Life Suck

As contractions of the national and global economies grow more severe, their impacts are felt more painfully by more people. The same is true here at Civil Tongue. Blog creation is not a money making venture, most bloggers blog out of the need to share something, the need for community. As always, I, your lowly blog author, am available for all sorts of analysis, research and writing – please inquire by posting a quick comment (I can then respond to your email), but my own personal struggle against this economy is not just philosophical – it is also painful in reality.

The last time I had full time employment was before 9/11. My industry was heavily affected by the attacks and I was laid off, then rehired part time. This was adequate for many years because I had my first child four months after 9/11, and my next a couple of years later. Before 9/11, my husband and I were comfortably middle/upper class.

Ten years later and I no longer own a home, we have both been laid off, and are definitely in the low income tax bracket (when we can get work at all). The descent has taken an absolutely devastating toll on my family in other personal, less quantatative ways. We are a poster-childish family of how things fall apart in the current economy involving nearly every major collapse that has happened in the last decade (hey, at least we didn’t have huge investments).

It’s time to stop pretending that I am doing “just fine”, I’m not. This hurts like hell. It is very sad and difficult for me to guide my children and family to a more positive and secure future. Their education, interests, and personality are all relative to how well they will do in the future and I no longer have the resources to provide what’s best or even mediocre.  It’s time for us to let our friends and family know how bad it really is. It’s time to walk across the street to the Joneses’ house, knock on their door, tell them that we can’t keep up with them anymore, offer a truce (like a dinner invitation), and make real friends that don’t compete materialistically – friends that share and support one another in tough times.  I know it may be severely outside your comfort zone.

I’m writing this outside of my comfort zone, but also necessity. I no longer can promise daily posts. My resources are limited and while my heart is in this work, I may have to scrub toilets, stand waving in a Little Ceasar’s costume, or be a gopher for someone. I am taking any and all work that I think I can physically complete – and even that work is few and far between. The work is often poverty wages, so I will likely be busier and busier – probably just fine with corporatists that would like a loud mouth like myself to just shut up and go away (or die- I certainly don’t have health insurance though I have some serious health issues).

For my fair and loyal readers, how I might work this out is to have a few “real” posts per week where I attempt to analyze and make some relevant points on political framing and the current news of the day.  The rest of the days I will do less time consuming posts and just line up some of the poignant news stories that I wan’t to elaborate on, but don’t have time.

As always, I welcome guest posts – especially well thought out and well written ones that are different than my belief system. If you have one, again, let me know by comments.

Government is not bad or good inherently, it is necessary to live together with billions of strangers with some basic universal concerns collectively though through. When those governments cease to help the People, it is time for them to change.

Here are a few stories that I have strong feelings about, how about you?

Mosquito Drones

A team of researchers at the vaunted Johns Hopkins University - in conjunction with the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Arlington, Va. – is helping develop what they are calling an MAV (micro aerial vehicle) that will no doubt have loads of uses, up to and including the usurpation of privacy rights by the Leviathan State.

Initially though, it’s thought that MAVs will be incorporated for use by the military, for situations when stealth is of the utmost importance. The tiny drones could effortlessly infiltrate urban areas, where dense concentrations of buildings and people, along with unpredictable winds and other obstacles make it impractical, if not impossible, to use a standard-sized drone. Domestic uses include search-and-rescue operations and, of course, observation.

How small, exactly? Well, a graphic on the site of the Air Force research agency features what looks to be an electronic mosquito.

Oregon Man Gets Jail Time for Collecting Rainwater on His Own Property

Collecting rainwater can get you in legal trouble in Oregon. A court has sentenced a southern Oregon man to 30 days in jail, and a fine, for maintaining 3 illegal reservoirs on his property. Amelia Templeton of Earthfix reports.

Gary Harrington has told the court, and newspapers that he was just storing rainwater to use for wildfire protection. But rainwater is what fills most of the rivers in Oregon, says Tom Paul with the Oregon Water Resources Department. And you can’t divert its natural flow it without getting permission first.

Paul: “If you build a dam, an earthen dam, and interrupt the flow of water off of the property, and store that water that is an activity that would require a water right permit from us.”

Paul says one of Harrington’s dams was 15 feet high. And the dams were capturing water that flowed into a nearby creek, which belongs to the City of Medford. Harrington is appealing his jail sentence and fine.

Learn more: http://nwpr.org/post/southern-oregon-man-sentenced-jail-time-illegal-rainwater-reservoirs#disqus_thread

Is Algebra Necessary?

This debate matters. Making mathematics mandatory prevents us from discovering and developing young talent. In the interest of maintaining rigor, we’re actually depleting our pool of brainpower. I say this as a writer and social scientist whose work relies heavily on the use of numbers. My aim is not to spare students from a difficult subject, but to call attention to the real problems we are causing by misdirecting precious resources.

The toll mathematics takes begins early. To our nation’s shame, one in four ninth graders fail to finish high school. In South Carolina, 34 percent fell away in 2008-9, according to national data released last year; for Nevada, it was 45 percent. Most of the educators I’ve talked with cite algebra as the major academic reason.

a definitive analysis by the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce forecasts that in the decade ahead a mere 5 percent of entry-level workers will need to be proficient in algebra or above.

See the opinion piece here: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/29/opinion/sunday/is-algebra-necessary.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1

8 thoughts on “Life Suck

  1. Robert Malt says:

    Thank you for posting this, and I am sorry to hear about your struggles. Unfortunately, this is the new reality for millions of people in America…and it will get worse before it gets better. The developed world is going through a massive debt destruction deleveraging. This is what happens when an economy is built on debt and fiat money….asset bubbles, phony prosperity, malinvestment of precious capital, false economic signals, and booms followed by inevitable busts. As I have said since the 2008 financial collapse, this is the beginning of America’s second Great Depression. The only way to prevent this from happening again is by ending the Federal Reserve system and returning to sound money.

    • Amy Meier says:

      I am not up to date on the “audit the fed” campaign. I know it passed the house, but don’t know the outlook in the Senate.

      I wonder if that will produce anything.

      And thanks for the empathy.

  2. lokywoky says:

    Sorry to hear about your circumstances. I think there are a lot of people who have stories to tell, myself included. I hope you find something to do that will help you and your family out.

    However, auditing the Fed and ending the Fed are not the same thing.

    I am all for an audit. I am not for ending the Fed. What I am for is for the Fed to actually do both parts of its job. It has been doing a rather poor job of managing the money supply, and has been doing nothing about taking care of the supply of jobs in this economy – which is the other half of its mandate.

    I would prefer that it actually have an oversight structure or an independent Inspector General that has some accountability that would make sure it performs both parts of its mandate – and has to report to Congress from time to time on what steps it has taken to do each part.

    As far as our money – there is nothing wrong with it. It is perfectly sound right now.

    • Robert Malt says:

      Lokywoky writes: “As far as our money – there is nothing wrong with it. It is perfectly sound right now.”

      WOW. All I can say is WOW. The dollar has lost between 96 and 98% of it purchasing power since 1913 when the Federal Reserve Act was passed. And whle I don’t know the exact figure, the dollar has lost significant purchasing power in just the last 10 years.

      O.K. Lokywoky, I’ll make you this deal. If you think the dollar is sound, then in 3 years, I’ll trade you $1,615 (the current price of 1 oz of gold in dollars) for 1 oz of gold. Deal?

  3. Rikard Linde says:

    Hey Amy! As usual your writing is interesting and eloquent but this time it was hard to read, you’re living through something that no one should have to experience, I’m so sorry. It’s also hard to accept that someone like you, with so much knowledge and wisdom can go without a good job. I really hope things improve for you and your family.

    One idea to consider is doing something similar to what Joe did when he wrote the Progressive Handbook, start a Kickstarter project like a book or maybe a series of reports.

    http://www.cognitivepolicyworks.com/handbook/

    http://www.rockethub.com/projects/596-the-progressive-strategy-handbook-mobilizing-to-take-back-america

    http://www.openleft.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=20910

    I realize you might not have time or energy to do it but it could be worth a shot.

    Rikard

  4. rikardlinde says:

    Hey Amy! As usual your writing is interesting and eloquent but this time it was hard to read, you’re living through something that no one should have to experience, I’m so sorry. It’s also hard to accept that someone like you, with so much knowledge and wisdom can go without a good job. I really hope things improve for you and your family.

    One idea to consider is doing something similar to what Joe did when he wrote the Progressive Handbook, start a Kickstarter project like a book or maybe a series of reports.

    http://www.cognitivepolicyworks.com/handbook/

    http://www.rockethub.com/projects/596-the-progressive-strategy-handbook-mobilizing-to-take-back-america

    http://www.openleft.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=20910

    I realize you might not have time or energy to do it but it could be worth a shot.

    Rikard

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