Barbarian at the Gates: Fury

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    • #394202
      Ohio Barbarian
      Moderator
      • Total Posts: 20,670

      There’s a lot fury flying around these days, for reasons both well-founded and imaginary. I’m going to tell you about mine, so maybe you can understand my attitude to the con artists that many still believe are good progressives. I’ve probably reacted a little strongly to some people here, but none of you are actually for what has happened, so if I offended anyone I am sorry about that.

      Let me tell you about two people my family knows. Their names are Cindy and Chris. Cindy is a friend of my stepdaughter’s, and is a single mom with three kids. She’s definitely not the brightest bulb in the ceiling, and when it comes to things political, she’s as ignorant as fuck, but she doesn’t deserve what is happening to her.

      She was laid off from her shitty, ill-paying job back in April, and benefited for awhile from the pandemic unemployment insurance. to Bernie Sanders on that one, for he did push for the $600/week “plus” unemployment benefit, later reduced to $300, and then it all stopped when the DC politicians chose to play their political games rather than attend to their constitutional duty to promote the general welfare. She was unable to pay her rent, and was recently evicted.

      She’d even gotten a $2000 grant from the county human services department to pay her back rent, but her landlord refused to accept it and the court, of course, ruled in favor of the landlord, so out of her crappy rental house she and her three kids went. Now they are living with three relatives in a tiny two bedroom, one bath house.

      Chris was a problem teenager we knew in Denver. After being young and stupid and getting a felony conviction for selling some drug or other, he finally got his act together years ago and got a job as a cook in the Denver Federal Center cafeteria, working for a contractor. Every time the federal government shut down, he got nothing. He was laid off in March when the pandemic hit, and lives in a tiny one bedroom apartment for the “cheap” Denver price of about $1000 a month.

      It took him two months to get unemployment, and his benefits stopped at the same time last month as those of tens of millions of other Americans did. He was unable to pay the January rent, and his landlord is in the process of evicting him. By the end of the month, this young man, who has no family he can fall back on, will be living in his car in the middle of a Colorado winter. Oh, he’ll finally get to reapply in February, when Colorado finally gets its antiquated(DOS) computer system reprogrammed, and then he’ll have to wait another 4 to 6 weeks for his first payment.

      Then there’s what I hear every day. I work in a county human services call center, and believe you me I hear it. Desperate pleas for help, but there’s nothing I can do to speed up the process of applying for aid. I hear Child Support is deluged with calls from payors who had been current until last year, but have lost their jobs and are either unable to find another one or had their own unemployment cut off. They’re worried about drivers’ license suspension or being found in contempt of court for nonpayment.

      Those folks get a little immediate emotional relief, because in Ohio Child Support is not doing any of those things for the duration of the pandemic, which makes sense. What good would it do to jail people for not paying support in the middle of a pandemic? At least on that score, the state government made the right call. OTOH, these people are entitled to have their orders modified since their incomes have dropped or disappeared, but that process now takes at least six months, longer in larger counties, due to pandemic and Depression-caused delays.

      Which means if they’re working a shitty temporary part-time job, at least half of their take home pay goes to child support. They can’t afford that, and quit and try to find jobs working under the table. I can’t really blame them.

      On the rare occasions when I can do something for them right away, the desperate gratitude of these people is overwhelming. Most of the time, though, I can’t help them. What a great job! Sorry, I can’t help you. No one in this agency can help you. If they ask who to blame, I refer them to Congress.

      Which brings me to the fury part. Back in March, progressive Democrats could have held out for some sort of UBI in exchange for all of those corporate giveaways. Don’t tell me they didn’t have the power, because they did, in both the House and Senate. All they had to do was exercise their leverage like they should have learned to do in Politics 101, and they’d have gotten something along those lines. But they chose not to do that. They shamefully, disgracefully, and I think treacherously capitulated without actually doing anything except posturing.

      They had another chance to make all sorts of demands of Nancy Pelosi in exchange for their votes for Speaker, but did absolutely nothing, except to cry about citizens on the left calling them out for their groveling subservience to power. They have no plans, none, for actually advancing progressive goals, except to demand blind loyalty, and money, from progressive voters. Now they are all on board for impeaching Trump and wasting time in the Senate in a doomed attempt to convict him, which will only make it even harder to provide some relief to suffering Americans.

      Even if they could convict him, all they’ll do is to make more of a martyr out of Donald Trump in the eyes of his irrationally fervent supporters. I fail to see what good that does. It may make some of you feel better–They got him! Own the Rethugs!–but that won’t do a damned thing to help the likes of Cindy and Chris, and that infuriates me. Again.

      Maybe, just maybe, we’ll get a one time $2000 or $1400 check, and that will be it. We will almost certainly get a new “domestic terrorism” law, which will be used to suppress dissent in this country, especially from the left, because that’s how such measures are always applied. The right wing Trumpers are really no threat to the oligarchy, but the left is, and that’s whom the government will target.

      And it won’t work. Things are bad out here in the real world, folks. If you don’t personally know anyone like Chris and Cindy, you may not realize just how bad it is, and you probably won’t feel it as those of us do who have to deal with it every day. The anger and frustration is only going to grow. I know that. I feel it in my bones.

      Meanwhile, all I see on the media are cries about how our “Temple of Democracy” was desecrated when we have no democracy, and dire warnings of right wing militias descending on capitol buildings. In fact, I imagine that’s exactly what the Vichy Dems want to see happen, so they can pass their Patriot Act 2.0 in a bid to enhance their own power, and I’m sure wealth as well.

      I fully anticipate AOC and the Squad to be all on board telling us how necessary it is. If they do, they are lying. We have enough laws on the books already; they just need to be enforced. And if it does pass, do you really think the cops are going to be cracking thousands of right wing white heads? Get real. They’ll use it to crush Black Lives Matter and jail their leaders for being terrorists. Or worse.

      As I see it, I have zero representation in Congress right now. There are those who talk a good game, but they bow to power every single time instead of actually acting to oppose it, so if they feel a little threatened right now, all I have to say is “How does it feel, assholes?” These privileged people have abrogated their responsibility to promote the general welfare, and they are abrogating it again right now by seeking to punish a terrible president who won’t be president anymore in little more than a week.

      And they’re still way better off than Cindy and Chris. Afraid of violence, are they? How about the violence they are allowing to happen to millions of Americans every single day? That is the source of my own fury and frustration, and not a single congresscritter of any political stripe is willing to lay it all on the line for people who desperately need help yesterday. Assholes. All of them.

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

    • #394209
      djean111
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 6,054

      Thank you.

      America is not a country, it's just a business. (Brad Pitt, Killing Them Softly)

      Everything I post is just my opinion, and, honestly, I would love to be wrong.

    • #394210
      sonofspy777
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 6,177

      Spineless Congressives.

      “Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.”
      ~Samuel Clemens

    • #394244
      tk2kewl
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 1,603

      Joe Biden responds to @ohiobarbarian
      “Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses? Dog faced pony soldier!”

      • #394264
        Ohio Barbarian
        Moderator
        • Total Posts: 20,670

        .

        It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

        You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

    • #394258
      Pam2
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 8,168

      @tk2kewl

      “Are there no Go Fund me pages”?

       

    • #394263
      tk2kewl
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 1,603
    • #394281
      jbnw
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 4,519

      “Christina” has been particularly hard hit, especially with the failure of the Oregon unemployment system.

      From. https://www.oregonlive.com/news/2020/08/oregon-leaders-squandered-years-on-jobless-benefits-computer-upgrade-now-the-projects-future-is-again-in-doubt.html .

      The meltdown at Oregon’s Employment Department that left tens of thousands of jobless Oregonians stranded for weeks or even months during the pandemic was, at its heart, a failure by state leaders and a dysfunctional agency to correct a computer problem they knew of for a decade, an analysis by The Oregonian/OregonLive shows.

      • #394291
        Ohio Barbarian
        Moderator
        • Total Posts: 20,670

        That goes at least as far back as Reagan and the “Starve the Beast, government is the problem not the solution” folks. Budgets for these agencies have been cut time and time again by both Democrat and Republican administrations at both the state and federal levels for more than a generation.

        There’s never any money allocated to upgrade computer systems for any agency that does anything to provide a safety net for people. Plus, the old DOS systems are hard to hack, so the governments think they don’t have to spend as much money on security. The simple fact is that all of the sudden, by bureaucratic standards, changes to who gets what benefits came so fast that there was no way to program those systems quickly. Every little fix takes weeks, if not months, because the tech is so damned old and then adjustments have to be made to get newer systems to interface with it.

        If the states had modern systems, there would be much shorter delays, but they don’t. It’s not necessarily the agencies themselves–if a top bureaucrat asks for money too loud, she’s retaliated against by the political elites and the legislatures refuse to give them any more anyway, so the old “Don’t make waves” mentality takes over.

        And people die.

        It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

        You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

        • #394297
          jbnw
          Participant
          • Total Posts: 4,519

          Personally, I suspect they will continue to get swept under the rug.

          • #394410
            Ohio Barbarian
            Moderator
            • Total Posts: 20,670

            It’s a real problem, though. If the federal government decides it wants to do the reasonable thing and expand the safety nets, they’ll have to pay for some major upgrades. I mean, there are people losing their homes because they can’t get timely help. Governor DeWine pried open the State’s wallet and hired several thousand more people to work for the unemployment office, but all that’s done is give them more people to tell applicants there’s nothing they can do.

            The state and local governments need millions of dollars to get the upgrades done. The really infuriating thing is that the cost of just one Air Force stealth fighter would probably pay to upgrade every such computer system in the country.

            It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

            You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

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