Tuesday, February 3, 2009

And Justice for All

Wow; aside from the fact I woke up from an intensely long, but far more interesting and instructive than moving boxes for hours (and definitely as cool as running through a line of zombies at Burning Man while wearing longjohns), dream in which I plucked a perfect drop apple from the brick steps of a little courtyard autumn night garden on my way through, loving Boston and taking a sweet bite- and peeps, remember I still have braces- so now I am running behind because this one required lying in bed and recounting for a half hour...

Last night I learned something about a new friend that just gets me going: why he is disenfranchised, forever at this point unable to vote in an election in this country. I've thought about this subject often and really got fired up to do something about it finally. But what? You tell me. Here's the situation: In the man's own words:

"I pulled a string of auto thefts and burglaries in the 80's (my late teens) which resulted in a lifetime of exclusion from the political process, though it's been more than 20 years since then and I've lived right since. It's difficult when you're politically passionate.Thanks for asking!"

My reply:

"Dude, you know what? That just pisses me off. It's like the students I used to work with, mostly homeless, or transient, so they did what they had to do, and one of them ended up getting a criminal record for selling pot. Never could get student loans when she decided she would like to go to college and find a career. Thanks to... one of the Bushes, I think? I can't recall, but that is a load of horseshite. A person makes a mistake and has to pay forever? WTF!?

"I am so sorry. There has to be a way to push this one so people can vote. I have thought of that often, of people coming out of the prison system with a record and wanting to go out and be part of their community again and actually do it without crime, and we automatically shove people aside and say, 'You're not good enough.' You got me all fired up now! I am so sorry. That sucks for you.

"And p.s. I am glad I own a Saturn; though you probably would have stolen... I don't know how old you are, but I am guessing, either my sweet red Duster with the black hardtop and leaking sunroof that I bought for 200 bucks, or my favorite car ever owned, the super sweet little red Golf GT. heheh!"

After dealing with my dream, I got up thinking about how actually someone did steal that Golf, from right by one of the satellite cop shops in Lowell, while Dave, Tomas, Uncy and I were enjoying a friend's band at a club nearby. The car showed up a few days later on the river bank a couple miles away, closer to where we lived on another side of the city. There were empty 40 bottles in there and it was pretty trashed, had been taken for a little joy ride and left for dead... felt like a violation, to be sure... Who were those ass-jacks? And maybe they deserved a little jail time. Or at least if I'd ever caught them myself, I would have made them share their beer, right? Kidding. It was a disrespectful and crappy thing to do, to steal our car for a little fun.

But people make mistakes. Yeah! It's true! Like this girl with whom I worked at the shelter in Burlington. She'd got caught selling pot and got a record. Then, when she'd made a serious choice to enroll in community college and start working toward a degree, she learned that she would never be able to receive financial aid because of her record at 17, even though now she was 19.

And my friend is smart, politically passionate, as he says here, socially aware, a responsible adult student at the university here, with a long-term GF and two little daughters. But HE CAN'T VOTE.

It is high time for that rule to change. It has been for a long time. I mean, crap, look at all the guys who've made it big in the financial sector while regular people make less and less, proportionally, and are losing their jobs on top of that, and these guys not only vote, they have key posts in the government. Again, WTF!?

So, this governor of Texas in the article I posted last evening, thanks to the FFM, who is the one who had both the moving boxes and the zombie longjohn dreams, BTW- imagine what it's like here when we wake up at 3AM and start comparing stories... Anyway, this governor, back in the early 90s, said: “You don't have a clue what is going on and neither do the American people because if they did, there would be a revolution in this country.” - Former Texas Gov. John Connally to Gerald Celente, 1992

That's what it's all about. It's time to revolt and take back this country. Let smart people who actually have served some time and made some mistakes for which they were held accountable be part of the decision-making process when it comes to electing and serving. Yeah, I said serving. It's called a civic duty, and it's time for those who are privileged enough to be placed in legislative, executive and judicial positions to do their jobs.

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