Monday, March 15, 2010

Mom Update

Most important thing for today is that Debbie's mom has come through her open-heart surgery. The doctors say everything is as it should be. They will be keeping her in the surgery ICU for a bit and if all goes well, she will be released in four or five days. If anyone wants to keep up to date, go here and click on "Request invitation to a page." A number of people are working to keep that as current as possible.

Work for both of us is more or less a distraction with everything else going on. My office seems to be busier now during the "slow" part of tax season that it was during the "busy" part. Everyone is settling into their roles and it's all just starting to click now that it's almost over. I sure have a knack for picking a career. Debbie's work is staying steady; the store here seems to have much better traffic than her last one. We'll see if that holds up over the summer.

A couple tax-related stories: The IRS sends a couple goons to harass a guy over four cents ($202.31 with penalty and interest). Stories of IRS agents kicking in doors and generally acting like TV gangsters used to be common; then the IRS when through some serious reforms. I hope this doesn't mean the bad ol' days are coming back.

States are so broke, some are delaying tax refunds. So if I don't have the money to pay my taxes to the government, that's a crime. But when the government is so mismanaged that it can't pay its bills, then that's just tough crap for everyone else. I guess when you have a monopoly on force, you can pretty much do as you please.

Remember Al Gore's "lock box" and all those predictions about when or even whether Social Security was going to run out of money? Well, guess what? The answer to "whether" is yes it is, and the answer to "when" is 2010. Trillion-dollar deficits as far as the eye can see....

Fred Reed is up to his usual with a new essay on race relations in the United States:

Racism is in bad odor among the virtuous. I wonder why. At least, I wonder why any discussion of race is thought to be racism. The United States faces grave racial problems—more accurately, has them but doesn’t face them. Refusal to acknowledge their existence is not productive: Few problems are solved by forbidding their mention. The question should not be whether views are racist, but whether they are wrong....

...It gives me no pleasure and little hope to hear that black schools regularly produce functional illiterates, that the schools of Detroit and of the nation’s capital and for that matter of wherever blacks predominate are disasters, that savage beatings of whites by gangs of blacks are common and hidden by the media. That these things happen is of no advantage to me. I would be delighted to see blacks and Hispanics excelling academically. I would like to walk the streets of American cities without carefully noting pigmentation, which we all do and pretend we don’t....

I recently had a rather heated Facebook discussion on race. I dropped the issue as it was on someone else's wall, but all I said was that hate crime laws are mostly crap because a) they require a jury to be mind-readers, b) a crime is a crime; the "why" is, in my view, relatively unimportant, and c) white straight males seems to be the only ones capable of them; black gangs killing whites are never charged with a hate crime, or if they are, the media very carefully and intentionally covers it up. I was immediately tagged as a horrible human being. (shrug) Probably, but entirely beside the point. And it's the same regardless of the topic. Washington DC's schools suck and are locked in a battle to the bottom with Detroit. Not that they're all that much worse than a certain all-white northern Michigan school district I could name, when measured by test scores, drop-out rates, teen pregnancy, drug and alcohol use, etc. But the mere mention that it may be counter-productive for Detroit to routinely graduate illiterates and you're a racist; everyone knows that Detroit's problems are the fault of all those white folk who fled to the suburbs after the '67 riots. Same with crime: Next time the subject comes up, point out that the leading cause of death among blacks age 16-25 is blacks age 16-25 and see how long it takes for someone to label you a hater, then go on at length how even if true, it's all your fault. Whatever.

And something else to worry about; stem rust is back. The Dark Horse has been the constant companion for all of human history. The Green Revolution wounded him, but most certainly did not kill him.

On that cheery note, I need to go find a snack.

No comments: