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tough guy poetry and manly stories of loneliness
all contents copyright Jon Rolston 2004, 2005, 2006

January 20, 2009

Dr. King and Barack

It’s skate or die time for America
From an Al Jazeera article: “(MLK) fought his whole life against the forces of militarism and economic exploitation, while (Obama) empowers, and is empowered by, bankers and militarists…

If the Obama-ites had more presence of mind, they would avoid comparisons with Dr King, which can only redound to Obama’s great detriment.

King’s break with his one-time ally, Lyndon Johnson, the former president, set the standard for both political and moral behaviour.

When it became clear that the war on poverty, a programme of government aid to help the poor in the mid-1960s, was doomed by the war in Vietnam, which acted “like some demonic destructive suction tube,” devouring all available resources, King publicly declared against the war.

In doing so, he severed what had been the most productive relationship between a US president and a black leader in US history.

But the war gave him no choice, since military expenditures made “rehabilitation” of the American poor impossible.

Both morality and politics led to the same conclusion: the movement could not coexist with war.”

So let’s not forget there is still a War on Terror and we are fighting that war in Afghanistan. Mr. President is committing more troops to the region. The next four years aren’t gonna be a party. Shouldn’t we try to finish the War on Poverty before we proceed with Afghanistan?


  1. When did we start the war on poverty? Poor people are important to the democratic base. Gotta keep them around.

    The war on terror costs the middle class a hell of a lot more than it does the poverty stricken and less terrorism = more stable middle east = cheaper gas = cheaper food and other resources. Supplies don’t cost any less for poor folk than they do for rich folk. So I guess we are fighting the war on poverty!

    How’s that for some spin?

    Comment by Lyle_s — January 20, 2009 @ 2:37 pm

  2. That’s pretty good! But as a democracy we are supposed to reap the benefits of the poor (cheap labor) of other countries, not our own.

    As far as the history of the war on poverty,(from the liberal lefties at NPR) Lyndon Johnson “in his first State of the Union speech, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a “War On Poverty.” Johnson’s declaration came just weeks after succeeding to the White House upon the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

    Making poverty a national concern set in motion a series of bills and acts, creating programs such as Head Start, food stamps, work study, Medicare and Medicaid, which still exist today. The programs initiated under Johnson brought about real results, reducing rates of poverty and improved living standards for America’s poor.”

    As far as the cost of supplies, the poor do pay more for food and medical care and goods. Food costs more when there aren’t grocery stores around, which there aren’t in poor neighborhoods. At least not in San Francisco, and I doubt it’s any better elsewhere.

    Poor people buy basics with very slight profit margins, so it isn’t profitable enough for big stores to go in. If you’ve ever bought a weeks worth of groceries at a liquor store, you know how expensive that can be.

    Health care costs more when you aren’t insured, and poor people aren’t insured.
    The cost of goods is more for the same reason food is.

    Comment by Rolston — January 20, 2009 @ 5:39 pm

  3. at a 175,000,000 i hope the brother hits the ground runnin,, did the slaves build the whitehouse???

    Comment by poopies — January 20, 2009 @ 5:55 pm

  4. Well, those programs might have sprung up from a ‘war on poverty’ but are they fighting that war anymore? Medicaid might be one of the more f-ed up federal programs around. And you know that most people receiving food stamps will sell them for 75 cents on the dollar to turn them into cash.

    Hospitals in Wisconsin are advocating for a tax on their services so that they can get a larger subsidy from the Medicaid program! Have you ever heard of a business advocating for a new tax on itself? And who’s going to pay that tax? Not the hospitals — Insurance providers and patients will. It’s a straight up scam orchestrated by the Healthcare segment and Wisconsin state government to exploit the ‘war on poverty’. The war is a ruse for easing the pain just enough to keep the poor on their side. I complain about the weather here but the #1 reason I want out is because of how this state runs itself.

    Before I forget, just want to commend you for sticking to your principals when so many other lefties are riding Obama’s wake to the center.

    Comment by Lyle_S — January 20, 2009 @ 8:59 pm

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