Friday, May 13, 2005


Flash: More Chickens to be Et

Leading the news tonight is the story about the Pentagon proposing the closing of multiple military bases on U.S. soil. And once again, to continue yesterday's lame metaphor, the chickens who are affected are looking surprised that the foxes want to eat them.

They shouldn't be. The pattern of this government has been very clear for a long time now: anything that benefits the ruling class (the plutocrats, corporations, the rich, etc.) is supported; anything that benefits ordinary Americans is at risk.

This already has been shown to be true even for the military. The Iraq Misadventure can be looked at as a wholesale transfer of wealth from the U.S. Treasury to military suppliers and client corporations; but even in that climate, soldiers and their families have been persistently shorted. Why? Well, they're just ordinary Americans, of course. Money spent on them is being wasted, according to the reasoning of the group in power.

So it is with military bases. The major expense of military bases doesn't go to corporations. It goes to people and communities.

I'm sure some bases have been proposed for cutting for purely policitcal reasons. A base in Mississippi has been targeted so Trent Lott can save it; ditto Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota, which will be saved by the Republican white knight who defeated liberal Tom Daschle.

But bases that just support military families and local businesses, bye-bye. Those darn foxes!

Okay, no more foxes-in-charge-of-the-chicken-coop metaphors....

The Quotidian Meander

Thursday, May 12, 2005


Hey, I Think They're Killing Chickens!

Americans are very peculiar people at the moment. To avoid the appearance of being tolerant of peaceniks, homos, and coloreds, and to confirm some evidently very loosely defined "Christian values," the middle and lower middle class has put foxes in charge of the chicken coop.

These very people are considerably poorer and worse off today than they were in the last years of the Clinton administration.

It's reasonably easy to define a "citizen" by the current government's definition: it's anybody who makes more than about $230,000 per year, and/or has a net worth of $1.2 million or more not including the value of the house they live in. A number of my relatives and friends fall into this very category, so I can't really blame those of them who are Republicans for being that way--even now.

It's also certainly easy to define a "poor person," meaning, a person who is decidedly worse off under the Republicans: it's anybody who makes $65,000 per year or less and/or has a net worth less than $200,000 not including the value of their house.

Those people are getting hammered every which way.

And now, in what is almost a parody of the trend of the times, apparently we're going to start setting precedents whereby large corporations can unilaterally cut or eliminate worker pensions and still stay in business. Oh, happy day for big business! They never liked those pesky pension plans in the first place. Pay money to workers who aren't even working? Where's the efficiency in that?

Meanwhile, many middle-class Americans are thinking, "Hey, I've got a pension plan." They're beginning to get a little worried, evidently.

Which is a little like one chicken turning to another and saying, "Have you seen Henriette? How about Roscoe? I haven't seen them in days, and those foxes have some pretty sly grins on their faces...."

Just what is it going to take for the middle class to start catching on?

It hasn't happened yet. As I say, peculiar. Very peculiar.

The Quotidian Meander

Monday, May 09, 2005


This is Good

Click the title for the link.

The Quotidian Meander

Tuesday, May 03, 2005


And you thought you had a bad job

Shiite Arab leader Ibrahim al-Jaafari was sworn in as prime minister and took office as the leader of Iraq's first democratically elected government today.

Monday, May 02, 2005


Great Radicalizing Rant

I have a financially successful friend who's thinking about buying a second home on a lake, who recently told me that he's becoming "re-radicalized." Just to tweak his tail, I replied:

I'm not sure real radicals own lakefront vacation homes, but I promise not to give you too much grief about it.... :-)

And here's the great rant I got in return.

Ignore smiley. Press button. Cue Rant...

You are probably right. Only the radicals who can actually get something done about anything do. I suppose it would be better for the world if I were not successful financially and intellectually. Then I could be a "real radical" and just whine about what is wrong instead of giving my abilities and money to help actually change things. Every battle that I have ever joined in which the "good guys" prevailed has been won by having a bunch of very smart people with a proven track record of actually being able to accomplish things (and who have and/or know how to attract money to the cause) involved at high levels. Things don't get changed very often just because it is the right thing to do. Here in my State we have improved and protected our rivers by steadily filing lawsuits against the government and other private interests to force the right things to happen. It takes years, lots of money, and some very smart, sympathetic lawyers (most of whom own houses on the rivers up north) to get it done. Same thing out West. I don't think we will ever get national health insurance because of the immorality of allowing 40 million men, women, and children to go without health care in the richest nation on earth. We will achieve reform because GM is going bankrupt because of how much it pays for health care. You know what? I don't give a crap about why it happens, just that it happens. Once the door opens a crack some smart people with the right attitude to go along with their money and influence need to get in there and lead the effort to shape the policy that eventually emerges.

This actually led me to vote for W the first time around (obviously a huge error on my part). I was all set to vote for Gore until he opened his mouth in the debates and the old class warfare stuff started pouring out. As if anyone who is successful in this country ipso facto must have stolen their money somehow and that is why we need to raise taxes and take it back. I have never stolen a single nickel of anything I have ever earned. I have worked my butt off to earn it and helped a few people along the way (as did my father and grandfather who came here without a penny to his name a century ago). I am perfectly willing to take out my checkbook and pay more for the things that need to be done because they need to be done. But, I would appreciate it if some jerk politician would not call me a thief while asking me to write the check.

I wish more guys that own lakeshore vacation homes would become more radicalized. Then more might actually get done.

Right on, Brother.

The Quotidian Meander

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