|By: Paul S. Cilwa||Viewed: 10/1/2020
|Topics/Keywords: #EconomicCrisis #Zachary||Page Views: 4205|
|Why putting a failed businessman into the White House is NOT a good idea.|
Last night, Zachary informed us that he really wanted to take the dogs for a walk. His mother is very strict about adhering to his bedtime, so he had to elicit a promise from Michael and me that we would leave at exactly 8:00 pm. We agreed.
At 8 o'clock, we were able to put Cirrus' 24-foot spring-loaded leash on him, but could not find its mate for Amber. So, in order to adhere to our promised departure time, we had to settle for the six-foot leather leash that has been Amber's since she was a puppy.
Remember, there are no coincidences.
We left the house: Zach holding Cirrus' leash, me with Amber's, and Michael and Zachary's grandmother Mary as tag-alongs. We headed west on our street as usual, then south to Madera, then East to the big tank park. That's where we turn and head west again to go home. Zachary asked if he and Cirrus could run ahead and "race home". Michael, who is somewhat cautious, and Mary, who is the Poster Child for Overprotective Grandparents, didn't like the idea. But I pooh-poohed their concerns. After all, what could happen? Ours is a nice, upscale yet intimate neighborhood with no unsavory characters; Zach was in the company of a very protective and powerful dog; and the route from where we were to the house was short, probably not more than a hundred yards.
Mary, Michael and I were still discussing Zach's safety when we heard him yell for help. Michael reached him first. A stray dog had attacked Cirrus, sending Zach to the ground, though he quickly rose. Zach tried to protect Cirrus by kicking the dog that was biting him; Michael was trying to pull them apart, and a couple of teenagers than happened to be in the park tried splashing water on the pair.
Cirrus is a large, bearish Black Lab who was brought up in Northern Arizona fighting off coyotes and stealing chickens. He'd been attacked by a much smaller Black Lab/Spaniel mix who didn't stand much of a chance against the larger dog. According to Michael, the stray had been nipping at Cirrus' ankles; Cirrus, to defend himself, bit the other dog's jaw and held fast, thus halting further attack without seriously injuring the smaller dog. Left to their own devices, the stalemate might have ended in their both becoming friends.
However, there was another stray. (Our neighborhood is not infested with stray dogs; there are normally none; these two had come together.) Even smaller than the first dog, this one had run to his friend's assistance and Michael, who was trying to separate the first two, was in danger of being attacked by this second one. I still had Amber on her leash. Amber is half pit bull, the gentlest princess but she would not allow her pack to be attacked. Using her leash like a fishing line, playing her like a lure, I led her to a position between Michael and the two black dogs and the second stray, without letting her get close enough to the little dog to actually eat it.
Michael, who was on the ground and had, by now, been bitten, didn't have the vantage point I had and began screaming for someone to take Cirrus and Amber back to the house. He didn't realize Amber (with my guidance) was protecting him and Cirrus. Mary was able to go to Cirrus but he'd slipped out of his collar in the confusion and Mary had to get it back on him. One of the teenagers in the park got hold of the frightened second stray and that allowed me to get Amber into the house as Mary brought Cirrus.
Zachary, who seemed to be all right, had already alerted his mother, Jenny, who immediately called 9-1-1. (I'm always afraid I'll bother them.) Within minutes a fire truck appeared, followed by a police car. One of the firemen checked Michael's blood pressure and pulse, as he was nauseous and gasping for breath. Fortunately it was not a heart attack, merely the after-effects of wrestling two dogs immediately after eating four large oatmeal-raisin cookies and a quart of green tea ice cream.
The bite was more serious. It was on Michael's hand; the skin had been broken. That meant, the police officer told us, that the black stray would have to go into isolation until they were certain he wasn't rabid.
As the fireman inspected Michael's hand, he said, "Can I give you some free advice? Next time you come upon a dog fight—let them fight it out themselves. Don't get involved!"
Michael shook his head. "I am not about to let my dog be killed by some stray!"
I didn't bother to point out that Cirrus was in fine shape, uninjured, unhurt, and it was the other dog who'd gotten the worst of the encounter.
Now that Cirrus and Amber were gone, the two strays were docile, even sweet-tempered. The officer and I agreed they were probably pets who'd escaped from their homes; but they didn't have collars. "If they did, we could just take them to the address and say, 'Here's your dog.' But since they don't, I'll have to take them to the pound—excuse me, 'Animal Control Shelter'—and see if they have chips." 'Chips' of course are subcutaneously-implanted devices that contain the animal's address, owner, and shots records, which can be read by waving a wand over them. Amber, who was my son's dog, has a chip; Cirrus wears a collar with a tag.
The officer went on to point out that the collar approach is cheaper and easier; a dog without a collar must go to the shelter for the chip to be read. "We have to charge the owner for doing that," he said. On the other hand, collars can come off; tags can be lost. So he recommends both.
Although Michael's hand had been punctured it turned out not to be a deep bite and in fact wasn't even bleeding. So we went inside and Michael washed his wound while Zachary checked to be sure Cirrus hadn't been bitten. Then Michael checked again. But Cirrus, with his thick coat of fur, had come away unscathed.
If we hadn't left at exactly 8 pm, we would probably have not encountered the strays, who were on the move when we got to the park. If we had been able to find the long leash for Amber, I wouldn't have been able to control her movements so precisely as to safely let her ward off the other dog without killing it.
Which brings us to another dog fight going on in Congress. As you know unless you've been living under a rock, in the last two weeks a number of major banks and other financial institutions, including the venerable Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, have failed, due mostly to greed which led to taking on too much risk in selling mortgages. Bush's failed economic policies (spending all our money, and our children's and grandchildren's money, on fighting oil wars in countries that did us no harm) inevitably led to bankruptcy, just as I predicted it would when Bush first stole our country's highest office. (It didn't take a financial whiz to see this coming; Bush bankrupted every single company he ran; so why would being president be any different?)
The fight is between Bush and Congress. Bush wants to give another $700 billion we don't have, to bail out the banks and lending institutions. We, the people, would not have been surprised if the Democrats had resisted the bill, even though it's terribly unpopular with us as a whole. The surprise was, more Republicans voted no, than did Democrats. (Though plenty of Democrats voted no as well.)
And in response to the no vote, the stock market crashed harder than ever before, losing about 7% of its value in a single day.
It's not hard to understand why the American people don't want to bail out the lenders. Who was there to bail us out as we lost our homes? No one. And those who are now homeless, will still be homeless when the financial asshats who caused this problem retired with their multi-million-dollar golden parachutes once they receive Bush's largess. The sentiment was rather transparent on the sidewalks along Wall Street, where signs with sentiments such as "Jump! You Fuckers" were on display.
What's different now, compared to the stock market crash of 1929, is that these days, people know what caused this crash. They know that greedy financiers with politicians in their pockets managed to removed all government oversight so that they could do any damned thing they wanted—and they did. Those missing regulations would have imposed the damping effects of saner minds on the financiers' schemes. And now that greed has bitten them in the ass, and they want us to help them out. Us—the American people—who have spent decades in rising debt, without affordable health care (thanks in part to expensive loans doctors and hospitals are forced to take out for equipment) and with a growing sense of futility as we try to elect someone to work for our interests, only to discover they're working for the lobbyists' interests instead.
My favorite cartoonist, Tom Tomorrow, puts the financial crisis in perspective:
Okay, but something has be done. $700 billion to the morons who got us into this mess? I don't think so!
As the fireman told Michael, when you come upon a dog fight, keep out of it! These geniuses who now want our help, are trying to scare us into believing we need then. But humans lived happily for hundreds of thousands of years. Banks need us a lot more than we need them!
I recommend that, if we're going to give away $700 billion dollars, we give it to the people. That's right, divvy it up just like they did that "economic stimulus check". It comes to something like $400,000 a taxpayer. But there's a catch: We have to use the money to pay off our debts. That is, our mortgages, our car loans, and so on. Renters can use the money to buy a house—flat out cash, no mortgages. And whatever's left over can be used to pay for health care. (Why not work out a deal with my doctor, where I buy him a piece of expensive equipment, in exchange for free medical care from him forever?)
This way the economy will remain sound, we'll all have roofs over our heads and food on the table, and only the banks will fall.
And who the fuck would care about that, except the cabal that owns the damned things?