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asking the right questions
watching the news
heavy lifting
new york times
Are We Asking The Right Questions?
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Are We Asking The Right Questions?

I suppose the more accurate title would be ‘Are we asking questions?’—I’m asking if, in a society with ‘news-reporting’ wherein news-people ask the ‘important’ questions, we haven’t lost sight of the fact that we have our own questions we don’t see being asked on the news? No matter how important an issue seems to me, the media has its own filter—and people don’t control that filter, money does. I’ve just been watching the news, if you haven’t guessed that for yourself. I saw a report that Congress is about to vote on a law to drain billions of dollars out of the Food Stamp program—a program that means the difference between survival and starvation for millions trapped in poverty. The same bill takes almost all of that funding and gives it to 'Big Agra'.

Nothing of equally shocking immorality was on the news, but there were other stories of greater ‘interest’ (read: entertainment value) and this incredibly vile act of Food Stamp repeal was passed over with just a brief comment among other ‘smaller’ stories. I had questions—I had a lot of questions, some of them quite angry in nature—but world news was uninterested in the forced starvation of millions of Americans—Syria, Snowden’s leaks, Republican misogyny were at the forefront this evening—and the story was outside the scope of my local news. The New York Times did its best, front-paging the travesty with appropriate concern—but one city’s newspaper headlines can’t do all the heavy lifting of public awareness.

Worse than that, we are still reeling from the uncomfortable reality of Congress’s blocking of gun-control legislation that over 90% of Americans were in favor of passing. We have just been told, without frills, that Congress is not about the will of the people—it is now about the will of the major corporations and the privileged super-wealthy. They’re not even embarrassed about it—they make statements of the usual guff as if they really think anyone believes their BS anymore.

If there is some equally important side of the argument of ‘should we feed starving people?’, other than money, I’d like to know what it is. If the overwhelming financial power of our national is focused in the hands of one percent of those people, shouldn’t the other 99% be able to pass a raise in the super-wealthy tax bracket? This is democracy, isn’t it? 99% against 1% sounds like a winner to me. Yet we lose and lose. Curious, eh?

So, of course, we’re all gonna sit around and say ‘darn, we oughta not let this happen’—but none of us will have any idea how to change it. That’s because the entire system has been hacked—our political system and, therefore, our government are now firmly under the control of moneyed interests. It couldn’t have happened in 1950. They tried and failed to make it happen back in the sixties. But rust never sleeps, and these bastards have been jimmying the locks for half a century—they’re inside now, and they’ve changed the locks. We are defenseless and in the line of fire of our nemesis, Capitalism. Sure Capitalism and the USA had some great times, back in the ol’20th cen, but this is numero 21 now—and the America we still want to believe in lives on only in the hearts of the people, not in our policies, foreign or domestic.

Will Congress vote to cancel 10 billion dollars in Food Stamps, only to give 9 billion of it back to Big Agra? Maybe. But the more important question is: How could these people expect to keep their seats for a subsequent term? That’s on us to answer.

If there is to be a ‘third party’ that will change things, their platform must include outlawing lobbying in any form—period. And that will include a bar against these political PACS, as well. More importantly, perhaps, would be a bar against political messages or campaign ads in mass media. It would be a ‘people first’ party, ideally, which would embrace a loss of productivity and of efficiency in our nation’s economy (and a willing reduction in GDP) in return for the disengaging of corporate or moneyed interests from the government.

There are a lot of holes that could be shot in my little theory. It could turn out to be very bad for our country.

But, I ask you, will that be a worse place to end up than where we’re bound right now? And, speaking of being shot full of holes, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if that’s what happened to any idealists who started to make a serious go of such a third, ‘people first’ party—so don’t go getting any ideas about going out there and playing the hero. Settle down. You’ll hurt yourself.

Better we should watch the news—I hear they’re still bitching about women being mens’ equals—talk about fear of inadequacy.


Street Talk

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