One Memetic Distortion of Socialism

Looking at memes can be fun, sometimes aggravating, but then at other times somewhat infuriating, as is the case with the below pic and statement. One does not have to be socialistic to conclude that these claims are either wrong or, at least, overly simplistic. It certainly is minimalistic, which is one glaring problem with memes anyway.

Socialism.jpg

1) No socialist has ever claimed that “free” means completely free in the sense of wholly economically free.

2) Perhaps you are not entitled to someone else’s “hard earned money,” but you are entitled to just compensation for honest labor, which is what socialism (as well as other socio-economic perspectives) demands for all people.

3) No, you cannot tax any nation into prosperity, but you can guarantee a more just distribution of wealth, along with adequate healthcare for all, good education, adequate food, clothing, and shelter, etc.

4) As a matter of fact, sometimes (oftentimes) the rich ARE responsible for the poverty of many, many peoples, who have no other recourse to address the injustices foisted upon them by an oligarchy than the gov’t they elected to represent them.

5) It is absolutely FALSE to claim socialism always leads to Communism; point in fact, there are many democratic-socialist nations today that are not Communist, but this claim simply betrays some confusion between democratic-socialism as a socio-economic system as opposed to Communism as a form of governance.

In the end, democratic socialism may not be the greatest answer to what ills our nation, but I do wish some folks would take the time and make the effort to educate themselves before posting memes like the one above. 

Blessed be the Poor

Do you know what it is to beg for bread?
Do you know the dread of not being fed?
Have you ever had to hang your head?
Have you ever felt the need to plead?
And have you ever been misled,
Given stones in place of bread?
It’s not easy and makes you very queasy;
Some people quickly think you’re sleazy!
Oh, but to be turned down with a frown,
Especially after you’ve helped so many,
Giving a twenty when you had plenty –
Or even when you barely had a penny –
It makes you sick, like a kick in the gut!
When you yourself fall into a rut,
You’re mistreated like filthy smut;
Even your temple-church cuts you;
No more wanted; no more needed;
They have nothing to give for you to live!
Tell me, do you know the dread
Of begging for merely bread?
To be in need of even a few small seeds?
. . .
‘Blessed are the poor, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.’

Under Canopy of Heaven

Under the canopy of sky
I dream of seamless days
And nights not corroded
By frightening thoughts
Brought to mind
By relentless responsibilities
And limitations . . .
I’d rather fly without hesitation
To some unknown destination
Of beautiful color
And nothing to bother
Where sisters and brothers
Are free to walk and talk
Without fear,
And old men drink their beer
And health and wealth
Are not uncommon
To folk like me,
Whoever they be . . .
Under the canopy of stars
I see afar some day in some land
Bands of women and men
With hands that give and help
And sands of time mean nothing
But something at which to wonder,
And blunders are excused
With laughter and smiles miles long,
And everyone knows that they belong . . .
Under the canopy of heaven
I leaven my dreams
With treasure troves of love
And arms wide open
That would never harm
Or sound an alarm
At someone in rags who carries old bags;
Oh no,
These arms would weave new clothing
And heave the old for new satchels
With all new within each,
And then these arms
Would make a place at the table
With no bill to pay for the meal . . .
Under the canopy of sky
I dream of seamless days
And nights, flowing one into the other,
Glowing with affection
And no infection of greed or hunger,
And no need for seeds of profit,
For all gain is to simply live life
To the fullest without unnecessary pain
Foisted upon one by another son
Of the same human race;
No, here there is no corruption
Of corporation,
But, rather, corporate cooperation
For the alleviation of suffering
And deprivation . . .
Yes, I do dream all my dreams
Under the great canopy above . . .

Smile Fool Smiles: Live Peace

Who taught us violence in which we persist?
Or do most of us senseless battles resist?
In wars fought, of what do our lives consist?
Who are those few who’ve taught us to insist
On yet another bloody campaign to persist?

Why should people say this is the only way?
Why stay the course of the few in dismay?
Why bend knee, bow head, enter the fray?
Why keep spilling blood for high price to pay
For the few power-Who, who darken the day?

Chance the chance to live and dance;
Laugh the laugh to skip and prance;
Play the plays in senseless trance;
Love all love in endless romance;
Smile fool smiles with the sand lance!

Hopping and happy-hoping,
Popping corporate bubbles,
Stopping all of the troubles,
Flopping in sandcoin rubble
Dropping in burning stubble,
Making peace in the struggle.

How can we stop all of this insanity?
How can we trash corporate vanity?
How can we mute violent profanity?
How can we love away inhumanity?

Who taught us violence in which we persist?
Or do most of us senseless battles resist?
Why should people say this is the only way?
To keep spilling blood; such high price to pay?

No! Dance away all the dæmonic dismay!
No! Sing away the cacophony of decay!
No! Laugh away the array of going astray!
No! Smile away the anger, animosity today!
No! Play away the sick, diabolic bouquet!
No! Feast away the replay of power display!
No! Wear away the backroom underplay!

Never cease being drooling fools for peace…
Peace on earth and from birth goodwill to all

After all, who taught us violence in which we persist?
So smile cool, fool smiles ten thousand miles long…
Live peace, be peace, and our world will be at peace.


Note: Originally posted in November 2015. Perhaps this is the poem I should have submitted to Poets for Peace. LOL  Oh well, too late for that, but not too late to share with readers/followers who may have missed it the first time around… I’m actually rather proud of this piece, if I may humbly say so. Blessings to one and all!

Me, My Resume

No, this may not be traditional,
But for me it is quite transitional;
You see, this is my real resume
And it might just dismay you
In the Human Resource Department,
Where everything is compartmental
In quite a parental, judgmental way;
Nevertheless, the right question
Any bright person usually asks is,
‘How can I make myself appealing?
And without really revealing myself?’
But I’ve changed the question,
And I’ve done so without hesitation;
Now I’m asking, ‘What do I want
This impersonal company to know…
To know about me?’ And this will be
My dismaying resume, for you see
It no longer concerns me to burn
With passion for disappointment
In totally lackluster employment
With no real enjoyment, and I refuse
To falter and bow at the company altar
While singing the psalter of profit
And productivity in virtual captivity
To a corporation demanding adoration;
I am me, you see, and I have a life
Worth living outside company walls,
Whether they stand or crack and fall;
And all in all, no manager will put me
In danger of losing my authentic self,
And no CEO will steal away the real me
No matter the pay or promotion … no!
I’m one who’ll cause quite a commotion
Because although I’m very compassionate,
I’m also rather passionate, so you see,
I’d rather be a catalyst for change
Than an adjutant to business as usual;
So understand, my heart is a work of art,
And I’m a writer, sometimes a fighter
With pen in hand to make unusual demands,
And, so, often I write with a bit of a bite,
And you need to know this in my resume…
My resume, which is really an invitation,
Even a proposition to get to know me …
Yes, me! Because I am my own resume!

Falling Thru the Cracks

She broke her back and fell thru the cracks,
And it was a nasty basement, filthy encasement,
But nobody said ‘goodbye’ and no one heard her cry;
Sighing was all she had left, ‘cept lying to herself,
But one good lie would dry her tears despite her fear
Because she was alone with nobody near to hear;
No one missed her, and no one came for her,
                                                 And this pissed her,
But what could she do with broken back and lack of help?
Yelping would not keep her sane, so she chose to sleep
On a neat pile of rags, about which she could not brag,
But all in all she knew her situation was not unique;
Many had fallen thru the cracks with broken backs!

Sweet, Sick Home Alabama

Alabama[1]Alabama, Alabama! How beautiful and baneful; how promising and poor; how stout and strong, yet sick and wrong!

Thirty-ninth in education? Yes, tragically so … and I weep. Or, perhaps, the seventh least educated state in our country.

Forty-third in health and medical care? Yes, tragically so … and I weep.

Forty-seventh in poverty? Yes, tragically so … and I weep. Sweet home Alabama ranks only 42nd in per capita income… Is this, too, the case? Yes.

Is it any wonder?

Rounding out the best states for the wealthy is Alabama, one of several Southern states that are overwhelmingly friendly to high earners. The wealthiest 1 percent pay just 3.8 percent of their income in taxes, while the poorest taxpayers shell out 10.2 percent. The middle class isn’t far behind, with 9.4 percent paid in taxes on average.

Third in divorce rates? Yes, tragically so … and I weep. Ah! But the second most religious state in the nation, as well! And this … this nauseates me!

Forty-sixth in eco-friendliness? Yes, tragically so … I weep.

And to make up for its budget shortfall? Alabama legislators have decided to slash $156 million from Medicaid, (which does not include federal matching funds.)

Both legislators and officials say the cut could mean the end of the Medicaid program in Alabama. It would not only hurt some 1 million Alabamians who qualify for the program, but force the closings of rural hospitals and devastate nursing homes and pediatric practices.

Yes, tragically so … I weep.

When, oh when will we learn? There are other states faring well enough — much healthier, vibrant, stronger, more robust — why does the grand maiden of the South continue to close her eyes and ears … to shut off all sense and sensibility to what is good, progressive, workable, beneficial in the long-run? Why do so many have to hurt, have to endure pain and suffering throughout this state, when solutions have been on the table for years upon years? Ah, but there are those with fat wallets not especially keen on financial diets!

So short-sighted, so tragically short-sighted … and stubborn and arrogant, too. Other states might do well to learn an invaluable lesson from what will surely, finally be the “Decline and Fall of Alabama.”

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The Empty Many

business man very stressed

Hand-full of pills and cup of coffee fills
On the same new day, to begin the same way;
Eyes shot, tired, weary, falling and bleary;
Here he sits again with computer chip bits,
Luminous screen with financial scene too lean,
Bottom line skinny, not even a shining penny;
He turns and churns, absently stares in agony,
This man so odd, leaning left, palate cleft;
No chest, no need with not a heart to plead
From seed of love, nor deeper creed to lead
To higher heights of meaning; he’s careening
Always back to his own demeaning employment
With no enjoyment as he lives through hours
With shattered soul bowers in business towers.
But is this man now living or merely existing?
Or is there more? Some door to rustic floor
Of better days, raw, pure, awesome and secure?
Ah, now no more pills and cup of coffee fills
On the same new day, to begin the same way…

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Priorities, Priorities

Just today many of us learned the sad ~ dare we say, angering ~ news that the U. S. Senate is recommending $1.7 billion in education cuts. Wow! Meanwhile, military spending is projected to hit right at $598.5 billion for fiscal year 2015. Not to be too terribly political here, because my readers know how I loathe being political (LOL), but does this not seem just a tad bit skewed? I mean, in trying to get spending under control, kind of like swatting a fly when you have a thousand cockroaches running around the house?

And this along with the considerations I mentioned in a previous blog article:

In 2013, there were 45.3 million people in poverty. For the third consecutive year, the number of people in poverty at the national level was not statistically different from the previous year’s estimate…

And importantly:

Many families in America’s struggling lower-middle class – defined to include those with income between 100 and 250 percent of the federal poverty level, or between roughly $15,000 and $60,000, depending on family size and composition – live in economically precarious situations. Though not officially poor, these families experience limited economic security; one major setback in income could push them into poverty…

Nearly one in five American working-age families with children lives in poverty, officially defined as being below 100 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL). Approximately 30 percent of families have incomes that place them between 100 and 250 percent of the FPL. Federal poverty thresholds vary by family size and composition, meaning that families with the same income, but with different household compositions, can be in different positions relative to the FPL… These families’ proximity to the poverty line means that any unanticipated downturns in income could push them into poverty. For this reason, we could reasonably consider these families to be the struggling lower-middle class.

discretionary_spending_pie,_2015_enacted[1]Some other interesting factoids to add might be that “according to the International Centre for Prison Studies, there are 2,228,424 prisoners in the United States. That is enough to make the United States first in that category. The second highest number of prisoners is in China, at 1,701,344.” And yet “according to Pearson, the United States has a ‘cognitive skills and educational attainment’ score of 0.39, which makes the United States rank fourteenth out of forty countries ranked in that category.” Any connection? Likely so… But I’m not an expert sociologist, criminologist, or cultural analyst … still less an accomplished political scientist. So … what do I know? Well, as an average, ordinary, everyday kind of guy, I know we seem to have our priorities “upside-down, inside-out.”

Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Touché! More poignantly, perhaps, is an old Tibetan proverb, which teaches, “A child without education is like a bird without wings.” Again, touché! There must be something to all of this, after all; so too, the Hebrew proverb comes to mind, to wit: “Train up a child in the way s/he should go, and when they are older they will not depart therefrom.” Continually slashing education expenditures, lowering the academic quality of education that is provided, and the astronomical number of men and women in U. S. prisons… Is there some connection here? Yes, methinks so, and all the while we spend well over 50% of our national budget on military and para-military equipment, operations, personnel, research and development, foreign engagements and/or defense, etc. And please do not imagine I am anti-military! I come from a family of military personnel, who have or are proudly serving our country in uniform. And I heartily support the brave women and men of the Armed Forces of this country, in which I am truly thankful to live. However … it’s still priorities, priorities! And we have ours screwed up right now!

https://www.change.org/p/raise-the-federal-poverty-level-fpl?recruiter=47928834&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&sharecordion_display=pm_email_cards

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