Daily Reads

Friday, November 30, 2012

Greece, here we come!

I haven't posted anything for a week because I've been tired.  I've also started back on Prozac, so I'm a little calmer about impending doom and don't have to work out as many frustrations in blogs and screams.

It's just so amazing to me, in the horrified fascination sort of way, that so many supposed adults, who call themselves Democrats and Americans, think that a compromise means that the other side does exactly what you want them to.

As a country we're broke, and unlike the average American who upon finding themselves deep in debt starts cutting back, takes a second job, etc, etc., the president and the Congresscritter (D)s think that we can spend out way out of it, by taxing the citizenry, and that we don't have to cut a single thing, except maybe "Later".  Like anyone with even half a brain believes that.

It's not like Ø won with anything resembling an "overwhelming mandate".  The Dems didn't even get the House back.  So why they think that that gives them the right to do whatever they want, and half the country be damned, I understand intellectually, but not on an emotional level.  To use standard leftist terminology "It's not FAIR!"

Of course, that when they get their way the entire country will be damned either hasn't occured to them, or they just don't care.

Sigh.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The obligatory Happy Thanksgiving post

And indeed, the sentiment is honest.

I do have much for which to be thankful.  I have a good husband, two (usually) good daughters (hey, they're teenagers, some angst is to be expected), a nice house, a job, working (for now) cars.  We are all in reasonably good health, and we can afford to put a Thanksgiving dinner on the table.

I hope my few readers will have lists as good or better.

I'll try to put my usual ranting/venting/pessimism on hold for a day. 8)


Monday, November 19, 2012

Mind numbing idiocy/willful blindness


My sister who is a doctoral student at Cornell just posted this on her Facebook page:

I was happy to see Cornell students exercising their political voices today, and pleasantly surprised that the pro-Palestine/pro-peace rally dwarfed the Hillel sponsored pro-Israel rally across Ho Plaza. Also impressed to see one of my Coptic students front and center standing against the violence, contra his pro-Zionist family.


I'm wondering why she is surprised, pleasantly or otherwise, that the pro-palestinians would outnumber the pro-Israelis.  Likewise why my sister thinks that only the pro-Palestinian protesters are for peace.  Her area of study is middle-eastern archaeology, and she knows enough Jews that you would think she would know that there are far fewer Jews who would like to see a full-fledged conflict than there are Palestinians.

I'm actually going to be a good family member and NOT post any response, because it wouldn't do any good anyway.

It just boggles my mind that supposedly intelligent people refuse to see that the Palestinians, or at least their chosen leadership, are intent on destroying Israel and killing every Jew, no matter if it kills every Palestinian in the process.  How do these supposed "intellectuals" sleep at night?  How can they automatically demonize every Jew, even when they know Jews?  I don't demonize every Muslim, though I admit to believing that while there are some, indeed many, good people who are Muslims, they are good people in spite of, not because of, their religion.

Secession?

Glen Reynolds has an interesting little column today, A Solution to Secession Fever -- Federalism.  And everything he says in it makes sense.

Except...  I don't see our current federal government being willing to give up any of those improperly asserted powers without the application of force. 8(

He is quite right though that the White House probably doesn't give a rat's tuchus about the fact that over one million people have signed secession petitions.  What I find more interesting is the response of some progressives which was to start another petition to have the feds strip anyone who signed such a petition of their US citizenship and deport them.  I don't recall the folks on the right suggesting that when the progressive left got their knickers twisted after the elections of '00 and '04.  We offered to pay for them to leave the country since so many had sworn that that's what they'd do if Bush won, but I don't recall anyone suggesting forcibly removing folks who were unhappy with Bush.

More proof, as if we needed it, that the left has some pretty strong totalitarian tendencies.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Girls - bodies or minds?

Just saw the 4everygirl campaign ad. It includes a line to the effect that girls need to know they are valued for more than their bodies. 

Yet we had a national party campaign for women's votes almost exclusively on sex. On the ability for these same girls to have free contraception and abortions. This was pushed as the *only* concern for women. 

Aren't these two messages working against each other? If girls are valuable for more than just their bodies, it would seem that in politics they should be treated as if they might just possibly have interests and concerns outside the ability to have consequence-less sex. If a major political party thinks that the only thing that will get women to vote is an appeal to their hormones, that party *is* valuing women only for their bodies.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Venting


OK, life sucks right now.  I don’t see Congress getting off its collective asses and fixing anything tax wise, because the Democrats won’t help working people unless they are allowed to “stick it to the man”, and Republicans want to see some actual spending cuts put in place other than gutting the military, one of the few Constitutionally mandated roles of the federal Government. 
So, we’re looking at another $250 or more in federal taxes a month starting January 1st.  Instead of telling me it won’t happen, do something about it! Don’t tell me to not worry about it.  Don’t tell me anything which can be interpreted as “Don’t you worry your pretty little head about it.”  I haven’t been down sitting at Congresscritters offices because *I* have a job I have to go to.  It’s a sucky job, with management who seem to only be interested in cutting costs, no matter what it does to staff morale.  Heck, they’ve rewritten my job description to require only a Bachelor’s degree.  Which isn’t a professional degree in my line of work, but I’m sure it comes cheaper.  And that’s all they care about. 
I’ve got crappy dumb terminals which I have to help people with and every time they cause issues making folks lose 30 minutes or more of work, I’m told that there isn’t a problem, it was fixed years ago.  Well, guess what?  It ain’t fixed now!  But replacing those three Citrix terminals with desktop computers is too expensive.  That those damn terminals have probably cost a few grand in staff time this year alone doesn’t matter, those costs can’t really be quantified, and the cost of the boxes can. 
They’ve dropped my health insurance plan, you know the one I’ve had for years that the president promised that if I liked it I could keep it?  Well, thanks to the Democrats and their PPACA, passed through probably illegal procedural moves and without any bipartisan support, that plan has gone away.  My options were paying more which I don’t have because of the other tax increases for a Cadillac plan which a) does more than we need because we have Tricare Standard too, and b) will be taxed at 40% starting, I believe, in 2014, or getting a High Deductible Health Insurance plan with an HAS, except that I can’t do that because of the Tricare.  So now we’re stuck with less money to pay for the expenses with Tricare doesn’t cover.  Thanks folks.
Our NEW car is 10 years old, our other “new” car is 17.  I’m dropping cable TV in a few weeks because we can’t afford that.  I don’t know how we’re going to be able to pay for my daughters’ music lessons next semester.  I guess they’ll both have to give up something they love.  I need to get them both new pairs of glasses.  That will eat up all our non-assigned reserves for a few weeks.  This year I have bought myself ONE new skirt, Two or three new tops, and some cheap underthings.  My husband hasn’t bought anything other than work clothes this year.  I’ve gotten the girls some new school clothes, but they need new shoes, but I can’t do that and get them glasses too, not within a few weeks of each other.
But everyone assures me that now that Obama has been re-elected, even though the Senate and House are still held by different parties, and Harry Reid still refuses to even discuss a budget, the economy will improve, and gas prices will go down, though Obama assures us that they were so low in 2008 because the economy sucked even worse(?) .  Electric prices are going to go up, but that’s OK, because somehow making electricity and oil cost more will help the economy and our bosses are all going to give us raises or something? 
Tell me how it’s going to get better.  Give me specifics.  I don’t want any more damn unicorn farts and skittles.  I want numbers.  I want to know how repeating things that failed spectacularly during the last four years is suddenly going to do what you wish it to now.  I want proof.  I want to know that I’m not going to have to give up my TV, and my phone, and keep the lights off, and the heat at 60 all winter.  I want assurances that none of us are going to lose our jobs as our employers try to keep their lights on and their doors open.  I want assurances that when it all goes south, as it almost assuredly will, you won’t look stunned, and WILL be able to help me out.  Because it’s your fault.  You didn’t listen, you didn’t think, you voted based on feelings. 
I WILL be saying “told you so” but it will give me only a little bit of schadenfreude, because I’ll be hurting worse than you.

My wonderful family /sarc

Baby Sis: Oh my god. My feed is filled with angry political posts. Seriously people, STOP. Instead of looking forward 4 years, and trying to get your conservative or liberal parties in shape so you can "WIN" next time, how about worrying about NOW? As if WINNING has anything to do with running a country or helping people?? For the sake of whatever deity or philosophy you happen to hold true, could you all stop your posturing and posing and instead of assuming you're right and smarter than everyone around you, actually try to help the country and help the people in it now? 

Younger Sister *(YS): BabyS: Hunh, my feed is *mostly* full of calm, reasoned discussion - some of it disappointed one way or the other, but not angry (and yes I have friends in all sorts of parties, as well as none). Do you have a problem with your friend-mix?

ME: Hmm. YS, You blocked me for "offending" your friends simply because I disagreed with them. I never called them names, I never swore at people, I just used facts to explain my position. You on the other hand, called me "delusional" and "mentally unstable" for not agreeing with you politically, and attacked friends of mine personally on my wall. I'm glad your friends can be "calm" and "reasoned". But I've had way too many people including family call me names and tell me that if I disagree with them in any political area it's because I "hate brown people" or am stupid or evil. I hope this means that you've become less dogmatic and are willing to entertain the notion that those who disagree with you may have something of substance to contribute to the conversation. None of us is ever 100% right, in any sphere of life.

YS: I blocked you for making alarming and outrageous statements. You were claiming that it was better that a family member have died than that women be allowed to make their own healthcare decisions. I found that "beyond the pale". Wishing death on people is outside common decency, and should not be tolerated. And BTW. I only blocked you from certain parts of my list. You then chose to de-friend me entirely, without waiting to discuss it. There you go. You can disagree with me on tax policy, and you can disagree with me on social policy - but when you make statements that cause a reasonable person to question your sanity? Well, remember that I'm a reasonable person. And so are most of my acquaintance. You may not come to my wall, and say things that make nice people I know cry. Bad form, dear. I won't allow it.

ME: You did the same thing, and not only disagreed with people but you called them names. I never said you or your friends were delusion, or insane, or evil, or stupid. You did all of the above. And your blocking meant that I could read everything, where you told all your friends how evil and deluded I was, and I couldn't post anything anyplace.< It also seemed that disagreeing with you on tax policy meant that I was making statements leading "normal" people to question my sanity. The same with disagreeing with you on social policy. I should also add, that thanks to the PPACA, my employer is no longer offering the health insurance plan I've had for years. I can't afford the higher payments for the cadillac plan, especially since it will get a 40% tax in a few years, and the IRS says I can't get a high deductible plan, because I'm covered by my husband's Tricare. And I NEVER said it would have been better for someone to die rather than have a certain medical procedure. And I don't know anyone, including devout Catholics, who wouldn't agree with me on that. You are equating using the procedure for elective purposes with using it for life saving purposes, and that's flat out disingenous. Sandra Fluke claimed that her friend was denied contraception by Georgetown, when in actuality their policy covered birth control for medical reason, just as the Irish Government paid for me to be on the pill when it was prescribed to keep me from throwing up and passing out every month. And if you are going to claim that not paying for someone's birth control is "DENYING THEM MEDICAL CARE" I could claim that other people not paying my mortgage or rent is "denying" me shelter. And now, I'm dropping the subject.

YS: Before dropping the subject, I must tell you that you specifically *agreed* with the extremist position of "no abortions ever, under any circumstances" - a ridiculous position, but one you held forth on with enough vehemence to cause me to receive alarmed private messages from several nice people I know - nice people who have been the victim of sexual assault, nice people who have had to make the terrible kinds of choices that the Republican platform would deny them. You upset them, and made them wonder who on earth you were, and why you were allowed on my wall. You were incredibly rude.


ME: Your friends must have mis-understood me, because I don't believe in abortion myself, except for the life of the mother, (and I don't count gee, a baby would crimp my lifestyle as meeting the "life or mental health" criteria). If I were pregnant, unless it were ectopic, i.e. the baby would die no matter what, I'd have a hard time having an abortion myself, even if I knew there was a chance it would kill me. If someone else wants an abortion, I'm not fine with it, but I'm not going to stop them. But..unless it is to truly save their life I don't want my tax dollars used to pay for them. Nor do I think that a religious organization should be forced to pay for something it finds morally unacceptable. I paid for my own pills for years after coming back to the states, and they are really extremely cheap. You could have contacted me and let me know what was going on, instead of just blocking me, making Eilis wonder what she had done to offend me in that particular thread. I didn't unfriend you for nearly a week.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Bad news, Good news

Well, the insurance company was able to get the adjuster out this morning, and yes, the car is totalled.  Having had time to look at the damage without trees sitting on it, yes, it's bad.  And there is a strange piece of metal on the lawn which probably came off the car.  And it makes a very scary rattle when you turn it on.  So, yes, it's dead, Jim.

But then there was the good news.  We're not getting Blue Book value, we're getting replacement.  Which is a lot better.

I'm going to try to stop over at the local used car place, which we've bought a few cars from over the years.  They have another Subaru, a year older, but much lower milage, for just a bit more than we're getting from the insurance company.  If nothing else it should last until we've paid off the other car and actually have some money each month for a car payment.  It also wouldn't raise the car insurance bill much at all.

They've had the car for a while, so hopefully it won't disappear before I can get there and see if it will work.  It's not a sports version so the seats shouldn't be those weird bucket type things, which they are using in the newer Imprezas.  I sat in two today, and yes, I need to lose weight, but those things were not designed for normal size women with hips.  I could lose every extra pound I own, and they would still have been uncomfortable.