Ok. The bastards win. I've tried, but I just can't hang. Ain't no way the Focus can carry all the crap I've accumulated, but the sun ain't setting on me in Minneapolis this evening. Sorry, Hanne, I'll try to catch you on the flip side.
One of the things motivating this desire to motorvate?
But the Castro-worship just fascinates me. Why? Some applaud the way he thumbs his nose at the US, which always strikes a certain crowd as the hallmark of integrity; if you wrap your derision in the big red flag you'll always have a claque of bootlickers eager to excuse whatever you do. (The enemy of my enemy is my President for Life.) The usual gang of collectivists admire the way he organizes society from the top down to the city block, because they love power; they love force; they have a romantic attachment to anyone who uses the cudgel to hasten the arrival of heaven on earth. My favorite defense, though, is "free health care" and "literacy."
Yep, health care is seriously overrated. Why, even the paper Lileks writes for says so:
The number of Americans without health insurance was back on the rise last year as soaring health-care costs and higher unemployment rates reversed two years of gains, according to a Census Bureau report being released today.
The number of uninsured reached 41.2 million people, up 1.4 million from 2000. Overall, the share of uninsured Americans grew last year to 14.6 percent, up four-tenths of a percentage point from 2000.
[. . .] Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, a health-care consumer group, said the trend "all but guarantees that the number of uninsured people will skyrocket in the next few years." Chief among the causes, he said, are rising health-care costs, state cutbacks in Medicaid, unemployment increases and employer decisions to pass along most costs to workers.
Uninsured rates varied dramatically across the nation. In a three-year average measurement of people lacking health insurance for the entire year, Rhode Island had the lowest rate, at 7.2 percent. New Mexico was highest, at 23.2 percent.
[. . .] Medicaid, the state-federal partnership that provides coverage to many poor people, picked up much of the slack.
But that surge has proved extremely costly to many state budgets, and governors and state assemblies have been moving to limit those losses.
For "limit those losses" read "let people die."
Hard to track, yes -- can you say for sure that someone would have lived if they'd seen a doctor earlier, instead of waiting until the last minute and heading to the emergency room? -- but that's one of the benefits of our system. It's hard to quantify some of the shitty stuff. Convenient, no?
On the other hand, breast augmentation surgery is at an all-time high. See? Our system works for the important things.
And it ain't even worth talking about the Cult of Personality surrounding the unelected frat boy in the White House. How many rounds of "rope-a-dope" is the guy supposed to be willing to take?
Back to Lileks:
Take the second one first. There's no excuse for not being literate in America. Oh, we could impose literacy on the illiterate here, but it wouldn't be pretty. We could make English proficiency a requirement for jobs, institute nationwide standards for graduation that mandated a high degree of literacy - and made the students' fulfillment of those standards a criterion for advancement in the educational establishment.
I'm not sure what to say to that, other than suggesting that maybe, ju-u-u-st maybe, the man should move outside the suburban white middle-class circle he clearly hangs in. After all, that almost sounds like he doesn't think limited English proficiency or illiteracy are problems for people seeking jobs or attending school in this country.
Spare me the jokes about your Chinese calculus TA. Heard 'em, didn't find 'em funny the first time. And isn't there a movement to make English the Official Language? Or did they kill themselves the last time a comet flew by?
I can never keep all them cults straight.
Have to leave what little furniture there is behind, obviously. The futon is the standard, cheap frame and the pad is probably due to be replaced anyway, it's been a little over a year. The kitchen table and chairs are from Ikea, so I'd spend more in gas moving them that it'd be to get another set. . .