But for now, this headline from MSNBC could have referred to Illinois last week. No one wants to raise taxes in this environment so the formula has become 'cut social services+cut health care+cut education+defer (or simply not) pay some debts+borrow to the hilt=(temporarily) balanced budgets. I say 'temporarily' because I expect next year to follow the pattern of the last several years. Illinois has had a budget crisis every year since I returned to this area ten years ago. And I noticed that the news media did not make a big issue of the fact that the pols announcing the budget deal also indicated that some venders, many of those that provide state sponsored child care for the working poor, will not get paid at all. Does anyone remember the whole 'welfare to work' so-called 'reforms' that gained strength during the Reagan administration? Part of that included subsidized child care so that mothers on welfare could leave their kids for paying work. Now the programs that enabled that are on the chopping block. There was a quote from a Chinese source in the piece I directed you to yesterday to the effect that they 'could not afford' to concern themselves with equitable compensation and working conditions for their poor and/or working classes. We don't put the matter so baldly but I don't see much of a difference in the destination to which our actions are leading us. At least two states have indicated that we can't afford such concerns either.
On a---different(?)---note, take a look at this article that had both Mom and Me chuckling. It brought back memories of my childhood when, before some of the interstates opened, our family spent Dad's two week vacations with his folks. It took about 8 hours to travel between their homes and ours. We started off from home about midnight hoping to get there in time for breakfast and left for home just after breakfast hoping to get home in time to get some kind of supper before unloading the car and going to bed. Dad hated to stop for anything. Soooo, when any of us kids simply couldn't hold it any longer he pulled over to the side of the road where, hopefully the weeds or bushes were tall enough to provide a bit of privacy (more important for us girls than for the boys). Gas stations with public restrooms were not all that plentiful and rest stops were non-existent at the time. I wonder how many motorists will be forced 'back to the future.'
John Aravosis at Americablog relates the kind of tale that makes one want to swear repeatedly and loudly. He also makes the comment that has been echoing in my mind as I listen to the inane and asinine comments I have been hearing in the various debates on health care reform. All of the idiots in the anti-reform camp rely on a very few totally-ridiculous arguments that anyone with an ounce of common sense could refute. One of those arguments is that, if the reform programs go through, we will have bureaucrats inserting themselves between the patients and the doctors. Now, the last I saw the definition of 'bureaucrat' did not restrict this creature to government agencies. And, as John's story makes clear, the insurance companies have their own sub-species of bureaucrat that is already inserting themselves into the health care equation between doctor and patient. I agree with John. There is NO functional difference between the two. They simply occupy different 'habitats.'
Last night I saw something else on the news that leads me to question the education some of my fellow Americans have received--especially in the area of English word usage. The story featured a protest outside a meeting a conference titled (paraphrased, because I am not sure of the exact wording) 'the destruction of capitalism and the rise of Islam.' Many of the protesters evidently equated capitalism with democracy with America. My dears, these are not synonymous terms. They may occur in conjunction; but there is no guarantee that the political entity known as America has always been (is now or will always be) democratic and capitalistic.
To shift gears a bit, I just found this post at Subversive Stitchers, a blog I keep on my reading list. The pictures are absolutely wonderful and I am definitely going to do some research on the techniques of 'confetti art.' I also keep small pieces of fabric that would be very difficult to stitch otherwise. This might just work out for a couple of projects I have had rattling round my brain for a while.