Fluck Of The Irish - The Bad Beat Blog

2006-07-14

How Bad Is My Luck? - Let's Look At Non Poker Events

Oh this my be a long one...

I realize that a poker blog is hardly the place for a political rant, so I aplogize in advance for those who just want to laugh at my bad playing and don't really care about my life. Most of you who know me certainly know that I am slightly "left" of George McGovern... Hell, I probably make McGovern look like Ronald Reagan. So, I fully understand why many people think I'm a complete lunatic. Further, I have no beef with anyone who wants to name call. I understand that opposition to my personal views on civilization in general my lead some to slip out the occasional character attack. I've heard commie, faggot, liberal(said like its a bad word) and the rest over the years and I just laugh. But, I will NOT tolerate any accusation that I "hate America" in any way. Its the one insult that drives me up the flipping wall.

I love this country. Best damn place on earth. And if you try to screw with my country, I am more than glad to take one of the many firearms I own, shove it up your ass, and do some short range target practice on your colon. I don't find this to be contrary to my view that 1)We shouldn't have gone into Iraq 2)Homosexuals have every right to be as unhappy in marriage as us straight guys 3)There should be a separation of powers with proper checks and balances 4) The richest 1% of the country shouldn't be given tax cuts when we're running one of the highest deficits off all time only 4 years after predicting surplus 5) Limbaugh and O'Reilly are lying assholes who are the biggest threat to real American values out there 6) It is our duty both morally and as patriots to help the poor through social programs, welfare, housing et al. There's other ones I could list, but let's just say that I vote democrat and I believe strongly in progressive values. I also believe that questioning the motives and actions of your governement is not un-American... From everything I've ever read about the wishes and hopes of the founding fathers, calling "bullshit" (up to the point of total crackpot conspiracy theorists) is one of the most American things you can do.

Immigation - Just Trying To Get My Damn Roof Fixed, Lady

I've been needing a new roof for about a year now. Haven't really had to deal with it until recently when some of the early large storms finally worked their way into a full blown leak. That was 3 months ago. Since that time I have been fighting back and forth trying to get proper insurance payout... etc etc and well, I finally had to have it fixed. I don't mind telling you that I'm taking a little bit of a gamble on this. I have verbal confirmation from my agent that "the check is in the mail" but I haven't recieved it yet, and I'm shelling out the cash out of my own pocket to get it done sooner rather than later. Well, today was the big day... at least it started out as the big day.

I had hired my friend, or more specifically my friend's roofing company to do the job. There are 3 major reasons I gave him the work, and really I think they are the 3 reasons that anyone would consider when hiring for construction. 1)He was willing to give me a discount on the overall price (not the cheapest quote I recieved, but any of the cheaper quotes were "one man" operations that wouldn't do cleanup or haul away or any of the other stuff you need 2)He's bonded and insured and comes recommended by at least 4 other friends that have used him for roofing 3)He's a buddy... throw him a bone.

I hear the work crew start up at about 7:00 am and I sheepishly smile imagining the beautiful new roof that will soon adorn me and my lovelie's little peice of the American Dream. I decided to sleep in a little and let the peaceful rhythm of shingles falling off my roof like a waterfall caress me into a light but restful sleep. Then at about 8:30 am the phone rings.

It's my friend. He say's, "Hey Foley, the foreman I have working on your house, right now, said that some psycho just walked in to your yard and started yelling at everyone that they're illegals and taking pictures of them." Now, this being Austin Texas... OF COURSE they're illegals. I don't really need my buddy to tell me that. As a home owner in Texas who doesn't have an oil field in his back yard, or hasn't won the lottery, you always assume that there will be some illegal immigrants on any construction crew that you can actually afford... and you learn to adopt a don't ask, don't tell policy towards it. But I'm also afraid that this "psycho" is my idiot alchoholic neighbor (a US Citizen I might add) That I had hired in the past to work on my house and who screwed up so bad and so often I had to fire him multiple times. I assume he's piss drunk and angry that he's not working and looking to take out that frustration on anyone who is. I throw some clothes on and fire myself up to read him the riot act.

I ask the foreman (a polite lady who is married to one of the workers... and who IS legal) From where did the idiot come from. She tells me that it was a woman and it was my OTHER neighbor. Now, my other neighbor is a so far sweet (although with a little dimensia... first day she warned me about the 'snakes and crockadiles' that will infest my yard if I didn't keep it mowed) grandmotherly type who has way too many dogs considering that she can barely leave her house for more than 2 minutes at a time. I knew it wasn't her that would be out there, and then I remembered. About 2 months ago a moving van pulling up and a woman and man I assume to be family moving in with her. Now I'm even a little more upset. The lady who moved in, who hasn't bothered to even introduce herself to me in the 2 months she's been there, is some psycho racist who's gonna f'up my new roof.

I walk over to her house and get to about her front yard fence and she comes flying out the front door. I'll tell you, I didn't really notice the "new additions" to the neigbor's landscaping until this point. I realize quite quickly that there isn't just the American flag that has been flying proudly on a pole next to the front door anymore. Now, there is an American flag emblem or cut out or red white and blue paint on every conceivable surface of the yard. Leftover 4th of July decorations perhaps? No, I am nowhere near that lucky. The woman who is bounding towards me at this point has no less than 10 flags on her herself... I'm dumbstruck... I can really only sit back and count them from head to toe: A barret in her hair featuring a sparkly rhinestone flag (1), a tshirt that has a flag near the neck of it (2) and then a soaring eagle underneath of it that is grasping 3 flags in each of its talons (8), A red white and blue fanny pack (which I won't even count) that ALSO has a flag embroidered on it (9) and a pair of jean shorts with a tasteful small flag emblem near the bottom (10). Now if you include the red white and blue socks, you might say 12 and the fact that she had blue shoes on with pale white skin and had dyed her hair BRIGHT American-these-colors-don't-run (but they will fade with the wrong shampoo) red, you'd be tempted to go 13... but, I think 10 is probably enough to establish that she is LITERALLY wrapping herself in the flag. People, I am a story teller by nature. An entertainer, not above using literary device or even on occasion creative exhaggeration to make a story or character more engrossing... But, I could not make this shit up if I f'ing tried.

I refocus my eyes, and trying to be stern but calm, ask her if she came over to my house to harass people working on my property. She replies very ubruptly, "I certainly did... it's illegal to hire illegals . "Ma'am," I say (starting to lose my temper a little because I figure she's got to be batshit crazy),"Where the hell do you get off accusing them of being illegals, and harassing them in that matter?" I follow up with complete horseshit, "every single one of them has a green card..." I was hoping to end this here because I just want my doddamn roof, I don't want to have an eco-political-immigration drama at 8:30 in the morning with some fruitcake in the middle of the street. I should mention in this lady's defense, however, she never really escalated any of the tone of the conversation... I was really doing the escalation of temper, and she was more answering in kind (boy did that piss me off). She snaps back, "I asked them and the lady told me they were illegals".

Well, that was good to know. Here is a tip for all the illegal workers out there... When the batshit lady who is LITERALLY dressed as an American flag asks you if you are illegal... YOU SAY NO!!! I would think this is illegal immigration 101. Unfortunately for me, your abillity to continue a forceful argument once it has begun, regardless of any inconveinent facts, is a family tradition that we've handed down like fine china over the years. I seet, "why the hell are you even asking them?" And that, unfortuantely, is when I get the perceived slight that I somehow hate America... She retorts, "Because this is my country and I love my country and I can't stand these illegals ruining my country..." I cut her off, "You're country..." I started. I had a great follow up to this beginning where I was about to tell her that she's not wearing a fucking feather headdress and moccasins so I'm going to make the assumption that at some point her family might have also hailed from somewhere else... but then she stopped me and said sarcastically, "Yes, It's my country because I love it, where are you from?".

Oh shit... I think fucked up crazy flag bitch just implied that I hate my country because I'm not dressed as a retarded flag. At this point the full on rage sorrounds my vision. It completely tunnels in red and about the only thing I can see is this ladie's face... I know that this is a bad bad bad place to be in. I have struggled for years to control my temper, and I'm pretty damn good about it at this point. But this is the kind of rage where you put your fist through a wall... Perhaps even a red, white and blue wall that is... standiing... must... right ... resist... in... front of you. So I give my legs the order to start walking back to my house. I don't know why, but for some reason, my legs have always had better sense than the rest of me. I pretty much just tell them where to go and they'll do it. Unfortunately, the upper half of my body is left to continue whatever apeshit insanity it was on before that point. So legs, trying their best to walk back to the house, but upper half in full rage, I start screaming at the top of my lungs, "I'M FROM THE MOTHER FUCKING U S OF KISS MY ASS.... I HAIL IN THE LAND OF DOING A GODDAMN HONEST DAYS WORK AND I'LL PAY YOU A GODDAMN HONEST DAYS WAGES... I LIVE IN THE FUCKING COUNTRY OF IF YOU WANT WORK YOU GOT IT... SONNOFA... I'm not positive, but I think I even started to recite the whole "give me your poor, your tired, your huddled masses" speech, but interjecting every other word with an f-bomb. By about that point the legs had at least traversed me back to my own yard.

I realized that she's probably dialing immigration, and perhaps the police,right now... So, I call my friend and tell him that I jsut made matters a lot worse and he should probably pull his guys off the job before the authorities show up. I take 20 minutes to collect myself... Then figure, what the hell, I'll go back and try to sweet talk her now.

The second conversation is probably even funnier. I swear to god, by the end of it her and I are best friends, but I don't really want to go into details for fear of making this a 100 page long post. Suffice to say... goddamn I'm good with people. I definitely couldn't get her to budge off of her original position that anyone who doesn't apply for citizenship in the proper long drawn out process is destroying her country. However, I did reach an accord, where her and I, on a personal level, were ok. If anyone wants me to relate the story of the second meeting let me know. I'll just warn you that it is every bit as long as this, and has only a few moments of comedy gold, and mostly moments of appaling racism that I felt I had no choice but to swallow.

Either way, it has me seriously thinking about the whole immigration issue. I never bothered before, becuase -- other than a psychopathic or KKK member neighbor in my life -- it just hasn't affected me. Like I told this lady, at one point in the conversation; I feel bad for someone who thinks that a mexican took a job they could have done. However, at least the mexican had to climb a fence, swim a perilous river, survive a desert, and live 20 people to a one bedroom efficiency to steal their jobs... currently this governement is giving places where I work cash and tax incentives to send my job overseas. The people taking my job in this world don't even have to expend the effort to climb over a traffic cone, let alone risk life and limb to steal my position.

Here's a couple of quick thoughts that may illustrate where my head is in this whole issue:

I'm never going to win an argument about the "cost" of illegal immigration. Frankly, I can show you a ton of evidence that says you can't "prove" how much illegal immigration costs us. But, in reality, I'll concede that the "estimations" are probably correct. It's not like I can point to a definitive study that says illegal immigration is good for us.

However:

  • We were all immigrants at one time or another

  • This country is founded on people who offered NOTHING but a chance to improve THEIR individual situation

  • Throughout history the immigrant fear has manifested itself in whomever is the immigrant du jour... first the italians... then the irish... then the jewish... then the mexicans... etc etc etc. All of those fears have never come to fuition; how do you prove to me that this isn't the same?

  • Don't talk to me about what a drain illegals are on our health care system. You didn't want a nationalized health care, and until that day, illegal immigrants' drain on health care is a State (capital S) issue

  • The same people who are appalled at mexicans being able to work for less pay, vehemently oppose a minimum wage increase. Balance these two thoughts in your head and maybe I'll talk to you



Finally, forget about immigration issues... personal politics... and just let me get my fucking roof fixed. Isn't there some concept in this American dream that says as a neighbor, it's not your business to screw with what I'm doing in my own yard? You want immigration reform, do it through your Senate. Do it through campaigning and democracy. Hell, dress up as a crazy flag bitch... but leave me the hell alone. At the end of the day, you didn't stop anything. The immigrant work force was pulled from my house to a house down the street. Your governement is still creating incentives to move every damn job we have to another country. You are being tracked through your phone calls, and your bank records, and you live in a constant state of fear brought on by an endless war against "phrases" instead of enemies. All you really accomplished today, crazy flag bitch, is you inconvenienced me, your neighbor. The next time your fucking 12 dogs bark at 3 in the morning waking me up, I'm going to remember how strongly you feel about loving this country and I'm calling the goddamn cops... Because, nothing is more un-American than thinking that the world doesn't revolve around you and your batshit ideas.

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