The Newsletter: Issue #12

I wish I could write one, fucking newsletter without starting off with something like: welp, what a mess this world is. But we’re 12 issues in, and sure as hell nothing has gotten any better.

In fact, I’d wager, it’s gotten worse.

I’m starting to find myself looking at things going on in the world – shootings, violence, crime, and the like – more as evidence that people are starting to snap, than anything else. Sure, gun safety reform and legislation is absolutely necessary; so is more adequate access to mental health services. As are a host of other things that create an insurmountable amount of pressure that, for some, just ends up being too much.

I do not condone anything that is happening in that space, but I have to say that I understand. I really do.

People can just only take so much. So much pain, death, disease, hardship, and lack of care.

In any event, let’s get to it.

Around the World

Dr. Oz won his primary this week, in the same general vein and district patterns that Trump did.

In other words: we’re fucked.

Not that authoritarianism isn’t already kind-of sort-of going on already. To be more clear: it is. The Biden Administration has taken the road of doing what they think is best, even though it is antithetical to even some of the fundamental principals and mandates upon which they were voted in. And I’m not even just talking about areas in which they are strapped, and their hands are supposedly tied (which they are not, and we’ll get to in a minute). But when an Administration makes as many blunders as this one has, and keeps cow-towing to the Republican and corporate demands that are not in the best interest of the people, while having essentially a blank check for a foreign war that the majority of people did not co-sign…

Well Houston… we have a problem. This is how you invite hyper-nationalistic fascism to the dinner table.

It is my belief that the Democrats have rendered themselves impotent in the name of old-timey bipartisanship and, well, capitalism. Not only has Joe Biden failed to hold true to many of his campaign promises in 2020, his Administration has largely failed to meet the moment on a number of crises that have occurred around the country, and world, since. Have they been an abject failure? Well no, but on the areas in which they have had a mandate, they continue to fall short.

What does not make sense is being elected to do those very specific things and then just … not…

Democrats, and the Admin, are great at pointing the finger, except for when it comes to pointing it at themselves. As I see it, a number of factors are getting in the way of them achieving any of their promises, and securing enough wins in the fall to hold the majority. Oftentimes, they remind me of one of my old boyfriends who would defeat himself with inaction and procrastination; it was easier to point blame and feel sorry for himself than to actually try and be successful. Because once you’ve been successful, well how will you win the next round (in the case of the Dems, what will you campaign on?).

But, if we’re being frank here: I don’t see the Democrats doing anything with the majority anyway (they always, invariably, find an excuse not to). Now they’re on some grand campaign to gaslight America, to try and make people believe that their material conditions aren’t actually worse, that things aren’t really hard right now, that inflation and housing and jobs and everything in between isn’t really affecting them… that we all just don’t understand, which – in my own personal experience – is the D’s traditional line when they’re pinned up against the wall. And this is, sadly, exactly why the vast majority of people in America see them as elitist assholes who, frankly, do not serve anyone but themselves.

The bottom line that hardline Democrats are failing to understand is that average Americans – the people that vote only when they care about something – are not party line voters. They will not Vote Blue No Matter who if Blue doesn’t do anything for them before the next election. Republicans get it, they give their voters the things that they explicitly are elected to do (often times, judges and an elimination of government control). Numbers of non partisan or so-called Independent voters have grown in exponential numbers, around the country, for decades, and it’s why so many of our elections are unpredictable, and communities are largely a purple swath of people that sway with their conditions at the time the ballots are cast.

Blaming people is an ineffective tool if but only because of all those factors I mentioned getting in the way. Among them are: a refusal to reform the filibuster, a refusal to utilize the bully-pulpit of the Presidency, an Administration that is both ignorant and incompetent on important issues until it is too late (see: Omicron, baby formula), a President that is living in the past (the days of bipartisan deals and being good friends with Mitch), and, well, capitalism.

Even on issues like the economy, Joe Biden has a fiscal policy that is politically to the right of Nixon. Just think about that for a minute. President Nixon – a traitor to democracy – did more for economic stabilization to stave off inflation and recession than Joe Biden will. His plan for the economy is laughable, at best. Beyond the fact that average Americans are largely unaffected by the deficit (an arbitrary and made up concept to begin with), the bulk of his plan to deal with inflation and the economy is all the talking points of that failed piece of legislation – Build Back Beyond, or whatever it was called – that Manchin vetoed, they promised to break up, and haven’t talked about since. They’re empty promises, just like COVID funding and calling on Congress to do something about guns. Rather than flex the powers of the executive branch that Biden actually does have, he’s making remarks, letting his Administration correct them, saying he didn’t see pretty much everything coming (including the formula shortage, which is unforgivable as I see it), then heading home for a three day weekend in Delaware, seemingly just as much as Trump used to golf. It’s insanity!

(And I say this all as a Democrat, with absolutely no skin in the game. Think about that one too…)

Around My World

Welp, the lesson I’m learning now is that when you go through hard shit, you learn who your real friends and family are.

We’ve been looking for a rental since January, and shit just gets uglier and uglier by the day.

We’ve now spent $3,960 on non-refundable application fees, and the rejections are getting stupider by the day. Today, after being effectively approved on a home, we were then told “sorry, a military family contacted us we’re going with them.” This is the second time this happened in the last two weeks.

My daughter who is 14 went with my husband to one viewing, and the realtor showing the home thought she was his girlfriend. I guess not getting selected for that home was a blessing in disguise.

We are now at three homes that we are waiting to hear back on. This is how it goes. It’s 3 then 5 then down to 2; it got so confusing at a point that I had to make a spreadsheet for us to keep track, which is a depressing sheet of just strikes through addresses and notes like “probably not going to work for us too small,” and “has 117 other applicants.”

So as of now we’re at three, one is ideal for our family, another sort of ideal but outdated, and the third was a scene of a crime today when, three doors down, a man was arrested after the chopped up remains of his mother were found in the community dumpster.

Meanwhile, we’re still in our temporary rental. It has dampness and mold, no ventilation, an outdated circuit breaker that could catch fire at any moment with all the lights around the house flickering, and no emergency exit that will open. The dampness has caused me to have a sinus infection for 4 weeks now, and I am covered in hives; but God forbid I mention that in casual conversation, then – it’s becoming more and more common – I never hear from whomever I’m talking to again.

It’s not that I mean to just complain all the time. It’s just that this is a pretty big thing going on in our lives right now, and when people ask how things are going, I take that to mean they actually want to know…

Because that’s the real lesson in all of this. Not that California’s housing crisis is greater than anyone not experiencing it could ever imagine. Not that 45% of the state is a renter and virtually no one in public office on any level is doing anything to represent them with the urgency of this unprecedented crisis. Not that landlords are literal scum, and your house can literally harm you physically.

No, it’s that when these types of things happen, a lot of people in your life just… disappear. Because it makes them feel bad to talk about their vacations when they know you have to spend your spare cash on application fees, and an $800 a month gas bill so your kids can still go to their activities after you had to move out of town.

To them I just have to say: I am very sorry that my personal predicament makes you uncomfortable in your privilege.

There are also those that themselves contribute to the problem by hoarding empty homes, or subjugating the middle and working class into uninhabitable conditions as landlords. I’m not saying that all landlords are bad, just that if you are a landlord or employed somehow in this line of work, and find yourself justifying (or attempting to justify) ostensibly horrible conditions and situations… I don’t know, maybe you’re just a horrible person. I’ll never forget the conversation I had with a friend about mold in the kitchen cabinets; a friend who herself works as a property manager for a relatively large company in Los Angeles County. She said to me “well you know you can’t expect to have a home AND have it be livable all the time,” and that – ladies and gentlemen – was the end of our friendship.

Ah well…

You Can’t Unsee This

Sorry to burst your bubble. This is the current rate of COVID transmission in the US. You are being lied to if someone is telling you it’s over. It’s not. COVID is still very real. Living with it does not mean just infecting people all willy-nilly (more on that in a post next week…).

Get your masks back on, at least in situations where vulnerable people may be present. Consider scaling back on gatherings.

And if this monkeypox thing blows up…

STFU Fridays

I live in Southern California, but the truth to the matter is that all over the world people are experiencing the changing climate. A part of that is that droughts like we have never experienced are cropping up all over.

The effects this will have on crops, life in general, is a more serious conversation for another day. For now, I’d like to talk about people with grass lawns, and golf courses.

In So Cal, we have been restricted to only water once per day, and who-boy have the crazies come out.

One group is asking why we are building more apartments and houses if we don’t have enough water infrastructure to water our palatial lawns and take 2 hour showers every day. Well, first and foremost, all those people that are living in RVs, in homeless encampments, in tents in people’s backyards, in their cars, in local motels… they have a right to live in a home too. They exist. They are more important than your fucking grass yard and 1970s ol’ reliable washing machine, Janice. Unless they all just up and die (which, to be frank, I’m sure many of these NIMBY fucks would be fine with), they need a place to live. This doesn’t have a single thing to do with watering restrictions. So shut the fuck up to them.

But also, and this is going to blow all of your minds, the people defending the watering restriction and conservation guidelines need to shut the fuck up too. I know! Crazy, right?

Wrong.

In California, as an example, only 10% of water usage is attributed to people’s homes. Brushing your teeth a little less, taking shorter showers, washing your clothes less frequently, and only watering your lawns once or less a week, is not going to do a damn thing to really make the sizable dent in the water reserves that will be needed for the long term. So the people going after those complaining about grass lawns and their plants dying for real need to shut the fuck up. Because who you need to really go after are the golf courses, high schools, businesses, and agricultural sectors not doing their part.

There is absolutely no reason why golf courses and high school football fields should be exempt from water restrictions, and yet they are. More to the point: Big Ag could make substantial changes to their watering processes to irrigate more efficiently and with less run off, but they won’t because – duh – Big Money.

Rather than go after someone reasonably pissed that all the investment they’ve made in their yard – whether you agree with that investment or not – is about to die (because watering once per day is honestly not going to keep a damn thing alive), why not focus your anger at the politicians and the golf course and agriculture lobbyists that are passing the ultimate burden onto the rest of us? Because they are the enemy, and until you recognize that I think it’s time to just…

… well, you know…

What do Mitt Romney, President Obama, the fact that you voted, and my neighbor’s teenage son all have in common?

That’s right: this lady doesn’t give a fuck.

Let’s cut to the chase:

Mitt Romney

I read this morning that Mitt Romney said he didn’t know if the voters always make the right choice, and that he couldn’t guarantee they would in this election, but he hopes they do. Way to have confidence in those you depend on Mittens.

But it reminded me of my own state, California. We don’t have confidence in anyone either: evidence of which can be found on our state ballots, which are packed full of stupid propositions meant to overrule the laws made by our very own lawmakers. Lawmakers we voted into office.

This is the principal problem with politics in America. There is no confidence, in either direction. I don’t give a fuck if you are well aware that sometimes the voters make mistakes: if you don’t have confidence in your tax-paying, vote-giving constituents, you probably shouldn’t be running for office. And the same goes for the voters – stop voting for people you don’t trust. If Californians can make better laws, maybe they should run for office instead of shoving divisive, costly, and time-wasting propositions on the ballot every election.

President Obama

I wish people would just shut the fuck up already with the “Obama’s a terrorist” and “Obama wasn’t born in this country” bullshit. None of that is relevant to the actual election. Nor is the fact that he’s black, although I will admit that Chris Rock’s endorsement of Obama as the whitest candidate is pretty hilarious.

Another sign of the growing stupidity with which our country has run rampant is the fact that so many people focus on things that have nothing to do with¬†qualifications. Obama’s black. Romney’s a mormon. I heard Obama’s a terrorist. I’m pretty sure Romney’s the devil incarnate, here to bring on Armaggedon.

I wonder if anyone that votes anymore votes on the actual issues? Like economic plans? Not “what has he done” or “what did he promise” … but their actual economic plan. Or things that are important, like health care, medicare, social security, women’s rights, human rights, foreign policy, national security, disaster preparedness, proactive environmental initiatives, and so on.

The fact that you voted

Seriously. I don’t fucking care. This is not to offend any of the many friends, blog followers, or otherwise acquaintanced people, but I just don’t care. Hear me out, though, before you start unfollowing me or deleting me as a friend on Facebook.

I don’t need to see your Instagram photos of your voting sticker. I don’t need to hear about where you put your sticker. I don’t care that you stood in line for thirty minutes, or that you engaged in a delightful conversation about the weather with the woman running your polling place. I don’t give a shit if forty ladies said your baby was adorable, and covered him/her in stickers too.

Do you want to know why I don’t give a fuck, though? Because last week some of you called the President of the goddamned United States a “nigger.” Because the week before many of you posted memes of Romney and Ryan having PhotoShopped anal sex.

It causes me too much stress to now know that you dumb, bigoted motherfuckers voted. To think that the future of our country rests in your hands.

For the rest of you, I truly am happy that you voted and took the opportunity to share it with me in every way imaginable. Now let’s move on.

My neighbor’s teenage son

Apparently some schools are off on Election Day around here. I’m not sure why really. The rest of the world has to work, why the fuck should the schools be able to use that as another excuse to litter our streets with punk ass kids? Especially when over 95% of the people in those schools are too young to vote.

And come to think of it, the polls are open until late this evening, while most schools get out by 3 around here – so what the fuck?

In any event, some of the schools are off for the election. Yippity-doo. That means that my neighbor’s teenage son was home today, and his girlfriend came over. So when I went to get my third Diet Coke of the day, they were on the front patio, hiding from his uber-conservative Vietnamese mother.

You know what they were doing? It. They were doing it. They were having sex, fully clothed – right there on the front patio.

Ultimately I don’t give a fuck. Kids are going to do it whether you give them the ease to do it or not. I just hope the kid was wearing a rubber.

But that’s besides the point: this is what happens when the schools take all these superfluous days off. Little fuckers ride their bikes around the neighborhood, throwing shit at people’s cars and screaming early in the morning while I’m trying to sleep. Every place I go to is jammed with kids that should otherwise be in school, stepping on my feet and slobbering their gooey hands all over my purse when they push past me. Drug peddlers have more access to kids, that are out getting into trouble instead of hitting the books in school.

My tax dollars pay for what again? Teachers and administrators to have an entire day off to go vote, when the election places are open late anyway (also paid for by my taxes). And for kids to screw on the front porch.

So this is the most political I will ever get on this blog. And really it’s a testament to why I cannot stand politics. I’ve worked for those people. I even met Obama, long before he became president. When I decided to major in political science, I took a class about American Government. Our primary text and task was to assess whether it’s a good thing when the masses vote or not. Is it good when people vote because they hate black people? Is it a bad thing for people to vote based on their religious values? Sure I vote, and I’m glad when well-educated people do too. But as for the others…

You be the judge. But quite frankly, I don’t give a fuck.

By the way … don’t be a turkey and BUY MY BOOK! And if you want it signed, just email me for details on how to get that done and shipped back to you for free!¬†Click here, buy book, woohoo!