Wednesday, May 14, 2008

No news...

I've been up about a half hour and don't find anything new about "us" tomorrow I'll get to walk picket again.

I spent my afternoon on the telephone with Citi, who were kind enough to let me slide a month, and Chase, who took a lot longer. They want to close my account for 9-12 months, cut my payment by 60%, and drop their interest rate from 29% to 8% while they do; I'll know tomorrow if it's been approved or not (my fingers are crossed on that one. Had we realized they had raised the interest rate on it that high before we restarted a clean account, we'd have done something else; we took that one out of the drawer for a vacation, and when we came back were shocked to find their rate had doubled since we last used it).

My next round of calls will be the two vehicle payments and the mortgage company...

Meanwhile, I'm going to go make myself a coffee and get some breakfast and take my truck to the dealer for the free oil change it's due for. If I can catch the guy I bought it and the Malibu from I'm going to see what I can find out about getting some work driving for them, though I don't hold out a lot of hope. Only being able to work 2 days a week without losing my strike pay, and knowing I may have to go back to work at a minutes notice probably isn't going to make finding something easy, but by next week I'm going to have to do something!

While all of this plays out in my life, my eye (my ear?) is still on what's going on in this world...Burma, China, old carrier the Kittyhawk being sent home for mothballs or the scrapper...

I heard a radio piece as the debate over cutting the gas tax for the summer began; it may have been on "Marketplace". The commentator's question was "When did it become a crime to pay taxes"? I can't quote it but the gist was what is wrong with paying for that pavement you drive on each day, the sewer that carries your waste away and it's treatment? When did it become a crime to pay for a bridge that carries you, the food you eat, and brings your gasoline to you? When did it become wrong to pay for the education of the children that will be making the decisions for this nation when you can't?

As I related this to Bill the other day, that last line really struck me! Through the years I've heard people argue that they didn't have children, why should they pay for mine to go to school? I've heard arguments for and against free college for anyone who graduates high school with a "C" average.

How can anyone want not only the future of our country, but their own future shackled by the education of those who will be making the decisions for all of us in 20, 40 or 60 years?

Then it struck me- who would benefit most from an electorate that was easily led by mass media...whose world view is shaped by prime time TV? By Grand Theft Auto?

Those same people who are making 1200 times the national average...the same ones who truly profit from the tax cuts...that same 2% who own 98%...

I know, I'm getting old and cynical...

May the rest of the week be kind!



Late addition: I ended up applying for a job while I was at the shop with my truck; the service manager seemed very interested in hiring me as well, not only for when I retire, but possibly even now until the strike ends! Perhaps an act, but my fingers are crossed. I'm feeling a little less "on the abyss" than I did these last few days!



Ange (formerly Writer Mom) said...

I've been out of it too long, I see.

Sorry about the strike and the stresses involved with all of it.

And as for people not wanting to pay taxes for education, I just think of them in the nursing homes of the future. They will want quality care down the road and my kids are going to be the ones to give it to them. Wish I could keep a list of names of people who don't deserve it, but it's probably a long list and not how I want to live my life, anyhow.

Hang in there!

Sassy said...

I'm just getting cynical :p

MB said...

Well, you certainly have lots going on these days, don't you! Alan, I hope things smooth out for you soon. Good luck with it all. Meanwhile, I hope you can soak up the joys of spring while they last. :-)

annie said...

great rant at the end there! so incredibly true. it all comes down to the 2% that own 98%. the sad part is, "we" have stood idly by as our lives have been systematically f***ed with!
don't EVEN get me started, as i am sure you know too well!

good luck with the latest challenges.

CrackerLilo said...

Remember the "Funzo" episode of the Simpsons? I want to show people who don't care about education taxes the play the schoolchildren put on for Mr. Burns. "Hi, I'm Dr. Stupid, and I'm going to take out your liver bones! Oops, you're dead!"

With the hard choices you're making, you're bound to get a bit cynical right now. Indulge in it like a well-deserved treat for the moment. I know you won't gorge on cynicism forever--you're too kind and hopeful.

I'm glad you took the step of applying for a job, too. Action makes things feel better. *hug*

fineartist said...

Bless your heart hon, hang in there. Things are crazy right now everywhere, and it's probably going to get worse before it gets better. I hear the president of a major gas company on the today show this morning talking about gas going to five bucks a gallon. I was really freaked that he had the balls to get on national tv and be confronted, especially with the financial gains his company is raking in. I just don't get it.

Whose cynical? Um yeah that would be me.


ryssee said...

LOL these kids are gonna have to take care of me (and my social security) in my old age, since I don't have any! I need 'em to be smart and make lots of money!
In the back of my mind I keep wondering if transportation costs gets so expensive that we finally get some manufacturing heading this way instead of overseas (pipe dream and a double-edged sword or mixed blessing?)
Sounds like you've been busy-fingers crossed all works out with your bills and a lead on the part time work 'til the mess is sorted out.

robin andrea said...

I do hope you get that job for during the strike and after you retire. That would take care of things right away. I like that.

I have often thought about how important it is to pay our taxes, but I've never been able to articulate quite as succinctly as you just did.

TaraDharma said...

alan, you may be getting older, (as are all of us) but cynical? it's called, 'reality' dear heart, and you are right...a distracted citizenry only benfits the thieves as the top.