Wednesday June 4, 2014, 12:14 am
Marie Antoinette got a bad rap for the statement “Let them Eat Cake.” The statement was actually made my the wife of Louis XIV, Marie Thérèse. So even if she is the wrong Marie. she still ende3d up a head shorter because of it. The statement itself represents a callous disregard for the suffering of the common people. That disregard is reflected by many in the 1% and the Republican Party represents them. I found a fascinating article analyzing nine questions 1% Republicans use to blame the poor for the suffering that they cause. Here is just one of them.
Wednesday June 4, 2014, 1:50 am
"At some point in any discussion of jobs, someone will drop the nuclear option: cut federal and state benefits and do away with most public assistance. That'll motivate people to find jobs — or starve."
It is ironic, I mean funny but there's nothing even to draw a smile in (except maybe the 2016 elections), that this is their stalwart. And they act as if it is a perfectly reasonable strategy even though history has proven it wrong and so has every republican President since Nixon all of whom have used Keynesian principles to manage difficult times. Kit (and sometimes others) sends wonderful cartoons every week with pithy little sayings on them, all true, that contain facts that can't be denied. Republicans have used these social programs to distract the attention of the people from the massive shift in wealth they have orchestrated in this country over the last 34 years beginning with their deity, Ronnie. Now they don't wish to throw the peasants even a bone to gnaw on whilst they starve and only because a Democrat holds the White House. This bunch were for these things (Cantor and company) until Obama was elected, now they are against them. The only ray of sunshine in there is that the people, according to polling, are no longer buying the crap these obscene imitations of statespersons are selling. Snake oil has gone out of fashion and we have some very good journalists out there keeping those truths before the public and their audience is growing - the lies, half-truths, outright falsifications and contradictions have made it to the cartoonists and I think the people know the truth. The policy track above is insane. Veteran's programs are slashed as are all social programs, to the bone. And the republicans have great outrage that Obama has let this happen. While they refuse to spend $35 billion on Veteran's benefits and try to slide another 300 plus billion to their 1% masters. They've tried to destroy Planned Parenthood which does most of its work in women's health care, not abortion.
They've tried to persuade the country that their version of religion is the only one - ignoring the fact that the people Christ ministered to are the very ones they are trying to drive out of life. Who will do their chores then? They are beyond moral repair, they have to leave public office, they do not even pretend to represent anyone but the 1%. They ignore the history of the French revolution, and others that preceded, which was caused by conditions just like those we see now. As if those events could never come to pass here. Washington will be occupied, as will Wall Street, but if they continue on their present course, it will not be peacefully, not at all. Let THEM eat cake, or Koch. Then crawl back under the rocks they came from. While the rest of us try to save this ecosphere and undo the damage that has been done since Reagan to the body politic. Which is to say all of us who are not the 1% of the world. We're pawns in their game no longer. As my generation has said, we're mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. Let that be the rallying cry for Liberals in 2014 and 2016, take back our government and make it again of the people, by the people and for the people. Nothing less is acceptable. Or decent.
Wednesday June 4, 2014, 3:40 am
They are rich, like cake..or like Koch.. would go a long way at an Occupy rally. (I know I can only eat a very small slice of something TOO rich, myself.) Probably pretty tasty..right down to the recipe..err..genetics! Mmm.. delicious. Though it might put one into diabetic coma. Hmm. Heck, I guess if they'd just eat each other, that would work. I wouldn't mind just having the crumbs for "taste" after. ;)
But seriously, these people are so sad, so full of fear, you have to wonder what happened to them to make them that way...and if that bit isn't genetic after all. Maybe some kind of inbreeding over generations in order to "keep their blood pure and blue" has eliminated the empathy gene. All I know is the world can't take much more of it and I hope as many innocents as possible remain out of harm's way during the process of getting past this BS.
While Marie Antoinette is wrongly cast as the person who uttered those words, some historians will still persist by saying she asked, "Can they not eat cake?" For Marie that would have been her beloved Croissant, a recipe she brought to France from Vienna. If we can see her from different eyes, she was forced to leave home at 14 and marry a child-like man that had no interest in her. Marie Antoinette was born into a life that in no way allowed her to understand or realize the idea of going without any thing. She was however; very interested in the lives of ordinary people and to the purpose of learning about them she had constructed the Queen's Hamlet, a charming village that provided the idea, if not the reality of how the "simple folks" lived. The misunderstanding about who said what and when is either made completely of whole cloth by Rousseau to inflame the potential ire of the peasants or might have been taken from a known quote of the Chinese queen who asked if the peasants had no bread, why didn't they eat meat. This is cobbled together from bits of memory from biographies of Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution. One excellent book: Antonia Fraser, "Marie Antoinette: The Journey".
I do not see that as swerving away from the topic of jobs, fair wages, SNAP and government policies. First, look at the death and destruction in Syria, how and why did all of this happen? If you listen or watch TV media and even most articles, you might think that people had reach a match point with Bashar al-Assad. In fact, many liked him because he protected the various sects of Islam to some extent and he did protect the Christian, Druze and other small sects not of Islam, to some extent. Al Assad is no man of the people and to the best of our intelligence is/was brutal with his people. This was tolerable, people didn't like him but could tolerate him until about 5 years ago. This is where the story is a cautionary tale. The Syrians were hit with 4 to 5 years of continued drought, so badly that farmers had little to harvest, herders lost their sheep and rural folks were forced to the cities to find some kind of work. The response to this from Al Assad? Nothing. Al Assad didn't make the same insulting statements our elected officials make about giving them food and making them lazy, he said nothing. According to the Syrians, those still fighting and those in refugee camps, this is the final insult, the only reason for government is to extent help, even if that help is foreign aid, when people are starving. As best I can find, to this day Al Assad still had not addressed the drought.
I do see some in high positions in our own government that are just a foolish and insensitive to the citizens. Not only is SNAP withheld, any proposal to offer better assistance to our veterans is treated with the same dismissive attitude. Each time we have another natural disaster, we must listen to the House whine about a lack of funds to help those who are now homeless, we know that is not true that we can not afford to offer aid. We know that billions are handed out each year in more and more subsidies and tax breaks to corporations and individuals that have reached a 50 year high in profits.
I was attempting a discussion about increasing the minimum wage with someone that is hard right. The complaint? We the consumers will pay for the higher wages through increased cost at purchase. I do agree, most corporations and owners of private small business will increase prices, however; the prices are increasing anyway without the benefit to society of better paid if not well paid workers. Well paid workers do not do need additional assistance like SNAP, when paid well the millions who are working two jobs can work one job, and the benefit to society? Other than not needing any assistance in the form of government help, they have time to spend with their families and in turn spend more money that adds to the flow of the economy. They are also much better employees, when we are paid well we feel better about who we are and make a greater effort to help build the company in positive ways.
To recap, French royalty, Al Assad and the corporate owned GOP all contribute to the overall misery of the people and in turn both the French royalty and Al Assad have a price to pay. How quickly would Al Assad's government topple without the billion in support from outside governments?
The drought in Syria, the floods in Nebraska last night, hurricane Katrina, hurricane Sandy, increased drilling and use of fossil fuels, all are the real and ugly consequences of unregulated abuse of our environment. Droughts, cyclones and hurricanes, tornadoes and floods are all to be expected in the coming years. Not because they are part of nature, but because we have increased the temperature of the planet making each of these natural disasters more frequent and far more dangerous to life.
Book closed, thanks to those who read this and to TC.
Thanks Gene, it may seem redundant but well said again. Good comments here, I see we all are looking at the same things and drawing the same obvious conclusions. I am often told that I make the choice to not see the villainous Obama for the child eating horror that he is; I see things quite clearly, thank you very much.
Wednesday June 4, 2014, 5:59 am
Thanks for posting, TomCat, and for encouraging us to read the whole Alternet article. It is depressingly true and there's no getting away from this truth and the dark future it predicts.
As I've said before, Americans believe they've kicked out the aristocracy with the British, but the idea behind it never left: the idea that one group of people is superior to all others, that therefore this group is entitled to have it better and to be richer, and that it is its God-given right to be above the law too. The idea never left, or died, and people occupying this niche and claiming these 'entitlements' haven't either. The bankers and the industrialists have claimed this 'philosophy', they were there before the depression in the 30's when inequality nearly matched the current inequality, they are here today. Their aristocratic titles have changed from count to CEO, that is all. And deep down they think of themselves as princes and kings and would like to be emperors.
But they, like their counterparts in Europe, the Middle East and Asia and ... forget the lessons history teaches. Every now and then it is enough and people will not take it any longer and get rid of their current aristocracy as they did in France, Russia, China, Cuba... often in the most bloody fashion, often in the end to replace them by a new aristocracy with a new name and ideology for the plebs, but the same 'philosophy' for those who rule. But the 99% had a chance to be heard, and felt heard, for a short while.
Wednesday June 4, 2014, 8:45 am
Thank you for the skinny on Antoinette. I had it in the back of my mind that someone else said it, but I had no idea who and was too lazy to look it up. The Sun King's queen - it figures! Now there was a 1%er if there ever was one!
It's fascinating how people in history acquire such totally undeserved reputations; sometimes it just happens, sometimes others do it to them deliberately. Richard III was deliberately turned into a monster by Henry VII (Readers Digest version: the two princes were illegitimate because their father had married secretly before he married their mother. That's why Richard became King. When Henry came in, he legitinized them to undercut Richard's claim, then had to get rid of them to support his own.) It works both ways, too. In our own time we have seen it happening with Ronald Reagan. Ugh.
But on topic: this paragraph stood out for me: "But won't higher wages cause higher prices? The way taxpayers functionally subsidize companies paying low-wages to workers -- essentially ponying up the difference between what McDonald's and its ilk pay and what those workers need to live via SNAP and other benefits -- is a hidden cost squirreled away in plain sight. You're already paying higher prices via higher taxes; you just may not know it." And he doesn't even mention the subsidies that go DIRECTLY to the banks that issue the EBT cards for SNAP in the form of transaction fees. Ain't nobody gettin' rich from SNAP except Chase.
Wednesday June 4, 2014, 9:10 am
Thanks for sharing. I am SO sick of the myth that people on food stamps are lazy and mooching off the government. Most of the people on food stamps do not get enough to cover a month of food. I've been there, done that, and skipped many meals because food stamps only covered my kids. People need to be more informed of the actual facts here, and get off their damned pedestals.
Wednesday June 4, 2014, 9:59 am
I would add the 800,000 women in the US who work for Walmart at wages making most eligible for SNAP and Medicaid. Cantor and company fail to note that there are three+ applicants for every job--including at minimum wage. There are no jobs (yes, the GOP campaigned on jobs in 2010 and 2012 and have done nothing that actually creates jobs) for these people--you are intentionally saying you want them to die if you have not created the needed jobs you say they should have (and you expect the disabled and seniors to work as well?)
Wednesday June 4, 2014, 3:59 pm
Actually it wasn't cake in the term we think of cake but was bioche, a form of French bread enriched with eggs and butter that was actually much more expensive to buy than the regular bread that the commoners were able to afford to buy. So if they couldn't buy bread they certainly were unable to purchase bioche.
The do away with social programs and force people into work, jobs that are not even there, is the same way that people were treated back in the UK during the poorhouses and workhouses. Feeling if one did not give anything to the poor they would be forced to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and would do better for themselves.
It didn't work then, it will not work today, one has to have boots to even have straps and many did not even have anything in which was a starter point. One can't create jobs that are not there, and in the past those who were disabled and had no one to take care of them it was just tough luck.
If these are the good ole' days that many of the Republicans would like to return to, I should think a good dose of histoy should be in order. That was not what this Country was founded upon, most left those hell holes of a system for a reason, why would they want to repeat it and set it up here.
Wednesday June 4, 2014, 4:27 pm
Read and Noted. Thanks, TomCat and also to the authors of some very astute comments. Terrie, pitchforks are great, but don't forget torches! And eating the rich will kill you, maybe eat brioche instead? Blessings to all!
Wednesday June 4, 2014, 6:11 pm
It seems as if a real human would care about other's as the Dems do the Repub's and baggers just care about theirselve's not other's as they should. Selfish is what it's called! No humanity at all!
Take food away!!! From children and old folks too!
How many people in their own families; get this benefit??
But They won't tell you that!!!!
And they can sleep at nite???
Thank you TomCat
Wednesday June 4, 2014, 9:22 pm
Yet the Republicans always insist people can work if they will, even thought they are either working for poverty wages or cannot find a job. Someone, I can't remember who, said you can't pull yourself up by your bootstraps if you don't have any.
My back yard is currently flooded by overflow from the drainage ditches. just put down new mulch today, it is floating down the street.
Wednesday June 4, 2014, 10:30 pm
Well said Gene, Kit and others.
George Satayana said "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.".
The last few days, it seems the French Revolution has cropped up in my reading many times. To go into the entire history of the French Revolution is unnecessary here. However it seems that the Republicanus/Teabaggers in the US, and other conservative governments globally, have not learned that treating the average citizen like undeserving vermin is tantamount to buying a one way ticket to the political guillotine.
Cantor and the other conservatives want to cut SNAP thinking that SNAP recipients are lazy and don't want to work. But they fail to realise, or maybe they do realise but choose not to acknowledge, that a large percentage of the people on SNAP, excluding children, the elderly, and the disabled, are actually working full time but their wages are so low that they cannot afford the necessities of life. IMO (humble or not), the government should stop tax breaks and subsidies to large corporations and instead, bill them for the amount of SNAP funds etc that it doles out to their employees.
Let the Republicanus/Teabaggers and the 1% eat stone soup!
Wednesday June 4, 2014, 10:38 pm
The rich don't care. And if there was a fresh, new country for poor immigrant families to go to, one where if you work hard you can own a little land and feed your family, I am sure a lot of Americans would be hopping on boats to get to it. Most of us thought we were born into that country, our ancestors having fought, many dying, for the freedom from such tyranny, but it really didn't take long for the rich to take back control, did it?
I have a friend on food stamps. She's 100% disabled. She receives about $750.00 a month in Social Security and she doesn't even get $150.00 a month in food stamps. She's closing in on 60 years of age. Even if she could try to work, who would hire her?
The wealth of the rich is expanding about as fast as the cost of living for the 99% is going up. Every time I go to the grocery store it costs more for nearly every single item I buy. They just keep inching up their profits. They will never be satisfied. Now, it is as if they are competing with each other to see who can get the richest. They are disgusting.
Thursday June 5, 2014, 1:13 am
Why is it I always get the impression that the Koch brothers were a really bad porn act from the 1970s that were too ugly, too hairy and their films were traumatic to every one a bit like an Adam Sandler film or one of those so called comedy films. So the title "let them eat Koch" just sounds like one of their films the one that makes Deep throat seem like a cinematic masterpiece and well with porn they just write themselves. The idea that the Koch brothers in touch with reality or particularly care about their fellow humans because they sort of lack basic humanity. I am getting the impression that there is either a sharpened stake ready for their dark hearts or that they will be next bringing out the hordes of the unthinking undead to do their dark bidding a bit like the Tea Party without the ideology and a penchant for eating brains.
Thursday June 5, 2014, 6:21 am
LMAO Louise.....porn act.....LMAO I don't even wanna visualize that.....
When I say 'eat the rich' I don't mean literally (ok, in worst case scenario I am not kidding but that involves Climate Change, wars for resources, etc not on topic at the moment here) I mean strip them of everything they own, everything they have, everything they are...to the bone....let them liove as we do or as the very least among us in this so-called society. Turn the tables, literally, on them. See how long they last, see how long they can survive. Karma.
Oh, I have much, much more than pitchforks and torches at my disposal. :)