Politics

I’m really feeling crushed tonight by what’s going on in Washington.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/254605/cispa_passes_the_house_what_you_need_to_know.html

http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/17/politics/senate-guns-vote/index.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/17/tommy-tucker-north-carolina_n_3101083.html

And a few weeks ago, there was this travesty, http://www.snopes.com/politics/business/mpa.asp
and this one, not caused by the government but watch the government fail to punish Exxon appropriately for permanently damaging the homes of hundreds or thousands of Americans for decades, because they have no idea how to clean up their own mess. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/17/us-exxon-spill-pipeline-idUSBRE93G0YF20130417

Do you feel represented by the senators and congressmen in Washington? I at least used to feel represented by the president, but I’m not so sure anymore. I don’t feel like anyone in Washington works for me. I feel like they are working for no one but themselves, which ends up meaning they work for corporations and special interest groups to line their pockets and keep themselves in office in spite of how the population would vote in a fair political fight.

It’s been over four years of virtual deadlock in congress, and meanwhile the country is suffering. Unemployment is still high, education at *every level* is unacceptable, veterans returning from wars we shouldn’t be fighting and can’t pay for are unable to find work, and have a very hard time getting medical care, and an even harder time getting mental health care for the invisible scars they gained on the battlefield. People are frightened about the future of their health care, of their social security. Students have debt they feel helpless about paying off, and many of them accrued that debt earning degrees that aren’t helping them get work. Rape culture and misogyny are still disgustingly prevalent in society, and abusive cop behavior seems endemic in many cities. Look at the numbers in this article. http://rockcenter.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/15/15848051-prosecutor-leads-effort-to-test-long-abandoned-rape-kits-brings-justice-to-victims?lite Uninvestigated rape-kits. Thousands of them. When you know how frequently rape doesn’t even get reported, I hope it makes your blood boil to know that so many cases when it *was* and this evidence was collected, NOTHING was done with it.

There are so many problems we’re staring at, with so many seemingly obvious solutions. Take money from the defense budget! It’s obscenely bloated, and it would help fix so many problems. But every day we make more enemies, so every day that budget is more and more justifiable. There are hungry people everywhere in the country, but stores and restaurants and even people throw out good food every day! Can’t we redistribute, make everyone happy? Well, even if the food itself is ‘free’ at that point, the cold/hot storage, packaging, transportation, and logistics of such a distribution are not. That would be better done as a grass roots, private citizen project, which people are already doing.

Dumpster diving. Taking home leftovers from farmers markets, and giving what they don’t need to people they know are in a bad spot. No government involvement, no corporate sponsorship, no grants, but good is being done and the community is healed just that little bit. Is that the answer then? Stop relying on the government to be the answer, and spend a little more time giving your neighbors a hand? It’s easy to say ‘I don’t have the time’ for that, but the thing is, if you had three or four neighbors looking out for you, you *would* have the time. It’s a return to the village style of living, where neighbors depended on one another for everything from childcare to sharing tools to sharing meals. It feels unnatural, and I bet it would be damn uncomfortable for most of us, even for a long time, but it could go a long ways towards propelling us into a better world.