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The Ticking Clock

by : Daveparts
Wednesday July 15, 2009 - 17:42

By David Glenn Cox

The clock ticks just the same each second as the hands point to the different hours. Day, night, morning, evening, and still the clock just ticks away the seconds. Listening to the ticking obscures the facts that things are changing quickly and that many of us have no idea what time it is.

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Right wing pundits make veiled remarks and some step out into the sunlight and call for insurrection and revolution. It should be remembered that in the cauldron of human existence the lightest elements bubble into gas the quickest. They seek attention, they seek to rile the reactionary, to try and brew tea by seeing how much heat they can generate. And yet, just as the broken clock is right twice each day, so are they. Just as with the clock, they are right for all the wrong reasons.

They rant about income taxes which for most will go down, and about Socialism when most of them don’t know Socialism from Social Circle Georgia. They are riled about the things that they’re told to be riled about. But the truth is closing in; it’s later than they think.

When my father was a small boy he was in a food riot. Men were passing out 25-pound bags of Herbert Hoover’s cracked wheat, tossing down bags from the back of a truck to the assembled hungry, and as my father remembers it some of the men resented the way it was being thrown down to them. Words were exchanged, and then the crowd suddenly exploded into a mob scene charging the truck with both anger and fear. The fear was that they would not get any wheat and their families would go hungry.

My father vividly remembered his father holding him under one arm and the bag of wheat under the other as they were trying to make their escape. These were simple people, law abiding and not prone to violence. Yet they exploded and this scene was repeated to lesser or greater degrees all across America. Hunger and desperation brought on by the perception that the government is not your friend and not on your side will sharpen the teeth to make carnivores out of herbivores.

We have seen the long, dragged out stories of the Bush administration’s secret wars and programs including torture. Day by day, second by second new details are leaked of massacres and assassination squads that operated outside the bounds of even the CIA. If you, as my neighbor, killed someone or robbed a bank and I knew about it and didn’t turn you in to the police, I could be charged as an accessory after the fact which is a felony. From the current administration we get hem hawing and parsing of words, meaning that they are not going to do anything about it. It’s a showcase of the two-tiered justice system of them and us, of corporations and kings and the proles and peasants.

General Motors went into bankruptcy protection on the promise of retooling to become leaner and meaner, and last week the court divided GM’s assets. The company will keep its newer factories but a dozen or so of the older, more polluted assets will become the property of US taxpayers. One location in New York is listed as one of the state’s most toxic sites and the estimated cost of clean up is near $300 million. That’s for you, it’s all yours now!

GM, not content just to free itself from pensions and the wages of 21,000 workers, dumps its toxic assets onto you, the taxpayer. Chrysler eliminated 9,000 jobs; the state of New York will eliminate 7,000 jobs and raise the retirement age. The airline industry has shed 31,000 jobs. But in the state of California is a travesty the likes of which hasn’t been seen since the days of the Czars in feudal Russia. The governor is trying to balance the budget on the backs of the state’s employees.

The movie actor turned feudal lord has imposed three unpaid furlough days per month and proposes a 5% wage cut on top of that amounting to a total loss of 20% of the state employees’ income. A compromise proposal called for a tax on petroleum removed from the earth in California. California charges no tax on the oil companies because of its clear case of them and us. Shell recently announced a new oil find in Norwegian waters. Anyone care to guess what kind of tax Norway charges on petroleum taken from its land? Are you sitting down? 78% and the oil companies are lining up for drilling rights.

These wage cuts in Sacramento are pushing some state workers into foreclosure. Empty car lots line the main roads as businesses estimate sales are off by 50%. Hear the ticking clock? It’s only a matter of time as most businesses cannot remain open on 50%. Local shelters are lobbying for one square block of downtown for the homeless to be allowed to set up a tent city. The city is leaning against it, them and us.

Can you see where the hands are pointing? The same banks which took government bailout money when they were in need now tell the state of California that they will no longer accept their IOUs. The homeowners that the banks promised to assist in keeping their homes are being told to apply for their assistance programs, then are receiving foreclosure notices in the mail.

Cities across the country are laying off police and fire department employees. In Los Angeles there are plans to close one of the city’s jails, making a dangerous overcrowding situation explosive. Meanwhile, in the District of Cornucopia the members lead an idyllic life style. They work for corporations, listen to the lobbyists, then at five o’clock it’s Miller time! No crisis there, no sense of urgency, just another day at the skull ranch.

Do you see the pendulum swinging? Do you see their solution yet? It is to bank up the fires until the economic storm passes and to leave you outside in it, them and us. Our new President likes to pass legislation then bang the gavel and declare the problem solved, when the problem is not solved. Wages are falling and costs are rising and he’ll think about increasing the stimulus, maybe after unemployment reaches 10%. The time is running out as the sands grow short.

What is coming is coming; it is an historical certainty. It is a sad thing, but it is necessary because they won’t hear us otherwise. They’ve already slept through all the alarms.

A letter dated February 28th 1932 to the Dauphin County Board of Assistance:

Dear Sir,

Would you please try and get us some coal as we need it very bad. I put in an order at the Union Hope house but no one seems to come around to see about it or not. If I could get work I would never ask for any thing. But (Name Redacted) has been working at the park and only makes 72 cents and sometimes not that much a week and now he has no work at all. They won’t even give my boy (redacted) a job because his dad is working and he has seven to keep up on the little that he makes.

Anytime we ask for a relief order or anything we are turned down. But we have a party close to us that loses weeks work at a time on account of drink and he is carried on the welfare just the same and his wife gets coal and blankets relief orders and every thing they give.

Here we are honest and hard working and willing to work and when we ask for anything we get turned down. Even voted the Republican ticket, five of us and don’t get any consideration even when we ask for a little coal that we can’t possibly buy and need it for three little children also food and shoes. But we can’t get anything it seems.

Kindly look into this for me please,
(Name Redacted)
Middletown PA

As soon as possible



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