Elephants Never Forget — Part Four

Photo by Julianna Corbett on Unsplash

Yet even our focus upon the needs of veterans is a fragment of the larger problem.

The macro nightmare is the neoliberal/libertarian idea of economics that is being swallowed whole, not only by those who some call “ignorant voters” and “destestables,” but also by an entirely new, stressed out generation of voters, pressured by debt and minimal employment, a lack of opportunity and a mountain of fear, into a tunnel vision about their futures that has them convinced, somehow, that such ideas offer a vision of hope.

The neoliberal idea of job creation is not a positive one, however.

Slinging hamburgers, building pipelines, cleaning up chemical spills…and all for less than $10 an hour. The new Democratic House says it should be $15…but what will the Senate say? Anybody wanna guess?

And does anyone think $15 an hour is a “living wage” even if by some miracle they did approve it? Something you can repay a double student debt with if you are married with kids?

Libertarians would rather shut down government in order to end health care, stop welfare, eliminate minority rights, end immigration and rescind voting rights. Build that wall with non-union labor imported from somewhere before we kick their butts back to wherever. And don’t forget to send The Four back to wherever they came from, too.

Libertarians have a large portion of the poor working class believing that cryptocurrency is the way to “stick it to the man.” Cryptocurrency will only stick it to the poor while making the rich richer.

Instead we should be expanding opportunities and turning them into jobs for people. Job creation was supposed to be what neoliberalism was about. Freedom, too, the liars. Not shutting things down and depriving people of their rights (citizens and non-citizens alike).

And let’s be clear about this. The Clintons, both of them, were neoliberals in the same mold as Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul and their Tea Partiers. That’s why they were so buddy-buddy on welfare reform that took people — children, too, if you count them as people — off welfare, and prison reform that put more people than ever into prison, making privatization the rule of the land.

And some guy named Obama shifted cleanly from streetwise political organizer into the neoliberal lane once he was properly tutored during his short stint in the Senate, a good reason why we should elect Presidents straight off the streets, probably.

Experience? My grandma’s tuchas. Oh, you don’t think so? Ever hear of TPP? How about when “granny jeans” claimed Microsoft would add 10,000 jobs because of TPP, then Microsoft turned around and laid off 8000 people.

This. Is. Neoliberalism.

Be cautious of candidates with close ties to Wall Street.

They scream and scream, especially the Trumpers, about all the American jobs being sent overseas to China, India, Mexico, Vietnam. Oh, my! As if those countries were to blame. Sure, they are begging for the jobs.

But you know who is sending the jobs over there?

Our Congress.

By giving special tax breaks, tax breaks American extractionist capitalists lobby for, of course, to big and small corporations who don’t want to pay or give benefits to American workers, especially not union workers.

And now they’ve come up with this even better solution, one we workers helped them to invent:

Automation.

They simply replace us right here at home. Even in fast food restaurants and grocery stores. No more flipping or bagging, even. We aren’t even worth the salt in our bodies or Soylent Green to them any longer.

Oh, yeah, some of our grandchildren will be harvested to continue cleaning up their slop and mining for whatever they want, probably pumping more oil on Mars so they can continue SkiDo’ing across the waves of our ever-expanding oceans. That’s all the 99% will be worth.

Unless you feel like doing something about that, now, chum.

Or, maybe it’s already too late? Is that what you’re thinking? No empathy left?

Too late from so many perspectives. Climate change got you down, chum? Feeling that negativity roll up your neck like the frisson you get from the best of French novels?

And do you think they don’t know it?

Go ahead. Buy that Dow Chemical stock, just one share. Buy one share of as many corporations as you can. The big ones. The smaller ones, too.

FORGET THAT CRYPTOCRAP AND GET INTO THE MARKET, FAST!

But only the ones who do big, important work. Industrial work. Food processing. Manufacturing. Sciencey stuff. Work for the government, especially.

Then start going to their stockholder meetings and reading their annual reports. You’re a stockholder. It’s your right. Then you’ll see.

They know climate change is real. They talk about it.

The implications, the preparations. They even give out press releases. Nobody bothers to read the damn things. You don’t hear about them on FOX News, of course, or CNN, “your best source for news,” but they are there.

Every now and then, HuffPo will post something like “General Mills warns climate change will lead to global food shortages.” Who cares. Not as important as “The Biggest Emmy Snubs and Surprises!!!” which will certainly deflect everyone’s attention. Especially if they hint at showing Emilia Clarke’s boobs.

And definitely buy stocks in the gun manufacturers. They know climate change is coming and they are getting ready for it. Three guesses how.

Let’s see, guess number one?:

“They are planning to dispose of all weapons and start manufacturing wind turbines?”

ENNNNH. And contestant number two?:

“They are going to turn over all their factories to the poor for housing?”

ENNNNH. And what’s behind curtain number three, then?:

“They are going to ramp up R&D and begin manufacturing as many weapons as possible, because they foresee large group violence and even a forthcoming civil war?”

DING DING DING DING DING!!! Hey! Give that man a ceegar! And don’t forget, ever, where the senior executives of the major weapons manufacturers hail from: The Defense Department, where they are privy to the latest government intelligence and analysis.

So, when you hear all these fakers, hypocrites and mendacious dumbasses from Congress saying that climate change is a hoax, and they don’t believe in it, or they swear by the divine word of God as revealed in the Bible that it could never happen…

No. Behind closed doors, when the CSPAN cameras aren’t rolling, they’ve been listening attentively to the Generals and Admirals and the analysts from the NSA and CIA.

This is only one of the several reasons that so many of them are still so hesitant, after all that has happened, and all the pressure that has been placed upon them to DO SOMETHING…that they have still done nothing to control the flow of weapons into the streets.

They have done nothing, serious, about criminal justice reform to keep innocent, non-violent people out of jail.

They have done nothing, serious, to reform economic policy to bring fairness to our tax system, to our health care system.

They think it’s over for the 99%. And they are part of the 1%. Party affiliation? Meaningless. Ideological persuasion? Laughable.

Even the simplest, easiest and soundest of policies, like a free college education, is beyond their capacity to produce.

Why?

In some countries, they even pay students to go to college. Countries so nice, certain recently former Presidents would prefer their people come to live here from there instead of people from those “shithole” countries. You know?

To these assholes in our Congress, the status quo is money in the bank. The future being played out is something they see as inevitable and, Lord help us, even necessary, from their moronic perspective.

How about your perspective, Cubby?

I live in Tennessee (lucky me) and it is an open carry state. So far (lucky me) it isn’t quite as bad as Texas. Meth-crazed armadillos? But they are working on it…

Just passed a law making it possible to buy as many guns as you want, no license, permit or training necessary, and you can carry concealed if you like.

It isn’t as bad as Kentucky where two militia-type guys were just arrested, very much by coincidence/accident, very much about to assassinate a few random Black people on the street trying to start another Civil War. Just because they could. Were they charged with a crime.

NO!!! Why? Open carry!!!

Did the go to jail?

NO!!!

They didn’t shoot anyone for Christ’s sake!!!

I don’t know. It’s getting there. People here in Tennessee are, well, let’s say they are dumber, bless their hearts, and leave it at that. Yes, they let their kids have access to their guns so that every once in a while, some infant kills himself or someone else. That happens everywhere.

But, unlike in Texas, where they march around with long guns slung over their shoulders going to the football game, here it’s just people with small handguns walking into the Wal-Mart, shooting themselves in the foot when the metal detector goes off.

I had that happen once when I was getting my hair cut and ended up getting my beard trimmed. If you know what I mean. I’ve shot guns, of course. I own three BB guns. You have to have some means of self-defense. You never know when a squirrel will go crazy in Tennessee, what with all the meth that gets dumped in toilets around here. Like I said, it hasn’t happened yet, but the police keep warning us about it. And you do have to believe the police.

Watch out for the meth-crazed squirrels.

However, climatologists tell us that one day in the near future, Tennessee is going to become the best place in the United States to live. That’s just before this entire region becomes a desert.

Before that, though, it will be the last decent refuge for people looking to live a “normal” life in these United Schnakes. There will still be plants and animals. Some at least. The rest of the country will be too hot, too dry or under water.

I won’t want to be here, then. Too many people, immigrants all of them, from places like New York and Illinois and California (if there still is any California) most with too many guns, all aimed at each other, and me, if I’m still around. Love them to death, but I won’t want to be here to greet them.

On the other hand, you may well be them. I don’t want you to be armed and dangerous when you get here. Nor do I want you to be shot dead when you arrive. Something important has to happen between now and then for this to be accomplished. And I’m fairly certain that you, not I, are going to have to do it.

You will have to have a great deal of empathy to do it. So will everyone else.

Have you looked up “guns and butter” yet? If not, this is a good time to do so because I’m just about done and I’m not going to explain it.

It’s been a long road from “nature and science” to here, almost 6000 words, and still there is so much more to say. I have no instructions for you. If I did, I’d have followed them myself long ago. You cannot literally fight “the system.” The stupid people with guns always think they can. That’s why they buy so many guns, thinking, “When they come to take our guns, we’ll kill them.”

Really? Do they really think, if the government wanted to take their guns, they would in any fashion be able to stop the government from doing it? Oy.

You are in no better position than them. But you do have something, I hope, better than them, because rather than sheer stupidity and fear you only have fear. That can work to your advantage. You still have some brains.

Dr. Davidson and people like him prove that all the time. You may not be Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk, but, aside from amassing great fortunes, and perhaps one or two other things, if you look at them closely (ewww) you may notice that they aren’t too smart, either. On average. Even in private they might tell you so. (Well, Musk would. When he’s high.).

So, you still have a chance to change the way things are being done and keep them changed or changing. For the better. It has to be for the better, now. Changing things for the worse isn’t going to improve matters much.

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose (“The more things change, the more they stay the same.) Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr said that in the January 1849 issue of his journal Les Guêpes (“The Wasps”). Famous saying, not necessarily true. At least we can hope not.

Sometimes, during those crappy ghetto melodramas they used to have on television, they would play these soda commercials. Watch some of those old soda ads where everybody around the world of all colors and nationalities joined hands and sang the same song.

Okay, Michael Jackson was in them holding kids’ hands and he sometimes had this lascivious look on his face. Whatever.

Don’t be cynical about it. It can actually happen. And don’t put meth in the water. That water is used for the soda, you know. You spill the soda and squirrels drink that spilled soda and all hell breaks loose when the gators eat the squirrels. The gators don’t know anything about the Dalai Lama.

The squirrels? I wouldn’t put it past them…

From Facebook…probably planted by Russian goons.

That’s all I’ve got, folks.

Possessor of Paul Newman eyes. Author of many things straightforward and strange. Some of them appear here. “Women zai shuo ba” as the Mandarin say. Born 2016.

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