Monthly Archives: November 2013

Random Sarcasm

In this new feature, I will snark about absurd things that are going ’round the web.

When Democrats in New Hampshire attack Harvard-educated Marilinda Garcia and call her stupid, it’s not racist or a war on women.  Marilinda is young, female, gorgeous, smart, has an Ivy League degree, Hispanic, and has the temerity to be an outspoken conservative. Of course they are going to rip her to shreds.

Liberals in San Francisco want to increase multi-family homes in order to save the planet. I’ll believe that it’s an idea worth considering once Al Gore moves into a duplex. Until then, it’s one standard for the powers-that-be and another for us peasants.

Failure is always an option, engineers say.  I can understand if a liberal arts graduate doesn’t know how to perform a statistical analysis of the likelihood of failure or understands how to compound error; what I cannot understand is how these people have never heard of the Challenger, the Titanic, the Hindenburg, or the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. (Of course, no disrespect meant to the scientists and engineers who designed any of those things – sorry to compare y’all to the ObamaCare website designers.)

Boston.com wrote this lede (link deliberately omitted) regarding the Sandy Hook tragedy:

Newtown elementary school shooter Adam Lanza had a strained relationship with both parents, to the point where they communicated with him only by e-mail, a newly released report found. Read more details about Lanza’s life and obsessions.

You know, there are a lot of things on my to-do list, but one of them is not glorifying a killer who slaughtered innocent little kids who were barely old enough to go to the bathroom on their own.  Just a personal quirk of mine.

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Fleeting Beauty: Valerie Baber Edition

Valerie Baber, a prostitute who was employed by the Emperor’s Choice company that also employed Ashley Dupree, wrote a confessional about her experience. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)  In an attempt to justify her actions, Baber wrote:

Having spent so much time in a position that allowed men to unload, I was often exposed to a uniquely honest perspective that most women never experience. Kind of like a reverse priest. What my clients revealed to me about sex, love and relationships is something I’m truly thankful for. Men aren’t pigs. Like women, they just need to be appreciated, loved, listened to and not judged. They need to be touched and adored. They need to be with someone who puts effort into maintaining all the things that attracted them in the first place. It seems simple enough, but these things so often go neglected by their wives and partners.

Oh, honey. If you think that old men were paying $1,500 an hour to screw you and other twenty-somethings because of your legendary empathy, you’re all sorts of delusional.  While some of your customer’s wives may be cold or uncaring, many of them have committed no marital sin save for not being an eternally supple, firm-breasted female version of Dorian Gray.

I have little desire to convince Baber that her choices were bad; life will do a far better job.  Valerie Baber will age, just like the wronged wives, and she will find out the hard way that it’s easier to “maintain[] all the things that attracted [him] in the first place” at age twenty-six than age forty-six.

Let us know, Val, how “simple” it is to remain young and hot when you’re fifty.  Write it in the same article denouncing extra-martial sex when you find your husband in the arms of a hot young thing – or maybe the article wherein you complain about your husband throwing your past in your face when he justifies cheating on you.

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Filed under Miscellanea

Deck: 1, bridget: 0

For those who know me “in real  life,” I am back to my accident-prone ways. Last week, I took this to new heights by falling through a deck. Well, my right leg fell through the deck, and thankfully, the rest of me stayed aboveboard.  Here is a photo of some of the damage:

Leg after deck

It’s certainly a far cry from the unscathed legs praised by Bob Belvedere. There is also a fairly spectacular bruise – purple, wine-red, and green, all at once – just under and to the left of my knee. For the record, the scar on my shin is from the second time I was hit by a car.

 

 

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In which I partially agree with Amy Gutman

Amy Gutman writes about the Emily Yoffe tempest in a teapot for WBUR’s Congoscenti. Emily Yoffe correctly pointed out that young women put themselves at risk for sexual assault when they get black-out drunk or do foolish things like try to match a man drink-for-drink.  (I wrote about this here.)  Gutman agrees with some of what Yoffe said, but then adds this:

This isn’t to say that I’m on board with everything Yoffe says. Indeed, I was struck by one significant way that the women-in-short skirts analogy does hold up — and that is in Yoffe’s deference to male perceptions. There is a world of difference between saying: “Don’t get drunk because men will look at you and see a vulnerable woman,” as Yoffe repeatedly suggests, and “Don’t drink because it strips you of agency — the power to think and act on your own behalf.” The former positions us as objects, to adopt the language of proto-feminist Simone de Beauvoir; the latter positions us as subjects. The latter is, at heart, a feminist stance. And it is where I stand.

Sorry, Amy Gutman, but there is not a world of difference between your position and Yoffe’s: the reason that men see drunk women as vulnerable is because – drumroll – drunk women have lost their agency, i.e. “the power to think and act on [their] own behalf.”

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Legislation should begin in the legislature: why separation of powers matters

When Obama declared that insurers may continue to offer the same plans that they had offered last year (i.e. a pseudo-executive order stating that a particular key provision of an act will not be enforced by the Executive branch), there was a lot of snark about Obama as a grand King, not one branch of government. Nothing against snark, especially when it comes from Mark Steyn, nor against an analysis of the constitutionality (or lack thereof) of this “fix”, but there is a reason why legislation ought to originate in the legislature and not via executive fiat: nuance.

Insurance companies rightly state that compliance with this law is an absolute disaster – if they are even able to manage it. This is not divorced from the fact that these rules are coming from an unconstitutional executive fiat; rather, the problems are part and parcel of coming from sounds-good magic wand waving, not carefully considered legislation.

Had the Congress considered such a rule (and it is, in the Upton and Landrieu bills), it would have subcommittee hearings in which insurance companies would rationally discuss the difficulties in implementing such a law on short notice, the regulations that are simply not possible to comply with, and the costs of undoing this particular provision. They can also discuss how it will affect the rest of the insurance market and how to get insurance to those who already lost it.  However, when ‘laws’ are made by executive fiat, there is no blueprint for implementing them, input from industry as to costs and feasibility, and potential hazards.

“But Bridget, you don’t know the specific challenges that insurance companies might face and whether they are just using this as an excuse to dump sick people!” you say. But guess what? Obama doesn’t know the full ramifications of this either. I’m just a blogger; he’s the Executive, Legislature, and Judicial branch, all rolled into one incompetent mess.  It was said about Socrates that he was the wisest man in the world, for he knew what he did not know. By that standard, Obama is a dumbass: by all appearances, it never crosses his mind that there are many things – important things – that he does not know and needs to know.

Part of the legislative process is to find out what you don’t know and could not have known.  It’s not just that Obama usurped this function; he did away with it entirely.

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Filed under Economics, Law, ObamaCare

“That’s reparations paid by women for their defeat in the sexual revolution”

Via Da Tech Guy, a discussion on how women in this liberal paradise are selling themselves to older men for health insurance and are being treated like sex objects in ads to promote ObamaCare.  His pithy comment at the end – the title of this post- encapsulates the heart of this problem: women lost the sexual revolution.  This is an actual ad designed by a liberal group to promote ObamaCare:

GotInsurance

Young women of the world, have you lost your minds? Your generation has more opportunities, education, but also debt than any other in history, and your big concern is getting a guy in the sack? I don’t know if you know this, but back in the woman-hating twentieth century, you weren’t the one worried about whether or not a guy was eager.  He was worried, and he worked darn hard to get you in bed: flowers, dinner, coffee, meeting your parents, hugs when your life was down, an engagement ring, and a promise before your family, friends, priest, and God to love you until the end of his days.

But now you are simpering at his feet, begging him to ‘do you’? How the mighty have fallen.

Please don’t try to tell me that hook-ups are empowering.  Citing ‘new research’ which confirms what human beings have known since the dawn of time, the New York Times informs us that  hook-ups are much more sexually fulfilling for men than for women, and women only begin to close the gap in long-term, loving, committed relationships.  The last two paragraphs are classic:

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Why Insurance should be Insurance

The NY Post has detailed how ObamaCare harms the sickest people who can benefit the most from high-quality, albeit expensive, care. In order to save money and comply with various regulatory mandates (e.g. three “free” doctor’s visits per year, “free” contraception, mandatory coverage of those with preexisting conditions), insurance companies are limiting their networks and increasing deductibles for life-saving drugs.

The Post interviewed Michael Cerpok, a leukemia patient in Arizona who had received treatment at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota under his old health insurance plan. ObamaCare forced the insurance company to eliminate that plan; the Mayo Clinic is no longer in his network, and he will have to pay $26,000 in out-of-pocket expenses to keep his physician. (He paid $4,500 last year.)  If Mr. Cerpok is like other cancer patients, his monthly prescription bills will go from $70 to more than $2,500.

Take Michael Cerpok, a leukemia survivor in Fountain Hills, Ariz. Right now, his monthly premium is about half his monthly take-home pay. But the ObamaCare law forced his insurer to kill that plan for one that fits the law’s rules.

Now he’ll have to pay more for drugs, and his Mayo Clinic doctor is no longer in his network.

Last year, his treatment bill was more than $350,000, but thanks to insurance his out-of-pocket was only $4,500. Now, to keep his doctor, the one who has kept him alive for seven years, Cerpok will have to pay $26,000 out-of-pocket.

ObamaCare also stints on drug coverage, severely limiting the medicines plans cover. Many pre-Obama plans just charged a co-pay of about $50-70 a month for cancer drugs. Under ObamaCare, thousands of cancer patients will have to pay more than $2,500 a month for medicines.

Final question: why do single-payer advocates think that a system run by the U.S. government would be any less stingy?  It lacks the competitive forces of a free market and is subject to the same far worse financial constraints. The government must operate within a budget, but its current budget must account for $17 trillion worth of debt.

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Filed under Economics, ObamaCare

The cost of waking up in the morning

The Atlantic has an article about the start-up scene in Obama, Nebraska.  Yep, Omaha: land of inexpensive rent, low overhead, and a business-friendly environment. Millenials are flocking to the city to live the dream: their own business, or stability at a Fortune 500 company, their own home, and the ability to save some money.

One of the problems with modern life is that it’s really expensive to get out of bed in the morning.  By that, I mean non-negotiable, everyday expenses that are a part of being alive: housing, food, gas to go buy your food, electricity, oil if you have a furnace, and health insurance or health care. That is before we’ve had any fun, paid off any student loans or other debt, or even driven to our jobs.

The more money that you funnel into any one aspect of living, the less there is for others.  Omaha is thriving because it doesn’t force people to spend a bunch of money just to be alive: cheap housing, food, and schooling ensures that people can make a living on less money, or a better living on the same money.

Contrast that with modern day economic policy in Washington: a system designed to funnel all of our money into housing, education, and health care. The cost of getting out of bed in Obama’s America is far higher than it is in Omaha, Nebraska, and that isn’t going any favours for anyone.

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ObamaCare: blue-collar workers pay for Ivy League PhDs!

An Albuquerque-based couple gave up their lucrative, stable careers to become artists – artists who make a combined $24,000 per year. (Hat tip: Legal Insurrection.) Mark Horst has a Ph.D. in theology from Yale University; his wife, Elizabeth, has a Yale degree and had a psychology practise before she gave it up to paint. If a power couple wants to drop out of the rat race and live the life of artists in genteel poverty, more power to them. Unfortunately for the rest of us working schlubs, they are getting free health care via ObamaCare.

If I wanted to support the Horst family and help them pay for their health care, I would purchase some of their wares. If they are terrible artists and couldn’t find people to buy their stuff, or couldn’t charge enough for their things to create a living wage for themselves, they could work during the day and create art in their free time.

Many of us would love to get out of the rat race, move into the desert, and spend our days painting and throwing pottery. We remain in the working world not out of a lack of enlightenment, but rather a desire to provide for ourselves and our families. As unglamourous as it sounds, we need people to scrub toilets, pick up the trash, run electrical wires through our houses, deliver food and goods to stores, grow crops, build computers, write our estate plans, and generally do all the things that an advanced society needs to be done.  This “enlightened, progressive” system we have mandates that people who do tedious or messy jobs, solely to earn a living, are forced to become patrons of the arts, without even the benefit of a painting or a mug.

Some of the evil of socialism is that we become our brother’s micromanagers. In a capitalist society, no one cares what the Horst Family, Ph.D., does with its time; in a society wherein we must pay for their decisions, we have a very vested interest in telling them to stop clowning around and get a real job.

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Filed under Economics, ObamaCare

Corporations are like people

At least isofar as they make the very same economic decisions that you and I make.

There was a Facebook discussion about Edie Sundby, United Health, and ObamaCare. (Quick overview: Ms. Sundby has Stage IV cancer. ObamaCare resulted in the cancellation of her plan; her only other options are more expensive and do not cover all of her physicians. The White House took to the ‘net to denounce her article.) Someone said that Ms. Sundby’s insurer, United Health, had long wanted to get out of the individual insurance market and that ObamaCare is the excuse; he said, “Seems like United Healthcare was just protecting their bottom line.”

Of course they were protecting their bottom line – and they should protect their bottom line. Insurance companies cannot long exist without protecting their bottom lines; if they don’t, they will run out of money and cease to operate.   Your household must “protect its bottom line” unless filing for personal bankruptcy is your thing.

Back in the dark ages, I worked for Kaplan. Once they changed their mileage reimbursement schedules, I stopped teaching classes that were far away from home. As I explained to anyone who asked, if I made a 90-mile round trip to teach, it would take me approximately two to three hours and would require about 3.5 gallons of gasoline. For my commute, I would receive an extra $15 in salary. My teaching salary plus the bonus, minus taxes and gasoline, divided by the number of hours that I would be away from home, would result in a wage of about $7/hour.

Everyone understands when the ‘corporation’ of Bridget’s Household finds alternate ways of making money or decides that the “profit margin” is too small to be worthwhile.  Pray tell, why would an actual corporation behave any differently? If a formerly profitable enterprise becomes a huge PITA, corporations will either not engage in that particular activity or will find a new way of earning money. It is no more nefarious when they do it than when you do it.

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