Friday, 15 November 2013

07:37 – Obama’s so-called “fix” turns out to be nothing at all. It’s simply a cynical attempt by Obama to shift the blame for people losing their health insurance from himself to the insurance companies. Note two key facts: First, Obama did not require insurance companies to renew these “non-compliant” policies; he’s simply allowing them to do so. Second, Obama said nothing about how much insurance companies could charge to renew these policies.

This puts insurance companies between the proverbial rock and hard place. Because the companies are being forced to insure uninsurable people, they need lots of younger and healthier people to pay much more than they have been paying–if indeed they’ve been paying anything–to subsidize the costs of covering all those older, sicker people. For that matter, they need older, healthier people to pay more as well, again to subsidize the poor risks. So, the insurance companies now have two reasonable courses: First, they can simply let those older, less-profitable policies expire, and force all those former customers to buy grossly-overpriced new policies on the exchanges. Second, they can let people keep their old policies for another year, but if they do that they’ll probably need to double or triple the premiums in order to get enough money out of those original policy holders to subsidize the poor risks they’re being forced to insure. Either way, most people end up paying a lot more for their health insurance. But, Obama thinks, this way they’ll blame the insurance companies instead of him. Bastard.


A few months ago, I mentioned that one of our new neighbors, a high school biology teacher, had been arrested for having sexual contact with a student. The school system immediately fired him, of course, and he was arrested and jailed on $500,000 bond. The paper this morning reports what sounds like a very similar case. This teacher was also 24 years old, and was also fired immediately and arrested. The odd thing is that bond for this teacher was set at only $5,000, 1% of the bond in the first case. And the only difference I can see is that this second teacher is a woman rather than a man.


10:53 – We use autoburettes for filling bottles. Think one of those toppings dispensers in an icecream shop, but accurate to a tenth of a milliliter or less and with the parts that come into contact with solutions made from Teflon and glass. The things aren’t cheap, but they immensely speed up bottle filling.

So, a year or so ago I bought our first one, one with a range of 2.5 mL to 30 mL. Six months or so ago, it failed. The heavy glass cylinder cracked, and all the thing would do was suck air. So I contacted the vendor, who was willing to replace it in warranty but didn’t have a 2.5 mL to 30 mL unit in stock. It was going to be a week or so before he could get one to me. I told him that I didn’t ever want to be without one of these units, so while I waited on the replacement I had him ship me a 5 mL to 60 mL unit, as a second unit and spare.

Sunday, that second unit failed, leaving me with only the replacement 2.5 mL to 30 mL unit. The symptoms were the same. This time, I didn’t disassemble the unit because I didn’t want shards of broken glass all over the place as I’d had the first time. I also suggested that he might want to talk to the manufacturer about maybe replacing that heavy glass cylinder with a heavy Teflon cylinder or something. The vendor said he’d ship me another replacement unit under warranty, but as before he contacted the manufacturer to describe the problem. The manufacturer rep says he can’t figure out what’s going on. They’ve been selling these units worldwide for a long time, and the only two failures they’ve had of that glass tube have been on my two units. I’d told them that we weren’t abusing the units and that we’d treated them gently. The manufacturer rep thought that perhaps we’d been filling solutions that corrode glass, such as hydrofluoric acid. I told him that the only solution we filled that could potentially affect glass was 6 M sodium hydroxide, which will etch glass if it’s hot or left in contact for several hours. But I also told him that we filled sodium hydroxide solution cold, and that the unit was never in contact with it for more than the few minutes it took to fill a batch of bottles. So we’ll see what happens.


12:31 – Expect to see a lot more of this: Retired union workers facing ‘unprecedented’ pension cuts

Unions have been extorting businesses for the better part of a century, demanding unsustainably high wages and benefits. When something can’t go on, it stops. It’s now stopping, and the trend will continue getting worse with every passing year. Nor is it only 10% of pension funds that are in trouble. It’s 100% of pension funds, public and private. As I’ve said repeatedly for a long time, if you have a job, keep it. Don’t retire. You’ll regret giving up your job sooner rather than later. The younger generations are already starting to revolt against the very high costs that are and will increasingly be required to sustain us Baby Boomers. Many of these younger people have no jobs or only dead-end jobs themselves. There’s no way each of them can support a couple of us. We’re going to have to support ourselves.

49 thoughts on “Friday, 15 November 2013”

  1. And the only difference I can see is that this second teacher is a woman rather than a man

    Don’t even get me started on our sexist judicial and penal systems. Especially, when it comes to family law and sex crimes. I always thought there were sentencing guidelines to help prevent such disparities, but perhaps I just don’t know the system very well.

  2. Oh, it goes much deeper than that. For instance, 20 years ago, in Indiana, fathers just wrote checks to the mother for child support. If the father did not pay, then the mother could take him to court, and judges would usually throw the father in jail for 14 days. I have never been in jail, but my own experience shooting video in there, and my dad’s as a lawyer, clearly shows that most people want out of jail badly. The average dad usually does not screw up again after the first time in jail.

    However, now there is a great state bureaucracy and fathers pay into that, then the bureaucrats issue checks to the mother. Who pays for that bureaucracy? Why you and me with our taxes. There has been story after story about things going wrong with that system, and a father gets slammed into jail, even though he is actually paid up, and the bureaucracy screwed up. Fathers end up being wrongly sent to jail, which has caused some to lose their jobs,—then where is the mom?

    A close friend whose wife left him when their kids were about 7 and 5, reminds me occasionally, that as far as he is concerned, his kids were kidnapped by a judge and sent away from their home to live with the mom, which they did not want to do, and furthermore the kids told that to the judge. No matter. Moms get kids and dads get the shaft.

    We only pretend to have justice.

  3. 76 F here this morning and headed to 80 F. The prior two mornings of 40 F was nice while it lasted. Oh well, so much for winter.

    However, now there is a great state bureaucracy and fathers pay into that, then the bureaucrats issue checks to the mother. Who pays for that bureaucracy? Why you and me with our taxes.

    We have this in The Great State of Texas also. And it has been scammed big time by the moms with husbands in jail.

    First, Obama did not require insurance companies to renew these “non-compliant” policies; he’s simply allowing them to do so.

    This is the sign of a dictator. The jury is out if he is a fascist or not. My mother believes that he is the spawn of Satan.

  4. There has been story after story about things going wrong with that system, and a father gets slammed into jail, even though he is actually paid up, and the bureaucracy screwed up. Fathers end up being wrongly sent to jail, which has caused some to lose their jobs,—then where is the mom?

    That’s the truth Chuck. A friend of a friend was financially strapped and couldn’t pay his child support, so he got sent to jail. The irony of this is that he had no money to spend on child support because he let his ex and the kids stay with him rather than have them be homeless.

  5. Unions have been extorting businesses for the better part of a century, demanding unsustainably high wages and benefits. When something can’t go on, it stops. It’s now stopping, and the trend will continue getting worse with every passing year. Nor is it only 10% of pension funds that are in trouble. It’s 100% of pension funds, public and private.

    My wife is a teacher and counting Social Security will have three different sources of income in retirement.

    1. Social Security (Trust fund runs out in 20 years)
    2. State Teachers Pension Fund (not much better)
    3. A defined contribution pension plan (403B)

    During the last major stock market correction I said trust #3 the most. At that time #3 was managed by AIG. Someone else manages the 403B now, but it may be an AIG spinoff for all I know. I still trust AIG and the current fund manager more than I do the managers of 1 or 2.

  6. if you have a job, keep it. Don’t retire. You’ll regret giving up your job sooner rather than later.

    I have my own private retirement fund.

    Of course I may just quit work now, blow all the money over the next 10 years, then live on the government dole. I will get free housing, food, utilities (including cable), cell phone, transportation and healthcare.

    Moms get kids and dads get the shaft.

    My brother had four kids. When he and his wife divorced he kept two, she kept two. But he had to pay child support. Should the wife also not pay him child support? Seems with two each the division of child support was split nicely. But not according the the judge in California. This judge was well known to be a hard ass on dads and my brother’s ex-wife lawyer knew that well. Planned everything to get in that judges court.

  7. “The jury is out if he is a fascist or not. My mother believes that he is the spawn of Satan.”

    I believe he’s working at the behest of others behind the curtain and is primarily a long-time Bolshevik operator, but your mom is not far off, in my view.

    “…he let his ex and the kids stay with him rather than have them be homeless.”

    Of course. This is the way our system works now; punish the good, decent people, and reward evil at every opportunity. As it is sown, so shall we all reap, as many folks take this lesson to heart in the next few years.

  8. First, Obama did not require insurance companies to renew these “non-compliant” policies; he’s simply allowing them to do so. Second, Obama said nothing about how much insurance companies could charge to renew these policies.

    You left this out:

    Three, the Washington state Insurance Commissioner (a Democrat) has already said that nothing will change in Washington state.

    Also, unsurprisingly the health insurance industry trade association has said all Obama did was make a big mess bigger. That wasn’t surprising. What was surpising is the association of state insurance commissioners said the same thing.

  9. Of course I may just quit work now, blow all the money over the next 10 years, then live on the government dole. I will get free housing, food, utilities (including cable), cell phone, transportation and healthcare.

    Ray, don’t do that. Just as soon as you go on the dole, someone will discover Logan’s Run and think it’s not dystopian science fiction, but a plan for the future.

  10. Unions have been extorting businesses for the better part of a century, demanding unsustainably high wages and benefits. When something can’t go on, it stops. It’s now stopping, and the trend will continue getting worse with every passing year. Nor is it only 10% of pension funds that are in trouble. It’s 100% of pension funds, public and private. As I’ve said repeatedly for a long time, if you have a job, keep it. Don’t retire.

    My BIL is a Teamster working for UPS. He is 56 and his old body is just about shot. He has screws in his right ankle and a replacement in his left knee. The right knee will be replaced soon. And the 5,000 man UPS facility that he works in Dallas has him filling and washing trucks to try to extend his working years. There is no way that he can load trucks anymore.

    He is thinking about retiring in a year or two but is worried that the retirement check will not cover his health insurance. And he was off on disability for a year with the ankle and knee but the disability checks suck too so he went back to work. I tell him that the Teamsters pension fund may not be solvent either.

    The kicker is that UPS hires young guys all the time but they will not stay for the summer (huge un-airconditioned warehouse that can get to 130 F or above). So they have a lot of old guys shuffling around.

    My pension is to keep working until I die in my chair.

  11. I don’t think many people really understand just how bad this Baby Boomer pig-in-the-python thing really is.

    If the feds really want to get a handle on making SS sustainable, the first thing they need to do is raise the retirement age, a lot. Off the top of my head, I’d say set the retirement age at 75 for anyone who’s currently over 50 years old and 80 for anyone who’s younger. The original idea of retirement was that you got to stop working a couple of years before you could statistically be expected to drop dead. We need to get back to that as the norm.

    We also need warehousing facilities for the elderly who are too sick, physically or mentally, to continue being productive. Somewhere they can be stuck at absolutely minimal cost while they’re waiting to die. And they should make suicide an easy option.

    Throughout 2 or 3 million years of human history, the rule has been “if you can’t/don’t work, you don’t eat”. That reflects reality.

  12. My pension is to keep working until I die in my chair.

    My pension is a grossly underfunded IRA.

  13. We also need warehousing facilities for the elderly who are too sick, physically or mentally, to continue being productive.

    Rack ’em, stack ’em and pack ’em.

    I want the top bunk, you can have the lower bunk. Remember, shit runs downhill.

    My pension is a grossly underfunded IRA.

    According to my investment adviser I have enough to retire now. Problem is health insurance. I just don’t know where that is going.

    I am almost 63, would apply for social security when I quit but defer payments until I reach 66.5. I can easily live for 3.5 years on about $100K. Then with SS of $2200 a month I can draw down my funds at a rate of $3K a month until I live to be 95. That would give me a little over $5K a month to live on. When my wife’s SS kicks in four years after mine that would add $1100 a month.

    Of course of all this predicated that SS will still be around. I think it will. SS may change plans such as retirement age but the breakpoint would be at people over 50 keeping the current status.

    My biggest fear is that having people like the self anointed Obummer in office that theft of all private 401K funds (and even other savings) is not beyond the realm of possibility.

  14. I try to imagine telling Jasmine that once she gets out of college and (we hope) finds a job she’ll have to give me half or more of every dollar she earns. Because that’s essentially what most Baby Boomers seem to expect their children and grandchildren to do. Well, not just their’s. Everyone else’s, too.

  15. My biggest fear is that having people like the self anointed Obummer in office that theft of all private 401K funds (and even other savings) is not beyond the realm of possibility.

    Beyond the realm of possibility? Hell, it’s about as close as you can get to a dead certainty.

    Obviously, you have not grokked that Obama is out to destroy the middle class entirely, eliminating income disparities until all of the peons are at the same level, which is to say low. What do you think Obamacare is, if not the biggest income redistribution scheme in living memory?

    The ultimate goal here is to have the 1% controlling 99% of the wealth and the 99% sharing equally 1% of the wealth.

  16. My retirement is IRA, SS (I’m *only* 58 at the time) and mil pension. They could all go if Obraindead destroys the country making us some weird socialist libtard state.

    Hey, at least the stock market is going gangbusters. My investment guy has made over $20,000 this year alone in my IRA.

  17. My biggest fear is that having people like the self anointed Obummer in office that theft of all private 401K funds (and even other savings) is not beyond the realm of possibility.

    Beyond the realm of possibility? Hell, it’s about as close as you can get to a dead certainty.

    Unfortunately, I see this happening also. At some point, all IRA and 401K funds will take a haircut. It could be as little as 15% for the first go round. Probably, it will be a cap of $250K for all these funds. After all, you stole those funds from the poor. Then there will be another haircut, another, another, etc. You will be given extra social security credit as a result of your additional funds. As if that is going to be worth anything.

    Then things get tough. Nobody will buy tbills anymore and the Federal Reserve is getting nervous about buying more tbills. Anyone with X dollars in a bank account will get that seized. After all, you stole that from the poor. That is, anyone except the President’s friends and Congress.

    This is when the infrastructure will start to fail. Electricity, gasoline, milk, cookies, internet, all these and other items will be hard to obtain. The USA may get a true dictator at this point who promises to fix everything and make the trains run on time.

    We are all Venezuela. Oops, Greece.

  18. We also need warehousing facilities for the elderly who are too sick, physically or mentally, to continue being productive.

    Just stop their BP and anti-stroke meds. 90% will be gone in six months.

  19. I see The House has passed a bill to extend your crappy old insurance for a year. I wonder if it will get to Obrainless and if he will veto like he said.

    Is there any way your premium will NOT go up if you want your crappy old insurance back?

  20. I posted earlier about Obrainless building his non-military military. Here’s another article on ObuttWadCare about how the law helps build it:

    “FactCheck.org states that Obamacare, “creates the ready reserve of individuals who can be called up for service by the U.S. surgeon general in times of need.”

    The Congresscritter says:

    “While that does not translate into giving Obama a “secret security force,” it does stoke concern given that Obama himself called for the creation of a “civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well funded (as the U.S. military)” before he was elected.”

    http://www.infowars.com/congressman-warns-of-obamacare-secret-security-force/

  21. “My pension is to keep working until I die in my chair.”

    That’s if we’re allowed to keep sitting in our chairs, bro. Bob will take us out to a warehouse, show us the amenities, and then out back to the slit trench for a bullet in the head. If he’s a nice guy. If not he’ll let us hang around for a few weeks w/o meds, food or water and then the slit trench. Unless we choose to drink hemlock or whatever.

    So, let’s see; babies and toddlers can’t work: nonproductive. Old farts with pins in their ankes, artificial knees, wheezing lungs, etc., can’t load trucks or dig ditches or design new code: nonproductive. Retired veterans with the MOH, now on oxygen and in wheelchairs: hey, great on Iwo Jima but now: nonproductive.

    It’s a very slippery slope; we already have abortion-on-demand-no-apology that all the femrad-bots wanted for decades; we have euthanasia thanks to Dr. Jack the psycho and the wonderful example of the Dutch; got a hangnail? Kinda depressed? Under the weather? Take an injection and die, get it over with. Pretty soon we get to “mental defectives:” nonproductive. Quadriplegics, Downs’ Syndrome, homosexuals, Republicans, Tea Party dissidents, people who refuse to buy ObummerCARE, etc.

    “The ultimate goal here is to have the 1% controlling 99% of the wealth and the 99% sharing equally 1% of the wealth.”

    Exactly. And they’re well on the way; also ramping up the police-state, and once the laughably named healthcare system goes belly-up, as planned, we’ll see a helluva lot more abortions and euthanasia here. They’ll be passing out morphine like it was lemonade. With a globalized new world order, the One Percent can still keep their pet enterprises and interests afloat through de facto slave labor from around the world, mostly of the southern latitudes persuasion, because they’ve written the rest of us off already.

  22. Oh, no, Dave, you miss my point. I’m not suggesting that we actively cull non-productive people. What I’m suggesting is that taxpayers don’t support them.

  23. Oh, no, Dave, you miss my point. I’m not suggesting that we actively cull non-productive people. What I’m suggesting is that taxpayers don’t support them.

    40% of Medicaid costs in The Great State of Texas are little old ladies and little old men living in nursing homes. Right now, Medicaid help in Texas is limited to those people with less than $3,000 in assets.

    Of course, Obummer wants us to expand our Medicaid and buy health insurance and all kinds of stuff for people below the poverty line. The USA government will borrow money to pay 90% of the costs of the expansion of Medicaid in Texas. For three years. Governor Perry said NO! We do not have the 15 billion dollars per year that would cost. Since Texas has a balanced budget requirement, that would require a serious tax increase here.

    Do it for the Children!

  24. “What I’m suggesting is that taxpayers don’t support them.”

    OK, got it; let’s hope families, neighbors and, oh, dare I say it, religious bodies step up on that account. But I would want a safety net of some sort for those who are in dire straits through no fault of their own and would otherwise be left to die in misery.

    “…Oprah telling us we’re all racists. Thanks Oprah, for labeling me…”

    Days old nooz; she’s a fine one for whining about that; a billionaire in a country that has adored her for decades, mostly white audiences, too, and she spits this shit at them. Bitch.

    “Do it for the Children!”

    Why do you hate children?

  25. But I would want a safety net of some sort for those who are in dire straits through no fault of their own and would otherwise be left to die in misery.

    Sure. The way it used to be. Your neighbors, local union members, congregation, and whoever know who’s suffered some bad luck and who’s a lazyass/drunk/whatever. Moreover, there’s more pressure to find a job or otherwise pay your way if you need to look your neighbor in the eye when he’s handing you an “assistance” envelope. Contrast that with the “entitlement” to a life of non-work which is what the bureaucracy gives us. I’m sure some deserving people would fall through the cracks, but overall the harm would be less than in the current entitlement system.

    I used to help out neighbors and such when they fell on hard times — couple bags of groceries, buy parts and fix their car, help with the utilities, let one teenager stay in one of my apartments when his mother kicked him out. (He “paid his way” by doing yardwork and such; cash payment for the work would have covered maybe half of the utilities, but at least he was trying.) I hardly do that any more. In large part that’s because I can’t afford it, in either time or money. In larger part it’s because I’m fed up. Taxes of one form or another are taking about half of my gross. Not only is that a large part of my being broke, but some fraction of that half of my gross is supposed to be going to helping out the “needy”. I’m already doing my share. Anyone who’s in need can just fuck off.

  26. The minute I hear some politician say “do it for the children” or something similar, I immediately check my wallet to make sure it is still there.

    I paid my property taxes last week. My home was $9,500 and the office was $14,500. Plus my investment land was $2,700. About half of this money went to the local school district. So, I think that I am paying my fair share already.

    But, I am told by Obummer that Texas needs to increase the Medicaid eligibility so that we can buy more more health insurance. I don’t think so.
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57611213/obama-takes-texas-to-task-for-not-expanding-medicaid/

  27. Anyone who’s in need can just fuck off.

    Then ignore that letter from me you will be getting in the mail.

  28. Lynn, the property taxes on our house were just under $10K this year. The rate “had” to be boosted again because the township government discovered an accounting “mistake” a couple years ago which changed the bank balance from +$12M to -$18M. Oops. Also, the school district “needs” more money because they “have to” give the teachers and administrators raises regardless of the economy or declining enrollment.

    Speaking as an often-struggling self-employed small businessman, I sure wish I could compel people to pay for my services whether they wanted them or not, at a rate I set.

    (That’s a total lie. I just managed to nauseate myself, imagining myself having power over people that they don’t voluntarily give me.)

    Ray, I was somewhat lying when I said people in need can, ah, do rude things to themselves. If family or acquaintances are in need through no fault of their own, I’ll help to the very limited extent that I can. Nevertheless, I’m getting very tired of the constant demands for more and the constant accusations of greed, racism, and elitism. Not from you, of course. It’s society as a whole that is earning my ire, and it is society as a whole that I’m thinking of biting the throat out of.

  29. “…because they “have to” give the teachers and administrators raises regardless of the economy or declining enrollment.”

    And regardless of whether or not they do a good job of educating the children, in other than, say, PC bullshit and self-esteem. But I’m someone who would shut down the entire U.S. publik skool system in a hahtbeat. And 90% of the colleges and universities. Of course I’d also cut DOD by 2/3 and the rest of the Fed and state leviathans by fah more than that.

    As for helping out family members, friends and neighbors, it looks like more of us will be doing much more of that in *addition to* paying more taxes and paying the freight for everyone else anyway, whether we know them or not.

    But as Bob sez, the Plan is to get 99% of us sharing the 1% of the wealth and goods at gunpoint with each other while the 1% has its way with the 99% of said wealth and goods. So a gigantic banana republic, with the elites, the Eloi, living in walled, gated and secured “communities” and estates, and the Mundanes, the Morlocks, living in Turd World squalor and deprivation.

    At least that’s the plan, but there are lots of us who will decline to take on the Morlock role in this entertainment.

  30. The unionised teachers are about to get a surprise I’m fairly sure they’ll find unpleasant. There’s just so very MANY of them, and they’re so expensive, and many of them have political views 180 degrees opposite to the people who pay their salaries. They are a big soft inviting target. If people are prepared to outsource trades and skills they NEED, like electronics or aerospace, then how much more for these leeches?

    AN awful lot of lessons/teaching could be delivered on-line or by video, from a single skilled instructor per thread, as they’ve already learnt how to do for college courses – and public broadcast. One of the best TV shows I ever saw was Professor Julius Sumner Miller – “The Absent-Minded Professor”. Didn’t short the maths at the level he was presenting, either. Another show that expanded and expounded on the maths would have greatly expanded the value of both shows – the opportunity was clearly there. I’d guess that Bob and his chemist friend’s would do a job that would be good enough to educate hundreds of thousands, as well – just throw in a little entertainment along with the science.
    It doesn’t take many teachers – maybe even less teachers – to do things this way than in person, in batch lots of 25 or 30 students per class. Let alone if this let them expand the audience to 250 or 300 per lesson. One school starting things this way, then leasing it out to another school district or two, and the snowball would be rolling.

    A local district that did this with subjects also suitable for adults could make a difference too. Imagine a show – a required subject – on “Frugality”, that showed the kids how to cook beans and rice, store and open cans instead of calling out for pizza every night, hunt bargains – in supermarkets and real estate – and minimise credit. Now imagine that show being broadcast on PBS, and adults taking at least parts of it on board – the things our generation were taught by our family, but not enough of us took fully on board, or passed on strongly enough to our kids. It wouldn’t take too long before a significant proportion of people were looking critically at how their money was being directed, locally at first, but expanding over time to state and federal.

  31. Great idea, but it assumes electrical power and internet staying up. Maybe it will, maybe it won’t. If not, it will devolve back to 1900-level face-to-face teaching and tutoring, no graphing calculators, no films to watch, no ear buds on the iPhones. Just OFD hammering English grammar and Latin into the little bastards, day after day, and telling wise-ass little shits like he used to be to “go cut me a switch.”

    Mrs. OFD winging her way home from El Paso tomorrow for another 24-hour stay and then off to Denver.

    And OFD’s mom now in a nursing home facility down in MA; brother and SIL and nieces did heroic work for eleven years taking care of her as she worsened and now it’s beyond them. A good place, looks like, though, and close to rest of family. Meanwhile OFD’s MIL is four years older and drives herself to Virginia and New Brunswick and moves furniture. Her older sister at 89 rides a bicycle and paddles a kayak on Lake Champlain. OFD himself is a tottering wreck who can barely make it up the stairs without getting out of breath or back down the stairs without twinges in the rickety old knees.

  32. It’s not always women who get screwed in divorce. My ex-BIL blew about $500k of the joint assets on gambling and booze and when my sister was forced to divorce him he tried for much more. Fortunately, his psychiatrist got fed up with him at just the right time (in the divorce court) and gave him both barrels. He had a huge entitlement mentality and wanted to get back together with my sister, so long as he could “manage” the finances. Since she isn’t nuts she said no. He’s working as a camp cook on and off in the Australian outback, not sure if he’s still gambling but I know he’s gone back to smoking, which he gave up for 35 years.

    He’s completely shameless, I’m civil with him but wouldn’t trust him a micron.

  33. I don’t see the point of people working longer if there aren’t jobs for them to go to. And not all old timers are as productive as they were 30 years earlier.

  34. I think private charity is the way to go, for most things. There are advantages and disadvantages, but the advantages are pretty big:

    – No huge bureaucracy

    – The benefits to the *givers* of charity: sense of community, mutual responsibility, etc.

    – The penalties on the lazy

    This past week, a Spanish woman with a little kid literally grabbed me outside the supermarket. She spoke no German, but I speak a bit of Spanish. I took her shopping. It was kind of funny, in a good sort of way: she picked up some vegetables, asked me if it was ok. Then a piece of meat on sale, ok. When I didn’t say no to anything reasonable, she kind of went nuts, bought a random collection of groceries, a pair of socks, some soap, etc..

    On the other end of the scale, some years ago there were two healthy-looking guys sitting on a street corner with a sign “will work for food” or somesuch. So I stopped, talked to them, and offered them work. “Oh, you know, I’ve got this bum knee, can’t you just give me some money?” F*** off, bye.

    The government would fund both cases equally, and pay some bureaucrats on top of it. That’s a problem.

    The *disadvantages* of private charity are the people who fall through the cracks. The half-senile little old lady with no family, quietly starving in her apartment, because no one know or cares that she’s there. And also the sociopaths – the ones with great social skills, and no conscience – who can and will take advantage of private charities. But they do that anyway…

    No system is perfect, but I think the private system is overall the better solution.

    – – – – –

    Re US citizens and taxes: Yep, been there, done that. The US government is making enemies of its own citizens, domestic and abroad.

  35. “Oh, you know, I’ve got this bum knee, can’t you just give me some money.”

    I have a dud right knee, since at least 1985. Didn’t stop me working for a living. Did stop me from becoming a champion Australian Rules footballer though… 🙁

  36. Eggzactly. Heck, I have two knees that have seen better days. Just means I gotta be careful when doing certain things, especially jumping. I found it especially cheeky that the two guys actually had the sign saying they wanted to work.

    I suppose the US has a bigger problem, though, caused by having a huge underclass with no useful skills. Take your stereotypical inner city teen: functionally illiterate, with no useful work skills. There aren’t enough menial jobs to go around, and most likely the kid hasn’t got a work ethic anyway. Who the hell is gonna feel sorry for him and give him charity? Without charity, what can he do but be a criminal?

  37. I agree. He should have been aborted. It’s no coincidence that crime rates started dropping precipitously just about 15 years after Roe v. Wade made abortion legal. If the Republicans had any sense at all, they’d be strong supporters of abortion on demand. Hell, they’d encourage it, particularly for poor women. The children born of those women are not just a burden on society while they’re young; they’re a burden on society for their entire lives. And what’s worse is that they make more of themselves. If it were me, I’d make any woman who had not had her tubes tied ineligible for any welfare program.

  38. If there were an orally-administered contraceptive that was effective on breeding-age women and harmless to everyone else (better, was also effective on men), I’d make free food available to anyone who wanted it. We’ll feed you and your children, but you won’t be making more of them.

    The same goes for foreign aid: no cash, which typically goes into the pockets of the kleptocracy anyway, but we’ll give you enough food for your population. If you want another generation, though, you’d better figure out how to grow or earn your own food.

  39. I don’t believe the government should be distributing foreign aid at all, even for disasters let alone routinely.

    And why is it that the aid is almost exclusively unidirectional? It’s bi-directional with the English-speaking democracies, but otherwise it’s pretty much the US sends and other nations receive. Why should we be sending any aid at all to Manila? Did they send anything, anything at all, when Katrina hit, or Sandy. Even a nominal amount? If so, I apologize to them, but if they did it’d be an extremely rare example.

    If a disaster strikes, say, Australia, Canada, or the UK, fine. I’m in favor of doing whatever we can to help. They’d do and have done the same for us. But the rest of the world–with the sometimes exception of Switzerland, some of Northern Europe, and a very few other countries–pretty much expects us to give and give, with no intention of helping us when we need it.

  40. So… most other nations are like the parasites within our own nation: take take take, demand demand demand. And bitch about the aid not being enough, or fast enough. Why, sometimes it almost seems like the working minority in the US is supporting the entire world.

    As for foreign aid, I generally agree. However, if there were a safe, edible contraceptive as I described, I could see my way clear to feeding the world. It would last a few decades at most.

  41. Agreed on the foreign aid restrictions; at least as far as the State is concerned; only to our allies/friends like Kanada, the UK, Oz and the Kiwis; not military stuff, though. For anyone else in the world, I have no objections to religious and charitable organizations sending whatever, like they have done for centuries anyway.

    On the abortion/contraceptive front here in the U.S. I fear you run the risk of being accused of genocidal tactics if it is enforced mostly on poor inner-city blacks and Hispanics. And especially when abortion is most often used by white middle-class women as a method of birth control in the meantime.

  42. If it were me, I’d make any woman who had not had her tubes tied ineligible for any welfare program.

    Don’t forget the guys!

    A friend of mines son is a Houston cop. He called his mom the other morning and said that he could not do it anymore. He got called to a home where the mom slept with the baby and accidentally smothered it during the night. He called CPS and got the other 5 kids taken away. As the ambulance is taking the baby away the mom got excited and said, “do we get to ride with the lights on? They turned on the lights the time my other baby died”. Her son was floored.

    He stayed because he has two kids and 10 years. But when he hits 20 years, he is outta there.

  43. Houston PD, eh? Back in the 80s they were recruiting all over the place, in other states, including MA. My next-younger brother and I had taken several metro PD exams plus the State Police exam and passed them with perfect scores, with ten points added on to mine, for a score of 110, due to vet status and two PH’s. We were never contacted for any of those jobs and got to watch in the next few years as Affirmative Action quotas kicked in and minorities and women half our size were hired, with exam scores 60 and below. Meanwhile Houston PD had hired two Vietnamese recruits and it turned out later that they’d been former NVA troops during the war. No problemo, senor, that was just okey-dokey with everybody, except, possibly, U.S. ‘Nam vets on that department, who for all I know were canned to make room for the commies.

    So anytime someone bemoans how fucked up this country is now, I remind them how fucked up it was thirty years ago, too.

  44. Who the hell is gonna feel sorry for him and give him charity?

    Obama and his cronies in congress.

  45. The USA government will borrow money to pay 90% of the costs of the expansion of Medicaid in Texas.

    Only for a few years. The Medicaid cost sharing formula declines back to the original over a few years. This is why Perry chose not to join expansion and set up a state exchange.

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