U.S. politics


2017 arrived on a sleigh of smoking turds pulled by the four horseman of biblical fame, and still, we made it to 2018. Don’t ask me how. Last year was a blur. The world reeled, staggering from one shallow foxhole to the next with the various status quo in flames all around.

It reminded me of my favorite scene from that stink bomb of a psycho-drama The Birds.

Crows have just attacked the school, and the adults are huddled in a bar (kinda fitting) discussing a complete and terrifying turn of the table by Mother Nature (well played by the way) as though there was something rational to be found, if they just used their indoor voices, with town drunk – the only rational voice in the room – punctuating the discussion with occasional “It’s the end of the world”.

Is it though? Really? The end of the world.

Probably more reasonable to take our cultural reference cue from REM. It’s the end of the world … as we know it.

Because that happens throughout history, and if we are really ready to be honest, it’s happened more than once in living memory.

Someone on Twitter today had a list of all things that didn’t exist in 2003. On that list was pretty much the entirety of the internet as we use it today. Certainly most of our communication devices. The way we interact socially has been completely altered by social media.

Generation Zed knows nothing about an existence before hand held devices. They’ve literally been born and grown along with them. Our world is basically a teenager entering the end stages of puberty. And that, explains a lot.

So it makes sense that a political and economic world that our great-grandparents would still recognize and feel comfortable with simply can’t adapt. Things are giving way. It’s not like there are other options.

And okay, I will grant that the nuclear code rattling by America and North Korea could maybe sort of bring about an Armageddonish crisis, but I am going to throw caution to the wind and bet on us still being here in a year. What I will not claim is that the world will have settled down much. The current version of Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it won’t transform itself in a couple of years anymore than the last Rome did. Change takes time even when it feels like the exact opposite.

Happy New Year then. Congratulate yourself if you aren’t a Nazi or one of their enablers, yet, and remind yourself that whatever is coming, you are not the only one going through it. Look around your neighborhood, workplace, gym, school, community and find those like-minded, who are out there, and connect a bit more than you currently are. There is safety in numbers, but also laughs, joys and fiendish plots to thwart those bags of dicks who thrive in the chaos of change.

Bring it 2018. If the world could survive 2017, it’s ready for you.


2012 Republican Presidential Candidates

Image by DonkeyHotey via Flickr

If there is one thing I hate, it’s defending the less defensible of my gender from sexism. In the wake of the apparent upcoming tug of war for the hearts and minds of conservative leaning voters that pundits feel certain that Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann will wage, the stereotypes fly about in the thick and annoying manner of mosquitos on an Alberta late May evening.

The Huffington Post referenced it as “the battle of the Snooki’s” and I stumbled across a blog whose author believes that both Sarah and Michele are hot enough to settle their differences in bikinis and a mud pit.

A friend posted a reference to their combined, and supposed, brainlessness to her Facebook status that elicited a lot of yuks, but I just cringe and sigh.

Why?

Because even though there are easily just as many male politicians with batshit crazy ideas in the GOP, they are seldom the butt of jokes that infer that their gender is to blame.

It’s a given that women in the public spotlight, and especially those that dare to seek political office, can be taken down via their appearance, attacks on their single, married, mother or not choices, and by insinuating that their extra X exerts a difficult for them to control influence over emotions and their ability to think. Men are seldom, if ever, held to such stringent accounts. And so even if Palin and Bachmann are intellectually deficient, and I don’t believe that based on their levels of success, unless the same measures of fitness are applied to male candidates as well, this is not a good plan of attack for those opposed to either woman making a showing in the coming 2012 primary season.

The reason I feel this way is simple. Whatever modus operandi is sanctioned for use against them will be used again and again in the future. It will deter women from entering politics and marginalize or sink those that do.

And Palin and Bachmann are credible threats even if you don’t think much of them, their politics or the religious, conservative and very white-power oriented views they represent. What they are pushing sells and given the dire straits of many Americans – particularly the white working class which feels increasingly left behind and victimized – allowing them, Palin especially, a legitimate access to playing the victim role, is bad strategy.

Underestimating women seeking power roles, in my experience, nearly always bites back hard. Make no mistake that both Palin and Bachmann are in politics for what it brings them and not what they can do for their country, and people like that should be taken seriously.


Oocyte viewed with HMC

Image via Wikipedia

Rob calls me “literal girl” because sometime nuance escapes me. I have often wondered if there had been an Autism spectrum when I was a child if I would have been slotted somewhere along it.

I make assumptions about the virtual people I know based on what they post and where they post it. If we are Facebook acquaintances, and your feed is a healthy mix of the personal and self-promotion, I figure that no question is purely rhetorical even at the crossroads of religion and politics.

Apparently, I am wrong about this. One can shamelessly promote causes and career and still feel that status rants are sacrosanct.

A blogging acquaintance roared a bit about the recent abortion scuffle during the almost shutdown of the U.S. government, which I personally feel has little to do with “life” and everything to do with stripping women of the few rights we still possess, and basically called out those of us who believe that women’s healthcare should number abortion among its many faces.

Why not just admit that abortion is about killing children, she asked. I would respect you more if you would simply own that fact.

I thought about it. And responded.

In retrospect, I shouldn’t have. The cheering section that followed her bluster was a clear indication that only those who believed as she did would be actually respected, but I responded.

Why? Because she asked for responses and because she’s wrong. Her position, grounded in motherhood and Christianity, presumes that those who support the ability to choose to abort a pregnancy think the fetus is a child or that life begins at conception or that the unborn have rights that supersede the woman’s before they are viable.

“You know it’s murder,” she responded.

But it’s not, in my opinion.

I don’t believe in any of that Christian nonsense.

Life doesn’t begin at conception. Existence does. And just existing doesn’t mean much. My late husband existed for months in a spastic body with a brain scoured clean of dura matter, taking in nothing, processing nothing and responding to nothing. That’s not life. The embryos left over from our 2nd IVF existed in cryo-storage for over three years before I gave permission for them to be discarded. Frozen potential but also not life.

I know the difference between life and existence. That’s the quibble and we are nowhere near ready to admit it or deal with it as a society.

But I also don’t think life is sacred. We are born and ,if the stars align properly, we live, happily or not so much, depending on a lot of circumstances of which a goodly number are not ours to control, and then we die. That which is me – truly me – continues on. Maybe my self is born again or maybe there is another plane of existence. I don’t know. But this one life, while I like it very much, is just a blip on a vast canvas and given what I have seen, read, watched and experienced in my short life, I have yet to be convinced that anything about physical life as we know it is all that special. We certainly don’t treat it as such on the whole if one excludes the moaning over potential life, which seems to attract far more interest than the real live children who suffer within walking distance of almost all of us every single day.

But the bottom line is that someone else’s religious beliefs shouldn’t carry more weight in the eyes of the law than my own where my internal works are concerned and forcing a woman to give birth (or to risk pregnancy because you don’t believe contraception is moral either) is wrong. Woman are more than potential incubators, which is what the pro-life movement reduces them to – slutty incubators with the maternal instincts of magpies. (And just as an aside, since when does using your vagina for sexual purposes automatically translate into allowing the government jurisdiction over anything that results?*)

And I said so. But that wasn’t, actually, where I messed up even though – according to someone who responded later – I was rude to have replied at all.

No, what I did was tread unwisely into the “why don’t women who don’t want their babies simply give them up for adoption because there are a lot of us out here who can’t have kids who could benefit from this.”

The unspoken companion fairy story spins off into the “win-win” weeds of how everyone gets what they want and a poor unwanted baby is loved and cherished.

I really hate it when it’s assumed that I was unwanted or that my birth mother was little more than a brood mare.

Being adopted, however, I take all sorts of issue with the idea that adoption is a panacea without consequences. There are oodles of studies supporting the fact that even newborns know their birth mothers, and how can anyone think that an infant separated from its mother and carted off by strangers doesn’t know it or that marks aren’t left as a result?

There is also the tip-toed about problem that, at its heart, adoption is a legal transaction that comes uncomfortably close to buying and selling a tiny human being, who will someday be an adult that the law still regards as a child where the adoption is concerned.

And finally, almost no one goes into adoption as a first choice. Unless you are Angelina Jolie, maybe, you likely adopted as a back up plan when biology failed you. There is nothing about this that makes you a bad person, but the disingenuous way many adoptive parents approach this obvious truth is insulting to adopted children. We know the truth. We only think less of you when you won’t admit it.

I am not a puppy. Here are my papers, bundle me up and take me home. Woof.

My birth mother was seventeen, Catholic and it was 1963. She had no choice but to put me up for adoption.

My parents were infertile. If they wanted a family, they had no choice but to adopt.

Kudos to my parents for never pretending I wasn’t adopted or that the reason for it wasn’t the fact that they couldn’t have biological children. It never mattered to me. I knew nothing else. I was torqued, however, when I found out as an adult that not only was I not entitled to contact my birth parents for a health history, but that my dad had torched all the papers the agency had given them that might have helped me find out the information I am entitled to.

Dad took that tongue-lashing with an uncharacteristic meekness, I might add.

What was annoying about the responses I received on my take on adoption (one I think I earn by being an adoptee and therefore knowing something of what I speak) is the consensus that I was “wrong” and “need help”.

Seriously?

Really?

“Aren’t you glad that your mother cared enough to give birth to you? Wouldn’t you just hate it had you been aborted?”

What kind of backward logic is that?

Being a fetus, or even an infant, is not something I can recall, so if I had been aborted, how could I possibly know or care about it?

And if I had been and being born was important to me, wouldn’t I have simply been born to someone else? Or what if simply being conceived was all I had to do to complete what assignment this go around had me down for? What if my only task had been to blink into existence and then cease to be in a cellular form. providing my birth mother with the opportunity to have an abortion, which was part of her life’s lesson plan?

Of course, I had a more active curriculum to complete and to help others with this time. Being adopted was part of that though I still feel it is just a slightly harder to justify form of the whole ownership thing we pretend doesn’t exist where our children are concerned anyway.

It’s too bad, I suppose, that abortions have to occur. They are no picnic for the women getting them either, and it’s incorrect to assume why women have abortions by stereotyping them in the same category as those who take established lives.  But life is hard. Choices can be hard, and abortion is one of the hardest and making it harder, or impossible, might make you feel like a good person but it doesn’t solve the issues that bring women to choose it now, does it?

*Ah ha, I hear the righteous squeal, then why do my tax dollars have to pay for STD and PG checks via Planned Parenthood? If you want privacy, take care of your own damn health. To which I reply, good point. And let’s add getting old to that because my tax dollars shouldn’t have to replace a knee or hip you didn’t take care of when you were young because you were too lazy to exercise, right? Or that heart by-pass or the diabetes you developed eating nothing but processed food. Or the cancer you have because you couldn’t suck it up for the hot flashes and took hormones for too long.

And while we are at it, shouldn’t you have to fund your own retirement? It’s not my problem you thought your house was an ATM or that your children need five star summer vacations, is it?

There are a lot of things that tax dollars cover. Bank bailouts. Sketchy military actions. Corporate welfare. The list of waste is long and shifts depending on your politics, faith system and socio-economic status.

Lighten up.


Suffragettes on way to Boston (LOC)

Image by The Library of Congress via Flickr

A record number of anti-abortion bills emerged this legislative season at the state level with South Dakota, predictably, leading the vindictive pack with a bill that essentially made it legal to murder doctors who performed abortion or women seeking them under the guise of a “self-defense” law.

And while I am still waiting for the inevitable day when right leaning legislatures seek to impose a dress code and assign us seats at the back of all public transit, the Florida State Legislature takes top prize for the sheer number of assaults on female reproductive autonomy with a record 18 bills struggling to meander the process and land on the new GOP governor’s desk.

While some could claim that this is not about women’s rights at all but protecting human life, the proof against this tired clichéd defense is a bit too overwhelming because it’s not just our plumbing that concerns the GOP. Reducing women to 1950’s standards at every level appears to be the goal.

Wisconsin’s union busting tactics are aimed point-blank at female dominated professions, and the dismantling of higher education largely affects young women who are now the majority of students and are graduating in greater numbers than their male peers.

While the feministing 20 and 30 somethings were angsting over non-issues like whether to change their name or not when they married or how to ensure that men carried their share of the household and child-rearing chores, those who prefer women barefoot and pregnant have been making steady progress in their hamstringing of Roe V.Wade and limiting women’s access to birth control, emergency contraception and even basic reproductive health care.

We fiddled and Rome caught fire. The question is – will it burn down around us or can we roll back the lash the right is using to back slap us?

Let’s make a few things clear. This is not about the right to life or babies.

The people so intent on forcing women to carry children to term have no interest in those children once they are born. They are the same people who flushed Headstart down the toilet and are defunding state health care plans for children at every opportunity. They are crippling public education through budget cuts and unrealistic measuring standards. The goal is – and always has been – about using children as a means to cripple women and tie them to home and hearth, ensuring their dependence and subservience.

What is going on is no less an attempt to prevent equality than forcing women to bind their feet, be circumcised or swaddle themselves when out in public.

Whenever God or sanctity or family values are invoked, the end result is never good for women.

American men hate women just as much as their counterparts in the Third World and just as much as Muslim fundamentalists and just as much as those who tried to smother the early suffragettes by jailing and force feeding them did.

Every man who professes a “right to life” is proclaiming his belief that women are chattel to be possessed, ordered about and controlled.

And women take it.

Do we hate ourselves as much as we are hated?

We dress like whores and desperately maintain weights that damage our health while flocking to every beauty product and medical intervention that promise to freeze-frame us in a manner acceptable to men and societal standards set by men.

We work at the expense of our sanity, health and children because men expect us to pull half their load and all of ours too. Women have known since the get-go that “having it all” is a myth but it’s one that men still whole-heartedly support and push down our throats – with our help.

I have daughters. There are wonderful – witty and smart – but their lives will never be as easy as the boys they grew up with because it is still an XY world and with males now the making up more than half the population, how can things get better?

Margaret Wente at The Globe and Mail wrote an idiotic diatribe for International Women’s Day that stated the misguided opinion of too many women in the industrialized world. She wrote that we (women) have won the fight for inequality so shut up about it already.

It’s that attitude that has allowed the legal assault on women to ratchet up this year. Complacency and a preoccupation with crap that is distraction more than substance.

Men have been the dominant race since the beginning of time. They have no reason to share power and have done so only when forced and only reluctantly.

Wake the fuck up, Ladies.


Lesbian wedding.

Image via Wikipedia

Brian Brown is a name you may, or may not, know depending on the depth of your interest and/or passion about marriage as a civil right. Putting aside the fact that the State’s only interest in marriage is from a contract and licensing point of view, and that marriage as a social or religious issue is purely fabricated to push whatever agenda is deemed necessary, Brown is the brainy brawn behind the National Organization of Marriage (NOM), which believes that marriage is a man/woman thing.

Brown’s group has been instrumental in interfering in states where same-sex marriage is/was/or is liable to become legal. NOM’s most recent victory was the appallingly disingenuous campaign waged during Iowa’s midterm retention vote for three State Supreme justices who happened to be presiding over the court when it unanimously ruled that Iowa’s own constitution forbids discrimination against gays when it came to obtaining marriage licenses. Brown’s group, instead of pointing out that the justices ruled according to existing law, lied to Iowans, telling them that the justices imposed their own personal agendas in place of the law to create a right where one didn’t exist.

It’s fine to campaign against politicians who are responsible for the creation of policy and law, but to attack non-partisan judges who simply clarify existing law is out of bounds. The retention vote – though most people don’t appear to understand this – is about the judge’s qualifications to read and enforce existing statute. Brown knows this. He is a Harvard grad after all and I am sure that makes him intelligent enough to know what the vote was actually about. It unfortunately also makes him smarter than most of the Iowans he needed to trick into helping him push his personal agenda of making sure that same-sex marriage is never legal in the United States. Ever.

Personal agenda?

Brown would not agree. He is quoted in a recent Newsweek article, quite artfully really, giving his reasons for taking up arms against the formation of couples and families with the following statement:

“Marriage is a public good. If you change the definition of marriage, you don’t just change it for the gay married couple down the street, you change it for everyone,” he says. If gay marriage is allowed, “then the state is essentially saying that my views on marriage, and the majority of Americans’ views on marriage, are equivalent to discrimination…It profoundly affects me if my children are taught in the schools that my views on marriage are bigoted. It profoundly affects me if the church that I’m part of is treated in the law as bigoted. And, ultimately, same-sex marriage is not true.”

And he is not wrong. Equality in marriage regardless of orientation would make him look like a bigot. It would call into question his Catholic faith. It would brand tens of millions of Americans as prejudiced.

Why is that wrong? He is a bigot. The Catholic Church is so riddled with hypocrisy that one more glaring affront to the call of Christ’s “love thy neighbor” hardly breaks its bigoted straw back.  And the American people, generally speaking, have always needed to be legally compelled to promote marginalized and discriminated against groups (like blacks and women for example) to equal footing.

They are all bigots, and apparently, not okay with owning it.

So not okay, that they are willing to campaign and protest and promote the idea of laws that are discriminatory.

All because people like Brian Brown can’t personally come to grips with that real fact that he is wrong, his religion is wrong and that the American people prefer inequality to equality, a peculiar flaw in a people so devoted to the idea of personal liberty and so very much about fairness (as it applies to them specifically – they don’t do abstract well at all).

Having taught public school at the middle school level for a couple of decades, I can assure Mr. Brown that his children will one day come to their own conclusions about his bigotry, regardless of the outcome of his efforts to save face at the expense of other people’s liberties. I was raised strict Catholic myself, and I am under no illusions about the stance of some of my countrymen or my former faith.

Waging war against same-sex marriage because it forces you to look at the truth is not a good reason to take up arms.  Society has weathered all sorts of enlightenment and coming to grips with the injustices that gays and lesbians have endured will not permanently scar anyone’s psyche.

America gave up slavery and then Jim Crow. It has, superficially at least, given up sexism.  Lady Liberty didn’t drop her torch and the Declaration of Independence didn’t burst into flames.

Change is life. Life doesn’t stand still and that’s a good thing.

Having to own your bigotry and admit that you are wrong is called “growth”. It’s actually quite good for your children to see. It’s a “teachable moment” that will catapult you in their esteem just as surely as their discovery of your clinging to outdated social injustice will damn you to irrelevance.

Brian Brown is not the only person to wake up one day and realize that the world was evolving when he would rather not, but he is someone with power enough to force the rest of us to cling to our bigoted past – and that’s not right. It shouldn’t be up to him or churches that many of us don’t belong to or hate groups that revel in the adrenaline surge of pointless and anger-filled discrimination.

Brown’s justification for his actions could have easily been spouted in the early 1960’s by segregationists or in the early 20th century by those who felt women should be denied the vote or by slave owners before the Civil War. It’s the refuge of the spiritually lazy to deny the right of society to grow up because it asks too much of them personally.

Brian Brown is a bigot and he’s fighting to keep his children from finding out.


If you are a Tea Party member in Mason City, Iowa, the commonalities lunge at one like bad 3-D, but to a person who reads, thinks for herself and happens to have paid attention during her early 20th century history class – the question should really be “aside from being political leaders during economically crushing times what do they have in common?”

And even that is stretching it.

The “change” bogeyman is nothing more than a political tool that they all use – Tea Partiers and Mama Grizzlies included -because it works.

Human beings are notorious for their dislike of change. Creatures who seek comfort and who mainly live within the confines of their homes unless some consumer need drives them out to the nearest shopping blight on the landscape, Americans in particular are living change at speeds that the vast majority of them never anticipated and weren’t raised with the coping skills to deal with.

The Tea Party then is little more than an adult temper tantrum about the loss of the American Dream rug beneath their feet. Turns out, that whole myth about us descending from hardy pioneer stock is really just a myth.

The people of Germany and Russia during WWI, which is the breeding ground for both Hitler’s rise and Lenin’s takeover, were dealing with the kinds of economic devastation the likes of which would send most Americans in search of corners to curl up in. To compare our current recession to children literally starving to death, as they were in Russia at the end of the first world war, is the height of self-absorption.

To their credit, the main body of the Iowa Tea Party disapproves of the Mason City billboard.

Yes, it’s a billboard, and it’s up for the coming month in Mason City, so feel free to mock and jeer across the blogosphere, but don’t expect it to have any effect on their views.

I know the kinds of people who fall for this type of logic. I grew up next door to them in the northeast part of the state. I taught their kids for twenty years in the public school system in the center of the state. Decent enough folk, they lead with their bellies and their sense of entitlement and a recession like the one we are experiencing unnerves them. Why? Because it flies in the face of everything we Americans are taught to trust. Behave, work hard and the middle class dream is yours.

A dream that Obama favors by the way and that Lenin would have curled a lip at.

I won’t argue with the smaller print that “radical leaders prey on the fearful and naive” but I will note the irony. And the fact that the irony would be so lost on the people who designed this billboard.

UPDATE: After being up for just one week, the Mason City Tea party billboard has been covered up at the request of the group who received hundreds of threatening messages from irate Mason City folk – who apparently all know there history better than the Tea Party people. No apology was issued and the group’s spokesperson insists that people misunderstood the billboards main idea. Um … sure, dude.

Photo by Deb Nicklay/Mason City Globe Gazette


Not so good to be the responsible older brother though. Figuratively or literally.

Although it’s long past time to tackle this particularly big root of the current financial implosion which threatens us all, it still leaves me shaking my head and not just a little bit annoyed.

Team Obama announced yet another bailout, this to the tune of $75 billion for homeowners. Considering that this is where the problem started – a long time ago – it seems a bit like trying to stuff horses back through the keyhole of the lock on the barn door but better late than never, right?

According to Sheila Bair, who is chairman of the FDIC, it’s about time. Previous bailouts, I assume she means the ones to banks and investment houses, have failed because “We’ve not attacked the problem at the core.”

The core, of course, are all the Joe Six-Packs/or Prodigal sons who caused this mess by not being able to pay on mortgages and other lines of credit. Money is debt after all. Banks essentially lend money based more on what is owed them than the stuff that is actually on deposit with them. It’s an elaborate scam that goes unnoticed because it sits out in plain sight, pretending to be a sane idea.

Team Obama was quick to utter the right reassurances. No one will get bail out money for their mortgage if they were house flipping or bought more house than they could afford or are one of those horrid dishonest lenders who tricked people into buying more house than they could afford. 

Money will go to families who played by the rules. Oh! So the older brothers will get their reward then? Not so fast .

Thing is the “rules” during the great American housing dream of the early part of this decade clearly stated that one could buy more house than one could normally afford because houses where going to do nothing but appreciate in value. And with things like ARM’s or interest only loans – and a good job whose salary will only go up year after year -a play-by-the-rules family could buy more than they could really afford and refinance before the ARM came due using the appreciation of their home to finance it. 

Older brothers didn’t fall for that, so Prodigal sons win again. Because if you scrimped and did without – lived within your means in other words – then you are not one of those who are losing their houses right now. (Although you might be soon if you are among those downsized as a result of the reckless grasshopper like behavior of your credit-is-just-like-money thinking neighbor. Where you stand in the great Main Street giveaway is like the player yet to be named.)

I got the spiel on ARM’s when I bought my last house. I turned it down flat and still almost lost my house anyway when my late husband was fired from his job because of his illness and our income was nearly halved.

Which is my point. What about people like me? Who lost their homes through circumstances they really couldn’t control. People who really played by the rules as opposed to crying foul later when their gambles didn’t pay off as they hoped. Or the people who didn’t raid their equity piggybanks to pay off the credit cards they would just run up again or to take the family on a Disney Cruise.

What about us?

The Prodigal son’s older brother complained to their father that, essentially, being good didn’t pay off like being a screw-up who is sorry after the fact. He was sent off to a corner to contemplate his inability to be charitable.

Should people who over-extended themselves, much like the Wall Streeters and the banks, be bailed out?  Are we, the responsible taxpayers, mortgage payers and just bill paying in general half of the population just supposed to be glad the spendthrifts have seen the errors of their ways. They are victims only of their greed. They gambled on home prices rising forever and borrowed against equity that doesn’t really exist until a home is sold. They used credit cards to buy things now instead of saving up for the vacations and toys and treats. They might have been playing by the “rules” but the rules were fucked up. And deep down, didn’t we all know that?

No one teaches us in school about using credit cards, financing cars or homes. Heck, they don’t even teach us about paying taxes which is very odd for an education system that leaves little to chance by way of indoctrination into the American Way.

I know what you are thinking. The rich have been bailed out, and they knew what they were doing was wrong, so why not help out the little guy? And you are right. Why not?

Why not continue down the path of no accountability?

It’s clear that we are not worthy of our immigrant ancestors anyway. People who scrimped and saved and worked hard to get ahead. People who rode out the bad time and down turns without expecting someone to save them for themselves.

There are precious few innocent victims in the housing mess, but I will agree that there are a lot of stupid ones. People who didn’t quite understand the ramifications of the fancy financial terms, but simply trusted the realtors and the lenders when they were told,

“You can always refinance.” and that “Home prices will just keep going up.” or that “It’s never been easier to buy into that better neighborhood than now.”

Because believing that let them “get ahead” and live in that fancier suburb or take that vacation now instead of saving for it and buying it with real money and having it mean something more when they were finally able to do it without fudging around the edges.

Nothing will really be fixed by all this money that the government is tripping over itself to throw at consumers and lenders alike. The root of our problems lies within our twisted value systems and our inability to endure hard times because they are “too” hard and we are too soft.