we die, we die, we die, we die until we try
“Idaho: I am a furloughed forester. We also had to shut down several loggers which are now without work. The millowners are hurting too. No firewood permits for the public. This is when people cut wood for winter. This affects the basic daily survival of many families.”
Doesn’t this sound medieval? Doesn’t this sound like something out of the days of Robin Hood?
This is how we are living now in the United States, home of the free and land of the unemployed. An element in our government which normally calls for job creation is throwing a tantrum and holding jobs hostage to its cause, jobs that exist, real incomes that are going away fast. Witness:
“I’ve been told I cannot report to work and being forced to take unpaid leave until the shutdown is over. No retro-pay for me either.”
“I am supporting a family of 5 on one salary. I filed for unemployment yesterday.”
“I had some $ put away in savings but the bills don’t stop.”
“Ashford is a tiny gateway community that depends on the visitors of Mount Rainier National Park. Because of the shutdown, the park is closed and businesses are stressed.”
“My spousal visa application has stalled because of the shutdown. I don’t know what will happen or when it will be resolved. I’m worried in case something happens to my elderly parents in Ireland because I can’t leave the US until the visa is sorted out.”
And this one sent chills down my spine:
“My students with financial aid issues aren’t able to register for classes.”
Because that’s me. I have financial aid issues. If it’s between spending my rainy-day cushion and taking classes, fuck it, emergencies happen and anyway I’ve been offered a deferment by Sallie Mae.
hold my county line, get down on my city floor
The government does not want me having free time over the winter. I promise you it does not want me to galvanize the local activists into forcing change. It does not want me advocating the willful breaking of laws in order for people to survive and it damn well does not want me taking my voice any further than a blog. I have time, I have paper, I type fast, and I can set aside money for enough stamps to spam Congress.
In fact, that is my first directive: spam Congress. Send all the letters. Are you furloughed? Are you a contractor? Send copies of your bills. Send all those reminders that your life cannot go forward because a few sorry bastards are so opposed to the ACA that they shut down the government.
My mother’s infuriated. My mother says shutdowns like this should be treason. My mother’s right. For is this not the crime of betraying one’s country by way of government overthrow? Speak up, all you disenfranchised, all you gerrymandered, all you who have endured far too much for far too little reward. There is a time for patience and a time for fury and I humbly propose that the time for our fury is now.
Rise up if ever you were going to rise. Rise up in chorus if nothing else: say no to this, resounding, defiant. Take back your country because the rest of the world is only going to look on and shake its head. There is nobody to defend us except ourselves.
and oh, how we the common must cry!