In the High Peaks

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Travels in Siberia

I heard Ian Frazier discuss his latest book Travels in Siberia on "Fresh Air" on National Public Radio last week. I was overwhelmingly enthralled, particularly with the descriptions of his haunted encounters at the former sites of the gulags. So I purchased the book on my Nook.

Detour! Detour! Rant Coming!

Our health care plan is increasing our rates exponentially during the next year, so I've been scratching my head, trying to figure out how to add MORE PAYING WORK to my already overly busy schedule. I am at my wit's end with this country, honestly, and I never thought I'd say that at this stage of life. We are comparatively much better off, supposedly, than so many people, yet we struggle! I truly worry about people who don't have any nest egg to stave off the worst of the additional health care costs! I know many, many of my students do not have any health care whatsoever, though they work up to 40 hours per week. I know they struggle with their finances, and their families can't help them because they're struggling, too. It is much, much worse than you hear on the news.

So it's no wonder, I suppose, that I am completely in sympathy with the Occupy Movement. The people involved ARE having an impact! The Republicans are shaking in their boots, and the rich are carrying buttons and signs saying, "Tax ME--I'm the One Percent!"

I was confronted with a woman at work who had the chutzpah to complain to me that the Occupy Movement not only did not have a focused agenda and list of demands, but homeless people were involved (as if this de-ligitimized the movement!). No, I did not bother to remind this stupid woman that of course the homeless had joined the Occupy Movement, but I did say that the movement doesn't need a focused agenda because they're having a huge impact already railing against the rich who pay no taxes. The movement changed the course of electoral campaigns in three states in November, they've raised awareness all over the country, and people are becoming increasingly fed up with politicians who salivate copiously when they see rich people emptying their pockets for them.

I'm so angry, I don't care who knows it anymore.


  1. Judith,
    I hope it helped you to get all of that off your chest, I'm worried about your blood pressure! Although things are very bad here too it's nowhere near as awful as it must be for you. The National Health Service may be creaking at the moment but we are so grateful for it, it must be a nightmare for you having to worry about how to pay for things which should be free. I think making money from sick people is despicable and I know that some people in the US hate the thought of an NHS and slag it off, but believe me it's the jewel in our crown! I'm glad to hear that the Occupy Movement is having some impact anyway.

  2. Katrina,
    You are a dear comrade to have responded to that rant! Yet it is all true, and I felt better reading it all over again tonight.

    Sigh. More relaxing days are upon us! Why, Thanksgiving is day after tomorrow! I have lots of work for the holiday,
    BUT, do you know what's saving us now?

    Our beautiful woods! And our beloved Sasha (read dog)!

    I'm scrambling for more work for the coming year, but...there are lovely snowy days coming our way. Snowstorm tonight and tomorrow!

    I do hope your reading is growing apace, and I do hope your husband is not too overburdened with work at this time. Christmas Break is coming!

  3. I had forgotten about Thanksgiving, have a lovely time, easily done I'm sure in your lovely countryside, as long as you can forget woes! Our weather has been very mild but I think the snow will be here soon.

    I hope you can get enough work in the coming year. It looks like Jack is going to be on strike on the 30th, it has been over 25 years since the last strike. Otherwise, we're counting the days until the holidays.

    Hug some trees for me - and Sasha - and if you have the time put up some Sasha photos!

  4. Jack on strike! I'm sending him my best wishes!
    In the U.S., when union members drive by any sort of union people on strike, they beep their car horns loudly, over and over, so I do the same for him!

    Yes, I'll hug some trees! The snow was falling gently today. We're still waiting for the ground to freeze, which will make walking easier.

    I wish you the best this month. Keep Christmas warm and well with your loved ones.