Monday, 25 September 2017

08:52 – It was 57.4F (13C) and mostly clear when I took Colin out at 0645. We’re having warmish weather, with highs in the 70’s and lows in the 50’s, but it won’t be long before things start cooling down again.

I just realized that in two months we’ll have been living in Sparta for two years. Tempus fugit. Barbara still makes frequent trips down to Winston to visit family and friends and run errands, but it’s been months since I’ve been outside the county and I’d be just as happy never to leave the county again. For me, even a trip into Sparta is a major occasion.


Puerto Rico was bankrupt before the hurricanes, and now it seems they’re expecting US taxpayers to pay off their $70 billion in worthless bonds AND buy them a new country. We, the US taxpayers, have already done more than enough for Puerto Rico. Let them rebuild their own country, and pay for it themselves.

It’s bad enough that US taxpayers will end up shelling out billions to rebuild in Texas and Florida. At least they’re US states. Puerto Rico is not, and we shouldn’t be paying to repair their misfortune.

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60 Responses to Monday, 25 September 2017

  1. Jim Lang says:

    Have the residents of Puerto Rico been paying taxes? Income, property, and business taxes? If they have, they deserve as much assistance as Texas. If they have not, they don’t deserve a thing. For disaster recovery, that is. Their economy is on them, just as these bankrupt cities are.

    I’m all for the fed getting out of the business of disaster recovery. I would much rather see Atlantic & Gulf coast states band together and handle hurricanes. Great Plains states that deal with twisters. Pacific states deal with earthquakes. Northern states deal with blizzards. Let the people that know the specific disaster work on them.

    But as long as the Fed is involved, and we’re putting money in, we deserve to benefit when we need it. All of us.

  2. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Well, as I’ve said, US taxpayers shouldn’t be paying for recovery/reconstruction costs in Texas or Florida. But at least those two states pay lots of federal taxes. With a poverty rate close to 50%, Puerto Rico is a net drain on the US treasury. PR hasn’t stood on its own feet, ever. The US has been subsidizing it since we’ve been there.

  3. nick flandrey says:

    I have to say that it’s hard to tell from some of the photos out of the islands what is the “before” pic and what is the “after”.

    Most of the islands were not prosperous. Tar paper shacks and concrete block and corrugated metal roofs don’t hold up to high wind very well. On the other hand, they’re cheap to replace….

    n

  4. ech says:

    Back from a little over two weeks in Europe. Went to Prague, Vienna, Venice, and Florence. Now back to flood recovery from Harvey. And picking up the puppies from the vet.

  5. MrAtoz says:

    It’s 60F in Vegas. I’m freezing my cola off. Gonna hit 81F today. Ahhhhhh.

  6. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    “Most of the islands were not prosperous.”

    Keep in mind that Puerto Rico is the *wealthiest* country in Central and South America and the Caribbean. The UN considers it a rich country.

  7. Greg Norton says:

    We, the US taxpayers, have already done more than enough for Puerto Rico. Let them rebuild their own country, and pay for it themselves.

    The FL Republican party doesn’t want a mass exodus from Puerto Rico right now. With Gov. Rick Scott’s help, Marco Rubio will drive a relief bill through the Senate for Trump to sign.

    Scott will run for the other FL Senate seat next year. Rubio is doing the party’s bidding to make sure that the RINO FL Ag Commissioner, Adam Putnam, takes Scott’s place. Governor Opie ’18.

  8. Jim Lang says:

    See what legislated term limits do? Instead of the devil you know, you get a rotation of devils, each working to make sure the others are taken care of.

  9. Greg Norton says:

    See what legislated term limits do? Instead of the devil you know, you get a rotation of devils, each working to make sure the others are taken care of.

    Gov. Rick Scott and the mainstream FL Republican Party dislike each other intensely, but Scott knows that independent candidates don’t win Senate races in the state.

    As for what the party gets out of the deal, one of their goals in 2018 is to flush Bill Nelson, the last (D) politician holding a state-wide office in Florida. Scott has enough money to self-finance and win.

  10. Clayton W. says:

    Puerto Rico does not pay Federal income tax, although they do pay Social Security and Medicare taxes. I presume property taxes, if any, are paid to the island like we pay to state and local governments.

    Puerto Rico is totally bankrupt and the US will end up footing the bill. Otherwise most of the 4 million people will come to the states, especially Florida.

  11. Harold says:

    Puerto Rico has (had) some beautiful island and beach property.
    I propose the government offer choice acerage for sale at rock-bottom prices with the caveat that the buyer must provide own power & water infrastructure. I know I’d be up for some sweet beach front property.

  12. SteveF says:

    How about we destroy all of the airports on Puerto Rico before loudly and publicly denying reconstruction aid? Puerto Ricans who want to abandon their typical Latin American shithole can travel as boat people to Cuba and see what kind of welcome they get.

  13. Greg Norton says:

    How about we destroy all of the airports on Puerto Rico before loudly and publicly denying reconstruction aid? Puerto Ricans who want to abandon their typical Latin American shithole can travel as boat people to Cuba and see what kind of welcome they get.

    Puerto Ricans have US citizenship. This has been the law for 100 years.

  14. Jim Lang says:

    Let me get this straight: Puerto Ricans are citizens who do not pay taxes? Really?

  15. Greg Norton says:

    Let me get this straight: Puerto Ricans are citizens who do not pay taxes? Really?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxation_in_Puerto_Rico

  16. Harold says:

    Wow … with all the exclusions and inclusions Puerto Rico taxes are more of a nightmare than US taxes. H&R Block must love that.

  17. RickH says:

    I just posted the eulogy for Dr. Pournelle given by his daughter during the memorial service. Also updated some other information about the site on the sidebar.

    Start here: https://jerrypournelle.com/chaosmanor/ .

  18. Harold says:

    Thank you RickH. It was a beautiful remberance.

  19. lynn says:

    I just posted the eulogy for Dr. Pournelle given by his daughter during the memorial service. Also updated some other information about the site on the sidebar.

    Start here: https://jerrypournelle.com/chaosmanor/ .

    Thanks ! That was wonderful.

  20. lynn says:

    Let me get this straight: Puerto Ricans are citizens who do not pay taxes? Really?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxation_in_Puerto_Rico

    If it looks like a banana republic, walks like a banana republic, and talks like a banana republic, it is a banana republic.

    I vote that we set Puerto Rico free. And remove their citizenship.

  21. MrAtoz says:

    Thanks, Mr. RickH.

  22. Greg Norton says:

    I just posted the eulogy for Dr. Pournelle given by his daughter during the memorial service.

    Thanks Rick.

    I should have all of the pieces for my AM4 home server build by the end of the week. For CPU, I went with the lowest cost/power APU that the motherboard would support, the A6-9500E.

    I will share impressions early next week, but remind me if you don’t see something by Wednesday.

  23. lynn says:

    Best tweet of the year:
    https://www.facebook.com/TEXASBROWNBEAR/posts/10155759836496477

    “I live in constant fear that Trump will deport my Latina mother-in-law ….. who lives at 1837 3rd St., LA, Ca 90023, in the blue house – she gets off work at 6.”

  24. lynn says:

    Back from a little over two weeks in Europe. Went to Prague, Vienna, Venice, and Florence. Now back to flood recovery from Harvey. And picking up the puppies from the vet.

    I was wondering about you. How bad did you get flooded ? My dentist just told me that he got two foot of water in his new house in the Riverstone subdivision in Sugar Land.

  25. DadCooks says:

    Thanks @RickH

    Yes, @Dad is still here, watching, alert, and ornery as ever. I’m your best friend or your worst enemy.

    BTW, duck the NFL, little rocket man, and PR (I hope Geraldo Rivera stays there).

  26. lynn says:

    BTW, I heard on the radio after lunch that 750,000 cars and trucks in the Houston area have now been totaled due to Harvey. Basically, if water got in the dash, the car is a goner since the air bag system would have to be replaced at a cost of $3,000 to $10,000. They hinted the number may creep up to 1,000,000 cars and trucks.

  27. nick flandrey says:

    I see lots of independent shops drying out and cleaning up flooded cars.

    They’ll never be ‘right’, and my car guy (who had 5 in for flood repair) admits it’s pointless, but for some people, there isn’t an option other than ‘try.’

    Remember all those polls that say most people couldn’t pay a $500 charge? Well, they can’t replace their old cars either.

    n

  28. Nightraker says:

    “Remember all those polls that say most people couldn’t pay a $500 charge? Well, they can’t replace their old cars either.”

    That’s gotta be grim. Riding around with a grenade powered condom is problematic on a good day. Apparently not easily sidestepped either. New harne$$, disconnect this and that, new fluids and a lot of hope is not a great recipe.

  29. paul says:

    Disconnect the battery. Take the steering wheel apart then pull and tape off the wire to the bomb bag.

    Been there when I added cruise and radio controls to the van. I did leave it connected.

    Supposedly on some cars is as easy as pulling a fuse. I doubt if that is true because “lawyers”.

  30. Spook says:

    I was hoping (pending some problem, eventually) that airbags could be disabled by just pulling the fuse or connector (with the battery disconnected at the time). I’m sure I would not want to bet that the bag charge wouldn’t go off, even just from a static charge or from rust from the flood, though, I guess.

    If people had just worn their seatbelts, we wouldn’t have to deal with this airbag nonsense. Of course, now an airbag might just kill you if are not wearing your seatbelt, so maybe the problem is solved?
    Edit: Concurrent post with Mr. Paul!

  31. paul says:

    It’s been about three years since I did the steering wheel controls… I think the bag could be removed. Just a few screws.

    Taking it all apart is a chore. A bit more than changing the oil.

    I only know of one Ford Freestar van. I never messed with the steering wheel during the 20 years I had the Dodge Stratus.

  32. MrAtoz says:

    I see the Dallas Cowboys are a bunch of pussies. BLM’rs now rule the FUSA. 13% of the population now dictates our lives.

    Sad.

  33. paul says:

    Start here: https://jerrypournelle.com/chaosmanor/ .

    Thanks ! That was wonderful

    Wow. Kind of hard to read. Allergies, yeah, that’s the ticket to explain runny eyes.

  34. Spook says:

    I don’t know what to add to the airbag (originally flood damage) discussion other than the vehicle I had that had an airbag warning light and a horn that didn’t work… presumably due to the failed “clockspring” in the steering wheel, clockspring being the ground for all that, and likely things like cruise control (if so equipped on the steering wheel).
    Same vehicle had some strange transmission problems related to the emergency flasher which is related to the brake light switch, but let’s not go there.

  35. medium wave says:

    @RickH: Thank you.

    Jerry will be greatly missed.

  36. Spook says:

    I don’t have allergies; I just dropped Lucifer’s Hammer on my toe.
    Back in a few; I have to dig up the septic tank; already bagged the reference books.

  37. H. Combs says:

    Saw this report on the disaster in Puerto Rico.
    One of the upsides of a SHTF event ??

    A cash economy has reigned in Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria decimated much of the U.S. commonwealth last week, leveling the power grid and wireless towers and transporting the island to a time before plastic existed. The state of affairs could carry on for weeks or longer in some remote parts of the commonwealth, and that means it could be impossible to trace revenue and enforce tax rules.

  38. paul says:

    Why is my phone so stupid?

    I have to turn Wi-Fi on to mess with squeezebox. That makes sense.

    But then I can’t check mail or anything on the web. While Wi-Fi is on.

    But then I can’t play music from my server.

    I suppose there’s a setting somewhere to tell phone to use cell data for mail and web. I hope so. Because if my Wi-Fi was working why the hay would I be doing much on my phone when I could be using a quad core i5 with a 24″ monitor. With a fu#$%ing mouse!

  39. ech says:

    How bad did you get flooded ?

    We got 4 to 6 inches in the house. Ruined the carpet, hardwood floors, etc. Some furniture is fine, some totaled. Good progress has been made on fixing the house. Living in an apartment now.

  40. Dave Hardy says:

    Best wishes, Mr. ech; sorry you gotta mess with all that stuff. Hope it works out for you and yours.

    Thanks much, Mr. Rick H.; there’s no replacing Jerry Pournelle. RIP, sir.

    Back from class, went pretty well, except that I dunno how I’m supposed to act when there are half a dozen women sitting around and close to me and dressed for high-80s temps in skimpy denim shorts and they’re all built like that proverbial house. Gee whiz, have a haht, grrls! I’m 64 but I’m not dead yet!

    Homework is beginning to accelerate and we got the midterm questions already to whip up some kind of response to; I am not in the least concerned about any of it; can do it all standing on my head, which is probably easier these days than doing it on my feet. Stood up to let one of the aforementioned womyn by in the aisle at the end of the class and fell heavily back onto the chair involuntarily. Embarrassing, but they were all concerned about me. First time that’s happened since the semester began, shit.

    Home again, home again, jiggedy-jog; off to pick up an item for my next-younger brother tomorrow and then I’ll do the Planning Commission gig. Wednesday will be all day on cleanup ops and yard work here, as best I can manage it.

    Yes, I lead an exciting life.

  41. medium wave says:

    I see the Dallas Cowboys are a bunch of pussies. BLM’rs now rule the FUSA. 13% of the population now dictates our lives.

    The tail doth verily wag the dog.

    On the one hand, the players and owners are only exercising their 1A rights.

    On the other hand, they’re doing it at work, on company time, which is grounds for dismissal, at least in any line of work I know of.

    On the gripping hand, we as consumers are under no obligation to purchase any of their “product”, in this case sports “entertainment”, in the same way we’re not obligated to view mainstream media, watch television or movies, read current literature, or listen to what passes for music nowadays.

    Fortunately, there are millions of books and vast collections of music to draw upon, all created before the advent of political correctness. Who knows? Shakespeare and Dickens may be bestsellers once again!

  42. nick flandrey says:

    Not Dickens. Guy was paid by the word and it shows. Interminable.

    n

  43. medium wave says:

    Interminable.

    True dat.

    s/Dickens/Terry Pratchett/g

    or your favorite DWEM author.

  44. SteveF says:

    If people had just worn their seatbelts, we wouldn’t have to deal with this airbag nonsense.

    Or if stupid Congress had kept their noses out of it.

    Does my wearing or not wearing a seatbelt affect your life or freedom? No? Then it’s none of your damned business.

  45. SteveF says:

    DWEM

    Dames With Excellent Mammaries? Rather sexist of you, to make that a criterion for enjoying a book.

  46. medium wave says:

    For me, the most memorable part of Jerry’s eulogy:

    He read to inform himself, and especially to form and inform his own opinions. Which leads us to his second discipline: he was disciplined in debate. He was, at core, a son of the south: where he, and his father, and grandfather, and their and their fathers back unto the foundation of the southeastern colonies were born; where he was born. And southern men of his time believed that expression of intellect demanded mastery of a style of discourse that brooked no prisoners— because, there and then, when discourse failed, violence inevitably ensued.

    Civil discourse on the Internet may have died with Jerry.

  47. medium wave says:

    DWEM: Dead White European Males.

    But your definition isn’t all that bad …. 😉

  48. Miles_Teg says:

    “Gee whiz, have a haht, grrls! I’m 64 but I’m not dead yet!”

    Wimminz are so insensitive…

    I think I’ve mentioned the dental hygienist in a tight fitting, low cut top who insisted on pressing her boobs into my face and neck while she was cleaning my fangs. I considered complaining to the management, but since she was a Kiwi I let it go.

  49. nick flandrey says:

    Or if stupid Congress had kept their noses out of it.”

    Look at Geico…. they spearheaded the helmet laws, after they were successful at seatbelt laws (iirc)

    Note also that it follows the lib/prog development curve that starts with acceptance and ends with mandatory…..

    n

  50. Dave Hardy says:

    “… the lib/prog development curve that starts with acceptance and ends with mandatory…..”

    As with nondiscriminatory laws and ordinances, then civil unions, then homosexual “marriages,” then not only acceptance but jubilant celebration, non-gender-specific bathrooms, and on to incest, pedophilia, bestiality and necrophilia, mark my words. All not only legal but celebrated. With gusto. And if you quibble or wax dissent-like, you’ll be hounded into fines, property seizure, job loss and prison.

    If you think that’s just crazy talk, think back 30-50 years or so and see if any of us could have imagined where we are today with the first couple of things in that particular development curve.

  51. Miles_Teg says:

    “non-gender-specific bathrooms”

    Bring it on.

    At the local shopping centre they always seem to lock and be cleaning the Gents when I’m desperate to have a slash. I’d be happy to use the Powder Room, and have the testosteone challenged people use ours. I mean, what would anyone see?

  52. Greg Norton says:

    At the local shopping centre they always seem to lock and be cleaning the Gents when I’m desperate to have a slash. I’d be happy to use the Powder Room, and have the testosteone challenged people use ours. I mean, what would anyone see?

    They don’t want you to see the condition of the “Powder Room”.

    During my high school years, I spent a year working at the supermarket near our house. Among my duties was cleaning the bathrooms. The Ladies room was always much worse than the Mens, hands down.

    I can deal with urine from “misses” on the floor or toilet. It emerges from the source sterile and wipes up pretty easily after being hit with the most basic sprays.

    I don’t even want to think about what I cleaned off the floor of the Ladies room. And that’s not even covering the unbelievable messes with paper towels in and around the sink.

    The janitorial crew at the shopping center know the score. If they take more than five minutes to clean the Mens room, they’re probably in there chilling out to music on their phones.

  53. MrAtoz says:

    then not only acceptance but jubilant celebration, non-gender-specific bathrooms, and on to incest, pedophilia, bestiality and necrophilia, mark my words.,/em>

    Welcome to Las Vegas! Would you like a sheep delivered to our room?

  54. nick flandrey says:

    Ewweee!

    Bah, that’s horrible!

    “I ain’t done mutton, and you can’t prove a thing…”

    “can’t pull the wool over my eyes”

    n

  55. Dave Hardy says:

    Wham-Lamb, thank-you M’am!

  56. SteveF says:

    Let the record show that neither Miles_Teg nor I had anything to do with this conversation, were nowhere near when it took place, and in fact weren’t even born yet.

  57. lynn says:

    Does my wearing or not wearing a seatbelt affect your life or freedom?

    Yes. We had a head on wreck on the Sunday before Memorial day in 1972. We were wearing our seat belts, the girl driving the other car and her mother were not. When the cars hit the first time on the curve on highway 6 at 70 mph in Navasota, Texas, the cars rotated around each other and hit again. The mother was ejected from the car after the first hit and between the cars when they hit again. Right outside my car door, I will never forget the look on her face. I see her in my dreams occasionally and it has been 45 years. Nightmares, that is. She had 60% of the bones broken in her body and lived for three hours. I even had to listen to the country doctor surgeon trying to plug all the leaks in her body for three hours since the hospital was only about a 2,000 ft2 building. It was horrible.

    Please wear your seat belts.

  58. lynn says:

    Look at Geico…. they spearheaded the helmet laws, after they were successful at seatbelt laws (iirc)

    Ain’t no helmet laws here in The Great State of Texas. Except for kids. I used to put my helmet on the kids riding with me when I was a young man and not afraid of dropping the stupid bike on the ground with my vertigo.

  59. lynn says:

    As with nondiscriminatory laws and ordinances, then civil unions, then homosexual “marriages,” then not only acceptance but jubilant celebration, non-gender-specific bathrooms, and on to incest, pedophilia, bestiality and necrophilia, mark my words. All not only legal but celebrated.

    Marriage is now a mark of Privilege, “How Did Marriage Become a Mark of Privilege?”
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/25/upshot/how-did-marriage-become-a-mark-of-privilege.html?mcubz=0

    “Marriage, which used to be the default way to form a family in the United States, regardless of income or education, has become yet another part of American life reserved for those who are most privileged.”

    “Fewer Americans are marrying over all, and whether they do so is more tied to socioeconomic status than ever before. In recent years, marriage has sharply declined among people without college degrees, while staying steady among college graduates with higher incomes.”

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