Gleanings From The Passing Scene … (Politically Uncorrected)

Alfred_E__NeumannAnother Saturday’s collection just for you; snippets of the world that is …

We are asked to believe that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is being pressed from all sides to regulate the Internet.  Yes, much as the Internal Revenue Service is pressed from all sides to collect the taxes …

The costs of transporting all the illegal aliens from the border into the various states where they are being dumped, has hit some $100 million … and counting.

Spanking an 8 year old has been ruled a reasonable use of force by the New York Court of Appeals.  Apparently, at least some judges are  also parents …

Obamacare seems headed for the Supremes again, this time on a split between the 4th and D.C. Circuits of the Federal Court of Appeals; they disagree on eligibility for subsidies.

College costs are exploding; a growing number of schools are now charging over $60,000 a year with room and board. (The schools you won’t want to admit that you went to are cheaper)

The IRS is requesting help to destroy some 3,299 hard drives …

The prices of beef and bacon have reached all-time record highs. We’re grateful to have Janet Yellen at the Federal Reserve to tell us inflation is tame; without her, we might think otherwise.

Seniors are turning to sharing housing with roommates to help pay the bills. Well, we can see that … the kids can’t afford to take them in as was done in the old days …

An Obama campaign donor was granted a waiver from the auction rules favoring small business by the Federal Communications Commission. (FCC).

130 Environmental groups called for an end to capitalism. Whoever said that the greenies are a bunch of socialists?  And whoever said that what we have now is still capitalism?

The American flags flying from the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge were mysteriously replaced with white flags recently; the New York Police Department is pursuing the culprit(s). It will tell us who dunnit — if it ever finds out.

In Iraq, the ISIS Moslem terrorists are forcing retailers to add veils to their display mannequins.

Prisoners in one Michigan county are back to the old black and white striped outfits; the orange jumpsuits being now thought to be “too cool.”

A woman trashed a Manhattan salon over a botched hairdo.

The Estelline, TX city budget is 90% funded from speeding tickets written by the city’s one cop.

A pregnant woman headed for L.A.’s Cedars Sinai hospital to deliver her baby was forced to sit on a bus stop bench across the street for half an hour while President Obama’s motorcade went by.

Senator John Walsh (D) Montana, attributed his plagiarism in his Master’s thesis to post traumatic stress disorder contracted during his 30 year military career.

The National Science Foundation has a $100 M grant to develop a robot to serve as a companion and ‘personal trainer’ for kids. Do you expect the robot or the kids to be programmed?

In Washington, the Senate’s Dirksen Office building was invaded by bedbugs.

Cops pulled over a DUI for his erratic driving of a lawnmower.

The Prez apparently plans to provide some 5 million illegals with permission to stay in the U.S. plus permission to hold jobs, all by Executive Order, by the end of summer. Isn’t there a law against that?

Per the New York Times, the ‘typical’ American household has seen its net worth decline by one third. Whoop it up for the ‘recovery!’

3 naked burglars (security cameras provided the evidence) broke into a burger joint and stole 60 burgers. Correction: one of the three was wearing underwear.

And so it was in this slice of our ongoing lives. We apologize for the missing links to cited material we usually provide; the WordPress link posting mechanism went on strike halfway along the post … But as we all know, nothing made by man is perfect.

But some are better than others; know that Darth Vader outpolls all 2016 presidential candidates …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Culture, Economics, Government, Politics | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

U.S. Healthcare, President Obama, Sarah Palin … and Reality Suckis!

ObamaCareLikely you haven’t read about Sovaldi anywhere; it makes too many of the mighty look bad. You’ve heard of hepatitis C though, right? You likely know that is very, very bad to have and you may be aware that it is common among druggies, especially those who share needles. Others get it too, even children. And it seems generally to hit a lot of low income folk with poor living habits, though nobody is immune. Some people carry it, leaving a wake of risk. It’s a blood-borne virus that destroys the liver.

We bring this up because Sarah Palin, the Left’s favorite target when her back is turned, famously referred to “death panels” as part of Obamacare and was crucified for that reference. She was quite correct; when government pays, somebody must decide how much will be paid and for whom and for what, right? Government isn’t famous for delegating such decisions, either.

To wrap up this background, recall that Obamacare is forcing the states to expand Medicaid so that all those previously uninsured folk can now be covered at low or no cost to them. (It won’t be low or no to you, though.) You note that this description also sounds like the one above concerning many of the victims of hepatitis C.

We point to that because there is now a single decent treatment for hepatitis C and that is as you guessed, Sovaldi. A single, average 12 treatment course of Sovalsi costs some $84,000. Right, per patient. And since so many of the folk needing treatment are low income, Medicaid is stuck for it, meaning that you who likely can’t afford either the medicine or coverage that pays for it, will be paying for the needle-sharers and others who do get it. Except that the funds now available to the government can’t possibly do the job. This little conundrum is flitting around the back rooms of those Washington D.C. death panels that don’t exist. Government only has your money, in the end. As it can’t enrich everybody with what it has available, it uses rationing. So some hepatitis C patients will ge luckier than others. Government is deciding who they will be.

Any bets?

 

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Google, The European Union … and A Funeral for Unlimited Search?

Google SearcjGoogle recently lost an appeal to the European Union’s highest court and we’re all very much involved. The complaint against the search giant came from a plaintiff who did not wish to be found in a search. Google, in the business of searching, declined to delist the complainant and that produced the lawsuit. Google lost the final appeal.

The EU Court discovered the existence of a: “right to be forgotten” in European law. From what we can see, the right has never existed anywhere until the EU Court discovered it, but judges have been discovering new things for a long time, right?

But this is no small discovery. If you come from a generation that had to visit the library to look things up, you can appreciate the blessing of the search box on browser screens. That blessing depends upon links, little connections that take you from one data point to a related one until you find the one you want. Google and Bing and others supply those links. Without them, a given data point would never be found for you. And the EU Court has told Google that it must remove the links that lead to anyone who wants them removed. Who wants to rely on a search service that has to hide anyone who requests it? And those folk who prefer to remain invisible want the decision extended worldwide. Doing that seems likely to devalue the search business to the point of near uselessness.

Google is not taking this lightly; it is fighting hard, as it must since its search services are at stake here. With the EU now on record against Google, its fight must be seen as uphill at best. Such governments as China and Russia seem unlikely to defend Google; they want to control such things as what turns up on searches of the Internet.  But they are search users too, big time users in fact. Perhaps we’ll end with two Googles … one for you and me and another for ‘approved users.’

You may wish to keep an eye on this; you’ll have noted that your media haven’t thought it very newsworthy. Those guys don’t like to disturb their government friends. It seems likely that, unless a lot of folks make a considerable fuss, the days of unlimited search available to all may be sliding into history.

Posted in Politics, Government, Privacy | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

President Obama Is Saving Us All

As the NSA (National Security Agency)  or “Shhh …” as it is known to its friends (all both of them) drifts from public attention attention back into its preferred obscurity, we have been struck by a stroke of inspiration. Nobody ever heard of the NSA until Barack Obama had become President of the U.S, right? So it must be his policy making that has propelled it into sight; he gets the credit.

We decided that the whole affair is a stroke of our President’s financial genius. It is a step in saving our declining economy. The rumor that the President plans to pardon Edward Snowden  suddenly makes sense. In fact, Snowden will probably receive a Presidential citation. Later, of course.

The NSA has been listening in for decades, with nary a peep from anyone. Everyone knew that — well, everyone but the American citizens — even the Germans knew. And they all did the selfsame thing, anyway. Quietly, of course.

But Snowden blew his whistle and now the President’s brilliant plan is visible: An otherwise obscure news story makes it clear:

I'll Save You!

I’ll Save You!

have been spiking in Germany. Yes, old tech, pre-computer machines for the manual typing of letters and such. Sales are going through the roof, because see, the NSA can’t snoop while you type on an old fashioned typewriter.

German typewriters are naturally, expensive. As this defensive measure spreads, other, less expensive places will manufacture the old machines and economies will begin to hire people and recover. This was foreseen by our brilliant President; it was doubtless his reason for approving NSA surveillance of Germany’s Angela Merkel in the firt place. But there is more to the President’s inspired plan.

The avalanche of old-fashioned letters will restore the dying government postal services too. Somebody has to deliver all that mail, right? Even more jobs! What could be better than this win – win situation? The postal unions will love it!

America’s President Barack Obama has not only saved our health with his Obamacare, he has saved the world economy with his NSA surveillance. Plus the postal service. How brilliant is that?

 

Posted in Barack Obama, Economics, Recession, Trade | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Big Pro Sports Are Honest, Right? (“Say It Ain’t So, Joe!”)

1920 Baseball Corruption Scandal - Shoeless Joe Jackson

1920 Baseball Corruption Scandal – Shoeless Joe Jackson

We have compared the world maps of high corruption with world maps of high living standards in previous posts. The relationship should be obvious. Here we are addressing corruption itself, an insidious subject that too many of us prefer to ignore, as we hope to show.

Dwellers in North America and Europe tend to complacency about corruption; looking at the latest headline about crooked politicians, they still see themselves far above most of the rest of the world’s corruption and feel entitled to the accompanying living standard. Pride though, we have been warned, goeth before a fall.

So, tell: How honest are big bucks sports such as basketball, football, baseball, soccer, cycling and tennis? Are they honest and clean or are they corrupt and hypocritical? What do you believe?

The rest of this is what we believe; you don’t have to agree. We think first, that this is important; you don’t have to agree with that, either. We’ll start with a question:

With say, $5 million at stake, whom would you trust first: a tennis player, a businessman or a politician? And next, why? Maybe you want to consider that for a minute.

All three are the same species, with the same basic makeup. That species is self-interested and highly competitive. And all three strive for big bucks. So, why do we look at them differently? Mainly we suppose, because we like to fool ourselves. Pro sports are big business, with a strong profit motive. Players make millions. The gamblers make millions, too. And we are supposed to accept that it’s all clean, nobody uses steroids or blood doping or any other available enhancers? Sure.

Remember cyclist Lance Armstrong? An American doctor brought about his falustration resulting from never being able to nail him with a failed drug test. But Armstrong has said and it is well known that all the top cyclists are dopers. Then, there’s football or what we Americans call soccer. It’s the biggest pro sport in the world, from what we hear. And depending upon whom you choose to believe, it’s pure as a church or crooked as a dog’s hind leg. You may read about that. And you may join a long time sportswriter as he loses his illusions . Reality as the kids say, really sucks. But it’s still reality.

Nobody wants to write about how all this at the top, worms its way into the school sports that support the pro structure. Not writing about it doesn’t make it vanish, though; it just lets us ignore it. That is called in more honest circles, hypocrisy.

What all this leads up to is, America — and Europe and the rest of The Economists’ “rich world” that became so with a low level of corruption, has become more corrupt. The people have dumped the religion that insisted upon honesty and there is no replacement; it’s now every man for himself. Corruption pervades politics, few try to deny that. Business does not look so corrupt only because all expect businessfolk to reflect the bottom line by definition. And sports aren’t suppose to be business, but they are business regardless. That is a corrupt society.

Not so thoroughly corrupt perhaps as the rest of the world has been and remains. But we’re getting there. And if you’re paying attention, so is our standard of living. We deserve no less.

And the Queen of England’s race horse failed a drug test this week …

Posted in Christianity, Corruption, Culture | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

North American Illusory Security Is Running Out

Bomb With Fuse LitBut for the World Trade Center and more recently, the Boston Marathon bombing, we are used to reading tranquilly of awful violence in other places. We seem to assume that Americans are somehow, entitled to immunity from such events. But the world has many folk interested in teaching us otherwise.

We are a violent society, with our guns, criminals, drunken drivers and such simple gratuitous violence as the presently popular “knockout game” on the streets of our cities. We are importing more violence with the hordes of Central Americans pouring over our border from very violent places. And we have abandoned the precepts of Christianity that once led most of us to deplore violence, leaving us only with government policing to restrain such acts … and force is governments’s stock in trade.

But more than a rising tide of violence that like lobsters in a cookpot, we ignore until it is too late, we have been ignoring the technology of violence that we have created. Our President famously uses drones to kill people at will. Why should not others imitate him? Airliners are being shot down in a growing number of places via proliferating missiles; why should our airspace be insulated from that? We are told that what can happen, will happen and it seems wise to believe that.

Our government fears developing violence in the United States; it has laid in enormous quantities of guns and bullets in most of its various departments and it is training its  military to fight in American cities as one response to its fear. And it desperately wants to deprive citizens of their guns. Where then will be the restraint on government violence?

We are, if history is any guide, a very violent species; we need no top predator because we do the job ourselves. We in North America have now long enjoyed a respite from that, one denied most other places. It seems likely that, given the tools now at his disposal, Murphy has noticed. It seems the part of wisdom to keep that in mind as we enjoy our peaceful lives …

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Gleanings From The Passing Scene … (Politically Uncorrected)

Alfred_E__NeumannSeven days further on, for your consideration …

Microsoft–mighty Microsoft–will lay off 18,000 people over the next year. First, consider why Microsoft might do that. Then know that financial folk are seeing a huge boom in M and A (mergers and acquisitions) under way. First thing following a merger or acquisition, is layoffs of all the now, duplicated labor, right? So you know what’s coming.  ..

The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has a proposed rule up for comment. You may wish to do that,  (i.e. comment) since the new proposal gives the Agency the power to unilaterally garnish wages without going to court. Think about that for a moment; a government agency that awards itself, forget Congress, the power to confiscate your paycheck whenever it wishes …

China, along with pushing its boundary claims into other countries’ territories bordering the China Sea, is building nuclear powered missile submarines as fast as it can manage. (In case you still feel safe in Chicago.)

Attorney General Holder told ABC that he sees “racial animus” behind opposition to Administration policies. That’s a tough one: If you disagree with the President or his Attorney General, you’re a racist. If you agree, you’re an idiot …

A California School District claims the authority to ban God from its schools. That is another tough one; we understand that God is having trouble finding lawyers to represent Him in court–they all seem to work for the other side.

Another report demanding some thought: The iphone 6  is made in China … by robots …

U.S. infrastructure–roads, bridges, gas and water lines etx.–is becoming dangerous from neglect as the money to maintain it has been diverted to social spending. China won’t lend us any more money. Not to worry … we can just raise taxes or have the Fed print it up, right?

Ride sharing service Lyft is excluded from New York City and a growing list of other places as the cab drivers and their unions pressure the cities to prohibit the competition. Offers of better service, cheaper, are obviously intolerable as any fool can plainly see, right?

Darwin award candidate: A boy riding a double decked bus, banged his head on an overpass as the bus drove through.

Hamas rejected an Egyptian-brokered peace proposal, continuing to fire rockets into Israel. The resulting dead and wounded Israelis are not numerous enough to merit reporting by the media.

A woman robbed an 8 year old girl selling candy in San Francisco.

New York City Police are being sued by a woman arrested and held for 23 hours for recording police activity in public.

Sort-of actress Lindsay Lohan said she might leave the U.S. for good. We too,see good in that.

The Federal Department of Homeland Security is now out on the streets in an “outreach program.” Hmnn … How many cops do we need?

In Chicago, 3 teens brutally attacked a man as a crowd watched and filmed.

The OECD (Irganization for Economic Cooperation and Development) fears civil unrest as the middle class realizes how it has been swindled out of its wealth.

Copes reported a couple nailed for having sex on the roof of a Chipotle restaurant. We suppose that a Taco Bell would have been tacky …

The big anti-Israel protests now in France and  England  are hordes of Moslems in those countries, though not all reports seem to find it necessary to say that.

People are being assigned to the Federal government’s terrorist watch list increasingly indiscriminantly per reports; millions have now been listed with some 90% of those proposed, being added. We won’t suggest that the list is serving political purposes but if you wish to remain unlisted, we suggest that you prefer coffee over tea …

Some 2/3s of the kids illegally crossing the border are reportedly being granted asylum so that they can stay in the U.S.  And unsurprisingly, none of those being dumped into cities by the Feds, seem to be arriving anywhere there is a local Democrat facing a risky reelection. Who’d a thunk it! And even more remarkable, a governor has raised the question–in public–of how anybody thinks the services to all these illegal kids will be paid for. 

We have reached tonight’s dead end with this: A coroner’s van with evidently, an unlatched door, deposited a body on a gurney into an intersection on the street. RIP.

And so passeth another week; you can make up your mind, laugh … or weep!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Culture, Government, Politics | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments