Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Ukraine Musings

It was difficult not to want to cheer.

After the thugs in office had hired fellow thugs off the street to kill Ukrainian citizens for exercising that right to free assembly that is guaranteed to Americans in our Constitution (and which right is therefore not given any value by Americans) had put bullets into the heads and hearts of too many brave Ukrainians, the situation suddenly changed.

The European Union had negotiated something.

But it was something that left the thugs in office in office.

It left them in office for not very long – perhaps – but for long enough for anyone with any sense to see that those thugs would have time to conjure some bogus deal that the EU might accept.

At least that is what I thought.

But I am an American and by that birthright I am totally ignorant of things of the world.

So I was thinking wrongly.

As evidence of that wrong thinking, on the morning after that EU deal had been promulgated, I got in my car in Portland, turned on the radio to listen on my way back to Seattle, and discovered that those citizens in the streets had gotten – after all, after the bullets in the heads and hearts - what they wanted.

Viktor Yanukovych was out.

The people had won.

At least for a time.

That caused me to wonder why we Americans put up with a system at least as corrupt as that of Viktor and his fellow thugs.

Our leaders are all bought.

Our House of Representatives is a joke.

Our President is a passive presence.

Our Senate is nothing but a hall of bombast and bullshit.

The Supreme Court is working toward returning all but the wealthiest of Americans to a status that can only be called serfdom.

Our police forces seem to have a singular license to kill unarmed black men for little or no reason.

And those governmental components, as bad as they are, don’t really even matter:

Elections in many parts of the country are unnervingly similar to those of the bad old days of the Jim Crow South.  It is extremely difficult in those places for any but a white – mostly male – minority to vote.

There is an anointed by god group who have the power to keep a law on the books that makes it a crime for people – mostly not white – to exercise their human right to move from a bad to a better place.  That law makes it possible for the god anointed to point to those people as criminals.

And the Kochs call the shots.

At least they call a lot of them.

And the Kochs are probably a benign influence in the American system compared to the Lobby Industry.

Anything that is obviously a good thing will not – cannot – happen in America because of the lobbies.

Look into the meat industry just for instance: Tyson (Arkansas) has nearly cornered the world market on pork and chicken and is turning the screws on price.

They would not be able to have the control of the end game that they do if it weren’t for lobbyists – money, money money, money.

All paid to the right people in just the right doses.

All paid to the people that we elect to represent us. But since so many of us lack the franchise it probably doesn’t matter.  But what if it did?

And Tyson is only one company.

It has achieved monopoly power in only one industry – the center (as they call it) of our plate.

That drives a question.

How many thousands of others are there?

Just look at a catalogue of American Industry and you will know the answer to that question.

So here is another question: why aren’t we in the streets like the Ukrainians?

“Just stupid” I thought I heard someone say.

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