We need to look at the problems of inequality, evictions and the crushing of low wage workers as crises of opportunity. We could continue along our current path with low wages, difficult to obtain mental health treatment, pitiful SSI benefits and exploitation by payday lenders, storage facilities and unscrupulous landlords. Or we could try fixing the system. The book Evicted suggests expanding the housing voucher program while at th same time prevent landlords from overcharging people the way they currently do.
Bernie Sanders and many low wage workers have raised the demand for a $15 per hour minimum wage. As I was driving downtown on our horrible main street, I wished that repaving our roads could be expanded to create more jobs. I wished that lead pipes could be removed the same way Madison, Wisconsin did it. That would create jobs.
I wish that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau would begin stricter regulation of unfair lending practices. I wish that corporate wealth could be reined in and excess profits could be used for the common good. I wish for a lot of things that I am being told aren’t realistic. And that in the immediate future what will probably happen is the military get all the money it wants and spend most of it trying to fight terrorism. But the real face of terrorism is the crushing of our spirits by poverty, evictions and exploitation. We need a political revolution.
On facebook I saw that one of my friends had posted a photo of his fraudulency George Busy with a couple of his recent paintings of dogs. I asked why there were no pictures of dead soldiers. A woman responded that she thought my comment was in poor taste, Bush had done the best that he could and the soldiers were volunteers. I told her that apparently she had slept during the exposes of the Iraq war that showed Bush had ignored evidence that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq even before launching the invasion. Furthermore, Bush had blundered his way into two wars without adequate preparation and in the process turned the Clinton era budget surplus into a deficit. A couple of days ago there was a report by the Inspector General about the waste of money on the reconstruction of Iraq.Money down the drain lost through waste, fraud and abuse.
One person commenting on Bush said that his worst mistake was putting Donald Rumsfeld in charge as secretary of Defense. There were plenty of memorable moments in which Rumsfeld dodged questions about his ineptitude, changed his responses about what the phantom weapons would be found and failed to apologize for not providing the troops with the right gear to carry out their misguided mission. Almost as horrible as Rumsfeld was Condi Rice of the “mushroom cloud” comment implying that Iraq was rapidly pursuing a nuclear weapon, which she knew to be false. And I have never forgiven Colin Powell for his lies of mass distraction at the United Nations laying out the case for war. Nor have I forgotten the Fawning Commercial Media for going along with this farce, embedding their so-called journalists with the troops and not pursuing the truth.
And so we ask, in 2013, who will paint the faces of the dead? It will be a huge canvas stretching across many nations and having no end in sight. President Obama risks being one of the co-artists the longer we continue to occupy Iraq and Afghanistan. This is not about the bad paintings of a faux president. It’s about saving lives from the next war.