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​All the World’s a Stage

Gadfly | August 20th, 2022

By Ed Raymond

Hell has Nine Stories—and We Will Have Politicians Getting Off at Every Level

American politicians are going to Hell today and the elevators are exceeding weight limits. When Senator William Proxmire of Wisconsin was elected to his last two terms in 1976 and 1982, he spent less than $200 in campaign funds to win each election. The campaigns for just one of the Wisconsin U.S. Senate seats in 2022 will cost the candidates an estimated $700 million.

20th century Wisconsin was a laboratory for democracy: the first state to ratify the 19th Amendment – the right of women to vote, first state to develop unemployment insurance, and the state government supported open government and its institutions, economic equality, and collective bargaining for public and private employees.

What has happened to Wisconsin in the 21st Century to turn it into a bloody state dominated by wealth, gerrymandered districts, and voter suppression regulations? Milwaukee, which had 180 voting precincts in previous elections, had only five voting precincts in 2020. The Republican United States Supreme Court has happened.

In 2013 SCOTUS decided Citizens United, dumping a tsunami of money on greedy, power-hungry White men and women who wanted wealth and to be national celebrities. They didn’t know a damned thing about governing a country composed of 330 million diverse people from every country in the world. The Court and Chief Justice John Roberts refused to stop the gerrymandering that splattered political districts in crazy patterns so minorities would not be represented. And thus, Hell was brought to Wisconsin and the United States.

The best and most lasting definition of Hell was written by Dante Alighieri in the 14th Century.

According to Dante, Hell Has Nine Levels – and Politicians Are on Every One

I have a copy of Dante’s “Divine Comedy,” containing the three parts: “Inferno,” “Purgatorio,” and “Paradiso.” It was translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow with drawings and illustrations by Gustave Dore and published by Barnes & Noble in 2008. Dore’s illustrations are as exciting as the text of the poem, which is 693 pages long. The old gray men in the Vatican have used his text, ideas, logic, and religious philosophy for 900 years. I will cover only the “Inferno.”

Dante’s “Inferno” is designed as an inverted funnel where different sins are punished on nine ever-enlarging levels. Each sinner is punished by something similar to the sin he committed on his neighbor or with something completely opposite. The circles are concentric, representing a gradual increase in wickedness until we meet Satan at the very bottom of Hell. Punishment is for eternity. Hang on! Here we go on the elevator!

First Circle (Limbo): All unbaptized babies and adults who do not accept Jesus Christ are here for eternity. They are not punished but they do grieve they are separated from God. Homer, Socrates, and Aristotle “live” here. To Catholics and the Vatican: has the Vatican decided to allow billions of unbaptized babies to move from Limbo to Heaven? It has been debating this for years. Limbo is getting very crowded with billions of babies flying around in the First Circle.

Second Circle: This is one of the busiest stops because lust is involved in the pledge “to go and multiply!” If you are interested in the punishment, read the book. Fascinating. The residents are blown about by vicious storms without hope of rest. No breaks after coitus. Trump with 26 lawsuits about sex will reside here for a time.

Third Circle: This circle is all about gluttony. Gluttons are forced to lie in smelly cold slush in icy rain, shivering and slavering over food. Think gourmet restaurants and superyacht owners.

Fourth Circle: All superyacht owners will make this stop. The lovers of material goods, the avaricious, the miserly, the hoarders of possessions will battle for eternity by pushing huge rocks against one another. At least they will stay in shape.

Fifth Circle: The wrathful battle each other in the swamps of the River Styx, while the sullen and the slothful lie gurgling under the water. This may be a good spot for Republican leadership in Congress and the states. Alex Jones will often visit here.

Sixth Circle: Heretics are burned at the stake and in tombs for eternity. This might be one of my stops.

Seventh Circle: We are getting down to some serious circles now because it’s for the violent. If you are violent against people and property, you are placed in a river of boiling blood forever. How deep depends upon your sins. Suicides are turned into bushes and trees where vultures roost and crap over everything, If you commit violence against God, nature, and law and order, you are assigned to a desert of flaming sand with fiery flakes raining constantly from the sky. This section will be crowded with Oath Keepers, Proud Boys, Boogaloo Boys, QAnoners, White police, gun manufacturers, NRA Board of Directors, gang members, Republican campaign managers, and NFL linebackers.

Eighth Circle: The fraudulent dominate here—and it’s a huge circle. Sinners and punishments are separated into ten ditches connected by bridges. This circle will be loaded with politicians and CEOs when you see the type of sins.

1. Panderers, pimps, and seducers march in separate lines in opposite directions while being whipped by demons. They march by each other for eternity.

2. Flatterers are buried to the neck in excrement. Here’s a spot for Lindsey Graham.

3. Those who committed simony (the selling of religious indulgences, pardons, and artifacts) are placed head-first in rock while flames burn the soles of their feet. Many Catholic bishops reside here.

4. Sorcerers and false prophets have their heads twisted around on their bodies so they are facing backward and can’t see where they are going---while crying great tears. Most of them are Democrat and Republican voters.

5. Corrupt politicians are immersed in a boiling lake of tar reminding them of being tarred and vulture-feathered. A perfect spot for McConnell.

6. Hypocrites are walking listlessly around wearing lead cloaks covered with gold. They worked for The Wall Street Journal and Fox News.

7. Thieves are constantly bitten by snakes and lizards, snakes turning them into strange creatures while lizards turn them into more lizards. Thousands of hedge fund managers are converted here.

8. Fraudulent advisors are encased in flames for eternity. Mostly Trump lawyers and two “moderate” Democrats.

9. Sowers of discord and lies are hacked constantly by sword-wielding demons. When the wounds heal, they are hacked again. Alex Jones, alt-right podcast and broadcasters, some Fargo Forum and Wall Street Journal columnists and letter writers are crowding out other sowers of discord.

10. Counterfeiters and perjurers, who are a disease of society, are infected with strange diseases for eternity. “Stop the Steal” members will dominate here.

Ninth Circle: This is the final elevator stop. As winter was the toughest survival season for most people, being encased in ice was a significant punishment for traitors to country, state, or family. The worst punishment was being completely covered with ice. Lesser punishments started with the neck, half the face, and tears which froze immediately and froze the eyes shut. Judas who betrayed Christ was distorted to all conceivable positions while encapsulated by ice. Donald Trump, who should spend some time in each circle because he sinned in all of them, is the most prominent ice cube besides Satan. Satan is a beast with three heads and six eyes that weep tears and mix with the blood of other traitors. He is in ice up to his waist so his six wings can flap constantly trying to escape. Judas has his head in the mouth of Lucifer and has his back skinned by the claws. There’s more. But, well, enough is enough.

Many Homo Sapiens Hopped into Dante’s Elevators Going Up and Down

I’m not taking you to Dante’s Paradise because religions have promised a beautiful gold avenue and huge trees on both sides. My paradise is Pelican Lake trolling for northern pike an hour or two before sunset.

My buddy Shakespeare evidently loved Dante because he used his Divine Comedy in many plays. Let’s stop at Purgatory, that place the Vatican says we suffer for our sins for an indeterminate time (depending upon how much we pay for indulgences) before we are welcomed by Peter. In Act 1, Scene 5 in Hamlet he has Hamlet’s father’s Ghost tell Hamlet: “I am thy father’s spirit, doomed for a certain time to walk the night, and for the day confined to fast in fires, till the foul crimes done in my days of nature are burnt and purged away.”

Vatican bankers immediately hatched money-making schemes. Why not sell indulgences to sinners, so if they end up in Purgatory, they can spend big to take the elevator to heaven quick? Rome made fortunes until that miscreant Martin Luther revealed the fraudulent scheme at Wittenberg. And later when Hamlet’s girlfriend Ophelia committed suicide while floating and then sinking in a river, she ended up in the Seventh Circle for eternity immersed in vulture crap. By the way, the Ghost cannot reveal any secrets of life in Purgatory to Hamlet, hinting they are not pleasant--and the night is short. His last words? “Remember me.”

Politicians Are Not the Only Ones Taking the Down Elevators

The Sackler family of Oxycontin fame is a favorite for the Down elevator. They have made billions while killing more than 500,000 potential American voters over 20 years. In West Virginia the Sackler’s Purdue Pharma killed so many the state ran out of burial benefits. In Cabell County 1% of the population died of opioid overdoses. Many of the executives and members of the Sackler family knew that Oxycontin, as an example, was a very addictive drug. But they denied it for years, selling billions of pills to doctors, pharmacies, hospitals, and individuals. The pills were popular in the mountain towns as well as on Native American reservations.

With $13 billion in the bank from their drug cartel, the Sackler extended family donated millions to hospitals, museums, art galleries, and other private and public properties, putting their name on many. So far, they have managed to hang on to billions and have stayed out of jail cells for the murders of 500,000 by overdose. As Joe Stalin, or somebody, once said: “If you kill one person you go to prison for life or are executed. If you kill a million you get a government job or a medal.” The Sacklers have given up their company, but they haven’t given up their billions. They should keep the elevators to Hell busy, stopping at most of the circles for members to get off.

The family has to pay sometime for what they did to people. In an Ohio high school gymnasium where a funeral was held, pictures of the victims in the town were displayed with a sign: “Sons and daughters and grandsons and grand-daughters. They died before they had a chance to live.” Perhaps members of the Sackler family in Hell should wear shirts with that statement for eternity.

Also, let’s not forget that CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart pharmacies must pay two Ohio counties $650 million over 15 years to assist them in treating opioid addiction and overdoses. More stops on the Down elevators.

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