Thursday, 4 February 2016

11:04 – We managed to get the 100 pounds of sugar, 50 pounds or so of rice, and 30 pounds of cornmeal repackaged yesterday, but we ran out of clean PET bottles and so didn’t get the 100 pounds of flour or the 25 pounds of oatmeal finished. We’ll continue work on that today and tomorrow.

We’ve also been drawing down our supply of science kits. This time of year, we’re shipping kits in relatively small numbers, but we need to get more built. We’re down to four or five biology kits in stock and maybe half a dozen forensic kits, so those’ll be top priority this week and next. That, and getting shelving set up in my office and the unfinished area of the basement, which Barbara calls the “natural area”.

I’m back at work on the prepping book, AKA The Book That Will Not Die. In my copious free time, I’m also starting to outline a fiction PA book and write character bios. One of those characters is Lori, the woman who delivers our mail. In addition to her USPS job, she has a 40-acre farm, where she raises Black Angus cattle. I asked her yesterday if she’d like to have dinner with us one evening, to which she readily agreed. I think I’ll name her character Harry the Mailman. Oh, wait. That’s already been taken.

I’m sure that Barbara will be happy to know that, other than stuff I need to do/buy for research on the prepping book, I’m pretty content with our current level of preparations. If things do go pear-shaped, we’re pretty well set to ride it out. Sure, there’ll always be more I want to do, but we’re in reasonably good shape in terms of water, food, shelter/heat, medications, communications, and defense.

I’m not really expecting any kind of catastrophic long-term emergency, but it wouldn’t surprise me if one did occur. I think the most likely such emergency is widespread civil unrest. If that happens, we’re well-placed to ride it out here in small-town North Carolina in the mountains. I don’t expect hordes of rioters and looters to show up here. If anything, the converse is likely to happen. History shows that if things get really bad, rather than big city dwellers heading for rural areas, rural dwellers are more likely to head for the big cities. That’s where jobs and government services are available. If the lights do go out, I’d expect power to be restored first in the big cities. Small-town and rural America would be way down the priority list for emergency aid, restoring services, and so on. And that’s fine with me.


29 thoughts on “Thursday, 4 February 2016”

  1. “Small-town and rural America would be way down the priority list for emergency aid, restoring services, and so on. And that’s fine with me.”

    Ditto. It would be some hard work but if our grandparents and great-grandparents could do it, we could muddle through, hopefully. Anyway, I hope you’re right and it continues to be a slow slide and we get enough time to prep and set things up right.

    For purposes of comparative gummint priorities, it was the same deal in SEA over forty years ago; Bangkok, for instance, got all the attention and resources and assistance, while the northeast provinces got the short end of the stick. That’s where, of course, the big USAF bases were located, and we had regular probes and sapper activity from Thai Cong, Pathet Lao and Khmer Route elements.

    The Irish civil war has a lot of interesting lessons to draw from in this regard, as well.

    Overcast again today, off to the vets group shortly, make sure we’re all copacetic.

  2. “Can a Master Persuader Reverse Hate?”
    http://blog.dilbert.com/post/138484797336/can-a-master-persuader-reverse-hate

    “My point is that what you see as an insurmountable 60% unfavorable rating is nothing of the sort for a Master Persuader. He could cut it by 25% just by shaving his head. Literally.”

    “The Cruz Prophesy”
    http://blog.dilbert.com/post/138493982111/the-cruz-prophesy

    “In my 2004 novel, The Religion War (sequel to God’s Debris) I imagined an American leader named Cruz – a man of God – taking a war of extermination to the Caliphate.”

    “Spooky Alert! Spooky Alert!”
    http://blog.dilbert.com/post/138669227401/spooky-alert-spooky-alert

    “But where I went wrong was the first name. My character in the book was named Horatio Cruz, not Ted Cruz.”

    “Now watch this video of 18-year old Ted Cruz talking about wanting to play a character named Horatio. It happens in the first 30 seconds.”

  3. lol! Instead of closing our borders and denying hadji scum being settled all over the country, the feds want to focus on WHITEY, Bible clutching, gun hoarding US Citizens.

    Extremist groups motivated by a range of U.S.-born philosophies present a “clear and present danger,” John Carlin, the Justice Department’s chief of national security, told Reuters in an interview. “Based on recent reports and the cases we are seeing, it seems like we’re in a heightened environment.”

  4. “Instead of closing our borders and denying hadji scum being settled all over the country, the feds want to focus on WHITEY, Bible clutching, gun hoarding US Citizens.”

    Of course. Once you begin seeing things from their perspective, i.e., mirror world and that page from Mr. SteveF’s notebook, it all makes perfect sense.

    If the ruling junta WANTED to generate mass violence, civil war and the destruction of the country, what exactly would they be doing differently?

    And then there’s the “Don Knotts Defense” for savages in our midst; again, mirror world beckons:

    http://takimag.com/article/they_was_scaring_me_david_cole/print#axzz3zEmpEQPQ

  5. And then there’s the “Don Knotts Defense” for savages in our midst; again, mirror world beckons:

    Quite and article. It should be required reading for all on the extremes libturds will go to save peeps of color. Geez.

  6. I daresay it’s gotten to the point now where not only will they defend these atrocities, but encourage them, and do pretty much what the cops in Germany and other countries over there do when they see mobs of musloid scum assaulting women and girls: nothing. And the political leadership basically tells them to “avoid” those areas and shut the hell up about it; don’t complain or we’ll arrest YOU instead.

    And it’s not like these gruesome torture-murders are only lately going on in this country; the MSM simply doesn’t report them, and any site that does is guilty, of course, of hate speech. And being rayciss.

    Hell, why wouldn’t they use that defense? The cops do; “I was in fear for my life” so I riddled that fucker like a Swiss cheese until he was bouncing off the floor and I had to load more “clips” to make sure.

    Like I used to say a lot; they want us to kneel before the scimitar, apparently, and not put up a fuss about it. Guess again, fummamuckers.

  7. “Why Trump and Sanders Share a Mandate for Universal Health Care ”
    http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2016/02/01/Why-Trump-and-Sanders-Share-Mandate-Universal-Health-Care

    He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother!

    And yes, it is time for Single Payer in the USA. And yes, it will be the biggest social experiment in history. And yes, I do worry about Pournelle’s Law (which seems to be rampant in the VA Hospital System now).
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerry_Pournelle#Iron_Law_of_Bureaucracy
    http://www.jerrypournelle.com/reports/jerryp/iron.html

  8. And yes, it will be the biggest social experiment in history.

    You misspelled “calamitous clusterfuck”.

  9. And yes, it will be the biggest social experiment in history.

    You misspelled “calamitous clusterf***”.

    Why, is Medicare a disaster? 15% of the USA is on Medicare today and it pay 25% of the medical bills in the USA. That is $850 billion this year! Biggest single program in the USA government and only has a 2% overhead.

    Now, Medicaid is total disaster as it does not even make a pretense of paying the going rate. But, Medicaid is paying for half of the little old ladies and little old men in nursing XXXXX skilled care homes in the Great State of Texas.

    If you walk in a nursing home and smell urine, yup, you are in a Medicaid and VA nursing home.

  10. I think we’re supposed to believe the government’s numbers regarding Medicare and Medicaid (and Social Security). I’m not sure why we’re supposed to believe them, what with every other federal government financial number being a lie.

    Also, there’s low overhead as contrasted with “low overhead”. I’ve seen the books of enough charities and other not for profits that I’m automatically suspicious of “low overhead” claims. All sorts of funny accounting goes into making the overhead “low”, and I’m sure that MC/MC/SS use every one I’ve ever heard of and a thousand more besides.

  11. Why, is Medicare a disaster?

    Yes, if it was extended to all of us. It also doesn’t pay anywhere near going rate for procedures. Most medical practices are capping Medicare to 10-15% of patients. This is going to squeeze the system even more as more boomers reach Medicare age.

  12. So far, I have no complaints with Medicare. Wife is on it (due to disability), and coverage for her heatlh issues is good. We got a Part B thing to supplement, and that also has good coverage. Out of pocket costs for docs/drugs are minimal, in our experience.

    Social Security has also been good for our income stream. Both of us are on it (Pam due to disability – pulmonary hypertension), and I got on early after early retirement (at 63). Supplements our retirement income nicely.

    No complaints on either program here.

  13. Yes, if it was extended to all of us. It also doesn’t pay anywhere near going rate for procedures. Most medical practices are capping Medicare to 10-15% of patients. This is going to squeeze the system even more as more boomers reach Medicare age.

    First, Medicare needs a copay for all doctor visits. We can argue if this is to be $10 or $50. Or, let doctors decide what their copay is (free market?).

    Second, the number of people on Medicare will double ? in the next ten years. We know this is happening. It has been happening for years.

    Third, Medicare needs to pay the going rate for all procedures. Or least double what they are paying now.

    The way to fix Medicare is to put all CITIZENS on it. Do it over time to cut the shock. The cost will be immense, probably a rise in the Medicare payroll tax from 1.45% for both employer and employee to 5% each. Maybe more.

    Medicare already has the procedures and computer systems to handle 25% of the medical transactions of the entire population of the USA. Scaling that by 4X should be doable. Medicare is already the largest medical single payer in the world and works well. Not great, well.

    Whatever we do, do not convert from SINGLE PAYER to SINGLE PROVIDER. Therein lies the VA Hospital System that works so well. Not!

  14. From Instapundit, how a combination of PPACA and CMS “guidelines” are causing physicians to not do what is in their patients’ best interest if they don’t want to get penalized. http://medicaleconomics.modernmedicine.com/medical-economics/news/how-perverse-incentives-are-ruining-healthcare?page=0,0

    And the penalties levied by CMS can be a substantial cut in reimbursements: 2% for not meeting goals, up to 2% bonus for exceeding them; so effectively a 4% cut. And the cuts come two calendar years later. So 2016 payments are based on 2014 reporting.

  15. Forty minutes into “Cartel Land;” already I’ve determined it’s the Black Flag for narcotrafficante, musloid, and renegade Fed combatants. When the time comes. Next up: the rest of the show and then “Sicario.” Just collecting a bit of intel on that area of the country. We don’t have nearly the drama up this way. Yet. One moronic Quebecois pulling a sled loaded with pills and tripping Border Patrol sensors immediately. A couple of shootings in downtown Burlap, both related to asshole dope gangstas from Babylon-on-the-Hudson.

    Fiddling with Medicare, Medicaid, SSDI, etc., may end up being the least of our worries at some point.

    Almost forgot: another very nice item to have will be night-vision scopes and related devices, but damn, they’re pricey.

  16. Random gleanings from a certain blog today:

    “5. Ted Cruz’s wife is a Goldman Sachs executive. Just thought I’d remind y’all of that.”

    “6. Trump had Hillary Clinton and Chelsea sit in the front row, in the place where the groom’s parents would be seated (Trump’s parents were both deceased at the time) at his “wedding” to his “third wife”, Melania. Just sayin’.”

    “7. Maybe we should just revisit the Barnhardt Axiom and cut to the chase:

    The culture has degraded such that seeking and/or holding office, especially national-level office, is, in and of itself, proof that a given person is psychologically and morally unfit to hold public office.”

  17. Ain’t it exciting: one more year of the current reader of teleprompters, then you get… Well, I’m not sure it matters who you get, ’cause they’re all great buddies.

    Geez, maybe could you just send the whole 1% to some desolate place and be rid of them? The Brits used to use Australia, and I’m told there’s still plenty of land in the middle. Then you could start over, and maybe get another 200 years mileage of out the Constitution.

  18. I have no complaints with Medicare

    I will soon find out. I had to transition to medicare effective 1, Feb.

    Therein lies the VA Hospital System that works so well. Not!

    We will see about that also. Have an appointment with the VA doctor at the clinic on Monday (moved from today). Mostly to get established in the system. I am going to see if the VA will pay for my prescriptions which will save me a few dollars a month.

    I will be getting medicare part B when I retire as my current health plan covers what part B would cover. July 1 I will get part b and a supplement.

    My wife will have to go on obuttwadcare and I will have to pay. But I am going to live off taxed savings for about three years. My taxable income will be zero for those years thus qualifying my wife for the maximum in subsidies. The the rest of you poor slobs will be subsidizing the premiums for my wife.

    However, I suspect that obuttwadcare will catch on and start basing your premiums on how much you have in the bank, not taxable earnings and close the loop hole.

    Of course that is all predicated on who wins the election. Obuttwadcare may get totally shit canned. Will that be good or bad? I don’t know. Will something worse replace it? Who knows. What I do know is that whatever happens it is going to cost me more money.

  19. It won’t be totally shitcanned. NOTHING ever is. Once enacted, it’s there forever.

    nick

  20. You’re right, of course. They’ll never go for “Legislation x is hereby completely repealed.” They simply don’t have it in them to do that.

  21. I am going to see if the VA will pay for my prescriptions which will save me a few dollars a month.

    It depends. The VA has a very restrictive formulary compared to Medicare.

  22. The VA has a very restrictive formulary compared to Medicare.

    So I have heard. That is why I have to make the visit. Another problem, there is a copays. I pay about $60 a month for meds now with a 90 day supply. If the VA is going to charge a $15 copay for a 30 day supply, why bother. I would only save $15 and would have to deal with the hassle of the VA. I just need to check all my options and have my quackers in a row before making decisions.

    I also need to apply to the VA to have my disability increased from 20% to 30%. Reason being that if I die, with my rate at 20%, my wife gets nothing. If I can get 30% then my wife would continue to receive some small benefit after I am worm food.

    Lot of important decisions have to be made and some planning for the next 5 years. What is making this difficult is that some of the stuff is a moving target. Social security may make a significant change based on your assets and not your income if some cankles gets elected, maybe gone completely or least given to those who have contributed nothing if senile Sanders gets elected. There is also the issue of obuttwad care. As others have indicated it probably will not go away but I suspect might be morphed into something else. Naturally, those with money will shoulder the cost of the lazy and worthless scum.

    Wife just got out of the hospital having had another full hip replacement. Watched the video on the procedure and it is gruesome. About six weeks of recovery ahead. This will max out my maximum out of pocket for my current insurance policy. Now is the time to start getting everything fixed that I have been putting off as from this point on it becomes effectively zero cost after having paid $4,000 in deductible and another $4K in copay to satisfy the maximum out of pocket.

    What is interesting is that the bills to the insurance company will be about $75K based on prior experience. Insurance will adjust all the bills down to about $30K. I will pay the surgeon, anesthesia guy, hospital, x-ray company, lab company, hospital, and the idiot surgeon that sticks his head in the door uninvited and charges $2K consulting fee, by making payments. None of these entities will get full payment at once even though I could.

  23. During my Dad’s final years, before my Sister and I realized that the VA was killing him, he refused to complain about the VA, he was a good soldier (well 1st Lieutenant) and you just don’t complain, Uncle Sam will take care of you; male cow manure. We found out that he NEVER received a prescription on time (only 30 day supplies) and more than half the time the prescription WAS WRONG (DEADLY WRONG).

    I will not subject myself to the VA, no matter what, I’ll die first. I pity the poor Vet that has no alternatives.

  24. What is making this difficult is that some of the stuff is a moving target.

    Man is it ever! One of Trump’s points is that cost decisions for a business are all trending rapidly upward and stifling business creation or expansion in the USA.

    Social security may make a significant change based on your assets and not your income if some cankles gets elected, maybe gone completely or least given to those who have contributed nothing if senile Sanders gets elected. There is also the issue of obuttwad care. As others have indicated it probably will not go away but I suspect might be morphed into something else. Naturally, those with money will shoulder the cost of the lazy and worthless scum.

    And those scum are killing our ER system. You do not realize how good our ER system is until you use it a few times. I am convinced that the ER system has saved my life twice in the last six years due to my flaky heart problems. It is tough to live long with a BP of 210/110 or a heart pulse of 150 spiking to 200 for hours on end.

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