Mar 25, 2012

That Shining City...And The Ghetto Below

by RF Schatten

When Ronald Reagan's “Shining City On A Hill” hit the airwaves...everyone, suddenly felt so much confidence about what direction, we as a Nation, were headed. “It's Morning Again in America!”, his ads would say. least, some people did believe, that America was turning 'that' corner, where prosperity was just at your finger tips ...others, knew better. But, the general belief then, was that a Nation, were indeed headed on that right better and more prosperous times.

But, here in this Country, we live in a constant state of Political Metaphors...what the American public, didn't really understand was, that the romantically and eloquently stated...really applied to those who are prosperous...the economically advantaged. Trickle Down Economics!! Set an economic structure, that those in the loop, will be handsomely rewarded...whatever is left, will 'trickle' down to everyone else...but, apparently, that 'trickle'...went down just enough, to reward their friends. It was a matter of the Elitist rewarding the Elitist. Money does corrupt, and the more you have, the greedier you become...keep it for yourself, and if there's enough...pass it down to those you associate with...keep it all, among your circle of friends.

This country, is not that Shining City on a Hill...only an Illusion, brought to you, by those more fortunate. That Shining City, belongs only to vacancy to those less fortunate.

Since the early 80s, the income inequality between the Upper Class and the Middle Class, has risen every single year. The Income Gap, now shows the greatest disparity ever, in the history of our Nation. The numbers are there...what is totally unbelievable and embarrassing, is that the United States of America, according to the CIA World Fact Book, ranks near the bottom, worldwide!! income inequality. The old Red, White, and Blue's gap between the Rich and the Poor is higher than The Ivory Coast, Cameroon,
Egypt, Tunisia, and Yemen...and just ahead of Jamaica and Uganda. We rank 42nd in inequality, compared to Tunisia who is 62nd, Yemen, who is 76th, and Egypt at 90th. Forget England, Europe, and the rest of the Developed Countries...they are light years away from the US.

What does this means? I really don't think, I have to spell it out. The top one percent took home more than a fifth of all personal income in the U.S....that means, that a couple of dozen families in America, has more personal assets than 150 Million people...Combined!!! That, is just incredible! And 2012, they don't think, that is enough. Their income tax rates are lower than much of the Middle Class...and they want them even lower. Fair Share??? They don't know the meaning. The war between the Uppers and the Middles, has escalated like never before...and Politicos, who already have their hands inside these peoples' pockets, are defending these poor, unappreciated souls. They are staging the most hate filled campaign in US History...establishing and protecting the rights 31,000 over the rights of 311Million people...creating, an American Apartheid...and trying to gain legal control in this Nation for this 1%...over 99% of the population.

Politics aside, what is really shows the shame of the United States, on the World Stage today is...The Arrogance towards those less they are publicly demeaning the poor, and the middle someone like the Mayor of New York City, a Billionaire himself, put a ban on the donations and the feeding the Homeless, by the Food Banks in town...not allowing the homeless to be fed. His excuse is, that he needs to asses the Salt, Fat, and Fiber content, to make sure they are getting the proper nutrition and the amount of Salt intake...never mind, that they will probably die of starvation while every single item donated, is tested for the right amount of Calories, etc. It's like, if you are dying of thirst in the desert...and someone takes that precious bottle of water, and says, that it must be tested for chemicals before you can drink it!!

Another example, showing how unaware of reality, the Conservative American Elite is, and of the distance between them and everyone else: In an interview, Alan Dlugash, a partner at accounting firm Marks Paneth & Shron, made this comment, and I quote; “People who don’t have money don’t understand the stress...Could you imagine what it’s like to say I got three kids in private school, I have to think about pulling them out? How do you do that?” This, from a man who's a partner for a firm that specializes in financial planning for the wealthy. Oh! My God!! a millionaire cannot keep his kids in Private School, because his million dollar bonuses, have been cut 10% or, he only has a 900 or 800 thousand dollar bonus...soon, he may have to apply for food stamps!! I don't have money, Alan...come down to my level, and I'll show you, what 'stress'...really is.

With the greed of the Oil Industry, raising Gas Prizes to an all time high...while making record profits. Greedy Bankers, making illegal foreclosures, and enough illegal transactions, to make the Mob, look legitimate...while all along, raking in Gigantic Bonuses. And Giant Corporations making giant profits, while making giant layoff. They all call themselves Job Creators, but continue to layoff employees. And they don't really care...they continue doing all this, right out in the open.

It's not just their treatment of the less fortunate...they could care's the loss of dignity, and loss of pride, that this whole issue is about, for millions of people...the shaming of the unemployed...looked at as 'Bums' by the wealthy. Don't treat someone like that, because sooner or later, they will say; “Enough is Enough”

The shaming of America...people don't read history, anymore. And, as my favorite philosopher said: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”.
I really do feel sorry, for the Arrogance and the Ignorance of these Rich people...and how disconnected they really are, with the rest of America...very, very sad!

That Shining City on the Hill?? Yes, they do live there...while the rest of this Nation, lives right down below, in a sad giant Ghetto

Mar 13, 2012

The Moral And Political Decadence Of American Society

by RF Schatten

What the Hell is happening in America? Where has our Moral Values gone to? The United States, has always been seen throughout the World, as a leader...not just a leader in business, but a leader in Freedom and Moral Justice.

Today, we have sunk to a new low...our decline, in our Moral and Ethical standards, are seen, along with our decline in Business and the cause in the decline of stature by the United States Of America, all around the World.

A 103 year old woman, Vita Lee, was Foreclosed...and was ordered to vacate her premises of 53 years. When the Police and the moving vans arrived, they saw her...and her 83 year old daughter (who takes care of her)...and decided that they will not obey the Eviction Order by Deutche Bank.

Enough is Enough!! With all the issues brought to our attention by the 99% Occupy Movement...people throughout the country are standing up to Big Banks, and demanding the long needed reforms, to make this Nation a more Fair Place to live.
Former Philadelphia Police Chief, Captain Ray Lewis was cuffed and detained for 17 hours for protesting with the 99% Occupy Wall Street Movement. A few months ago, the LAPD refused to move out the Occupy LA Movement from where they were...saying that it is officially illegal to be there, but will not forceably make them move. Things are changing little by little...but, it will take time. Occupy Activists, are still being forceably removed, around the country...confrontation was inevitable...specially where the local establishment has enough clout, where the wealthy business owners and bankers, have a monetary stake inside the pockets of the Politicos in City Hall.

But, things remain terribly wrong in this Country...not just the fact that a 103 year old is being booted out of her domicile of 53 years, by a filthy rich Bank...whose luxurious self-indulgence includes multi million dollar bonuses to its executives, probably for giving their best impression of Snitely Whiplash, with all these poor families....but the way people are behaving in all parts of Life in America.

On TV, Fox News criticizes the Poor, in a way never seen before, in my 64 years on this earth...saying they have the “Luxury” of owning a TV set, and even a Refrigerator. Statistics reveal that nearly every household (99.9 % according to the Heritage Foundation) classified as "poor" by the U.S. Census Bureau owns a Refrigerator...and that 98% of poor households in the U.S. (those with an income of about $22,000 for a family of four) own a Stove or Oven. They say the poor shouldn't whine...if they can afford to have Refrigerators and Stoves, they shouldn't be asking for help. I guess what Fox and Deutche Bank wants, is for the poor to live in the streets, and cook with a can of Sterno. Newt Gingrich has been quoted on saying, that Banks should repossess all homes, fix them up, sell them to developers, and use them to rent them back to the previous owners...and then, the GOP claims that the Left is causing a Class Warfare??????? It's a little hypocritical that the Rich are complaining about “Class Warfare”...more, as if what they really want is...a Ruling Class Society. Yes! There is a Class Warfare going on...and it's against the 99%.

What is even worse, is the relentless dehumanizing of the Poor and the Middle Class...their criticism applied to them by those who feel that American Elitism is good for America. The criticism of those on the unemployment line by Fox News, as bums, who should get back to work, rather than bum off the taxpayers...never mind, that they are unemployed because they lost their jobs...if they had a job...they would not be unemployed!!!!! Can America understand that??

In the category of “Dehumanization” also comes the disgusting review of those who feel that Medicine is just for those who can afford it...if you're sick and with an emergent need for Hospitalization? LET THEM DIE!!! is the answer from the GOP and Tea Party.
They cheer for “Death”...when a GOP candidate tells an audience, that he proudly holds the record for “Executions” in his State...everyone stood up and gave him a tremendous round of applause!! When Patti Davis saw the Debate, she said: "The moment that would have broken my father's heart was the moment when applause broke out at the mention of more than 200 executions ordered by Rick Perry in Texas. It was stunning and brought tears to my eyes. This is what we've come to? That we applaud at executions?"
Death is a form of Aphrodisiac to the GOP, Tea Party, and the 1%...maybe, they figure that if enough people die, they could control this Nation...and their hatred for Blacks, Women, Hispanics, people of all different long they are not White Anglo-Saxon, that is!!...and specially, Gays!!
Gays cause Tornadoes” says Pam Olsen, Florida Co-Chair for Rick Perry...while Marcus and Michele Bachmann believes that they are sick savages. When a gay serviceman, Army Capt. Stephen Hill asked the question to the GOP Candidates in a debate...if they would reinstate the ban on gays serving openly in the U.S. Military...the audience, made up of Tea Party and GOP people booed him loudly!!...never mind that this same person, served in the front lines to preserve the Freedom, the very same Freedom, that they talk about so very often: “If You Love Your Freedom...thank a Vet” No one thanked Capt. Stephen Hill for their Freedom, and the chance for them to be there...and boo him.

Yes! We do live in a Decadent America full of Hate towards their fellow man, because they may be less fortunate, and not have that fat bank account. A Racist America, where the Civil Rights Act means nothing, with suppression and voter disenfranchisement, on the rise. A Bigoted America...towards the Hispanics, the Jews, the Muslims, the America where only the White Anglo-Saxon race, is considered pure. I heard of Race “Purity” once Germany 1933-1945. And finally, in an America, where rich corporations not only want to bypass their financial obligations with the IRS...but have polluters...high stake polluters who have been fined million and millions, while destroying our Environment...backing Politicos who will do whatever it takes to destroy all Environmental simply having their Palms Greased. Their excuse? Science is not correct, and only God can make things happen...forget Global Warming...forget that the Environment in the United States goes to the long as the greedy rich can make another fast buck...let this Nation rot!!

There is no Moral Decency in the GOP today...they are all Demagogues and Charlatans...political opportunists, with no Heart, no Soul...and no Values. We live in an America, that one side wants to control women's rights on reproduction, destroy the Latino Culture, by pitting Hispanics against each other...on immigration, prevent the Gay community from enacting their own values on marriage, and other issues, and the implementation of a Christian ideology throughout the nation...and a Christian Theocracy in government.

The Decadence of those who condemn the Left for their social promiscuity, and criminal attitudes of the poor...yet, are constantly being caught cheating on their spouses, picking up hookers, having sexual encounters with people of their own sex, getting caught scamming others, committing Governor Rick Scott did, and stealing from the taxpayers...of course, when they get caught with their hands in the cookie jar, oh well!! “God told me he'll personally forgive me, if a stop fooling around with YouTube!!...Glory Hallelujah!! I'm Born Again!!

Why have we stooped down so low as a Nation? There may be many answers to that question...except, this time...all the equations come up the same: Inequality. Just like they say: 1% vs 99%. Those odds are not good to some folks. They were not good to France in 1799, they were not good to Russia in 1917...99 to 1 is never good, I just hope, someone in this country, learns their History Lessons...right, George Santayana?

Does Moral Values and Ethics mean anything anymore? When will we understand that we can achieve so much more, by working together than by working apart??

John Lennon once said: “Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us, and the world will be as one” Maybe some day...if we can just learn...America can attain that Utopian-like feeling, that all of the World has dreamed about...and once again, be #1.

Pope Santorum I...Oops!! I Mean President Santorum

by RF Schatten

I'm still a Catholic, and as a good Catholic most of them...I'm still against the Vatican's rules...most of them...but, I do believe in Evolution, among other things. Rick Santorum doesn't have to believe in Evolution, that's his God given right...but, don't try to pass his Religious believes on everyone...specially his radical ideas about the Roman Catholic Church.

The entire "idea" for the creation of this Nation, is "Freedom"...not just Freedom Of Speech, but Freedom of Religion, too...the ability to practice whatever Religion you fucking want...without Government interference...that's why we have a Constitution, and a Declaration of Independence.

That means, "We, the People" are Independent to choose whatever we want to believe in. Policy positions based on the Bible, or on his own interpretations of Roman Catholic Theology, just proves the incompetence this fellow has, if he wants to become the leader of the free have to base your thoughts and policy ideas, on real life...and whatever situation arises, that require the President to act. It's not based on your personal believes, but on what, realistically... has to be done.

When the Fathers of this Nation wrote "IN GOD WE TRUST"...they meant "GOD" as in a Deity, which can be interpreted by all Religions. Whether it's Jesus Christ, son of God, Jehovah, Elohim, Allah, El Shaddai, Ishvara, or whoever else...they're all "One" God. Khalil Gibran once said:"I love you when you bow in your Mosque, kneel in your Temple, pray in your Church. For you and I are sons of one religion, and it is the Spirit". The word "God" is just a word...but, for the Social Conservative Christian Fundamentalists, their radical approach is to make "God" Jesus Christ, the official "Spiritual" leader, and the Christian laws, interpreted from the Bible, by the Laws of the Land, by the US Government.

It's ironic that these people favor Crusading in the Middle East and elsewhere, to change these Theocratic Governments..."Leave Religion out of Politics, free the people, and make these countries DEMOCRATIC!!". The Right, wants to take religion out of Politics for the Muslims, but put religion into Politics, here in America. Very quietly, they truly want a Holy War against Islam...a Jihad. They want to relive the Crusades...but, at the end, who won those Crusades? And who Lost??

It's not just Rick Santorum, but the Christian Right too. The GOP, Tea Party, and the far Right, do have very much in common...they all know how to spell...HYPOCRISY!!!