Monday, November 4, 2019

The Beatings Must Continue

I had a professor in college who always said, "It's going to get a lot worse before it gets better."
My father died thinking that the worst thing in the world were socialist democrats like FDR and Obama.
He was distracted into thinking that way, much the same way that our nation was led to believe Oswald killed Kennedy. That way you see, whether it's socialist democrats or crazed gunman, we all have a villain. Someone to pin all of our troubles on. In the meantime, the real bad guys escape responsibility and thus the plan works.
I used to believe that socialist/ democrat nonsense too until I realized the real culprit- the real source of all of our taxing problems, credit problems, government confiscation of real property via property tax- has been the Federal Reserve, it's member banks, and all of the tertiary banking entities that our monstrosity of a banking system has created.
And we have a 77,000 page tax code to prove just how insane its has become.
You know how I culled the real villains from this story? I figured it out when I discovered that FDR not only confiscated all of our gold- he made it illegal to own. What was government protecting us from? Was gold giving us cancer or birth defects? Why was gold outlawed? It's just a harmless metal not some drug that makes us crash cars and beat women. Gold was outlawed because we were on the gold standard in 1933 and the central bank had fucked our country up so badly in just a mere 16 years- from 1913 to 1929- that the only solution was to illegally confiscate, yes seize, gold- control it's quantity and revalue it. In that way, government could lie about how much we had. Once the gold standard was safely under government control we could print all of the paper we wanted and fund all of those stupid projects and put people back to work until WWII broke out.
I believe our fore fathers had the best intentions. They knew a central bank would destroy our country. Many of them spoke about it at great length and in all of those well intended systems- the checks and balances of the 3 branches of government, the electoral college, and the rights of states not to be subjugated by a federal government, the one thing our forefathers did not create was a central bank. They knew the dangers of that.
They knew a central bank would destroy us and it has. It has created a mountain of debt that will never be repaid. They are now taxing us to death trying to keep the final debt curtain call at bay and they must attempt to inflate all of those trillions away. And they distract us with Obamacare taxes, socialist rhetoric, and a plethora of things to hate and keep us distracted from the real culprit in our story- the Federal Reserve Bank and it's member banks complete with a currency they can create at will with crappy, low interest loans and keystrokes.
The greatest argument I ever had with my father centered on this issue. He believed that socialists and democrats, particularly FDR, ruined this country and while I agree to some extent, the Central Bank was on the scene long before FDR, fueling that disaster which has brought us everything from famine, unemployment, gold confiscation, taxes on virtually everything, and wars.
The facts are there. It is easy to find. All of these assholes we have running around and confiscating our wealth are the cause and effect of one entity. It ain't rocket science to do the detective work but very few do because they weren't taught that and they don't want to believe it- like my dad. 
So this whole tax situation we find ourselves in- it's going to get much worse. The government is going to continue to seize our wealth in greater amounts because there is no other way to keep our current system running without an epic implosion.
It's a shame my father never figured this out. 

Friday, September 27, 2019

We Expected Very Little From Dad and He Always Delivered

I can't get him out of my mind.

In July, my father passed away. He was one of those guys who could do anything. Private pilot, fantastic carpenter, excellent accordion and fiddle player. He was a very good skier and at one time a pretty fair golfer. He was also an avid hunter. I spent the last few years pheasant hunting with my father. It was an impossible task made even more difficult by my father's selfishness. 

Dad just sucked at being a dad. Maybe he wasn't prepared for fatherhood or maybe he had used up all of his talents accomplishing all those other things. He tried being a dad once. He coached baseball, took me hunting and fishing, took me with him when he left the house. I know he tried. I was about 15 when he officially threw in the towel. For all of my father's efforts he just couldn't figure out how to be a family man. 

My father was an alcoholic and that certainly stood in the way of being a good father. He was one of the good drunks. One of those guys that could have 10 or 15 drinks and still behave rationally and come off somewhat sober. Drove like a straight arrow, obeyed traffic laws, drove drunk a thousand times and never got pulled over. Not even once. Dad's first love I think, was always booze. 

So around dad's 37th birthday, I think he just gave up on this whole, "raising kids" idea. By that time he was fighting with my mother on a daily basis and drinking every night. This is the chaos that an alcoholic brings with him. I certainly was no peach either. So it was that my father ran away to another town and another woman. A woman that would let him drink. 

I continued to try and have a relationship with my dad. It never worked very well. He re-married and I think his new wife resented his kids. He didn't invite any of us to his wedding. I didn't even know he had gotten married. By the time the 80's rolled around, we laughed when we spoke of dad's house. Not one picture of any of us, anywhere. We got the message. We were slowly being erased. 

Alcoholism and the self centered thinking that comes with it- baffles most normal people. As the years rolled by, my father drank more, resented nearly everyone that didn't agree with him and he could become very angry just watching the news. He learned to hate his wife and his life. He ran away for one last fling, one last time, and that proved to be the beginning of the end for dad. He was diagnosed with congestive heart failure brought on by cirrhosis of the liver and he very nearly died in 2011. He came home to an angry and resentful wife. The two of them were so miserable together that I simply couldn't bring myself to stop by their house. I felt sorry that they both had to live that way. The things they said to each other actually embarrassed me and made me feel uncomfortable. Both were unrelenting.

So in those last years, I tried to put up with my father's bitterness and anger. I tried to ride shotgun while his untrained, schizophrenic dog slobbered and climbed all over me. It cost me 50 dollars just to have the dog hair removed from my wool coat. Once when I asked him to kennel the dog for the two day trip, he looked at me and said, "why?" That's how he was. And so you get to suffer that level of abuse for two days or you draw boundaries. The next year, I told him I would not ride with him but that I would travel the 1000 miles to the hunting grounds in my own car. He didn't ask why. I never made another trip with him.

Alcoholics often don't ever see themselves as the problem. They see everyone else as the problem. They make up and carry resentments. Often they become bitter and angry. In my father's case, he simply couldn't understand that he had caused all of the problems in his life. He had scarred, resentful children, one bitter ex wife and one bitter but current wife. In his mind though- it was all just bad luck. He even told me that a couple of weeks before he died. He couldn't figure out why both of his wives were so controlling. I wanted to tell him the truth- that he had caused much of it but it wasn't worth the effort. I did note that level of unconscious thinking and found it absolutely astounding in size and scope. 

The last couple months of his life were horrible. His legs were so swollen he couldn't walk. He fell frequently. There were other distasteful things. Catheters, operations, intrusions. I took my dad to every appointment, picked up prescriptions, dragged out the trash, ran errands. I did this because he was my father. I did this out of a sense of loyalty because children are supposed to help their parents. 

I wish that I could tell you I loved him. But I can't connect those dots. I don't suffer from Stockholm Syndrome or any other condition where the abused loves their abuser. 

So when he died, I  helped move his wife to a new place, cleaned (found a hidden bottle of whiskey) his house, made the funeral arrangements, wrote the obituary and attended his graveside service with a headstone. His wife and her kids did not attend. I understand that. A big part of me didn't want to be there either. But I got it done- not for him but for me.

Maybe that's why I can't stop thinking about him. In the court of Del, the defense wasn't able to present their case.

Love is something you feel. I felt it with my mother, with my siblings, with my wife. I don't have children of my own but I feel love with my wife's grandchild. I never felt love for my father. In the few times that he ever said "love you" it just rang hollow, insincere, and forced. Perhaps I would feel differently had he displayed a photo of us, kenneled a dog out of respect when we traveled, or mentioned that he was proud of any of us. He talked that way about others but never us, his family. Those are the little things, the brush strokes. That's how the bigger canvas of your lives gets painted. I think you have to demonstrate some love or concern for others. Some empathy for others. People have to "feel" love. So it's a tough sell for a few of us that dad ever loved anything beyond booze and doing what he wanted to do. Dad took care of dad. Any suggested deviation from dad's chosen course was always met with an icy stare with a fair amount or derision or ridicule thrown in for good measure. So we gave up. It was easier. Those were his terms.

I miss the father of my youth. The father I had for the last 45 years or so, simply wasn't the same man. I think things had to break the way that they did and honestly, I'm not sure they could have gone any other way. I accept that in God's world, everything is exactly as it's supposed to be.

There is some value in sharing that despite our best efforts, things don't always turn out like some episode of the "Waltons." Sometimes, our relationships are doomed right from the start. Nothing could have changed things. I believe that.

My siblings and I like to say, "We expected very little from him and he always delivered." 

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Something Funny Happened On the Way to the Depression

In the beginning they were given two choices.

They took the easy way out. They always do. The politicians bailed out the banks, the bankers, and stole a cool trillion from the treasury which they used to make fractional loans.

They didn't avoid a depression- they simply postponed it.

Wall Street survived in some zombie fashion- inflating real estate and stock markets to astronomical levels. That is where we've been since the fall of '08 and the beginning of the Mar. '09 bull.

Every one has been playing along because there isn't much else you can do. Go to work, grind out a bunch of taxes for the government and take out ridiculously sized loans on property to maintain the banker's profit margins. The American dream. Or nightmare depending on who you ask.

This winter I spent six months touring the south. I traveled through Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. I spent time on the beach, ate at nice restaurants. What I didn't do- is look for one of these pathetic, miserable, crappy jobs with no benefits. I giggled every time I went to a restaurant or a bar and saw a "help wanted" sign. I can't tell you how many "help wanted" signs I've seen. Maybe 100 or so. I saw signs offering 11 bucks an hour- well over minimum wage- with no takers. Truck trailers with placards offering sign up bonuses. Outdoor billboards asking for help.

This has been going on for months.

I am part of the 100 million workers who dropped out. No more shitty jobs without benefits. No more immature, ego maniac bosses telling me what I can or can't do. You can have some measure of free speech just so long as you don't whore yourself out to some crappy job. The employer over reach in this country has never been worse. The government can't steal more from me. I don't have to meet deadlines, beg for time off, work overtime, or bite my tongue.

What all of this amounts to- is a strike. No union. No dues. Just 100 million people who have figured out a way to survive- and who know that taking one of these crappy jobs is simply not worth all of the headaches it generates. There is virtually no upside and 11 bucks ain't gonna make a difference.

The best part about the crash of '08- the unintended consequence- was that 100 million of us learned that we cannot depend on these jobs. We became self sufficient.

I'm sure you can still get a decent trailer house and a used car for 1100 a month. After taxes that should leave workers 300 a month for utilities, health care, gas, food, and maybe a t-shirt or two. The next step is labor camps- ya know the kind where you eat, work, and sleep on your employer's property.

Wages in this country have not really budged in 40 years. The talent pool is drying up and the people with any sort of know how aren't coming back.

When the Depression finally arrives- that day when debt levels go supernova and the dollar collapses- we can finally restructure our society. In the meantime, let's enjoy watching these bullshit artists try to repeal the laws of mathematics.

I can't even begin to imagine what will happen next- especially if the DNC nominates some communist like Bernie Sanders. This is the party that brought you Hillary Clinton.

We live in very interesting times.