Tues. Oct. 30, 2018 – getting close…

to Halloween!

67F and saturated out.

By now you should have a couple of bags of give away food ready, some protective camouflage in the yard, and perhaps even a disguise at the ready. The yearly event when we teach our kids to be socialists- extorting free stuff under threat of violence, and begging for goodies, paid for by others, is soon to be upon us.

I can’t wait!

It’s even better when no kids show up. Then you have to eat all that candy by yourself, ‘cuz you don’t want it to ”go to waste!”

Tons of stuff to do still, before the day. . .

n

Author: Nick Flandrey

Mid 50s, stay at home dad, with two elementary school age girls. Love my family and my life.

73 thoughts on “Tues. Oct. 30, 2018 – getting close…”

  1. 39º and mostly clear up here. It promises to be a splendid day.

    I wore a windshirt for the first time yesterday. And my hands got cold. Definitely a change in seasons.

    At my house, we almost never get trick-or-treaters. So I leave a bowl and a sign under the lamppost – “take one or two (or 3 or 4)” – and take the kids around the corner for their treats. Always a decent haul. It’s one of the “benefits” of living on a rural road near a subdivision. When I come back, the bowl is almost always still full. One year got a couple (on the trail cam) and one year got a raccoon (on the trail cam again). Of the two, the raccoon was more interesting.

  2. We average over 100 kids. Last year we were mostly rained out, but the years before that had steadily increasing numbers.

    My plan for the day is – rent drop deck trailer, pick up metal boxes used to safely store stuff, bring that home, unload trailer, return trailer, tweak the displays, neaten up some of the stuff in the house, and all my normal stuff too.

    Should be fun.

    n

    Oh, my elbow is swelling, so I’m gonna try and have that looked at too.

    And VOTE

  3. This deserves a separate comment:
    It looks to get sporty this year. There’s more excitement in a mid-term election than I’ve seen in a long time. I’ve been volunteering for the past 15 years (okay, I do get reimbursed by the county, but I didn’t expect it). Chatter at the voter registration office is off the charts. There are a LOT of people talking & commenting.

    Things are also likely to get interesting on election day. Here, you have to be registered about a month before to be eligible, and transients (such as college students) are generally NOT eligible. They get argumentative on election day. I’m glad I don’t have to deal with them.

  4. I went by early voting yesterday and the lot was completely full, with cars lined up to get in. I decided to come back later (it was 5pm.)

    Libs are gonna lose their minds if they are soundly beaten, and Cons are gonna flip their sh!t if it looks like there was any fraud and they lose. There WILL be fraud. Freaking Dems in TX already started it, so we know places like chicongo, detroit, huge chunks of cali… will be cheating like crazy.

    n

  5. Be sure to remember your driver license. You’ll need it to drive to the polling place.


  6. Be sure to remember your driver license. You’ll need it to drive to the polling place.

    I never give them my driver’s license instead opting for another form of photo ID. One year I used my passport card and the poll worker said it was not a valid ID they could accept. I told her it was government issued photo ID and was acceptable. She had to call supervisor who then asked me what it was. I told it was a federally issued photo ID. She said she had never seen one before. I then told her it was a passport card, government issued, clearly stated on the card if she would read. She did and said it was OK.

    This year I chose to use my VA identification card. Again the poll worker balked and said she needed a driver’s license. I told her it was a federally issued ID, with photo, and was acceptable to use to vote. She had to get the poll supervisor who asked if I had a driver’s license. I told the supervisor that was none of her business and that I was presenting a valid government issued photo ID. She had to call someone on the phone and after a couple of minutes said the ID was OK.

    I love to jerk those people around.

  7. I usually try my CHL. Since it comes with an identity and background check, and a guarantee of no felony convictions, it should be MORE acceptable for voting. It’s not, according the the drones. The airlines don’t like it either.

    n

  8. Of course here in California we don’t show ids to vote. None required. Too many democratic voters might get turned away.

  9. I never give them my driver’s license instead opting for another form of photo ID. One year I used my passport card and the poll worker said it was not a valid ID they could accept.

    I have a passport card. Texas was late to the RealID party so I will have to use the card if I fly anywhere next Fall before I get my license renewed.

    The HR at my current job didn’t know what to make of the passport card either when I pulled it out with the other forms of ID for my I-9 form.

  10. Ahem.

    I am one of those people. Not literally – I’m a roamer. The poll workers, though, are the same sort as me. People who give up a day (or two or 3) to help ensure the election goes off smoothly. I can pretty much guarantee that you’re not the first to give them a hard time, and you won’t be the last.

    But please do remember that they’re giving up their time to help make sure you can vote. I (personally) give up more than half a day’s pay for the privilege of helping ensure the election goes smoothly. I know one election judge who is a PI in real life, and loses a good bit of money for that kind of work. But the election is important to her.

    Yes, they should know what is acceptable and what is not acceptable. But the people to blame are not the people working the polls. It’s the county workers who are NOT at the polls that are responsible for giving these people the information they need.


  11. I will have to use the card if I fly anywhere next Fall

    Will not work if you fly outside of the US. You need a real passport. Even to Canada where your card can be used if you drive, but not if you fly.

  12. After a week of beautiful fall weather, Halloween promises to be wet & cold.
    I always set out front, dressd in my Pirate shirt, and greet the kids with “Arrr, who be ye that come to take me treasure?”. I always make a comment on their costume too. Love to see the litte kids out.

  13. Will not work if you fly outside of the US. You need a real passport. Even to Canada where your card can be used if you drive, but not if you fly.

    Sure. I was referring to domestic travel. There will be a period next fall where my TX drivers license is still valid but not to use for boarding an airplane, even for a domestic flight, due to the state joining RealID relatively late.

  14. Our forecast for tomorrow afternoon-evening-night is wind 15+ and 93% chance of rain, sure hope that forecast holds (it has said that for the last 3 days).

    Remember the old’ Chicago axiom regarding voting, Vote Early AND Vote Often.

    WRT voting fraud, yes, there will be. Both sophisticated and unsophisticated.

    In local news, a Ring Video Doorbell got a good picture of a package and mail thief. Our local police were able to identify her from the clear full face shot. Caught her with the goods (a felony for messing with the mail) and more. The police made it a point that security cameras that are placed high are virtually worthless, this one was done right. Security cameras need to be a face-height for good hold-up-in-court ID.

  15. In NV, you bring in your sample ballot with barcode. They check if you are in the system, esign and vote. If no sample ballot, you get shuffled off to a corner to verify who you are and then can vote (if verified).

  16. I should try my Global Entry card to vote sometime. Goobermint issue with my pic on it.

  17. In NV, you bring in your sample ballot with barcode. They check if you are in the system, esign and vote. If no sample ballot, you get shuffled off to a corner to verify who you are and then can vote (if verified).

    Nice. No wonder Harry Reid lasted as long as he did.

    “Remember the meeting at the union hall tonight … and bring your sample ballots.”

    I never felt comfortable with the vote by mail living in WA State. They have no clue as to who really completed those ballots. Maybe the voter. Maybe Perkins Coie paralegals and interns.

    (Don’t dismiss the latter. The staff was burning the midnight oil in the Portland office in October 2012. 60+ hour weeks, catered-in meals. No one talking, but something was up related to the election.)


  18. I never felt comfortable with the vote by mail living in WA State. They have no clue as to who really completed those ballots. Maybe the voter. Maybe Perkins Coie paralegals and interns.

    but,but,but … you have to sign it.

    Here when you walk into the poll you just give your name and address. They look you up and you sign your name. I guess they can challenge you but I’ve never seen it. Of course many of the poll workers are neighbors.
    Mail ballots are signed.

  19. HFS! TheytRump says he will end “anchor babies” with an EO. Even if overturned by SCOTUS, Proglibturd heads will explode.

    h/t Drudge


  20. Here when you walk into the poll you just give your name and address. They look you up and you sign your name

    They used to do that in my county. Surprised me one time when I showed up to vote and they had me down as having already voted. But the signature was not even mine. I had to do a provisional ballot, which probably never got counted. It was the 2008 presidential election.

    Sure. I was referring to domestic travel

    You were ambiguous in your original statement.

    Main reason I have the passport card is if my passport gets stolen or lost overseas. I hope it would expedite my getting a replacement passport. I have since found it useful when people ask for identification such as at the doctor’s office. Confuses some of the people.

  21. HFS! TheytRump says he will end “anchor babies” with an EO. Even if overturned by SCOTUS, Proglibturd heads will explode.

    And Roberts will rule with the liberals, arguing once again, as with Obamacare, that Congress was the power to change the law but doesn’t want to take the heat.

    “Anchor babies” have only been a thing since the 60s.

  22. Almost one third of the registered voters in Fort Bend County have already voted. 137,399 out of 432,342. Simply amazing. The wife and I early voted Sunday after lunch with our friends at the local assisted living center close by our home.


  23. They used to do that in my county. Surprised me one time when I showed up to vote and they had me down as having already voted. But the signature was not even mine. I had to do a provisional ballot, which probably never got counted. It was the 2008 presidential election.

    What needs to happen is a picture needs to be taken and a stink made. THAT is the kind of voter fraud that is a real problem. Theft of votes at its worst.

    That’s one reason I fully support ID requirements to vote. There is not good argument against it when the state will cover the cost of the ID for those afraid of being disenfranchised. Yes, it may be a hassle to get the ID (if you don’t already have a driver’s license). No, I don’t have any sympathy. There is no requirement that voting be EASY, only that it be possible.

    And no, provisional ballots generally don’t get counted.

  24. IIRC, those born in the USA of Samoan born parents are not automatically US citizens.

  25. In Albany County, NY, you can’t get into the county courthouse building to, for instance, have a child support hearing without showing an ID. Since people manage to negotiate that pitfall, don’t give me any crap about how impossible it is to get IDs.

  26. The guys mowed the 14 acres today. They popped two belts off their ZTRs due to all of the hog furrows. One area of about an acre they did not even try to mow since the furrows are are about 8 inches deep. They are going to borrow a heavy roller and try to even it out. Since the Brazos River came up, the feral hogs are everywhere, tearing everyone’s properties up.

  27. What needs to happen is a picture needs to be taken and a stink made. THAT is the kind of voter fraud that is a real problem. Theft of votes at its worst.

    IIRC, Jerry Pournelle believed that voter fraud could count for 1-2% of the total at worst before something was obviously wrong to the point that law enforcement would step in and investigate. He said that the best way to discourage the fraud was to run a campaign which would make sure things never got that close.

  28. Almost one third of the registered voters in Fort Bend County have already voted. 137,399 out of 432,342. Simply amazing. The wife and I early voted Sunday after lunch with our friends at the local assisted living center close by our home.

    Robert Francis commercials have been kinda monotonous lately. I think they’re just burning off his cash since they keep running the one about how Ted Cruz has been to every county in Iowa but only he (Robert Francis) campaigned in every TX county.

    MJ Hegar’s new commercial drags out the story of her mother’s abusive marriage to highlight that the Republican stiff voted against some anti-abuse bill … which I’m guessing was probably laden with pork.

    At least Ford breaks up the drudgery with new “Westworld”-ish commercials starring Brian Cranston, imitating the series’ look/feel right down to the signature licensed Nirvana song playing in the background.

    What, Ford, no player piano?

  29. At least Ford breaks up the drudgery with new “Westworld”-ish commercials starring Brian Cranston, imitating the series’ look/feel right down to the signature licensed Nirvana song playing in the background.

    Ford ?


  30. IIRC, Jerry Pournelle believed that voter fraud could count for 1-2% of the total at worst before something was obviously wrong to the point that law enforcement would step in and investigate.

    I suggest Pournelle underestimated the corruption pervading every level of law enforcement. The 2016 election may well have had 3,000,000 fraudulent votes (including fraudulent non-counting of cast ballots) which is above 2% of the number cast.

  31. “Red Wave Coming in the House and Senate”
    https://greatnewsforamerica.com/red-wave/

    “My forecast for the 2018 Congressional Elections – There will be a Conservative Red Wave in the House with 225 – 228 Republicans elected to office and in the Senate with 58 – 60 Republicans elected to office.”

    “In addition to lower Democrat Voter Intensity among Democrat voters, Democrats have another major problem. There are movements of Democrat voters that are abandoning their party and voting for Conservatives. Three such movements are:
    #WalkAway Movement
    #RedPill Movement
    #GreatAwakening Movement”

    I’m with Rush, what the heck is “#RedPill Movement” ?

    Hat tip to:
    https://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2018/10/30/where-we-stand-one-week-out/

  32. Courtney Love is set for life.

    Courtney Love was already set for life. Kurt Cobain owned the copyrights for all his (Nirvana’s) songs. He shared the royalties with his bandmates for a while and then took them back when the amounts became totally crazy.

    I don’t know if she got the song royalties totally or shares them with their kid.

    Wow, Cobain has been gone for 24 years. Too bad. Talk about your success driving you physically crazy.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurt_Cobain

  33. “My forecast for the 2018 Congressional Elections – There will be a Conservative Red Wave in the House with 225 – 228 Republicans elected to office and in the Senate with 58 – 60 Republicans elected to office.”

    My guess is that the Dems will take the House but barely. All the Dems who swore they would not hand the Speakers gavel back to Stretch Pelosi will have to betray their constituents on Day One, guaranteeing a very short return to the Majority.

    Stretch doesn’t care.

  34. While it bothered me at first, showing a picture ID to vote is a good thing. You have to show ID to cash checks, buy beer, etc. Showing one to vote is not a big deal.

    Folks that act like needing an ID is keeping people from voting are lying.

    You already need ID to cash checks and buy beer and drive. Maybe not in that order, but whatever.

    An ID card in Texas is $16. If that is really too much, how does someone that cashes their paycheck at the grocery store afford the service charge? And no, you ain’t cashing a check at HEB without an ID, the computer makes you swipe the card to complete the transaction.

    I looked it up:
    “Texas ID Card Fees. 59 years old & younger – $16 (expires on birth date after 6 years). 60 years old & older – $6 (no expiration).”

    Sorry, but if $2.66 a year is too expensive and causes one to not be able to vote, well, perhaps one should not be voting.

  35. To make it even more bizarre, in PA the state would pay for the ID card (for non-drivers).

    But getting to the Drivers’ centers would be too burdensome.

  36. I just show my DL to vote. No reason to annoy the nice folks manning the polls.

    Or is in now “personning the polls” in the on going quest to poison the language?

    Wal-Mart and other stores get the passport card when they want an ID for beer or a can of spray paint. They grumble. I grumble back that they must be some kind of extra stupid to think I’m underage.

    I mean, yeah, I look young for my age. (Thank you Dad!) And I wish, sorta, I still looked like I did when 27. But really? I was carded a couple of weeks ago and I turned 61 today. So, yeah, annoy the idiots and give them the passport card.

  37. Well, Senior Junior Programmer did not get the G job. Two of his five official interviews were thumbs down. But the head of the software infrastructure group was thumbs up. G HR gave him the choice of reapplying after seven months or three more onsite interviews. Or, blowing them off. He is sleeping on it.

    I suspect that the former USMC had something to do with the thumbs down interviewers. I suspect that quite a few G people think that the USMC are bad people and should not associate with “good” people.

  38. I was carded a couple of weeks ago and I turned 61 today.

    Happy Birthday ! You know, 61 is the new 81. Wait, wait, wait, that is wrong. 41 is the new 61.

  39. But really? I was carded a couple of weeks ago and I turned 61 today.

    It’s just policy to cover their legal butts. It’s still annoying and I get checked at 67.
    Wait until they start selling maryjane.

  40. My guess is that the Dems will take the House but barely. All the Dems who swore they would not hand the Speakers gavel back to Stretch Pelosi will have to betray their constituents on Day One, guaranteeing a very short return to the Majority.

    Stretch doesn’t care.

    Yup, Stretch Alzheimers just wants to be Speaker again.

    I suspect that if the dumbocrats take the House then we will get Medicare for All ™ shortly. 70% of the populace apparently wants it now and you know, they say that Trump is a populist.

  41. It’s just policy to cover their legal butts.

    Cover for hiring people so stupid that passing items over a scanner is “hard work”.


  42. 70% of the populace apparently wants it now

    According to…?

    Surveys are garbage. The words out of the mouths of activists are garbage. The words out of the mouths of politicians are garbage. Perhaps that was always the case, but there certainly seems to have been a concerted effort to destroy the trust the populace had in most institutions. Why this effort was made is beyond me, but the results speak for themselves.

  43. At my local Wally World, there are LED FLASHLIGHTS, including headband type, for only $1. Got a 3-LED FLASHLIGHT headband. They were with all the Halloween costumes.

    Not bad — pick up a handful and scatter them around your house and car and bags.

    Added: these are the same ones you will find in the camping section during the summer. And the price has always been $1. The headlamp ones are fun to use for flashlight tag in a dark gym/large room as a kid activity at a party.


  44. At my local Wally World, there are LED FLASHLIGHTS, including headband type, for only $1.

    That’s decent of them. It’s probably a cold business calculation that they’ll eventually make a profit, but ignore that and think of all the little socialists-in-training who might not be run down tonight because their parents got them a flashlight because it was cheap.

  45. On Sunday’s thread I typed up a comment about polling and pollsters, part of a handful of comments by a handful of people.

    I linked to my comment from another site

    and it led to some discussion, including some by a guy more knowledgeable than I on the subject. Some here may find it of interest.

  46. 70% of the populace apparently wants it now

    According to…?

    Surveys are garbage. The words out of the mouths of activists are garbage. The words out of the mouths of politicians are garbage. Perhaps that was always the case, but there certainly seems to have been a concerted effort to destroy the trust the populace had in most institutions. Why this effort was made is beyond me, but the results speak for themselves.

    I know, surveys can be pushed any which way you want to. This may be the survey results that I read over the weekend. “70% of Americans now support Medicare-for-all—here’s how single-payer could affect you”
    https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/28/most-americans-now-support-medicare-for-all-and-free-college-tuition.html

    Medicare For All ™ is trending up amongst the population in general. I figure that it is just a matter of time.


  47. “Anchor babies” have only been a thing since the 60s.

    The Supreme Court ruling that codified them dates back to the 1890s, involving Chinese immigrants.

    I was carded a couple of weeks ago and I turned 61 today.

    In some states, they card everyone. In Nebraska, they also scan/swipe your ID into the register.

    I suspect that if the dumbocrats take the House then we will get Medicare for All ™ shortly.

    Nope. It will die in the Senate, just like the Obamacare repeals died in the Senate.

  48. Eight PM and I am out of candy.
    Turned off the lights and locked the door. Too bad if you missed it. We had over 100 tonight.

  49. The Supreme Court ruling that codified them dates back to the 1890s, involving Chinese immigrants.

    The case was LEGAL Chinese immigrants who clearly fell under the ” subject to the jurisdiction thereof” restriction of the 14th. As Senator Jacob M. Howard of Michigan—the author of the Citizenship Clause—described, the amendment would not grant citizenship to children of foriegn Nationals.

  50. Safely got my safe storage container picked up and delivered home.

    Didn’t get the trailer back in time, so I’ll add that to my long list of last minute stuff tomorrow. Including voting. We’ve got about 50 judges to vote on. Friend of spouse was a federal prosecutor here, and went thru the list with another like minded individual and made recommendations on them all. Since I have little else than ‘party ticket’ to go on, I’ll be using the list. It crosses party fairly often, and is based on direct working experiences with the judges. Better than tossing darts. LONG list though.

    Have another rat on a glue pad in the attic. Well overgrown with stuff so been there longer than I’d like. Found that they were making entry with my antenna cables, so covered that hole. That is proof that they are outdoors as well as in my attics. Little rat bastards.

    I’ve been up far too late the last few nights, so I’m calling this one done.

    off to the land of nod.

    n

  51. Eight PM and I am out of candy.
    Turned off the lights and locked the door. Too bad if you missed it. We had over 100 tonight.

    Huh ? Do ya’ll do Halloween a day early ?

  52. I suspect that if the dumbocrats take the House then we will get Medicare for All ™ shortly.

    Nope. It will die in the Senate, just like the Obamacare repeals died in the Senate.

    I think that the Senate is eagerly awaiting ANYTHING to replace Obolacare. Or at least two thirds of them are. I suspect that our senior senator here in Texas would vote for Medicare For All ™, given the chance and the cover of “do it for the children”.

  53. Medicare for all? Well, if done right, it can’t be worse than Obamacare. Done right means: the NHS in the UK. Essentially all healthcare workers become government employees, and the insurance companies disappear. Of course, the NHS suffers other problems, inherent in being a government organization…

    But no, Congress wouldn’t have the guts to eliminate all those jobs (insurance + people who have to deal with insurance), nor to reduce the salaries of the overpaid (who undoubtedly would donate to campaign funds). Medicare for all would undoubtedly somehow balance a government bureaucracy on top, thus adding costs rather than reducing them.

  54. Because it sucks, additional insurance would be required or desireable, like Canadia or the UK, and the insurance cos would provide it.

    n


  55. Done right means: the NHS in the UK.

    !!!???

    Have you been paying attention to the state of the NHS for the past decade or three?

    In the 1970s, the NHS had been held up as the model to which the US should aspire. (Probably earlier; it probably started in the 1950s, but I wasn’t around then to hear school teachers and other socialists touting the wonders of socialized medicine.)

    As the cracks appeared in the NHS’s services, and especially as the costs went up and up, American socialists switched over to Canada as the model to which the US should aspire. I’m not sure when that started, as it was a gradual thing, but by the time Hillary Bitch Clinton was pimping HillaryCare it was in full swing.

    Not addressed in the pimping was the inconvenient truth that a lot of Canadians (and Brits) came to the US to pay cash for healthcare. They didn’t want to wait a year for a pair of glasses nor to have to settle for old-style poke-and-listen diagnoses because CAT scanners were rare and rationed.

    Socialized medicine always fails. I challenge anyone to point to a counterexample, a socialized medicine system which is still a success after more than 40 years. After more than twenty years of making that challenge, I’ve yet to have anyone meet it, at least not without a contorted definition of “success”.

  56. I suspect that the former USMC had something to do with the thumbs down interviewers. I suspect that quite a few G people think that the USMC are bad people and should not associate with “good” people.

    Google and Facebook are practically part of the NSA. I doubt USMC was a big problem as long as he was honorably discharged and could get the security clearance restored.

    West Coast companies are weird, even DoD contractors. I tried to crack that market for four years with nothing but three months of professional employment to show for it (and I walked out of that one). I chalked it up to age, FL prejudice — I heard plenty about the 2000 election living in WA State — and me not wearing my kinks on my sleeve in order to fit in, even at a place pursuing a military comm contract.

    (My rule of thumb is that the higher the security clearance, the more likely the kinks along with substance abuse issues beyond the standard alcohol problems among the REMFs.)


  57. You already need ID to cash checks and buy beer and drive. Maybe not in that order, but whatever.

    Rite Aid insists on it when I buy PBR, or other. They have cameras on checkouts. I sometimes show them my expired passport from 1984 as I appear much younger.

    CowboySlim, who is two months from 80.

  58. West Coast companies are weird, even DoD contractors. I tried to crack that market for four years with nothing but three months of professional employment to show for it (and I walked out of that one). I chalked it up to age, FL prejudice — I heard plenty about the 2000 election living in WA State — and me not wearing my kinks on my sleeve in order to fit in, even at a place pursuing a military comm contract.

    Junior Senior Programmer (JSP) told his mother more about the G HR phone call. Apparently G rarely hires on the first interview series, the HR rep told him she got her job on the 4th interview series (four years !). But Senior G Person was so upset that two interviewers thumbed down so they insisted that JSP be invited back out for three more interviewers. And that the standard one year to reapply for a job be cut to six months.

    The G interviews are quite tough. They last 1.5 hours and are heavily scripted. The first 30 minutes is talky talky and the remaining hour is the interviewer giving one of forty standard programming problems and the interviewee must code it out on a white board. No partial credit is given and the grade (pass – fail) is subjective. One interviewer thumbed JSP down for having to give too many hints as to doing the programming “their way”.

  59. On the one hand, I am all for programming in the interview, to weed out the wannabe programmers. On the other hand, that’s a lot of stage pressure, and even excellent tech types are going to make silly mistakes.

    No trick-or-treat here, although Halloween is slowly becoming more known, mostly for kids’ parties and such.

  60. @SteveF: The NHS is hardly a great system, but from what I hear, it’s better than what y’all currently have.

    While the horror stories make the news, the NHS doesly give good treatment to most people, most of the time. Instead of having to pay in “out-of-pocket” expenses, you pay in waiting time. Does socialized medicine fail? Sure it does, because of bureaucracy, because of Pournelle’s Iron Law, and finally because the demand for a free good is infinite. Hence, the waiting – that becomes the price.

    I do know a woman who had an excruciatingly painful back problem (genetic, surgery required). They put her on a waiting list for more than a year. She eventually flew to Germany and paid cash for the surgery.

    But she missed a trick. Do you know what the biggest benefit of the NHS is? I think it’s the fact that, in the UK, you can get quite reasonably priced private insurance. I don’t have current quotes, but I expect that you can find decent insurance, for one person, for around $1000 to $1500 annually. Figure maybe $2500 to $3000 for a typical family of two parents and two kids.

    Insurance in the UK is reasonably priced, because the government doesn’t mess with it. Since the NHS exists, why should they? Since I was moving around a lot, not staying in the UK, that’s what I did when I was there. I kept the insurance when I moved to Switzerland – all no problem, until Switzerland went all socialist and outlawed foreign insurance for Swiss residents. At which point, my premiums doubled overnight. Socialism at its best.

  61. When the NHS works, it works very well. Often it doesn’t work.
    UK employers often offer a limited form of health insurance as a benefit so that slaves/employees can bypass long NHS waiting lists and get back to work quickly.

    On the subject of surveys, the classic British series Yes Minister explained how to get different answers https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0ZZJXw4MTA
    (Recorded back when the BBC still made decent TV series.)

  62. On the one hand, I am all for programming in the interview, to weed out the wannabe programmers. On the other hand, that’s a lot of stage pressure, and even excellent tech types are going to make silly mistakes.

    Our interview concludes with the candidate left alone at a desktop PC for an hour writing a simple C++ program, Linux, no GUI, with full access to the resources of the Internet via a browser. We look at the code and the browsing history as part of the screening process.

    Even if the candidate doesn’t finish, if the code compiles clean and it looks like they were on the right track, we depend on the judgement of the people in the face-to-face about making an offer. The coding test isn’t the final word, but it is an important first step in the evaluation.

    The test definitely weeds out the Bozos more than genuinely talented candidates. On more than one occasion, the process has kept management from making a mistake based just on the name at the top of the diploma.

  63. Hi there. I am a Canadian reading this site from way back (got the link from Jerry Pournelle’s site many years ago). I miss RBT but thank you Nick for keeping this going. I am amused by the stories that are told about the Canadian health care system (really 10 very similar provincial systems). That we come to the US and pay cash for care? Uh, hardly ever. If I required an MRI, I might consider heading to Buffalo if it was urgent (I am in Toronto), but not for anything else. Yes, we have medical benefits at work – private room rather than semi or ward in hospital, para-medical services, eye glasses, all dental, and drugs. Everything else (not cosmetic surgery) is covered by the provincial plan. Period. Is the system perfect? No, there are long wait times for some procedures (knee or hip replacements can be a wait of several months). But you get very good service when you really need it in emergency rooms. I don’t have to worry about “pre-existing conditions” and how that would keep me from changing jobs, or fear losing a job, due to losing medical coverage. I don’t have to worry about co-pays (actually illegal). I can go to any doctor or hospital (not the one your insurance company tells you to see) and can switch if I am unhappy. The biggest savings in a system like Canada’s with a single payer is administration. 1 or 2 clerks can deal with getting all doctors in an office reimbursed from the provincial plan. I expect that would be many more clerks dealing with the details of who knows how many insurance companies in much of the US. At the high end of coverage (the best plans), you probably still have better medical treatment than Canadians do. On average, I don’t think you do, even though 100% of Canadians are covered. Of course, I don’t use the health-care system in the US, so I may be hearing exactly the same sorts of stories (the grass is not greener on the other side) that you are hearing in reverse. To be clear, I only use the Ontario system and there are 9 other provincial systems that may be a bit different. I know some of the smaller provinces have much more difficulty with wait times. Questions are welcome.

  64. Thanks for the feedback, TV. I live in upstate NY, a couple hours from Montreal, and used to consult with the NYS Dept of Health, which involved inter alia tracking use of state hospitals by non-Americans.* I’m sure that Canadians coming to the for faster or elective care is not a commonplace occurrence, but from the numbers I’ve seen it was far from a newsworthy rarity. -shrug- Things might have changed from when I was seeing the data and now.

    * Carefully tiptoed around to avoid bringing the cost of illegal aliens into the discussion, but that’s a separate issue.

    thank you Nick for keeping this going

    +1

  65. Thanks SteveF. I actually edited that comment out because all I have is a “feel” for usage and no statistics. There can be a wait for MRIs or CAT-scans (not for x-ray or ultrasound) so if I was diagnosed with cancer and panicky I might choose to go to a Buffalo clinic and pay cash for the imaging. The news article was a situation where a province actually sent a number of patients to a US hospital (guessing Cleveland or Minneapolis) for a specific service they were unable to provide locally and that made the national news. It was a group (20?) for a specialty the US hospital was better equipped to provide, which sounds like smart spending and a good idea. No idea on frequency for elective surgery. If it is cosmetic items, those are essentially a free market in Canada (e.g.: laser eye surgery) so you pay out-of-pocket. We do have situations where people go far away (e.g: Mexico, Thailand, India) for a particular procedure not offered in Canada and then return expecting government-paid post-operative care when it goes wrong (there is usually a good reason the procedure is not offered). The provinces may decline to cover the costs of care in those situations.

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