June 19. 2013 By Jack Jodell.
It was 1917. In Washington, D.C., a long-winded Senator was pontificating about the various things he thought the country desperately needed at that time. He went on and on and on (as Senators often seem to do, then and now), until then-Vice President Thomas R. Marshall finally blurted out, in sheer exasperation, “What this country really needs is a good five-cent cigar!” His remark was greeted with uproarious laughter by many who were in attendance.
Today, of course, we all recognize that the last thing anyone needs is a cigar, given the cancer, stroke, and heart attack-causing properties of tobacco ingestion. But the country still has a number of truly desperate, pressing needs, and today I’d like to list a few of them:
What this country really needs is – to curtail its ADDICTION to GREED! In ever-increasing increments, the nation’s wealth is being funneled always upward on the income scale. The piggishly wealthy have been grabbing a hugely disproportionate share of the nation’s wealth for the past 30 + years, in effect stealing it from the middle and ;pwer classes beneath them. Little by little, they have shifted tax liabilities away from themselves and their corporations and have skillfully managed to place them squarely on the shoulders of those below them. They have also exported millions of good-paying American jobs to cheaper foreign labor markets, and have replaced those jobs here with much-lower wage jobs. They have corrupted our government by buying-off politicians en masse, and are ever-seeking to find new ways to increase their already record-high wealth even further. NOTHING is enough for these people – they constantly want MORE all the time! Meanwhile, as they foolishly sit back counring their money and scheming to obtain even more, the nation’s roads, bridges, schools, and electrical grid are all crumbling. Poverty and hunger are rising, and both unemployment and underemployment remain far too high. Meanwhile, as the country slowly slides toward third-world status, these same wealthy few invest in foreign plants in other countries. This is not progress – it is MADNESS, and it must be reversed – NOW!
What this country really needs is – to put an END to paranoia! Since 9/11, we have become obsessed with terrorism. We have grown so fearful that we now make even frail old ladies take off their shoes before being cleared to board airplanes. We have grown so fearful that we now have all purses and handbags thoroughly checked before every concert or stadium event all across the country, We have grown so fearful that our government now records and stores data on our own phone numbers and the numbers we have called, plus it records and stores data on every single email we have sent or received over the last decade! DICK Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld managed to scare the country into a needless, very costly war in Iraq; and now neocons John McCain and Lindsay Graham are attempting to maneuver us into one in Syria as well. We can no longer afford to be the world’s policeman, as all we do in the process is foster needless bloodshed, destruction, and chaos. This madness must STOP!
What this country really needs is – to QUIT LYING! We are inundated with constant lying; untruth and dishonesty are rampant and pervasive. TV, radio, and magazine ads all lie about their products and/or try to manipulate us into buying them. John Boehner and Eric Cantor lie repeatedly when they tell us how job creation is their highest priority, but have, in reality, spent the last 3 years opposing any measures to create jobs. Paul Ryan lies when he tells us that rewarding the rich with even more tax breaks will stimulate the economy to produce new, good jobs. Fox “News” presents a steady stream of exaggeration, distortion, and outright lies in nearly everything it presents. The NRA claims it supports gun safety, but repeatedly lies through its teeth as it really opposes any effort to restrict gun sales to anyone, including convicted criminals. Even the religious right “Faith and Freedom Coalition” blatantly lies when it distributes hate-filled literature accusing the President, liberals, and the American Civil Liberties Union of engaging in an “anti-Christian” agenda, or in supporting “socialist” or “far left” policies. Talk radio is crawling with liars (ESPECIALLY Rush Limbaugh) who spew out a seemingly endless stream of untruths in a sordid attempt to be controversial or to attract listeners. Massive lying has grown to epidemic proportions in the U.S. today, and it is extremely unhealthy. It must therefore come to a screeching HALT!
What this country really needs is – to quit being the arms merchant for the entire world! Since World War II, we have engaged in far too many wars and have fummeled billions of dollars into expensive arms races. This has resulted in record profits for greedy arms merchants but also in the senseless murders of millions of innocent people plus untold suffering across the planet. It is high time we started investing in constructive endeavors rather than pursuing the destructive paths we have been doing!
What this country really needs is – to stop polluting! We have truly been very poor stewards of our earthly home. In our zeal for maxumum profit, we have allowed gredy, self-centered people like the Koch Brothers, and multinational corporations like BP to pollute our rivers, streams, lakes, oceans and air , causing a gigantic level of harm to our environment and even to our very existence on this planet. Oil spills are killing both wildlife and people, and nuclear mishaps like Fukishima spell certain doom for the continued existence of our human race on this planet! It is imperative that we get a grip on this short-sighted, destructive behavior before we all become extinct!
These are but a few of the things I believe this country is desperately in need of at this moment, and going forward. I encourage all of you to think of others and share them. For. you see, we don’t really need a good five cent cigar: what we really need is – an end to all the utter INSANITY I have described above!