We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Wednesday, February 13. 2013
This is Kate Upton wearing body paint, and only body paint
Cute as a button.
Recalling the Disco Decade
Rock Fans Outraged As Bob Dylan Goes Electronica
Benedict and The left's antipathy towards traditional religion
Bloomberg Cajoles 21 Companies to Remove Salt from Products
What an obnoxious putz. Sowell: Paging Doctor Bloomberg - Random thoughts on the passing scene.
Sultan: Winning the minority vote
In State of the Union, Obama puts government at the center of Americans’ lives
That's the problem. It's supposed to be on the periphery. Unless I'm mistaken, that was the whole idea of America.
Obama's Economic Growth Record Is The Worst In 60 Years
Government cannot create economic growth. It can either get in the way, or get out of the way, of peoples' efforts and aspirations
“Food Stamp Rolls in America Now Surpass the Population of Spain”
Free Doritos for all!
Pravda on the Hudson - The New York Times's weird coverage of the president and the pope.
Rubio last night:
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Recalling the Disco Decade
Seen through the eyes of a teenager, I suppose in retrospect, the '70s might not have been all that nostalgic.
I posit that less, in this case, was more. I lived in New Orleans during late early to mid-'70s and to tell the truth, I would love to repeat that again. Hunting, fishing, music, theater, great food - it was a great time and a great place to live.
Oh, and I would be remiss if I didn't add that disco sucks.
Rock Fans Outraged As Bob Dylan Goes Electronica
And fans when berserk when he went from acoustic to electric instrumentation.
Get a life. :>)
Millions Improperly Claimed U.S. Phone Subsidies
Who knew that this program could be abused? Anyone?
Real question: What is the reason they are called Obamaphones?
Who knew it could be abused? -- that's an interesting question:
When the link-up subsidy was a small fraction of the cost of line installation, there wasn't much abuse, as the customers had to front the bulk of the cost themselves. But thanks to the "creative destruction" of technological advance and competition, MVNO mobile phone providers started talking to the various link-up/lifeline programs and saying "we've been providing complete service to millions of customers for rates far lower than land-line service, why don't you accept us as a lifeline provider, it will be a better deal for your poor people."
Once the subsidy covered all of the cost, the popularity skyrocketed. So no-one knew until things changed because of new technology and the greater competition that exists in the call-phone marketplace, and then it became obvious, and then the rules were changed to account for the new circumstances.
Um.....it was a rhetorical question meant to point out that everybody in the known universe knew this was going to happen but did nothing to stop it.
Where I live, there is a commercial that makes me angry every time I see it. Basically, an ad by a mobile phone company pitching Obamaphones to the general public. So not only is MY money and other Americans' money paying for free cell service, we are also subsidizing ads to pay for MORE of these horrible phones.
I don't know about you, but I'd like to know why a landline is not sufficient for these 'poor' people? They need to have cell phones with texting??? Makes me sick to think I am paying for this crap every month on my phone bill.
The news that millions improperly claimed phone subsidies is actually good -- the regulators had already fixed the obvious pathways for fraud well before the controversy about these phones erupted last autumn, and now we have a pretty good idea from the number of service cancellations both that the anti-fraud measures are working and how big of a problem it really was.
And I'd like to point out that the biggest use of the Universal Service Fund is not these phones, it is subsidy to phone and internet providers so that they will keep their fees for customers outside of urban areas as low as the fees for urban customers, where they have much lower costs on account of more customers per mile of cable. So it may be that if you are complaining about poor people getting a $10/month phone service for their panicked call to a backup babysitter when school has been cancelled for snow and they cannot miss work, you are getting a subsidy worth more than $10/month for your obsolete land-line, and your children just completed their homework on the public-libraries super-fast internet which was 90% paid for by the same USF...
You appear to think that subsidies are good and that if joe down the street pays only $10 for something that I pay $45 for I should be happy because it's such a bargin for Joe. Somehow his ability to hook up with his girlfriend or drug pusher is a boon to society. If that were true why shouldn't I pay for everything Joe needs and also pay twice as much for everything that I need to make up for the loss the producers and government incur making this all happen? Oh, wait, I already am!
The reason Joe or Flo needs a phone subsidy, food stamps, section 8, free babysitting, welfare, etc. is BECAUSE it is provided to them. It creates it's own need. If tomorrow we went cold turkey and ended all 2400 welfare programs spread over 5 cabinet level departments most of those getting these various benefits would find some way to pay for them themselves or do without them. Of the 50,000,000 professional welfare recipients in this country perhaps 1% are truely unable to take care of themselves. This is not and never was a "safety net" for the poor it is and always was intended to be a vote machine for the left. I see nothing about this subsidy to be happy over.
Particularly when one family has nine of them -- for the mother and her eight kids. I think the five-year-old is the contact for his older brothers' drug deals. He knows more about tech devices than I do and has more free cash than I. He'll never learn to spell because he's immersed in "texting" language.
He lives in a society without rules (except "no snitching on your bro) and hasn't the foggiest about morals. Someone shoves you, shove back harder. Someone brings a slingshot, you bring a gun. He scares me and there's not one step I can take that will truly help him out of this mess.
The idea of "universal service" has been enshrined in USA telecommuncations law since 1913. I think it is an awful idea, but I don't see it changing any time soon.
If a fixed subsidy for a service exists, it make more sense for it to pay for a larger proportion of a good-value serivce than for it to pay for a smaller proportion of a bad-value service. For me land-line is about 4x the cost of prepay mobile.
I'm happy that millions of people who were formerly gaming the system are no longer doing so, and that precautions have been put in place so that those loopholes have been closed. If the FCC had said "we are closing the loopholes" and then the subscriber base for Lifeline phones remained constant or increased, that would be bad news.
You must be in a different part of the country. Here, the most recent phenomenon is that all the homeless, derelicts and druggies are carrying around their Obamaphones. Just yesterday, saw a homeless bag lady and her shopping cart of stuff sitting outside my building, and she was texting away on her Obamaphone while plugged into the building power outlet. I would assume she was making the next appointment with her drug dealer for a delivery, but it's pretty disconcerting nonetheless. I assume when her 250 free minutes are done, she just throws the phone away and gets the next one from the Obamaphone vendor.
I really wonder when the responsible people in this country are just going to totally lose it with what is going on.
re recalling the disco decade
I think you could make the same comparison regarding creature comforts of the 1970s to the 1930s. So what's his point? That material things get better/cheaper over time? Jeez... who would have ever thought that! I am enlightened.
A limited defense of the 70s:
First of all, the noise referred to as disco did not last a decade.
At least you could afford to go to college in the 1970s.
Unlimited immigration wasn't the problem it is now.
The speech police had not yet arrived on the scene.
There was no AIDS.
The national debt was around 400 billion. I recall my college roommate and I being quite shocked when Carter proposed running a $23 billion deficit.
You could still take a gun and pocket knife to school and not be expelled. My brother was on the high school trap team and they simply took their cased guns to the sponsoring teacher's classroom and stored them in a closet.
6 year olds weren't being arrested for sexual harassment. Indeed, I don't recall there being any sexual harassment laws in the 70s.
There were no 'hate crimes'.
While our material possessions have clearly improved, the boundaries of our freedom have shrunk. On balance does this make our lives better?
And I take exception to the author's claim that Falstaff beer was "bland". Maybe New Orleans brewed 'Staff was bland, but Omaha brewed Falstaff was the best beer I ever drank.
Jeeze - now I'm depressed.
And I forgot - there weren't nuttin' bland about Dixie beer. The most god awful tasting beer on the face of the planet, but on a hot humid day 12 miles South of Venice fishing the Gulf for red snapper, there weren't nuttin' like an ice cold Dixie beer to make your day. :>)
I'm going to try to scrub that image out of my mind ... naval jelly ... scotch ... for the love of the gods please make that go away ...
Lose the paint, Kate!
And lose 10 or 15 pounds while you're at it. It may be "baby fat" but you're a wee bit heavy to be parading around before the cameras in just the latex.
You had me at "lose the paint"! But surely you jest about her weight? She looked "perfect" to be parading around in the buff. In fact a few more pounds would please me more.
No jest at all. I think she's plump, like a comfortable sofa. She's no Elle Macpherson.
Too many models look like they just escaped from a concentration camp. I don't like skin and bones models. Kate looks great.
Yeah, that near muffin top of hers on the SI cover looks just terrific. Blame the photographer for the bloated look? Well, at least she has an advantage over one of those "skin and bones models": she is better protected against the cold.
In other words, she wasn't Photoshop enhanced - in theory anyway.
Muffin top!? Now I see the problem. You are clearly looking in the wrong place. I can assure you I could spend months with her and never see her muffin top.
The Physician Assistant Will See You Now: I wonder what Schneiderman comsiders "second-rate" health care.
He also tells a story in the comments about a surgeon who now has to use an RN as his assistant in the OR because of Medicare cuts. Really? So what is really keeping him from paying a second surgeon? (Probably the practice made an economic decision). Oh, and I wonder what has happened to this surgeon's statistics since the switch to the lower cost first assist? (Curious minds want to know).
BTW, PAs, NPs and RNs in the OR did not begin with the passage of Obamacare, but he is correct about one thing: The voters now have what they wanted. sheesh!