Rape of the Citizenry
You must login to vote
Here is a short list of how we Americans are getting it good:
Personal Seat Licenses: In case you haven’t noticed, that big, shiny, multi-million dollar stadium, that was just built in the big city near you, was mostly paid for with your tax dollars. Does that mean you get to watch football games for free? Of course not, that would be ridiculous. Instead you get to buy a ticket to sit in a chair that you, the tax payer, technically own. And lately, it’s gotten even worse as teams have created a new way to rip you off. They are called “Personal Seat Licenses,” and here’s how they work. In order to have the right to buy a season ticket, you have to own the license to a seat. You’d think that a ticket would give you that…but no…not anymore. Once you buy the personal seat license, a one time fee of a few thousand dollars, you can then buy the season ticket. Nice, huh? The best part is that the owners of the stadium, not you silly but the billionaire who’s using you as a doormat, can still sell that seat when it is used for other events. It doesn’t seem fair does it? You buy the seat with your tax money, you buy the seat with your personal seat license, you buy your seat with your ticket, and they still can sell it to other people when ever they want.
Razor Blades: How is that we can construct steel strong enough for bridges and buildings, and yet, our corporations cannot create a blade strong enough to cut human facial hair for more than a week? (I recently heard this somewhere, and I thought it deserved repeating…I don’t recall who said it. Otherwise, I’d give them credit.)
Pharmaceuticals: Many of our top medications were created with taxpayer’s dollars…meaning, the government gives various companies a crap-load of our money to develop particular medicines because they were needed. However, these same medicines are then sold back to us at an inflated rate. Why? Because they were so expensive to create! The fact that we footed the bill is beside the point. Take Norvir, an AIDS drug that was created by Abbott Laboratories. This drug was developed largely with governmental funds, but they recently increased its price 400%...that is, unless you by another of their drugs in conjunction with Norvir. Yep, its enough to make you sick…
Vioxx: We Americans were so outraged by 9-11 that we invaded an entire country…actually two countries. This response is somewhat understandable since it was a tragic event where over 3,000 Americans where murdered. With that in mind, I’m surprised there isn’t greater outrage with Merck Corporation since they knowingly put a product on the market, Vioxx, that has directly led to an estimated 100,000 heart attacks and 35,000 to 55,000 deaths. Think about that…over a four year period, Vioxx has killed more than ten times the number of people than had died in the September 11th attacks. Do you think their will be criminal prosecutions? I doubt it? Do you think Merck will be dissolved? I doubt it. Do you think they will be fined more than they profited for selling this lethal drug? I think you know the answer.
The Wal-Mart Way: Fortune magazine calls Wal-Mart the most admired company in America. I guess they’re talking from the corporate perspective. To the average American, we think it’s a store where we can shop cheaply…but when things seem too good to be true, they usually are. Wal-mart is able to sell things so cheaply, because they are able to get labor at a reduced cost to them…but at an increased cost to you. How? Wal-mart receives public funding in the form of federal tax credits and deductions for hiring low income families, they receive federal contributions to their health insurance programs, and they receive Section 8 housing assistance and funding for free and reduced lunches for their “Wal-mart families." All of this costs the American taxpayer approximately $420,000 for a store with about 200 employees. Hmm, maybe that TV isn’t so cheap after all?
The Media: A few months back, Dan Rather made a big boo-boo. He was given a phony document and he reported on it without checking it out. However, what people fail to notice, is that while his story was supported by a false document, what he reported was factually accurate. Bush received preferential treatment to get into the Texas Air National Guard and he most likely failed to fulfill his obligations. In the wake of this, his credibility has been shattered, but are other journalists being held to the same standard? Hannity recently had Rev. Peterson, a member of the republican supported Brotherhood of New Destiny (BOND), on his show and he failed to disclose that he (Hannity) is a member of its advisory board. Still, he praised BOND and Peterson as he attacked the Rev. Jackson and the Democratic Party. Is his credibility being attacked? What about Kristol and Krauthammer? They advised Bush on his inauguration speech and yet they went on Fox News and praised it as “visionary.” How about Maggie Gallagher and Michael McManus? They were both paid by the Republican Party to push Bush’s marriage initiatives in their columns. Have they been reprimanded? Ridiculed? Anything? Ann Coulter, Peggy Noonan, and Dick Morris all reported that hundreds of tons of explosives weren’t looted from Al Qaqaa when much of the evidence, including eyewitness reports, says that it was. Have any of them been reprimanded? Hmmm…it seems that the conservative press can say, write or do anything without repercussions, but if you're a centerist reporter, or god forbid liberal, you'd better be on your best behavior.
Fast Food Nation: This industry spends millions of dollars each year on advertising aimed at both children and parents. To children, the industry says, "All the fun stuff happens here. We have clowns, funny animals, a playground and toys!"
To parents, they say, "Good parents reward their children on special events by taking them to a fast food eatery. Good parents throw birthday parties at the local meat pie. Good parents take their kids to grease pit number 3 when their kids are feeling down."
Why do they do this? Because they want to addict our children mind, body and soul. It’s technically called cradle to grave advertising and it's very effective. So much so, that 1 out of 4 Americans eat at a fast food chain every single day. And yet, when they get sick from this fattening, fattening food it's their own damn fault...not the industry who spends hundreds of millions of dollars advertising to children before they know their own parent's name. Not the industry that produces advertising loaded with addicting themes and messages. Not the industry which produces food loaded with addictive ingredients like salt, sugar, caffeine and fat.
No, no, no...never the industry...its the infant's fault for not being strong enough to overcome the avalanche of mental and physical programming. And yet, the Republicans talk of family values as they bury any legislation aimed at curbing childhood advertising. Can you say hypocrite? I think you can.
History Revisited: During the French Revolution, Maximilien Robespierre used the press and his political office, named The Committee for Public Safety, to spread fear, his version of virtue, and to silence opposing voices with the weight of the guillotine. He controlled all branches of government as he nominated those who would lead the various committees. French people who weren’t “loyal” enough were deemed enemies, rounded up and slaughtered. It wasn’t enough to support the revolution. You had to do so enthusiastically. Torture, rape and fear were rampant.
The more things change....
September 11th Revisited: By year’s end we will have spent about $300 billion, 1,400 soldiers have sacrificed their lives and over 100 thousand Iraqi civilians will have been killed in response to these attacks, and still, the people responsible have largely gone unpunished. Why? Because they have yet to be our target.
What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?