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hunter's Journal
hunter's Journal
September 29, 2013

The proper way to control inflation is by taxation.

You pump the money into the bottom of the system, to the "working class," their children, their disabled, their retired, and their unemployable. Then you skim the excess money off the top, from the very wealthy class, before it gets all scummy stagnant and corrupt.

Our very wealthy class is all scummy stagnant and corrupt. They are hoarding money and political power which is why we don't have inflation at the moment, but the people living in poverty are suffocating.

September 24, 2013

I think a National Post Office Bank is an excellent idea.

People living below the poverty level are crushed by banking fees, if they are able to access banking services at all.

Everyone ought to have the dignity of an ATM card and direct deposit services that don't charge exorbitant fees.

It could even be integrated with food stamp, WIC, and other assistance programs. People could buy groceries, swipe their card, and qualifying items would automatically be charged to the correct accounts, invisible to others in the checkout line.

September 24, 2013

I'm not too keen on concealed carry either.

"Concealed" is not concealed to anyone with a sharp eye.

I've never understood the appeal of concealed carry. Any "bad guys" always own the element of surprise.

Me? I've been in some rough situations, but never one where me having a gun would have made things better. Even when the bad guys had guns.

Guns only seem useful for groups of law enforcement officers or soldiers who are EXPECTING trouble.

Otherwise they seem to make things worse, leaving awful, sometimes tragic, messes to clean up.

Plenty of people have been shot by their own guns, even cops.

Plenty of cops and soldiers have shot people who did not deserve to be shot.

My crazy grandma could be trusted with a gun at one time. She could bring home dinner. When my grandma started to get really really strange (she was never not-strange) my mom took away her guns, at least the guns she could find. My grandma was a hoarder, a bag-lady with a house she owned and a decent retirement income. Eventually the police and paramedics had to remove her from her home because she was a danger to herself and others. It was quite a scene, she held off the police and paramedics for a few hours, screaming, cussing, throwing things, kicking, hitting, and biting before they got her strapped down tight on the gurney and sedated. Little old lady gone berserker! She might have escaped too, if only she'd had a horse.

A few weeks later my mom was sorting through my grandma's crap and found more guns.

If my grandma had gone for these guns I'm sure she'd have been shot and killed by the police. The police don't like to be shot at. Seems my grandma still had some common sense, even as her life as a fully independent adult was ending. She survived to see me married. My wife got to hear a couple of her stories about dogs and horses she'd known on the family homestead as a teenager, or World War Two sailors. Grandma was a party-country-girl-shipyard-welder during the war who started out with my grandpa running away to California to put shoes on horses for the Irvine Company.

I've got some bloodier more horrible stories, but I've also got some funny stories about fools and their guns who were soon parted.

September 16, 2013

Does every post about Japan have to be about Fukushima?

I don't get it.

The Hanford Site in Washington or the Nevada Test Site are bigger messes than Fukushima will ever be but I haven't seen comments about those relative to, let's say, the Colorado floods.

This typhoon is causing a lot of suffering and will probably kill people. The tsunami killed thousands.

The Fukushima accident is a big expensive mess, yes, and statistically it will kill a few people eventually, but we'll probably never know exactly who because radioactive toxins are like that. Humans live in a sea of toxins of our own making, both radioactive and non-radioactive.

It seems disrespectful to bring Fukushima up whenever people are suffering much more immediate danger.

September 14, 2013

I go months without visiting a "Big Box" store.

My car was built in the 'mid eighties and has a salvage title. My computers and cell phone were trash. I don't watch cable, satellite, or broadcast television. My computer's operating system is Linux. The only thing I'm really comfortable buying is simple foods and beer. Maybe new clothing, and books, sometimes. Most everything else I make from cast-offs.

The last thing I ever want to be is a "consumer."

If everyone lived like me this civilization would collapse. It will collapse anyways, so I don't feel too bad about that.

I'd like to see a world-wide communication infrastructure survive, medical knowledge survive (especially modern birth control methods!), a robust education system survive, enough food to support everyone, but much beyond that everything else can rot or be recycled. Throw away the cars and the wars and the airlines and the power grids and the oil pipelines, kick back, have a beer, smoke a joint, tell a story...

Want to see the world? Put on your boots, get on your mountain bike, strap on your electric legs, and just go. Sailing ships leaving ports to far-away places daily.

If we continue on the path we are going, this false "economic productivity," the world our kids' inherit will be a lot more savage than my utopia.

September 9, 2013

It's the 21st century, damn it! Why do I still need a car???

The automobile age can't end too soon for me.

I want neighborhood markets I can walk to, and delivery for everything else. If the big box stores want me as a customer they should send out cars (preferably electric) to pick me up and take me home again, sending a text to my cellphone when they get to my front door. Public transportation should be taking me anywhere I want to go, door to door service, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, routes all optimized by computer each way. No automobile road or highway should ever be more than two lanes in either direction. I should be able to ride my bicycle safely anywhere.

I want to meet 90 year old grandmas and grandpas riding electric tricycles on wide open bike lanes, and alternatively enabled people walking with me to the corner pub on their electric legs.

Why can't I have a future like that? I'm sick of this automobile shit, riding around with my identity plastered to my butt flashing "expired" when my car won't pass the smog test because of some glitch in it's $800 computer that does not affect the normal operation of the car in any way.

Automobiles are a means of fascist control. We've been duped. They were never about "freedom" at all.

September 9, 2013

Kids who live in violence and poverty ought to have schools that are positive places.

Schools ought to be places where kids are never hungry, where they are safe, and where adults have time to look after them individually, according to each kid's need, to demonstrate the joys of learning.

Schools ought to be places where kids graduate literate because they've discovered things they love to read, and numerate because they've discovered things they love to measure. They ought to graduate well aware of the world beyond their sometimes oppressive, dangerous, and impoverished communities.

Schools should not be factories turning out kids who can properly fill in the bubbles on standardized tests.

I was a public school science teacher in urban Los Angeles. It was the most difficult job I've ever had. Substitute teachers would sometimes sign out of our school in tears and never come back. I felt like that some days. Classes were large, the kids stressed and uncomfortable, and I had to be an authoritarian to keep order. I hated that.

There are a few teachers who can carve out a refuge for children in a place like that. Our school had some like that. My wife was such a teacher and her sister still is. These teachers ought to be treasured and paid very well no matter how their students score on standardized tests because they are the teachers who end up with the kids the other teachers "can't control."

I had kids who never did any homework, kids who would stare blankly at quizzes and tests, who couldn't even be bothered to write their name on a paper. Sometimes I could get their parents or guardians in to school for "mandatory" conferences with the school counselor and myself, but usually not. Some of the stories I heard then were horrible and fully explained why the kid was like that.

People who haven't been there really have no idea...

The middle and high school I attended were overcrowded and underfunded. I never felt safe there. I quit high school for college. I thought I could change things, at least a little by becoming a teacher. I couldn't.

These "accountability initiatives" have failed, just as "trickle down" economics has failed, just as national "austerity" measures have failed. Unless, of course, the purpose all along was to make the very wealthy even wealthier, and the politically powerful more powerful. I'm cynical now. I believe that's the case.

September 2, 2013

My dad was a proud union member, now retired. He bought a home, cars, and raised a mess of kids...

... I stood with him as a kid on strike lines. I stapled signs to sticks.

Where did that world go?

Here's what I demand of any first world nation:

1. Living wages. Our U.S.A. "minimum" wage ought to be at least $16(2013) an hour

2. A national single-payer health plan and subsidized housing too. For anyone a place to "be" ought to be a right as long as they need it. Safe shelter, food, medical care, it's all yours simply because you are a human being. That's what civilization is all about.

3. Strong labor regulations. Any employer who abuses employees ("undocumented" or not) goes directly to jail. They do not pass "GO," they do not collect $200. And fuck their corporate shareholders too.

4. Generous unemployment, welfare, disability benefits, and government jobs that compete directly with the crappiest "private sector" jobs out there. Every last person should have the power to tell a rotten boss, "Take this job and shove it!" without any fear of homelessness, starvation, or going without appropriate and necessary medical care.

The U.S.A. is not a first world nation. Most of our workers live in fear, even if they don't quite know it and vote Republican and think Ronald Reagan was a great President.

I'd like to live in a nation that respected labor. The U.S.A. is not such a place. Our "Labor Day" is a cruel farce.

Profile Information

Name: Hunter
Gender: Male
Current location: California
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 38,555

About hunter

I'm a very dangerous fellow when I don't know what I'm doing.
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