George Graham

Rising from my Sick Bed with a Jaundiced View

Here I am again, as the song goes, “hard bud fe dead.” I’ve been up and down with the ‘flu that’s going round, and woke up on Friday with a swollen and very painful ankle. Actually, I’m wrong. It was Thursday, but I refused to acknowledge the pain and played golf – 18 holes of anguish, still shivering from the ‘flu and wincing every time my weight shifted over to that increasingly swollen left ankle.

By Friday morning it was impossible to walk.

Adding to the pain was the mystery. What had I done to injure the ankle? I could not recall twisting it. And at my age I couldn’t bend my body far enough to examine the ankle.

Sandra took a look and said she could see four tiny red spots that looked like puncture marks. Had I been bitten by a spider? By four spiders? The critters abound here in Central Florida, and it would not be surprising if I had run afoul of them as I puttered about in the yard. One could even have made it into our bed…

Yes, I know, it’s a scary thought. But, hey, it’s the price we Floridians pay for living in Paradise. That and the snakes. And the alligators. And the mosquitoes….

But the sun shines most of the time. So, it might be worth it.

Today, I was able to put some weight on that left leg, and here I am, back at the computer, surveying the national scene to bring you whatever wisdom I can scrounge up.

But wisdom is in short supply. Nobody seems able to come up with a solution to the epidemic of gun violence. for example. Vice President Joe Biden is to report to the president tomorrow, they say, and something is probably going to happen. But it’s sure to be a watered down compromise. That seems to be he president’s way.

He isn’t going to enrage the gun lobby. Or the video games lobby. Or the entertainment industry. Or any of the vested interests involved.

He will do enough to placate those of us who are horrified by the carnage but not  too much. He is a disciple of “the center,” after all. Look at the cabinet he’s assembling, so far all white middle-aged establishment guys, including at least one member of the same old Wall Street gang that has been robbing us blind for so long.

And the debt ceiling still hovers over the  nation with no relief in sight.

You know the crazies in the House will refuse to raise it – without spending cuts.  And you know President Obama says he won’t negotiate. But he says he won’t mint that trillion-dollar platinum coin, either. So where does hat leave us?

The administration is fiddling with the books to buy a few more months, but come August, the bad stuff hits the fan.

I wish I had faith in the president. I wish I could tell you he will risk impeachment and do whatever the Constitution allows him to do.

But I don’t see that as Obama’s way.

I fear another sell-out. And it will probably be us old folks on the block.

He is not a fan of the prescription drug plan, for example. And he previously offered to raise the Medicare eligibility age.

My bet is that he will negotiate. Again.

And we old folks – and those of you who plan to get old some day – are going to get shafted.

I hope I’m wrong. I hope it’s just the sickness talking. But I doubt it.

Click here for the latest on the debt ceiling.

Click here for the latest on the gun control debate.

About the author

gwgraeme

I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for Jamaicans.com