Mary Grace had school this morning, and Claire and I ran errands while she was there. We got a lot done. Returned a network card to Best Buy, got new wiper blades for my van, found the wine and cheese shop I've been looking for downtown (and no, I can't say that without thinking of Monty Python). We had a nice time. It's still really weird to be alone with Claire. I don't think she likes it much, either, even though her sister is trying to kill her as I type this.
I love rainy days. I can sit the kids in front of a movie without feeling guilty. However, it's really going to put a damper on all the things we wanted to do and accomplish this weekend. There's a lot of house maintenance and yard stuff that needs to be done before winter. After we bought this house, Mom said to me, "You know all those people you see in parks and shops on weekends? They're renters." Thanks for the heads up, there, Ma. Couldn't have told me that a little earlier, huh?
It's ok, though. Our house is over 1/6 paid off. Woo hoo. *sigh*
Speaking of the house, in all my free time I'm worrying about the mortgage crisis and the economy. I don't really understand all of it, but it makes me think that it wouldn't be a bad idea to take Chinese classes at the University, just in case. They own our asses. That's really what it all comes down to, right? All hail our new Chinese overlords!
I got kind of curious about the French Revolution, in light of, well, everything. Now, I'm not saying that we need a revolution, even though Jefferson himself said that every democracy needs one every twenty years or so, and that makes us about 230 years overdue...
"God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. ... And what country can preserve its liberties, if it's rulers are notI'm not saying that we need to start a revolution, because I don't want an FBI file, but I wonder... On Wikipedia it says:
warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure." ~ Thomas Jefferson
Louis XV fought many wars, bringing France to the verge of bankruptcy, and Louis XVI supported the colonists during the American Revolution, exacerbating the precarious financial condition of the government. The national debt amounted to almost 2 billion livres. The social burdens caused by war included the huge war debt, made worse by the monarchy's military failures and ineptitude, and the lack of social services for war veterans.When I was in France in like 1992, the exchange rate was 5 livres = $1. So, they went to war over a debt of $400,000,000. I know that the difference between 1790 and 2008 dollars is significant, but still. Kind of puts it all in perspective, huh? Our current debt is 48,420,095,684,434.60 livres, give or take un cafe au lait. Vive la revolution! (I didn't say that, nothing that you say in French counts).
Anyway, it got me to thinking, did the new French government pay off that 2 billion livre debt, or did they just say, "Hey, go talk to Louis... We'll give him a head's up that you're coming!" (I crack myself up...) I don't know for sure. Wright? Brandon? Did they pay it, or did they flush it and start over with a blank slate?
If they flushed it, it seems to me that une petite revolution could get us out of a serious pile of merde.
Speaking of revolutions, everyone knows that the American Revolution (the first one, anyway) happened because the colonists were OUTRAGED over the RIDICOULOUS AMOUNT of taxes that they had to pay, right? History 101. Do you know what the tax rate was, then? Do ya? Huh? Do ya?
Do you know what it is now?
(That's the marginal tax rate, or the average when you figure what each government - federal, state, local - takes out of your pocket).
SeeqPod - Playable Search
Not that I want to see that happen... I'm not saying anything here about my own point of view (because, really, soccer moms don't lead revolutions. Neither do gymnastics moms or hockey moms, really... you know?). Soccer moms and gymnastics moms also don't need FBI files. I'm just pointing things out from history, ancient history like the 1960s, that I find interesting. It's a history lesson, not an opinion, because, remember, this is NOT a political blog.