Tuesday, December 20, 2005

An Ode to Our Executive Spy...

They cried…

Smaller government!
Less oversight!
(Except on abortion
and civil rights).

Respect our privacy!
Leave us alone!
(Except all the rooms
of gay folks’ homes).


Our golden boy
Got caught spying.
My oh my,
It stopped our crying.

Narrow construction?
Who said thus?
Broad executive powers
Are fine by us!

The Voting Rights Act,
we insist
Was passed during a crisis
that no longer exists

No comparison
with the Patriot Act.
We’ll elevate the alert
to prove that fact.

So don’t think of it as spying.
No indeed!
Just careful watching,
A compassionate deed.

And if the thought bothers you
just a bit.
Be prepared for our cry:

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Too Conservative

I visit the blog by the above name pretty regularly, for a combination of factors. First, I like to see what the enemy is thinking :-p Seriously, to quote some of them, some of my best friends are conservatives--after all, I grew up in the rural South and am the daughter of a Baptist deacon and his saved and sanctified wife. The older they get, the more I feel like I sprang from somewhere else. And, if you have to read a conservative viewpoint, this blog is not as offensive to liberal sensibilities as some other sites. Finally, to borrow a quote from a distasteful individual who will remain nameless, I' m trying to learn "how to talk to a conservative (if you must)."

Anyway, the people over at Too Conservative were ragging on Kanye for his arrogance. I had to defend my guy-- I really do like Kanye, despite some of his less-than-stellar observations about women and college graduates. Would his arrogance, I asked at the end of my post, be perceived as confidence in a white performer?

They were objecting to Kanye's prediction that his autobiography would go down in the history books. My point was, even if you don't like him 'cause he skewered bush, (not that they would admit the fact they didn't like him 'cause he skewered bush), that doesn't negate the fact that he's smart and savvy enough to have his finger on the pulse of hip hop. Apparently, Barbara Walters and Time Magazine agreed with my humble observations.

To which some woman, named neocon something-or-the-other, responded that it was just like a lib to make race the key issue-- mind you, the particular quote he was referencing was not the key issue of my post, but came as a musing at the end. Still, you know how they freeze up then jump on words like "black" and "white." My sarcastic ass couldn't help the following response:

yep. just like a black liberal from rural louisiana... don't know where i got the idea that people saw race in this color-blind society; couldn't possibly have been from my liberating personal experiences in the backwoods South.

Like it or not, race is a key issue in some of our lives.

Sorry if that makes "neocons" uncomfortable.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Here Comes the Story of the Hurricane(s)

A totally reactionary post, a response to comments I read on AOL:

It isn't fair that taxpayers in safer areas have to subsidize those who choose to live in more hazardous locales, said Veronique de Rugy, a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. She warns that too much federal support for disaster victims will foster a sense of complacency. People will have no incentive to purchase flood insurance or hurricane-proof their homes if they believe that the federal government will step in and bail them out after a disaster.

I know it's hard for rich right wingers to understand, really I do. But can't they stretch the imagination just a little bit and envision a world in which people didn't buy flood insurance, not because they were complacent, but because they couldn't afford it? My parents were not dirt poor, but they had no home insurance until we were all grown because they didn't have the money.
Ooh, and here's a mind-boggler. Maybe people don't always choose to live in these locales. Maybe they're born there, have few educational and career opportunities and, thus, don't have the money to move. Or maybe, poor people (as dysfunctional and God-forsaken as they are AND despite the fact that only right wingers understand and "value" family) love their families, communities, and friends and have a sense of attachment.
And what do people like this woman assume that poor people think the federal government will do on their behalf? Most of the federal government's programs of social provision are so stingy and stigmatized that they are rarely worth the effort it takes to apply.

"On some level it makes sense that the federal government should help, but there should be a lesson," de Rugy said. "People who have behaved in a completely irresponsible way by not taking any insurance should lose something."

Irresponsible? Oh, de Rugy, see my comments above. And as far as losing something, I would think the loss of your literal and figurative home, your family history, your family, your job, your way of life, your immediate world (and I could go on) would be enough to qualify for some sort of aid.

To pay for the rebuilding, de Rugy suggests the following cuts:
On her list, de Rugy offers up employment training and services ($5.4 billion), vocational and adult education ($1.9 billion), state grants for child support enforcement ($4.3 billion) and a $9.6 billion chunk of NASA's $16.5 billion budget.

Why am I not surprised by the programs she chose? Aside from NASA, they are the programs that would most likely enable these people-who-need-to-be-taught-a-lesson to escape their impoverished circumstances. Of course, de Rugy and those of her ilk (and I hope that does sound like a putdown, because my nose is definitely turned up in distaste) don't see the need for federal assistance in education and training. You should have the money to pay for this yourself because if you and your ancestors had just worked hard, saved, and been models of (Christian) piety, you wouldn't be poor!! I mean, it's obviously a sign of God's disapproval if you don't achieve the American dream. You're supposed to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, for God's sake!

Even if all your shoes were washed away in a flood...
Revelations and ruminations from one southern sistorian...