Category Archives: angry rant

Fools and Their Money

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I spent yesterday with the court appointed trustee, under oath, successfully declaring bankruptcy without losing the house or any other protected assets. I have sworn to pay off the amount owed to banks without further interest.  I will be aided by the court, protected from predators so that they don’t eat the corpse of my economic life.

Fools like me are soon parted from their money.  After all, this country’s government and this country’s economy are run by con men.  Cheats, criminals, grifters, thieves… they control the entire government now, and make the rules serve them and punish us.

And I suppose that’s the way it should be.  If money is your only source of happiness, you are going to become one of them.  A credit-manipulating predator and carrion-eater.  I had to go through this bankruptcy proceeding because I lost Bank of America’s lawsuit against me.  And if it weren’t for my bankruptcy case protecting me, they could come into my house and take whatever they wanted, including everything they wanted.  They could garnish my wages up to 100% for however many months it took for my pension check to pay off my debt.  Meanwhile my children would starve.  I would have nothing to live on.  It is within their rights to do it because they own the government and make the rules.  Charles Dickens didn’t even have it so bad.  At least in the debtor’s prison in Victorian London they fed you and kept you alive… mostly.

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But I did learn some important lessons for the future.  Let me share that hard-won wisdom with you now.

  1. Never buy anything on credit.  Save the money first, and then buy what you need once you have the total price.  Only fools agree to never-ending cycles of interest upon interest, compounding and confounding your pocketbook for perpetuity.  (Say that one three times fast!)
  2. Only buy what you need.  If you really need that shiny blue doohickimus to keep from going insane, then buy it… but save up the cash to pay for it in full.  And if owning that doodadimus preposterosous isn’t going to provide you with the key to real happiness, then forget about it, and glory in your new-found self-control.
  3. Banks are run by pirates.  They are in the business of stealing your money.  They charge fees for holding on to your money, while at the same time spending your money, and fees for counting your money, even when it’s not really there, and fees for looking at your money, though your money is only blips on a computer screen, and even fees for eventually… very gradually so you will not notice… stealing your money.  You have to give them your money at some point, because you will die or be killed if you don’t.  But taking your money by force, leaving you with no other choice but death, makes them pirates.
  4. Save money wherever you can.  Bury some in the back yard (but only metal money… gold bars being the least likely to turn into worthless soil filler).  You are probably going to need it in the future.  So don’t forget where you buried it.  And making maps only helps groups of nerdy kids find it in the future after an unlikely series of fantastic adventures that all occur after you have become a one-eyed skeleton.
  5. And don’t get sick, whatever you do.  It costs too much to get health care.  After you’ve paid an arm and a leg for health care services more than once, you are not going to be dancing any jigs.  Maybe rolling around like a watermelon with a head, but that’s about it.

So, that’s the wisdom I gained from going bankrupt, for what it’s worth (and it isn’t worth much, or they would’ve confiscated it at the creditor’s meeting yesterday).

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Getting Old is Heck

crazy old mickey

I am sometimes forgetful.  You shouldn’t go for a walk on a country highway if you forgot to put on any clothes.

Cold weather makes my joints creaky and my bones ache.  My head gets fuzzy, and it makes it hard to think when my blood sugar gets low.  (By fuzzy, I mean on the inside like interference in your TV picture, not fuzzy on the outside.  I am fuzzy on the outside because I had to give up haircuts due to psoriasis on my scalp.)

Yes, as we get older, we get crummier and crummier.  I am literally crumbling now as psoriasis flakes my skin off all over.

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And as we get older… and poorer… and dumber… we have to learn how to do things to get happier.  My health problems lead easily to depression.  Not just a little generic sad, but deep down at the bottom of a deep, dark black pit of gloomy depression.  So, I have to take matters into my own hands.  Yes, I act a little goofy on purpose.  I draw a funny picture.  Laughter produces serotonin in the brain, the chemical that is missing when you fall into debilitating depression.  Scraggles is the result of major dark back in the early 80’s.  I also go to Walmart and buy chocolate.  Eating chocolate produces serotonin in the brain too.  I ate a whole 98-cent box of M&M’s this morning.  (Of course, as a diabetic, they had to be peanut M&M’s because peanuts have niacin in them at levels that boost your body’s insulin towards working more efficiently. M&M’s make me happy.

Of course, I am not out of the woods yet.  The mood of your family impacts your own mood.  My children have been ill for most of January and all of February so far.  And that puts them in varied states of depression and needing chocolate.  It is a good thing that Valentine’s Day is near and Walmart is over-stocked.   And it helps that it’s cheap.

I am old.  Being old is not easy.  Being ill is worse.  It really is heck.  But I don’t give up.  I don’t surrender.  I have fought back for too many years to give up now.

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How the Smurfs Averted Fascism

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Trumpy Smurf and General Kelly Smurf, his chief of staff

Right now I think this country needs a good lesson in how to avoid a fascist dictatorship.  And we can’t look to 1930’s Germany to get an example.  They didn’t avoid it.  They got Hitler even though he did not have a Twitter account to use for making himself der Fuhrer.

So let’s tell a story about fascists and infringe on copyrights at the same time by telling you a Smurf story.

There was a time in Smurf village when their local politics became entirely too polarized into only two factions.  One side was made up of the good-time Smurfs who had all the money.  They called themselves the Pub-Lickins because they liked to win elections by cheating and through massive donations from the richest Smurfs among them, and also because they loved to lick up all the liquor at the local pub.  The other side was called the Dumb-o-crats because they let the Pub-Lickins get away with every dirty trick they tried.  When Papa Smurf finally retired from running the government as a benevolent Dumb-o-crat, the Pub-lickins cheated their way into control of the government with help from Gargamel, who would later be accused of collusion to help Trumpy Smurf win the Smurf Presidency.

It didn’t take long for Trumpy Smurf to prove to be a potential Fascist dictator. The first warning sign was the way he constantly lied about everything.  He claimed Gargamel was a friend to the Smurfs.  He also said he was the biggest winner in Smurf election history, and everybody would benefit bigly from his highly profitable rule.

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Brainy Smurf, who started out as a Pub-lickin supporter of Trumpy, began to question the Trumpy ties to Gargamel.  He opened an investigation.  Trumpy then fired him.  Later Brainy was mysteriously killed and eaten by Azrael, Gargamel’s cat.

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Jokey Smurf, voiced by Stephen Colbert

Then Jokey Smurf began making fun of Trumpy relentlessly on his late night talk show.  He made fun of him mostly by accurately repeating the news about what Trumpy’s administration did and said every single day.  Azrael, Gargamel’s cat, mysteriously killed and ate Jokey too.  And Trumpy successfully proved the allegations against him false by shouting “Fake News!” very loudly and very often.

Clumsy_Smurf_2017MovieAt long last, Robert Mueller Smurf began investigating the election hack by Gargamel and the subsequent obstruction of justice committed by Trumpy with the aid of Azrael, Gargamel’s very hungry cat.  He revealed that Gargamel had secretly intercepted the ballot boxes and removed all the votes for Smurfette.  Thus Trumpy won by a margin of one vote to nothing.  Clumsy Smurf had been the only one stupid enough to vote for Trumpy.

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So, the election was nullified.  A new, fairer election was set up.  Hefty Smurf belted Azrael the cat in the head with a rock before anyone tried to vote.  Then, the election was re-done with Hefty Smurf running against Smurfette.  Gargamel was kept totally in the dark about everything having to do with the Smurf election.  Robert Mueller Smurf put Trumpy Smurf in prison for the rest of his life.  And Hefty Smurf won the election, because his backers in the Pub-Lickin Party had more money, and Hefty promised the biggest tax breaks, even though the tax relief would not help the average Smurf living paycheck to paycheck.

But at least the Smurfs managed to keep their democracy from becoming a fascist government for perpetuity.  And Gargamel eventually master-minded a plot to break Trumpy Smurf out of the mushroom penitentiary, after which Azrael, Gargamel’s cat, ate Trumpy, not so mysteriously.  Shortly thereafter, Azrael died of food poisoning.   And the Smurfs then had no more fascist dictatorship because Hefty called his rule “compassionate conservatism” which Jokey Smurf would’ve pointed out is an oxymoron, except that Jokey Smurf was dead at that point.

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The State of the Onion

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Yep, the state of the onion is stinky.  The great onion that is our world is hyuge.  And it tastes like an onion.  Especially if you eat it from the inside out.  Mmm… I love onions. I want to eat them all myself, every onion in this garden.  But if I am going to do that, I am going to need the support of all sides.  Yes, there is blame to go around on many sides.  But I need their support to get rid of all the dietary restrictions illegally placed upon our garden by the last onion-master-in-chief.  That illegitimate onion-master was not even raised in this garden.  He seems to think that everyone has a right to clean, pesticide-free soil to plant their roots in.  But all garden vegetables are not created equal.  Tomatoes are poisonous.  They all have radical religious beliefs that makes them hate our onion-ness.  They are therefore terrorists, believe me.  They are trying to sneak across the southern border of the garden and take over the onion-growing space that good, conservative, right-thinking onions have and need more of.  They are trying to spread their poison in our garden.  They want to replace our onion laws with their own stinky Tomatillo Law.  And corn.  The Corn Party tries to defeat every item on the onion agenda.  When we pass a law that all corn voters need to be stripped of their kernels before they can be allowed to vote, they selfishly vote against that law.  Government in this onion garden cannot work if they continue to do that.  And we need a wall to keep illegal jalapenos from crossing the garden’s southern border.  They are not the best vegetables, I guarantee you.  They are onion-eaters and foul mixed vegetables.  And promises were made to spring onions that were brought into this garden as seeds and now are crying that they deserve not to be uprooted and thrown into distant gardens where they don’t even speak the proper vegetable languages to get by.  I know this garden loves those onions.  I love those onions too.  I want to eat them too.  They are very nutritious.  But their protections are now gone.  I leave it up to the Corn and Onions of Congress to build that wall, and if they do, I will let the spring onions stay.

And now you can heap praises on me for the state of our economy.  Yes, I take credit for all the fertilizer I have created by speaking tons of bull manure every single day.  The quality of my manure is fabulous… simply fabulous, believe me.  It is the finest manure any garden has ever received.  And I, Donald J. Onioneater, am the finest onion-master you have ever seen.  No onion-master before me has done as well, except maybe for Abraham Limabean.  He was pretty great.  Although I don’t really know why.  Maybe I should have said Andrew Jackfruit instead.  So the state of the onion is stinky.  And let’s all work together now to MAKE THE GARDEN GREAT AGAIN!

 

 

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Internal Evil, External Policy

CjUSsQkVAAE2A9TThe Republicans have found another scandal to pursue.  Two FBI personnel were texting each other messages about how stupid and incompetent Donald Trump is.  (As well as why one of them may have voted for him since they hated Hillary too.)  The one agent who was involved in the Mueller investigation of Trump was immediately removed from the investigation when evidence of the possibility of lack of impartiality surfaced.  This happened long before the Republican Conspiracy Elephants sniffed out the detail to make a big stinky in the media about it.  Now, apparently the FBI has become a secret society wrongfully plotting against Trump.

One wonders how a Republican government can investigate a Republican scandal and do it in a way that at least looks like justice in action instead of howling at the wind in order to make it blow in the other direction.

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The basic problem is what the Republican mind has on the inside.  Basically they all have the same thought embedded in the peanut they think with.  “If it doesn’t benefit me and what I want from government, then it isn’t true no matter what facts you show me.”  And of course, that thought has a corollary (even though they don’t know what corollary means), “I’m good with any lie told as long it supports hatred of those people I want to hate.”  Republicans who think with larger pieces of produce, and so don’t have those thoughts engraved in their brains, have either left the Republican Party, like George Will did, or separated themselves from the Trump faction and started a campaign to take their party back, like Bill Crystal did.

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Anybody who thinks about the evidence honestly, without partisan bias, has to admit that there is obviously guilt involved in all of this.  And Trump himself blowing back against the prevailing winds is only making it more and more obvious that he is at the top of the pile of evil actors.  They cannot keep going down this path of shouting down the truth without turning Trump into Hitler, and 2018 into 1939.  Muslims will take the role of Jews.

So, what can we do about it?  We make our votes count.  And when the Mueller investigation reaches its conclusions, we believe them.

Dave Granlund / politicalcartoons.com

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Ice Cream in Winter with Propaganda Sprinkles

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The Cheeto-in-Chief has now given us something we needed as much as anyone could possibly need an ice cream cone in the middle of a blizzard.  He has shut down the government.  And, I mean, we need a break from this Republican Clown-Horror Show in the worst way.  But the government shutdown is positively the worst way.

The government is actively undermining everything of value to the common man in America.  It is deconstructing American school systems from the top down, the EPA is now encouraging polluters and removing all regulations and barriers, taxes are reduced for everybody… who has immense wealth, and we are assigning debt to our children that will take centuries to pay off.

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And the problem isn’t that the government is run by profiteering criminals, which it most certainly is, but that no matter what they say and do, no consequences are suffered for it.  They can literally do anything to anybody and get away with it because Republicans now hold all the winning cards.  Pundits say they are facing a blue wave of change in the 2018 midterms, but then again, probably not.  They control the mechanisms of government.  They can cheat to win and get away with it.  If we disagree, we are looking at a Revolution in which the armed forces are all on the other side.

The government is shut down now because the President hates immigrants, even the legal ones.  He unilaterally brought an end to the DACA Dreamers program, shutting the door on immigrant children who have only known life as an American.  Everybody in both parties want the issue settled with heart, in favor of the Dreamers.  They deserve to be here.  But when the issue was almost settled with a compromise that would’ve allowed the government to move forward, suddenly the CHIPS, Children’s Health Program is subject to negotiation and being held hostage to the Republican desire to punish Americans just for needing the government to stay open and functioning.

My conservative friends in Iowa, Texas, and elsewhere continue to back Trump and his policies even when they themselves are hurt by them.  They do this because he has appealed to their fears and hatreds.  He promises to punish those they are afraid of, and he hates the same groups that they hate.  One of the groups they hate are liberal Democrats like me, though none of them say they hate me personally.  Fox News has taught them to think of the labels and the people who wear those labels as different things.  Killing Muslims in Afghanistan doesn’t bother them because they are taught not to remember that the Mother of All Bombs was dropped on Muslim women and Muslim children too.  I try to remember they are friends and family, and I still love and care about them, even though they support things I find unconscionable.

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So, this weekend, Trump gave us an ice cream cone laced with propaganda sprinkles, some of which are made of pure horse poop.  And he shoved it in an orifice where you least want to receive a cold ice cream cone… in mid winter.  And I am willing to admit, maybe we need a little ice cream right now, a cold-but-loving treat of looking honestly at the current situation that has to be dealt with.  But couldn’t we have ice cream without the poop sprinkles, the hate sprinkles, and mind-blowing sprinkles?  Let’s take the radioactivity out of our confections for a change.

 

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The Doctor’s Bill Comes Due

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I am in the middle of a family health meltdown.  In this time when the yearly flu epidemic is turning deadly, my two kids living at home and still in high school are both home sick.  And I am finding it difficult to pay for illnesses.  My recent trip to the hospital for a faux heart attack has left me staring down an incoming tidal wave of doctor and hospital bills.  I have been paying more for health insurance than ever before.  The lovely caring government has been mucking about with health care issues to the point that, even though I am paying thousands of dollars more per year for health insurance than I did ten years ago, I have huge medical bills that, due to higher deductables, leave more for me to pay as my portion than ever before.  I am paying twice as much for a three day stay in the hospital than I did five years ago when I had pneumonia, and was hospitalized for five days.  The Princess’s doctor visit yesterday cost me $77 dollars.  Number two son goes to the doctor this afternoon, and I have to hope it won’t cost more than that, because I am running out of Uber money for the month.

Gone are the days when I could afford to be sick.  Now, bankrupt and with no credit left to my name, I am going further into the dark lake of debt, hoping for the mercy of lawyers and credit collection agencies.  They may as well grind my bones to make their bread.  I have little else to give them.

If this sounds like a complaint rather than the humor I usually shoot for, well, that’s because that’s what it is.  I am sick and tired of always being sick and tired.  But I have to do my part to help the American economy.  It is really booming right now.  Probably because people like me are investing so much in health care, right before we die because we can’t afford to pay for the medicine the doctor prescribes.

My thanks go out to the ghost of Norman Rockwell for providing the illustrations for this post.  The pictures make me long for the good old days when doctors actually cared, and weren’t just making lots of money.  Of course, it isn’t the doctors who are making most of the money off piratical health-insurance schemes.  Whoever those people are, we never actually see their faces, and the voices we argue with over the insurance help lines are just their employees.  Anyway, I am not myself sick yet.  That probably comes later.  So I will hunker down and burrow my way through a potentially terrible week.

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