Archives for: November 2013

It’s by design, people.

The left would love to tell you that they care about the little guy and that it is those other people, the ones that do not believe the collectivist lie that wealth redistribution is anything but a scheme to enrich the credentialed elite leftists in charge, that is the problem, but despite the propaganda and a lame media that has willingly become the propaganda arm of the left, the truth bears witness to a different story

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is forecasting a difficult holiday season, but Tiffany & Co. just exceeded their earnings estimates by the simple expedient of raising their prices. It’s hard to find a more vivid example of the segmenting taking place in American society: The wealthy are doing very well indeed, while even bargain retailers are having a harder time of things.

I thought of this when I read Charlotte Allen’s new piece in the Weekly Standard about the divide between the vast tech wealth of Silicon Valley and the people who provide them goods and services. It’s hard to excerpt, so you’ll have to read the whole thing, but to summarize, she looks at the way even affluent communities are dividing into the super-rich and the merely extremely well-to-do … who live in what used to be starter homes for the middle class. The regular middle class, meanwhile, seems to be disappearing, squashed outward to more distant suburbs by the immense pressure of housing prices. It is becoming an area of rich and poor, with little in between.

That’s hardly specific to Silicon Valley. The District of Columbia, where I live, has the highest proportion of college graduates in America. The median value of owner-occupied housing is more than twice the national average — and yet our poverty rate is almost 30 percent higher. Manhattan, where I grew up, has similar statistics, except that the median value of owner-occupied housing is more like four or five times the national average, for far less space, light and privacy than most Americans enjoy. Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco … America’s urban centers are starting to look like barbells, incomewise, with a lot of weight at each end and not much in the middle.

Of course, terrible urban policy is partly to blame. All of these places restrict building pretty sharply, which keeps the housing supply well below demand. That is not the only factor at play. Allen wisely points to the difference between the tech boom that built postwar California and the one it is having now: The old boom created lots and lots of middle-class jobs, from design to manufacturing to selling the stuff. The new companies employ a lot of high-end-knowledge workers, but not so many middle managers and secretaries. And they don’t have much of a supply chain; the jobs Google Inc.’s success creates are mostly going to be at Google.

In other words, the middle class isn’t just being pushed outward by bad housing policy, but it’s also being compacted. That’s not always bad news for the individuals involved: Some people are falling down the ladder, but others are leaping upward, making more money than they would have in the past.

This phenomenon is not an accident. It’s part and parcel of what happens when collectivists take control. The collectivists, socialist, or progressives, nothing but marxists pretending to be more enlightened, would love to keep pretending they are about social justice and equality, but that’s nothing but cover for the credentialed elite that take advantage of the rubes that believe this drivel to do their power and wealth redistribution. All these collectivist cults, after all, are about nothing but replacing the current masters with another group of masters. One with even more power and the ability to abrogate even more of the wealth to themselves.

The funny thing is that oft times even the rubes see this phenomenon as it manifests in the ashes of the old USSR, but can’t see that it is part and parcel of the collectivist agenda. What I find a sign of mental deficiency is their attempt to pretend that the communist age was fairer because the powerful had less of the wealth directly tied to themselves, while ignoring that pretending it belonged to the state but having exclusive access to it was more of the same. This story is playing itself out, yet again, in still pretending to be communist China. At least the Chinese no longer pretend that communism wasn’t about new masters and their ability to collect the power and wealth, and not about all that social justice and equality of all nonsense that makes your average OWS hippy retard get an orgasm.

So back to Barack Obama’s new America. How is that Hope & Change working out for you, huh? My sole consolation is that I am hearing that so many now understand that the promise of free healthcare is a ruse to get more control over us serfs. Collectivism results in a two tier system. Those at the top hold all the power and wealth, and the rest will wallow in shared misery. That’s by design, because the easiest thing to give rubes is shared misery. You can’t raise everyone up, but you sure can drag everyone down to the same level. Every collectivist experiment has done that. Some real fast, others at a slower pace. But that’s what it always ends up like. And we are seeing that manifested in the changes Obama has brought to America. Thanks for nothing unicorn fart sniffers.

They have an enemies list, and they fuck those that show them up

It looks like yet another person that pointed out how corrupt this administration and the left are in a medium that gave them good visibility is going to get fucked by the scumbags sympathetic to the crooks in charge. It is time for the IRS to go. We have a DOJ that’s not more honorable or clean than your average mafia outfit and the most powerful institution in America, the IRS, fucking over anyone the bureaucrats in charge feel threatened about. Of course the marxist will tell you they are doing it all for our good. Stalin and Mao murdered millions for their own good too…

Turkeys and Drumsticks 2013

For six years running, I have taken advantage of the Thanksgiving Holiday to give out my awards for Turkey of the Year and Golden Drumsticks. The latter are for those who exemplify the best traits in our public sphere. The former are for those who exemplify silliness and stupidity. I rarely give them out to someone who is evil; they are reserved for those who regularly makes me shake my head and wonder what they’re thinking. It’s a sort of “thank you” for making blogging easier.

We’ll start with the Turkeys of the Year. For reference, the past winners are:

2007: Alberto Gonzalez, Nancy Pelosi, Hugo Chavez

2008: Sarah Palin, Sarah Palin’s critics, Hillary Clinton, Congress, Joe Biden

2009: Mike Steele, Glen Beck, the State Department, Sarah Palin, Andrew Sullivan.

2010: Janet Napolitano and TSA, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, MSNBC, Lower Merion Schools, California Voters.

2011: Nancy Pelosi, Republican Presidential Field, Occupy Wall Street, Anthony Weiner, the Eurozone.

2012: The Culture Warriors, Unions, The Poll Unskewers, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, MSNBC

So without further ado, here are my nominees for Turkey of the Year:

Healthcare.Gov: Up until October, the second nominee on the list was winning. But over time, Healthcare.gov has eclipsed everything. It doesn’t work, it’s not secure, it’s expensive as hell and all these problems were known well in advance and ignored for political purposes. And really dumb political purposes. Who the hell did Obama think he was fooling? Did he think no one would notice that the website didn’t work?

Now Obama’s defenders will tell you how the contracting process with the government is broken and horrendously expensive. Projects are proposed, revised, endlessly monitored, started from scratch and revised again. On IT, in particular, the execution is horrific. All that is true. However … we were told that this was an advanced 21st century Administration. They revolutionized politics in 2008 with their organization, right? The government’s dysfunction was precisely what he was supposed to fix. And fixing it was well within his powers as chief executive.

One of the first things Bill Clinton did on taking office was his “reinventing government” initiative. It was a key reason why his Presidency worked as well as it did. Every President who is successful understands that government accumulates cruft over the years and needs periodic reworking. Our current government is the cruft equivalent of the Augean stables. And Obama has, if anything, made it worse.

To me, this really gets at the heart of Obama’s problem. He’s great on rhetoric; he’s bad on ideas. But when it comes to running the actual engine of government, he’s simply terrible. He has a Justice Department that insists they won’t raid marijuana facilities and does; he has a State Department that can’t figure out that an Al-Qaeda stronghold in Benghazi might be a hot spot; he has a healthcare system that doesn’t work. I don’t expect Obama to micromanage. He’s not supposed to be sitting down and writing a million lines of code. But he can pick competent managers to make things work and he hasn’t. He has surrounded himself with incompetent, pigheaded ideological morons. He can hold people accountable and recognize when a Department is messing up. He doesn’t. Really, it’s a miracle the country is still standing. I meant what I said a few weeks ago: Obama should have fired Sebelius and hired someone like Romney to clean up the mess. That would have been leadership.

The Platinum Coin: I flagged this earlier in the year as the dumbest idea ever to surface in Washington. Heavyweights like Paul Krugman were insisting that our debt ceiling problem could be solved by using a legal loophole to mint a $1 trillion platinum coin. The idea was so dumb that even Barack Obama said he wouldn’t do it.

The Shutdown Caucus: This did nothing to stop Obamacare; if anything it distracted from it. But the chief architects think it was a success … because it raised a lot of money for their PACs.

The Park Service: It’s one thing, during a government shutdown, to close parks that have to be actively managed. But the Park Service became a national cuss word when they shut down open air monuments and tried to block Honor Flight veterans from going to them.

Fiscal Cliff Panic Mongers: We’re supposed to be in the worst recession ever. Government discretionary spending was cut 5% by the sequester and taxes were raised. According to the economists, we should be having a collapsing economy, massive unemployment and plagues of locusts. But the economy has kept humming along in the not-really-a-recovery-but-not-really-a-recession-either mode that has defined Obama’s presidency.

Dishonorable Mentions: Paul Krugman, Andrew Sullivan, MSNBC, the Democratic Gubernatorial Nominees, Detroit

Now the Golden Drumsticks, awarded to those who best exemplified what is right with the world. Here are the past awards, the first round from West Virginia Rebel.

2007: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ron Paul, Barack Obama, David Petraeus, Juan Carlos, Burma’s monks

2008: US Military, Jeff Flake, Ron Paul, Republican Governors, Barack Obama

2009: The American Fighting Man, Kimberly Munley and Mark Todd, George W. Bush

2010: The Tea Party, Chris Christie, Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, the Next Wave of Republicans, David Cameron and Nick Clegg, The American Soldiers

2011: Seal Team Six, Mark Kelly, The Arab Spring (ugh), the Technicians at Fukushima

2012: Down Ballots, The Sandy Responders, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, Mathew Inman

For this year, I picked:

Pope Francis: Since his inauguration, he has been one of the most inspiring figures on the world stage (admittedly a low bar). I’m not Catholic. Although I practice Judaism, my faith wavers. But I look forward to hearing what Pope Francis has done lately and am frequently moved.

When you boil it down, he is just a good man, seemingly unaffected by the wealth and power that come with his office and filled with the love and charity that defines religion for the vast majority of people. It started when he decide to wash the feet not of his priests but of detainees in a prison for minors. He is trying to defuse culture wars, eschews wealth and privelege, is reaching out to atheists and has had several amusing and touching viral moments. He’s not sacrificing the Church’s views on anything; he’s trying to find common ground with those who disagree with the Church. You should really read this long interview with him:

“But I am always wary of decisions made hastily. I am always wary of the first decision, that is, the first thing that comes to my mind if I have to make a decision. This is usually the wrong thing. I have to wait and assess, looking deep into myself, taking the necessary time. The wisdom of discernment redeems the necessary ambiguity of life and helps us find the most appropriate means, which do not always coincide with what looks great and strong.”

To be clear, I don’t agree with him on everything. Last week, he issued an Evangelii Gaudium about capitalism and wealth that was ignorant of the gigantic strides that have been made in eradicating global poverty thanks to capitalism. The Left predictably went all faint and blushing; I expect that will last until he says something about abortion. The Church has had a long and unfortunate affinity for socialism. But the whole point of his first year is that it is OK to disagree with him; he will seek common ground.

My mother says he reminders her of John XXIII. I hope he lasts for a long time.

Edward Snowden: I’ll admit that I have mixed feelings about this. I still wonder about his motives and what he has given to the Russians and the Chinese. He has occasionally revealed stuff I don’t think needed to be revealed (like the fact that we — gasp! — spy on other countries). But no one would be discussing the NSA’s gigantic surveillance empire without Snowden. For that, if nothing else, I appreciate him.

Rand Paul: Paul carried out an epic filibuster to force the Administration to disclaim droning American citizens on American soil. His speech at Howard was ridiculed by the Left, but he at least tried to reach out to black people and his efforts were appreciate by the students there. Another man I don’t agree with on everything. But he is advancing some very important banners.

The American Military: Do you know we are still fighting wars overseas? Do you know that our soldiers are still fighting with honor and courage and being an exemplar to the world? You might not since the MSM doesn’t talk about our wars any more. But they are still out there, standing on that wall.

The Institute for Justice: The continue to win fight after fight for property and contract rights. They are the only force really pushing back on Imminent Domain and Asset Forfeiture, claiming victories for Saint Joseph Abbey of St. Benedict, the Caswells and the Dehkos. Bravo

Honorable Mention: Bush 41, Honor Flight, Tammy Duckworth, Chris Hadfield

Happy Thanksgiving to all

Want to wish all of you put there a happy Thanksgiving. Take this time to be with the people you love, if you can, and reflect on all the good we have. Tomorrow we can get back to bitching about how the political aristocracy is destroying our country and the world.

Be safe if you have to travel. Enjoy your day, but do not take unnecessary risks. If you have the chance, enjoy a good meal. Do it in good company.

The NSA’s Porn Fix

Today we got a little Thanksgiving gift from Edward Snowden:

The National Security Agency has been gathering records of online sexual activity and evidence of visits to pornographic websites as part of a proposed plan to harm the reputations of those whom the agency believes are radicalizing others through incendiary speeches, according to a top-secret NSA document. The document, provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, identifies six targets, all Muslims, as “exemplars” of how “personal vulnerabilities” can be learned through electronic surveillance, and then exploited to undermine a target’s credibility, reputation and authority.

In short, the NSA is using their massive surveillance capabilities to find out if our enemies (who are not actually terrorists, but are trying to radicalize others) are looking at porn. They want to use this information to discredit them. The most common defense I’m hearing is the one articulated by NSA apologist Stewart Baker: that discrediting these guys is more humane than droning them.

A few thoughts to unpack here:

First … the fuck you say? Discrediting them is more humane than droning them? Like those are our only options? Like droning someone who is not a terrorist but giving radical speeches is justified? I see how you tried to slip that one past; to act as though droning a radical speaker is somehow acceptable.

Second, revealing the porn-consumption habits of foreign enemies doesn’t sound too unreasonable (keeping in mind that the NSA gets to decide who our enemies are). We’ve used similar methods in the past to wage political wars against our enemies. However, I am dubious that this would have any effect.

Let’s back off from Islamism for a moment and look at the hypocrisy in our own country (a subject Glenn Greenwald should know a lot about, having written a book on the peccadilloes of his domestic political opponents). Newt Gingrich divorced two wives while they were ill and carried out a long affair while married to the second. Rush Limbaugh has been divorced four times. David Vitter hired a hooker and dozens or hundreds more might have had their names revealed in the DC Madam scandal has she had not died under suspicious circumstances. Elliot Spitzer saw a high-end call girl. Anthony Weiner texted dick pics to random women. Bill Clinton got blown by an intern while his wife and child were getting ready for church. Arnold Schwarzenegger had a love child. We have a lot of experience in political figures being exposed as hypocrites and perverts.

But these scandals rarely had a long-term impact the political prospects of politicians — even among the religious right. And these were just run-of-the-mill dipwad fairly mainstream politicians. Do you really imagine that the fanatical followers of some Imam will believe or care about a story from the United State Government claiming their leader likes goat porn?

We already know that many of the Wahhabists are flaming hypocrites. bin Laden, for example, had educated wives and spent his down time educating his daughters and playing video games with his sons. These assholes can’t live up to the Wahhabist lifestyle and everyone knows it. So embarrassing these guys is fine but it’s unlikely to accomplish anything substantive.

But what’s the risk? Well, the risk is that we have a government which has the ability and the willingness to use their enemies’ online sex habits to embarrass them. And there’s every reason to believe these methods could easily be turned against their domestic opponents.

Despite the fact that approximately 100% of men with internet access look at porn (and the percentage of women is probably closer to 100 than it is to 0), internet porn use still carries a mark of shame. Over at Popehat, Ken White has blogging the Saga of Prenda Law. What did Prenda Law do?

Prenda first came to prominence through the practice of identifying the IP addresses of Internet subscribers who, it claims, downloaded copyrighted X-rated videos. Prenda’s practice is to first file federal copyright infringement lawsuits against fictitiously-named “John Doe” defendants, and to then issue subpoenas to the Internet service providers (ISPs) associated with those IP addresses. Once the ISP subscribers are identified, Prenda sends letters to the subscribers accusing them of piracy and threatening a $150,000 statutory penalty. The letters offered to make the case go away for a fee—$4,000 was the price of silence offered to some.

The letters said that if the recipient refused to pay, the recipient’s name would be entered on a public legal document along with the names of the videos. That is, the recipient would be identified (e.g., to friends, employers, spouse, children, coworkers, etc.) as someone who illegally downloaded specific pornography titles on the internet. The amount demanded is usually less than a typical attorney would charge to defend the case on its merits, so even the completely innocent have a strong incentive to pay what Los Angeles-based U.S. District Judge Otis D. Wright II called an “extortion payment”.

Thousands of people paid up because they were embarrassed to go to court to fight an allegation that they’d illegally downloaded Sorority Sluts 5. Even in our permissive society, no one wants their neighbors to know what they’re doing online.

The NSA has shown that they have the ability and the willingness to do exactly what Prenda Law did, only without that whole federal lawsuit thing. Is it really tough to imagine them using this against domestic political foes? Is it really tough to imagine someone getting an anonymous letter like this?

… there is only one thing left for you to do. You know what it is. You have just 34 days in which to do it (this exact number has been selected for a specific reason, it has definite practical significance). You are done. There is but one way out for you. You better take it before your filthy, abnormal fraudulent self is bared to the nation.

That letter was from FBI. It was sent to Martin Luther King, Jr. The FBI had information that MLK was cheating on his wife. And they threatened to reveal this information unless he killed himself. And the reason they had targeted MLK is because they thought — not without some justification — that King was working with Communists (who posed a far greater existential threat to our nation than Islamists have or will). So, no. It’s not hard at all to imagine this power being abused.

Our government has earned distrust. It has earned suspicion. There is only ones sensible reaction to the revelation that a barely accountable agency which has been chastised by the courts for exceeding their authority is trying to use a treasure trove of internet information to embarrass its enemies. Suspicion and a demand for accountability. We don’t need to all tinfoil hat black helicopter crazy. But we do need to be suspicious of a few thousand pervert smeller pursuivants when they say, “Trust us! We won’t try to embarrass you.”

Are you one of these mice?

Cause someone has just found that there is a gene for excessive alcohol consumption:

UK researchers have discovered a gene that regulates alcohol consumption and when faulty can cause excessive drinking. They have also identified the mechanism underlying this phenomenon.

The study showed that normal mice show no interest in alcohol and drink little or no alcohol when offered a free choice between a bottle of water and a bottle of diluted alcohol.

However, mice with a genetic mutation to the gene Gabrb1 overwhelmingly preferred drinking alcohol over water, choosing to consume almost 85% of their daily fluid as drinks containing alcohol.

The consortium of researchers from five UK universities – Imperial College London, Newcastle University, Sussex University, University College London and University of Dundee – and the MRC Mammalian Genetics Unit (MGU) at Harwell, funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC), Wellcome Trust and ERAB, publish their findings today in Nature Communications.

So alcoholics may be genetically predisposed to it? What’s next? A gene that makes you like midgit donkey pron?

DRINK!

Government Control of Our Precious Bodily Fluids

Remember as you read this folks: the Democrats are the party of science. We know this because they told us so. So there must be some sciencey reason for them to engage in two anti-technology policies designed to make people sicker, deader and more ignorant.

First, they are cracking down on 23andMe:

The Food and Drug Administration has ordered Google-backed genetic test maker 23andMe to halt sales of its personalized DNA test kits, saying the company has failed to show that the technology is supported by science.

In a warning letter posted online Monday, FDA regulators say that the Silicon Valley firm has not shown that its tests are safe or effective despite “more than 14 face-to-face and teleconference meetings” and “hundreds of e-mail exchanges.” The agency orders 23andMe to stop marketing its test immediately, warning that erroneous results could cause customers to seek unnecessary or ineffective medical care.

23andMe’s saliva-based test kit, launched more than 5 years ago, claims to tell customers if they are at risk for more than 250 diseases and health conditions. The FDA says only medical tests that have been cleared by the government are permitted to make such claims.

The government is claiming that a tube for saliva is a “medical device” that is is not necessarily safe. It’s impossible for a saliva tube to be “unsafe”. So that claim is rubbish.

Their second beef is that 23andMe can’t make claims about science unless the government has approved that statement. Now, the FDA may have a point here in that many experts think that 23andMe is reaching a bit with their analysis and bad results could make people panic or get unnecessary treatments. However, I suspect that is only part of it. Shaky tests with flimsy results are used all the time in medicine and no one objects to it because it funnels enormous amount of money into powerful healthcare interests. I suspect that if hospitals were doing this and charging $5000 for it, the FDA wouldn’t have a problem. I know this because we’ve done some genetic testing at hospitals at heavy cost.

If you want an illustration of why our healthcare costs are soaring, here you go. 23andMe is offering a genetic screen for $99. Maybe they promise too much but the FDA is insisting that only expensive tests should be allowed. Because we, the plebs, can not be trusted with our genetic information. (Read more from Tabarrok).

(The recent advances in genetic screening are nothing short of astounding, incidentally. When my wife and I found out that Hal 11000 Beta was under development, we were concerned about genetic issues because of our age. Thanks to Materni21, we were able to use a non-invasive technique to check Hal 11000 Beta’s programming at 10 weeks. We found out he was clear of trisomies and male within days at 99% confidence levels.)

Oh, but it gets better. One of the problems in modern medicine is a perpetual shortage of bone marrow donors. Five years ago, a new method of marrow donation was developed that is completely non-invasive. You get some drugs, you sit in a chair and marrow cells are harvested from your blood. But because it’s time consuming, there aren’t many donors. Marrow organizations wanted to offer money in exchange for marrow donation (much like money is paid for egg donation). Money for organs is strictly forbidden, lest it encourage a trade in trafficked organs. But this is clearly not organ donation, so the Ninth Circus ruled — unanimously — that it shouldn’t regulated like organ donation. Duh.

Enter … oh, fuck, you again? … Kathleen Sebelius’s beloved HHS:

But instead of respecting the court’s decision, HHS is trying to nullify Flynn v. Holder. HHS has proposed a new regulation that would redefine bone marrow as an “organ,” even if it’s gathered through regenerating blood stem cells. The proposed rule is currently facing an open comment period through December 2, 2013.

If enacted, this would re-impose the ban on compensation, turning some donors into felons. This regulation defies both the Constitution and common sense. As Doreen Flynn herself put it, “I don’t think that anybody should go to jail just for trying to save somebody’s life. If paying donors results in more marrow donations, we should pay them.”

Voluntarily agreeing to give someone bone marrow is worlds apart from having your organs violently harvested against your will. Medical compensation is hardly unusual. Blood, egg and sperm donors can earn cash. Doctors and surgeons are regularly rewarded for their efforts and are paid very well for saving lives. Why should bone marrow donors be any different?

Why? Because the HHS has to control all the things! Common sense, economics, ethics? Pshaw! There’s power to be had here! Why you should consider yourselves lucky that we don’t ban compensation for sperm, egg and blood donation too! (I wish I were joking about that last bit; some people in government want to regulate egg donation lest rich people exploit poor people for … their genes?)

This is a pattern. This is the course the Obama Administration has chosen over and over again. Whatever is not mandatory must be forbidden. If anything happens outside of the control of government (and its various regulatory captors), it must be stopped! Now! And yes, that includes your DNA, your spit and your blood.

What? You thought your body was your own? Unless you’re having an abortion or something, your body belongs to government.

Don’t be surprised: that was the plan from the getgo

Experts are now predicting that as many as 80 million people will lose coverage when the employer mandate of Obamacare goes into effect, and people are freaking out. There is a reason that this WH chose to specifically delay the employer mandate over the individual mandate, despite the fact that the individual mandate has turned into a massive catastrophe. That reason is simple:

Almost 80 million people with employer health plans could find their coverage canceled because they are not compliant with ObamaCare, several experts predicted. Their losses would be in addition to the millions who found their individual coverage cancelled for the same reason.

Stan Veuger of the American Enterprise Institute said that in addition to the individual cancellations, “at least half the people on employer plans would by 2014 start losing plans as well.” There are approximately 157 million employer health care policy holders.

Avik Roy of the Manhattan Institute added, “the administration estimated that approximately 78 million Americans with employer sponsored insurance would lose their existing coverage due to the Affordable Care Act.”

Last week, an analysis by the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, showed the administration anticipates half to two-thirds of small businesses would have policies canceled or be compelled to send workers onto the ObamaCare exchanges. They predicted up to 100 million small and large business policies could be canceled next year.

I bet this number is low. Obamacare’s purpose, from the get go, was to destroy the existing system. The most important part of that drive to force us all into that unpopular single payer system the left wants. When so many companies, small business or otherwise, start dropping their employee coverage, it will create a snowball effect. To remain competitive every company in an industry will follow the lead of others. Obamacare’s employer mandate is the end of employer provided healthcare, and anyone saying otherwise is a fucking moron.

And buyer beware, because when the employers drop their coverage they will not raise your pay to balance this out. You are now going to have to pay that full amount for whatever system they force us all on, out of your own pocket, and you will do so on your current net take home pay. In my case I am losing an extra $16K my employer was paying annually for this coverage. I bet my new costs, if this system holds true and whatever replaces our existing system tries to again spread the misery to the productive, will be at least 50% higher than the total cost right now. So I am expecting that I will incur a $25K added annual cost to my current expenditures because of the left’s government healthcare takeover.

Thank you very much you fucking progtards.

I am gonna call bullshit on this propaganda piece

HuffPo had a piece by Linda Tirado on why poor people aren’t poor because of bad choices, but simply because they have no choices, where the author starts the piece off with the following doozy of a statement:

There’s no way to structure this coherently. They are random observations that might help explain the mental processes. But often, I think that we look at the academic problems of poverty and have no idea of the why. We know the what and the how, and we can see systemic problems, but it’s rare to have a poor person actually explain it on their own behalf. So this is me doing that, sort of.

I bolded that first line, because it was an immediate red flag. I should have probably stopped reading right there and assumed this was going to be one giant bullshit piece, but I wanted to give the progtard the benefit of the doubt and see where she was going with this. First off, only leftists have no idea why people are poor. There are countless reasons, ranging from bad luck, a crippling accident or medical condition that interferes with their ability to earn, to unemployment due to a bad economy or lack of an employable skillset, but my personal experience has been that people that suffer from chronic poverty are stuck there because of bad choices. Period. Anyone capable of some self-restraint and of controlling the need for instant gratification, with some work, gets themselves out of poverty. So I got curious about what the reasoning that this author would give for the state she claims to be in, and read on;

Rest is a luxury for the rich. I get up at 6AM, go to school (I have a full course load, but I only have to go to two in-person classes) then work, then I get the kids, then I pick up my husband, then I have half an hour to change and go to Job 2. I get home from that at around 12:30AM, then I have the rest of my classes and work to tend to. I’m in bed by 3. This isn’t every day, I have two days off a week from each of my obligations. I use that time to clean the house and soothe Mr. Martini and see the kids for longer than an hour and catch up on schoolwork. Those nights I’m in bed by midnight, but if I go to bed too early I won’t be able to stay up the other nights because I’ll fuck my pattern up, and I drive an hour home from Job 2 so I can’t afford to be sleepy. I never get a day off from work unless I am fairly sick. It doesn’t leave you much room to think about what you are doing, only to attend to the next thing and the next. Planning isn’t in the mix.

Guess what? Most rich people, unless they come from wealthy families, married insanely rich, or used their political office to enrich themselves like John Kerry, the Kennedys, or even the Clintons, Pelosis, and soon, the Obamas will be doing, work, and work hard too. That is, if you define rich by the ever dropping standard Barack himself graced us with back when. The one that started at anyone making over $250K then dropped all the way down to $150K. Anyway, back to some real trouble I found in that tripe she wrote: She is attending college? Unless she is doing something idiotic like “Gender Studies”, or for that matter, any of the other useless “Studies” type degrees that only leave you prepared for a piddly few, hotly contested, HR jobs in corporate America, or able to ask people if they would want fries with their order, she should – eventually – be able to earn enough to get her out of poverty. So the question begs to be asked: wtf is she doing? I am smelling a big rat.

Then there is the whole economics of this thing. She is working 2 jobs, in one of the places with the highest minimum wage in the nation, and her husband is working too – at least I suspect that’s happening – and she still is making so little that they are dirt poor? This doesn’t compute people. Even if you factor in that she is doing this crap part time and gets only minimum wage, those 2 jobs should be getting her some $20K – and likely a lot more – a year. Unless her husband is a kept man you can double that income. My bet is they are making at least $50K between them. Now they did choose one of the most expensive places to go live in, but that’s more of that stupidity I mentioned before. This story is simply not adding up for me. Let’s keep on reading.

When I got pregnant the first time, I was living in a weekly motel. I had a minifridge with no freezer and a microwave. I was on WIC. I ate peanut butter from the jar and frozen burritos because they were 12/$2. Had I had a stove, I couldn’t have made beef burritos that cheaply. And I needed the meat, I was pregnant. I might not have had any prenatal care, but I am intelligent enough to eat protein and iron whilst knocked up.

Clearly you aren’t intelligent enough to prevent that pregnancy, especially when you know you can’t afford a child, aren’t you? Skip a paragraph about how she can cook but prefers junk food because it is far more satisfying and easy, and we get this:

The closest Planned Parenthood to me is three hours. That’s a lot of money in gas. Lots of women can’t afford that, and even if you live near one you probably don’t want to be seen coming in and out in a lot of areas. We’re aware that we are not “having kids,” we’re “breeding.” We have kids for much the same reasons that I imagine rich people do. Urge to propagate and all. Nobody likes poor people procreating, but they judge abortion even harder.

Seriously? Driving 3 hours was more expensive than paying for a kid for the next umpteen years? I think I begin to see the problem here: she is a fucking idiot on top of being a liberal. I know, what’s the difference? And oh the judgment she has to put up with for breeding! How dare people feel they shouldn’t have the government take from their tables, form their own kids, to feed the kids of these – to use her own words – breeders? And I thought progressives loved abortions. It’s a status symbol with most of them. Why fucking vote for idiots like Obama or other democrats, because unless you do they won’t keep it around, if you aren’t gonna use it to save the tax payers, yourself, but especially this poor child that will be subjected to your stupidity, the pain? Fuck me this woman is dense, and she is counting on people being stupid and emotional to sell her wares.

Convenience food is just that. And we are not allowed many conveniences. Especially since the Patriot Act passed, it’s hard to get a bank account. But without one, you spend a lot of time figuring out where to cash a check and get money orders to pay bills. Most motels now have a no-credit-card-no-room policy. I wandered around SF for five hours in the rain once with nearly a thousand dollars on me and could not rent a room even if I gave them a $500 cash deposit and surrendered my cell phone to the desk to hold as surety.

There is your problem in a nutshell: you live in San Francisco. That’s a liberal bastion. You think these idiotic rules that kept you from being able to get a room might all be because of government overregulation? You know the stupid shit that makes it impossible for a landlord, or even a motel, to evict a bum tenant/guest, because in SF, they care about the people so much they made that near impossible to do? if I owned one of these places I would want real proof you were not a bum before I took any risk. I bet the same applies to the banks. The regulation is so insane that they will ask you to jump through hoops to make sure you are not fucking them over. Yeah, the Patriot Act was a real shitty bum deal, but the problem is, yet again, government overregulation. And guess which party is the one that loves that shit? Anyway, back to the article where she now really cranks up the emotional drivel:

Nobody gives enough thought to depression. You have to understand that we know that we will never not feel tired. We will never feel hopeful. We will never get a vacation. Ever. We know that the very act of being poor guarantees that we will never not be poor. It doesn’t give us much reason to improve ourselves. We don’t apply for jobs because we know we can’t afford to look nice enough to hold them. I would make a super legal secretary, but I’ve been turned down more than once because I “don’t fit the image of the firm,” which is a nice way of saying “gtfo, pov.” I am good enough to cook the food, hidden away in the kitchen, but my boss won’t make me a server because I don’t “fit the corporate image.” I am not beautiful. I have missing teeth and skin that looks like it will when you live on B12 and coffee and nicotine and no sleep. Beauty is a thing you get when you can afford it, and that’s how you get the job that you need in order to be beautiful. There isn’t much point trying.

Get it? The system has beat them down so they have given up on trying! No new jobs, because they can’t look nice enough to hold them. I know several not so well off people that have done just that, by taking advantage of thrift stores, second hand clothing, and much more. Eventually they made enough to even shop elsewhere. And they don’t give up if they get told they don’t fit the image. They work harder to get better at their next interview. And she admits she is missing teeth, drinks too much coffee, likely the expensive crappy shit, and smokes. How insulting to the people that work at not looking like crap despite the financial and other burdens. This author probably thinks they are traitors to her cause, I bet.

Despair! Do not even try! Yeah, I got it. The problem is the unfairness of it all. Not the fact that you make bad choices. How judgmental of me. What’s next?

Cooking attracts roaches. Nobody realizes that. I’ve spent a lot of hours impaling roach bodies and leaving them out on toothpick pikes to discourage others from entering. It doesn’t work, but is amusing.

I think this is a clear indication of her mental state. This woman is deranged. There is no other explanation for it. I wonder if PETA wants her head on a platter for being cruel to insects? Let’s just leave it at that and move on to her next bit of wisdom:

“Free” only exists for rich people. It’s great that there’s a bowl of condoms at my school, but most poor people will never set foot on a college campus. We don’t belong there. There’s a clinic? Great! There’s still a copay. We’re not going. Besides, all they’ll tell you at the clinic is that you need to see a specialist, which seriously? Might as well be located on Mars for how accessible it is. “Low-cost” and “sliding scale” sounds like “money you have to spend” to me, and they can’t actually help you anyway.

What a moron! Seriously? If I didn’t know better and actually had fallen for what at this point feels to me like a faux sob story, I might not end up having zero sympathy for her here, but I know better. Too many holes in this story. She’s claims to be poor, in San Francisco, a liberal bastion where the downtrodden certainly should be taken care of by their betters, and she wants me to believe that they can’t see a doctor or dentist, on someone else’s dime, too? This isn’t squaring. WTF does she mean they can’t help you anyway? That sounds insane to me. What are you going to do when you skip the doctor and find out you now have a condition that if caught could have been treaded, but now will impede you from working? The illogic here is astounding. Can it get any dumber?

I smoke. It’s expensive. It’s also the best option. You see, I am always, always exhausted. It’s a stimulant. When I am too tired to walk one more step, I can smoke and go for another hour. When I am enraged and beaten down and incapable of accomplishing one more thing, I can smoke and I feel a little better, just for a minute. It is the only relaxation I am allowed. It is not a good decision, but it is the only one that I have access to. It is the only thing I have found that keeps me from collapsing or exploding.

Ah yes. Here is some advice; switch to meth, baby! Longer boost, and since you already have blotched skin, missing teeth, and probably look the part from all that comfort food, nobody will notice. Look, I have no problem with people smoking. It’s your choice and your money. I respect that. But please don’t give me this shit story. It’s laughable. Access to meth in San Francisco should be easy. Probably cheaper than cigarettes too. The excuse making isn’t flying with me. This is more proof of bad choices compounded. Wait till the lung problems start up too. Some minor preventive care, and you could go on smokign till you are old as dirt. My granpa did it till he was 99. And he smoked filterless camels. Of course, he worked his ass off too.

I make a lot of poor financial decisions. None of them matter, in the long term. I will never not be poor, so what does it matter if I don’t pay a thing and a half this week instead of just one thing? It’s not like the sacrifice will result in improved circumstances; the thing holding me back isn’t that I blow five bucks at Wendy’s. It’s that now that I have proven that I am a Poor Person that is all that I am or ever will be. It is not worth it to me to live a bleak life devoid of small pleasures so that one day I can make a single large purchase. I will never have large pleasures to hold on to. There’s a certain pull to live what bits of life you can while there’s money in your pocket, because no matter how responsible you are you will be broke in three days anyway. When you never have enough money it ceases to have meaning. I imagine having a lot of it is the same thing.

And there we finally have it. You make dumb decisions with your money. You can make all manner of excuses for that fact, and the big deal there is that while you can fool many, it isn’t fooling me. There are consequences and they matter in the long term. Ask the people that made the choices you didn’t and got out of poverty. They will tell you. And you have it backwards: when you give up and begin to pretend that money has no meaning, you will have none of it. If you are responsible you can’t be broke in three days. WTF is happening? Are monocled libertarian korporashun running super-rich fairies raiding your money sock and taking the cash? Or is the problem that responsibility would mean that you are paying your bills and thus have no money left? If it is the first then you have proven why you are a lib. But if it is the later, my advice is to lower the amount of money you spend on those bills. Some of the things you poor libs think are “essentials” are luxury items real poor people – ask the people in some of these third world countries about their iPhone – would kill for. Can it get worse?

Poverty is bleak and cuts off your long-term brain. It’s why you see people with four different babydaddies instead of one. You grab a bit of connection wherever you can to survive. You have no idea how strong the pull to feel worthwhile is. It’s more basic than food. You go to these people who make you feel lovely for an hour that one time, and that’s all you get. You’re probably not compatible with them for anything long-term, but right this minute they can make you feel powerful and valuable. It does not matter what will happen in a month. Whatever happens in a month is probably going to be just about as indifferent as whatever happened today or last week. None of it matters. We don’t plan long-term because if we do we’ll just get our hearts broken. It’s best not to hope. You just take what you can get as you spot it.

Oh fuck no, you didn’t go there!. Let me postulate a hypothesis here and see how many people disagree. If this woman, and others that think like her/this were given a ton of money, how long would it take for them to be right back at this very point in their lives: broke and despondent? I mean, shit since money has no meaning and making bad decisions is the norm, what makes anyone believe that giving these people anything, even large sums of cash, will suddenly produce other/better behavior? You don’t plan long term because you are fucking stupid.

I have had many long term plans that didn’t work out. I have not used that as an excuse to justify giving up on either planning or being responsible. There are countless others in the same boat. Most of them pull themselves up, sooner than later, and they work their way up the ladder. No matter how many plans go wrong and break your heart. It’s what made this country awesome. It’s the types that feel it’s all rigged against them, and thus, that they don’t even need to try, that end up where you are. And with that attitude they stay there. But I know what you are doing: I bet I get to see it in your closing argument too.

I am not asking for sympathy. I am just trying to explain, on a human level, how it is that people make what look from the outside like awful decisions. This is what our lives are like, and here are our defense mechanisms, and here is why we think differently. It’s certainly self-defeating, but it’s safer. That’s all. I hope it helps make sense of it.

Oh yes you are asking for sympathy. In fact, you are totally trying to use emotions to convince gullible people that this was all outside your control. I get the agenda and the message loud and clear. So I went and did a web search for other stuff you have done since I am not buying this “I am poor but it is system’s failt” routine of yours. Too many holes, as I already said: and I was not disappointed:

I started kindergarten a year early. I went to an exclusive private school where we didn’t have grade levels. They grouped us by age and we had workbooks in different subjects depending on our ability level. When my parents transferred me to a closer school with normal grades, they put me in fourth grade. I was seven. They wanted to put me into fifth grade, but my parents thought it would be too difficult for me socially.

School in Utah was a bit of a joke. I’d never really been to public school except for one half of seventh grade. My freshman classes were essentially review of stuff I thought was fifth-grade level. I did take German and Spanish that year, and it turns out I’m kind of good with language. By the time I graduated high school, I was fluent in German, French, Spanish, and Italian. I got awards for that too.

I had private music lessons from the age of four. I was an award-winning singer, piano, and flute player by seven. I owned twenty-three instruments when I was twelve. I toured Europe as a featured soprano the summer after I graduated high school.

Emphasis mine: who the fuck paid for all this shit? Sounds to me that you came from some very affluent family there girly-girl. So you went out on your own and stated making bad decisions, and now you are poor? Or are you not poor at all but just playing the dumb emotional people? This is pure and simple grievance mongering leftist bullshit. Your attempt to coerce idiots into agreeing with the wealth redistribution agenda fails, and fails miserably, with me. No, it’s not the system’s fault. You, and your choices, or lack there off, are why you are poor. If you really are poor. And I would much rather my tax money go to people that don’t want to remain poor and will do the work to change that. They at least deserve the help.

An Iran Deal

This is breaking now so updates as events warrant. We appear to have struck a deal with Iran. The agreement apparently includes a halt to their nuclear program: no enrichment past 5%, no new centrifuges, no new enrichment facilities, full inspections and getting rid of any 20% enriched uranium. They will be allowed to continue to enrich uranium to low levels (3.5%) consistent with nuclear reactors, can keep their current centrifuges and the sanction will be eased (maybe; not clear at this point). This is preparing for a permanent deal in the next six months.

Expect Israel and the GOP to have a fit, whether the deal is a good one or not. I want to see more information before I judge.