Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Am I Still an American?

Am I an American?

Sometimes I wonder where I belong.  I grew up never especting to own a home and to be honest, this never bothered me.  I knew I had too small an income to support a house.  Because it was Extremely important to Ann, after I lost my mobile home in the ice storm of Jan. 2007 I bought a small home in May 2008.  When a very unusual string of tornadoes came through in Jan. of 2008, rocking our home on its foundation, Cracking the foundation, I lost that home.  It wasn't a subprime mortgage, my credit rating was very good and all payments were being made on time.  But the home had only been insured since the previous May and the "triple A" rated insurance money wouldn't put the thousands of dollars into it which were needed to repair the damage.  We fought the insurance company, involving the state's insurance commission for about six months then gave up.

The two factors making us give up were: 1.  The mold coming in from the floods of March that year was making us ill and so was the bleach the insurance agent told us to use to clean it up.  And 2.  Sometimes if you want peace in your life you just have to cut your losses and decide that sanity and calm are more important to you than winning.  This was our decision.

We moved and I declared bankruptcy as there was no way to make both a mortgage payment and a rental payment in the place we moved to.  Both of us were Quite aware that you can't buy back your health.  By the time we moved we were both sick from the house I bought.

Honestly, I was glad to return to renting, with all its inconveniences.

I also don't watch TV.  I use the VCR/DVD combo to watch movies and get my news from NPR and the BBC.  Also, just to get a differing perspective I occasionally listen to Fox News. 

So when anyone talks to me about the latest vampire flick or comedy series I let them tell me about it, if it's important to them.  And often they treat me like I'm from some foreign country, even though I usually know more about both world history and current events than they do.  But they aren't usually interested in such things.  What I'm Not current on is who locally killed someone, robbed a store, is charged with a sex crime, what good does it do me to know?

I don't use Facebook or Twitter.  I will have to find out how accessible Facebook is, if I Ever get my online store open, but until then I don't care.  I don't know how to text.  The letters associated with particular numbers on a phone keypad are not known to me, phone keypads aren't usually in Braille.  I do know a few texting abbreviations, LOL, LOLRF, (how often can this Really be true?) OMG, that's about it except for BAMF.  Wonder if Blogger will let that one pass?

Then there is food.  I hate McDonald's food, but they have a good unsweetened  ice tea. I don't keep ice cream in the house because I would eat it far too fast.  I do like ice cream.  I don't eat white bread or white rice (except on rare occasions when I go out to eat Asian food) or granola bars or energy drinks, or cold cereal or canned hardly anything.  Does all of this make me better than anyone?  Hell no!  But it does make me weird!

Once I heard a friend say that the women in Vermont were strange.  When I asked "in what way" she said, "Well, you know, they wear long skirts and don't shave their legs and eat all that health food stuff."  I smiled, Trying not to laugh!  So That's what I am, a Vermonter, or as a friend who lives in Maryland says, a "Granola".  I make a sugarless granola with one kind of dried fruit or another in it and a sweet spice, like cinnamon.

Given the drought and heat here this Summer, maybe I should Become a True Granola and move Northeast.  But I'd always be an outsider their too, probably.

When I got to the E-mail below I care.  But I remember watching what is now an Old Michael Moore film where a family got evicted from their home on Christmas Eve in Michigan and literally put out into the snow.  They were African American.

Is the home ownership crisis a crisis now only because it has hit the white middle class?  Don't misunderstand me, please.  Wrong is wrong and tragedy is tragedy no matter Who Suffers it.  But I think this question Must be asked as we help those of all races who are now losing their homes.

Once I shared with a friend how odd I thought the whole home owing as part of the American dream was.  She said "But it Is a major Part of the American dream."

Don't many people in Europe rent flats for most or all of their lives?  Maybe we should ask what the American dream Should be.  I think it should include healthcare for all, decent education for all, respect for differing viewpoints, and many other things.  I do Not want to see people losing the homes they have.  But does a person have to Have a home they Own to be happy?  Loosing something you already have is Much Harder than not having it and not expecting to.

I Do think
Wall Street Owes Main Street
Poor Street
a great deal.

You will have to look up the organization below or the link to the blog referred to, or it won't work.

Rebuild the Dream
Your dad was having trouble paying his mortgage. He fought with his bank for years,
asking them to refinance because his house was $50,000 underwater. But the bank said
no, again and again. The stress got to your dad, and he got sick -- he passed away
the day the bank auctioned off his house. The kicker?
The bank forced you and your sister to clean out the house that day, even though
your dad had just died.
This isn’t a story we made up -- it’s just one of many that have been submitted to
our ‘America Underwater’ blog by Rebuild members. The stories on the blog range from
heartbreaking to infuriating, and all of them make us wonder why Congress still hasn’t
taken action to help American homeowners.
There are three important pieces of homeowner relief legislation currently making
their way through Congress.
With the election coming up, now is the perfect time to turn up the pressure on Congress
but we have only a few weeks to force a vote before Congress goes home to face the
We want to make a series of videos that highlight the stories on the America Underwater
blog, but we need to raise $15,000 to do so.
Can you chip in $5 to help us get there?
Here's how we'll make sure people across the country see it. Van is a rising presence
on national television. In just the last several weeks, he's been on CNN, ABC, and
MSNBC multiple times over. And here's what we've learned: TV producers are dying
for good stories to show and tell. They already like having Van on. And they'll love
it if he brings a great short video, ready made to fill up their airtime. Help us
create powerful video from these homeowners' stories, and Van can get them onto national
TV the next time he's invited to a show.
The more people hear these heart wrenching stories, the more pressure will build
on Congress to take action
Click here to help us get the $15,000 we need to bring the stories of Americans Underwater to Congress’s front door.
These videos are a vital part of our Hope for Homeowners campaign. This week we’ll
be delivering thousands of your signatures to key Senators to demand a vote on these
bills. But as terrifying as all the stats and figures of underwater homeowners are,
nothing breaks through the noise as much as seeing the faces of regular Americans
who are struggling to hang on to their piece of the American Dream.
Together we’re giving hope to homeowners across the country.
Ian and the rest of the Rebuild the Dream team
Rebuild the Dream is a platform for bottom-up, people-powered innovations to help
fix the U.S. economy.

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