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02 March 2011 @ 07:29 pm
A Poison Pen Letter For Senate Bill 5  
WARNING: The following is a rant. It is full of vitriol, dramatics, honest emotion and unapologetic criticism of political manipulation. It is not party-specific, though it does contain some religious and political references. If you're easily offended, or just not in the mood to read the frustrated ravings of an Ohio voter, you're welcome to skip it. I can't apologize for any of this-- these are my honest feelings as I watch Senate Bill 5 make its way to the House of Representatives. Maybe it sounds over blown and theatrical, but this has far-reaching consequences for my family and I. I imagine there are many families in Ohio who feel a sense of bleak despair as they look to the next few years.

I'm not trying to offend individuals-- my fury is aimed at the system, at the pseudo-artistocracy that has gotten so completely out of touch with those they represent. I know this is a touchy subject but I can't keep this to myself.

ETA: I realize excessive use of insults may detract from some of the points I'm making. This isn't a factual piece, or even an arguement. Unfortunately, its too late for discussion, for consideration of rational options. I'm not out to change anyone's mind-- I just want you to feel what I'm feeling. Just for a moment.

I'll leave the rational arguements to the far more elegant Mr. Charles Reese: 545 People Directly Responsible for US Woes.




Dear Ohio Senate,

Thank you, for doing such a marvelous job standing up for your constituents. I utter this phrase, of course, with only the most violent sarcasm-- you have betrayed your voting base in the most horrendous way possible. As the citizens of your districts struggle against the difficulties of the national economy, we can feel even better knowing that you're perfectly willing to pull away what remains of our emergency services, fire rescue, police protection, and educational standards. As you sleep on your cots in the Senate building-- those little roll-aways you keep so you don't have shell out money for a goddamn hotel room-- I hope your dreams are peaceful and undisturbed by the notion that you've just pounded a nail into the heart of the middle class. Thank you for keeping us safe from those omnipresent dangers-- unions, collective bargaining, the protection of workers. Lord knows such notions truly go against the idea of Democracy!

The bile I'm spitting is hurting my throat, but you black-hearted Fascists need to hear it. Career politicians with nothing to concern yourself with but finding funds for your next reelection campaign, or what brand of high-end office furniture to spend our taxpayer dollars on. While you congratulate yourself on another step forward for this disgusting bill, I'll be sitting here with my brother, trying to figure out how we're going to keep the house we now live in. My brother is a high school music teacher-- your bill will cut his salary from 46k (already lower than previous, since the administration cut teacher pay 3% but gave themselves a holiday bonus) to 24K a year. That's barely 5 thousand more than I make as a credit analyst. I'm vastly over qualified for my own job, but pathetically grateful to have it since it includes medical coverage that is now-- guess what!-- actually cheaper than my brother's. With this bill, you revoke the sick days he had banked. Sick days he never took, because he's dedicated to his job, and he was promised that his attendance would be rewarded with a percentage cash-out when he retired. All of that is gone now.

Ohio is in the red. Well, guess what-- that didn't happen over night! It happened over years, over decades, while you were writing things off on expense accounts and giving yourselves raises. Senate Bill 5 cuts the pay, union rights, and benefits provided for teachers, police, fire fighters, and other civil servants. Someone is except from this all encompassing betrayal, though. Someone isn't being robbed of all the things they were promised over the years, all the things they worked hard for. Senate Bill 5 does not touch the pay of Senators and State Representatives.

Filthy, worthless shollygosters; you're not even clever enough to disguise your true intentions. You're nothing but a pack of vampires, worthless subhuman leeches who pull and pull from people who work hard every day, people who wonder how (and even if!) they should send their children to college. Have you ever even looked at a gas-electric statement and wondered how you're going to afford it? Have you ever made the mortgage payment only to open your mailbox three days later and discover they've ever-so-thoughtfully already sent you the next one? Ever had a sudden, unexpected expense that makes your heart drop down into your bowels, or prayed the AC will hold out for just one more summer? What about the humiliating experience of calling over a medical bill, having to beg some faceless drone to let you pay $600 in installments? And that's what your insurance doesn't cover! I sincerely doubt you understand any of these tiny degredations, the ones that come again and again. If you've known their bite, you've forgotten about it, because no feeling human being would willingly be a part of such a travesty. No matter how we struggle, my family and I have been incredibly lucky. I know that-- I pray every day our luck holds out, because it can always get a hell of a lot worse. Every day, there are people in far more dire straights than I, right here. In my own state, in my own town. I'm not a public employee, but I'm going to suffer. Not just because my brother is a teacher, oh no-- all of Ohio will suffer from your shortsighted greed. Our schools will suffer, our neighborhoods will be less safe. Tell me that civil servant pay was the only thing there for you to cut. Tell me there weren't at least a dozen other 'public works projects' you gave higher priority, thanks to whoever is lining your pockets.

I won't say I hope your sleep is disturbed. People like you sleep deep and well, with no dreams to flit across that empty place where any well developed personality would have a conscience. I won't even say that people won't vote for you again; you've been suckering everyone too long. You're ancient, dottering whores but you know all the tricks. I don't believe in the common notion of God, so I won't cast aspirations about the heavenly consequences of your behavior.

I do believe in Justice, and in the spirit of the Constitution this nation was first founded on. The most beautiful document in the history of modern Western thought and philosophy, signed by men who were flawed (slave-holders, philanderers, men who drank or where careless with their coin) but possessed of vision. Fifty-six men, many of whom suffered and died, to sign a document you clearly not only have no respect for, but are also incapable of even comprehending. Justice stands wearing her blindfold, though sometimes it seems these days that she would be more accurately depicted raped, trussed up and left to die in a gutter with her tongue cut out. I believe in Justice, though this world gives little evidence of it-- I have to, because what else is left? What else is there, if there's no one to punish the greedy, the corrupt, the wicked? I force myself to believe that someday, She'll find you.

Sightless, tongueless, yes; but there's no hiding from Her at the end.

I hope your money and power are of great comfort to you, then.

Sincerely,
Meredith



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kittenmommykittenmommy on March 3rd, 2011 12:37 am (UTC)

Senate Bill 5 does not touch the pay of Senators and State Representatives.

Surprise, surprise.

IDEK what's happening to this country. It's all going straight to Hell.
Meredith Bronwen Mallory: ineedadrinkgarnettrees on March 3rd, 2011 03:00 am (UTC)
IDEK what's happening to this country. It's all going straight to Hell.
I used to think that we might be able to find some way back from this. Now, I'm having a hard time holding onto that hope. They keep passing these Draconian legislative policies, trying to force the general population into a type of serfdom. The worst part is, they'll never feel guilty about it.
-Meredith
kittenmommykittenmommy on March 3rd, 2011 10:52 am (UTC)

I used to think that we might be able to find some way back from this. Now, I'm having a hard time holding onto that hope.

My thoughts exactly. Between Ohio and Wisconsin, we're probably going to have another Kent State before we're done.

The worst part is, they'll never feel guilty about it.

The worst part is that we're so indifferent that we're letting them. People shrug, say "meh", and change the channel to see who's on Dancing With The Stars.
Meredith Bronwen Mallory: ineedadrinkgarnettrees on March 3rd, 2011 04:31 pm (UTC)
Between Ohio and Wisconsin, we're probably going to have another Kent State before we're done.
Not to mention the galling behavior in Rhode Island. From what I hear, Indiana is also one of the states that has a bill like Ohio's #5 in the works. The sad thing is, even if a teacher were to relocate to a state without such a bill, the chances of getting hired would be remote. Most districts want inexperienced teachers, so they can start them off at base salary. A teacher with full licensing, a Masters degree, and years of service under their belt would be considered "overqualified". *rolls eyes*

People shrug, say "meh", and change the channel to see who's on Dancing With The Stars.
You're right. People are so apathetic about the running of their own country, its absurd. When you think about how passionately people have been risking (and losing) their lives in places like Egypt and Libiya, it seems like a total cognitive disconnect. I don't think most Americans can really comprehend the emotion behind it.

And that's a damn shame.
kittenmommykittenmommy on March 3rd, 2011 05:18 pm (UTC)

You're right. People are so apathetic about the running of their own country, its absurd. When you think about how passionately people have been risking (and losing) their lives in places like Egypt and Libiya, it seems like a total cognitive disconnect. I don't think most Americans can really comprehend the emotion behind it.

I think that many Americans aren't even aware that it's happening, or if they are, only peripherally. It's just not "important" to them, you know? So they don't follow it. Things like the Oscars get enormous coverage, but important world events? Boring!

And that's a damn shame.

ITA.