I may not have much in the way of material wealth.
But I live a life that is rich in music, art and friendship.
I am kind to animals, care for those less fortunate than I, give what I can to those who have less than I, show compassion to those who need it, and try to live in harmony with the greater world as a whole.
I may not always succeed, but that is how I try to live my life.
The way I see it, that is more wealth than can ever be squirreled away in the Cayman Islands, Swiss Banks and best of all, I can take that with me when I finally leave this world.
Guess that makes me pretty rich after all.
Sheila Dickman of Merrill, WI., who has been confined to an electric wheelchair for a couple years due to Multiple Sclerosis, didn’t let the theft of a Tom Barrett yard sign last week stifle her support for the Milwaukee Mayor in his race against Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Tuesday she and her service dogs Bruno and Kenna did their usual 11-mile trip through Merrill with a replacement sign hooked to the back of her electric wheelchair as Wisconsinites across the state cast their ballots in the recall race.
Barrett is running against Walker and Professional Firefighters of Wisconsin president Mahlon Mitchell is running to unseat Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch. Mitchell is also a lieutenant in the Madison Fire Department and has been an outspoken critic of Walker’s attempt to strip most public service unions (but not police and firemen) bargaining rights.
She said she suspects a crew working on a neighbor’s house stole her sign, and she did report the theft to the Merrill Police Department. However, she didn’t have conclusive proof of their guilt.
“They were talking about the sign before it was stolen,” Dickman said. “They didn’t realize I could hear them.”
Dickman said one of her neighbors got her the replacement sign, and she put it on her chair to prevent it being stolen.
She said she is against Walker for many reasons, but most particularly since his plan has hurt the middle class hard since his Budget Repair Bill went into effect last year. With five children in college, and her family’s income cut because of her inability to work, Walker’s cuts to education at all levels has particularly galled her.
She said that while some people have honked in support, there have been some detractors, including a pick-up truck with three young men in it that yelled disparaging remarks about Barrett before ducking down so she couldn’t see who they were.
“They yelled ‘I hope he loses,’” Dickman said. “But they probably hadn’t even voted, nor did they strike me as the type who would go to college. My five kids are paying for their college education on their own, so I know firsthand what Walker’s cuts are doing to education in this state.”
Dickman was a very active individual before the effects of MS slowed her down. She even coached the Merrill High School Girls Swim Team for a few years, fighting to save it from being eliminated due to budget cuts by the Merrill Area Public Schools.
If Barrett beats Walker, it would be only the third time in U.S. history a governor has been removed from office by voters.
The next several months will go down in the history of the United States as one of the most pivotal it has ever faced. Do we let the financial power – and thus ALL power – continue to concentrate in the hands of just a few people, does the government “of the people, by the people, for the people,” indeed perish from this earth, or do We, The People regain control?
Through their bought and paid for politicians at all levels of government, the rich few in this country, the so-called 1 percent, have rammed through laws that curtail worker’s rights, stripped unions of the right to collective bargain, sought to disenfranchise voters in upcoming elections, and in the case of Michigan’s “Emergency Manager Law” stripped people of their duly elected voice in the way their cities and school districts are run. If allowed to stand, these few men and women will have accomplished a bloodless takeover of the United States, turning it from a country of democracy to a corpocracy.
Thanks to the Citizens United decision that said that money is free speech and that “corporations are people too,” this consolidation of power by the rich few at the expense of the majority has greatly accelerated.
But the greatest weapon being used against the ordinary people of this county isn’t the reams and reams of laws that the republican lap dogs of the rich have thrust upon us. It is the despair that these attacks on our rights and very way of life cause that is doing the most damage to our collective psyche.
Anyone who is faced with being unemployed, fighting to keep their homes, lost their homes or struggle to keep food on their table know firsthand how debilitating despair is. The daily grind on the nerves that fighting what seems to be a losing battle against the above problems and more that the dwindling middle class and poor face in this country is taking a toll on them physically and mentally.
And the rich and the republican politicians know that.
How else can you explain the republicans in Washington, who made a pledge to an unelected lobbyist named Grover Norquist to not raise taxes on the rich, refusing to focus on working on creating jobs in this country? Never mind that in 2010 they took control of the House of Representatives running on a platform of creating jobs, they have been content doing everything BUT that. Indeed, they swore an oath to do all in their power to make President Barack Obama – the candidate who ran on the promise of Hope – a “one term president.”
In short, they want to crush our hope, and thus throw us into despair.
It isn’t as if the American people are not fighting back through the Occupy Movement. But even that shining beacon of hope is dimmed by the rich’s control of the media and not showing how the police in many cities are violently cracking down on these non-violent protests.
Dissent against the power grab by the rich and the slide to this country becoming the U$A will not only NOT be tolerated, it will be crushed AND ignored by the corporate controlled media.
As a media professional myself, I am sickened by what the media in this country has become. Like the banking industry, newspapers, television and radio stations are in the hands of a few people and corporations. Telling the truth has taken a back seat to maximizing profits, if it’s allowed in the car at all.
So how do we fight this Super Weapon of Despair that is being used against us?
Simple, we continue to fight the actions of the rich and republicans that are aiding and abetting them. We fight them at the ballot box while challenging their laws in court, if need be.
Those of us who still have some reserves of hope left must find a way to fan the dying embers of those who have given up.
We must use the weapon of our wallets to boycott those companies who can be proven to support those who would economically enslave us.
We must convince our friends and neighbors that our cause is the right, just one. We must rip the blinders from the eyes that too many Americans have put on themselves that prevents them from seeing the dangers we face today. We must educate those who believe only what Fox News and the other propaganda machines are spoon feeding the people.
We must vote in every election from here on out. Too many Americans decided that the mid-term elections of 2010 were not important, didn’t vote, and we got the mess we’re in now.
Most importantly, we must hold EVERY candidate for EVERY office up to intense scrutiny and not let them evade our questions. If the media won’t do it, then we, as people, must. They want our vote, they must answer our questions. And we must ask tough questions because these people want to make decisions for us. We have the RIGHT to DEMAND to know how they intend to decide on each issue. We must hold those who seek reelection accountable for what they have done the past two years, throwing out those who have not acted in the best interests of ALL the people. If we do not like the answers we receive, ignore the millions of dollars being spent by the rich to support those candidates and NOT GIVE THEM YOUR VOTE!
Four Score and Seven years from now, how will our grandchildren look back on our actions when we came to this crossroads in our country’s history? Will it be that we acted with courage and hope in the face of a hostile takeover of everything this country stands for?
Or will they be slaves in the Corporate States of America, ignorant of all this nation once was, what it stood for and what freedoms they lost because we lost this fight?
The battle is too big and too important, the stakes too high for us to lose hope now. This is our generation’s Valley Forge or our Battle of Bastogne. At both those crossroads, against long odds and what must have seemed like hopeless situations, Americans fought on to victory. They prevailed against the darkness to restore light.
To the republicans and 1 percent, I have just one word for you: “NUTS!”
What say YOU, fellow Americans?
I am a warrior, have been since I was a scared 18-year old in Basic Training at Ft. Knox in 1977.
I no longer use a sniper rifle to kill the enemy, but words.
But I am still a warrior, because it is what I do best.
I fight for myself first. I have enough battles I am waging in my life.
But I also fight for those who do not have the words to defend themselves or are able to take the fight to the enemy. Many of the battles I fight for myself are the same as I wage for others because the enemy and the cause are the same.
There are people in this country who feel that stepping on, hurting, crushing and taking from those of us with no money, power or wherewithal to fight back in order to accumulate even more wealth and power is not only “right,” but also “their right.”
Then there are people, like the Republicans at all levels of government, who are aiding and abetting the rich in their conquest of the poor. They are systematically stripping us of our rights so that the rich get richer. They turn a blind eye toward the suffering that their actions in office cause. All for a little more money, or power, or whatever has made them heartlessly immune to the deep suffering their laws are causing.
They think we are powerless to fight back because they are systematically striping us of the means to fight back. They think we will just sit back as they carve up this country and hand it to the rich. All the while, the rich get richer and feel like they are invincible, thanks to their puppets in places of power.
But like I said, I am a warrior. I see the wrongs that are being committed against us and I cannot stand by and let them go unquestioned, unchallenged or fought.
There are times when the weight of the battle weighs heavy upon my shoulders. I see how those who would ignore the pain of the many to give even more rewards to the few keep doubling down on their efforts and wonder how the battle can be won. This weight is compounded by the battles I am fighting that are mine alone to fight against wrongs in my own life.
But just when despair starts to weigh the heaviest upon me, I realize I must fight on. I tell myself “If not me, who?”
Just as I am finding what little strength I can to square my shoulders and find a new avenue of attack, an ally who has also found the strength to keep fighting strikes a blow.
And I find a few extra ounces of strength and once again join them on the ramparts.
I remembered what I was taught all those years ago in Basic Training by Vietnam veterans; the way of the warrior.
No matter how long the odds, keep fighting, never, EVER surrender! Keep throwing everything you can at the enemy. If the enemy drives you to your knees, punch him in the nuts. If he drives you to ground, grab his foot and drag him down to your level and fight him in the mud.
If the cause is right, never give up.
In my heart and soul, I feel that the fight we are in right now is for nothing short of the future of our country. The fight is to keep the American Dream alive so that ALL people may have an equal chance to better themselves. And most of all, for a country where We, the People, have the power, not the rich few who would change the way our country is at its very core.
The Republicans in our state capitals and in Washington D.C. are trying to sell all that to the rich; sell us into slavery to these rich would-be masters.
Putting my body and my words in their way IS a righteous cause that I could no sooner turn away from than I would willingly put my wrists into the chains that the Republicans would have us wear tying us in servitude to the rich.
But that is NOT the America I grew up believing in and I am willing to fight to return this nation to being the way it once was again.
If you are like me, and you are on the field of battle against the attempt to take this country away from the people, you are my brother & sister warrior. I care not what color your skin is, what sex you are, your sexual orientation, or what religion you may or may not believe in. If you are fighting for the same things I am, I will fight alongside of you and your words until I have no more breath and they lower my lifeless body into the ground.
If you stand against me, then may your God have mercy on your soul.
Because I won’t, for you surely are not showing me and mine any.
Fox News’ Sean Hannity recent suggested on his syndicated radio show that there isn’t a hunger problem in America, people just need to eat rice and beans because they are cheap.
Story and audio from his radio show where he originally made the remarks courtesy of Media Matters.
I think everyone should go out and buy a small bag of rice and can of beans.
Put them in a small box and mail it to
C/O Fox News
1211 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10036
Don’t forget to include a note saying “EAT ME!”
This would have the added benefit of REALLY pissing off FOX and Sean if you use the USPS to send the small package because it would help support the Postal Service.
And we ALL know they hate the Post Office.
UPDATE: Here’s an idea where you and a bunch of your friends can get together to make the same statement for a lower cost.
Buy a bag of rice and a bag of uncooked beans.
Put 20 or so grains of rice and a few beans in a sandwich bag, put it in an envelope and mail them to the above address. Should only cost a stamp or two for each envelope.
Just don’t forget the note.
I know, it sounds pretty radical and even crazy, but at least look at my case before you dismiss me as a liberal lunatic.
The Definition of TREASON: 1: the betrayal of a trust : treachery. 2: the offense of attempting by overt acts to overthrow the government of the state to which the offender owes allegiance
The Republicans in Congress, by making a pledge to Grover Norquist to not raise taxes on the rich that breaks their oath of office that binds them to serve the American people and the Constitution of the United States, committed definition 1. (In addition, by getting the Republicans to make that pledge, Norquist’s actions meet definition 2.)
By doing everything in their power to make President Barack Obama “a one-term president” and systematically doing everything they could to impede the economic recovery of this country to accomplish that goal, they committed definition 2.
Pretty strong charges, I know. But by passing legislation and policy that benefits the rich few at the expense of the majority of Americans, and by working to hand control of the United States to the rich by disenfranchising as many voters as possible, they are attempting to keep the majority from stopping them at the ballot box. That is overthrowing the government from within. By passing laws such as NADA and working at all levels of government to silence the Occupy movement, they are further attempting to solidify their control over the government and silence any dissent from the majority of Americans.
Not only must the Republicans in Congress be voted out in the next election, they, and ESPECIALLY THEIR LEADERSHIP, must be tried for their treasonous acts. By their very actions, they have harmed millions of Americans and must be held accountable.
Our elected officials must be held accountable to the electorate and do what we tell them to do, not what the rich and their lobbyists say to do. There must be consequences for these elected officials when their actions transcend what passes for “normal” disagreement between the political parties.
Since the 2010 mid-term elections, the Republicans in Congress have waged a war on the middle class and poor in this country with their actions benefiting the rich. These actions of the Republicans in Congress have transcended what passes for “normal” disagreement between the political parties and has crossed the line to being acts of treason.
The time must come when they pay for these actions. Just voting them out of office will not serve to deter EITHER political party from repeating such actions again in the future.
Therefore, trying them for treason is appropriate.
This song is dedicated to Wisconsin Governor Scooter Walker.
We, the People of Wisconsin!
Actually, I think we should have this song blaring on a boom box as we walk into the polls!