What the hell is happening to this country?
For a long time the United States has been considered to be the richest and most powerful country in the world. Our president has been the leader of the free world for decades because of the combined intellectual, philosophical, and economic power of the U.S. and European countries. Until now.
After ten months of trying to deal with a pathological liar and fulltime nutcase in our White House, European leaders have anointed Angela Merkel of Germany as the democratic leader of the West.
After only five months of exposure to the demented mind of a malignant narcissist, Chancellor Merkel realized in a remarkable statement in May, 2017 that Donald Trump was totally unreliable. She told an audience in Munich: “We Europeans really must take our destiny into our own hands.”
We should appreciate that Merkel is willing to assume this powerful position because thousands of male leaders throughout the world have so screwed up geopolitics and economies of the world that it’s time for a woman with intelligence to prevent more world disasters. She has proven herself in Germany.
Susan Mulcahy once served as the gossip columnist for the New York Post and had the job of covering Our Great Leader, the founder of that great educational powerhouse Trump University. Her summation after years of covering him: “He’s a pathological liar. I’ve been saying it since the 80’s. He has two sports, golf and lying, and that’s it. He just lies about everything. His estranged relationship with the truth is remarkably consistent.”
Her definition of Trump on Twitter: “Donald Trump should be treated like a very, very bad child in a preschool. Like the kid in preschool who really wants attention, so he throws his excrement against the wall. He’s so excited to turn the TV on—it’s Donald everywhere and that’s all he wants.” As one wag has said: “It’s hard to believe that Donald beat out a million other sperm cells.”
After all, Donald’s parents couldn’t stand him either, so when he was a teenager they shipped him out of the house to a military school.
We import lots of bananas while we have become a banana republic
Dan Rather, a truth-teller about government for almost 60 years, says when Our Great Leader decided not to invite our Nobel Prize science winners to the White House, it was a “sad symbol of the depths to which we have sunk. This country was born in the spirit of science.” In fact, because Our Great Leader and many Republicans have rejected the sciences for years, most of the winners did not want to go to the White house because of the occupant.
For 40 years the president has invited the artist winners of the Kennedy Center Honors program to a traditional reception at the White House. When Our Great Leader learned that three honorees, Norman Lear (playwright), Lionel Richie (singer-musician), and Carmen de Lavallade (ballet and dance), refused to participate in the White House reception, he cancelled it—and added he and his wife would not attend the TV show at the Kennedy Center, the first time a president has not sat with the honorees.
The other two honorees were Gloria Estefan (singer-musician) and LL Cool J (rapper). Only Lear is white. You all know what Our Great Leader thinks of black and brown immigrants and nasty liberals like Lear (All in the Family) through his tweets and speeches.
Poverty in the richest country in the world
The planning to replace the League of Nations organization with a better one began in the U.S. State Department in 1939. In June of 1941, before we entered World War II, representatives from 15 nations met in London and signed the Declaration of St. James’s Palace, the first of six conferences that led to the establishment of the United Nations and the writing of the charter of the UN. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the leader of the Western powers, and his wife Eleanor actually named the organization the United Nations. That term became the official term of the Allies.
The main objective of the UN was to preserve human rights and justice in their own lands as well as other lands and to fight against the “savage and brutal forces seeking to subjugate the world.”
It is ironic that the country that introduced the idea of an organization to improve human rights and justice around the world is now under investigation because over 41 million Americans are living in poverty—in the supposedly richest country in the world.
The reason? The worst economic inequality in the developed world. The UN investigation is led by Philip Alston, an Australian law professor, who has led five other “poverty“ investigations in the world. He and his committee, in a coast-to-coast tour, will also examine homelessness in California, racial discrimination in the South, federal government neglect after Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, and the perils of Oxycontin in West Virginia.
Alston describes his mission this way: “Despite great wealth in the United States, there also exists great poverty and inequality. We intend to focus on the detrimental effects of poverty on the civil and political rights of Americans.”
Friedrich Engels, the buddy of that old commie Karl Marx, wrote this analytic relationship of homelessness and capitalism 145 years ago: “As long as the capitalist mode of production continues to exist, it is folly to hope for an isolated solution to the housing question or of any other social question affecting the fate of the workers.”
Let’s help the UN investigation a little
Every two years the feds take a survey of homelessness in the U.S., using volunteers to count people living in cars and sleeping under bridges and overpasses, on sidewalks and in improvised tents and cardboard shelters.
And then there is that remarkable picture of a downtown marbled and gold-leafed Catholic cathedral in LA with every pew and empty space lined with the sleeping homeless. This year volunteers counted 553,742 homeless in the country on one night. If you think they counted them all, I have beautiful building lots in the Everglades for sale. Estimates range to 250,000 more homeless sleeping and pooping in hidden spots.
Here comes a number that may shock you. Empty homes outnumber the homeless by a 6 to 1 ratio. Remember Engels quote about capitalism and housing? Most historians agree that adequate housing is a necessary precondition for security, identity, emotional well-being, work, leisure, and community.
With our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan forcing our troops to be sent back to the fronts on multiple tours, the number of PTSD homeless veterans is dramatically increasing. That 6-1 ratio of empty homes to one homeless means we have about 3.6 million empty apartments and homes available for an average 600,000 homeless each night. Why can’t we put those two together?
The answer is economic inequality. The One Percent own an average nine homes and 17 vehicles each. Larry Ellison, while playing basketball on a full-sized court on his 400 ft. superyacht, owns 33 homes to return to. Meanwhile the median wage in 2016 was $17.86, an increase of a whopping $1.12 from the median wage of $16.74 in 1973. That’s 43 years ago.
One person in New York in 2017 would have to earn $27.29 an hour to rent a one-bedroom apartment. In Los Angeles he would have to earn $22.98. The federal minimum wage is now at $7.25.
A new description of the Republican Party—the GOPPPP
With a sexual predator as president, an Alabama U.S. Senate candidate consumed by pedophilia with teenage girls, and a special-issue tax group of Tea Party parsimonious pricks, the Grand Old Party of Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Reagan, and the Bushes has morphed into the Grand Old Pedophiles, Predators and Parsimonious Pricks now known as the GOPPPP.
After the Senate had approved tax cuts for the super wealthy by an all Republican vote of 51-49, Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said the richest country in the world did not have enough money left to pay to extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) that presently covers nine million children in poverty.
The CHIP program costs $14 billion a year. We spend about $800 billion on national defense alone. This after spending $1.5 trillion giving tax cuts to billionaires who love to surpass the obscene spending of our previous Gilded Age wealthy.
The Garrett family of Baltimore got rich in the railroad industry, bought the Evergreen Mansion which had a private gymnasium and theater, and spiffed up the bathroom by covering wall and floor tiles and the bathtub with 23-carat gold leaf. But the solid gold toilet seat separated the Garretts from the pissants.
It was in 1906 that socialite Mary Astor had her debut into New York society, so her parents hired poor Brazilians to catch 10,000 butterflies for a magical entrance. But the butterflies died from the heat when they were confined in a huge net near the ceiling. When the netting was dropped for Mary’s regal entrance, the dead, stinking butterflies landed on all the guests. It had to be the topic of the social season.
The UN committee has investigated a number of third world countries that mistreat citizens. Here’s a few U.S. sites they should examine. Cities in Georgia and Alabama often deny utilities to the poor who can’t pay for them and to anyone who does not supply a Social Security number. Poor and recent immigrants are denied access to heat, gas, light and water.
We have hundreds of thousands of poor people living in the “colonias” along the border of the U.S. and Mexico and in hurricane-damaged Puerto Rico. Many colonia houses have entire families living in single rooms that still have dirt floors. They have never had running water or sewer systems.
Why does the richest country in the world ignore these poor citizens who live in these areas? Because they don’t vote and are ignored by state and federal governments. Maybe the UN committee will finally put them on the front page.
by Brittney Goodman
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