Friday, 24 March 2017

09:27 – It was 40.1F (4.5C) when I took Colin out around 0715 this morning, with a stiff breeze. Barbara got home about 1330 yesterday and we got all the Costco stuff unloaded and put away.

This site and Barbara’s site were down yesterday evening for at least an hour or so. I finally gave up and went to bed. The site isitdownrightnow.com claimed this site was up and available the whole time, but I couldn’t get to it. Several readers emailed me overnight to say they were having the same problem, so I’m not sure what was going on. There’s nothing at all on dreamhoststatus.com about connectivity or server issues, so something weird was going on.

I see that the big news overnight was about the Republican catfight about how much lipstick to put on the Obamacare pig. Other than Rand Paul and a couple of others, none of the GOP congressmen wants to flat-out repeal it. Trump says take or leave the current proposal, and that if Congress doesn’t accept it he’ll just drop the whole repeal thing and move along. Then we can just watch Obamacare collapse, as it’s already doing.

Roughly a third of the 3,000+ US counties have only one insurance company issuing ACA policies, and several have none at all. Our county has only one currently, BC/BS, and it seems likely that BC/BS will stop participating in ACA by the end of 2017, leaving us with nothing.

The problem is that about 99% of the congress insists on keeping the two adverse-selection features that doomed Obamacare. Allowing people up to age 26 to remain on their parents’ policies is bad enough because it dramatically reduces the number of young, healthy people who are paying into the system. The ban on refusing to cover pre-existing conditions is much, much worse. It’s adverse selection in a nutshell. The proposed GOP bandaid fixes do nothing to change that. Insurance companies can’t stay in business if they’re forced to insure people who are uninsurable. It’s like forcing a home insurance company to issue policies on homes that are already on fire.

So it’s going to be interesting to see what happens. My guess is Obamacare will be left pretty much as-is, allowed to collapse of its own weight and leaving us with nothing.

And people wonder why we continue prepping. What’s happening now just makes the slow slide into dystopia a lot faster, hastening the inevitable ultimate collapse. Stock up now, while you still can.

* * * * *

65 thoughts on “Friday, 24 March 2017”

  1. I’m going to sound like a right wing Christian wacko for saying this, but I’ll say it anyway. The reason that we spend so much on health care in the United States is that we Americans have unhealthy lifestyles. We eat too much of the wrong foods, drink too much alcohol and sit in front of the TV too much. We abuse too many narcotics. Now for the really controversial topic, what about the cost of treating all those sexual transmitted diseases. If we spent half the time trying to be healthier that we currently spend on complaining about the high cost of healthcare, we would do more to reduce the cost of healthcare than all other. Obamacare only allows insurance rates to be changed for one of these conditions, and that is smoking tobacco.

    While I am an Evangelical Christian, I don’t want to outlaw all these things. I think people should be free to make their own decisions, I just think their decisions should influence their health insurance rates. I think that people have every right to ride a motorcycle without a helmet. I think it is wrong to prevent insurance companies from offering discounts to motorcyclists who wear helmets. I also think there are people like me who are so uncoordinated that I shouldn’t ride a motorcycle under any circumstances. For people like me, insurance for injuries sustained while driving my car should be far less expensive than insurance for injuries operating a motorcycle.

  2. Well, I smoke a pipe, but I have to pay the Obamacare penalty for tobacco use anyway, despite the fact that pipe smokers live longer and have fewer health problems than NON-SMOKERS. It’s true. Look it up.

  3. As I drove north this week I passed several billboards that proclaim

    Fresno County Now 50% covered by Medical

    Tulare County Now 55% covered by Medical

    As if these are great achievements. I’d like to think they are just the opposite but of course that’s my reaction as a taxpayer, not a taxeater.

    Down in the lower corner are #StayLoud and Health Access. Democratic propaganda.

  4. @Dave — two thumbs up

    Actions have consequences, and a price. There are no free passes at the “Pearly Gates”, the snowflakes are in for a surprise.

  5. OK, I looked quickly looked it up – google search “Do cigar smokers live longer than non-smokers”

    While the first result (Surprisingly, Smoking Tobacco From A Pipe May Have Health Benefits / http://eattheplanet.org/surprisingly-smoking-tobacco-from-a-pipe-may-have-health-benefits/) mildly supports your assertion quoting from the US Surgeon General report “Smoking and Health” (No. 1103, page 92) that:

    “Among the pipe smokers…The U.S. mortality ratios are 0.8 for non-inhalers and 1.0 for inhalers;”. The author then goes on to say “So what does that mean, their study was using a mortality ratio of 1.0 as the mortality ratio for a non-smoker, and what they found is that pipe smokers that don’t inhale have a slightly lower mortality ratio which means that they live slightly longer. That needs repeating…Pipe smokers that don’t inhale live longer that non-smokers according to that study. This makes it clear that smokers should switch to pipes, it would be a much healthier way to enjoy this natural herb. If you do smoke, keep in mind that smoking a pipe as infrequently as once a day is recommended. It is not recommended that non-smokers start smoking tobacco because of the addictive properties of nicotine.” (NOTE: pipe smokers that don’t inhale)

    A more recent (2007) study (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17400948) contradicts this:

    Abstract: Mortality and life expectancy in relation to long-term cigarette, cigar and pipe smoking: the Zutphen Study.

    STUDY OBJECTIVE:
    To study the effect of long-term smoking on all-cause and cause-specific mortality, and to estimate the effects of cigarette and cigar or pipe smoking on life expectancy.

    DESIGN: A long-term prospective cohort study.

    SETTING: Zutphen, The Netherlands.

    PARTICIPANTS: 1373 men from the Zutphen Study, born between 1900 and 1920 and studied between 1960 and 2000.

    MEASUREMENTS:
    Hazard ratios for the type of smoking, amount and duration of cigarette smoking, obtained from a time-dependent Cox regression model. Absolute health effects of smoking are expressed as differences in life expectancy and the number of disease-free years of life.

    MAIN RESULTS:
    Duration of cigarette smoking was strongly associated with mortality from cardiovascular disease, lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, whereas both the number of cigarettes smoked as well as duration of cigarette smoking were strongly associated with all-cause mortality. Average cigarette smoking reduced the total life expectancy by 6.8 years, whereas heavy cigarette smoking reduced the total life expectancy by 8.8 years. The number of total life-years lost due to cigar or pipe smoking was 4.7 years. Moreover, cigarette smoking reduced the number of disease-free life-years by 5.8 years, and cigar or pipe smoking by 5.2 years. Stopping cigarette smoking at age 40 increased the life expectancy by 4.6 years, while the number of disease-free life-years was increased by 3.0 years.

    CONCLUSIONS:
    Cigar or pipe smoking reduces life expectancy to a lesser extent than cigarette smoking. Both the number of cigarettes smoked and duration of smoking are strongly associated with mortality risk and the number of life-years lost. Stopping smoking after age 40 has major health benefits.

    On Health (much harder to find because everything is overwhelming about cigarettes) but here is one somewhat specific study (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11156044) in 2000:

    Abstract: Cigar, pipe, and cigarette smoking as risk factors for periodontal disease and tooth loss.

    CONCLUSION:
    The results suggest that cigar and pipe smoking may have similar adverse effects on periodontal health and tooth loss as cigarette smoking. Smoking cessation efforts should be considered as a means of improving periodontal health and reducing tooth loss in heavy smokers of cigarettes, cigars, and pipes with periodontal disease.

    ***

    My father smoked cigarettes (Pall Mall) until his first heart attack in his early 40s. After that he switched to a pipe and it was ever present. He finally quit when my older brother – fed up with his constant requests for a grand child – told him that he and his wife would stop using birth control when he stopped smoking. He did so they did. He died a year and a half later – six weeks after the birth of his granddaughter – of his fifth heart attack.

  6. 31 here with a snow/rain mix that could drop up to four inches on us later.

    WRT to gummint healthcare scams and other criminal gummint activity (almost all of it now), I agree with Mr. Dave that our lifestyle choices have a lot to do with how crummy Murkan health is these days, across the generations, too.

    They need to dump the “up to age 26” crap immediately and also the “pre-existing conditions” thing, with the caveat that there may exist conditions that fit other criteria.

    But they won’t, and I agree that the whole mess will most likely slowly and messily topple and we’ll have nothing. Best to dump all bad habits and stuff ingested, and learn ourselves some basic medical care at least, and stock up on meds and vitamins. We’ll most likely end up paying nurses and doctors in cash or with some kind of barter arrangements. Starting to happen now.

  7. My hope now is that they do nothing. Let it die its own death. What they’re trying to do now is polishing a turd so they can pick it up by the clean end.

  8. Until the demonization of tobacco started in the 1970’s, insurance companies were realistic about assessing risks. They didn’t need small-scale studies like the one you mentioned. They had extremely large-scale studies, i.e. their experience with hundreds of millions of policy holders over a hundred years or more. Their actuaries had mountains of data to use in assessing risks, and the conclusion they came to was that anyone who smoked one pack of cigarettes per day or less had morbidity and mortality indistinguishable from a non-smoker. They priced their health and life insurance policies accordingly, and did quite well.

    Of course, back then political correctness did not exist. The insurance companies price according to their actual risks. That mean that blacks paid more for life insurance and health insurance than whites did, because blacks died younger and were sicker. Women, particularly those of child-bearing age, paid more than men for health insurance, because they consumed health-care services at a much higher rate. Heavy smokers paid more for health insurance and life insurance because their morbidity and mortality was higher than that of light smokers or non-smokers. But the point is that everything was decided on a coldly rational basis. That’s not true any more.

  9. The truth is that so-called modern medicine has done almost nothing to make us healthier or live longer. It’s the engineers and scientists who’ve done about 99% of what’s occurred to improve our health. Things like pure drinking water and sanitary sewers, food preservation and packaging, antibiotics, and so on. Given the choice, I’d much rather see all of the physicians disappear than lose our scientists and engineers.

    I decided when I was a teenager that the secret to a long and healthy life was to stay the hell away from doctors, and particularly hospitals. They’re plague pits. Always have been, always will be.

  10. Allowing people up to age 26 to remain on their parents’ policies is bad enough because it dramatically reduces the number of young, healthy people who are paying into the system.

    I have to severely disagree with this. Texas went to kids being on the parents health insurance until age 25 almost a decade ago. The problem is that 80% of births in Texas are occurring to young ladies who were unmarried and without an income. So, The Great State of Texas was paying for 80% of the births in Texas via Medicaid. Allowing young ladies to stay on their parents health insurance cut that back to Texas paying for ONLY 60% of the births.

    What a mess !

  11. The truth is that so-called modern medicine has done almost nothing to make us healthier or live longer.

    I credit blood pressure medicine with allowing 50% of the populace to move their dying point from their 50s to their 70s and 80s. High blood pressure kills your heart, lungs, and internal organs.

  12. This weekend, my church is focusing on the conversion of muslims to Christians. We have been giving out free English lessons to anyone using the Bible for quite a while now. We have found that many of the attendees are muslim as Fort Bend County is around 10% (SWAG) muslim now and rapidly growing. We have over 100 students studying English a week now.
    https://www.firstcolonychurch.org/event/928077-2017-03-26-muslim-gospel-conversation/

    The name of the ministry is Friendspeak and is having significant results. Over 300 of the Churches of Christ are now practicing this. After all, many of the muslim peoples were Christians before 700 AD.
    http://www.christianchronicle.org/article/friendspeak-mixes-jesus-conversation

  13. Credit it if you wish, but the truth is that the correlation between blood-pressure medications and longer life/better health is very tenuous. The problem is that a lot of the trials have used proxies (e.g., reduced cholesterol) that it turns out don’t actually correlate to improved outcomes.

  14. I’ll believe they’re no longer muslim when they eat a ham sandwich and piss on a copy of the koran.

  15. Credit it if you wish, but the truth is that the correlation between blood-pressure medications and longer life/better health is very tenuous. The problem is that a lot of the trials have used proxies (e.g., reduced cholesterol) that it turns out don’t actually correlate to improved outcomes.

    I know that 10% of the populace in the USA is on blood thinners to reduce strokes (as I am). I wonder how much of the populace is on blood pressure reducers ?

    As a side point, I recently stopped taking my beta blocker (metaprolol) as I am now taking the max of Rythmol to control my tachycardia. My blood pressure is now 110/70 +- 10 with my pulse at 70 to 80. The metaprolol was driving my bp to 100/60 +- 10 with a pulse of 50. I was getting to the point that I could barely move.

  16. Wow, my sympathies. I do understand why you want to force insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions. It sounds like you’d otherwise be uninsurable.

  17. Allowing people up to age 26 to remain on their parents’ policies is bad enough because it dramatically reduces the number of young, healthy people who are paying into the system.

    The “20 to 26” ages are some of the healthiest and these kids hardly ever bought health care insurance in the past. I know I never bought health insurance till I got it with an employer about age 25. Our first child was paid for by an all inclusive plan with the doctor & hospital that included pre natal care and complete birth services for a single price. I seem to recall it was $475. When the wife had to have a caesarian, we received an invoice from the doctor for an extra $500 which I refused to pay. He sold the debt to a collection agency. When I sent them a copy of the contract that clearly specified a single payment for “birth services”, they dropped the collection.

  18. Wow, my sympathies. I do understand why you want to force insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions. It sounds like you’d otherwise be uninsurable.

    I am 56 and have had health insurance since I was 14 or 15. Therefore, I have no pre-existing conditions. All of my conditions occurred while I was on health insurance. Unless, I let my health insurance lapse which is not going to happen.

    Most people 50 or above are going to have some sort of issues.

  19. I’m at an age that would statistically be counted as “likely to have an issue.” I don’t, but I’ve had health insurance since I got out of the service many moons ago.

    What truly annoys me about the mess today is that the government, no matter what it does, will only make it worse. They’re like doctors of old – treating symptoms instead of the underlying illness. The illness is government manipulation of the market.

    My “Health Care” (all for my spouse) out-of-pocket expense has gone through the roof. Deductible expense for her tonsillectomy was higher than the entire operation should have cost in a free market.

    GET OUT.

    As Dr. Bob implies – we’ll all live a lot longer and save a lot of money that we can spend on (nobody’s business what we spend it on.)

  20. everything was decided on a coldly rational basis. That’s not true any more.

    Sure it is. That basis is, make the people with money pay to cover everyone’s health costs.

    Texas went to kids being on the parents health insurance until age 25 almost a decade ago. The problem is that 80% of births in Texas are occurring to young ladies who were unmarried and without an income. So, The Great State of Texas was paying for 80% of the births in Texas via Medicaid. Allowing young ladies to stay on their parents health insurance cut that back to Texas paying for ONLY 60% of the births.

    Right. We need a government mandate to take care of the problems caused by other government mandates.

    I do understand why you want to force insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions. It sounds like you’d otherwise be uninsurable.

    Show me where a man sits and I’ll tell you where he stands.

  21. I’m on a blood thinner (nothing fancy, just 100mg asprin/day) plus a couple of BP reducers (I typically read 110-130/70-80 when tested).

    “Wow, my sympathies. I do understand why you want to force insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions. It sounds like you’d otherwise be uninsurable.”

    I moved from my parents policy to my own in 1980, aged 21, so I have never been uninsured. I resent people getting cover for pre-existing conditions after years of not having insurance.

    The piece of technology contributing most to keeping me going is probably my CPAP machine.

  22. I am 65 and without any chronic health conditions. I don’t eat healthy, I don’t exercise, I am overweight but loosing weight naturally without diet. My father and his father had heart attacks before age 40 and both had strokes age 50 and up. Yet both lived into their 90’s. My only hospital experience was when I fell off the Marin Highlands in 2015 and broke my arm. My wife however has heart disease, diabetes, had several heart attacks, a triple bypass, VRE infections, sternum and rib removals, uterine cancer, a gall bladder removal, both knees resurfaced, shoulder surgery, and carpal tunnel surgery. Thank goodness for our employer provided insurance. She is a VERY high maintenance woman.

  23. I just got back from photographing the local special Olympics. Ain’t none of us got any problems we can complain about compared to many of those individuals. Yikes! The demands on the parents must be substantial. All the kids get medals as most events there are three or fewer participants. What stood out to me was some of the kids getting the medal made them as happy as I would be winning the powerball jackpot (not that I know how that really feels), maybe more so. A cheap piece of fake gold plated plastic. Even just competing and being able to complete an event with a couple hundred people cheering them on was remarkable.

  24. I hear you loud and clear, Mr. Ray.

    I’m constantly reminded of stuff like that when I see veterans of all ages coming through the system or out in public with far, far worse shit to deal with 7×24 than my piddly-assed problems. Including people with “severe and chronic” PTSD like me PLUS missing limbs or recovering from horrific burns, blinded, etc., etc. And my “severe and chronic” is nada compared to guys the police or ambulance bring to the REAL psych wards down at White River Junction and Boston. Some of them come in with straitjackets and heavily sedated because they’re totally out of control. And some are simply catatonic; you can’t get through to them; although we heard one story yesterday of a guy who our jarhead talked to several times a week down there with zero results for many moons.

    They ran some newfangled medical procedure on him and the next time our guy saw him, he jumped to his feet and said “Hey, Marcus, how ya doin’?” Perfectly fine.

    My boy Marcus has been through the mill and then some; Marine Corps infantry, a long history of booze and drug addiction, prison time at least twice, and six wives. Plus both sons former junkies and in and out of prison. Wiry little guy but he ain’t afraid of shit. Except his own mental chaos.

    Snow coming down sideways now, whiteout on the bay.

  25. Holy cow, she’s the bionic woman….
    Yes she is. She has an implanted blood sugar measuring device that communitaes with her insulin pump via bluetooth to keep her sugar levels steady. In Hong Kong, her Doctor also gave her a device that uploaded her daily sugar data to his web site for analisys. but that isn’t available in the US 8 years later.

    My younger brother just had a titanium “reverse” shoulder replacement because of degenerative issues.

    Too many androids in the family

  26. “reverse” shoulder replacement

    So he can pat himself on the back?

    Too many androids in the family

    That’s just asking for a crack about replacing some of them with ipod people.

  27. I just got back from photographing the local special Olympics. Ain’t none of us got any problems we can complain about compared to many of those individuals.

    Good for you !

    There but for the grace of God go I. I have known three people with Down’s Syndrome. Two of the three were extremely happy people in their 20s and 40s. Don’t know about the other ages. The third one was always extremely confused about her surroundings and desperately clinging to her older sister all the time (they were in their 40s).

    Yikes! The demands on the parents must be substantial.

    Having a 29 year old severely disabled daughter living in the house is just about killing us. And her Lyme disease came back stronger than ever again as she scored a three out of three on the Lyme tests last week for the first time. Her doctor wants to try giving her colloidal silver now. Doxycycline, Amoxicillin, and another antibiotic are not working anymore.

    I laughed when I first read about our generation being “the sandwich generation”. It is no longer funny.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandwich_generation

  28. I haven’t had health insurance since my mid 20’s except for an 18 month period in the mid nineties. I’ll be 62 this year… Other than 1 ER visit when I’d been out of state for several months (which was useless for the “problem” involved), I haven’t seen a doctor for myself in all that time. Now, on my father’s side, there is a history of heart ailments in their 60’s, so…..

    Prepping today was following my own advice and cleaning up an unruly pile of Keystone meat cans growing on the far side of my desk in the back bedroom. Note, a banker’s box will hold 22 of the larger cans. I smiled a bit that 4 boxes took care of the unsightliness and therefore hold 88 cans plus the 2 that I moved into the dining room food locker. Since 90 cans was mentioned as a goal amount. Thought I had over a hundred though. Discovered a couple rolls of paper towels and a 4 pack of SPAM that had somehow gotten buried in there.

  29. Sympathies, Lynn. It doesn’t mean I support socialized medicine to help with your family’s woes, but I do sympathize.

    Yes, we’re the sandwich generation. I have the preteen kid (through no one’s fault but my own) and am helping with both my mother and my mother-in-law. Pressure? Naaah…

    And then there’s the people who avoid any responsibility. Call them the rotten and slimy bologna people who’ve slipped out of the sandwich. My son from my first marriage is staying with his grandmother because she can’t live by herself but refuses to go into “a home” and his mother and uncle refuse to do anything to help. He put college on hold to take care of her. Sure, he’s getting free rent out of the deal, but he’s working very hard for that free rent, between caring for Gramma and fixing up the poorly-maintained house. (He’s making good use of the tools he got for his birthday. Could use some more, but that’s always the case.) Meanwhile, Gramma’s two kids do nothing to help and argue in front of her about who’s getting the house after she dies. She’ll sometimes grumble to me, her ex-son-in-law, on the phone “Where did I go wrong?”

  30. OK, here is what tRump should do regarding all coming into the USA, whether temporary visiting or immigrating.

    BASIS: When I drove into Mexico, just for a few hours, I bought Mexinsurance for my auto as they do not recognize USA AAA insurance. Any accident there without, regardless of fault, and it would be slammeroo for me por cierto!

    We should demand all that enter have already purchased USA medical/health for the duration of the stay. Illegal entry without US med insurance should be deported immediately.

    Is the Mex government smarter than ours?

  31. Sympathies, Lynn. It doesn’t mean I support socialized medicine to help with your family’s woes, but I do sympathize.

    Thanks. I do have my daughter insured on my pitiful BCBS health insurance. There is a provision in Texas State law that says if your dependent is disabled, your health insurance company must allow you to cover them also, no matter what their age is. I pay $385.14 out of my pocket each month to cover her. Plus me and 12 other people who work for me or are dependents of those who work for me. We have to renew the disabled designation on our daughter each year, it is a pain.

    The Great State of Texas has quite a few rules and regulations about health insurance to try to keep people off the state Medicaid program. Medicaid is either the number one or number two expense in the state budget and they are trying hard to control the expansion of it. The biggest single expense is bankrupt little old ladies and little old men in nursing homes. The second biggest expense is young ladies having kids with no support.

  32. Looks like Obolacare is going to hang on and die a spectacular death. Does this mean that Paul Ryan will be drummed out of the House now ? Or taken out to the White House commons at dawn and shot for his incompetence ?

  33. “Or taken out to the White House commons at dawn and shot for his incompetence ?”

    He’s not at the front of the line.

    But when the counter-revolution is finally victorious, my firing squads will be working mandatory overtime.

  34. Here is what all the lefteroos are looking for:
    1. The rest of the insurance companies drop out,
    2. Obamanation care then becomes like the UK, single payer,
    3. Why should the lefteroos in House of Rep vote for tRump changes when single payer is what they really want?

  35. I had health insurance, under my parent’s coverage, until I turned 21, then I got my own policy. It wasn’t “great” but it was a hospitalization / surgical policy that covered any problems with my already badly damaged at the time knees. All was well & good until the insurer pulled out of the state. At that point, every other insurer in the state, starting with the large one known by a particular color, refused to insure me. They would have been happy to add me, were I working for a large company, but not as long as I proposed to pay the bill out of my own pocket. So either those actuaries that our host mentions are convinced that working for the State (for example) will make be healthier, or the finance wonks at the insurance companies don’t really want the public to know what insurance really costs.
    Now I have a $6,000 / year policy with a $5,000 deductible and $12,500 (IIRC) out of pocket cap per year. The healthcare.gov web site still won’t work for me, and no one can tell me why, so the tax scheme isn’t available to me.

    [snip] Or taken out to the White House commons at dawn and shot for his incompetence ? [snip]
    Politically, there ought to be a large number of Republicans who are taken out and shot. They’ve had eight years to get their act together, put 30 very smart people into a room and come up with a plan that’s ready to rock & roll. On January 21 all they had to do was print out the resulting bill and file it in each chamber. Instead, they’ve behaved as stupidly, swinishly, and irresponsibly as a pack of Democrats. A pox on them!

    [snip] what about the cost of treating all those sexual transmitted diseases. [snip]
    I’m not an epidemiologist, but which venereal diseases, other than AIDS, are particularly expensive to treat? I thought most were treatable with a standard course of fairly inexpensive antibiotics. I agree with the notion that a lot of health problems are the result of poor lifestyle choices. One of my good golf buddies has hypertension and type 2 diabetes, probably at least in part due to his being 75# overweight. He’s tried everything other that diet & exercise to lose weight. My nephew died four years ago of organ failure because he was stupid enough to use methamphetamine, it still pains me to write that. Moderation in the use of alcohol and tobacco, use of seat belts, motorcycle helmets, yearly check ups, etc but too many people are just unwilling to try.

    [snip] Obamanation care then becomes like the UK, single payer, [snip]
    I’m still convinced that that was their underlying plan along.

  36. “Instead, they’ve behaved as stupidly, swinishly, and irresponsibly as a pack of Democrats.”

    Shocking.

    Would be, except it’s all the same Party anyway.

    ObolaCARE was in fact, designed to fail and fail big. And that’s what we’re all about to see. The national debt thing is also about to blow up in our faces. And that’s deliberate, too.

    I think the intent is to cause a global financial meltdown and rampant disorder, as various factions and wars break out. People will beg on their knees for order to be restored. No matter the cost. But it will be too late. And I really think that the perpetrators truly believe that nothing bad will happen to them.

  37. tRumpCare fails.

    Duh.

    Of course Dumbocrats want single payer. As long as they don’t pay a dime. Another exemption for Congress.

  38. Of course Dumbocrats want single payer. As long as they don’t pay a dime. Another exemption for Congress.

    I figure that Single Payer in the USA will be paid for by an expansion of the Medicare tax from 1.45% payroll tax for both the employee and the employer to a 6.0% payroll tax for both the employee and the employer. I hope that this is enough to pay for part A of Medicare for the entire populace but, I do not know for sure. My research says that Medicare (and maybe Medicaid) currently cover 15% of the populace and pays 25% of the total healthcare bills of the populace.

    Is Congress exempt from the Medicare and Social Security taxes ? I believe that Congresspersons pay Social Security and Medicare taxes just like the general populace. An article in the LA Times agrees with me.
    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-laz-congress-members-medicare-20160120-column.html

    It would a tremendous shot in the dark to convert the entire USA to Single Payer. There are some horribly interesting questions though, if an illegal went to an ER, would they be deported upon discharge ? One would certainly hope so.

  39. Spent the day running errands and then packing up the truck for tomorrow’s Hamfest.

    I’m hoping for good weather, even though we are under a tornado watch ATM…

    I have a bunch of stuff to sell at the swapmeet and one item to buy, if I can find it.

    I stock up for this swap so I’m gonna be F’d if the weather is bad. Last year was cold wet and windy and I only sold a few hundred bucks of stuff. I’m hoping to break a thousand this time. It’ll be a LONG day, starting at 6 and ending in the afternoon.

    Got the zukes and cukes in the ground, got leaves sprouting on one of the new apple trees. Re-potted several of the oaks I’m growing as my retirement plan 😉 I’m getting a second head on the broccoli I harvested, and one of the other plants turns out to be a brusselssprout. Maybe I’ll finally get a home grown brusselssprout. Meyer Lemon tree flowered already, and one of the grapefruits is in bloom with tons of blooms that smell great. I have a baby tomato on one of the plants too. (Sorry Jenny!) Peach hasn’t budded yet but is close. Orange and the mature grapefruit are healthily green and full, but no flowers yet.

    Starting to get end of school year stuff on the calendar and awareness. WTF? Where did the first quarter go?

    Gotta do some pricing for the sale…..

    n

  40. My daughter and I plan to attend the Pageant of Steam. Probably my dad, likely my brother, possibly my mom, Son#2 if he’s around. If we both attend we can arrange to meet and exchange the obligatory “Huh. You look even more awesome than I imagined.” greetings.

  41. “Hackers demand $150K ransom, threaten to wipe millions of Apple devices”
    http://computerworld.com/article/3184030/security/hackers-demand-150k-ransom-threaten-to-wipe-millions-of-apple-devices.html

    “A group of hackers is threatening to wipe data from millions of Apple devices in two weeks if the company doesn’t pay them US$150,000.”

    “The group, which calls itself Turkish Crime Family, claims to have login credentials for more than 627 million icloud.com, me.com and mac.com email addresses. These are email domains that Apple has allowed for users creating iCloud accounts over the years.”

    Welcome to the future of now, Ransomware.

    Although, I will bet that Apple has a few security consultants with the ability to jump on a jet airplane to reach out and touch someone. And not in a good way.

  42. An outside chance that I might make it out that way to the steam thing, too; I’d like to go but it depends on wife’s work schedule and whether or not I’m back working full-time again somewhere (doubtful).

    RIP Rhodesia

    RIP South Afrika

  43. Although, I will bet that Apple has a few security consultants with the ability to jump on a jet airplane to reach out and touch someone. And not in a good way.

    Moshe and his commando team! Didn’t you ever read Fake Steve Jobs?

    http://www.fakesteve.net/

    Keyword search “Moshe”. Don’t consume beverages while reading. Another good one is found at the search words “Rat Patrol Arnold”.

    Fake Steve forgot the magic words *In Color* after the “Rat Patrol” title. Damn, I’m old if I remember things like that.

  44. Well, the wife and I should be OK as neither of us have drunk the iCloud Kool-Aid. iTunes, on the other hand…

    But right now iTunes is only on the Winblows 8 box I just made, on an older refurbished HP machine. Only reason we have it is to run TurboTax and iTunes. Shit, even the latest Quicken will run w/Crossover on Linux on this Mint machine.

  45. Speaking of South Africa, someone linked me to this ‘band’ called Die Antwoord or The Answer.

    They are a duo that raps and are some of the ugliest freakiest, weirdest artists I’ve ever seen and it has to be because they came out of a white ghetto in SA. They rap in English and Afrikaans, and obscenity.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Uee_mcxvrw&list=PLTB38rV8WqYRZzRcLD7Meb4YMbAshKibl

    The linked playlist starts with one of their freaky videos. Fatty Boom Boom, and Cookiethumper, and Baby’s On Fire are probably their most accessible videos. Ugly Boy is another freakshow. I have to admit, I’ve played Fatty Boom Boom a lot, and I can’t get Baby’s on Fire out of my head.

    I haven’t linked them because I’m still unsure how I feel about them. That’s why I use the word ‘artist’. I’ve been thinking about them for a couple of weeks. I keep coming back to the music and videos, even though this is WAY far away from my normal taste in music.

    If you watch, turn down your volume, send the kids to bed. Stock up on brain bleach.

    n

  46. I haven’t linked them because I’m still unsure how I feel about them. That’s why I use the word ‘artist’. I’ve been thinking about them for a couple of weeks. I keep coming back to the music and videos, even though this is WAY far away from my normal taste in music.

    No judgements. The Scissor Sisters “Ta-Dah” is part of my normal car CD rotation. I had it running this morning trying to summon up positive energy for an interview.

  47. You guys crack me up; I have Little Stevie’s Underground Garage tuned in on my car’s SiriusXM and half the time it’s bands I’ve never heard of, from whichever decade, including this one, but mostly from the past fifty years.

    But at home it’s either straight oldies streaming, or classical. Tomorrow night I’ll probably be listening to the Smokestack Lightin’ show and Sunday night will be Pipedreams.

    And here’s a tale out of North Carolina, not sure where, exactly, but this 50+ chick has got it goin’ on:

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/living/3120733/this-woman-has-stunned-the-web-after-showing-off-her-bikini-but-can-you-spot-whats-wrong-with-it/

    They either don’t know or just aren’t mentioning it but this is “Banshee Moon.” Seems to be a nice person and likes guns.

  48. Speaking of South Africa, someone linked me to this ‘band’ called Die Antwoord or The Answer.

    Note to self: Never, never, never ever go to a website suggested by @nick without wearing a brain condom. I watched three videos of their before my brain summarily rebooted.

    Never.

  49. I did try to provide ample warning…

    Actually Fatty Boom Boom is pretty funny, esp the version that bags on Lady Gaga. And no SJW to give them shit about wearing blackface.

    The whole middle of that playlist was fairly slow, low key stuff.

    I can’t get it out of my head. And there is apparently a cultural thing called ‘zef’ that is a bit tongue in cheek and celebrates everything cheezy in several decades of pop culture, thus the wife beater shirts, gold lame’ hot pants, etc.

    n

  50. SteveF wrote:

    “Huh. You should meet my awesome partner Dolly the Sheep. She likes Texas boys almost as much as me.”

    There, FTFY.

  51. We are currently getting the thunder and lightning they’ve been calling for all day.

    It should be about done over Lynn’s house.

    And should be by me in a bit.

    Moderate t-storm. Ordinarily nothing to write home about. There is a huge line of t-storm to the east of us. Some people are probably in it for a few hours. That would suck.

    And I’m up when I should be sleeping because the hamfest swap starts at 6 and it’s in Rosenburg, 40 minutes away.

    Mr Lynn should come out. Won’t be far for him. Google it.

    I will check the weather around 6am and if it isn’t raining, I’ll head out to be there around 7. I’ll miss the fanatics, but it won’t be dark and rainy either.

    Bedtime now.

    n

  52. Ditto here in the north country.

    We got a couple of inches of blown snow and then a bit of sleet. BFD.

    Off to my usual Saturday of errands and chores and I’ll try to get as much done as I can this weekend. The past week has been kind of a bust, due mainly to my sloth and other previously scheduled appointments. Some days I just don’t seem to have the energy or motivation to do much besides eat, read, and listen to the radios. I never thought I’d end up doing chit like this when I was in my teens and twenties. But hell, that was back in circa 1966-1983.

    Pax vobiscum

  53. “They either don’t know or just aren’t mentioning it but this is “Banshee Moon.” Seems to be a nice person and likes guns.”

    It’s been awhile, but ISTR that her name is Jenny and she and her husband are preppers/BTTL-types who live on a farm down in far southeastern NC.

  54. @OFD – You guys crack me up; I have Little Stevie’s Underground Garage tuned in on my car’s SiriusXM and half the time it’s bands I’ve never heard of, from whichever decade, including this one, but mostly from the past fifty years.

    +1000 I like his broadcasts (just use the net – no fancy sateelite radio out here). Also was a big fan of Lillyhammer. Was a bummer they didn’t go for the fourth season.

  55. I think the last time I listened to music on a radio was as a teenager. I can’t tolerate commercials, and even with commercial-free stuff like NPR or satellite radio, I want to pick what I listen to, not listen to what someone else picked. We went from cassettes to CD’s to MP3 players. The players have a random mode, so it’s easy to get a varying selection of tracks from the thousand or more on the player.

  56. XM, at least the no commercial channels are much more ‘curated’ than any other kind of broadcast radio.

    I still have to switch between 3 or 4 channels and sometimes more to avoid stuff I don’t like, and depending on mood.

    n

  57. Yeah, I noticed the “curated” thing going on and I usually listen to one or two channels for quite a while and then switch to something else, again, depending on mood. One thing I grokked from Little Stevie’s Underground Garage is that they seem to dig ‘garage rock’ stuff, so I’ll hear different songs from the Ramones, who, IIRC, are all dead now. And bands I’ve never heard of.

    For a while I was listening to outlaw country stuff; wife changes it on me, and last time it was on a blues channel.

Comments are closed.