Friday, April 19, 2019

I’m the Pied Piper

Mark Twain said it best: The purpose of government is to protect us from the crooks and scoundrels.

Anybody remember the 1966 rock song by Crispian St. Peters I’m the Pied Piper? The part that got me recently was this rift:

Hey, com on babe
Follow me, I’m the Pied Piper
Follow me, I’m the Pied Piper
And I’ll show you where it’s at
Come on, babe
Can’t you see
I’m the Pied Piper
Trust in me
I’m the Pied Piper
And I’ll show you where it’s at

Well, we Amerikans should remember that we have had two recent presidents who reached the zenith of influence as Pied Pipers. First, we had Mr. ‘Hope and Change’ for eight years; Now we have ‘President Cheetos’ for God only knows how long. Obama got the millions of us (thank goodness not this activist) to buy into his phony mantra. People like my neighbor, a 100% decent and caring young lady, stood for hours online to vote for him. Many of this writer’s anti-war street corner activist friends actually campaigned for him. To what end? Eight years and the guy did nothing to pull back this empire. Matter of fact, under Obama’s watch our military budget broke all records! Our drone missile attacks were 10X more than under the criminal Bush/Cheney Cabal! For millions of working stiffs he ‘sold out’ to the health care/private insurance cartels and gave us a watered-down Affordable Care Act instead of a Medicare for All scenario (How could he, when the health care industry gave Obama 3X the donations that they gave to McCain?). Millions of us got ZERO relief from the predatory corporate world!

Then, in 2016, once again millions of working stiffs (overwhelmingly white bread) bought into the rhetoric of a phony populist billionaire (with other people’s money), disregarding his closet packed with skeletons… and I don’t mean just some super-rich Russian oligarchs. He stood there, in front of angry ‘shitted on by corporate Amerika’ working stiffs, who happened to be mostly white, and goaded them with rants. Who did he rant about? None other than fanatical Islamists, Mexican freeloader drug pushing rapists, and of course the ever threatening Deep State, for which he himself has served most of his adult business life! They drank the Kool- Aid Trump offered and pushed him into 1600 Pennsylvania Ave… of course with the necessary help from the Democratic Party. Come on gang, if the Democrats ran Donald Duck vs. Donald Trump, they would have won!  And now, with his administration stocked with ultra right wing super rich members of the Military Industrial Empire, Trump still seems to mesmerize the fools who still follow his piper song. Why?

The answer is so obvious for anyone who takes a few minutes to study history, our own Amerikan history. Here it is: The Deep State, which is real, encompassing the myriad of super rich families and those who serve them, made sure that we only maintain a Two Party/One Party system. Folks, they own both parties and always have! Many don’t remember the popular Chinese restaurants we baby boomers used to frequent decades ago. They always had house dinners with choices from Column A or Column B. Period! So, our two party con job distinguished themselves from each other on only a few issues… and not the really vital ones either. If you liked Obama and his Democrats then you wanted the indigent to be better taken care of, but not anyone else who worked for a living though! You also wanted  Black Lives to matter but only to an extent. You wanted women and gays to be treated fairly in the workplace.  Yes, the Democrats always  answer those calls of distress. However, as mentioned earlier, when it came to Wall Street , the Pentagon and the corporate business world, Obama and his Democrats are always a friend. Remember, his original Attorney General, Eric Holder, made his bones years earlier as a lawyer representing the Wall Street predators.

Trump had gotten his appeal from angry whites who never realized that it is the Military Industrial Empire which is swallowing them up. His focus was away from the real ills those people faced each and every day. His campaign (and his current rhetoric) very subtly had the undertones of out and out racism. It was the blacks and illegal aliens who had sucked from the government teat at their expense. He also played the ‘domestic terrorism’ card to allow his base to hang their flags outside their homes in reverence to this imperialist empire. Many of his supporters were and are proud to be parents and grandparents of military personnel. They ride their cars and the slew of pick- up trucks with bumper stickers announcing it. Ever see a bumper sticker for ‘Proud Parent of a Schoolteacher’ or ‘Proud Grandparent of a firefighter’?  Nuff said.

Have you seen the current crop of Democratic presidential candidates? The only one who ‘speaks truth to power’ regarding this empire is Tulsi Gabbard, and they will certainly marginalize her pretty quick. Most of them, with the exception on Bernie Sanders, dare not to mention getting the private insurers out of a Medicare for All idea. None of them, Tulsi excluded, even mentions pulling back this empire by closing foreign bases, bringing our military personnel home, and finally cutting this bankrupting military spending. As far as dealing with taxing the super rich, none of them goes ‘fair and far’ enough to implement a real taxing solution. Ms. Warren wants to 2% tax the super rich, but beginning at over $70 million a year… no need to even comment on that stupidity. This writer has been trumpeting a No deductions Flat 50% Surtax on all income over $1,000,000 a year, only allowing the super rich to be taxed at the present rates for their first million dollars. Even Bernie and Ms. Ocasio Cortez won’t go there.

Recently, I forgot to pay my credit card bill on the due date, for the first time ever. I went into my local bank and paid it two days later. They hit me with around $70 in fees and interest… on two days late! Since I have a good relationship with my bank, they waived it. Think about how many working stiffs, who are not in such a great financial state, have that happen to them? Where is our government to be there to stop this legal usury? Where have the Democrats in Congress been for decades to stop those outrageous credit card interest rates?  This is from one year ago:

·         Highest current credit card interest rate: 36% on the new First Premier Bank Credit Card. The card is unsecured and for bad credit. It has an annual fee of $75 – $125 for the first year and $45 – $49 after. Plus, there’s a $95 one-time processing fee.

·         High current credit card interest rate: 29.99% on the Total Visa. The card is for bad credit. It has an annual fee of $75 for the first year and $48 after. It has an $89 one-time processing fee.

·         High current credit card interest rate: 29.99% on the First Access Visa. This card is for bad credit. It has an annual fee of $75 for the first year and $48 after. It has an $89 one-time processing fee

Many of our fellow citizens fall into that category and to this writer its one notch below what the loan sharks in my old Brooklyn neighborhood  charged.

Mark Twain said it best: The purpose of government is to protect us from the crooks and scoundrels. Sadly, today’s Pied Pipers play the music only for that class of people. Haven’t they always?

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