Fan Friday—Politics

Yes, I’m going there. I’m going to break a cardinal rule regarding talk of religion, politics, and money.

Okay, not the religion or money, but still . . .

I’m really, really tired of people bashing politicians—particularly the GOP. Yes, I said that. I’m a Republican. Surprised?

See, I’m a child of a mixed marriage: Democrat and Republican. As a teen, I was swayed toward the liberal side and now that I look back, I think it was just an act of teen defiance. Made for some fun times around the dinner table, since I lived with the GOP side.

At any rate, I’d like to set a few things straight, based on my perhaps limited understanding.

Republicans believe in small government. That means that we think less is better: less regulation, fewer offices and rules and bureaucracy. We believe in being conservative with money and are mostly traditional in morals and values. We believe in personal responsibility.

Now, you may say the GOP has strayed from these principles and I won’t argue. You can say that they spend too much on defense, give tax breaks to corporations, pollute with impunity.

Some of them do.

And this is my point:

Individuals are not the party. A politician, or several of them, are not the party. When you bash the GOP and say “all” of them are [fill in the blank], you are bashing ME. And that pisses me off.

For example, the GOP didn’t poison Flint’s water; a series of idiot events, presided over by idiots, did that. They happen to be Republicans? THAT DOESN’T MEAN IT WAS THE PARTY, or even ALL REPUBLICANS.

Get a freakin’ grip.

But as a Republican, what do I see on the “other” side?

Bloated bureaucracy. Regulated everything. Feelings.

A government, or an executive board of an organization, or a business, needs to be workable. Fewer chiefs, more Indians, to use a probably politically incorrect phrase. When there are departments of EVERYTHING, those everythings get confusing and expensive. Look at some of the ridiculous things that the US government spends money on—and please don’t point fingers at one party or the other. They ALL DO IT.

Pork. This is why so many beneficial, sensible laws do not get passed. It isn’t because the GOP is against feeding children, for example, it’s the added crap someone—anyone—put into that bill.

Compare that to an executive board: fifteen people all trying to agree and all voting on everything little thing instead of letting the committee responsible do its job.

Or a business. A mom and pop business, at the beginning, has mom and pop in charge of EVERYTHING; if they’re going to be viable, they share the duties or split them. The company grows, and so mom and pop simply can’t keep up with EVERYTHING, so they appoint or hire say, vice presidents. Twenty of them. All the employees are now executives, making decisions.

End of business.

Conversely, they have maybe ten VPs. And each one keeps hiring assistants or admins or whatever. No one is doing the work, because everyone has a “position.”

End of business.

Regulations and rules can certainly be good things. Christians have the Ten Commandments as a base, and even many of my atheist friends have adopted those, although maybe not in so many words or don’t claim them as such. But they certainly live good, moral lives.

No, I won’t go into morality and all that—my point is that a civilized society MUST have rules. Some. A lot fewer than we have now. We’ve all read articles about silly laws still on the books from way back in the old days. Makes me laugh to think how, in the future, we’ll all laugh about some of the current ones.

Kids pointing fingers and shouting “bang,” for example, as being grounds for suspension or expulsion from school.

And no, I’m not saying Democrats think this is okay—some do; some Republicans do too. These people are idiots. My point, again, is that SOME THINK THIS IS OKAY. Both parties.

Here’s a personal example:

When we had the bookstore, I noticed an odd charge on my sewer bill so I called and asked about it.

Here, in STLCO, all businesses are charged a fee IN CASE they are flushing chemicals down the toilet or allowing run-off into a stream or wherever.

This is not a fair or just regulation. This is an example of government gone wrong. I have no idea who came up with this or to which party he belonged.

Let’s talk about feelings.

You cannot legislate feelings. For myself, yes, I have them; I just don’t believe that everything sad that I read “breaks my heart.” My heart has been broken; whose has not? But by a person, an individual, someone I actually know—and I’m speaking in general, to compare a sad story or article to an actual experience.

Many claim that Republicans have no feelings because—may as well let it all out—for example, those same people claim that the GOP doesn’t want to feed or take care of children unless they are still in the womb.


Go back and read again about pork. And continue:

Republicans believe in personal responsibility—have children or not, but if you do, take care of them. It’s your job. Your responsibility. It is not the job of the government to take care of you or your children. Be a freakin’ adult.

And speaking of adults, either a person is a child or an adult. In most states, 18 is the age of majority. At that point, you aren’t a teen, per se, you aren’t a child, you are an ADULT. Prior to that, as a parent, you’re darn right I’m making the decisions.

From what I see, Democrats think kids should call the shots—get an abortion, no problem; have sex, go for it. If it feels good, it’s okay, do it; it’s YOUR body.

Wait, see what I did there?

I just said that DEMOCRATS believe these things, and that sentence immediately implies that ALL OF THEM believe these things!

And that, my friends, is just plain wrong.

I have many friends on both sides. I’m quite sure we disagree on many things. But very few of them will post or talk about how ALL REPUBLICANS or ALL DEMOCRATS or conservative or liberal or whatever word you want to use are evil and moronic.

And those that do, piss me off no end. They aren’t fair. They aren’t right. They merely show that they are not capable of thinking clearly or critically.



Fiction or Prediction?

This is REDUCED. REDUCED is a work of fiction. Probably. Mostly?

REDUCED tells the story of a group of people, friends, and one woman in particular, Abby. After a major government screw-up, the world has changed. No utilities, no Internet, cell towers eventually fall – especially out in the woods, where these survivors have chosen to remain hidden.

Now there’s been a lot of talk going around, especially lately in light of the recent US election. Words like “apocalypse” have been tossed up in the air, people refer to “bugging out,” and there are rumors of US economic collapse in the not-too-distant future.

Are these a bunch of fanatics? Crazy backwoods types? Maybe.

What if it really happened?

I’m not suggesting a government plot anything at all like what happens in REDUCED, but there are very real fears of an economic collapse – reliable sources have noted that food prices are likely to increase in 2013, more shortages will occur, and things, in general, could slide downhill very fast.

There are three possible scenarios that could lead REDUCED to play out in real life:

1) Soaring prices, unavailability of certain goods and services, worthless credit, vigilante law; one thing leads to the next, and so on and on. It could happen in a couple months, or six months, or a year. Or, never.

2) Outright revolution and rebellion. Certainly unlikely, but one never knows for sure. Kind of like earthquakes – in some places, the odds are greater, but you never really can be positive it won’t happen to you. Or a storm like Sandy. Or….

3) And of course, many of you remember the Cold War. A lot of talk about nuclear annihilation, bomb drills, shelters, and so forth. Another possibility.

Abby had some advance notice, and maybe that’s all some or even most of you would need. If you heard that something was imminent, you’d rush around to “prepare.” But would that be enough? Are you mentally and emotionally ready?

I’m certainly not suggesting you flee your home – not at all. After all, REDUCED is fiction. Probably. On the other hand, what would you do if your local water utility was no longer pumping or had been sabotaged? What if the electric grid went down? The cell towers? The Internet, for heaven’s sake?

Think about how your daily life could change almost overnight:

You head into the shower; what if no water came out of the tap? No shower, no brushing your teeth, no coffee.

You commute to work; what if the traffic lights were ALL on the fritz? What if cars were simply abandoned on the streets? What if gas prices doubled or your local service station actually ran out?

The temperature drops into the 20s. Your house is getting chilly about now. The power is out – no electric heat, no started for your gas furnace. Do you have firewood? A fireplace? A lot of blankets?

A long time ago, I read something like this: prepare for the worst, then hope for the best. That’s what happens in REDUCED. Fiction. Probably.