Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Arcade Fire -- Wake Up

Usually the songs I happen to be listening to while typing these entries don't mesh well with the subject matter. But today, "Wake Up" fits rather well.

Someone like John McCain, who is really a mainstream Republican, comes off as a real maverick these days, what with his insistence that the government cannot spend oodles of money for Katrina without finding it somewhere. McCain thinks the place to look is in porkbarrelcrap like Alaska's infamous "bridge to nowhere," a $223 million dollar project to build a bridge as long as the Golden Gate Bridge to connect an island of 50 with the town of Ketchikan, which only has 8,000 people. They already have a ferry that leaves every fifteen minutes and takes five minutes to cross. This is a pathetic abuse of power by AK representative Don Young, and you can read all about it in this USAToday piece.

And, of course, the real story here is not that Don Young is evil. Don Young is just playing the game by the rules. And Democrats play it just as hard as Republicans. And they play it all to the detriment of the country. No one really voted for that porkbarrel, or any of the other billions of dollars in our budget going to fund bizarre projects like this that help a few contractors get rich and screw everyone else in the country. These items get passed into law via "earmarks" in huge massive bills so large that NOT ONE OF THE REPRESENTATIVES WHO VOTES FOR THE BILL EVER READS IT. The system, my friends, is broken. We need billions for Katrina damage and we have no easy way to find the money. The president won't raise taxes on the rich, Congress won't do anything meaningful to reduce costs, and people like McCain who want to be fiscally responsible are far and few between.

I never know where I fit exactly politically -- I vacillate between libertarian and libertarian-socialist poles, I think. Optimally, I'd be living in a kibbutz 60 years ago, with workers in charge and long and involved discussions over everything. I know that the kibbutz movement is dying. I'm not sure if it's because it was an unworkable idea or that too few Israelis tried it. Anyway. I gotta work.

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