I am one of those Catholics who believes in God, not cultural self-identification.
I believe that God exercises a "preferential option for the poor." I believe that's in the Bible -- somewhere toward the back.
I believe that how we govern ourselves, and how our governing structures implement a basic vision of social justice, is a direct reflection on a democracy's citizenry, which grants consent to its agents.
I believe that God does not sleep, that nations come under judgment and that we are in big, big trouble.
I ALSO BELIEVE that Louisiana -- my home state -- is working hard to sink from mere banana republicanism to fascistic banana republicanism, and that this stinking turd some self-righteous collegiate twerp left on the opinion pages of LSU's student newspaper is Exhibit A. From the soiled July 28 edition of my old stomping grounds, The Daily Reveille:
Obama and the Democrats love to paint a picture of the "poor" as innocent people "just trying to stretch every dollar as far as it will go."
I wonder how many Democrats have ever been to a Third World country to see what poor really means. For two weeks I stayed with a family in Costa Rica who had no air conditioning, no hot water, no washer or dryer, and the roof of the house was raised above the walls so that air could circulate in and out. And yet they washed all my clothes, gave me meals every day and never complained about it.
There are definitely some Americans who are truly needy, but it would be ridiculous to think the 47 percent of Americans not paying federal income tax are eating food out of dumpsters.
It's sickening to hear Obama and the Democrats portray the poor as blameless people in dire need of government help when our poor live lives of luxury in comparison to the poor of other countries.
It isn't the rich who are paying less than their fair share in taxes. To the contrary, they're paying much more than everyone else. It's America's poor who get free health care and new SUVs who aren't sharing the sacrifice.
And if we don't start taxing the rich, Obama wants to withhold Social Security checks. How about the government withholds welfare checks from the "poor" instead of Social Security to those who have actually paid their fair share?
It's about time the so-called poor Americans share the sacrifice and pay their fair share of taxes.
BACK IN MY DAY, the "f*** the poor" crowd complained about "welfare Cadillacs" and ghetto dwellers buying bottles of Mad Dog and Colt 45 tall boys with food stamps. Now, apparently, it's "free health care" and "new SUVs" that are the problem.
My assumption, though, is that the faces behind the stereotype are still brown ones.
What I don't understand is why the smug Reveille columnist, Austin Casey, didn't aim lower for whom he considers real poor people. Why not starving Somalians instead of Costa Rican peasants?
That could have made him feel even better -- or worse, depending -- about how rich America's poor are in the grand scheme of things. After all, it doesn't look quite so bad that the richest 1 percent of Americans controls 40 percent of its wealth and takes home a fourth of its annual income if we get to put quotation marks around our poor.
Sorry, make that "poor."
OF COURSE, the whole construct of inequality in the United States is unique to "socialists" like . . . well, me. I actually give a rat's ass about stuff like this. Austin Casey and the rest of Tea Party America don't.
When Austin Casey encountered the poor of Costa Rica, they sheltered him, fed him and wished him well. When Austin Casey encounters the poor -- sorry, "poor" -- of America, he pouts, stamps his feet and screams "Help! Help! I'm being repressed!"
Tea Party America is not the land of e pluribus unum -- out of many, one. Instead, it is the land of ad te sorbet -- it sucks to be you.