Sierra Sage

I like to go to lunch.  By myself.  I really have no problem eating alone.  I like myself.  I’m never without something to read.  Typically I have an appetizer, any salad not based on iceberg lettuce and a decent pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc.  Maybe a rose’ if I’m familiar with the appellation and know it to be dry and fruit forward.  I like to take my time, read and watch people.

I had a nice payday today, but things being what they are, I found myself at Arby’s.  I was out plying my trade here in the state capitol of Nevada and I loves me some Beef & Cheddar.  When you’re on a budget, improvisation and compromise becomes a soft mantra and Arby’s has pretty good lemonade.  Free refills.  I told myself I wouldn’t be needing my briefcase, just business cards and my cell phone.  I realized I had nothing to read.  There’s always something to read in my briefcase.  Damn.  Fortune visited me when I clocked a newsstand out front.  As I was ordering my sandwich and beverage, fortune graced me again as I noticed a local magazine pile on the counter.  The “Sierra Sage”. It appeared to be of heft enough to last my humble lunch.

I have a tendency to like these kinds of regional unassuming publications.  A sort of Carson City version of the LA Weekly I naively imagined.  There was a community calendar, a crossword and a charming personal obit.  An advice column and some letters to the editor.

There was a woman in her mid sixties with enormous breasts sitting across from what was probably her niece or daughter.  A man with unruly gray facial hair, red suspenders and an impossible amount of food and sauces in front of him with a young man who appeared to be distracted and uncomfortable in every way.  Three teenagers so painfully awkward I wondered if I’d ever lacked that much cool.  A woman about my age slathered in face paint, an ill fitting pant suit and what was likely a permanent scowl.  I imagined her chain smoking menthols.

It didn’t take long to realize I was perusing a publication of the worst kind of right wing narrow mindedness and conservative propaganda I’d ever stumbled upon.  I was blindsided.  Assaulted even.   The featured article, written by the publisher, one Leoard A. Semas, which the table of contents list as beginning on page 4, where an advertisement appears for subscriptions and a house for sale, actually begins on the front cover and continues on page 29, earnestly attempted to tackle the convoluted issue of health care by stating:

“The problem with the current debate on health care is that it is not about health care at all; it is about yet another transfer of power from the citizen to the state ……………..Two things are certain regarding health care in the U.S.  One, the system is far from broken.  Two, a takeover by the federal government is not the way to fix it even if it were.”

First off Len, you beg the question; just exactly how is this a transfer of power from citizen to state?  This smacks of the paranoid government takeover rhetoric and indeed you resort to that post haste.

Far from broken Len?  Over 62% percent of all bankruptcies in 2007 we a direct result of medical costs.  75% percent of those 62% had health insurance.  The amount of bankruptcies rose by nearly 50% from 2001 to 2007.  “….the odds that a bankruptcy had a medical cause was 2.38-fold higher in 2007 than in 2001.”  -The American Journal of Medicine (a clinical research study).

Hey Len, “Profits at 10 of the country’s largest publicly traded health insurance companies rose 428 percent from 2000 to 2007…….”  -AFL-CIO.  This Len, when the number of insured has shrunk, some 14,000 plus a day and the people who have coverage pay more for less of it.  Hey Len, how is our system far from broken?  Can you give me an example of how it functions well?

Inside the front cover a letter from the publisher, Len Semas again, reveals he’s been under the weather and recent publication of the Sierra Sage has been suspended as a result.  Congestive heart failure, heart surgery to install six stents and an episode with kidney stones.  How’s that insurance working out there Len?

Despite the glaring editorial/layout errors, you’ve got a pretty slick publication here Len.  It’s printed on glossy paper, full color, nice graphics, photography and a what can only be described as a dearth of advertisement.  A publication like this in a fast food restaurant for free in Carson City?    I think I may have to check up on you Mr. Semas.

Oh and by the way Len, you responded to a letter by some ignorant round headed mouth breather named Orlis Trone about Sarah Palin by saying, “She embodies, intelligence, charisma, capability, enthusiasm, and common sense.  Worse, she is a “regular American;” and that is the ultimate fear of the elitists that largely comprise the Left”

First, yes, we are way smarter than you.  I love that you all think that’s a bad thing somehow.  Tell me, does it suck as much as I think to be as dumb as a stick?  Nevermind, you wouldn’t know.

Let me tell you something Len, if you think the biggest fear we as progressives have is Sarah Palin, I invite, I beg you to indulge yourself in that fantasy to your little heart’s content.  Yes, by all means, that stupid, self centered, intellectually challenged, two dimensional, media prostitute is the boogeyman of the liberal left.  Good luck with that.   Please, please run her in 2012.  Please?  Us elitist, liberal left wingers can’t wait.  Maybe you can run her with Glenn Beck or Michele Bachman or Michael Steele.  All excellent candidates and pillars of the conservative cause if you ask me.

Stalwarts.  Overflowing with integrity, righteousness and honesty.  The best and brightest the Republican party has to offer.  Cough.  She, they, well that’s a serious and formidable challenge right there.  Cough.  So bright and capable.  Cough.  They’ll uh, give us a run for our money and uh, lend the whole process dignity for once, cough.

Now, I gotta tell ya Len,  I think you’re full of shit.  I think you just might be some right wing shill funded with your own or some other spurious and shadowy largess, propagating an agenda that would embarrass you.  I could be wrong but I’m sure a little digging is going to unearth some things you’d rather your readers didn’t know.  You people, your kind, disingenuous patriots, are always hiding some odious hypocrisy.

One other thing, if I’m not mistaken, a son of the great state Senator Lawrence “Jake” Jacobson owns the the Arby’s franchises here in Carson and Minden.  Jake was a man who existed and legislated in an era before partisanship was allowed to become so cancerous, toxic and polarizing.  He was a good man, a Republican, without enemies and he counted democratic state Senators and assemblymen as close friends.  Keith Ashworth for example.

I worked for the Nevada state legislature back then and had a serious relationship with a beautiful young woman who happened to be a niece or cousin of the aforementioned son.  I’m assuming the same man owns that franchise today.  I won’t ever darken the door of that Arby’s again.  I may be courting pettiness here but it’s so irresponsible to spread that kind of disinformation.  It’s dumb.  It’s not free speech or opinion, it’s lies.  You’re fomenting lies Mr. Jacobson and you should be ashamed.

I am disgusted.  Piss up a rope.  I will do the best I can to encourage others to boycott you as well.  You should know better.  Think globally, act locally.

Drinks for my friends.

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