Category Archives: Humor

KACKLES TACKLES at&t WITH A VENGEANCE

attfront1115A Year ago this month:

KACKLES TACKLES  at&t WITH A VENGEANCE
Tuesday, December 1, 2015

KACKLES THE WITCH is an alter ego of katharineotto.wordpress.com.

 

 

at&t’s bick and mortar store on Mall Blvd. in Savannah, where employees spend all their time on wireless phones to Corporate.  Do they even have a land line?  Yes, two of them, but it’s a big secret.  at&t’s website doesn’t even list land lines.

 

In this installment, Kackles the Witch tackles the artificially human TechnoMonsters of at&t, the FCC, Concast, and Wall Street, challenging their collective monopoly on telephone land lines.

Kackles is a New Age Witch, because she was born yesterday, when the telephone bill came, two months into a new contract.  At least corporate sent the bill to the right address, this time, and at least it came before the due date.

Kackles opened the bill and gasped.  Her blood started boiling.  Lightning bolts flashed from her eyes, almost setting fire to the bill.  The radioactive, penetrating power o her vision saw the obvious in a flash of blinding patented wireless technology.  The bill was almost twice the price of the official quote.

“How did this happen,” bemoaned the nascent witch.  “I did everything according to the rules, and they did everything wrong, but I’m the one paying for it.

“Gotcha again!” screech the at&t TechnoMonsters, backed by Wall Street, the Federal Government, Southern Company, and the Fed.

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New at&t telephone, with design so stupid it has to be patented.  Alternatively, a second-hand Uniden phone cost $2.50 at Goodwill.

 

“There, there,” whispers Dr. Kathorkian, another katharineotto.wordpress.com alter ego.  Dr. Kathorkian is Chief Medical Executioner under Obamacare.  “They call it ‘global warming,’” says Dr. K.  “That means we’re all headed straight to hell if we don’t shape up.”

Dr. K is a woman, of course, with the sixth sense, common sense, encoded on the half of X men didn’t get.  That makes men “Y”’s, thus lacking in the genetically endowed department.  Dr. Kathorkian reminds us that no matter how many ways they splice genes, women will always have more of them than men, but less than some fungi.

“That quarter-chromosome worth of extra gene power exists in every cell, so that’s a popper scoop of extra genes in them jeans, if you know what I mean,” quoth Dr. K, when she’s feeling lyrical.

Kackles was less interested in Dr. K’s scientific research.  She wanted collective vengeance on the creators of this excessive overhead, to wit, at&t’s copyrighted and patented services that she pays for without benefiting from.  She studied the bill and noted excise taxes, paid to the federal government monthly for access to air rights.  These are taxes on domestic goods and services.  Tariffs are taxes on imported goods.  All raise the price for purchasers, re-spun as “consumers” in 21st century PolCor speech.

“Huh?” anyone with common sense (usually women) might ask.  “How does that work for me, the taxpayer, if I’m paying both sides to protect me from people offering better deals?  Let Pfizer protect its own market share.”

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Another katharineotto.wordpress.com alterego cheers.  KO! Economic Hit Woman whistles, calls “Attagirl!” and throws up a High Five and Victory (Peace) salute.

“Bye, bye, Pfizer, and good riddance,” she gloats.  “Let Ireland protect your patents, if it can.  Let Ireland protect your stocks, too, and your VA contracts.  Oh, and while we’re at it, I recommend that US taxpayers confiscate your $270 million global research facility in New London, Connecticut, and donate it to Susette Kelo and her former neighbors.

For once, katharineotto.wordpress.com’s alter agos begin to agree with each other.  Even Kaka Big Chicken is helping to plot strategy.  She offers to walk into the brick-and-mortar store with chicken poop on her shoes and flies buzzing around her head.

Libby Belle is only thinking about how much her feet hurt, standing on that pedestal, holding that torch all day and night in New Yuck harbor.  She wants to escape new Yuck and wiggle her toes in the sand at Tybee.

Finally, nagged into compliance by her amalgamated alters, katharineotto.wordpress.com marches bravely into at&t’s lair with bill and agenda in hand, carrying notebook, sketchpad, camera, and a secret weapon known as primal screaming, a Kaka Big Chicken specialty.

katharineotto.wordpress.com takes a number and sits in front of the Direct TV, which at&t has just acquired, and watches Donald Trump perform.  Kackles casually doodles caricatures of all the employees holding cell phones to their ears, because they don’t deal with land line services or that class of customers.  The Real Yellow Pages has been contracted out.

But Kackles doesn’t sweat the small stuff.  Born out of ashes, to ashes she will return, when she’s good and ready, but not yet.  She still has spells to cast on TechnoBabble Nation’s networks and stranglehold by patented, unreliable technology.

Meanwhile, she sweeps up the ashes of frizzle-frazzle with the New Age broom.  The broom, Hilda, sweeps as god as she flies, so Kackles is a satisfied tourist from the Cosmic Commune, where everything is free and money doesn’t exist.

“Cackle, cackle,” cackles Kackles.  “I have nothing better to do.”

attpolwsj111716At Left:  The Wall Street Journal, Thursday, November 17, 2016

Twelve years ago:

November 29, 2004

David Dorman
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
AT&T Corporation
One AT&T Way
Bedminster, NJ  07921

Duane Ackerman
Chairman, President and
Chief Executive Officer
Bell South
1155 Peachtree Street, NE
Room 15G03
Atlanta, GA  30309

Michael K. Powell
Chairman, Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, SW
Washington, DC  20554

Boys:

I am writing this letter to all three of you because each of your organizations is blaming the others for the problems I am having with basic telephone and internet services.

It really doesn’t have to be this hard.  As a “consumer” small business owner (read “customer-voter-taxpayer”) I decided at the end of August to look into internet services by Bell South and AT&T, with the intent of signing up for one or the other.  After going through telephone menu maze after telephone menu maze, and listening to raucous music while on hold, I finally got a human being at AT&T who gave me bad information, convincing me to change all telephone service to AT&T and sign up for their internet services, too.  But oops, my telephone number has been hijacked by a DSL company, Georgia Business Net, which service I’d ordered and cancelled a month prior, without ever having had the service installed.  It took several hours over several days to straighten that one out, with everyone blaming everyone else and no one able to unlock the hold on my telephone number until I made a big stink with Georgia Business Net’s local representative, Brewton Computer Services, who wanted to play games, but who finally pulled some backroom maneuver to release me from their greedy jaws.

Then I call Bell South to find I can’t change telephone services without paying a huge penalty, because I had forgotten I signed a three-year contract for lower rates two years ago.  I didn’t know the rates were so low, since AT&T’s cost was supposedly about half what Bell South was charging.  So I changed back to Bell South, to avoid paying that penalty, and have July, 2005 on my calendar as the date when I am free of that contract and can reconsider my phone service options.

Meanwhile, I sign up for internet services with Bell South, or so I think, but the software for the service never arrives.  I continue to use the local library to get on the net, and I begin to wonder if I need home internet services at all, since the library is so convenient and I don’t use the internet that much (less and less).

Next thing I know, I get a bill from AT&T for forty-seven cents, which I dutifully pay on October 16, 2004 with my Sun Trust check #576.  This week, I get a bill from a collection service, GC Services Unlimited Partnership, claiming I owe AT&T $26.68 for long distance services.  Excuse me, but I thought I’d changed my long distance service back to Bell South, in accordance with my contract, and I never got a bill for any long distance service from AT&T.  Now it’s in collection?  How did this happen?  At this point I am so confused about who is supplying what to whom that I don’t know whom I owe, how much I owe or why I owe it.  Maybe you can figure it out, because frankly, I can’t abide your telephone menus, underinformed and misleading “customer service representatives,” and the maze of regulations, special deals, packages, contracts and other garbage you confuse people with under the guise of progress.  I’m including this GC Services Limited Partnership bill with my letter to Mr. Dorman of AT&T, and sending this letter to GC Services Limited Partnership, to let everyone know that I am happy to pay any money I really owe, and I’ll pay it directly to the CEO of AT&T if he can prove I owe it.

Meanwhile, Bell South is no better.  My latest bill from Bell South shows I’m being charged $8.44 plus $14.90 per month for internet service, when I was told the service was $10.95.  This is for a service I never received software for, have never used, and now no longer want, because it is much more expensive than I bargained for.  So, I will pay my Bell South bill, minus the bogus internet service, and will send a copy of this letter with my payment for the telephone service I actually have received.  This way, the folks in Bell South’s accounts receivable department will know to contact their CEO if they have a problem with it.  The Bell South telephone menu maze includes raucous advertising while its victims are on hold, and I can’t count on getting good information or services if I do get in touch with a so-called human being at the “Reach Out and Touch Someone” hall of fame.

As for Mr. Powell of the Federal Confusion Commission, I contend that governmental policies obstruct rather than assist communication, and communications would be much more efficient if government would get out of the way. The people who suffer most are the small fry customer-voter-taxpayers like me who get caught in these hopeless mires of entangled over-regulation, while the corporate giants slip through the control measures with hefty campaign contributions and a few token fines. All I need is a clean and simple list of services and prices, a la carte, from all the communications players, so I can make wise business decisions based on what I need. Spare me the one-size-fits-nobody packages and the long-term contracts. I am a loyal customer if I get good value for my time and dollar.  So, Mr. Powell, if you could get these corporations to simplify their price structures, and publicize them, I can make my decisions accordingly.  Then I can get back to doing my job to earn the income to pay the taxes that pay your salary.

By this letter I want everyone to know I will honor my contract with Bell South until it expires.  I believe this includes long distance service, as it was before the fated month of August, 2004.  Cancel the so-called internet service, which only exists on Bell South’s bill.

I believe I want AT&T for the internet, but let’s see the price in writing first, and I want AT&T to send its bills directly to me instead of to a collection agency. If you don’t want me as a customer, I will understand and will look somewhere else or do without.

Finally, I’d like to remind all of you that the telephone and internet will never surpass the old fashioned letter for clear communication.

Sincerely,

Katharine C. Otto

cc:        Nick Gillespie, Editor-in Chief, reason magazine;  Paul Gigot, Editor of the Editorial Page, The Wall Street Journal;  Donald E. Graham, Chairman, The Washington Post;  Cynthia Tucker, Editorial Page Editor, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

 

 

 

 

 

GOD HELPS EVE BAKE APPLE PIE

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My back yard, Chatham County, Georgia.  Fig tree in winter.  Foggy day.  Live oak background.  Sago palm lower left.  Windmill palms lower center and right. Spanish moss on live oak, Georgia’s state tree. kco122716

From my journal, ten years ago today,Wednesday, December 27, 2006
(Why every would-be communicator should vent on paper)

            God:  I sure would love a piece of apple pie along about now.

            Eve:  What’s apple pie?

God:  Boy, are you dumb.  Apple pie is what you do if you want to earn your keep in the Garden of Eden.  This place requires upkeep, or haven’t you noticed?

Eve:  Okay.  I’m game.  Tell me what to do, and I’ll try to do it.

God:  Attagirl.  Now, go pick a bunch of apples.

Eve:  Oh, no you don’t.  I’m not falling for that trick again.  Picking those apples got Adam and me in a heap of trouble, remember?

God:  That was because I told you not to pick the apples.  Now, I’m telling you to pick some apples.  Times have changed.  Trust me.  I know what I’m doing.

Eve:  Well, OK, if you say so.

Eve picks some apples and follows directions for making apple pie.  First, she has to invent knives, baking pans, flour, sugar, an oven, and the other tools of apple pie construction. God looks on, giving helpful advice.  Adam has invented television and is busy watching sports.

Eve:  What spices should I use?

God cogitates.   God:  I like sage.

Eve:  OK.  Which one of these plants is sage?

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*

God:  It’s over there.  No, not there.  Over there.  Another step.  OK. Now lean over. Now touch it.  No! Not that one.  That’s the poison ivy.

Eve:  What’s poison ivy?

God:  You’ll see.  Just don’t scratch your hand.

Eve starts to itch.  She tries not to scratch.  The itch gets worse.

Eve:  Why not?

God:  Just don’t.

Eve:  I thought I was supposed to have free will.

God:  Fine.  Disobey me and see what happens.

Eve:  Got a better idea?

God:  Wash it off.

Eve:  With what?

God:  Soap.  Calamine lotion.

Eve:  What are they?

God:  You have to invent them.

Eve:  But my hand is itching now.
herbssquire122716

*Sage, a perennial, by itself and with other herbs, here  monitored by the Squire-wire, aka S. Squire Rooster, Attorney for the Law of the Land .  Herbs pictured here, clockwise from lower left:  chives (perennial), sage, parsley (biennial), basil and purple basil (annual). Stevia, a perennial, is on edge of deck, flanked by milo plants (look like corn), grown wild from spilled chicken food.  Chickens love the green milo seeds.  Stevia, the natural sweetener now approved by the FDA for inclusion in soft drinks like Coca-cola and Pepsi, is easy easy easy to grow.  I combine stevia with chocolate mint and dry them together for great winter tea.  In the summer they make delicious iced tea, with no calories or caffeine.  kco122716

 

Daybreak

squirecrowinghouse0815

S. Squire Rooster, Attorney, for the Law of the Land

No matter what happens on Election Day, the US has the opportunity to curb presidential power and to force Congress to become more accountable to the voter-citizen-taxpayers who have been increasingly disenfranchised.

There are a number of issues I would like to see on the 2017 Congressional plate.  At the top of my list is to abolish Daylight Savings Time.  This semi-annual Congressional jerk-around forces me to reset no less than eight clocks every six months.  The time change has caused me to be late for Easter brunch (for which I was never forgiven), to be late for my first day of work at a new job, and for a number of other social and professional blunders that I’ve repressed.

The guy pictured above could care less about Congressional mandates.  He starts his insistent crow the moment the sun peeks over the horizon.  Nor is the sun influenced by US law, so why is everyone who goes by clock time so easily manipulated by a bunch of lobbyists in Washington DC?

Wikipedia gives an exhaustive account of the history around the world  of Daylight Savings Time.  For our purposes, Congress made created a national standard in 1986-7 (PL 99-369) at the behest of Clorox and 7-Eleven lobbyists.  Both Idaho senators voted for it under the pretext that fast-food outlets would sell more french fries (made from Idaho potatoes).  Arizona is the only continental state that does not observe it.

Today, November 6, 2016, on this first day of freedom from the abhorrent DST, I make my semi-annual bid for doing something practical and achievable without causing anyone undue stress.

Where does your Congressperson stand on Time?

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go re-set some clocks.

dsc01591

The Police State Board Game

bumpcountry2016I wrote the following political satire piece for my “Adventures in Living in the World as It Is” series in December, 2009.

THE POLICE STATE BOARD GAME
GoverCorp vs. You

In this game, players vie with THE POLICE STATE to get around the board with a minimum of hassle.  They win by overcoming barricades, set-backs, barbed wire, traps, concrete mazes, and other obstacles, to arrive at the point where they began.  Each player meets different challenges.

Tourists, travelers—and anyone who visits an airportmust negotiate airport security.  Cop an attitude and miss your plane. (Go back five spaces.)

Travelers, you can win this round.  If security drones mess with you, demand their names and write them down. (Skip three spaces.)  Do this loudly.  (Skip ten spaces.)  If you can get them to write their own names, skip ten spaces and win an extra turn.  If you miss your plane, call the media and yell into the phone at the airport until they find you another flight.  (Take an extra turn.)

Federal security personnel only have jobs because they failed reading, writing, and arithmetic in elementary school.  They’d probably be in jail if they weren’t paid by the police state  to fleece you.

The doctor and all health care providers with licensed signatures must file Medicare, Medicaid, and third-party payer claims; document everything done and not done; be there for everyone’s crises; listen to everyone’s complaints; manage their illnesses; and, when time allows, save their lives.

Doctors win by avoiding insurance hassles. “Oh, you’re having a heart attack?  Call Dr. Obama.  He’ll call me if your policy covers heart attacks. Oh, he doesn’t answer the phone at night?  You should have bought a better government.”  Then hang up and go back to sleep.

If you really have killed a patient, lose five turns and reapply for your license, if you decide it’s worth it.  If you decide to retire, get five extra turns.  If it’s a nuisance malpractice suit, go back five spaces.  You can go to jail instead of settling and skip ten spaces in THE POLICE STATE.

Teachers have to maintain control in the classroom without using discipline.  Even a yell is emotional abuse in THE POLICE STATE.

Teachers win by doing what they must.  Do not attract attention from THE POLICE STATE. Ignore it as much as possible, unless it is in your face making unreasonable demands, or if you’ve hit a child.  (Go back ten spaces.)  How hard? (If s/he is bruised, go back five more spaces.)  If there are major injuries, go back to the beginning and choose a different profession.

If you can teach the school board something about education, skip five spaces and get three extra turns. If kids enjoy school, the probability of your wanting to hit them, principals, school board members, parents, congressmen, or presidents plummets.

Developers, contractors, and builders must negotiate forests of permits, licenses, fees, city and county parents, planning boards, and the bureaucratic jungle before you can build.  Bribes and favors are the easiest way to do business in THE POLICE STATE.

Builders win by doing the job right.  (Lose five turns for each collapsed building.  If anyone was hurt or killed, start over and apply for a government job.)  Go back five spaces for every problem from shoddy construction.  Win by remembering pipes break on holidays.  You’ll sleep easier and won’t have to schmooze as many politicians in THE POLICE STATE.

Joe Blow, angry women, hot chicks, impotent men, red-necks, teenagers, bruthas—and everyone with with an attitude and a steering wheel—must negotiate traffic, congestion, stop lights, road safety hazards, other bad drivers, suicidal pedestrians, errant pets, parking problems, car trouble, passenger distractions, and other demands that have nothing to do with driving. Impatience attracts everything from fender-benders to fatal accidents, and of course, traffic tickets. Go back five spaces for slugging a policeman, even if he deserved it.

Tips for success: About that traffic violation:  Did anybody die?  Better show up in court. (Lose five turns.)  Anybody hurt?  Be there. (Go back ten spaces.) Anybody’s car damaged? Ditto. (Go back five spaces.) No damage to anyone or anything?  OK.  Just pay the fine, but you have a record now.  Watch your step, because every forward move counts against you in:

THE POLICE STATE

A Quark’s Life

Seven years ago this month, I wrote the following in my journal.  Journalling is my therapy, and I advise everyone to try it.  A blank page doesn’t argue, criticize, judge, talk back, interrupt, gossip, or try to control.  Also, it’s virtually free.  I prefer writing by hand, partly because I sometimes draw or scribble in the margins, but also because it frees me to pause and stare into space, without the constant whiny noise of studiously patient electronics.

My only rule is to be as honest as possible with myself.

Octtober 30, 2009–If even every quark* has consciousness and is immortal, as my disincarnate friend Seth (of the Jane Roberts’ “Seth Series” fame) says, each carries memories of having  been part of Queen Elizabeth I’s body, or of the beggar on the street or of  the tuna in the great blue sea.  These were re-incarnational lives, so to speak.  Each individual quark has joined others in multiple arrangements to form matter of different substances.  The quark is so versatile that it is welcome in any neighborhood, presumably, unlike something like the silver atom, which has fewer opportunities for exploration.  A quark can be part of a silver atom, but a silver atom cannot be part of a quark.

And so it goes.  A quark sees the silver atom from a higher perspective, in a way, because it also knows what it’s like to be part of a gold atom.  Carrying that memory into the silver atom also enhances that atom’s understanding of worlds outside itself.  Each of the silver atom’s quarks, while joining with its fellow quarks in the grand structure of the atom, joins the consciousness of the group to a higher purpose.  Individual quarks are free to come and go from the atom, because they are replaced effortlessly by other quarks looking for silver atom experience.

It may go to a quark bar and tell stories of its lives as part of larger gestalts.

“Did you like being part of a toad?”

“Not as much as being part of a neutron star.  Being part of a magnolia blossom was nice, too, if you like that sort of thing.

“Don’t go near human beings, though, if you can help it.  They are atomic bombs in the cosmic symphony.”

“So why are so many quarks making humans?”

“I figure it’s because there are so many quarks making television sets and computers.”

“I did that.  When I was part of a silver atom, I was part of a computer circuit.  It was hot.  I got out of there real quick-like.  Now I just want to float in space and be part of the great cosmic cell.

“Can’t blame you a bit, bud.  If you’re only a quark, you don’t have to work very hard, because you are so replaceable.”

 

*Quarks are sub-atomic particles.

Rosaliene? Cosmic Balm?

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Iguazu Falls, Argentina, kco0295

Rosaliene Bacchus (rosalienebacchus.wordpress.com) is one of my favorite Double X Avengers in the blog world.  The Double X Avengers are those gifted with the most chromosomes, the most genes, the most sense, cents, and thus the most likely to survive in the future “Survival of the Fittest” paradigm.

In 1995, long before I met Rosaliene in cyberspace, I traveled to Argentina and Chile and took this photo at Iguazu Falls, Argentina.  It does not show the violent food poisoning I got at the fancy dancy hotel, probably from unwashed lettuce.  Shame on me for eating uncooked food.  Should you desire to live among those with Survival Skills Technology, do not eat uncooked food at the Olympics.  Take your own food to Iguazu Falls.

Having said that, I offer another “Lesson in Living from the Double X Gene Pool.”

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My all-time favorite instrumental, “Moonlight and Magnolias,” reminds me of Savannah. It is cut #12 on this CD.

Here at home, music is cosmic balm for me.  I first heard “Moonlight and Magnolias” on a jazz radio station broadcasting from Charleston (that’s the one in South Carolina, for those who don’t know, where the War of Yankee Aggression began).

The 20th century radio station went off the air before I learned the artists’ or CD name.  I searched high and low, finally finding it two years later at the “listen-stations” Barnes and Noble used to have but can no longer afford.  I ordered the CD.  Kinky.  “Moonlight and Magnolias” is not typical, and it shows what the group can do.

As you may know, everything is free in the Cosmic Commune, and money doesn’t exist.  Therefore, we spend our free time having fun.  Having fun includes swimming at Iguazu Falls after we clean up the water, and dancing to good music.  These are the two best exercises known, except for the third one, and they are free, as well.

Having said that, I add that when you’re tired of swimming and dancing, you may want to sit down and knit some socks, for fun and profit.  The Cosmic Improv Group, deprived of their own  opposable thumbs, likes to give me advice on how to do a more efficient job.

Cosmic Improv Group, Chapter 4:  “The Knitting Dimension ensnares katharineotto.planetearth.ind in Earth Plane Reality”

By katharineotto.wordpress.com, an alter ego of katharineotto.planetearth.ind, representing unlicenced freedom to be who I am.  080116

 

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The first socks I ever knitted. kco0105

January, 2005

The Cosmic Improv Group helps me knit, in its way.  Its unique way, should I choose to see it their way.  I’m to “attitude-adjust” as necessary to get what I want.

I finished knitting my first pair of socks, but the CIG–that contingent of advisors who haunt my imagination and worst nightmares–made it as hard as possible.  I was counting stitches to decrease, to shape the second toe, trying to figure out what the directions were saying, and having trouble reading the small gray print on the back of the yarn label, when the phone rang, startling me and making me lose count, my place in the directions, and my composure.  The caller hung up in the middle of the answering machine message, or so I thought.  But the fax machine made noises as if to receive a fax, and then it quit.

I figured it was Capital One trying to fax the bill I never received and requested two days ago.  Capital One can’t just send a fax then and there.  No.  It has to be processed through another office in another city, so I was told the fax would come before 5 p.m. on the following day, which was yesterday.  So I was awaiting this fax, which did not come through.  My mind runs through a list of worst-case scenarios, primarily that the impatient fax sender lost her job and hung up before recognizing the phone could take faxes.  I would have to call again.  Maybe the fax was out of paper or malfunctioning.  This is the story of my life.

Meanwhile, I hear the Cosmic Improv Group gossiping about me.  Fukyoo leads the band.  “See how easy she is to provoke?” he quips.    “It’s only a fax.  Let’s see if we can make her make a mistake on her sock, so that it’s not just like the other one, and she will have to live with the imperfection forever.”

“Okay,” say the others.  “That sounds like fun.”

“Oh no you don’t,” I respond in my mind, not mad enough yet to say it out loud.  I go back to work.  The phone rings and hangs up again at the same place.  The fax starts and stops.  This happens a third time, and I pick up the phone but only hear fax tones.  I hang up.  I check the fax for paper, and it seems to be okay.  I rail against these angels, who, I decided, have caused my machine to malfunction.  I worry that the overworked, underpaid, stressed out sender at Capital One will give up and I’ll have to call again on Monday.  I change the fax machine to fax only mode so the answering machine will not pick up.

I hear Fukyoo and the others chittering in the background.  “Let’s make her lose her knitting needle.  That worked yesterday.”

Yes, it did.  I took my finished and unfinished socks to a meeting, but when I got home, my fifth double pointed needle was nowhere to be found.  Never mind that I was only using four needles.  I had bought five needles, and my sense of order dictated (yes—dictated) that I should be able to account for all five of them.  I searched high and low and finally decided it fell out of my bag at the meeting.

I had been losing and finding these needles since starting the socks.  Usually they fall in the crack between seat and arm in the recliner, but my cat was sleeping there and I didn’t want to disturb him.  I felt around the sides, to no avail.  When Bud finally moved, I found the needle in the crack behind him, but by then I had been fifth-needle-less for over two hours.  I had gone through a temper tantrum with a good yell or two at the sprites who plague me with their games.

So, I’m still concerned about the fax Friday morning, the toe of my sock is begging to be finished, my feet are cold, and I sit down to refocus on the project.

But I can’t find my fourth needle.  Yes, I know I have a fifth needle, but that’s not the point.  (Pun.  Ha, ha.  Get it?)

“Where should we hide her needle this time?” say the sprightly spirits.

“I know.  Let’s hide it in her hand.  She’s so upset now that she has forgotten how to count to four.”

Yes, the needle was in my hand, but then I couldn’t find the pattern, and when I found that, I was so insecure, that I plodded super attentively though the last few steps.  And a perfect sock I have.  And the fax finally came through.  Twice.

It probably helped that I’d let loose with a belly buster of a temper tantrum at the Fukyoo crowd, at the top of my lungs, somewhere in the middle of this emotional intensity.  “No, you can’t make it easy,” I screamed.  “You have to make it hard.  Why can’t you people get lives of your own so you won’t have to mess with mine?  Don’t you have anything better to do?”

“But you’re so much fun,” they say.  “We enjoy playing with you.”

“Mere flattery,” I say.  “If you think my ego needs sycophants like you, you are wrong-O.  If you really want to have a good time, you’ll do things to inspire rather than infuriate me.”

“She’s hearing voices again,” they tell each other.  “Voices inside her head.”

“Yes, and she’s talking back to them.”

“You know what that means.”  They all look at each other with great concern.

“Maybe we should back off.  She might really crack under the pressure.”

“She cracked a long time ago, if you ask me.”

“Don’t tell her that.  It will only upset her.”

“Good thing she has no neighbors.  If anyone heard her scream the way she does, they would surely have her committed.”

“At least she doesn’t scream or talk to those voices in public.”

“Not yet, but we’re working on it.”

monkeybali0696

How America looks from Bali, 1996

 

 

Dr. Kathorkian Spotlights JP Morgan

Satire/Humor

by Dr. Kathorkian,

an alter ego of katharineotto.wordpress.com

bkschermorgan1990The Cosmic Improv Group

brings JP Morgan to

Dr. Kathorkian’s Spotlight Therapy*

Chapter Three:  Cosmic Improv Group Series

 

Friday, January 18, 2008 – I assumed a mountain of debt going to medical school and into private practice, then the bottom drops out of my stock equity, and I’m stuck with the debt.  That’s how they do it.  It was a direct economic hit on my financial freedom, engineered by a stockbroker and banker I thought worked for me.  My wrath over the betrayal was like a nuclear reactor in meltdown mode, so the Cosmic Improv Group, that gaggle of personalities inside my imagination and unheard by others, decides to hose me down before I get too hot.

Always eager for good entertainment, the CIG invites JP Morgan to a Spotlight Therapy session, so I can tell him off.   I’ve done my homework.  I’ve read The Creature from Jekyll Island, The Robber Barons, None Dare Call it Conspiracy, Democracy in America, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, the US Constitution, and other tomes of epic wisdom.  I am armed.

My inter-dimensional travels through print media have revealed how JP Morgan and his international banker friends, like Paul Warbucks . . . er . . . Paul Warburg, engineered the federal income tax and the Federal Reserve Act in 1913 to enslave American taxpayers in unrepayable debt.  Congress gave itself the power to obligate present and future taxpayers to the Federal Reserve System for perpetual interest payments, on debt assumed by Congress. Not only are taxpayers expected to pay interest until the sun burns out on money that’s worth nothing, but Congress uses the fake money to lay waste to the nation’s natural resources and neighborhoods, and to create conflict around the world.  It funds its enormous bureaucracy and the pension and benefits plans for all those government employees.  It funds Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security with money stolen in payroll taxes.  These electronic dollars are invested on Wall Street.  Congress also pays the Department of Offense to make life miserable at home and abroad.  Congress further believes it has the right to obligate taxpayers to pay an army of no-bid federal government contractors. Congress sets its own salary, pensions, benefits and other assorted goodies, by obligating unborn taxpayers until the time the country officially declares bankruptcy.

As all this fiat money floods the financial system, the increased money supply causes inflation and higher prices on goods and services, especially indispensable commodities like food and energy.  Those who can least afford it are hardest hit.

So back in 1913, the conspirators used freshman United States President Woodrow Wilson, whom they’d been grooming for years, to do their dirty work.  Ole Woody thought he was the second coming of Christ, so the bankers and other manipulators, like Winston Churchill, played to his ego and got him to go against every campaign promise he made.

This eventually led America into World War I, which was the long-term goal of the bankers.  The Brits owed the bankers a lot of money, and the bankers needed that money to lend to Germany.  So they figured to bleed America, too, to increase profits.  Thus did they conjure up the aforementioned double whammy on American taxpayers, to cover their foreign ass-ets.

Now in the CIG, when JP Morgan starts bragging about how they pulled this off,  I light into him.

“You asshole,” I fume.  “You deserve to have your gold chains tight around your neck.  No wonder you were such a lonely, bitter man, whom everyone was glad to see dead.  You left a legacy alright, dying the year you achieved the income tax and the Federal Reserve Act.  Didn’t even have the balls to go to the 1910 secret planning meeting at Jekyll Island yourself.  That’s how sleazy you were.

“I wouldn’t trade a good knitting needle for the likes of you and all your fawning pawns.  In fact, I would use a knitting needle on you real quick like, and not to make a sweater.  I would go for the balls, just to see if you have any.”

JP sits there grinning, as though he appreciates my standing up to him.  He thinks I’m cute.

He says if I had been at the Jekyll Island meeting, he would have gone.

He achieved his dream, and then he died.  His dream didn’t make him happy.  This is the lesson de Tocqueville anticipated.

If I had been at that meeting, we would have had a different history, I’m sure, because those boys needed to know who really runs things in this country, and it ain’t them.

JP is impressed that I cashed in my IRA.  I’m sending shock waves through the system, with my political statement.  No wonder the Wachovia’s investment advisor was so anxious to get rid of me.

Yeah, right, JP.  Can you do anything useful?  You’re not making much progress on that knitting.

He grins and tries to cast on a stitch, but doesn’t know how.  His hands are clumsy.  I show him how to cast on, but it takes several minutes, because he is not gifted in New Age String Theory and knitting dynamics.

In knitting, every stitch is dependent on every other stitch.  When you make everything and everyone dependent on you, you are the most hog tied of all.

“No preacher told me I would have to knit in hell,” says JP Morgan.  “If they had, I would have owned knitting, because this is a fast growing market with a captive population.”

“For some people, knitting represents a form of heaven, and no one can own that,” I say.  “All it takes is the right attitude and tools.”

 

*Inspired by The Robber Barons, Matthew Josephson, 1934, 1962

The Cosmic Improv Group initiates Dr. Kathorkian’s Robber Baron Knitting School*

Humor/satire:  Cosmic Improv Group Series

knitspread0116

by Dr. Kathorkian
an alter ego of katharineotto.planetearth.ind
and katharineotto.wordpress.com

Wednesday, December 26, 2007 – In the Cosmic Commune everyone is just plain folks, so it isn’t unusual for John D. Rockefeller or JP Morgan, Sr. to visit, even though they remain uncomfortable in a place where everyone ignores their pretensions.  People laugh at JP’s temper tantrums, and servants poof out of his employ when he throws food at them.

JP Morgan appreciates my willingness to be seen in public with him, because I am so civilized.  He wants to learn how to knit.

Really?  Go buy your own knitting needles, yarn, book, and other paraphernalia, and I’ll begin to believe you’re serious.

He says he’ll do better than that.  He’ll find a group of investors to buy a knitting needle manufacturer, a couple of sheep farms, and a publishing house.  He’ll get them to buy up all the cotton farms, too, so we can make more cotton yarn.

I say thanks, anyway.  Just learn how to knit, first, and maybe you’ll know something about the businesses you’re investing other people’s money in.

I can hear JD Rockefeller chuckling on the other side of the honeysuckle hedge.  I even get a partial smile from JP, and the hint of a twinkle in his eye.  Andy Carnegie says nothing, but I can feel his intense energy and interest.  He’s seeing a market for steel knitting needles.  JD, of course, sees a future in plastic knitting needles and acrylic, but I tell him up front that plastic and acrylic are low-yield investments for knitters.  I know he wants to sell cheap petroleum products, because no one can afford to drive, but give this knitter natural fibers and metal needles, and you can sell your transparent petroleum scam elsewhere.  Individuals need gas for power tools and other tools of survival, tools they can afford without going into debt.

JP becomes upset when I say this, but I tell him to stuff it.  Debt is what got us into this mess, and it’s your fault.  People can’t be free if they are in debt.  If you’re not free, you can’t have a democracy.

He threatens to leave.  I tell him that’s fine, but I’m not invalidating his job or career.  Banks still have a role to play in the Cosmic Commune, but banks need to reestablish their own credit and credibility.  By helping people learn how to manage money and get out of debt, both banks and taxpayers prosper.  You don’t get value for money with promises, whether from bank notes, insurance, or government, so don’t take it personally.  I’m a “pay as I go” kind of person, as I am immortal and a very lazy, selfish soul who enjoys freedom.

A financial debt is a karmic debt that must be paid sooner or later.  If I pay up front, I keep the books balanced at all times, unless I am tricked or otherwise maneuvered into untenable positions.

Cut losses, say I.  Whoever obtains money from me under false pretenses has his own karmic debt to pay.  Cutting losses buys my freedom from dishonesty.

So, I tell JP he looks good if he comes clean, to a certain extent, and recognizes that a debt-backed currency steals from the present to invest in an unpredictable future.  JP appears to take this in.  He doesn’t respond.  I go back to work.

After awhile, he looks up and asks me to show him how to knit.  I demonstrate the moss stitch, saying the knit and purl stitches are the foundation for all knitting patterns.  The technique is easy, but the strings of possibilities extend in all directions.

He asks if he can try, and I hand him my work. He makes clumsy efforts, drops a needle, then begins to get upset because stitches fall off, and yarn is getting tangled around his feet.

I tell him to sit still.  “Do not move,” I say.  “I’ll rescue my knitting and you in the process.”

So I grab the work before he loses too many stitches, untangle the yarn, and stow it all away for repair later.

I hear Andy chuckling, and even JD has risen and come around the honeysuckle hedge, grinning, to watch JP knit.  JP looks sheepish, but he is also puffing up his chest, as if he has accomplished something significant.

“It takes as much skill to be a good knitter as banker,” I tell him.  “A good banker can’t afford to lose credibility with his customers, because credit is his product line, just as knitters make socks.”

JP lights a cigar, and I poof up some wind to blow smoke away from the table and us.  I make it a light breeze, just enough to rustle leaves on the plants a little, to help them sing.

All three Robber Barons look astounded.  I don’t make a big deal out of asking the wind for help, but they glance at each other and me and begin to wonder what besides knitting I can teach them.

They also begin plotting how they can control the wind for profit.  I see them operating in boardrooms and Congress to build huge wind turbines, manipulating public resources with their misguided motives.

“You don’t control the wind,” I tell them.  “The wind is free.”  I say it will go where it will.  It only does your bidding if you approach it respectfully and in a cooperative spirit.  Ask the leaves on the trees to intercede, better to energize them into a flutter and explore their greater environments.

JP’s eyes begin to glaze over, and I realize I’ve said enough.

Fast forward to next day, and all three Robber Barons have bought expensive knitting needles, yarn – gold yarn by JP – and pattern books galore.  Andy wants to knit an Irish sweater, with complicated cables, and Scottish wool.  JP wants to make a vest out of gold thread.  JD wants a bright red crew neck sweater, simple but big, but he’s having trouble deciding between that and a pair of argyle socks.

While out shopping, they also bought a few knitting stores, textile manufacturers, farms, and other knitting tools.  Andy bought another shipping line.

The knitters are hot to trot, vying with each other to dominate knitting.  I try not to show my amusement, because so far, not one of them knows how to cast on the first stitch.

Meanwhile, they have brought so much stuff to the table that there’s no room to spread out, so I poof us a larger table and conjure up a coffee stand for me, to avoid spilling my coffee and damaging their stuff.

I suggest they start by knitting a swatch, and I try to show them how to cast on.  Andy catches on quicker than the others, because he grew up working with his hands and has more manual dexterity.

JD, who has now joined the table, sits next to JP.  Both have large hands and are clumsy, but JD manages to cast on 20 stitches first, then starts jostling JP’s elbow. This makes JP drop a needle and lose more stitches.  He explodes in rage and tosses everything on the ground.

By now we’ve drawn a crowd, and everyone starts to twitter and point fingers.  JP blushes and poofs himself away, leaving his assets behind.

*Inspired by The Robber Barons, Matthew Josephson, 1934, 1962

 

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Dr. Jekyll visits Bethesda

The Cosmic Improv Group Puts the Robber Barons in Stitches*

knitsocks2010

HUMOR/SATIRE

by Dr. Kathorkian, an alter-ego of katharineotto.wordpress.com
Inspired by The Robber Barons, by Matthew Josephson, 1934, 1962

Monday, December 24, 2007 – I speak to others’ souls.  This is why I can nab JP Morgan in the Cosmic Commune and discuss his debt to society.

“Are you satisfied,” I ask, looking up from my knitting, but only briefly, so as not to lose any stitches.

 

“No,” says he.  “I’m miserable.”

“Good,” I say.  “You’re finally getting honest.”

“I always was honest,” he says.  “I named my three yachts Corsair I, II, and III, after all.  ‘Corsair’ means ‘pirate.’  Everyone knew what I was doing.”

“And no one stopped you.”

“No one even tried.”

“You made their chicanery look innocuous.  You were used by the thieves to cover for their less evident dishonesty.”

“I showed how easy it is to corrupt everyone.  They can all be bought.”

pennies20dollars0707

Twenty dollars in pennies.  A penny buys a penny’s worth every time it changes hands.  If it changes hands 100 times in a day, it stimulates the economy more than a dollar kept in a wallet.  Adam Smith, author of Wealth of Nations, recognized the value of a penny.

“You haven’t named a price that can buy this free market capitalist,” I say.  “What’s it worth to you, to help fix this mess?”

“Everything I have,” says he.

“Well, you are morally bankrupt, and in so much debt it will take several lifetimes to work it off, so it’s up to you whether you want to be a New York City bag lady next time around.”

I go back to knitting.

JP Morgan sits, sweating bullets, but too embarrassed to remove his jacket, because he has severe BO.

Meanwhile, Andrew Carnegie is hanging around, hopping from foot to foot, waiting to be noticed and invited to participate.  I see his ankle is in a golden shackle, attached by a golden chain to a bejeweled shackle around JP Morgan’s ankle.

 

I invite Andy to join us, but make it quick, because I need to leave soon, to pluck the fruits of my cosmic garden, tax-free products that have grown without government help and in spite of favoritism to people like them.

pecanmoss

Pecan tree and Spanish moss

I know John D. Rockefeller is listening from a table on the other side of the honeysuckle hedge.  He is sneaky, doesn’t want to admit he’s interested.  He is slowly getting drunk and justifying his actions to himself.  Besides, he hates JP Morgan and doesn’t like to deal with him at all, if possible.  He merely wants to sabotage him.

So I count rows and stitches while JP and Andy unburden their weary souls. Rockefeller’s presence is known–he is bound to the others by his own shackle and chain–but he is not acknowledged.

Other Cosmic Communists are coming and going, but the three souls within range don’t see or hear them.  They feel alone and abandoned but for each other and me.  This makes our discussion semi-private, for their purposes, which is fine with me, because it eliminates distractions.

Andy is the most heterosexual of the bunch.    JP and JD prefer to sublimate sexuality to imperialism, so lust after domination for its own sake.  Because they are cowards, they make a show of being otherwise, in true reaction formation style.

“You become what you hate,” Buddhism states.

“Or what you love,” I add.

Suddenly JP and JD realize they spent their lives symbolically sodomizing each other and everyone else who crossed their paths.  Now they wonder why no one in the Cosmic Commune invites them to parties.

“You’re boring, that’s why,” I tell them.  “What can you do that’s useful?”

I hear JD comment on Rockefeller Plaza. I remind him he didn’t build it, it’s an insult to the people who paid for it, and it’s ostentatious.  Ditto for donations to the Met, Carnegie Hall, and Carnegie Mellon.  “You people wanted to buy love and respect with other people’s money,” I say.

So now we know Rockefeller is participating, too, even though he remains at his table.

“What about abolishing income and payroll taxes and the Federal Reserve System,” I ask JP Morgan.  “Even though you have no credit with me, if you help undo that tangle in this time knot, it might improve your seedy image and win you a friend or two.”

bksdavisirs1997

bkspaulfed2009

JP gets restless and starts looking at his watch.  He hems and haws.  Andy looks on.  He has suddenly become very quiet.  Rockefeller pours himself another drink, and I hear the tinkle of ice against glass as his hands shake.

“Well, you boys think about it. These are my terms, for the moment, but no promises.  Things are likely to change any time.”

I poof out of their milieu and return to my cosmic home, where everything is free, and money doesn’t exist.

 

knoxtva0206

Knoxville, Tennessee City Market, with Tennessee Valley Authority twin towers at far end. Kco0206

Tuesday, December 25, 2007 – Later, I revisit the area in the Cosmic Commune where JP Morgan, Andrew Carnegie, and John D. Rockefeller are chained together by golden chains.  This place reminds me of the “revitalized” Knoxville, TN City Market.  It is a wide, concrete wasteland with no human beings in sight.  The twin towers of the Tennessee Valley Authority loom over one end.

I have poofed myself a garden in this heat sink.  The garden has grown since my last visit.  Now, there are trellises and vines of roses without thorns.  Confederate jasmine, wisteria, and the like.  There is a water fountain, where birds drink and splash around.  The mass of vegetation creates the effect of a giant atrium, open to the breeze but protected from the sun.

 

I see Clarence Thomas’ higher self happening by, so I invite him to join us.  The older boys are impressed and a little afraid of ole Clar, because he is a Real Man, a black male, Supreme Court Justice, and Southern gentleman, despite what Anita Hill claims.  They want to impress him.  I show the chain gang I mean business.  CT is on my side, whether he knows it or not.

JP starts kissing up to Justice Thomas, explaining how taxpayers weren’t ready to manage their own money back in 1913, but he thinks they may have matured enough by now.  Ole Clar says don’t talk to me.  Talk to your boys on Wall Street, like Rupert Murdoch.  If you people can shape up real quick-like, we won’t have to embarrass you in front of your international friends.

So all these men start telling me how to pull this off.  They tell me to mail some of my improved-upon news clippings to Paul Gigot, editorial page editor of the Wall Street Journal, specifically my GE cartoon of CEO Jeffrey Immelt.  I should include a copy of my letter and GE’s 43-cent check SunTrust bank wouldn’t take.

So I say okay.  I’ll do it when the spirit moves me.  I’ve already started making copies.

Meanwhile, women are beginning to show up, because they like rich, influential men.  I’m fine with this, because I’ve solved enough of their problems for one day, and I have homework to do.  I poof myself back home, while they hang out and chitchat.

deer0116

Here’s How 061916: Government Creep by Eminent Domain

Five days ago, I posted a blog that referenced the Supreme Court’s 2005 “Kelo” decision about eminent domain.

Four days ago, I read in the Savannah Morning News about the latest example of government creep by eminent domain.  At issue is the request by oil-and-gas pipeline corporation Kinder Morgan for eminent domain privileges through 210 miles of coastal Georgia.  The so-called “Palmetto Pipeline” is intended to transport oil, gas, possibly natural gas and ethanol (although this is not clear) to ports at Savannah, Brunswick, and Jacksonville for export.

Now Richard Kinder, head of Kinder Morgan, was one of the principals at Enron, when it collapsed in bankruptcy, following an internal scandal revealed in October, 2001.  Enron’s was the largest corporate bankruptcy in US history, at $63.4 billion in assets, until WorldCom surpassed it a year later.  (Wikipedia, 100415)

More recently, in 2014, one of Kinder Morgan’s existing pipelines spilled 370,000 gallons of gasoline in Belton, SC.

In 2015, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal did something right, for a change, and denied Kinder Morgan’s bid for eminent domain.  Kinder Morgan appealed the decision, but a Fulton County judge (Atlanta) upheld it, and Kinder Morgan officially withdrew its application.

Now comes the Georgia Legislature to help Kinder Morgan out.  The SMN’s article “Pipeline study group forming,” by Mary Landers, says House Bill 1036, signed into law May 3, 2016, has created a “study commission” tasked with recommending changes to the way Georgia evaluates gasoline and diesel pipelines.  This “State Commission on Petroleum Pipelines” has until December 31 to “conduct a detailed study to ensure the exercise of eminent domain powers by petroleum pipelines is carried out in a prudent and responsible manner consistent with the estate’s essential public interests.” (Quoted from the Savannah Morning News’ quote of the press release).  (KO Translation:  “We are trying to find a way to grant eminent domain privileges to Kinder Morgan.”)

Yours truly, here, has been keeping her finger on the pulse of the planet for forty years, and she has been right too often to doubt her assessment now.  This is how government works to benefit asset plunderers and money churners, at the expense of the taxpayers who pay the costs of the industry as well as the environmental costs on land they thought they owned.

Before Governor Deal denied the original application, I wrote letters to him and to Richard Kinder, threatening to look into stock investments of everyone involved in the decision, including judges.  I sent copies to everyone I could think of, because this is cheaper than filing lawsuits and dealing with the perpetrators in their own lair and on their terms.

As a tactical move, it also shows how legislators and bureaucrats at every level of government have an inherent conflict of interest as long as they have or control pension plans invested on Wall Street.  As long as they are making decisions that affect us all, we have a right to know where their taxpayer-funded investments are going.  After all, the biggest eco-rapists, like the energy companies, pay the highest dividends, and corporate and pension fund managers want to show high rates of return.

I posted the following satirical article about the Kelo decision on my now-defunct website in October, 2007.  It would be funny if it weren’t so sad.

–news from the event horizon–

A RETROSPECTIVE: October 28, 2007

by Katharine C. Otto

VIAGRA BLINDS US SUPREME COURT
United States Government Implodes Following Eminent Domain Decision

Homeowners quit buying homes and paying property taxes after the United States Supreme Court sold them out to a higher bidder. On June 23, 2005, the High Court sided 5-4 with the New London, Connecticut City Council, allowing the city to take Susette Kelo’s and her neighbors’ homes by eminent domain.  When Kelo, et al. lost their property rights, homeowners everywhere realized US law no longer guarantees ownership, so property taxes are invalid.

Multibillion-dollar international drug manufacturer, distributor, university and medical education grantor, researcher, lobbyist, political donor, NYSE high roller, and advertizing giant Pfizer, Inc. denied a role in the Supreme Court decision. A spokesman for Pfizer, who refused to be identified, claimed the mega-corporation has not leased or purchased any part of the conference and convention center planned atop Kelo’s neighborhood and next door to Pfizer’s new, $270 million, global research facility.

Pfizer also says its popular erectile dysfunction drug Viagra does not cause blindness–despite litigation to the contrary–but a source close to the labs hints this is how Viagra works. (“FDA Was Told of Viagra-Blindness Link Months Ago:  Senator Criticizes Delay in Alerting Consumers After Safety Officer Warned Agency About Drug,” washingtonpost.com, by Marc Kaufman, Washington Post Staff Writer, Friday, July 1, 2005.)

Viagra blinded local governments, though. Running with the Supreme Court’s balls, city and county governments drove thousands of people from their homes, offering zoning changes and tax incentives to commercial developers.  Sadly, no one could pay the price.

This caused a general collapse of US currency. “The dollar no longer makes sense,” said a famous economist who asked for anonymity.  “This means there’s no difference between rich and poor.  And, since we have no property rights, tu casa es mi casa, as any illegal alien can tell you.”

Hoards of homeless men, women, and children hailed the news. They swarmed the White House, governors’ mansions, and other public housing, where they spread blankets and took up residence.

Government officials and bureaucrats, fearing angry mobs, barricaded themselves in government buildings, but no one tried to get in. When they attempted to leave with their hands up, they found doors locked from outside.

Ex-taxpayers gathered outside and questioned whether public servants serve the public. One woman insisted they could be taught.  She recommended re-writing their job descriptions, but others doubted they could learn anything new.  A janitor claimed it’s theoretically possible to rehabilitate federal employees with short job titles, but it would be taxing.  They could start by cleaning out their own offices.

A former property owner, who still lives at home, said quarantining public servants taxes no one but the government. It protects neighborhoods and keeps cities safe from democracy.

“We discovered the blockhead period of architecture—so popular with the feds since the 1950s—is perfectly suited for housing our surplus supervisors until we figure out what to do with them.” When asked how they would feed the thousands of incarcerated deciders, she replied, “Let them eat paper, since that’s all they produce.”

Junk food corporations broadcast outrage at this cold-hearted attitude. They have responded by donating millions in food and drink for the trapped victims.  Now, inside sources say the prisoners are far from starving, and many can finally stay on their diets.

But angry environmentalists are threatening to torch the burgers with the packaging, if McDonald’s and others don’t pack out their own trash. In a furious back-lash, the fast food and packaging industries are lobbying Congress to require more trash cans outside government buildings.

But Congress has more urgent problems. Legislators are locked in the Capitol and strapped for bathrooms and toilet paper. They are working on bi-partisan emergency legislation for men’s room rationing and other limitations on dumping. Already, government waste has backed up the sewage system and flooded the nation’s capitol, creating the most blighted neighborhood the world has ever smelled.  The President has declared a national emergency and is pumping trillions of electronic dollars into the sewer system.

Sadly, nationwide polls show little sympathy for Washington’s plight. “Let ‘em eat shit,” said a Kansas farmer who was paid not to farm.  “Nobody owns this land now.  Money has no value, but my family still has to eat.  People around town are helping out.”

He laughed when offered federal assistance. “Pay them to stay away,” he said. “I’ll distill corn ethanol, stay home, and party. Can we tighten that Beltway some more?”

He suggested selling or leasing government employees to third world countries. When reminded money was worthless, he suggested giving the public servants away, but admitted this may not be feasible, either.

An Alaskan book dealer said the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge seems safe, for now. People who worked only for the money have quit their jobs and no longer drive so much.

A Montana rancher didn’t know the government had collapsed, because he had no TV. He asked if that explained why road projects through nearby National Forest lands were abandoned.

A Georgia shrimper wondered about the sudden disappearance of the DNR, EPA, DEA, FBI, CIA, Department of Immigration and Naturalization Services, Department of Homeland Security, Army Corps of Engineers, US Coast Guard, city and county police, and military aircraft from the coastline.

Large retailers, who expected mass looting when the dollar collapsed, discovered nobody wanted anything they had. The stores have been abandoned.  When asked why she no longer visits Wal-Mart, one former shopper said she just enjoyed spending money.  Now, she uses what she has.

The packaging industry is in crisis, because like the government, fast food, and Wal-Mart, it provides nothing of lasting value. Similarly, bankers, accountants, and lawyers have found their skills obsolete in a cashless, lawless society.

The rest of the world has questioned why the US stopped bombing Iraq.

“Economics,” everyone says. “When no one gets paid, the relative value of life goes up.”

The collapse of the US economy has surprised no one except the economists, who claim the dollar really does have value, despite appearances.

Overall, the implosion of the United States government has not been the disaster everyone feared. Of course, creditors with liens against the country want to collect what they can, but they are finding little worth taking.  Some have even resorted to accepting government employees.  It is hoped that outsourcing the largest worker force in the nation will spread democracy around the globe and provide the balance of trade so crucial to world peace.