Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Dash of This, A Pinch of That

The fall season is upon us, although you'd never know it from the near-70 degree temps outside. Nonetheless, my internal baking clock is ticking and soon the house will be held captive by the pungent perfume of cinammon and spices and whatever I've burned to an unrecognizable crisp each day. Mmmmm.... delish. While we wait for the smoke alarm to go off, let's discuss the issues of the day, shall we?

My husband raised an interesting point this morning. (He does that a lot, I just choose not to give him credit as it disturbs the careful balance I've cultivated in our relationship, where I'm really awesome and he does everything wrong.) His point was that some people do not wish to pay for others' health care because it's not fair and poor people don't deserve benefits they haven't earned. (Inherent in this argument is the notion that poor people might game the very system that benefits them, this system that would be funded by good, hardworking and honest folks.) Oddly, the same people who do not wish to pay to heal the poor do not mind if we pay for the wealthiest folks in our country to keep more money in their infinitely deep pockets. Instead, they insist we extend tax benefits that the rich do not need (and in many cases do not want).

Interesting, isn't it? I wonder if any wealthy folks game any of our government programs - or any of our citizens - in their pursuit of those deep-pocketed pants? I wonder why some feel good about paying the wealthy, but bad about caring for the poor. I wonder, but I do not judge.

So casting aside any partisan rancor the mid-term election may have installed in my ideological camp, I've decided to stand with our president and move forward with further emphasis on compromise. To that end I suggest we agree with our limited government friends and reduce the government's work in January. Remove the extension of the tax cut item from the congressional 'to-do' list. Seems like a win-win. No?

More seriously (not by much) I have this question: are we serious? In my house, the economic shift of the past several years has moved us from Jewel to Aldi, from Marshall Fields (whimper) to Village Discount and from 'Don't worry about it' to 'We can't afford that this week.' Where is the parallel shift in my government? After all the resources expended to craft a health care bill that's been generations in the making (not months - not months - it's been decades!) who among us will tolerate spending additional millions in repealing it and replacing it with something else? Any effort in that regard ought to be met with the full, if dormant, revolutionary ire and indignant repulsion of the entire tax-paying population of this country. (Tea Partiers take note - I consider you an abomination and will not give you the dignity of even suggesting you represent the true revolutionary spirit of our early citizens.) We can ill-afford to re-build the house when we can hardly make our existing mortgage payments.

So we need relevant, pragmatic and intelligent leadership to solve these problems right? Then let's get something clear: red suits and glossy lipstick and a great flip do not make you any more qualified to serve in the U.S. Senate than do polyester pants, chapped lips and a bad bob. You don't get to change the 'historical trajectory' of anything in governance just because you have perfectly even white teeth. Snap out of it for crissakes! There are only 100 U.S. Senators in the world. The folks who hold those jobs should be among the top 100 most intelligent, well-read, educated, informed, and thoughtful people in the world. Ever. If a candidate does not meet that criteria - party and gender completely irrelevant- then you should laugh that candidate off the political stage. If she's a woman and you're a woman you should laugh louder than men. THAT would be a real step towards taking women seriously.

Just as women should be taken seriously on their merits so too should gay people of all ages, sizes, creeds and what-have-you. If our government, through its policies, actions, speech and representations models treatment of gays as second-class citizens, immoral citizens, unworthy citizens then it should be no surprise that the rest of our citizens would follow suit. And there should be no shock associated with the raging current that washes children from their intuitive acceptance of everyone and everything across the rational divide to a morality-barren shore where they will beat - literally or figuratively - the life out of another child. Those who do not tell - urge - compel - their representatives to ensure the law must protect us all equally are equally to blame for the degradation of our fellow citizens' civil liberties. Worse - we turn away from children who are in pain, afraid, lonely and tell them they deserve our indifference. We need to stop that.

On a lighter note, we must also stop this national obsession with the God forsaken McRib. That is not real meat, people! Real food does not simulate bone-in shape. You should be afraid of it, not dreaming about it and certainly not licking it off your fingers on the bus. It's gross. Really. Stop it.

Speaking of stopping - what is that incessant beeping noise? Mmmmm... and what is that smell? Maybe I should check the oven.

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