Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Moving Toward Civil War

Moving Toward Civil War

This brief commentary was inspired by the shocking number of incidents of police brutality, especially as viciously rendered to people of color.  Law enforcement in certain cities seems to have forgotten anything about the Civil Rights Act.

Bigotry of all forms is raising its ugly head as the division in this nation heads toward a civil war to restore our civil rights. The majority of Americans are not racists but a few rotten apples are making a nefarious stench.  It may be worth another Civil War, which the majority will win, to throw the stinking apples in the slammer in solitary confinement for the rest of their lives.  I speak of the super rich sociopaths, like the Koch Bros. in Kansas, Their obscene hoarding of preposterous wealth while a couple of billion people are starving or at the verge of starvation is moral and ethical crime of the greatest level imaginable.  How does hoarding of wealth that causes others to die differ from manslaughter????  During WWII Roosevelt and Congress taxed the rich at 95% and they didn't complain (at least in public).  Now the stakes are even higher as the super rich control 70% of the world’s industrial output fueled by Fossil Fuels. The resulting Global Warming threatens a mass extinction of 95% of the biological life, including us, by the end of this century.  The military will not protect the likes of the Koch Bros and George Bush because they have been the most abused groups in our society.

As the GOP has gained more and more power they have also moved at a rapid pace, especially in the last five years, to the right.  The RADICAL right as in the Tea Party.  Texas has been the leader in this radical right movement.  The Rumor mill has it that almost all members of the State Legislature are Tea Party members.  But put the rumor mill aside and their behavior confirms this shift.

Texas ranks 51st in Medicaid dollars spent per capita, and then Gov. Perry turned down 9.5 billion dollars of essentially free money from the Obama administration to bolster the Medicaid program.  A physician who follows these issues predicted that 2000 Texans a year would die because of the lack of care if Medicaid program was not properly funded.  Perry’s excuse was he wanted to bolster his presidential candidacy status by showing he could “stand up to Obama”.  So, he essentially said to hell with the welfare of Texans in favor of his personal ambitions.  And a humorous and tragic detail: if nominated Perry would not be running against Obama as Obama was in his second term and ineligible to run again.
Texas ranks 49th in dollars per student spent in the public schools
Texas has attempted a work around for the Roe vs Wade abortion ruling which     has been upheld by the Supreme Court several times when challenged.  This bogus legislation has the Legislature practicing medicine without a license, and the bill that denies women of the right to control their own bodies is still in the appeals process.
The mental health care system has been defunded to the point where it is ineffective in treating and caring for the mentally ill.  I know, I worked at the largest of the State mental hospitals and saw the budget cuts every year from 2002-2010.  The morale at the state’s once exemplary mental health system, is heartbreaking.
Texas has the highest incarceration rate in the world.  Prisons have become a big money maker for the State.

Texas has kept the population of the greater Austin area, 2.5 million people, in the dark about the danger of the 8 year drought.  Every climatology group in the world predicts with near mathematical certainty that Central Texas will run dry. The city is set up for a forced migration crisis just like the one that will take place in Southern California in seven months or so.  But unlike Gov. Brown in California, who has been honest about the severity of the situation and acquired an independent company using state of the art techniques which determined that there was only one years worth of water available (about three months ago), Governors Perry and now Abbott have made multiple bald faced lies about the situation.  This sets up the population of Travis County for a sudden and unexpected running out of water and with no water there will be no power, and plunge the population into total socioeconomic anarchy overnight.  The death toll will be in the 10’s of thousands, the Capitol will be destroyed and the State Government will have to be moved to another city.  There is no evidence that any level of government even has a plan to make a plan to deal with this catastrophe.

I could go on but every governmental service that serves people has been all but eliminated.  Texas is now a State for the rich.  When I show the above statistics to the average Texas, they are appalled.  Totally unaware of what was being done to them over the past 30 years.  These policies DO NOT REPRESENT THE WISHES OF THE PEOPLE OF TEXAS, but this is what can happen when the majority doesn’t vote.  Rick Perry’s last election was won as he carried 17% of the state’s registered voters.  A Democratic Republic does not work when the populous is uneducated, pays no attention to what their elected officials do, and do not vote.  So, the cause of this slamming the door on the unfortunate members of Texas is the people themselves.

The increasingly polarized American public is seeing the “trickle down effect” (a term Ronald Reagan used to describe how the economic system works, but its meaning fits here).  When sociopaths in power get away with nefarious deeds, the less gifted sociopaths feel empowered to do the same.  Law enforcement attracts sociopaths because it gives them power over others.  As state sociopath Governors and police chiefs have moved to the right, it isn’t a case of saying to the police “go out and beat up some niggers”, but when those who do act on their sociopathic impulses to cause misery to others carry out their brutality, and ARE NOT PUMISHED OR REPRIMANDED, this is seen as a carte blanche “OK” from their superiors.  This is the mechanism that has caused the increase in police brutality to accelerate so fast.

LA must recruit officers with sociopathic tendencies for these very reasons.  Law and order enforced by brutality is the way ISIS does business, so the people of LA who vote for Mayors and Police Chiefs with similar tendencies “of being tough on crime”, are to blame for the long history of racial violence. Jimmy Cochran got a guilty OJ Simpson a “not guilty” verdict by pointing out the sordid history of racially driven brutality by the LAPD.  People screamed at the verdict, but playing the “race card” was not only smart, but it revealed the gross negligence of the officials in LA who had allowed racial brutality to go unchecked for so long.  So from the broader social viewpoint, justice was served in a not-guilty verdict.  But other than bitch about the “legal system” it does not appear that the people of LA learned a damn thing from the Simpson trial.

So the nation is faced with the same issue.  Are we going to be a nation that allows the unfortunate sick to go without medical care, that allows our children to grow up illiterate; or are we going to return to our roots as stated in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and restated by Obama’s hero Abraham Lincoln who said: “The purpose of government is do for the people what the people cannot do for themselves.”  The truth is Obama is true moderate Republican than those who have gone so far to the right that they have fallen off the political boundaries which have defined this nation from the beginning.

A gentleman and a scholar,
Austin, Texas

July 27, 2015