath, the reasoning, the truth – have never been provided in any way that makes any sense to many of us.

Yes, we are talking about Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. And we are talking about the entire Middle East now, as well.

Oh sure, Vietnam was about halting the march of communism, that dirty, scary word back in the 1960s. Fingers were pointing in every direction – you are communist – he is communist – of my goodness, communism is everywhere, the sky is falling, the world is ending. What was the big scare? Communism in those days was supposedly a governmental system whereby the government owned all industry, all resources, and all property and provided a subsistence living to all of the citizens on an equal basis. This definition is a generality, not an in depth understanding, and has no implication that communism was or is a viable or sustainable system. And the situation varied with different countries that attempted such a system. But why the scare? Did we think the communists were going to gain control of our country? Did we think they were out to control the entire world?

Death, destruction, devastation, destitution, disgust – the aftermath of the senseless war in Vietnam. More than 3 million members of the US military served during the war, more than 1 million of them faced combat there. There were fifty-eight thousand US fatalities. More than 2 million Vietnamese deaths have been estimated. There have been an estimated 60,000 injured and 40,000 Vietnamese killed by unexploded ordinances since the war ended, many of them children, many of them farmers trying to provide a living out of the land we destroyed. This, as we all know, is still going on today.

Twenty million gallons of herbicides were dropped on South Vietnam, exposing 4.8 million people to toxic chemicals. Life-sustaining farmland rendered arid and unproductive, contaminated with toxins. Yes, the pain and suffering, the loss of a way of life, a loss of a livelihood, and a loss of family is still being suffered today. All this was done in the name of stopping the march of communism around the globe.

I don’t recall any such effort on our part to prevent a communist government in Russia or China. I wonder why? Could it have been that interfering with the governmental preferences of those two countries would have been a dangerous mission and one that we might lose? And then we boycotted Cuba for 50 years, although they were no threat to us whatsoever. Did the Vietnam decision seem like a piece of cake, an easy mark, one we could destroy with a few bombs? You know, like our ridiculous decisions about Afghanistan and Iraq, where we were to be in and out in a couple of months after dropping a few bombs and unfortunately those two military adventures have both lasted almost 15 years and may continue indefinitely. The above examples were decisions made by our fearless leaders in spite of the facts that the French failed in Vietnam before us and the Russians failed miserably in Afghanistan before us. Valuable lessons ignored, of course.

And now our happy warriors in the Department of Defense and our fearless leaders in Congress and the executive branch of government are wrestling with the Middle East again and again and again. We are either supporting Israel too much or not enough; we should control the proliferation of nuclear weapons in Iran and other countries or should not; we are either trying to help the opposition in Syria or we are siding with Assad; we are allies of the Saudis or we are not; we should either help the Palestinians or we should not; we should either support the existing government in Yemen or we should not; we are either supporting the call of the Armenians to declare that Turkey murdered 1,500,000 of their people unnecessarily in the WWI era or we are not; we trust Pakistan or we don’t; we are either supporting Ukraine or we are letting Russia have their way in returning it to their Soviet republic. My mom would have called this damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

And now the situation has become so complex in this entire region that we are involved on both sides of some conflicts – enemies and allies with some countries at the same time.

What to do – what to do? That is the $64 trillion question. Unfortunately, it is a question that has no answer. We cannot resolve conflicting religious beliefs with bombs. We cannot send our youngsters to battle to resolve all of the conflicts that arise in a hundred different countries around the world. Nor should it be our responsibility. All international conflicts should be controlled by a united stand by an international peacekeeping force, with all countries so engaged providing equal funding and efforts. We simply cannot continue to be the police force for the entire world.

Think about it!

Our Country is in Mourning, a Veteran Died Today

Another Veteran Died Today

Ted Folkert

April 4, 2015

Lieutenant Colonel Robert Hite died a couple of days ago. He was one of the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders pilots, 80 men who flew B-25 bombers to strike Tokyo in 1942. Eight of them were captured, three executed and several others died at sea. Hite was captured and held prisoner for 40 months, losing 100 pounds of his body weight during captivity. He was liberated in 1945.

But that experience didn’t deter Hite from doing his perceived duty again. He returned to activity duty in 1951 during the Korean War. Hite obviously demonstrated his bravery, patriotism, and willingness to give his life for his country, traits perhaps not appreciated enough by those of us who never faced the enemy in battle. May this brave soul rest in peace with the memory that he did all he could to protect our freedom and safety.

This, of course, reminds me of poem which you may have read, but one worth repeating every time a veteran dies:

 Veteran Died Today

 He was getting old and paunchy, And his hair was falling fast,

And he sat around the Legion, Telling stories of the past.

Of a war that he once fought in, And the deeds that he had done,

In his exploits with his buddies; They were heroes, every one.

 And ‘tho sometimes to his neighbors, His tales became a joke,

All his buddies listened quietly, For they knew where of he spoke.

 But we’ll hear his tales no longer, For ol’ Joe has passed away,

And the world’s a little poorer, For a Veteran died today.

 He won’t be mourned by many, Just his children and his wife.

For he lived an ordinary, Very quiet sort of life.

 He held a job and raised a family, Going quietly on his way;

And the world won’t note his passing, ‘Tho a Veteran died today.

 When politicians leave this earth, Their bodies lie in state,

While thousands note their passing, And proclaim that they were great.

 Papers tell of their life stories, From the time that they were young,

But the passing of a Veteran Goes unnoticed, and unsung.

 Is the greatest contribution, To the welfare of our land,

Some jerk who breaks his promise, And cons his fellow man?

 Or the ordinary fellow, Who in times of war and strife,

Goes off to serve his country, And offers up his life?

 The politician’s stipend, And the style in which he lives,

Are often disproportionate, To the service that he gives.

 While the ordinary Veteran, Who offered up his all,

Is paid off with a medal, And perhaps a pension, small.

 It is not the politicians, With their compromise and ploys,

Who won for us the freedom, That our country now enjoys.

 Should you find yourself in danger, With your enemies at hand,

Would you really want some cop-out, With his ever-waffling stand?

 Or would you want a Veteran, His home, his country, his kin,

Just a common Veteran, Who would fight until the end.

 He was just a common Veteran, And his ranks are growing thin,

But his presence should remind us, We may need his likes again.

 For when countries are in conflict, We find the Veteran’s part,

Is to clean up all the troubles, That the politicians start.

 If we cannot do him honor, While he’s here to hear the praise,

Then at least let’s give him homage, At the ending of his days.

 Perhaps just a simple headline, In the paper that might say:

“OUR COUNTRY IS IN MOURNING, A VETERAN DIED TODAY.”

 Author ‘Unknown’

Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades of Grey
Aristocracy, plutocracy, elitism, and avarice

Ted Folkert

March 17, 2015

This conversation isn’t about the “Fifty Shades of Grey” – the book and movie that is the talk of the town now. It isn’t about hedonistic or narcissistic behavior, individual success, arrogance, or sexual fantasies. But there may be some egotistical overlap with the rich and powerful that we know so well.

This conversation is about aristocracy, plutocracy, elitism, and avarice – shades of grey, shades of gloom, shades of economic impoverishment for the proletariat, the hoi polloi – you know, me and you and all the rest of the working class.

Check out these quotes: “…. the caste, an elite who kept most of the gains from the boom years and left ordinary people to shoulder the cost of the crisis …”…. “Corruption is not just the scoundrels who put their hands in the till, it’s also the rich 1 Percent, who own as much as 70 percent of what the population owns, by binding them down with credit card debt, mortgages, and dead-end jobs in giant corporations….”

Does this conversation sound familiar? It seems that we have witnessed this, talked about it, written about it. Does it sound like the condition in the U.S.? It certainly does for many of us.

Well, these quotes, provided in a Bloomberg article by Estaban Duarte and Maria Tadeo – “A Fiery Leftist Galvanizes Spain”, are from Pablo Iglesias, candidate for prime minister in Spain. It seems we are not alone, not the only country in which the rich and powerful and behemoth corporations own the country, control all of the wealth, and garner a huge chunk of the income produced by the efforts of the entire populace.

Iglesias’s proposal to improve the condition of the economy would include a reduction of the value of some Spanish debt, more state control of companies, a guaranteed basic income for all, more controls on corporate lobbying and tax-avoidance, promotion of food production by small local farms, and withdrawal of certain free-trade agreements.

This is the same story of our economy in many ways and it requires some of the same remedies, the same anecdotes, the same changes in the way we are governed, the same prognosis and health regimen to withstand the onset of this disease that we have allowed to fester in our society.

The shades of grey that we are experiencing didn’t just happen in a book or a movie. They have been the way society has been controlled for most of human civilization. Which is the best, which is the worst, form of governmental or autocratic control over a population? Libraries around the world are filled with books on the subject. Every opinion one could hope for can be found there. No general consensus, no ultimate conclusion, just opinions. And the problem is that none of the forms of government work really well and most of them evolve from dictatorship, to monarchy, to oligarchy, to some sort of democratic society and then some revert to dictatorship. The effect that government should provide always seems to be deterred by aristocracy, by the many shades of grey, by the insidious condition that we are experiencing today that, if left untreated, could end up creating yet another failure in governing a civilization in a way that benefits all the people, not just the aristocracy.

If you want to know how some of our original wealth in this country was created, read what Noam Chomsky has to say on the subject. He will tell you that much of the early wealth that was created and still exists today was created on the backs of slaves who were tortured into productive cotton picking machines while producing enormous wealth for the plantation owners.

If you want to get more recent, read Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren as they explain to us how the financial gangsters raped and pillaged the hoi polloi while pocketing gazillions of dollars in their private bank accounts. Are we talking about many years ago? No. We are talking about a few years ago. We are talking about today, as these same financial gangsters continue to rape and pillage the proletariat, the hopeless and helpless working class, the portion of our population with little political power and little voice in, or choice of, leadership, or our enactment or enforcement of laws, rules and regulations to level the field of economic opportunities.

Now, as we read what the Republican controlled Congress has in store for us, the picture is becoming clear. No surprise for those of us who knew it was coming, but perhaps an awakening for those who were fooled by the messages we were fed during the election campaigns that were dominated by corporate and special interest funding, sanctioned by the Supreme Court decision to consider corporations people and the congressional decision to drastically increase prior limits on individual campaign contributions. Like Will and Ariel Durant told us many years in “The Lessons of History”, “animals eat one another without qualm; civilized men consume one another by due process of law.”

So, what does the proposed Republican budget entail?

Repeal the Affordable Care Act, the healthcare law which has enabled 16 million people to have healthcare coverage; Reduce spending on food stamps and other welfare programs; Reduce Medicaid spending; Privatize Medicare; Overhaul Social Security – so I guess we get the picture – the budget will be reduced on the backs of the poor, the elderly, the disadvantaged – and ………… the defense contractors, corporation tax consultants, and, of course, the rich and powerful, can rest at ease – all will be well on those fronts. We will keep the new taxes created by the Affordable Care Act and not ask the behemoth corporations, who hide their earnings in tax haven countries, to pay their fair share.

Go figure!

Déjà vu all over again!

Cloudy skies are forecast. Fifty shades of grey.

Robbing Peter to Pay Paul

Robbing Peter to Pay Paul

Welfare for the rich by a different name

Ted Folkert

March 11, 2015

Here we go again. Now in the Republican effort to “do it to us one more time”, some of their would-be saviors of mankind, their self-drafted candidates for president, are concerned about income inequality. Of course, they want to solve it like they want to solve everything they see wrong with government, by reducing taxes on the rich, the “job creators” as they call their donors, and reducing social programs which help to reduce the impact of income inequality on the poor and struggling members of the proletariat class of society.

Thomas Piketty, the French author of “Capital in the Twentieth Century”, is quite skeptical of the feigned and misleading attempt of Jeb Shrub to take the case of the disadvantaged. Piketty’s viewpoint: “If we want to have more growth in the future and more equitable growth in the future, we need to put more resources in the education available to the bottom 50 percent or bottom 80 percent of America. So it’s not enough to just say it, as Jeb Bush seems to be saying, but you need to act on it, and for this you need to invest resources.”

So, when do we get Jeb Shrub’s plan to cure this serious problem for our economy and those who are on the receiving end of the inequality? Will his plan call for more government resources for education for the lower 50% to 80% of the income earners? Will his plan call for promoting and staffing public schools or building more and better schools? Will his plan call for encouraging more of our bright young people to pursue degrees in education? Will it call for monetary advantage for those who would seek degrees in education? Will it call for taxing Wall Street’s humongous income and ostentatious wealth in order to finance better education for those who need and desire it? Will it call for diverting a chunk of our pathetically huge defense budget to preschool, elementary, middle, and higher education? Will it call for taxing all political contributions by 50% to be used to support education?

Will his answer include any of these possible benefits to support education, the most important and crucial need for the future success of our economy? Or will it just be the same old game of robbing Peter to pay Paul? Of course, accusing the Republicans of robbing Peter to pay Paul is actually being kind. That cliché merely refers to taking money from one to pay another. What the Republicans desire is worse. It is robbing the poor, who need their money, to pay the rich, who don’t need more money – a policy which certainly has been well used since civilization began and which still goes on unfettered and unresolved year after year. It not only goes on these days but continues to get worse at a geometric rate – not simple arithmetic, but geometric proportions.

Thomas Piketty made the essentials of a healthy and sustainable economy clear in his well-researched and documented book. He recommends taxing capital, (which one might define as that portion of the total wealth of the nation accumulated by virtue of the infrastructure of defense, education, transportation, and our legal system – or by advantage, or luck, or by whatever means it was created) – and paying the national debt. Once that is done it seems that our taxation will be able to provide substantial funds to support education of all classes of income and wealth for the benefit of all – for the common good.

Any candidate who does not support funding a substantial investment in educational opportunities should not be given serious consideration to lead our country. Our practice of allowing the rich and powerful and behemoth corporations to continue taking a bigger bite of the food we provide must end if we want to prosper in the future. Like Jim Hightower says: “money is like manure, it needs to be spread around if it is going to fertilize anything.”

Here is a perfect example of how much our behemoth corporations think of this country which provides a free society with the best military in the world and a huge market for their goods and services. Figures from Bloomberg Businessweek tell us that currently our big corporations owe us in taxes on their worldwide income, as follows: Microsoft – $30 billion, Apple – $23 billion, Oracle – $12 billion, Citigroup – $12 billion, Amgen – $11 billion, Qualcomm – $9 billion, JP Morgan Chase – $7 billion, Goldman Sachs – $5 billion, Bank of America – $5 billion. That totals to $114 billion. This money is just sitting in foreign countries because they must pay the taxes if they bring it home. That would surely build some schools and educate some new teachers. I’ll bet that if you read the “About Us” section of these corporations’ websites you won’t find any mention of this, only talk about how successful they are and how benevolent and dedicated they are for our success.

So much for the common good.

Think about it!

Money is Like Manure – Jim Hightower

Money is like manure – Jim Hightower

Ted Folkert

March 4, 2015

Jim Hightower reminded me of what Bill Moyers said about his dad, quoting his dad’s answer when Bill asked him why he liked Franklin Roosevelt. His answer: “Roosevelt is my friend.”

Well, Jim Hightower is my friend. He is my friend because he has the courage to call them like he sees them. He speaks the truth to power, he speaks out eloquently and intelligently for the common good, for the proletariat, against the plutocracy, against the authoritarians, against the aristocracy, against the inequality that is sure to continue to damage our economy.

http://jimhightower.com/node/8539#.VPeAhi4Y1Cs

Jim Hightower tells us that “Money is like manure”. “For wealth to help nourish a healthy society, it can’t be stored in a few big silos – it has to be spread all across the land. Today, however, the Powers That Be are doing the opposite, raking up all the money from the grassroots and loading it into the silos of the super-rich.”

His example of the magnitude of this: “There are 158,000 Kindergarten teachers in America. Their combined pay in 2013 was $8.3 billion.

“That same year, the four highest-paid hedge fund hucksters on Wall Street raked in a total of $10.4 billion.

“Yes, only four men, who do zilch for the Common Good, hauled off more in personal pay than the 158,000 people (mostly women) who provide the essential, start-up schooling of our nation’s children.

“Now, guess which group is required by law to remit a greater share of their incomes to Uncle Sam in taxes?”

You guessed it – the Kindergarten teachers.

If these four examples of avariciousness could donate $8.3 billion to these Kindergarten teachers, doubling their income to a level more commensurate with their education and importance to society, they would still have $500 million each in income. $500 million should still be enough to pay for the corporate jet, the palatial walled-estate in New York, the weekend home in the Hamptons, the palace in London, the seaside home in Paris and the chalet in Switzerland. (My comment, not Jim Hightower’s)

But, I suppose the thought never occurred to them. These guys are very busy, you know.

Go figure!

Read the article:  http://jimhightower.com/node/8539#.VPeAhi4Y1Cs

Think about it!

 

Do That to Me One More Time

Do That to Me One More Time

Republicans talking like Democrats

Ted Folkert

February 27, 2015

“Do that to me one more time” – Captain and Tennille – that is the song that I am reminded of while listening to all of the would-be Republican candidates for president. They are all spending time in that balmy state of Iowa this winter, trying to get a toe hold on a spot on the debate stage. They cherish the opportunity to tell us how much they are thinking of us so they can look good in the polls in order to support their electability in the presidential election. Yes, they want to do that to us one more time.

They are all telling us one more time that all they are now concerned with is the economic inequality of average Americans. They are all doing it to us one more time – one more yarn, one more falsehood, one more case of “tell them what they want to hear, not what we really believe.”

These lying lackeys for the rich and powerful, the helpless creatures who will be owned lock, stock, and barrel by the lobbyists for the behemoth corporations, are all lying through their teeth about how concerned they are with our welfare now that the message became clear a few months back. Their answer about income stagnation and inequality was denial – denial of the facts that were supported by the entire economic community. They denied that there was a problem, denied that it was caused by the lack of representative government, denied that it was their fault, that it was each individual’s own actions due to laziness, ineptitude, lack of ambition – all slackers, takers – you know, the forty-seven percenters.

Now they all got the message. Now they are all trying to “do it to us one more time.” They are telling us that income inequality is a serious problem which could generate the downfall of our economy and a return us to the dismal looking years that “Slick Willy’ and “W” led us into – 2007, 2008, 2009, until Obama led us out of the Great Recession with the cooperation of the Democratic controlled Congress in 2008 to 2010.

Now we hear the guy who invented the term “47 Percenters”, Much Robbery, telling us that income inequality is a problem. Now we hear John Boner tell us that income inequality and poverty is a problem. Now we hear Crush Crusty talking about how much he is concerned about us, the proletariat. And we have some recycled Republican presidential candidates harping the same tune in total contrast to their former stances on the subject – Rank Sanctimonius, Munch Huckleberry, and Pale Rhymen.

And guess who started this change of attitude, or we should say, change of message. Actually, the attitude hasn’t changed, only the message conveyed to us, the gullible electorate. Yes, the guy who started this sudden change of heart was Jeb Bush, brother of Shrub, favorite son of a great warrior and so-so president, GHW. Yes, another Bush to take the throne and keep things headed in the right direction, the direction started by his father, alongside Ronald Reagan, with their slogan of getting the government off the backs of the American people. We all remember the favorite slogan of Ronnie, spokesman for the famous off-shoring company, GE – “the most frightening nine words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”’ Unfortunately, he wasn’t here to help anyone except the behemoth corporations like GE who supported him for many years and fed him the message to sell to the proletariat.

So, the question now, is it a change of heart or another idle statement, more rhetoric without action, more false slogans, more misleading the voters into the abyss of wage stagnation and the burden of unserviceable debt. Obama’s perceived success at improving the economy has them scrambling for a new message. They fear that they could lose their chance for the cherished part-time jobs, for which they will be overpaid and under-worked day after day, with lifetime pensions and open doors at the lucrative lobbying firms. Their opportunity to have continuous campaign funds that end up as left over money to use for whatever they can hide or squeeze through the sifter.

So, do we let them do it to us one more time? Or do we pay attention and hold them to their historic message and actions. We must convince the young to take the lead in speaking the truth to power, in holding these would-be leaders, would-be recipients of the largess of public office to their previous message and not allow them our ear, to swindle us of government for the common good. The young have the most to lose. We need for them to take the lead, to get involved. The young have the energy, they have the stamina, they have the voice, and they have the social media to convey the message. The young must take an increased interest and concern for where their world is headed. They need to take charge of their future. They will not like the aristocracy or the oligarchy, which could be the alternative to government for the common good.

Think about it!