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May 14, 2009
Manifest (no destiny)

Pursuant (heh) to my last post and as the result of various wild-eyed, ranting, rightwing fanatics who have been screaming, from their safe position of incipient fascism, that the Left has gone Socialist (Remember when we were just covert Commies? Sometimes I miss those days.), I've been wondering how I can help.

I've been pondering some kind of nanifesto. Only, not exactly. I mean, not so much a set of legitimate political/social beliefs or a contract or anything. No, more as fuel for the fire in which, if we're lucky, the Republican Party is about to immolate itself.* ("Help" is a relative term.)

I don't have it all combed out yet (it's only been ten minutes), but I thought I'd share some starting points, starting with the point that today I'm feeling pissy at corporations. Thus, today's installment is the Not Manifesto.

I Am Not A Consumer
Multinational corporate wishing thinking notwithstanding, I was not put on this planet for the purpose of consuming product. I am not a cog in the production-consumption wheel. Beyond those expenditures I need for survival (housing, food, books), I shop only occasionally, for amusement, and rarely purchasing items labeled as "all new!" due to a change in packaging color, size, or accessory function.

Take note that when I make a major purchase, from a vacuum cleaner to an automobile, I purchase only those brands and models warranted to last for decades. I do not live a disposable lifestyle.* *

I Am Not A Labor Unit
Nor am I a resource, an expense, or an expendable rat on the corporate treadmill. As of this moment, I am also not a Reaganomics Cheap Labor source. I am intelligent, educated, hard-working, and more committed than I pretend I am to my employer's success. For what I'm worth, you could hire two high school or recent college graduates, yes. Go ahead and hire them--I can outwork them both.

However, my commitment to my employer's success ceases at the moment said employer ceases to pay me, or that I find a better opportunity.

My disinterest in hanging around an ungrateful employer for the long term is the direct result of corporate disinclination to care about employee well-being in the long term. Corporations helped invent the concept of disposable labor. I decline to be any more disposable than they are.

I Am Not Your Mother
Corporations went all the way to the Supreme Court to be declared "people." You wanted it, you got it. If your self-inflicted injuries are now causing your own bad health? I feel pity for your stupidity but I don't share your paidn. I feel no inclination to step in with a bandage and a cup of tea. You broke it, you bought it.

You incurred the debt. You pay it back. I'm saving my money for a year's supply of bon-bons and that's more important to me than bailing you out of your own mess. My Uncle Sam, completely against my wishes, has already spent lots, although not all of the money forcibly extorted out of me with the promise it would be there when I retired, so all future bon-bons have to come out of my pockets.* * * I can't afford to support your Jaguar lifestyle on my candy bar income. (And I wouldn't even if I could.)

Updates as events, or drops in my blood sugar, warrant.


* On the off chance that someone new stumbles across this page, let me reiterate that I have nothing against conservatism, per se. For instance, I'm attracted to "conservative" as it's related to "prudent." But today's Republican Party is neither conservative (aside from their fondness for Old Testament religious practices and beliefs) nor prudent. What this country needs is a Republican Party less afraid of women's nipples and more afraid of financial malfeasance.

* * Okay. Paper towels and razors. But not otherwise.

* * * Before anyone starts shouting, let me say that I did anticipate buying my own bon-bons. I had my own savings plans, aside from the Social Security issue. I started young and saved with reasonable generosity. Had it not been for Clinton's tech bust and eight years of Bonehead & Crookface, I would have enough to live on--if not in "wealth" at least in reasonable comfort.

Posted by AnneZook at 02:40 PM | Comments (1)
Cabin'd, Cribb'd, Confined

You have to wonder how soon the people crazy enough to win the president in this country come to regret it?

While I was honest during the campaign that Mr. Obama was not the progressive candidate of my dreams, that's not at all the same (as I should not have to say) as not wanting him to win.

Since the inauguration, I've been watching President Obama with sympathy. Caught between his vow of being committed to doing what the voters asked for, and the reality of the complex international economic collapse. Trapped between demands for peace and the impossibility of leaving the Middle East now that we've lit the match. Paralyzed by the need to simultaneously rebuild this country and almost all our international relationships. Torn between a desire for "intelligence" and the growing (albeit far too slowly) outrage over his refusal to let us, as a nation, publicly condemn the use of torture.

Hobbled by the rotting legacy of the Bush/Cheney years, he's discovered that not only can a country with a population of millions not turn on a dime, but that most of Congress is all about doing whatever it takes to make things better--unless what it takes is making hard decisions and committing to personal (or personal campaign donor) sacrifices.

He also has the Left's most enduring blind spot--the odd perception that the Right is, in any way other than purely rhetorically, interested in "bipartisanship" or in reaching across the aisle. The Right doesn't share. That's one of their defining characteristics. They don't care about working together for any common good. They don't share. My country. My god. My oil. My power. My rules. My success. My way, or not at all.

This is one in way in which I think President Obama's background of community organizing might really hurt him. At the community level, everyone is too close to the individual people whose lives are at stake to refuse negotiate in reasonably good faith. People simply must learn to compromise. At the national level, representatives (and the government overall) are simply too remote to recognize any individual whose identity isn't connected with, say, a five-figure campaign donation.

Since Republicans turned Congress into an all-or-nothing grudge match by over-free use of filibusters, many of the checks and balances envisioned by our too-rational founders are weak, at best. Bonehead & Crookface's joint efforts to castrate Congress with signing statements has left a complicated imbalance of power that, lawyers being lawyers, would probably take freeze-framing the entire country for a decade while the courts argued it out to solve.*

I don't have any answers. Just sympathy.


* "... whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within."

I'm just saying. Be careful of those checks and balances. They protect the government from the people as much as the people from the government.

Posted by AnneZook at 11:16 AM | Comments (1)