Yes, these are dire political times. Many who optimistically hoped for real change have spent nearly five years under the cold downpour of political reality. Here at CounterPunch we’ve always aimed to tell it like it is, without illusions or despair. That’s why so many of you have found a refuge at CounterPunch and made us your homepage. You tell us that you love CounterPunch because the quality of the writing you find here in the original articles we offer every day and because we never flinch under fire. We appreciate the support and are prepared for the fierce battles to come.
Unlike other outfits, we don’t hit you up for money every month … or even every quarter. We ask only once a year. But when we ask, we mean it.
CounterPunch’s website is supported almost entirely by subscribers to the print edition of our magazine. We aren’t on the receiving end of six-figure grants from big foundations. George Soros doesn’t have us on retainer. We don’t sell tickets on cruise liners. We don’t clog our site with deceptive corporate ads.
The continued existence of CounterPunch depends solely on the support and dedication of our readers. We know there are a lot of you. We get thousands of emails from you every day. Our website receives millions of hits and nearly 100,000 readers each day. And we don’t charge you a dime.
Please, use our brand new secure shopping cart to make a tax-deductible donation to CounterPunch today or purchase a subscription our monthly magazine and a gift sub for someone or one of our explosive books, including the ground-breaking Killing Trayvons. Show a little affection for subversion: consider an automated monthly donation. (We accept checks, credit cards, PayPal and cold-hard cash….)
To contribute by phone you can call Becky or Deva toll free at: 1-800-840-3683
Thank you for your support,
Jeffrey, Joshua, Becky, Deva, and Nathaniel
CounterPunch PO Box 228, Petrolia, CA 95558
Bolsheviks in the Cornfields
Various right-wing heroes have used the healthcare debate to suggest that President Obama and the Congressional Democrats are steering us down the Potomac toward socialism.
All I want to know is when I’ll get my share of the loot. I want cradle-to-the-grave security. I’m already 66 years beyond the cradle, and a couple of guys with a backhoe are ready to dig me a nice grave somewhere, whether I want it or not.
But before I fill that grave with what are tastelessly referred to as my “remains,” what am I supposed to do about the rent, the cost of food, and a car that now refuses to take me to the Salvation Army store or anywhere else? When will the Bolsheviks march across the cornfields, certify that I’m a Hero of Labor, and dump 30 or 40 bushels of cash on the front stoop?
And who’s going to chase off the neighborhood street gang that mistakes all this cash for a mere Social Security check? The FBI and the CIA are too busy waterboarding the population of the Hindu Kush, so the Bolsheviks had better bring a police department with them. I can’t be expected to deal with street gangs at my age.
If all this socialism turns out to be nothing more than a Norman Thomas picnic in Milwaukee, I’m going to be pretty disappointed with all these Republicans who have nothing better to do than get an old-age pensioner’s hopes up. John Boehner, John McCain, and Jon Kyl will get no more campaign contributions from me, nor will any of the johns in the Minneapolis airport. I don’t care what the Supreme Court says. The Irelan Corporation will fund no more searing campaign ads to appear on endless reruns of I Love Lucy or on cable news channels where people scream at each other 24 hours a day.
In case all this chatter about money induces you to run off and check the balance in your 401(k), just forget it. I promise you that your balance is no where close to where it used to be. Let’s stay on the subject of socialist medical care. I will now bless you with a riveting story about my recent quadruple bypass surgery.
The operation was a success, although I fell asleep for two days and missed the whole thing, which lasted, I was later told, for four hours. So I really can’t report all the thrilling details. I could, however, go on at length about the benefits of my single-payer health insurance, known by all as Medicare. And despite the fact that John, John, Jon, and the rest of the Republicans have alerted me to the promise of socialism, I still retain an affection for Medicare and the treatment I received during my eight days in the hospital.
My only complaint is that shortly after I awoke from the fog of surgery, two nurses dragged me out of bed so that the three of us could enjoy a walk up and down the hallway. I thought they were crazy, but they were in charge, so I followed their orders. Then we performed the same routine every afternoon for the rest of my stay in the hospital.
These nurses told me nothing about the dangers or benefits of socialism. They never gave me an estimate of when the Bolsheviks would cross the Mississippi and distribute bales of loot liberated from various Wall Street bankers who had previously stolen these same bales from me and my fellow taxpayers.
I’m now far from the hospital, sitting on the stoop. I just walked 40 minutes on a treadmill, and now I’m scanning the distance with my Salvation Army binoculars. The Bolsheviks are out there somewhere, probably still in Illinois, marching through the stubble of last year’s cornfields. If they don’t cross the Mississippi soon, the annual flood will stop them in Moline, where they can survey the new John Deere farm equipment for 2010.
I hope they enjoy their visit to Moline, but I’m more interested in their westward progress or the lack thereof. I have bills to pay, but the floodwater may never go down. The cornfields may never get dry. And the socialist loot may never arrive.