This past weekend scientists recorded serious seismic activity along the San Andreas earthquake fault near San Francisco.
The reason for the lack of news coverage was because the seismic event was actually my grandfather rolling over in his Bay Area grave when he heard about the “Stim-U-Lose” votes in both the U.S. House and Senate.
My Grandpa Ted has been somewhat quietly minding his own business at his comfortable California gravesite for over 45 years now — that is until this past Friday the 13th when his fellow countrymen in Congress crossed the line with their nearly $800 billion red-letter boondoggle stimulus package votes.
Meet my grandpa … Theodore Joseph Grafe. Age 75 when he departed his Santa Cruz retirement home in 1963 to take up his semi-permanent residence in the perpetual care section of Sacred Heart cemetery near the city by the bay.
He had worked for both the Oakland Tribune and the San Francisco Examiner during economic friendlier times for those big-city newspapers. He was a private-sector businessman at heart.
“Those government jobs are all dead-end with no benefits and no future” he’d tell me.
“Serve your country if you’re called to do so” he’d say. Then he would quickly add “Then hurry up and get back to real work.”
His only brush with government work was serving in both the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Naval Seabees during both world wars. He believed that America was the greatest country on earth and that the Constitution was a sacred document that always needed to be protected and defended.
Grandpa Ted and I had a “chat” the other night … well, of sorts.
After the majority of Congress had voted in additional debt during these dark days of our current economic depression, I had to ask my Grandpa what his thoughts were — as a “senior” senior citizen. The immediate impressions that I received left no doubt that Grandpa was hacked off.
As an unrepentant senior citizen of 120 himself, he asked a number of rapid-fire questions in my mind’s eye — questions that might come from senior citizens half his age today.
“Why would you take on more debt when it should be obvious to everyone that it was irresponsible debt that created most of the economic problems for the country in the first place? Why don’t you stop the credit and most other spending until you get a handle on your own personal income and expenses?”
“Who are these people running the country? Did you really vote them in? Do you actually have an economic, social and moral death wish? Do any of these guys and gals pay their taxes?”
“Let’s see if I understand this correctly. You’re going to spend trillions of dollars on new make-work jobs for people to do because you have nothing else for them to do and you’re going to push the financial bill for all of this onto the next couple of generations — because you really love your kids and grandkids?”
“And this new bill actually encourages people to be paid for not working since the increased unemployment and health benefits will be so great? I guess the mortgage debt forgiveness is also great for those who chose not to pay their bills as they agreed to? But, what about all those people who worked really hard to pay their mortgages and other payments on time each month? I didn’t see any reward for them in this spending fiasco. What’s up with that?”
“You’re actually going to have a union to represent illegal aliens? Really? No … you’ve got to be kidding me. If legal citizens are out of work, the new bill makes it easy for illegals to keep their jobs and to just keep on being … well … illegal? That’s nonsense! Send them all back home where they belong!”
“Are you really going to keep up the foreign aid payments to nearly 150 countries—many of whom really don’t like America? That’s almost as stupid as bailing out Wall Street, the auto-makers in Detroit and Barney’s banks!”
“And, what do you expect senior citizens to think about the so-called ‘managed’ health care provided for in the bill which will take many of their medical-care decisions away from doctors? Which White House expert will those critical care and prescription decisions fall to?”
Grandpa also mentioned that he had “peeked” recently and there’s really not very much gold left at Fort Knox. He also wanted me to explain to him and to his senior citizen buddies with families still alive in America just how I could justify the shenanigans of the federal reserve system, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
I had to admit that none of the crooks who caused those financial shenanigans are presently serving time behind bars. I explained that many of them are serving time in Congress instead — inside the government worker castle walls — with extraordinary pay and benefits hardly affected by the present economic downturn!
Before our communication ended, he wanted to make sure that I was personally out of debt, that I had plenty of food storage and that I was prepared to be self-sustaining and self-protecting for both short and long periods of time in the near future.
I assured Grandpa Ted that he had taught me reasonably well … that I was holding tight to my Bible and my guns … but, that I still had much to learn and do. I also asked him to cross the aisle and put in a good word for us “all” if he happened to bump into anyone special — up there.
© Grafe is a former managing editor of the Seguin Gazette Enterprise.