The Watering Hole; Friday February 6 2015; Seventy Years and Counting

I ran across some links the other day that I found to be curiously defining of this day’s American dilemma. First there’s this, a detailed list of everything today’s far right GOP Fascist party HATES and is dead set against, mainly because each and all are designed to serve the common man, the middle class, the poor, those “huddled masses yearning to breathe free” rather than the already rich and powerful, the huge multi-national corporations, and/or the giant banks and financial institutions. So here they are: the (probably familiar) major points of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s proposed ‘Second Bill of Rights’:

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the Nation;

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

The right of every family to a decent home;

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

The right to a good education.

As is plainly obvious to even the casual reader, everything on that list is absolute and total anathema to every last one of America’s Wingnuts, both elected and otherwise. To them, there’s nothing anywhere that’s more valuable than the profits attainable via unfettered (and unregulated) Capitalism. Capitalism: the be-all and end-all of everything that has usefulness — except, of course, for the low-paid people who make it work, many of whom are of the wrong race or ethnicity and are therefore definably lazy and expendable.

Next came this, the voice of an American “revolutionary” some fifty-plus years ago, one who not only understood the Capitalist mentality but predicted its inevitable demise:

“It is impossible for capitalism to survive, primarily because the system of capitalism needs some blood to suck. Capitalism used to be like an eagle, but now it’s more like a vulture. It used to be strong enough to go and suck anybody’s blood whether they were strong or not. But now it has become more cowardly, like the vulture, and it can only suck the blood of the helpless. As the nations of the world free themselves, then capitalism has less victims, less to suck, and it becomes weaker and weaker. It’s only a matter of time in my opinion before it will collapse completely.”

“Sometimes, I have dared to dream … that one day, history may even say that my voice—which disturbed [their] smugness, . . . arrogance, and . . . complacency—that my voice helped to save America from a grave, possibly even fatal catastrophe.”

“We’re anti-evil, anti-oppression, anti-lynching. You can’t be anti- those things unless you’re also anti- the oppressor and the lyncher. You can’t be anti-slavery and pro-slavemaster; you can’t be anti-crime and pro-criminal. In fact, Mr. Muhammad teaches that if the present generation of whites would study their own race in the light of true history, they would be anti-white themselves.”

And finally there’s this, a brief synopsis of Obama’s most recently submitted budget, the budget that the Republican Congressional majority is guaranteed to mock and then completely dismiss:

. . . Obama, unleashed from elections, entering the final two years of his presidency and wrestling with a legacy that includes a struggling middle class, is using his proposed budget for 2016 as a political manifesto. It’s one he hopes will turn the country’s course back toward the embrace of government that ruled from Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal in the 1930s through Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society of the 1960s.

The budget [Obama] proposed . . . suggests a crusade for a strong central government as a provider for the disadvantaged and bulwark against corporate excess, financed by new taxes on the wealthy.

Forget any big emphasis on debt reduction or fresh thoughts on finding common ground with the new Republican-led Congress.

The tax code should be more progressive. Government regulations must protect ordinary people against corporate excesses. Health care is a right, not a privilege. Educational opportunities are crucial.

“What I offer in this budget is a set of concrete, practical proposals to speed up growth, strengthen the middle class and build new ladders of opportunity into the middle class,” the president said . . . 

Those three excerpted ‘voices’ were each heard within the course of exactly seventy years. The first was the major premise expressed in FDR’s 1945 inaugural address; the second included comments by Malcolm X from the early 1960’s (he was assassinated fifty years ago in February 1965), quoted in a recent article by Chris Hedges in which Hedges notes that Malcolm X . . .

“. . . understood the inner workings of empire. He had no hope that those who managed empire would ever get in touch with their better selves to build a country free of exploitation and injustice. He argued that from the arrival of the first slave ship to the appearance of our vast archipelago of prisons and our squalid, urban internal colonies where the poor are trapped and abused, the American empire was unrelentingly hostile to those Frantz Fanon called “the wretched of the earth.” This, Malcolm knew, would not change until the empire was destroyed.”

The third segment — Obama’s 2016 budget proposal — is not yet a month old.

So. FDR’s Second Bill of Rights has not yet come to pass. In its place there is evermore of the “oppression” and of Capitalism’s improved methodology in sucking “the blood of the helpless,” along with political disdain for everything other than further enrichment of the already rich and further empowerment of the already powerful. Makes one wonder: more than fifty years ago, did Malcolm X genuinely predict Capitalism’s ultimate decline and fall when he noted that “It’s only a matter of time . . . before it will collapse completely”??

Enter Barack Obama and his proposed program and budget for the 2016 fiscal year. It’s almost Rooseveltian in nature in that it proposes “a strong central government as a provider for the disadvantaged” along with “a set of concrete, practical proposals to speed up growth, strengthen the middle class and build new ladders of opportunity . . .” Sadly, each and every proviso designated therein to help those who need help and to pay for it all by taxing those of great wealth who do NOT need help is virtually guaranteed to be mocked and dismissed by the Republican majority in Congress, the majority which much prefers to “suck the blood of the helpless.”

Here’s the thing: I was three months past my second birthday in January 1945 when President Franklin Roosevelt proposed his “Second Bill of Rights.” And I was three months past my seventy-second birthday when President Barack Obama proposed a budget that would at last — FINALLY — implement at least a reasonable portion of FDR’s Second Bill of Rights. And in all likelihood I’ll not yet be seventy-three by the time the current GOP (aka the AFP — the American Fascist Party) completely dismisses each and all of President Barack Obama’s proposals (along with all surviving remnants of FDR’s New Deal accomplishments).

All of which makes me wonder: how old will I be when, as Malcolm X suggested,  “a grave, possibly even fatal catastrophe” comes to define the final fate of the country in which we currently reside, aka America? Such things are near impossible to accurately predict, but I have to think that If the electorate happens to choose, in 2016, any one of the current AFP potential candidates to be the next POTUS, the time preceding American capitalism’s self-induced “fatal catastrophe”  will be substantially reduced.

Well, we shall see, but near as I can determine, Malcolm X was very likely spot-on with his thesis that America “would not change until the empire was destroyed,” a prospect which, this day, appears more imminent with each passing hour.

As always, time will tell.

OPEN THREAD

 

 

29 thoughts on “The Watering Hole; Friday February 6 2015; Seventy Years and Counting

  1. “I have to think that If the electorate happens to choose, in 2016, any one of the current AFP potential candidates to be the next POTUS”

    It is somewhat amazing that governors who have run their states into the ground economically by generously implementing trickle-down economics and slashing public benefits, have a viable shot at being the Republican nominee, presumably so that they can do for the country what they did to their state.

    • Scott Walker can save Amurka from the disaster that Muslim-Commie Obama has imposed. Like he’s done in Wisconsin, for example: cut back education, killed labor unions, put the state some $2 billion in the hole, made Wisconsin 47th in job creation — all while he gained the full support of the Koch Bros.

      That’s the Republican glory story in a (wing)nutshell.

      • Meanwhile in neighboring Minnesota, we had a Democratic legislature and governor and ended up with a surplus that we can spend on education and infrastructure, and we have more jobs (lower unemployment) and we have more people with insurance because we accepted the federal money for that (Wisconsin didn’t).

        I’d point out that our infrastructure crumbled under prior years of Republican leadership here so rebuilding it is necessary.

        It’s boring when government does it’s job for the people, but I’ll take our situation over another state any day right now.

        In fact, despite wanting to move (too cold for me any more), I can’t fathom trying to live in another state.

        • Minnesota is and always has been “cool”🙂 — in spite of Bachmann and all the other similarly-“minded” right wingers that show up every now and then. I’ve not been ‘home’ to Minnesota for decades now, but she’s still a favorite memory. And yes, I know what COLD is — remember it well!

  2. Capitalism used to be like an eagle, but now it’s more like a vulture. It used to be strong enough to go and suck anybody’s blood whether they were strong or not. But now it has become more cowardly, like the vulture, and it can only suck the blood of the helpless.

    American-style ‘free market’ capitalism is no match for the authoritarian capitalism of a nation like China. So, in order to compete with China, our oligarchs have to be more controlling than ever before. They see what China already has, and dream of the day when they can have it too.

    • What’s fascinating about that is that were it not for American capitalists and oligarchs (the Walmart “family” is but one example), I suspect China would still be wallowing in its Maoist quagmire. American oligarchs inspired the change and now are freaked over what China has accomplished in the global marketplace. But China’s accomplishments are solely market-based; the underlying technological advancements that drive today’s market economy mostly came from the US, from the days when creativity thrived here. IOW before Reagan, mostly. Then greed took over and now creativity is drastically reduced in favor of profits courtesy of cheap overseas labor. These days, creativity in the US is largely government supported, and therefore evil. Ain’t no money in handing over money to the gubmint after all.

      • And had China still been wallowing in its Maoist quagmire, global climate change would still be a distant worry.

        Unfortunately, someone has to hand money over to the ‘gubmint’, so the MIC can suck it out.

        Oh look. We added 257k jobs, and the ‘official’ unemployment rate went up to 5.7%. There’s more people out the looking for work, now that there’s work to be had.

    • And yet some wonder just why Amurka is falling on its ass — while those who are filled to the brim with propagandized “Christianity” automatically hate, fear, and blame anyone with enough brains and integrity to speak the truth — esp. if the speaker is a ni**er.

      Republicans do truly define this day’s intellectual sewer.

  3. Did we miss this? Florida House Rep Alcee Hastings dresses down the state of Texas! NC Rep Virginia Foxx, an expert on crazy (well, acting crazy) is the Chairperson!

    • The Repubs are the whiniest toddlers ever. The truth puts them in a rage.
      Texas is beyond crazy, as represented by the fellow who was ‘outraged’.

    • I do hereby offer my Feb 2015 SS “raise” of $18 to help pay for whatever immediate costs the state of Tejas might incur in the process of secession.

  4. Some kooks are way more bizarre than your normal kook. IOW, degree of crazy may not be a straight line phenomenon.

    WND Pundit ‘Exposes’ The Obamacare-ISIS Plot

    Right-wing activist Bradlee Dean is pretty sure that United States intelligence services started Al Qaeda and even trained ISIS fighters, a theory that he lays out in WorldNetDaily today.

    Demanding to know why President Obama is “aiding and abetting America’s enemies,” Dean claims that Obamacare is really just a sly way for the president to distract Americans from the growth of ISIS and his surreptitious work to assist terrorist groups like ISIS, take away Americans’ guns and advance the New World Order.

  5. The Russians and Germans are partitioning another country again…. achtung!

    When one of the negotiators lies constantly about it’s murderous support and encouragement of the violence…. on what basis are any negotiations anything but a total waste of time?

    • All three of these people – what they say and what they do are completely at odds…

  6. Finally, the voice of a true and genuine Christian speaking out on the interfaith atrocity of the National Prayer Breakfast (did you know the Dalai Lama was there? HORRORS!)

    Janet Mefferd Slams Interfaith ‘Garbage’ At National Prayer Breakfast, Suggests Christians Stop Attending

    Janet Mefferd was, unsurprisingly, not pleased with President Obama’s remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast yesterday, and suggested on her radio program last night that Christians should stop attending the interfaith event.

    Mefferd wasn’t only perturbed by the president’s comments on Islam, but was also outraged at the presence of the Dalai Lama, all of which she said revealed “the fundamental problem with interfaith prayer breakfasts in general.”

    Then she adds the twister:

    I don’t know how you can listen to this garbage. ‘Well, you know, all the major religions say love your neighbor.’ What does that do to spare me from Hell? What does that do? You know, I don’t really care about moral teachings of great philosophers from history because I’m concerned about where my soul is going to go when I’m dead.

      • I kinda figured she ain’t got one anyway, so why worry? Why is that the most viciously fearful and hate-filled “Christians” think that they’ll be saved? If I were God, I sure as hell wouldn’t bother with ’em. Who’d ever want to spend an eternity with the likes of them I have no idea.

    • (handing a dictionary to Mefferd)

      Interfaith
      adjective [ attrib. ]
      of, relating to, or between different religions or members of different religions: action to encourage interfaith dialogue.

      • Christianity is the only REAL religion, after all. One of them told me one time that if I don’t get reborn I’ll end up in hell. I said that’d be fine with me because based on lots of observations I figured that heaven will be full of mean-spirited and judgmental assholes. Conversation ended.

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