The Extrahuman Union

Posts Tagged ‘connecticut

So much new stuff to check out:

Tastes Like Chicken. Sort Of

Do you like Chicken McNuggets? No? Well, check out my 30pov piece Chicken McLife anyway, as I examine my life through McNuggets:

I had a routine. I’d walk into town, a couple of miles from the college, and swing by the comic book store. I’d buy whatever was new. It might have been Battle Angel Alita, The Maxx, Strangers in Paradise or just the latest Batman, but I always picked up two or three issues. Then I’d hike over to the McDonald’s on Colman St., on the edge of the city, and sit for a while reading comic books and eating McNuggets.

For a while, all the chaos in my head stilled, and the world was nothing but a plastic seat, Batman, and some greasy food.


I went to a Tea Party rally for no good reason, except to take pictures and write a report. Yes, the signs were amusing. Yes, they had foam pitchforks. The report is here: Tax Day Rally Fizzles.

It has to be a frustrating time for the Tea Party. In Washington, House Republicans are compromising with the hated Obama on the budget and may yet allow the debt limit to be raised. Here in Connecticut, Democrats likely have the votes to pass big tax increases as part of an effort to close the budget gap. The big wins of last year are already fading from memory, and no one seems all that excited about 2012. Unlike 2009 and 2010, there is no one single bill to rally against, no one unifying task.

Two other articles: The Myth of the Easy Answer, which has a lot of my political philosophy in it, and Budget Deal Winners and Losers, which has, um, those.


I did a guest post at Reading With Tequila, about superheroes! It wasn’t part of the recent blog tour, so I’m linking to it from here.

In a lot of ways, superhero stories are about those who are different or special in one way or another. Here are people who either have inborn or contracted special abilities or powers, or who are in some other way extraordinary.

And that’s it for now! There’s some big big news to talk about soon, too!


The BROKEN Blog Tour is ongoing! You can click the above image for more information on what’s happening. So far this week, I’ve done an interview over at The Fiction Enthusiast, with a review coming tomorrow at Rex Robot Reviews.

Wednesday and Thursday are reviews at The Neverending Bookshelf and Novapsych, and the week ends back at The Fiction Enthusiast for a fun top ten list.

And that’s that!

In Other News

I’ve got a post up about the transgender anti-discrimination bill being considered in Connecticut at CT News Junkie. I don’t usually mix trans stuff and state politics, but in this case, I felt I had a lot I wanted to say.

Also: Shiny things have arrived at my publisher. Oh yes.

The Connecticut General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee is holding hearings about the death penalty again today. I’ve said a lot about this in the past, and I think a lot of the arguments are so well-worn by this point that the testimony could really be a series of references to testimonies past: “I’d like to take a moment if I may to replay for you a montage I’ve made of the remarks I’ve given on this subject over the past ten years. It’s twenty minutes long. Can we get the lights?”

There’s a central question everyone’s trying to get at with death penalty debates, though I don’t think we ever quite get there. It seems to me like we’re all trying to figure out just who justice is for, and what it’s about. Is it for the victims or their families? The accused? Are we about revenge? Rehabilitation? Bettering society in some way? Keeping society safe? The death penalty debate crystalizes these issues in a way that few other policy discussions do. It holds a mirror up to our society, and forces us to very closely examine one of its foundations.

I personally believe that there’s little to be gained and much to lose when when the state takes a life, but many people believe that death is the ultimate justice for victims and their families. I respect that point of view, because both come from that place in the human soul that demands justice when someone is wronged.

There are a lot of pieces of our justice system which could do with a good, long and very public examination. Our casual acceptance of abuse in prisons, for one. What happens to ex-offenders when they leave the system is another. The death penalty is not a bad place to start, though, because the answers we find here could become a lens through which to see these other, larger and more entrenched problems.

I’ll have more to say about this on the weekend, I think, but this poll just out from the conservative Yankee Institute, if it’s accurate, shows us a lot about the “Can’t someone else do it?” mentality of the public when it comes to how to fix budget shortfalls. Here’s the major results, from the press release:

By 73-15%, voters oppose eliminating the $500 property tax credit (least popular)

By 68-21%, voters oppose creating a state earned income tax credit

By 67-31%, voters oppose increasing the gas tax

By 60-34%, voters oppose eliminating sales tax exemptions

By 54-38%, voters oppose increasing the income tax

By 53-43%, voters oppose increasing the sales tax

By 71-20%, voters support seeking concessions from state employees (most popular)

By 68-39%, voters support increasing tobacco and alcohol taxes

By 47-28%, voters support budget cuts in social services and higher education

58% of voters say they have considered moving out of Connecticut because of high taxes

This poll needs a much more thorough analysis, and I’d love to know the demographic breakdown. (There’s also some weird stuff in there–did you know that after the 65+ crowd, the people most interested in repealing health care are between the ages of 30-39? Yeah. Go see the crosstabs). Plus that question about the Earned Income Tax Credit is a huge, biased paragraph, really shifty–it’s the only question where they give a LOT of context. Hm.

Governor Malloy has proposed an Earned Income Tax Credit for low income households that earn less than about $21,000 a year from their jobs. Such households would be eligible for a tax refund of about $1,700 even though they did not pay any state income taxes because their income was too low. This credit would be in addition to an existing federal earned income tax credit of more than $5,000 such households are already eligible for. The new tax credit would cost Connecticut taxpayers more than $100 million a year in new spending. Do you support or oppose a STATE Earned Income Tax Credit for low income households?

So do you support FREE MONEY FOR LAYABOUTS? Well? Do you?

The one thing I can take away that I think is honest, though, is this: people want the sacrifice to be shared by others. As long as they don’t have to pay more taxes or see their own services cut, they’re fine. Since most people aren’t state workers, they’d prefer for them to shoulder the burden–or else they’ll move out of state!

I think this is pretty universal. The public likes to blame everyone but ourselves for the mess we’re in: state employees, unions, politicians, corporations–but our twin demands for more and better services and juicy tax cuts are a massive part of the problem, as well.

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