bankruptcy · Class · Homeless People · Homeownership · housing · Law · Paralegal Studies · social observation · Sociology · trauma

This Is Not Rhetorical

What banks that received CARES ACT monies own the mortgages and auxiliary agencies that manage the homes and businesses of renters and owners who are looking at eviction and foreclosure?

We need to take action against them. NOW. Billionaires got bailed out. We, the people, are being left high and dry. No one should be put out on the street in a pandemic in winter in America. Not a one. No one should lose what they worked hard to attain because the government shut us down in a pandemic.

We are in pandemic. Where is the government support? Where is the support our taxes should be supporting rather than them financing golfing trips, expensive dinners, lavish ice-cream freezers?

We need to make the banks uncomfortable. We need to make our elected officials uncomfortable. We need to make them pay attention to us and to respond to us right now. Banks got trillions. We are hungry. Elected officials are working at our behest. We are hungry. We are hungry and about to be put out on the street, some of us losing what we worked a lifetime to attain.

We, as a class, need to take action to stall out this eviction crisis in the current context. The people need to stand together. We are the precariat. We are the working poor. We are the middle class. We are those who live paycheck to paycheck. We are those who receive money in exchange for our labor, be it manual or mental. We are the redundant.

We better wake up and take a stand.

Bad Faith · Class · Community · death · Disaster · Economic Anger · excess death · power · Refugees · social observation · trauma

Notes to Myself

There are websites dedicated to hating women. Incels, involuntary celibates, think women should be punished for not giving up sex on deman. Seems time to read Of Men and Women: How to Be for Each Other by Pearl S. Buck.

The Rohingya in Bangladesh are being moved to a remote island that only emerger from the sea within the decade and is prone to flooding and cyclonic upheaval. Why is this allowed to happen? Bangladesh is sinking, losing land mass rapidly. Is this a reason to abuse people who have fled persecution and death and isolate them out to sea?

277,000 dead and the lame duck is concerned only with his ego. He did say he didn’t like losers, so I guess that means he really doesn’t like himself. Such a despicable individual, supported by people looking for a savior. I hate to think all of them are as despicable as he is; they are misled. There must be a way to reach them, to pull them away from the fringe. So many of us are lost.

Lies. Why do people want to believe lies?

Is California the most corrupt state in the union? I do wonder.

Who is looking out for consumers? Who is looking out for the rank and file of us? I never expected to see a worse version of the Great Depression. At least, at some point, there was a concerted government response. America is supposed to be the richest nation in the world, but money doesn’t translate into empathy, compassion, or care.

Why are we so up in arms about socialism when we outsourced all our good paying jobs to a communist country? Communism was the threat when I was younger, so imagine my surprise when I graduated from college to discover we were in debt to communist China. My country lists towards fascism now and no one seems up in arms about that.

Reading Pearl S. Buck I found a kindred spirit who believed American men did not like women. I have often expressed this notion and been thought mad. The basis of my thought is based in observations of reality and history of the relations between the sexes. We no longer value history, reality, or truth.

The American people have been abandoned by the government that is supposed to represent us. Trillions of dollars for corporations and donors, nothing for first line workers, general workers, any workers. We are being exploited while elected representatives go on living their lives as if our unemployment, sickness, and death is our fault. Suicides are surging along with infection rates. Doctors and nurses are in that number along with the working classes. We are all working classes if we cannot count ourselves among the donor class.

We truly are a failed state.

Farmers protest in India and Peru. The largest general strike in the world is happening in India. 250 million strong. Young people are losing the lives in Peru protesting for relief. We have protested here, but has anything changed? Is anything changing? The incoming administration will change nothing. More of the same only cloaked in incessant grinning and “decency”.

We are living through a pandemic that many people believe is a hoax. Millions are in danger of losing their homes. Millions are in danger of having insufficient food. Millions of young people face no future. Hundreds of thousands are dead, dying, ill, and suffering from sequelae of COVID.

Homelessness is spreading. Poverty is spreading. Hunger is spreading. Not even bread or circuses.

AS

Tunisian Crochet Foible

I made a C2C TSS throw from a single sentence I saw somewhere that told me how to start it. It is an application of TSS on the bias. All the rice grains flow the same way and the front is always facing. The feature of C2C is that it is made on the diagonal, growing in length and width simultaneously. No ends to weave in on every row, no need to add triangles; it grows as a straight edge.

I’m gonna have to reverse engineer this piece unless I remember how it starts, or I find that obscure reference.

It’s always something.

Bad Faith · Community · Disaster · Economic Anger · power · trauma

A Small Rant

All these identity politics and word games. Over it. People need to recognize these tactics of division for what they are. We are all human beings and need to come together to recognize the other human beings, hiding behind corporatism and elitism, who view the people as commodities, to be bought and sold. Our primary identities are consumers when viewed from the corporate heights.

We haven’t been workers deserving of respect since the Air Traffic Controllers union was decimated. Workers have been decimated by trade agreements like NAFTA. Workers were sold out, and with the sellout took with it purchasing power. Worker dollars do not buy as much. Now we are unemployed by the pandemic, but our government offers no relief. The corporate elite view us as a failed market. They have no incentives to serve our needs because we have no money. No profit is possible.

The focus is on the vaccines, giving Big Pharma Tech oodles of bucks to create the vaccines and testing kits. There is profit.

ASEAN countries have come up with a trade pact that does not include US. The markets with money are in their countries. Imagine what your quality of life will be like when the pandemic is over and the country continues to produce nothing, has no jobs for the vast majority of the working population, and millions are evicted from their domiciles because they have no money.

Your primary identity is consumer. That identity is nearly dead. All these other divisive categories will be absolutely useless without money. We, the people, are useless to the corporate elites unless they see a way to generate profit. This is a fundamental contradiction of capitalism.

People are worth more locked up than they are idle at home. The idlers create a demand on the system, want support, need shoring up, need relief. If you get locked up, you generate money to keep the system running. You generate money for police, prisons, courts.

You better wake up to who the elite think you are, else we’re doomed.

AS

Calling All Crocheters!

Have you ever made something and then could not remember how you started it? I am having that problem right now with an entrelac blanket, made on the diagonal. This is not corner to corner, but entrelac worked on the bias to eliminate angles and ends. I hate weaving in ends.

I noted the instruction for how to start this type of entrelac or tunisian crochet project in a course I used to own, purchased from orginal Craftsy.com. It was one sentence long and provided the instructions for starting the blanket from the corner and working it diagonally, growing it both length and widthwise.

Now Craftsy went bust and reanimated as Bluprint. There was a whole lot of rigamarole on that site to get you to join, purchase membership. The classes and patterns purchased from original Craftsy could be viewed on this platform without having to purchase membership in Bluprint. Well, Bluprint died and Craftsy has been reanimated except all my courses and patterns have disappeared and no matter what, new Craftsy isn’t giving them back to me. What have we learned? You don’t own anything that is virtual. It can be taken from you in the blink of an eye and you are left missing that one sentence that could end your memory misery so you can start another bias entrelac blanket.

Anybody out there know how to start an entrelac piece to be made on the bias? Usually, entrelac can be started from the center or from a corner, but the corner method requires cutting and changing yarn, creating those pesky ends I detest having to weave in.

Anybody, help me out, please. And stay away from Craftsy.

AS

My House

My house was a 1923 Rambler, hand built by my landlord, Elmer Lambert. Mr. Lambert was married to Ima. They were older people when I met them. The Lamberts were Jehovah’s Witnesses. Mr. Lambert gave me my first nickname, Sputnik, because I orbited him, chattering away about some thing, as he worked about the house. Mrs. Lambert always had a nice piece of fruit for me.

Mr. Lambert had a shop, a workshop, in the back yard. There was a great, thick hardwood worktable, cabinets overhead to the left. A great open space where I suppose he kept some of his tools and machines. It was a good workspace; I could spin in there. I got used to having a high table at which to work because of playing in the workshop after my Mom rented the house from the Lamberts when I was six months old. I found all sorts in the workshop: metals, electrical connections, little lamps that had the word ampere on them. I loved that workshop.

There was room enough in my backyard to have a small garden of collards, chilis, potatoes. I had room for my potter’s wheel, which I retained after I was forced to move into this abandoned structure. We had flower gardens, a loquat tree, a fig tree, and many succulents.

The house was a shotgun house, but classy. Mr. Lambert had built-in shelves in the kitchen, maximizing the interior space of the kitchen. There was one walkway through the house. If the door way was not set opposite to the hallway, you could have shot straight through the house. All doors opened to the left, except for the doorway, which opened right.

The doors opened according to the wall they were on. The bathroom door varied in that it was on the west side of the house, but the door opened to the south. The front entry was on the west and opened to the west. The bedroom door was on the east and opened to the east. The east wall in the kitchen is where the built-ins were installed. From outside the house, the shelves were enclosed in their own cabinetry. They were floor to ceiling, two shelves, three spaces, about 4.5-5 feet wide. There were upper and lower double doors for each cupboard section. We could fit all the china and glassware in those cabinets. The tea and coffee cups had hangers. The lower cupboard was to store cookware, like the electric skillet in which my Mom made fried rice. (Don’t tell Uncle Roger!)

The house was configured square and the house, while only a one-bedroom, was roomy and cozy simultaneously. There was a linen closet behind the bedroom door. In the far corner of the bedroom was Mom’s sewing area. She started with a Singer and ended with a Consew. Mom was an engineer and she had erected shelving around her sewing area, three shelves, four spaces. They were glass shelves, made of the louvre windows she recycled using reinforced nylon tape. On those shelves were the tools of the sample maker’s trade. And the buttons! Oh, I do glory in the buttons Mom left me! I grew up to the singing of her many sewing machines. I almost donated the Consew when I realized I couldn’t set my home up the way it had been before. But Bubbs told me to keep it because he knew how much I associated his grandmother with that machine. I’m glad he did.

I miss my house. I had a back door that I could go out any time I needed fresh air and to be free of observance from the street. Our back yard was always fenced after Mom woke up one morning to find that the nextdoor neighbor’s company was parked in our driveway, inebriated. Ever after that, Mr. Lambert erected an opaque fence of stout wood.

The front yard was lawn, and hedges, and a beautiful Bird of Paradise, that survived the decimation of all our foliage and flora for the hummingbirds, bees, and other pollinators. The bougainvillea and some of the succulents survived, as well.

One time, there were three people in the kitchen, me, my mom, and The Lord. One of the neighbor’s relatives had an episode and she came to Mom for a cup of coffee and some sweetbread. She didn’t say that was what she wanted. She just knocked at the door and when asked, “Who is it?,” she answered, “The Lord.”

I went and told Mom who was at the door, and she put on her robe and came to see. Opening the door, she invited The Lord to come in and have some coffee. While The Lord supped, Mom called Pluko’s relative, and she came over to get her. The relative had to wait, of course, until The Lord finished her coffee and cake.

My kitchen was the hub of activity. My mom cooked dinners for club meetings of the Progressive Twelve. They were a charity and philanthropic club that met in one member’s home once a month to discuss their work and to eat. I learned about Robert’s Rules of Order, parliamentary procedure, ambrosia, sweet potato pie, and succulent meats of all sorts. I learned about peau d’soir pumps, and Este’e Lauder Youth Dew. Those women were some of the best dressed, best scented women I’ve ever known. They were also the best cooks and hostesses. They were all southern or southwestern women who had a great sense of hospitality. They were all Black women, proud, neat, and humble. They always demonstrated what it meant to be the best.

My house was filled with memories such as these. I miss my house that Mr. Lambert built. I still have a drawer from the workshop table and I have the closet he built for the bedroom. Lucky I did because the contractor who destroyed my home did not bother to put a closet in the room that was supposed to be my bedroom, neither did he finish the floor.

This entire structure is made of the leftovers of other projects. Where I had hardwood flooring throughout the house, there is now laminate, upon which I have slipped and fallen twice. Where I had copper plumbing, there is now plastic. Where I had recessed lighting, there is now a single light within a cheap fan that sits, off-center, in the living room. There are fire sprinklers because they are a requirement in newly built homes. My insurance company did not report to Underwriting that my home was rebuilt. The contractor has never produced the plans needed to rebuild a house. I don’t know how this structure passed final inspection, except Public Works reinspected after I complained for about two years, then they rescinded the Certificate of Occupancy.

So, now I am forced to live in an unventilated, unfinished structure, that lacks proper structure and finishing in the bathroom, what used to be my other favorite room in the house. Two people could fit in there comfortably. There was a bath and a shower. The sink was deep for washing dainties and newly knitted or crocheted garments. It was a room of great intimacy and privacy, where one could bask in steamy comfort, or have a chat while sitting on the pot! My bathroom that Mr. Lambert built was great. I’m afraid to go into the wash closet I now have, fearing the flooring will drop out from under me.

AS

The Approval Addiction

A lot of us wish for our talents, our intelligence, or our strengths to be recognised, appreciated, and known by others. But we very soon start to rely on these approvals and try to ‘alter’ our lives to fit in within these expectations. Unfortunately, right from here starts a very vicious cycle.

Ever since I was younger, I had an insane obsession with ‘making sure people knew’ I was this or I was that. My mood, my emotions, and my feelings were a dangerously direct reflection of what others thought of me. It got to the point where I got excessively dependent on ‘approval’. If people praised me, I would feel empowered. If people criticised me, I would feel anxious. And if people insulted me, I would start to look down on myself.

A common example I often look back at are the times wherein I felt the immense pleasure…

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AS

Have Some People Lost Their Minds?

What was Jeffrey Toobin thinking? Was he thinking? What a disappointment. What an idiot.

Samuel Paty, RIP. What was he thinking? Was he thinking? How could he have believed there would be no consequences for showing mocking cartoons of the Prophet when the writers at Charlie Hebdo were killed? I have tried to justify his actions because I have been an educator. I keep coming back to the notion that he should have been more sensitive to the climate, to the context, to his students. Discuss, yes, but showing those cartoons was antagonistic. What pedagogy supports antagonizing students to teach them about free speech?

There is something wrong with human beings. Desperately wrong. We have stopped thinking. We have stopped putting ourselves in the shoes of others. We are insensitive, intolerant, full of hubris. We are thoughtless. We are caustic.

I can’t justify Paty’s beheading. That was wrong. But he should have known the response to his lesson could be extreme. Why did he not see this? Why couldn’t he anticipate the response?

Graduate school taught me about anticipation. You have to think of the questions you might be asked about your area of expertise. You have to anticipate consequences. You have to, else you will be caught unaware and run the risk of looking like an idiot, like Jeffrey Toobin.

What the hell is wrong with some people? Why have we given up thinking, being rational, being sensible?

What is it going to take for us to get back to being thoughtful human beings? What is it going to take to rid us of this awful arrogance? Is this what decline looks like? Mental, moral decline?

What the hell is wrong with us?

AS

NOTES: CLAIMS ADJUSTER POWER, CONSUMER VULNERABILITY

The success or failure of your claim rides on the integrity of your insurance claims adjuster. He has ultimate power over your claim. He can do whatever he likes with your claim, including restricting who can see your claim file and interact with you, the policyholder.

If you live in California and you have filed either a property or auto claim in the last seven (7) years, you should check that your claims are recorded accurately in the databases that retain your claim history as received from your insurance company Claims department. In California, the databases are Verisk A- Plus and Lexis-Nexis. Of the two, Lexis-Nexis seems to carry more weight.

Verisk Consumer Inquiry Center

1000 Bishops Gate Blvd, Ste 300 PO Box 5404 Mt Laurel, NJ 08054-5404 1-800-709-8842

Lexis-Nexis Consumer Center PO Box 105108 Atlanta GA 30348-5108 1-888-497-0011

What you don’t know can hurt you, and the Department of Insurance will not help you. You will be forced to seek legal assistance to get the situation righted should you discover anything wrong. Why the consumer is required to spend money to prove the company “trusted” to insure your home has committed fraud is absurd. The fact that the Department of Insurance will not help consumers makes them appear complicit.

Beware of Safeco/Liberty Mutual Insurance. Those who have suffered losses in the recent fires should be extremely aware of their vulnerable state where insurance companies are concerned.