G.O.P. Unveils Immigration Plan: “We Must Make America Somewhere No One Wants to Live”
WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell unveiled his party’s long-awaited plan on immigration on Wednesday, telling reporters, “We must make America somewhere no one wants to live.”
Appearing with House Speaker John Boehner, McConnell said that, in contrast to President Obama’s “Band-Aid fixes,” the Republican plan would address “the root cause of immigration, which is that the United States is, for the most part, habitable.”
“For years, immigrants have looked to America as a place where their standard of living was bound to improve,” McConnell said. “We’re going to change that.”
Boehner said that the Republicans’ plan would reduce or eliminate “immigration magnets,” such as the social safety net, public education, clean air, and drinkable water.
The Speaker added that the plan would also include the repeal of Obamacare, calling healthcare “catnip for immigrants.”
Attempting, perhaps, to tamp down excitement about the plan, McConnell warned that turning America into a dystopian hellhole that repels immigrants “won’t happen overnight.”
“Our crumbling infrastructure and soaring gun violence are a good start, but much work still needs to be done,” he said. “When Americans start leaving the country, we’ll know that we’re on the right track.”
In closing, the two congressional leaders expressed pride in the immigration plan, noting that Republicans had been working to make it possible for the past thirty years. ______________________________
* Source: Andy Borowitz (a news satire columnist, The New Yorker) - http://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/republicans-unveil-immigration-plan
Engulfed by Terror's raging flames, As we slither and glibly side-wind, No blaze or flicker ever touches us. We pay no mind to revolution's lightening, While senseless chaos scatters And displaces the innocent We continue to slumber in our own silence. We are camped inside the flames, And we know how to feint, how to deceive Until the burning blaze is cooled. And when the soot breaks down And the sound and the fury subside; When the sky and the air are clear and safe, We raise our heads and announce our presence: "Here we are! We're tested. We are ready to serve!" And all the while we care not a whit whether we are summoned or not.
The fools, and the guileless They've fallen by the wayside Or else have gone to nothingness Or ended up in exile Or slaughtered under Terror's rule. The few survivors still clamor: "Conscience, ohConscience!" They beg and cry out: "Justice!Truth!Liberty!" Yet they loath power, they find it too dirty, They'd rather watch from the sidelines. But we're smart and quick on our feet And we climb and take hold of the reins Paying lip service to absence of chains.
Lying in wait for our victims We're scheming and plotting The best ways to stir up the naif Dooming them to death or misery. No sympathy or conscience have we As we step heavily o'er the blood-stained ground. We monitor society's vital signs, We take its temperature, its pulse. We herd and prod the fools to the fire, We use them as torches To illumine our paths and freshen our lives.
The guileless are our shield. And sitting astride our horse of power, We ride fast as the wind. The virtuous and the truthful are trampled as dust.
We usurp the voice of the masses When it damn well suits us; But we know when to shout out in our own And when to come out of our caves.
We will prattle till our neck veins stick out We'll talk non-stop till our mouths are frothy. Talk and talk is all we do all day And we only know how to naysay!
Woe to the whistle-blowers Woe to honest public servants Should they attempt to uncover us Should we be bravely denounced. We've got the temperament, skill, and speed To deal with these finger-pointers. They won't know what hit them.
We have ... special ... merchandising talents We know how to mine public outrage How to exploit the masses' sentiments. It is our occupation ... squelching the weak But we take smart care with the strong.
While havoc-n-melee rules mankind, We make sure to stay spared. But even more, we stay focused Whoever or whatever is in power. We will more than survive We'll prosper and flourish.
The heroic farmer will slave and toil at his farm But at harvest time ... will he then profit? Nay, not he. It is we who prosper Without fear, without batting an eye.
All comforts of life are given to us The world is indeed at our feet! No place here for the virtuous, For he who burns for "truth, justice, and liberty!"
* Free verse translationby Henock Gugsa
Afterword by HG- The above poem by Dr. Tolossa is obviously of great significance and meaning to the people of Ethiopia ... especially those who directly suffered fifteen plus years of misery under Mengistu and his minions. What struck me keenly was the intensity of the cynicism, the irony, and the sociopathic glee of the ruling class. Yes, they were there even under communism, and they are still around us even here in the land of the free!
It is a bitter and dismally universal reality: Negativity and selfishness are the bane of humanity! Thank you, Dr. Tolossa, for forever opening our eyes and showing us some of humanity's unpleasant natures. Through your poem, you've given voice and immortality to our tragedy. And, in my opinion, you have done it as effectively as the old masters, Orwell and Solzhenitsyn.
Affordable Care Act now making it possible for a greater number of Americans to
purchase medical coverage, the nation looked back this week and fondly recalled
a simpler time when its health care system was broken beyond any hope of
Describing a more innocent
period in the country’s history—before opponents of the act temporarily shut
down the government, and before the disastrous rollout of the new insurance
exchanges led to widespread public exasperation—citizens shared with reporters
their warm memories of what they called a bygone golden era. “Back then, if you couldn’t
afford health insurance and got really sick, you went bankrupt, plain and
simple,” said Dominique Otis, a Modesto,
CA mother of three. “They didn’t
have this whole mess of lower-cost options, or all these subsidies you might or
might not qualify for based on your income. People didn’t have to deal with any
of those headaches. They just went ahead and died of preventable causes.” “Those were the good old
days, ya know?” she added with a sigh. According to nostalgic
sources, there was a time when Americans who lost their jobs and the benefits
that came with them simply went without insurance, and that was that. During
this halcyon age there was reportedly no way anyone who was out of work could
afford health care, and if people had a serious preexisting condition, they
knew for certain they would never again qualify for decent coverage. Harkening back to that less
complicated past, citizens noted, for example, how parents who had no way to
pay for their newborn baby’s much-needed surgery never even bothered getting
their hopes up, but simply accepted that their child would never have a first
birthday party. As they spoke with reporters,
many Americans reminisced about the comfort they once took in the predictable
dysfunction of this status quo. “When I had esophageal cancer
and needed $180,000 worth of treatments not covered by my health plan, I knew
immediately I’d lose my house,” said 58-year-old Tobias Czwerda of Braintree,
MA, who smiled as he flipped through snapshots of the Christmas he and his
family spent in a homeless shelter. “Yes, sir, things were simpler then. You
knew in advance that no matter how much you argued with your insurance company,
in the end it would always come down to the same two options: pay or die.” “Call me old-fashioned, but
there was something reassuring in that,” he added. In a Gallup poll conducted this month, 72 percent
of respondents agreed that even though the health care system had consistently
screwed them over in the old days, at least they had known exactly where they
stood. In addition, 65 percent said that while the most expensive illnesses
were effectively a death sentence back then, there had been a certain peace of
mind in knowing that if you ever got that sick, you would soon be gone and not
have to worry about the hospital bills. Furthermore, 89 percent of
Americans confirmed they had taken some small solace in the fact that if they
needed money for a life-saving operation, they could always tape a photocopied
image of themselves to a collection jar, place it in a local supermarket
checkout line, and hope for the best. “Remember when you couldn’t
afford to see a doctor and so you just waited and waited and waited until you
absolutely couldn’t wait any longer, and then you went to the emergency room,
where they did too little too late and charged you tens of thousands of dollars
for it?” Waukesha, WI resident Keith Donaldson said. “I guess
those days are gone forever.” “Except for the tens of
millions of Americans who will remain uninsured even under ObamaCare, of
course,” he continued. “They’re still fucked.”
The Latest on Zack ( On the Subject of Kowtowing )
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to kowtow: [intransitive verb] < origin: 1795-1805; Chinese kòutóu ... literally, knock (one's) head > grovel to, be obsequious to, be servile to, be sycophantic to, fawn over/on, cringe to, bow and scrape to, toady to, truckle to, abase oneself before, humble oneself to; curry favor with, dance attendance on, ingratiate oneself with, suck up to, kiss up to, brown-nose, lick someone's boots .... --------------------------------------------------
Today, I ran into my dear friend Zack at a downtown coffee-house which I frequent now and then. It has been quite a while since I've seen him although we do call each other from time to time and say how-do.
Zack is a very interesting and unusual person. To begin with, he is intelligent (humbly so), intuitive, creative and a problem-solver. He is organized, methodical, and logical in the manner with which he acquires any bit of knowledge. He also has excellent retention (memory) of all the requisite methods and intricate, detailed procedures of his work. He never gloats, and never overtly shows others the error of their ways unless they put him in that situation. And even more admirable - Zack abhors backstabbing and the people who do it. At his workplace, there is no dearth of backstabbers and that includes those within the management itself. Rather than stopping this psychological sickness, it seems that it may even be actively abetted.
Almost ten years have now elapsed since Zack has been employed at his current job as an information specialist. Of late, however, his relationship with his superiors has been getting more and more sour. They have been getting more and more bureaucratically inane and petty; and he has been losing his normally Job-like patience and giving in to his frustration with the dolts at his workplace.
Zack said that recently he had a disagreement with his manager over time card issues. The manager had lately taken it to her head to nitpick over minutes that rightfully were within allowable grace periods. Zack explained to me that he'd thought there was nothing wrong, for example, about signing-in to work three minutes early and signing-out three minutes early to correct for shortages or overages. His manager, this obsessively domineering woman, was all worked up about employees leaving work early. She of-course would not allow leeway or consideration for early arrivals. Unfortunately, Zack challenged her reasoning. She snapped back with her rule book about time clocks, etc.; and she added that he was being paid to be at his post working until the preset time. And, with what may have appeared to her a good measure, she also reprimanded him for being "disrespectful" in challenging her. This last rebuke did not sit well with Zack although he did not respond back. He said he wisely remembered Mark Twain's old adage: Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell
Then Zack began to tell me about a custom known as " employee appreciation day " at his place of employment. This was a once-a-year-maybe lunch thrown by the big manager-of-managers, the honcho-of-honchos. Food is catered in and everybody sits, dines, and chats with the big man himself.... Big honor, that! .... Again this year, the organizers never even attempted to find out what the employees would like to see on the menu. A decision had been made to go ahead and order barbecued pork and chicken from a famous place. Last year, when Zack went to such a luncheon, he did not find anything there to his liking. As a diabetic, Zack is very particular about his diet. There was nothing healthy on that menu for him to eat.
So, this year, Zack opted not to attend the luncheon. He confided in me that he was also, in this manner, subtly avoiding running into the unpleasant woman ... especially as she had followed up her last rant with more persecution using Zack's recent sick-time absence. She had demanded a doctor's slip although Zack had plenty of banked sick-time and he really has no record of abusing it. Yet, despite all of this aggravation, he says that he is taking everything in stride because he has maybe about a year left to fully retire from this job. He is going to ride out the mad antics at work ... he won't let them get to him!
I am happy for Zack for standing his ground ... for not kowtowing to dolts and such. When told to jump, he never says,"How high?" ... he always asks, "Why?"
Zack has never been a tail-wagger ... in fact, he is more like a cat than a dog. Zack can't help it - he never ever kowtows to any person whatever their pedigree or station in life.