Sunday, May 24, 2009
I woke up this morning, to a gloriously sunny, late spring day. Gentle breezes wafted through my open windows and the sounds of songbirds going about their daily business, raising their broods, helping to complete the cycle of birth-death-rebirth put me in a reflective mood. I thought a bit, about the events in the news of the last few weeks and arrived at the conclusion that I have been remiss in my duties. I have not been fucking with enough assholes or bitchslapping the incredibly stupid mofo's that inhabit that nether world of religious fundamentalism and lockstep, kneejerkoff "conservatism" with anything like the sort of frequency that they deserve. The furor over Obama's pending pick for the SCotUS has the senate reptilicans promising to keep the "filibuster option" open. They are saying that "emapthy" (read "reasonableness") is the wrong quality to look for in said candidate and that they want to make sure no "judicial activists" are appointed for lifetime tenure in a venue where they might vote an issue based on their personal feelings rather than relevant law. This, of course, ignores the fact that their darling "textualists", Roberts, Alito, Thomas and Scalia are all men who speak publicly about what they "feel" and, if one looks at the majority of their opinions, vote pretty much the way they feel. The funny thing about "textualists" is that they don't believe in parsing the "feelings" of the Founders, just the words themselves. As someone pointed out, in a piece I read last week, definitions depend on whose dictionary you use. To quote Bill Clinton, “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is,”. So, I guess that means that the justices all sorta vote their hearts, depending on whether their "dictionary" of choice is Websters or Conservapedia. The healthcare "debate" is a fucking joke. Big Pharma, Big Insurance and Big HMO "pledged" to cut our costs by $3T dollars over the next 10 years by trimming their costs by 1-2%. Then several days after they made that pledge they started carping and whining about it, explaining why they couldn't really honor it. Of course most of the people I mention this to are against "National Healthcare" because it will mean everybody gets shitty medical care. Regardless of the fact that "Single Payer" is not "National Healthcare" they delight in regaling me with anecdotal stories about people waiting three months to get a broken leg casted or six weeks to get a flu shot (most such stories are, simply, bullshit) in Canada. Maybe they're right. Maybe I'm looking at this the wrong way. Perhaps it makes sense to privatize some stuff that is currently handled by the organs of the state. Howzabout drivers licenses? Let's let the insurance companies issue those. If you're under 25, have been in an accident in the last three years or have defaulted on a scheduled payment--no license. That'll keep the riff-raff from getting behind the wheel; or, maybe they'll just drive without insurance OR licenses and let those of us who are paying for it pay for theirs as well. I hate to be the under-educated churl who has to explain this to people but having approximately 15% of our population uninsured and another 15% (or more) underinsured does not mean that they get free care or care that is subsidized by the skyfairy or Dr. Government. It means that the cost of their care is lumped in with other operating costs of the hospitals and the savings are passed on to us! More on this later. To quote a couplet I just wrote: Spring has sprung, the flowers are here. It's 8:16, I need a beer. Okay. So I got to work after breakfast and got caught up in sorting out 7 or 8 banana boxes full of books and throwing a bunch of the ones I don't want anymore into a box for the Salvation Army. Then I did some rip&tear on the second floor of the house and needed to make a run to the lumberyard for more 2x4's. After I picked up some stock, I stopped at the supermarket to make my weekly investment in the lottery. While I was scratching a "Cash Word" card (the only thing I ever spell is "loser") a guy at the service window was paying his utility bill. First he said that the bill was too high. Then he said that his cousin or someone else in his family lived in some other state in a house just like his and that their bill was, like, $88/month, while his was about $400/month. THEN he said it was because the Democrats and the unions are screwing everything up. Now, normally, I let this shit go--not today. I said "Right, it's all their fault.", with, perhaps a soupcon of snidelevity in my voice. To be honest I don't think I heard what he said next, but I said, "If it wasn't for unions you wouldn't get a vacation. You'd be working seven days a week." He countered with a remark that OSHA would keep that from happening (how the fuck he arrives at that conclusion is beyond my understanding). I let that obvious bit of foolishness go by, and I told him that without the unions there wouldn't be any OSHA either. He then walked away without saying anything else. Good thing, too; he was younger, bigger and probably more capable of kicking my ass than vice versa. I really, truly, find it hard to believe that people are so fucking stupid that they buy into that tripe, but apparently they ARE that stupid. After eight years of a vapid, incurious, dry drunk of a president all such assholes can think of is that it's the democrats' and the unions' fault? Goddamn those fucking fools and their idiotic adulation of the Limbaughs of this world.