Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Labor Unions for the Wealthy?

The economic news is shameful ... no, I'm talking about the crisis at hand, although that's a part of the picture - I'm talking about the rape of America: yes, a brutal word, for sure, but that's exactly what has happened in the last 40 years, as the wealthy have sucked the nation dry, draining off tons of money for their foolish life styles, extravagant investment schemes, furthering their strangle-hold on politics, the economy and even religion.

This fascist-like rape of the economy has resulted in the greatest transfer of wealth ever seen: from the pockets of the many to the pockets of the few.

America has suffered the downsizing of the means of production in our nation - starting with seamless pipe in Pittsburgh - in the mid-70s, when we were building the Alaska pipeline, America had already lost the capacity to manufacture 60-inch seamless pipe, and I ask why?

The sad mantra of big biz has been to blame the unions. This is just a bald-faced lie! Their greed is fault! And with the take-over of big biz by Wall Street, the pace of greed has accelerated to the speed of light, I'm afraid.

And along the way, our titans of business have feathered their own nests at the expense of The People. Yes, the People. What a quaint idea - The People. Of the people, by the people, for the people. Yeah, and the moon is made of cheese. Big biz and its government toadies have been at war with The People ever since FDR won a few rounds The People. Big Biz and its government goons set about dismantling the middle class for no other reason than Haman's decision to kill Mordecai and eliminate all the Jews in Persia. Why? Because Haman didn't bow and scrape before Haman, so Haman's pride was injured. Big Biz has always hated the unions, and it's a matter of foolish pride driven by a distorted sense of entitlement and greed.

The assault on the middle class is nearly complete, and America is more vulnerable than ever!

I write as a religious person, specifically a Christian.

And from the perspective of faith as I see it, all of this is shameful.

And now the latest news from the Census Department - the income gap widens even further.

This is a crime, and if it were committed by some little sleazeball on the street, we'd haul 'em off the hole and lock the door.

But these criminals are lionized and admired, although they've taken a few hits lately.

But they're well-protected; they sit on one another's boards and take care of each other. Talk about unions. THE WEALTHY HAVE THE MOST POWERFUL LABOR UNION IN THE WORLD, and they have a huge chunk of Congress and the Courts coming to their defense - check out how FedEx had laws passed to protect FedEx from organized labor.

The American economy will never recover until we bring justice to the table.

And what's justice, you ask?

The Apostle Paul had it all figured two millennia ago:

The one who had much did not have too much,
and the one who had little did not have too little.

There's always going to be gaps, but it doesn't have to be this wide. Indeed, it shouldn't be this wide.

An economy so badly divided against itself is fractured, and it's failing, and until we address this shameful injustice, the economy will continue to deteriorate overall and we'll witness the further decline, if not the disappearance, of the middle class.

We can do it.

We must do it.

Justice calls for it!

The Associated Press: US income gap widens as poor take hit in recession

The Associated Press: US income gap widens as poor take hit in recession

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Saturday, September 19, 2009


Obama is right: the current fight over health insurance reform isn't about racism.

It's about a deeply entrenched patterns of big biz looking our for its own interests defended by conservative lapdog politicians.

But let's not be naive ... racism remains an ugly smear on our national character. And lest someone object that other nations deal with their own versions of it, I say: quite right!

Racism is a human flaw ... or from a Christian perspective, the largest possible kind of sin that grips humankind and promotes hideous things, not only on the personal level in terms of crude language and discrimination in the work place, but the mob mentality that is always just a few beats away from lynchings.

Racism is in all of us, in some form or other.

But certain areas of the country seem particularly affected by it. Am I unfairly picking on some sectors of the nation by saying this?

The voting record of southern states clearly reveals how fewer southern whites voted for Obama by a significant margin compared to the rest of the nation. Is a factor like this irrelevant? I think not.

What I am most saddened about is that the South is also the bedrock of fundamentalist Christianity, proponents, so they claim, of family values. Yet within their ranks there brews an evil of monstrous proportions and they are seemingly incapable of addressing it.

Whenever we look at another human being, and we see a race before we see a person, that's the stuff that quickly leads to racism, wherein we perceive the other to be less than we are, or even a threat to us, simply because of their race.

Racism is part and parcel of the American story - from our steadfast effort to wipe out Native Americans, finally "reserving" them on useless lands, to the long and bloody history of slavery and the Jim Crow decades that followed and remain emotionally in place to this very day. The folks who protested racial integration in 1954 are mostly long gone, but their sons and daughters carry the dark torch of hatred, and for many in the south, it's all dressed up in Jesus talk with Bibles carried in hand.

There's a lot more to the current story than racism, but racism is a part of it, and no small part of it to be sure.

We don't want to overestimate it, and thus miss other factors that need to be addressed.

But to ignore it does a huge disservice to those who harbor its hatred and to those who pay the price for it.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A Note to Joe Wilson

I left a note at Joe Wilson's website a few days ago, and today, I received a note extolling his virtues and decrying the evils of liberal Democrats.

To that note, I sent the following:

Chuckle, chuckle ...

I R one of those liberal Dems who think your behavior is bad, really bad, but your ideology is even worse.

I am a Christian, I am a pastor, and there isn't anything for which you stand that I find consistent with Christ or the great truths of Scripture, though I know that some folks in SC see it differently ... but then segregation and lynching was a part of that picture for a long time. No encouragement in the track record that truth will emerge from all the bitter t-bagging nonsense.

I know that folks are rallying to your side - but don't be deceived - the truth is still the truth, and the right-wing in this country has utterly abandoned truth for the sake of angry politics and (using Proverbs 1) a bitter scoffing, shying away from the big issues and settling for simpleton ideas.

I will pray for you for 40 days ...


Pastor Tom Eggebeen
In that liberal city, Los Angeles

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Vetting the Prez?

I'm all for "protecting" our children and rearing them sequentially - that is, with age-appropriate experiences and knowledge, but no one can totally control it - whether it be a peasant family during the Black Plague, a pioneer family in 1880 Arizona, or any of us today - death and sorrow have always been a part of the human story.

But all that aside, does the Prez have to be vetted? Is the Prez so dangerous, so unpredictable, that our children are threatened?

As I've said before, he's the Prez. Not some punk down the street peddling drugs, or a whacko with AK-47 stuffed in his trunk. Nor is he a CEO trying to convince us that the water is clean and the air is pure, even as we choke on our own pollution.

To even think that we have to vet the President's words as a potential danger to our children is a thought beyond my grasp.

The Furor, or Fuhrer, Over Obama

Check out what my good friend and political analyst, Darren King, wrote about Obama's school speech and all the noise surrounding it - click HERE to read.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

"Let's Privatize Social Security, Shall We?"

At the height of the Reagan-Bush economic bubble, Wall-Street Jockeys and the young and the restless were championing the end of Social Security and the onset of an entrepreneurial new world of privatization, and everyone-for-himself under the ever-present, watchful eye, of the glorious no-one-can-lost stock market guided by Big Brother, I mean Big Biz.

Who needs the government? they asked!
Government is the problem.
Government is inefficient and Big Biz knows how to run the country.
Less government, and more unregulated free-market driven capitalism, driven by the needs and interests of the “ruling class.” After all, their position and power reveal the rightness of their ideas, if not the righteousness of their souls. They’re different than the rest of us. Smarter. Better. And we’d better do as they as they say, and there’s enough greed in all of us to spin our heads and make us think, hope, that maybe, just maybe, we, too, can be stinking rich.

And, then, the House of Cards comes crashing down.

The vaunted Wonder Kids of Wall Street prove to be just as dumb as the rest of us – dumb for ever believing the lies and illusions of the ruling class: that they know better than the rest of us how to govern life and run the world – that if we just listen to them, fancy their needs, and do as we’re told, we all get rich.

Any talk lately about privatizing Social Security?

I haven’t heard a whisper, have you?
What happened?

The vulnerability of an unregulated free-market system reared its ugly head.

The curtain was pulled aside, and the wizard in the cloud proved to be an ordinary little man pulling levers and working smoke machines to frighten the peasants and manipulate the world into thinking that the rich and the powerful are different than everyone else, and the rest of us can just take a hike on their magnificent coattails.

What we’ve discovered, in the nick of time, is our need something better and brighter than Wall Street and the machinations of Board Rooms forty-stories removed from the real world.
We need something reliable in the best of times and the worst of times.
We need a real cushion, a safety net.

For millions who aren’t rich, who will never be rich, and millions more who are likely to spend most, if not all, of their life on the margin.

In other words, we need a mutual assurance of brother/sister-keeping responsibility.
We need a moral framework that’s real and dependable.
We need good government.
We need a federal conscience.

The rich and the powerful have always hated this.
And most will continue to hate it.
They, too, have bought their own fabrications.

A family like the Kennedys had a higher vision.
They proved the exception.

But there are plenty of people of wealth and power who buy into the bigger and better picture of the United States of America.
Yet in recent years, their faithful voices have been drowned out by the shouting of the right wing, accusing them of disloyalty to The Republic, being hare-brained, bleeding-heart, liberals and generally unfit to govern anything.

James Dobson and “The Family” and the likes of Beck and Dobbs won the day, but, thank God, they lost the battle.

Yet millions of dollars, our hard-earned dollars, are being poured into the smoke and mirrors of their house of horrors, and the peasants are responding, as they always have – even as the master of the manor takes the women and children, even as the lord of the realm impresses the peasant into service and hangs him from the highest tree, the peasant bows and curtsies, for the master knows better what’s right and what’s good.

There is a sickness in the land, a sickness created in the early days of American industrialization when millions were made in steel, coal and railroads, creating an entitled class of people who forgot their roots and the basic biblical truth:

The rich and the poor have this in common:
the LORD is the maker of them all.

We’re all in this together.
It’s terribly hard to remember.
It’s vital that we do!