Summer Break

Well, no, it’s not really summer break but after engaging in marathon days of working on the final, yes final! manuscript for Inheritances, I needed a break.

The manuscript is to be placed in the hands of my beta-readers this coming week. Yay!

In the face of a government shutdown, some uncertainty on whether I will be allowed to even view, much less apply for different health insurance options without lying about my income (I can go no further in the process if I tell the truth –  I’m shot over to the site to apply for Medicaid and the company I am currently with shuts its doors for business on December 31st. and yes, I filled out my application on the 1st),  research done that revealed of the numerous doctors within a 50 mile radius of me who are listed as taking Medicaid/Medicare patients, many, including the first 34 ones I called, are not taking new patients, and my current doctor does not take it either,  as I follow the news and ponder the long-term ramifications of this dangerous game our elected officials charged with running the country are playing… Well, I REALLY needed  a break…

So I’ve been watching documentaries, reading and pondering.

Here’s the highlights:

  1. The right to counsel, to have an attorney appointed should I be unable to afford one, only became a RIGHT in 1963 – I thought it dated back to the Constitution and Bill of Rights, but no, it actually traced back to the 14th amendment portion regarding due process and was not rigorously engaged in by any amount of consistency from state to state until decades later.  The original interpretation pretty much left to the states to do as they pleased until Mr. Gideon, sent to prison in Florida and a poor, drifter who had been charged with crimes before (an unlikely citizen rights hero)  hand-wrote a plea to the Supreme Court, on lined prison stationary, informing them he had been denied counsel.  And Justice Hugo Black had to wait 20 years for his dissenting opinion regarding the 1942 Betts vs. Brady case to become the unanimous decision by all 9 justices in Gideon vs. Wainwright.  Full Scoop
  2. Had Harry S. Truman stopped talking after informing the American people via television he was going to seize steel manufacturing facilities and place them under the charge of the Secretary of Commerce to avoid shutdowns due to labor disputes, because the very lives our wonderful lads overseas in the Korean Conflict depended upon steel production continuing, he may actually have gotten away with it.   But no, he had to get worked up and spout off about the greediness and overall hatefulness of the steel barons and gave them the additional support of the American people to come out fighting for their rights, for, they argued, if he can take our steel mills today, what will stop him from taking your house tomorrow?    Morals of the story: Stop talking when you’re ahead and never believe that just because you appoint someone to the Supreme Court and play poker with them, they will always be on your side.
  3. Corporations are, by law, required to put the profits of their stakeholders first – if they do otherwise, they are, in fact, breaking the law.  In the face of this, I better understand massive layoffs, refusal to cooperate and engage in activities to benefit the laborers who create their wealth, the environment or much of anything other than making a few rich folks richer.   Interestingly, the wide sweeping changes that turned corporations from strictly defined and restricted entities governed by carefully worded state charters into entities with the rights of a person, but without a soul to feel guilt or a body to incarcerate, are also traced back to decisions by the Supreme court on cases brought before them under the 14th amendment.   See a timeline here
  4. That if you put the Disclaimer, “This video is for entertainment purposes only and the opinions expressed are not necessarily what anyone who had anything to do with making this video thinks is true” and offering those you are bad-mouthing the chance to make a response or decline to, keeps Monsanto, Tyson, the Beef Association and Dairy Council from suing the pants off you when you and 50 or so others talk about shady business practices.  I’m going to put up this disclaimer on my blog, in case those in power actually ever read my blog – Because I don’t think Gideon vs. Wainwright applies to civil litigation….
  5. I’ve decided one of the screening procedures for possible new friends or relationships is asking, “How do you feel about the following quote:”?

    “Is it ethical? I don’t know, but I did the job I was paid millions to do and I feel good about it.  This is how we make capitalism work.”

  6. I’ve also seen that if I intend to carry through on my intent to not pay taxes this coming year, as a gesture of civil disobedience towards a complex system I believe in need of change, it’s best if I start broadcasting my intent now.   To allow my side to be stated before being whisked away in the middle of the night in a caravan of black SUVs because I’m a threat to the nation and held in a secret location where I’m unable to log into WordPress and tell you why I haven’t blogged in over a month.
  7. I thought about transferring over  the $13.57 in my checking account to a bank in  Switzerland, renting an alley garbage can in San Francisco for my manufacturing headquarters and hiring a board of directors to hold company meetings wherever the rich of the neighborhood make .03 cents per week – all so I could avoid paying taxes legally, due to various national laws regarding such things but, then, where’s the disobedience in that plan?  Plus, the Swiss and Off-shore bankers hung up on me when I told them the balance I would like to transfer over.   I also really felt awful only paying .03 per week to my board of directors.   And since there were only going to be 3, I really couldn’t find an affordable way to give them healthcare benefits, either.  So I scrapped my plan for joining the big boys and fighting injustice from inside the system.
  8. I laughed at the old documentary that showcased the technological breakthrough of Pink Slime, and the factory manager who said they hoped to someday corner 90% of the market in the fight for ending hunger – – Pink Slime, I believe, has been removed from fast food chains and Congressional dinners – – the large inventory has been shipped to our nation’s schools via the Commodities free/low cost subsidizing of School Lunch programs, or so it was reported some months ago, and now that I have my disclaimer, I don’t actually have to research the current status, do I?  (My deep reluctance to engage in the relentless & never ending research in quest for the facts and truth is why I decline to be an investigative reporter – and probably, would actually make a A-1 politician)
  9. I watched Michael Moore interviews and wondered if now that I’ve put on some weight from sitting writing all day instead lugging heavy landscaping materials around, wear my pajamas 24/7, don’t do my hair or make-up so there is that much more time to write and watch documentaries, if he’d want to date me?   And how Howard Zinn only looked that unkempt during his civil disobedient crusades, because the local powers that be had drug him through some mud and street debris on his way to the paddy-wagon – – Just Saying….
  10. I’ve once again marveled at the claim that 55 men convened for more than 6 months to design an entirely new form of government,  argued, debated and insulted each other to the extreme, yet all kept their initial promise to not breathe a word outside the walls in which they convened about what they were doing,  Really?   55 people kept a secret for 6 months? – Amazing.

Sated and re-inspired by the history of both our mistakes and our triumphs, fresh in the knowledge that sometimes our collective conscience and the wheels of democracy do manage to move somewhat faster than receding glaciers, I’m ready to dive back into editing – yes, I have 3 other books that have sat for years.

But before I start, I’m thinking maybe I should do the dishes and take a shower – maybe don some street clothes and run errands in something other than my bedroom slippers, sweats and a t-shirt –  – before I dive back into the La-La land of my own design.

Then again, maybe I can deliver 2 manuscripts next week, not just one…

Wishing you a happy and wonderful Summer Weekend Break.

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