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Slings and Arrows of Today's World

It's time we started shooting back!

By Frankie Firme ~ Contributing Editor
Published on LatinoLA: April 25, 2008


Slings and Arrows of Today's World


Orale, mi Gente!

Been getting such fine response from my last editorial about the state of current behavior in today's young, that I was inspired to write this piece about the many suggestions we've received regarding correcting the behavior of the adult powers that be...you know, the people that are trying to squeeze us, tax us, and politically conform us into "Stepford citizens" for fear of starving & becoming homeless. (i.e, our "leaders")

First and foremost, I share the laughs of disbelief with my compadre Mr. Al Carlos Hernandez, and members of the San Fernando Valley Detachment #1277 of the Marine Corps League in that WE DO NOT advocate a "few well placed assassinations".

(Some fools actually think like that!)

To lower ourselves to that level would only insure a perpetual state of madness, anarchy, a police state, and MORE economic hardships...so that's off the list.

I'm sorry....I just don't see the shooting ourselves in the foot as a way of moving forward. Stupid is as stupid does, and payback only serves a few...if any! I would rather be dancing!

But...a little music in the background, a little whimsical thinking, and a few capricious suggestions could go along way into inviting rationality. Let's try using the weapon of the mind in a different way... ...watcha:

1) Instead of putting out millions of taxpayer dollars to fly the leaders of other countries and their entourages to the U.S., then putting on a first class, exclusive, elite, and expensive White House luncheons, dinners, and private parties at taxpayer expense just to discuss peace...why not just invite them to the upcoming Latin Legends concert featuring MALO, TIERRA, and EL CHICANO, to sit among the RAZA at their own expense? After a few cold ones and some really good live music, while being in some really good company, I'm usually put in a pretty good mood. I then enjoy a good dinner afterwards at places like Tommy's Burgers, Pollo Loco, or Taco King...and I make some pretty good decisions about my immediate future around that time, without spending some major bucks.

If it works for me, it might work for the leaders of Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, the Taliban, Al-Quaeda, Cuba, China, the religious right, and other zealots that screw up other people's day. If they can't put out a few of their own bucks to show up, we then take into account how much they really wanted peace & prosperity in the first place, take it as a personal snub, and cut out all the freebies they get from us. Make 'em spend their own dollars on food, travel & entertainment instead of bombs, spies, political protests, and weapons...I bet things get a little mellow, and they would probably enjoy a few good music shows!

2) Politicians in Los Angeles want to raise rates on utilities and phone service, and start taxes on private businesses like paleta men and gardeners to get more money into their coffers to provide needed services rather than cut these services. If a fire starts in my neighborhood because of neglected utility infrastructure, I need to know my phone will work so I can call 911, and that some employed firefighters will respond...as it stands, they got us on this one!

How about this? They start taxing the politicians a percentage as income for the free cars, free gas, free travel allowance, expensive office allowances and the campaign contributions they get, in the manner that they tax the average citizen's state income tax returns as income? This would bring in a lot of bucks, as them folks in city hall get around...and I bet they would get around a little less if they had to start buying their own lunch!...maybe they could even patronize a good taco truck instead of a luxury, high brow restaurant once in awhile to help boost the local economy.
(...pass the jalape??os, please!)

3) Public services, as well as some of the most needed people in our society, TEACHERS, are due to be cut due to State budget problems. Apparently, to keep themselves afloat, State politicians just can't afford to pay these people anymore.

How about this:

THE POLITICIANS take a cut in pay, and put off giving themselves a yearly raise that almost equals the average working person's yearly salary? They should all put in full workdays to get more done for the people. Then, they start paying for their own parking, gas, vehicle maintenance, lunch, dinner, travel, health care benefits, and stop hiring their friends & relatives at useless public jobs at high salaries? I bet we could save a gang of money and do things like put art & music & after school programs back into our schools if this was considered and put into action.

Wow! Common sense for the good of the people! Happy, well taken care of citizens! What a concept!

4)In response to complaints that business does not thrive in L.A., and thus, jobs are lost, the politicians give concessions to firms that hire locals for major, multi-million dollar projects. For example, a big construction firm in L.A. that won a bid to expand the L.A.P.D.'s headquarters into a Taj Mahal that, like the Belmont High School fiasco, has now gone well into the multi-millions in cost overruns before the project is half completed. They are well over their original bid that won them the project over other firms in the first place, the salary of the workers does not even come close to the overruns, and needed permits were almost given away.

Somewhere, a millionaire businessman who owns this firm is having a ball somewhere as the money rolls in, and he doesn't have to do a thing but have his lawyers socialize with the politician's lawyers, and the politician waits for a check in the mail. Where's the justice? Where's the fairness? Are we really getting protected & served? Does anybody else see this scam?

How about this:

The projects AND businesses are given scrutiny & approval by an objective citizen's committee (dishonest lawyers need not apply) instead of one appointed by the politicians. The politicians are DENIED any profits or "gifts" from the firms, under penalty of law. The firms agree to STICK to their bid and THEY take responsibility and pocket the overruns. If they fail, they agree to abandon the project without getting paid, and they don't get another chance to do business with the City of Los Angeles again. If the City cannot afford the luxury projects, THEY DON'T GET DONE!...

....yeah, right! An old military axiom: "...Common sense is not always common".

This stands especially true of our elected leaders and their minions of subordinates
(who would probably homeless, unemployed, or in jail if it wasn't for their political buddies!)...how we let this happen?

5) Politicians and the media scream that corporate crime, gang violence, drug dealing, prostitution, robberies, burglaries, and other forms of crime are rising, bringing property values down, chasing away business & investment, thus causing blight and the inevitable lowering of stocks and tax revenue....after a little research, I can agree with that...to a point.

...BUT!...(...and here's where it gets really crazy)...all these crimes of decadence are untaxed money making ventures!! Can you imagine the amount of money if corporate lawyers & executives (and their mistresses), slum lords, pimps, drug dealers, burglers, dope growers & manufacturers, and pawn shops were taxed according to their income?

Crime JUST MIGHT pay!

6) What if jails & prisons started charging rent, with a deposit according to the severity of the crime, and NO conjugal visits? Where would the fun in crime be after that? Who would want to be a "wiseguy" after this?

7) What if you trained and paid gang bangers to provide night time security in poor neighborhoods & high crime areas, giving decent wages, free Laker tickets (with valet parking!), healthcare benefits for them & their families, with education & promotional opportunities available for zero drive-by killings in their area of responsibility?

Where would the next generation of hoodlums come from? This could put them out of business!...

8) What if you put a cap on Corporate & executive earnings, with a high, severe, & outrageous tax on foreign and off shore banks that take in all the hidden assets from richer-than-GOD multi-millionaires, with quarterly audits performed by convicted felon corporate lawyers cross trained as accountants working off "good behavior"?

Do you think this kind of crazy thinking could bring about changes to our crazy society before it trembles and crumbles like the end of the Roman Empire?

Are there really mustaches in Mexico? Is there really a rock in a roll? Does Frankie Firme really get out to dance as often as he can at his age?

Well...there you have it. 8 out 9 ridiculous ideas and suggestions that just might make somebody of substance think of something better, something more intelligent, some peaceful beneficial solution to the madness of today...something more common sense...

...should common sense start becoming more common!

About Frankie Firme ~ Contributing Editor:
Frankie Firme wants everybody to know that should he suddenly disappear...he'll be in Washington D.C. talking to somebody who read this!
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