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Posts Tagged ‘Austerity’

Originally posted at Daily Kos on  28 December 2013.

It’s your fault, DailyKos. It started here. I was just reading blog posts and minding my own business. I was normal*. Then I saw the “Live at 9AM” daily blog and I got curious. I downloaded the Stitcher app and started to listen to David Waldman (“KagroX” here in the Kosverse) every day. The next thing I knew I had done a search on Stitcher and was listening to Kagro in the MorningThe Majority Report with Sam Seder and The David Pakman Show five days a week. Shows available bi-weekly and weekly were added including (but not limited to) The Professional LeftThe LEFT ShowThe Matthew Filipowicz Show, and Kicking Ass. In between I listened to Netroots Radio live. It’s a lot, I know, but I work long days and it’s good company. I was happy to become a paying member of all the shows which requested support. (I am, in fact, a “Certified Bad Ass”.) About six months in, things went off the rails.

Perhaps a bit more context will make it all make more sense. I grew up in one of the top five most liberal Congressional districts in the nation. My parents, now in their eighties, had me out walking precincts starting from the time I was about five. I’ve worked many elections but am most proud of the time I put in walking door-to-door with my LGBT friends to get Harvey Milk elected. Many years passed and my husband and I needed to move out of California in order to allow our small manufacturing business (hand-crafted but still considered manufacturing) to a state where the overhead would not kill us. We chose a lovely small town in the Midwest. Let me re-phrase, we chose a lovely but f$%#ing conservative town in the Midwest. The business flourished. We died a little inside. Eventually, I joined the Board of a gay chorus and that helped. Then, I found DailyKos and every day I thank the Great Bunny for that.

I do not use the term “Great Bunny” lightly. Several years ago, after having been in the Midwest for a while, I volunteered to bunny-sit the bunny of a friend of mine who, like me, was a member of the House Rabbit Society. She was going to be overseas for a year and her bunnies were not allowed to go. One of her two bunnies had no trouble being placed with a sitter. Not so with Arliss. Arliss was well-known to be an extremely precocious, difficult, disapproving bunny and not every bunny person is alright with that. I’m the opposite. I love the smart bunnies who know what they want and brook no fools. I was happy to add Arliss to our family for the year.

Arliss’ arrival, however, just happened to be coincident with my curiosity about this thing called blogging. (I was still more than a year from finding DKos.) I did not know if having a blog would be useful for my company. I decided I would practice but was uninspired about doing it in my own name. Instead, I decided to blog for Arliss. I figured that only her person and I would read it but that didn’t matter. I thought I was just practicing. I was wrong. Obviously.

Not too far in to blogging about rabbit things I started to blog about politics. It was a release, it felt great. Much to my shock, people started to write to Arliss from all over the world at her email address, ArlissBunny@gmail.com. Lots of bunnies from Japan and Europe but, later, during Arab Spring, strangely Arliss started to get emails from students in Egypt. I have absolutely no idea how that happened but, as you all know, the internet is like that.

So that is how things were when I was in my car one day and listening to Sam Seder, on The Majority Report, as he interviewed Dr. Stephanie Kelton on something called Modern Monetary Theory (MMT). I was fascinated. I went home and Googled. Hmmm. Everything I found about MMT, even the things that were supposedly written for beginners, assumed that the reader understood terms that I got the feeling I did not understand in the same way as the writer was presuming I did. Still, I really WAS curious so I put on my hard hat and hip-waders and waded in. I read about it whenever I could. I downloaded books. I bought actual hardcopy books. I highlighted like a crazy person. I took notes and cross-referenced. Eventually, it started to come together in my mind at which point Arliss took over.

It was her feeling that everyone needed to know about MMT, especially progressives. She suggested that I post not only at her normal blog, at WordPress, but also cross-post over at DailyKos. I had no choice but to obey. Amazingly, people read what Arliss had to say. I posted again. More people commented and I learned more with each exchange. Eventually, I posted about Platinum Coin Seigniorage and so many people got involved in that conversation that it became a “Recommended” post. I was thrilled. Arliss was non-plussed. Then people started asking for a book. I said, “no.” Arliss said, “yes.” A few weeks later, with the help of an incredible illustrator, Melissa Irwin, The Smart Bunny’s Guide to Debt, Deficit and Austerity made its appearance on Amazon as a Kindle book. Much to my shock (but not at all to Arliss’) the book has been selling steadily and has been well reviewed. Three more Smart Bunny Guides are in the works so that Arliss can add to the MMT offerings in her own idiosyncratic manner.

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All of which brings me back to the radio because this past Monday, 23 December 2013, Arliss was interviewed by David Waldman on Kagro in the Morning! It is an amazing thing to me – the way information spreads and interlaces and grows and circles back around. I am having so much fun. …and I have all of you to thank, and Dave, and Sam, and Stephanie, and Melissa and, of course, Arliss.

*Ok, perhaps I was never exactly “normal.”

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