Saturday, January 22, 2005

No Free Lunch Part 2: Re-writing the Bible for fun & profit

I love Motel 6.

Driving back from Los Angeles last week on the I-5 at 1 am, I had cruise control set for 80 miles per hour and fell asleep at the wheel. "Aggrrgh!" screamed my daughter, thoughtfully helping me to avoid a fiery death. We immediately stopped at the nearest gas station and stocked up on coffee and chocolate but it was no use. 100 miles later, I was nodding off again.

Out in the middle of nowhere, we found a Motel 6. We got a room. And THEN the coffee and chocolate finally kicked in. Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 3 am, I started to read the Gideon Bible. Luke. Chapter 6. "Blessed are you poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God."

Not according to cheap-labor Republicans!

In the latest version of the neo-con Bible just hot off the press, Luke 6:20 has been re-translated. It now reads, "Happy are the poor." Happy? Blessed, yes -- but HAPPY? That's not Jesus. That's Wall Street talk! That's nostalgia for Stephen Foster and the days of the kindly Massah and the Ol' Plantation.

According to Time Magazine, if you make over $100,000 a year, you are happy 88% of the time. If you make under $35,000 a year, you are only happy 68% of the time. Statistically, the rich are 20% happier!

Bush and Rove and Rumsfeld are 20% happier than you and me. And why shouldn't they be? It's hard work being poor. No cruise control for us.

Cheap-labor Republicans have cooked up a lot of wild schemes to steal our paychecks in the past few years but this one is crazy. Re-writing the Bible?

And in California, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has obviously Seen the Light and taken this new Bible to heart. When the owners of San Francisco's Cheesecake Factory restaurant decreed that their employees were no longer allowed a lunch break, Arnie jumped right in to help management out by trying to pass legislation to back the bosses up. Is a lunch break now "optional" in California? If Arnie has his way? YES.

Would YOU be happy to work eight hours a day at a sweatshop job with no break for lunch? According to cheap-labor Republicans, the answer is yes. How do they know? "The Bible tells us so."

PS, according to Time Magazine, if you make under $10,000 a year, your chances for happiness are zilch.