Angered and Irked…

I live in a small house, just under 1,000 sq ft. I’ve been trying to keep it at about 68 degrees or less. It really irritates me that in the so-called “greatest country on Earth,” I have to wear layers and cover myself in blankets just to try to keep warm but 68 degrees is really the upper limit of what I can afford. You see, I’m paying a little more than $400/mo to try and keep condensation from forming on the counters in the morning. $400.00 bucks. My PG&E bill from the same time last year (different house but similar size) was around $230.00. That’s quite a jump, year over year.

I don’t trust PG&E. Through the years, I’ve come to expect them to “maximize their profits” at my expense. (No, not me, alone.) I didn’t just randomly come to that position. Through the years, PG&E has offered example after example where they were caught doing exactly that so it’s really just a matter of understanding how they have always worked. So, when the gas bills starting ballooning, I just thought it was more of the same, but you know what? Maybe not.

Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine has really disrupted the flow of natural gas to Europe. This means Europe has to buy more from the world market, making less available to everyone else. Increased demand creates increased prices – most especially when the drilling companies are making, at best, lackadaisical efforts at increasing supply. The companies blame Biden, pinning the reason on the fact that he cancelled 9,000 unused leases and an as-yet unused pipeline project. (Keyword: unused.) Mostly, *I* blame so-called “Free Market” Capitalism. (There is no such thing as a “Free Market.”) There is, after all, ALWAYS a reason to be suspicious of Capitalists when they’re making money hand over fist like this. But the truth is, it DOES make sense that it’s just a supply and demand issue.

I’ll tell you this: when I open my PG&E bill, it’s ALWAYS “Screw you, PG&E!” Now it’s “Screw you, PG&E – and Putin!”


Okay, so it’s time for this week’s edition of “Things we could fix and should fix but won’t fix.” Today’s topic? Social Security. This is one of the easiest of fixes but our corrupted, bought-and-paid-for Congress Critters (Thanks Citizen United) can’t do the right thing – they aren’t allowed to by their hyper rich operators. So, instead, they try to offer work-arounds. One of the more popular work-arounds they offer is to raise the eligibility age. They’ve already done this more than once. If they keep doing this, people will have to live to 103 just to apply! That’s a kind of elimination of the program – just setting the eligibility requirements so high nobody CAN make use of it.

But this is one of the easiest fixes to any of the conservative-induced problems we face in our now-submerging nation and a most frustrating part is that we all know the fix. The government has only to eliminate the cap on payment above a certain level. We’re all supposed to try and pay the same dollar amount each year, rich and poor alike. Most of us don’t make the limit but many of the richest people reach the limit with one check and never contribute to the program again for the rest of the year. Simply agreeing that every American should pay the SSAN percentage from 100% of income (like the majority do, today) would, literally solve the problem. Solvency resolved. We won’t, though. Rich people pretend that taking any of the money they steal from workers is stealing their money. (After all, they stole it fair and square!)

I’ll tell you this: normally, I would think, “Oh, cry me a river” about the financial suffering of the hyper wealthy. The truth is, they wouldn’t even notice it’s gone. But these days, thanks to conservatives, the hyper wealthy own and operate Congress and they DO NOT want to pay their fair share of taxes so we’ll get increasing eligibility ages until we reach a “balancing point” where most people don’t live long enough to benefit from their benefits…


Holy Gods, the death toll in Turkey-Syria earthquake as of this morning has reached 33,000! The thing that shocks me the most about that is they KNOW they live in an earthquake-prone area. They don’t seem to have – or have enforced, anyway – building codes designed to offset potential damages like we do here, in California. Yes, the codes make building more expensive. But it also keeps buildings from crumbling and crushing thousands and thousands of people. Seems like a good trade-off, to me…


Hard to predict who might win today’s Stupid Bowel. The KC Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles are both great teams. Overall, I think the Eagles look a little better on paper but I suspect the bigger factor is that the Chiefs are still nursing injuries. They’re going to be depleted on Defense and their Quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, appears to have limited use of one of his best weapons: his legs. (Um…would that be two of his best weapons?) That may not be true. KC Head Coach Andy Reid has a long history of allowing his opponents to believe somebody is injured that isn’t or injured worse then they are. Mahomes might come out running wild.

When you get right down to it, though, the truth is, I don’t care who wins. Sure, they’re both great teams and it should be some good football (if you’re into that sort of thing). On the one hand, I would like to see the Eagles win because they knocked the Niners out of contention. Somehow, there’s comfort to the idea that my preferred team lost to the eventual Stupid Brawl champions. On the other hand, I would like to see the Eagles lose for the same reason: they knocked the Niners out of contention. (Petty, eh?) The only thing I really want to pay attention to is this: I expect Andy Reid will have a more effective blocking scheme for Hassan Reddick than any of the other teams have had. If Reid just intends to try to block Reddick with a Tight End, like everyone else, because “that’s the way it’s done in the NFL,” Mahomes will spend FAR too much time on his back to be effective. After that? Well, I’ll watch but I don’t really have a dog in the hunt, as the saying goes.

There’s a risk that such an attitude makes the game a bit…boring so I have a little trick to try to keep it interesting. If you’re having trouble ginning up too much enthusiasm but plan to watch anyway, you might want to try it yourself. It’s simple. I just root for whichever team is behind. Maybe my “team of the moment” can bring it back, maybe they can’t, but it gives me a reason to watch. It CAN make the game more exciting. But, if they don’t pull it off, well, ces’t la vie.

So…good luck to both teams. My earnest prayer is that every player who walks onto the field walks off again healthy and safe.

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