Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What to Make of it All

I'll start off by saying that I have no idea of what to make of it all, just to be clear. I'm not some oracle or prophet or super-smart guy with an inside track. I'm a loud-mouthed, opinionated jerk who likes hearing myself talk, and hates liars, wackos and cranks almost as much as they might hate me if they ever read my stuff (most don't or won't). So here's some raw feed:

I think we probably should confiscate every red-blooded American's guns until each one can prove they understand the Constitution better than the Supreme Court. Then they need to prove that they can shoot straight. Then they need to prove that they've never hit anyone in anger. Then they need to show that the only reason they will ever use the gun is to defend themselves or their families against villains. And of course, this puts the onus on them to prove future behavior, which no one can. As a people, we're simply not mature enough to handle the guns we own.

I don't want to read the words "Processed Meat Food Product" on a can ever again. It's everything that's wrong with the American diet. We eat food that has sugar added where none should be needed, food that has fat created in test-tubes that does really interesting things to one's digestive tract, and where everything has either been sprayed with pesticides that can cause grocers' hands to burn (unless they wear gloves), or we modify the crops so that all insects might die from interacting with them, including honeybees (which means fewer crops). So, no more high-fructose corn syrup, and no more ads in favor of it featuring idiots who don't approve of HFCS because they "read somewhere that it was bad." If all the industry can do to counter scientific data with is, "you're dumb," and the population goes, "gee, I guess I'm dumb," then they're right and we're dumb.

Printing money to create lending to create jobs is a morally bankrupt idea that seems to go down well with all but a few very cranky economists. America is still shedding jobs, and we still don't make stuff (except weapons), but trade in your not-very-old car and we'll let you buy a new car. On credit. From Japan. Which might have been made in Ohio. I'm confused.

Everything Obama talked about when he was running for Pres seems to still be in his mind, but not on his radar politically. The idea that healthcare, jobs, global warming and the economy might all be linked is one I've been thinking about for a long time, and of course, so has anyone else who cares to read about why Europe is generally doing better than we are.

So, with universal health care comes one large burden relieved from the backs of business and the poor and the wealthy all at the same time. So everyone has a little more money, and a lot more freedom to move. If I want to quit (for example), I will still have health care, and it won't cost me $500 a month to maintain it. If I have an idea to start up a company, not having health care anymore won't be a reason for me to stop. So, one can have healthcare and a job, or healthcare and no job.

Since there will be more money, perhaps there will be more jobs. If we bring manufacturing back from offshore, perhaps jobs will be more readily available. If we work towards dealing with climate change, there may be more green jobs, and more onshore manufacturing. A bigger middle class. What would be wrong with that?

What's wrong with it is that it's not politically expedient to change things so much that even one Republican senator might disagree with it publicly. Which means that none of it will change without a lot of yelling and screaming and pain. And no one wants to feel any pain. Just keep piling on that anaesthetic, be it WWF or Jack Daniels or Oxycontin or porn, and we'll just keep going along until it all collapses, and then we'll all be in pain at the same time, except for those smart or lucky enough to have escaped with our money.

Is it just me, or do I seem more depressed than usual?

So, it would appear that it's time to take some kind of action (again). And you thought voting was enough. Also, go see Capitalism: A Love Story, Michael Moore's new film.

Don't despair, however - there's plenty of life left in the old country, if only we could harness the energy of the loons in these town halls. What we really need is some genuine, intelligent, burning anger to coalesce in some useful way. Protests are passe. Personally, I'm looking to find some sort of organization to parody, the way the Yes Men parodied the WTO. If, perhaps, i can be portrayed as a kind of everyman, Joe the Plumber sort who, with his native intellect, can correctly portray the underlying attitudes of the Repugnican Party in all its glory.

Kind of like showing up at a town hall meeting and yelling "He's black!", but with more subtlety.

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