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Chatterbox: These are trying times


Dear Chattereaders, I address you this week because I really wish to apologize. There is much need for humor these days. There just isn’t enough time right now. So many of us are tired and worn thin by the quarantine, the news, the battles royal in government and the struggle to keep America’s head above water.

There’s a scene in one of my favorite movies, “The Lion in Winter,” where Eleanor of Aquitaine asks her estranged husband and King, Henry, “How, from where we started, did we ever get here?”

“One step at a time,” he replies. She was looking for solace. He gave her sarcasm. He broke her heart. There is, very much so, in this, a reference to this column as per our nation.

Our nation wasn’t really ever free for all, but the people were always working to that end, and newcomers arrived with that hope. That’s not today’s America. The country started by dissent, framed by dissenters, and defended by those promised freedom and equality has been sold. The people were lied to and, while truth has very definite perimeters, lies have no limits.

Our rights, our stations in life, the taxes we pay, the protections we merit, and the legislation that controls them and our leadership, affect every facet of every person’s life. The obstacles that make life more difficult for some people than others aren’t accidental. They are, as we have been shouting for years, the result of the cleverest coup d’état ever accomplished, and no one raised a single gun … few raised an eyebrow.

That coup is the empirical issue we must deal with, but at the moment, we have bigger fish to fry, but, sadly, they have also directly resulted from that silent overthrow of our democracy.

Today, the fallout is our quarantine. Looking backwards to where America’s leaders, businessmen at the helm, and leading minds mismanaged what amounts to a plague is useless. It wastes valuable time and is just another designated distraction from the real elephant in the room.

What we must do now is what matters now. Otherwise, the pundits will be wasting time next month talking about this month’s mistakes, and it’s really up to the people to choose. We know what the crisis is, but what we do with it?

Many states have been adhering to the quarantine. They are, statistically, doing better than the few that jumped in late or didn’t take the leap at all but, having been struck after so many other nations, results are available to us from around the world. We have no need to experiment with our own population. We can look abroad and see what works.

Quarantine works. Still, even in this nation always touting liberty and justice for all, equality actually remains elusive to many. Now, many underappreciated workers have been discovered to be quite fundamental. They and their services, key in the daily survival of most people, have the top tier in convulsions over the stock market and their private wealth.

Now, the president and his dependant staffers are cringing over the affect this is having on “his economy” and reelection. Now, trolls on social media scare up images of the Great Depression. Now, while most of the little people still wait for their crumbs, the corporate sharks have, as in 2008, gotten their cake … so now, suddenly, it’s time for everyone to go back to work, to put little lives back on the line. And now, protests with dubious roots feign the desire of people to go back to work. It’s imperative we look at who’s inciting these protests. That’s key.

The truth is, an impressive majority of Americans don’t want that. They don’t want the past weeks of confinement to be wasted, even though most don’t have the financial cushion they need. The fact that so many Americans can’t financially float themselves for four or six months without an income is a direct result of America’s corporate rule and greed. That’s America’s greatest irony and our greatest national shame. The very corporate/government powers inciting the poor to endanger themselves to go back to work, are they who have already robbed and exploited them to the brink at which it became necessary for the workers to do so.

The virus grew on its own … just a natural opportunist, but the poverty, now at the helm of America’s safety, was orchestrated from the jump by insatiable greed and a belief that some people’s lives are more dispensable than those of other people.

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