Yesterday my good friend Dick J. read my last rant and made a sparkling point. He pointed out that its possible to raise capital and donate it to worthy institutions that are supposed to be publicly funded, while at the same time putting public pressure on elected officials to make sure adequate tax revenue reaches those institutions. I couldn’t argue with his stellar logic, of course. He is a brilliant man who tends to see the big picture through far more optimistic glasses than I ever will.

My reason for sticking to my guns has nothing to do with disagreeing with his point, however. Its my opinion that his thinking is very appropriate to situations such as local public schools, where the people raising the money are doing it for a need that is very immediate to themselves and their own children; they can’t wait around for our country to reform its property-tax-based system of educational funding. In my opinion, though, the veterans’ benefits thing is entirely different. I still refuse to stuff my income into envelopes while the Republican-controlled legislature votes to support the Bush cabal in its efforts to make deep cuts in veterans’ benefits, including medical care. What frelling planet are we living on, people?! I can’t be the only one who sees the self-insulting idiocy of this situation existing in a climate where the media and everyone else with a public voice are bleating “even if you don’t support the war you HAVE to support the troops!!” Support the troops indeed. I’m supposed to throw down a few more bits of my income to ‘support the troops’ while the corporate lackeys in Congress and the White House funnel the cash I’ve already given them away from the troops and toward their masters. Not today.

If my only form of public protest turns out to be refusing to participate in the diversionary ritual of the poppy thingies, then I will do so, and hope that someone asks me why. At least I may get the opportunity to explain my view of the situation to one more person.

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