Well, today I am going to talk about politics. I am telling you now that you would be better off to not read what I am about to write, then again I might surprise myself. Still, I am gonna vent a few views that may be unpopular, so really, don’t read this.
I have been reading The Washington Monthly for quite a while, hell since its inception really, since I used to read it back when it was CalPundit. I know that it is a blog that is written by a liberal, so there are always liberal points made during the presentation of a story, I expect this. I think Mr. Drum does do a pretty good job of presenting the actual facts before trying to spin it though, that is what I find admirable about that blog. While I read his blog daily, I also vist several conservative blogs on a weekly basis, just to see what is going on on the far, far, far right bank of center. Without exception, the right end blogs present less actual facts and more commentary, but I like to read them anyway just enough to know where both sides stand.
I have always considered myself a liberal; I support gay marriage, abortion rights, and many other concerns that are purely liberal. I don’t think that it is anyone’s business who marries whom, beyond that, I really don’t think that marriage is a sacred covenant with GOD, it is a sacred covenant with your spouse, regardless of gender. Men should have absolutely no say in the abortion argument; when you can reproduce asexually, or give birth yourself, then you can have a say. I am also a bit to the left on many of the financial issues that affect me directly, Social Security for instance. It is at just about that point that I want out of the left.
I guess I am kind of conservative on some of the issues as well. I really don’t want a socialist economy, or socialized healthcare for that matter. While it is true that most of the rich were born rich, some have actually gotten rich by hard work and determination. In my opinion it would be wrong for them to literally pay for every good or service that the poor receive. Yet, at the same time, I really don’t think that we should allow the poor to become homeless and die on the street.
I know that I have told the story of how I ended up in Arizona before, but since I can’t find a reference to it (since I never got around to updating my archives), I will just do the quick version here: I left Oregon while I was in a bit of trouble with the law. The belongings that I had with me all fit into a small, overnight bag (which consisted mostly of cassette tapes), I moved down to live with my mother, I actually had to borrow clothes from her when I got a job, six days after I got here, since all I had were shorts and tanktops. I lived with my Mother once I arrived here for about a couple of months. At that point she was moving back to Oregon and I needed to find a place to live. I lived in a cramped studio apartment for the next seven years. I used empty soup cans for drinking glasses and bowls, I was sleeping on a “super single” mattress that was acquired from the trailer court where mom lived, beyond that the only furniture was a small (smaller than loveseat size) couch that was made of wood and naughyde. It was miserable.
Beyond the fact that I didn’t have the money to buy anything, I also had a court judgement against me that was in excess of $10,000, and an outstanding warrant for my arrest in the state of Oregon. I think that the term destitute would be a fair assessment of my situation at the time. I had nothing, and what little I had was being paid to try to clear up the financial problems (which were not of my causing) and the legal problems (which were totally my fault).
Kind of as an aside, You would be amazed at just how many uses you can get out of the average milk crate. They are modular, after all, you can use them as bedside tables, coffee tables, end tables, kitchen tables, footstools, entertainment centers (just for holding the components, trust me), magazine racks, file cabinets, I really could go on and on… Milk crates were my furniture for a lot of years.
It was from that humble beginning (using the term beginning a bit loosely, since I was 20 at the time) that I worked my way to where I am at today. I do mean worked. Most of my relatives didn’t know where I was (which was intentional, since I did owe money to the courts and creditors, and they have an uncanny ability to find debtors…The mob probably wishes that they had that type of efficiency), not that any of them were independently wealthy in the first place, and even if they were they likely wouldn’t have offered to help me out. It seems that some families really care about a strong family tree, while other families don’t give a shit until someone dies (the latter of which is describing me, but when the family members that died are the one that threw you out of your childhood home so he could sell it, followed by the one that didn’t give you the small inheritance you were due [so she could buy a new truck], what would you do?)
Some of those facts are disputed to this day. Unfortunately, the only things that I was ever able to see were the actual, factual documents relating to it. I was not able to hear the spin that whatever relative wanted to put on it. Perhaps I am a bad person for basing my opinion on absolute fact without first listening to spin? I guess I am proving myself liberal again, or at least I thought.
The Washington Monthly website is mostly viewed by liberals. While I side with them on most arguments, I at least check the alternatives first. I made the horrible mistake of reading the ‘comments’ on one of the posts today. It turns out that a lot of the liberal people are just as whacked out as the people on the right. I will say that at least the left-leaning sites usually have a comments section, while most on the right don’t, but I will have to add to that that most of the people who are commenting are getting their news (political anyway) only from that one source. Having biased information is probably worse than having no information, here I must cite the reelection of Dubya; with no information the public would have despised him, with liberal information he didn’t seem so bad. Of course, with conservative information, he was the second coming of Jesus.
I have struggled, really struggled, to pay off my debts and get a meager amount of money into the stock market. I now own my own mortgage (home), and providing I don’t miss any payments it will be mine in the year 2032 (though that number is a bit high since I am paying an extra 6 dollars a month towards the principal, which will actually shave a few years off of the loan).
My stock market investment has absolutely no gurantee. I could lose it al in a second. If I were to invest that money into an IRA I would have some protection, but I have lived under a bridge and, as such, I don’t like the thought of my money being tied up until I retire. This is perhaps naive and foolish, but, if you have ever spent a cold October night sleeping under a bridge in Oregon, you would probably agree that quick access to your money is a good thing. Which actually screws me out of the tax loopholes that the rich use, but, what are you gonna do?
The other thing that is really pissing me off is that the really poor people (like I was not long ago) are claiming that there are no jobs available. I worked at a number of minumum wage jobs for the first 5 years of my adult life. The jobs are there. One of them (when I saw a whole bunch of people applying), I told them I would work one shift for free, if they liked my performance they could hire me, if not I would walk away. I worked the one shift for free. Guess who got the job. Like I mentioned earlier, it was only six days after I got here that I had a job, while mom’s boyfriend had been out of work for months. Could it somehow be related to determination? Maybe the one that really, really wants to have a job gets the job?
Unemployment only requires that you tell them that you looked for a job, while some released convicts have to get a manager to sign to say that they applied for a job and were not hired. Let’s institute my plan: If you are out of work you can only draw unemployment for the first four weeks, then you go four weeks without it. Now you get two more weeks of unemployment, followed by two weeks without it. Then it is done, forever. Get a job or die.
When questioning my wife and then my mother and then her boyfriend, I found that none of us has really ever been out of work for more than two weeks in our adult lives, While I see girls in the town I live in banging out a kid every 9 months and living better than I do. I think it has gone far from a liberal/conservative issue, this is a moral issue. The poor are poor, the rich are rich, but why does the middle end up paying for the upbringing of the poors’ small children?
Mandatory Birth control would be something that I could get behind. Sure, it would never happen since the republicans are in power, but, come on. The wealthy have far fewer children than the poor. Is that due to better education? Is that due to the socioeconomic climate? Is that due to more prophylactics? Maybe all. The thing is that the really poor don’t look at the grand scheme of things, they hardly look two weeks down the road. Another child? well that is just downright fun! So, there go my tax dollars (being middle class) as the rich and the poor battle it out to see just who is less wrong.
I am not happy with the way I am going here, so I am gonna call it a night. As always, the email address is directly below.