I am a pessimist by choice. I always expect and prepare for the worst. It is possible that this has become a self-fulfilling prophecy as I seem to be the butt of a series of never-ending cosmic jokes and misfortunes. Last night the rain came down hard in Texas. We got over 4 inches of rain in a little over two hours. It came in the house as the river of runoff found enough cracks and crevices in the south wall of the house to soak the carpets in the family room and the Princess’s bedroom.
We had to get electronics off the floor. My son had to rescue computer equipment and game machines. The wooden feet of furniture got soaked, and the carpet became spotted and squishy. I was feeling ill already, and a wet carpet will swiftly become a mold farm… mold I am highly allergic to. I have some carpet cleaning to do today. In fact, the carpet will have to be removed before too long.
But even though we got way too much rain in too short a time, and it did damage, rain does make the flowers grow. I will end up doing the carpet removal myself, as I have done twice before. The exercise will be good for my heart, my diabetes, and my arthritis. Exercise, though hard and painful, is a flower of goodness. I will also be able to control how we reshape and restore the floors. Tile is better for allergies than carpet anyway.
I have no money and I’m in poor health. Misfortune continues to rain down upon me relentlessly like raindrops in a thunderstorm. But I am prepared. I have know-how and a will to respond to misfortune. I needed another challenge about now. Eleventy-eleven bad things happening yearly is more or less the way it goes now. And rain does eventually result in flowers.
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.
But I did learn some important lessons for the future. Let me share that hard-won wisdom with you now.
- 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!)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
Filed under angry rant, autobiography, battling depression, commentary, conspiracy theory, feeling sorry for myself, goofy thoughts, grumpiness, humor, insight, pessimism, photo paffoonies
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.
It is becoming obvious that the American experiment with democracy is now over… In fact, it has been over for quite a while. We can no longer even claim that this is actually a Republic in the sense that the Roman government began as a Republic. The current emperor, Emperor Bumpkin Pumpkinhead, has no clothes. The oligarchs own the government, and we are headed down serious paths of fascism and chaos and potential civil war. We have the Devil to pay for our economic sins, and many of us will be swallowed whole before the end of it.
I have known since the 1980’s that Reagan’s supply-side theory of trickle-down economics, more aptly titled Voodoo Economics, was a monumentally bad idea. If you let the rich folks get richer and capable of buying absolutely anything, they will sooner or later buy the government and rewrite the rules to allow them to do anything they want. That is the system we have right now. Anything the idle rich want… That’s the reason we are saddled with Trump right now, the fattest jockey that ever broke a horse’s back. And some of the rich folks who want anything and everything they can afford are truly demented and psychotic, backed up by years of getting their way even in putrid, evil ways.
The reason that the Republican government is so hot to cut taxes for the wealthy is to continue the wealth-redistribution program of the Reagan years. Apparently the anointed few deserve all the rewards the economy has to give even though they do little besides horde their money and buy politicians who will continue to help them rake more in. Meanwhile the rest of us continue to slave for them doing all the work under oppressive debt burdens that keep us under control.
Of course, “Why should anyone believe me of all people?” is definitely the question. I am only a retired school teacher who spent a career finding and verifying information, followed by a simple and clearly-defined presentation of the information to be learned. I have revealed myself in this blog to have the letter “L” on my forehead for “liberal” which translate into Republicanese as “loser”. And that’s where we will stay if we don’t fight back.
So, how do we fight back? For one thing, we have to vote. Current policies and beliefs of the administration do not reflect the will of the people. The general consensus about health care and taxes is not even considered by the Bozos in charge of the circus. And we probably won’t win in the coming elections, because, through gerrymandering, voter suppression, and outright cheating the Republican right always gets its own way. But that should stir us to further action… doing things like I am doing here, using my innate ability to use hyperbole and doofy jokery to spread the word and stir up outrage. Better than angry fascist propaganda, right?
Haven’t we, by now, had enough of what Ronnie Raygun wanted? Isn’t it time we considered what we want? …What we need?
If you are a budding talent and future Batman villain, there are some simple and easy steps to take that will turn this country completely evil. We are, at present, at the threshold of an evil empire envisioned by Sith Lord Darth Cheney, implemented a little bit by the rodeo clown Junior Bush until he crashed the economy so badly he actually made a black man president, and now seriously enabled by the total takeover of government by the GOP (Greedy Old Pigs). So how do we turn everything to the Dark Side of the Force and Make America Evil Again? There are several simple steps to the process.
- Make America Hate Again
Surely as a super villain you have somebody you utterly hate and pathologically need to get even with. For Twitler it began with Mexicans and continued with any and all Muslims. “They are rapists and criminals and terrorists, and some, I assume, are good people… but wait, those would be the white supremacists and neo-Nazis… so never mind the good ones. Kill their families and build a wall. Sad!” And it was easily expanded to include people of color… any color… except white and orange. You get your rabid-dog followers to beat up anybody with a “Black Lives Matter” sort of message. Even the churches will help you do the work of it. Fundamentalist Christians are fertile ground for the seeds of hate trees. They stopped quite a while ago noticing in the Bible where Jesus said to help the poor and the defenseless, and basically talked bad about the rich. They only pay attention when the Bible talks, in obscure parts of Leviticus, about the kinds of people you should hate. And American gun laws are bearing the fruit of the violence against ordinary and non-rich people. Look at how many were murdered in Las Vegas for the crime of listening to a Country Music concert. And we shall call that a mental health problem, not a gun problem… and then later forget to do anything about mental health problems. Stirring up hate is easy. And sooner or later the guys with all the guns will decide that the people they hate need to die.
2. Make ‘Em Afraid
- There is no motivator like fear. Fear of terrorists, fear of economic collapse like the one in 2008, fear of Mexicans coming across the border to take our jobs… You already have the country hating those bad people, like people of color, people of different religions, and people who are not like us. If it is not easy to see why we should be afraid of those people, stir up some hot poop and fling it at people you know are unstable. Surely there’s a dictator with bad hair and nuclear missiles somewhere (one that is not you) that you can call names and play games of chicken with through military exercises and shows of strength (but not actual penis size… some things need to remain a secret). Promise fire and fury. 3. Remember, the Enemy of My Enemy is My Best Friend
You can really stir up a good batch of evil hot poop if you make friends with former enemies of the country. Who better than Vladie? No, not Vladimir Dracula, the other Vlad… you know, Putin, the KGB guy. You can make money for each other and keep filthy American regulators from preventing that next sweetheart Exxon deal just because the KGB guy poisons people and makes them disappear. What, you think we are so good that we don’t kill people? It’s really the American way. Go into somebody else’s country. Kill them. Take all their valuable stuff.
Where there’s a will, there is a way. These are three easy steps towards the dictatorship of your evil villain-dreams. And remember, lie about everything. Lie so much they start accepting the lies as truth. Stupid people especially will bow down before you and beg you to hurt them, and hurt the people they hate even more.