Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Evil Bastards on U.S. Money

The United States is going to start changing its money because so many evil bastards are on so much of the money that people use (and people have finally learned what evil bastards they were). Let’s see who some of these evil bastards are.

This is a revised chapter for my book New York City Sucks, but You'll Still Wanna Come Here

The text of this chapter is written in the 'voice' of the hero of the book 'New York City Sucks, but You'll Still Wanna Come Here'. The hero is Suzy, an immigrant from South America who has become somewhat disappointed and disgruntled with New York City and the USA. Suzy:
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Let’s start with the $1 bill.  This one is easy: George Washington.  First president.  No-brainer.  If you are first at anything they make a big deal about you. Here’s some gossip about George.  He basically sucked as a general (military leader) but because he won one big battle he kept his job through the Revolutionary War (he was really good at networking and had lots of important connections, too). What was his big victory that allowed him to keep getting a paycheck?
Well, during the Revolutionary War the English military had occupied the city of Boston.  This was terrible for the Americans because Boston was the home of most of the trouble-makers of the Revolution and it was a rich city.  Washington had to find a way to get the English out. As luck would have it, another American general had captured 300 English canons earlier in the war and had them transported to Washington outside of Boston.  During the night Washington had these 300 canons positioned on Dorchester Heights, a large hill that overlooked and partly encircled the entire English fleet in Boston harbor.  When the sun rose the English saw all those canons pointing at all their ships and they freaked out
It appeared as if Washington could destroy a huge part of the English fleet and really harm the English military.  So the English General immediately sent a note to Washington: “If you destroy my fleet, I will burn down the entire city of Boston. If you refrain from destroying my fleet I will take all of my soldiers immediately out of Boston.”  So now, put yourself in Washington’s place.  What would you do?  Would you really hurt the English by destroying a big part of the English navy but then lose the city of Boston or would you let ships go that could destroy American ships later and transport more English soldiers, but by doing so save Boston?  Washington let them go.
So why would I call this a big victory/win?  Because although Washington had 300 canons, he had no canon balls.  That’s right, he had nothing to shoot from those canons.  The canons were harmless.  He totally bluffed the English into leaving Boston.  He forced the English out of Boston without firing a shot and without killing a person.  The English left and never came back to Boston because they were afraid of the canons on Dorchester Heights.  Ha ha ha.  Ha ha ha ha ha! Unfortunately, he lost lots of other battles, winning only little ones after that. But the American Revolution was weird/strange. As long as Washington’s army survived the Revolution survived. Washington’s army was the Revolution.
You had a wealthy group of white men from all 13 colonies who formed a “Congress” and who were good at fund-raising (raising money). They kept paying Washington, he kept executing (killing) guys who tried to leave his army, and the Revolution continued until 1781 when a stupid English general took the entire English army into an area where it could be trapped/captured. At this point the French army (with Washington’s guys tagging behind) captured the English with the help of the Spanish and Dutch navies. France, Holland and Spain hated England and were essential in winning the Revolution – they all helped the wealthy white guys who funded the Revolution and the poor farmers who fought in it. It would not have been won without them and the stupidity of an English general.

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The $5 bill, again a no-brainer: Abraham Lincoln. He was the president during the Civil War – the war in which the most American soldiers died (600,000) so you get famous in America for a deed (action) like that. There’s a lot of revisionist history that says that Lincoln was a racist (he thought black people were inferior to white people) and that he didn’t really care about the black people who were slaves.  Well, that’s true. To say the war was fought to free slaves is bullshit. After the war was over, the slaves received very few benefits. They went from being slaves on large farms (plantations) to working for very little money whatsoever on the same farms. The freed slaves had no formal education, no money, no skills and no power. They were still helpless after the war, so obviously the war was fought for other reasons. 
The real reason for the Civil War was that wealthy guys in the North realized they could make a zillion dollars if they conquered (beat) the South in a war and changed the Southern economy into an industrialized Northern economy. And this happened. After the Civil War, Wall Street bankers and industrialists made ZILLIONS of dollars.  Of all the US Presidents, Lincoln is portrayed (shown) as being  the best human being who was moral to a fault.  Historians act as if he wrestled with all of his decisions and seemed to always try to do the right thing. No. Many historians now feel that the Civil War could have been avoided and that slavery could have been ended through peaceful measures and not a war that killed 600,000 guys. If Lincoln had been a real genius and had really cared about black people, there would have been no bloody Civil War and black and white people would be on equal terms right now. America’s racial problems stem from (come from) Lincoln’s poor decisions. The war was fought to force the South to develop its economy, not to free the slaves.
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The $10 bill:  That handsome son-of-a-bitch Alexander Hamilton. He was the only “founding father” of the USA who was born poor and he could see that one day the USA would be a world powerhouse.  His vision and hard work helped make the USA a violent, bloody, oppressive powerhouse that could drop atom bombs on innocent Japanese women and children and napalm on Vietnamese kids. Fuck this bastard!  He sucks.

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The $20 bill: a real, total bastard.  An unbelievable bastard. Andrew Jackson. This guy Jackson hated Native Americans.  He was violent and kind of ignorant.  He is lionized for one reason:  Before he became president you could only vote in America if you were a white male, over 21, who owned land.  After he became president you could vote if you were a white male who was over 21.  So he is considered a pioneer of democracy.  His worst crime against humanity is called “The Trail of Tears” by Native Americans.
Basically, he wanted to chase all the Native Americans out of Florida and allow white farmers to move into that land.  So he ordered the American military to go into Florida and chase the Indians out.  Some Americans thought this was wrong and they filed legal papers with the Supreme Court to stop him from doing this.  And, believe it or not, the Supreme Court ordered President Jackson NOT to send the army into Florida.  The Supreme Court stated that the Indians had the right to live there.
Wanna know what Jackson said?  He said, to paraphrase, “I am the president and I have an army.  When the Supreme Court gets an army they can tell me what the fuck to do.”  So the president just plain ignored the Supreme Court decision and sent the army into Florida to chase the 5 tribes down there out of Florida.  The Indians were forced to walk to Oklahoma (in the middle of the country), and forced to live in an area that did not have any good farmland and which did not have any animals to hunt.  The Indians were forced to become totally dependent on the US government for their survival (they needed the government to survive) and had to accept free food and supplies, including a lot of liquor (alcoholic beverages).  The Indians were forced to live on a ‘reservation’ – this became the term for the areas of land the government would force various Indian tribes to live on. 
Reservations still exist. The Navajo reservation, out west, is one of the poorest areas in the world.  Interestingly, many Indian reservations are making money these days by opening gambling casinos.  The Navajos felt that was beneath their dignity and they refused to do that. Gambling is illegal in most US states, but US law does not apply to Indian reservations, so many non-Indian people go to these Indian reservations to gamble.  Some tribes are now making lots of money.  The Navajos, however, choose to suffer than to take dirty money. The Navajos need some love and luck. Seriously, please pray for the Navajos.

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The $50 bill.  U.S. Grant.  Amazingly competent General whose battle plans often lead to the slaughter of lots and lots of guys who thought they were fighting to free the slaves (and not to create a new economic system in the South). 23,000 guys died during the two day Battle of Shiloh that he participated in. This is serious carnage, baby. You get on the $50 bill for this kind of slaughter. So he helped the North beat the South in the Civil War but became a president who really sucked.  He became president shortly after Lincoln was killed (assassinated). 
Grant studied at West Point Military Academy.  This is the college where people go to become officers in the US Army.  When Grant studied there he was the worst student in his class.  The best student was a guy from Virginia named Robert E. Lee.  When the Civil War started Lincoln contacted Lee and told him that even though he, Lee, was from the South, he should fight for the United States and that Lincoln would make him the top northern general.  Lee, however, chose to fight for the Southern states against the United States.  And he was good.  Too damn good.  Initially, no Northern general could beat him.  Things looked bad for the North and its plans to industrialize the South and make zillions of dollars.
Before the Civil War Grant had kind of fucked up his life.  Although he had graduated from West Point, he became an alcoholic and was thrown out of the army.  When the war started, he was working for his father at a store in Illinois.  But the United States of America was so desperate for soldiers when the war started that they accepted Grant again and he proved himself to be a great soldier.  Soon he was a general and he was winning all of his battles.  So finally Abraham Lincoln appointed Grant to be the head of the United States Army. 
In America people often don’t care whether you fucked up in the past.  They like it when you say, “OK, I fucked up. Who cares?  That’s the past.  You wanna live in the past? Fuck you!  Let’s move forward!” That’s the American spirit. Maybe that’s because everyone in America kind of fucks up sooner or later. It’s a risky country!  You take risks, you fuck up!  It’s simple. That’s why Americans can be so forgiving, and so successful.  When the Chinese learn how to fuck up as much as Americans can fuck up, then the world should be worried about the Chinese becoming the number 1 economy and super-power.  But right now the Chinese are too worried about NOT fucking up, which means they are REALLY going to fuck up, so let’s not worry about them. 
Hello?!  The whole freaking world wants to come to New York City not Shanghai.  
Many people were shocked when Grant, an alcoholic, was appointed General.  Some people went to Lincoln and said, “Mr. President! How can you appoint an alcoholic to be the leader of your army?”  Lincoln, who had a sense of humor, said, “I know he’s an alcoholic.  In fact, I want to find out what he drinks and give it to all my generals!”  That was a joke.  A joke is a statement that makes you laugh. Ha ha. Even I laughed at that one. Such a shame the bastard killed 600,000 guys, because he could be damn funny when he wanted to. Maybe Al Capone was funny as well, who knows.
So you had one of the best students from West Point ever – Lee – fighting probably one of the the worst students in West Point’s history – Grant.  And Grant kicked Lee’s ass, which shows how valuable a West Point education was back then, I guess.  Grant was the only guy who could beat Lee.
A good piece of gossip about Grant involves when Lee had to surrender to him.  When Grant had finally beaten Lee and Lee had to give up (formally stop fighting), a formal surrender ceremony was required.  Grant, however, had experienced a lot of hardship and failure and could sympathize with Lee.  He did not want Lee to feel humiliated, since Lee had been a great student and a great general.  So for the ceremony Lee dressed up in his finest uniform but Grant just dressed up in a common soldier’s uniform and he treated Lee with the utmost respect.  For the rest of his life Lee never forgot this act of kindness and if a Southerner spoke badly of Grant, Lee immediately spoke up for him. But, that’s where the good news ends.  Grant was such a lousy president that the United States will probably never experience so much governmental corruption again. 
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The 100 dollar bill has Benjamin Franklin on it.  Franklin was a great scientist and inventor.  He’s the guy who discovered that lightning is, in fact, electricity.  He is also considered the embodiment of early American capitalism.  He started from scratch and worked his way to prominence.  He’s on the hundred dollar bill, however, because of his diplomatic service during the Revolutionary War.  Basically, there was no way that an American army could have defeated the English without European help.  England had the best fucking army in the world and the Americans only had hard-working and brave farmers. 
Franklin was able to convince the Spanish, the French and the Dutch (people from Holland are called Dutch) that they could weaken the English by assisting the Americans in the Revolution.  In the final battle of the war the American army, under Washington, and the Dutch, French and Spanish navies, surrounded the English army and forced them to surrender.  That was in 1781. After two years of arguing the war was officially over.  The Revolution was a long war which started in 1775.  That was a fucking long war.  What the hell was wrong with the fucking British?!  That war was too fucking long. Jesus Christ!  Now I’m kind of glad the American farmers won.
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Now for the coins:  the penny (1 cent = $0.01) has Lincoln.  We already covered Lincoln.  The nickel (5 cents = $0.05) has Jefferson.  I hate him too.  Ok, he wrote “All men are created equal…” but I think he stole that line from the English philosopher John Locke.  And Jefferson owned slaves.  And please don’t tell me that it was common for people at the time to own slaves, because Hamilton didn’t own slaves.  Jefferson owned slaves and had a child with one of his slaves, which means, folks, that he raped her since a slave has no rights and can’t say ‘no.’  Rape is a crime in which a man sexually forces himself on a woman.  Now I’m angry.  Every time anyone ever mentions Jefferson I get pissed off.  I won’t even use nickels. Fuck nickels. Please take this bastard off of nickels so I can use them again.
The dime (10 cents): Franklin Roosevelt.  He was elected president 4 times and helped the people of the United States survive the Great Depression. It looks as if he wanted the US to become involved in World War II and may have done things to try to provoke the war. He wanted to help England and he knew the war would be great for the US economy; and it was. That’s what ended the Great Depression.
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There is also a 50 cent piece that has John Kennedy on it, but absolutely nobody uses this coin for some reason.  Little kids collect this coin.  Kennedy – a controversial figure.  It is alleged that his father acquired the Kennedy wealth through illegal means.  In fact, it looks as if it has been proved that Joe Kennedy (the dad) made a lot of money by illegally importing and selling alcoholic beverages during a time when such drinks were illegal in America.  Some Americans seem to love Kennedy.  If you meet one, ask him or her why.  I read that Kennedy started the Vietnam War.  The previous president, Eisenhower, refused to commit troops to that conflict.  Eisenhower was an objective military man and he knew that the French had been beaten by the Vietnamese and that even a powerful western country could not win that type of war. 
He also realized that a war against Vietnam would harm the American economy. He also realized that if Vietnam did become a communist country, it would not really matter much to American interests. Kennedy was a young playboy compared to Eisenhower and made the stupid mistake of getting the US involved in a war that led to the deaths of 50,000 American soldiers and the deaths of over 2,000,000 Vietnamese.  The Vietnamese people still suffer from chemicals used by the US military in that war, even though the war ended in 1975.  Basically Kennedy started the war and then one of America’s shadiest (most dishonest) presidents – Lyndon Johnson – really messed the war up.

Oh, back to the playboy.  I also read that Kennedy was no friend to the Civil Rights movement and wasn’t that concerned about poor people in America.  I also read that he had the president of South Vietnam assassinated (murdered) and tried several times to assassinate Castro, the leader of Cuba.  The Cold War also got worse with Kennedy as president.  In fact, he supported a crazy attempt by some crazy Cuban guys to try to invade Cuba (the Bay of Pigs Invasion) and this invasion totally failed.  But he is liked because he was young and handsome?  He was handsome?  OK, I guess as a foreign chick I can’t recognize when some American Caucasians are handsome.  In any case, they threw him on the 50 cent coin that little kids collect.
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Finally they have these crazy dollar coins that nobody uses.  On one they have Susan B. Anthony.  She worked hard to help women get the right (the legal ability) to vote (in 1920).  
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And on another dollar coin they have a Native American (Indian) lady named Sakajawea.  This is weird.  Why do they have Sakajawea on a dollar coin?  Well, basically, France used to “own” the big middle part of what is now the United States.  I put quotation marks around “own” to indicate that, of course, Native Americans had been living in that region for thousands of years.  Basically France “owned” it because they had soldiers and military bases (forts) throughout that part of North America.  In the early 1800s, France offered to sell this region to the US government because France desperately needed money for a war they were fighting against England.  So Jefferson paid the French and took “ownership” of the land they had previously controlled.
No American really knew what was west of the Allegheny Mountains (a mountain range not far from the east coast that stretches from the very north to the very south), however, so Jefferson asked two Army officers to lead an expedition (an exploratory group) into this new territory to see what was there and to draw maps. So they took a bunch of Army guys out West to see what Jefferson had bought.  While they were looking around, they met a Native American lady named Sakajawea and she and one of the Army guys fell in love.  So, basically, Sakajawea gave the Army guys a tour of the land that Jefferson had ‘bought’. She knew about large chunks of the region. This was, however, a huge mistake, because once the US Government had maps of all the land the French used to have, they sent soldiers and settlers (people who wanted to live on that land) out West and killed the Native Americans there and stole their land.  So the US Government is still so grateful to Sakajawea that they put her image on a dollar coin that nobody uses.  

Definitions of terms
a no-brainer – this refers to a super-easy decision, a decision that is so easy to make that it requires virtually no thought.
gossip – little stories – sometimes true and sometimes false - secretly exchanged behind the backs of people.
as luck would have it – luckily, fortunately.
a canon – this is a type of old fashioned weapon.  It was a giant gun, usually with two wheels next to it, from which large balls used to be shot.
to encircle – to form a circle around.
a fleet – a large gathering or collection of ships.
to be freaked out – to be shocked and to panic.
to refrain from doing something – to hold oneself back from doing something, to stop oneself from doing something.
a canon ball – the type of ammunition that was shot from a canon.
to bluff – to make a person think you are going to do something so that he has to take some type of action, even though you can't or don't want to do what you say you are going to do.
to tag behind – to weakly follow
a revisionist – this is a type of historian who claims that what most people believe is actually false and that there is a more accurate history.  Some revisionists are accurate and some are not.
bullshit – a dirty way to say: nonsense.
to be moral to a fault – to be so moral that it hurts you, or to be almost too moral.
to wrestle with an issue – to struggle with what the right answer or response to an issue might be.
a handsome son-of-a-bitch – sometimes calling a person a son-of-a-bitch can be a compliment.  It all depends on how you say it.  Don’t try to do this unless you are really really confident with your English.
a bastard – an insulting term directed against a guy (male). Bitch would be the term directed against a woman.  Literally, a bastard is a child who comes from a single mother. A bitch is a female dog.
Native Americans – the first folks to live in North America, before the arrival of Europeans.  They are also sometimes called Indians.
to lionize someone – to praise someone a lot. To glorify someone.
a pioneer – an innovator, someone who goes somewhere or does something before anyone else.
to file legal papers – to formally introduce a case in a courtroom. To do the paperwork necessary for a court case to occur.
to paraphrase – not to quote a person directly but to give someone the general idea of what another person said.
a tribe – a pre-industrial group of people within a certain geographic area sharing a certain language and culture.  Indians (Native Americans) lived in tribes.  Some still live in tribes on reservations.
to be beneath someone’s dignity – your sense of dignity is the way you feel about yourself. If you have a sense of dignity you think you are a pretty good person who deserves to be treated with respect. So if something is beneath your dignity, you feel you are too good for this or that only a lower-class person would do something like this.
competent – I am being sarcastic here. I am saying Grant was really good at getting guys killed to win battles. If you are competent at something, you are good at it.
slaughter – to slaughter is to kill something in a bloody way. A butcher slaughters animals so that people can eat this as food. A general can cause his troops to be slaughtered in battle.
an officer – in the military you have common soldiers and officers.  An officer usually receives a specialized military education and has leadership qualities that enable him/her to command or lead others.
He fucked up his life – he ruined or messed up his life.
Al Capone – a famous and violent criminal from the 1930s who basically controlled the City of Chicago.
to kick a person’s ass – figuratively this means to defeat a person in a sports competition or battle etc.  It’s a dirty expression.
to surrender – to give up, to stop fighting and agree to the terms of the army that has won the battle.
hardship – difficult times. Adversity is the higher level word.
utmost – very most, the highest.
corruption – a lack of honesty, a situation in which things are not being run or operated with integrity or diligence or honesty.
embodiment – if someone is the embodiment of something it is as if he carries that thing in his very body or he is the best example of something.
from scratch – from the beginning.
prominence – to be prominent is to be in a high position or a position where many will see and admire you.
controversial – a controversial issue or person is someone/thing about which people cannot agree and which can lead to a heated debate or argument.
to allege – to assert, to claim, to argue.
a conflict – a type of struggle, a fight.
a playboy - a guy who primarily focuses on drinking and sex.  A book published about Kennedy stated that he had a different woman virtually every night of the week.  It is a historical fact that he once even had a sexual affair with a woman who was an East German spy.  The FBI had to say, "Mr. President, we can't stop you from having random sex, but please don't have random sex with enemy spies."
The Civil Rights Movement – this was a social movement in America in which African Americans struggled to gain the rights and freedoms that were guaranteed to them in the United States Constitution after the Civil War.
to backfire – to expect something to happen as a result of your action but to see the exact opposite thing happen.  In the old days if you tried to fire a gun and it exploded in your face, this was an example of a backfire.  If your plan backfires, you probably wanted to hurt someone but you wound up hurting yourself instead.
The Cold War – this was not a real war but a situation of military and political tension in the world that lasted from 1945 to 1989 as a result of ideological differences between the United States of America and The Soviet Union (Russia).  It ended when the Soviet style of socialism fell or collapsed.
a Caucasian – a white person.  At some point some scientist or anthropologist decided that white people came from an area near the Caucasus Mountains – who knows where white people came from. 

18 Vocabulary Words.  Fill-in-the-blanks
gossip, a fleet, to freak out, to refrain from, to bluff, to wrestle with, to lionize s/o, to paraphrase, to surrender, hardship, utmost, embodiment, to start from scratch, prominence, controversial, to allege, a conflict, to backfire
In 1664 an English __________ with many ships arrived at New Amsterdam harbor in an attempt to take over the small trading town.  The people of that town were so unhappy with their governor that they refused to fight for him (Peter Stuyvesant) and they allowed to English to take over and rename the town New York.
Governor Dewitt Clinton was the ____________ of a great leader.  He had vision, the capacity to turn the vision into reality and the charisma and competence to get elected.  His vision allowed for the building of the Eerie Canal, which connected New York commercially to the Midwest.
In the workplace, ___________ can be quite dangerous and harmful, since negative stories about co-workers usually get back to the co-workers themselves.
Public servants in America usually have to take an oath in which they pledge that they will do their ____________ to protect the Constitution and serve the people.
The attempt to secure a third political term almost ____________ for Michael Bloomberg.  Although he spent $100 million on his campaign and his opponent only spent $6 million, he almost lost.
At a recent gallery opening I met a gallery owner who was also, obviously, a transsexual – I did not _____________, however, because I know now that there are all kinds of people in New York City and I like that!
Few people seem to know that there is some type of ___________ between New York City police officers and New York City firemen.  On 9/11 it seems that the police did not communicate effectively with the firemen (whose radios - or walky talkies – were not working) and therefore over 300 firemen did not know they should have evacuated the burning and crumbling buildings.  Approximately 20 police officers died.
Although it was ____________ by some of the newspapers that Governor Patterson illegally obtained tickets to a Yankee’s World Series game, he denied the allegation.
Jina ____________ when she saw her first cockroach crawling across her kitchen sink.  She learned, however, that boric acid quickly eliminates all such little insect creatures.
Issues that seem ________________ in some American cities do not seem to bother people in New York City.  Neither gay marriage nor abortion is thought to be a problem here.  New Yorkers seem to think: “Live and let live!”
Although I found the tourist’s attitude and comments to be offensive, I ________________ from returning harsh language for harsh language.
Barack Obama seemed to gain _______________________ in the Democratic Party fairly quickly and easily.  Within two years of being elected a Senator he was elected to be president.
Living in New York City is not easy.  Many people feel that the ___________ involved in living here are, however, worth it because there is so much to do and so many interesting people to meet.
After the two World Trade Center buildings were destroyed, it was decided not to rebuild them but to start from ______________  with a new design.
The people of the city of New York were forced to ___________ to the English and New York City remained occupied by English soldiers until the Revolutionary War ended.
There is a good way to determine whether a person is going to kill himself or whether he is ____________.  If the person tells you specifically how he is going to commit suicide, he probably intends to do it.
Many people around the world felt that President Barak Obama was _____________ a bit too much when he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for having, really, done nothing.
To ________________ what Lincoln said, a nation which is divided on essential political and economic issues cannot function properly.
It seems that politicians in a democracy do not want to ___________ with the big issues; they want to do what the voters want them to do so that they can be re-elected.
Answers: fleet, embodiment, gossip, utmost, backfired, freak out, conflict, alleged, freaked out, controversial, refrained, prominence, hardships, scratch, surrender, bluffing, lionized, paraphrase, wrestle