Donald J. Trump said in his address that we will become a "nation of miracles," to which almost all of Congress went clapping like some big swarm of Zika-infested mosquitoes were going at them. And I say, keep on clapping -- if it makes you feel real. There is no harm. Just please don't put this belief in a song.
In the proper newspeak of today, we are facing a nation that gives completely different new meanings to words. They sound familiar, but they mean something different - or nothing at all. "Believe me."
President Donald J. Trump used the following terms in his address to that joint session of Congress: "will get rid of criminal cartels," "will break the cycle of poverty," "cycle of violence," and some other day he used "merit-based immigration." Some of these are just empty words, figures of speech and idioms that are just expected to be out there; and in some other cases they are a means of distraction; and sometimes they are the hard truth.
It goes like this: Someone brings up infrastructure, and the politicians say, "Yes, but let's look at the problem of transgender bathrooms first." Someone brings up health care, and the politicians say, "Yes, big problem -- but let's talk about abortion and birth control and Planned Parenthood." Someone brings up any peace process, and the politicians say, "Yes, very important, two-state solution" and "fake news." Someone brings up military spending and the politicians say, "Yes, thank you for keeping us safe and fighting for us, we need to pray for the heroes." Someone brings up war, refugees or immigration and the politicians say, "Yes, we need to win against all terrorists" and/or "Russians"."
Even Bernie Sanders on Facebook:"Republicans in Congress are returning to their old obsession of trying to defund Planned Parenthood. Let's be clear. Republicans’ plan to repeal Obamacare has nothing to do with improving health care. They want to defund Planned Parenthood simply because it provides abortions, even though that is a constitutional right. Their repeal of Obamacare would make patients unable to use Medicaid coverage at Planned Parenthood. This directly hurts low-income women, who are the biggest beneficiaries of Planned Parenthood's health care. Four out of five of those who benefit are at or below 150% of the poverty line. Our job: Fight back. Do not allow Republicans to hurt millions of women with their extreme right-wing agenda."
Let's be clear. People went berserk. One of the better specimens: "The billionaires have to realize that when tax payers begin to die at alarming rates due to the unavailability of health care, their profits will begin to diminish as a direct result of this" ...someone wrote in a Facebook reaction on this Planned Parenthood "distraction debate." The reaction of most of the people were rantings and ravings about Planned Parenthood and abortions. So instead of going directly to the point (as the one prime specimen above) of the one root cause of the whole problem - the idiotic USA system of private heathcare - the debate went into partisan yelling about abortion and birth control and federal money for Planned Parenthood abortions. And then there was even more and more distractions that the people created for themselves.
(Let's leave out that no-one should think for a minute that the billionaires are such idiots. They know that people can be replaced in today's overpopulated world, that is why there is so much talk about "merit based immigration" for a while now. The whole system is horrible and is set to exploit people the same way over and over and discard them when they are not needed any more. It is also set to put downward pressure on wages by an endless influx into the workforce of new workers.)
Now just take the example of your taxes. President Trump wants to lower taxes and -- hand in hand with private enterprise -- fix the crumbling infrastructure. The infrastructure needs it. That is good and bad - the tax iteself and any increase is just more means of creating available workforce. One doesn't pull money out of thin air and one must pay taxes so that things will work. Like water. Like sewers. Like roads and bridges and so on. A balanced system in which the monies collected are effectively used for the purpose they were collected for does promote a positive business environment and does increase the tax base which leads to even more public infrastructure and lower costs for all of us. It is kind of like the life cycle of a plant.
But why go into public-private partnerships? It is, again, to privatize the profits and socialize the losses. I am afraid it is the same old song. The public infrastructure - one of the most valuable assets out there -- is one of the last things out there that is still up for grabs. The politicians will say: "we have to increase efficiency." That is done by "renting" out that public infrastructure to a private entity who will "manage" it for all of us, because there is this crazy assumption that they are extremely qualified to do that - being a "business." The outcome is that the infrastructure upkeep is the same or worse than if it just stayed public and the price of your services has to rise to satisfy that private partner and his shareholders and management. The politicians get either outright bribes or maybe a contribution for their re-election fund or some other form of compensation, like employment for their family member or friend.
After seeing this trend all over the world, I dream of a world where public infrastructure remains public. Where can this lead? There must be some middle road. As someone who experienced an oppressive centralized Communist regime and the exploitative capitalist system -- both of which, in my opinion, create despair and nihilism -- I am wondering if there is even the remote possibility of some middle-of-the-road, neutral society where one does not want to "win" at all times and at all costs (and/or determine other people's lives so much). As my wife aptly said: "All problems are soluble -- just drop them in water. And, as an added bonus, the sodium-based problems will even explode."
(c) dusan palka 2017