You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘PitchForks’ category.
… if a mob is about to use one on you.
We are legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us.
But let’s speak frankly to each other. I’m not the smartest guy you’ve ever met, or the hardest-working. I was a mediocre student. I’m not technical at all—I can’t write a word of code. What sets me apart, I think, is a tolerance for risk and an intuition about what will happen in the future. Seeing where things are headed is the essence of entrepreneurship. And what do I see in our future now?
I see pitchforks.
At the same time that people like you and me are thriving beyond the dreams of any plutocrats in history, the rest of the country—the 99.99 percent—is lagging far behind. The divide between the haves and have-nots is getting worse really, really fast. In 1980, the top 1 percent controlled about 8 percent of U.S. national income. The bottom 50 percent shared about 18 percent. Today the top 1 percent share about 20 percent; the bottom 50 percent, just 12 percent.
But the problem isn’t that we have inequality. Some inequality is intrinsic to any high-functioning capitalist economy. The problem is that inequality is at historically high levels and getting worse every day. Our country is rapidly becoming less a capitalist society and more a feudal society. Unless our policies change dramatically, the middle class will disappear, and we will be back to late 18th-century France. Before the revolution.
And so I have a message for my fellow filthy rich, for all of us who live in our gated bubble worlds: Wake up, people. It won’t last.
If we don’t do something to fix the glaring inequities in this economy, the pitchforks are going to come for us. No society can sustain this kind of rising inequality. In fact, there is no example in human history where wealth accumulated like this and the pitchforks didn’t eventually come out. You show me a highly unequal society, and I will show you a police state. Or an uprising. There are no counterexamples. None. It’s not if, it’s when.
Many of us think we’re special because “this is America.” We think we’re immune to the same forces that started the Arab Spring—or the French and Russian revolutions, for that matter. I know you fellow .01%ers tend to dismiss this kind of argument; I’ve had many of you tell me to my face I’m completely bonkers. And yes, I know there are many of you who are convinced that because you saw a poor kid with an iPhone that one time, inequality is a fiction.
Here’s what I say to you: You’re living in a dream world. What everyone wants to believe is that when things reach a tipping point and go from being merely crappy for the masses to dangerous and socially destabilizing, that we’re somehow going to know about that shift ahead of time. Any student of history knows that’s not the way it happens. Revolutions, like bankruptcies, come gradually, and then suddenly. One day, somebody sets himself on fire, then thousands of people are in the streets, and before you know it, the country is burning. And then there’s no time for us to get to the airport and jump on our Gulfstream Vs and fly to New Zealand. That’s the way it always happens. If inequality keeps rising as it has been, eventually it will happen. We will not be able to predict when, and it will be terrible—for everybody. But especially for us.
The most ironic thing about rising inequality is how completely unnecessary and self-defeating it is. If we do something about it, if we adjust our policies in the way that, say, Franklin D. Roosevelt did during the Great Depression—so that we help the 99 percent and preempt the revolutionaries and crazies, the ones with the pitchforks—that will be the best thing possible for us rich folks, too. It’s not just that we’ll escape with our lives; it’s that we’ll most certainly get even richer.
Maria Antoinette and her cohort had no idea what was coming.
We are legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us.
America – its government, businesses, and people – are nearly $60 trillion in debt, according to the latest economic data from the St. Louis Federal Reserve. And private debt – not government borrowing – is the biggest reason for the huge deficit.
Total US debt at the end of the first quarter of 2014, on March 31 totaled almost $59.4 trillion – up nearly $500 billion from the end of the fourth quarter of 2013, according to the data. Total debt (the combination of government, business, mortgage, and consumer debt) was $2.2 trillion 40 years ago. “In 50 short years, debt has gone from being a luxury for a few to a convenience for many to an addiction for most to a disease for all,” James Butler wrote in an Independent Voters Network (IVN) op-ed. “It is a virus that has spread to every aspect of our economy, from a consumer using a credit card to buy a $0.75 candy bar in a vending machine to a government borrowing $17 trillion to keep the lights on.”
When I was a kid my grandparents owned a mercantile (general store), gas station, motel and restaurant – Ivan’s Corners – down in LaPine. On the wall in the store was a hand-painted pine-plank sign that read, simply:
“In god we trust, all others pay cash”.
I may not have anything, but I don’t owe the banks one damned dime.
I am free. You are not.
Earlier I wrote “I am never so much reminded of the opening chapters of Doctor Zhivago – fat, white, drugged and drunken middle-class bourgeois comfortably pontificating in their mid-town flats – as when I scroll the “liberal” blogs. In particular those “liberal” blogs that position themselves as the progressive answer to the Retard Party’s Nazi Propaganda. They haven’t a clue as to what is coming.” Perhaps I was hasty.
Digby wonders if Marie Antoinette [is] waking up from her beauty nap? Marie Antoinette and her cohort had no clue as to what was coming. So too, apparently, our elite overlords.
The money quote: “you may have made a killing on pitchfork futures but that won’t keep the mob from using them on you.”
We are legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us.
The workers then took those lunches from the students and threw them away, because once food is served to one student it can’t be served to another.
You’re either with us, or against us.
From its pyramid-shaped throne on the back of a dollar bill…
By Tony Norman, @Common Dreams
“I am the god of the 1 percent. You shall have no other gods before me. I help those who help themselves and visit poverty over many generations to those who would redistribute the wealth that I have freely given to those who luxuriate without guilt in my love. I reward the spirit of material excess because I hate poverty and the poor who have rejected my ways.
“I am a vulgar god who never tires of the misery perpetuated by those who exploit the resources of the planet for tax breaks and personal gain. The smoke of belching coal plants and runoff from hydraulic fracturing pleases me. Let those who refuse to rape the earth that I have made in six days be accursed.
“I am the god of ‘In God We Trust.’ You shall have no other gods before me. Give to the poor (if you must) out of your excess and at your discretion. Don’t be compelled by guilt. The poor don’t need a safety net as long as I, the god of the Koch brothers and Ayn Rand, lives in the heart of every patriotic American. It is money that I love, not mercy for its own sake. Mercy without conditions offends me.
“I am the god of the morally upright. I abhor homosexuals, Democrats, mimes and all who believe in global warming. Those who have AIDS can give all glory to me. It is by my hand that every dread disease except obesity and cancer is visited upon the earth. Do not be fooled: I loathe the followers of Lady Gaga. Women who refuse to submit to male authority are an abomination.
“Those who believe in me know evolution is a lie straight from hell. The dinosaurs drowned during Noah’s day because the ark couldn’t contain them. This is not a mystery if you believe science is evil with all your heart.
“I am the god of war. I love violence and the mindless proliferation of guns in every home. Horses and bayonets proclaim my glory over the whole earth. That is why America is my blood-stained footstool. Guns don’t kill — I do.
“I am the god of the Invisible Hand. I hate the 47 percent who siphon the productivity of my blessed Job Creators. On Election Day, I will pour out my wrath on those who receive the mark of the Kenyan Keynesian. Repent of your idolatrous liberalism, or else.”
Forty-three years ago I got a Social Security Card and went to work on a cattle ranch a hundred miles the other side of Burns. When I first cashed that first paycheck, I entered into a social contract with The United States Government – specifically that if I pay into the system for the next forty-five or fifty years, then after forty-five or fifty years of paying into the system the system will pay me back. I faithfully met my part of the contract, I faithfully paid into the system.
Now the government wants to take away what I’ve paid for the past forty-three years, just seven years short of honoring its end of the social contract… to steal it from me and give to the bankers, the trustfunders, and the jews. Violate the social contract we entered into forty-three years ago. Rip me off, and give it away.
Be forewarned, take from me what I have in good faith paid into the system, and I will no longer consider myself a part of this country, nor bound to its laws, its standards or its mores. Rip me off, and I will collectively rip you a new asshole.
Who better to fight the revolution, than a dishonored Vietnam Veteran?
Via “The We Party,” Minimum wage is not enough for a person to live on in this country, let alone a single-parent or a married couple with only one spouse working. (graphic) Oregon is seventy-one (71) hours a week, though that’s mitigated somewhat by our state $9.50 minimum wage.
This guy (warning, reich-wing terrorist):
Read all of the incredible, sick-making story — which includes some perfectly typical and disgusting bile spewed by some of the violence-supporting left-wing animals who think things like this are just peachy — and gird your loins. Because it’s going to come down to shooting with these vermin eventually, if we’re to retain any rights at all. Patterico wouldn’t like me saying that, I’m sure; I don’t much like having to say it myself. But it’s a mere acknowledgment of current reality: we are in a cold war with neo-Marxists who are trying to steal our country, have already done enormous and probably permanent damage to it, and will stop at nothing –absolutely nothing — to see to it that our voices are silenced. That war must inevitably go hot, unless we’re willing to surrender to them.
“[I]t’s going to come down to shooting … The war must inevitably go hot….”
Change “Marxist” to Colonist and “left” to right and there isn’t much there I have to disagree with. That and it has been my experience that “lefties” are not supportive of violence (which is why I am not a “leftie”). But my oh my won’t they be surprised when they find 1) that some of us are not “lefties” and 2) shoot back. Bring it on, bitches. Half-breed savage, life-long bear hunter, logger, biker and VietNam Vet. I’m pretty sure I can handle whatever you throw at me. Though the friends and neighbors I swore an oath to defend do not “support violence”, I do.
And you started the war.
TPM: Members of Congress aren’t sounding any smarter. In fact, the 112th Congress speaks collectively at a 10th grade level, down from that of a high school junior in 2005, according to a Sunlight Foundation study released this week.
Congress’ conservative members speak, on average, at the lowest grade level. Moderates from both parties tend to speak at the highest level. But collectively, the legislative body speaks at a higher level than the average American, who reads at between an 8th and 9th grade level.
Here’s a little context: most major newspapers clock in at between an 11th and 14th grade level. The Gettysburg Address was at a 11.2 grade level. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech was at a 9.4 grade level. President Obama’s State of the Union addresses come in at an 8th grade level, according to the study.
Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA) grabs the top speaking level at 16.01. Rep. John Mulvaney (R-SC) bring up the rear at 7.95. It would seem silly to suggest that a politician’s speaking level is an indicator of his or her legislative success. Especially when the study concludes that the more words individual members speak on the floors of Congress, the simpler their speech tends to be. The grade levels were calculated using the Flesh-Kincaid readability tests, which equates longer words and sentences with higher speaking levels. The Sunlight Foundation is a non-profit, non-partisan organization interested in increased government transparency.