Weapons Against Inflation

Prices are sky high ….. people are struggling ….. people are suffering …..Inflation is rampant everywhere and it seems there is no end in sight.

People are confused, people are afraid ….. “Will I have a home tomorrow? ….. Will I be able to afford my medicine this month?” …..”Will I pay the water bill this month or will I buy enough groceries to get us through?”

So will help come? Where will help come from?

It seems like the government is powerless to do much of anything except to raise interest rates and pass massive spending bills that they hope will drive inflation downward.

So what if some government program does manage to lower inflation? Will it be enough? Will it come soon enough to make a difference? What if the government programs make little or no difference ….. to anybody but the wealthy. Isn’t that how America rolls …. rob the poor to feed the rich?

There was a time — a long time ago — when if Americans got pressed too hard against the walls, they would rise up, organize themselves and do something about the situation.

That is how the Labor Unions were formed. That is how boycotts came to be.

I would like to talk about strikes for a minute or two.

Strikes have historically been a formidable weapon used by the weak to soften or eliminate the greed and avarice of some of the strong.

To go on strike basically means, “Refuse to go to work.” That has been the traditional definition of a strike.

It has been demonstrated many times that if angry people affect the pocketbooks of those who take advantage of them for too long a time by going on strike over some issue, then good things happen … the weak more often than not find relief from their sufferings …. all because they had the courage to stand up for their rights against oppressive taskmasters.

I have a few thoughts about how one form or another of a strike might help with the current inflation problem.

If Greedy merchants start noticing that customers are no longer shopping in their stores then something is going to happen … either the merchants will start lowering prices or they will shut their doors.

I believe that really big merchants will be far more willing to lower a few prices to soothe the ruffled feathers of customers who boycott them long enough than they will be willing to place their multi-million dollar businesses in danger of bankruptcy.

Just a personal note here ….. I do not wish to be a rabble-rouser ….. heaven forbid! But I would really like to see some people marching and waving their signs and talking through their bull horns and picketing some of the places that think it is fun to raise prices on their merchandise above what the average working person can pay.

I remember many years ago when meat went out of sight and hamburger that had traditionally sold for as little as 99 cents per pound went to a dollar and twenty-five cents per pound and then to two dollars per pound and finally just a little over four dollars per pound … and that was in the later part of the 1970s as I recall.

It wasn’t too long before the stores were importing ostrich meat and buying beef from Argentina to pacify the virtual horde of customers who simply let the over-priced meat in the stores rot in the cases and on the shelves.

The greed mongers tried the same thing with coffee and peanut butter too … and the customers rebelled and stopped buying either of them.

Trust me when I tell you that in due course, prices started dropping again and customers had plenty of price wars going on to help them save money.

I am thinking that if enough Americans get hungry enough, the citizens themselves will take things into their own hands and do every legal possible thing to get the attention of the inflation-driving scoundrels who love to profit off the blood, sweat, and tears of Americans.

Americans have always met every challenge head-on and have found the solutions to their greatest problems. I think this spirit is in the very nature of what it means to be an American and I believe it will be the citizens who ultimately bail us out of the current mess too.

The Woman With Rainbow Hair

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There once was a woman who wanted to have rainbow hair more than anything she could think of. She thought about it every day and every night. The vision of herself with the most beautiful rainbow hair … with lots of vivid beautiful colors … became an obsession.

So she visited a well-known hair stylist and asked to have her hair colored in all the bright and vivid hues of a rainbow.

She reminded the hairdresser that she did not want pastel colors but that she wanted the deepest and most vibrant colors possible.

The hairdresser pondered the request for a few moments and then agreed that she could do what the woman wanted.

With the greatest sense of satisfaction and longing anxiety, the woman settled comfortably down in the hairdresser’s chair and dozed off to sleep, dreaming of her wonderful rainbow-colored hair.

Soon enough, it came time for the big reveal.

The hairdresser gave the woman a mirror to hold in her hand so that she could see her wonderful rainbow-colored hair.

The hairdresser slowly lifted the steaming warm towel off the woman’s head.

The woman’s heart began to beat with excitement … this was the time … this was the day for dreams to come true.

Suddenly the hair stylist’s parlor was filled with a high-pitched scream that went on for several seconds.

The woman stared in horror at her beautiful rainbow-colored scalp.

All the hair was gone.

It never came back either.

So the woman eventually got herself a rainbow-colored wig.

Today, with her new brightly-colored rainbow wig and the Million dollars she got from a legal settlement with the beauty parlor, she is a happy camper.

Now she is thinking, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have several rainbow-colored tattoos all over my body?”

Billy Was a True Genius

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Billy had spent years and years studying every book he could lay his hands on, listening to every news program he could manage to listen to, attending every seminar available on every subject imaginable, obtaining several academic degrees at some prestigious colleges and traveling the world, meeting scores of important and powerful people.

Billy had a photographic memory and absorbed every detail of everything he had ever learned and he knew that if ever there was someone looking for an authority on any of the subjects that he had studied, he would be the expert upon whom to call.

It soon became clear to Billy that there was no one at all interested in the things that he had learned and he came to realize the truth of this in very short order.

Years of studying, learning, cataloging information, memorizing all kinds of wonderful, fascinating and often useful information and still he could not find a single person even remotely interested in hearing anything he had to say about the things he had learned.

So, in a fit of frustrated inspiration, he started a blog and, in a few more short years, proved his assumptions over and over again.

Moral of the story — A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing; a lot of knowledge can be a very frustrating thing. So maybe it is better to raise chickens than it is to learn.

Transfixed

The young man sat staring intently at the other young man on the passenger side of an automobile stopped at a stoplight — an automobile that was headed in the opposite direction as he himself was.

The other young man sat still in his seat in the automobile, never moving, staring straight ahead, never noticing that he was being stared at.

“That is odd,” the staring young man thought to himself, “That dude hasn’t moved a muscle for a couple of minutes now and he has never turned to look at me even once.”

As the traffic light changed to green again, and as both cars began to move …the “Other” young man still didn’t move a muscle.”

The man on the driver’s side did wave, however … he waved and smiled as he and his staring, motionless companion moved off into the distance.

When the staring young man got home, hours later, he casually picked up his newspaper.

The headline on the newspaper was about a man who had been arrested that very morning while driving around the city with a corpse in his vehicle.

I Did Look Ratty

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Once I got to the point where I had 17 different department store credit cards and at least two other regular credit cards with unlimited balances, and to the point where at least a dozen loan companies were pestering me to take out small $1,500 personal loans just because they were “Running a contest to see who could close the most loans,” I was feeling pretty good about myself.

I had moved into a new home where everything was brand spanking new and I had Three automobiles that didn’t rattle my nerves when they crossed railroad tracks and life was looking good …. so I developed a new hobby too … just to keep from being bored. I needed some fun in my life and I was vain, I have to admit it … I was vain and I am still vain …but I have settled down a little bit in my advancing age.

Anyway, the new hobby that I developed was to cast off my tailored business suits and dress as close to an indigent man as possible — and to make visits to upscale retail establishments and a few restaurants as well.

I walked into one large department store one day ….an elegant place with lots of nattily dressed sales personnel milling about, catering to every whim of their snoot-wad high classed clientele, with the intention of purchasing some personal writing stationery as a gift for my wife.

I stood around in that store for the better part of 45 minutes when a sales person approached me with a kind of “My God, I hope this fellow does not smell as much like a dog as he looks” expression on his neatly groomed and shiny clean face and asked me in a relatively haughty tone, “Is there something I can help you with?”

He didn’t even have the courtesy to call me, “Sir”

Some of his female peers stood a distance away, casting furtive glances at me and pointing and giggling.

I cannot say that I was overwhelmed by the salesman’s coating of Pierre Cardin cologne, but the thought occurred to me that he might have actually taken a bath in it.

I could almost see my face in his overly-polished black Brunello Cucinelli shoes.

I answered him by saying, “I was thinking of purchasing some stationery as a gift for my wife.”

He had the unmitigated gall to reply, “The stationer that we represent is very exclusive and probably not in the price range that you had in mind. May I suggest that you go down the block to (Every jerk’s paper and party supplies)? (That was not the actual name of the store he had suggested.

I pressed him a bit further saying, “Oh I don’t know … can you show me a few things in the line that you represent?”

I could see that he was growing a little impatient with me and it felt to me like he might have been embarrassed being seen by his coworkers as even speaking with me.

He finally said, “I’m afraid not, sir … we have nothing for you. As I suggested before….”

I thanked him for his time and could almost hear him breathing a sigh of relief as I left his store.

I had this smug look of satisfaction on my face because my ruse worked.

In a couple of days, I got out of bed one morning, showered, sprayed myself liberally with Armani Eau Pour Homme cologne, selected the shiniest pair of black dress shoes I could find in my extensive walk-in closet — select Italian silk shirt — custom gold cuff links — Beau Brummel tie, English waistcoat — and, accompanied by a friend, returned to the store …. the same store.

No sooner had I entered the establishment, I was surrounded by what seemed to be a horde of anxious and very attentive salespeople, each of them gushing and competing with each other to draw my attention first to this thing and then to that thing and then to the other thing …. It was kind of suffocating …. but it raised a sort of libidinal twinge and a heady rush of “Yes, you fools, you are, each one of you going to do a lot of ass kissing this morning if you expect to get me to open my wallet for you.”

I did this a lot … in many different places …. and it was always the same. I could of sworn that if i had wanted them to, they would have fondled me in a most salacious manner.

I finally had the privilege of confronting the man I had originally encountered on my quest to purchase the stationery. He did not recognize me at first. But once he did recognize me, I believe he was more than willing to take a public piss on the showroom floor if I had demanded it.

The situation reeked of hilarity and I found it delicious as a meal at Delmonicos.

It was my pleasure to finally tell the poor fellow that I was going over to a competitor’s establishment where I planned to spend an obscene amount of money.

I also had my secretary type a letter to the manager of that establishment detailing my displeasure with my first visit.

Next thing I knew, the offending salesperson was on the telephone gushing all kinds of apologies to me ….

I squared things with him and his manager …because, if you can believe it, I am really a nice person sometimes.

I finally got some stationery via phone and mail from Tiffany of New York. It was a very high rag content paper with a 14-karat letter “S” with a wreath of fig leaves around it embossed onto the paper and the emvelopes. I believe it cost me something like Twenty Five dollars for a set of two sheets of paper and an envelope. I believe I had purchased One Hundred sets of this stationery as a gift for my wife on our anniversary.

Later on she pissed me off … rather intentionally, I would imagine, by using the stationery to doodle on as she sat on the telephone with her friends.

But I secretly rejoiced in the power that my newly-acquired station in life had gotten for me.

Since those days, I have mellowed a little.

I no longer contemplate buying and bulldozing a small business because some idiot offends me.

If Dew Drops Could Talk

There was once a little dew drop who made up his watery little mind that he was going to cling to the branch of the rose bush for as long as it took for him to grow as big as he could get and then drop from the bush to see where fate would take him next.

This dewdrop was feisty, clever, imaginative, and inventive … very clever for a small droplet of something as simple as common water. But he wasn’t just “Common” water; he was special water… He could think and reason and contrive. Those faculties alone set him apart from the common, ordinary, everyday dew drop … and he sensed it.

As he hung on the branch, contemplating his plans, he kept noticing that all the dew drops around him were reaching their maturity and simply fading away under the heat of the Sun.

He could hear their cries of despair as, one by one, they faded, lost their grip on the branches and either fell to the ground or simply evaporated and were gone forever, never having accomplished anything of note.

Our little dew drop was courageous in the face of what appeared to be certain defeat. He screamed out at the surrounding forest, “That is not going to happen to me. I am going to do something outstanding…. something that will make people remember me for years to come.”

So the courageous dew drop grew and grew and huffed and puffed and waited … waited patiently … waited for something or someone to come by and pick him up and put him somewhere where, in years to come, he could be discovered and could tell his story of courage and survival.

Suddenly that bush on which the little drop was hanging started shaking fiercely. It shook and shook and shook some more. It shook upward and downward and in every direction. The sharing of the bush was so violent that the poor little dew drop lost his drip and fell screaming to the ground so far far below.

“I don’t know what is happening,” the little drop exclaimed, “But I know that I am going to survive this, no matter what it is!”

Suddenly and without warning, a great cloud of darkness fell upon the little drop and he felt himself being crushed into the ground.

As he drew his final breath, the little drop could see faintly, through his dimming vision, the flailing flapping of the loincloth adorning the native who had just run through his bush … and the last thing he saw was the bottom of the foot of the native running away …the foot that had crushed him into the ground …. and put an end to his dreams of ever being important or remembered throughout the ages.

No, the job of helping that little dew drop to be remembered falls to me, the author of this story — a task that I gratefully accept … because a dew drop who tries as hard as this one tried, deserves to be remembered.

Rest in peace, little fella.

Plays Once and Wins One Million Dollars

Waiting to get rich by playing lottery games is a long-shot proposition but the fact is that some people get lucky. The first time I ever played, I bought three tickets for two dollars each hoping to hit it big and win the Million dollar jackpot.

I did not win the Million Dollar jackpot but I did hit four out of the five required numbers and got a payout of Five Hundred Dollars. Of course that swelled my head a little bit and made a believer out of me. So now I still continue to play and I do win small prizes on a more or less regular basis.

But there was one winner in Minnesota who did win a million dollars on his first time playing the lottery. — HERE IS HIS STORY. I had to make my first million the hard way … by working. I worked for what I got and I have to admit that being in business is also a gamble. So by working and being in business I did get a big payday eventually and then lost it all by making some bad decisions …. but I was able to pick myself, dust myself off and start all over again.

That is when I really knew that God is the God of a second chance.

Republicans Could Rewrite The Constitution …

It is no joke — It is a frightening reality — It is within their reach — It would turn The United States into a living Hell … for everybody … except the billionaire rich!

(Quote:) …”Imagine, to add injury to insult, that the federal government has shut down Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, because all of these programs (along with food stamps, Pell grants, housing supports, and any programs that help the middle class, the less fortunate, or disabled) are “beyond the reach” of what the federal government can do because they’re now unconstitutional….(End of Quote).

But wait, folks — there is so much more to this scary scenario ….. a scenario that is in process …. that is being financed ….. that is being discussed by the rich and powerful …..that is just one election away from becoming a totalitarian reality for everybody …..and it is not a conspiracy theory either.

Take the time to read the whole damned plan because it might open the eyes of millions of sleeping Americans who are standing on a precipice.

And what is the whole damned plan?

Here is a big part of it ….RIGHT HERE. Imagine …. imagine and be afraid … be very afraid!

But wait! There is more ..lots more … even scarier shit … RIGHT HERE. You know what I mean?

By the way, did you know that Tucker Carlson is edging Sean Hannity out at Fox as the main talking head? Now that is scary! If you thought Hannity was something, you are going to absolutely fall in love with Carlson. Read that shit ...HERE. As the old Jewish man in the movie, Schindler’s List remarked …. as he was being forced to share living space with other families … “My God, can it get any worse?”

Oh yeah — Oh yeah — it sure can … and … it is!

Wake up America, your freedoms are being attacked on every front!

Can I Borrow Your Lawn Mower?

What are you going to do when your friend or neighbor borrows your lawn mower or your tools or something else and keeps it and doesn’t return it?

First of all, it is no sin to go and ring their doorbell and ask for the item back. This, of course, done in the friendliest manner possible. I mean you did not “Give” them the borrowed item as a gift and that fact should have been implied and understood in the original transaction.

You might even want to be a funny clown when you go to collect your item … you might want to say something like, “Gee, Howard, I seem to have lost my lawn mower somewhere, can I borrow yours?”

I loaned my best friend a Hundred dollars once so he could run off and get married to his fiancé. He never mentioned it nor offered to pay it back for at least 5 years. It actually made me begin to look at him in less than friendly terms. Eventually he managed to give my wife a dilapidated old phonograph that barely played and said that should cover what he owed to me.

I like that old saying, “Neither a lender nor a borrower be.”

These days I am more inclined to respond to requests to borrow something of mine with, “Have you ever thought of buying one of your own?”

I am “Inclined” to say something snippy like that but then I remember that only Republicans act that way and I am a Democrat so I usually end of granting the request to borrow something.

My Dad had a saying that I liked … he always counselled, “Never loan anything to anybody that you can’t afford to lose.”

Dad was a die-hard Republican and because he was, he did die hard. He died penniless because his Republican employers took every advantage of my Dad they could think of for all the years he worked for their sorry asses.

They paid him slave wages, never provided him with any insurance, never attended his funeral when they wore him out.

But they did send someone to our house to collect the keys to the tractor that they allowed him to drive from work to home and back again.

My Dad could never afford a car on the wages they paid him. He had to keep us fed and a roof over our heads. A roof that leaked in many places in a house that had loose sidling that allowed the cold winter wind to blow through.

But my Dad was another story. Even though he was a die-hard republican, he also had the heart of a Democrat and would loan anything he had to anybody who asked.

Me? I just made a shitload of money … more than I would ever need … and I never loaned anything to anybody except for that Hundred dollars I loaned to George that time.

I figured that if I could raise myself up out of desperate poverty by the strings on my shoes, then everybody else ought to be able to do the same thing and buy their own things instead of borrowing from me.

I know, I know … I am an asshole!

You don’t have to tell me twice. Everybody knows it … everybody except my banker. And he might know it, but he doesn’t dare to say it.

LOL

An Ear For Politics

Everybody who knows anything at all about me knows that the subject that I write most about is “Politics.” Now I want to share a sort post containing a couple of my personal ideas about politics — and I believe you will find these impressions pretty much bi-partisan with a couple of exceptions, of course.

For starters, I have heard it said that compassion and mercy must be compatible with politics because it this is not true then there is something profoundly wrong with politics.

This is why my politics tend to be on the left side of centrism …. because I do not believe that Republican politics contain any form of either mercy or compassion but are completely selfish and self-serving.

Politics is something that we all have to contend with on a daily basis so it is also something, if we are responsible citizens, we have to think about a great deal as well.

Even though we have to think about politics a lot, thinking about them can be frustrating, stress-building and even painful.

With what I just said in mind, it seems good to my way of thinking that here in America, we have the freedom to ignore thinking about politics if we want to.

I think there are a lot of people here in The United States already practice ignorance of politics. I do not know if they ignore the politics because it is convenient to do so or because they hate to actually think and politics forces people to think. Then there is the case of the Republicans, who, as a group, I do not believe can think very efficiently at all … and sometimes not at all.

Can you spot my bias about now?

Yes, politics is something like war … especially in America where politicians are fighting and bickering each day … Politicians in America seem to be always at war with one another and sometimes I believe they are at war against our very democratic system. That, I believe, is why Hungarian dictator, Viktor Orban is invited to share his political views with his adoring fans at the CPAC meetings.