Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I'm not sure who West Asset Management is (probably these twats), but they call our land line twice a day and never leave a message. I guess they've never heard of the Do Not Call Registry. I filed a complaint today (not that it does any good) after getting at least one call a day for the last several months. Normally, telemarketing morons figure out after a few failed tries that we're ignoring them and stop calling, but these jerks seem to be a special kind of stupid.

Speaking of ignoring things, I just tried to contact the Sanford Ghetto Pharmacy to see why I don't have my next batch of Lantus. Of course, like any taxpayer-funded "service" intended for poors, there is no way to talk to a human being. In fact, calling the pharmacy number gives you no option other than to give your name, phone number, birthday, and prescription refill number. No "Press # to speak with a pharmacist" or any other options. Luckily I had a prescription number so I could get past that bit of wonderful customer service only to get dumped into the Sanford Ghetto Clinic phone tree which fortunately had an option to dump me back into the Sanford Ghetto Pharmacy phone tree where I was "allowed" to leave a message with the promise that someone checks messages every 30 minutes. Not that they'll return the call in 30 minutes, or ever; just that they promise to listen to my message. Thanks. [Update: I did receive a call back from a human and was informed that what I was sent in the mail was wrong, and how I should go about getting my Lantus in the future. The human also informed me that everyone hates the phone system and whenever management asks what can be done to make the "patient experience" better, they're told the first priority should be to fix the damn phone system. Which management ignores, of course.]

Then I tried to refill my Pulmicort, which thank the gods I don't get through the Sanford Ghetto Pharmacy, and noticed that my Ghetto Doctor at the Sanford Ghetto Clinic didn't give me any refills when he wrote the script. This is not a new med for me; I've been on the same dosage of this stuff for ten years. Luckily, my Greedy Bastard For-Profit Pharmacy has a way for me to talk to an actual human who offered to call my Ghetto Doctor and get some fracking refills.

And then people wonder why poors go nuts and set shit on fire.

School started this week which means every driver on the road instantly became stupid and blind at 7am Monday morning. There is a new school that just opened up along my bike route and I swear everyone is determined to christen the new blacktop with some little kid's guts. I seem to have turned completely invisible to the I've-got-the-Justice-League-on-my-cell douche-nozzles; I've been brushed by SUV mirrors twice in two days. That normally only happens once every week or so. I guess if you ignore something, it doesn't matter if you run it over with your Hummer.

The mainstream media seems absolutely determined to ignore Ron Paul in spite of a statistical tie for 1st place in the Iowa Corn-holer's Buy-A-Vote Jamboree, and in a solid second place (at least according to the latest numbers I could find in 30 seconds on Google) in the far more important fund-raising race. And yet the entire television news industry is trying to pretend he doesn't exist:

Nice work, MSM. Way to completely de-legitimize yourself. Again. (And don't worry if you get some message that ads won't load; just wait the 30-second time-out and the video will start. Someday, Hulu will figure out all this complicated internet stuff.)

The first PC I ever used turned 30 years old last week. IBM's 5150 was so heavy, it could anchor a building in a hurricane. The ones I used had dual 5 1/4 floppy drives that sounded like a blender trying to grind up a peach pit. Combined with the fan noise, they probably exceeded OSHA noise regulations. I know the dot matrix printers attached to them did. Ah the good ol'd days.

Opportunity made it to Endeavour Crater. This is a chance to sample some bits unlike any of the bits that have been sampled before. Let's hope the old girl can keep chugging along for a few more months. I never thought she would make it without getting stuck like Spirit, or having one or more wheels lock up for good.

By now, everyone has heard about Warren Buffett's little diatribe about how it isn't right that rich people like himself pay a smaller percentage of their income in taxes than his office staff does. My response to him is the same response I give to anyone who thinks they're not paying enough in taxes: Nothing is stopping you from paying more right now. The IRS will gladly accept any amount of extra money you would like to chip in without any need to involve Congress, the President or other US citizens who feel they are better at allocating their funds than the Imperial City. There is one point he makes that I agree with completely: Capital gains and all other investment income should be taxed at the taxpayer's marginal tax rate. Furthermore, the separate and highly-regressive Social Security/Medicare tax should be rolled into the regular income tax rates. None of which eliminates the need to make real cuts in spending, not just reductions in already-planned increases, but it's a start.

With all the yappy little dogs in the media, it's hard to get a feel for just what the London riots have been about. Simon Marcus works with what we in the US would call "at-risk kids" in the neighborhoods where the riots started:

A while ago two of my students said they were going to 'turn over' a large house in a wealthy area near them. I asked why? They said they had it tough, they wanted a new TV, and it was something to do.

...Outside our Tottenham branch, drug dealers operate openly as if they were selling fruit, while PCSOs hand out parking tickets a few hundred yards away. We used to sit in the café opposite their strip and watch them. They would get up late, usually after lunch and trade would begin. Sometimes you would be in a random café and one of the dealers would come in and hand over a wad of money to his mum behind the till.

...We are a strange lot, the human race. We learn in funny ways. Once you break a taboo it is gone, once you break a boundary it is gone, if you get away with something and you enjoy it, you do it again. When kids attack teachers, (and it happens thousands of times a year) being sent to the cooling off room is pretty much a reward, a fixed term exclusion often makes no odds either. If a social worker tells a teenage mum the word ‘no’ emotionally damages a child, a message goes out. If an adult admonishes a gang of children for littering and gets a police caution a message goes out. If a father is reported to the police for smacking a child a message goes out. If an adult is arrested for grabbing a child who is stealing, or assaulting another child, a message goes out. If knife criminals receive community sentences, a message goes out. If people tell you about your rights as a child, and never about your responsibilities, a message goes out. If teenage girls are given flats for having babies a message goes out. If the police arrest you fifty times and nothing happens a message goes out.

...In a political world obsessed with sending out messages we have sent out some bloody stupid ones in the last few decades, and haven't listened to the ones that have come back. But they have come back, whether in studies that show we have the most miserable children in the world or the anarchy of the last few days. Our fatherless, ghettoized children have told us: I have no love and no hope, so I can say what I like and do what I like. I know adults are scared of me and are scared of doing what is right. I am entitled to what I want, to take what is not mine and I will not be punished. If you defy me I will fall on you with an insane fury you cannot imagine or understand. The work is nearly complete; the British child as manufactured psychopath.

...Our strange, hybrid liberal establishment has placed us in this position. Some of them read ‘Lord of the Flies’ and thought it was a guide-book. We have set up a bureaucratic, unfair, unjust, target and equality driven centralizing system or ‘poverty industry’, that perpetuates itself, has no incentive to achieve its aims, bullies and [paralyzes] decent people trying to help and now allows anarchy to flourish.

...Our children are showing us all we need to know. We have betrayed them, they are in agony, the liberal experiment is over. We need a moral counter-revolution. Our children have told us and we were old enough to know better.

And from a slightly different perspective:

"A man of 21 with learning disabilities has been granted taxpayers' money to fly to Amsterdam and have sex with a prostitute."

...Why do they need a Dutch hooker? Just another hardworking foreigner doing the jobs Britons won't do? Given the reputation of English womanhood, you'd have thought this would be the one gig that wouldn't have to be outsourced overseas.

While the British Treasury is busy writing checks to Amsterdam prostitutes, one-fifth of children are raised in homes in which no adult works – in which the weekday ritual of rising, dressing and leaving for gainful employment is entirely unknown. One-tenth of the adult population has done not a day's work since Tony Blair took office on May 1, 1997.

...Her Majesty's cowed and craven politically correct constabulary stand around with their riot shields and Robocop gear as young rioters lob concrete through store windows to steal the electronic toys which provide their only non-narcotic or alcoholic amusement.

...Yet a police force all but entirely useless when it comes to preventing crime or maintaining public order has time to police everything else. When Sam Brown observed en passant to a mounted policeman on Cornmarket Street in Oxford, "Do you know your horse is gay?", he was surrounded within minutes by six officers and a fleet of patrol cars, handcuffed, tossed in the slammer overnight, and fined 80 pounds. Mr. Brown's "homophobic comments," explained a spokesmoron for Thames Valley Police, were "not only offensive to the policeman and his horse, but any members of the general public in the area." The zealous crackdown on Sam Brown's hippohomophobia has not been replicated in the present disturbances. Anyone who has so much as glanced at British policing policy over the past two decades would be hard pressed to argue which party on the streets of London, the thugs or the cops, is more irredeemably stupid.

...This is the logical dead end of the Nanny State. When William Beveridge laid out his blueprint for the British welfare regime in 1942, his goal was the "abolition of want" to be accomplished by "co-operation between the State and the individual." In attempting to insulate the citizenry from life's vicissitudes, Sir William succeeded beyond his wildest dreams. As I write in my book: "Want has been all but abolished. Today, fewer and fewer Britons want to work, want to marry, want to raise children, want to lead a life of any purpose or dignity." The United Kingdom has the highest drug use in Europe, the highest incidence of sexually transmitted disease, the highest number of single mothers, the highest abortion rate. Marriage is all but defunct, except for William and Kate, fellow toffs, upscale gays and Muslims. From page 204: "For Americans, the quickest way to understand modern Britain is to look at what LBJ's Great Society did to the black family and imagine it applied to the general population."

That last sentence leads nicely into what the mayor of Philadelphia has to say to his fellow blacks:

“Take those God-darn hoodies down, especially in the summer,” Mr. Nutter, the city’s third black mayor, said in an angry lecture aimed at black teens. “Pull your pants up and buy a belt ‘cause no one wants to see your underwear or the crack of your butt.”

“If you walk into somebody’s office with your hair uncombed and a pick in the back, and your shoes untied, and your pants half down, tattoos up and down your arms and on your neck, and you wonder why somebody won’t hire you? They don’t hire you ‘cause you look like you’re crazy,” the mayor said. “You have damaged your own race.”

No white person in the United States would ever dare say anything even close to that. Thank God we have people like the mayor and Bill Cosby to say what needs to be said.

Well, break time is over; back to taxes. I should be scheduling my test this week if all goes well.

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