The Flowers of Madness

Written by David Glen Cox

It is a time of bad Ju ju, that moment when nausea sets in. When it’s no longer a question of if, but of when. Sweet mother of Jesus the fools in Washington have done it. Not only have they done it but they’re proud of it, Eric Cantor brags of his victory in his pecker bumping contest with the President while John Boehner claims that he got ninety eight percent of everything he asked for in the debt negotiations.

I wonder if this is how the average American felt in 1860 or 1931? The rest of the story is inevitable and predictable and shameful. This is no less than our own raid on Harper’s Ferry and from here there is no turning back. I had begun to write a story filled with inglorious facts and figures about the economy but I canned it. It told a story alright, but it didn’t say nothing really, it was just facts and figures and this is a story must be told from the gut.

There is no recovery, get that through your head, the recession has never ended. Two hundred billion dollars spent each year on unemployment insurance and food stamps softens the blow. Then add in trillions of free money funneled into the banks by the Federal Reserve. Now throw in obscene amounts of money spent on the military and top it off with tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy to keep the Wall Street Ponzi scheme going. Take it all away and there is no recovery, there is no recession, there will be no double dip because it is all the same dip from the same depression.

For the year 2010 for every ten jobs created nine other Americans lost their jobs. From an official unemployment high of 14.2 million Americans we have cascaded after almost two years down to 14.1 million unemployed. The U-6 unemployment rates is 16.4 percent down from 16.7 but even that figure is inaccurate. The actual unemployment rate in America is over 20 percent. That’s before, before the politicians start taking an ax to the budget, and after, it going to be hell’s a popping.

First up on the hit list is Federal unemployment compensation, seems we just don’t have enough homeless in this country. Next will be food stamps, you see, these are the blooms of the flowers of madness. They just don’t get it up there in Washington. To them this all some ideological game to be won or lost, so Eric Cantor puts his thumbs under his suspenders and Boehner does a peacock strut. And you ask yourself, are they crazy, or insane? To brag of their own infamy, while the President says, “now we can get down to job creation.” It’s a mad house, an asylum and soon to be bedlam.

It has made me reflect quite a bit for I’m a child of history. I was a boy in Dallas in 1963 and we were going to Dealy Plaza but the rain turned us around. I was in Montgomery in 1965 and witnessed the march from Selma to Montgomery and I was in Chicago in 1968 and waited up with my parents until my sister arrived home late from the police riot. I witnessed these things but was too small to do anything more. I was living in Atlanta in 2000, I watched the election returns, I had a car and I had money and I had time off coming to me.

I could have gone down to Tallahassee, I knew the way and I had the ability but I did not have the courage. The courage to go to my boss and tell him why I wanted the time off and why it had to be that week and not two or three weeks later. My wife understood my anger but she too was complacent, like me, only more so. “What good will it do?” she advised, “It won’t change anything.” I could have gone but I didn’t, instead I downloaded and read the Supreme Courts ruling in the case of Bush vs. Gore with trembling hands and trepidation.

I could see with my own eyes a court sanctioned Coup D’etat and yet I did nothing! My ex-wife was probably correct but what if 500,000 has shown up in Tallahassee would the court have so brazenly said, “just this once.” We will never know because no such large angry numbers of the population showed up.

We all have our own time lines but the 2000 election was the seminal moment for me. I knew instinctively when Bush almost immediately started passing out tax refund checks they he was trying to salve over the wound and buy our loyalty. It all looked so planned an so orchestrated and when the planes hit the towers and the media had photographs of the suspected terrorists before the flames were out my mind flashed back to “The suspect’s name is Lee Harvey Oswald.”

I could feel the bile rise up in the back of my throat and I felt a pang of guilt because I stood by and did nothing. I’ve watched all of this madness with it’s shock and awe and its color coded threat levels. I’ve watched the videos of the dead burnt bodies of children and innocents, I’ve read the stories of rampant corruption and I even read a story the other day put out by the Cato institute warning of the high cost of food stamps and advocating for severe cutbacks because they believe that mothers with working children shouldn’t receive food assistance from the government.

This is the world they plan on building, a brutal Dickensian police state. This is why Osama Bin Laden was declared dead and why his body disposed with. He was no longer needed and had outlived his usefulness and so his soap opera was cancelled. They’ve found a new enemy in us and they have started to construct it the other night with the debt vote.

“The White House has announced its new counterterrorism plan. This plan is different from past efforts: It aims to prevent people from becoming radicalized. The unclassified report has been more than a year in the making, and it is being billed as the first comprehensive strategy to counter violent extremism. The idea is to rely more on local communities, since they are the most likely to see the first signs of homegrown terrorism.” (NPR)

The plan is to be aimed at local communities working with school teachers to identify those youths most likely to become radicalized. It is exactly what it sounds like it is, a surveillance program aimed at children. Maybe they shall call it some cleaver euphemism but for now how about “CROTES” children ratting on their elders and siblings, and they need this program and you know why they need it, because of what is coming down the pipe. When twenty percent unemployment turns to thirty or forty percent do you think it will be a nice day to go to the park?

When the citizens of Wisconsin occupied the capital in Madison I could have gone, I didn’t really have any money but I was only two hundred and fifty miles away and probably could have thumbed a lift. It would have been worth my time and effort but instead I went to the rally in Saint Paul. It was a cold blustery day but the people were out in force and there was a great deal of unity. The crowd was enthusiastic as the union leaders spoke then a member of the Minnesota House delegation began to speak. He was telling us we had to organize because there was once a community organizer in Chicago who became a state senator and then a US Senator and then the President of the United States.

I’d heard enough and so I shouted, “and then what did he do?” These people were still under the illusion that Barack Obama and the Democratic Party had something to offer them. I think they know better now, I know that I do. I no longer trust this government; I see it as being operated by two wings of one corporate party. I see it funneling billions of dollars to corrupt regimes and threatening violence towards others who have done nothing to us. I have seen it create and continue wars for over a decade, Eisenhower conquered Western Europe and we can’t subdue Kanduhar in a decade? We are at this present time in hostilities with six, count em, six nations.

I have watched the laws of this country eroded and subverted until complaining about being searched at the airport has become a criminal offense. I have watched as whole industries have been boxed up and shipped overseas. The machines to be operated by peasants earning slave wages for the People’s Red Army and then with a straight face being told that it will be good for the economy in the long run. Well Bull Shit!

Barack Obama offered us hope and change, he promised no more lobbyists in the White House and so, true to his word he hired the lobbyist’s bosses to work in the White House. He defended bank bonuses; he defended GM against the unions and even helped GM to shift over three billion dollars in GM liabilities to government liabilities. He opened the Gulf of Mexico to oil drilling and when BP’s oil well blew out creating the largest oil spill in US history he defended BP. Within six months and some paperwork changes he then opened the Gulf up to oil drilling yet again. He’s cut more taxes for business than even Ronald Reagan and he’s proposed cutting lease rates on federal land to assist the oil companies even more.

But for the likes of you and me? Prosperity is just around the corner, and the economy won’t recover all at once. That’s why tens of thousands of school teachers and support staff are losing their jobs all over this nation. Obama will fight for oil companies but he won’t fight for school kids or workers. The choices to be offered up to the American people in the coming Presidential election are beyond pathetic. Where are our voices in Washington, who represents us?

I’m tired of this and I’m ready to try and do something about it. Maybe it won’t work, maybe it will all be pointless, but I’m going to do it just the same. I’m going to Washington D.C. in October, and I’ll eat what I can and sleep where I have to. I have very little money and no transportation save for my thumb, but God Damnit, I’m going just the same, its better to be crushed than ignored, at least I’ll make the bastards work up a sweat.

“Freedom is something that dies unless it’s used.”
Hunter S. Thompson