Saturday, July 30, 2011

Time to Talk….

Well, it looks as though we are going to have to suffer through another day of “Monkey Brain” – so just poor yourself a cup of coffee (fortified with a little Irish Whiskey works for me) and let’s see where it leads this time….

First up on my hit list today is a case of really, really bad taste out of our friends in the English isles. A British clothing label named 'Evil Twin' has come out with a very fashionable Parka, complete with plaid liner and epaulets. The only problem is what they named it - the “Belsen Was A Gas Military Parka”. It is named after a sardonic, shocking Sex Pistols song about the Belsen-Bergen concentration camp in northwestern Germany, where some 50,000 inmates (including Anne Frank) died during World War II.

I don’t know who the marketing guys are at Evil Twin, but producing a good product an then naming it after a Nazi Concentration Camp is –well, dumb. On the other hand, maybe it’s a brilliant way to raise sells ---in Gaza….

The Heritage Foundation recently published a report that was remarkably critical of “poor” Americans who own refrigerators, microwaves and cell phones. The other night, Stephen Colbert both celebrated and ridiculed the conservative think tank report and Fox Business Network’s Stuart Varney for amplifying its seemingly insensitive position. Or as Colbert puts it, “if you have the strength to brush the flies off their eyeballs, then you really aren’t poor.”

I read that report and I have to say I was surprised at the insensitivity of it. They implied that America’s poor, including Senior and Disabled Citizens were actually very well off because so many had cars and microwaves –the implication, of course, being that they should not complain about cuts to Social Security, Medicare and other “entitlements”. 

Well, I have news for you. Social Security is not an entitlement. The people drawing Social Security (and, for many, those small checks are all the income they have) paid into the program their entire working lives. Every paycheck you get in this country has a deduction called “FICA”. That is governmenteze for Social Security Insurance and it runs about 4 1/2 % of the gross salary. The amount of the checks you receive when you retire are based upon how much you paid into the program over the years. It is not a freebee, a handout or an entitlement –it is something that we all bought (forced by law) and paid for. Cutting those benefits now is like cutting the warranty after the customer buys the car. It aint right and it should not be legal just because it is the government doing it. –And trying to justify it because these people are able to make those check stretch far enough to enjoy a few of the basics, like telephones and refrigerators, is dishonest and morally reprehensible.

Here endith today’s ranting….

Live Long and Prosper…..

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