The blessings of liberty

Herself and I were running down a list of worthy causes the other day, trying to decide which of them would get our limited financial support.

It was no easy task, in part because we are far from wealthy, thanks to our failure to capitalize on my globe-spanning fame. We have work, a roof over our heads and food in the cupboards, but still, damn; so many in need, so few dollars to go around. It was like spreading a pat of butter on a slice of toast the size of Kansas.

While we were crunching our pitiful numbers, the least productive Congress in the history of Congresses was busily fucking off, slinking out of town after having done less to “support and defend the Constitution” than any previous conclave of alleged lawmakers.

In their absence, which is preferable to their presence, 1.3 million Americans will lose their unemployment benefits in an economy hamstrung by catastrophic long-term unemployment. That at least three people are seeking work for every job available is a moral failure on the part of the job seeker, says Congress, albeit obliquely. If hungry schoolchildren wish to eat, well, let them become amateur custodians. Plus they’ll be learning a trade! Bonus!

As Charles P. Pierce notes:

“Millions in subsidies, from the same program that until this year was tied to the food-stamp program for sound political reasons, which is the way we take care of each other in a political commonwealth. But poor children, if they do not work, shall not eat. Not all the big clanging brass ones hang in bell towers this season.”

The Constitution to which these swine swear their oaths begins thusly:

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

The Union has always been less than perfect, but lately it seems even more so. Where is the Justice, the domestic Tranquility? Who promotes the general Welfare, that the Blessings of Liberty may be secured?

“Fuck you, I’ve got mine, get yours,” doesn’t appear in the Constitution. Trust me. I checked.

So we write our little checks, and we send them off. And we hope. We hope for more than “four more years of things not gettin’ worse.”

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19 Responses to “The blessings of liberty”

  1. Stan Thomas Says:

    That there’s commie talk boy.

    As an outside observer, admittedly one who’s political leanings are well to the left of our esteemed host, I’ve always been struck by how little Americans appear to feel for their fellow man. At the level of nation, at least. A great place to succeed but a cold, hard place to fail.

    Merry Christmas one and all.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      None Dare Call It The Mad Dog's Bookshelf

      I’m not sure how you get “well to the left” of a retired Maoist who attended the Founding Congress of the Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist), but if you can manage it, well, good on ye, comrade.

      Yeah, there’s a strong Puritan streak in this country. Wealth is the sign that one is blessed by God, while poverty is a heaven-sent teaching opportunity.

      Funny thing is, even the poor seem to buy into it, which is one reason the Party hasn’t had much success of late.

      • Stan Thomas Says:

        Well I read what you write Patrick and then compare it to my life view. Perhaps you keep it toned down for publication. Perhaps we’re not that far apart; Marxism yes but Maoism no, not for me.

        Anyway, far too heavy a topic to get into at this time of night. Or indeed anytime without the sharing of a few beers. All the best.

  2. Larry T. Says:

    Meanwhile, the National Football League enjoys non-profit status. WTF? http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/10/how-the-nfl-fleeces-taxpayers/309448/
    Seems nobody has a problem handing out welfare to rich corporations and their ilk, but nobody does much for the little guy in the US of A. Back when W handed out those “defective president” rebates we chose what we thought were worthy causes unlikely to get much love from his administration, and we’ve kept up the donations ever since. It ain’t much, but those jerks in congress ain’t doing squat, so what else can ya do?
    We really do need a NEW “New Deal” in this country.

    • Libby Says:

      Thanks for the link. It’s really eye-opening to see a nation-wide survey of these stadium deals. PO’G’s recent post about a pro soccer proposal in Bibleburg shows how pervasive the economic blackmail is.

    • Steve O Says:

      Not just the NFL. Also IKEA. They pay around 3.8% corporate tax globally.

      Makes me wonder why I’m not a non-profit. I’ve got the part about not making a profit down.

  3. khal spencer Says:

    The SOBs in Congress should at least have to sat through A Christmas Carol.

    • John in GJ Says:

      Geez, no kidding, Khal. How many people watch one version or another of that story every year without realizing it’s a cautionary tale about and against unfettered capitalism.

  4. veloben Says:

    And then there is this:
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-morton-grove-library-trustees-vote-to-reject-athiest-bloggers-donation-20131219,0,3784864.story

    An elected Trustee of a small public library declares an Atheist blog a ‘hate group’ and convinces a majority of the board to reject a sizable donation.

    Narrow minded ‘public servant’ exist at all levels in very public sphere doing real injury to everyone else.

  5. Patrick O'Brien Says:

    When I retired, we lost the opportunity to give through the Combined Federal Campaign. Also, our income dropped. We went through the same thoughts you guys did. We decided if we can’t help everyone, just help one. We can’t save all the shelter dogs, but we saved one. We can’t help all the kids in trouble, but when we give to the county’s children crisis center, we help some right here. So all that we can give, goes to them. Many times it’s things we buy for them, mostly luggage (kids normally show up with their possessions in a garbage bag or pillow case) or food, and we call them first to see what they need.
    As far as Congress goes, I already told my reps what I think of them and their “work” for the year. They are not in the lead; they are in the way. They are not uniting us; they are further dividing us. They are not helping us; they are HURTING us. In other words, they are worse than worthless. I just hope the people wake up in time to get rid of them.

  6. Patrick O'Brien Says:

    PS: have a happy day you all! Time to play Duets II on the stereo, have a Fat Tire, and try not to burn the garlic while cooking lunch. That’s if I can listen to K.D. Lang sing “Blue Velvet” again without imagining her as a stunning brunette in a slinky black dress singing in a dimly lit nightclub and breaking every man’s heart in the joint.

  7. Libby Says:

    Patrick, so very sad to read that deadly violence has touched your city again. I wish you peace. I wish everyone peace.

  8. md anderson Says:

    Charles Pierce’s series should be required reading by every congresscritter, Beltway pundit, “journalist”, blogger – hell just everyone in the freaking country. It’s a classic for sure and if it had appeared in print rather than on the interweb it would be a shoe-in for a Pulitzer

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