Okay, I can do this

I have a day of professional development on Wednesday, so this is how the next couple of weeks are going to go:

  • Two days of work, one of which was today and is therefore done
  • A day at home on Zoom, away from children
  • Two days of work; the second day is payday
  • A weekend
  • Three days of work, one of which is the PSAT and then “Shut up, leave me alone, and finish your missing work”
  • A teacher record day
  • Our four-day Fall Break

That should be manageable, right? I make it through tomorrow and, no matter what happens tomorrow, I don’t have to see any of the kids on Wednesday– not the ones I like or the ones I don’t. Sure.

In other news, I spent the day being smug about having nuked my presence on Facebook while everyone else freaked out about the outage, and … well, everything else is misery and despair, mostly.

Okay, maybe not everything. I like this video game a lot, and it looks like a Pixar movie, so you should go watch me play it:

That’s what I’ve got. Gonna go curl up with a cat and a book.

Yeah, it’s Monday

Not to Garfield it all up in this motherfucker or anything, but I’m disgusted with the current state of the world at the moment and I’m eager to get my Dark Souls run finished over at my stupid video game site, so if it’s okay with everyone I’m going to do that instead of writing a post that would likely just be me trying to figure out how many parts of speech I can use motherfucker in in a single piece of writing.

Work was fine today; this is a Politics Bad Mood, where most of what I want to write would get the FBI looking in my direction, which seems unwise. So I’mma cram my bad feelings deep down inside, not spend any time thinking about how Don Corleone would handle Joe Manchin and Krysten Sinema, and kill some fucking monsters with a scythe. I’ll see you all tomorrow.

Yes I know this is pointless

I posted this the other day, intending for it to be a shitpost:

And something interesting has happened: I can’t stop thinking about it, and on top of that I’ve started thinking about the connection between UBI and veteran homelessness. I did get a suggestion in comments that I alter the criteria from “one year” to simply “honorable discharge,” which I’m not necessarily upset about and makes pretty good sense.

But here’s the thing: is there a pathway to getting progressive ideas in place for everyone by applying them to the military first? America loves its soldiers, or at least likes to pretend that it loves its soldiers; the fact that veteran homelessness is such a big problem in the first place is a sign that we don’t live up to our ideals here any more than we do anywhere else, but that’s a whole different post. All the same, I’m imagining a situation where a politician runs for office with a major plank of her campaign being to end homelessness among veterans. And what, pray tell, is the mechanism for this plan? A solid UBI and guaranteed housing.

(Side note: You may recall, accurately, that I despise Andrew Yang; one of the reasons I do so is that he seemed entirely unaware that the people who needed his $12,000 the most would see their money immediately gobbled up by their landlords. UBI without some sort of control over the housing market makes no sense at all.)

Don’t get too caught up in the details right now; this is entirely hypothetical and I don’t plan to run for office anyway. But let’s play a game here: if said politician was able to push into law a plan where honorable service in the military earned you a livable wage and a place to live for the rest of your life– so that there was no way for a veteran to end up homeless short of deciding to do so– is there also a hypothetical world where a few years down the road that logic gets extended to, say, service professions, like cops and firefighters and teachers and whoever, and then maybe later on gets extended to everyone if it works?

There’s a ton of room, obviously, to quibble around the details of The Plan, and how guaranteed housing would work, and of course there’s tons of room for such a thing to be done poorly, because this is the world, and I get that. I’m just wondering about the strategy of it all, and I’m trying to imagine the reactions of people who would want a UBI but who would also prefer no further money gets spent on the military at all. Would it be worth even trying such a thing, counting on American lip service to venerating their military to carry the plan through? (Who’s going to be the politician arguing that veterans should be homeless? Good luck.)

Is the existence of the VA and the lack of universal healthcare a guarantee already that this is a pipe dream?

I dunno. But I’m thinking about it.

On Afghanistan

I don’t know a Goddamn thing about Afghanistan.

Well, okay, that’s not quite true. I probably know more about Afghanistan than most Americans. But that is a perilously low bar, and does not really imply anything worth bragging about, and if the bar is not compared to other Americans but is my knowledge of this country useful or sufficient, well … it ain’t, on either count.

I saw someone suggest on Twitter earlier today that the one thing we could have done to avoid what’s going on right now in Afghanistan would have been to elect Al Gore in 2000, and I have some sympathy for that argument. I saw another that suggested that Biden has simply decided to be the President who takes the hit for a result that was going to be inevitable whenever we decided to leave, and that the main thing the policies of the Presidents between him and Dubya have done has been kicking the can down the road so that the disaster after the withdrawal was someone else’s problem.

We have been in Afghanistan nearly half my life. The Taliban has simply … waited. They are more patient than us. They always have been. No matter which President chose to leave, the Taliban were still going to be there, waiting. And I don’t think that the regular Afghans were especially happy to have us there either. One way or another, they were still going to be there when we left.

I do, however, feel like it’s not unreasonable to suggest that maybe, just maybe, we should have done something more to help those who helped us. America should have been welcoming of Afghan refugees for decades, and we haven’t, and I have to believe that the number of people we’re looking to evacuate– I’m seeing the number 3500– is sorely insufficient. There are apparently just short of 100,000 Afghans in the United States right now. I feel like after 20 years of occupying their country that seems like a very small number.

We spent two trillion dollars and lost over six thousand soldiers there in twenty years, and in the end it was for nothing. We probably shouldn’t have been there in the first place, or maybe we should have just kept paying attention after we got there— Afghanistan has always been our forgotten war even just after it started, when our attention immediately turned to Iraq. I don’t know. I don’t know how things could have gone better. I’m not sure how they could have gone much worse, either.

I suppose we’re about to find out what the results of 20 years of shitty policy looks like one way or another.

In which I don’t have it tonight

This thing with Makyi is still weighing heavily on my head and my heart, to the point where I’m starting to wonder what the best route to getting the felony murder statute overturned in Indiana would be. I have enough mental energy to fuck around with video games on Youtube but not enough to blog coherently. So I’m taking the night off, and I’ll be back tomorrow.