Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Mad Post-Zombie-Apocalypse Skillz

So it's been an interesting week (or so). Mostly just life as normal - busy, busy.

Recent accomplishments:
- Finished a sweater(-ish?) thing that I started a while ago and promptly forgot about.
- Confessed my love for refashioning old things and thrift stores. Chuck just realized that he has nicer clothes now that we shop at thrift stores, and he gets hand me downs from my brothers.
- Started planning my trip to SC while Chuck's living it up in Florida. Seems like I'll be in Cola on the first, making a side trip to Charleston to see Kay (or maybe meeting half way?) on Sunday, then in G'ville until Wednesday morning.
- Realized that April is nearly over, and I'm still confused about where March went.
- Need to sit down and review algebra so I can take my math test next week (hopefully).
- Found a new allergy medicine that is like magic :-D My old one just can't stand up to the pollen here. Finally had to change (I was stubbornly clinging to "I'm fiiiiine") after I had to call in sick to the hospital on Thursday. I'm pretty sure having their volunteers look like they have the plague isn't exactly what they're after.
- Realized that I need to be more up to date on local politics (I would've gone to the rallies if I had known about them ahead of time). The Georgia government was seriously thinking about cutting the Arts Council as part of budget cuts. The Arts Council provides much of the funding for pretty much all the arts in GA. They had a rally at the capitol building this Monday that I would've loved to go to :-( The governor's fiscal plan cuts 2/3 of the Georgia Arts Council's funding, which effectively destroys the Arts Council. Without the Arts Council, Georgia doesn't have another agency that would qualify for the National Endowment for the Arts, so we would lose that funding as well. And that would effectively make Georgia the only state (including territories) without a state arts council. Also, it would effectively raise the unemployment rate SIGNIFICANTLY from the all-time high we're at now (10.6%). In that case, we can't even comfort ourselves by saying, "Well, there's always Alabama."
- Another political rally I wish I had gone to was last night. This dilemma actually made national news. MARTA currently is the 9th largest transit system in the country, and of those, is the only one that doesn't get state aid. They run solely off of fares and a penny sales tax in two counties (of the 28 in the Metro Atlanta area). And of that sales tax, it is ILLEGAL for them to use 50% of that revenue for day-to-day cost. They HAVE to use it on new things. So basically they're asking the state for money (like everyone else), and are pretty sure they aren't going to get it, but what they'd really like is for that law to be rewritten so they can use their money for their operating costs. If the state decides to do nothing, MARTA will have to cut a THIRD of it's service, raise fares (again), and lay off up to 1,500 of it's 5000 employees. Can you imagine what would happen to Atlanta if 30% of the trains and buses were stopped? We've already got like the second worse commute in the country (at least LA's got us there) - and you're just going to put that many more cars on the roads? Not to mention that about half the people that ride MARTA have no other form of transportation available. The state of Georgia has always had it in for MARTA (and Atlanta) - I think they're being even more pissy now with all the liberal things that have happened at the federal level lately. Oh, and proof - they're working on other legislation which will basically let individual areas (districts) tax for transit systems - and they specifically, by name, said these funds cannot go to MARTA.

Basically Georgia's doing it's best to make sure we (as a state) continue to spiral downwards economically. But we can handle it - because we've recently started categorizing our skills in terms of how useful they'd be after a zombie apocalypse. And we've started honing our skills to prepare for such an event. We'll be prepared for when Georgia becomes the ass end of the U.S. and then eventually the country gets so tired of us, they'll just boot us out :-P Or maybe they'll just send in special forces to take out the great governor Sonny Perdue.


Update after talking to Chuck's mom: apparently Perdue snuck in (without telling ANYONE) a merit-based pay for teachers in his budget without telling anyone after the state legislature voted against this last year. Merit-based pay is basically saying, well we'll pay you, but only equivalent to the progress we think that your students have made. Naturally, this has the teachers up in arms (especially Chuck's mom - can you imagine getting paid on the "progress" the government thinks your special needs students have made?) And one thing EVERY politician in Georgia should learn: DON'T PISS OFF THE TEACHERS. They're the only reason that Perdue got voted in (when his predecessor was asked why GA schools are the rear-end of the country's school systems, he said "Oh, it's the teachers' fault." Ironically, GA has some of the most politically active teachers in the country). So, I hope Perdue is ready to go down in flames.

Also, the State Senate voted to restore some of the money that the House approved to cut from the Arts Council. So the Arts Council lives, but barely - it still got over half it's budget cut.

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