Friday, October 29, 2010

The Articles of Confederation

The lesson of history is... no learns it.

Here you've got tough times for the Baby Boomers. It was never supposed to be like this. The 21st century was supposed to be clear sailing right into the time of the Jetsons, living in sky apartments, and driving flying cars, and getting entitled government goodies that no one had to work for or be taxed upon.

Instead, we got a depression, with savings and pensions wiped out,  a less than rosy future. And so these pampered, privileged, worst-day-better-than-the-best-3rd-worlder's-best-day, fat, soft, pink, slow, giantly-huge-buttocked lardasses go and fall on the floor, stamp their feet, hold their breath, turn blue, scream, and have a proper Tea party tantrum. Because We Ain't There Yet!

And I'm picking on the Tea Party Republicans (yes, they are a Republican faction, make no mistake) again and again and again because, quite frankly, they are not helping the nation in any way whatsoever.

They are, in fact, with each dumb decision, with each selfish piggy little grab at power, with each pouty whiny little obstruction, sending the United States of America daily closer to a fascist dictatorship....



You know what? This isn't helping.

Granted, I do think that the current batch of so-called "libertarians" and "conservatives", having drunk the Neoliberal Koolaid for the past 30 years, are seriously fucking up this country. And in a perfect world, in which a just and wise deity rules and metes out eternal punishment to his beloved creations, the koolaid would have made them all just... DROP DEAD in their tracks at the first sip. But this ain't a perfect world.

The biggest problem is that we do have examples of what happens when government is indeed limited. And a real conservative, one who wishes to conserve the best traditions and institutions of this country, would choose to examine history warts and all. You know, examine our history rather than cherry-pick to justify his fucked up worldview. Honesty is the best policy, and all that.

Kind of reminds me of my own lesson in honesty. I had a job interview once upon a time, where one of the questions I was asked was about a rather large gap in time on my resume.

"I notice you have nothing listed for the period from 1982-1984" said the interviewer, "What were you doing then?"

I could have bullshitted my way through that question, blaming the Reagan recession for lack of employment, or saying I was on sabbatical, or hiatus, but I told him the truth.

"I was an unemployed alcoholic at that time, living in the basement, sponging off my parents, and smoking a lot of dope", I replied.

"Oh! Well, I can't fault you for your honesty!" Got the job, too.

Here's another. I had to attend a meeting with a boss who was just a complete sadistic asshole, if, and here's the qualifier, he found out you were bullshitting him or trying to foist off responsibility. I'd heard that regular attendees would often puke in the bathroom before the meeting. We had a problem closing out the business cycle due to a computer error. Once it was my turn on the griddle, and he asked me why we were not closing the books of the year.

"I fucked up".

"Oh," he was completely disarmed. "What are you doing to fix it?"

I told him what I was doing to fix it, and got out of the meeting unscathed.  So, honesty works more often than you would think.

Okay, so honest appraisal of all data. Ever wondered why, we've never had a Libertarian Utopia? You know, a paradise of privatized social services and limited government? Anyone?

Well, we did.

We tried it. It didn't work. It was the United States under the Articles of Confederation.

It was our missing piece of time that we are embarrassed to list on our resume. We ended up unemployed and  alcoholic, living in the basement.

Look it up.

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