Communion Of Dreams


Well, *that* was painful.
February 22, 2009, 10:57 am
Filed under: Daily Kos, Depression, Emergency, Failure, Health, Society, Survival

For the first time since the Dance of Stupidity & Pain I took the dog for his morning walk today.  Just got back.  And gawds, does my knee hurt.  Between the half mile walk and the 18 degree temp out, I feel like someone shot me just below the knee.

As I expected.

But it had to be done.

* * * * * * *

There was a good segment on NPR this morning, with an economic historian who has a new book out about the Great Depression.  One of the things that emerged from the piece was his comment about how the current economic situation is frightenly familiar to the situation then.  From the NPR website:

Ahamed calls the similarities between our current economic problems and the Great Depression “eerie.” He points out that both crises began with a bubble, and that both bubbles were caused, in his view, by mistakes in federal review policy. And, when both bubbles burst, they eventually led to a banking crisis.

But, he says, the leaders of today can learn from the lessons of the Great Depression: First, he says, we should not let the banking system collapse. Second, we should not go to extreme lengths to try to protect the currency. Third, we need to let the budget deficit expand.

“The problem of the Great Depression was … a failure of intellectual will. The danger this time might be a failure of political will,” says Ahamed. “To bail out the banks is going to cost a lot of money, and the American public are so angry that they are not, at the moment, willing to sign a blank check.”

* * * * * * *

The heating pad helps.  And in a few minutes I’ll get up, go find some OTC stuff to take to help the pain. But I expect that it’ll ache for much of the day, and this will complicate my plans to do some conservation work this afternoon (I work standing – always have.  Most binders do, since you need to move a fair amount.)

So, why did I go for a walk?  It’s been less than a week – I could have easily put it off a bit longer, let the bruised bone heal some more.

Because, as painful as I knew this would be, I didn’t want to let the rest of my body lose too much ground.  Oh, I’ve been doing other exercises these last few days, but nothing is as good for me as walking is.  Pain isn’t always an enemy.

Understanding that, accepting that, is one of the first steps to maturity, I think.  I remember when I first read the passage from Dune where young Paul is tested by the Bene Gesserit to determine whether he is “human”.  I was perhaps 9 or 10, and the scene impressed me greatly, gave me a jump start on dealing with the pain which would come to me early in life.

* * * * * * *

As noted in some of my posts here about the economy, I’m more than a little pissed off about how we got into this mess.  Quite honestly, I think there’s quite a few candidates for a “Head-on-Pike Award of the Month” competition, complete with categories for “Best Expression”, “Most Deserving”, and “Ideal for Throwing Things At”.  That many of these same people still hold elected office, or have been receiving massive bonuses (or complaining about not being able to get the bonuses they ‘deserve’) just adds to my dark musings about appropriate means of getting said heads on said pikes.

So yeah, I’m angry.  And yeah, that influences my willingness to just write blank checks to cover the debts that these various and sundry assholes created.

But that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done.

* * * * * * *

Anyone who has been through any kind of serious injury or disease knows that there comes a point where you have to make a decision.  You have to either hide from the continuing pain as best you can, using drugs or changing your lifestyle, or you have to do your best to get past the pain and do whatever you can to cope with the effects of your injury.

Neither choice is necessarily “right”.  But they each come with consequences.

I have made choices each way, depending on the situation.  I will not judge the choices that another makes.

Except when those choices have consequences for me.  Like this:

Jindal rejects La.’s stimulus share

Louisiana‘s Bobby Jindal, a Republican, became the first governor Friday to refuse officially a part of his state’s share of the $787 billion stimulus bill, while President Obama warned the nation´s mayors to spend stimulus money wisely.

While some governors were subtly backing off previous statements that they wouldn’t take their share of the windfall, Mr. Jindal issued a statement saying Louisiana would not participate in a program aimed at expanding state unemployment insurance coverage.

“Increasing taxes on our Louisiana businesses is certainly not a way to stimulate our economy. It would be the exact wrong thing we could do to encourage further growth and job creation,” said Mr. Jindal, although the Louisiana legislature could override his decision.

No, I don’t live in LA. But this kind of behavior – and similar behavior by other Republican governors elsewhere – will have an impact on all of us, across the country. That it comes from the party that got us into this mess doesn’t make me any more sympathetic. That it comes at this point when states have been sucking up billions of Federal dollars at every opportunity for decades means that I cannot possibly see it as in any way credible.  It is just grandstanding, and hypocritical to boot.

* * * * * * *

Well, this has taken longer than I intended.  I guess I had more to say than I thought.  Or maybe I’m just in more pain than I realized, and am using this as a distraction.

Look, this really is pretty simple.  Yeah, the deficits necessary to get us out of this depression are going to hurt.  And it is galling that no small amount of money is going into the pockets of people who directly caused it, or to save the bacon of pols who are blathering about how they don’t want it.  If you want, you can also be pissed off at those who “bought more house than they could afford” and who may now get bailed out of that bad decision.  It doesn’t matter – be pissed at who you want, however you want – so long as this gets done.  Otherwise, we will just continue to bleed, to suffer, to experience pain until it consumes us and ruins our lives for decades.

I know which path I’ll take.

Jim Downey

(Cross posted to Daily Kos.)


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