Showing posts with label inhumanity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label inhumanity. Show all posts

14 November, 2013

Gator People Live In the River: Conscious Conscience

Government is not reason. It is not eloquent. It is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. - George Washington

Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys. - P.J. O'Rourke

If there is an argument against the existence of what the tea baggers and neo-cons refer to as "the nanny state" it is the shameful state of the social net.

The gradual whittling down of social programs to force people into market-driven servitude  "for their own good" comes down to us from the same folks who would drug-test anyone applying for help and be critical of anyone on assistance who has the unmitigated gall to have a cell phone. Of course, the paternal and dehumanizing tone these powermongers, lackeys, and lapdogs take is completely lost on them, and generally ignored by those well intended folks insist that voting Democratic will somehow fix the problem.

Not that I'm endorsing the GOP, the Tea Party, or any other version thereof , sometimes referred to as "third parties" (which is a funny term since the collected total of them would not garner a full third of the ballot tossing public if anyone paid attention to the details of their notions). Far from it. Experience and perpetual study has taught me that the only difference between a lying incumbent and a well-intended outsider is corporate sponsorship and the first sniff whiff of power. Beyond that, all politicians are by nature too pragmatic for anything as ideal as real "re-form.*"
Now, those of you who insist on calling Obamacare )AKA the Affordable Health Care Act, AKA The Single Largest Upward Redistribution of Wealth since the Wall Street Bail Out and the 401K) proof of the existence of the nanny state roll your eyes and mumble about gun rights and lazy poor people with iphones and how your tax dollars are being used to support a bunch of ingrates, be aware that the very people you have decided to blame for all your problems (the poor, the homeless, the powerless) are not waiting for you to catch on to the fact that after they're shuffled off from view that you will be next.  Your judgement, hatred, and paternalism masked as philosophical ideology does not change the fact that you have more in common with them than with the powermongers and grafters with whom you have thrown in your lot.

Not seeing or hearing the train barreling down on you doesn't change the fact that the train is rolling on.

The recent cuts in SNAP -- the food assistance program that used to be called Food Stamps -- will have catastrophic impacts on people who are the least able to wield any political power to improve their lot. Meanwhile, Exxon will get tax subsidies that far outweigh any tax they might pay. Meanwhile, the insurance industry will get richer and people who can't afford insurance will be further penalized. 

The good news is that there are people out here who are not waiting on the government to grow a conscience; and they are not waiting on you to grow one, either.  But we will share when you're in need. Just remember how you got here when you arrive.


* Notice the root word and prefix. Then think about what it really means.

24 October, 2013

Gator People Live In the River, But the Real People Eaters Live Down South -- The Re:visionary Story Gathering Project

Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day. - Mark Twain

I am not a politician, and my other habits are good, also. - Artemus Ward

“We’re not looking to warehouse people.” - Cm. Cameron Runyan

Read more here:
I can't help myself.

Yes, the interminable itch has been bothering me. Yes, as much as I am enjoying my life and am happier than I have been in a long time, the rub returns. I am, after all, the son with the wandering feet.

And a few news items that have fallen beneath most folks' notice -- probably because it involves people no one wants to see -- have driven my already road focused thoughts towards the direction I might head out in few weeks.

Unless something changes, I'm going out for for a bit when the semesters(s) end. I promised I'd be in River City for Xmas (and I will be), but I need for my own peace of mind -- and the sanity of those I love -- to stretch my road legs a bit and scratch my incurable itch.

Williston, ND: Salvation Army buses homeless out of city.
On my last jaunt, I spent a few days up in Williston, North Dakota. My plan was to take a look at a boomtown in action. Although Williston has been something of a boomtown since the 1950's because of oil drilling in the Bakken Formation, there has been a renewed boom because of fracking. The trip was interesting, but of course, it was hard to simply hang around. The nearest men's shelter is 200 miles away and with all the money flowing up there, there's no patience for aimless wanderers. In fact, there have been so many people that the Salvation Army -- with their long tradition of conditional concern and lack of human kindness -- has been busing out the homeless, the unemployed, or those unable to afford the market-driven [greed-driven] high rents (that's CAPITALISM for ya!) in spite of finding work in the oil fields.

Another national story over the last few months involved the draconian homeless law put into place down in Columbia, South Carolina. The council made being homeless illegal, apparently in response to local business concerns that the homeless, and not a lousy economy, are to blame for bad daily returns. The initial report gave the confederate city something of a black eye, though, so the council decided to unmake the law.

They have instead decided to open a homeless persons warehouse (pictured above) and have gone as far as creating a separate public transportation system to further isolate the homeless from the fine upstanding folks who are themselves one paycheck away from being demonized by the Columbia Chamber of Commerce and their wholey owned subsidiary, the city council.

For the possible exception of any body of elected officials, there has never been a more parasitic organization of selfish interests than a chamber of commerce. They are all pointless, useless, and scourge on good people and good communities everywhere.

Quoted significantly in the Columbia article is one Cameron Runyan, councilman and puppet of the chamber of commerce. He blamed the "culture of enabling" for the city's homeless problem. Of course, that there are more unemployed people than than there are jobs to fill has escaped Runyan's view -- which is admittedly short of sunlight given his head is up his rear end.

It has also escaped his notice that probably the reason that Columbia sees a number of people from the travelling nation is the weather. Birds do it. Some people do to. When the weather is warmer south, the smart ones fly.

But I am thinking that I need to go and take a look at this "culture of enabling" up close.

Besides -- it's starting to get cold.