Congratulations, Baucus…You’ve Made Me Feel Like A Conservative…

September 23, 2009

It’s not an easy thing to make someone as generally left-leaning as me feel like a conservative. But I’ve got to give some credit to Senator Max Baucus here. Congratulations, Senator, you have made me feel a connection with the right wing like I haven’t felt in years. And all it took was the decision to levy a new tax in your health care proposal that goes straight to the insurance companies. 13%, in the current proposal. Although thanks to recent pressure, Baucus now says he wants to try and reduce that to 12% or below. Gee golly willickers, Mr. Baucus…that one percent reduction in money being funneled straight out of my pocket to a private insurance company really makes it better. I’m much more supportive now. <cough cough> It just makes me feel so much better. <hack hack>

The conservative movement tends to get motivated to battle every time new taxes are suggested. Personally, I don’t. Yes, I think taxes suck. Anyone who pays them cannot deny that it sucks every time you have to write that check, or click that “submit payment” button each year. And yet, I am a realist. I understand that, as much as it sucks, the things that we ask government to do have to be paid for somehow, and I have to be a part of that payment.

In general, people start talking about taxes with the “family of four” option. Let me begin by saying that I cannot speak to the situation in which a family of 4 finds themselves, because I’m not a family of 4. I’m a single individual, living and working (as much as I can) in Los Angeles. As a 29 year old individual, I have very few friends who are families of 4. Most of them are, if anything, dealing with child number 1. And I don’t make the 300 percent above poverty level to put myself into the 13% tax level in Sen. Baucus’ proposed plan. But, much like Joe the Plumber, I hope to make that much in the next few years. Unlike Joe the Plumber, that’s a fairly attainable goal. It would mean increasing my yearly income by about $8,000. That’s pretty attainable by most standards, especially considering my age and position in the industry I am in.

That being defined, let’s do the math. The federal poverty level for a single individual is $10,300. Baucaus’ plan suggests taxing those at 3 times that by 13%. 3 times $10,300 is $30,900. 13% of $30,900 is $4017. The most expensive plan with Kaiser/Permanente, which has no deductible, includes prescription coverage, and has small co-pays is $216/month. That comes to $2,592/year. Under Baucus’ proposal, I would be paying $1,500 more per year directly to an insurance company. Yes, I said directly to the insurance company. The 13% tax cannot be used for deductibles or co-pays. Which brings us to the area I find myself connecting with conservatives right now. I don’t mind being taxed. But when that tax is going directly into the coffers of a private corporation, I have a problem. That’s no longer a tax. It’s corporate robbery. No wonder insurance company stocks have been rallying over the last few days. Then, to add insult to injury, that tax is actually more expensive than what I could pay now. Isn’t the whole idea of health care reform to reduce the cost, not inflate it?

The other change Baucus is making to his bill is to increase subsidies on families below the poverty level so that they don’t have to pay the 3% he was asking in his first proposal. Sounds good, right? Until you look at what the “poverty level” is. $22,050 for a family of four. $10,300 for an individual. Look carefully at that number. When you have to start defining “poverty” in $50 increments, I think we have a problem. Dinner and a movie for two people costs more than $50. Yet if I make $22,100 for my family of four, that puts me over the poverty line. Gotta be at that $22,050 mark…that extra $50 apparently makes all the difference. But wait…let’s do the math again. If I’m a father of two, making $22,100, then 3% of my income is $663. Taking that away from me puts me back into poverty, by government definition. And if I’m an individual, making $10,3100 per year, then that 3% is $309, which again puts me into poverty when taken from my check.

All of this, however, begs to ask: could you live with a family of four on $22,050? I make around that as a single individual, and I struggle enough to pay my bills. I live with two roommates in order to offset housing costs. It’s still a struggle just to exist. If I made $22,050, my rent alone would be 36% of my yearly income, with roommates factored in. If I had no roommates, the 3 bed/2 bath apartment I’m in would cost $23,400 per year. For those who can’t figure it, that’s 6% more than the $22,050 poverty line for a family of four to live in a place that gives each child their own room, with mom ‘n dad taking the master. Willing to make the kids room together? Average rent for a 2 bedroom apartment here is $1,416. That’s still 82% of yearly income if you make $22,050/year. To force people who are in that position to pay anything out of pocket in order to get health insurance is, quite frankly, so disconnected from reality that I have to wonder exactly what it is that Sen. Baucus is smoking.

So why force people at that level of poverty to have health insurance? Simple. If we don’t, then they end up in the emergency room, uninsured, when Dad gets sick with the flu and has to miss work (’cause if it’s Jr. that gets sick, we’re probably already paying for him through SCHIP). And since they can’t pay, those of us with insurance do. That seems to be one of the least understood or at least talked about points in the health care debate. What we have is three basic choices: either make sure that these people are insured through some kind of public option that, while not the quality of care that a Wall Street executive gets*, is still enough to provide basic care so that they can call a doctor and schedule an appointment when Dad gets sick; pay higher insurance premiums so the hospital can find some way to balance their books when someone comes into the ER (remember: emergency rooms are prohibited by law from denying medical care to anyone because of lack of insurance. They just tack it onto the bills of those of us with insurance. Next thing you know, our premiums are growing at rates far greater than our paychecks, and we end up cash poor because our insurance premiums are rising so quickly while our salaries remain stagnant); or drop the laws requiring treatment, allow people to go uninsured and untreated, and let people die because they couldn’t afford medical care. Yes, it really is that simple. You don’t want to read stories in the paper or hear about people dying because they didn’t have insurance and couldn’t afford medical care? Be prepared to pay for it, one way or another. Because if they can’t, someone has to.


I Am An American Conservative

September 21, 2009

(Note: I did not write this, it’s been going around the internet and I found it to be quite clever.)

This morning I was awoken by my alarm clock powered by electricity generated by the public power monopoly regulated by the U.S. Department of Energy.

I then took a shower in the clean water provided by a municipal water utility.

After that, I turned on the TV to one of the FCC-regulated channels to see what the National Weather Service of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration determined the weather was going to be like, using satellites designed, built, and launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

I watched this while eating my breakfast of U.S. Department of Agriculture-inspected food and taking the drugs which have been determined as safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

At the appropriate time, as regulated by the U.S. Congress and kept accurate by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the U.S. Naval Observatory, I get into my National Highway Traffic Safety Administration-approved automobile and set out to work on the roads built by the local, state, and federal Departments of Transportation, possibly stopping to purchase additional fuel of a quality level
determined by the Environmental Protection Agency, using legal tender issued by the Federal Reserve Bank.

On the way out the door I deposit any mail I have to be sent out via the U.S. Postal Service and drop the kids off at the public school.

After spending another day not being maimed or killed at work thanks to the workplace regulations imposed by the Department of Labor and the Occupational Safety and Health administration, enjoying another two meals which again do not kill me because of the USDA, I drive my NHTSA car back home on the DOT roads, to my house which has not burned down in my absence because of the state and local building codes and Fire Marshal’s inspection, and which has not been plundered of all its valuables thanks to the local police department.

And then I log on to the internet — which was developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration — and post on Freerepublic.com and Fox News forums about how SOCIALISM in medicine is BAD because the government can’t do anything right.


Where Obama Went Wrong With The New Generation

September 18, 2009

It’s been a while since I’ve sent waves through this area of the new world. To sum up the reasons why: facebook, iPhone, lack of at home based high-speed internet connection, becoming a member of the new freelance (aka “gig-based”) economy. Checking in became difficult, but don’t get me wrong – I have not checked out. In the modern day, it’s awfully hard to check out.

I have kept up with affairs. I’ve watched the debates, heard the arguments, seen the tin-foil hats (hell, in past days I even wore a tin-foil hat and mask through WalMart at 2 am one night with friends because we were bored). At this point, I know little more than I did before. I know we are embroiled in an argument over the reform of the “Health Care System”. I also know I have a distinct problem with this statement. That problem is that it implies we have a system for health care. I don’t know what the encounters of others have been with this “system”, but I’ve never found the “system” that organized beyond the corporate structure of individual companies. Keep in mind, the definition of “system” is: “a group of independent but interrelated elements comprising a unified whole”. Try and get your insurance company to work with a specialist who is the best in the area, but not a member of their network. You will find out very quickly how much of a “unified whole” we have in this country.

If it has not become blatantly obvious at this point, I agree that this country needs some serious reform (or, as I opine, creation) of a health care system. President Obama seems to believe the same. Most of Congress thinks the same as well. No one can agree on how to do it, but everyone agrees it has to be done. So…where did it all go wrong?

It has been suggested to me that the lack of interest from the youth vote that helped to elect Obama is a part of what has allowed the debate to again become so polarized. To this, I must say – I agree. Momentum generated supporting Obama during the election has begun to wear down. College students don’t give as much energy to the campaign goals as they did to the campaign itself. Accepting this, the question is: why?

There are many reasons why the youth movement is no longer as active in Obama’s goals as they were in his campaign. The first, and possibly the most obvious yet easily overlooked, is that it is just that time of year. The election and campaigns are held at a time when students are: in school; involved in the world; being educated; surrounded by piers and intellectuals; involved in clubs that enable social action; on campus where they can set up booths and use bullhorns. On the flip side, the health care debate has been during a time when students are: on spring break; studying for finals; taking finals; preparing to leave to for summer; at home for the summer trying to make money to cover student loan costs and give their parents a break. Is it really a shock to find that the college vote that helped elect Obama is far less active during the next 6 months?

The first reason being established, the second reason should be more complex. Being the bearer of bad news, I have to say…it’s just as simple. Obama’s camp has become the spam capitol of the e-world. In doing so, he has destroyed a lot of credibility with the new digital age that helped elect him.

Please, re-read the statement above. I mean it. It has gone too far. Every day it’s a new e-mail from the Obama camp. We need your help with this. We need your help with that. What it should read is “we don’t remember that you’ve just gone through civics class, and you think that you should really only have to stand up to protest the US Government at times when it is absolutely necessary”. Unfortunately, right now doesn’t feel absolutely necessary. “Why?”, once again becomes the question. The answer, once again, may be simpler than you think.

We, as the new generation, live in a world that is inundated by Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace updates. The whole world, in effect, has become spam. Everything comes to us, at our whim. There is no longer a question of “who was that actor in…?”, because one of us will hit up IMDB on our phone and answer the question. Information is readily available, whether truthful or otherwise.

It then gets categorized by importance. Importance is defined by popularity. And quite frankly, daily updates from the Obama camp asking us to write our congressman in support of issue X do nothing to bring us in. We need Obama. We don’t respond to an e-mail from Lindsay Lohan’s assistant telling us she’s drunk at club XXY. But the drunk twitter from Lindsay herself will get hits all night. Don’t take me wrong – I don’t think anyone in Lindsay’s state of power sends their own Tweets. Lindsay’s publicist, however, is smart enough to not let us in on the secret. It is in this impersonal/personal duality that Barack has lost the new generation that he rallied during the election.

In the time of the election, the choices were obvious. Change was promised from a youthful leader who understood how to rally the new generation and use the new medium of technology to bring about a personal connection with government that had never been seen before. Those who supported the president knew, via a new medium, his plans at the same time the news agencies found out. We were in direct contact with those who could be in power. It felt great. It was empowering. We felt as though we could change the world, and continue to have an impact. We elected our leader. You may now reach him by going to http://www.whitehouse.gov/CONTACT/. Ask for the change we believed in – the kind where politics becomes personal, and our voices don’t simply echo through the noise chamber.


“Virtual” Reality?

November 15, 2008

Stretch. Crack the back, roll the neck around. Shut off the damned alarm. Take solace in fresh coffee; give thanks to digital timer on coffee maker. Release the latch, and gently guide the lid of the box upwards. The silver rimmed LCD world awaits, glowing through its matte lens. Open the browser expecting to see your favorite portal, but instead, there is only a 6 word frame. No external links, no further explanation. Welcome to the Brave New World.

Ok, it hasn’t happened yet. And it doesn’t have to be that sinister. But, it might be time to start a cultural discourse on just how virtual this new reality we are creating really is. There have been a number of events lately that have made me giggle at the way the online universe was spilling into reality. There were the two Dutch teens who were prosecuted for stealing an amulet in an online game. And then the Japanese woman who was jailed when she hacked his account to kill her online husband after he dumped her in the game Second Life. But two events tonight made it even more apparent just how blurred the line between reality and virtual reality has become. 

The first is a story of online love, real life marriage, online private eye work unveiling possible online cheating, leading to real life divorce. It is, from CNNs account, a soap opera of a story that seems to jump from real worlds to virtual worlds in a way that is so confusing, I had to read the story twice just to decipher which events occurred in reality and which events occurred in cyberspace.  Unlike the previous examples, it is not merely a story of someone who is prosecuted for hacking or other illegal activities stemming from something they did because of an online game. There is no stolen intellectual property or violated privacy to prosecute. It is a classic human drama of love and loss. It attests to the very ability of this increasingly linked world of technology to connect with us on a human level. The emotions felt by both parties in this story are as real as those in any failed marriage. And yet they began, revolved around, and ended through interaction in a virtual world. But the woman’s faith in the virtual world has not been shaken too much. After using a virtual PI to catch her non-virtual husband having a virtual affair, she “is now in a new relationship with a man she met in the online roleplaying game World of Warcraft.”

Which leads us into story of the night number 2. World of Warcraft (WoW) creator Blizzard Ent. just held their annual “Blizzcon” convention of WoW fans. And wow, are there some fans. 

bc4_500x500No, the above picture is not part of a “caption this” contest (although feel free to caption in the comments – it’s ripe for humor). That is the Blizzcon costume contest winner riding on her “animatronic tortoise mount“. Keep in mind that the costume and tortoise mount were created and funded by a private party for a costume contest at a fanfest. The amount of work required to make something this elaborate is no small matter. In fact, it is more elaborate than many of the floats entered into the Rose Parade that are funded by cities, groups, or corporations and assembled by teams of volunteers.

As humorous as these examples may be, they point to something deeper. This world of 1’s, 0’s and pixels is as real as any other we’ve created. And the repercussions are equally pertinent. The music business may have been the first to realize it. They were certainly one of the first to react. Unfortunately, that reaction was fueled by fear over the lack of control the corporate structures had of this new form of delivering music. A brief historical synopsis:

Back in 1999, a new service hit the scene called Napster. Napster allowed people to freely trade files over a growing open network, aka the internet. A large number of files being traded were copyrighted audio recordings. The major labels feared this new assault on their control of distribution of recorded material, especially when songs leaked before their official release. Their reaction was not one that attempted to embrace this new method of information delivery. Instead, they tried to shut off the tap. Lawsuits against Napster and its creators ensued, and proved to be only the first in a series of lawsuits brought by the industry and it’s lobbies (RIAA) as the industry attempted to grasp the intellectual sand that slipped from it’s fingers. The labels left a 2 year gap between the time Napster was shut down (2001) and the time they finally came together to provide a digital download service with the help of Apple through the creation of iTunes (2003). In that time, album sales continued to fall, and illegal downloading increased. This trend has not been reversed, and the music business is wondering how it will remain a valid entity of business in the new climate. It is a mistake that even the major labels have come to realize, as evidenced by their response to music videos showing up on YouTube. Instead of suing and attempting to shut down the service, all 4 major labels made licensing deals with YouTube.

The effect of the virtual world on the real world is further evidenced by the recent presidential campaign and transition of power. The Obama campaign embraced the virtual world of communication in a way no other campaign ever had. In fact, the campaign had amassed such a large list of email addresses that the list was used as collateral towards a loan (which did not end up being needed, and as such was not taken) during the end of the campaign. And President elect Obama has continued to show that he understands how important the virtual world is to motivating the modern citizen. The transition website is but the most obvious example of this deference to the importance and reality of the world of new media.

All of these things make it clear that we have created a new reality. As with all realities, it is only as virtual as we believe it to be. And we are believing it to be more and more real. And as with all new realities, this new virtual one has the potential to move humanity in any number of directions. Unlike previous realities, however, this new virtual world bends at the direct influence of the will of its users. It has not yet been steeped in tradition. It is still able to run amok, providing an anarchic playground in which any voice can be heard. As technology increases, the ability to create competitively flashy content to bring to this unregulated show and tell is placed into the hands of more people.

In theory, the public has always owned the media distribution networks. Technically, the broadcast networks used by radio and television are owned and controlled by the taxpayers. But we handed our controlling interest in the old networks over to corporate surrogates and federal regulators long ago. The results have entertained us for decades. They have also given control of our first virtual worlds (radio, then television) to outside interests and have left the average citizen with no real voice in the media world. But the new media printing press has been created and handed over to society to use as we see fit. It will bend to and reflect our will. It is up to us to make certain that reflection is something we want to see.


A Word About Experience…

October 31, 2008

For those who missed it because they either think he’s a left wing nut, or find him offensive, or just don’t find him funny…go back and check out the interview with Barack Obama on Jon Stewart’s show. There’s a lot of interesting things to be taken from it that I haven’t noticed from many of the other interviews. The title of the post is a word on experience so, here is my word on experience. Obama has aged lately. A lot. The Stewart interview showed it in a way I’ve never really seen before. I don’t know if it was because the interview was in a place where the lighting wasn’t fully controlled, or the makeup people didn’t have the time to sit with him they way they wanted or what, but it shows in his face and in every grey hair on his head. The man who looked so youthful and embodied a sense of being fresh, new, and inexperienced isn’t looking so green anymore. He looks aged, and the signs of the experience of the last 2 years are glaringly obvious.

And yet, it’s not over. Both parties tell us this, and guess what…they’re right. The majority of us still haven’t voted. It’s still dragging on. It’s been the longest campaign season ever. The candidates have done more appearances, given more speeches, raised more money, spent more money, placed more ads, analyzed more polls, and held more debates than ever before. And there’s still a large number of “undecided” voters 5 days before the election being courted by both sides. If the effect of the longer campaign was that we, as a populous, were better informed about the candidates than ever before, then why are there so many questions about their candidate that even supporters can’t answer? Recycling talking points for months longer doesn’t help us.

The experience given to both sides by this campaign is readily visible. As someone who grew up with a great respect for John McCain, it has saddened me to see him shaken in a way never before. I’ve watched and wondered how McCain could continue to follow campaign advice that went against everything he stood for. But when I look back on it now, I’m not surprised. The sheer length and toll of this campaign season is something that no one can walk away from without having years taken from their life. And I’m beginning to think that, in McCain’s case, it has taken years from his judgement. I wonder just how different things would have been if both candidates hadn’t been suffering from a forced exhaustion, and had been able to have the best of their wits about them. I honestly think if that was the case, McCain would have a much better chance. It is possible, even, that the selling of Sarah Palin would never have succeeded. And my respect for Sen. John McCain might have grown instead of dwindled. 

Campaigning has always been hard. Candidates have always had to travel and stump tirelessly. It’s what running a successful campaign is all about. But with each passing year, this process is elongated. Any reasonable person must begin to wonder – is this really healthy for our country? It is right for the public to know the person they are voting for. It is right for us to be informed, and for our leaders to know that they must speak to us, frankly and candidly, before we decide on election day. But is it right for us to require them to endure 21 months of sleepless nights, jetlag, and mental and physical exertion that is beyond pale? If either of these guys were Hollywood stars, they would have been on hiatus for exhaustion long ago. Personally, I don’t want the next leader of my country to enter into office already exhausted. I don’t think it’s a smart thing to do. Being president is an exhausting enough job in the best of times. Whoever wins the next election will undoubtedly be taking on the most exhausting job in the nation. Let’s do ourselves a favor, and stop wearing them out before they ever get there.


What’s In A Word? UPDATE

October 30, 2008

UPDATE – See #3 for update on Palin effigy story – it’s been taken down after a similar effigy was brought out of the homeowner.

As I search for answers to why our country is so divided lately, and many other issues, I have run across more than one person who tries to remind that “it’s only a word”. They seem to suggest that the language we all use in our discourse is of little import. Whether it is the feminist who defends the usage of the word dude, the liberal who defends saying conservatives have wrecked the country, or the conservative who defends talking about members of the other party using words like terrorist and socialist, I find the same problem with all of the arguments. People seem to be forgetting how much words matter. Give me liberty or give me death only had to be uttered for its importance to be felt, its speaker did not have to die. Our nation, after all, was founded on words. And we debate those words constantly. If words were clear, and held less meaning, there would be no need to debate what constitutional amendments mean. And we would never be able to add new ones. Words mean so much, and yet lately, they are being thrown around so flippantly. Politicians are calling their opposition “Godless” with no base in fact. With the country in dire straits, our words matter even more. Our words (and those of our talking heads, pundits, and media outlets) help set the tone of the country. But I am guilty of my own sins. I’ve become so dismayed by the acts of a few, and by the tones of politicians, that I’ve forgotten that there is still a rational base in this country who aren’t buying it. So, for those who, too, have become dismayed – fear not. The list below contains links to stories of people who have done something about this. Some are every day citizens, some are media pundits, and a few are even politicians. 

1. Obama’s 30 minute ad. Stop for a second thinking about Obama’s politics, and whether or not you disagree with the direction he would take this country. Watch the ad with only one question in mind – what kind of tone does it set? I was heartened to see that Obama’s ad didn’t contain partisan attacks. The closest he came was when he pointed out what most of America has already realized – the policies of the last  8 years (and, in terms of many policies, longer than that) have not worked.  A majority on both sides agree with this statement. It is why McCain has tried to distance himself from Bush. The rest of the tone of the ad was a thoughtful message of hope. There were 0 attacks against the other party or candidate. Not a great one along the lines of Roosevelt’s Fireside Chats, but a beacon in the darkness of tone that has become so prevalent.

2. Connecticut congressman Shay’s, a Co-Chair of John McCain’s campaign, has denounced the way the campaign has been run. It is hopeful to see a politician calling out his own party for their campaign tactics. From what I have read, Shay’s has run a very clean, honest, and thoughtful campaign in Connecticut. While I don’t live there, and wouldn’t have the chance to anyways, this act of bravery would be enough to make me considering voting for Shay’s even if I didn’t agree with his stance on policy and issues. Right now, we need more of this kind of bravery. And the ideas of both sides are going to have to balance each other out if we are going to salvage our financial dignity, and our dignity in the eyes of the world.

3. A handful of neighbors in the West Hollywood community where the effigy of Palin has been hung demonstrated against it by holding up sheets attached to large poles to shield it from view. These people bring yet more hope that we can use peaceful means to say “I respect your right to free speech, but this is unacceptable in this community at this time”. UPDATE: I’ve now seen two different reports as to why the effigy has been removed. One is from protestor Larry Tomkins, who could be argued to have taken it a little far in the opposite direction. Local news has reported that Tomkins showed up outside with a similar strung-up effigy of the homeowner with a t-shirt that asked “how does it feel?”, and has had interviews with Tomkins. However, another outlet reports that the effigy was taken down (according to the mayor) after the mayor of West Hollywood had a “long conversation” with the homeowner earlier tonight. In all honesty, I’d prefer it if the real reason is because the mayor came out and sat them down and had a little talk with them. Either way, the homeowners are definitely feeling the overwhelming response of the community – they will give no interviews (anymore), no access, and have holed up in their homes. If enough of us decide we won’t accept this kind of thing, on any level, from any side, we can make a difference. And it’s nice to know that at least one elected official did certainly show up and talk to them, to say “this is unacceptable right now – you’ve gotta knock it off”. A note, however – there is still a giant (and very well done) visage of McCain coming out of their chimney with flames escaping around him. This one doesn’t bother me near as much, and doesn’t seem to bother the people of the community either. But honestly – a flaming political jack in the box chimney around Halloween (especially from an openly gay couple in a heavily gay community – the gay friends I have get that joke, as it appears does the community in WeHo) doesn’t hold near the fear mongering as a politician being symbolically lynched. I’m glad to see that the community has responded, and been heard.


I’ll be trying to find other such stories. Any who read this, please, if you know of more, add them to the comments list and they will be added to this post as an update. Let the list of hope begin.


America, When Will You Stop Fighting Your Freedoms?

October 28, 2008

With great respect, credit, and acknowledgment given to Ginsberg, and apologies for my postmodern destruction – a modern update on Ginsberg’s form. Any lines in quotes were lifted without change from Ginsberg’s America – all other phrases have been modified.



America I’ve given you nothing and now I’m all that’s left.

America seven hundered billion dollars and we’ve lost our sense, October 2, 2008.

I can’t lay down with my own mind.

America when will we end our internal war?

Go flog yourself with your petty talking points.

I don’t feel good and it bothers me.

I won’t write my poem till we’re in our right mind.

America when will you be anthemic?

When will you donate your clothes?

When will you stop digging your financial grave?

When will you be worthy of a million of your excesses?

America why are your news sources full of fears?

America when will you take your eggs from your idols?

I’m sick of your inane discourse.

When can I go into the supermarket and buy what I need?

America after all you and I are not more perfect than the next world.

Your machinations are too much for me.

You’ve made me want for a saint.

“There must be some other way to settle this argument.”

Buckley is in arrears and I don’t think he’ll come back it’s sinful.

Are you being sophomoric or is this some form of practical joke?

I’m trying to come to the purpose.

I refuse to give up my intellect.

America stop pushing we’ll figure out what we’re doing.

America the sky is not falling.

I haven’t read the newspapers for months, only their online daily trials and murders.

America I feel sentimental about Chief Wiggums.

America I used to be collateralized when I was a kid and I’m sorry.

I smoke new media every chance I get.

I sit in my house for days on end and stare at the roses on my LCD screen.

When I go to the MSM I get indoctrined but never get learned. 

“My mind is made up there’s going to be trouble.” 

You should have seen me reading Maddow. 

I can’t afford a psychoanalyst, but I’m perfectly right. 

I won’t believe in Laissez-Faire. 

I have mystical visions and comic inflations. 

America I still haven’t told you what you did to Uncle Sam after he left with Reason.


I’m addressing you. 

Are you going to let our emotional life be run by TMZ? 

I’m obsessed by TMZ. 

I read it every hour. 

Its homepage stares at me every time I slink past my email account. 

I read it on my phone in the bathroom of the Pasadena Public Library. 

It’s always telling me about irresponsibility. Movie stars are mediaworthy. Heiresses are mediaworthy. Everybody’s mediaworthy but me. 

“It occurs to me that I am America.” 
I am talking to my blog again.


Asia is bailing me out. 

I have only a chinaman’s chance. 

“I’d better consider my national resources.” 

My national resources consist of two joints of mass media millions of buzzwords 
an unpublishable no longer private literature that goes 1400 kbps and 
twentyfivethousand mental institutions. 

“I say nothing about my prisons nor the millions of underpriviliged who live in 
my flowerpots under the light of five hundred suns.”

I have abolished the freedom of language, tangential thought is the next to go. 

My ambition is to be President despite the fact that I read Agnostics.


America how can I write a holy litany in your angry mood? 

I will continue like your hegemony my catch phrases are as individual as its
conclusions more so they’re all different sexes 

America I will sell you hegemonies $2500 apiece no money down on your old thoughts 

America free Tom Brokaw 

America save the Socialist thinkers 

America Socrates must not die 

America you risk becoming the Scottsboro Boys. 

America when I was seven momma took me to privatized education they 
sold us music a handful per half hour a half hour costs a dollar and the 
recitals were free everybody was atonal and embarrassed about their performance
it was all so sincere you have no idea what a good thing the inspiration 
was in 1987 Ms. Jeanie was a grand old lady a real musical Mother 

Ayn Rand made me cry I once saw Intelligent Conservatism plain. Everybody must have been a spy. 

America you don’t really want to stay to war. 

America it’s them bad Terrorists. 

Them Terrorists them Terrorists and them Muslims. And them Terrorists. 

The Terrorist wants to eat us alive. The Terrorist’s power mad. He wants to take 
our cars from out our garages. 

He wants to grab Ohio. He needs a Red Reader’s Digest. He wants our 
auto plants in Lebanon. Him big bureaucracy raping our fillingstations. 

That very good. Ugh. Her makes Immigrants learn read. Her need blasphemous spending bills. 
“Hah. Her make us all work sixteen hours a day. Help.” 

America this is no longer entertainment. 

America this is the impression I get from looking at the internet. 

“America is this correct?” 

I’d better get a second job. 

It’s true I don’t want to join the Army or flip patties in precision food 
factories, I’m farsighted and philanthropic anyway. 

America I’m putting my fear firmly at my heels.