Thursday, March 26, 2009

Emails With Demitri

The following is a copy of an Email conversation I had last September with Demitri, a lovely young twenty something lady who was once a case manager where my box is located. She has since abandoned us and is currently case managing somewhere else.
And she and her cohort, the lovely Marisela, stole our DVD cables so we have to rely on Rodney to supply his for Movie Day.
Thanks a lot, Demitri and Marisela.
The conversation began after I forwarded an advocacy Email concerning women's issues to Demitri and Marisela:

From Demitri:
What's so special about women?

Dear Demitri,
I have great sympathy and affection for women. My own mother was a woman! Why do I have sympathy for women? They have to put up with men.
In any case, I send these Emails about women's issues, which are a very small percentage of the advocacy Emails that I receive on a daily basis, to Marisela because I know she is very concerned with women's issues, as am I. The more freedom that women have in the world, in every respect, the better the world is. I will stop sending them to you. What social or political issues do you care about? I can send you the latest news in the astronomical world if you wish. We've just recently discovered that the sun's solar wind output is at the lowest since we've been observing it, which could pave the way for interstellar cosmic rays to reach deep into our solar system. This is not a good thing.
Anyway, I must ask this, and please don't take this personally. Are you a secret republican spy?
God help this country if Barack Obama is not elected President.

Good Morning Rick,
I am registered as a Republican, but I’m not a spy and my conservative views are definitely not a secret. Please note however, that I’m liberal on some issues and conservative about others. My ideals don’t fit very neatly into a little Republic box; there are definitely some gray areas. I grew up in a very poor family and lived in an impoverished community for most of my life, so I’m able to identify with issues facing the poor. But I don’t believe that the middle and upper classes should bear the burden of making sure that the needs of the poor are met. Believe me Skid Row is the last place I’d be if I lacked compassion or was unsympathetic to this population’s needs. I’m one paycheck shy of living on Skid Row myself.

I don’t think my last email responded to all of your questions. I don’t give a rat’s ass about women’s issues, just fyi. I’m highly interested in the environment, the economy, immigration, and education. I can’t honestly say that I spend any time thinking about the sun’s solar wind output.

Dear Demitri,
It was a pleasure engaging in discourse with you today. You're a very smart lady, and I appreciate your stance.
For someone who is interested in immigration policy, though, you should be interested in solar wind output.
You don't want a whole bunch of foreign cosmic rays invading our solar system, do you?

Good morning Demitri,
I appreciate your reply, and am so glad you're not a spy. The NSA is everywhere.
How's this... why don't we change the socio-economic structure of this country so there are no poor?
There was virtually no homelessness in this country before Ronald Reagan became President. I'm sorry, but your republican friends have gamed the system, at the expense of the middle and lower class to benefit themselves, to the point that we are where we are today, with homelessness increasing at an exponential rate as families homes are foreclosed. What we need is not 700 billion to bail out Wall Street, we need that money to build infrastructure and green jobs in this country, to put the nation back to work. To actually decrease the amount of homelessness and poverty in this country, you know, like Franklin Roosevelt (Democrat) did in the 30s and 40s, pulling the country out of the Great Depression, despite World War II. And if the ultra rich have gamed the system to their advantage at the expense of everyone else (90% of the wealth of the country is controlled by 5% of the population, a situation that inspired the French Revolution) why shouldn't they be responsible? I don't get it. If someone steals from me, and is caught, it is usual that the courts order reparation. Why shouldn't that be the case now with the ultra rich? The Bush administration has used the United States Treasury as its own little piggy bank, doling out money, hand over fist, to their fat cat friends, as they're trying to do now with this bail out scheme. Why shouldn't the government be responsible, as they are the primary perpetrator? Put the government to work for the people, all the people, not just a privileged few. That's all I'm saying.
I'm sorry for the rant, but I asked you not to get me started.
You and I are both too young to remember the horrors of the Great Depression, which is where I believe the country is headed if McCain gains the Presidency (even if he doesn't, it may be too late now). I suggest you read "The Grapes of Wrath," by John Steinbeck, or watch the movie, to get a taste of what it was like.

I’m willing to concede that the Bush administration is corrupt and guilty of cronyism, if you’re willing to concede that much of the blame for the crisis that we’re in lies on the American public. Not only for re-electing Bush (duh), but for making poor choices in terms of money management, purchasing homes that they couldn’t afford, disregarding the warnings about the effects that our lifestyles have on the environment, the greed of business owners, and our obsession with celebrities. These are things that are not going away even if Obama is elected. The media will continue to report on Britney Spears rather than issues that really matter, Americans will still run out and buy designer clothing with their kids’ college fund, and business owners will continue to give American jobs to immigrants who are willing to work for prison wages.
If you think for one second that Obama being elected represents some kind of divine intervention that’s going to reshape American culture and fix all of the country’s problems, think again.
Please put “The Shock Doctrine” down…’s making you crazy.

Demitri continues:
You seem to assume that the homeowners had no idea that there was a possibility that their mortgages would skyrocket, which is utter crap. What kind of idiot agrees to an Adjustable Rate Mortgage, when they’re barely earning enough income to pay the mortgage at the lower interest rate? And what did the people making $250,000 a year do to deserve having their taxes raised? Why are Americans being punished for being successful? And your beloved Bill Clinton’s main priority was welfare reform, because apparently the people on welfare were making money hand over fist and needed to be tamed (what a crock).
I’m not opposed to programs that assist the poor. What I’m opposed to is everything being at the expense of people who decided to go to school, work hard, and are now earning a decent wage. When a person decides to go to school to become a plastic surgeon, I seriously doubt that their ultimate goal in life is to obtain this wonderful career in the medical field so that they’ll have enough money to support people who don’t want to go college and don’t have any aspirations.
In terms of the environment, I think people are pretty well-informed and are choosing not to do anything about the problems that we face (Democrats and Republicans alike). Republicans’ obsession with oil is absolutely to our detriment, but if Democrats have known of a solution to our dependence on foreign oil for some time, why in hell didn’t Clinton remedy the problem?
I just don’t see how we’re ever going to move forward as a country if everything boils down to one party blaming the other for our misfortunes. The American people need to start accepting some responsibility for this mess…..that includes mismanaging their money, being content with their own ignorance, and not participating in the voting process.

Good points! Let's examine them. People couldn't buy houses they couldn't afford if it were not for greedy loan providers allowing them to. That's why we're in the current housing mortgage crisis) Sometimes loans are provided to the working poor, with the anticipation that the consumer will default built into the loan (predatory lending)! If I'm working my ass off to make ends meet, need a car to get to work, and gets what looks like a good deal on a used car, I'm going to take it. Then I find out that my payments go up, at the lenders discretion, so I can't make the payments and have to return the car. The lender gets the car back, plus all the payments that have been made, and makes out like a bandit. This analogy can be applied to credit cards, and payday loans, to mortgages. I agree that people should live within their means, but the economic environment is such that the entire population is pressured into spending, and getting into debt. And real wages have not risen for the middle class (what's left of it), so things get more expensive, and people borrow just to maintain their standard of living.
Bush stole the election in 2004, and the supreme court gave it to him in 2000. Much of the populace did vote for him though in 2004, and these individuals are being lied to on a daily basis by the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Bill O'Rielly, and the candidates themselves. Look at the McCain campaign. They are currently running ads that blatantly lie, that Obama will raise everyone's taxes. Over and over again they say this. Obama will only raise taxes on those making over $250,000 a year, and lower taxes for 90% of the rest of the country. When confronted with this inconvenient fact, the campaign replies, "Well, you can't trust what Obama will actually do." By that criteria, you can't trust what McCain says he'll do either. I don't know about you, but I'll vote for the guy who at least says he'll lower my taxes, rather then the one who tells me he's going to continue the Bush tax cuts, and extend more tax breaks to big business.
Thomas Jefferson stated that a democracy can not exist without an informed populace. We have failed in that. In our school system, and in the media. The media is controlled by a very few companies and people. The republicans have allowed this to happen to their benefit. Reagan did away with the Fair Information act in the 80s, so that both sides did not have to heard, and what we got was the republican noise machine, Fox News, Limbaugh, etc, etc, etc. Only recently, with Bush's approval rating plummeting, has the media environment changed to allow Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, and Air America to voice an alternative view. The Sherman Anti-Trust Act needs to be enforced, and the media return to a neutral position.
I agree, we should not be overly concerned with celebrity. I'm not. I've not once seen "American Idol." And I've written on this subject extensively. But this stuff is shoved down the throats of average working people who are so tired by working to keep up their standard of living they aren't interested in anything else. The media is responsible as well. And the republicans benefit by keeping the populace uninformed and dazed.
People should be concerned, very concerned about the environment. But this goes back to having an informed populace that isn't constantly lied to and manipulated by republicans (and yes, Democrats lie too, but the degree of disparity is enormous). If the republican world view is so right, why do they always have to revert to lies and misinformation to get their point across and win elections. And your party certainly does not have a sterling record as far as the environment is concerned.
I don't think Obama is some kind of divine intersession. That's a republican talking point. No, he's going to be left with a hell of mess that the republicans have left to him, and it's going to take a lot of hard work, sweat, and tears to get this country in the right direction again.

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