Take That
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Take That

We get the shaft, right? Some fat, rich pigs get in a snit over some BS or other—and we find ourselves shooting at each other. We get trained to fly-by-wire the drones or aim the laser sight at the top of the bunker or doing crowd control at some consulate’s front gate with an angry mob between you and the end of your watch—when another sucka takes your place.

Some big-shot bankers get out of control and casually put millions of people out of work, and leave millions of seniors bereft of their retirement, and get millions of young families evicted from their over-mortgaged house. I can understand those ‘big-biz’ slobs laughing the whole thing off—they don’t know any better, god bless’em—it’s the legislators and other politicians we see pandering to the biggest banks and corporations, pretending they’re protecting the economy, and our jobs, and our daily stability—when the only thing that remains stable is that we get the shaft, right?

We get caught in ‘under-served’ communities where the cops (if they’re there at all) are something like wardens of the neighborhood we can never climb out of. Our kids in school are more exposed to drug traffic and violence than education or guidance. Even if one or two claw their way out to college, they graduate and hit the street, only to find that a bachelor’s degree doesn't matter—there’re no jobs for anybody.

Yet we have the Koch brothers, whom I have never met and have trouble believing are real people. Do these two insanely wealthy crackpots really spend millions and millions of dollars trying to bend our entire population to their own, special idea of what this country is supposed to be? You’d think they’d be able to afford a good therapist—and think of their savings! But no—they can feel the power of their bigotry, misogyny and fundamentalist yahoo-ism fading in the light of the twenty-first century. They've got to do something to hold back the hoi polloi—before we start getting ideas of our own that are more attractive than their filthy cash.

Our democracy is sucking big time right now—between rabble-rousing the much-swelled ranks of the ignorant, gerrymandering their district lines into party lines, spending millions for TV ads during eighteen-month-long election campaigns, and manipulating the media—I don’t see any politician focusing on the job they’re asking us to elect them to. I get angry that the height of modern sophistication is the assumption that everyone in every job is self-serving and dishonest—that only the greenest of horns would ever ask, “Why can’t we just get this done? It’s important; it’s not that complicated; and it doesn't cost nearly as much as a campaign—what’s the hold-up?”

The biggest political story of the last few years was Gov. Kristie making nice with Obama to get FEMA aid and money to re-build the Jersey Shore. People could not believe it. Here was a Republican politician actually effecting real recovery of a disaster-struck Atlantic coastline—and ignoring the jeers from his fellow GOP—scandalized that he would shake hands with the Anti-Christ of the United States—even to save the state he governs from real suffering beyond what had already been visited upon them.

But there is something irresistible about an elected official that improves his or her own patch of public governance—with the blurring of time, the overall impression of Chris Christie presently (He was reelected New Jersey’s governor, in a walk, today.) is that he’s a shoe-in for the Republican Presidential Primary in 2016. But he’s no angel—first of all, he’s a Republican, for cripes sake; he is anti-choice, he’s anti-gay, and who knows what other primitivisms guide his personal outlook, or his political loyalties.

And if he, or Obama, or the big bankers, or the ‘Man’ have the power and wealth to do any better for us than what we live with now, why the hell don’t they? Because we’re not their problem? Actually, we are. I’m not making threats—I’m just stating a fact: whenever enlightened beneficence takes the place of privation and fear, the crime rate goes down, the economy goes up, tax revenues increase, health problems are caught early, or forestalled altogether by well-care. Property values maintain, or rise. New businesses spring up.

Yes, the poor suffer more pain and fear than the rich—but the poor don’t have anything to lose—while the rich see impoverished areas making their investments sag, their quality of life suffer, their labor pool of high-quality employees shrink, their taxes raised to help cope with the excesses caused by poverty—crime, public violence, maltreatment of children and the elderly. The rich would be much richer if they had the brains of a two-year-old—happy citizens are more useful and much safer to live with than the wretched mobs of the needy and desperate.

All it would take is a little ‘hand up’—on the job training, or higher-education subsidies for students of those areas where the pool of suitable employment candidates is almost non-existent. Nobody does anything alone anymore—you can’t expect people to educate themselves, find experience in given fields, and then just show up at human resources one day with great résumés.

Some fat cat could just go whole hog and institute a scholarship university that offers free tuition, books, dorms, and meals to anyone accepted as a freshman—yeah, stick one of those in an under-served neighborhood. A thing like that can really change a community. Another fat-cat could fund a community center, where the locals could enjoy theater, music, arts & crafts, tons of stuff. But that would just encourage us to become ‘takers’, right? Can’t have that. The cojones of these blowhards! Talk about taking—aren't the ones with the most stuff, by definition, the biggest takers?


Street Talk

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