My father used to tell me that a sign of a great leader is not one who gives orders from behind but he that joins his soldiers at the front line. There is nothing as cowardly and cavernous in this world as those who advocate sacrifices for the public while sipping Pinot Noir and nibbling on caviar in their private chalets. My fellow Americans, if you ever doubted that our government does not work for us—as evidenced by the latest fiasco in the our nation’s capital—let this be your awakening to the tragic reality that we are being led by a carnival of bipartisan swindlers who make a spectacular show of being leaders.
Let’s get one thing straight, what occurred at midnight was not a government shutdown as it is currently being portrayed by our feckless mainstream media and corporate mouthpieces who call themselves journalists. The government is still open for business; the Grifter-in-Chief Trump, duplicitous Senators, two-faced Congressmen and their staffers are all getting paid. Likewise, the doors of Congress and the White House are still open to the military-financial complex, lobbyists and the think-tanks who pollute the Potomac River with their toxic selfishness.
Of course, corporate media outlets like CNN, Washington Post, Fox News, New York Times et al are currently popping Dom Pérignon bottles because nothing captures eyeballs and garners more clicks than a good ol’ manufactured drama in DC. The hounds at Criminally Complicit Network also known as CNN have their nifty “shutdown clock” front row center as the rest of yellow corporate media join in and broadcast this joke of a government and their latest embarrassment as some type of political Super Bowl. It’s all fun and games to the shills who have turned the notion of a free press into a farce; once the klieg lights are dimmed and the cameras are turned off, these same media personalities you see acting indignant will hop over to their favorite watering hole in the District of Caligula to get drunk with the same people they castigate for their soap opera addicted audience.
You know who is left out in the January cold and getting shafted once again? The rest of us, the tax payers, who are getting screwed by both parties and the political-media hustle. This is not a government shutdown, what we are witnessing is a government shakedown. Consider this, the president makes $400,000 a year plus another $50,000 in expenses. Of course, this does not take into account the private mansion called the White House and his opulent prince class accommodations we finance with the never ending levies and fees that are kneecapping “we the people” into a state of perpetual financial anxieties.
But wait, there’s more! The average yearly payout for Congress (Senators and House of Representatives combined) is $174,000 a year. Trump’s cabinet members and senior level congressional staffers likewise make well over six figures. Washington DC is the epicenter of the largest laundering operation in the history of humanity. The ambitious make a B-line to DC because they know that the surest way to become rich and gain social capital is to partake in the axis of depravity that thrives in Washington between government, corporations, media and the cottage industries that cater to them.
Like a bizarro version of Fred Astaire, authority figures waltz and swing between private and public roles as they chase fame and wealth. No matter the condition of the economy or how much the earning power of the average American regresses, our bold leaders in DC and the vultures who circle around the US Capitol and the White House find ever more cunning ways to finance their opulent lives. If you want to know why the wealth gap continues to explode and why America is being turned into a pit for the vast majority and a palace for the few, train your eyes on DC and you will find the cancer that is eating away our livelihood and our country
It’s a most grotesque Merry-go-Round where the left hand washes the right hand. Politicians serve their plutocrat masters by transferring wealth from the bottom 99% into the accounts of the oligarchs who rule this government behind the curtains. In return, robber barons like Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Co stuff the pockets of politicians and “journalists” alike to keep us riled up and always distracted from the institutional pyramid scheme that is the US Federal Government. All of it hidden expertly by the theatrics of our politics as pricks like Chuck Schumer, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan and Nancy Pelosi pretend to be champions of working Americans while they stick a shiv in all our backs. There prancing like a demented version of Nero is Donald Trump as he tweets like an imbecile while our nation is burning.
If you have a smidgen of doubt that our government is subversive, this “shutdown” should be a jarring reminder that we are being governed by a cabal of the lawless and the treasonous. As they hold us hostage with our own money, they are paying themselves and their corporate sponsors. The excesses of King George that gave birth to 1776 were minuscule compared to the ways we are getting pillaged as a people. More than 1/3 of our paychecks are poached from the top, our wages have regressed since 2008 as inflation is kicking our asses, and levies/user fees are taking the little disposable income we have left. King George was a saint compared to the political gentry who are lording over us.
Do not fall for the drama that is being broadcast and printed by mainstream media. Both parties are using DACA and the narratives of young immigrants who were brought to America by their parents in desperate hopes of a better future for their children—we used to call that the American dream—as a stage prop to keep us addicted to the shit show that is our politics. This is a rhetorical slight of hand perfected by political consultants and being acted out by charlatans in Congress and at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue that is being foisted upon us. This staged bullshit is being played out in full 1080p glory into our living rooms as Democrats and Republicans take turns calling this planned shakedown #SchumerShutdown or #TrumpShudown. Instead of leaders, we are given a coterie of cowardly clowns.
I saw a speech not too long ago by Kevin McCarthy, the Republican Majority Leader, where he tried to use the suffering of veterans in his push to enact yet another “National Defense” Authorization Act which was really legislation to enrich war profiteers like Boeing and Northrup Grumman. We spend more money on the industries of war than the next 20 nations combined; meanwhile there is an epidemic of homeless veterans stacking up in towns and cities throughout America. Once every twenty minutes, a veterans turn to suicide rather than face the memories of horrific wars that men like McCarthy, Obama, Trump keep pushing for the sake of corporate profits.
This government shakedown is terrorism by other means. They are conditioning us to depend on government and programming us to need their authority. I’m reminded of the latest Dave Chappelle stand up where he told the story of a pimp named Iceberg Slim. Dave conveyed how Iceberg would train his hookers to submit to him and manipulate them to become reliant by breaking them psychologically. Iceberg would beat his newest acquisition by beating her savagely with an iron hanger to the point where she would bleed and have welts.
After the deed was done, he would then run a hot bath for her and treat her with kindness. A mix of cruelty and benevolence—a one man good cop/bad cop routine—was how a woman was turned into a possession. The politicians and pundits you are seeing being paraded on TV are the Iceberg Slims of America. The same way they shut down the government (iron hanger), they will soon enough open it back up (hot bath) as the political whores in DC psychologically abuse the public into submission—Democrats and Republicans are pimping all of us.
Let me return to the wisdom of my father; you see, my father knew a thing or two about great leaders. He was the son of Fit’awrari (Commander) Million Tedla, a World War II hero who fought Mussolini’s fascist army in Ethiopia. He did not give orders from the comforts of air conditioned offices, he was right there with his troops dodging bullets and risking his life.
Commander Tedla did not use patriotism to sell the latest corporate trinket nor did he transfer billions into his personal slush funds, he was a patriot who died for his nation. My father’s inheritance from his dad was not a fortune but a legacy of courage and love of nation. Honorable people like my father and his father before him are finding it harder and harder to provide for their children—the common man and woman are being misled and mauled by charlatans in DC and larcenists on Wall Street.
My fellow Americans, we better wake up before it is too late. This latest government shakedown has nothing to do with DACA, veterans nor does this gambit have anything to do with protecting our freedoms. It’s all about enriching the wealthy and bleeding the rest of us. Whenever Wall Street and the military-financial aristocracy make a demand, both worthless parties snap to attention and give the 1% as their hearts desire. When it comes to our wants and needs, we are treated to rhetoric as they feed us promises of hope and change. The water is slowly boiling around our waists as we waste our time debating politics. If we don’t reclaim our government somehow, this shakedown will lead to our financial wake. #GovernmentShakedown
Where gluttony and absolute self-interest become the moral compass of a society, soon thereafter comes the abyss::
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Check out the Ghion Cast below where I discuss how Democrats and Republicans are colluding to fleece us as they enrich themselves and their corporate masters.
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DC Special Event
Come out to Busboys and Poets on February 11 as I will be the feature author. I’ll be hosting a community and family friendly event where we will be discussing “Race and Identity in America”. Click HERE or on the picture below to RSVP and find out more details.
Originally from Ethiopia with roots to Atse Tewodros II, Lij Teodrose is a former community organizer whose writing was incorporated into Barack Obama's South Carolina primary victory speech in 2008. He pivoted away from politics and decided to stand for collective justice after experiencing the reality of the forgotten masses. His writing defies conventional wisdom and challenges readers to look outside the constraints of labels and ideologies that serve to splinter the people. Lij Teodrose uses his pen to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak truth to power.