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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The 'Work Week'

So instead of delving wholeheartedly into this blog when I first started it, I let other 'important' things distract me.  At the time I was a student at a local university, where I had been attending off and on since the fall of 2003.  I've taken breaks and gotten work, signed up for classes 'full time' and then dropped them, but the short story is, my formal academic career has finally reached a semi-permanent conclusion.  I didn't do what I needed to do winter quarter, and finally they kicked me out.   I'm quite surprised they didn't do so much sooner.  My difficulties with anxiety and test taking and processing information that I am uninterested in (like low-level Mathematics) led me to not quite make it through.

As disappointing as this was, it was in many ways incredibly liberating.  For some reason I felt as if I could finally move on with my life.  I have this problem, see, with the way things are being done in Washington.  Both the city and the state.  It is time to start accumulating resources and experience to do what I can to rectify these problems.  I have worked before, in the moving industry, the casino industry, and the telecommunications industry, and now I've hit the street again to find work.

My Girlfriend recently started receiving unemployment (finally) after being out of work for almost a year.  I was considerably frustrated with her lack of effort to both do the modicum of work required to apply for unemployment or get a damned job.  I should step in here and say that I have various means of earning income, which I am not at liberty to discuss here, currently, and have been, basically, solely supporting us (with the help of family and financial aid) since she lost her job.  This has caused feelings of resentment.  This resentment comes from fear, as do most negative emotions.  Fear of not being valued as a companion and life partner, as well as sincere feelings of disrespect as I watch the love of my life deteriorate both mentally and physically.  My happiness with her for completing the process and 'earning' income has helped, but I fear that unemployment income will not suffice for her own feelings of inadequacy, as it still doesn't require leaving the house.  Regardless, we are still in a state of financial distress. 

I'm no saint, don't get me wrong.  My passion for her, it seems, is directly related to her passion for herself.  She has indulged in extra curricular activities with other individuals (never in person, but isn't the internet a beautiful thing?) often enough that it has left me somewhat jaded, and I, in some respects, have attempted to protect myself by keeping to myself what I once gave freely without fear of being taken advantage of.  

In any case, after many goings on over the past five years that we've been together, both incredibly joyous and incredibly painful, I came to the conclusion after the last incredibly painful experience that there was little I could do to make her feel better about herself, and once again become the girl I fell in love with.  Instead, I could lead by example, and do my best to take care of myself, and hope it rubs off.   Great words, in theory, very difficult in practice. 

But I have come across a likely prospect for income, once again in the casino industry, an environment I know I can thrive in.  A good friend got me an audition, and I'm fairly confident I'll be hired (pending urinalysis, which is, quite frankly, going to be a sticking point that I will have to find some way around).  This prospect at earning income as I become more and more of an 'adult' is both exciting and depressing.

As I was unable to sleep last night, I thought about a few things.  One of the things i thought about is taxation.  Upon receiving 'legitimate' income, a portion of that income (a significant portion) will be taken from to help fund the government budget.  This means that I am paying for bullets that are killing people.  I don't like killing people.  I don't think War, as in governments throwing their citizens at each other, is very often justified.  In fact, I would consider only three of the conflicts our nation has been a part of wars that could even be considered justifiable (if any can be).  Of course, the revolutionary war is one of these, for obvious reasons.  I tend to agree with Thomas Jefferson (who I will henceforth refer to as my good buddy TJ), when he favors individual liberty over government, and I think the revolutionary war was important for this reason, to at least attempt to establish a state where personal freedom was paramount.  The second war that was perhaps justified was the Civil War.  My claim for why this war is justified is incredibly controversial, though.  Until Lincoln, the Statist fuck (one who believes that the power of the state is paramount, and the answer to all problems), states had the right to secede from the union. 

Lincoln was one of the first presidents to go to such great lengths to adjust the constitution to current political goings on, and to further a particular controversial political agenda.  This agenda was not the freedom of the slaves, contrary to what we are taught in the public education system.  This agenda was the centralization of power in the federal government, and the supremacy of the federal government over the various states.  As such, the south was justified in going to war against this new King George named Lincoln.  History is always written by the winners.    Look at the civil rights crisis this country still faces, compared to other countries where slavery went away WITHOUT war.  Lincoln assuredly created the wage-slave class in this country.  In any event, the South was entirely justified in fighting their revolutionary war for exactly the same reasons that we were justified in fighting against the British in the 18th century.

The last war we were justified in entering was World War 2.  The ONLY reason we were justified in entering this war is because we were attacked by a NATION in an act of war by a NATION on our home soil.  This is the only time in history that another nation has attacked us on our home soil (though we attack ourselves daily).  I am no expert in military matters, as far as strategy, and what it takes to win a war of such magnitude, but we perhaps did more than we really needed to, and perhaps did less than we needed to at the same time. 

I should make a couple of things clear about foreign policy matters.  It is not our job to save Iraq or Iran or Afghanistan, or any other nation from its dictator, unless it is our job to save every other nation from their respective dictators as well (like all those assholes in south and central America and Africa, many of which caused FAR more chaos and suffering among their populations than did Hussein).  It is not our military's job to act as a police force in the guise of "national security".  While certainly some sort of minimal militia force would be necessary to enforce our borders, the leviathan that is today's military is nothing short of horrific in both its scope and its deeds.  Preemptive strike is tantamount to punishing someone before they've committed a crime (though we do that to our own citizens as well).  It is naive to think that our military actions across the world have more to do with ideology than they do with political and economic motivations, despite the ever-flowing propaganda that we are fed nightly on the various 'news' outlets, which have become, in reality, the fourth branch of government. 

So this is perhaps my biggest problem with earning 'on paper' income, rather than surviving off student loans and government handouts, which I have already previously paid for through taxation of various sorts.  As long as I have to pay for things that I don't want to pay for through taxation, I will eke every single drop of government assistance that I can, in hopes that some of those dollars I pay in taxation, and that my parents and family members pay, might not go to buy a bullet today to kill someone that doesn't deserve to die.  Or to pay for a penal system whose population is comprised mostly of 'minority' races.  It simply isn't the case that minorities commit that many more crimes per-capita than whites do, it is simply the case that they get convicted more often, because they are still slaves despite (or perhaps because of) Lincoln's best efforts to the contrary.  I am appalled that so much of my income has gone to support this continued subtle slavery. 

If I had the opportunity to opt out of taxation and not receive government services (yes, including roads and electricity and the 'protection' of the police) I certainly would.  I would use this new abundance of capital to provide those things to myself at a much cheaper rate (businesses simply charge less for goods than do governments, because they operate in the interest of profit and efficiency, rather than some controversial and ever-changing ideology). 

At the same time, my freedom from this system can only be bought with the resources that the system currently utilizes.  This means I have to bite the bullet for a while, earn some FRNs (federal reserve notes, conventionally referred to as 'money'), convert those FRNs to something that is actually worth something (like property of various sorts), and start affecting social change (or perhaps infecting social change).  Also, it would be nice to be caught up on bills for services I actually do use willingly and would use my tax dollars to pay for (and I'll leave discussion of the monopolies that are represented by utility companies, aka the Department of Energy, for another time.  I wonder how much electricity we could purchase with a 750 billion dollar defense bill, if it instead were spent on energy efficiency and improvement?  that works out to about 2100 dollars per person in a population of 350 million.  That's 10 months of electricity for me.   How much debt could we have gotten out of as individuals if TARP had paid out to every person with a social security number, instead of just the businesses, along with subsequent bail outs.   I don't know what the figures are, but I am WAY OVER thinking the government is acting in my best interest. 

I don't believe that our Government has been acting in our best interest for a very, very long time.  Why should we think so?  What evidence is there to support the claim that the Government is acting withing the legal confines of the constitution to ensure that it's populations has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?  Very Very Little.  Just go look at the congressional agenda for any given day, pick a bill, and read it.  See how much of it actually helps the population, then get back to me.

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