Archive for Draft

The Lie of Home Ownership and other myths of the Supremacy of Modern American Life.

Posted in Apartments, Economy, Life, Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 9, 2012 by urbannight

One of the hallmarks of the ‘American Dream’ is home ownership. The phrase “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” originally meant life, liberty and the pursuit of property. (Or so we were taught in my college government course)

But I would argue that it is a myth. It isn’t really true.

Lets say you buy a house and over the years you get it paid off early. So now you feel it is truly yours and you no longer have to pay the bank. You have a deed that states that house and bit of dirt it sits on is your personal property. You still have to pay the government to actually have the right to own it. If you don’t, the government can seize it. Even thought you OWN it. It used to be that the local government could seize it to put a road through as well. But that law has changed. Now they can seize it if they want to build a mall there or if they want to put in a country club.

Ultimately, this means you DON’T really own anything. Despite what you paid to get that piece of paper saying you own it. At least you got a tax break on it. Oh wait, no. Romney wants to take that away. So you will no longer get that deductible on your taxes, which is about the only reason, anymore, that they say ‘owning’ is better than renting. 

At least if you rent, Renters insurance is less costly than home owners insurance and if you need something fixed, you just call maintenance and you don’t end up with a repair bill. 

Seems to me, renting is now the way to go.

Basically, home ownership is more like having a feudal estate.  You don’t ‘own’ the land, it is loaned to you by the government for you to manage for them.  And then you send in a portion of what you earn from the land in ‘taxes’ to the king.  Only people don’t usually ‘work’ a lot that a house sits on for income.  So you pay income taxes on the work you DO do and then you pay property taxes from the same work income. 

Wow.   I think those feudal landowners’ probably had it better.  They only paid one tax.  They just had to fight for their lord when war happened.  Oh yeah, we do that too.  Sometimes through volunteer service and sometimes through a draft.  And, sometimes, people who volunteered and served their term of service are not allowed to leave when their time is over.  So maybe they were still better off back then.

At least we have better medical treatment.  Although, for an industrialized, first world nation, we have the worst rates for easily prevented death from asthma.  We also have a strangely high infant mortality rate from other preventable deaths (from conditions that should have been preventable).  This is because medical costs are so high that people don’t go to the doctor for things that don’t look, seem, or sound serious at the moment.  Not like other industrialized countries with nationalized health care and people can go to the doctor for things more often without going into bankruptcy (even thought many people who lose everything because of medical dept actually have health insurance).  So while we have better medical treatment it is too costly for people to access it.  Lets call that a null.  So feudal people are still better off.

The working conditions were not great.  At least we have that better.  Well, if you can find a job.  And if it has a good health package.  And if it has high enough wages.  Even all those added together, we actually work more days a year, have less days off.  So we have better tools and equipment and work conditions but we work more and have less time for ourselves.  I might call that a wash too.

I guess the freedom to live our lives the way we want and no one telling us how to live.  Nope. We don’t even have that.  The GOP is trying to turn back the clock on women’s reproductive rights and religious people are trying to tell people who they cannot marry.  Which is a bit a change from the king being able to order certain knights or lords or marry their daughters to other certain knights or lords.  Still, it is one person dictating who can or cannot marry. 

Finally, I’ve found one thing in which we have going better for us than in feudal times.  We live longer.  That’s about it.

Lucky Seven?

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , , , , , on June 16, 2012 by urbannight

ACK!  I was trying to copy the instructions and got a little more than I anticipated.  So I wiped that out.  SORRY, not meaning to copy other peoples words!  Anyway, this is either a new award thingy or it is a new ‘game’ thingy.  It’s the Lucky Seven meme.  So this is what you do:

  • Go to page 7 or 77 in your current manuscript (fiction or non-fiction)
  • Go to line 7
  • Post the next 7 lines or sentences on your blog as they are (no cheating, please!)
  • Tag 7 other authors to do the same

I was tagged in this and I probably need to explain why mine looks a little strange.  I work from increasingly detailed outlines.  I get my idea and write it out in a paragraphy or two or three.  Then I start an outline of major points.  I then go and add connecting points, then I go thought adding more detail.  Then I do it again.  And again, until it is ready to be written out in prose form.  Everyone has different methods that work best for them.  This is mine.  So long as it is fiction.  For non-fiction, I find good old fashioned note cards work best for me.

VII.   Alliance

A.  Were mission stumbles across Holly taking down a ‘reformer’.

1.    Holly tracks a councel man

a.  Chases him into a back alley.

b.  Her hunting mode brings out catlike behaviors.

c. As a power vamp separated from his muscle, he has no chance against the hunting skills she has been honing.

d.   After toying w/ him a bit, she goes in for the kill.

I actually have a fairly detailed, 12 page outline for the entire book. And two concept bocks for two follow up books.   But then I realized I don’t actually buy into the main social structure and now I have to rework the ENTIRE thing.  As a result, I have set it aside and toyed with several other story ideas, but at this time, this one is the most advanced one to which I currently have accessas as I’m out and about dogsitting for people out of town.

I know I’m supposed to tag people, but I’m skipping that today.  I would end up tagging some people already tagged recently and few of the novelists I read have gotten so deep into their projects they have developed a drastic slowdown in their otherwise normally prolific blogging.  As a result, I’m not sure I want to slow them down.