Thursday, January 6, 2011

A new year, a new start

Sky drawing I hope everyone had a good time at whatever New Year soirees you chose to attend! I was with a small group of family members at my sister's house, and we all got silly with Rock Band. It was great, as always, to see my niece Jen (she was visiting from San Diego), and I sure wish we lived closer! I also got to know a little better a young lady who I guess would be my great-niece by marriage. She was just the coolest kid, wearing an awesome hat, putting up with all of us coots...haha! It's really great to be around a cool kid like that. It gives me hope for our future.

Anyway, as far as I know, there are no pictures from that night, which I am quite happy about. Full disclosure is highly overrated.

Well, the Republicans took the reins of the House of Representatives this week. I suppose the title of this entry sounds fairly optimistic. I generally am an optimistic person, but I see very little to make me feel that way as I watch this change. I wouldn't say that I'm pessimistic; I don't believe this is the end of our country, unlike the cries we heard from the conservative right about, for example, the passage of the health care bill signaling Armageddon. Who would say such a silly thing? That would be our current Speaker of the House, John Boehner. (Just so you don't think I'm lying, that's a FoxNews link.)

I started to look for a picture of him to put up here, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Instead, I chose something pretty and non-orange.

I don't know...I listen to the things being said and I feel an odd mixture of disgust, hilarity, outrage, and disbelief. I'm doing my best to go with the hilarity part (apparently Michele Bachmann is considering a run for President...HAHAHA!), because I really want to believe that we'll get through this. The truth is that this is far from a new start. There might be a change of guard in the House, but we seem to have gone back a few decades to a time when women stayed at home and knew when to keep quiet and knew when to make sandwiches and anyone who caught teh Gay did their best to pray it away and all those black folk just plain knew their place and shut the hell up. I suppose that's a bit of an exaggeration. Oh, except I heard Boehner say in his interview with Brian Williams that aired tonight that what he wants for kids is to have the America that he grew up in.

That's coming from a guy with eleven siblings.

::sigh:: I'm pretty sure we'll be okay. There will be a lot of things happening that make me feel ill, but I believe we'll ultimately survive. What bothers me the most about Boehner's statement, one that is echoed by teabaggers far and wide, is that he and his ilk just don't seem to understand that the America of his youth (and mine, since we're about the same age) is gone. As Roland Deschain would say, "The world has moved on." Is this a good thing or a bad thing? I suppose it depends on your outlook. Although I certainly miss the simplicity of those times, and recall my childhood with fondness, I know that there have been many amazing advances in many disciplines. Socially, medically, many good things. However, the American Dream is out of reach for more and more people these days. There is a growing gap between the richest among us and the poorest. We continue to give breaks to the richest rather than asking them to pay a proportionately higher share of taxes.

Why is this happening? I was listening to a story on NPR the other day (Boehner and his cronies want to consider defunding NPR, despite the fact that only a fraction of their funding comes from the federal government...just thought I'd mention that.) that talked about the very good wages for manufacturing jobs in countries like Germany, Sweden, and Denmark. Why are they able to keep such jobs and keep the wages high, much higher than those paid for American manufacturing jobs? The MIT professor being interviewed said that although there are many factors, education is key. These countries have a highly-educated workforce, and that education continues with job training. If an employee loses their job, they are easily able to obtain another because they are highly skilled workers.

I know that there is much more to our problems than this one part, but education is certainly key. We don't place a premium on higher education, and more and more people are unable to afford it. I laughed out loud when Boehner gave Brian Williams his advice for young people, which included "Get a good education." It seems a little disconnected to be advocating a good education when your party is not only giving the super-rich huge tax breaks, it is ridiculing those with a college education as some sort of "elites," especially if they went to an Ivy League college, or happen to live on the east coast or the west coast, anywhere but Real America™, or if they frequent liberal bastions like the salons of Georgetown.

It's a big world out there, with all kinds of people, not just rich straight white (or orange) Republicans, and if we want to compete on a global level--which is the only way to compete now--we have to place a high value on education and stop ridiculing those who actually get one as some sort of "elites."


  1. The Conservatives will never get it right, they can't and there is no point in hoping they will.


I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you?