Down to the wire
Let’s not screw around here. I’ve alluded to it in past columns, and people who know me intimately know it to be true: for about twenty years I had a drinking problem. I won’t go into details about the cause-and-effect, although those factors have been analyzed endlessly in contemplative moments the last few years.
I tried AA; I tried rehab. They didn’t work; I didn’t “get it.” I told myself I’d quit for my loved ones. Then I told myself I’d quit for myself. Then I’d go out and get drunk, so I could get some sleep. In the course of my depravity, I crashed two cars, got my clock cleaned in bar fights, and engaged in some extremely reckless behavior involving drug dealers and a shotgun. (Gunfire was exchanged. My pet phrase for this is “playing for mortal stakes.”)
Recovery demands honesty. I offer the above tidbits to establish “street creds” for what I want to say next.
I know a thing or two about insane behavior, deranged grandiosity, and denial.
We’re down to five and a wake-up ‘til election day. My ballot has been in for over two weeks, adhering to the maxim of “vote early and vote often.” I had the luxury of voting my Libertarian principles this time, as opposed to the hold-your-nose contests being slugged out amongst the members of the ruling class: the careerist Republocrats comprising the alleged “two-party” system. Locally, the attack ads between the Democrat and Republican candidates for state senate have become amusingly ludicrous. Forget issues and values; I’ll be surprised if there isn’t bloodshed on the town square during the Halloween Festival this weekend if these guys stumble across each other.
Back to the alcoholic revelations: nowhere—outside of an AA meeting where a newcomer shows up drunk, demanding help—have I seen the depths of denial that Democrats are going through right now. Outside of their traditionally liberal enclaves, they have actually deluded themselves into believing they have popular support for their socialist agenda. What they don’t realize is that—short of armed insurrection—there is a revolution going on. (I hear the Jefferson Airplane singing “Look what’s happening out in the streets…” as I write this.) It took over 40 years, but we ‘60s remnants finally have the uprising we sought, albeit in a different context from the fist-in-the-air “Power to the people!” days.
Back in the day, we sought to dismantle the status quo; the “system.” Now, next Tuesday, we are going to take that same system, shove it up the collective nether regions of those seeking to destroy America, and give it a firm twist. If you agree with this prediction, do your part, and get out to the polls on Election Day. Exercise your most precious right; the hot word has it that a lot of illegal non-citizens are going to be voting, thanks to the current regime’s flagrant disregard for the Constitution. Make a difference: go somewhere, be somebody, and do something!
I never paid too much attention to Juan Williams. I listened to National Public Radio from the late 1960s until the start of the war in Iraq, when they began playing a funeral dirge as a lead-in for “All Things Considered” in the afternoon. (I like classical music, and until he replaced his homey style with polemics, I loved Garrison Keillor.) I knew Williams as a “common tater” on FOX News, especially “The Factor”. (He once addressed a PC issue of a perceived “racist” statement by a prominent politician by saying “he’s a member of Sons of Confederate Veterans.” I was quick to fire off an e-mail to O’Reilly, demanding an apology for Williams’ equation of SCV with the racist trash that has appropriated the Confederate flag. I was angry for weeks that Williams never cleaned that one up.)
Juan, you don’t have to apologize for anything! Not any longer!
I saw “The View” when Whoopi Goldberg and that horrid Behar bitch stalked off on Mr. Bill. (Ms. Possum gave me a heads-up that O’Reilly would be making an appearance to tout his new book.) I saw the unedited "Factor" segment when Williams voiced the remarks that allegedly got him fired from NPR. I’ve subsequently seen Behar melting down like the drunken alcoholic at an AA meeting when old-timers try to escort said drunk into a private space for counseling.
I also listened to vituperous liberal yammering on NPR for approximately 40 years. All of their current claptrap about “bigotry” and “journalistic standards” as justification for firing Williams just won’t fly; they are stifling free speech, pure and simple. The propaganda arm of the Fourth Reich is far more advanced than you might think. They can’t stand on their record; I’ve heard too much liberal nattering and nasty rhetoric from them over the years. Garrison Keillor—whom I once cited as a modern-day Mark Twain—has become an embittered hack. Saturday nights used to be exclusively reserved for “A Prairie Home Companion”; now I just put on a CD of Irish folk music, or Megadeth, depending on my mood. I never took NPR news reportage as serious journalism; now it’s out in the open as a Doctor-Goebbels-like operation, endlessly flogging the so-called achievements of Fearless Leader, and jumping when George Soros cracks his whip.
Finally, there was a small victory on the home front. It’s meaningless in the context of larger issues, but I am personally empowered by it. In fact, I’m so full of myself at the moment, my head hurts.
In an offhand remark, griping about illegal aliens being allowed to vote in some precincts, Ms. Possum expressed despair that “the system” is so unassailable. I sighed and agreed, but added “I’ll fight them ‘til I die.”
Constant Readers know that I have been embattled over a 50% cutback in my health care services, owing to the vote-buying scam perpetrated last July. On Monday, matters came to a head. The previous Saturday, I had received a letter stating that my appeal hearing was to be held on 23 December in a burg called Dawsonville, which is way-to-hell-and-gone over Blood Mountain, and pain-in-the-ass to get to. The letter also suggested telephonic arbitration between a bureaucrat named Hazel J…. who was somewhere on Peachtree Street, deep in the heart of The People’s Republic of Atlanta, and me.
The lawyer who called me on Monday said she had received a copy of that same letter, and was inquiring what I was going to do. I told her that Monday is a bad day for government workers, as they are playing catch-up on all the work they ditched Friday, so they could leave the office early. I informed her that I was planning to call Hazel J…., and failing an informal solution, request a change of venue for my hearing. (Verbatim—“change of venue.” I’m not a lawyer, and never played one on TV, but my various misadventures have resulted in standing before too many judges, and a working knowledge of the applicable vernacular is always handy.)
Then she asked me a rote question: “Do you know why your health services are being denied?”
When I stopped laughing, I launched into a detailed diatribe about the malfeasant Democrat vote-buying scam of last summer, which robbed federal funding for Medicaid, community services, and food stamps. I interrupted her to add that I already knew the parent agency of my health-care benefits had lost state funding in 2008 when the economy tanked, and that pursuant to federal funding, they were given a choice of cutting (a) the aged and infirm, (b) the mentally disabled, or (c) the developmentally disabled from their benefits roster. They chose the aged and infirm, which unfortunately includes me and my rusty wheelchair.
While she stammered, at a loss for words, unable to deny my assertions and unable to formulate a reply, I added that what was happening was the inverse of Rep. Alan Grayson’s infamous remark—complete with graphic sign for C-SPAN—that the Republican plan for health care was to “die quickly.”
Ma’am,” I told her, “I’m only 57 years old, and plan on being around for a while. If my only purpose in life at this point is to call y’all out on screwing people worse off than me, then so be it.”
She promised to look into alternative sources for my home nursing care, lifeline monitor, and supplementary food programs. When I hung up, the timer on my phone told me I had talked for 24+ minutes.
On Tuesday morning, the lawyer called back to inform me she had had a sit-down with the head of the parent agency—SOURCE—and, upon further review, they had decided that I meet the level of health-care requirements for continued services, contingent upon dropping my appeal. Documents were being drawn up for my signature, and the entire unpleasant business could be disposed of in the next few days.
A person with a trained voice and a poker-face can inflect anything into a conversation, but the tone of this bureaucrat’s voice said “I don’t want to face you in open court before an administrative law judge.” When I got off the phone Monday morning, Ms. Possum, who had been sitting beside me and privy to my side of the conversation, remarked “You spoke well.”
Today I received an e-mail copy of the release, signed it, faxed it back, and mailed my snail-mail copy. The actual document contains a confidentiality clause, and the wording also contains ambiguities that “new information” had been revealed about my disability, thus qualifying me for continuation of my services.
In other words, it confirmed that they don’t want an articulate madman appearing in court—on the public record—babbling about corrupt misappropriations of federal funds for the purpose of partisan vote-buying. It’s a bribe, and I took it. At no point has any bureaucrat denied my assertion that the robbery of $26 billion last summer was anything but a payoff for the state-school teacher’s union and the black-shirted thugs of the SEIU union.
In speaking with the lawyer, I further stipulated—another “legalese” word these folks are enamored of—that I retain my right to file an appeal at any future date if my services are reduced, cancelled, or otherwise denied. That stipulation is Article 4 in the conditions of the final document.
By way of comparison, today my meals-on-wheels driver relayed to me that another of her clients was told that if her appeal was denied, she would have to repay the cost of whatever food she had received in the interim between filing the appeal and the ultimate outcome. This is an outright lie, intended to buffalo those hapless folks with less knowledge of bureaucracy and legalisms than my own scanty experience.
I’m full of myself today—I scared the system, not the other way around. Even a blind pig finds an acorn every once in a while. I don’t think I’m touched by God, and my past behavior suggests He ain’t smiling on me too often. Still, sometimes He sends a soft breeze my way, allowing me to pull myself together and rise to whatever occasion is presenting itself. By my reckoning, I should have been dead years ago. I attribute the lag time to Divine Purpose, but I have no clue.
Bottom line: when next Tuesday comes, and you’re feeling cynical or lazy, trying to justify not voting with the old lie that “my voice doesn’t count,” think of the aforementioned information. I think it was Franz Kafka who said “in the battle between man and the world, bet on the world.” Roy Harper sings a song including the lyric “I’ll fight you ‘til I die.” I’ll include another cliché: stand for something or fall for anything. Instead of bopping down to Subway on Tuesday for a sandwich already regulated by the Food Police for fat content, take twenty minutes to exercise your most precious right, go vote your conscience, and THROW THE BASTARDS OUT OF OFFICE!
If I can defeat a foregone bureaucratic decision, then you can do whatever you set your mind to do. Make it so.