Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search


Mary Pitt: Walkin' Up On A Jackass

Walkin' Up On A Jackass

by Mary Pitt

My daddy was a flatland famer and, though a perfect gentleman in public with "Yes, Ma'am" and "No, Sir" dripping from his lips like honey, at home he was as profane and vulgar as one could imagine. His favorite expression in denigrating a man for his lack of expertise in any field would be, "That sumbich is so goddammed stupid that he'd walk up on a jackass from the back end!"

Now we find ourselves being ruled by just such a man. We all know that he does not pretend to be a horseman and probably does not know which end eats the oats and which provides "renewable energy". Every problem our nation has faced has been approached from the wrong end and the predictable result has been suffered. In the beginning, he sold himself to the American people as a "compassionate conservative", a man who really cared about the human condition and would use his newfound power to advance the welfare of all Americans and our relationship with the world. We all watched aghast as he walked up on the wrong end of that jackass! Waving the banner of our fear and grief at the loss of the World Trade Center and its occupants, he has involved us in a cruel and un-ending war against the people of Iraq, though their feared leader is now in chains and standing trial. Those responsible for the ruthless attack on American soil are still roaming free in the mountains of Afghanistan and hatching their next plot, if we are to believe what we are told.

On the domestic front, he is following the same route toward mounting the mule. The poor, the sick, and the elderly are suffering from lack of medical care and cannot afford their medications. What does our hero do? He institutes a system whereby, rather than being eligible for welfare assistance, they must now pay from their meager income for premiums, deductibles and co-payments, funds that will come directly from the money with which they once bought food and paid their rent. This plan is to "teach them responsibility" and encourage them to "use less medical care". The alternative for them would appear to be to stay away from the medics and die quietly. Medications? The response to that problem is to force them into the clutches of the insurance companies. They are required to "make a choice" with little information and so most are pushed into a plan by receiving letters that they have been "accepted" into a plan which they did not choose, only to find that the plan in question does not pay their home-town pharmacy because it is not in their "network" and many medications are not on their "approved list". The President proclaims that he does not want anything to come between a person and their doctor, and then he places the insurance corporations in precisely that position.

We have seen the results of the re-organization of FEMA into the Department of Homeland Security and how well that has worked for the people of New Orleans who, five months later, are still dispossessed and homeless. We are told that we are now "safer" than we were before September 11, 2001, since no skyscrapers have fallen lately, but are constantly warned of the danger from someone somewhere in Islamic-land. Now it seems that our major ports are going to be controlled by a firm that is based in the very heart of Islam, the United Arab Emirates, two of whose citizens were on one of the planes that demolished the World Trade Center. Now, on the face of it, that seems like a smart move!

In the meantime, the factory jobs that once sustained our middle class working people have been offshored to other nations while illegal migrants are allowed to enter the country unimpeded to claim the few low-wage jobs that are left. Unemployment is down as many families require two or three jobs to survive and the old standard of "one job=one employee" no longer apply. While "family values" are given lip service, they fall by the wayside in the forced absence of parents.

As a consequence of the wrong-end decisions, we find our nation at risk of ruin, hated by the world and accused of empiricism by other nations. Our economy, our reputation, and our way of life lie in ruins, and poor George is still trying to mount the jackass from the wrong end! As anyone remotely familiar with jackasses knows, the back is the most dangerous end of a jackass and messing with it is daring the inevitable retribution of being kicked into next week without ceremony. This particular jackass has been more than patient and Our Fearless Leader is about due to learn the penalty. Let's just hope that we don't all go down with him.


© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On The Selling Out Of The Kurds

Kurdish lives were expended to serve US – not Kurdish – military and diplomatic goals, in the belief that the US and European powers the Kurds had served so steadfastly in the battle against IS terrorism would be rewarded, afterwards. Instead, there is every indication the Kurds are being sold out once again. More>>


Gordon Campbell: on the inquiry into the abuse of children in care

Apparently, PM Jacinda Ardern has chosen to exclude faith-based institutions from the government’s promised inquiry into the abuse of children in state care. Any role for religious institutions – eg the Catholic Church – would be only to observe and to learn from any revelations that arise from the inquiry’s self-limiting focus on state-run institutions… More >>

Summer Reading:

Charlotte Graham: I OIA'd Every Council In NZ...

A “no surprises” mindset and training and advice that has taught public servants to see any media interaction as a “gotcha” exercise perpetrated by unscrupulous and scurrilous reporters has led to a polarised and often unproductive OIA process. More>>


Veronika Meduna: The Kaikoura Rebuild

A Scoop Foundation Investigation The South Island’s main transport corridor will be open to traffic again, more than a year after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake mangled bridges and tunnels, twisted rail tracks and buried sections of the road under massive landslides. More>>

Charlotte Graham: Empowering Communities To Act In A Disaster
The year of record-breaking natural disasters means that in the US, as in New Zealand, there’s a conversation happening about how best to run the emergency management sector... More>>