Sunday, October 19, 2008

Interregnum: Trip Interrupted by Trip and Cold Water and Politics

I promised to blog but I'm so far behind I'm trying to remember remembering the details of my journeys--devil's horns under my seat--but it will all come out, Woodstock and California and the adventure of living without hot water for 6 weeks. Stay tuned, loyal reader. But in the midst of these interruptions, I interrupt myself with a rant:

I. The Free Market is My Weakness

Economic crisis? What crisis? A serious depression would have been the free market solution they've been promising all along, because a true free market is absolutely Darwinian and mercilous. Now we find out how those free marketeers react when they step out into the real wild: "Help me, mommy." Every promontory leads to an abyss and woe to those without precious metal parachutes. Most of us carry lead and bears are at the bottom, snarling, hungry.

In summary: capitalism, of course, capitalism, Capitalism, Capitalism!, CAPITALISM! CAPITALISM! CATACLYSM! Oh, socialism. . . . Better red-(faced) than bread (lines, that is). Just think of the "bailout solution" as, like, ANWR's for banks, where cash can still run free, protected by fiscal rangers to keep out the greed poachers and the financial "drill-baby-drillers."

I suppose. Better if someone had figured out ideas of balance and fairness, you know, like, rules, like, say, in baseball, where competition reigns, but you generally don't get four strikes and you have to stop at second if the ball you hit bounces over the center field wall.

Look, the free market isn't all bad. It's great for ipods and fast cars and boner pills and giant fake breasts and anal bleaching and baldness and cell phones and single malt Scotch and reality TV and make-up and golf clubs and fine, leather fetishwear and all things chia.

It's just lousy for antibiotics and health care and education and nation building and natural disaster recovery and our voting procedures (those softwares are a protected trade secret, your honor). You don't want someone looking in your jaundiced eye saying first, "We've got a spectacular new ocular peroxide treatment that will take that yellow out, pronto, Susie. No one will ever know you have scirrosis." You don't want Blackwater thugs on the streets of New Orleans with semi-automatics and immunity and no clear chain of command (that's a trade secret, your honor).

Yes, the free market can do some things better, but certainly not everything. And it's funny how so many of those so-called free marketeers adulate the military so much, despite the fact that it's the biggest social(ist) program in American history, despite Donald Rumsefeld's attempts to auction as much as possible to the least competant but most well-connected bidder. It's hippocrazy season again.

II. Christian Fundamentalism (What would Jesus Do [without you]?)

Clearly, if you were are a born-again, fundamentalist evangelical Christian who believes that global warming is God's will and Barack Obama is the anti-Christ, don't you have to vote for him? I mean, if you're completely right about prophecy included in a selected anthology compiled a few hundred years after quasi-historical events? Don't you have an Obama sign in your yard? Clearly, God isn't omnipotent enough to handle Armageddon without your personal intervention, which is why you're so interested in Israeli politics, after all. Clearly, that "Render unto Caesar" detail wasn't about separation of church and state. It certainly was not about that Roman governor who sentenced your community organizer to death. So, yes, a true believer and avid reader of Left Behind books would have to vote Obama.

III. Rovey Wade

This is the most egregious fake political issue in history. This is where liberals are most conservative, and conservatives most liberal. Roe vs. Wade is a conservative decision. It keeps government out of your decisions as long as possible. The government has no business, as it were, in your lady business, period (no pun intended), or lack thereof (ok, intended). I'm pro-choice and anti-abortion with respect to my own personal decisions (nuance alert: I don't believe life begins at conception, nor do I confuse seeds with trees, and I am, to follow through, snipped), but I don't presume to impose my personal values out of inspired self-righteousness on others. In fact, I have yet to meet anyone who is truly pro-abortion, who would like to see abortion figures increase (though many pro-lifers are for the death penalty and would cheer more executions; go figure).

The problem is, pro-lifers are being manipulated (Karl). No one tells pro-lifers that Roe vs. Wade also protects women from forced abortions. No business in your business? Why should it work for the free market but not for your body? Ok, it doesn't completely work for the free market (see above), but I don't think anyone advocates late term abortions as a method of birth control, either (though, ironically, post-term abortion [capital punishment] remains popular). A significant personal and spiritual ambiguity exists here, and a decision should respect a woman's choice and her faith, whatever it is, and should ultimately strive to preserve her health. Roe v. Wade does that.

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