Tuesday, May 18, 2010

“Change We Can Believe In: A Patient Nation Still Waits”

Well, folks, here we go again facing another national crisis.

Now, mind you, I don’t shirk my responsibility for attempting to face reality and dealing with it honestly. But, I see little inclination on the part of our political establishment for engaging in like behavior, nor do I see much interest on the part of the electorate for stepping back from all that numbs their minds in favor of dealing with reality. God forbid they should assume a modicum of responsibility for knowing the sad state of affairs in this country, and being the least bit inclined to do something about it.

The new mantra emanating from our nation’s capitol is the growing deficit and what measures can be taken to re-focus on fiscal responsibility. Everyone in the hallowed halls of government is trying to get on the bandwagon as the next election cycle looms on the horizon. Our illustrious President has given his usual round of great speeches, and has managed to pass legislation that is so compromised it is, at best, a cruel joke at the expense of the American people. The klieg lights on the “issue of the day, “are quickly turned off so he can formulate and peddle yet another set of empty promises. He consistently goes back to the White House and sequesters himself with the corporate thieves who continue to plunder the country. After all, that is where the real money and the real players are who have set us on the path of complete economic ruin: Rubin, Summers, Geithner, Bernanke, Goldman Sachs, Health Care United and the cadre of loyal sycophants who labor in their service.

I am always amused at how transparent our “Raptor in Chief” really is. Bi-partisanship is the alpha and the omega of all that is good and holy in accomplishing the work of Washington. It has become an endless smoke screen for pursuing the agenda of the oligarchs and plutocrats, hell-bent on fleecing all that remains in the pockets of working Americans. Not until their emaciated bodies are reduced to begging for a crumb to sustain life, their eyes have sunk into the skull of what remains of their human form and the land beneath their feet has been laid waste, will those who have sold us down the river hang out the banner, for the second time, “Mission Accomplished.”

His latest ruse is to appoint Alan Simpson as head of a commission to study ways of reigning in the burgeoning national debt. His first targets are rumored to be the entitlement programs that provide a modicum of security against varying degrees of deprivation for a good many of our elderly population, namely Social Security and Medicare. A better whore could not have been found for the job than Alan Simpson. He is, of course, a Republican. His reputation among the elite of Washington is legion. I dare say he could easily qualify as the slimiest slug that ever slid down the hallways of the Senate. But, what the hell, he is one of the good old boys and a member emeritus of the most successful club of consummate thieves in the world. Welcome back, Alan. You have come a long way since your shameless antics in the dining room at the Henning Hotel in Casper. But, I digress. That is ancient history.

What most impresses me in Obama’s first push for fiscal responsibility is his exclusion of defense as a target for economic scrutiny and fiscal restraint. That is big “No, No” number one. The Wall Street Robber Barons remain in tact. Real financial reform is little more than a token gesture. Any genuine repayment of TARP and bailout money will, in all probability, come from money the big banks made by re-investing interest-free government loans from Ben Bernanke’s secret slush fund at the Federal Reserve. Meanwhile, thanks to Obama and his happy band of former Clintonites, he will continue to run interference for them lest there be any serious attempt to account and atone for all they have done (and continue to do) to the taxpayers of the country.

Of course, thanks to his backroom deals, in addition to Wall Street, Obama has ensured the continued financial viability of health insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies. They are destined to reap even more billions through the so-called “Healthcare Reform Bill.” That was the underlying objective of all the hoopla about what a great deal this was supposed to be for all Americans. Another oxymoron peddled by the Washington elite.

If the powers that be really want to save big bucks and maintain the viability of the average American, there are better ways to accomplish those objectives.

Defense spending is the most obvious and should be our first priority on the road to recovery from the fiscal malady that grips the country.

1. The last legitimate war fought by the United States was World War II. The entire world was in peril and we, in the spirit of our finest traditions, rose to the occasion. We not only vanquished the evil plague that enveloped Europe and Asia, we also helped to rebuild the economies of our former enemies.

2. The Korean Conflict was fought to stem the rising tide of communist aggression on to the Korean Peninsula. But that was not deemed to be a real war but, rather, a “police action.”

3. Every subsequent war undertaken by the United States has been based on deceptions of one sort or another, perpetrated by the less than noble intentions and megalomania emanating from the White House, and blindly supported by a corrupt and subservient Congress. Countless millions of lives have been needlessly sacrificed on the altars of political ambition and corporate greed. Trillions of dollars have gone into a sink hole that could have, otherwise, been used to improve the lot of the American people, and to maintain some semblance of national fiscal responsibility.

4. The first “boogey man” to scare the hell out of the populace was the menace of international communism. That was good for years and years of fear mongering that shunted trillions of dollars through the pockets of the military establishment and into the corporate coffers of defense contractors. I cannot believe, given the level of sophistication in our intelligence apparatus, that we could not have known how fragile that house of cards really was, and which could have saved this country massive amounts of money. That was money that could have circulated through the real economy, rather than vanishing into the labyrinths of meaningless folly and the hollow dreams of empire. But we, the citizenry, dutifully bought into the exaggerated threat to our security and approved massive amounts of our national wealth for what? Bull shit wrapped in contrived patriotism?

5. Through all this we poured massive amounts of money into progressively more sophisticated weaponry, aircraft, ships, missiles and the like. Most of that investment was never needed, but it provided the brass an endless supply of new toys, and defense contractors with more money for their swollen piggy banks. Of all that hardware, probably the only cost-effective use of funds was those for nuclear submarines patrolling the oceans of the world, and the B-52 bombers. I don’t see much of a return on our investment in things such as the Osprey airplanes, stealth bombers and fighters, and a whole host of other hi-tech weaponry. We seem to have a penchant for building more and more that has less and less to do with common sense and reality. But, I suppose we have to keep building aircraft carriers so there is something sufficiently grand as to bear the names of prominent and less-than-noble figures that have crossed the stage of the United States political establishment. Except for those few examples of real success, I seriously doubt most were really needed and, ultimately, proved to be cost-effective deterrents. It would be interesting to see a detailed accounting of what the ultimate fate was of all that hardware, and the names of those who profited from what proved to be nothing more than red herrings in the collage of all that was reputed to be absolutely essential to our national defense. I would, also, like to see who bore the brunt of all the cost over-runs and casualties that occurred because of poor design and reliability. Could it, would it, have been the unwitting taxpayers? Not a chance!

6. That the Iraq War was patently illegal is an established and accepted fact. But, that certainly did not retard the White House and the Defense Department from treating it as the real deal, and pouring massive amounts of money into invading a country that never threatened us. But it certainly gave us numerous opportunities to test all sorts of new weaponry, and to cull out the numbers of uneducated and underprivileged slobs who might otherwise end up as civilian workers at home, demanding a living wage, and claiming their right to a share in the American Dream. Afghanistan is only an extension of that madness, but it is serving the same ends for the same people who control and profit from the insatiable appetite of our war machine.

7. The concept of “war on terror,” has caught on at home. The populace extols the loss of human life as somehow noble because, “it is keeping us safe and protects our freedoms.” Safe from what? Protects our freedoms from whom? A radical religion and a deeply ingrained hatred of us because of our foreign policy in the Middle East? What sacrifices are all those na├»ve champions of freedom making for those who lay down their lives on their behalf in far off places of dubious danger to the United States? This is nothing more than another form of fear mongering, created to serve corporate interests and political ambitions. There may be a modicum of reality to the threat, but the massive response does not warrant the commitment of overwhelming amounts of our national talent and treasure to a cause, the magnitude of which is yet to be proven.

8. I don’t believe one has to be a rocket scientist in order to figure out that these perceived threats are, essentially, little more than guerilla warfare. If we haven’t apprehended Osama bin Laden by now, I doubt we ever will. He and his happy band of religious fanatics are beyond the reach of conventional warfare and the tens of thousands of warriors attempting to destroy them. But it is a great way of squandering massive amounts of money the nation can ill afford in order to feed all the parasites who subsist on the myth of an illusive fear that, in all probability, may never be proven. I am more inclined to think that our first and most sophisticated line of defense should be at the shores of this country, not some far off primitive land whose people don’t even know why in the hell we are there in the first place.

So, what might be done to restore some semblance of national sanity and financial integrity? This is not the time to enable those to whom we have entrusted our future to engage in a game of reverse Robin Hood - taking from the poor and giving to the rich. If the powers that be can keep us focused on the pocket change, what they do with the big bucks will go virtually unnoticed.

1. Reduce the vast numbers of military bases scattered across the world. There is no rational basis for all of those outposts we maintain, given the sophistication of weapons that can incinerate the entire world in a matter of hours. They are nothing but a sink-hole used to flagrantly waste our economic resources. I say restore the real estate to its rightful owners and come home.

2. Stop buying into the fabled notion that we are the wealthiest and most powerful nation in the world. Given our current economic situation, I would have to say those words ring a bit hollow these days. That credo is so shop worn that I think we need to have Madison Avenue coin a new one. When we have no money and an atrophied economy, we are essentially broke.

3. Accept the fact that we, as a nation, face an enemy engaged in guerilla warfare, and deal with it appropriately and in like fashion. Serve notice on the world that any country harboring or providing safe haven to terrorists who launch an attack against the United States from their soil, will suffer the wrath of a retaliatory attack. We have the weapons and military hardware to do the job without invading and occupying any sovereign nation.

4. Tighten up the systems for awarding and evaluating the performance of defense contractors. Hold every single one of them to the letter of the contracts they have entered into with the people of the United States. No more automatic acceptance of cost over-runs, re-negotiation and open-ended agreements. Establish a separate agency that has an arms length relationship with the defense industry solely for the purpose of reviewing and evaluating all government contracts before they are consummated.

5. For starters, and under the auspices of an independent commission beholden to the American people that will withstand the scrutiny of independent auditors.

* Stop backroom deals being made by Senator Dodd and Senator Shelby in order to
water down financial reform legislation so they can pay off the benefactors that
seek to keep them in power.
* Break up all the banks deemed “too big to fail.
* Restore the Glass-Steagall Reform Act
* Stop predatory lending
* Enact strict consumer protection laws against banks, financial institutions and
credit card companies.
* Insist on total transparency by the Federal Reserve. There can be no secrecy
when it comes to what is done with the people’s money.
* Separate the trading of derivative swaps from banks, and impose a
real tax on all investment and speculative financial transactions.

6. Impose a corporate tax rate that is in keeping with prevailing standards throughout the industrialized world. Stop corporate welfare and redirect those funds to the welfare of the country.

7. Follow the lead by many of our world contemporaries and impose a value-added tax on all cheap foreign imports coming into the United States. Level the playing field, restore our industrial base, and provide real opportunities for working Americans.

8. Repeal the Bush tax cuts for the rich and substantially increase the tax rates for that same population.

9. Stop subsidies to oil companies and other forms of national largesse for business interests. If they can’t effectively compete in the marketplace, they have no business playing in the sandbox.

10. Stop the delusion that the recently hailed Health Care Reform Bill is the greatest thing for Americans since sliced bread. It is a sham and most of us know it. Amend it to provide for a single-payer system and abolish the sweetheart deals for industries that have nothing but a parasitic relationship to those they are sworn to serve. They have stolen enough. Go for real reforms that genuinely reduce the cost and improve the quality of healthcare for everyone. The complexity of what we now have only serves to confuse the average person. It merely hides the payback to those who have created yet another form of thievery from those who can least afford it. Return the savings to the national treasury.

11. Adopt a legislative agenda that is as favorable to the working people of the country as it is to corporations and the financial houses that brought us to the brink of financial and social annihilation.

12. Publish, prior to every national election, the names of each political personality running for election or re-election, showing the candidate’s top 50 campaign contributors, the amount given by each, and their relationship to specific special interests. Let that be published on the Internet and cable television, as a public service, once a week for at least 4 months prior to the election.

13. Except in cases where issues of national security are clearly a valid concern, prohibit secret and private meetings with those interests seeking favor from the political establishment, with appropriate penalties for failure to comply.

14. Immediately suspend all the perquisites that elected officials have legislated for themselves and grant them no more than they would command in the marketplace. We deserve an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay, with benefits that are no more or no less than what is reasonable. Any semblance of an imperial government, in any house and at any level should be summarily nullified. It is contrary to every premise upon which this great nation was built.

15. And, lastly, put as much pressure as can be brought to bear on the White House to rout out the rogues that do deals behind our backs on behalf of those who have no concern for the national interest. Some of the more visible are Ben Bernanke, Timothy Geithner, Larry Summers, Rahm Emanuel, Robert Rubin and others of like mind and bent. We have had enough of the dirty, self-serving politics sold to us under the banner of “Change We Can Believe In.” Hogwash. Obama is accountable to the people who put him in office. Contrary to his demeanor, he is not imbued with the divine right of kings.

Don’t you think the time has come to turn a deaf ear to the din of demagoguery with which we are bombarded from the liberal elite, the conservative right and a compliant news media that peddles their invective in order to pit us, one against the other? Let’s stop the rhetoric and insist on definitive, verifiable and enforceable action for the benefit of all the people. Drag from the sewers all the scum whose sole aim in life is to subvert the will of the people, lay waste to all that is good and decent about us, and which rightfully belongs to us all. As long as we continue to hurl epithets and perceive each other as adversaries, we take our eye off the ball and willingly succumb to the merchants of evil whose only goal is to seek the destruction of the American Dream.

None of this can ever come to pass without a firm moral compass to guide us. We must subscribe to a system of beliefs and adopt a code of conduct that speaks to the finer aspects of our human nature. Those are what must guide us in the conduct of our daily lives if we are to reclaim the dignity, decency and honor that made us a respected and revered nation on the world stage. All that keeps us focused must, of necessity, be the standards we insist on from every one of those who seek to govern and serve us. Nothing less will do. At the end of the day, it is we who are granting them a cherished privilege, not the other way around.

Cowboy Bob
May 18, 2010

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

"You Can't Be a Bystander and Change the World"

I, like so many others, watch the same television network news and news programs. I hear how the economy is starting to turn around. There are reports of a drop in the number of claims for unemployment benefits, and an increase in the number of new orders for goods and services, and a slight increase in the number of new employees. I, too, want to believe that things are getting better. But is an increase in the DOW and the NASDAQ an indication that the lot of the average American is improving? Are these the people with the discretionary income who are the “investors?” I don’t think so. I am more inclined to believe those playing the stock markets are those who have lost little or nothing compared to mainstream America. So, don’t treat us like a bunch of mushrooms, keeping us in the dark and feeding us a steady diet of bull shit. Give people credit for being smarter than that, and stop patronizing them. They have more on the ball than the so-called educated and accomplished are prone to acknowledge. They, also, have a much better grasp of right vs. wrong.

We are, also, treated with television coverage of contrived demonstrations by the Tea Party, who I regard as a bunch of ignorant rabble rousers operating on the lunatic fringe. But that element is balanced by the wide-eyed do-gooders who know their cause is just, which gives them the license to flaunt the law and impugn the motives of those who dare to disagree with them. None of this charade contributes to what ails this country. All it does is reflect to the world a bias that is not very well grounded in fact, or a sense of concern for the real issues affecting the majority of all the good and decent people hurting from what has been done to them, and which will likely only get worse.

I live in a small hamlet on the fringe of a major metropolitan area, populated by good souls that, in many respects. mirror the images of people long forgotten and who did manifest the finer aspects of our human nature. I see a general malaise and bewilderment at what has come down on their heads, and a haunting worry that it is only going to get worse. There is the young man who has one of two small grocery stores in town. He is not in the league with big supermarkets some 10 to 15 miles distant, so his customers are those who buy the bread and butter items that will carry the purchaser over to his/her next trip into town for some serious grocery shopping. He worries about what the “sin tax” is going to do to his sales of candy, beer and cigarettes. He is concerned about the impact on his business, plagued by the increased cost of health insurance for him and a handful of employees. Will he be able to reconcile all of these factors into a profit sufficient to keep him and his family going?

There is the guy who owns and operates a small auto repair service and towing business. He is a retired career Navy man who served his country with distinction. He is active in civic affairs and is proud of his service through the local chapter of the American Legion. His daughter, who recently completed her tour of duty as a Navy enlisted woman, is now trying to get through college. But, the reports we all heard on the evening news of financial assistance have not quite materialized because of bureaucratic encumbrances never anticipated. She is not sure she can pursue her dream and still make ends meet. Her Dad wonders what happened to a yet unfulfilled promise from a country that benefited from his years of dedication to the service of his country. People have deferred routine maintenance and service on their cars in an effort to stretch a dollar just that much further. Money is tight.

The little flower shop and copy center is only a faded memory locked behind a closed door that once held hope and promise for a lady who believed in the American dream. The end came much too soon with nowhere to go.

Such are the vicissitudes of but a few people sharing a common bond in this small community. But they reflect a growing concern as to where all this is taking us. They no longer believe in the promise of upward mobility on the ladder of progress. They no longer believe that the government really gives a tinker’s damn about them and their plight in life. They are suspect of the real motives of the White House, the Congress, the Supreme Court and all those “public servants” who have laid claim to space in those houses under the banner of “serving the people.” More and more, they see them as shills for big money, corporations, defense contractors, corporate news media, etc., in their quest to slowly starve the host they feed on. They raise poignant and valid questions for which there seem to be no answers.

I genuinely believe the roots of all that has befallen us rest in an erosion of the moral values upon which the very fabric of our national character once rested. We seem to have lost sight of the fact that we are both temporal and spiritual beings. Therein lies the classic struggle of man from birth to death. The temporal embodies our kinship with other living creatures, predicated on the need to satisfy our physical needs in order for the species to survive. The spiritual ties us to our Creator and sets the boundaries and limits on the excesses of the temporal. But we can readily identify with all that relates to our temporal existence. The spiritual, or ethereal, is not visible to our mortal perception of things. Rather, at best our spiritual existence can only be conceptualized by a belief or a simple act of faith. It is a tough contest between those two aspects of our human nature.

I think religions and religious institutions have let us down in a great many ways. There are the scandals that are rocking the very foundations of the Catholic Church. But, the incidence of pedophilia and homosexuality seem to be as rampant or worse in other religions. They just aren’t garnering the same scrutiny by the press and tend to be relegated to the shadows. All of them need to reflect on their rightful place as the moral compass for a civilized society. They need to become relevant to life in this complex world of today. Outmoded notions of piety and sacrifice don’t cut it these days. Dogmatic pronouncements on how to ensure a path to hell and admonitions to repent simply don’t play well in Peoria. We need a strong moral compass we can support and believe in, and religious institutions that have that as their raison d’etre. That is why they exist; not to fill sports arenas, preaching that God wants all of us to be rich, and raking in millions of dollars so the anointed head of the firm can live in opulent splendor. Celibacy does not work, never has worked and has only reaped centuries of a hypocrisy that has fostered aberrant behavior. Authenticity demands that celibacy should be out and the conjugal bed very much in. It would probably bring us all together in a bond between clergy and parishioners that would give new vitality and relevance to institutions that have, for far too long, been lacking in the conduct of our daily lives.

However, we must assume complete responsibility for allowing ourselves to be seduced by materialistic and hedonistic pleasures that are only relevant to our physical being. We can touch them, feel them, smell them, taste them, ad nauseam. That has led us to buy, buy, buy and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy. Consequently, we came to live in more house that we could comfortably occupy, with marble and granite counter tops, sumptuous wood finishes, etc., all indicative of a “faux” mansion that would be the envy of those we were seeking to impress. There was a Mercedes, BMW, Lexus, you name it, in the garage only because of the easy credit and long-term contracts that made it all possible.

Athletic clubs and gyms were bursting at the seams while we worked up our daily sweat that would lead to the perfect body and sexual pleasures never imagined in days gone by. All for the asking, easy money and a payment plan to suit all occasions. Women ceased to wear clothes. Rather, they resorted to what appears to be the upper half of a slip or a nightgown for a top, skin-tight designer blue jeans, capped with a generous display of cleavage. Modes of address totally inappropriate for teenage girls and matronly women. The end result is the appearance of refugees of all ages from a house of ill repute or a sleazy, pole-dancing strip joint. Now, I grant you, under the right circumstances and in privacy, few men would be averse to having a good look, but not in public or polite company. After a while, the old notion that once you have seen one set you have seen them all sets in. I wonder what all those stylish women would do if every man they passed openly complimented them on a splendid set of “jugs?” There would be righteous indignation and the suits for sexual harassment would clog the court systems. I wonder how women hooked into that perverted concept of being “in” would react to that bare-chested man with washboard abs if fashion dictated that his hairy scrotum discreetly hang through a hole sewn into the crotch of his pants. I rest my case.

But, those who convinced us that materialism and hedonism were the only roads to the good life are the same ones that impoverished us by money we couldn‘t afford, credit we couldn’t pay back and, eventually, the loss of the economic system that made all these things possible. What happened to all that we were promised would come to us through our newfound decadence? The unbridled greed of those who peddled that trash and led us down the primrose path now take away our jobs, our homes, and the social safety nets we once took for granted. It is gone and those we assumed would be looking out for our interests are, instead, in the hip pockets of the predators who have reduced us to an impoverished existence fraught with bewilderment and dismay. They are all getting richer and their tastes are getting more lavish, while what was once our Shangri La is now laid waste with nothing to take its place but hopelessness and utter defeat.

If we are to survive and rebound as the people we once were, and restore the character passed on from a rich heritage that made us great, I think it is absolutely imperative that we reassess the merits of a sound base of moral and ethical principles to guide us through this one and only earthy journey we are all destined to take. It is time to give new meaning to dignity and honor in the way we live our lives and treat each other. We must remember that it was not what and how much we consumed that made us the envy of the world, but what and how much we gave back to the world and those less fortunate than we. We need to value less what we have and more what we are. We need to be less the takers and more the givers. We must seek to judge less and tolerate more. We need to seek a new understanding of what love is, in all its forms and manifestations. Lust is fleeting and saps the vitality of our humanity. Love nourishes that same humanity, both physical and spiritual, and it is the bond that holds us all together in a common journey to make our world and ourselves better in every respect.

Vast wealth and power can never get enough. They will suck the very life-blood out of those who create the wealth and support the institutions of power, with an avarice and appetite that can never be satisfied. We must put in a system of regulations and oversight that works for the benefit of the people and keeps those sworn to serve us honest. We can no longer take a ho-hum attitude at the blatant corruption of a government created by the people, and government officials who are put in office by the vote of the people. They must be held to account by a system of checks and balances that seek to keep government working for all of us. They must conduct the peoples business in the open. The massive influence of lobbyists and what we euphemistically refer to as “campaign” contributions have no place in our democracy. The influence of money must be routed from the system, despite what has been wrought by the infinite wisdom of those swathed in black robes, and who go through the motions of rendering legal opinions based on the rule of law and, ostensibly, for the welfare of the people. Politics should be an honorable pursuit and not conducted behind closed doors or in secret meetings. There is much to be said for transparency in all our government affairs.

We must maintain a level playing field with our economic partners in the world community. We must first look out for our own. That means a healthy society that offers the promise of upward mobility to all. We must stop our national obsession with the pursuit of empire and concentrate more on a national pursuit of excellence in all that we are and all that we do. Return the monies squandered in the pits of foreign conquest to the people of the United States. Restore the integrity of all the systems that serve us, an economy that will sustain us and a society that will value us.

Of all the institutions that have taken a heavy hit in this so-called “recession,” I regard the assault on education as the most egregious by the predators who have reduced us to a beggar society. Education, more than anything else, is what lifts us up to greater heights and a healthier society. Education is there to develop and hone the latent talent and intellect in us all, be it a vocational or an academic pursuit. Wealth can lavishly endow and support the private schools that serve and indoctrinate their progeny. While they prosper and flourish in this current milieu, public education is losing ground at meteoric speed because of budget cuts wrought by governments that no longer have the means to fulfill all their responsibilities to their citizens. That simply cannot continue. For, if the monstrous evil of vast wealth, unlimited power, and all the influence it can command triumphs over the majority, they will reduce us to a two-class society characterized by a class of bottom feeders, and locked into abject poverty that has no other purpose than to eek out an existence of various forms of indentured servitude that will slowly and mercilessly starve and deprive us of all that lifts us up and restores our human dignity.

Time to get angry, informed and involved. Washington needs to be purged of the common whores, in all their manifestation, restored to that “shining city on a hill,” and its place as a government of, for and by the people, supported by all the regulation and oversight necessary to ensure it will remain there for all of us common folk, Not just the few who live in a persistent delusional state that, somehow, they have been endowed by some evil deity as materially superior. That they enjoy even a modicum, much less a divine endowment of spiritual superiority is nothing but a myth that is readily apparent to us all.

I would rather put my feet under the kitchen table of those proudly known as the “salt of the earth,” sharing a good helping of ham hocks, beans and cornbread, than I would by a bounty the likes of which most of us can only imagine; a vulgar display in opulent dining halls created for the cockroaches of privilege to indulge their gluttonous appetites, all at the expense of the poorest of the poor. Cramming for the finals at the end of life won’t change their destiny. If there is a God in heaven, they have already ensured their place in hell.

Cowboy Bob
May 5, 2010