Bridge-jumping for Your Health

Previous generations of Americans could validly expect better lives for their children. Not anymore.

That’s because billionaires now thoroughly control an economy designed to “fabulously” enrich a privileged few by stealing the wealth that results when everyday toilers get low pay and substandard or nonexistent benefits.

Still, some regular folks, enduring painful exploitation under this reverse Robin Hood status, support rightwing con artists that FOX News and Rush Limbaugh shamelessly dupe them into backing.

It’s about as sensible as someone saying, “Jump off this bridge into those boulder-strewn, raging waters below. It’ll do wonders for your health!”

Lowering taxes for the upper crust and abolishing “onerous” government regulations on rapacious Big Business and High Finance is what they’re really asking, but the result would be just as lethal.

Let’s quit listening to manipulative propagandists’ disguised calls for our mass emasculation and complete impoverishment.

After all, further lavishing and empowering our oppressors would hardly improve our wretched lot.


When abolitionists, suffragettes, and labor organizers first emerged, parties who gained from mistreating blacks, women, and workers demonized those change-making activists.

They were slandered as being anti-American and un-Christian.

Sadly, similar charges are directed against homosexuals today, whose civil rights continue to be opposed with the same Bible-thumping false rectitude once used to defend slavery.

A bloody civil war had to be fought because part of the country couldn’t comprehend what Jesus really stood for, preferring benighted bigotry instead.

Much later, in a laudable reversal, many citizens opposed the Vietnam war because they were conscientiously convinced that napalming Southeast Asian civilians into smoldering heaps of cinders and ash wasn’t a Godly thing to do.

For holding that view, they were labeled “smelly hippies” and “Marxists.”

Today, as the growing Occupy movement protests Wall Street’s plunder of our country’s wage-earning majority, it also gets called dirty names. Exactly the same names that ’60s war resisters were called.

Given all this, could it be that the slanderers secretly wish they could still own other human beings? Or prevent females from voting? They’re certainly anti-union.

Just wondering…


Thank you, conservatives, for revealing to us that the 99% movement is nothing but a bunch of crybaby/loser/Bolshevik members of a silly “Flea Party.”

Now we no longer have to worry about capitalists getting obscenely bloated while typical workers’ billfolds virtually disappear when viewed sideways.

What a relief it is to ignore the correlation between the length of fat cats’ yachts and the shortening time many millions of us have before going hopelessly broke.

Instead, we can fulminate against “irresponsible” young people protesting exorbitant college tuition costs, and lifelong student-loan debt, as they try to become educated for jobs that likely won’t even exist when they graduate.

What’s with value-less, complaining kids these days anyhow?

Now that we’ve seen the light, we can hardly wait till Newt Gingrich becomes President and brings back child labor, which he recently advocated at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

After all, there’s nothing wrong with America that a little Dickensian discipline for spoiled brats won’t fix!


(Extreme right, actually…)


Where in the First Amendment are tents and sleeping bags prevented from being used by American citizens as they peacefully assemble in public places to seek redress of compelling grievances?

Such a prohibition doesn’t exist, of course.

But that isn’t stopping mayors of several cities from behaving like foreign despots as they attempt to quash the Occupy cause, which resists the increasingly Third World-like economic inequity that having our lives ruled by upper crust thieves has painfully visited upon countless U.S. households.

Pitiful wages, lousy benefits, and pepper-sprayed violations of basic liberty are becoming the overall norm, while exploitative oligarchs ostentatiously luxuriate in gated communities.

Winding up essentially indistinguishable from the downtrodden, tyrannized “wretched of the earth” shouldn’t be our collective fate.

Join Occupy and the 99% to demand a different, better outcome for ourselves and our progeny!

Dennis Rahkonen, from Superior, Wisconsin, has been writing progressive commentary with a Heartland perspective for various outlets since the '60s. Read other articles by Dennis.