Total Pageviews

Popular Posts

Monday, November 26, 2012


'Entitled' is on my mind today. Especially concerning those who really act that way and who project that  beauty-full addytood (as we say in the Philly area) onto others who, more likely than not, don't really share the 'entitled' attitude with those who were born on third base and never cease trying to convince themselves they hit a triple! Trumpty Dumpty might be the outstanding example of such creatures, along with the Mittster.
Some months ago, Newark mayor Cory Booker learned whether he can last a week on a SNAP allotment--you know, the one which gives people $4.30 a day to keep from starving. He seems to be a smart man and as such he's surely learned that SNAP ain't no hammock, by a long stretch! I could wish slavecatcher Limbaugh, Beck the simian, Hannity and O'Reilly the barstool pontificators and all the rotten Republican politicians they've supported would do the same but I think none of them would last even a day on the current allotment. Now would anyone care to tell me how much entitlement that program, along with WIC, TANF and Medicaid is likely to foster? If anyone on these programs feel 'entitled', it's likely those who had jobs till recently and who paid into the social-insurance system, such as it is, while they worked. And under such circumstances, feeling entitled may be a saving grace unless Rush, Trumpty, Mitt et al. want such unfortunate people to die of shame. Perhaps it is what they want; I put little past them.
Not every rich person shares the 'entitled' feeling by any means: an increasing number have joined the Patriotic Millionaires' club and now lobby the government to raise their taxes because they're smart enough to know their own stake in a flourishing and expanding middle class. These people know that the better off more of us are, the better off they are too and are champing to pony up to that end. Some wealthy families have learned to act with the sense of noblesse oblige and public service behooving those born to the 'purple'. They don't share the sense of 'entitlement'. Neither do those who have become wealthy through success as inventors or artists for the most part. Here I return to an earlier post I wrote about real and counterfeit elite members: those who are members of the real elite think of themselves still as scientists and/or artists, as opposed to being Wealthy People.
One needn't be born wealthy either to share the sense of 'entitlement'. If I'm not mistaken, many a hedge-fund traitor (deliberate!) wasn't born wealthy. Neither was John Schlatter, aka Papa John and maker of bad pizza, or whatever that fellow's name in Florida who's building a replica of the Versailles palace. But I've heard he started out as a scam artist. It would seem that those who weren't born wealthy but share their feeling of entitlement are those who become rich either by means of franchises OR by selling things with no real substance to them--i.e., all the paper snake-oil Wall Street's been selling for at least the last ten years! And for them (if not necessarily for the Trumps, Romneys et al.) the feeling of 'entitlement' might well be as much a cover for how very un-entitled these pirates (I include the rightwing fear-merchants in this gang) know themselves to be! And since they've been so damnably (literally) good at getting something for nothing themselves, they resent anyone else getting even a pittance! People, if we've been listening to this lot I think at least some time spent in sackcloth and ashes is warranted for us!
Now is the time to repair and renovate our infrastructure, including speeding the switch to clean and renewable energies and ensuring a level educational playing field for real. The Bourbon sense of entitlement exhibited by the wickedly stupid rich must go, and all those who want a job should be able to find one at wages which will enable their greater participation in a growing economy. The last time we did something like that, the lifted-up were grateful enough to vote that party's way for thirty or forty years! Now again: to whom does 'feeling entitled' belong?

Saturday, November 17, 2012


I must be returning to my 'normal' self in the election's wake. I read Paul Krugman's post which ends on how blithely much of the developed world is repeating the economic mistakes of the 1930s. And then it occurred to me, not only economically are the 1930s mistakes being repeated: in Europe, hatred of the Jews is at a level unseen since the 1930s. True, such hatred is in decline in North America (throughout the hemisphere?) and Israel is, thankfully, building or re-building good relationships with both Oriental (including India) and sub-Saharan African nations. Still, how much do these relationships 'weigh' when compared with the Islamist propaganda machine churning out anti-Jewish lies on a scale that would turn Josef Goebbels green with envy plus the increase of such rancor in Europe, abetted in large part by 'Muslim' immigrants?
Back in the 1930s, when the Jews needed refuge, the whole world turned its collective back on them. This will never be forgotten in Israel and among Jews outside Israel, nor should it be! Now let me ask: if Israel were not there, where would there be refuge for fleeing Jews today? Indeed, would there be any refuge at all for them? Let none treat this question hastily; take your time over it. Treat it with respect and consideration--that is, differently than how the Jews of  the 1930s were treated! That said, how much respect and consideration do the greater part of today's immigrants (at least to Europe) show their host societies? Or are the silently assimilating majorities obscured by the minorities trumpeting intent to conquer? If so, I hope the majorities put the minorities in their place, which I've heard is starting to happen. As an American who knows his country's history better than most, I know that most immigrants assimilate and change their adopted countries to some extent in the process as well.
Considering on the one hand Europe's real and/or imagined problems with today's immigrants and their slamming their doors in the Jews' faces in the 1930s, they're showing a remarkable consistency in making the wrong choices then and now. Jews have almost never brought anything but real benefits and imagined problems to their host societies; can the same be said of today's European immigrant minorities? Unless I'm mistaken, weren't today's European governments were under the impression that they were 'paying forward' the debt they owed to murdered Jews by admitting other 'refugees'? Or were they simply pursuing their own perceived interests and using 'paying forward' as window-dressing? I'm inclined to believe the latter myself. To me it is plain that the grinding of the faces of the poor and middle class labelled 'austerity' and growth in anti-Jewish sentiment go hand in hand, whatever bloviations come from the politicians on either side of the aisle or the Pond. I do believe the decline of anti-Jewish feeling in North America is joined somehow with the unpopularity of austerity here, and vice versa in Europe. Notwithstanding that fact, I still ask: how welcome would 'stateless' Jews be here, even today? And because I'm profoundly doubtful of a welcoming answer is a big part of my gratitude for the state of Israel!
A repeat of the bankrupt economic policies of the 1930s and another one of anti-Jewish rancor, now using the excesses of an unjustly beleaguered Israel as a fig-leaf. When mistakes are repeated, they come not single spies, but either in battalions or at least in pairs. How often will humans need to have their lessons written in blood, preferably their own, before they get it right?