February 10, 2009

Mad Rant About A Mad World

My conservative Christian brother-in-law sent me an email this morning with the subject line "No Stimulus Petition." I didn't open it. I've decided to support this stimulus package, even though the Bushies squandered billions with the last one. The truth is, this stimulus contains a lot of spending that should have been done over many previous years--infrastructure projects, renewable energy, increases for food stamps and other assistance, and so on. Greedy, irresponsible, war mongering politicians spent our fortunes elsewhere. Now it's time to pay the piper.

After lunch, I headed for the dreaded local clinic. For over a month, I've had a strange popping in my right chest when I breathe out. No other symptoms--just that odd thing. In the last few years, I've known two women about my age--nonsmokers--who had almost no symptoms but suddenly discovered they had stage 4 lung cancer. After the cancer was discovered, they lived only a few months longer. So, I figured I should get it checked out.

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph: it was a bad idea. The woman doctor was very nice but couldn't hear anything in my lungs. Good. That's what I hoped for. But docs are freaked out these days about the harmful effects of overuse of radiation, so she didn't want to order a chest x-ray. Instead, she said we need to aggressively treat my very mild asthma and do an x-ray if the asthma is not all cleared up in a few days. Ok, I said (sigh). I went to pick up the drugs. Holy Crap: $100 for antibiotics, steroids, and an inhaler--and that's with insurance. I don't have enough money to pay my bills this month, let alone give a $100 subsidy to the out-of-control drug industry. Why should I put all that crap in my body anyway when I have no fever, no productive cough, my lungs sound clear, and the asthma goes away if I stop eating diary products. Is there something wrong with this picture?

I left the clinic and got in the car, feeling a little stunned, turned on the radio to hear about some crazed rich dude leading police on a high-speed chase in his Bentley because his business failed. He killed himself in his car during the resulting stand off with a SWAT team on an LA street. That car could easily have been worth over $200,000. Why didn't he just sell the damn Bentley? What's up with filthy rich people killing themselves because they aren't quite as filthy rich as they used to be? Have they never had to deal with the real world before?????

Then, when I got home, I discovered I'd lost a button from my favorite sweater, a covered button that I can't buy at the fabric store. Well, if I have to, I'll replace every damn button on that sweater. Yes, I can fix something in this mad world.

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