He died. In an assisted (sic) care (oxymoron) home (nope). Homeless for a few years; he was a photographer; and his life went to shit. He overspent on photo equipment, a studio, gave away shoots, and alas, he ended up living in his car, putting the entire inventory in an expensive storage unit, and then he tried surviving.
I met him when I was a social worker helping him as a short-term veteran (Army, 18 months, no combat) in a housing program, 24/7, where my job was to get him on his feet, get his VA benefits together, get him back on some financial track, and getting him inspired to life.
He lost one leg to diabetes, and it was typical – small black dot on his foot, and then, living the rough life, cold weather chills in a vehicle, long walks in the cold when the car broke down. Bad diet, and stress.
They chopped it (the leg) off at the knee. He was having eye issues. He was a smart guy, even did a trivia night for his fellow homeless vets and their families. His memory, though, was flagging. He never wanted to learn how to deal with a prosthetic leg.
He had to be reminded of everything, daily, and we worked on getting him housing vouchers, and, alas, he was finally getting Social Security, and then, the VA took care of some of his stuff.
He went to a couple of my fiction readings in Portland, and he was always there for my movie nights to watch some documentary that pushed to push against the military mindset, and he was there to listen to me rail and rail.
He found out his estranged father left some money when he died. It was a windfall, and my vet could not handle all the information and financial asides. It took two years to get that money, and he gave one leech a $10,000 loan for some scheme for a new dog food patent (right!), and alas, that leech never paid him back.
My vet got into an apartment, and they screwed him over. The one ground floor apartment with a large step and stoop, impossible for him to navigate his wheelchair. He and I worked on getting the apartment to build a stone or cement pathway from the back slider, to the parking lot, so he could get his Lyft or handicap buses trips.
It was another eye opener – largest (now #3) property management company in the USA for apartments, out of Texas, and not one of them responded to my emails or calls. Terrible, since that has never happened to me ever in my life. I have always gotten responses, even harsh ones back. From cops, senators, CEOs, IRS, more. These people are human leeches.
Pinnacle comes in at number three in the rankings for the largest property managers in the country, with 172,000 units under management. The company manages a diverse array of assets, including mixed-use properties, commercial properties, affordable developments, senior properties, and student housing. It also specializes in the turnaround of distressed assets and assisting in the management of HOAs and condo associations. Pinnacle is headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and is currently headed by President and CEO Rick L. Graf.
So think about that. He had to pay for this walkway, and it was an improvement for that unit, to say the least, so why should he have to pay? He had volunteers with a construction company and from the Rotary Club, and that Pinnacle nixed it. They had to have their vetted company. We are talking about $500 for the job using volunteers and a bonded contractor, versus the $2500 through Pinnacle’s outfit.
That apartment life did not last long. He was having major choking issues, and cognitive ones. He wasn’t eating right. No phone calls taken, or texts.
We are talking about a man, 68, no family. He had no one but a friend he met at the Rotary Club and acquaintances. And me, his former social worker. Who happened to move on the Coast, so I was 3 hours from him one way, via car.
He had to leave the apartment, to a care center (sic). That apartment would not give him a break, since he had to break the lease because of medical reasons. No big deal he was a veteran.
These are parasites.
Then, he ends up in one of the larger senior living places, and that was a living hell for him as he slipped more and more, had no decent meals, and never had a case manager for months. Then, lockdown, March 2020.
Here it is, Wikipedia –
Brookdale Senior Living owns and operates over 700 senior living communities and retirement communities in the United States. Brookdale was established in 1978 and is based in Brentwood, Tennessee.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Fortress Investments became the majority owner of Brookdale, holding approximately 51% of its share. Currently, Glenview Capital Management (a hedge fund) holds the largest number of shares. Brookdale has approximately 70,000 staff members and 100,000 residents.
As of 2018, it was the largest operator of senior housing in the United States. In 2021, a New York Times investigation revealed that Brooksdale submitted wrong and manipulated data to the government, thus inflating ratings of the quality of care in Brooksdale facilities. Shortly thereafter, the state of California filed a lawsuit against Brooksdale, alleging that the company manipulated the federal government’s nursing-home ratings system.
He was paying out of his social security and this money he got from his father, $4100 a month plus another $2000 for “special services.” There were no “Special services.”
This is how America runs, as a continuing criminal enterprise system, casino capitalism on steroids, and zero concern by the majority of the people and the elected officials to make safety nets. Who the hell can afford $6100 a month for a studio apartment. Crappy food.
He had to go to the VA, via ambulance, and with taxis, a few times with this female friend.
She got him to get a will, and to get some things in order, but he was failing, vacant, not there, and alas, he died August 2020 age 70, and that should never have happened. If I had a community, 100 acres, gardens, small (tiny) homes, pets, chickens, and community conversations, he would NOT have died. Life expectancy dropped because he ended up in an apartment, isolated, alone, scared, and with deeper cognitive issues. A supportive community getting him off his duff, getting him involved, would have saved him. Could save millions of Americans. Hundreds of millions of global citizens.
Then the nightmare comes for his friend, the executor of his “estate.”
Comcast screwed the estate by keeping service going (charging $90 a month) even though he was dead. He had a storage unit that was charging $215 a month. That Brookdale ended up hitting the estate with more bills in the thousands. The apartment complex, Pinnacle, was looking for several thousand for fees and penalties.
And vet’s friend (sic) who had borrowed the money paid nothing back.
It is May, 2021, and that proceeds to his small estate have not been disbursed. Pandemic lockdown has hurt. Two of the beneficiaries are a free clinic that attended to this vet’s needs during his hours of need. And a food pantry out of a church who also helped him with food and electricity money.
He probably had $340,000 total, most in a Morgan Stanley account. There are tax filing fees, moving expenses for his stuff to a furniture nonprofit, fees for the storage unit. Some prescription bills and other outstanding bills that should have just vanished. The creditors came out of the woodwork, and because I was not a family member, brother, say, all those bills got paid. I could have wrangled many of the bills to just vanish or get paid a dime on the dollar. It takes letter writing, advocating, and pounding down these leeches.
As of May 18, 2021, the five beneficiaries – two nonprofits in need – have not seen a cent. Because the executor has had to do so much, and the fact the vet had no family, my vet’s estate got whittled down by that great American tick – middle men, fees, penalties, taxes, this and that amount extracted as part of the ugly middle and middle man/woman mentality of the USA.
Some people came up to the plate and did pro bono work, but because I was close to this whole thing, and talked with the executor a lot, I see how the total amount that could have been distributed five ways — $70,000 each – might be even close to $60,000 each. What the beneficiaries don’t know won’t hurt them, right. It was money they were not expecting, so what’s the big deal.
That’s not the point. This is a minute to minute situation in USA. Millions of people and their families get screwed in the tens of billions each year by the ticks and leeches. I have had to deal with PayDay loan companies, repo men, collection agencies, courts, companies, telecoms and hospitals and others who have their hands out for more and more cuts of many of my clients who were making $730 a month in Social Security, and some way less. I contacted hospitals and businesses and others to get fees and bill reduced or zeroed out.
Young or old, many of the homeless people I worked with could NEVER work in a competitive work environment. Their health and minds are shot to shit. Much of that (PTSD and complex PTSD) was caused by the Armed Forces, and by the systems of punishment that hit these guys and gals after departing that shit hole.
Not everything in their lives is someone else’s fault and responsibility. They made bad choices. Booze and drugs, you betcha, took them down. Bad food, bad thinking smoking, and more, deteriorated them at a young age. Trying to pay rent, evictions, etc., all that adds up to the weathering.
Living in a truck or car or tent or in a garage, that also weathers these people. In the end, pre-Covid and now during it, these people are throwaways. The Stock Market is busting at the seams. Zoom school, and Zoom work for the middle class.
The irony is that my vet friend “made” more money in that investment account dead than when he was alive. And we know the great history of Morgan Stanley.
I’m writing this because I am delaying something bigger, and poetry, tied to the absolute hell hole that is American Zionism a la Israeli Zionism. War crimes that are ten thousand George Floyd’s “I Can’t Breathe.”
And I can’t wrap my head around this in a rural community. No marching here, no groups, and hell, in France and Germany and England, it is illegal to peacefully march for Palestine.
I’m thinking about Canada and USA, supporting murderous arms and murderous policies of that racist “country.” I am thinking about my vet’s account at Morgan Stanley:
Stocks in Walmart, Northrop Grumman, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, BlackStone, BlackRock. This guy was a friend, and asked about investing, and I had a guy in mind, but my buddy went with a friend of the Rotary who said this broker with Morgan Stanley would take care of him. My buddy wanted social responsible investing, and that, alas, is yet another bullshit marketing tool of the masters of the casino capitalist Walled Street.
Northrop Grumman’s medium-caliber cannons boast unrivaled reliability and effectiveness. When paired with our exceptional training, services, certified accessories and warranties, the result is exceptional value and performance over the entire gun system lifecycle.
The company has produced solid propulsion systems for the Ground-based Midcourse Defense interceptor, as well as for the Trident II D-5 and Minuteman III strategic missiles. Northrop Grumman has 100 percent propulsion success on strategic production motors.
For nearly half a century, Northrop Grumman and its heritage companies have been designing and developing bomb fuses that have stayed on pace with the technological advancements of the time.
How many parts in a missile or Bushmaster automatic cannon? Parts equal jobs. Parts designed, equals academic jobs. Think of all those people in all those companies, in factories and warehouses, and manufacturing plants, and marketing plants, paint plants, PR plants, all of them down to the web master and the photographer making money on dead Palestinian children. It comes down to that.
I have relatives whose kids (grown adults) are blonde beautieis in the sense of USA beauty, and they are tall, and lean, and they are pulling down $120,000 a year as 28 year olds, working for one of those California based military death companies.
Here, five — to include Rahtheon, Northrup Lockheed Martin, Aerojet Rocketdyne, Flir Systems
More listed here —
Here are California Dreaming Death Machine (139) openings for just one hiring site —
In 2019, here are the top states, but remember, those figures are not the true amount of money made on death since so much more tied to offensive weapons and space should be factored in. Sort of the multiplier effect of all the businesses service and hard industries making bank because of those contractors and their employees and their subcontractors and their employees living and eating the California dream, or whichever state listed it the dream. Forget about the billions in Hollywood and their enormous entanglement of people making money off those Tom Clancy, et al crap movies. Death, death, death, even in the form of liberal actors spewing off on this or that thing, but in the end, they love the DoD.
- California: $66.2 billion
- Virginia: $60.3 billion
- Texas: $54.8 billion
- Florida: $29.8 billion
- Maryland: $26.1 billion
- Connecticut: $19.7 billion
- Pennsylvania: $18.1 billion
- Washington: $17.8 billion
- Alabama: $16.0 billion
- Massachusetts: $15.8 billion
So, I am having a difficult time focusing, with this Industrial Complex tied to killing Palestinians, and so many other people’s of the world, through the training, outfitting, arming, and educating of the despots of the world. This is a telling interview. Malak Mattar, Dan Cohen and Miko Peled join MintCast to discuss the ongoing Israeli violence in the Gaza Strip.
I am still processing all of this, trying to listen to Zoom continuing education credited things like trauma and social service workers and Covid-19. Things like that, which are bullshit, really. But I am just cruising through these people who believe they are thinking and saying something new.
The acrobats are back…(gimme a bleepin’ break!)
The acrobats are back—riding bareback and backwards on
Donkeys! They’re back juggling hocus-pocus focus groups;
Back, spinning Wall Street straw into fools’ gold for the war-
mongering mouth of a punch drunk politician. Back hallucinating
on FDR Fairytales. Back somersaulting over scarlet streets, strikes and
factory seizures; back vaulting over violence/militant eviction resistance
The acrobats are back—Lilliputian left-Munchkin Marxists—juggling
Classless analysis; doing back-flips erasing millions; Tumbling above
herds of handcuffed communists, socialists, anarchists, trade unionists
who waged pitched battles with Pinkerton-police-national guard-gun thugs.
The acrobats are back turning cartwheels; Flipping history on its head—
Landing squarely in the laps of generals and statesmen…
The acrobats are back—flipping LBJ minus 34 dead and smoke-filled skies
over Watts/43 dead in Detroit/27 dead, 1400 arrests in Newark; LBJ minus millions
marching NO to Jim Crow, war/women’s oppression; Minus martyrs—whose M’s
include Mickey, Medgar, Malcolm, Martin… The acrobats are back,
dancing in donkey dung down the Yellow Brick Road for the Emerald City
Intersectional Empire—strangely resembling the Pentagon…
The acrobats are back—daredevils who dangled dangerously for 8 yrs. from
the Drone Ranger’s dick. They’re back—Capitalist Hill cartwheels and flips—sticking
stealth socialist landings as Comrade Schmo plays them like The
Great Oz—ominously warning: “Pay no attention to Wall Street-War-Profiteer-
Big Pharma/Fossil Fuel-Credit Card Companies behind my thin blue curtain of
Promises!” Then he quietly pulls his pistol and mumbles,”What’s in your wallet?”
© 2021. Raymond Nat Turner, The Town Crier. All Rights Reserved.
BAR’s poet in residence Raymond Nat Turner is an accomplished performing artist. You can find much more of his work at https://www.youtube.com/user/zigilow