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AmortiNation

by MISSY BEATTIE

Years ago, I was on my gynecologist’s examining table, feet in stirrups, in need of the morning-after pill. He handed me a brochure—info about the med—and said, “Read this, if you can think in this position.”

“If I could think in this position, I wouldn’t be in this position now,” I told him.

The above was to get your attention. The following is the main work:

I do my best and worst thinking when I exercise. Usually, I stay focused, repeating, “focus, focus,” but occasionally this becomes, “we’re eff’d.” Then, I’m not just detouring down side roads; I’m off-road with thoughts that require serious mind tread.

Of course, I’ve been consciousness streaming about revolution, protests, brutal dictators, and Wisconsin, lately. And while I applaud the occupation of the Madison statehouse, I wonder if people have to be PERSONALLY wallet affected to have their asses blown out of their recliners. What is it about the occupation of countries that is acceptable?

With that noted, I need to explain that I’m trying to become educated about the state of our finances, visiting a few websites for info. Some of the stuff is beyond my math-challenged grasp, but it appears the economy is Thelma and Louise-ing.

Despite my math deficits, I can help. I once told you that I have experience with yard sales. And I’ve run a household successfully. First the yard sales: Rule number one is that you never price anything above its original cost or its sale price at Malwart. Rule two is that you negotiate.

This concept of pricing has started spinning my mind to those subprime mortgages that became toxic and were packaged into mortgage-backed securities that led to foreclosures and bankster bailouts, quantitative easing that’s nationalized bank debt while privatizing profits for Wall Street. Remember the Johnson Administration’s war ON poverty. Thanks to the banksters, we have a war OF poverty. One out of eight Americans is on food stamps. Fifty million are living in poverty (think of the children). More than four million Americans have been unemployed for over a year. And about five million homeowners are at least two months behind on their mortgages. Meanwhile the tippy tops live LARGE and are hugely dispassionate about the have-nots. There’s a party going on for the super wealthy whose goody bags are filled with tax breaks that break the backs of the worker class.

Ooof, I’m returning to that “we’re eff’d” thinking.

But not for long. Because I’ve got ability. I’ve already given you one example. Now, about running a household: The most important rule here is that you don’t spend more than you make. But this is where it gets really tricky, because when so many people were completing those home-loan applications, there may have been adequate income, even two incomes. Then, soon after closing, there may have been one. And then at some point, there may not have been any income, at all. Especially since all that bailout money was FOR the banksters who went swimming in it, giving themselves huge bonuses for so creatively effin’ over the rest of us.

I’ve always been a reluctant gambler. Even at the Kentucky Derby, I only bet a couple of dollars. And I have an aversion to owing money. When we purchased a house, I hated looking at that sheet (there’s a name for it, amorti-something) that tells you what you will have paid (YIKES) when the deed is finally free and clear. Same with vehicles. And you’re still paying for that piece-of-shit car long after it’s no longer roadworthy. Okay, that was partially my fault. Although I’m sure someone in the service department didn’t replace the oil when I took it for an oil change. It was the first NEW car we’d ever bought and it wasn’t even a year old. So, I was driving it with child in car seat, at night, when the oil light exploded yellowish red. I kept driving. Safety of my son came first. And I was only about five miles from our driveway. After that, we had to add a quart of oil every one hundred miles. We bought it by the case. My husband wasn’t even angry.

Back to the economy: We owe trillions. And we’ve borrowed from China to pay for war/occupations. If I were in charge (why not?), I’d bring the troops home. First, the psychically damaged who’ve redeployed because they’re called pussies if they admit they’re damaged by what they’ve seen and done and those who’ve returned to service after a little antibiotic cream and sterile pad cover the side of their head where the brain injury occurred. One day later, the rest would be on planes. Haven’t they killed enough civilians for a lie?

Then, I’d cut aid for Zionism.

Next, I’d demand a criminal investigation of September 11, the events that brought us the “Post-9/11 World” of war terrorism and the Patriot Act. Simultaneously, I’d pretty much gut the Pentagon.

With these accomplished, I’d appoint my best friend Joan to audit the Fed. She kept her father’s company books and has a schnoz to sniff out sneakiness. Somebody needs to trace all that money that’s been flowing into the financial markets to inflate a phony bubble. She may report that “a Tobin tax is in order.”

Meanwhile, I’d exile G. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Rice, Obama, Biden, Geithner, and Bernanke, along with the Ponzi-scheme banksters and anybody else I decide to include. They’d board Air Force One and the number of planes needed while we finished steam cleaning the mess and redecorating. War lover Hillary Clinton, too. She’s really been pissing me off lately with all that freedom of speech bullshit. When Ray McGovern exercised his rights in her presence, he was bloodied and bruised.

“You’re going to Paradise Island,” I’d tell them as I placed a hand, with fingers crossed, behind my back—and considered other locations.

MISSY BEATTIE lives in Baltimore, Maryland. She is obsessed with obsessing. Reach her at missybeat@gmail.com

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

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