Polish Daily News by Public Domain
God has been throwing acorns at the house lately, too much time on his
hands, I suppose. He can't kill African babies all the time and he sure
hasn't been helping Willard (Mitt) Romney any. The acorns come down hard
on the roof like rocks or like Mitt's falling poll numbers whichever
you prefer. I think I like Cleveland, its comfortable like an old pair
of shoes. They have this lake front, where regular people can live. In
Chicago, they would be million dollar properties, here they are just
apartments. To me of course a Great Lake is a Great Lake, I'm not about
to get snobbish about it, especially as a new comer.
I went to see the Christmas Story house and while we were in the
neighborhood we visited Saint Theodosius Cathedral. Poor little Ralphie,
his neighborhood falling into disrepair. When we arrived we saw the
obligatory leg lamp in Ralphie's front window and an excavator climbing
up the rubble pile of a demolished house next door. Your eyes quickly
adjust to this carnage and boarded up houses of what must have been at
one time an urban paradise. As we cruised the neighborhoods we saw an
old brick building with a concrete mantle which proudly proclaimed, "The
Polish Daily News -1922"
It was a time when America held promise, when Ukrainian immigrants could
pool their collective resources and build not just a church but a
cathedral. They were staking their claim as Americans, they were
Ukrainians but now, they were also Americans. They fought for their
labor rights and survived the last Great Depression and in their
prosperity they were assimilated into the American maelstrom.
The neighborhoods of Cleveland remind me of the neighborhoods of
Atlanta, only older. Boarded up windows and doors spare no architecture,
be it period housing versus boarded up bungalow ranch style with its
vinyl siding and faux brick. Decay is decay, but there is more, this
plague cannot be isolated to architecture alone. It permeates our
society as a whole, when I was in Portland; I was walking to the coffee
shop one morning about 9:30 and all around me were groups of men in twos
and three's who should have been at work.
I was filled with stories of cars which no longer run and of owner's
with no money to fix them. My uncle used to buy a new car every two
years. He was a foreman in a factory, I knew lots of people who bought
new cars, these were happy times and prosperous memories. Days when
people had "good jobs," remember, "Oh, Mary's got a "good job" but what
is a "good job" today? Just down the street from here is a pretty little
three bedroom, two bath period home probably built sometime in the
1920's. It's big and roomy, warm and cozy with period trimmings of wide
oak moldings, large windows and a big old fashioned front porch
surrounded by a heavy railing.
I'm told that this house could be had for $8,000 American and that there
are in Cleveland, hundreds of these houses. The simple reason they're
selling so cheaply is because there are no jobs and no credit for what I
call the poor, and the politicians call the middle class. The middle
class is an imaginary group of American's like Bill Cosby's Huxtables
who live mainly on TV and on Madison Avenue. But, if these houses are
bad assets driving down the banks ability to be profitable and if we
have millions of unemployed and millions of homeless including half a
million who are children aged 0-5. Then let's take these houses off of
the banks hands. Then let's hire these unemployed to do the repairs
necessary to make the homes livable.
Then let's sell the house for a reasonable price, say $16,000. We help
the bank, we help the poor, we create jobs, just another big govement
program, which helps everyone, instead of just the banks. When FDR tried
to help people to keep their homes in 1933 with the Home Owners Loan
Corporation, the home price slide ended within a year and who did that
help the most but the banks. We are entering our fifth year of home
price declines, culling the fringe, but now the plague is infecting the
whole. If the free market can correct itself, how much longer is this
going to take?
We could do a lot of things, God's not throwing acorns at us, this
plague is man made, but Damn it Mitt, you're not supposed to lose this
bad. Not since Montgomery Burns was forced to take a bite from Blinky,
the three eyed fish has there been a politician been so publicly
debased. Paul Ryan the ambitious man, faced off against a hostile
Louisiana crowd, and as Ryan spoke, the crowd murmured aggressively. As
Ryan explained that he and Mitt Romney wanted to fix the economy by
doing away with Obama care, the crowd loudly booed and cat called.
It was a surreal moment and had it been in black and white would have
resembled that scene from "The Bride of Frankenstein" where the monster
puts his hands up defensively yelling, "Fire Bad!" from the balcony of
the old wind mill. That moment when the flaming torch salesman sells out
his stock and the networks begin offering gaff to gaff coverage. Still,
I admired Ryan's courage, Louisiana crowds can be tough even when
you're just playing football against them but when you start talking
about taking mamere's Social Security they will call you, bebette mal
But now with Willard imploding, Obama with no real record to run on and
the worst economy in seventy years will coast into office with an
alleged mandate of public approval. This too is a part of the plague,
this too affects our national mindset, just when the public asks, "Could
there ever be a worse candidate than Sarah Palin?" the Republican's
choose two, count em, two Sarah Palin's.
Did you know that the F-22 fighter program is going to cost us over 66
Billion dollars? Do you know how many homes we could purchase and rehab
for 66 billion dollars? How many people we could put to work and in a
home? Suddenly we wake on the bus and realize in terror we've missed our
stop. The President elect will dredge up the corpse of the Simpson --
Bowles commission and begin to build a new monster from its parts. The
Commission's report was aptly named, The National Commission on Fiscal
Responsibility and Reform. Whenever politicians start talking about
Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, you have a pretty good idea where they
plan on getting the heart and the ass for this new monster.
There are moments when there is no turning back, when your fate has been
decided, one is when they push the bar down into your lap on a roller
coaster another is when political campaigns no longer have any
relationship to what is going on in the general public. Willard promises
[Generic Right Wing Political Message Here] while Obama offers us
Forward! How many people will work in this forward? What kind of wages
can I expect in forward? Can I join Local 12 of the forwarders union?
Can I eat forward? Will forward keep me warm this winter?
Where is the vision thing and now that Willard has so screwed the pooch,
the Democrats might gain control of the Congress and be forced to
actually do something, but what will they do? Personally, I see the
kites being launched from the castle, I see a thunderstorm brewing and
lights on late in the laboratory windows at night.