Showing posts with label Politics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Politics. Show all posts

Thursday, November 8, 2012

They call him Mister President

This is the only thing I can muster in these long days of short daylight, an extra workload while I fill in for a vacancy, despair over the suffering of people around the world, inefficiently wishing away a Nor'easter that's punishing the already punished, and a growing deficit of patience for stupidity.



Congratulations Citizens of the United States on voting for the expansion of freedoms.

With love and lots of yawning,

Lisa

P.S. Let's all agree that we're going to call him PRESIDENT Obama for the next four years, motherfuckers.

P.S.S. Please don't tell my mother I used the word motherfucker. She still possesses the ability to shame me mercilessly.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Who's behind the false face

Via Retro Weirdo

Special concern:  If you were in the path of the Hurricane Sandy, I hope you're okay.  Has anyone heard from MSB after the storm? I emailed her, but haven't heard back.

1. I'm participating in NaNoWriMo starting on November 1st. The family has been warned there will be increased neglect and I'll be acting like someone with PMS for the entire month, consuming sickening quantities of leftover Halloween candy (right down to the already-opened Smarties) and overreacting to all interruptions. Plus I'll be squeezing all this fun into the hours when I'm not at work or driving to and from. Predictions:  A 50/50 chance of success with a high probability of martyr-like behavior and an outbreak of adult acne.

2.  I want to write an essay titled "Why the Constitution is an Asshole."

3.  If Mitt Romney becomes our president, I'm cancelling my plans to get my diminished hearing checked. Listening to him lie is bad enough, but if I have to go through four years of listening to him do that ghastly tongue click before he speaks, well, that will be too much to bear. It's even worse than the classical radio announcer out of Cincinnati who always sounded like he was chewing a fistful of nuts when he spoke. I could picture him spraying spittle and flecks of pistachios all over the microphone.

Via Retro Weirdo
4. I spent nearly an hour yesterday evening looking at photos of vintage Halloween costumes. The entire Eastern seaboard is in a shambles and I'm trolling for vintage Halloween photos because the bad news all around is breaking my delicate nature.

5. I'm reading a book with the most atrocious dialogue, but I want to know how it ends. I'm halfway through and want to skip ahead, scanning through the dialogue because otherwise I'm afraid I'm going to lose my damn mind. But some writer - all right, Selden Edwards - worked really hard to write this story. Does skipping and scanning make me an asshole like the Constitution?

6. MathMan and I voted on Saturday. Spiderman was standing the prescribed number of feet or yard away from the polling place holding a sign for some fellow who's running for the local school board. After watching this, I'm thinking that having Spiderman on the school board would be an improvement. Goodness knows he wouldn't be our first mutant.

What are you hoping for in your treat bag?


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Somewhere in a cotton field in Georgia

A sign is jammed into the ground, polluting the landscape, polluting thought.




I ask you - is this kind of thing really necessary?

The floor is yours.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

But who is going to hold me to it?


Normally, I eschew things like New Years resolutions. A resolution is nothing more than another opportunity to fail.

Because I'm more than a little tired of who I am naturally, I've decided to try some new things. Push myself a bit. Don't worry. I'm setting the bar pretty low and I've brought a paper bag in case any of this causes hyperventilation.

1. Drink my coffee black. Like the midwife who delivered all three kids once said "it takes a whole lotta sugar to keep me sweet." Hell yeah. But it's time to acknowledge the wafer thin wall between bad eating habits and future ill health. There is no reason to ruin a perfectly good cup of coffee by adding enough sugar and cream to make a dessert. A spoon should not be required to consume coffee.

2. Read more. Anita mentioned that 2012 is the Year of Reading the Books You Own. Yes! I purchased a ridiculous number of books last year from a used book store that was going out of business and at the Friends of  the Library book sales. While I can't guarantee that I won't be lured by the siren song of the library's new releases shelves, I am setting a goal of reading at least one of the books I own once a month.

3. Stop making fun of the sound the oldest cat makes when she crunches the dry cat food. She probably isn't that amused by it anyway.

4. Stop projecting my shit onto other people, especially those closest to me. Just because I'm feeling all balled up about something doesn't mean that MathMan has to be. A true challenge. Misery often does love company. Especially if company comes bearing cheap chocolate.

5. Stop worrying and learn to love the bomb. Feel free to project your own shit on me here to get the meaning.

6. Annoy one celebrity a day on Twitter. Hey, it's a branding strategy, okay?

7. Ignore the cesspool of American politics. It's like attempting to ignore an itch on your butt when you're in standing in line at the DMV. You don't want to scratch in front of the people behind you and you can't leave your place in line.

8. Wii Just Dance. No matter who is around to mock me.

9. Stop looking for a job. Is it like love? When you stop looking, that's when it finds you? And if not, why not?

10. Stop censoring myself out of fear that potential employers will see my blog, facebook, twitter, pinterest, etc. and decide that I am not "their kind of people." Maybe my blog and social media is what I should be doing while I finish working on the novel and a couple of other projects I've added to my To Do list. After nearly 500 job applications, it's clear I'm going to have to make my own way.

P.S. If you're a potential employer, I'm kidding! I'm a rule follower. A hard worker. A team player. Versatile, appropriately innovative and I possess strong communications skills. And I come cheaply. See! I use adverbs!

P.S.S. Some of you might be surprised to learn that I censor myself. I know!

11. Stop judging people by the inane stuff they post on Facebook. Being a judgmental asshole says more about me than about the people doing the cut and paste I bet you won't do this statuses, the TGIF posts, the Monday complaints, the weather reports and the questions about which new, expensive phone to buy. It says I'm easily bored, snobbish, pretentious, sanctimonious and jealous. It says they lack creativity. See what I mean?

12. Acquire new skills. I can't really afford to go back to school right now, but my friend Christine posted online a list of free educational opportunities and more than one of them appeal to me. Learning for the sake of learning? Why not?

Twelve for 2012 seems hokey enough, right?

Have you used this arbitrary date to promise yourself anything?


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Roll me in designer sheets


Good news, for me, at least. I'm out of my stupor! The exclamation point is there for extra convincing in case you need it.

I came to in time to take a robocall from Newt Gingrich yesterday.

I was just out of the shower when Chloe hammered on the door and rushed in without waiting for my response. Thank goodness I'd reached the panties and bra stage of redressing, but poor Chloe. She got a horrifying glimpse of what her future could hold.

"Newt's calling!" She held out the phone like it might have cooties.

I gave her a puzzled look and put the phone to my ear.

With all the charm of a long-term untreated urinary tract infection, Newt began his appeal by telling the lucky recipient of the recorded call  how he would dismantle the European-style socialism rammed down America's throat by Obama.

"But I like European-style socialism and how about calling him President Obama, you tool," I said, forgetting that I wasn't talking to the real thing.

He went on to say how intelligent and effective he was, how he'd led and innovated and saved the planet from Communism, welfare queens not of the corporate variety, Bill Clinton's schlong and the Morlocks. He didn't mention Greek cruises, Tiffany's, his lucrative lobbying businesses, or his disgraced departure from the House of Representatives. I wish I had recorded it. It would have provided a cheery background for the holidays. Hell, I could have set it to autotune and created the next dance craze.

Near the end of the call, my new friend Newt urged me to stay on the line to speak to his representative. My mind shifted into high gear for the first time in days and all the condescending and dreadful things he's recently said that I worried hadn't enraged me sufficiently rallied front and center.

"Oh my god, the things I want to say to this guy," I stage-whispered to Chloe.

Sensing impending calamity, or at the very least, an ugly scene where I'm left foaming at the mouth and screaming expletives into the receiver, she held her hand out for the phone. Time to let her have a say. She's been listening to me yammer on about politics all these years.

The representative came on the line. Chloe smiled. "Hi, hello.," she was all sweet tea and apple pie. "Yes, thank you. But we're actually anarchists so you should probably call another family." She paused. Nothing. And then click.

"Anarchists?" I said. "I would have said registered Democrats. Or European-style socialists."

She shrugged. "As far as Newt is concerned, it's all the same."

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

You give a little, You get a little


Stuff going on.

I'm writing poetry, grinding my teeth over the nightmare circus that is our political process, writing and reading, committing meditative ironing, forgetting to pack school lunches, and generally causing mayhem. Cats are involved. So are corn dogs, a box of ballet shoes and a peculiar dream about Marcus Bachmann giving an interview about eating pussy.

I know, I know.

Let's just forget I told you that and visit Newswordy. And don't forget to check out those archives. If I'm going to suck your intelligence out of your ears here, then at least I can direct you to a place where you can refill your brainpan.

Onward, ho, my subversives.

What are your favorite words?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Intransigent

Photo: Lisa Golden (has nothing to do with post)

Last night MathMan and I went to bed with the TV on. Before we turned on the Foyle's War DVD, we'd been watching MSNBC and listening to the day's political spin.

As I listened to the cadence of words, the repetition of phrases, I thought about Sherry's post at A Feather Adrift. She pointed out a couple of new buzz phrases that have become part of the conversational stew surrounding the U.S. budget, the debt ceiling and the deficit.

The American People.

Job creators.

There is no American People the way it's used by politicians. Hell, you can't even get The American People to agree on Coke or Pepsi, but if you ask politicians why they're doing something, they'll you that The American People sent them to Washington to do xyz. What they should say is that they won an election and now they're going to carry out the wishes of their donors while pretending to give two shits about what the people who elected them want them to do.

The phrase job creators is the perfect illustration of this. Republicans are using the phrase to cover the entire spectrum of business and the wealthy. Big business and small. Job Creators is code for People on whom we will not raise taxes.

The people they're referring to don't actually create jobs in any meaningful way. Tax cuts don't create jobs. Demand creates jobs. You can give businesses all the tax breaks in the world, you can hand them massive tax refund checks (which is a transfer of money from the taxpayer to the corporation in case you didn't realize that) and they still aren't going to create jobs if there isn't a critical mass of consumers who want and can buy their services or goods because they have money with which to buy those goods and services.

We've tried this tax cut experiment for over ten years and it's failed. The proof is in the unemployment line.

Source: Think Progress


By the end of the day yesterday, it became clear that another word had burrowed into the DNA of the American political lexicon. I really wish that we had some sort of app that could identify which talking head was the first to use it in the current context. Now that's the kind of app that could entice me to buy a smartphone.

The word?

Intransigent.

There it is all over the television. There the word is, too, on my wall, smack in the middle of the list of adjectives I have taped next to my desk.

Intransigent. Intransigence. The words are being used to describe Republicans who are unwilling to compromise.

In today's political atmosphere, the word compromise no longer carries the air of maturity, but rather it's spat out as it's own euphemism. Only bed-wetting liberal pantywaists compromise. Pussies compromise. Real men, real Americans don't compromise. The American People don't want compromise. They're busy hollering yeehaw while riding their rugged individualist lawnmowers.

I zeroed in on this word and became obsessed with it because unlike Job Creators and The American People, this word is accurate. It's not code. It's reality. Republicans have dug in on the subject of taxes. They'll tell you that they're carrying out the will of The American People who know that the The Job Creators need to pay lower taxes so they can create jobs and that we need to cut government spending and cut taxes because taxes and Big Government are the problem.

Or shorter: We're all Grover Norquist now!!!

See how that works?

I'd been drinking and that brought everything into focus like when you suddenly notice the veins in your hands look like rivers on a map. "When we wake up in the morning and turn on the TV, let's see how long it takes for someone to use the word intransigent on Morning Joe," I said, mashing my pillow into place.

When I'm happily alcohol softened, MathMan justs lets me talk. "Okay," he said. He probably just wanted to get laid.

As I fell asleep, I pontificated on the Balanced Budget Amendment. "That's like if your car breaks down and you quit your job because you can't get there and you can't get there because you won't raise revenue to fix your car."

Then everything went black.

The alarm went off at 6:10a.m. I opened my eyes, assessed my level of hangover. Nothing. Excellent. I reached for the remote, pushed the power button and glanced at the clock next to me. 6:11. MathMan bailed out of the bed and headed to the shower.

"blah, blah, blah, instransigent....." said Pat Buchanan to the roundtable on Morning Joe.

"One minute! It took one minute!" I laughed and threw the covers back. I was free to get on with my day.

What are your favorite political phrases, euphemisms, codes?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I'm living in an age that calls darkness light

So Arnold had a secret that (one hopes) included child support payments. One wonders if he made his mistress and child take the same kind of cuts he foisted upon the employees of the State of California.

Meanwhile, Newt's passion for his country forced him to have sex with and eventually marry one of his staffers, leaving behind another wife.

Former Senator John Ensign had to be told by his spiritual advisor to put his pants on and go home.

David Vitter, Mark Sanford, Larry Craig, the new guy from New York who photographed his hot bod in the bathroom mirror for a craig's list posting.

I know I'm forgetting some.

John Edwards does some personally despicable things and his political career lays in ruins, despite any good works he might have done in the past. All those things are erased because of what he did with his penis. Same for Elliot Spitzer and Gary Hart. I'm probably forgetting others.

Republicans, while running candidates on a family values platform, forgive their members' transgressions. Democrats, while not being the party of sexual morality legislation, fricassee their members. Most of them, at least. Bill Clinton is a survivor, but he's definitely the exception to the rule, wouldn't you say?

And it's not just sexual moralizing on the right. Oh, Mike Huckabee. He was obese and lost a bunch of weight and got really healthy. He wrote a book and did huge promotional events touting the importance of being lean and healthy and how we should treat our bodies like temples, not garbage dumps.

Have you seen Mike Huckabee lately? Poor fellow. I feel his fat. Sharing his genetic programming toward porkiness, I understand how frustrated he must feel. The yo yo weight is on the upswing and he's got the double chins mocking him in the mirror every damn day as a reminder that he's still a prisoner to his love affair with food. But did his food and exercising moralizing earn him hard knocks from the geniuses on Fox News the way they've gone after First Lady Michelle Obama for promoting healthy lifestyles? Of course not. It got him a job there at Fox instead.

All of this is my long-winded way of saying this is why I try to not preach about better living or sexual morality. I am weak. The flesh is weak. My body is a cage, my mind a cesspool. My better angels are often seen sitting in the corner booth of a seedy bar playing strip poker over glasses of whiskey, telling dirty jokes while cigarettes dangle from their lips. And that's when they're not climbing into the back seats of cars with a sly smile and a glance over their shoulder. Their halos long gone, their wings missing feathers, their gowns stained with barbecue sauce, their pantyhose a laddered map of where they've been.

So really, what chance do I have? And who am I to tell anyone else how to conduct their personal affairs? That doesn't always preclude me from doing so, but it does make me a tremendous asshole for it.

One can't watch the TV or scan the internet without seeing someone yucking it up over these stories of right wing personal indiscretions. I understand the need to laugh. Hypocrisy is ever so deserving of the shame finger. This particular hypocrisy has become such a standard on the political right that we don't even have to clarify that what we're on about isn't the sexual peccadilloes, but the fact that they were committed by some guy who'd just made a speech about the sanctity of marriage. Do you imagine them grunting and rutting and giggling as they recite their speech into the ear of their paramour, the irony as thick as the smell of sex in that room at the Four Seasons? I do. It's very unappetizing.

Or do they compartmentalize just as Bill Clinton said he did? Do they flip a mental switch that keeps them from drawing a line between what they're doing and what they say other people should do? Are they completely incapable of noting the hypocrisy?

I had an affair with a guy once who wanted a midlife do over. I always suspected that it pleased him to no end that he thought he was pulling a fast one on our shared employer, but he'd never admit that the illicitness of the affair was a huge part of the appeal, critical to the relationship. His favorite line to repeat to me was that if I were ever questioned, I should deny, deny, deny. No matter what the circumstances, no matter what evidence an accuser could produce, I was to deny.

He was a Republican, too.

The mind of the powerful man is a curious thing. While I can list all the reasons why I could never run for office, the reality is that I don't believe I have the right to tell other people what to do. Seriously. I sucked as a boss. I'm much too accommodating and worried about the feelings of others to make for a good authority figure or leader. Powerful people, on the other hand, feel entitled to tell people what to do and how to do it.

While talking about this with a friend, the friend pointed out that perhaps I should run as a Republican because then my deviant background wouldn't matter. All I'd have to do is pretend I've seen the error of my ways, find God and be born again. Voila! Instant political career success!

Except I'm a terrible liar. And I would never last as a Republican considering how they're supposed to be anti-everything these days. I don't want to tell people what to do with their lives, I just want to advocate for everyone to have a better life. And yes, I do believe that some people would have better lives with a little less excess. Some people would be well served to be relieved of the burden of some of their wealth and power because having it all has depleted their humanity. They no longer recognize that they are part of something larger than themselves. There is nothing larger than themselves. And there I am - being my own kind of hypocrite.

This being human thing is such a balancing act, isn't it?

The human heart is complicated, indecipherable. Add to it the pressure exerted by the sex glands and some days we're lucky we can walk across the room without having to stop to hump a table leg without so much as a by your leave. Focusing on sex and sexuality has been such a winning vote getter for the political right. And how much time and energy has been wasted on things that, as Arnold, Newt and the rest of the Pink Helicopter Club have, once again, shown us, are truly non-starters. John Boehner calls letting the Bush Tax Cuts expire a non-starter, but Mr. Boehner, sir, you can legislate tax policy. It's an enforceable law that worked for many years in this nation. On the other hand, you simply cannot legislate morality. Humans are built to do certain things, our hardwiring is meant to lead us into temptation.

Wouldn't it be invigorating if we could refocus our political system on lifting all boats on a rising tide instead of tying concrete blocks to the ankles of the least among us? Who really cares if Tab A is going into Slot B? Ultimately, no one cares. Only when they're standing in the voting booth with an array of candidate choices and not a lick of sense about real public policy matters, do most Americans actually give a good goddamn about sexual morals. And it's not that they really care because if they did, they'd care about who's  diddling the maid or sexting or dancing around in his girlfriend's underwear while she wears a fake mustache and strap-on dildo. People vote for moralizing hypocrites because it's a hell of a lot easier to understand pee pees and wee wees and who should be doing what with whom according to somebody's unread bible than it is to understand the federal budget, tax subsidies and foreign policy.

While the world wanks over the salacious details, I'm going to get busy on my next project - my plans to run for President of France as the Socialist Candidate. I hear there's going to be an opening.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I am the id to your superego

I've been taking photos of flowers.
Pardon my hyperbole, but I have the best dang friends. Rulebreakers, the lot of you. And thank you for that. Thank you for the emails and Facebook comments when I wouldn't let you comment on that last post. Today I'm still as dull as ever, but feeling better even if the house is shrouded against the predicted heat. Man, I hate having the house closed up and worse - hate shutting blinds and putting up curtains (or makeshift curtains) - but with predicted highs near 90 degrees, it's either that or be a whining puddle of perspiration by 2p.m. because that thermostat is set at 80 and it's staying there even if I have to break every bone in Sophie's fingers. (She's the thermostat fiddler around here.)

Such is my cross. There are people without enough food to eat, Lisa, you goon.

But back to my friends. They offer understanding, care, their stories of similar feelings. There really is something to that old adage Misery loves company. It really is nice to know you're not alone while you're in full wallow mode. Unless, of course, thinking you're alone is part of the fun.

I also received a gentle ass-kicking from a friend who's been in and out of my life for longer than I care to mention. If you've read the Ethan stories under the Little Love Stories tab, you already know him. His real name is Craig and, aside from MathMan, he's probably my best friend. While this might seem odd and dangerously dangerous due to my proclivities toward bad behavior, it's turned out surprising well. Plus and bonus, he lives an ocean away so safe gets even safer. Add to that the fact that I've sworn off cybersex because typing all those mmmmms and oh yeah, babies, right there gets so bloody boring. If I'm going to type out a blow job, I may as well - - - oh nevermind.

Anyway, Craig read yesterday's post and got in touch with me via Skype. Shortly into the conversation, he made an important point: If MathMan had gone quiet, couldn't I offer him some understanding? Wasn't there a better way to handle things?

"Let's see, he's working three jobs, money is tight, his wife can't find a job, he can't finance his daughter's trip to England or even pay the rest of her tuition and, you said it yourself, it's that time of year with the end of school stuff. That shit is hard on a man."

Who asked him anyway?

Of course he's right. He then went on to note that we're doomed as a species because of our horrible communications skills. "Someone wants to talk when the other person doesn't want to listen. Women want to vent while men want to jump in and fix things. We're a mess."

When the man is right, he's right.

Thinking about what Craig had said, I did the simple thing. I asked MathMan how things were going. And he told me. I swear this relationship stuff can be so easy if we're not stupid about it.

Which brings me to Mother's Day. I'm just going to say this - I motherfucking hate that day. And MathMan summed up why. "I can never get it right," he growled at me after I fussed that it was just another day around here. No gift, two hand written cards, which were lovely, but I opened them in between running the restaurant and doing another load of laundry. I couldn't go on Facebook because of all the dumbass Mother's Day posts. I pretty much stayed off the blogs, too, because I was busy being angry and giving my family the silent treatment.

We went to a matinee showing of Water for Elephants and on the way there, I read a book because I didn't want to be myself - I'm a terrible backseat driver to MathMan. With added snark for giggles. I thought I did really well, but when I related this bit of family trivia to Craig as an example of how I'm trying to do things differently, Chloe, who was in the room at the time, reported that I couldn't help myself.  As MathMan barreled down on the stopped traffic ahead of us, I repeated the word "brakes" without ever looking up from my book. Fuck.

But I really hate that day. Who am I kidding? I a total curmuddgeon. I'm not fond of any holiday and partly because of the highflying expectations for magic and, oh god, I am my father's daughter.

The highlight of Mother's Day may have been dinner on the deck with Sophie and Chloe. Sophie is having trouble finding reading material that suits her and holds her attention. At twelve going on fifty-three, she's a tough nut. Chloe rummaged through the box of books she'd lugged home from school and came up with Jane Eyre, Chronicle of a Death Foretold and Eve Ensler's I Am An Emotional Creature. Really.

Sophie opened Jane Eyre, cocked an eyebrow and closed the book. Chloe clucked her tongue in disgust. "You have to get through the first part. And just ignore the marginalia."

"What's marginalia?"

"The stuff I've written in the margins."

As an aside to Chloe, I said, "I want to make a joke about the marginalia I added to Stephen Elliot's book."

"Mother, you're forgetting that you're the mom, not the friend," she replied with a hint of a smile.

"Is Stephen Elliot the guy who's into S&M?" Sophie laid the book on the table. Jane Eyre couldn't hold a precious candle to Stephen.

Chloe turned and gave me a look.

"Point taken," I said.

Chloe read to us from Jane Eyre. I really like being read to. Sophie declared the book beyond her grasp and asked if we had any Agatha Christie. What a kidder she is. I also gave her A.A. Milne's The Red House Mystery so here's hoping. Too bad I don't have any adult Judy Blume or Sidney Sheldon she can find and read on the sly like I did at her age. I wonder if my old copy of Flowers in the Attic is in one of those boxes in the garage?

We're watching too much political television around here again. Could that be it? Anyway, Chloe noticed yesterday that Howard Dean appears to have lost weight. MathMan mentioned that Newt Gingrich has gained weight or, porked up, as he put it so eloquently. I keep track of Howard Fineman's haircuts. Frankly, I liked it when his hair curled at his collar. It was middle-aged Jewish guy sexy and I'm into that obviously.

A text exchange with another friend also reminded me of how social media has changed the way peer pressure continues into adulthood. Before Facebook, twitter, and blogging, I suppose, lots of us went to work or did our thing around the house, and at the end of the day, did whatever we did, but most of us weren't interacting with a handful or more of people unless one was lucky enough to be a regular at a bar or gym or a joiner of clubs. Okay, well, I wasn't. I went home, did the housework, lavished my kids with fifteen minutes of attention, watched television, read or dicked around in the garden. Aside from not wanting to assault the world with my face without make up or the stray pube at the public swimming facility, I didn't much care what other people thought about me. Sure I followed the social norms to get by at work, but I didn't much follow the crowd. Hell, I didn't even know which crowds there were. I was in the phase of life where you just don't care. You don't even care that you don't care, you're so busy. Peer pressure was mostly a curse of the teen years.

Now peer pressure is served up in the form of Facebook, Twitter, and the other social media that create the brackets around our lives. Were you a shit heel who didn't offer all your fb friends a happy mother's day? I was. The hell with that peer pressure that can render things pretty meaningless after a while. I called my mother and left her a voicemail. Want to know where I got my attitude about holidays? You don't have to look far. Growing up, we just didn't make a big deal out of things in our household, if you know what I mean.

And while I'm at it - um, listen, it's Facebook - noting the fb is redundant. See, there I go. It's like repeating the word brakes except someone should be saying that to me and my mouth.

And what about this #FF bullshit on Twitter? We sure can take something fun and easy and load it with all kinds of obligations in no time flat, can't we? I mean, I get it. It's a way of giving, but criminy, can't anything just be fun without being weighed down with all this Have to stuff? I quote Steve Martin in the movie Parenthood "My whole life is have to" which was more true when I had a paying job, but you should see the frowny face texts I get if someone's favorite pair of socks aren't clean so I stick by that quote.

Why can't we just leave well enough alone? 140 characters, light, fun, maybe profound, if you're into that, a link to something you found interesting, but do we have to create structure and rules? Yes, yes, we do. It's how we know what to do next and with which hand to do it. And how not to wear white shoes while doing it, too. Unless it's between May and September. Wheat and chaff and all that. I'm chaff, nice to meet you.

I think my inner anarchist needs some Funions and red pop to make her quiet down.

I never should have turned on the television this morning. The things you see. Our elected dumbasses (possibly my new favorite word) running around repeating their new favorite catchphrase "An adult moment." I'm sure someone or three hundred and sixty-seven someones have already made this joke on Facebook and Twitter, but An Adult Moment for me would probably include the typed out blow job (referenced above). And I sure as hell don't want to pay taxes on that. Unless I'm making over $250k and then go right ahead and tax dollars 250,001 and above because I'm reasonable even if foulmouthed and vulgar.

Your turn. Unleash your inner (fill in the blank) because I think I've said more than enough.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Black Magpie Theory: The Time for Pretending Is Over


I'm writing fiction about nonfictional characters over at Black Magpie Theory.

Okay, maybe some of us wish those characters were fictional, but still......

What kind of trouble are you making for yourself today? What fictions are you creating? Am I going to need a lawyer?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Black Magpie Theory: Telling Us What We Want to Hear


I'm blogging at Black Magpie Theory about one of the things that is contributing mightily to our very troubling troubles as a nation.

See you over there.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Why I Might Just Run for Office After All


On Twitter she's @HotComesToDie. On her blog, she's Suzy Soro.  No relation, I should add, to evil uberillionaire and liberal George Soros.  One letter makes all the difference between Suzy working her skinny ass off in comedy clubs instead of swanning about Biarritz.

Around our house, she's The Woman Who Got the Chocolate Babka.


The other day Suzy sent me that tweet and I thought "Really?"  because deep thinking isn't just my hobby, you know.

Part of me would love to run for office, but there's that profound question again.  Really?  I've blogged about why I can't do it.  Oh, sure I meet all the qualifications.  I'm over twenty-five, have been a United States citizen for the last seven years (plus another thirtysome) and I've never been convicted of a crime which isn't a qualification, but I thought I'd toss that in there to make up for all those other reasons why I don't think I should run for office.

I couldn't stop thinking about it though.  Now that I've been lured back into the brain-gumming habit of turning on MSNBC for company during my days home alone, I must distract myself from wallowing in all this business uncertainty.  I'm despondent with concern for those three hundred fifteen thousand millionaires and billionaires who are on the brink.  I'm sure they're chewing their manicured nails to the quick, breaking out in stress-induced Rosacea and  sneak-eating simple carbs while they wait and wonder if their taxes will go up by three percent.  Their suffering is almost too much to bear.

By ingesting all the news that isn't, I learned that former Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell (R-DE) signed a book deal with St. Martins Press. Bam!  I'm inspired.  If Ms. O'Donnell and former Governor Palin can draft off their electoral losses and stick the landing smack in the middle of a big pile of money, then why shouldn't I attempt it?

Goodness knows we need the money and the only thing I have to lose is my dignity and I think I may have accidentally loaned that with my copy of David Sedaris's Me Talk Pretty One Day to a friend of mine back in the late nineties.  I haven't seen either since.

It doesn't take much careful observation of Palin or O'Donnell or many of our elected officials,  to conclude that saying and doing ridiculous things does not disqualify anyone from running for public office.  In fact, one could make the case that both Palin and her protegee O'Donnell became quasi-celebrities for that very reason.  They're well-known primarily because they make big news.  They're conversation starters, those two.  Gifts to the late night talk show hosts.  But we all know who they are, don't we?

It's some kind of genius at work.

While they share political DNA and could pass themselves off as sisters, they each possess their own schtick. That way, they'll never compete with the other for a share of America's attention.

For example, no one works petty thin-skinned paranoia like Sarah Palin who prizes her ability to make the boys pop boners while beating them at their own game.  She can get right in there with them, and boss them without emasculating them.

On the other hand, Christine O'Donnell has that kooky factor that some find very appealing. I can't wait to read her book.  I mean, we still haven't heard her thoughts on cannibalism or her unique take on being probed by extraterrestrials.  I'm sure she's got things to share about her past lives and what nonfiction masterpiece is complete without telling us the author's favorite flavor of Ramen noodles?  Bill Maher held out on us, I'm sure of it. And lucky for O'Donnell, too.  If he'd shown all the video of the quirky and outrageous things she said on Politically Incorrect, she'd have to make stuff up for her book.  Not to suggest that's ever done.

I suppose it's only a matter of time before she has her own "reality" TV show.

Madame Former Governor's schtick is to highlight the rosy-cheeked exhilaration of Tweeting in the middle of a bear hunt with Todd and her uniquely-named children.  I can just imagine the riveting drama that will derive from watching some shaky camera as it follows O'Donnell around.  We'll get to see her pick up her dry cleaning or make appointments to get her teeth whitened.  We'll sigh over meaningful moments like when she pops by the library to see if that book of Ronald Reagan quotes she has on hold has been returned and she ends up in a discussion with the librarian about how the library should be privatized.  And don't forget that funny montage of the first and last time she goes to see what all this fuss is about waxing.

So if the financial success of these two women demonstrates the concept that sometimes when you lose, you win, then why am I taking myself out of the race before it's even begun?  Of course there's the small detail of political leanings, but this isn't the time for tiresome convictions and ideologies anyway.  Americans are sick of that divisive shit.  Besides, the independent voters, those twist-yourself-into-a-pretzel-wooing-my-vote undecideds are the only voters I have to worry about anyway.  I can take the Democrats for granted and count on the Republicans to vilify me for any number of things.

If I'm going to use Palin and O'Donnell as a template for achieving celebrity that will sell books, then I'd better study the matter.  I've looked at how I and my life choices overlap with theirs. Setting aside politics, I've started a list of things we have in common. Here's what I have so far:

Things in Common with Sarah Palin
1. We're both women.
2.  We're both married for many years to hotties.  Oh, settle down.  Todd Palin isn't my type, but he's not a bad looking man.
3.  We're both mothers.  She's got quantity, I've got quality.  Okay, that was mean. I take it back.
4.  We're both former beauty queens.  Okay, so I didn't place, but out of my entire senior class, I was chosen to represent Rising Sun High School in the 1983 Farmer's Fair Queen contest.
5.  We've both quit good jobs.  She quit the job of being governor to go work at Fox News and not run for president.  I quit AARP to go back to Rising Sun to work for the tourism bureau.  Okay, so she is clearly smarter than I am.  Does that disqualify me?
6.  She's a brunette.  I was once a brunette.  Naturally, I mean.  I was also a blond and a redhead, but those don't count.
7.  We both like to beat things with clubs.  She goes for halibut, I go for..., well, nevermind what I go for.

Things I have in common with Christine O'Donnell
1.  We're both women.
2.  She claims to be a virgin at 41.  I was once a virgin.
3.  We're both unemployed.  I was laid off, she never got hired in the first place.
4.  She looks like she might be a stress eater, but I'm only guessing. If so, I can relate.
5.  She's been a witch.  I've been called one.
6.  See number 6 above
7.  She had a strange "no sex" one night stand with a guy who later wrote about it, noting that she apparently didn't get swept up in the waxing craze.  I've had a one night stand also including nudity, but no sex.  It was complicated and awkward and he cried a lot.  But at least he never wrote about it that I know of.  And like O'Donnell, I'm not waxed.  We gals living on a shoestring budget can't afford to get waxed.  Besides, I like to use my razor to create political statements in my pubes.

So do I run or not?  I'm discussing the possibility with the family.  I mentioned it to my mother and she reminded me how much I hated being the daughter of a politician because she was always reminding us that she was being judged by our behavior.  I hadn't forgotten.

She also asked me not to mention it to my dad until I decide.  It's bad enough that I've threatened them with the idea that I'm writing a potentially embarrassing novel.  Mom is convinced that Dad couldn't take the added stress.  He's already tied up in knots worrying about all those frightened millionaires and fretting about any potential stain my novel could leave on the family's good name.  Fair enough.

MathMan and the kids are incredulous although I think MathMan secretly wishes I'd run and win so he could say he's screwing the government for a change.  I haven't actually bothered Chloe with my ideas yet. She's in finals this coming week and I don't want her to lose focus.  Nate thinks we'd have to move first.  He's probably right.  By the time Georgia has finished gerrymandering Democrats out of existence, it would be pointless to try to run in a couple of years.  Sophie thinks it's fine if I run because she's sure I can be wacky enough to lose and get a lucrative book deal and hopefully a reality TV show, too.  She's dying to be on television.

I just want to write books and get paid to do it.  If running for office and losing is the path that will get me there, then so be it.

And were I to win?  Think Bernie Sanders with boobs.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Unemployment Diary: My "Quiet Conversation" with My Senator's Aide

So yesterday we got a call from an advocacy group representative who wanted me to talk to my Senator about voting yes to ratify the START Treaty with Russia.

"Are you familiar with it?" the nice young man asked.

"I am. And I know about the idiot Republican Senator who's holding up the vote for no good reason."

He laughed. "Okay, so will you talk to your Senator's office?  I'll patch you through."

"Sure.  And I won't call anyone an idiot.  That was wrong for me to say."

"Thank you."

A young man at Senator Saxby Chambliss's office answered the phone and I gave my unrehearsed spiel about START. And then...

"Say, while I have you on the phone, will you please pass on to the Senator that I hope he will vote to extend unemployment benefits, including those for the people who've already been cut off, the 99ers."

No response.

"Hello?"

"I'm still here."

I quickly went through the list of why those extensions should be made.  I noted that this isn't about buying holiday gifts.  This is about survival.  It's about mortgages and rent, groceries, electricity, water, heat and gasoline to get my husband to his job and paying off his student loans.  I also noted that I understood that the Senator wanted the extension to be paid for, to not add to the deficit, meanwhile he supports income tax cuts for people who make over a million dollars, not from work wages but from the earnings from their existing money.  Because that's not paid for, was never paid for and has already added significantly to the deficit and will add far more to the budget deficit than the unemployment extensions will.

"And those tax cuts haven't created a single job. Those kinds of cuts don't create jobs. They're personal income taxes.  People don't make hiring decisions based on taxes, especially those kinds of taxes. The proof is here - we're living it.  Those tax cuts have existed for ten years and they've not created jobs...."

Crickets.

"Hello?  Are you still there?" I asked.

"I'm here."

"Okay.  Well, thank you for passing that on.  I appreciate your time.  Do you need my name?"

"I have your phone number."

He hung up.  Maybe he was having a bad day.  As a federal worker, he's probably not going to get a raise for the next two years.  I should have been more sensitive.  (Pssst. I am not suggesting that legislative staffers are overpaid.  I really don't think they are.  My socialist self is for the workers - people who earn their wages through work.)

Wow.  Okay.  So my confidence in the knowledge that my Congressional representatives are working for me is totally on the upswing.  Totally.

Sophie, who was home sick, had listened as I spoke. "What did they say?" she asked.

"Nothing."

"Will he tell the Senator what you said?"

"Of course not."

She furrowed her brow.  "So why did you say that stuff?"

"Because if I don't, I'm part of the problem."

She shook her head and turned back to the TV.

Benefits end today for lots of people, including me. Millions of others have already been living without any benefits for months.  The current official unemployment rate is at 9.6 percent.  Never before in our history has Congress cut off extensions when unemployment was above 7.2 percent.  And the sad reality is that when you include all those people who are no longer counted in the unemployment numbers because they've stopped looking, stopped receiving benefits or are working part time when what they really need is full-time work with a living wage, the true unemployment rate is between 17 and 20 percent.

I keep hearing this line - will 10 percent unemployment become the New Normal?  Do you have any idea what that means in real numbers for our economy?  As DCap points out, it's demand that creates jobs.  If people don't have money to spend, demand decreases.  The less demand there is, the fewer workers are needed.  The cycle goes on.

So now people like me wait and wake up at 3a.m. to pee and fret about how we're going to manage while we serve as human political pawns in a game of partisan chicken.

I was calm and measured when I spoke to Chambliss's rude young staffer even though I was pretty fired up after listening to retiring Rep. John Shadegg (R-AZ) tell Joe Scarborough that the unemployed don't need those extensions because the unemployed "aren't job creators" and that they don't contribute to the economy because they spend "as little as possible" of those government checks.  They're "holding onto that money."

Even Joe Scarborough was stunned by Shadegg's statements.  Scarborough was especially wide-eyed incredulous when Shadegg insisted that the tax cuts for the wealthy do in fact create jobs because they need butlers and gardeners and maids.

Wow again.  So maybe I should keep losing weight so I look fantastic in a French maid's uniform, I can get a job on the staff of some uberwealthy's fourth house on the French Riviera. Win/Win!!! I can use my wickedly amazing housekeeping skills and spend my days off on the rocky Mediterranean beaches sunning my DDs.  This time I'll remember to wear sunscreen.  The first and last time I sunbathed topless in Nice, I sunburned my nipples.  Ouchy.

As I related the conversation between myself and Chambliss's office to MathMan last night after he got home at 9:20 because his second coaching job runs late into the evening and then told him about what Shadegg had said about the unemployed, I finished with the cliched "How do these people sleep at night?"

"Wait, never mind.  I know the answer," I said as I put a pot of beans on the stove and turned on the gas.  "They sleep on extremely high count cotton, organic sheets on plush mattresses that cost as much as all our furniture combined."

Thursday, November 4, 2010

It's Just A Little Pressure in My Ears


The cats are worried.

You can just see it in their eyes.  Okay, one eye.  The one eye they might open when I walk by or clear my throat or sigh deeply.

You see, I'm too quiet.  They're used to loud, frantic me.  Quiet, contemplative me makes them so nervous they can barely manage their busy days of napping, eating, and visiting the litterbox.  I don't know what it is that bothers them so.  Are they so dependent on routine that they're afraid I'm going to take to my bed and stop feeding them? Is my depression casting such a pall over the household that it makes it hard for them to concentrate on licking their butts?

In a desperate attempt to get a rise out of me, they sent the baby in to do her thing.  She started small by cuddling up to me as I sat staring at the laptop screen.  I petted her distractedly.  She walked across my keyboard, I just lifted her up and put her out of the room and shut the door.  She was persistent.  The next time I opened the door, she scampered in and hid under the bed.  Once I settled back in front of my computer, she sneaked out, leaped to the back of my chair, from there launched herself up to the top of the television and meeped until I stopped what I was doing and looked up at her.

"Yes?"  Until my dying day I will probably speak to animals as if they will respond.

She meeped again.  She doesn't know how to meow.

"Come down from there before you break your neck."  I turned back to my computer where I've been rescuing PoliTits blog posts from my rss feed.  I heard the screeching sound of claws on plastic and looked up in time to see the small cat lose her footing, tumbling through the air, taking down a framed picture, righting herself in time to land on the stack dvds perched on the top of the dvd player, sending the dvds crashing to the floor and making the last leap to the foot of our bed where she sat triumphantly licking her shoulder as if absolutely nothing had happened.

I looked from her to the path of destruction in her wake.  The picture frame's glass was broken, the dvds boxes made a colorful collage at my feet.   I leaned over to see how much glass there was to clean up and decided that I'd handle it later.

"That was graceful," I said to the cat who had curled into a ball, but continued to watch me with one eye.

I went back to work, alternately saving old posts and working on my NaNoWriMo project.  It's up to 8,100 words already.  I've realized that no matter how much I might try to plan out a novel, once I start writing, the story goes its own way.  Does it surprise anyone that I lack discipline?  I'm on Chapter Four and there are already two characters that I didn't know existed.

The cat snored softly behind me while I typed with Eric Satie playing in the background. I'd watched enough of the the post-election coverage to be sufficiently annoyed and depressed.  Reflecting my mood, the sky was a study in gray and the house seemed chilly.  Reading old blog posts felt a bit dispiriting.  I started blogging because of the political climate in 2006.  As I scrolled through the posts, it became apparent that in four years, not a lot had changed for most of us.

I clicked on the Word document that holds my new manuscript and wrote for a while before finally taking a break.  I stood and stretched.  The cat slept on.

When I went to the kitchen for more coffee, our oldest cat, Daisy, a twelve year old tortoiseshell who spends most of her day soaking up the warmth radiating from the bottom of the refrigerator, meowed before creakily pulling herself up and moving away.  Normally, I have to move her while apologizing if I want to open the fridge. Even when I apologize, she bites me.

"Thanks, Daisy."  I don't like to move her.  It seems wrong to disturb her, like harassing someone's grandma, that's how old she is.  I bent down and scratched her under chin. When I finished, she bumped my hand  with her nose then walked out of the kitchen.

I poured my coffee and headed back to the bedroom where I now do most of my writing.  When I got upstairs, I heard voices.

"So what did she do?"
"Nothing!"
"What?  She didn't scream?  She didn't stomp or threaten to spank your catbutt?"
"No.  Nothing. She didn't even get out of her chair."
"This is bad, you guys.  Really bad."
"Yeah, she's not herself."
"What are we going to do?"
"I don't know, but if she doesn't snap out of it soon, we're going to have to do something drastic."
"Hairball on the carpet?"
"Stealth poop?"
"Hide under her bed and jump on her chest at 3am?"
"Bad aim in the litterbox?"
"Oh, I know! Tip over the trashcan!"
"Listen, those are all good, but none of them will cut it.  Not this time."
"Then what?"
"I have an idea."

Things got quiet for a moment until I heard the sound of my laptop keyboard.

Just then, the floor under me creaked.  From where I stood in the hallway, I could see four cat heads turn and look in my direction.  The fifth, the one I assumed was the ringleader wasn't standing in the clump with the others.  He blinked at me from his perch on the keyboard.  The screen behind him was blank.

I stalked over to the desk.  "Did you delete my story?"

He yawned.

"You realize I have autosave, right?"

His sea foam green eyes slid over to the others.

"And I email that document to myself like the compulsive I am."

He stood and stretched, arching his back before he jumped to the floor and strolled away, his entourage following.

I sat down, clicked the mouse and and scrolled up.  The document was still there and intact.  As far as I could tell, the last words I'd typed remained unchanged.  Not ready to get back to work, I clicked on my browser.  My Facebook page was open and at the top it read:  Lisa Golden likes the Tea Party and Sarah Palin 2012.

"Tiger!  What the hell?"  I bellowed.

Right before I heard them scatter, I swear I heard one of them announce "She's back!"



Earthquake, tidal wave, tsunami, tempest in a teacup......


Do you talk to animals?  Are you feeling energized or out of breath?  Want a cat?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Not (De)electable


Recently, someone suggested I run for office.  I scoffed at the idea.  I offered a laundry list of reasons why I could never run for office.  I'd listed ten reasons on the alphabetical list and I was only on the reasons beginning with the letter A.

I couldn't possibly put my family or myself through that kind of thing.  The scrutiny would be horrible.  That was the summation of why I dismissed the idea out of hand.

Can you imagine the political ads my opponent would run?

(Fade in)
This photo will come on the screen...

Dudes, do you remember the days when I was growing out my gray? Yikes.
(Female disembodied voice speaking in ominous tones)
Lisa Golden wants to represent you in Congress, but does she really represent you?  She's the founder of the Parenting School of Benign Neglect.  She got her start as a liberal political blogger.  She was once a community organizer, now she's unemployed.  She worked in the non-profit sector so she's probably a socialist, a communist or both.  She and her husband have been separated twice.  She's never fired anyone nor has she employed undocumented workers. She doesn't ask and she doesn't tell.  She makes tasteless jokes and is on record using the F word about Wall Street. She had an abortion in college.  She's a rape survivor who was probably asking for it.  She's married to a Jew and once lived with a Muslim.  Her sister used to call her The United Nations.  She completes those ACLU surveys and mails them back.  She doesn't go to church or pray.  She doesn't even believe in God.  She has a degree in French.  She might even be a witch.  She once owned a Ouija Board, you know.

On the First Tuesday in November, tell Lisa Golden not just no, but hell no!

This ad approved by (insert name) and the Fox News Network.

Yeah..........no.  But thanks.

However, I've been thinking about something my friend PeNolan wrote last week about how liberals really need to consider finding female candidates who can compete with the Sarah Palins and Christine O'Donnells on a beauty contest level.  PeNolan is on to something.  If it's true that pretty girls get away with more then perhaps there is something I could use to counteract my opponent's scare tactics.

Elect Lisa Golden to Congress.....


Because if we're going to have boobs in Congress, they may as well be good boobs.

Would you ever run for office?  Or have you already? Would you ever post a photo of yourself in a bra? Aren't you dying to dress up as a goth?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Please Put Your Fire On Hold While We Check Your Account


This post was written a couple of days ago and I sat on it, wondering if it was appropriate.  This morning, I decided I don't care about appropriate so here goes....

I sat in my lawn chair, my ancient laptop balanced on my knees and watched, mouth open in stupefied horror, as Gene Cranick described to Keith Olbermann how firefighters refused to put the fire out as and watched as his house burned to the ground, taking with it all the Cranick's possessions and killing a cat and three dogs.  Because Cranick hadn't paid his $75 fire fighting subscription fee.

"What does that remind me of?" I asked Keith who reflected my horror. Keith didn't answer even though I tweeted the question to him.  I know he had a lot going on at that point so I forgive him.

Then it came to me.  When we lived in Des Plaines, Illinois, there was a controversial area between Des Plaines and Park Ridge that was commonly referred to as Unincorporated Des Plaines.  If memory serves, the residents who lived there had to pay extra fees for things like 911 and trash pickup.  The kinds of things we take for granted when we pay our property taxes, for example.

In the twelve years we lived in Des Plaines, I don't ever remember hearing about someone's house being left to burn because the residents hadn't paid the "subscription fee."

I felt a certain kinship to Mr. Cranick as he sat there before the TV cameras and lights in his own lawnchair.  My heart ached for his loss and for the eye-opening reality that his despair is a shared on no doubt.  His just made the news.

When you move from a metropolitan or suburban area to a more rural area, you learn that services you took for granted are no longer available without a fee.  In Des Plaines, we paid a tax for our trash collection.  Here, you have to hire a private company or haul the trash to the dump/recycling center yourself.  Once a week, I fill Roxannes's trunk with trash bags and recycling and go say hi to the nice people who work at the dump.  I understand the people who rented this place before us didn't hire the private company nor did they haul off their trash.  Instead, they piled it onto the deck until it was waist high.  The neighbors complained of the smell and the growing rat problem, but there was precious little they could do.  It's every man for himself out here, right?

As bluegal points out in this really fantastic post (that's me saying be sure to open this link), this story also highlights the disconnect between what's available to rural folks versus city folks.

The internets are full of righteous indignation about Cranick's story.  For good reason, I might add.  Some of us are pointing out that what happened to the Cranicks is just the beginning.  It is the thing that Ayn Rand wrought.  Others are saying that society's sponges like Mr. Cranick get what they deserve.  In this case, you don't pay for the service, then you have no right to expect the services.  And you're an asshole if you think your neighbors should pay for you. It's every person for themselves, personal responsibility reigns!  Their thinking can be boiled down to this - if the firefighters make one exception for a deadbeat, then everyone will become deadbeats.

These are the same "thinkers" who believe it's fine to charge fees to individuals for a possibly needed service, but we should cut taxes for the wealthy and corporations who use our common good resources every day.  I tell you, I do not get it.

As I listened to the second installment of Mr. Cranick's Fiery Adventure last night, I wondered a couple of things.

First - is Mr. Cranick a Republican?  Has he, like so many of my neighbors here in Georgia, fallen for the current Republican claptrap that government is bad, taxes are evil, that every person should only have what they can afford and the hell with the common good?  Or does he go to a church where the pastor equates being a good Christian with voting Republican?  Or is he an R because, like so many old Southern Democrats, he switched parties after the Civil Rights era?

And when the county proposed to raise property taxes by 0.13 per $100 of property value, was Mr. Cranick one of the farmers who didn't like the plan?

Does it matter?  Well, it doesn't mean that Mr. Cranick deserves to have lost his home or to have had his animals perish, but it does point out that your vote does have consequences.  Follow the money.  As Republicans have taken over states' legislatures and local governments, they've cut taxes especially for the wealthy and corporations.  Cutting taxes and tax subsidies are a centerpiece of any campaign to bring new business to a state or a municipality.  Meanwhile, those same Republicans have pushed for and passed Balanced Budget Amendments for their states.  To offset tax cuts and the resulting reduced revenue, services must be cut to balance the budget. It's the law.

Therefore services are reduced, become fee for service or go away altogether.

People who think we can have nice, safe, clean communities with good educational systems, and up to date infrastructure without having to pay the taxes to support it are simply idiotic.  Someone has to pay for it.  That's why we have the common good and the tax structure.  We all contribute and if we don't, our houses may not burn to the ground, but the taxing body has some kind of legal way of getting the money from you.

Being opposed to the common good and the taxes that support it seems just fine until your house is on fire or you get hit with a bunch of new fees (shifted from taxes to fees) when you go to renew your license plate or your kids are now in classes with thirty kids or more or you flatten your tire because the road debris on I75 is left to lay because budget cuts mean road maintenance has been reduced to next to nothing.

I also wondered about the insurance implications of this huge national news story.  Will insurance companies now write into their policies that if you live in a fee for service area and you don't pay the fee, they won't cover your losses?  What about renters?  Would I be responsible for the fire subscription fee or would my landlord handle that?  If it's the landlord's responsibility, what happens to us if he doesn't pay it, just forgets, for example?

These are things to think about as some of our fellow Americans continue to promote the ideas of immature Libertarianism masquerading as Conservatism.  This idea that you don't owe anything to anybody, that you should not participate in the common good is akin to being an ideological adolescent.  You want all the rights of citizenship, but none of the responsibilities.  And equally bad is this crazy libertarian scheme of privatizing everything.  You really think that companies can provide better services while making a profit is sustainable?  And the accountability in such matters is for shit.  Just look at what's been done in Iraq by military contractors.

I want to ask this:  You don't want government?  Fine. Go a day without using the common good.  When you're finished emptying your chamber pot in your backyard, let us know how you liked it.  And while you're at it, imagine all your neighbors carrying their chamber pots looking for a place to dump, too.  That guy who lives in the house on your left?  He eats mostly cabbage and drinks lots of beer.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Black Magpie Theory: Do As We Say, Not As We Do


I'm at Black Magpie Theory today where I'm writing about my crazy bohemian lifestyle circa 1995.  Big hair is only the beginning.

Will be back here soon.