The Word of the President

I’ll take a pause in my investigation of the Bible- the Word of Man- and dip my toe back into the world of politics. Yet, I wonder if I can string a thin thread back to the Bible and/or to the Israelites as I wade into the brackish waters of politics. The tether is community. The story of the Jews in the Bible is one of constant struggle in an attempt to bring The People together in a unified land, in a unified community. Although that early community was by no means a democracy in the sense of the word today, there was a common mutuality among the citizens.

In his 3rd State of the Union speech last evening, President Obama called for a similar common mutuality among the citizens of our nation. It is obvious and one does not need a graph to see that there is a huge bulge of wealth concentrated in a very few members of this society. The rich, as in Monopoly,  continue to collect more “Go” money while the other players on the board are immersed in mortgage problems with their houses, needing more and more money from the Bank to continue on with the ‘game.’

Were this a pinball game, the word tilt would appear on the board. The lower 90% are suffocating under the pomposity of the uber rich. When has this nation last been so tilted in economic inequality? Further, when has one political party so rabidly defended the status quo?

Two ‘grassroots’ movements in the past few years raised the issue of inequality. To be accurate, the Tea Party movement was not grassroots but rather a concocted turf-grass scheme. Yet the Occupy Movement honestly brought the issue to the attention of The People of this nation. In last night’s SOU address, President Obama took the torch from that movement and proposed that The People amend the tax code to make it more fair for all of our citizens. In other words, the President asked for a more mutual commonality among the citizens.  Rather than favoring one segment, the President hopes that Congress will adjust the tax code and remove the perks that have been enacted to benefit those of greater affluence so that the tax code of this nation reflects the common mutuality of The People of our nation.

The political red herring, ‘class warfare’ has been injected into this current conundrum as to muddy the waters and hide the reality of an unjust tax burden upon ‘the many.’ Propagandists began shouting ‘foul’ even before the President delivered his words on this subject, hoping to mute and obscure the obvious inequality of our tax code. No doubt all day long, the professional propagandists on right-wing media will continue the obfuscation and confusion.  Sadly, many blue collar Republicans will absorb the propaganda and begin repeating the nonsense, even though they themselves are unjustly punished by the tax laws they defend. There is no logic to it at all; don’t bother to look for logic here.

So here we are, the day after. The angry shouts, the propaganda, the confusion falls like a miasmic fog over The People. Some will ‘believe’ the spin and will join turf-grass movements to defend the status quo, even though they are mules pulling the wagon of gold ore towards the owner’s mansion.

Others will rise above the din and move to demand a more fair, more mutual tax sacrifice for all of The People of our nation. As the Jews pulled together after they at last settled into a community, our nation needs remember our common mutuality some 3000 years later.


24 thoughts on “The Word of the President

  1. “…..the other players on the board are immersed in mortgage problems with their houses, needing more and more money from the Bank to continue on with the ‘game.’”

    It seems to me that last night Obama suggested that since foreclosure
    is a serious problem holding the economy back, the Federal Government
    ought to bail all these foreclosures out. Certainly, you don’t believe for the
    sake of “community” the government ought to liquidate all these foreclosed
    homes and businesses with our tax payer money?

    1. Liquidate? I don’t believe that this was the president’s term.Here’s what he said:

      That’s why I’m sending this Congress a plan that gives every responsible homeowner the chance to save about $3,000 a year on their mortgage, by refinancing at historically low interest rates. No more red tape. No more runaround from the banks. A small fee on the largest financial institutions will ensure that it won’t add to the deficit, and will give banks that were rescued by taxpayers a chance to repay a deficit of trust.

        1. Makes too much sense. The naysayers won’t have any of it

          Yes, the naysayers as well as the professional right-wing media will blather about it, but the real test is when will the blue collar Republicans and the so-called Reagan Democrats at last figure our that they have been duped for years, believing the crap about trickle down? I mean, just how thick-skulled are they? Maybe it is because they don’t WAN’T to believe that they’ve been fooled all of these years?

      1. Where’s my savings on my mortgage for playing by the rules. I see, we
        can take it in the shorts for all those people that damn well knew that they
        did not have the income to own these homes. They now come and say,
        “poor is me, I am too dumb to read the mortgage papers, and I didn’t
        know that on $25,000 a year i couldn’t buy a $250,000 plus home.” Of
        course, the banks enabled it as well, but one person’s blame doesn’t
        excuse another person’s blame. And, who enabled WS to do this, maybe
        CRA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac.

        M_R, do you really think the AGs of NY, MA, CA and VP Joe Biden’s son,
        the AG of Delaware are lying when they say it is a bad deal, that is,
        what I have explained many times over here. Finally, all the President
        does in his STOU Address is to give general outlines…As we all know, the
        devil is in the details. I remember a previous post of yours that challenged
        us to give some examples of what the government is doing that we hear
        nothing about. I gave some then, and here is another now. Have you
        checked the lead I gave you at Huffington Post concerning the removal
        of the NY AG for thwrating the Obama Administration’s desire to settle
        these $350 + or – Billion foreclosed properties. Have you goggled it? I
        know that you are better on the computer than I.

        Moreover, M_R, while Sepp was still permitted to comment, there was a
        lot of discussion over Freddie Mack and Franny Mae. At that time, which
        pre-dates the firing of the NYAG, I wrote from my research that there are
        three ways to end the foreclosure failures: 1) the banks pay it all, 2)
        Government pays it all, or 3) WS and the Government shares the cost.
        There is a fourth and that is let the people lose all their homes. That was
        then, and it is still apparently viable for the GOP candidates, as I think the remaining four take that position. Now, that is a good position position for
        them in the reactionary GOP Presidential candidate nomination as they
        need that block to win, but it is a stupid position in the long run because
        if all these millions of foreclosures are dumped onto the market all home
        values will sharply fall, home construction will cease, credit will be next
        to impossible to attain, homelessness will increase, and there will be
        more people for “the food stamp President.” Therefore, my friend, a deal
        has to be made that will not put all this onto the backs of the 90 percenters, dont you see? For us the middleclass, we cannot permit Obama and
        Geithner to cancel these foreclosures for $17-30Billion . The AGs must
        have the right to sue WS for the fraud that was committed. This is what
        Occupy Wall Street is all about. If we let a “secret” Obama-Geithner-Bernacke-Congress bailout WS of the fraud they committed, I mean in
        many of the loans the papers were not even signed, we have failed.
        Do you know a reason why it is taking so long to settle this problem?
        It’s four years now, and the reason is to give WS time to CYA itself. The
        papers are being signed now after the fact! Indeed, Obama should have
        asked for his Attorney General’s resignation months ago. And, that goes
        for Gaithner and Bernacke as well.

        BTW, M_R, I am sure you know why only generalities were presented in
        the SOTU, as this is an election year and not much of anything will get

      2. “Liquidate”

        Did I say it was the President’s term? Please don’t put words in my mouth. I said that to you, M_R. I asked you, “Certainly, YOU (emphasis mine) don’t believe for the
        sake of “community” the government ought to liquidate all these foreclosed
        homes and businesses with our tax payer money?”

  2. I found Northwest’s comment amusing, and probably in a sense, too tragically true. Americans do not seem to want to have to deal with complicated detail heavy reasoning and logic when they can have their jingo and donuts washed down with sugar heavy amphetamine laced testosterone coated sound bytes.
    To contrast this, right now in France on major network TV, The Socialist Presidential Candidate, Francois Hollande is being grilled in a 2 hour program by a panel of economists, political reporters and then debating the current UMP Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alan Juppe. Juppe is probably the most intelligent and reasonable person in the current administration who served as Prime Minister under Chirac.
    There is no studio audience peanut section to provide distraction.
    I’m trying to watch it, my wife is helping me with the translation, because I need help in situations like this. Conversational, technical argumentative french can easily elude my little brains ability to translate at normal speed.
    But, I can’t help but wonder how any candidate could manage this in America, let alone the public ability to watch it.
    For the record, Hollande is doing very well. I wouldn’t be surprised if his polling jumped a few points because of this program. I’m so cynical about the political games and I realize how volatile things can be, but at this point in time, Hollande is polling 60% to Sarkozy’s 40% if the second tour of the election was held today.

  3. ” the Occupy Movement ”

    Over the Christmas Holidays my wife and I spent some time with the New York
    Occupy Movement. In fact, it was Sunday, Christmas Day! It was a blustery,
    chilly day at Zucotti Park, the center of the Occupy Wall Street Movement.
    We took a bus from Mid-Town Manhattan down to the Park and got off at
    the NY Police Department Headquarters. The Park was basicaly deserted
    and fenced off with those iron/steel blockades around the entire perimeter
    of the Park. Police were on the inside and the outside of the barricades
    patrolling. We introduced ourselves to one officer, a man probably in his
    early 50s. He was dressed in a police earflap hat, heavy coat, and scarf.
    It’s not far off the River and the wind was cutting the cold air through him
    and us. He seemed happy that we stopped to talk with him as talking and
    movement warmed us all up some, and the conversation let us forget how
    raw it was just standing there. We asked why all the police activity and
    the barricades. He said the Mayor ordered it. When asked if there was
    always this much police presenence, he said no. The next obvious
    question then was, why today? He said, well we have heard that there is
    going to be a demonstration later today and they are going to try and
    re-occupy the Park. Oh, Boy, I thought, we have to be here for it. I then
    asked him what did he think about running the Occupiers out. He said
    that he wouldn’t have. So why did the police…we were ordered to, why
    did some police use excessive force…they got carried away, but many of
    us are not like that, but this is our job and we have to do what the mayor
    tells us to do….Why did the mayor tell the police to do that…it is all
    political he said…what do you mean by that….well, its money, this is Wall
    Street and they have power…and I said, the mayor is a billionaire..and
    he said yes the mayor is and its all political.

    That was all impromtu, nothing planned, much to my chagrin now. Wish I had
    planned it out ahead of time, but little did I know that we would have an
    opportunity to talk with an officer. We then walked around the barriers
    and moved up a block to the other end of the Park. There we saw a man
    with a sign on the inside of the barracades walking back and forth, the width
    of the Park is pretty narrow. I took some pictures and asked him why was
    he out there on such a cold day. He replied that because of what went
    on the tall buildings surrounding this park many people were cold on this
    Christmas Day.

    We were cold and now needed to warm up before trying to locate our bus
    back to the hotel. I asked another officer where could we get some coffee.
    He said that there was a McDonald’s just up the street. We found it, it was
    packed, and my wife located a table as I went for the coffee. When I find her,
    she is locked in conversation with this young woman who is a member of
    the Occupy Wall Street. She looked very cold, so I went and got her a cup
    of coffee, and by the time I return, a couple more had come in. (Now, get this. This is a McDonalds that has an upper loft overlooking the main floor on
    which we were seated. In the loft is a piano and a woman had just climbed
    a ladder up into the loft. She played and sang! (McDonalds-New York City).
    Pretty soon, as we continued to talk with 3 Wall Street Protestors, others
    started to mill and stand around our tables, all Wall Street Protestors. Gawd,
    I was in the middle of it, couldn’t believe it. What impressed us was the courtesy and friendliness of the group. Well, it turns one of the men in the
    3 was a “leader”, young, 30, well educated. He was telling us that it was
    difficult with Winter and the actions of the Mayor, but that they were
    committed. His main point to us was that the politicians caused this
    income inequality and that they all had to be removed from office. However,
    he was quick to say that they have no program, as I asked him about that.
    He said that this is what is so hard for the media to understand, that every one
    wants them to have a platform and he said that is not the intent. The intent
    is to make people aware of the depth of the problem. The other point he
    make to us was the lack of media attention, except when there is a
    demonstration and that even at that time the media was not covering. In NYC
    media from all over the world is available. It was on our hotel TV. Anyway,
    he said that the two channels which gave good coverage was RT = Russian
    Television and the Arab channel, al-Jaherzz(well you know). We were then
    invited to join them later that afternoon for a Christmas buffet for the poor in
    the area. Of course, they were interested in hearing about our Occupy
    Jackson group, and that he had been in touch with the Jackson group through
    face book. However, we had to go and wished them well. Who would have
    thought! My revolutionary soul was re kindled, lol! I would have liked to have
    gone to the buffet, but the wife was afraid of what might happen. Can you
    believe I was so excited with the conversation that I forgot to take pictures?
    I guess this revolutionary work is for the young. Sigh!

    The question I have is has President Obama, who according to this POST has
    accepted the torch of the Occupier Movement, been to Zucotti Park? He has
    been to Wall Street recently for a $35,000 a plate fund raising dinner, but
    where is the visit to Wall Street? Until he presses the flesh of Wall Street
    Occupiers, he has no claim of accepting anything from this group. At least, I
    can give former President Nixon credit when one night against all the protests
    of the Secret Service he went to the Lincoln Memorial and walked among
    the VietNam War protestors, shaking their hands and asking why were theydoing this. What is preventing this President from doing something similiar?

  4. Of course, you have people such as Warren Buffet and Bill Gates who say they are not taxed enough. Yet, we have the super rich who wish to keep more of their money.

    It’s unfair for someone who actually works for a living to pay more taxes than a billionaire or large company.

    I should add that the occupy movement was truly grass roots, yet there have been attempts to discredit it.

    1. Very true, Laci. Including the President of the United States who has
      attempted to avoid the Occupy Movement with a 10 foot pole.

      This was another point that the people at McDonalds made to us was how
      disappointed they were in the President’s response. He told me that while
      they had support on site from labor organizations and health care
      professionals, including the nurses, there was nothing coming from the
      White House. What was it that FDR said when Wall Street opposed him?
      It was something like, “I welcome their hatred!” Instead this Democratic
      President goes to Wall Street and sits down with them for a $35,000 a place
      fund raiser. Tells us something right there, doesn’t it Laci…..

        1. He’s no FDR! He, or his handlers, are afraid what it will cost him in November. Fear has paralyzed a very promising Presidency. Don’t
          you think the President has moved right of center? He doesn’t even
          reference his big legislative programs for the coming election…What does
          he center on? The bailout of GM and Chrysler and the killing of bin Laden.
          He mentioned the payroll tax cut in the SOTU which is nothing but a
          gimmick. What is the average tax saving for a MC family, $30? Now, ask
          yourself why do we have a payroll deduction in the first place? To pay
          for programs and since we are suspending the payments into programs it
          only increases the debt. Where are the jobs? Since he is big on Executive
          Orders, let him Order that tomorrow all Federal vehicles have to run on
          natural gas. And, don’t give me back about the environment and contamination of the water supply. In this case we are talking about the
          already capped natural gas; there is no need to drill for more at this time.
          Moreover, just think of the talking point it would give him to the House and
          Boehner. When the Sup. Ct issued the school desegration case in 1954,
          President Eisenhower was angry and remarked, “now let the Sup. Ct.
          enforce it.” But he had to and did. Now, take the Executive Order for
          natural gas, it’s one thing to issue the order, its another to implement it.
          So, Boehner can say no money, but in the end he has to deliver. If
          Boehner didn’t, it would doom the GOP in November. Therefore, with just
          this Executive Order President Obama starts to create hundreds of thousands of good paying jobs and forces Boehner and O’Connell to
          pay up for it. Game over. President wins!

          1. And, let me throw back a question to you. Why can’t President Obama
            follow the example of President Nixon and go down, as my wife and I did,
            and press the flesh?

            You know, this reminds me of what committment is. There is a story about a pig and chicken. At breakfast our plate has a couple of eggs on it and
            a nice ham steak. Now, which animal was more committed in providing
            that breakfast, the chicken who laid an egg and walked on or the pig
            who gave its life for the man? Let’s ask that about the question over
            which President is more committed to fairness as the President said in
            the SOTU. FDR with his New Deal and program after program that
            made the American Dream possible and Truman with his Fair Deal (notice
            the word “FAIR”) who solidified the New Deal and brought peacetime
            prosperity to the United States with the G I Bill or the Education Bills or
            Obama who has given little more than recent lip service to fairness.
            The President makes fine speeches, but where are the results? Any
            rise in popularity that he has now is not because of any legislative
            program as a New Deal or the Fair Deal, and let me add here the Great
            Society of LBJ which LBJ did in roughly 2 years, but because the GOP
            contenders are so weak and disunited. Obama looks and sounds
            Presidential is a sorry comment for a person to run on…..

            1. Why can’t President Obama
              follow the example of President Nixon

              Well, because this is 2012, not 1972. You know, UptheFlag, that Nixon would never have been invited to the 2012 GOP Presidential Debates because he was much too liberal- a RINO, in fact, according to the clutch of right-wingers now holding the once-Grand Old Party hostage.

          2. Don’t
            you think the President has moved right of center?

            Moved? It was a short few steps from the place he has been leading from. He was never a ‘leftist’ and clearly not a ‘socialist’ as the right-wing claim. He, like Clinton, know that The People represent a center to center-right philosophy. His greatest ‘sin’ according to the right-wing is the Affordable Health Care Act, aka Obamacare. Is this legislation ‘socialist?’ Hardly, laugh, laugh. What other ‘liberal’ pieces of legislation did he promote?

            You, yourself go on to prove that he’s no leftist. Would a left-of center candidate ever win re-election in this poisoned political landscape? Take off your Idealistic Hat, my friend, and open your eyes to the political reality facing Obama.

            1. I would rather be a little idealistic, which I don’t think that I am, than being
              a pessimist. I believe that you have posted and commented more than
              once that you see no hope. Is that the reason that you have turned to
              writing on religion? I think that I have some realism based in my comments. The problem seems to be that you don’t want to discuss the
              realism of United States politics and you have retreated to the security
              of a religious sanctuary. Religion is a given in U.S. political life. We
              understand its influence. But, to try and draw parallels between a highly
              civilized society as the United States and nomadic tribes in 2000 B.C. or
              1500 B.C. or 1200 B.C. is unreal. There was no state of Israel until
              1948 and only because the U.S. said so. Dean Acheson, the Sec. of
              State under Truman said, “let them fight it out over there. they have been
              fighting for 5000 years.” And, here is that connection between religion and
              politics. It’s 1948 and Truman is facing a Presidential election, his first,
              and he is extremely unpopular, and the Republicans seemed assured of
              victory. Truman’s support of an Israeli state then solidifies the Jewish vote
              for Truman. Let’s get about discussing real problems in the U.S. today and
              not century old problems over in Palestine.

        1. I’m gonna make an appointment to see bullworth tomorrow night on line…it’s a film I always wanted to see but never actually got around to seeing…thanks for the inspiration.

    2. yet there have been attempts to discredit it.

      The discredit comes from, naturally, the people who cut the turf grass for the Tea Party. And the latter set of knuckleheads no doubt still ‘believe’ the shit propaganda that their small minds absorbed like a dry sponge.

  5. Hello Uptheflag,
    First off thanks for stopping by my site and I loved the posting passing on your first hand experiences in New York with the OWS folks. I wish I could have been there with you. I have always loved NY when I have been there the several times over the years in my life.

    1. I Love NY! I lived in lower manhattan for over 25 years. I am psychically still in NYC. I have been involved with Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Toledo since their inception. I am still a registered NYC voter and vote in every election.

    2. Ah, Engineer, you are being so political, lol. My wife and I have decided
      that NYC is a different world, well, at least to a middleclass family from
      the hinterland. The whole pace is different..It’s all hurry. My wife says,
      “there is no time to smell the roses.” Moreove, there is so much more
      diviersity which creates a much broader attitude, it seems. There is so
      much differentiation in NYC. There are the cab drivers and the bus drivers,
      the chaos at the entrances to the major hotels, the restaurants and the
      delis, the wealth and the poor. English but I understand there are over 100
      languages spoken in the City. The governmental institutions from the U.N. to
      city hall to the State to the Port Authority. The shopping areas from Macy’s
      to Tiffany’s and Saks, and the plethora of specialty shops. Then, there is
      the theatre district of which we took in three plays. The hugh number of
      museums, public and private. The New York Public Library which is not
      public at all; it’s private. The New York Historical Society is just amazing,
      as is the Museum of Natural History, no creationism there, lol! The only
      downside on this trip was the hugh number of people on the streets and
      the places of interest we wanted to go. The crowds were so enormous at
      the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art it was
      difficult to enjoy, you know. Yet, you stand in awe at the number of Rembrandts, Monet, Van Goth, and others who are there in one place and
      freely available to the public. When I think about what school children have
      in Toledo, Jackson, and elsewhere compared to the treasure trove in NYC
      there is no comparison. The rest of the country operates in a deficit.

  6. Uptheflag,
    Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rembrandts, Monet, Van Goth,…you are a cultured man that would mesh well with my artistic soul. Yes New York City is a culture shock to many but you also have to take into account that you were there at one of the city’s business times. It does settle down some during the off seasons.

    I also appreciate the fact as I live here on a Mid-Atlantic Peninsula, “The rest of the country operates in a deficit.”

    Good Postings All

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