Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Oh Dear, the Sky Is Falling!

My dear friend, Mrs. Little, is somewhat paranoid and has warranted some negative attention over the years for her premature shouts of, "The sky is falling." However, I feel the need to apologize to Chickie, as her friends call her, for assuming that her warnings were always without substance.

Every time that I read the daily newspaper or watch the evening news, I get a sinking feeling that I need to go out and purchase a hard hat. Wars on two fronts, oil filling up the Gulf, and economic disaster lurking around the corner has become the norm. Congress thoughtfully provided a tax break for the ├╝ber wealthy by allowing the estate tax to lapse for the year 2010; former President G. W. Bush signed the bill allowing the lapse into law into 2001. The Democrats failed to get their ducks in a row and repeal it by the end of 2009 and it took effect January 1, 2010. According to the New York Times, billionaire Dan L. Duncan (net worth according to Forbes is $9 billion), who died in March, gets to pass on his estate tax free to his heirs. I'm not cold hearted and I certainly have sympathy for the Duncan family, but given the financial crisis that this country is in, it just seems--I don't know--stupid to let the estate tax lapse for a year.

Yesterday's news declared that the ranks of the unemployed were going to rise as the temporary census jobs are now ending, adding millions to those needing the assistance of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. Of course, the Senate doesn't believe that UI needs to be extended. It seems that a lot of unemployed people are really enjoying themselves and refusing to work because they are receiving those huge weekly checks. I've got to wonder what some of these people have been smoking. I've been on unemployment and it pays a fraction of the salary that you earned while working. It's better than nothing, but not much better.

Then there's the NRA and its expanded agenda. It seems that now that the United States Supreme Court has twice ruled (DC and Chicago cases) that the 2nd amendment guarantees an individual the right to have a gun, the NRA has had the time and resources to expand its reach into other issues that don't appear to have anything to do with the 2nd amendment. Funny how the NRA tends to only partially quote the 2nd amendment; the full text reads: "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." There is another version with identical language but with a comma inserted after the word militia.

The NRA worked with Senator Harry Reid (say it ain't so Harry!) to insert a provision in the Health Care Bill that prohibits insurance companies from charging higher premiums to people with guns in their homes. Of course, the insurance may charge higher premiums to people who smoke and people who are fat. Too bad there isn't an amendment saying that we have the right to smoke and be fat. The NRA was also the force behind adding a rider on a bill to restrict anti-consumer practices by credit card lenders that permits people to carry loaded guns in national parks. In another demonstration of its considerable power, the NRA also managed to get istelf exempt from the Disclose Act (sic; that's what they call it). The Act requires contributors to political candidates and campaigns to disclose their identity, but carves out an exemption that precisely fits some donors, including the NRA.

I'm beginning to think that Chickie has been right all along and that the sky is really falling. Maybe instead of a hard hat, I need to start on an underground shelter. Polls indicate that the Republicans, aka, the party of no, may win big in November. It may be time to start laying in provisions for a long siege on civil liberties and social justice. Think that I'll get a bulletproof vest as well.


Loulou La Poule said...

Move over, girl and pass me a shovel; the hens and I are digging in with you to share that shelter!

I never thought that I would see our country in such a mess again after Vietnam and the torn country of that time. Call that the Boomer Entitlement Fantasy. I'm working really hard on coming out of denial fast enough to be of some use to the cause of rational thought and principled action.

Isn't it just so hard to watch!?

Mark said...

America's tombstone will read:
"Here lies the United States. Killed by the Filibuster"

Sybil said...

Please can I join you in your shelter. You could be speaking about our new Parliment...exactly...here they have asked all local authorities to cut their spending by between 25 40% ie meaning paying off the least well paid (not themsleves of course we will still need many many managers and undermanagers and undermanagers managers !!) they have also said that all the housing developements given the ok by the pevious government are now void...so we will build the lowest number of houses since 1929 !! Of course the homeless, unemployed, will be taken care of ??? where the H can they find jobs and houses if there are none available ? Like you I think maybe chickie is right.
Thanks as always for your excellent blog.
Love Sybil x

Octopus said...

A well regulated indicia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

Please forgive. An octopus has little need for law because we are solitary creatures with little social skill. Thus, it is hard for us to read, interpret, and understand the “shall nots” of living in a human society. Yet, the language of the Second Amendment is clear. If you intend to keep and bear arms (as I do – all 8 of them), you need to bring your indicia with you.

Perhaps an indicia imprinted on tee-shirts will suffice. One that reads: “This armed robbery brought to you by Walmart.” Or perhaps: “This mass Post Office murder is sponsored by UPS.” Or “This political assassination is a public service message of Koch Industries.” Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it! After all, these indicia are timestamps that let you know when you have expired.

Sybil said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarcastic Bastard said...

Can I join you in the shelter? At least I'll be with somebody I like.

Love you. Happy to hear from you. I was starting to worry. Guess I should be worried still after reading this post.


Anonymous said...

Men(some, anyway) love to say women talk too much, but the filibuster was created by men....And it is ruining us. ~Mary

Anonymous said...

Ha. I just went back to read the other comments, & saw Mark's ;-).

Alan said...

Hey Blogfriend,

Your post made me laugh. I was just at the end of Derrck Jensen's book where he was "not" teaching us how to bring down civilization, and I saw your post. Glad you are here. It's a terrible place to be, but it is way better than the alernitave.

The thing that made me laugh was the google adds at the bottom of my reader. (full body armor, new ballistics fiber, etc.)

I keep running into a story about cooking frogs. If you put them in boinling water (a crisis...) they just jump out. If you put them in cold water being heated (an environment of gradule distruction) they don't start to jump unitl the water starts to boil and then it's too late. IT'S TOO LATE...


Afriendof B

Alan said...

Wow! I can't spell late at night. (or any other time...)

There was a point to what I wrote. But, it is mostly about do humans have a chance?

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

It is indeed a time of challenge, the next few years is going to be a real rollercoaster. Hope we can start acting in unison instead of in our own selfishness.