Avaricious Locusts and Plutocrats

Ed Raymond

Two Devastating Swarms  

‘Tis the season when billions of locusts swarm across Northern Africa and Southern Asia creating famines. A single swarm with as many as 70 billion who transform themselves from avoiding other locusts to a “gregarious” state, can cover 450 sq. miles of territory and consume as much as 300 million pounds of grain in a single day. We have another devastating swarm of marauder locusts, those who fly into Davos, Switzerland each year on their private jets who do infinitely more damage to the planet and its inhabitants. Those are the billionaires and plutocrats who attend the World Economic Forum to plot their raids on the environment of the planet and the labor of the common man.  Since the 2019 Forum the Davos swarm has become more interested in avoiding pitchforks, the French Razor, and the national strikes that are on the horizons of at least six continents. The U.S. 190-member Business Roundtable swarm, sensing the sharp tines, head baskets, and actually cleaning their own toilets, making their own beds, and frying their own eggs, actually renounced their decades-long pledge to exist only for their own shareholders. The plutocrats endorsed the revolutionary idea of sharing wealth with their workers and community. At least by next year they might figure they can do that by actually paying their fair share of taxes. I think they are too dumb to realize they must make that bloody sacrifice sooner. Locusts, primarily loners that hate crowds, only swarm during dry spells when they can’t individually find food. They are physically transformed by a boost of serotonin in their central nervous system that allows behavioral changes such as an increase of rapid movements, sociability, paired grooming, and appetite. These changes result in huge plagues. In 2004 locusts ate 90% of the Mali grain crop resulting in a famine for millions. Locust swarms can travel 30 to 60 miles a day, consuming everything in sight. And plagues can last for years until the locust die off. When will the One Percent recognize the bottom 90% in dozens of countries are sharpening pitchforks, preparing for strikes, and dreaming of French Razors?   

Greedy Plutocrats Like Jeff Bezos  Try To Consume Everything In Sight 

Actually, poor Jeff is just another political Trump — but smart instead of psycho-nuts and dumb. He is a human locust-plutocrat who refuses to pay his workers a living wage and provide reasonable and safe working conditions such as air conditioning, sufficient toilets, and pee breaks in his “distribution centers.” He is a constant swarming billionaire fueled by greed adrenalin. He is the world’s greatest example of economic inequality with a new net worth of $129.5 billion. On January 23 the casino stock market of the rich awarded him $13.2 billion in a 12% increase in Amazon stock in about 15 minutes. That’s about the same time he would use to do #2 in one of the 27 bathrooms in his recently modified D.C. “cottage.”To further show the utter obscenity of personal fortunes these days, Bezos, in only those 15 minutes, matched the price of one of our new aircraft carriers such as the latest USS Jerry Ford that cost us taxpayers $13 billion. These carriers (we have 12 of that model) carry $5.6 billion worth of airplanes and a crew of 3,200 each. Don’t forget that when it is in dangerous waters it is supported by seven other ships, including destroyers and guided-missile cruisers. Bill Gates is right behind Bezos at $111.8 billion.Another sign of extreme economic inequality in the U.S. is the seat prices for the 2020 Super Bowl. The 65,000 seats in Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium were filled. The average price for a seat two days before the game averaged $10,835. That’s $6,500 more than seven years ago. How many people outside of the Top Ten Percent purchased tickets? Heck, it’s just a little game for the home folks.   

How Many Americans Trust The Government To Do “What Is Right?” 

According to research by the Pew Center the confidence we have in one another and our institutions is plummeting dangerously. The decline started in 2017 When King Donald lied about the size of his inaugural crowd—and now has told over 16,000 lies since. Only a third of Americans (remember-the Chosen One received 48% of the vote in 2016!) now trust their government to do the right thing. Faith in media, business, religion, charitable organizations and fellow citizens is also taking shocking nosedives. Why is this happening?January’s edition of the Stanford Social Innovation Review, not known as a liberal “fake news’” research group, cites the following reasons for the destruction of faith and trust in each other and institutions: (1) Increase in public and private corruption, (2) Increase in poisonous public rhetoric, (3) A perception that individual voices and votes don’t matter, (4) Rising economic inequality, (5) A sense that elites have rigged all systems, particularly politics, to benefit only themselves, and (6) The growth of media and social media that spreads “fake news” and deliberate lies to create division and grievances.The Rand public research organization added these reasons: “Truth decay lies at the heart of our distrust. Without fact-based consensus, it’s difficult for society to hold together. The resulting social dissonance leads to anxiety, fear, and insecurity. Although we live in the safest era of human history it doesn’t feel that way. The potential for danger is heightened in a country bristlingwith firearms---one gun for every man, woman, and child, with 67 million left over. That’s 393 million guns altogether. Most are owned and used responsibly, but those that are not too often take lives.” This inscription by Emma Lazarus has been on the Statue of Liberty since 1903: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free.”  Those lines could have been uttered by Jesus Christ. Similar lines are in all the Christian Bibles. The “Christian” Trump administration and the Republican Supreme Court just changed that Christian statement by changing the rules. The new rules dictate that immigrants can be denied entry if they might use Medicaid or food stamps or Section Eight housing. Other grounds for exclusion will be based on inadequate proficiency in English, limited formal education, and an income at or lower than 125% of the poverty level. In other words, the “fake” Christians who voted for Trump and the barbarians in the administration have now changed that statement of charity, hospitality, and humanity to: “Give me your white, your rich, your MBA college graduates yearning to make a buck and vote Trumplican.”   

Why Don’t Trumplicans Give A Damn About Kids? 

The Trumplicans, funded by Davos oligarchs and plutocrats, are currently swarming all over federal nutrition programs such as the school lunch programs, WIC (Women, Infants and Children nutrition), and SNAP (food stamps under the Supplemental Nutrition program). Like African locusts they are trying to destroy nutritious grains required by human bodies. They are also threatening to cut Obamacare, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid—but that’s another horror story.If the growing Trumplican swarm bill is passed by Congress, 3.7 million people and 2.1 million households will not be eligible for food stamps, and millions of other families will see their monthly subsidies decreased. Over 85% of the benefits go to households with a child, an elderly person, or someone with a disability. About a million young children will lose their free or reduced breakfasts under the school lunch program. The total cuts will amount to $4.2 billion—representing six F-35 fighter jets. Even at current levels, research shows that 50% of recipients still have major problems putting food on the table. Some, but not all, know that children born in poverty already face a huge handicap in their young lives — and poor nutrition in the womb and beyond will affect their entire life. Scientific research, an anathema to Trumplicans, proves that by age three, when the prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus of the brain are developing, the quality of nutrition will determine a lifetime. Let’s think about the four million American children under age six who lived in the ghettos of America in 2018. Their early diets may determine brain size,  level of education, future incomes, concentration and cognitive capacity, mental health, and learning disabilities.    

The Trumplican Swarm Says Kids Don’t Need All Those Fruits And Vegetables 

On January 17 the Trumplicans tried for the second time to dump the Obama administration’s program, led by Michelle Obama, to improve nutrition in school lunches. Her Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act passed in 2010 requires the following:

(1) More fresh vegetables and fruits,

(2) More whole-grain rich foods,

(3) and fat-free milk.

It also requires fresh fruit with each school breakfast and a set amount of leafy greens and starchy vegetables at lunch time. (In order to continue the insane Trumplican attack on any Obama policy, this change-announcement was made on Michelle’s birthday. How small can you get?) So if the Davos swarm gets this passed, here comes the pizza, French fries, processed foods, and other increases in sodium and sugar that will increase the number of obese kids in the U.S. from  the present 14.6% to unbelievable numbers, We have 30 million students on free or reduced school lunches. The Obama plan was a game-changing policy of providing poor kids with healthy meals. Using the words of Queen Antoinette, First lady Michelle said: “Let them eat vegetables and fruit.” King Donald, who doesn’t give a damn about kids, dittoed: “Let them eat crap.” Meanwhile, back in 1867, my French brothers and sisters paid special attention to the nutrition of children by providing nutritious meals at public expense to all poor children. The French government now prepares a daily freshly-prepared meal for all school-aged children. All menus outline the following:

(1) a starter of vegetables, salad, or soup,

(2) a warm main course high in protein, whether to be meat, fish or eggs,

(3) a side dish of vegetables or grains,

(4) a cheese course or dairy product, and

(5) raw or cooked fruit balanced with a dessert and afternoon snack.

No vending machines stuffed with junk food are allowed in French schools. Burgers, fries, chicken nuggets, peanut butter and jam sandwiches, and pizza are never served. Ketchup is allowed only once a week; fried foods only a few times a month. Most foods served are organic. Brown-bagging is not allowed.All food is served at tables with napkins, metal ware, and glasses of water. Children must spend 30 minutes at the table to socialize and are allowed another 30 minutes for play and relaxation. Lunch includes lessons on taste, nutrition, manners, and “culinary heritage.” Every school lunch is designed so in later life they can make informed and mature choices about health and nutrition.I almost forgot to mention: only 3.6% of French children are obese while 14.6% of American children are—and the ugly Trumplican swarm will only increase the number.

By the way, locusts contain a lot of protein and are considered a delicacy in some countries. I have eaten and supervised over 5,200 “government” school lunches in my days as a teacher and principal — but I’ve never had a luscious locust.