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When Pigs Take Power

— by Charlie LeDuff

People in America are comparing our times to the dystopian novel “1984” written by George Orwell in 1948, where a totalitarian government uses technology and media manipulation to control people.

In the book, the Party scrutinizes all human interaction. People are monitored through tele-screens by an all-seeing Big Brother – think Twitter Files here. The language is Double-Speak, where words do not mean what they once did.

It’s a good comparison. But I think Orwell’s novella “Animal Farm” – penned a few years before 1984 – is a better comparison.

In Animal Farm, the beasts of burden rebel against their master Farmer Jones, and take control of his holdings. The newly liberated animals paint a list of seven commandments on the barn to govern themselves. A bill of rights, you might say.

Among these seven commandments: “Four legs good, two legs bad.”

Others forbid an animal from taking on the habits of their oppressors. No clothes. No beds. No alcohol.

And most importantly: “All animals are equal.”

Through the course of the book, the animals labor and die to build a more equitable society than they had laboring under the yoke.

That’s what they thought, at least, until one evening, the animals noticed the lights on in the old farmhouse. They crowded around the window and looked inside.

What did they see?

The pigs – the one-time equals of the outdoor animals – were now wearing clothes. Some pigs stood on their hind legs smoking pipes. Others were seated at the dining room table eating meat and drinking wine with the farmers. The pigs’ faces were now indistinguishable from their one-time masters, the farmers.

The pigs had made themselves the elite; the ruling class who convinced the rest of the animals that they did the most important things on the farm, stuff like thinking, reading documents and sleeping until noon.

The animals – the ones on the outside looking in — suddenly realized that they’d been duped. That the commandments on the barn had been altered. “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others,” it now read.

And so it is in Michigan. The pigs have become liars and manipulators. The ruling class has left us to drink poisoned water; locked up to die in the nursing homes. They bray about the dignity of the working folks, these feckless jack asses who have never pulled the plowshare. They have no special skill set. There are no geniuses among them. They are lawyers for god sakes. But the writing on the barn says something different now.

Consider: I have recently come into possession of some sensitive legal documents concerning the Flint water poisoning. Attorney Dana Nessel had neither the brains nor the ability to bring the cabal of municipal poisoners to justice.

Now Nessel buries both the faces and facts. The documents are supposed to contain the names of the Flint suspects and their alleged crimes. But Nessel has hidden their identities from public view. The documents are blacked out. Former Gov. Rick Snyder and his band nasty nerds are sleeping easy tonight.

It’s the same with nursing homes. Thousands died in the dark Michigan. We don’t know how many because Governor Whitmer continues to cover it up. An independent audit proved it’s thousands of people more.

But even with her fake numbers, Michigan was among the worst in America. And it all remains in the dark.

The state’s pandemic response was a shameful exercise in political hackery, rolled up in irony. Whitmer locked down our school children with the pretense of protecting our seniors who, in turn, were locked away and died at alarming rates, unseen and undercounted.

Now grandma is gone. Gabi can’t read. And Gretchen casts her eye towards Washington.

Nessel refuses to investigate the sordid debacle that is infected with special interest money. Nessel took $10,000 from the nursing home lobby last year. Whitmer took $41,0000.

Meanwhile, no one in Detroit will pay the price for the thousands of demolition holes filled with poisoned dirt. That crime cost the city tax payers at least $15 million dollars, but Mayor Mike Duggan and his dogs didn’t have to pay it. In fact, Boss Hog will skate free since his pals in the Biden and Obama administrations let the statute of limitations lapse on most of the crimes. Meanwhile, the city’s children will get to play in contaminated dirt.

We the people are out in the cold, blindly snapping at each other’s snouts, chasing each other’s tails.

Meanwhile, on the other side of a plate glass window of some fancy restaurant somewhere, our supposed fellows — the political pigs, the lap dogs of the mainstream media and the financial fat cats are laughing it up over whiskey and pork chops.

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