Just a minute ago, I ran across the above tweet by Nick Adams, a man who claims to be Trump’s “favorite author”. I was delighted to see people offering witty, and often pithy, comments to Adams’ assertion that he’s an “alpha male”. My favorite response came from a guy named curt [sic], whose reply was, “If you have to say it, then it isn’t so.”
Another person wrote “Those are nouns, you fucking moron.” Normally I’m not big on name calling, but sometimes, people just call out for it. When someone– especially someone who claims to be an author– makes such an obviously ignorant and egotistical statement, it begs for a sharp and stinging rebuke. So bravo to Santiago Mayer on Twitter. He wins the Internet today.
I don’t know anything about Nick Adams. From what little I’ve seen on his Twitter page, he looks like someone who wouldn’t interest me. I almost wonder if he’s running a troll page. But then I look around Twitter, and I see plenty of folks who are still proudly flying their MAGA flags, completely ignoring Trump’s current legal morass. They don’t care that he stole classified documents and took them to his home in Florida. If my husband did what Trump did, he’d be in prison. But Trump does whatever he wants, and these red hat wearing folks don’t care. And try as I might, I just can’t understand it…
The only explanation I can come up with is that these people– most of whom are white guys from rural areas– see Trump as their last hope of staying on top of power in the United States. Joe Biden wants to give all people a chance to succeed. Trump just wants white guys to be in charge. Especially if they are wealthy people who can help him stay in power until he finally croaks.
I am astonished by how *dumb* a lot of American people are. But it only stands to reason, given how many Americans are functionally illiterate. While there are some folks on Twitter claiming to be “well-educated” MAGA supporters, it appears that people who support Donald Trump are, by and large, not people who like to read. They’d rather “hear”… and when I say hear, I don’t mean listen. They are responding to energy, much like a dog would. Energy… and a little extra money in their paychecks. Politicians, not unlike evangelists, use the power of speech to get responses. Those who aren’t wary may find themselves “pumped up”, not by what is actually said, but by how it is said.
I try to maintain hope. I read yesterday, that women are flocking in droves to register to vote, no doubt because Roe v. Wade was overturned. I guess a lot of them have realized what will happen to their ability to stay independent if they allow mostly white men to dictate whether or not they maintain pregnancies. Some of the others are realizing that it’s not right to bring babies into this world, where the climate is rapidly changing and becoming less hospitable, and certain groups of people are trying to force their extremist policies and views on everyone. There’s war that affects everyone, as inflation climbs, and fuel becomes scarcer. And while people like Joe Biden are trying to make better policies that help everyone, they face massive opposition from people who admire Trump, Putin, and their ilk.
I find it all very depressing. In fact, when Bill was talking to me about the group in Idaho, who feel entitled enough to demand that libraries remove books that they don’t like, and the library doesn’t even have, I started feeling like things are getting more and more hopeless. I read an article about how booze kills… and I felt quite apathetic about it. Like… why should I want to stick around what is becoming more and more a misogynistic hellhole? But then I hear a beautiful song, or read something brilliant, and I momentarily feel better. But, I’ll tell you what… I am now glad I don’t have any children to worry about, even though I used to want them. At the very least, they won’t run into someone like Nick Adams, who thinks his pronouns are Alpha Male.
Happy Friday, everyone. I’ve spent the week watching the news in astonishment, as Donald Trump’s legal woes get deeper, and Republicans are starting to realize (too late) that their misogynistic policies and alignment with Trump may very well fuck up their midterm plans for US domination.
I was delighted to see that Sarah Palin lost her bid to get back into politics. I’ll admit, when I first heard Sarah Palin speak– in fact, she was debating Joe Biden back in 2008, when John McCain and Barack Obama were running for president– I found her somewhat impressive. But my opinion of her plummeted when she quit being the Governor of Alaska to become a political pundit. I should also add that I liked John McCain. He was a decent man with a backbone, and he was NOT a Trumper. He was one of the Republicans I respected very much. I’d like to see more like him, instead of people like Trump and his delusional minions.
But as exciting as the many political bombshells have been this week, I just don’t have the gumption to devote a whole blog post to them today. Instead, I think I’ll chat about Meghan Markle, who has finally launched her podcast on Spotify. I don’t subscribe to Spotify myself, so I don’t tune in to Meghan’s podcast, called Archetypes. Last week, her first guest was her “bestie”, Serena Williams. This week, it was Mariah Carey. I watched a few YouTube videos about how the show went down, and it sounds like it might have been entertaining. Mariah Carey basically called out Meghan on her bullshit. I actually heard what Mariah said, too, and the way she said it. It was hilarious! H.G. Tudor did a funny video about it.
I don’t love Mariah Carey’s music, but I completely acknowledge how genuinely talented she is. She has an extraordinary singing voice, a huge range, and she has written hit songs. She overcame a difficult childhood, has been through a couple of divorces, and while she may sometimes act like a narcissistic fool, she can back up some of that behavior with actual goods. Meghan, on the other hand, seems to be more of a “poseur“… as we would have put it back in the 80s.
Meghan has tried to be the second coming of Harry’s mother, Diana. That hasn’t worked out at all, and it seems that a lot of Brits find her completely insufferable. So now, she’s bragging about how some South African guy in the cast of The Lion King said that when she married Prince Harry, South Africans were rejoicing in the streets, the way they did when Nelson Mandela was released from prison after 27 years. Naturally, people are rolling their eyes at that, too. Seriously? And now, reporters are starting to fact check everything she says. In Australia, they’re being particularly brutal. Check out the below video– just one of several by the Aussies and their disdain for Harry’s wife.
You can hear Mariah laughingly tell Meghan that she gives us “diva moments”. I can practically visualize Mariah rolling her eyes as she calls bullshit on Meghan’s claims that she’s not really a diva. Mariah’s comments are delivered in a way that is good-natured. She’s laughing as if she’s joking, and she even sounds kind of complimentary toward Meghan, but I can tell Meghan is kind of taken aback by Mariah’s unabashedness. Mariah is an unapologetic diva, though, and sees nothing wrong with it. She even flat out says, “I don’t care.”, as Mariah is pretty proud of her diva persona. Mariah probably figures Meghan ought to just own it, like she does.
Being called a “diva” likely goes against Meghan’s desired image for herself. She wants to be seen as kind, humble, compassionate, and genuine, as Diana, Princess of Wales, was– even if Diana really wasn’t necessarily always those things. Diana could pull off those qualities, though, because she wasn’t a narcissist. Diana was reportedly a borderline, and there’s a big difference between the two conditions, even if they do sometimes overlap. As Dr. Grande notes, Diana was quite neurotic and manipulative, yet she also had a great deal of genuine empathy and compassion for others. She was one of the very first famous people to interact with people suffering from AIDS, which was considered very brave at a time when many people were confused about how AIDS was spread, and an AIDS diagnosis was considered a death sentence. As Dr. Grande points out, it’s not actually known if Diana really did have Borderline Personality Disorder, although he does notice that she exhibited a lot of the signs and symptoms.
In any case, I think a lot of people were rooting for Meghan when she first came on the scene. I was glad to see that Prince Harry had found a wife, and delighted it was an American woman who had stolen his heart. In spite of Meghan’s convictions that people have behaved in a racist manner toward her, I think a lot of people had high hopes for her relationship with Harry. But it seems like everything went to shit pretty quickly, and I think it’s because she was putting on an act that she could not maintain. Moreover, there are so many stories about her problematic behaviors that it’s getting harder and harder to believe that she isn’t an actual “diva” in the more negative sense of the word.
When most people think of the word diva, it’s not necessarily always a bad thing, anyway. Yes, divas are usually described as entitled, narcissistic, and temperamental. However, they are also often considered extremely talented, especially in music, and very beautiful. After all, a diva was originally the female star of an opera. Diva is the Latin term for “goddess”. And what woman wouldn’t want to be considered a “goddess”? Especially an ambitious person like Meghan, who seems to be very determined to be rich and famous. However, her efforts to social climb have become very obvious and distasteful. Yes, we could ignore snarky comments from guys like Piers Morgan, who doesn’t have much room to talk when it comes to being narcissistic. But I know I started to pay attention when it came out that Meghan had made Kate Middleton cry. Kate Middleton has always been the epitome of poise and grace. Even if, behind closed doors, she’s not actually an extremely classy person, Kate can pull off that appearance flawlessly… and personally, I think she is genuinely an effortlessly graceful and gracious lady. For Meghan, being classy and graceful, like Kate naturally is, is hard work– and it shows.
Meghan takes things very seriously… and I think if she wants to get back into the public’s good graces, she’s going to have to rent a sense of humor, and stop taking herself so seriously. But I don’t think that is going to happen, because narcissists, as a general rule, lack a sense of humor… especially when it comes to their images. And Meghan’s clearly negative response to Mariah’s comments is very telling, in my opinion. Her “slip is showing”… as in, that self-centeredness and perpetual victimhood attitude is coming out and taking a bow. And people are noticing, because they are giving Meghan just what she’s always wanted… ATTENTION. I think she’s realizing that attention is a double edged sword that cuts both ways. She wants attention for the “right” reasons… but she keeps saying and doing things that give her negative attention. While negative attention is better than NO attention, it still causes narcissistic wounds. Unless Meghan somehow learns to control her obviously wounded reactions, as she simultaneously stops spreading ridiculous lies, it’s only going to get worse.
But, if you want a somewhat quick and dirty look at Meghan’s most recent shenanigans, you might check out Jesus Enrique Rosas’ 6 Worst Takeaways from her interview on The Cut.
Meghan still has her fans, of course… but more and more, I’m seeing some increasingly vitriolic responses to Meghan’s behavior. Below is a video that actually took me aback, as the guy actually drops the c-bomb regarding Meghan. I don’t think those over-the-top responses are very helpful, as they only lend credence to Meghan’s assertions that the press is hateful to her, even if this dude is just a YouTuber.
Well… I’ve been working on this post forever, and I’m getting tired… so I’m going to sign off, for now. I’m sure some people won’t like this post. I know I have a couple of friends who like Meghan Markle. Personally, though, I am pretty horrified by this recent stuff that’s come out… especially the part about Nelson Mandela. It’s just incredibly tone deaf. And I think it’s going to get worse. I can’t believe she’s managed to get herself in the situation she’s in… and frankly, I feel sorry for Prince Harry, because he’s going to have a hell of a time extricating himself from this mess. Especially if he wants to maintain contact with his children. Trust me… I know this from my own husband’s experiences.
Yesterday, I noticed that someone hit one of my recent posts about H.G. Tudor and his YouTube channel about narcissism. H.G. Tudor is a British guy who says he is a narcissistic sociopath, and claims to provide a service to the world by explaining narcissistic behavior. Last month, he posted many videos of himself, reading Tom Bower’s book, Revenge, about Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. I enjoyed listening to the videos, as H.G. Tudor mostly uses static images, rather than slideshows or video. He read aloud from the book, then explained his interpretations of (mostly) Meghan’s behaviors in an often delightfully saucy way.
Anyway, I often visit the posts that people click on, and when I did so yesterday, I discovered that all of H.G. Tudor’s videos were taken down. When I clicked on one of the absent videos, I noticed that H.G. Tudor had posted an explanatory video on one of his other channels. It seems that CBS Viacom, or whomever holds the copyright for Revenge, had issued a copyright claim. H.G. Tudor says he and CBS Viacom worked it out amicably, and he agreed to take down all of the videos regarding the book. However, in spite of having worked it out, and both parties having notified YouTube, they didn’t remove the automated mechanism that shut down his Ultra Narcissism channel. So, that’s why the videos on that post no longer work.
When videos go dark, and I am aware of them going dark, I usually take them down. I don’t know if I’ll do that this time, since I wrote a few posts about H.G. Tudor and I’m pretty sure I always included videos. And sometimes, the text doesn’t make sense without the videos. If I leave up the “ghosts”, at least those who read the posts will know that there used to be more there. I don’t know if I have the time or inclination to go back and edit a bunch of posts that aren’t particularly popular and might only get a few hits henceforth.
I do think H.G. Tudor puts out good content. It’s interesting, entertaining, and informative. And I agree with him that he probably is a narcissist, although he’s remarkably introspective for a narcissist. He may claim to have a severe diagnosis of narcissism, because as a narcissist, he no doubt wants to be the “best”… or the “worst”, as the case might be. It’s not unlike someone with an eating disorder wanting to be the sickest. If you’re healthy, you might think that sounds crazy. But, some people with certain eating disorders take pride in the behavior. Many of them see it as a badge of honor– a testament to their will power and level of control. I would imagine narcissists have similar issues, because part of being a narcissist means wanting to be above everyone else. I can see how the ones who know what they are would want to “worsen” their diagnoses, even if they don’t actually warrant a worse diagnosis. But personally, I have a hard time believing that he’s as severe as he claims to be, simply because he genuinely seems to care more than the worst narcissists would.
I am grateful to YouTube content creators who put out content about narcissism. I do think that listening to an actual narcissist is educational. However, I think I appreciate the therapeutic takes on narcissism more, simply because the people who make those videos understand the behavior and empathize. A lot of people who come into contact with a narcissist are left wounded and bewildered. The non-narcissistic therapeutic approach is edifying and uplifting, a reminder that it’s not the victim’s fault that the narcissist does what they do. It’s part of their nature. I still shake my head when I think of some of the narcissistic people I’ve encountered in my life, wondering what I did to deserve that kind of treatment. And now I know, at least intellectually, that I didn’t do anything to deserve that shit. That’s just how narcissistic people are. It’s their nature– just like the frog and the scorpion, or Lucy Van Pelt pulling the football away from Charlie Brown before he can kick it.
I’ve also learned that when you know someone is a narcissist, you don’t want to get close to them. You won’t be an exception. They WILL eventually do something hurtful or hateful, and deep down, they won’t care that you were injured by them. In their mind, it’ll be your fault, because it’s NEVER their fault. It can’t be. Narcissists believe they are above all reproach.
I’m not surprised there were copyright issues with H.G. Tudor reading the book on YouTube. As compelling as the videos were, the bottom line is, he was still reading a book to thousands of viewers who might not have decided to buy the book themselves. I did buy the book and read it on my own, which I’m glad I did, since Tudor didn’t read the whole thing. And now that I’ve read it, I’m reading to move on to the next topic.
Edited to add: I am now watching a video H.G. Tudor just put up, saying that his channel has now been reinstated. Glad to hear it!
A couple of days ago, a childhood acquaintance who happens to share my liberal proclivities posted about Jared Kushner. I try not to comment too much on his posts, since he has some pretty obnoxious Trump supporting friends. It doesn’t surprise me, either, since he lives in Roanoke, Virginia, and that’s close to where a lot of my relatives live… and they’re all Republicans. I’m sure it’s not easy watching Trump go down in flames, especially since they all believed in him, voted for him, and assumed that they were right to do so. For some reason, when it comes to voting for politicians, some people are willing to overlook a lot of stuff they would never accept in someone they know in person. Many people will simply vote for parties, and they trust that whomever their party has chosen to run for office is going to be the better choice for them than their opponent will be.
Of course, having studied narcissism and having been around for a few decades, I knew what Trump was when I saw him. I didn’t think he was as bad as he turned out to be, but I knew that when he proudly spoke about grabbing women by the pussy, and being ALLOWED to do it, because he’s a “star”, that he would NOT be a good leader. It had nothing to do with his political party. It was all about him. I knew he wasn’t a good husband, father, or boss, and that meant he would be a terrible president. So I didn’t vote for him.
Then I saw Trump’s acolytes coming out in the form of loudmouthed, ignorant, obnoxious, extremists, both in terms of politicians, and rank and file citizens. I knew I couldn’t vote for Republicans again. At least not until this current crop of miscreants is driven out of politics. I don’t agree with all liberal agenda. I’m more of a moderate. But, I do think the Democrats, for now, have put out candidates who are more acceptable to me. You’d think this would be my right to come to this conclusion, as a “free” American, right?
Well, I left my old childhood friend a comment, and sure enough, one of his Trump friends came at me. I could tell this guy was sucking hard on the Q Anon teat, as he kept trying to tell me what a pervert Biden is, and how his family is “sick”. I told him I wasn’t interested in his conspiracy theories. He kept coming at me, so I asked him if he thought it was “effective” to try to engage in arguments with people he doesn’t know. How many people does he know who have changed their political beliefs because of anything he’s posted?
Do you really think it’s effective to argue with people you don’t know in comment sections? I get that you don’t like Biden. I don’t really care.
As far as I’m concerned, Trump is the worst president we have ever had. He never should have been allowed to run, in my opinion. I have a lot of reasons for feeling the way I do, just like you have your reasons for not liking Biden.
Let’s just leave it at that. H and I are politically on the same page, so my comment was mainly for him, anyway.
He kept trying to goad me into a debate. He even wrote that he wouldn’t argue with me if I would just tell him why I prefer Biden to Trump. It was a request, or even a demand, to explain myself– which I didn’t feel inclined to do. I knew that explaining it would not change his mind, because he is already very convinced of all of the things he’s read and heard from far right sources. He strongly believes that his views are the correct ones, and all other perspectives are 100% wrong.
I finally posted this:
No, because if I do that, you will just tell me I’m wrong, and that will inevitably lead to an argument. I have a right to my opinions, just like you have a right to yours. Moreover, it’s a beautiful Saturday here in Germany, and I want to spend it with my sweet husband.
I would rather frost my pubic hair than get into a political conversation with someone whose mind is as made up as yours obviously is. It’s an exercise in futility, and liable to be more painful and pointless than chemical burns would be on my private parts.
So I am going to fuck off of this conversation and go have a beer. Have a good one.
It used to be that people could have different opinions. It used to be that politics and religion were taboo topics for polite company. Social media has changed that, of course, and now people seem to think it’s incumbent on them to change hearts and minds to whatever their political persuasion is. Like I said, I know that people have their reasons for their beliefs. I might agree or disagree with them. But, if we live in a free society, people should be allowed to vote their consciences. I wish that the parties who put forth politicians would put forth humane, ethical, decent people to lead. But those people are often seen as “weak” by a significant number of voters. So then we get charismatic, but cruel and incompetent, people like Trump to run. He has proven to be as corrupt as they come. Some people will never believe it, though. They can’t believe they chose someone who is so fundamentally awful… or they just don’t want to admit it. That’s okay… and it’s understandable, until they try to deny the rest of us the rights to come to our own conclusions.
I have a pretty good brain. I’m logical, reasonable, and sometimes even insightful. Some people don’t like me, or what I have to say, but few of them who actually know me would call me “stupid”. Those who would call me “stupid” are not exactly good judges of intelligence. I know some intelligent people who prefer conservatism. I’ve got no problem with that. I just wish they would champion conservatives who aren’t total narcissists. Because I know that real narcissists don’t care at all about anything or anyone but themselves, and that inherently makes them awful leaders. I won’t willingly vote for that, no matter how high gas prices and inflation get… and, by the way, those problems are global– they aren’t Joe Biden’s doing.
I don’t know if my friend’s right wing, Trump supporting, Biden hating friend is “smart”. I don’t know him at all. But I’ve had a couple of run ins with him, and he’s always beating the same fucking pro Trump/pro Republican drum. I suspect he does it to me because he has a penis, and I don’t. It’s like talking to my cousin, who thinks that his dick and his experience selling life insurance overrules my education and experience in public health/healthcare management. If I were a man, I doubt he’d be so insistent about correcting my “silliness”. For the record, I’m not in need of “special help” from a man who thinks his mind/viewpoint is superior to mine. Most of them quickly prove that’s not the case at all. And anyone who still thinks Trump is innocent and deserves another chance to be a good president is probably in need of some IQ testing themselves… or maybe a psych evaluation.
Well, it’s time to close this post and play some guitar. Hope y’all have a good Monday. Catch you later.
Yesterday, I wrote about how President Joe Biden has announced a plan to forgive a portion of student loans for many American borrowers. Plenty of people are expressing their opinions about this idea. I’ve seen lots of people laud Mr. Biden for helping regular people who are struggling with student loan debt. And I’ve seen many people who are presumably angry that some people are getting “free money” when they’ve been “irresponsible.”
For the record, I don’t have a problem with Biden’s plan to forgive some educational debt. I won’t be benefiting personally from Biden’s “largesse”, but as I explained yesterday, the timing of my own school loans were fortuitous. I lucked into a low interest rate, which was very helpful for me. It was hard enough to get ahead of the loans even with that low rate. I see that now, a lot of people are paying significantly more in interest than I did. One friend shared the graphic below, which came from a longer, viral Facebook post:
As I mentioned before, I got my loans paid off after years of concentrated effort and gradually rolling larger payments into what I was regularly paying every month. After five years of paying the minimum, which barely covered the interest, I voluntarily started paying more and more. There was no penalty to prepay, and we could afford it, starting back in 2007, when Bill was in Iraq and temporarily got paid more. It wasn’t like I was spending money on anything exciting during that time, so I just rolled the extra money into paying off debts. I paid off Bill’s shitty high interest credit cards, too, and he was soon able to get a much better card. But if I’d had a higher interest rate, it would have been much harder to pay off the debts. I’d probably still be paying.
In any case, I am not upset that other people are getting help with their student loans that I won’t be getting. I’m just grateful that I don’t need the help, and that against all odds, I managed to pay off those loans. It makes no sense for me to be upset about this, either, because it’s a done deal, and there’s nothing I can do about it. There are plenty of other reasons to be angry right now.
For instance, I’m very upset about the fact that as of yesterday, abortion in Texas is virtually illegal. As of yesterday, a trigger law went into effect, making abortion a felony for those who provide the service. Yes, there are exceptions for when the mother’s life is at risk, but because of the political climate in Texas right now– and, oh, maybe the fact that it’s the number one death penalty state– physicians are reportedly committing malpractice and not giving pregnant women who actually need an abortion for medical reasons the care they need. Why? Because they don’t want to go to prison and be fined $100,000.
It occurred to me last night that the timing of Mr. Biden’s student loan assistance package is rather fortuitous, as the midterm elections approach. Lots of Republicans are positively GLEEFUL about overturning Roe v Wade. However, there is also evidence that a lot of people– Republicans included– are upset, worried, or even downright pissed that a political party is taking away a fundamental right from all women of childbearing age, not to mention their right to healthcare PRIVACY. If we learn anything from the results in Kansas, when voters were asked to vote on abortion rights, it’s that this is an issue that affects a whole lot of people. Some of the people who voted for abortion rights were, no doubt, Republicans.
I have also read reports of Republican politicians abandoning their party, because they simply can’t abide the cruel, intrusive, and downright stupid policies that today’s Republicans are pushing. Yes, there are still a lot of people who are vocal about supporting Trump and his ilk, but some conservatives are seeing the light. Some also don’t want to be associated with the likes of shady characters like Matt Gaetz, Ron De Santis, and, dare I say it? Trump himself.
I think that Biden’s decision to offer student loan help may sway some Republicans to vote blue in November. Not only would they be voting for women’s rights, healthcare privacy, and the right to have an abortion, but they would also be voting for much needed financial help with their loans instead of another corporate bailout. You can’t tell me, either, that Republicans who qualify for the $10,000 forgiveness of their student loans won’t take the help. Of course they’ll take it. Some will happily take that benefit as they loudly complain about it. I don’t remember hearing too many people from the Republican Party complaining about the temporary financial assistance Trump offered during COVID-19’s worst months.
Now, I could be completely wrong about this. Maybe the timing of Biden’s student loan announcement is completely unrelated to the cluster fuck being perpetrated by Republicans right now. However, I have a feeling I could be on to something. I also think the main reason Republicans are so upset about this development is because, ultimately, it will help a lot of the people they’d like to keep down… women, minorities, people who don’t identify as mainstream. This help will be useful to people who could use a financial leg up in order to improve their lots in life. For many people, the $10,000 will be a “drop in the bucket”, but some people’s loans will be completely paid off because of this help. And some will have their burdens greatly reduced. That simple fact will make Biden look pretty good to some of them.
On the other hand, the reverse could also be true. Some Democrats might not like Biden’s decision, either because it doesn’t go far enough, or because they agree that doing this “rewards irresponsible people”. However, my guess is that most Democrats who don’t like this plan will still vote blue, because they will still consider Democratic candidates better than the alternatives. I can’t imagine someone who supports progressive, humane, public policies voting for a Republican candidate over something like this. But then, much stranger things have happened, right?
I haven’t even mentioned some of the totally ridiculous and backwards school policies being enacted right now. I will never know why so many conservatives are so much more concerned about what’s in a teacher’s classroom library than they are about kids being killed at school by gun violence. I mean, they’ll do all they can to “save” a fetus from being aborted, even if the pregnant person isn’t ready or wanting to be a parent, but they don’t do anything about those same “babies” being blown apart in a classroom by some unhinged nut with a gun. And what if they happen to be reading a book about a kid with two dads when that happens? Personally, I just think that kids should be encouraged to read. I think teachers should be better supported for their efforts, because it’s not an easy job to educate kids, nor is it necessarily well paid or respected work. Every day, teachers put their lives on the line to see that children are properly educated, but we have elected officials doing everything in their power to make their job harder. No wonder so many good teachers are leaving the field. It seems that many Republicans just want the citizenry to be dumber.
So… kudos to Joe Biden for offering this help, especially at this point in time– as Trump is fighting many legal battles and people are in a tizzy over everything. Experience has taught me that money talks. A lot of regular people are fed up with the way the country is heading, and they want to see some real help and change. I don’t think it’s an accident that this student loan measure, controversial as it is, is being presented now, as Republicans are doing all they can to take away women’s rights, dumb down kids in school, and force us back into the Dark Ages. Some Republicans will appreciate Mr. Biden’s efforts enough to vote blue in November. And some of those people will become permanently former Republican voters, like I am.
Before I go… I want to share these videos I watched by Mr. Atheist yesterday. They were pretty infuriating. I will probably end up writing about “pro-life” activist Kristan Hawkins soon, but I won’t do it today, because this post is long enough. I’ve got laundry to fold and dogs to walk. But I do want to share them with those who read this post and need a new reason to be disgusted. Maybe, if anyone is interested, I’ll offer my thoughts about these videos tomorrow.
I’m sure you’ve heard about it by now. Yesterday, President Joe Biden announced that many borrowers with federal student loans will be forgiven $10,000 of their debt. Those who borrowed and also got Pell Grants qualify for an additional $10,000 of forgiveness. This applies to anyone earning less than $125,000 per year, or married couples jointly filing tax returns earning less than $250,000. Loans after June 30, 2022 aren’t eligible.
Although I won’t be personally affected by this plan, I think it’s a good idea. Bill and I paid off my student loans in 2018, nine years early. But we were able to do that because we’ve been extraordinarily fortunate. Living in Germany has been very good for us in most ways, but especially financially. We don’t have children or elderly relatives to support, and we don’t own a home. Back in 2007, when Bill went to Iraq and got a temporary bump in pay, I made paying off my loans a priority, so we wouldn’t be burdened with them as we aged.
I was also very lucky in that in 2002, just after I graduated from the University of South Carolina with dual master’s degrees, I was able to take advantage of a very low interest rate that probably isn’t available anymore (although I haven’t checked). I consolidated my loans and locked in that rate (3.75), and that really helped me a lot. I remember thinking the $57,000 in Stafford Loans I owed would never get paid off– but I was able to do it, little by little. Now I realize that I actually got a bargain. Some people borrow that much for just one degree. I managed to get three.
Even though we managed to pay off my loans in full, I have a lot of empathy for today’s borrowers. The cost of higher education has skyrocketed since I was last in school. At the same time, salaries have stayed pretty stagnant. Then we had the pandemic, which caused a great deal of chaos for people in the workforce. Bill and I were responsible, and we did make paying the student loans off a focal point. But that’s only because we could. Not everyone has that choice. And when you’re working your ass off for employers who don’t necessarily value you with decent pay, it can feel like you’re on a hamster wheel. I know how it is. I was there myself when I was single.
It seems like Mr. Biden can’t do anything to please some people. I’ve noticed many folks whining about this new plan to help borrowers. So many folks think it’s unfair to forgive debt, especially if they’ve paid off their loans. I’ve seen a lot of people who are shocked that people earning up to $125,000 will qualify. Do those people understand that some areas of the country have a much lower standard of living than others do? Someone making $125,000 may seem “wealthy” in rural Kentucky or Arkansas, but they would be far from wealthy in California, New York, or parts of Virginia. I’m also willing to bet that a lot of Republicans will gladly take advantage of this plan, even as they complain about Biden.
I know it’s normal for people to complain when their preferred politician isn’t in office. The level of contempt some people have for Joe Biden is pretty sickening. I don’t understand it. I mean, I get that he’s not the most exciting we’ve ever had. He inherited quite a mess, though. I don’t remember any other incoming president facing the level of chaos Mr. Biden did in January 2021. Moreover, Donald Trump has literally done things that are CRIMINAL. People still think he should be in charge, in spite of his obvious propensity to lie, steal, cheat, and molest. I don’t understand why more Americans don’t want a law abiding, decent, responsible person in the White House. But try to ask some people about this, and they will accuse you of having “Trump Derangement Syndrome” and being a “hater”. I wouldn’t “hate” Trump if he didn’t act like he’s above the law and make the United States a laughing stock around the world.
Count me among those who think Mr. Biden has done remarkably well, under the unusual circumstances he’s faced. I don’t know if he’ll make it to a second term, but I will vote for him again if anyone like Trump or De Santis is running for president in 2024. I do think it would be good if he bowed out of a second term, mainly because he is so elderly and being POTUS has got to take a severe toll on him. I would like to see a younger person run for the Democrats. But I would take him ANY DAY over Trump, simply because he’s humane and decent, and he doesn’t steal classified documents, constantly golf, mug for the camera, or post on social media, nor does he brag about grabbing women by the pussy. Anything good Trump did for the United States was done at someone else’s expense. He is a classic narcissist, and they are never good for anyone but themselves.
Speaking of narcissists, I did take a peek at Twitter and noticed that Ex was crowing about this news. She claims her loans are paid off, but this will “help” her children. I couldn’t help but shake my head, because I know the reality behind her comments. Below is how she responded to one person who was lamenting about student loans:
That’s horrible! It’s like loan sharks just like another poster said. My student loans are no longer owed but my husband and several of my children have student loan debt and this will help our family tremendously! The only thing I’m worried about is my daughter in college now!
Ex forced Bill’s daughters to drop out of high school, get GEDs, enroll in college, and take out student loans, of which she helped herself to the excess after tuition was paid. The loans were taken out in her daughters’ names, which means that they alone were responsible for paying them off, even though it was Ex who was using the money. Younger daughter explained all of this to us, and told us that she had managed to pay off the debt, even though she doesn’t have a degree to show for it.
I also know that Ex has declared bankruptcy several times, including one time when she and Bill were married. Besides the bankruptcy, there was also a foreclosure. But there’s ol’ Ex, acting like she’s fiscally responsible. I don’t understand why she feels the need to lie to strangers on Twitter, but I guess it’s just a facet of her “extra” personality. When I met Bill, his credit rating was abysmal, and he was carrying credit cards with loan shark level interest rates. He now has an excellent credit rating, but that didn’t come without significant hard work and several long years of being very diligent about our finances. The end result is that we’ve both managed to recover from the financial disasters she wrought.
I probably shouldn’t pay any attention to her… but she is genuinely fascinating. If she’s out there in the wild, you know there are a lot of others like her. So many people feel like they have to fake it until they make it, and present a false self to everyone.
I’m glad that Joe Biden is doing something that will help middle class student loan borrowers. I know that some people don’t think this measure is enough, while some are resentful that they paid off their loans and won’t be benefiting. I, for one, think this is a good decision. What I think would be even better is if the cost of attending college went down significantly, as alternatives to college are also offered to those who would fare better learning a trade.
One thing I think Germany does right is offering higher education to those who are most likely to succeed, while also offering people the chance to learn skills or trades. Not everyone is cut out for academics, and not everyone needs a college degree to succeed. I am very grateful I had the chance to go to college and graduate school, and obviously, I could handle the work. But I often feel badly about the fact that I went to school and use my education, mostly, for this blog and entertaining Bill. It seems like a waste… even though I know that when I started graduate school, I had no plans to marry anyone. I was sure I was going to be an old maid. It’s funny how life changes just when you least expect it.
For those who wonder how I managed to pay off my loans… I’m going to offer my best tips. It may not work for you, but this is what worked for me. It’s pretty simple, actually. I started by paying an extra $20 per month on my minimum payment. At first, that extra money didn’t make a big dent, but it did help pay off interest faster, which led to the principal finally going down on a steady basis instead of staying the same. Always remember that if you’re paying the minimum, you won’t get anywhere with any expediency. That minimum will just pay for interest, and you want to work on the principal, which will also lower the amount of interest you get charged.
As time went on, I continued to add to the extra amount I paid each month. Maybe six months after I started paying an extra $20, I bumped the extra amount to $50. Then I went to $100 extra, and watched with delight as the principal diminished. I started getting letters from my lender, letting me know that I was paid ahead and didn’t need to keep paying extra. I ignored those letters and paid more and more, until I had finally whittled down my principal to about $2000. At that point, we had the money to just pay off the last of the loan, so that’s what I did. Boy, was that a good feeling! Again… we accomplished this nine years ahead of time! I’ve successfully used the same technique on car loans and paid them off ahead of time, saving money on interest and ridding myself of stress and headaches caused by debt.
It may initially seem very difficult to part with that extra $10 or $20 when it feels like you can’t keep ahead of your bills. But, if you’re buying $4 coffees or other little luxuries, you probably can afford to pay a little extra on your loans. It won’t seem to make a difference at first, but as time goes by, you will find that the little bit adds up, and you will soon have a cushion that will make paying off the debt more comfortable and less stressful. Of course, you do have to keep at it– consistently pay a little extra, and consider adding to the amount extra over time. That takes discipline, diligence, and determination. But if you set your mind to it, you will find that it really pays off in the long run. Just my one little pearl of advice to anyone who reads this.
Well, it’s time to practice guitar… got to do my Thursday vacuuming, too. It’s another hot day, and our poor backyard is just parched. I am praying for some rain.
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