Damn, home the second day in a row.
Yeah…I don’t work that much, but I was hoping to get out to one of my side jobs this week (if the frozen rain ever stopped).
And of course, I write books and blog posts and other stuff you hate…but which others like, and which earns me money.
It comes down to my six-year-old, Paul.
Yep…he got sick this week: a fever on Monday which turned into staying home from school on Tuesday, and damn it – wouldn’t you know it? – the wife says he’s now got to stay home on Wednesday, too.
There goes the work week. There goes possible earnings…and here comes an extra bit of hardship come the end of the month when the rent (and power, and internet, and healthcare) bills are due.
Yep, some of us work in the private sector, where you don’t get healthcare, you don’t get sick days, and you sure as shit don’t get vacation time. Miss a day, you don’t get paid – simple as that.
Ain’t easy, and ain’t getting’ any easier.
But enough about my problems.
Let’s talk about ‘yours’.
The majority of Missoula City Councilors had no idea that $22,000 was being taken out of the city’s general fund to pay for further water acquisition lawsuits.
When this – something that is anathema to the water bond levy – was pointed out to them, they looked at their feet and voted for it anyways.
Another hum-dinger that the Missoula City Council gave us this week was a potential lawsuit based on the Grove Street development per the 1974 MT Supreme Court Case.
No Missoula city councilors had any idea about this.
Well, one did – Jesse Ramos. He warned the Council, but they didn’t give a damn about what a conservative had to say.
And why should they? It won’t cost them anything, just the property taxpayers they represent.
What’s especially sad about the Grove Street development is that it’s being billed as a solution to our affordable housing crisis.
Yeah…$300,000 townhouses…quite affordable, eh?
I ran for the City Council because of what we saw here on Monday night - $1,500/month representatives who get free healthcare but won’t take the time to research what they’re voting on.
But Missoula wants this. We saw this in November. Voices like mine and Ramos’ don’t matter and no one wants to listen to them.
We’ll see how that turns out a few years from now.
The Space X Launch
Well, if you haven’t seen the video yet, I highly encourage you to watch it.
Skip to about the middle, and that’s when the sucker lifts off.
Shortly after that, it beats the sound barrier and then it’s in space.
It’s fun watching the control folk cheer and shout when David Bowie’s “Life on Mars” begins to play.
Perhaps you know that Elon Musk strapped a Tesla Roadster onto the top of that rocket, with the aim of launching it toward Mars and then the sun. If successful, that puppy’ll be in orbit around our star for millions of years.
Talk about ego; talk about success; talk about the hunger to succeed and push boundaries and do what no one else can do…simply because they haven’t worked up the urge to try.
And then to land two key, expensive parts back onto platforms – having judged their exact trajectory months before – well…besides the ability to use them again, that’s priceless (a third broke apart on the platform, becoming unusable).
I’m reminded of the historical fiction novels I write – enterprising individuals pushing forward into an unknown and hostile universe that’s wholly different from their own.
Of course there’s resistance, and hardships, and setbacks. But for those that stay on the path – or launchpad or river – they often reap the rewards.
It’s hard being successful.
I think about this when I write my characters, men like Manuel Lisa and William Clark and William Ashley.
Each success has to be outdone by a more, spectacular success.
It’s hard propping-up that success, too.
I think about this when I write about the regular folk, the common man, the guy that gets things done and doesn’t get much in return. Hell, often they die doing it.
Each hard-wrought task has to be followed by another, often harder task…and all to make ends meat.
We’re living in exciting times, as Americans always have. It’s nice to see private enterprise taking the lead, blazing new trails, and exciting the American people while doing so.
Whether back on the rivers in the 1820s, or up into space in the 2010s, Americans are awed and inspired by the intrepid few that go boldly into the darkest recesses and come out on top.
How ‘bout them stocks?
I believe 50% of Americans don’t own stocks. I’m willing to bet most of the other 50% has ‘em just in their 401(k)’s and such.
Don’t matter much to me what happens in the Wall Street Casino – I work in the real world.
And boy…that real world is getting better. Employment is up and wages are too. That’s the big reason stocks fell so much – Wall Street doesn’t like the working man to get a foot up.
Still, here in Missoula it’s tough.
Each day I look at the classified job ads on Craigslist, Indeed.com, and the Missoula Job Service.
Mostly it’s ads for nurses and truck drivers. Besides that it’s a lot of receptionists. After that the jobs listed are usually for $9 an hour.
Not bad – about 70 cents over minimum wage.
Perhaps you didn’t notice, but the minimum wage in Montana went up by 15 cents last month.
If you actually get 40 hours a week, that’d be an extra $6 on your paycheck.
Yep, $12 a month, or $144 a year.
What would Nancy Pelosi call that? We know she thinks $1,000 is “crumbs,” so in this case…well, what’s smaller than that?
My wage, that’s what.
Then there’s that shmuck Paul Ryan saying that a secretary making an extra $1.50 a week is a sign that America is strong, the tax cuts are good.
Talk about living in la-la land.
In another couple weeks I’ll be showing you paystubs from 2-3 of my jobs, comparing them to last year’s.
Will it be more than $1.50 a week?
Just remember, 57% of Americans don’t have $1,000 in savings. This country isn’t strong because our people aren’t secure.
Added military spending will do nothing to make them secure. Security comes from the pocketbook, and the sense of wellbeing that it provides.
But in America today, the ruling elite isn’t interested in our security; they’re interested in our fear, and keeping it at high levels so we sheepishly go along with their agenda, no matter how deleterious it is to our own lives.
Wow, what a story in the Havre Daily News!
It’s called Senate candidate causes school lockdown.
It’s GOP Senate candidate James Dean. Seems he’s behind in his child support payments, and – instead of paying them – he decided to barge into the school unannounced to try and take his kids away.
You might remember the story on Friday about a U-Haul truck pulled up in front of the Dean’s house.
Well…are they both Deans? A lot of doubt was cast upon their marriage when their dual-candidacies first emerged last year.
Boy…what a story – let’s not even get into the possible rape of one of the Deans’ kids…which may have been the inciting incident for both to file on the same day (Sept. 25…court charges in the rape case were filed Oct 27).
The fine folks up in Havre have been doing a helluva job chronicling these two interesting personas over the past 6 months.
And now it seems the fairytale is finally coming to an end.
That on the same day that Russ Fagg filed to run for the U.S. Senate, just the third such opposition candidate to do so.
I do believe 5 to 6 have declared, but – a month before the filing cutoff – just a couple have put their money where their mouth is.
Will James or Sarah Dean do the same?
For James…I think no. His Montana tale has come to an end.
But what about Sarah?
She seems to have her shit together a bit more…though if you go by recent interviews, maybe not.
Yes, it is a sad primary show against Tester this year…but what did you expect? Tester’s held in high favor, he’s inherited the fundraising coterie of Max, and – should Schumer ever get the hell out of the way – he’s got the chance to fill (and perhaps surpass) Mansfield’s legacy.
A lot on the table.
And a lot can happen before the filing deadline ends in March.