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November 05, 2004

Thieves at work in the "marketplace of ideas"

Kos: "Laura makes $6/hour. She drives a dying Ford Escort. Her latest crisis is her insurance expired on Oct. 9 (her ex-partner cancelled policy). She needs to come up with $211 to get insurance for one month or face a $1,000 fine if she gets caught driving with no insurance. We have public transportation between 7 am and 6 pm. She has to be at work at 6am. She has been walking to work lately but it is about 2 miles, she is 5 months pregnant, it is dark at 5 am, and winter is coming. Solution? Go begging at the churches who have money for these things if she attends bible school until 9 pm. This week she moves into low income subsidized housing. Her newest crisis is she has found out when [her employer] is closed for the Christmas holiday (one month) she has no employment. She is hoping to find temporary employment as a seasonal retail worker to tide her over. She doesn't know what she will do when the baby is born, hopes she can work up till the last week (she is on her feet all day with this job). She will be eligible for subsidized daycare.

"She voted for Bush because of his 'family values.'"

The neo-conservative perversion of language defies belief. How did "freedom" come to mean "free rein for corporate robber barons"? How did "family values" come to mean "putting mothers and children at the mercy of abusive fathers"? How did "individuals" come to mean "fundamentalist Americans" while "liberal elite" came to mean "non-fundamentalist Americans"?

How did the "marketplace of ideas," a laudable concept in an open and engaged democracy, come to mean "a thieves' kitchen where you'll get rolled, ripped off and made to accept that you want it to happen again."

How can the centrists claim the language back?

November 5, 2004 in Current Affairs | Permalink


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