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Betrayed

I had a job back in the later 70’s as the Manager on a dairy farm.  I was making $300 a week and they provided housing and a pick up truck.  I worked from 4am till 7pm 7 days a week and I was good at it.  I was 23 years old and single and didn’t know nuthin’  about quit.  The farm owner got wind I was looking at a job on a neighboring farm for $350 a week and fired me.   Flat.   One of the few perks of the job was I was able to buy a few dairy cows of my own all along and milk ’em in with the big herd.  Conceptually, at some point, I would have had 50 or 100 cows of my own and I would be able to start my own dairy farm.  A week of hermitism with the shades drawn produced an epiphany that I would NEVER be able to have my own dairy farm due to the huge capital investment in stock, machinery, buildings and land.  The late 70’s was the a-dawning of the large corporate farms and since milk was government subsidized even way back then, the large corporations were quick to see the advantages of the government teat. Literally.

So I sold every single one of those registered Holsteins and Jerseys…. and got good money because the market was ripe.  I ended up with $10,000 cash which was a fortune back in those days.  I took every nickle and bought a used 1978 Kenworth cabover diesel tractor  that probably had a million miles on  it when I bought it.  It was, without a doubt, one of the ugliest pieces of machinery ever built.

My parents were living right outside of Maryville, TN at the time and they had a friend who worked for a large trucking company in Chattanooga, TN.  I parlayed that friendship and a scant year of previous truck driving experience into an owner-operator contract with that big ass trucking company in Chattanooga. An owner operator leases his power unit to a company and agrees to haul their freight and their trailer for a specified amount per mile.

I was young and salty and single and I was old school in spite of my young years.  I drove longer and harder and didn’t know any better because it was just second nature to me.  I was ‘owner-operator of the quarter’ time upon time yet few people in management knew my face or what my rig looked like.  I never hit one of the company terminals during daylight hours because I would not stand the scrutiny of the corporate suits and the safety men.  I drove beyond the hours deemed safe by the no-driving sonsabitches with the Government Department of Transportation and my old Kenworth would fail an equipment inspection beyond a shadow of a doubt.  I soon struck up a friendship with the front desk dispatcher in Chattanooga.   I would call Mikey 24 hrs in advance of arrival in Chattanooga, Normal dispatch consisted of a ‘first in-first out’ system.  The first truck in got the longest trip back out and the trips were allocated with manila trip envelopes in a slotted metal board.  My trip envelopes were always in the top right hand drawer of Mikey’s desk and the night guy dispatcher peon always had the big round eyes when I told him to look in that top drawer for my envelope.   I never requested a specific dispatch from Mikey.  We operated on a mutual respect system. I trusted him, he trusted me to deliver the freight on time.  If he was in a bind, I went to New York City (muy malo) or if he could manage it, I went to the West Coast  (muy bueno).   I took whatever was in the drawer without question because I knew Mikey would do me right in the long run.   Somewhere along the way,  we as a nation,  lost that basic business concept.

I got enough cash together from the Chattanooga gig  to buy a new Freightliner Conventional tractor and Utility refrigerated trailer sometime in the early eighties and went wildcat.  Now an independent trucker or wildcatter is a breed unto themselves.  Instead of a company name on the truck door, YOUR name is on the door of the truck and you are not leased or beholding to any man.   Back then, before cellphones and internet, you hustled loads on any pay  phone you could find and high tech was a pager on your belt–but you still had to find a payphone to return the call.   I never hauled any illegal commodity like drugs or illegal aliens but I hauled illegal aplenty.

Back then the gross vehicle weight for a tractor trailer  was 73,280 lbs but refrigerated or produce haulers usually got paid by the box….. the more boxes of corn or green onions or apples you hauled, the more you got paid.  I would back into a dock in California or Florida or Texas to load cantaloupes or asparagus or strawberries and I would tell ’em to fill it ceiling high all the way to the back doors.  Sometimes I would pull away from the docks at a GVW of 130,000 lbs with the confidence I could dodge any weight scale in the country.  I had 3 driver’s licenses and 4 logbooks and 6 different stories to tell any government man that bothered to stop me.

So you gotta be wondering what the ramblings of an old man’s past life has to do with the 3rd quarter of 2011?  I got a point folks, believe me.  I took a measly amount of capital and parlayed it into a moderate fortune.  I didn’t need government assistance or involvement– on the CONTRARY.  A key element of my success was the limited involvement and influence of government back in the day when I was running wide open.   It was the American Dream and I was a 100% subscriber to the program. I got ahead by working as hard as I could and taking advantage of bein an American small businessman.

Somewhere along the way,  it got all messed up.  I was raised up to believe if you worked hard and followed the rules ( sorta kinda) you would get ahead.  You could get a big brick house in the suburbs with a pool and an enviable yard and be trading cars every two years.  Your kids would be the best and the brightest and as long as you went to church and wore a clean starched white shirt every day and contributed the maximum to your 401(k) every pay period, a satisfying life and a rosy retirement were assured. That is what ‘they’ preached to you, right?

We were sold a bill of goods folks.  I was brainwashed along with untold millions of minions that were/are dutiful worker bees.  We got up every morning, put on the shiny shoes and knotted the neck ties by rote and headed off to work.  We were so good and so in control.  We were living the by God AMERICAN DREAM by the numbers, right down to it.  Yeah, right.  Looking back now I cannot believe I was such a dupe.

I was betrayed dammit.  Nothing was as it seemed on the surface of things.  A big house and new cars mean big payments every month so I had to work.  I had no choice but to work. It was the highest and most subtle level of human bondage and enslavement and I submitted to the shackles willingly.  The CEOs making eleventy million dollars a year, the central banks and the PACS  and lobbyists that control Washington, DC got it  dialed in without a doubt.  I was just their wage slave and as long as I stayed in harness pulling that load everything was just peachy on their end because they were reaping the benefits of unjust gains.   UNJUST GAINS — just in case you didn’t catch it the first go ’round.

I have been catching quite a bit of news lately–  mainstream media and some not so mainstream type of stuff and I am detecting a groundswell that makes me think Joe American is PISSED off.  Damn right, it has taken quite awhile but the realization that we have been  betrayed is becoming all too apparent.   If we thought we were subscribing to the American Dream,  we were actually just submitting to the subservience of those that have the REAL money.  Without the slaves down in the trenches, they got nothing.

Me?  Do I have to spell it out?  Fiat money sucks. Big Government involvement at levels of minutiae sucks.  The Central Banks could care less about you, Average Joe.  Take those dollars that are still worth close to a dollar and invest them in tangibles.  Land  where you can sustain life, food, gold, silver, ammunition and firearms.  The window of opportunity to salvage anything from the coming chaos is closing fast.  Yeah, I am a radical sumbitch but your life is what you make of it.  Agree?    Disagree?     I put it out there for you to muddle over.   Sort it out for yourself.

End Note: Woodstock Nation by Big House from the CD Wooodstock Nation.

‘Show me.’   Show me the way.’

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10 comments to Betrayed

  • I remember the old days of trucking you talk about I drove for 28 years.

    Great blog thanks.

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  • Sailbad

    Andy, my story is very similar. I’m SO pissed off at myself and my generation for not recognizing the threat. I bought into the whole “American Dream” thing and trusted the leadership had my best interest at heart. I know now that we have been had! The problem as I see it, is that we have been bought, from the local school board to the white house with that fiat money. BOTH parties are corrupt.
    “WE THE PEOPLE” are going to have one chance to throw the bums out with the upcoming elections. There really must be a house cleaning. My greatest fear is that there will be a straw man 3rd party placed in the mix to once again split the vote. If that happens, Obummer will win!
    To my embarassment I’ve never been politically active but this upcoming year I will do what I can.
    AND I agree with you completely. We have some rough times ahead. Cover your butt!! Tangibles are the way to go.

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  • Leo

    Folks.. It’s not who’s in the White House or exactly who’s in Con-gress. They are all bought and paid for. Be angry at the individual if that makes you feel good, but it’d be better to be angry at the fat cats in the banks and brokerage houses. The Koch brothers. Big coal. Big oil. Big anything. They are the ones that have bought the politicians. And we – the little voters are gullible to the Madison Avenue style of manipulation. Our emotions are played like a kid and a yo-yo. Up-down. Up-down. He’s wrong, she’s wrong, he’s right and vote this way to ‘take your country back. If’n y’all pay close attention there ain’t a whit ‘o difference between most R’s and D’s. They are all corporate shills. Their ego’s are what make ’em run for office. Once they’re in their pocket book (donations from big PAC’s and other folks that can afford the ‘free speech} keeps ’em there.

    Think for yourself – don’t think like some fake news channel or radio ‘personality’ says you should think. Unless you’re a fat cat, you’re ***expletive deleted**** – just like 90% of the people.

    Tangibles are good. But the ability to have clean water and enough food is better – for you and your family.

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  • Joel

    This is hilarious, Andy! I love the way you write. On the one hand, you break the rules for driving time and haul illegal cargo, and then you’re by-god outraged that you played by the rules and feel screwed. I wonder how the truckers who actually played by the rules feel.

    “Land where you can sustain life, food, gold, silver, ammunition and firearms.”

    I guess I don’t get it. You bought land in the desert. Besides snakes, cacti and a few species of beetles, what live is sustainable where you own? I thought you had to haul your own water!

    Gold is a mugs game. Silver is worse–it isn’t even particularly scarce. Ammunition and firearms? Very useful if you make money by the old Bonnie and Clyde route, but not so much otherwise. Anyway, you can’t eat any of these.

    I do agree that the rich are getting richer in this crap economy. And with the GOP becoming a wholly-owned subsidiary of Koch Industries, that tells you all you need to know about the upcoming elections and which party will assure that unemployment stays high, wages stay low, and the future for a generation of Americans will be dimmer than our own.

    Keep up the great blogging!

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  • Miss Kathy

    We could always grow pomegranites and have
    a hydroponics fish farm. Too hot for trout. But catfish
    are pretty tasty. You all just keep yourselfs in the
    harness and quit yer sniveling !

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  • Joel

    Miss Kathy,

    Might be able to raise tilapia in that heat.

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    • admin

      Actually we are looking at aquaponics Joel. Tilapia are very popular in that application.

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  • Joel

    I know. That’s why I mentioned it. They ain’t bad eatin’ either, my friend. Check it out.

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