I’m trying to be all healthy and active and whatnot

I Read A Lot of Internets

there’s vegetable oil in my nose

Started this post last night:

I’m avoiding doing my homework because, well, it’s homework and I don’t wanna. Also, I made some chili earlier and cut up some kind of hot pepper from our CSA box to put in it. As you’re probably aware, the oils from hot peppers stay on your hands for awhile and I was, uh, digitally adjusting…something in my nostril. Now that delicate membrane is all burny and, according to the internet, vegetable oil will cut that spiciness.

So, I’m here trying not to dwell on the fact that I hurt myself picking my nose and don’t want to do my homework. I’m a grownup, dammit.

I’m actually being very academic this week. On Friday, I’m going to a lecture with Scot Brown about funk music from Dayton, OH.

Ahem. Where I was going with that is I went to a lecture by Steven Greenhouse yesterday evening. Greenhouse is the labor reporter for the NYT and wrote a book called The Big Squeeze: Tough Times for the American Worker. It was a very timely lecture, considering all that’s been going on in the past week.

I will state right now that I could probably be accused of a bias. My dad’s been a postal worker for forty years and has always been a union member. Unions are good, not just for blue collar workers but for all workers, and contrary to what I hear most people my age and younger saying, they are definitely still needed nowadays.

While I have gripes with my job, just like anyone, I realize that I am pretty lucky. I have guaranteed paid time off days, good insurance, excellent job security and it’s paying for me to get my master’s. But it’s really mind-boggling to think of myself as lucky. Aside from the possible exception of tuition benefits, time off and insurance should not fall under the category of luxuries. But they do for millions of Americans.

As Greenhouse spoke last night, he would expound on a point and would make projections about what he thought would need to happen in order for American workers, blue and white collar, to have more rights and not get screwed over so much, and then would apologize for moralizing. But it is a moral issue.

I am not an economist. I am fascinated by economics and took a few classes in college whenever I could, but I will be the first to own up to the fact that I will never fully understand how we keep this machine running. But I think on a very basic level we have people who want money and things and power and then there are people who just want to live a decent life and not get stepped on. And, yeah, I think there’s something severely messed up with the moral compasses of people who will stop at nothing to get more.

Greenhouse said that as preposterous as the Wall Street bailout sounds to those of us who will pay for it, he believed that it was necessary in order to avoid a tremendous collapse. I think he’s probably right. So I’ll hand over my share. But, I think we should be honest about what it is. It’s welfare. It’s cash assistance. And you know that I believe in welfare.

So now that the richest among us are receiving it with the full support of the government, I demand that no broke person be given shit for the pittance that they receive. The next time that I pay for groceries with an EBT card, don’t glance at my selections and judge my character. The next time that I go into the hospital and have a baby and use my Medicaid, don’t bitch about “paying for my mistakes.” Don’t get all indignant about your tax dollars and don’t gripe about the irresponsible behavior of “those people.” Because what we’re seeing on Wall Street is the ultimate in irresponsible behavior and it’s not just fucking with the lives of one person or one family, it’s fucking all of us. We’ll pay for it. We’ll fix it because that’s what we need to do. Now hopefully that minuscule percentage of your tax dollar that goes toward social services won’t seem so outrageous. Because it isn’t.

And now back to our regularly scheduled pictures of not-jizz and innuendo-laden homework.

4 comments to there’s vegetable oil in my nose

  • Andy Stowell

    You make a lot of good points here, but you need to go farther. People can get indignant about their tax dollars because they shouldnt be taken AT ALL. Look you already do everything you can for youre family in terms of time and love and support, but only 66% or so financially because the government takes that big chunk out before you get it or have any say in it and that is whats wrong. Think about what you could do right now if you got 100% of your salary every cheque. Income tax was something created years ago to support government spending, but its not needed. The govt. makes plenty of money from tarrifs and other fees and if they lived within their means they would not need to take the income of the citizens. They keep everyone bitching about how the money is spent—and its easy to foster hatred/jealous to people getting “benefits” from the government while keeping the thoughts off the real issue that there should not be any income tax at all and how would your life be better if you had the choice on how all of your earned income is used?

    • tom

      “Think about what you could do right now if you got 100% of your salary every cheque.”

      fun things like paving the road outside of my house, taking the garbage down to the dump, you know basically pay for the entire infrastructure of society that i get for my tax dollars.

      you know, there’s a really easy way for you to not pay income tax anymore: kill yourself. seriously, just fucking blow you head off. i support the right for fuckwads like you to have guns so fucking quit being a pussy and USE IT. die die die.

  • ummm…wow. I guess you hit a nerve. I am quite the believer in the fair tax as well. Also, I don’t trust the government. But what you said about this bail out being “welfare” is so true. I saw an excerpt by Wanda Sykes the other day who had a hilarious version of “welfare for the rich” and “if we bail you out, then your house is public, and we can all swim in your pool.” I loved it. We all need to maintain some semblance of humor and perspective in this deal. It will work out some kind of way. It always does. Blowing heads off of people who don’t agree with us, somehow doesn’t fit this perspective….!

  • juli

    a friend from CA sent thi to me, it makes a lot of sense so of course the goverement wouldn’t even think about it

    I’m against the $85,000,000,000.00 bailout of AIG.

    Instead, I’m in favor of giving $85,000,000,000 to America in a “We Deserve It Dividend” (WDID).

    To make the math simple, let’s assume there are 200,000,000 bonafide U.S. Citizens 18+.

    Our population is about 301,000,000 +/- counting every man, woman and child. So 200,000,000 might be a fair stab at adults 18 and up. So divide 200 million adults 18+ into $85 billon that equals $425,000.00.

    My plan is to give $425,000 to every person 18+ as a WIWD. Of course, it would NOT be tax free.
    So let’s assume a tax rate of 30%. Every individual 18+ has to pay $127,500.00 in taxes. That sends $25,500,000,000 right back to Uncle Sam.

    But it means that every adult 18+ has $297,500.00 in their pocket. A husband and wife has $595,000.00.

    What would you do with $297,500.00 to $595,000.00 in your family?

    Pay off your mortgage – housing crisis solved.
    Repay college loans – what a great boost to new grads
    Put away money for college – it’ll be there
    Save in a bank – create money to loan to entrepreneurs.

    Buy a new car – create jobs
    Invest in the market – capital drives growth
    Pay for your parent’s medical insurance – health care improves
    Enable Deadbeat Dads to come clean – or else

    Remember this is for every adult U S Citizen 18+ including the folks who lost their jobs at Lehman Brothers and every other company that is cutting back. And of course, for those serving in our Armed Forces.

    If we’re going to re-distribute wealth let’s really do it…instead of trickling out a puny $1000.00 ( “vote buy” ) economic incentive that is being proposed by one of our candidates for President.

    If we’re going to do an $85 billion bailout, let’s bail out every adult U S Citizen 18+!

    As for AIG – liquidate it.
    Sell off its parts.
    Let American General go back to being American General.
    Sell off the real estate.
    Let the private sector bargain hunters cut it up and clean it up.

    Here’s my rationale. We deserve it and AIG doesn’t. Sure it’s a crazy idea that can “never work.” But can you imagine the Coast-To-Coast Block Party! How do you spell Economic Boom?

    I trust my fellow adult Americans to know how to use the $85 Billion WDID more than I do the geniuses at AIG or in Washington DC. And remember, The Birk plan only really costs $59.5 Billion because $25.5 Billion is returned
    instantly in taxes to Uncle Sam.

    Ahhh…I feel so much better getting that off my chest.

    Kindest personal regards,

    Birk

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