Monday, August 15, 2011

Riots, Brownback, and Bears--oh wait. Nope. Nothing scarier than Brownback.

Well, I have been MIA from blogging, with school starting up again. My kiddos are back, and they are terrific kids. At this point in the semester, I'm not even kidding. Every last young person I work with is intelligent, human, worthy of choices for a wonderful life. They are the hope in the future (even as I see them getting dragged into materialism, into those beginning compromises with Reality, whatever that is), and they help me remember to have some faith that things will get better.

I can't think about politics right now. Just cannot contemplate all the awfulness. Governor Brownback turned back a $31 million grant from the federal government to set up a health insurance exchange, because he wanted to alleviate the federal government's debt burden--or something like that? (You can read details on that here the New York Times' take on that here.) Basically, he wants to appear So Conservative and Right-Wing-Friendly and Anti-Health Care Reform that he doesn't want to take the money. When this hit NPR, I nearly drove the car off the road and ended it right there. Damn Brownback. This man (and Steve King) are the reasons that I started to believe in hell again.

Here's the thing that makes me so ill: So this pendejo politically disagrees with the law of the land, which he has a perfect right to do. But then he turns down the money to implement the law. That doesn't change anything--we will still have to implement the law. Now that money will have to come from somewhere else, though, and you can guess that money isn't coming from the Koch brothers' pockets. Nope, it'll be part of next year's list of reasons why We Have To Cut Public Education Even MORE! I don't want to list the things my district can't pay for this year, for legal purposes, but let's just say that even my very conservative relatives' jaws dropped when I mentioned what my kids are going without this year. And I don't understand why any politician who actually refuses money for his representatives is not tarred and feathered (figuratively) and thrown out of office! Like, I'm not even asking for the rapid appearance of anarchist/reign of God new heaven and a new earth here. Just basic looking out for your constituents. And even that is not attainable. Kansas deserves better than this.

And then there's the riots in England. Most of the people I have been talking to from all parts of the political "spectrum" agree with David Cameron that the young people are expressing "criminality, pure and simple." This is to me as ridiculous a viewpoint as the idea that Monsanto works to feed the world, pure and simple. But some other anarchists have stated an anarchist position on the situation much better than I could hope to:

Anyway. Some good alternative perspectives on that.

Hmmmm. There are many statistics in the above articles on inequality and unemployment and other economic problems in the United Kingdom. I find it astonishingly horrible that nearly all of those statistics are something like doubled in the United States. And no riots here. We shouldn't have riots; they are terrible, destructive events, and destruction is so much easier than creation...but how long? Will we be able to do something about these terrible inequalities here before rioting breaks out? I mean, yes, eventually it would be great to see power expropriated from centralized states, redistributed to the people, and useless luxury goods whose only purpose is to establish class status disdained. But our alternate liberatory institutions are not yet prepared to take over the state functions! Let the state wither away, but not yet!

(I guess I didn't quite manage to avoid politics this time. Odd.

(and the squash bugs' decimation of my beautiful plants has seriously kept me depressed for the last two weeks.  My garden was so lush, so beautiful, before they appeared and ate the whole thing up.  I am trying very hard to avoid political analogies to squash bugs.  I'm not saying you have to avoid them.)

1 comment:

  1. great post! and all, sadly, very true. I had the same question after the UK riots when thinking about things here in the US. But, it's not just rioting in the UK, it is protesting in Madrid and also uprising in Egypt. For whatever reasons, the people of the United States seem extremely sedated. I'm not sure why this is. A lack of information, a lack of insight or, possibly, a lack of motivation after a nine hour work day? We seem to absorb a lot through our mass communication system, but not a lot of it seems to be truly educational or enough to inspire the masses. We are no longer "number 1", but honestly, I wonder how many American's realize that and are able to see Germany, France and other parts of Europe as the new leading nations. In short, it seems that the world is turning, and, yes, what is happening in KS is particularly infuriating and an extreme example of political agendas gone terribly wrong that ties into this, even if in a small way.