Archive for the ‘war on sick people’ Category

Before WW2, a house was something you lived in. There were no 30 year mortgages — there were one year personal loans backed by property, which had to be renegotiated each year. These loans were for only up to 50% of the price of a home, so you had to save up at least 50% to buy a home. The end result was that most homes owned by regular working people were modest and often built by the people who lived in them. In the big cities, most housing was rental housing, though the burgeoning middle class could afford the new brownstone townhouses that were being built in places like New York City because they were relatively affordable.

Before WW2, once you bought a home, you expected to live in it for the rest of your life. You didn’t want its value to appreciate because that would result in higher property taxes. Houses were not piggy banks. They were not a savings instrument. They were a place to live.

Starting after WW2, you had Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and FHA loans and VA loans and so forth. The 50% deposit before the war became a 20% deposit, or even less with the FHA and VA loans. What this caused was housing inflation. With more money going into a fixed stock of housing, the price of housing rose. This in turn encouraged builders to build more housing, often better housing than the existing housing stock, which encouraged people to sell their current house and buy a bigger / better house. People started wanting the value of their home to appreciate because when they sold their current home and bought up to a better home, that meant they could buy a bigger / better house. Then once people reached retirement age, it meant they could buy a smaller house in a cheaper part of the country and bank all that appreciation as income for their retirement.

Sometime in the 1970’s, people who owned houses realized: If we don’t allow more houses to be built, demand for our houses will go up, and then we will be able to get more money when we sell our house! This realization didn’t happen nationwide. It happened mostly in affluent cities like San Francisco and New York City. NIMBY-ism became predominant in those cities. Anything that could cause a decline in the price of a house became basically illegal — including the construction of high density housing, the construction of housing for the poor or mentally ill, and so forth. And as the price of housing increased every year but no new homes were built, the poorest of the poor started being thrown out on the streets and told “Sorry, the American Dream is not for you. Live like a stray dog, not like a human being.”

So now the streets of major cities are clogged with homeless people, a large number of whom are mentally ill, who use the sidewalks as toilets because there are no public toilets, and the homeowners in these cities are outraged, outraged I say. But for some reason, their own part in this outrage never seems to occur to them. Strange, that, eh?

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I’d feel better about having a flexible schedule if the weather wasn’t so damned gloomy. It’s been cloudy and drizzling on and off every day since I started “sheltering in place” on March 13. My yard is starting to look like a jungle, but it’s too wet here in the Newark Swamp to do any kind of yard work unless I want to use my rubber boots. Yeesh.

I say this as water drips off my roof and falls to the ground. It’s drizzling *again*! Ugh, what’s the use of being at home if you can’t even get some daylight?!

So anyhow, my sourdough starter is bubbling away as I feed it twice per day. I’m having trouble regulating its temperature, the oven gets too warm when I put the light on and the starter gets overactive, then it gets too cool when I turn the light off. I’m thinking maybe open the oven door slightly while the light is on? Because of the cold damp weather outside, the house is usually pretty cool even during the daytime, much less at night when it gets down in the lower to mid 60’s inside. Too cool for yeast to do its job, anyhow.

I used some of the starter for pancakes this morning. They weren’t bad pancakes, but they were a bit tougher than I wanted too. I think the flour I’m using for the starter is a bit higher in gluten than the flour in the pancake mix I usually use, and I’ll need to add more egg to make it fluffier. Oh well.

About 40% of those hospitalized for COVID-19 are between ages 20 and 54. All these young fools out there partying like they can’t get COVID-19? Fucking #covidiots , that’s what they are. Not only are they spreading the virus, but they’re also getting sick themselves.

Nancy Pelosi unveils a $2.5 trillion dollar COVID-19 stimulus package aimed at bailing out ordinary Americans, not giant corporations. Which of course means it can’t happen. SIGH.

Trump suggests that we allow 8.5 million Americans to die in order to protect the stock market. This a day after Texas’s Republican Lt. Governor suggested that let’s kill granny in order to save the economy At this point the only difference between Republicans and Nazis is branding. Mass deaths are fine as long as they make money off of them. WTF?!

Of course, the problem is that 8.5 million sick old people in need of hospitalization, of whom 850,000 need ventilators would utterly overwhelm our healthcare system. We have around 825,000 beds total in our entire healthcare system, and on the average day around 750,000 of those are full. We have around 80,000 total ICU beds in the United states, and on the average day around 60,000 of those are full. We normally have around 62,000 ventilators of which normally around 50,000 are in use, and can surge maybe that many more older models if needed for around 130,000 ventilators total. So…. we’re talking about people on blankets in the streets outside of hospital doors because there isn’t even room on the floors to put more patients into the hospitals. We’re talking about hundreds of thousands of people gasping their last breaths like fish out of water because there’s no ventilators. And not all of these would be COVID-19 patients. If you’re in an auto accident and need emergency surgery to stay alive? Forget it. All the supplies, all the doctors, all the facilities are overwhelmed by people in front of you. So you just die. Have a stroke and need emergency surgery to put a stent in your brain to prevent further brain damage? Sorry, no doctors, no hospital beds, no supplies, you die. And so forth.

In other words, the Republican death cult wants to not only kill 8.5 million old people (who, remember, are their base, for fuck’s sake, it’s not that these Nazi-admiring motherfuckers are evil, it’s that they’re stupid evil who don’t even do evil that benefits them!), but they also want to kill hundreds of thousands of other people who need life-saving interventions on any given day. This is deranged. This is just fucking deranged. And evil. Let’s not forget evil. But hey, it’d save on Social Security and Medicare expenses in the future, right?

And that’s all for now. I’m going to go eat the last of the pulled pork and some brownies from the batch I baked on Sunday, then feed my sourdough starter, then go back to work. Tomorrow, eh?

– Badtux the Overeating Penguin

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So, today the Republicans held their one and only hearing on the latest Trumpcare atrocity, which would basically defund Medicaid, kick most older Americans off of their Obamacare health insurance, and otherwise kill lots and lots of Americans. So a bunch of disabled people in wheelchairs showed up courtesy of the Medicaid funds that keep them alive to protest the fact that Turtle Mitch’s cuts would kill them.

The Capitol Police dragged them all away, in some cases hauling them bodily out of their wheelchairs and dragging them down the hallway by their feet.

What brave manly men our Capitol Police are, man-handling crippled people like that in order to protect Turtle Mitch and Orin Hatch from the unseemly sight of the people they want to murder!

And what did our brave Republican Senators think about all of this? Well… they seemed bored. In fact, Sen. Bill Cassidy actually yawned as disabled people were ripped out of their wheelchairs and dragged away. Ho hum, just another person he wants to kill whining about not wanting to be killed. Nothing to interest a cold-blooded lizard person from planet Sociopath. Nope, nosirree, those aren’t fellow people, those are just prey as far as our cold-blooded sociopathic lizard overlords are concerned.

Symbolism more suited to what Trump’s America has become — a hard-hearted place where anybody who has the bad luck to become old or sick or disabled should just die, already — could not be devised by any number of Democratic think tanks. This is America, y’all. This is America — cops dragging disabled people out of hearings rather than letting their voices be heard. Because the disabled aren’t people, as far as the sociopaths leading our nation are concerned. The disabled — and hell, pretty much all of us — are prey.

– Badtux the Sociopath-smellin’ Penguin

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58% of Trump voters say higher education is bad for the country.

Fifty. Eight. Percent.

And this surprises me not at all. The worship of ignorance is rampant in the United States. Experts who’ve spent their lives studying and researching a subject have their expertise dismissed with a few pithy talking points by a bleach blonde Fox news bimbo, and millions believe her. Millions willingly embrace bizarre conspiracy theories like NASA is running a child slave colony on Mars or shape-shifting reptilian people control our world. Even the notion that the world is flat has taken on new life in the modern United States.

It’s no wonder, then, that so many of these pro-ignorance people willingly embrace fake news. They are so ignorant that they lack the fundamental knowledge to tell the difference between fake news and real news. And furthermore, they’re proud of their ignorance. None of that sissy intellectual stuff for them, nosirree! And science might contradict the Bible, so it’s clearly out too!

It’s not some foreign enemy that’s going to destroy the United States. It is the cult of ignorance that dominates the nation, where everybody thinks they’re an expert after a couple of Google queries turn up a few web sites. There’s no way that a population so ignorant, so hateful of education, can maintain or sustain an advanced economy. No way. In the end, the United States is going to collapse from within, hollowed out like a rotten apple by the ignorance of the people charged with keeping it intact.

– Badtux the Educated Penguin

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We should be grateful, I suppose. They could kill more, after all. It’s what cold-blooded lizard people from planet Sociopath do — come up with new and better ways to kill human beings, who they view as prey, not as fellow travelers in life.

So, the Congressional Budget Office has now scored the new Republican health care plan. Here’s what they conclude:

  1. Massive tax cuts for billionaires
  2. Massive tax hikes for non-billionaires (the “healthcare tax”, which may not be taken out of your paycheck by government, but it’s taken out of your paycheck nevertheless).
  3. 1/6th of the population uninsured as the individual health insurance marketplace goes into a *literal* death spiral and
    those on Medicaid lose their coverage.

    But hey, I’m sure all that money that the billionaires get as tax cuts will trickle down to the rest of us, just like it has during the past 30 years of stagnant or declining real salaries for white males… i.e., just like a two-story outhouse.

    Alrighty, then!

    – Badtux the Snarky Penguin

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And they kicked a blind woman and her guide dog off a plane because they didn’t want to re-seat her to someplace where her dog could sit on the floor in front of her. Despite the fact that the Americans with Disabilities Act says they have to accomodate her and re-seat her if a seat can be found.

But they’re American Airlines, which has a long history of violating the law regarding service dogs. They regularly harass and bully people and claim impunity. They have even continued this conduct after signing a consent decree saying they wouldn’t do it anymore.

This is, of course, a blatant violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, but they don’t care about the law, because they don’t have to — a federal government that is 100% owned by big corporations is refusing to enforce the law against said big corporations.

So in short, American Airlines is a criminal enterprise that refuses to obey the law, and the government refuses to enforce the law against it. That’s the sort of situation that leads to massive lawsuits or, if lawsuits have been barred by law, eventually leads to violent revolution. And violent revolution never ends up well for the country that does it. I can’t remember one that turned out well, whether it was the Russian Revolution that put the Communists in charge, or the Egyptian Revolution that put the Islamists then the Army in charge, all that happens is that the most violent win and then impose their will upon the rest of the people at gunpoint.

— Badtux the “These people are criminals” Penguin

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High Resistance, Medium Tolerance

That was the question asked by a right-winger who then went on to list all the good things that President Trump has supposedly done — some of which are things that liberals resist. But I figure I’ll answer his question, since it’s something we need to keep in mind:

We resist:

  1. The replacement of science with faith in our schools and in our government.
  2. The destruction of our public schools in favor of Bible schools.
  3. Removal of protections for endangered wildlife and attempts to exterminate gray wolves via removing them from the endangered species list.
  4. Removal of EPA funding for restoring endangered waterway like San Francisco Bay, the Great Lakes, and Cheseapeake Bay
  5. Attacks on women’s health and reproductive rights, such as removing funding from Planned Parenthood.
  6. Attacks on voting rights, especially attacks that target minorities, the elderly, and the poor such as voter ID laws that are proven to suppress the votes in those constituencies.
  7. Attacks on free speech rights by those who wish to outlaw protest and dissent.
  8. Attacks on Jews and Muslims such as the recent burnings of Muslim community centers and bomb threats against Jewish community centers.
  9. Removal of health care from millions of Americans including essentially ending Medicaid over time by capping how much money can be spent on it.
  10. We resist tax cuts for the rich and tax hikes for the poor.
  11. We resist increases in corporate welfare for defense companies at the same time as decreasing funding for food for the working poor including, well, a lot of those same soldiers that Trump says he cares about.
  12. We resist attempts to outlaw many contracts between worker-owned labor cooperatives (“unions”) and corporations via so-called “right to work” laws.
  13. We resist attempts by fucking Nazis to hijack the public discourse. And possibly worse, if we don’t stop them.
  14. And so on and so forth.

In short: Wherever there is a proposal by the Trump administration that hurts the poor, hurts working people, hurts the environment, hurts women’s rights, hurts the rights of minorities, hurts the rights of people of the rainbow (sorry, I don’t know all the letters in the latest acronym for all those of alternate sexualities), that furthers hate and bigotry against entire classes of people, we resist it. The above is just the first 6 weeks of what we’ve resisted. It looks like we have close to four more years of this shit. SIGH.

– Badtux the Resistance Penguin

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Bakersfield is the armpit of California. It’s full of inbred Okies and ignorance, and the most violent police forces in the nation.

And they’re up to their old tricks again, shooting dead an unarmed 73 year old man suffering from dementia as he stood in a neighbor’s driveway. It was 12:30am. A police officer responded to a call of a suspicious character lurking about. The officer asked, “where is he?” and a bystander pointed at Francisco Serna. The officer immediately pulled his gun and emptied his magazine into Serna. No attempt to interact with Serna. No cautious approach with gun aimed waiting to see if Serna was armed. Just bambambambambbam dead.

The family says they’re missing a crucifix and they think Serna might have been holding it when he was shot. Jesus Christ on a fucking stick, the cop literally shot Jesus on a stick?! But all of that is speculation right now. All we know for sure is that a 73 year old man wandered out of his house and a neighbor called the cops about a suspicious character roaming around… and a police officer killed him.

And that’s all we’ll *ever* know, because like police officers everywhere in these United States, cops in Bakersfield, like 007, have a license to kill. The officer who did this will claim “I thought he had a gun” and, if it ever goes before a jury, will skate. Because those brown people are scary. And the beat goes on.

– Badtux the Disgusted Penguin

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So, there was this dude in Ohio, Esten Ciboro, who protested Target allowing transwomen to use the women’s room. He said it would lead to a situation where women could be raped and abused by men entering the women’s restroom. Despite the fact that transwomen, well, don’t do that.

So Ciboro and his father were just arrested for keeping a 13 year old girl chained in their basement.

Why am I not surprised? There’s only one kind of person who obsesses about deviant sex day and night, and the way to describe that person isn’t “normal”. I wouldn’t trust one of these “anti-gay” or “anti-trans” types who spend so much time obsessing about gay or trans people unsupervised near pets or small children, with good reason. Stories like this just reiterate that reason.

Meanwhile, happy Memorial Day to all the veterans that the United States has deported. U S A! U S A! Woot yeah!

So, moving on, of course Donald Trump backed out of his proposed debate with Bernie. History has shown that chickens should beware of men named Sanders, after all. (Ba da SHOOSH!).

And I was going to talk about mental health treatment in America but ran out of time. So here’s a couple of links to read:

Mentally ill man kept in solitary confinement for 1001 days in prisoner rather than given proper mental health treatment.
Parents of mentally ill girl, having no idea what to do with her after she is released from a mental health facility in the St. Louis area, lock her in a room except for limited periods to use the restroom and eat food.

Should we blame the mentally ill man for the solitary confinement? No, you can blame the fact that he’s mentally ill for his lack of control. Hearing voices since age 6? Dude. If we had a society that was worth a damn, he would have been getting intensive psychiatric help for the past 17 years of his life, not solitary confinement and a psychiatrist talking to him once a month and a month’s worth of psychiatric pills when he got out. But hey, it’s easier to believe that we can punish the mentally ill into not being mentally ill. Costs less money right, and lets us feel better about the fact that we’re a vicious vindictive mean-spirited nation, and when did that happen anyhow, it wasn’t true when I was a child forty years ago…

– Badtux the Disgusted Penguin

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… is a good guy with a gun. Alas.

Relatives of Nicholas Robertson are upset that cops killed Mr. Robertson as he was pointing his gun towards innocent civilians. There is video footage and other photographic evidence of him doing so — even after the police had shot him down to the point where he was crawling he was still holding the gun and pointing it towards civilians. So the relatives are wailing “they should have tasered him or something!” and whine that the gun wasn’t pointing at the cops so they had no call to shoot him down. I’m sorry, people. When someone is holding a gun and has fired it and is refusing to drop it, the time for tasering has long departed. There is only one solution to a man with a gun who refuses to drop it when ordered to do so by the police, and that’s a good guy with a gun doing what’s necessary to eliminate the threat to the public. Regardless of whether the gun is pointed at the cops or not.

I’m not an apologist for bad cops, as should be obvious from past, but this was not bad cops, this was cops doing their job, which was to protect the public from a crazy man with a gun who was shooting it in a way that could harm the public. In that case the safety of the public comes first, the safety of the cops comes second, and the safety of the crazy man with a gun comes last and least. These cops had their priorities right and did the job they were hired to do.

I’m sure we’ll find that Mr. Robertson had mental health issues. He probably could have been saved if he’d received proper treatment for his mental illness rather than being subject to the current US mental health system, which is a buncha handwringing about how nothing can be done unless the mentally ill are voluntarily coming in for treatment, which is kinda hard to do if you’re mentally ill and thus can’t think straight enough to realize you need treatment (doh!). There’s other countries where he would have been assigned an intervention counsellor who would have insured that he received treatment and make sure he got time in an institution if he quit taking his meds, etc. But we don’t do any of that here in the USA because Freedom(tm) as well as the fact that we just plain don’t want to spend the money on medical treatment for the poor (crazy people generally *are* poor, if they weren’t poor to begin with they got poor when they got fired because they were acting crazy). And then we make it ridiculously easy to get guns, and they do, and so.

But all of that is just background that the cops absolutely know, but it doesn’t change their responsibility, which is to protect the general public by whatever means necessary. When you have a crazy guy off his meds waving a gun around, and he absolutely refuses to drop the gun and is pointing it all over including in the direction of innocent civilians, you do what you have to do if you’re a police officer. Because that’s what a police officer’s job is — to protect the lives of the uninvolved innocents first and foremost, themselves second, and the life of the man with the gun last and least. That’s why we pay them — to protect us, the innocent general public. And that’s what they did.

– Badtux the Reality-based Penguin

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