Deep Sigh

When state and local governments run out of money, they have to make cuts. No surprise there.

The problem is, governments are in charge of things many of us value. Like say roads, fire departments, schools. I could go on, but the latest WTF moment in local funding cuts comes to us from Topeka, Kansas. Topeka: A place where it is currently okay to engage in domestic violence because it’s too expensive to prosecute cases. Yes, you read correctly ladies and gentlemen. Your spouse or loved one can beat your ass, you can call the police (are there any left? government pays their salaries too after all) and the police can respond, “Well, good luck, but there’s nothing we can do.”

The good news is that this controversial measure is “under review” which means the final decision has not yet been made (shout out of the abusers who were in jail but got sent home in the interim). In other words, the city may figure out something else is too expensive to prosecute instead. Or maybe they’ll try the Coos Bay solution and cut school to four days to make ends meet. (Way to win the future).

Some people (a minority these days) get testy at the mere mention of raising revenue (taxes) for government services. But really? Is this the level of sacrifice we’re willing to put up with?.

Attention Please. Small Government? Um, not so much.

I hope you guys have been paying attention. I use the words guys loosely because so much of what’s been going on in government adversely impacts women. In January we had Congress attempting to redefine what counts as rape. Now we have state governments criminalizing women and doctors for legal medical procedures and barring Medicaid recipients from low-cost health care altogether! It’s down right scary.

This ridiculousness comes at a time when legislators all but banned the word uterus from normal political discourse, while a jury acquitted a man of rape, ostensibly due, in part, to a woman bruising her cervix from being too enthusiastic with a washcloth. (No country for basic anatomy. Body parts are dirty words after all).

It’s not all about women’s issues. There’s enough to go around for poor and working class people (many also women) who, without probable cause, now have to submit to drug testing prior to receiving government assistance. Before you get the chance to assert how reasonable this could be, let me help you – it isn’t. It’s discriminatory and disgusting. Period. People don’t deserve to be treated as potential criminals because times are hard. (Rachel Maddow is brilliant as always on much of this. It’s 6 minutes well spent).

The point of this post is to make sure you’re paying attention. The buzzwords are smaller government and taking the country back, but the actual policies are larger, more intrusive, and discriminatory, and they punish women, poor and working class people, and people of color. These laws get written and  passed by legislators. This is an important point.

Who is (supposedly) representing your interests? Do you know what they’re really doing?