Saturday, August 6, 2011

Lily's loss...

I’ve got to be more particular about which Facebook friendship requests I accept.

I accepted the request of one of Anita’s co-workers, an older woman who likes Peter Frampton and the Detroit Red Wings and therefore can’t be that bad, I thought. I was concerned about the fact that she’s pals with my first ex-wife – who is no longer a good person – but Anita told me she didn’t think they were tight so I accepted.

Everything was just fine until my new friend, whom we’ll call “Lily,” posted the following status update:

Florida is the first state that will require drug testing when applying for welfare! Some people are crying this is unconstitutional. How is this unconstitutional? It's OK to drug test the people who work for their money but not those who don't?

I hate class-based blanket generalizations and I told Lily so. I also told her that I see the drug-testing-for-welfare-recipients thing as just another part of the class warfare being waged by right-wing politicians against the poor and middle class in this country. I added that Lily should be more concerned about her tax dollars being wasted on unnecessary wars and corporate welfare, since most low-income individuals I know want to work and don’t abuse drugs.

I thought I might get a begrudging “all right” or “I take your point” but instead, she followed up with this:

Sorry to say that the ones that I know are on welfare always have the money for beer and smokes and other items, both legal and illegal. I used to believe the system would work but not anymore. Especially when people like my husband and I have to work two jobs to stay afloat and the ones that are on welfare or are low income have the money to blow on luxuries (not necessities).

I pursed my lips and gritted my teeth and played with my moustache for a second, as most serious writers with moustaches do, then posted that I didn’t know which poor people she was talking about but the ones I know struggle to make it on $240/month and no one’s living high on the hog like the bankers and Wall Street executives who stole people’s life savings and pilfered billions and hardly got slapped on their wrists, and then I asked if Lily knew that AIG awarded millions in bonuses to its executives AFTER receiving billions in TARP bailout money – taxpayer dollars – and where was her status update on that, huh?

Lily decided at this point to take our debate off of her public wall and sent me a private message telling me about two family members who abuse the system and neglect their children and hop from man to man and therefore she thinks we should drug test everybody and immediately cut off aid to the ones who test positive.

At this point I wasn’t sure what to do. Part of me wanted to be tolerant and respectful of Lily’s right to be a narrow-minded, ignorant stooge who wouldn’t know a fact if it bit her on the tip of her snobbish, upturned nose; the lesser me wanted to launch a tirade against her, complete with the “F” word, and then unfriend and block her before she unfriended and blocked me.

I decided not to unfriend her – partly because doing so would leave me with an odd number of Facebook friends and I like the number to be even, and partly because I don’t want my circle to consist only of people who believe as I do, mirrors who don’t challenge or make me think.

Turns out she prefers mirrors. She jettisoned me like a cinder block on a sinking raft. Now my number of Facebook friends is odd.

I hope Lily never runs for office. We’ve got enough heartless, narrow-minded holier-than-thous in Lansing and Washington as it is.


  1. lol i wonder what Lily would think about the legal injection sites and the fact now the health board wants to hand out 'safe & clean' crack pipes where i live!

  2. also, i don't agree with the testing of welfare recipients either. denying the basics of life is cruel. yes, i understand that there are a lot of children going without because of some parents' addiction albeit drugs/alcohol or cigarettes. in each of those cases perhaps the children shouldn't be with those parents. regardless of testing or not, there are always illegal ways to find money to support bad habits.

  3. OK, so now I've read this and one thing strikes me particularly hard. The fact of the matter is still that there should be equity in drug testing when you are receiving money from employment or from government programs. If people really are having a hard time of it, then they wouldn't test positive anyway, and if a parent tests positive, should they be allowed to be raising children. Pat, you know that I'm all for helping those who need AND deserve the help and in that way I'll always be a liberal, much to the chagrin of my conservative friends (who by the way like a spirited discussion rather than "unfriending" and blocking me - Even Dave). But, when that help goes to people I see driving hopped up Denalis and Benz's, I have a problem with that. I drive a 1988 Chevy Celebrity, and I've never failed a drug test (came close once but that's another story and had nothing to do with social programs). That's because I can't afford another car, let alone drugs. I had to scrape to buy a bottle of rum for "Dirty Bananas" last week; really sucks.

    But that's not what this is about. If those people with the Denalis and Benz's fail a drug test, don't you feel it's better that their children (who supposedly need the help) go to some family member who is able to raise them in a law abiding, God fearing manner? There would be a lot less people walking around with their pants halfway down their asses if THEY had been raised that way.

    Sorry, my right wing is showing under my jacket.