Tuesday, September 6, 2016

September 6 Link Log

Categories: Animals, Book, Crafts, Cybersecurity, Nice Things, Obamacare, Politics, Women's History.


Y'know I was tired of this story about two weeks ago, but Piers Morgan is acting so idiotic...Animals who live with humans as pets are in a different category, morally and (in the Bible) legally, than either wild animals or animals humans raise for food. Killing an animal for food is part of life in our omnivorous predatory species; killing a wild animal may be necessary to protect humans (and pets); killing a pet is, simply, murder. "The man that hath done this thing shall surely die."



Here's a cute animal story...fantasy, of course, but real animals do sometimes form cross-species friendships and anything that promotes the Sloth Sanctuary is probably a nice thing.



Terribly cute crafts by a young person who has to look forward to increasing disability...



For those who think I'm fanatical about never letting anyone see my Social Security number until they start paying Social Security taxes for me...I would have thought the IRS could keep this data private if anyone could. Apparently they can't. But I'm not even worried about the fact that most of our illegal immigration involves people from countries--Latin American, or Arab--where lots of people look enough like me that, if they'd stolen my driver's license, all anyone would say would be "Yeah, it's a bad picture but I believe it's you," and those people are apparently quite likely to stumble across all the information I have on file with the IRS. I don't intend to draw money out of Social Security unless I'm well and truly disabled, in any case, and don't expect the money to be there by that time if I do need it, so what do I care if some poor hardworking illegal dishwasher is adding funds to "my" Social Security account. The possibility that really makes me feel fanatical about privacy is having my identity stolen by terrorists.



Somebody out there wanted to be very nice about a nice father doing a nice thing with his nice child.



Over the weekend, a bit of my past rose up to haunt me. Yes, I wrote this article. I think it deserves to stay up for historical reasons...but the way I wrote part of it was all wrong. During the twentieth century the Veterans Administration had had the cash-based system I described in the post. I'd helped my father negotiate his payments within that system, and been glad that it had served him well. Around the turn of the century they switched to the insurance-based system which, I've been reading since 2013, has served many other veterans very, very badly. I owe everyone an apology for this post, even though its basic idea, that we need a national medical care system that's based on cash payments rather than on the insurance racket, is still sound. I stand by that.



Scott Adams has an interesting take on this issue, anyway...For me, the interesting part is that Trump neither scares nor repels me for the reasons Scott Adams lists here. The New York accent/manner...ahhh, get real, y'know I used to belong to a church where the minister talked that way? What bothers me about the #BankruptcyBillionnaire is (1) that he is a Bankruptcy Billionnaire, which is to say a jerk; and (2) that the only way he could possibly have got this far with his campaign is by being connected to the same (very nasty, very scary) people to whom the Clintons are connected (which is the only way anyone who's pled brain damage, under oath, twice, could've had a prayer of being backed by a major party either). This is not an election between candidates who have been or can be supported by "We The People." We watched them; we voted for them in the primaries; we watched electronic polls push the two most hopeless candidates in the election, arguably even including Chris Christie, ahead of all the people we actually liked.  This is an election between two democratically unelectable candidates who are being propelled by sneaky back-room interests. (That Bill Clinton will be closely advising either one of them is a clue. Bill Clinton may be more of a big extroverted oaf than an evildoer, but nobody's ever said even that much in favor of some of his backers.) I find that scary, and depressing.


Women's Issues 

Phyllis Schlafly...rest in peace. The irony about this woman's story is that, while she was opposing so many of the specific ideas of so many of the women who were making the noise about being feminists--while she was gleefully embracing the label of "anti-feminist"--she was a feminist to the core. She never once "settled for just being a wife and mother." She was tougher, smarter, and more active than most of the men with whom she dealt, and she knew it, and they knew it. She had a very active career, both during and after her "motherhood" (and grandmotherhood) years; she made her own decisions and earned her own money. She was a (conservative) feminist heroine.

Margaret Atwood used this irony in The Handmaid's Tale. My mother, who wasn't a writer but had a good sense of irony, thought Schlafly was "acting sooo dumb." I read several of Schlafly's books and disagreed predictably with much that was in them...but during the school choice movement I was glad she was on our side.


And if you think this book is out of date...read it again and see. Yes, it's testimony given in the 1980s about things being done in the 1970s. But yes, due to the wonderfully ironic way the so-called "progressives" have bogged down in ideas that failed a hundred years ago, some of the same bad ideas have resurfaced in "Common Core."

Meanwhile...I don't know. I can (sort of) understand why a legally Black husband of a legally White wife would want to use "multiracial" (not "biracial," as reported in the headline) as a theme in a fashion show. People my age in the U.S. grew up hearing that "half-breeds" were funny-looking, ugly, probably not healthy, and unlikely to be accepted by either group. And then some of us had to wrap our brains around the fact that, despite having been told we belonged to only one race, we were in fact biracial...and around that time some of us were also wrapping our brains around the phenomenon of Michael Jackson...and the effect on some of us is that, to this day, we still look at people like President Obama and say, with a kind of pride that nobody who'd grown up in a sane society could ever understand, "He's triracial!" So I feel empathy for Kanye West, even though I can also empathize with the indignant Black models...who, I suspect, are in fact at least biracial, themselves. Many people who identify themselves as Black Americans would be surprised to hear that in some parts of Africa they're classified as "American" and therefore as "White" or "mixed," as obviously-different-from-purebred-Africans. As a guess I'd say that, if they happen to be models, these people should talk to Kanye West's people about celebrating the different strands in their own DNA, whether their predominant look is African, Asian, European, American, or any combination thereof. Because, if people go so far as to take an actual DNA test, 99% of humankind are multiracial. Before our current notions of race were invented, our ancestors got around.