Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Economic Erosion

Just returned from nearly four hours over with (landlords) Charlene and Henry, chatting about a whole range of topics. First, we talked of wine tasting. Then, how did I get into wine?

"I was in a 'cult'. Maybe you heard of it…"

Charlene was surprised. She had performed at the "Fellowship of Friends" mountain enclave known at the time as "Renaissance". She was there with Beverly Coyne, a coloratura soprano, probably performing works from “The Magic Flute”. She can’t remember the year. But I was no doubt there at her performance. Charlene plays the flute.

We moved on to discuss the teachings of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, feng shui, Native Americans, homes as "sanctuaries", musicians at "Renaissance". She recalls vividly, our "Teacher", who always sat in the front row at such performances. "He was 'on or off' (referring to his attention), connected or not. Musicians are very sensitive to this." We talked about "mind control" and "conscious schools". Then they asked "what's next" (for me)? Ah, that is the question. I shared the idea of trying to protect and preserve lands from exploitation and development.

***

This morning the phone rang! This is strange in that, even though I had plugged the phone into the wall jack, I have no phone service. Reluctant to resume monthly corporate donations, I simply have not subscribed to any. Last night, I had played around with it, figuring there must be some secret access code a technician could punch in to by-pass the "this phone is not in service..." message. I sometimes enjoy having a little fun with Big Brother. I did confirm dialing "911" works. (Which is no doubt why the line is not totally dead.) I dialed, hung up, then was immediately rung back. Caught!

Parked at “A’roma’s” from 10:30 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. In the blog, I’m now caught up as far as Las Vegas!

Hispanics rallied throughout the country, protesting anti-(illegal)-immigration legislation in Congress. Santa Rosa’s march was huge, the procession passing by my window at “A’Roma’s” for an hour or so! Very impressive.

Via e-mail, shared my opinion regarding "illegal immigration" with my representatives. I argue raising the minimum wage is one answer to the illegal immigration problem. Right now, that economy which they are so much a part of is "under the radar". No gringos want to perform this hard labor at such low wages. At a higher wage, there would be greater competition for these jobs. Legals would fight for the jobs, and (hopefully) win. And, of course, American would be paying a fairer price for goods and services.

Drove out to Kenwood Post Office. No distribution check. “Damn!” I was forced to take a cash advance with my credit card to pay the pro-rated rent to May 31st. Of course, I’ll be paying transaction and finance charges on this. I’m starting to get nickel-and-dimed.

The “cash advance fee” alone is $15.00! They’re killing me. Since being back, more money spent for nothing (bank fees, parking ticket, finance charges)! For the wealthy, even if they are levied, such charges get buried in the “noise”. For someone on the edge, it can make all the difference, and begin a snowballing decline. As my mother once exclaimed “those ‘m____ fuckers!’”

[For more information about The Fellowship of Friends and its leader, see "Robert Earl Burton: An Unauthorized Blogography".]

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