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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

So Goes Vermont

After clipping North Carolina and Virginia along their eastern edges,Hurricane Irene kept whirling northward.   It didn't hit any of the big cities in the Northeast with the feared force, but as it covered a lot of area it dropped enough rain on the countryside to lift countless streams and rivers over their banks, and many rural occupants of those states are now dealing with the resulting floods.   President Obama has just designated New York and Connecticut as disaster areas and made them eligible for federal aid, though, going by the news reports, state for state, Vermont seems to have been the hardest hit, and it can't be far behind in needing Federal help.

Ordinarily FEMA, the government agency that takes care of these things, would have enough money to do the job,  but there have already been so many "natural" disasters across the U.S. this year that its resources have gotten badly stretched, and to help the deluged Northeast they will have to go back to Congress for more when it gets back in town, and it's possible that therein will lie a gigantic rub.

In light of the strong and continuing efforts being made by the Teapublican politicians to help no one except those who contribute to their re-election coffers and to hurt those who don't, several of the lawmakers in Congress have vowed to fight any efforts to give FEMA more money unless a matching amount is cut, not from the hides of the corporations, the military, or anyone else that they like, but from just about everybody else, especially those least able to fight back.   And furthermore they're likely to be especially hostile to little Vermont, because in many ways it is the country's most progressive state.   (Minnesota used to be my pick for that honor, but its inexplicable irresponsibility in having produced the likes of M. Bachmann was a spiritual betrayal too egregious and gross to be overlooked.)    

One of Vermont's U.S. Senators is Bernie Sanders, a man of very progressive and perceptive ideas and the only official Independent in the Senate (the Lieberman slopbucket, uncertainly classified as a Democrat or as an Independent, is actually a Republican, which means that everything cancels out and he can't actually be anything), and the other Vermont senator is Patrick Leahy, who usually is one of the first to react to things with the most decent noises though he isn't quite as famous for following that up with more substantial deeds.

  Vermont was also the main stomping grounds of the two most famous practicioners of the back-to-the-land movement that swept me down here to Virginia -- Helen and Scott Nearing.  And it is currently the home of the proprietor of the "Dohiyi Mir" weblog, N. Todd Pritsky, whose site helped inspire me to get started on this, my own site, those many (7) years ago, a true if very quirky progressive, who, however, so far has said nothing about Irene's rampaging waters there.

So it's eerie that among all the states, the fates chose the one that is probably least in tune with everything that these Teapublican politicians stand for to be the one on which the storm focused its attentions to the sharpest degree. and it's going to be interesting to see what happens when FEMA asks for that money, since little can  be expected of Congress even in the best of times.

Also oddly, speaking of here in Virginia, the chief Teapublican making this unholy demand is Eric Cantor, the Representative in the next district over from here to the west, but the Virginia Governor, a Repub who usually is so much of a total loss that I have avoided remembering his name, which is B. McDonnell, said quite clearly and sensibly  that he didn't think this was the right time to be demanding unrelated budget cuts.   It looks as if in his avidness to follow up on what he probably saw as his side's victory in the recent, fierce debt ceiling struggle, Cantor forgot that the eastern side of Virginia didn't go unscathed by the hurricane, or that he himself gladly asked for FEMA money just a few years ago.

How can the Teapubs be so certain of the rightness of their agenda when nothing they say ever holds any kind of water, and they have to resort to so much talking out of both sides of their mouths?  And why would any decent people vote for characters like these?

These are among the most baffling questions of modern times. 


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