kathy&doug2

For almost a decade, she’d helped seniors and their families find services for healthcare, mobility, and estate planning. For what she went through with her own mother, she knew the pitfalls and problems that can happen when wills aren’t executed properly, family disputes explode, and corrupt courts see green. She thought she took all the diligent steps to ensure I would never have to endure the same. And now, at her funeral, I’m seeing the same ‘mistakes’ force me into the same process she had to do. Death is difficult enough. Why do we allow laws that make it so much worse?

A will gets thrown-out. Family member’s identity is questioned. Family history gets analyzed. People who specialize in taking money from others see blood in the water. Unscrupulous family members see an opportunity for quick cash. Government agencies start poking around looking for a payday. Your lawyers are fighting lawyers half-way across the country. Property is put in legal-limbo for years, costing your estate money each month. In the end, no one even remembers the deceased. How could it go so wrong?

I’ve seen it happen in my own extended family, and I’ve heard stories of much worse. Luckily, I didn’t experience half these evils when my mother died. A sole survivor with no siblings, a notarized will, and no major debts but a mortgage, it should have been easy. Not even close. An old probate lawyer, ready to retire, took my case and let slip some tips the rest of you should heed.

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Don’t get too excited. Fewer people will be killed now, but we still are under the thumb of healthcare for profit. This is the beginning of a process towards relief, not the end. It only took 100 years to start. Everything else, I’ve already said.

I can only imagine what’s next.

UPDATE…

What’s next was lawsuits. Really? Lawsuits?

The talking-heads on TV wanted us to believe that being governmentally- forced to pay for private insurance was unprecedented, unconstitutional,  and unreasonable.

What? Did these idiots forget how to drive?

We are forced to purchase CAR INSURANCE to be allowed to drive. Remember CAR INSURANCE?  I guess that little fact is easy to overlook when your driver takes care of those ‘plebian’ issues and you don’t have to drive yourself anymore.

Oh..what’s this, State’s Rights, now? More complaining!?  I’m very skeptical that these tea-party fools are all that patriotic toward their particular state, if they even know which one they’re in.  It isn’t 1790.  We don’t negotiate individual state treaties with other countries anymore. We have a functioning central government, whether you like it or not. State’s rights aren’t at issue. Remember, our government, whether it be township, state, or federal, has the opportunity to organize creation of those necessary goods and services to the public that business can-not or will-not provide.

Only one state out of 50 provided it, and it works (sorry FoxNews). The rest of us are still were dying.

I was hoping to see what the next piece of legislation  would be. More healthcare reforms? Campaign reform? Bank reform? Did I just hear whispers about prepaid credit cards???

Nope. Just Lawsuits.

Republicans have until November to ensure no one sees any benefit from healthcare reform. If they can delay the process until then, the public will forget the process and be more than happy to believe Republican party line. But, if the public sees real, tangible benefits from the law, and increases in GDP allow the deficit to stabilize, the insane rhetoric and lies of the republican media machine will be shown false in front of the entire country. This will kill the party in the elections for a long time to come.

Expect a 6-month media push from Republicans unlike anything this country has ever seen before.

Tonight, CBS news reported on the growing obesity problem in the US. Projected figures showed my home state as surpassing 50% by 2018. Of course, the usual questions were hauled-up again, without any new answers. Yes, processed foods and high fructose corn syrup are probably killing us. Exercise more? Eat less? We’ve been doing both and we’re still expanding. It’s possible that the American way of life, The Suburban Ideal, may be the ultimate cause. And, the cause could be as simple as our municipal zoning laws.

DISEASE

So many questions about America’s problems can be answered by getting out of America. When you leave, you get to see people who have universal healthcare which causes about as much social unrest as a shoe-store closing. You find people with basic understanding that educational systems are products of the funding and standards you put into them (And that science and engineering instruction is a source prosperity.. not a source of fear and disgust). And interestingly, you’ll find cultures that are now wrapped in the widespread use of soft-drinks and fast foods by their children and are now facing diabetes in their families for the first time. Oddly, they’re not ‘fat’ and that distinction is supremely important. (more…)

LAWYER1

I needed a lawyer. I was being harassed and my job jeopardized. So, I went to get a lawyer. I call a major firm in Cleveland, Ohio. Though I’m not sure how MAJOR they were, but the did run fancy TV commercials.

“Lawfirm of___________. How May I help you today?”

“Yes, I have a possible harassment and discrimination suit against my employer, and would like to talk with a lawyer. ”

“No problem. Could I get some information from you now? ”

“Of course.”

After giving my name and vitals, she asked me about the particulars of the case. That took a while.

Finally I ask, “Is this something you can handle?”

“We handle these types of cases all the time. Do you have any evidence of these incidents?”

“Yes, I have a timeline including all people involved, documentation supporting all the incidents including some from my employer, witnesses, photographs, lots of things. ” She sounded very receptive, though.. she was supposed to.

“I have a few more basic questions before I confer with our lawyers. Do you rent or own your home? ”

“Eh..rent?” That was an odd one.

“What is your monthly salary?”

What the fuck is this? Though I didn’t say that, what I did say changed her mood as if I did. I told her what she wanted to know.

“On moment please”, she droned.

My salary? What did that have to do with…. I didn’t even have time to think the rest of my thought when she returned to the line.

“I’m sorry. We can’t help you with your case at this time. Have a nice day”

“Uh…Than….” My goodby was too slow. She hung-up. (more…)

More and more, I’m seeing abortion in the news. It’s not a new issue, to be sure. But, for whatever reason, it’s taken center stage with fact that we’ve been attacked by a terrorist organization, that our sisters and brothers are now dying in an unending war, and our economy has crumbled around us. Why? If I had to guess, I would say the republican party is pushing the issue because they are losing on so many others (ecpscially the economy). And, like the lemmings we are, we go ahead and accept this as a valid issue to ruminate and wring our hands about. Yes, abortion is an important issue. But, it’s mind-bendingly important to a small, vocal group of people. They have led us to believe that we mus exhibit the same amount of moral indignation as they do, or risk being labeled a “baby murderer.” Horrors. It is an excellent marketing campagin. And it is working. 10 years ago, this was a fringe issue; now it’s center-stage. I’ve even found my moral compass being spun a few times when entering these murky waters. (more…)

binoculars2.gif

Well, it happened. I suppose it was inevitable. The referendum to put issue 1, the so-called “no-touch” rule for Ohio’s exotic dancers, up for public vote, has failed miserably. The signatures needed to allow this to happen were, apparently, mostly fraudulent. The ‘CCS‘ and ‘Dancers For Democracy,’ the business organizations made of dancers and club owners, spearheaded the the attempt to defeat the new law. Hopes were high when they announced on September 4th that they had collected enough signatures for the referendum. Not so much now. My first reaction was a snide remark about strippers and math. But, I know that’s not fair. They’re not the first to have a little counting problem when it comes to votes. (more…)