aging · Community · death · Disaster · excess death · Health and wellness · Migrants · observations · power · racism · social observation · sociological imagination · trauma

What I’m Seeing

Don’t go for a run in Georgia. Don’t try to enforce masking rules and laws. Don’t respect your neighbor’s legitimate fear of infection and go right ahead and wipe your nose on them or spit on them. This is what I’m seeing.

Sick people are processing the meat some people desperately want. We have no decent information about this virus, which seems to have mutated and become more virulent while it has the ability to hide in plain sight in asymptomatic people. If the virus could jump from meat to humans just through exposure, not consumption, might it have the ability to jump from asymptomatic meat handlers into the meat? The virus does not like warm, moist environments. Could it possibly like cold, raw meat? I don’t know about you, but I’m going meatless unless I know for certain where the meat was processed. I loved Peculiar, Missouri. There were meat processors in the rurals who hunted, slaughtered, and dressed all the meats they sold. They catered to the exotic selling squirrel, opossum, and chitterlings! Of course, I didn’t eat these meats, but it was interesting to know there were some people who still possessed the skills to get their own meat independent of the corporate processors.

I want to see the sick people get care. I want to see them get food and shelter for themselves and their families. I want to see corporations place people before profits.

I believe I’m gonna go blind.

Bad Faith · Community · death · Disaster · Health and wellness · News and politics · power · racism · Religion · social observation · sociological imagination · trauma · white nationalism · white supremacy

SHUNNING in the Name of Public Health

It is my fervent belief that the Hate Yam needs shunned. He should not be heard. He should not be seen. He should be paid no attention because he is an incompetent.

The Hate Yam needs shunned. He lies. He lies. He lies. He lies. He lies. He lies. He lies.

The Hate Yam needs shunned. He is endangering all our lives. He is profiteering on our collective catastrophe.

The Hate Yam has no medical knowledge. Neither does that eyed potato that is his second and leading a task force on COVID19. He is the worst representative of the elites, but elite he is. Why is the Hate Yam not funding the acquisition and distribution of necessary medical supplies out of his boundless wealth? Why is he not temporarily nationalizing whatever industry we have left to generate the ventilators and other medical supplies we desperately need?

The Hate Yam should have been 25thed a while ago. He should never have gotten into office. He should be shunned and we need to let the PIC (people in charge) know that we are shunning him because we have no confidence in his sanity, his word, because of his failure to act for the benefit of the public health of the American people.

aging · AS · Bad Faith · Building Contractor Scam · Civil Court · Class · Criminal Organizations · Disaster · documents analyses · Economic Anger · ethnography · fraud · gentrification · Homeless People · Homeownership · housing · Insurance · Insurance Claims · Insurance Scam · Law · observations · Paralegal Studies · power · Probate Housing Creditors Mortgages Mortgage Fraud · racism · social observation · trauma

What I’ve Lost

I am certain it is not clear to you the extent of my loss. The lemon tree that took 19 years to bear fruit; buried atop my son’s placental home; planted by my mother who died in my son’s nineteenth year in her bedroom, in the house I’d lived in all my life-she knew him, she helped birth him, she drove like a javelin to Santa Monica, to the converted farmhouse that served as a freestanding birthing center, ensuring his literal birth in a barn. This lemon tree was cut down…by the subcontractor…who is now dead.

My son grew up in that house. He called it a crapshack because he was, in childhood, quite gangling and sometimes ungainly. He was forever stubbing his toes. It was a cottage. It couldn’t be helped that he was a bull in a china shop. Nevertheless, that crapshack was his childhood home and the satellite around which we wove our travels in the world.

We built, my mother and I, a library in that house. Venice thrift shops provided much of our largesse.  We collected, and read, hundreds of books. Destroyed, now, many of them, the bookcase standing in the yard with many of my other klediments.

I knew the man who built my crapshack, by hand. He was a JW. His name was Elmer Lambert. His wife’s name was Ima. I remember they had a daughter, but might also have had a son. The house was a one-bedroom cottage with hardwood floors, built in cabinetry, a counter between front room and kitchen that could be used as a table, serving area, and lookout point. The front door boasted a barn-door type window, giving an unimpeded view of the front and side yard. The doorway was wider than average.

All the doors in my house, save the front entry, opened to the left. Behind the door to the bedroom, Mom had built a linen closet to house our dishtowels, cuptowels, bath towels, sheets, small blankets, some small kitchen appliances. The left-opening door, when left open, provided cover for the cabinet.

I had to step down once into the kitchen. I had a white ceramic sink that was deep, and boasted knobs for hot and cold. It was a piece of a countertop, cookware storage, and under the sink storage unit. Facing the sink, my stove was to my right. I had hooks, hangers, cabinets on the upper walls to the left; a hanger for mugs, a couple of places to hang dish towels. Had a mirror mounted in there, and a light. The large rectangular window above me provided morning light from the east.

I love to cook. My son loves to cook, but he has to have a whole lot of room and prep area. Me? I can whip up something palatable with a couple of burners, but it gets monotonous. I’ve been living like poverty for over a year now with a gas stove that is not connected to the gas line because the contractor left the line capped, providing no connector. There are many gas lines under this structure because a gas line was run to operated the gas dryer I do not have and to the hot water heater that was placed alongside the “driveway” because this structure was built without plans.

The flooring in the bathroom is mushy and feels about to give way at any moment; there’s a leak somewhere, likely because the shower was not installed properly and was not sealed. I have no warranties, even thought I was promised three years of warranties by Safeco Liberty Mutual if only I worked with their preferred contractor.

I had a back door, through which I could generate cross-ventilation, get to my back yard easily. I still have the t-poles for my clothesline, but my undamaged workshop was torn down to make way for a “garage”. There was a scheme to turn my verdant paradise into a heat island, bordered by asphalt and cement. My yard was full of green and flowering plants, including succulents, bougainvillea, lavender, night-blooming jasmine, honeysuckle, a variety of roses. This in an area zoned for livestock and farming. I live in the County of Los Angeles. There are horses here. There are chickens here. There are nurseries here. But the County is gentrifying, which brings me to my property tax status.

In California, in Los Angeles County, in 2015, my property taxes were ~$650 per year. Now, in 2019, my property taxes have tripled. This job, done by Vince Paglia, was accomplished by tearing down my 1923 hand built Rambler home. I had a workshop in the back yard with a waist-high, full-length hard wood worktable. There were shelves that I remember saving magazines in because of the vertical dividers in the cabinet. There were shelves and cubbyholes on the walls. There was a great, heavy wooden drawer, that I possess still, that fit into the worktable. Vince Paglia tore down my workshop, the unpermitted expansion that was used for storage to put up a parking lot and I don’t eeeven have a car.

I miss Segovia. Segovia was a death cactus that grew in a ring of tires. Segovia was very tall, perhaps 7′-8′, and bloomed at night. When in bloom, Segovia’s scent wafted over the yard, blending with the night-blooming jasmine, sometimes the honeysuckle and lavender very faintly. Segovia provided most of the privacy in my back yard, grown along with the honeysuckle that grew on the fence. When Mama Gin lived next door, she was a homeowner who worked for the IRS. Her son served in the Air Force. Her daughter was a flit. She and Mom shared the care of the trees planted along the property lines between the houses. Mr. Lambert took care of most general maintenance, but Mom was pretty handy with tools.  Mom and I took care of the gardening and yard maintenance when I was growing up.

I remember Mr. Lambert gave me my first nickname. He called me Sputnik because I was his satellite as he worked about the place, prattling to him with my 2 or 3 year old self. Ima, Mrs. Lambert, always offered me fruit. I grew up kindly towards the JWs because I grew up with experience of the Lamberts.

I used to play and work in my workshop. I haven’t been able to use my spinning wheels because the inadequate garage is packed to the gills with my household goods. I haven’t been able to unpack because the house is now smaller, configured differently, has not even a closet, though a one-bedroom, one-bathroom was paid for. More than $80K was given to Paglia for goods not in this structure. I wish I did have the vent-free, infra-red heaters for which he received pay. I wish I had my back door. I wish the attic vents had been installed instead of the fire sprinklers for which I have no instruction manual. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with these things because I never had them in my home before.

Vince Paglia and Kent Stiles of Safeco Liberty Mutual have put me in a bad way, I tell you what. I learned from reading the legal bric-a-brac that your insurance provider is not supposed to leave you any worse off than you were before you filed your homeowner’s claim. Maybe this is why Stiles has changed my claim number from 12-digit number to 22-digit number, and when I call to inquire about this claim number that I don’t recognize, no one else recognizes it either.  This brand new claim number is recorded on my claim history with the databases that record such data and hold it for seven years, along with the date of loss of every claim I’ve ever allegedly filed with Safeco Liberty Mutual, the cause of said loss, and the amount paid out to mitigate the loss. This brand new to me claim number even says my loss was caused by water. Imagine, the insurance company is recording false information; my loss was caused by the wind.

If my claim settled and paid out $48K under one claim number, why are $430K and $439K recorded under that new claim number as the amount paid out on those official records? Those records can impact the premium I’ll have to pay for insurance when I manage to escape from Safeco Liberty Mutual.

I have referred to the scam through which I’ve been put as GASLIGHTING. I hate being gaslighted, especially by a corporation that should have a fiduciary responsibility towards me, the insured, who paid premiums, on time, since 2011. Instead of being appreciated, I’ve been robbed.

I believe Safeco Liberty Mutual and Paglia and Associates do not appreciate the severe loss they have caused me. I think the dead contractor kindled the wrath, though….

Community · ethnography · Language · observations · power · research · social observation · Sociology · trauma

I Don’t See Color

Here’s a phrase that sincerely chaps my ass. What if the police ask you to describe me? Whachugonsay?

Discovered my disgust with this statement after getting into a discussion about who can and can’t say nigger. We concluded with the thought that anyone can say anything (conditional) because this is a country that constitutionally guarantees freedom of speech. I added that saying anything means being ready and able to take the consequences of those utterances.

See, you can’t say nigger to everyone. I don’t care how you spell it, inflect it, think it’s cute or a term of endearment, you can’t say that to everyone. Some folks have a reflexive action to being called nigger. They will bust you in the mouth, with love, ’cause they ain’t having it. I think I am one of those people.

Nigger is a slur, an ethnophaulism. How’d you like it if I walked up to you and called you my Dago, my Wop, my Mick, my Chink, my Gook, my Buddhahead, my Guinea, my Spic, my Kike, (recent) my Beaner? Does it grate a little? If not, do you know someone who might not share your attitude?

It is difficult to find a slur for whites that carries the same punch as nigger. By becoming white, those ethnics who look more like the dominant group eventually became white. Hunky or honky no longer packed a punch. Even Jews thought, and think, they were white. It only takes a second to be disabused of that notion when faced with real crackers who think the kikes are out to replace them.

We are all color struck. We are overly concerned with the color of another’s skin because to be anything other than a variation of pink is to be diminished in the world. We don’t talk about slavery. We don’t talk about Jim Crow. We don’t talk about the Trail of Tears. We don’t talk about segregation, an active factor in our lives today. Why are we all color struck, especially those who come here from other countries where there may or may not be a racial history of torture and abuse? Loss of cultural and historical memory? Loss of self-awareness? Loss of our humanity? For certain, it is because we have been taught to be conscious of color, particularly for purposes of differentiation and separation.

We need to speak to one another in the way we wish to be addressed. Don’t come @ me with your nigger speak. I really will bust you in your mouth, with love, and dare you to call the police. Since you don’t see color, you won’t be able to give a credible description and I will go on my way, hoping I taught you something of value.

aging · AS · Bad Faith · Criminal Organizations · Disaster · Economic Anger · Homeownership · Insurance Claims · Paralegal Studies · power · small claims court · trauma

Finally, An Independent Inspector

After six months of wrangling with Safeco Senior Claims Resolution Specialist Kent Stiles,  whom I fired one month ago, enduring his continued attempts to humiliate and abuse me, his attempt to go through the back door of Innovations Properties to get me hooked up with the contractor network that I thought I was already a part of, an independent cost consultant was called in.

Stiles did not want him to know about the 19 days of delay that characterize the first days of my claim that was handled by a fellow named Trevor Haaswyk, now employed elsewhere. Wonder if I should track him down and get a statement? I may present this in civil court if this matter is not resolved to my satisfaction.

The inspector was treated to a first-eye look at the hideous workmanship that is Protech’s signature if all of the online reviews are to be believed. He photographed the overtorqued roof that is twisting the house and causing the apex joint in the centers of the house and garage, front and back, to separate and jut forward and backward. He saw how they deviated from the “plans”, a different set than those presented to me over 18 months of deceit.

The inspector also had a look at the last estimate submitted, documenting that Protech claims they were paid over $238K when their initial bid was $190K. They submitted no paperwork indicating why they needed this extra money. I have no documentation in this house for anything installed, no warranties for appliances installed, and a previous estimate that netted Protech $80K. That estimate was not presented for inspection. Guess the State Contractors License Board will have to take that into account.

I know the inspector found we were charged for items and services that never happened or were never installed on this property. I know he took note of the shoddy workmanship in evidence.

 

aging · AS · Bad Faith · Criminal Organizations · Disaster · Homeownership · Insurance · Insurance Claims · Law · observations · Paralegal Studies · power

Is This Fraud, Larceny, or What?

 

Just made 63. The struggle is real.

Safeco, Liberty Mutual has provided the claim file. I have found $28-30K of discrepancies. Safeco has foisted the burden to the contractor, who was brought into the deal by the Safeco adjuster.

I asked the adjuster about the remaining claim funds in October and she refused to answer my question, went incommunicado for two months. When she did surface, it was indirectly, through my housing provider, to cancel my housing, telling me my house was fit for move-in.

It wasn’t.

Got a copy of my claim file. Says I bought hardwood oak floors that were sanded and stained and non-dust sanded, too. Trouble is I can’t find those floors in this house. These are laminate if I’m a day old. Says I have TWO infrared, vent-free heaters. There is a gas monstrosity in the living room. Says the porch pillars have been paid for, but I don’t have a porch any more.

All totaled about $30K in questionable charges. From missing windows, shutters, a back door, hardwood floors, bathroom mirrors, and kitchen cabinetry, to outright lies about what exists in this house, this is pretty shocking shit to me.

The insurance company is quick to advise taking the matter up with the contractor, but the adjuster brought the contractor with her. They are in this together. This isn’t the first time, either, I’d wager.

aging · AS · Class · Criminal Organizations · News and politics · observations · power · social observation · trauma

Why I Never Supported HRC

She stood by her man after he disrespected her, their daughter, and the nation. She stayed for the power. That she continues to stand by him in the current climate disturbs me.

She labeled a generation of young people predators, superpredators. Most of those young people were Black and Latinx.

She disrespected her husband’s accusers, did not believe them, implied they lied.

She is a lawyer.

She didn’t fight Obama for the nomination, just handed it over.

She didn’t fight Trump over this rigged election, just closed her mouth, wrote a book, and rakes in the cash.

She is an elite corporatist.

Her DNC is corrupt.

My position is not popular, particularly among this wave of feminists who seem to want to be better men. Nevertheless, for the above reasons, and maybe a few more that I have not let surface, I have never been a supporter of HRC. I wish her well, but I got nothing else for her or her rabid supporters.