Don’t Let The Bastards Get You Down!

stress level conceptual meter indicating maximum, financial stress concept isolated on white backgroundBaby Boomers remember Abbott & Costello’s, famous comedy skit, “Who’s on first?” explains:

“Lou Costello,…appeared lively and fun in his comedy bits, but behind the laughter was a life marred by tragedy.

…. Despite this success,…(he) experienced a darker side of life.

In November 1943, Costello had just returned from a six-month absence from TV. He had been sidelined with rheumatic fever after touring…different army bases. He arrived at the NBC studios…and received the worst news imaginable for a father — his son had died.

His infant son Lou, Jr. …wandered towards the swimming pool, fell in and drowned. …. Costello was heartbroken.

…. Lou Costello was a comedy legend — and an influence on generations of future comedians. Like many of the best, beneath his humor was great pain, but he managed to overcome it, as only the best can.”

Sadly, two years after the IRS bankrupted him, Costello died from a heart attack at 52.

Johnny Carson interviewed Buddy Hackett, who played Lou Costello in the movie, Bud & Lou, Comedy is No Laughing Matter. Hackett loved Costello and the influence he had on his life, sharing this personal story.

Hackett was summoned to the hospital by Lou Costello. When he arrived, he sat quietly as Costello was sleeping. He eventually opened his eyes, grinned, nodded toward Hackett and said, “Don’t let the bastards get you down!” He went back to sleep and died soon after.

Good Advice!

Subscriber Robert G. sent an article Financial Stress Could Impact Your Health More Than Grief:

“Financial strain can impact far more than just a person’s mental health.

A nationally representative study…found evidence that stress over money is tied to long-term changes in key health markers, including those associated with the immune system, the nervous system, and the hormonal system.

…. Of all six common stressors examined in this cohort – including financial strain, caregiving, disability, bereavement, illness, and divorce – financial strain was associated with the riskiest health profiles in the long run.”

An Allianz Life study adds more detail:

“Key findings:

  • 56% consider ‘financial crises’ as a permanent part of their retirement planning
  • 46% were forced to reduce or stop saving for retirement, and say they won’t be able to ramp up saving any time soon.
  • Nearly 40% of Americans admit their retirement strategy is derailed and they aren’t sure when or how they’ll get it back on track

…. A remarkable 61% of Americans say they are more afraid of running out of money than they are of death, many are not taking the steps necessary to set themselves up for a successful financial future and retirement.”

The Big Picture

Most financial stress articles are provided by companies selling financial products or services. Stress is caused by many factors, not just financial. How many friends, who are financially comfortable, are still stressed out to the point it could affect their health?

The American Psychological Association (APA) explains, How stress affects your health:

Stress: We’ve all felt it. Sometimes stress can be a positive force, motivating you to perform well…. But often…it’s a negative force. If you experience stress over a prolonged period of time, it could become chronic—unless you take action.

A natural reaction

Have you ever found yourself with sweaty hands…or felt your heart pounding? …. You can feel stress in both your mind and body.

This automatic response…(is) a way to protect (yourself) from predators and other threats. Faced with danger, the body kicks into gear, flooding the body with stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol that elevate your heart rate, increase your blood pressure, boost your energy, and prepare you to deal with the problem.

These days, you’re not likely to face the threat of being eaten. But you probably do confront multiple challenges every day…. As a result, your body’s natural alarm system—the “fight or flight” response—may be stuck in the on position. And that can have serious consequences for your health.

…. Even short-lived, minor stress can have an impact. …. More major acute stress, whether caused by a fight with your spouse or a terrorist attack, can have an even bigger impact….

Chronic stress

When stress starts interfering with your ability to live a normal life for an extended period, it becomes even more dangerous. The longer the stress lasts, the worse it is for both your mind and body.

…. This can put you at increased risk for a variety of physical and mental health problems, including anxiety, depression, digestive issues, headaches, muscle tension and pain, heart disease, heart attack, high blood pressure, stroke, sleep problems, weight gain, and memory and concentration impairment.”

The old saying, “When you have more years behind you than you have ahead of you, you think about life differently,” hit home when I reviewed their strategies for reducing stress:

Identify what’s causing stress. Monitor your state of mind throughout the day. If you feel stressed, write down the cause, your thoughts, and your mood. Once you know what’s bothering you, develop a plan for addressing it.

Build strong relationships. Relationships can be a source of stress. Research has found that negative, hostile reactions (in relationships) …. cause immediate changes in stress-sensitive hormones. ….. But (positive) relationships can also serve as stress buffers.

Walk away when you’re angry. Before you react, take time to regroup by counting to 10. Then reconsider. Walking or other physical activities can also help you work off steam. ….

Rest your mind. To help you get the recommended seven or eight hours of shut-eye, cut back on caffeine, remove distractions such as television from your bedroom, and go to bed at the same time each night.

I got stuck on #1, Identify what is causing the stress. What if the cause is beyond your control and unavoidable? While you may be able to develop “a plan for addressing it,” the cause may not go away.

Hardly a day goes by without someone seriously complaining about what is happening around us, illegal immigration, inflation, health care, crime – you name it; followed by feeling powerless to do anything about it.

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Americans grew up believing our nation was different, beginning with the Declaration of Independence:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed….”

What happened to the “Consent of the Governed?” Paul Craig Roberts (PCR) explains:

“How Private Interests Seized Control of America

“The issue today is the same as it has been throughout all history, whether man shall be allowed to govern himself or be ruled by a small elite.”

— Thomas Jefferson

One thing that we know with certainty about our time is that no Western government represents the people it rules.

Western governments represent the interests of those whose campaign contributions elect the government. The government is simply purchased by campaign contributors. It is not a government in the sense of the word used by Thomas Jefferson and Albert Jay Nock.

VIP abbreviation with a crown. 3D text on a globe background…. Albert Jay Nock distinguishes between social power and state power. Social power is when people have power. Then you have government. State power is when the state has power. Then you have tyranny.

This situation is one in which government becomes privatized by powerful interests, including government agencies, to serve their agendas and is transformed into an unaccountable state.”

PCR points to the Global Leader Approval Rating Tracker:

Global Leader Approval Rating Tracker February 29 - March 6

The US isn’t alone with government disapproval ratings far outweighing the approval ratings. Government officials aren’t listening to the governed. Polls show the vast majority of the population opposes illegal immigration, bank bailouts and more; yet the government ignores the “consent of the governed” and pays homage to their donors.

Bill Bonner explains what most Americans are feeling, “Banks got rich. Wall Street got rich. The firepower industry got rich. Lobbyists got rich. Members of Congress got rich. Too bad about the public.”

Most citizens feel powerless and fear the government taking an active stance to punish the voice of dissent. I’ve experienced Facebook purgatory for posting famous quotes.

While having your financial house in order, having no debt, owning gold and being well diversified, helps eliminate financial stress, there is more to be done.

Coping with what we cannot control

A good place to start is the Mayo Clinic’s common sense tips for dealing with stress.

Adding my personal experience

Back to #1, “Identify the Cause.” Want to be in a bad mood all day, or go to bed angry? A daily dose of morning and nightly news will do the trick.

Retro Vintage Motivational Quote Poster. When Life Seems To Beat You Down Dare To Fight Back. Grunge effects can be easily removed for a cleaner look. Vector illustrationI’ve visited countries with oppressive governments, hyperinflation and horrible conditions; yet their people survive, are productive and healthy.

What’s their secret? Family, friends, a sense of humor and not taking things too seriously allowed them to cope, and be happy under their circumstances. They have little respect for their leaders and regularly laugh at them.

500+ years ago, King Henry VII said, “The problem with political jokes is they get elected.” Some things never change.

Americans are industrious people, and will survive and thrive, despite what is currently going on around us.

In the meantime, “Don’t let the bastards get you down!” Fight back….

A little help goes a long way!

When I started Miller On The Money nine years ago, I vowed to keep our newsletter FREE! I’ve kept my promise.

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On The Lighter Side

The National Hockey League playoffs are starting. We are Tampa Bay Lightning fans and hope they do well. It’s generally a couple months of rough and tumble, exciting hockey.

Long-time readers know how much my wife Jo and I love our Blackstone Griddle. There’s not too much you can’t cook on it and it is lots of fun.

We got interested in the Blackstone by watching YouTube videos with their cooking guru, Todd Toven.

Dennis Miller with Tod Toven, on the Griddle More tourBlackstone Griddle "Griddle More" tour - Tod TovenHe tours the country with the “Griddle More” tour. Last weekend we went to the local Walmart where he cooked some of his favorite recipes for the crowd to sample. They were yummy and we’ve added one (Toddelloni) for us to try next week.

What you see on the videos is what you get, just a nice guy having fun, doing well at his job. If you haven’t done so, check him out on YouTube for fun videos and some cool recipes. (No, I have no financial incentive to promote their products, just a satisfied customer.)

Money Vs. Votes - honest vs corrupt politician conceptQuote of the week…

If we have Senators and Congressmen there that can’t protect themselves against the evil temptations of lobbyists, we don’t need to change our lobbies, we need to change our representatives.

And finally…

It’s fitting to share some famous Will Rodgers quotes about government:

  • There are men running governments who shouldn’t be allowed to play with matches.
  • I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.
  • The short memories of the American voters is what keeps our politicians in office.
  • If America ever passes on as a great nation, we ought to put on our tombstone: America died from a delusion she had Moral Leadership.
  • Last year we said, ‘Things can’t go on like this’, and they didn’t, they got worse.
  • We always want the best man to win an election. Unfortunately, he never runs.
  • The more you read and observe about this Politics thing, the more you’ve got to admit that each party is worse than the other.
  • If you ever injected truth into politics, you would have no politics.
  • America has the best politicians money can buy.
  • There is one guaranteed formula for failure, and that is to try to please everyone.
  • Anything important is never left to the vote of the people. We only get to vote on some man; we never get to vote on what he is to do.
  • I have a scheme for stopping war. It’s this – no nation is allowed to enter a war till they have paid for the last one.

And my favorite:

  • Common sense ain’t common.

Until next time…

Dennis Miller

“Economic independence is the foundation of the only sort of freedom worth a damn.” – H. L. Mencken


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