Baltimore City’s school system faces a $52 million deficit. This means at least 1,000 of its employees, mostly administrators, will lose their jobs just in time for the Christmas holidays. The mayor, Martin O’Malley, a/k/a “Martin O’Developer,” bellowed, “It’s long overdue. We can’t gloss over this any more” (“Baltimore Sun,” 11/14/03). Maryland’s Republican governor, Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr., also strongly supports these budget slashing, worker cutting methods. Talk about Scrooge!
Keep in mind that the price tag for U.S. taxpayers to fight, for just one hour, in the Neocon-inspired war in Iraq is $46 million! The total federal budget also reveals that a staggering $459 billion is slated for military spending and another $345 billion is set aside to pay for past military costs, like VA benefits. Military-related costs, current and in the past, represents a humongous 47 percent of the total spending scheduled for the fiscal year 2004 (warresisters.org). What is left for the people?
Meanwhile, the chief instrument of this spending orgy, the Pentagon, continues to grow fatter everyday. It appears beyond reform of any reasonable kind. Elected politicians and the Controlled Media, also, remain silent about its excesses and the warmongering of its ideologues.
For instance, Michael Olesker, a “Sun” columnist, (11/14/03), showed no mercy cheerleading for a “purge” in the embattled school system. Olesker, who makes a pretty good salary scribbling for the “Sun,” and for years, doubled up as a well paid ranter for a Baltimore television station, wailed about the North Avenue employees of the school system, “What work, exactly, do these people do?” He continued, sarcastically, “This is where roughly 700 people shuffle papers and haven’t seen the inside of a classroom in years.” I wonder how Mr. “Big Shot” Olesker would feel if he were headed, instead, for the unemployment line?
Yet, this is the same know-it-all Olesker who has failed to speak one critical word about the mad ravings of the Deputy Secretary of Defense, one Paul “Dr. Strangelove” Wolfowitz. This notorious Chicken Hawk is one of the main architects, along with the “Mother of all Neocons,” ex-Chairman of the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board, the slippery Richard Perle, of the U.S. led invasion of Iraq. As of today’s date, the cost of the immoral Iraqi war exceeds $85 billion! Why hasn’t Olesker called for a “purge” at the Pentagon or of the Neocons from our federal government?
When is the righteous Olesker going to come clean about the Neocons that helped to get America into the Iraqi quagmire that has cost us the lives of 414 of our finest sons and daughters? (lunaville.org). When is he going to let the people know that our national debt is approaching $6.9 trillion, and that the interest alone on that debt this year will be around $318 billion (uwsa.com), and that the federal budget deficit for fiscal 2003 is estimated at over $401 billion? (“UPI,” Kathy A. Gambrell, 08/26/02).
As the fearless “Johnny Bob” McDonagh used to say on WBAI’s Radio Free Eireann, in NYC, “It’s time for a reality check!” Okay, the Baltimore City school system is running a deficit this year. It needs to lay off employees. That’s fine up to a point. The Controlled Media, however, led by Olesker, gives the false impression, that “if” only we could get a handle on this local problem (which may be contrived or not) that Western Civilization itself can be saved! His dubious thesis is supported by politicians, like O’Malley and Ehrlich, who regularly perform as trained puppies for Bush-Cheney’s War Party and its propaganda machine.
The hard truth is that America is broke! We belong in bankruptcy court. The leading culprit is our federal government’s imperialistic foreign policies, which since the end of WWII, has driven our country to the brink of a financial tragedy. For example, WWII has been over for 58 years, yet we have 41,000 troops presently stationed in Japan, and another 72,000 in Germany. Why? The Korean War ended in 1953. We still have 38,000 troops garrisoned in South Korea (DoD). Why are they still there?
The hawkish world view of serial U.S. governments, when coupled with our “free trade” policy (that is destroying our manufacturing base and evaporating our Middle Class) is a sure recipe for a national calamity. The Iraq war, and our undue meddling in the Middle East, only compounds the basic problem. The “Great Depression” of the 1930s will be recalled as a school picnic, unless we reverse our present course. America will end up as a looted and balkanized plantation with Russian-styled “Oligarchs” (read amoral economic parasites) picking off its bones!
The fiscal crisis now facing the Baltimore school system is only a minor footnote in a potentially greater financial and economic catastrophe looming over America. The duped taxpayers better wake up and start fighting back. If they continue to allow themselves to be diverted from the really significant issue, namely the ultra hawkish and costly war-related policies of the federal government, than we’re going to go down the drain.
To take America back, the people have to see through the cunning trickery of journalists, like Olesker, and also the phony persona of wily politicians, such as the ambitious O’Malley and Ehrlich, to name just two, that have repeatedly let up down. The latter duo “only” really care about getting reelected and/or seeking a higher office for themselves. This is why O’Malley and Ehrlich haven’t spoken out against the Iraq war or against the wire pullers who got us into this mess. The true public welfare is a mystery to their psyches. Living up also to their duties to the ancient values of the Republic, rarely enters their monotone get-reelected-at-any-cost mindset (ditto, U.S. Sen. Barbara A. “The Windbag” Mikulski (D-MD).
Why do we still cling to the idea that our journalists are going to tell us the whole truth and that our politicians are going to solve our problems? It’s going to take an awakened people, a people in touch with the spiritual legacy of the Founding Fathers, to restore the Republic.