Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Shape Up

Big government is an institution that has no conscience. I has no feelings, it has no brains. And it doesn't read constitutions and it doesn't understand liberties.

Chuck Hagel
Hello Ally
I don't like to write about politics, but who can avoid thinking about it these days. I'm just a humble vagabond, retired, living in a small town and with health problems and debts. But I wish I could write a letter to each member of the big aloof government and say "Look at yourself in the mirror and shape up!"

"Big government is an institution that has no conscience." One year I helped two friends gather up all the food that had been donated by local markets to take to a homeless shelter in New York for their Thanksgiving dinner. The people who lived at the shelter were nice, friendly, normal people like you or me. They weren't drunks, drug addicts or dead beats. Some of them had meager, low paying jobs.

The person who ran the shelter thanked us and said it would be a happy Thanksgiving for them. But he also said that at Thanksgiving and Christmas people are very kind to them, it's the rest of the year they suffer. I wondered what they did in February when they ran out of heat.

"The reason they're homeless is because they refuse to work" one politician said. One block from where I used to live in the city there was a thriving out door book store run by about a half dozen homeless mem. They had tables set up and large laundry baskets full of books, magazines and post cards. People, including me, gave them books. There were always people going through those stacks and buying books from them.

One day they were all gone. It seems some self righteous, self important person objected having to walk past those ragged looking homeless people on her way to work. What happened to those men? What happened to all those books?

I worked with a theatre company that performed for homeless shelters around town. When we arrived at one of the largest ones we drove our van up a ramp and from there I looked down on the main area, it was a former armory. There was a rank and file of beds as far as I could see. There was absolutely no privacy for those men. What a depressing, degrading way to live. The small Indian woman who ran the place treated them as if they were her own brothers. They all respected her.

"It's their own damn fault if they're homeless." What a cruel and unconscionable attitude for anyone in a government that is supposed to be taking care of its people.

"It has no feelings" Only once in my life did I apply for unemployment insurance. I was only out of work for six weeks but I didn't receive any money until after I went back to work. I used it to pay back the people I had fortunately borrowed it from. When I called to find out about the money I explained that I had a small room in a cheap residential hotel but that if I didn't pay the rent I would be evicted and be homeless. The woman I spoke with said "Well if you change your address let us know." I tried to tell her that I would be homeless, without a new address. She didn't care. "It has no feelings."

"It has no brains." Examples of brainlessness on the part of government are too numerous to list. I once heard a U S Senator stand up and list all the things wrong with a bill that was before the Senate. He had nothing good to say about it And then he said he was going to vote for it. Even with the country in the terrible financial trouble it's in there are members of Congress who are actually considering legislation that would extend tax cuts to the rich. It doesn't take an elementary school education to see the stupidity of that. The same Congress people want to cut into the benefits that make the United States a livable place. Where are the brains? "Look at yourselves in the mirror and shape up."

"it doesn't read constitutions" Our Constitution guarantees us "the right of the people peaceably to assemble" unless you're an Occupy Wall Street protester. The 99% are making things very uncomfortable for the 1%. So the obvious answer is arrest, tear gas, pepper spray, beatings, anything to get them to disassemble. It has been said they occupy parks and streets they haven't paid for. Well then who paid for them? The tax payers. Well, not all of the 99% are out of work or income, they must have paid for the streets they occupy. But there are others who pay no taxes. Who is it, again, that doesn't pay taxes? "We don't pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes." The 99%. The Occupiers. The people who live here, who don't go the Costa Rica with their billion dollar bonuses. Who...

One presidential candidate said the protesters should get a job, after they take a bath. Where's the brain? How can a man who makes a remark like that ever consider himself qualified to be President? A man who will talk about the American Dream.

Here's the American Dream: Take care of the rich and let the other classes fend for themselves. Well, that is what Occupy Wall Street is all about. We are beginning to fend for ourselves. Communism would be an unexpectedly bad result of all of this, but it's a possibility if you don't look at yourself in a mirror and shape up.

"it doesn't understand liberties" "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Without liberty there is no happiness. Without liberty life is a desperate struggle against depression and enslavement. It's not that big government is for or against liberty. It's that government doesn't know what it is. Liberty is not woven into the fabric of its duties. The slaves got their freedom legally, but they didn't get their liberties without struggling for them. Congress may pass feel good laws but when they are broken it goes into the courts with "the laws delay" in front of a wealthy judge who is presiding over a poor man's rights or the deprivation of them, before anything is even temporarily settled.

Big government is a waste of the tax payers money, since only the non tax payers seem to benefit from it. But taxes are necessary and can greatly improve our lives if collected properly and spent properly. And the present and future of America is mostly in the hands of those who will have the courage to look at themselves in the mirror, shake themselves loose from the mesmeric influences of politics and shape up.

Dana Bate - The Vagabond
Never Give Up


pacifica62 said...

It is a well known fact that many people who work and have decent jobs are one paycheque away from living on the street. Life is expensive and so is rent. Most people have a sense of pride and would prefer to work and have something useful to do all day, but jobs are scarce. Interviews are impossible when you have no phone, no fixed address, and no decent clothes to wear. People with health problems cannot even afford medications they need. "There but for the grace of god go I" and it is a frightening thought. A government or a politician that thinks it is above all of this, should not be in power. What has turned these fat cats into being so cruel to the people they are paid to represent?

Arlene (AJ) said...

Pacifica62 said it all with his words.

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

I hope we can get some sanity back and some equality and empathy.