Health update

I believe I may have mentioned it before but I have been suffering from a health issue that my doctors have not been able to diagnose.  Chronic fatigue, especially in the legs, which is leading to foot pain and leg aches. I spend most of my day standing so this takes most of my energy leaving little when I get home.  I have been soldiering through but it is hard to keep up a good attitude.  A while back I took some time off to get tests done and rest. I applied for my FMLA benefits and have been fighting with the isurance company ever since. 

They initially denied my claim but I won an appeal that covered part of my leave.  Unfortunately, when all my tests came back negative, they denied the second half, which has put me in a world of hurt.  I have racked up a couple of thousand in medical debt and late fees and I am still searching for an answer.  I recently sent in another appeal for the second half of my FMLA but that will not cover everything and is not a sure thing.

Meanwhile, I am back to work and barely surviving.  I don’t get much done around the house because I just want to be off my legs.  Some days I have to take a sick day because I can’t face a day of standing.  

Part of my heartbreak comes from this.  The other part comes from the sadness I see so much of in the world.  Any of you who read this blog know how passionate I am about the problems I see.  Most I feel could be fixed if we would see them for what they really are or by understanding that all the little things we have not thought about can actually be hurting someone in a big way.   So, this burden weighs on me, bringing me further down when things are not going so well for myself.  

Personally, I have been doing all I can to lighten my financial load along with simplifying my life.  Hopefully some answer will come along and I will be able to have the energy to write and paint again, which is the biggest bummer of this all.  Thanks for listening.

Freedom of Choice

I was talking with a colleague today and he brought up Trump.  I told him Trump was an idiot for which he said, well, there isn’t much choice because he didn’t like Clinton.  I reiterated that Trump was and idiot or, more accurately, a con man.  Surprisingly, there was not any of the usual bluster from him, even though they were Republican.  I found that interesting.

Many Republicans are not happy with the candidate put forth by their party but feel trapped into voting for Trump because Clinton is no more attractive to them.  What a sad state of affairs in our country when someone feels they are forced to vote for someone they clearly do not like.  However, that is not the case.  Just because you do not like any of the candidates the various parties have put forth does not mean you cannot voice your opinion through your vote.  You are allowed to write in the person you want to elect.  Let me say that again:

You are allowed to write in the person you want to elect.

Hell, if you want to, you can write in your own name but don’t expect a lot of matching votes.  Also, you may want to contain your choices to someone that campaigned this election, since they have shown they are willing to take the office.  Someone that did not campaign may turn the country down.  Other than that, feel free to express yourself.  You can even write in “none of the above”.

In my opinion, should the whole country manage to elect someone other than the two candidates chosen for us by the 1% that would send a clearer message to big money than putting a multiple-bankruptcy, wife cheating, service evading, bigot into office.  The one thing the 1% are afraid of more than unions is the 99% telling them no more.  Think about it.  Bones.

Sailors of the Infinite Sea

I just wanted to let you know that I have added two great links for all you space enthusiast out there.  The first one will take you to the solar sail project run by the Planetary Society’ which is an effort to deploy a functioning solar sail satellite into space.  The other is the home page of the Planetary Society itself where you will find all kinds of interesting information about space.  The links can be found on the left hand side of this blog towards the bottom under the heading Sites.

Thought of the Day

A lot of older Americans complain about the work ethics of the current younger generation.  Aside from the fact that this may be an over generalization, could it be possible that the younger generation has listened to the complaints their elders had of their treatment in the workplace?  Could it be possible that they have watched the news and had their eyes opened?  Is it possible that they have seen the truth that hard work really does not lead to the rewards our wealthy love to parade before us?  Could it be that they have seen through the illusion and been broken? Broken by the sight of the rich that get richer by cheating the system so that is what they see to emulate.  Broken by seeing that all their efforts won’t gain them an equivalent share.  Think of this before you judge, because they may know more than you.

Good Movies for Understanding Banking and Capitalism

For anyone who wishes to discuss my views on the banking industry and capitalism, I suggest you first watch a few movies that show you the truth behind the facade.  The first movie I may have mentioned before is called “Boom, Bust, Boom” by Terry Jones from Monty Python.

This is a documentary covering the historical facts about unrestrained and regulated capitalism with emphasis on accounting for human nature.  Our collective short term memory consistently leads us from a well regulated, functional economy into a euphoric free-for-all that ends in a depression mostly paid for by the lower classes.  The movie looks to these trends with an eye toward the crash of 2008 but does not closely examine the actual mechanics of the crash.  “Boom Bust Boom” is a great place to start learning about the flaws inherent to a capitalistic human society.

The second movie is “The Big Short”,

“The Big Short” is the movie you want to watch to see the actual mechanics of the 2008 meltdown created by the banks and Wall Street.  In addition, there is some fine acting by Christian Bale that I think deserved an Oscar.  The movie follows a small group of fund managers who saw the train wreck the banks had created through conflicts of interest with bank regulators, ratings agencies, and insurance companies.  Most enjoyably, the creators of the movie used some very entertaining methods to explain the quasi-legal shady methods the banks used in selling crap loans to the public as AAA rate securities and how the banks allowed people to basically bet on the outcomes of the real estate speculation running rampant in the country.  The chilling truth to be garnered from this movie comes at the end when you see how little was done to change the system.

Third is “Too Big to Fail”

This is the movie that covers the efforts to deal with the crisis.  While it is interesting to see the egos and mad scrambling that occurred when the world had to face the reality of what the banks had done to us, Henry Paulson comes across almost as a hero, which I disagree with since as a former Wall Street Banker he was probably just as guilty of the same unethical practices as the ones represented in the movie.  In addition, knowing these practices, he could have done more to curb the excesses when he took the position.  The fact that the Federal Reserve is staffed by so many ex-bankers should show you why the rich keep getting richer.

Finally, for the business side of the equation take a look at “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room”,

This movie shows how banks and investors will blindly follow fast talking con-men down to the bitter end, praising them most of the way.  The egos are enormous, the bullshit deep, and the cost saddening because everyday people bore the brunt of it as usual.

All four of these movies should be required education for every high school student and a warning to all American Citizens.  We have been sold out time and again by the people we idolize.  The very people campaigning on the platform that it is not they that are the cause of your plight in life but the Mexicans, Blacks, Welfare State, Government, etc.  The truth of the situation is that banks will lend to anyone, because they can write a fat fee for themselves.  If the borrower is honest then the system works fairly well; however, if they are dishonest, they can ruin a lot of pension funds since the banks always pass the buck to the consumer.


An Honest Appeal to All the Troubled Voters out There

For all those voters, Democrats, Republicans, and Independents who fear a Trump Presidency, I would like to appeal to you to write in Bernie Sanders for President.  Why you say, because I believe there is a very real chance Trump can win against Hillary Clinton.  Not only are the forces of ignorance and greed, which strongly support the Republican ticket, so pervasive in modern America, but there is a strong backlash within the Democratic party against their own candidate.

Here is my reasoning.  One, the election of Barrack Obama in 2008 has angered many “White Male” Democrats and set them against the party.  Not because he has actually been that bad of a President, but because in their mind he has been.  They will never come out and say the real truth behind their dislike of him, “Black Man“, but will rationalize it with sound bites from Fox News, which they have turned to in their moral dilemma.  They are still angry at the Democratic party for placing a “Black Man” in charge of the country and, by proxy, them.  So they will vote for Trump no matter how much truth you put before them.  They are angry at the system and country that put a “Black Man” in office and they will spitefully place Trump in office to teach us a lesson, while they will rationalize this as the right thing to do.  I know because this describes my father to a tee.

Second, in addition to this mentality, there is another reason that comes into these and other Democrats heads.  They look at Barrack’s presidency as a grand experiment in placing a non-traditional, read that as “Older White Man“, in office and they view the result as a failure.  They don’t take into account that no President could have made a shining Utopia out of the shit hole we created.  These are the short term thinkers who expect the problems we made over decades to be fixed in a year.  Thinkers easily satisfied with band-aid fix after band-aid fix.  They were willing to take a chance on a non-traditional President to change things; however, there was no Utopia so they soured on the experiment idea.  They are ready to go back to tradition and will turn from Hillary Clinton because she is considered another Democratic experiment, no matter her pedigree.

Third, the truth is that Clinton is not really any better for America.  She is just as tied into the Big Financial institutions as a Republican candidate and will fear doing what is necessary to curb the un-American and quasi-legal activities that are destroying this country and the world.  The banks will run her economic policy like all the past Presidents back to when Thomas/Andrew Mellon and Andrew Carnegie secretly made banking policies.  If you do not understand the influence of these men on our economic present, then read the history of before and after the Federal Reserve Bank.  Also, as evidenced by the hooha around the activities of the DNC Chairperson, Clinton comes off as just part and parcel of the corrupt political system we already have.

To conclude, please, please, please if you are mad at the Democratic party for any of the above reasons, don’t vote for Trump in spite or vengeance.  Don’t decide to not vote at all.  Write in Bernie Sanders and vote for him.  Let’s surprise the hell out of the world and do the right thing.


Note:  The was initially written quickly so I came back and edited the post to make the ideas clearer.