Yes Virginia, Lighting  Strikes Twice

By John Johnson

For the past two months I’ve regaled you with my car accident and how I ended up with a cheaper older model that seemed to be in great shape.

Or so I thought.

On a mid-September Saturday while I was again doing errands in the Silver Lake area, I noticed coolant leaking and added some. Soon, all hell broke loose. I coasted off the freeway and got home. The next morning I went to a nearby Pep Boys. In the past they’ve been fast and cheap.

They told me I needed a new radiator that would cost $640. They called back to say the head gasket was bad. $2500. They called again and said I needed a new engine. Over $3500. I checked around and found out that was way too much. Another recommended mechanic said it would be more like $2500. But he found other problems. The final cost was $3800.

Lacking the funds I put it on a credit card, knowing the stress I would face making usurious interest payments.

I’ve put out appeals on email lists with very few responses. Most of those were probably progressives with their own money problems. I’m hoping that the paper will reach a wider more responsive audience.

More outrageous news.

The New York Times ran an article (cited in this issue) showing that working class men are dying younger.

A great number of legal complaints are being filed against banks trying to profit from the US Treasury Modification Program, accusing them of disregarding what should be binding agreements to reduce the monthly mortgage payments of troubled borrowers.

Some lending institutions have faced lawsuits alleging that the foreclosures amounted to a violation of the deal they struck with the government when they accepted funds from the $700 billion Wall Street rescue. In September, Treasury announced it was withholding incentives from Wells Fargo, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase for incorrectly determining that many borrowers were ineligible for HAMP modifications. The banks deny this.

Historically, banks are reluctant to modify loans, then foreclose on borrowers after offering them trial modifications.

Gas prices keep rising. The richest corporations in the world, they nickel and dime the rest of us. Maybe to drill for oil in the arctic, destroy that environment or kill off the polar bears?

Wall Street denizens continue to pour money into off shore, non-taxable accounts in the Caymans and elsewhere.

Television ads promote sugar, salt, and fatty foods, despite the soaring rates of illness and obesity among Americans. They also promote pharmaceuticals with devastating side effects, up to and including death.

Students owe hundreds of thousands of dollars in an economy without jobs. State university costs now rival those of ivy league colleges.

Obama’s exorbitant Drone wars kill more civilians than so-called “militants,” the latter defined, simply, as “twenty year old males.” Police buy up drones in order to continually spy on all of us.

The President is also fighting a court order to stop the “indefinite detention” policy. Like Bush, Obama demands the right to seize and imprison anyone he deems to be “militant.”

He cracks down hard on whistle blowers, those heroes exposing government crimes. And he now raids legal marijuana clinics in California, never mind that he used to smoke the stuff.

Disclaimer: in listing this tiny sampling of Obama’s many crimes, we do not suggest that his opponent, if elected, would be any improvement. Let’s face it, we are being given two choices: frying pan or fire.

We need to work together to find creative nonviolent ways of expanding those dismal options.

Meanwhile, please help maintain your faithful editor’s mobility. Every donation makes a difference and is greatly appreciated.


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