Reckoning from Delray Beach, Florida…
We used to like traveling. Now, it’s a drag.
“No, we don’t want to go through your new x-ray machine,” we told the TSA guard.
“Whassa matter? It’s safe…” she replied.
“How do you know that?”
“The government said it was safe.”
“Do you believe everything the government tells you?”
“Heh…heh… Okay…” then, turning to no one in particular… “REFUSAL on 11. Male.”
We were out quickly…but the poor old woman behind us had to get up out of her wheelchair…hobble through the x-ray machine…and then they still wanted to feel her up on the other side.
You can’t be too safe, right?
This has been going on for 10 years. But it is still shocking. No one seriously believes that 85-year-old crippled Lutherans are going to cause mayhem on commercial airliners. But no one seems willing to say so.
You can’t even ask the question. Because it leads to other questions. Who, actually, is a threat? Probably no one. So, why are we herded…inspected…and pawed…as if the survival of the nation depended on it?
For the money and aggravation, all this security has probably done little to make air-travel any safer. But it’s done wonders at turning the American population into whipped dogs. They bark on command. When they begin the round-ups, interrogations and deportations…Americans will be ready to get in line…
You’ll see part of the reason why, below…
Recent news brought reports of more new US jobs. We suspect that most of the good news was merely misinterpretation of the data. Many people have been looking for work for so long, the feds have stopped counting them. Besides, they routinely adjust jobs upward in winter, to make up for bad weather. So when there isn’t any bad weather in January, the US job numbers go up automatically.
But there’s another problem.
“Most of the new jobs being created,” complains Robert Reich, “are in the lower-wage sectors of the economy – hospital orderlies and nursing aides, secretaries and temporary workers, retail and restaurant. Meanwhile, millions of Americans remain working only because they’ve agreed to cuts in wages and benefits. Others are settling for jobs that pay less than the jobs they’ve lost. Entry- level manufacturing jobs are paying half what entry-level manufacturing jobs paid six years ago.”
He continues, in the Christian Science Monitor:
Other people are falling out of the middle class because they’ve lost their jobs, and many have also lost their homes. Almost one in three families with a mortgage is now underwater, holding their breath against imminent foreclosure.
The percent of Americans in poverty is its highest in two decades, and more of us are impoverished than at any time in the last fifty years. A recent analysis of federal data by the New York Times showed the number of children receiving subsidized lunches rose to 21 million in the last school year, up from 18 million in 2006-2007. Nearly a dozen states experienced increases of 25 percent or more. Under federal rules, children from families with incomes up to 130 percent of the poverty line, $29,055 for a family of four, are eligible.
Too bad; Reich misunderstands everything. He thinks Republicans are to blame for wanting to reduce government handouts. Reich believes he can replace real middle-class earnings with a cushier safety net…as if there was no difference between a person who earns a living…and one who begs one…
…and as if the middle class wouldn’t have to pay for it.
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