Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Politics and religion make strange bedfellows. But all too often, there they are, trying to sleep together. Never works, does it? They kick each other under the covers.
I remember the first time President Obama was inaugurated. Everything ground to a halt in this school where I teach. We were all so excited about the new era we were going to have in this country. It seemed personified by the dynamic young African American man who stood poised to lead the way.
So, four years later, I went to the thrift store instead of watching the inauguration. Before you jump all over me, let's look at Chateau Johnson and see if the previous four years have brought change we believe in:
1. Mr. J has taken pay cuts and has been forced to take a furlough week each year. His union is currently being asked to take a 20 percent pay cut. It will probably be negotiated down to 15 percent. By October he won't even have a union.
2. One daughter has finished college. Our monthly tuition payments for her hovered around $800.00. She is now $25,000 in debt -- or, basically, the price of a car she cannot afford to buy. She has a part-time job, which is better than her friends, who are mostly unemployed or working in such prime locations as South Korea.
3. At the beginning of January, both Mr. J and I lost a combined $120 or more in additional weekly taxes. I thought those tax increases were only going to be on the rich.
4. Another daughter in college -- payments $900 a month. Not sure about her loans yet.
5. More money for health care. This year 4 percent of salary, next year 6 percent of salary.
6. I've been working without a contract since 2011; hence, no raise in pay. My salary has declined.
7. Tonight Snobville residents are being asked to vote on the construction of artificial turf fields, with parking, as an annual addition of $190 to the yearly-escalating property tax. Ready for this, readers? My property taxes are almost $12,000 a year. If they don't hit that sweet spot this year, they will shortly.
So you'll forgive me if I skipped the platitudes about how wonderful this nation is. This nation should be three or four nations. It's too big to govern, and the political schisms cause legislative gridlock. The leader who seemed so promising four years ago just looks like another name on a plaque.
Why did I go to the thrift store? I've lost so much weight from worry that my clothes don't fit me anymore. Another pound this week! It was half price day at the thrift store, and I got a pair of jeans. Change I can believe in.