Exhausting

Man, I used to be into politics.  The past 15 years, I have been all over primaries and elections and volunteering and all that jazz, but this year I am so exhausted by all of it that it’s disgusting.  Plus, the current admin running Michigan into the dirt.  It’s disgusting.

If you’re outside looking in, Michigan must look like a third-world country on some level (note, this is hyperbole – life in actual third-world countries is far, far worse).  Between Flint and DPS, I’m so frustrated.  I lived outside of Michigan twice and both times I couldn’t wait to get back.  But the gradual dismantling of the democratic process by Snyder’s administration has been depressing.

I don’t know how anyone can look at it and say “yeah.  Those guys are doing a great job in Lansing.”  I was about done when they put in the emergency manager law, and then made it impossible to get rid of it through referendum.  Basically destroying public voice.  That happened.  Then Flint happens, and it is absolutely 100% because of emergency managing and ignoring experts.  And now all the crap they’re trying to pull with Detroit Schools.

It’s been pretty rough to watch.

And this Presidential race, man.  Drives me crazy.  It’s not only polarizing left to right, it’s insanely polarizing within the two parties.  No one is agreeing with anyone, and if they do, it’s the craziest love fest I’ve ever seen.

And the misinformation!  The inaccuracy!  It’s all due to labels and misunderstandings and a lack of compassion or thought.  Man, I don’t know.  I’m not going to be changing any minds, I’m sure, but I’ll tell you if you know me you know who I’ll be voting for.  Because I actually see how broken the system is in person, all the time.  If you’re born poor, you’re going to stay poor.  How dare you be born poor?  The gall.  So, you’re punished.

Because every single rich person in the US started poor and sweated their tail off to be rich and, darn it, because they did it EVERYONE should.  How dare people act like it’s unfair for things to be observably unfair!  How dare people think that a society that’s demanded you have a college degree actually make that degree affordable.  How dare people think basic human needs like water and health care be subsidized – don’t these people know there’s oil companies that RELY on that money to ensure massive profit margins?

Disgusting.  People get where they are alone without help from anyone else.  It’s every man for himself.

Seriously, though.  This country needs universal health care and for it’s medical system to get out of the thrall of insurance companies.  It needs to make college way more affordable because the cost is out of control (of course, it also needs to make it so not every single person thinks they have to go to college – the trades are awesome).  There’s wasting of taxpayer money, and there’s wise, invested spending.

You put money into education, into helping people afford it, into people not having to stress out about check-ups and medical bills, into clean water and air and strong infrastructure, and people spend more money.  You increase disposable income and people dispose of it.

Man, I don’t know.

Also, the President gets to nominate Federal judges.  It’s in the Constitution.  It’s a non-issue, we made up our minds in the late 1700s.  Discussion over.

The Martian

Over the weekend, I finished reading Catch 22.  I typically read this once a year, but it’s been a few years since I last read it due to events.  It was great to be back on Pianosa and feel the feelings and chuckle at the life of Yossarian – whose experiences remind me of my own (though much less fatal).

I had bought The Martian a few weeks ago with some Christmas money and it’s been sitting on a dresser.  Waiting.  The book club read it ages ago.  Not that it matters, since I’ve not been to book club for a long time, but I knew it was a pretty good read.  The family got home Sunday evening and I was very grouchy, so Sam let me go upstairs to read.  I picked it up, thinking I’d have a week or so of reading.

Well, I went and read the whole thing last night.  This book was crazy good!  Immersive.  Info-dumpy without feeling info-dumpy, and realistic – all things I know people have said before.  I obviously enjoyed the heck out of it.  But now I don’t have anything to read!  I do have a copy of Don Quixote sitting around, but I can’t get into it.  So I need a new book!  It’s hard to find a good book.