The Week’s Best Cartoons 5/8

Yesterday, our friend TokyoSand published her weekly roundup of political cartoons and there is just to much material right now that I don’t know how she can even decide which ones to choose!  She does always manage, though, to pick the best of the lot, and this week is no exception.  Most of them, you’ll notice, feature the Republican Party as the brunt of the joke … a position they have worked hard to earn!  Thank you, TS, for your hard work on these ‘toon posts!

Source: The Week’s Best Cartoons 5/8

Let’s talk American History

The U.S. has a uniquely diverse history, parts of which are often glossed over, ignored, or revised in its teaching. That needs to stop … we need to learn the history of the nation — the good, the bad, and the ugly. Those who fail to learn from history are destined to repeat it. Yet, there are those who would simply erase parts of the history of this nation. Blogging buddy Brosephus has once again knocked the ball out of the park with his take on this topic … thank you, Brosephus!

The Mind of Brosephus

American history has been a hot topic as of lately, primarily because of Republicans striking out against what they’re calling “wokeism”, revisionism, or whatever the code word is for the day. There’s been a lot of crap being spewed from the Tennessee Republican claiming the Three-fifths Compromise was passed to end slavery to Tim Scott claiming America isn’t a racist country.

Individually, the statements that have been made are outrageously stupid and wrong. Collectively, these statements all feed into the cult-like behavior Republicans now exhibit where up is down, the sky is green, and grass is blue. This is dangerous because this creates a society ignorant of its own history of accomplishments and mistakes. You can’t know who you are if you don’t what you have and haven’t done.

So, first up is Rick Santorum and his statement on Native Americans. The easiest and quickest way to disprove his statement…

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Jolly Monday … Once Again … Already

I couldn’t believe it when Jolly woke me this morning and told me it is Monday!  What … again already???  Sheesh … I think one Monday per month would be enough, don’t you?  Please forgive me if I’m not all here this morning … I had a wild weekend, y’know!  Writing, reading, playing Animal Crossing with the girls (it’s a video game, not anything to do with funky genetics), doing laundry, feeding the squirrels and the birdies, etc.  So how was your weekend?  Do anything exciting?  Well, Joyful has been in the kitchen for a while now, so let’s go see what treats she has concocted for us, then we’ll find some things to start this week out right!


Boy Wonder

Mike Wimmer of Salisbury, North Carolina, is 12 years old, and at the end of this month he will hold both a high school diploma and an Associates Degree from Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.  Wimmer has a 4.0 GPA at the college and a 5.45 GPA in high school, earning him the role of his class valedictorian.

Wimmer was always a bit ahead of the other kids his age in school, for he was a sophomore in high school when other kids are only finishing up primary school.  And then came the pandemic.  Mike apparently got a bit bored and decided to kick things up a notch, so he took “a few” extra classes, enrolled in the community college, and completed his final two years of high school plus 2 years of college, all in one year.  He will graduate from the college on May 21st, and from Concord Academy High School on May 28th.

Despite being several years younger than his classmates, Wimmer said he gets along well with them — and was even nominated to Homecoming Court last year.  Wimmer, who has an interest in robotics, told CNN that he’s “the math and science guy.” He’s always had an affinity for technology — he got his first iPad when he was 18 months old.

He learned almost all of his programming and robotic knowledge through trial and error and online videos, according to his website, Next Era Innovations.  He also created his own startup, called Reflect Social, which “combines popular social media platforms with Internet of Things (IoT) devices, providing a new dynamic social experience,” according to its website.

But lest you think he is just a math & science nerd, he has a conscience, too, for he says …

“My entrepreneurial goal is to build technology that enables people to live better lives.”

Okay, well, I wish him the best in his future … I suddenly don’t feel so smart anymore since it took me until my 30s to earn my college degrees!


Could I interest you in a few cute pictures to bring smiles to your faces?


And … the moment I know you all like best about Jolly Monday … ‘TOONS!


Phil over at Phil’s Phun where I get most of my ‘toons, was on a coffee thing this week …

 


And of course I’d never be forgiven if I didn’t have a cute, funny animal video … today we got raccoons!


For Hugh, just a bit of Maxine to hopefully bring a smile to his face …


I hope you all found something to start your week with a smile, and I hope you all have a wonderful week ahead!  Share those smiles, ‘k?  I see too many people out there wearing frowns or scowls and I bet you can make them smile by sharing just one or two of your own.  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa, Jolly, and Joyful!

Focusing On People … ALL People

There are numerous ideological differences between the two major political parties in the United States today, some are superficial, others deep-rooted.  But one of the main ones, I believe, is what their view of the purpose of government is.  The Democratic Party largely believes in investing in people, while the Republican Party is more concerned with investing in Profit … profit for the already wealthy, that is, not for the average Joe.

I have shared two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Nicholas Kristof’s work before, and his column yesterday in the New York Times is another that needs to be read, pondered and absorbed.  He makes the case for President Biden’s proposals for investment in the people of this nation, and he makes it well.  If the Republican Party chooses not to participate, then perhaps it’s time we leave them behind … for the greater good, the good of the nation and all of its people.


Joe Biden Is Electrifying America Like F.D.R.

By Nicholas Kristof

Opinion Columnist

YAMHILL, Ore. — The best argument for President Biden’s three-part proposal to invest heavily in America and its people is an echo of Franklin Roosevelt’s explanation for the New Deal.

“In 1932 there was an awfully sick patient called the United States of America,” Roosevelt said in 1943. “He was suffering from a grave internal disorder … and they sent for a doctor.”

Paging Dr. Joe Biden.

We should be cleareyed about both the enormous strengths of the United States — its technologies, its universities, its entrepreneurial spirit — and its central weakness: For half a century, compared with other countries, we have underinvested in our people.

In 1970, the United States was a world leader in high school and college attendance, enjoyed high life expectancy and had a solid middle class. This was achieved in part because of Roosevelt.

The New Deal was imperfect and left out too many African-Americans and Native Americans, but it was still transformative.

Here in my hometown, Yamhill, the New Deal was an engine of opportunity. A few farmers had rigged generators on streams, but Roosevelt’s rural electrification brought almost everyone onto the grid and output soared. Jobs programs preserved the social fabric and built trails that I hike on every year. The G.I. Bill of Rights gave local families a shot at education and homeownership.

Roosevelt’s Public Works Administration provided $27,415 in 1935 (the equivalent of $530,000 today) to help build a high school in Yamhill. That provided jobs for 90 people on the relief rolls, and it created the school that I attended and that remains in use today.

In short, the New Deal invested in the potential and productivity of my little town — and of much of the nation. The returns were extraordinary.

These kinds of investments in physical infrastructure (interstate highways) and human capital (state universities and community colleges) continued under Democratic and Republican presidents alike. They made America a stronger nation and a better one.

Yet beginning in the 1970s, America took a wrong turn. We slowed new investments in health and education and embraced a harsh narrative that people just need to lift themselves up by their bootstraps. We gutted labor unions, embraced inequality and shrugged as working-class America disintegrated. Average weekly wages for America’s production workers were actually lower in December 2020 ($860) than they had been, after adjusting for inflation, in December 1972 ($902 in today’s money).

What does that mean in human terms? I’ve written about how one-quarter of the people on my old No. 6 school bus died of drugs, alcohol or suicide — “deaths of despair.” That number needs to be updated: The toll has risen to about one-third.

We allocated large sums of taxpayer dollars to incarcerate my friends and their children. Biden proposes something more humane and effective — investing in children, families and infrastructure in ways that echo Roosevelt’s initiatives.

The most important thread of Biden’s program is his plan to use child allowances to cut America’s child poverty in half. Biden’s main misstep is that he would end the program in 2025 instead of making it permanent; Congress should fix that.

The highest return on investment in America today isn’t in private equity but in early childhood initiatives for disadvantaged kids of all races. That includes home visitations, lead reduction, pre-K and child care.

Roosevelt started a day care program during World War II to make it easier for parents to participate in the war economy. It was a huge success, looking after perhaps half a million children, but it was allowed to lapse after the war ended.

Biden’s proposal for day care would be a lifeline for young children who might be neglected. Aside from the wartime model, we have another in the U.S.: The military operates a high-quality on-base day care system, because that supports service members in performing their jobs.

Then there are Biden’s proposed investments in broadband; that’s today’s version of rural electrification. Likewise, free community college would enable young people to gain technical skills and earn more money, strengthening working-class families.

Some Americans worry about the cost of Biden’s program. That’s a fair concern. Yet this is not an expense but an investment: Our ability to compete with China will depend less on our military budget, our spy satellites or our intellectual property protections than on our high school and college graduation rates. A country cannot succeed when so many of its people are failing.

As many Americans have criminal records as college degrees. A baby born in Washington, D.C., has a shorter life expectancy (78 years) than a baby born in Beijing (82 years). Newborns in 10 counties in Mississippi have a shorter life expectancy than newborns in Bangladesh. Rather than continue with Herbert Hoover-style complacency, let’s acknowledge our “grave internal disorder” and summon a doctor.

The question today, as in the 1930s, is not whether we can afford to make ambitious investments in our people. It’s whether we can afford not to.

Filosofa Takes on Mitch

Mitch McConnell has found a permanent home on my radar, it would seem.  Every day he says or does something to spark my temper and this week he’s been on a veritable roll.


Mitch McConnell, aka Moscow Mitch, says we don’t matter!

I have never been a fan of the ignoble, inglorious Mitch McConnell, but now he has crossed my red line.  Referring to President Biden’s plan to increase taxes on corporations and on the wealthy (such as Mitch himself), McConnell claimed he would not support Biden’s infrastructure plan because of the “massive tax increases on all the productive parts of our economy.”  Think about that one for a minute, friends.  “All the productive parts of our economy” in Mitch’s mind, are the wealthy like himself.  We, the people who have worked 40+ hours per week every week of our adult lives, the people who built the cars, mined the coal, grew the food, educated our children, are nothing!  F*ck you, Mitch McConnell!

I had my first full-time job when I was 13 years old, and apart from a few years off to raise three children and earn three college degrees, I worked my entire adult life until I retired in 2008.  Throughout my career, I often worked long hours, sometimes as much as 16 hours a day … but I’m not one of the “productive parts of our economy”???  Today, my daughter works 12-14 hour days as a nurse, but according to McConnell, the rich bastard sheltering his assets offshore is a more productive part of our economy than she is?

President Biden guaranteed there would be no tax increase on anyone earning less than $400,000 per year.  In my wildest dreams, my most profitable year, I came nowhere close to making $400,000 per year, or even $100,000 per year.  Anyone making more than $400,000 per year ought to pay a higher tax rate!  Corporations profiting hand over fist ought to be paying their fair share.  And those millionaires and billionaires who have long enjoyed paying accountants to create tax shelters and loopholes rather than pay their fair share in taxes ought to have to make amends!  For years, the wealthy and the corporations they own have paid a smaller percentage in taxes than the average working stiff.

The backbone of our economy is the people who produce the goods and services, and they already pay more than their fair share in taxes.  They are the productive parts of our economy.  NEVER forget that, Mitch McConnell!


And in other Mitchie-related news …

I wrote in August 2019 about the New York Times venture into history in the 1619 Project

… a worthy project …

The 1619 Project is a major initiative from The New York Times observing the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are.

I haven’t spent as much time as I had hoped reviewing the project, but everything I’ve seen of it has been absolutely excellent … a factual, honest view of our history.  But yesterday we learned that Mitch McConnell sent a letter to Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona asking him to abandon the factual recounting of the true beginnings of the United States as perpetuated by such as the 1619 Project.  McConnell calls this “revisionist history”!  WHAT, Mitchie … do you think your friggin’ ancestors didn’t own slaves, beat them with whips, and sell their children to the highest bidder?  Do you think that is all a myth?  Do you think that Black people were brought here on tourist cruise boats and made to feel welcome at the Ritz-Carlton???

McConnell claims these programs such as the 1619 Project “re-orient” the view of American History “away from their intended purposes toward a politicized and divisive agenda.”

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr …

In fairness, Mitch makes a valid point near the beginning of his letter …

“A 2020 survey found that only 51% of Americans can name the three branches of our federal government. A 2019 study found that majorities of Americans in 49 states and the District of Columbia would earn an “F” on the U.S. Citizenship Exam. The most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress found that just 15% of American eighth-graders are “proficient” in U.S. history. School closures during the COVID-19 pandemic have almost certainly intensified these problems by triggering substantial learning losses, particularly for students from underserved backgrounds.”

He is right, our children are not being taught the things they need, and the former Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, added a heaping dose of ignorance to our education system.  But then he continues, putting down the administration’s proposal to update American history curricula to more fully flesh out the consequences of slavery and contributions of Black Americans.

The most ludicrous statement in Mitch’s letter is …

“Americans do not need or want their tax dollars diverted from promoting the principles that unite our nation toward promoting radical ideologies meant to divide us.”

Say WHAT???  I cannot speak for everyone in this country, but for my part I want our children to be taught truth – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Facts, man, just the facts.  Fact:  the United States was a slave-owning nation from 1619 until 1865 … nearly 250 years!  Fact:  even today, in the 21st century, Black people are still fighting for equality, to be treated as equals.  Children need to learn all of the history of their nation, not just the rosier parts.  In the words of Winston Churchill …

“Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.”

The U.S. has some very ugly things and dark periods in its history, along with some wonderful, bright moments.  They are all part of our history, from slavery, the Japanese internments, turning away the St. Louis, the white man’s treatment of the original people who were here long before Europeans came.  The United States is no worse, no better than most Western nations and we must remember both the good and the bad.

If the civil rights legislation that was passed in the 1960s were put forth today, no doubt Mitch McConnell would filibuster and ensure it didn’t pass.  Perhaps it is Mitch that needs to be educated.

The World I Dream Of

On August 28th, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King gave his “I Have a Dream” speech at the March on Washington.  An excerpt … perhaps the most memorable lines …

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

That was in 1963, nearly 58 years ago, and today we are no closer to realizing Dr. King’s dream than we were then.  I once thought we were headed in the right direction, but I no longer believe that.  I have my own dream …

I dream of a world without guns, where people are well enough educated to be able to use words instead of weapons to resolve their differences.  I dream of a world where nuclear weapons have been destroyed forever, where armies and navies have been disbanded due to lack of need, and where instead of building warships and bombs, we are building housing for people in need, hospitals and schools in poor areas.

I dream of a world where national boundaries don’t exist.  This is not to say people cannot take pride in the history of their geographical region, but rather where people respect and cherish everyone, not just those who have a shared background or ethnicity.  I dream of a world where we are building bridges instead of walls.

I dream of a world where everyone pulls together to ensure that nobody anywhere on the globe goes to bed hungry, where medical care is available to all without charge.  I dream of a world where the environment is more important to everyone than technical gadgetry, air travel, expensive cars, fancy clothes, etc.

I dream of a world where people think more about planting trees than about a vacation to the beach.

But most of all, I dream of a world where people are humans, not hateful warriors, not bigots, not violent, just human.  In my dream world, people fall in love and it doesn’t matter to anybody else who they choose to love.  Same sex, different skin colour … no matter.  It’s nobody’s business.

I’ve lived in this world for nearly 70 years now, and frankly I’m tired of it all.  I’m tired of seeing people accumulate wealth for no reason other than to be on the Forbes list of richest people in the world.  I’m tired of seeing the arrogance of people with paler skin who believe they are somehow ‘better’ or ‘entitled’.  I’m tired of seeing religious leaders lie to their followers, telling them to shun others because they think or act differently, giving them a false sense of superiority.  I’m tired of police gunning down unarmed Black men because … just because they know they can get away with it.

I’m sick and tired of people who hunt wild animals for sport, for bragging rights.  I’m equally sick and tired of people who kill other people just because they had a bad day, or didn’t like the other person’s skin colour, hair style, or … whatever excuse they make.

I’m tired of men who abuse women, who still somehow believe they are entitled to dominance over women.  And I’m equally tired of women who allow men to do this, for we have the power to put a stop to it.

There are many good people in this world … I write about them every Wednesday.  But there is more wrong with the world than there is right at the moment, and I’m tired of living in a world where each day brings new abominations around the globe created by human greed.  It doesn’t have to be this way!  Humans in all their arrogance and greed are on the brink of bringing about the extinction of their own species if they don’t get serious about protecting the environment.  Some days I think maybe that’s not such a bad thing.

A Warning for America From two Former Prime Ministers

The First Amendment Freedom of Speech … how far does it go? Too far? These days, in the age of conspiracy theories and faux news as promoted by the likes of Fox ‘News’, it seems that perhaps it’s time to place a few constraints on that freedom. As I’ve long said, every ‘right’ is accompanied by a responsibility, and for the past decade or more, far too many have shrugged off the responsibility. Our friend Jeff has written his thoughts, and the thoughts of other well-qualified people, on this topic. Thanks Jeff!

On The Fence Voters

When two former Prime Ministers from one of the leading democracies in the world sound the alarm about Fox News, and specifically, the sprawling media empire of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, it’s time our elected politicians in America stop sitting on their asses and do something.

While Fox has been spewing its brand of hate, division, and lies over here for decades now, in some ways, it’s comforting to know that it’s not just happening over here. Australia, too is suffering from the same infection. It appears that their parliament has begun to take it serious enough to conduct an inquiry into the media giant, spurred on by a petition signed by 500,000 Australian citizens and initiated by former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

Both Rudd and one of his successors, former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, testified on April 12 to parliament about the dangers of News Corp and…

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Absolut Biden

Today’s Claytoonz is just too spot-on not to share! Isn’t it interesting that a political cartoonist understands the scope and sequence of the U.S. Constitution better than those who have taken an oath to defend the document?

claytoonz

Cjones04162021

I love that people who identify themselves as Constitutionalists don’t know shit fuck about the Constitution.

Usually, when a “Constitutionalist” screams about the Constitution and the rights it guarantees, it is really only talking about one Amendment, and that’s the Second. In case you don’t know what that Amendment guarantees, ask a “Constitutionalist.” The other thing I love about “Constitutionalists” is that they’ll tell you only part of what’s in the Second Amendment. Not only will they NOT tell you what the entire Amendment says, but when they tell you the part, “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed,” they won’t even tell you the entire sentence.

What does the rest of that sentence say? It says, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State…” and then it gives you, ” the right of the people to keep…

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Ranting … Again

I am disappointed and angry at a large portion of the people in this nation.  I really thought we were better than this, but the number of people who simply have zero concern for others is … overwhelming.  Those who still, five months after the election, have their heads stuck up their rears is astounding, but worse yet … compassion among those same people is dead.  I hope … I sincerely hope … that this nation can mend its broken fences, that people can learn to live together without hatred and bigotry, but each and every day the news makes that hope seem less and less possible.  I have three snarky snippets tonight … the first one is just for laughs, but the other two have sent me even deeper into the rabbit hole.


Still good for a few laughs

You just have to laugh when you read that former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany says that liars should be held accountable.  When McEnany took over the job of press secretary, the very first words out of her mouth were her first public lie … she said she would never lie to the press, and then she proceeded to tell lie after lie after lie.  So … should she be held accountable?  McEnany now works for … wait for it … Fox ‘News’, and as such she appeared on Sean Hannity’s show to discuss the controversy surrounding Florida Governor Ron DeSantis …

“It’s just really important to point out that the standard is so high to hold any of these news organizations accountable. You have to prove intentional malice. It is extremely hard to prove. It’s why 60 Minutes — It’s why the left, MSNBC, CNN, they get away with murder each and every day. They can say whatever they want because you can’t hold them accountable. It’s a travesty.”

Right, Kayleigh, and can we now hold you accountable for the hundreds of lies you told in your relatively brief tenure as press secretary?  How many lies did you attempt to feed the public, using the press as your bullhorn?  What a hypocrite!


Where did they leave their brains?

Yes, I know that rage and fury are self-defeating, that they don’t help anything.  But I made the mistake of looking at comments on one of President Biden’s tweets this afternoon and … I am furious at the ignorance, the stupidity, the blindness of some in this ‘country’.

The comments were on President Biden’s tweet reading …

Not one damn thing that should stir controversy there, right?  Not like the tweets of the former guy who cursed, lied, denigrated others, incited violence, and ranted in nearly every one of the tens of thousands of tweets he posted.  But yet, leave it to the fools and idiots to find a way to bitch …

And it went on and on and on.  You’ll note that not a single one of these actually addresses the topic of Biden’s tweet, but rather go off on their own agenda.  Yes, there were some positive comments, but at the time I saw the post, the negative outweighed the positive by about 2-to-1.  Is this really the nation we’ve become???  If it is, I want out … NOW!

Do these freaks not understand that they drive over those unsafe bridges, they ride the unsafe railways, they drink the damn tap water that is contaminated with lead?  Are they really so damned stupid?  Yes, the answer is obvious … it was, after all, a rhetorical question. 

As I see it, there is no longer a “United States”, only a conglomeration of states peopled with both intelligent people of good conscience, fools like those above, and the majority of us somewhere in between.  I cannot be united with someone who, despite overwhelming proof and evidence, still claims last year’s election was “rigged”.  I cannot be a citizen of the same country as a person who is so ignorant that they are shooting themselves and their children in the foot by fighting against policies that will help them, their families, and future generations.  I cannot … I will not.

Naturally, I responded with my own snarky brand of vitriol … thus far, I haven’t been suspended from Twitter … yet.  Don’t really care if I am, if they are given over to the fools who haven’t got brains in their heads!


They’re CHILDREN, for Pete’s sake!

A child is a child, whether it’s your child or mine, whether it’s a John or a Jill, whether it is dark-skinned or light, whether it wears its hair in braids or has a buzz cut.  A child is a child and they are, each and every one, precious.  They are the future of this world, if in fact the world as we know it has a future.  And yet … the folks over at Fox ‘News’ seem to think otherwise.

Last month, the San Diego County Office of Education put out a completely voluntary call asking teachers in the region for their time. The reason: the city’s convention center will be holding as many as 1,450 unaccompanied children, all girls, as sponsors (usually a relative already here) are sought out for them. “We want to instill hope, instill joy, and show care for our students while they are with us, no matter if that’s for a few days or a few months,” San Diego County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Paul Gothold said according to Border Report.

By the end of the month, about a dozen teachers had signed up to volunteer their time, some of it likely after day hours, for these children.  A dozen???  That’s all?  Only a dozen out of how many thousands in the area?  But to the point … Fox ‘News’ seems to have a problem with this and decided to make it a target of their never-ending bigotry.  Their headline read …

“San Diego public school teachers to give migrant kids in-person instruction before their own students.”

The article included a quote from a parent in San Diego, who said that “what is happening right now is immoral” and asked, “Why are taxpaying students put last?” The article also quoted Rep. Darrell Issa, a U.S. Representative from California, who said, “The decision to provide in-person instruction to illegal migrants is outrageous and parents have every right to be angry.” 

Fox anchors Shannon Bream and Bill Hemmer both treated the story as if they had uncovered some mass criminal investigation … the education of children.  Wow, way to show compassion, Fox!  But it didn’t end there, and to date Fox has covered this story some 30 times!  For additional details, check out the full story on Media Matters

Just A Few Thoughts …

I frequently write about the income disparity in this nation.  I’m not a fan of great wealth, see it as unnecessary hoarding while others do without, and I do support government-funded programs that help people in need.  One person often comments on these posts with his opposing view, saying the wealthy earned it, let them keep it … all of it.  Of course, there is a fallacy in that the majority of very wealthy people actually inherited most of their wealth and have not done much to earn it at all, apart from hiring wise people to advise them in their investment strategies to increase their wealth.  Recently this person, whose comments I largely ignore, said that if people simply learned to “invest more wisely”, there wouldn’t be poverty.

Wisely, I did not respond to his comment, for at that moment my answer would not have been calm and reasoned.  Obviously, this person has zero understanding of poverty.  WHAT is there to invest, if you cannot even afford to pay the rent, utilities, and have some left over to buy food???  Even for the average mid-range earner, investment opportunities are largely limited to an employer’s 401(k) plan, for at the end of the month there is little left over.

It is the ignorance born of wealth and entitlement that bothers me the most.  The wealthy don’t even attempt to understand the other 99% of the world … they live in ivory towers, sheltered and shielded from poverty, from the homeless, and even from the very people who are, by their labours, helping the rich get richer.  They oppose a substantial increase in the minimum wage rate, for that might cut into their own profits just a bit.  They oppose helping the poor, falsely claiming that they are poor because they are too lazy to work.  They oppose such healthcare programs as Medicare for All because they have access to the finest medical care available and don’t understand what it’s like for the family who cannot afford to take their sick child to a doctor this week.

Yesterday, I read that President Biden will soon unveil his promised infrastructure plan, the first part based on repairing roads, bridges and railways, and the second part focused on families and children.  Already, however, Republicans are calling it useless and a waste of money.  Why?  Because they don’t live in Flint, Michigan where the water is still not safe to drink.  Because they don’t, as a rule, drive over the unsafe bridges and on the highways filled with potholes … instead they travel by private jet or helicopter.  There can be no mistake … the Republican Party, once called the “Party of Lincoln”, is a party that exists solely for the wealthy and that is largely funded by the wealthy.  Lincoln would be appalled by what the party has become today … a bigoted, corrupt organization that is doing everything in its power to keep the poor “in their place” and to return Blacks to the days of Jim Crow.

The Republican Party claims to be in favour of ‘smaller government’, but this is a nation of 330 million people … just how small do they think the government can be, and yet serve those people?  Given that most every Republican in Congress is either well on their way to being a millionaire, or is already one, is it really any surprise that they have no comprehension how the rest of us live?  What does it take?  We pay their salaries out of our meager incomes, and in return we get … NOTHING.  They do not represent us, they represent the heads of corporations like Exxon-Mobil, Kraft Foods, AT&T, and so many others.  They represent people who have more money than you or I can even imagine, who have never struggled to pay the bills, buy food, or seek medical attention a single day in their lives.  And now, as they see their ship may soon run aground, they are doing everything in their power to take away our voice, our right to vote them out of office.  Rather than consider altering the party’s platform, becoming more humanitarian, supporting policies that help people and the environment, they cling to their old ways, cling to the plutocracy, and rob us of our right to participate in the government that we fund.

Rather than pay taxes that could fund such things as infrastructure, feeding the poor, building renewable energy facilities and more, the wealthy spend their money to buy politicians who will do their best to ensure none of these things that would help people can happen.  “Whatever it takes” to keep the poor from rising out of the ashes, to keep the working people from seeing a brighter future, the wealthy and the Republican Party will support it.  There are notable exceptions such as those who have signed on to the Giving Pledge, but they are the exception, not the rule.  Those born into wealth cannot understand what they have never known and it is easier to turn a blind eye than to see how the rest of us struggle.

I am against great wealth … it is the hoarding of money that could ultimately make so many lives so much better.  I make no apologies for my views, for I have experienced that which almost no wealthy person ever has … I have been without a home, I have had my electricity turned off because I couldn’t pay the bill, and I have been denied medical care when I hadn’t the money to pay.  Perhaps the Republican Party should have to live that way for a while and perhaps they would find a bit of humanity within their shriveled little hearts.  Until something changes, this nation cannot realistically be called the “United” States because we are not.