Update: February 7, 2017

Where to begin. Left The Hood on Ridgeline Drive the day before Thanksgiving, 2013. Moved back in with my fiancee for life, My Valerie, her roommate Ally and Ally’s freaking dog, off Tuckerman LN, The Gables. Rents reflected the name, $1,900/month + utilities. Burned thru most of my inheritance from my Mom’s estate, covering the Rent and Utilities. Me and My Valerie moved to Fireside Park Apartments in November, $1,250/month with Gas Heat and well insulated Brick and Block construction. $150/month combined Pepco and Washington Gas bills in January. Much better than the $450/month total (bullshit) electric Heat Pump “Das Vinter Haus” on Tuckerman.

Got out of the Hood just in time. The Daughter came home from her facility for wayward youth a few months earlier. The Son who got thrown out of his “wife”‘s place moved back in. The place on Ridgeline became “the place to be” in The Hood, 24/7/365. Blasting Rap music, dysfunctional Reality TV shows, drugs, and lots of pellet gun firing practice out in back of the apartment, and 10s of “guests” on the floor, out back, wall-to-wall. The Son’s 4-year-old son dumped off every weekend by Son’s would be ebony supermodel “wife” so she could party party party til she drops. Little Travon on his own, no food, no water, daddy passed out on the couch.

So, my Golden Years. Early Social Security retirement, $1,400/month after Medicare deduction. Medicare B and D cost almost twice what my Gov’t subsidized Obama Care cost me. It don’t go too far. At least now, with the more reasonable rent, me and Val aren’t rationing food or deferring minimal material needs.

My well-off Little Brother [big bucks IT manager with Symantecs, the Norton software guys] out in California and my sons have helped me out with cash when times got critical during the past several years. It’s good to have successful and financially secure grown children. My youngest gave me his 2006 Toyota Corolla in early November. (My 2000 Saturn L1 and former “Mobile Home” during my homeless guy days) died in Feb, last year. My very rich (well, not Trump rich, maybe a 5-percenter, not a 1-percenter) Little Sister and her hard working general contractor husband have a beautiful farm out near Poolesville. My Number One Sister, guaranteed job for life/lucrative retirement (retired) teacher and her even more lucrative guaranteed job for life/retirement (retired) Federal Civil Servant hushand are retired and living good. The hubby is working part-time. hoping to Double Dip by qualifying for Social Security, on top of his lucrative Federal retirement. Hey, it’s free money and you can’t be too rich. Get on that teet and suck it! My Middle Sister and her husband, retired teachers, are doing all right.

So, for a first-born Son in a big Italian-American family, held up as the one to be like, it’s been a humbling fall from grace. My assessment: (1) poverty really does suck, (2) being homeless makes it suck more, (3) rich siblings who loved you when you were helping them out financially/emotionally/and otherwise may not love you as much when you need help from them. In fact, that $500 that would let you keep your health care for another month (MHIP), buy your meds for diabetes, high Blood Pressure, and Cholesterol, for a month, or even just let you buy some groceries, that $500 may just be too much to ask of said siblings. ‘Big Bro, you gotta pull yourself up by your own boot scraps, like we did…’

Maybe the thing that sucks the most about poverty, the harshest lesson I’ve learned from my little unplanned, unwanted, and unanticipated Poverty Experiment, is enduring the harsh judgement of those who loved you and really know better, fellow liberal Democrats they all are. The shame and humiliation of begging for money to live another month, from people you loved, helped raise, lent and gave money to, for the decades you were rich, it is a bitter pill to swallow.

And now we have a filthy rich, vulgar, likely mentally disturbed, idiot in the White House. God help us all. OK, there is no god. It’s just an expression that means: We in some serious shit now!

Peace out…

Update from Ridgeline Drive, May 1, 2013

Well, it was a little dicey there for a while here in The Hood. I thought I’d be moving back into my 2000 Saturn L1 “mobile home”. The woman who’s place I’m crashing at had told her 15 year old daughter last month that she would sign her out of the place for wayward youth she’s being held at if she could make it to Level 2 (of 4). I was a little surprised when the girl’s treatment team let her mom make that promise, given that there is no way they would agree to it, but I imagine they figured nothing else was working so what the heck. When we met Monday morning, the team let the mom “decide” to keep her daughter there to complete the program. Of course her daughter flipped out when they brought her in and had her mom tell her she wasn’t going home. (Her sixteenth birthday is this month.) But her toddler-appropriate emotional response—an infinite loop of “It’s not fair / You lied to me / I want to go home now”—was mostly sadness and despair without her usual violent threats and histrionics.

The staff had fully explained the state of the art, no tolerance, behaviorally based program to my friend when her daughter was first committed in December as I have several times since. At the intake interview they said it was possible to complete the program in 12 weeks but that a reasonable time frame was more like six months. My friend heard this as “She’ll be fine and ready to come home a manageable child in 12 weeks” and her daughter heard: “I only have to resist this for 12 weeks and I’ll be back ditching school and running the streets with unemployed 20-something year old men.” Reality and its constraints are not part of either’s belief system; magical thinking and instant gratification without personal responsibility or consequences are their way.

I’m a brutal reality kinda guy. I don’t just accept reality; I love it and its constraints. Reality is a nice frame of reference and its constraints provide some useful boundaries to operate within. Living here has been a rude awakening for me. As a trained social psychologist and informed liberal Democrat, I knew all about the dysfunction of the underclass intellectually. But to actually see it and live among it is another thing entirely. My three now grown children had more self-awareness, impulse control, and functional life skills as toddlers than these people may ever master.

I am constantly reminded of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, a theory in psychology proposed by Abraham Maslow in his 1943 paper “A Theory of Human Motivation” and extended by him and others to understand human curiosity. His fundamental insight was that there is a hierarchy of human needs starting with Physiological needs like food and shelter. If these are not met, a person cannot attain the next level, Safety needs: security of body, employment, resources, mortality, the family, health, and property. Until physiological and safety needs are met, a person cannot attain the next level: Love/Belonging: friendship, family, sexual intimacy. Only after these three needs are met can they attain Esteem: self-esteem, confidence, achievement, and respect of and by others. Finally, once all four needs are met, can one achieve Self-Actualization: morality, creativity, spontaneity, lack of prejudice, and acceptance of facts/reality. I learned of his work as an undergraduate Psychology major at Purdue University when I was 20.

For most of my Upper Middle Class life, I had never met anyone who’s Physiological and Safety needs had not been fully met. Maybe a third had not achieved Love/Belonging, which helped me greatly appreciate my upbringing and family and realize what a blessing this was. Perhaps half had not achieved Esteem, and most were certainly not self-actualized. I loved Maslow’s Hierarchy, a useful tool but more than a little self-serving since it puts people like me on top. It explains why many people are not living productive lives and helps me have compassion for them. [Before you think: “What a privileged self-absorbed jerk!” let me add that hubris is a constant struggle for me. I’m a high functional sentient/intelligent guy, but no saint or sage.]

I was pretty confident that the staff would not—probably legally could not—prematurely release my friend’s daughter. But letting her mom voluntarily face the reality that she needs to finish the entire program, with no short cuts or easy out, while wildly risky from my perspective, paid off. I was surprised at my friend’s resolve and clear rational thinking in the face of her daughter’s pleading and wailing and complimented her.

So the good news is that my friend has accepted the reality of this situation and her daughter will have to complete the program. My friend will have to attend a number of mandatory family counseling sessions and learn some functional parenting and human being skills. They both may have a shot at a productive, or at least not completely dysfunctional, parent-child relationship and this precious almost 16-year old child a productive or at least not completely wasted life. Oh, and also, I have a place to live for at least another three months…

Paying Bills

I’m just a guy trying to help out a friend. But living an upper middle class life from birth has not prepared me for the dysfunction I’m up against. A simple rule I learned as a toddler was this: You pay your bills before you go shopping at the Mall for the shit you think White People buy (because you saw it in a commercial on TV). Big important examples are rent/mortgage payments and Utility bills. I pay the past due amount on the Comcast cable bill each month when the service is cut off. I kept the Water on last month with a past due payment. Now I’m trying to keep the lights on. I gave Pepco $600 over the phone on the bill that has not been paid since Nov 30, 2012. But after talking with them and keeping the lights on, when I tried to update my friend, her response was: “I can’t talk about this now.” If not now, when?

She let her “husband” live off of her for over 17 years until she recently threw him out (again, maybe for the last time, we’ll see). Her 24-year-old son and 21-year-old daughter with an infant have lived with her for free since January 1. I don’t have a solution to this problem.

Update from Ridgeline Drive, January 21, 2013

Well, first the good news: I’m still no longer homeless, hanging in my crib here in The Hood since July, 2012; things are going well with my new housemate/friend , she’s one of the most appreciative people I have ever offered to help and fun to hang out with; her 15-year-old daughter [who’s room I occupy] is in a program for wayward youth and making glacial progress so I have the space indefinitely; and all-in-all, I have a great space to hang in. Now, the not so good news: her 24-year-old son now lives here for free—he took his roommate’s car, rammed his estranged girlfriend/mother of his 2-year-old son’s car, hit several other cars, led police on a high speed chase and totaled the car he was driving [he’s facing 6-years in jail, plus 14 traffic tickets for over $1,000, while driving on an expired Learner’s Permit but was released New Year’s Day without bail] so the roommate understandably is no longer offering to share his place; her 21-year-old daughter and that daughter’s 6-month-old daughter are also living here for free. Both are legal adults but otherwise ungrateful needy children. They moved in at the start of the year. Tasha asked me to keep the keys to “her daughter’s” car [the ownership of the vehicle is a little murky], so her son could not drive it illegally. He tried to break down my locked bedroom door and threatened to kill me with a knife when he found out I had the keys. The police officers got here really fast and the situation was defused. My door held and no Tai Chi hand-to-hand combat was required. I’ve taught the classes for over 25 years and am 6’3″ but still, the best fight is the one you don’t have. The door was the only casualty. For $64 (money and labor contributed by me of course) I have a new door and better outdoor strength lock and deadbolt. Good times…

When not dealing with homicidal rage or cleaning up after my housemates or otherwise doing the chores to maintain a household, a skill not widely shared by them, I’m taking photographs, teaching my Tai Chi classed, hanging with my fiancée, and finishing Why Women Are So Problematic: A Memoir And Whimsical Polemic. I plan to self-publish it through Xlibris later this year.

It’s still all good here in The Hood…

 

A New Day Begins

It is a new day. Obama now gets it that he has to fix this broken culture and dying Nation. The Fiscal Cliff is just the start. The slaughter of twenty innocent children and six of their teachers in Newtown has even the NRA coming to terms with reality. The Tea Party lunatics, the Right Wing Republican morons, and now even the pro-gun nuts are on the run. This is our time, and we well take it. The Rich will be taxed, the Corporations and guns will be regulated, the environment will be protected; we are going to fix this. It still won’t be easy to be poor, put it will suck less. It still will be difficult to stay in the Middle Class, but it will be possible. This is all going to get fixed, and we all will at least have a chance at survival. We came close in the late 1960s and now we have a second chance to change the world for the better.

The Horse Race/Superbowl/Infomercial

Isn’t it wonderful that as the (self-presumed, though at most once and former) greatest Nation on Earth approaches another pivotal Presidential Election, the rich and contented news media great lights—the best and brightest—once again are doing everything in their power to make this election look “razor close” to merely increase viewership. This as an Idiot Nation of Duped and Delusional Decided, and handful of unfathomably “Undecided” Voters struggle to make a simple and obvious choice. If you are one of the top 10% of Americans who control almost all the wealth and power and want it to stay that way—your home world and the rest of us be damned, vote for your people, I call them the Handmaidens of the Privileged Few [the Republicans]. If not, take your head out of the sand or your ass; reject their self-serving lies and the Capitalist myth of upward mobility; and vote for the people who will try to—and may actually—help you, or at least give a damn about you and not screw you mercilessly, [the Democrats]. Elect Democrats at every level of government; not for me, for your planet and species; and you and your descendants…

Obama Joins the Fight

OK, I slammed Barack mercilessly after his deplorable first Debate. In fairness, I acknowledge here that he had Mitt by the throat from the opening bell and—with the help of a competent moderator—kept him on his knees and beat on him without remorse for 90 minutes. Obama may still not care about the Nation or be bored with his Presidency; he may achieve as little in his second term as he did in his first. But at least he apparently cares about his manhood. We need to smash this lackey and front for the Filthy Rich and Corporations; this Privileged Rich White Boy, Mitt Romney, and his sparrow fart sidekick, Paul Ryan. We need to take him down hard. Obama is now ready to do that; good for him. He’s not very Black, but apparently he is Black enough! Let’s do this…

At Least Joe Biden Gets It

I have set the Obama Administration on fire in other web venues, especially after Barack’s pathetic “What the f#ck do I care” performance in the First Presidential Debate. (See especially http://andys-take-on-obama-nation.blogspot.com and my YouTube rant   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMU5zKcxIA8 [Obama Takes a Dive in Denver].). Few things are more political than Poverty, hence this Post.

Joe Biden demonstrated in his “debate” with sparrow fart Libertarian lunatic Paul Ryan–in the only VP Debate last Thursday–how someone who understands what elections are about–the fate of our once great Nation, conducts him- or herself. This Election is not a debate between reasonable, honorable (mostly) men; it is a moral struggle between well-meaning but ineffective Flithy Rich Democrats and evil, greedy, hateful Flithy Rich Republicans. We need to not only defeat them, we need to destroy them so completely that their grandchildren are reluctant to call themselves Republicans.

Like every large Corporation, Filthy Rich person, and Republican knows, Politics is War by other means. It is not an honorable endeavor; it is brutal, dirty, unseemly, and winner-take-all. Biden gets this in a way that contented, emotionless, passionless, out of touch with reality, and insular Obama does not. If we defeat these idiots—the lackeys of the Filthy Rich and Corporations—it will be despite Barack, not because of him. Any minority, no matter how rich, any Middle or Working Class, or poor person who does not run to the polls Election Day and gleefully vote against every Republican at every level of government deserves the fate that will befall them. [Frankly, anyone, even disinherited WASPs, who is not part of the top 1 percenters, is in denial if they believe the myth that the Filthy Rich will help them survive, let alone prosper.]

Unlike Democrats who dither and endlessly discuss what to do, Republicans, when they seize power, immediately act to slash taxes on the Filthy Rich and Corporations, roll back environmental and worker safety regulations, restrict abortion rights, and mercilessly and remorselessly rape the Middle Class and Poor. If you look at the Red and Blue States Election night, you will notice that we could have solved this problem at the end of the Civil War, when Generals Grant and Sherman were systematically killing every Southern Rebel and their sympathizers and burning The South to the ground. Well-meaning and compassionate President Lincoln, naively looking to reconciliation, stopped them from finishing the job. I am ready to re-litigate that unresolved conflict and settle this once and for all. With the Presidency in our hands and two-thirds to three-quarters majorities in both houses of Congress, I am willing to tolerate the handful of idiot mid- and far-western Red States and a smattering of Republicans in the Congress or in control of a few low population States I will never set foot in. In time, Hispanic immigration and their high fertility rate will eventually fix that too.

Poverty sucks. American Capitalism makes poverty inevitable and persistent. We can fix this people, even without a second Civil War. Just f#cking Vote; not at the 95% rates that the Filthy Rich and Republicans do, I’d take just a 65% Voter turnout for the not Filthy Rich. That turnout would defeat not just Mitt (Book of Moron follower) Romney and Paul (I support the right of a drowning man to drown without help from me) Ryan, it would sweep from office almost every Republican at every level of government. Don’t do it for me; do it for you, your children and grandchildren, for our Nation and the Future of our species and Home World. Do it while you still have the right to vote. Just do it!

A Modest Taxation/Deficit Reduction Proposal

Everyone complains about the Tax Code and The Deficit, but no one in Washington is willing to do anything about it. Here is a simple solution: soak The Rich and Corporations with a truly Progressive Tax system, just like Republican Theodore Roosevelt and his cousin FDR later once did to save the Country from the greed of The Filthy Rich.

Personal Taxes

Federal Income Taxation

1)     Income Taxes are based on total calendar year Household Income from all sources, with no distinction between wages and passive income.

2)     All deductions are eliminated, with two exceptions: the personal and dependent deduction is doubled, with a cap of three (3) dependents, and charitable contributions (only for households with gross income in the bottom 75th percentile).[1]

3)     The Tax Rate for Households with total income at or below the Median Income is Zero percent (0 %).

4)     The Tax Rate for Households with total income between the Median Income and $100,000 is Twenty percent (20%) on all income above the Median Income.

5)     The Tax Rate for Households with total income between $100,000 and $250,000 is (4) above for the first $100,000, and Twenty-five percent (25%) on all income above $100,000.

6)     The Tax Rate for Households with total income between $250,000 and $1,000,000 is as proscribed in (5) above for the first $250,000 and Thirty-five percent  (35%)  on all income above $250,000.

7)     The Tax Rate for Households with total income between $1,000,000 and $10,000,000 is as proscribed in (6) above for the first $1,000,000 and Fifty percent (50%) on all income above $1,000,000.

8)     The Tax Rate for Households with total income above $10,000,000 is as proscribed in (7) for the first $10,000,000 and Seventy percent (70%) on all income above $10,000,000.

Federal Inheritance Taxation

Much like the tax treatment with Total Income, the Inheritance Tax Code is as follows:

1)     The first $1,000,000; Tax Rate Zero percent (0%).

2)     $1,000,000 to $5,000,000; Tax Rate Twenty-five percent (25%) on everything above $1,000,000.

3)     $5,000,000 to $10,000,000; Tax rate up to $5,000,000 as in (2), over that, Fifty percent (50%).

4)     Over $10,000,000; Tax rate up to $10,000,000 as in (3), over that, Seventy-five percent (75%).

Comments

The message in this proposed Federal tax code is simple and clear: obscene income and wealth are not acceptable on a finite planet with finite resources and most people struggling to survive. You can still steal it, you just don’t get to keep it or pass it on to your greedy descendants.

All assets are determined by the IRS before the new laws take effect and frozen within US borders until the laws are implemented. Any citizen who chafes at The New Rules here is free to leave the Country, they just forfeit 50% of all their assets to the IRS on the way out and we send them a Hallmark Farewell and Best of Luck in your new home card.

The penalty for deliberate Tax evasion is five (5) years in a real prison, in the general population, so help you God.

The States

A consensus on my above proposal could be implemented in just one National Election cycle, all that would be needed is for We The People to wake up and freely elect a 2/3rds Progressive Democratic majority in the House and Senate and a Progressive Democratic President with some balls. Similar reforms could be implemented in Blue States if their residents overthrew the corrupt State elected officials owned on-the-cheap by local special interests and elected real reformers.[2]

Corporate Taxes

Alright, you get the idea; I bet you could write this part yourself. But it’s my Dell Inspiron Notebook…

1)     Right-wind Supreme Court Justices’ fantasies to the contrary, Corporations are not People. In a modern Democracy, they are publically chartered organizing principles intended to provide safe and useful goods and services at an honest price to the public and well-paid jobs and benefits to their workers for The Common Good—not to enrich the few at the expense of the many.[3]

2)     Given (1), with the exception of a handful of environmental and real expenses like infrastructure/facilities, plant modernization, and wages/benefits deductions, no deductions or write-offs for anything, especially Senior Management compensation.

3)     Corporations with Gross yearly Earnings below the median pay no Federal Taxes, over the median to $50,000,000, 15%; $50,000,000 to one billion dollars 25%; over one billion dollars, 35% of net earnings.

4)     The penalty for deliberate Tax evasion is five years in a real prison, in the general population, for every Senior Manager and member of The Board of Directors, so help you God.

5)     Any Corporation can relocate out of the Country; they just forfeit 75% of their material assets and their final year net earnings to the IRS, and place in escrow 100% of their last year salary/benefits costs for the benefit of their displaced workers. We send them a Hallmark Farewell and Best of Luck in your new home card.

6)     The penalty for deliberate evasion of (5) is 10 years in a real prison, in the general population, for every Senior Manager and member of The Board of Directors if total assets are less than one billion dollars. If greater than that sum, the penalty is Life in a Maximum Security Prison without chance of parole or Death by televised Public Execution for every Senior Manager or Board member with prior knowledge of the attempt to flee the Country with our assets.

The Deficit and National Debt

It is assumed that the new Tax Code will provide enough money to run the Country at current spending levels with a surplus, if not, marginal rates with the same progressivity will be adjusted up to 100% if need be, to balance the budget. If the confiscation of all assets of the Filthy Rich and to a lessor extend, just most of the assets of the Way Too Rich are not sufficient, across the board budget cuts for all Federal Programs will be automatically implemented.

To pay off the national debt, an ongoing Wealth Surtax of five percent (5%) of actual Net Worth per year for every citizen with a net worth in excess of $1,000,000 will be implemented until such time as the National Debt is paid off or every citizen with a net worth over $1,000,000 has paid everything they own above that amount to the IRS. In that event, the Federal Government will announce that it will either stop paying any interest and all debt will be converted to interest-free instruments, or it will default on any debt owed to an entity which does not accept the no-interest option.

Some Final Thoughts

I’m pretty confident that I will not be getting a call from the Obama Administration after we win the November Election to discuss my modest proposal. The point of the exercise is to demonstrate that it is a lack of political will and consensus that prevents us from living in not a utopia but at least a functional modern Western Democracy like our Canadian neighbors to our north. I do not envy Barack his riches or beautiful family. I cannot ask him to make or even risk the sacrifice that JFK and MLK Jr. made to try to save America. They were true Leaders, who saw their purpose as transcendent and more important than even their precious lives. Barack is a smart guy, but he is no JFK or MLK, Jr. He will ineffectually and half-heartedly try to save the Country, but in the end he could care less about us and is betting that his wealth will protect him from the coming storm. I am confident he will lose that bet, but you and me—my children and grandchildren and yours—will die sooner and badly, though maybe not worse, than will he and his loved ones. Maybe he can finish his second term, pass a few meaningless incremental laws like the convoluted “Health Reform” Law he wasted all his political capital and most of his first two goddamn years in office dicking around with, sign another book deal, and make another few million dollars before this all comes crashing down. But like me, I bet he will not die peacefully and an old man. The time has run out, the bill has come due. The Have Nots will soon have nuclear weapons; they have already brought the fight to our shores and demonstrated that they have had enough.

Though I am a Zen Buddhist, Jesus was right about at least one thing: Love is not the key to Heaven; it is the only way the world can work. The hateful, greedy Filthy Rich and Corporations, abetted by their hand-maidens, The Republican Party, have broken our Nation, Economy and Home World. They are not going to let us fix it; we lack the will to force them by ballot or at gunpoint to do so. Obama blathers about bi-partisanship even as they bend him over and rip off his pants. This is not an honest debate among well-meaning reasonable people; this is a mortal struggle between the forces of Reason and Madness; between Good and Evil. In the past our species has taken on such challenges and prevailed. Today I fear we lack the will, courage, and stomach to do so.


[1] You can still have nine children and let Grandma live with you, you just only get a tax deduction for three (3) dependents. Poor Hispanics and others (Mormons and members of other culturally archaic Patriarchal Fertility Cults for example) with more than three children can have them, just not on the government’s nickel. The Filthy Rich can still have their Foundations and “Look How Generous I Am” charity projects, just for the glory, again, not on the government’s nickel.

[2] The first part is not a fantasy, it happened after the Great Depression when FDR and my Party saved the Country from the greed of the Filthy Rich and Corporations. As for the second part: I say Blue States because I assume we will eventually have to re-litigate the already fought and won Civil War, only this time finish the job. We evacuate Blue State supporters; then annihilate the Red States, killing every single Red State supporter or sympathizer once and for all—like we could and should have done in the 1860s when Union Generals Grant and Sherman were burning The South to the ground and well on their way to finishing the job; and lastly, rebuild and re-populate the devastated former Red States with self-volunteered functional citizens. Unfortunately for us and our Union 150 years later, these great generals and their mighty armies reinforced with tens of thousands of freed Southern slaves were stopped by President Lincoln’s misguided compassion, preserving the historically archaic ignorant/racist/anti-intellectual-science-reason-facts-reality/religious fundamentalist culture we are still having to fight every election. We don’t have to educate/enlighten/convert them, we just have to have the will to either throw them out of The Union through forced Secession or kill them. I personally have a preference, but freely acknowledge it may just be the Philly City Boy Yankee in me or the fact that I suffered over a decade among these unenlightened and ignorant Red Neck Flat Heads while in Indiana in late High School (Lawrence, IN) and an undergraduate and graduate student at Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN).

[Please note that I originally published this before the November 2012 election. Now that We The People  have rejected Romney/Ryan decisively, I’m prepared to simply propose a State-by-State plebiscite whereby any Red State can vote by two-thirds majority to voluntarily secede from the United States. After a two-year transition to allow for Blue State sympathizers to move out and all Federal assets to be removed, these States are out. They can form a Third World Theocracy, maybe call it Jesus Land…]

[3] For an extreme and wonderful illustration, see how Corporations act and are treated in Japan, a nation whose people we dropped two atomic bombs on at the end of WW II killing hundreds of thousands.

Update from Ridgeline Drive in The Ghetto, October 10, 2012

Well, let’s see. My crashing rights here are extended indefinitely, the 15-year old girl (Gina) whose bedroom I occupy will soon become a ward of the state and mercifully will not be coming “home” to this hell-hole, her dysfunctional mother incapable of doing the simple things Gina’s professional keepers at RICA urged her to do. [I won’t go into her step-father, the Haitian lunatic Tasha has clung to for 17 years, whose presence may perhaps explain Gina’s over sexualized young body and shattered soul, but without her testimony cannot be brought to justice.]

Everything I have tried to do here for Tasha has instantly become an entitlement. Now, even the few skills she once had–like loading the dishwasher and running it once every dish, pot, and cooking utensil was dirty, or taking out the trash not twice a week as scheduled by the City of Gaithersburg, but at least once a month when the stink became unbearable–has been lost and replaced with “Andy will do it if I just wait”. Having lived here for less than three months among the people my Party, the Democrats, taxed hard working Middle Class citizen’s wages to shovel money to in the name of compassion, I understand their (the Middle Class’) rage and believe their continued irrational desertion to the handmaidens of the Filthy Rich and Corporations, the Republicans, is justified.

To say this ongoing needs-based misadventure has been a rude awaking is an understatement. Mitt Romney is wrong about almost everything, but he and the Republicans are dead right on about one thing: you cannot help people who will not help themselves. The dysfunction here in The Hood is unfathomable and an affront to me as a functional human being. It is a moral outrage that challenges me to my core. Yes, poverty, lousy parents, indifferent teachers, even racism–it all is unfair and totally sucks. As a trained Social Psychologist and Liberal Do Gooder I understand all the excuses and post hoc explanations. As a Buddhist I understand the need for compassion, but I also understand the need for dispassion. I cannot end other peoples’ suffering for them. At some point every person has to decide to transcend their surroundings and the limitations their environment has imposed, get off their ass, let go of their excuses, and take control of something, anything, within their control.

As toddlers, my three children in the early 1980s, my slightly older 4-year old step-son in the early 1990s [once I got him under my roof], and my five grandchildren now in a new Millennium, had more self-awareness, impulse control, and ability to make rational choices and think not magically but logically than the Philistines in whose midst I find myself ever will or could, even at gunpoint. To my fellow Liberals I say this harsh Truth, the lifeboat is not going to hold everyone, start preparing yourselves to make some difficult but necessary draconian choices. For the functional and productive among us to survive on a crowded and limited planet with finite resources and pissed off dispossessed masses numbering in the billions, more than a few dysfunctional people are not going to make it. In fact, I dare say few of them will join us if we manage to survive.