Sunday, February 8, 2015

Homeland Security yes. Home security no.

by Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired. Thanks to Jubrieel Ahkile for the video

I was involved for a while in a renter’s rights group here in California. We had to deal with some real nasty characters. One landlord in particular, a slumlord by the name of Richard Thomas, used his money and wealth to pilfer thousands of dollars from his tenants. We used direct action methods to go after these thugs as the courts favor those with money. We found out where Thomas lived and also the church where he functioned as a Deacon. These characters like to keep their thieving practices out of their private lives.We sang songs and distributed fliers in his neighborhood describing his activities and at the church we distributed fliers to the congregation. We also demanded the head office fire him as Deacon.

As I watched this video a number of things jumped out at me. Think about that lawyer that owns the 60 properties. He’s a child basically, look at his face. Where did he get the money to own 60 properties? Worked a lot of overtime at the factory did he? Imagine this puppy faced waster having the power to determine whether or not actual grown ups will have a roof over their heads or not, people who have most likely worked hard all their lives, whose ancestors built the wealth in that society.

I have to say, I felt real hatred for him and that smug demeanor of his. Then look at the state legislature. It’s composed of practically all white males, and most importantly, all of the state’s capitalists and landowners, big and small; attorney’s that represent them or both. I am sure there are very poor whites in Arkansas but the poor in this video at least are all black, people living in what are shacks really. Lynne Foster from the University of Arkansas Law School points out that renters outnumber landlords in the state so have the power of the vote but the landlords have money. The landlords also bribe the politicians (they call it lobbying over here.) and that’s how their economic interests are maintained. This is our Democracy at work.

The two groups, the white capitalists and the black poor, have two vastly different histories in this southern state and that history brought them to this point.

Another issue is the police. The role of the police has been in the news consistently of late primarily due to the repeated killings of black males and the beefing up of this state security apparatus. The landlords and capitalists control the legislative process that passes laws and the police, sworn as they are to “uphold the law” enforce them which includes throwing people out of their shelter on behalf of the baby faced lawyer with 60 properties. What sort of person would want to uphold laws that should be broken? But that’s what you have to do if you choose to be a cop.

I heard yesterday that Obama’s budget for defense is about $600 billion and money for the predatory wars in Afghanistan Sudan etc. or what they refer to as Overseas Contingency Operations will drop to a mere $51 billion. These so-called “defense” expenditures we are told are to make us safe and keep us “free”, unless you live in Arkansas apparently.

Now that he’s on his way out, Obama is sounding militant again, “Will we accept an economy where only a few of us do spectacularly well? Or are we going to build an economy where everyone who works hard has a chance to get ahead?”, he said last Monday at the Department of Homeland Security. This is nonsense, it’s their propaganda that we hear from them all the time to justify their wealth and position in society and if you don’t “get ahead” if you live in one of this shacks in Arkansas it’s your personal failing. And for folks like those in this video who would benefit from a $50 billion cash injection, “Homeleand Security” is not “home security.”

I don’t want to digress too much here but Obama’s comments last week were sickening and insulting. He described his plans as “middle-class economics” in which “everybody gets a fair shot, and everybody is doing their fair share, and everybody plays by the same set of rules.” Alice in Wonderland economics, cheerleading for capitalism. 

This video gives a small glimpse in to the real America, the poverty, the power of money and politics that has nothing to do with democracy. That this exists in the US is shameful. As the great Irish socialist James Connolly pointed out: "Capitalism teaches the people the moral conceptions of cannibalism are the strong devouring the weak; its theory of the world of men and women is that of a glorified pig-trough where the biggest swine gets the most swill."

We’re seeing a little bit of that pig trough in here.

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