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The Barbarian’s Soft Scramble: Snow, Snow Jobs and, Well, Who Knows?

Snowbound accurately sums up our predicament today. Snow is falling steadily, accumulating steadily,  it’s about 10 degrees Fahrenheit and I don’t even want to think about the wind chill. Local authorities say drive only if you have to do so; we don’t today, so we won’t.  A taste of Chicago, and maybe southern Minnesota, has come to northeast Ohio. Even Cuyahoga County closed its offices one day a couple of weeks ago; if they follow the same standards, they’ll close for at least one day next week as well. Too cold for man or beast or even bureaucrats.

Today the Cleveland Indians are holding their annual Tribefest at Jacobs Field(I refuse to use the corporate name.) Last year, according to local TV news, some 20,000 people showed up to meet the players for free. Of course, it was in the sixties then; good luck with that today.

On a more personal note, after my old Saturn finally and literally fell apart, we’ve been a one car family with DiE’s 2004 Pontiac. Then she hit a huge pothole that was completely disguised by rainwater a few months ago and the tire rods started giving way. We finally came up with the money to get that fixed, but discovered that there were a lot of serious things wrong with the frame. Thanks to DiE’s generous rocket scientist uncle, we got the money for that, but there was a delay on parts. We needed a car, so, we rented one for a week.

I decided to see if it was possible for me to somehow, some way, finance a used car with my low FICO score and no money down. I took my 18 year old stepson along so he could experience the joys of dealing with used car dealers, and he got one hell of an experience.

We thought we’d found a deal we could swing. Pay off the down payment in only slightly unaffordable installments for a couple of months, and then pay $185 a month for three years, which the car would probably survive. Then came the ceremonial signing and initialing of the inevitable monstrous pile of paperwork. One item caught my attention halfway through: I had to agree I had not been misled into signing the sales contract.

Why, I wondered, did they stick that little jewel in there? On the very last page, I found out why. The deal wasn’t for $185 a month, as had been said at least once and repeatedly implied, it was for $185 per biweekly pay period. Well, now, that’s different! My stepson learned the fine art of walking away from a very bad deal, not to mention deceptive trade practices and the old bait and switch snow job.

The rental car company had its own snowjob–tacking on full insurance coverage, and it more than doubled the cost of the rental. $20 a day my ass. Enough said on that financial disaster. Anyway, it’s done and over with and the Pontiac sits snow-covered in the driveway, and I’m buying a bus pass for the duration.

Then there’s Obama’s snow job on National Security Agency spying “reform.” Never mind that his own federal oversight board voted 3 to 2 that the spying was unconstitutional,   we all know damned well that that Fascist bastard isn’t going to really do anything about it, because he likes it just fine the way it is. Were it not for the courageous act of one federal contractor, Edward Snowden, he wouldn’t have to deal with it at all because We The People wouldn’t even know about it.

The Affordable Care Act continues to reveal its true colors as the Unaffordable Mandatory Insurance Act more and more each passing day. Today, for example, an “expert” on local TV news said that many people would just have to get used to having health insurance be their second biggest cost after rent or mortgage, or maybe even their biggest cost. Affordable care my ass.

In Ukraine, servants of the Russian oligarchy attempt to suppress the servants, perhaps unwitting ones, of the Western European oligarchy. At least the latter were innovative enough to build catapults and trebuchets. I can’t help but offer  a tip of my barbaric hat to their creativity. I’ll have to remember that one. There is a plentiful supply of rocks and timber around here…

Finally, the Super Bowl cometh. It might even be a Snow Bowl. That would be interesting. Still, even if you hate the Denver Broncos, their general manager John Elway, or Peyton Manning(though why anyone would hate Manning I don’t know, he seems personable enough, not to mention a great quarterback), I advise you not to bet against them. Their defense has played better in the playoffs than it did during the entire regular season, they have an insanely good kickoff returner, they have Peyton Freakin’ Manning, and they seem to be on a mission to Win It All this year, more so than the Seahawks, in my view. Don’t be surprised if it isn’t that close.

So. Whazzup in your neck of the woods or what thoughts are percolating in your minds? This is an open forum. And have a nice day.

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Ohio Barbarian

Ohio Barbarian