Tim and Bernie's warnings

    Turning and turning in the widening gyre

    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

    The ceremony of innocence is drowned.

    The best lack all conviction, while the worst

    Are full of passionate intensity.

     Yeats ,1919



    Letter to the Editor

    "The American Dream of the middle class has all but disappeared ,substituted with people struggling just to buy next week's groceries...............What is it going to take to open the eyes of our elected officials? AMERICA IS IN SERIOUS DECLINE.

    Timothy McVeigh


    But then Sanders got up and said it.

    "This election is about ending the forty- year decline of our middle class, the reality that forty-seven million men,women ,and children live in poverty.


    "A future to believe in."

    Sanders and only Sanders ,talked that way about decline and suffering.

     *Jill Lepore, The New Yorker August 8&15  2016




    Not all apocalyptic forecasts are bombast. McVegh's letter to an upstate New York paper was written four years after the end of President Reagan's Morning in America .And  Mr. Gorbachev having  had torn down "that Wall".

    And also at what many of us thought  an optimistic moment as new young candidate Bill Clinton seemed headed to replace the fading WWII hero , President George Bush. But the future Oklahoma City  bomber expressed the same concerns as Bernie Sanders 24 years later.

    Neither McVegh nor Sanders were creating an otherwise non-existent problem. Statistics seem to show that the major distinction between them was that the middle class  deterioration was only ten years old in 1992 (its onset interestingly coinciding  with Reagan's cutting the top incremental tax rate from 70% to 28% which was supposedly going to result in what Keynes called "animal spirits" which would magically produce good times for all ) and another 24 years passed before  Bernie's sobering warning in Philadelphia.

    Perhaps a  psychologically oriented poll could  produce  credible data telling us  whether a substantial share of the middle class is ready for a far more drastic rejection of the status quo than just voting for Trump. My gut feeling is that that is only true of the sub- middle classes. But the next   President  and all of us need to guided by  something infinitely more useful than Flavius' gut.

    (a couple of revisions to clarify the distinction between the New Yorker quotes and my maunderings)






    After Ronnie & George 1, we raised taxes a bit, balanced the budget, but still grew jobs for the poor and middle class. McVeigh was wrong. 15 years after the wall, the EU expanded to assimilate 10 poor eastern European states, and the only real fallout has been a crisis in Greece of its own making - everythin is running pretty well if we'd quit making refugees by supplying weapons to warzones. 

    For 10 yearswe played a housing ponzi scheme that everyone knew would collapse and finally it did. The same greed and stupidity that elected W Bush twice. But still, the few wars of today kill 10's of thousands, not like millions on the 60's, 70's, 80's or Congo, Rwanda and Yugoslavia in the 90's. It's all getting better if we just stay a bit calm (and dont elect the Trumpkin)

    I think about this all the time.

    Back in the 50's:

    In Suburbia we had 30-35 kids in all the classrooms. 

    In Suburbia we had no typewriters as students except in typewriting class.

    In Suburbia we had 5 to 7 kids (or more) in 2000 sq. ft ranch houses.

    In Suburbia we had one black and white tv.

    In Suburbia we had tiny radios with terrible sound.


    We have computers in the schools and in the homes.

    One can go to the library and have access to computers and the internet.

    We have portable telephones (with many names) that can keep parents and others updated.

    Telephone booths are GONE.

    Parents are having two or three kids instead of five or seven or nine.


    I might get into this subject later.

    Do all American Children receive these benefits?


    Daddy is in prison on a drug charge and mommy drinks all day and ....

    But any parent can find food stamps right now for the children if he or she is in want.


    In the Bush wars we lost 5,000 soldiers.

    In the LBJ/Nixon wars we lost 60,000?

    In Korea we lost 38,000?

    In WWI and WWII humanity lost 100,000,000?



    It can't get any worse?


    Well if Trump wins; YEAH.


    My  friend Cal had a friend on the next farm who tried to make ends meet by substituting a little straw in old dobbins hay. 

    Worked a treat. Saved money. He added more straw.

    Same story.

    Just when he got the animal to go completely on a straw diet the durn thing died.

    We can exchange anecdotes as long any one will listen but  something caused McVegh go write his 1992 letter to the Oneonta News , or whatever. And I keep hearing it said that below some income level (90% ?) living standards have slipped since Reagan. 

     Cal also used to say that you can ask people to stand still, pretty much forever. But you can't ask them to fall back.

    Did that cause McVegh to turn into non jihadi terrorist after his letter to the editor? I don't think so and that's off the thread. But

    o if an increasingly  high percentage of National Income goes to the top 10%.

    o And Carter's 70%  marginal rate was cut by RR to 28%

    o And we reduced income from  tariffs

    o without increasing income from export related employment.

    On the back of an envelope  seems to me  there must have been a lot more straw in somebody's  feed bag. Maybe ours? 

    Could Keynes have been right: "the thing about Protection is, it does the trick" ? And "let all goods be homespun.?"

    Just asking.


    Oh Flavius, I wanted to add here that Smith's Blog (Creative Corner) allows for good poems like yours.

    Just a thought. I go there all the time and I liked your poem and please write more.

    Poems and prose as it were.

    Well the Flav lead off by quoting Yeats.

    If Yeats wants to participate at dagblog, I am all for it.

    And get that Shakespeare fellow on the phone.

    But what does Maud Gonne think?

    Timothy McVeigh was a racist baby-killer. He represents a subgroup of self-pitying white guys. His modern incarnation is Dylan Roof. Trump is speaking directly to this subgroup. People saw the Trump-McVeigh-Roof view of life in America and are refusing to accept that the country is the disaster portrayed by the Republican convention. Job creation is up. The stock market is up. Crime is down. Teen pregnancy is down. What upsets the Trumpsters is that women and minorities now have a voice. Trump accomplished an amazing feet, he is getting white women to vote for the Democratic Party. White women haven't fully supported Democrats since LBJ. The only people buying in to the Trump nonsense is a subset of white men.

    Minorities and women have endured financial hardships since the country began. Neither group was handled with kid gloves. Now that some white men are facing financial hardships, heroin abuse has gone from criminal activity because minorities are degenerates to a national health care issue. Mental health facilities have to be funded because white men are committing suicide. White men are willing to repeatedly vote against their own welfare. They reelect a Governor who bankrupted the state of Kansas. The angry white guys are tired of being lied to by the Republican elites in Washington, D.C. They hitch their future to pathological liar Donald Trump. I do not know how we can see these angry white male voters from themselves. Advice from minorities and women will be rejected. Facts provided by other white men will be rejected because the Trumpsters do not care about facts. Trumpsters cannot see themselves in a coalition that includes minorities as equals.

    Eighteen years before McVeigh's letter...

    "I never went to school, so I never growed up to read and write too good, so I have stayed in jail and I have stayed stupid,  and I have stayed a child while I have watched your world grow up, and then I look at the things that you do and I don't   understand. You eat meat and you kill things that are better than you are, and then you say how bad, and even killers, your children are. You made your children what they are. These children that come at you with knives. They are your children. You taught them. I didn't teach them." --snip--  I was working at cleaning up my house, something that Nixon should have been doing. He should have been on the side of the road, picking up his children, but he wasn't. He was in the White House, sending them off to war. I don't understand you, but I don't try. I don't try to judge nobody. I know that the only person I can judge is me . . . But I know this: that in your hearts and your own souls, you are as much responsible for the Vietnam war as I am for killing these people. . . .

    Put that in your search engines...


    Reminds me of Vanzetti.

    Ha, didn't need to. Meanwhile they denied the last of the clan parole a month ago yet again despite stellar behavior and complete remorse for 45 years. There is no redemption in our penal system. Or basically, once you're a star you're always a star.

    Peracles ...

    There is no redemption in our penal system.

    He pretty much covered that...

    "My father is the jailhouse. My father is your system. . . I am only what you made me. I am only a reflection of you. I have ate out of your garbage cans to stay out of jail. I have wore your second-hand clothes... I have done my best to get along in your world and now you want to kill me, and I look at you, and then I say to myself, You want to kill me? Ha!  I'm already dead, have been all my life. I've spent twenty-three years in tombs that you built."

    At the time of the murders he had spent 23+ years of his 34 years in the joint. And not that it makes it right what he's done in life, the early years are quite telling. Between the ages of 13 and 19 he spent 4+ years in correctional facilities such as Washington, D.C.'s National Training School for Boys, Natural Bridge Honor Camp, the Federal Reformatory, Petersburg, VA, the Federal Reformatory at Chillicothe, OH.




    Most released    prisoners are rearrested in the next 3 years, The longer they have served before release, the lower the odds of that.  

    I'd be interested  in learning what happens in,say, years 4 to 10. My guess: that the longer  time served the lower the rate of rearrestment after year 3.


    Flavius ...

    This may help you...


    Bureau of Justice Statistics studies have found high rates of recidivism among released prisoners. One study tracked 404,638 prisoners in 30 states after their release from prison in 2005.[1] The researchers found that:

    • Within three years of release, about two-thirds (67.8 percent) of released prisoners were rearrested.
    • Within five years of release, about three-quarters (76.6 percent) of released prisoners were rearrested.
    • Of those prisoners who were rearrested, more than half (56.7 percent) were arrested by the end of the first year.
    • Property offenders were the most likely to be rearrested, with 82.1 percent of released property offenders arrested for a new crime compared with 76.9 percent of drug offenders, 73.6 percent of public order offenders and 71.3 percent of violent offenders.



    Thanks. Subject for another blog at some point.

    I was thinking of Leslie van Houten.

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