Category Archives: The Big Bad World Out There

Musings on politics and other madnesses in the part of the world where I’d rather not live.

Benjamin Franklin and Obamacare

“We are, I think, in the right road of improvement, for we are making experiments.”

“God grant that not only the love of liberty but a thorough knowledge of the rights of man may pervade all the nations of the earth, so that a philosopher may set his foot anywhere on its surface and say, ‘This is my country.'”

I think he would have approved of the Affordable Care Act.

Texas toast

My favorite morning news show announced yesterday that Texas is about to institute the highest speed limit in the nation — 85 miles per hour — on one of its freeways. My immediate thought — heaven help me — was, “Oh, good, fewer Texans.”

A little Kipling for a sorry time

“As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man

There are only four things certain since Social Progress began:

That the Dog returns to its vomit and the Sow returns to her mire,

And the burnt Fool’s bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the fire.”

Good luck, Wisconsin!



And the Republicans are promising us what?

The more I hear from the Republican presidential candidates, the more it seems they’re all about taking what we have away from us. They want to take away our rights to abortion and birth control, the minimum wage, social security, Medicare, health care in general, food safety regulations, consumer protections, the EPA — the list goes on.  They’d give tax cuts mostly to businesses and people who don’t actually need them, but I never hear them talk about what they plan to do for, rather than to, the rest of us.

As the conservatives become more powerful and extreme, I feel like flying away, to retreat into my corner of California and live a good life in this state and community where, at least so far, their destructive policies haven’t penetrated.  I can grow vegetables and fruit, buy as much as I can locally, spend less, treat other people with decency and respect, and help create a culture apart from, and better than, what the right would impose on us.   The Republican pundits seem to believe that capability and self-sufficiency are attributes only of the conservative base, the blue-collar white men of the so-called heartland.  How little they know!

Yesterday I started a bunch of seeds — peppers, eggplant, bunching onions, and lots of tomatoes, 33 sets in all.  Not much, but not bad for a woman with a full-time job and too little sunny garden space.


Hello from the unheard America

This is the first of a series of occasional reports from one resident of an America that doesn’t seem to get heard of much, outside of venomous speeches by conservative candidates:  that really scary part of America where health care for everyone and the right to marry, gay or straight, are values; where we want good public schools, public higher education, and good government and are willing to pay taxes to have them; where we like Nancy Pelosi and the Occupy movement and don’t see what the problem is with European socialism; and where we know global climate change is real. In other words, I’m one of those people bent on destroying society as we know it. Not surprisingly, I live in northern California, between the wine country and the coast.  What is it like living among us?  What do we do from day to day to erode the fabric of American life?  As I find time, I’ll tell some of the lurid details.