Them vs. Us

Barbara Tuchman’s, A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous Fourteenth CenturyA friend of mine who reads everything he can get his hands on sent me the following review of Barbara Tuchman’s 1978 A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous Fourteenth Century:

In it, the author of The Guns of August writes about a peasant revolt in France in 1358 that began in the village of St. Leu and spread throughout the Oise Valley. At one estate, the serfs sacked the manor house, killed the knight, and roasted him on a spit in front of his wife and kids. Then, after ten or twelve peasants violated the lady, with the children still watching, they forced her to eat the roasted flesh of her husband and then killed her. “

That is class warfare.

Arguing over the optimum marginal tax rate for the top one percent is not.

Hopefully our times will not be as calamitous, but the ongoing economic mess we’re all in carries as much calamity as I need. In reading Michael Lewis’ Boomerang, you can’t help but sympathize with the Occupy Wall Street movement, the self-described 99 percent which was slow to stir, but now is flexing its muscle. No one’s sure how the show will play out, but it’s gratifying to see so many people who are mad as hell and won’t take it any more. Of course, the Tea Party ilk and conservative talk show hosts are busy denigrating the effort so it must have some considerable merit.

A story in Saturday’s New York Times compared the Occupy folks with the Tea Party crowd: “While Occupy forces find fault in the banks and super-rich, the Tea Party movement blames the government for the economic calamity brought on by the mortgage crisis, and sees the wealthy as job creators who will lift the country out of its economic malaise. To them, the solution is less regulation of banks, not more.”

Judging from this comparison, I know which side I want to camp out with.

Seems like a long time ago since President Obama told the bankers that he was the only thing between them and the pitchforks.

Wall StreetNow months have passed, banks still are dragging their feet, the unemployment numbers are stuck, housing is dead, and ain’t nothing going to happen till the skinny guy gets reelected and hoses out the Senate and House.

When the knuckleheaded legislators keep the bread buttered for the super rich who continue to laugh all the way to the bank (wait a minute–is that a good place for anyone to put their money?), they simultaneously say no to everything Obama proposes. How can you vote against a bill to get teachers and police back to work, especially when it’s funded by getting the barons to fork (there’s that word again) over money from their ill-gotten tax breaks. Thank you again Mr Bush.

Rachel Maddow, MSNBC host, recently wrote: “We didn’t put a man on the moon because some company thought they might be able to make a profit doing it. It takes vision to involve the common good of the American people without regard for profit. If you’re charting a course for this country and your big idea is ‘No We Can’t,’ then I don’t want you leading the country.”

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David Evans

David Evans

I'm retired from another life and live in the mountains of eastern West Virginia with my muse Jody along with one little and two big dogs and a diminishing pride of two cats and other critters who come along the path from time to time. I retired one morning years ago when I woke up and said, "This is the day." It was simply time to do something new with my life. I had done whatever I did long enough, and now it was time to do something else. Being independent and no longer in the reins of someone else's driver, I believe I have found something to cherish that I never had before. Retirement may be dull and boring, but that's true only if you are dull and boring. But if you’re like I was, and am, I saw a lot of things as I went along the trail that I would have liked to linger over a lot longer if I had had the time to spare. Above all, I wanted to think about what they meant and have the chance to go back over them and figure them out. I'm not abashed to say that today I lead a life of real luxury. I also recognize that I'm a lucky boy. In the words of Katherine Anne Porter: "My life has been incredible, I don't believe a word of it." I am the author of the recently published collection of essays entitled Meeting Memory In The Dark. Earlier I self-published Words To Woo Her By And Other Distractions Along The Way; Tunes of Glory: The Slow Ticking of the Heart; Cradle My Soul: Glimpses Into Other Lives; and Unscheduled Stops: Essays on Love, Loss and Other Roadside Attractions. All are available on either Amazon or Create Space, a subsidiary of Amazon. Proceeds go to the Almost Heaven Golden Retriever Rescue and Sanctuary in Capon Bridge, West Virginia.