It is 14 Friday 2011, and I hereby verify that three of my New Year’s resolutions (NYRs) lasted a personal record of two weeks. I made three, two of which are still alive and which tomorrow will set a lifelong longevity record for my NYRs: one, to try to stop using the F-word in hopes that TNYT will add me to their blogger-roles; two, to make my body look less like cottage cheese and more like Mathew McConaughey’s (whoever that is-I had to do a web search because other than Sarah Palin I could not think of a great body that you would all know. I hope you have a mental image of this dude-he’s on the web). The third, to quit being angry at everything, lasted until an hour ago. I need an Anger Anonymous so that I can share and stuff and have chosen you as my AA.
See, it all compounds like last year’s snows on my roof; I just can’t take it very long before I slip back and just want to go break something. Normally, when I anger up, I hit golf balls at the yellow cat who hangs out in the sun on the rusted trailer frame out past the fence, but lately it’s too damned cold to hit anything. Oh, no animals were hurt in the making of this life either- if I were good enough to hit a cat from 80 yards, I would be on the Super Senior Tour. All you cat lovers can rest easy about my backyard-cat. Oh, yeah I got off track on the cat-anger-diffuser; so you see, rage builds up and up until finally fuses fry, wires wilt, circuits conflagrate, the motherboard melts, and I simply froth like a Tassimo Brewbot (Gawd how many bought that coffee maker thinking it would actually serve and talk). Now that this resolution about remaining unhammered, calm, detached, aloof from the vile world is bust, here’s a list of what galls me, for today, in ascending order of miffability.
1. Gasoline is 3.07 a gallon, a quart of oil 4 bucks, in a nation that is out of work. I know and can prove that the price is controlled not by supply and demand but by hedge funds and other speculators in the oil and gas markets. And that is what we get for turning our national wealth over to Wall Street. Folks, in case you haven’t noticed, the dudes and dudettes speculating commodity prices really don’t give a damn what gasoline prices are. They are probably taking a train to work from Connecticut or driving in an Escalade so what’s another dollar a gallon to them?
2. Three years ago last September, I paid a local business to provide a service. It did a pitiful and possibly fraudulent job doing it, creating financial harm and stress to me. I took it to court. I went to JP Court three times, an arbitration with a local barrister, and finally to the Court of Common Pleas, five times, not to mention trips for help with my kind and true lawyer. NOT ONE juro-person has seen the evidence that supports my claim to damages. Finally, at the end of 2010, I received a judgment in my favor for partial damages. Today, I was on the phone for one hour between the sheriff’s office and the court trying to get someone to either give me clue about how to collect the judgment. I would have been most tickled to have someone answer the phone. How in the world can a citizen call a court and find no one is there? Finally, after doing Russian roulette with the court’s phone directory, I got to talk with a human being, alas she was not the human being who could help me but was nice enough to transfer me to a human who could help. No answer. I left a message. No wonder crooks, con artists, unsavory auctioneers get away with ripping off the public, every day; the courts are Dickensian, most lawyers, mine gratefully excepted, can make more money in no time doing a 2000 dollar DUI than they can helping a citizen dig for a slice of justice. At my second date at JP Court (the first was cut short because the judge was hot), my opponent decided arbitrarily and without the knowledge of his attorney not to show up in court despite having his motion for a continuance denied. The JP made a summary judgment in my behalf; the defendant’s attorney appealed; the JP concluded on supposition that the upper court would throw it back to him; he rescheduled another date. When we adjourned, the JP did NOT censure or scold the defendant for his refusal to show in court. In fact, when I got fed up with the JP’s logic for rehearing my case, I withdrew my claim in that court. The JP apologized to the defendant for his inconvenience, his inconvenience when he had defied a court order with immunity. I moved the civil suit up a court to Common Pleas which set a date for August 2010 for the trial; I got my day in court in October. We were there all day, were asked to submit our summations in writing in seven days, and got my decision in December without 500 pieces of evidence being seen. The judge was fair, but I suspect that I will not see one nil of the award because I will not be able to penetrate the offending corporation for much of nothing.
3. A year ago, I got on a crusade about the costs of insurance here in the great republic of Delaware. We have an insurance commissioner who is elected and whose job is to make sure that those insurance companies who provide mandatory insurances, car and home, do not plunder the public. In the middle of the worst economic times and over 15 months, the insurance commissioner granted Nationwide, my carrier, 14.6 percent gross increases in car insurance rates to Nationwide. No my goesintos are pretty weak but 14.6 percent that were doled out from 3 to 4.6 percent in several months works out to be better than 20 percent increase. When I emailed the insurance commissioner about what criteria that she used to support their request for increases, I got a patronizing blurb about what it takes for a business to stay in business and no answer to my questions. When I asked what criteria Nationwide used, I was informed that I could not have it because it was proprietary. When it was suggested by one bureaucrat that it was my entire fault because I did not shop smartly, I asked for the rate increases granted to other insurance carriers over the same time period. She told me that all the companies were in individual files and that their office did not have time to do the research. I wrote back, cool, give me just State Farm, Allstate, Geico, and Progressive. She wrote back that she would see what she could do. Three months passed, and when I got no help, I wrote to her and cited Delaware’s Freedom of Information Act. That didn’t work either. Now comes a better part: the entire email exchange was cc’d to Biff and Bob my legislators in Dover and to the insurance commissioner herself. Evidently, Biff and bob don’t care about a constituent unless they agree with the constituent; they offered no help. Then, I sent the entire batch of correspondence to the legislative chair of the insurance commission who emailed back that he would see what he could do. He did nothing; it was a year ago right now when I started all this. I should have known better to make that NYR- my home owner’s insurance bill came in yesterday- up 218 dollars in one year while the value of my home is down more than 20 percent. Biff and Bob, do your job.
4. And last, blood-pressure-spiking-anger-moment of the day. I received my Social Security prognosis for 2011; the Consumer Price Index, according bureaucrats, did not go up in 2010, so there will be no cost of living adjustment in my check (see above under gas, cornflakes, and insurance). Heck, I know the country is hurting, and I could accept that an increase is not in order but just say it, say it- we are broke and can’t give you a raise. That I can take, but don’t give me CPI-garbage. CPI is linked to costs of cars and homes too- if you are on SS you are not buying a car, probably, and speaking for myself I ain’t in the market for a new home anytime in the near future. And while I am on this topic, you just quit calling them entitlements. I paid a share; my bosses paid a share; if the government hadn’t dipped into the funds for every war and every other misbegotten program SS would be ok. I feel the same way about calling Medicare an entitlement; I paid into that too and just like SS had no choice in the amount whacked out of my pay check every-other-week; don’t give me entitlement; SS and Medicare are a poor man’s insurance from going into the street or under the Route 13 bridge. If they didn’t pull enough out of my pay to cover me, it is NOT my fault.
I have to credit Limp Bizkit for my title; I wanted a shorter title about being angry, but I like the group’s name so much that I stuck with a line from their “Break Stuff.” There were better lines, but in the spirit of keeping New Year’s Resolution-One, I used a non-vulgar one. Oh well, I am trying to be good. No f$@#% or s*&^% or b*$%^@# in here today. Hey,if you are in Georgetown, look for me; I will be pingponging from court to court trying to find justice.