Category Archives: Founding Fathers

Dear Barack Obama: An Open Letter

Dear Barack:

Thank you for your recent email about your campaign. I’m happy to stay up-to-date on my favorite president’s business, and I’m glad we’re on a first-name basis, even if you spell my name incorrectly. As long as you have the general sounds right, who can blame you? After all, you have to email millions of people every day. Nobody expects you to get it right 100% of the time.

As a person who is slightly concerned with the environment*, I must say that I am happy that email exists. I remember during your last campaign, I received far fewer emails and instead had a chipper college woman barge into my house and demand $50 from me. I only fell for that once and now I lock my doors.

I admit that I don’t donate every time you ask. Why, sometimes I get 7 or 8 emails within a few hours! Though it is nice to know that if I don’t donate right away, I will get another URGENT email shortly after asking me for a second donation.

One thing I especially appreciate is when you send me an email from your personal inbox, and then a few minutes later, I receive the same exact message forwarded to me from one of your lower level employees. Consequently, I always delete the first email, as I know a copy will follow shortly after. This same thing happens to me at work sometimes, and I always wonder if the second person thought I was not important enough in the first place to have received the prized original email.

I really wish I could have dinner with you and your lovely wife. Do you know how many contests I have entered in? I tried to get into gambling a while back, but I wasn’t great at it, so I stopped. I was genuinely sad when I got that email a couple weeks ago about how your employee won. That seems like an unfair advantage. Also, can you please clarify whether wine will be provided with the meal if I were to win? I think a more effective contest would be one of wine and cheese. Or just wine. The details are up to you. Another idea is pizza and beer. I have a lot of good ideas, many of which you would hear if I had better luck in my gambling/contest-winning adventures. A funny contest would be if you were someone’s personal trainer for the day.

 

Affectionately yours,

 

Rachael (you might remember me as “Rachel”)

 

 

 

*Hippies have this covered already.

Advertisements
Tagged

An Opinionated View of Welfare Drug Testing (Facts Included)

This is an issue that has been irritating me for almost a year. It’s not your typical conservative vs. liberal tug-of-war; many of my own self-professed liberal friends agree with drug testing welfare recipients. Why? It’s probably because they are too far removed from either the recipients of welfare (they don’t know any poor people) or because they know little about the actual issue.

Perhaps college graduates were taught women’s rights in college but never taught that poor people also have these rights. This morning I was trying to put my finger on exactly what irritated me about my college friends who have no qualms with these new measures. A friend of mine posted a ridiculous article about a proposed abortion law and how she did not agree with it. With one fell swoop*, she added to her post something like “although I agree that welfare recipients should be drug tested.” Why is this? I can see they are technically different issues—one deals with a personal choice and another with tax money. But the issue of abortions has a lot to do with the government trying to control another’s body. And while there is one difference for the drug testing (these people are getting help from the government), it goes completely against every notion that the government should not have control over anyone’s body.

Many of what I like to call “idiots” claim that since their work can drug test them, welfare recipients should also have to be drug tested. Since when did we start treating the government like a private company? I work at a company that often won’t allow people to distribute offensive material to the public through them. These people like to argue that we can’t tell them what they can and cannot distribute, since it violates their first amendment right to free speech. But we are not the government (as mentioned above)—we are a company that can choose to do things that citizens would never allow the government the ability to do.

Somehow my professors were civil enough to teach me that poor people actually do have rights**. While looking at an essay I wrote, I stumbled upon this quote from Vivyan Adair, who grew up as a poor woman on welfare: “Ultimately, we come to recognize that our bodies are not our own, that they are rather public property. State-mandated blood tests, interrogation of the most private aspects of our lives, the public humiliation of having to beg officials for food and medicine, and the loss of all right to privacy, teach us that our bodies are only useful as lessons, warnings, and signs of degradation that everyone loves to hate.” For some reason, poor people’s bodies are public property. People seem to think that welfare is some sort of easy way to live; that people are on welfare because it’s better than getting a job. But this is simply wrong. People don’t want to stay on welfare forever. Like the rest of America, they probably dream of owning their own house or business.

It has been documented by many a people that our society is not actually ridden with drug-addled welfare recipients. Indeed, most drug addicts are not actually on welfare. You probably don’t know this, but drugs cost a lot of money.*** And people seem to think that poor people are more likely to do drugs—thus the perception that welfare recipients are drug addicts and misusing the system. However, as you may have heard from this over-discussed argument, and I quote from the NYTimes, “Recent federal statistics indicate that welfare recipients are no more likely than the general population to abuse drugs. Data show that about 8 percent of people use drugs illegally. Before a random drug testing program in Michigan was suspended by a court challenge, about 8 percent of its public assistance applicants tested positive.” So, as the argument goes, our insistence that we drug test the poor only further propels the belief that poor people are drug addicts.

And furthermore, other statistics show that 70% of drug users actually have a full time job (note the “drugs are expensive” statement above). You can Google this if you please.

For those college students that I may be targeting, please note that most of your loans and grants for school came from the government as aid to you. Since you clearly can’t put yourself in the position of a welfare recipient—I don’t know what you think poor people do, but I can definitely say they are not having the time of their lives living under the poverty line—giving the government this right could easily mean giving the government the right to test any person who is receiving aid. That’s you! And while I sincerely detest the slippery slope argument on any grounds, I don’t really see the difference between welfare and Medicaid and other types of aid us mildly poor people receive.

And, obviously, I wouldn’t end this without noting the fact that drug testing welfare recipients does not save the government any money, as noted in this recent Floridia article. I should also point out the the Governor of Florida, Rick Scott, who pushed this bill into action, owns the majority of shares in the company that does the drug testing, giving him significant financial gain for these measures.

*Yes, that’s the correct wording.

**Check your local library for a copy of the Constitution.

***Don’t quote me on that.

WARNING: I did not proof-read this very closely, as I find it boring to do.

Founding Fathers—Once a Liberal Drunk, Always a Liberal Drunk.

Let’s talk founding fathers. You might steer clear of conversations with such boring undertones, and frankly I don’t blame you. But let me shed some light on the most hilariously social founding father of all time: Benjamin Franklin.

Black and white photo of Benjamin Franklin

Here is Benny looking rather pudgy, and a bit colorless if I may say so.

The Benjamin Franklin I have in my mind (from a long history of shunning archaic fat men) is a reticent white man of the continual age of 80. Was Benjamin Franklin ever younger than 80? The answer is, of course, no. And actions speak louder than words in this situation, which may not mean anything to you just yet. But Franklin, whose iconic photo to the left seems rather harmless and portly—I’ll resist calling him beefy since I would never be able to unequate edible animals with Ben—was actually very mischievous and, surprisingly, farcical.

Perhaps the first man to coin the American Dream (the concept, not the term), Old Benny tended to write away his “errata” and leave behind sagacious maps for younger generations of  supposedly hearty half-witted ham heads. Continue reading