09 May 2011

the sweet sweet taste of revenge

over the course of the past week or so, i've read articles and op-eds, witnessed posts on facebooks, and listened to the words of angst - from even dear friends - that some inner turbulance, something deeply troubling, keeps them from celebrating the death of bin laden. i've even felt judged by them, as though some moral superiority separates their reservations from my profligate thirst for blood. so for all of you seraphs standing on your celestial high ground, i've one question for you...

where the fuck were you on the september 11, 2001, when i woke up to the vision of planes crashing into the world trade center? when my heart shattered into a thousand bloody shards as every sense of safety, security, and innocent faith in my country were ripped from my bruised and battered soul? when a sadness i can't even begin to articulate settled into my life, where it remains today and everyday for the rest of my life?

i lost something that day i will never have back. a certain kind of innocence, a blind faith in the invincibility of my america. a belief that our freedom, so wondrous in its immeasurability and universality, was the road to the world's salvation. 'twas a beautiful naivety. so pure, and knowing how purely irrecoverable, i saved the newspaper printed in the wee hours of september 11, 2001, before it happened, so's to hang onto some memory of what life was like before tragedy struck our shores.

but it wasn't just that tragedy struck our shores. it's that someone so evil, someone so consumed by his own egotistical need to blame someone else for that which ailed him, that he lashed out at us, stripping the innocence of an entire people, whilst ripping the souls from more than 3,000 of my american brethren. and in celebratory retaliation for what? because my country has an army base in the land of his birth (a land that didn't even want his ass)? because his part of the world has so long been mired in unrelenting sectarian bickering that it's torn its borders and its people since the beginning of time? and how is that my fault? and how is attacking me and my country going to solve anything?

thing is, it's not. it never was. it's always been just an act of evil committed out of rage, out of impotence. osama bin laden couldn't do anything for his own people, so he took it out on us. and i fucking hate him for that. and i will never stop hating him for that. nor will i ever stop celebrating that america looked him right in the eye before blowing the fucker out of its socket. and i will never be sorry for relishing his death by my country's hand.

never. ever.


peace out farm subsidies

i am and have always been opposed to federal subsidies to america's farmers. it's not that i dislike farmers or dislike food, it's that i am enraged by the effects of these subsidies on a variety of other government programs, and their resulting financial and health-related burdens.

let's start with corn. the u.s. government subsidizes about 50% of the corn produced in america, at a cost of about $10 billion per year (much of which is subsidizing ethanol, which in and of itself is a stupid and wasteful attempt to ween ourselves off of oil). of that amount, between $1.5-$3 billion per year is for full-stop corn. and what is it that we do with all that corn?

we make popcorn. we have corn on the cob, creamed corn, and corn mash. and we have high fructose corn syrup, also known as the fattening poison used to make soda, potato chips, unhealthy juices, and other high calorie, zero value foods that are priced so cheaply that they present themselves as the best options to those least able to afford to eat healthy. and why is this a problem?

because the consumption of that shit has resulted in societal obesity, an increase in type-2 diabetes, and an across-the-board increase in medical costs - much of which falls back on federal and state governments who are subsidizing medical care if not full-stop paying the medical bills via medicaid (i mean, it's a bigger problem with the poor, who are the ones benefitting from the low cost of junk food). which also means that i'm paying for it, not just with my tax dollars, but with higher insurance premiums and co-pays, and costlier services for my own health care.

which is, in a word (or three), complete fucking bullshit!

more simply put, costly government farm subsidies = even more costly government health costs = higher taxes and higher healthcare costs for you and me.

there are many other associated costs of these subsidies, ranging from trade barriers to encouraging inefficiencies in farming, to the destruction of fertile farmlands (these big ass farms destroy the lands with chemicals and overuse), and the devastation of small farmers (here and around the world) to the benefit of the corporate big-money farms. in the end, we lose, our government loses, poor countries lose, our health loses, and the market loses.

so let's take away the subsidies, put $10 billion per year back in the government coffers, and let the market right-size the value of america's farms and the fruits of its labors.