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
Saturday, October 20. 2018
Usually, when we speak of financial news, we're referring to central bank machinations and Wall Street piracy and great big old honking government budget contortions and hedge fund rapacity and interest rate shenanigans and so forth. That's great, because talking about the monetary policy of your next door neighbors on the evening news could get boring. "Well, Stefanie, we see a period of instability in cross-border money transfers for the foreseeable future. Ms. Howard maxed out the Discover card on those super-cute Louboutins I was telling you about during the break, and Mr. Howard, oh dear, has been to the strip club again, so I don't see them going to Sandals this winter. Now the weather..."
Well, I don't have time to scrape all your data from your Facebook pages to see how your personal finances are going, so going personal in the financial news isn't practical for me. And I would never peek in your windows to see how you're doing, but hey Ted, you should really tell your wife to stop undressing in front of the home security camera with the default password still on it. No reason. But let's at least take a Saturday look around the internet to see how we're doing in general, shall we?
My household has shrunk, too. My wife keeps wallpapering and the walls are getting closer.
Oh dear. No ready meals in Ireland. This sounds vaguely familiar. The company was obviously poorly run, though. Look, they made a profit one year. Any Musk could tell you that's not how to run a company.
I don't see the problem. They wanted a non-profit, and that's what they got.
Gratitude? For adolescents, Halloween now lasts for three months, while Thanksgiving consists of texting all day while your stepfather watches football and your mother orders takeout Chinese. Do the math.
Hmm. This article is unconcerned about HealthCare.gov data collection and an ensuing security breach, but doesn't like the timing of the announcement. Oh, and one of the squeegee buckets at the Sheetz is nearly empty.
I hope the tax money goes to fund $10,000 community art grants to help the homeless open non-profit, small press/artist-run spaces of their own.
If they get evicted, they can always take an Uber to San Francisco and vote for a homeless tax on Lyft.
I once played an Aerosmith record on my mom's stereo the day after my goldfish died. I still feel pretty bad about it.
I had no idea things had gotten this bad. The United States is apparently running out of Patels. Gentlemen, our country can't afford a Patel gap.
Typhus? Oh dear. I hope Prince Albert is OK.
The CEO of Cleveland-Cliffs forgot to mention the lamentations of the Goldman women, but other than that, a fine, Muskish tirade. I bet that shortselling Goldman employee won't be deejaying anytime soon after that verbal beating. In other news, Cleveland-Cliffs Initiates Dividend, Expect More Upside
I hope you have a great Saturday everyone, with very few lamentations around your hopefully typhus-free home!
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Another day sans francais? You really know how to make me cranky.
Our church is part of a network of churches that run a program to help homeless families get on their feet. Part of that effort includes putting the families up for a week at our church. Among other things, volunteers set up rooms with cots, prepare dinners every night for them, and stay overnight with them (on similar cots), quite often playing with their kids.
Being a volunteer can sometimes be a demoralizing experience. Almost all are single moms - sometimes with three or more kids. Sometimes they have a better phone than I have. But the saddest thing is how many show no gratitude for the effort of dozens of people to make feel welcomed and their stay as comfortable as possible.
Somehow, and I suspect our policies of subsidizing everything and inculcating class envy are primarily to blame, we are teaching people to be more materialistic as thus ungrateful and I don't think this is only a problem with the poor.
Good on you and your church for your work. Gratitude is a behavioral trait that is best learned when it's taught, I think. I've adopted rescue pets all my life and every one of them showed unswerving gratitude. But many people who have learned to accept handouts, learn to expect them and receive them selfishly rather than be grateful.
For me, gratitude forms the prime basis of public service and is the basis of creating a trusting society. Try living in a country where the police, fire, or ambulance services can't be trusted to come for emergencies. The underlying routine daily stress is palpably different. Certainly our society is far from perfect, but I still feel very comfortable paying it forward to a complete stranger in need. You can't do that in many other countries.
If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.
-- Mark Twain
Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.
Teach a man to fish and you force him to buy a fishing licence.
It is common for "single moms" to have 3 children, because that maxes out the government benefits. Don't feel sorry for them, in my state that results in them getting some $60+ thousand a year, better than most single workers do. Plus they get all the other benes like Obamaphones, free medical, free drugs, free housing, etc.
Homeless people and homeless families:
Given what we see and hear we might think that some family became homeless through dumb luck or at least through no fault of their own. But in 99 and 44/100ths of the cases it was drugs or maybe alcohol. So you provide them with a place to live for awhile, give them some money and food, perhaps find some long term accommodations for them and a maybe a job and everything should be good, right? But it won't be. They WILL do drugs again as soon as they can get them. They will lose their jobs, lose the accommodations if any payment is required and spend their money on drugs If the hapless family/adult is at all street wise they will not seek out help with the same charity or government entity that helped them last time they will move on to a new city and a new group of good people who just want to help and suck them dry in the effort to feed their drug habit.
Our HOA called the cops on a homeless guy sleeping by our pool. I had previously met him. He had been doing some heavy drinking with a resident of our HOA, but outside our property. The cop read the homeless guy the riot act, informing him that he would be arrested the next time he was reported on the HOA's property. He hasn't been back.
After the homeless guy left, the cop told us that homeless guys tend to be addicted to alcohol or non-alcoholic drugs. So the homeless guy we found on property fit the pattern- or the stereotype.
Eighty to ninety percent of the "homeless" have permanent brain damage from using drugs or alcohol. We euphemistically call it "mental illness." A small percentage can be helped through corrective drugs, most cannot. Some just can't think or function. But many of them are violent.
Video of violent homeless person killed by police near my workplace, two weeks ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUvtLNDeH0U One officer got hit by a machete but it hit his protective vest. These confrontations happen multiple times a day. I saw 4 outside my office yesterday, but fortunately none escalated to a violent takedown.
I spent a few years bouncing around homeless shelters and SRO hotels. I'm older now and you wouldn't believe it probably if you say me today. Or believe it would come to that if you knew me when I was starting out after school.
But alcoholism and mental illness can take down anybody. I make no excuses. I made my choices.
But I used a lot of social services at the time. Food and shelter, welfare, in and out of the hospitals at taxpayer expense.
But I got to know a lot of people who lived in similar circumstances. And it was just a way of life for them. They get up in the morning, go out for a smoke, go for a free breakfast somewhere, another smoke, hang out with friends, lunch, nap, then whatever to fill the rest of the day.
A police officer I got to know quite well at a place I volunteered at described a crack addict prostitute as "being in the life style."
And that is what it was. It was a way of life. As bad as it was it's what they knew, and especially, it's what they're good at. There's a genuine pride at being able to survive in those circumstances.
My point? Most of this help is wasted. There were some who genuinely needed the help but by far the majority just took it because it was there. Honest laziness.
Seriously, there's a reason you don't feed the animals. It applies just as well to people.
But it won't changed. There is an entire social service industry built around these people. And it's entirely self-serving. And there is no way that is going away.
I'm glad you found a better way, Julian. You must have a core of steel.
When we were kids, Mom insisted we clean up our room and only poop in the toilet. This went a long way towards keeping down the typhus.
The activist at the end of the article opines that the problem will persist until the city "gets its rental property policy in order," i.e., builds more housing and presumably ramps up rent-control.
I like your outlook, Jimmy, but geez, how about a little trigger discipline there? You might ray-gun Granma into a pile of carbon dust.