Thursday, July 31, 2014

Land of the Free and other Lies

You took civics in high school.  Well, because they made you take civics in high school, but hey.  You know that you live in a democracy where everyone has a vote, the majority rule, and even if you’re born poor in a log cabin with a dirt floor, you can become the President of the United States some day.  And of course you believe this because your teachers, parents and probably even your pastor told you this.  But it’s a lie.

The truth is you are ruled and regulated by a slim minority who decide what they want you to do, and what they don’t want you to do.  This same minority decides things like how much you’ll pay in all kinds of taxes, what you can and can’t say, or hear, even if you can marry the person you love. 

And guess what?  That’s all your fault.  Yup.  Because it is a democracy, and you let the minority do this to you.  How, you ask?  By not voting. 

There are 10 million people in my state of Michigan.  About 75% are registered voters.  That’s pretty much 100% of the people who are eligible to vote.  But it is forecast that next Tuesday, the 5th of August, only 20% of registered voters will show up for the State’s primary election.  So if 51% of the people who vote that day decide something, it would be a little less than eight hundred thousand voters telling ten million residents what they’re going to do.  And that, my friend, is called majority rule. 

Bullshit, you say?  Well, try smoking in a bar in Michigan.  That right was taken away by this exact kind of majority rule a few years ago.  Land of the free.  Uh huh.

Before you toss that off with “It’s only the primary” you should know that a lot of the people who win their primary will be unopposed in the November election.  Also, ballot issues will be given a thumbs up or down next Tuesday.

What?  You say you didn’t even know there was an election next Tuesday?

Thank you very much.


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Kind of True Story

Yes, this really happened.  It was just another ordinary day when you answered the phone.  The voice at the other end explained that she was a doctor; that you had given a blood sample to a donation bank, and now there was someone who needed a kidney, a man who was a perfect match with you.  And so after the procedure you eventually went back to work and he eventually went home, grateful to you for giving him a second chance at life.

But it didn’t end there.  A few months later you took another call, from someone you did know, asking if you’d seen the papers.  The man you helped had killed some people a time ago, and had just been charged.  He was going to trial, and could face the death penalty.

Then you felt like you’d been punched in the stomach.  Was all that sacrifice for nothing?  Endangering your own well being, and your family's, for what?

Well this is a kind of true story.  And it does involve you; and a man who killed a lot of people.  Except the man wasn’t a man, it was a corporation.  And the donation wasn’t a kidney; it was an eleven billion dollar bailout. Your tax dollars.  Our tax dollars.

Now the corporation is going to trial, and the result might be death, the bankruptcy we thought we helped avoid. 

I don’t know about you, but I feel punched in the stomach.