Thursday, June 23, 2005

supreme court: poor people, please move over. now, roll over and play dead.

this just stuns me. now, if your state wants to cozy up to a developer, they can claim that your property just isn't providing the tax revenue that a new development would, claim eminent domain and seize your house. so says the supreme court.

“Any property may now be taken for the benefit of another private party, but the fallout from this decision will not be random,” [Justice Sandra Day] O’Connor wrote. “The beneficiaries are likely to be those citizens with disproportionate influence and power in the political process, including large corporations and development firms.” (and to think that Reagan put this woman in. wow.)

"The biggest crime in America is being poor." - Aunt Florence, Z"Tsl'V.

side notes: i know, i know, we are supposed to maintain 'balanced' collections in terms of viewpoint/opinion within public libraries. but it occurred to me the other day, as i helped someone checking out a michael savage book, that it's highly self-defeating for libraries and other public institutions to make this kind of conservative cut-everything-that-isn't-a-bomb mindset easier for people to access. (also, i'd like to play mischief and replace michael savage books with dan savage texts.) hmm, no wonder when i turn on PBS lately, there are documentaries extolling all things FDR.

Friday, June 17, 2005

the grunt

long time, no post. well, at least not here.

spent a chunk of time this evening reading Promises Betrayed, a book by NYT op ed columnist bob herbert. i'm devouring it, but having much the same problem as when i read nickle and dimed a few years ago: yes, it's important to document awful things and unfair policies that are escaping the attention of the mass public. but tell me what the hell to do about it. page after page, anecdote after anecdote, data and statistics and.... a profound feeling of helplessness. a deep wonder if any social action will ever be enough.

we had a primary in the state earlier this week. virginia allows you to vote in either the dem or repub primary without affiliating with either party. i actually voted on a repub ticket, mainly to block the more egregious candidates from reaching the ballot this fall. in our local race for state delegate, a 83-yr-old who has served in government for 54 years and is chair of the finance committee, and a moderate, was up against a 27-yr-old rightwinger who does not live in our district and is currently facing election fraud charges. the moderate won 55%-45%.... but if not for the city itself, the rightwinger would have won. (and the people who voted for him are my library patrons.) the rightwinger attempted to turn the primary into a contest of 'i hate gays more than you' and extreme prolife positions. the incumbent pretty much stuck to having experience and, say, being legally in the clear. (i did have an exchange of letters with his campaign when it looked like he was venturing into the rightwinger's game.)

so please... let's ask, why do the supporters of "the culture of life" care so little about the life of culture that they're seeking to end all public support of CPB/PBS/NPR. why don't we ask them to clarify why an embryo or a adult human vegetable is worth more than an iraqi civilian, or a member of our own military underclass. let's ask why the party of less government cares who you sleep with and what's in your uterus. let's ask why we can afford tax breaks on stock dividends but not tax expenditures on infrastructure, job training, extended welfare, etc. let's ask what the hell is in the heads of the narrow majority of people in this country who doesn't see these issues and don't see that they've been voting against themselves economically and socially.

then let's ask the democrats when they'll get someone who can actually win an election.

(this is why i should not post on politics at 2 am)