An Old Lady With a Cat in the Age of Collapse

March 10, 2012

Little and me

Everyone knows that as people age, they tend to get confused about things. It’s just one of those dreadful realities about old age.  And I am no exception.  I am deeply confused, for example, about a number of issues in the news lately, in spite of minds greater than mine trying to explain them to me.

I do talk over these issues with my cat, Little, (another one of those dreadful realities about getting older,) but she is twelve years old – which is, I think, late middle age for cats – and is often as confused about things as I am.

Yesterday, we discussed how Greece forced onto reached an agreement with their debtholders that the bond owners would take a haircut on all that Greek debt, taking pennies on the dollar (or euro, in this case) so Greece would get the next installment on their bailout.  This meant the agreement would trigger payouts of credit default swaps, which prompted a ruling by the Swaps and Derivatives Association that a “restructuring credit event” had occurred.

Now, both the cat and I clearly remember one of those greater minds saying, only a few months ago, that if the paying out of credit default swaps occurred, Greece would be in …well … default, not a “restructuring credit event”.  But, all the European big-wigs were soon on the news, thrilled that Greece had not, in fact, defaulted.

Cat and I must have had one of those senior moments …

Then, there’s the issue of our own American economy.  The economists told us that the United States came out of recession in 2009, though neither Little nor I (nor, for that matter, any of the neighbors that I talk to) thought that was true.  And, this morning, I read about a January survey of “affluent” people done by the Ipsos Mendelsohn Affluent Barometer, which said that 63 percent of wealthier Americans (those making more than $100,000) still think we’re in a recession, too.

Well, that certainly confused Little and me, especially when we read of a recent study from Emmanuel Saez, at the University of California at Berkeley, that found, from 2009 to 2010, the affluent 1% had 93% of the income growth.

Cat and I are now wondering whether we simply misunderstood the figures or whether those “affluents” have had a senior moment of their own …

And this last week, Mr. Holder, our Attorney General, came forth from the bowels of the Justice Department to issue the government’s rationale for the extra-judicial killings of American citizens deemed terrorists without due process, saying among other things: “Let me be clear: an operation using lethal force in a foreign country, targeted against a U.S. citizen who is a senior operational leader of al Qaeda or associated forces, and who is actively engaged in planning to kill Americans, would be lawful at least in the following circumstances: First, the U.S. government has determined, after a thorough and careful review, that the individual poses an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States …”

A couple of points here caused Little and me confusion when I read that.  You see, as I explained to her, I have very clear memories from civics class that the Fifth Amendment assigns that determination to a Grand Jury, not to “the U.S. Government”.  And the only exceptions to that were “cases arising in the land or naval forces or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger;” none of which, as far as I can tell, applied to that citizen whose targeted killing the Attorney General was trying to justify.

I must say, learning that we had been so confused about such an important issue caused much more that a senior moment for both the cat and me …

And while I’m thinking about “the Government”, I’ve been wrestling a lot lately with this sudden preoccupation by males in the Republican Congress over women’s contraception.  Especially when I read this week that Representative Jeff Fortenberry had introduced legislation on the issue. One article I read went on to say that, while he knew there was hesitation by some Republicans on the issue, a delay would give them time to “recast the issue” as a matter of religious freedom rather than women’s rights.  And that, “We’ll keep trying to appropriately frame the debate about this core American principle.”

Now, I realize it’s been forty some years since I carried my son, but I’m pretty sure it was not my religious leader to whom I entrusted my healthcare for that nine months, but my doctor.  Nor was it my pastor with whom I discussed whether or not I should take birth control afterward and who gave me a prescription for that birth control when I choose to take it.  That was my doctor, too.  Apparently, I’m mistaken about that and the appropriate frame of reference for those choices is not one of a woman’s right to medical coverage of medical decisions, but of some male bishop’s freedom of religion.  Silly old woman.

Although Little had nothing to say about the matter, (having been spayed involuntarily as a kitten,) that must have been one doozie of a senior moment on my part …

These issues must be wrestled with – especially in an age of collapse – if nations are not to be subservient to the greed of their bankers; the poor, to the misunderstandings of the affluent; women to the fears of small men and all of us, to the whims of a dangerously failing government.

I think, however, that with all these senior moments I’ve been having lately, I should hand over that wrestling to those much younger and of more stable minds.  I fear I must accept the fact that my memory has been playing cruel tricks on me.  That I, who so clearly fail to understand the issues, should now be content to pass the burden on to those who do and gracefully accept what I have become – an old lady with a cat, in the age of collapse.

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20 Responses to An Old Lady With a Cat in the Age of Collapse

  1. HiddenFarmer says:

    Welcome to the age of Doublethink!

    Confusion is the way of the future. Its what they want.

  2. pamela says:

    Linda, that has got to be, one of the best things you’ve written! You have a way of writing about these things that brings a truly unique and engaging perspective.
    I’d write more but, I think I’m having a senior moment too. LOL
    hug Little for me, Marjorie J sends her love too.

  3. Jock says:

    Great article Linda. I feel like I’m having constant senior moments of my own with all the bait and switch by the msm, and I’m only 45.

    My big advantage is that I have 3 cats so I can consult the triumverate when baffled.

    • theozarker says:

      Honest to goodness, Jock, it’s like trying to get out of one of those Halls of Mirrors, sometimes. Three cats? You’re definitely set to become one of those old guys with a cat (or three) in an age of collapse. 😀

  4. Deborah Raven says:

    You are just the best. I love your stuff. 🙂

  5. cactus wren says:

    Nice to know that I`m not the only LOL (little old lady) with cats. In my case 5,two of which are Seniors themselves (13 and 16). They sure do listen well, now if I could get them to leave my knitting alone.

    And, I`m about ready to give up reading anymore financial or political stuff. Makes my head spin, and I tend to be dizzy anyways.

  6. VaMom says:

    Thank goodness for cats … they’re generally far more informed than most of the folks one encounters out in meatspace. In fact, sometimes our conversations get a little too intense … fortunately the irish setter usually bounces in to lighten the mood just in the knick of time. Love your blog Linda!

    • theozarker says:

      Hi VaMom, how have you been? Not only are cats more informed, they have that look of inscrutable wisdom when they disagree with you, but are too polite to hurt your feelings about it. ;D

  7. graveday says:

    “Mr. Holder, our Att. Gen., came forth from the bowels of the Justice Department.”
    I love that. In one fell swoop we start with constipation and end up with the shared understanding of what emerges from bowels finally.

  8. Focis says:

    The >100K earners may be having a recession, as they are the top 10% (or whatever), not the top 1%. The top 1% make close to a million/household. So, the majority of the >100K earners can certainly be feeling a recession while a small fraction of them, the 1%, are making all the loot. If the 1% makes 93% of the income gains, that doesn’t leave much for the rest.

    • theozarker says:

      Hi Focis. Mmm, maybe I could see someone at 100K feeling like they’re in a recession (okay, actually at 10K, I probably can’t, but somebody might have that much sympathy for them :D), And no, that 7% wouldn’t go very far for the rest of us 99%.

  9. Bill Hicks says:

    Looks like Little is doing well! My wife and I had four cats, but three of them succumbed to old age in a fairly short time. The other is a cranky, but still loving, 17-year-old Siamese. It was sad to lose the others, but now we have three new young kittens and the house seems very much full of energy again. 🙂

    • theozarker says:

      Hey Bill, yeah, she seems to have recovered from Big Bad Ass Cat and the two chihuahuas since moving in with me. Sorry about your older cats, but glad you have some kitten energy around the house now. They can be a handful, but so much fun to watch while they’re tackling the big, wide, world around them. Scratch older cat behind the ears for me and say hello.

  10. witsendnj says:

    Perhaps there’s potential for a movement here! LOL Doomers with cats! I have two Maine coons – Coco (Chanel) and River.

    Always a pleasure to read your remarkably lucid posts.

    • theozarker says:

      Witsend, I believe you’re right. I can see it now. “Doomer cat lovers of the world, UNITE. We have nothing to loose but those little balls of cat hair dancing across the floor.” (Okay, maybe that’s just me, because I’m a careless housekeeper and Little does have an extraordinary amount of fluffy fur.)

      Give Coco and River a scratch behind the ears for me.

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