Warpy's Journal - Archives
who managed to run this country for 36 years so it worked for most of us instead of just for a few rich men at the top and the flunkies they carry on their coattails and in their pockets.
Maybe it's because we know what we're talking about and we know it and we know conservatives never know what they're talking about and we know it.
Maybe it's because history has the final word and we already know what the final word on this 40 year conservative experiment will be: DISASTER.
We've put up with unbearable conservative smugness for the past 40 years as they dismantled all the programs that made this country work save one: social security (and they've still got their eyes on that). We've watched things for working people go from pretty good to unbearable while conservatives paraded around telling us and themselves that Jesus would make them rich if they kept sending money to Pat Robertson. We've watched as that smug, pinched smile they always had when they dismissed our warnings turned to sheer panic as everything we told them came true in two short years, not that they'd ever admit it.
I'd say we have a few reasons to be smug, Mr. Alexander, and you've lost all of the illusions that said you were allowed to be the smug one.
I'd start figuring out how you're going to survive the disaster you helped create instead of complaining about liberals, Mr. Alexander. Continuing your pouting and whining isn't going to do you any good for what's heading your way.
that prevents a majority from riding roughshod over a minority. It was never meant to be used by a minority party to block everything the way the GOP has been using it.
I would be against abolishing it. I would be highly in favor of invoking a rule to suspend it for 6 months at a time in times of national emergency or when >50 bills and appointments were being held up by threatened filibusters.
It would give the minority party an incentive to get those bills through, to work with the majority party to arrive at a compromise or risk suspension of the filibuster. A minority party would always want to stay under that trigger point and business would get done.
There are more than 100 bills languishing in various committees under threat of GOP filibuster at present along with quite a few judicial nominations. The filibuster suspension should have been triggered already, in other words, had such a ruling been made.
I don't think anyone with sense wants to end the filibuster permanently, which is what the GOP were threatening in the heady days of DeLay's permanent GOP majority, which is why it didn't get far. More sanguine GOPs wouldn't have gone for it.
My idea makes sense. That's probably why Democrats won't do it.
to keep very private. Gays with phobe famlies they would like to continue speaking to are especially at risk.
However, when some pol bases his career on discriminating against a group and is secretly part of that group, yes, he needs to be outed.
After all, Democrats are not generally looking down their long blue noses, pursing their lips and telling the rest of us how to conduct our lives. They will likely survive the outing.
When I say outing, I'm not talking specifically of gays. I'm talking about antidrug crusaders with coke habits, of antiporn crusaders with computers full of it, of any of the various moralists who do their best to make the rest of us miserable while they partake of whatever they're basing a career out of trying to abolish with the conceit that they can handle it but no one else can.
It's not the behavior as much as the rank, stinking hypocrisy, and that's why they need to be outed.
Thank you. <plink, plink>
to grow up without hunger as a common fact of life. That really was true for most of us. While our parents might have been poor in material things, they always managed to get something onto the table three times a day, something their parents hadn't been able to manage.
So in that way, I suppose we were spoiled. So are Gen X and Y.
However, liberals went out of power in 1969 and we older boomers have taken every economic dislocation full force. We saw the greatest decline in men's wages this country had ever seen and that flood of women into the workplace wasn't exactly voluntary. We had to work twice as hard to get half of what our parents did under the New Deal and most of us are facing a bleak retirement, if we can retire at all.
I think nearly every generation that comes along blames their elders for the world they are stuck with and blames the younger generation for being spoiled and not understanding how hard their parents had to work to spoil them.
However, few of us are consulted when it comes to determining how the world works and none of us controls the circumstances of our birth.
The simpleminded MSM has a great stake in keeping generations separated and at war. It makes great copy and anger sells papers and advertising slots. In addition, a lot of older boomers did challenge the established class order and corporate structure and they'll just never be able to forgive us for that.
This is what infuriates me so much about boomer bashing posts, the fact that some fools actually buy the notion that one generation oppresses another when it's the class structure in this country that does the oppression.
Part of growing up is recognizing who your enemies really are. Hint: it's not Mom and Dad or any of their friends.
If a six year old is running at your buddies with a grenade with the pin pulled, you're going to want to stop him and your tool is your rifle.
Think of the soldier who has to shoot a child as a victim, too, because even when it's justified as above, it's going to haunt him for the rest of his life. The adult who put the grenade into the child's hand is the guilty party here and he's a psychopath who will sleep like a baby.
This sort of horror is why I want this country out of the empire business, I want the Pentagon budget chopped 10% per year until it's in line with the rest of the world, I want foreign bases closed in favor of reciprocal agreements with host countries to use staging areas. I want war seen as what it is, a human disaster, a moral collapse, diplomatic failure, and financial ruin instead of as a spectator sport for macho swaggerers swigging beer in their La-Z-Boys.
I hate war because sometimes it does justify killing a child, or a young woman, or an old man, or anyone else. The only way to end it is to stop paying for it.
First, what are rents doing? Are they rising or falling? What percentage of your PITI would you have to spend in rent? If rents are 75% of your PITI and rising, you're going to want to hang onto that place.
Second, what are you likely to need to borrow for in the next 7 years? Is your old car going to hang together that long?
Third, how secure is your job? Remember, a hit on your credit report can make you appear less job worthy. Eventually those stupid numbers will be tossed out since they only reflect debt you're paying off and not your ability to stay out of trouble, but that hasn't happened yet. If your company is having a tough time, you might want to appear as stable as possible.
Fourth, how underwater are you? If you're in a formerly hot area and bought at the peak of the market with no down payment and are now 40% underwater, walking away might be in your best interest. If you put down a small down payment and that's the only thing that has evaporated, it won't be.
Fifth, how interested is your bank in working with you to refinance at a rock bottom interest rate? That low rate might be the difference between building equity eventually and throwing your money away building a landlord's equity.
There are so many things to consider that just walking away on a law professor's sayso, especially since he's in one of those formerly hot markets and obviously doesn't know what's going on elsewhere is a very, very bad idea. It's a drastic step. Consider it very carefully.
However, the more people who walk away in those formerly overheated markets, the sooner the banks will stop being jerks about it and start being a little more reasonable in finding ways for them to stay in their homes.
unless they were sociopaths when they went into it. It destroys the treasury and our young people. It fouls the economy for decades after it is finally over. It brutalizes our government and allows the most paranoid the most power. It is to be done only as the absolute last resort, only when refusing to fight would cause us to cease to be.
I lived through the Vietnam years and saw acquaintances go there whole and come back shattered. I worked in a VA hospital with the shattered remains of that war and WWII and Korea. I have ample reason to despise war and by extension, the men who love to send other people's children to fight it.
If this country doesn't get over its addiction to constant war, it will follow the path of other senescent empires to total ruin.
Sadly, that might be the only way we can escape it.
I remember being dragged to an Objectivist meeting back in the mid 60s by a would be boyfriend who got unceremoniously dumped the very next day. There was a Wollensack tape recorder on a little doilied table playing Mistress's words, an altar at which the smoky, mostly young and mostly male crowd worshiped. It was bizarre. Finding myself in a deconsecrated temple swapping shots with a couple of top blues men a few years later made more sense.
I could almost buy the premise in The Fountainhead when I read it at 16. Unfortunately for Ayn, Atlas soon followed, and I finished that ridiculous tome in silly giggles as I envisioned a hungry, whiny, clingy toddler interrupting all those multipage harangues the driven, hard bitten characters were delivering to each other. Throw in a kid and the whole edifice crumbled.
Of course, I did appreciate all the sex with no funky Ortho-Glynol stink and no procreation, but that's all her Utopia had to recommend itself.
I suppose I'd been poisoned because I'd kicked and clawed my way through Marx first and found him more nourishing. I was pretty sure I was going to have to work for a living and knew if the workers went on strike, Rand's uberclass would wither and die because none of them knew how to do a damned thing to keep themselves alive.
However, I did witness the phenomenon described in the article, ordinary callow youth being transformed seemingly overnight into Roark and Galt, absolutely sure that the world would be blinded by their brilliance.
And I did have the sense to dump Roark/Galt the next day when I had calmed down enough to tell him to get lost.
and I'm not talking about "no dinners out, no new clothes this season" poverty, I'm talking about the type where your guts hurt because you haven't eaten anything for a couple of days poverty.
These people are at the bottom of a really steep learning curve. They're just starting to come to terms with the fact that they were big winners in an economy pumped up by a lot of funny money generated by debt but now the bills are coming due and the economy can no longer afford their dubious services.
I do feel sorry for them. They're completely unprepared for what's facing them and will always be behind the curve of what they need to do to survive and come out the other side well and wiser.
Poverty to me is an unwelcome house guest that moves in and squats for weeks or months, sometimes years, and then moves on leaving everything a shambles. Eventually you repair the damage, but you're always aware the bottom can fall out again at any time and the bastard will be back.
These folks just don't have a clue about that. They feel entitled to a certain lifestyle and by gum, they will do anything to maintain the facade up until the day they find themselves homeless.
If we're young and virginal, we're uptight and repressed. If we're not virginal, we're sluts.
If we're married and work, we're neglecting the family. If we ask for help with the second full time job at home, we're nagging shrews. If we don't we're both rotten housekeepers and martyrs.
If we're married and don't work, we're neglecting our potential and opening ourselves up to disaster if our husbands follow their dicks out of the marriage.
If we don't marry, we're cold and selfish or unattractive or mannish or just plain homosexual. We're driven, married to the job, even if it's stocking shelves in retail.
We're supposed to fight the natural age process and our own genetics at every step in order to conform to whatever stereotype of youthful beauty exists. We're marginalized if we don't conform and damned few of us do.
The astonishing thing isn't that so many of us are depressed, it's that we continue to live without going stark raving crazy.
and I think that's what you were up against. It's hard to reach them because their brains shut down once those cutoff points are reached. I know I've got a few and it's extremely frustrating when they engage and I realize I've got a lot of work to do adjusting them.
I'm able to make a slightly more persuasive argument in favor of gay marriage because I've seen first hand the consequences of not being able to marry.
I was an RN in Boston during the worst parts of the AIDS epidemic, when the time from diagnosis to death was measured in hours, sometimes, and there was nothing we could do except hope to pull them through an acute infection so they could go home and settle their affairs.
Once in a while, blood relatives who had been estranged from the patient because of his orientation would show up, announce "that man" had ruined their son/brother and bar him from visiting. This was incredibly cruel to the patient, who needed all the will to live he could muster. This is the kind of human right that would be conferred by gay marriage, the right to visit a dying partner in a hospital.
As it was, we used to send the families home by midnight and then sneak the life partner in, jeopardizing our jobs but doing the best we could for the patient.
When the patient died, as so many of them did, the partner, often a partner of many years, was prevented from claiming the body an planning the funeral if a single homophobic blood relative objected. One or two families even refused to make funeral arrangements in favor of anonymous cremation by the city. They simply would not let the partner have a funeral for his loved one.
Marriage would do a lot to end the tyranny of spiteful families. It confers simple human rights that go along with legally elevating one's life partner to first degree relative status.
And that is what the fight is all about. It's not about sex, procreation, pushing things straight people find icky, or any other ridiculous agenda the preachers scream about.
It's about the simple human right to visit someone you love in the hospital. It's about the simple human right to bury someone you love.
Wages started to fall in the 70s and have never gone back up. They're being lied to by everybody they are supposed to trust, and they dimly realize this even if they try to repeat the lies in an attempt to look like they've got a clue.
There are too few resources to go around in the way of jobs, the ability to save for a retirement, and now they can't even float the life they want on plastic. All the bills are coming due at once and they don't like it.
That's the bottom line: depressed wages, vanished credit, shrinking assets, and little hope for anything better, ever.
This makes them suckers for demagogues who give them all the wrong people to blame and give them permission to hate all the wrong people.
The whole world has turned to a mouthful of ashes for a lot of people out there. If they're cranky, they have a perfect right to be. They've just had the rug pulled out from under them and their asses hurt from the fall.
From the heady days of impeaching a popular president over a high schoolish affair with an intern to Rove's crowing about a permanent Republican majority in 2004 to being marginalized as a bunch of crackpots whose silly ideas have brought us to the brink of Depression in only five short years.
To the authoritarian followers and tribalist true believers, the world has suddenly turned completely surreal. Somebody moved their food dish and they're completely freaked out about it. Somebody changed the rules and they have no clue how to cope any more.
This is why they've gotten so completely crazy so quickly. The rug has been pulled out from under them and they're flailing around in mid air, trying to grab onto anything they can.
and the silly birthers are no different. Sensible people who loved tax cuts enough to tolerate the religious nuts and bigots will be alarmed by the conspiracy wackos and begin to desert. There will likely be other, equally wacky groups after the birthers fade away.
The GOP is desperately searching for the one movement that will unite the party again and return them to the glory days of the 1980s, but the party has always relied on star power more than the soundness of its message and no new stars are appearing in the firmament.
The problem is that it's a Hamiltonian party and our Hamiltonian parties have always been unstable unless they've remained small. Once they start making deals with the devil to gain power, they're lost as the devils realize their numbers and try to take control of the parties. The Federalists and Whigs found that out to their dismay and now the GOP is finding it out.
I actually miss the pre Reagan GOP, small and decent, if wrongheaded. We're about to live in interesting times as far as political parties go and it will be fascinating to see what arises from the ashes.
You didn't actually expect them to go away, did you?
especially now that the market has lost nearly half its value, their house isn't holding its value, and indications are that this will last a very long time, no matter how many economists who missed all the signs of impending disaster are now telling us about the impending recovery. They're thinking out loud about what they're going to do when they finally admit to themselves they're not rich any more.
I have been poor quite a few times in my life, mostly thanks to my poor health and consequent inability to get health insurance. None of the well meaning advice ever applied to me, that's for sure. Fresh fruits and veg? Well veg, yes, cheap root veg and winter squash. Salad was coleslaw, not bad on sandwiches with homemade rye bread, cheap and filling. Fruit? Well, raisins. Maybe a banana once in a blue moon when my legs started cramping. Beans of every variety, at least once a day. My diet was boring but nutritious.
All the grains were whole grains and I never used a lot of salt, but that's as health foody as I was able to get.
However, none of the great food could compensate for the fact that I had to go off many of the meds that had kept me stable for long periods of time, allowing my illnesses to progress. It couldn't compensate for the complete lack of preventive care and the near lack of chronic care.
I'm afraid there are going to be a lot of formerly comfortable middle class people looking at a comfortable retirement who are going to be on the steep side of a very unpleasant learning curve.
I've been there and I know why they're giving advice now so I'm willing to cut them a little slack.
Just don't push it.
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