Thursday, July 30, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
And we're the racists! Because we make it all about race!
Tbogg argues otherwise.
My favorite among the comments so far is this one, from A Mom Anon:
I live in the South. There’s a little “family owned”business here that’s proudly racist. There’s a “White History Year” sign on the front door of the place and lynching photos and other”memorabilia” are prominently displayed and easily visible through the front windows. Recently the owner of this shop recieved a civic award for his civil war reinactment camp for(white,male only)kids. Everyone knows the place is a front for KKK/skinhead types and no one bats an eyelash. The place is smack in the middle of the newly rennovated “historic district”.
Here’s a hint for Hawkins: You don’t have to worry about being called a racist if you aren’t a fucking racist. I’ve lived 50 yrs and no one has ever even hinted I was racist. Wonder why that is?….
Monday, July 27, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Only they aren't any better at thinking that over than at much else, apparently. This Robert Broadus argues that he should not have to be taxed for health care, see, because of the bill of rights, which he believes means he should not have to pay taxes for health care if he doesn't want to, since he has not been buying health insurance, which has been saving him (he says) $2,500/year and he's been doing fine with that.
"What if you get sick?" he is asked.
"What if you break a leg?" he is asked.
"Who pays then?"
Of course, we would -- his fellow citizens -- unless his family is filthy rich -- which, since he says earlier he's been helping to support them, I somehow doubt is the case.
So if he gets sick, his fellow taxpayers will foot the bill, because I really doubt he will just eat his gun. But that's not the point! He's a free citizen! We can't MAKE him pay for a health care system just because he might use it some day!
And J.T. Plumber and Fox News, of course, love this fella to bits.
That's what passes for bold thinking on the Right these days.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Here is what I keep pointing out to my students and anyone else that will listen to me:
The United States now devotes one-sixth of its economy to medicine. Divvy that up, and health care will cost the typical household roughly $15,000 this year, including the often-invisible contributions by employers. That is almost twice as much as two decades ago (adjusting for inflation). It's about $6,500 more than in other rich countries, on average.
If you think health care reform will make health care too expensive, guess what? It already is.
Appalling stream of comments from appalling commentors begins at once.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
This is one fight I have a dog in, living where I do, in NW Arkansas, home of both Wal-Mart and Tyson.
This bit of the world is littered with chicken ranches and Wal-Mart wealth: it makes for a schizophrenic landscape. On the one hand, appalling poverty, since the people who run the chicken farms and work in the chicken factories are, in general, stunningly poor. I'm talking missing teeth, can't make the light-bill poor -- I have their kids in my classes, from time to time, and I get essays; or I'll get a wife or a fifty year old man who can't manage the work at the chicken factory anymore (it's physically awful, just wrecks the body) who has come back to school hoping she can or he can get off disability that way.
They hate living on the state, btw.
Usually the one with jobs at Wal-Mart are just as poor, and often just as physically damaged.
On the other hand: the executives have these houses that look like small hotels, or maybe the sort of mini-castle some nine year old who had watched too much Disney would think up. "God lives there," mr. delagar likes to say, as we drive past. And these houses are right next to the rat-trap shacks and trailers the line-workers live in; Marie Antoinette drives right past the peasants, here in Arkansas, in her shiny red Beamer.
She's safe enough though I guess. Nearly every one of my freshmen is still Republican. They're all going to live in a house just like hers some day, see, and they just know when that happens they won't want anyone taxing their money away, money they earned fair and square....
Anyway, not what I started out to say.
The cost of the chicken, the cost of the tennis shoe, the cost of the teeshirt.
Wal-Mart sells teeshirts for five bucks, Tyson sells chickens for six bucks. Never mind that the teeshirts suck and the chickens taste like flavorless gum. They're cheap! So America will buy them.
Are they cheap? That's the point.
They only look cheap: that's the point being made by Ezra's post, and the book he links to.
It's also what anyone who thought for half a minute could figure out.
If Wal-Mart and Tyson (and so on) do not pay the health costs of their employees (just to take a random point) does that mean their employees do not have health costs?
If they do not pay the retirement costs of their employees does that mean those employees do not have retirement costs?
If they don't pay their employees enough to live on, does that mean their employees starve?
No: sometimes their employees have wives or husbands who get jobs; but sometimes they get earned income back in taxes. Who pays that? Why, you do!
Who pays the retirement benefits (in the form of disability pay)? Why, you do!
Who pays the health cost, since no insurance gets bought? (Can't buy it on what they're paid.) Why, you do, taxpayer!
Add all that to the price of your chicken and teeshirt, not to mention the subsidies you're already paying to the farmers that grow the cotton and the chicken feed and probably the chicken, and jeez that shirt isn't so cheap now, is it?
Wal-Mart is making a fortune on America's back. You're paying for the Disney House. Too bad they don't let you come visit.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Me: (at the worktable doing my prep, to the kid, who is browsing YouTube Comments): Hey. Hey. Hey.
Me: I have to go to the optometrist's tomorrow. (Pause.) I hope I don't fall into the lens grinder and make a spectacle of myself.
Kid: (Rising from her chair, looking deeply concerned): OMG, Mom, I hope you don't either. (Pause.) Because that is the worst. Joke. In. The. World!
You reap what you sow, folks.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
I am reluctant for a couple of reasons. One, she's eleven, and two, she's given, as I may have mentioned, to long bouts of existential angst.
So, well, the first time she gets a comment from some lout who tells her she's a loser, yikes.
Or worse, what if she doesn't get comments! (I've been around the 'sphere. Billions of blogs get no comments at all.)
Or what if she gets comments like HEY U GRATE SUX NOW?
For all these reasons, I have told her she has to be twelve before she can have her own blog -- only she really wants one now, first, and second, I sense that the heyday of blogging is peaking now, and that if we wait another year, well, blogs will be out with roadsters and eight-track tapes.
So what do y'all think? Should I give in?
Monday, July 13, 2009
Number one, it is hot in Arkansas in the summer. I am talking killing hot. A hundred and four here yesterday at six p.m., so hot that when I took the trash out the air felt scary: standing on my driveway felt like standing in an oven.
Second, my university is always short of parking, but this summer even more so, since construction guys are rebuilding everything, not only tearing up parking lots, but parking giant construction trucks and tools everywhere on the lots, as well as roping off the lot you drove merrily down the highway planning to park in. Also, there is very little shaded parking space, but there is some, and getting that shaded space makes a huge difference -- if you can park your car in the shade, then when you emerge from a long day of teaching composition and Jonathon Swift, your car will be relatively cool and your nearly useless ancient car AC will keep you nearly cool all the way home, instead of your car being 135 degrees inside and you having to drive home with the windows down, broiling and cussing in the 104 degree heat, sun beating down on the top of your head, and when I say you here I mean me.
So I get up an hour earlier than I have to most days so I can get to school early enough to get one of the few parking places in the shade. (There are only about six.) Only today when I arrive, what do I find? All of them gone -- and -- and --and! Why are all of them gone? Well, the construction guys have three of them, and I can't really grudge them that. They're actually working all day in the sun while I have my office job with all day air conditioning, so, okay.
BUT! Two of the other spaces? Are taken by this TOOL in a giant white SUV. He has parked his giant SUV across the line of two spaces, so that he can take BOTH SHADED SPACES, so that no one will park too close to his purty SUV and nick his pretty paint job. (Of course he has backed into the parking space, because that is so much safer and more convenient.) Then he has covered all his interior windows with foil sunscreens to protect his seat covers.
I idled by the space a minute. Never have I ever wanted to key anyone's vehicle before. Ever. Ever.
But I took a deep breath, though what Rabbi Hilleh would want me to do, and drove on. Parked my car in the broiling sun, and hiked in.
(2) Did you know MLK Jr. was a Republican? Hey! So was Abraham Lincoln! Maybe we should let Ms. Sparkle know that? Or send her a history book, except, well, she'd have to be able to read, so what's the point?
(3) Flies! Gnats! Crickets! I'm expecting locusts next. It's that season in Arkansas.
(4) Plus, everything is breaking. The AC broke -- I told you about that. Then the stove broke. Now the dishwasher is broken, and the dryer isn't working, and the hard-drive on the kid's computer is down, and the vacuum cleaner died. Some of this stuff the landlords will fix, as soon as they get back from Florida (they're spending a month in Florida), or they say they will fix these things; but lots of them are our problem. Money money money, water water water.
Obviously, the solution is MORE RUM!
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Here is the story Drudge is pushing and the Right-Wing (which, in case you need reminding is not racist, no, no, no!) is buying with big wide eyes and both hands: this home-schooling, charming family of Xtians in Akron, Ohio, who were off at a 4th of July Celebration, Celebratin' teh Freedom, as they manage to make clear about 15 times in this here news clip, claim that on the way home from their 4th of July Freedom Celebratin' they got Attacked by...a Black Mob.
Fifty! Black! Kids!
Yeah, you heard it right. And they were, like, yelling, "It's a Black World!"
And they punched and kicked Daddy in the head and when sweet 90 pound daughter sprang to his defense, they knocked her down and kicked her too!
Daddy says he spent five nights in intensive care! That's how badly he was beaten.
Yet you'll notice in the news clip...hmmm....no bruises on any of them? Not a nick or a scratch? Nor, well, jeez...none of them look particularly upset?
Also, they claim they were coming to the aid of a threatened buddy, yet the buddy isn't here to say, yeah, it happened just that way?
Anything seem odd about this story to you?
Me, too. But not to the Right-Wing, who are all, oooo, wooo, those Black People! How come no one calls this a Hate Crime? See, See, see! Just what we've been SAYING! They're roaming the streets in MOBS!
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
The ACLU makes them quit.
I went to a sex-segregated HS in Jefferson Parish: my brothers got Physics and Latin, along with actual teachers with actual degrees in the subjects they were teaching. They also had a real gymnasium. I got civics and a "science" teacher who had taught second grade the previous year. We walked across a highway to use the beat-up parish gymnasium and baseball fields, and played volleyball all year long because that was the only sports equipment our school had.
(I did take Latin my junior and senior year -- they bussed us over to the boys' school -- because they were trying to appease the wicked feminists who were objecting to the inequity in the system; no one did anything about the rest of my inept teachers, though. Well, they weren't training me to be a scholar. They were training me to be a young lady.)
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
But here is a fine post on Waxman he's written.
You might remember Waxman from back when he went up against the Abstinence-Only crowd; now he's working on Health Care. But he's done plenty in DC. When the Whacks on the Right tell you Government Doesn't Work, here's the guy you point to in response.
Monday, July 06, 2009
Saturday, July 04, 2009
Friday, July 03, 2009
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
On the Bill Maher show a few weeks ago, all the rich folk living in DC were commenting how this didn't feel like a Depression, did it? Hmm? and I wanted to leap through the screen and bat all of them over the head, because maybe it doesn't feel like a Depression if you're a rich tool living in DC, rich tool, but come live as a middle class or working class yoick here in AR, tool, or some worse off place in the country (Oddly, I'm hearing there are worse off places that Arkansas right now! That's so bizarre! That people are poorer than us?) and get back to me.
For the past week we've been down to the quarters and dollars in our change jar (you know, the jar on that shelf above the dryer? Where you dump all your loose change you find lying about in the washing machine or around the house in general?); then, on the 25th, we got a check from the insurance company for just under two hundred dollars, money back on a bill we had paid at the beginning of the month -- oh joy! -- and I ran it to the bank and put it in -- and we're watching like hawks for it it clear -- and it doesn't and doesn't and doesn't -- so finally I went in on the 29th, because we're eating oatmeal for dinner at this point, and the woman tells me it takes five business days, yap yap yap.
I hate banks. Hate hate hate.
But she gave me a hundred cash against when it cleared, which I thought was decent of her.
And now we've been paid, and can buy food again, and pay bills.
My student who teaches the kid art was by yesterday -- another lower middle class kid -- expressed joy when I paid him. He'd been driving on fumes, and getting really nervous.
No, no depression out here.