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Who’s going to blink?

10:22 am in Uncategorized by

Once again the people we sent to Washington, D. C., are engaged in a staring match. They think the first one to blink loses the 2014 mid-term election.

The future of our country boils down to a game of chicken between a bunch of rich people that won’t have trouble finding a job if the economy goes back into the toilet.

Most of them will keep their high-paying jobs in the House, the Senate, and the White House. Those that don’t get re-elected will be replaced by more people that haven’t worried about having enough money to buy gas to go to work in many years…if ever.

I fell down when I got home from my day job Tuesday. I slipped on the ice in my driveway and landed shin-first on a pile of ice chunks that had fallen off of my roof. It hurt pretty badly, but the initial pain subsided.

I went to my part-time job. Twenty minutes after getting there, I couldn’t put any weight on my leg. I had a baseball-sized lump about four inches below my knee, and the pain actually burned. I couldn’t stand to have my pant leg touch my skin.

First, I tried to do my job. I needed the money to buy gas to go to my day job. Two weeks earlier, I’d missed both my part-time shifts because I was flat on my back with a terrible cold. I had already missed one whole paycheck (a whopping $56.00 after taxes), and I didn’t want to go home early…I’d be giving up nearly half of another weekly paycheck.

I got to the point where I had to go home because I couldn’t do anything but say, “Ouch,” and curse. I could barely work the gas and brake pedals.

I was convinced that I’d broken my leg, but I kept thinking how much it would cost (even with insurance) to go to the emergency room. I lay on the couch and iced the shin. I took some ibuprofen and hoped it would get better…it did. By bedtime, I could put weight on it. By morning I was still sore, but I could walk.

I’ve still got a golf-ball sized lump and my entire right shin is a giant bruise, but I didn’t go to the doctor or the emergency room. I worked my whole part-time shift Thursday night. I was slow, but I got the job done.

I’m not telling this story to get pity. I don’t think I bravely faced adversity. I imagine that 95 percent of you have a similar story. You’ve gone to work sick or hurt. You’ve foregone medical care, and you’ve done these things because you couldn’t afford to lose time or pay another medical bill.

Back to the arrogant sons-of-bitches in Washington, D. C. When was the last time one of them worked sick or hurt because they needed every hour they could scrounge? When was the last time one of them got injured and didn’t go to the doctor because they were scared of the bill?

The answer, of course, is, it was a very long time ago…if ever.

Now, these bastards are playing chicken with our future. If they run this economy into the ground to prove who has the biggest wang, they won’t have to choose between work and medical care.

They are playing poker with our money. They are wagering our health and welfare just so they can say, “The other guy blinked. Ha-ha-ha.” They should be ashamed, but they have been whores for so long that they have no shame.

Neither the right nor the left in Washington, D. C., have a clue what a tightrope most Americans walk every day. The drop ceiling in our tiny bathroom rusted out and the ceiling fell in. It took less than $75.00 to replace, but that $75.00 was supposed to be for food and gas.

The sons-of-bitches in Washington, D. C., don’t understand that my example is typical of life in America today, and I have two jobs. We don’t drink or do drugs or have expensive hobbies. Life is our only hobby, and Washington, D. C., doesn’t understand or apparently care how hard it can be.

I’m not looking for pity or a handout…I could use a hand. Corporate profits are at an all-time high. The CEOs of companies that make nothing get bonus checks in the 8-figure range and beyond while their corporation pay no income taxes.

Just remember this when some politician asks you to send them back to Washington, D. C.

Republicans and Democrats are screwing the pooch when it comes to taking care of average Americans. They are doing a marvelous job of bending over for Wall Street and the rest of the upper 1 percent, but, those guys pay better than we do.


Louder and slower

12:53 pm in Uncategorized by

I was married for 21 years before I got divorced. In the 11 years since the divorce, I’ve accepted the things I did wrong and I’ve embraced the things I did right.

One of my worst shortcomings was acting as if volume and speed were the answers to spousal communication. If I didn’t get my way or my point across, I’d repeat them louder and slower.

As you may imagine, this approach to matrimonial communication didn’t work…AND…it made my ex feel like I thought she was stupid (which she was not). That made her determined to ignore me and my wishes. I deserved it.

This was the approach taken by the Republican Party in the last election.

The Repubs repeated their tired, old message louder and slower, over and over until they really pissed us off. That’s when folks decided to wait in long lines to teach these sons-of-bitches a lesson.

I was born in 1954. I grew up watching Black people getting their heads bashed in, and I heard people say really stupid shit about why it was OK.

I watched as we sent millions of Americans (including my Dad) to Vietnam, and I heard people say really stupid shit about what we hoped to accomplish over there.

I saw women fighting for equal rights, and I heard people saying really stupid shit about why it was OK to keep them barefoot and pregnant.

I saw gay Americans move from the closet to the streets, and I heard stupid shit about why it was OK to knock them back into the closet and take away their rights.

Saying real stupid shit only works when a majority of people believe the stupid shit you say. That usually means that the people that say and believe stupid shit are kindred in some way…religion, race, sex, sexual preference, socio-economic status.

There is no lack of people saying stupid shit in America, but the number of people that believe the stupid shit is shrinking rapidly because all of the groups of people that were marginalized group-by-group in isolation became the majority this decade.

These are still disparate groups in many respects, but they have all started to know stupid shit when they hear it, and they have come to understand that the ballot box is the best weapon they can wield against the people saying stupid shit.

I have to admit that I thought all the Citizen United money and the voter suppression drives in key states were going to blunt the power of the electorate…and I believe the intervention by the Justice Department using the Voter Rights Act as it entrée into the fight saved the day for America’s new majority.

This is a fledgling coalition to be sure. We came together to defeat the people saying stupid shit, but we undoubtedly have many more internal squabbles ahead of us. The new minority will be digging for the issues that will separate us into pieces parts again, but I think we can recognize more stupid shit when we hear it.

A sizeable majority of Americans want to:

  • Balance the budget on the check books of the rich. All that entails is letting the Bush tax cuts expire only on Americans that make more than $250,000.00 a year.
  • Get the United States out of Iraq and Afghanistan. Bring these people home to their families.
  • Close Guantanamo. Tear it down and send everyone home.
  • Muzzle Wall Street so they can’t bite us in the ass again.
  • Quit trying to keep Gay men and women from enjoying all the benefits of American Citizenship.
  • Find an immigration policy that rewards good people and removes bad people.
  • Leave women alone to make decisions about their own reproductive health.
  • Live in a country that takes care of its poor, sick and elderly.
  • Have corporations pay their fair share of taxes. Take a look some time at the huge list of very successful corporations that pay no federal income tax.
  • Decrease our dependency on petroleum products and develop clean, renewable energy sources.
  • Make sure our past, present, and future veterans get all the help they need and deserve.

If our political leaders could accomplish any three of these things before the 2014 mid-term elections, they would be surprised at how much the electorate would appreciate it and how good it will make them feel.

The House and the Senate must be pretty depressing places to work. Success is measured by how little of anything worthwhile gets done. For God’s sake, don’t get caught doing anything that allows the other side to receive any credit for doing something right.

We shall see if the Republicans are capable of learning that repeating the same stupid shit louder and slower isn’t the way to get anything done…Lord, I hope they can learn.