Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I just addressed a couple of get-well cards, one to my father who had surgery on Sunday, and one to a friend who is undergoing chemotherapy right now. I like get-well cards that make you laugh, because I am a firm believer in the healing power of laughter. But as I applied the stamps to these cards, it occurred to me that they might not reach their destinations for several days, because the post office is operating at a deficit, and is looking for ways to cut costs. Have they laid off any employees yet? Maybe they've reduced hours for the employees they have, or they're reducing the amount of mail they air-freight across the country each day. Any of those actions will slow down mail delivery, and if they haven't taken them yet, I'm pretty sure they will. Sooner or later.

Well, I thought. Expecting rapid mail delivery is just a socialistic impulse, right? I mean, why shouldn't I just take care of my mail delivery myself? Why depend on the government?

My youngest daughter is struggling in school right now. This is not because she's impaired; it's because she's a teenager, and being a teenager means sometimes you're going to get yourself into trouble. Being her mother, I'm trying to get her back out of trouble as soon as possible, and for this I need to deal with the counselors at her high school. Today I've called - twice - and sent an email, but no one's gotten back to me yet.

Wow, what a lousy school district, right?

Uh, or maybe it's a school district operating on the shoestring which is all our state has offered it for the last seven years. We've had to cut staff - and when we say staff, we mean administrators and counselors and custodians. We are trying hard not to cut teachers, although with my state's solvency all but gone, teachers are next. This will make it harder to pull my daughter out of the tailspin she's put herself into.

Socialistic impulse again. What right do I have to expect free public schools? I could teach her myself, and if I don't feel up to the task, I have the right to scrape up enough money to put her in a private school. Maybe it won't be a fancy, high-falutin' school, but she could go to one of the cheapies. The teachers in those won't be any more accredited than I am, but at least they're willing to do the job. And surely some of them will know the difference beween a scientific theory and a wild-ass guess.

Last night there was some kind of major emergency. I could hear sirens howling for over an hour, and when we drove over to a friend's for dinner, we saw that several streets were blocked off by emergency vehicles, and we moved aside to let an ambulance pass. I'm still not sure what happened, but I'm really (secretly) happy about our socialistic fire- and police departments. Don't tell anybody, but I wouldn't want to do without them, even though they are totally financed by taxpayer dollars.

If the government can't find a way to remain solvent, my husband could lose his job. He's a NASA employee, after all, which means he depends on the largesse of the taxpayers. His job has, in the recent past, produced a lot of good solid data which helps in weather prediction. But who really needs to know where droughts or floods are likely to strike next, or where hurricanes are heading, or now many supercells have formed in tornado alley this season? Weather prediction is just a nicety, right?

Of course, if he does lose his job, we'll lose our healthcare, because we won't be able to afford COBRA coverage without an income, and private health insurance doesn't really exist for people our age. But that's the most socialistic impulse of all - government-sponsored health care. Yikes. No way do the voters of this country want to have to pay taxes towards health coverage, even if it means they spend fewer total dollars for better, more comprehensive health care, because...

Well, just because.

So. Goodbye, services. Hello, freedom. And hello, isolation, ignorance, suffering, and death - we welcome you because socialism - in the form of pooling our tax dollars to provide services we can't otherwise provide for ourselves - is just too great an evil to be borne.

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