The Right To Go To Hell a Blast From the Past from February 2019

*More applicable than ever now when those few of us somewhat at risk are being prevented from taking our chances with a new type of common cold and paying the the price in complete economic destruction and underhanded seizure of private property — what do you think ruining city real estate values and destroying businesses is? — and while maniacs are blaming invisible monsters of oppression for individual actions and wanting to destroy all of society the name of Marxism. It’s time to stop that sh*t. Only individuals have rights, and among individual rights are “to be able to make choices the bien pensant disapprove of.- SAH.*


The left is very adamant about charity not coming “with a sermon.”  It is most of their excuse for wanting government not churches to preach.

But while I understand the convinced Christian’s need to preach and to save everyone from hell, which if you believe it is an eternal sentence and an awful one is mere human decency, I don’t understand the left’s similar need to ensure that everyone lives “a decent life” by its lights.

They refuse to understand that just as people are entitled to disbelieve and deny eternal salvation (and if you’re a Christian you know they are entitled to that. It’s called free will. Just as they’re entitled to sin. Doesn’t make it right. They’re still entitled to it. You can’t force anyone to be holy) they can refuse to live a middle class life. (Or better. The left keeps imagining that middle class is much further up than it is. Possibly because so many of them these days are spoiled rich kids.)

This came to mind last night, thinking of someone in the comments (sorry, I don’t remember the name) who said that maybe 10% of the homeless were aggressive and dangers to themselves and others.  Others simply were mentally ill or caught in the trap of child support but behaved like decent human beings.

The child support thing is iniquitous, and usually on both sides.  No, seriously. Women on the make will drive a man to ruin to finance her lifestyle in the name of “the children.”  Men on the make still find ways not to pay, and if the woman is decent and doesn’t want to turn her kids’ life into unending strife she ends up living in poverty to provide for the kid. I’ve known this on both sides, partly because it’s impossible for a judge to adjudicate fairly without truly knowing the parties involved. Partly because scammers gonna scam.  (It’s almost like no-fault divorce and marriage as a transitory fancy is a bad idea particularly when there are children involved. Never mind.)

The mental health… I’m fairly sure there are still services available should someone need them and know how to look.  And perhaps without the noise of the violent it would be easier for those people to find help.

But I still wonder if the mental health issues are such. And I wonder about other things like “but what if people just want to live like that?”

I have learned through rather bitter experience that you can’t help everyone and also that what you want for yourself and your life is not what other people want. Some people will do the absolute minimum to keep a roof over head and food on the table, even if the roof is leaky and substandard, and the food is whatever and they never do any house keeping and live in what can only be described as utter squalor.

I found long ago that given the absolute same income as someone else, we tend to live better.  Why? because we work beyond the money we have.  I don’t mean just that we work to get out of that level of poverty, I mean that we will trade time for the money we don’t have.

So, when my husband was the sole provider because my writing wasn’t selling yet, I made a lot of my clothes, refinished furniture and, of course, cooked absolutely everything from scratch.  Other than our cars, which we always bought used and fully paid for and drove into the ground, we easily kept up with our dual income friends.  Why? Well, not child care was part of it, but furniture, clothes and food were the other part. It’s just cheaper to do for yourself.

It was also a massive amount of work. Particularly since I was trying to break into writing, and was getting up every day at five am to write for two hours before the routine with the kids started.  I remember years of being short on sleep and going to bed with a long list of work that still needed to be done and I hadn’t got to in my head.

Was it worth it? Well, it was for me. I don’t like living in squalor.  I wanted nice furniture and a nice, clean house.  And I wanted my kids to have good food.

All of which amounts to: it was for me. It might not be for someone else.

It took me forever to figure this out. Let’s say the dime only dropped in the last ten years.  So, I kind of get the left not “getting” it.

Partly because if you come from a background where everyone worked a lot all the time to secure the best lifestyle they could, it’s almost impossible to visualize someone wanting to live in what we’d consider unacceptable circumstances.  Or perhaps not even “wanting” as fundamentally not being willing to pay the price to get a better situation.

Look, I’m not even a hundred percent sure of that last one.  We tried for decades with someone, and everything you gave that would bring a better life got either broken or ignored or thrown away.  Perhaps there is a Petersonian thing there, of people believing they only deserve to live at a certain level and anything above that making them uncomfortable. (Peterson says in terms of people not taking necessary meds, etc, that having seen our own brokenness and that we’re often untruthful and evil — even when we don’t mean to be — we think we don’t deserve to be well, etc.)

Or perhaps it is simply that doing anything, even using the thing that makes it easier is too much effort.

I’ve said before that I think the vast majority of people don’t feel the need to work above a subsistence level and that those of us who do are the mutants.  I still believe so. In evolutionary terms, if you continued hunting after you had mammoth in your cave, you were just going to deplete the game and end up starving eventually.

That’s not the way it works now, but the human brain is not a thing of the industrial revolution.

I believe a great number of the people who live in “chronic poverty” are in fact at the level at which they wish to be/the level for which they’re willing to work.  The left keeps coming up with increasingly fancier explanations, which are now devolving to “invisible demons” of oppression (seriously, in our society? Besides, if societal disapproval caused you to be poor, then a lot of gay people would be historically poor, instead of statistically at the top.)

It never occurred to me that a lot of people who are “homeless” might fall into the same category.  By which I mean the ones who aren’t crazy, addicted or dangerous to others.  Maybe what they have and what they do is the level they wish to live at.  Or at least it’s comfortable enough they don’t wish to do anything to get out of it.  But it makes sense.  After all, by the numbers, these people already live better than your average medieval peasant.  At which point, honesty, my only problem with their choice is whatever help they get that is non voluntary, i.e. taxation, not private charity.  If they’re living like that and it’s their choice, and they’re wholly financed by private charity? Don’t care. None of my business.  Everyone has the right to go to hell in the way of their choice.

What disturbs me about the left’s inability to recognize that choice is that those choices end up being financed from my purse, and the purse of the others who choose to work.  That they are in fact holding up a gun to the heads of working fathers and mothers and demanding money to keep people who (what was Occasional Cortex’s cutesy phrase, exactly, I can’t remember) “aren’t willing to work” in the level of comfort they are okay with.

And then the fact that those people aren’t living at what the left thinks American middle class level should be, in a decently ecologically approved house, with the car and the organic meals and full health insurance, the left will come back and demand more.  More and more money to pour down the hole of trying to change people’s choice on what they consider an acceptable level of comfort and living.  What they aren’t willing to work to get out of.  What, in fact, they’ll preserve if they get more “help” by doing even less to help themselves.

That’s what I object to. I object to the use of people’s choices to blackmail other people out of theirs.

I object to this holy crusade of the left that turns anyone who has less than you into a de-facto saint who needs to be championed, while you need to be tormented because you worked (or your ancestors did) to get to a level you consider acceptable.

I object to this Christian heresy with no redemption, no hope, no future, and no one being good or holy except those who envy and live at the expense of others.

I don’t think there’s ever been a civilization as rich as ours, but even in rich civilizations of the past, there were people who lived at all levels. And though social motility was smaller or slower or hidden, it was possible.  It could happen. It might take multiple generations and grim determination, but it happened.  Just the same, there were any number of people who were satisfied once they reached the “we’re not starving” level and went no further.

There still are.  In the infinite variety of humanity, what you consider comfortable I consider insupportable.  And it’s not just poverty, either. I’d probably die if forced to live the life of a socialite, forever minding what people thought, and having to have the latest styles.  I don’t want that. I’m not interested.

In the same way I suspect any number of the “poor” would think I was crazy, keeping the work hours I do, and taking time to refinish furniture, or clean, or…  Because they don’t feel the need to it.

And that’s their right. They are entitled to live as they want and to do just the minimum to get there.

And the left is NOT entitled to use holy envy to make everyone who wants better and works for it to feel guilty. Nor are they entitled to rob us to finance the lifestyle of people who don’t want to make any extraordinary effort and feel fine the way they are.

And it’s time we stopped this nonsense.

You choose what you want to sacrifice for what. I will willingly sacrifice time and effort for a clean and decent house.  You won’t because you place more value on time on the sofa watching your favorite program? You do you.  Just don’t ask me for money to get you a better house.

You see what you want and you pay the price.  And the do-gooders can go take a flying leap.  As long as your hand isn’t in my pocket, I don’t care.



The Right To Go To Hell a Blast From the Past from February 2019

216 thoughts on “The Right To Go To Hell a Blast From the Past from February 2019

  1. I’m thinking of the study, back before seat belts were mandatory, that found that having people wear seat belts simply led to their driving faster and less carefully. The seat belts gave them added safety, so they drove at the risk level they found tolerable, and that set point couldn’t be changed externally.

    1. I believe a similar study has been done with pads/helmets in football and hockey: the players with the equipment will charge faster and hit harder than players without, leaving the overall risk level about the same (or possibly worse depending on how their perception maps to reality).

      For that matter, it’s also not unlike my theory of constant internet speeds: there’s an amount of time that people will wait for a web page to load, and most websites will up their content until load time matches that amount for the typical user. Thus, websites on average aren’t faster than they were twenty years ago even though the underlying bits/second is much better; you use the same amount of time to get a bunch of auto-play videos you didn’t want.

      1. This is a real problem with American Football players transitioning to rugby. They forget they don’t have a helmet that rests on shoulder pads so hitting with their head will get them killed.

      2. The same thing was found with Antilock Braking Systems: people drove more aggressively, confident* their brakes would not lose effectiveness.

        There are numerous studies supporting the principle that people have a certain acceptability for risk and will, when given risk-reduction features, increase the riskiness of their behaviour. Adding guardrails** makes drivers more aggressive because the cost of mistakes is lower.

        *Whether that confidence was merited is a different question.

        **Whether literal or metaphorical.

            1. I’ve recently finished re(^high number)reading TMiaHM, and “antilock” got mapped to “airlock”. Oops. :}

    2. Speed limits have a similar issue. People drive at the speed they perceive safe except for a hardcore always obey the law fraction. As the cheapest cars now have suspension and braking systems even top end luxury vehicles didn’t have when the Interstates were planned, people drive well above the speed limit. On flat, mostly straight sections of I-81 in VA and I-85 from Charolette to Atlanta, I often drove 75-80 and was passed.

      The hard core limit people actually become one of the biggest hazards. There is at least one state trooper from Michigan who travels the country arguing for upping speed limits to get that group at the average speed of traffic.

      1. There’s a subset of engineers who are now arguing that if you need to reduce speed on a road, you need to redesign the road so that people feel unsafe driving above the target speed. When roads are widened and lines of sight extended, as engineers have previously done in trying to make roads safer by making traffic flow more smoothly, people naturally speed up, and merely putting up speed limit signs isn’t effective in reducing speeds.

      2. Or instead of enforcing the speed limits, enforce ferociously “SLOWER traffic keep right.” Which is how they do it on the autobahn in Germany even where they have speed limits (usually in major cities). When I was there, all the locals said that was the quickest way to tell new American drivers.

      3. I-80 from the Utah-Nevada border to SLC-ish has an 80 limit. That’s as fast as I’m willing to drive the Forester, largely because I don’t know the wind situation in western Utah. Got passed by a Smart car, though. 🙂

        The same limits apply with 4WD. Contrary to west-side Oregon PTBs, studded snows don’t always lead to higher speeds in the winter; they’re somewhat uncomfortable to begin with, and damned noisy on pavement.

        1. studded snows don’t always lead to higher speeds in the winter

          Of coarse not. Duh. Anyone with half a brain knows that studs just allow the vehicle to get going & maybe stay going. Doesn’t do much of anything about stopping.

          OTOH don’t forget TPTB are in Salem. How much snow/ice do they actually get? (Hint, being Eugene, I can answer that … Not much & that means it is a snow/no work day.)

          1. We both know that a very large portion of those driving with studded tires, or chains, do not have that half of a brain.

            I can’t count the number of times that I drove past cars pulled over to put on chains for the snow, because we have a heavy vehicle and really good snow tires…and five minutes later, they fly past us doing 60 in the slushy six inches, because they have their chains on now.

            1. Oh, yea I know.

              We learned to hide the truck in the garage, & put the car on the north side of the house out of the driveway & out of the path of the “sliders”. Don’t know the slope of the street off the ridge, but it was steep. Do know there was a relatively slight curve to the section from ridge road to where street Y’d to north to east. Straight path was right through our driveway … but if they made the curve, but not their turn, ended up in the top tip of the canyon (reason for the Y). Thus why car was on side of house, risked it getting hit if they slid across the driveway. Truck was hidden because they came & asked if we’d use our 4×4 to pull them out of the top of the canyon instead of calling appropriate tow trucks.

              Knock, Knock – “don’t you have a 4×4?”, “Yes. It isn’t here. Here’s the phone to call a tow truck, quick dial is #9.”

              How’d we find out? We had to explain to an insurance agent that the great pumpkin side swiped us in our driveway (kids rolling pumpkins off of the top of the road, pumpkins don’t swerve). We learned to keep the driveway clear around Halloween too.

              Watching runs up the hill was interesting too. Usually took two or three runs. Up & slide back.

            2. At least here, studded snows don’t correlate to overly fast drivers. (We won’t talk about the DUIIs–’twas bad enough before MJ was legalized.) Our normal route to town entails a few spots that don’t see sunlight for the winter months. They’re high enough that ice is a common problem. The *other* route to town has a couple of miles of such, with a river to catch the stupid and/or unwary driver.

              I’ve never driven faster than 30 mph with chains on. Way too much vibration. OTOH, I hate using chains and usually manage to avoid them. Studded snows go on Nov 1st and come off when conditions permit or April 1, whichever comes first. Our first year, chains went on Nov 1, we had a Costco run to Bend (yikes!) just after a storm (worse than we expected–weather radios are A Really Good Idea), while the house was without power for 5(!) hours because a lady ran into a power pole several miles south of us. She got out of the car safely, but then went back to get her purse and found the 12.5kV line that was still live. Protip: don’t do it. The coroner’s report probably had something about death by extreme stupidity.

              We try to avoid the Medford Costco run in winter, because a 16 mile stretch west of Agency & Klamath Lakes can have a couple-three inches of hard packed snow. 140 over the Cascades is frequently a trouble spot, because people get fooled; one stretch will be fine, but just after that, the road is shaded by pines most of the day. It’s an interesting road to take in hard winter. Which is why we do a stockup run before the heavy snows hit, then try to outwait Winter. Works, sometimes.

    3. People take risks because in general, there’s a higher level of reward associated with the higher level of risk.

      “Hunting mammoths dangerous!”
      “Yeah, but the entire tribe eats for a month!”
      Of course Ogg got squished, but Groot got to eat his share, and got Ogg’s wife too.


      “You can work at McDonalds for 10 years, and still not be able to afford a car; or you can do this single drug run and buy whatever you want on the lot with cash. Just don’t get caught.”

  2. Ben Yalow commented at one panel that the difference he sees between fan-run and pro-run conventions is that fans solve problems by throwing effort and creativity at them, while pros solve problems by throwing more money at them.

    I suspect one person’s (income + effort + creativity) will go farther than the neighbor’s (income + not much else).

    1. Well, yeah, but how much effort are you going to put into coming up with a solution for free when the committee will solve the problem by paying someone else to do it?

      And from the other side, the committee’s job is to see that things happen as planned; they can’t just wait around for someone to step up and (maybe) deal with a problem. If throwing money at a problem fixes it, well, that’s what the admission fees are for; hire someone to deal with it, then move on to the next problem.

      1. You’re assuming the committee will have the money to pay for it. I’ve been department head for a few conventions. Some had more resources than others. I’ve put in a great deal of creativity for free, simply because I knew funding was limited.

        I’ve never seen a fan-run convention just wait around for someone to step up. Committees will recruit replacements when needed. In fact, I got started running the Hospitality Suite over a decade ago when I got a phone call asking if I’d be willing to take over for the person who had basically abandoned the job.

        And this is what Ben Yalow, who runs conventions for a living, has observed in many more cases.

        1. Not all committees are created equal. A committee I worked on actively put barriers in the way of people to take leadership positions in the convention. We had a number of volunteers of long standing who could have stepped up to do the job of a department head, but who were vehemently opposed because they would lose one perk of being a volunteer. Eventually, it killed the convention.

    2. While I have tremendous respect for Ben Yalow, I don’t think that observation is particularly profound, although it is important to understand. You must solve problems with the resources that you have. Fan run conventions operate on the thinnest of shoe strings, so there usually isn’t money to throw at a problem, even if the problem is money. The amount of time an energy spent to reduce costs are why those conventions can happen at all.

        1. Well, yeah. Good planning can lead to more efficiency in the use of what resources you have and is generally likely to produce better results than poor planning. Actually, I find that in addition to having a good plan, it’s also kind of important to do a good job in execution. An awesome plan done poorly will get poor results.

  3. > “homeless”

    It occurs to me that old-time cowboys were technically “homeless”, and that Jesus dude, and there are still people whose jobs (sailors, long-haul truckers, etc.) drop them into the “no fixed address” category.

    The mythical average person has some percentage of a residence, spouse, children, IRA, and Franklin Mint collectible tchochkis, therefore *everyone* must have them. It’s for their own good…

    1. Technically my BIL & his wife are homeless. They live in their 5th wheel. They camp host for a firm at various sites. They have a huge one at a eastern reservoir where they are the only campers (not open due to CV19). Used to have a snowbird lot at Lake Havasu AZ but the sold it. They use her mother’s place as a base now. There are a lot of retired people doing this. There are a lot of advice places on how to establish a “home” state when you aren’t there most the time, or ever, and which states are best for this type of “residency”.

      1. They’re called “full-timers.” We know quite a few. Many of them use South Dakota as a “residency,” state because of SD taxes.
        We just left a military RV park that was almost deserted.

        1. full-timers


          But they don’t have a constant physical address. Be it house or apartment.

          Just saying. By choice (baring those in their RV’s because lost house or can’t afford housing in work locale).

          1. It may be splitting hairs, but it’s still a home the way I see it. Small and on wheels, but it’s “a place for their stuff” with walls and doors that lock.

            Same deal for the people who live full-time on boats. They may move from marina to marina, but their home is the boat, not the marina.

            1. All also true.

              But … there are people who live in RV’s who are considered homeless …. who are moved spot to spot. Difference? Choice of lifestyle + the choice of when & where to move.

      2. That was a thing during the Obama years, when everybody was losing their houses. Technically homeless people living in RVs in RV parks that were full year round even in the frozen north.

        The Left decided that this didn’t constitute a scandal because it didn’t involve people living in cardboard boxes and standing in bread lines.

        1. And there was an increase of it in the Bay Area in California due to ridiculous (even by California standards) housing costs.

    2. Legally speaking, anybody who does not have a physically located residence that is legally theirs by right is counted as “homeless.”

      So full-timers, adult children living at home without a lease agreement, non-contracted roommates, grandkids living with grandparents that are not their legal guardians– all “homeless.” For the stats.

      My TDY husband, or anybody in a hotel, are likewise homeless.

        1. Oh, it gets better– I grew up homeless, because the ranch house is part of the pay.
          No lease.
          The kids and I were homeless when we stayed with my folks for six months, as are like half the spouses when their husband is deployed and they go live with mommy.
          (I don’t know if military housing counts as homeless or not, I believe there are contracts involved.)

        2. Michael Flynn (the writer not the general) has been known to talk about how he was homeless as a child and DIDN’T EVEN KNOW IT. He thought they just lived at their grandmother’s house!

        1. Right up there with when I found out that my husband deploying would have us reported as legally separated in Pew surveys. -.-

          1. Technically we were legally separated when hubby was transferred out of area & we had to have two households … didn’t want to change kid for school, & a whole list of other reasons. I hadn’t been working, by then for 14 months. Unemployment had ran out. Still had 28 months before his full pension kicked in, 9 years + 4 months before minimum SS. Of coarse he went, and came home on the weekends. But, you know “separated”. Rolling eyes now …

            Guess the neighbors are legally separated … he’s gone all week for work, unless his work has work in the area …

            Gezz who comes up with these definitions?

            1. People pushing a nasty conclusion.

              The stats that are used for “marriages that end in divorce,” since it’s not gov’t information?

              They’re based on polls like that, and they ask for divorced, or separated.

              Same as the “homeless kids” being if they don’t have a rental agreement with the place they’re sleeping, and “hungry kids” being if they didn’t get all the dessert they wanted.

              1. Those idiots need to experience REAL hunger for a few months.

                Of course, if they keep going the way they are, we all will.
                China Joe Biden’s guiding light is a dumpster fire.

            2. Powermongers.

              I remember several discussions of how many households were traditional and noticing that the non-traditional households had fewer people in them.

  4. > I don’t want that. I’m not interested.

    They’re drones. You *make* things. They just use them. And the ones with enough self-awareness to perceive the difference will either resent you, try to use you, or both.

  5. The Right to Go To Hell is one thing — the Right of Hell to Come to Us is something else entirely.

    Delivery Refused!

    With Prejudice.

      1. The cities suck. But apparently the rural areas are just fine. On the other hand, that one black state rep candidate set up outside the head of the police department’s home and threatening to burn the whole neighborhood down was setting up that entire crowd to be mowed down by gunfire.

        1. Having a crowd mowed down by gunfire is a win for the left. It can be counted on to shock and horrify many people and take votes away from the Evil Right Wing.

          1. That’s why it has to happen five weeks after the election, and is the privilege of the Lame Duck.

  6. And once again back to my little wisdom file: “There are no causes of poverty. It is the rest state, that which happens when you don’t do anything. If you want to experience poverty, just do nothing, and it will come.” Dr. Madsen Pirie

      1. Poverty is the natural state of mankind, the ‘ground state’. Prosperity is a population inversion.

    1. Mr. Boffo cartoon; two men in suits observing a devil sitting at a table at the base of the steps to the stock exchange. On the table are stacks of hand baskets.

      Caption; “I don’t know what’s going on, but it can’t be good.”

  7. I have no envy for rich entrepeneurs. They worked hard and risked almost everything, sometimes including their health, for what they got. And many did all that and ended up with nothing. Not my can of dog food.

    I do have a great distaste for politicians. I’m somewhat OK with the Sophie Devereaux theory of grifting–stealing from rich people to sell to other rich people is OK. Politicians take money from rich people to steal more from working people.

  8. I’ve gone and looked at political twitter again.

    Was a mistake.

    I’m findingly myself slightly tempted to start on, finish, and deliver a utterly mad guest post that I had successfully convinced myself ‘maybe later, or even never’.

  9. A rant on the subject of folks and their ability to understand what people want…..

    We’ve got a fairly large pile of stuff that we’ve been given by folks that figured of course we’d want it– and we don’t.

    The stuff we can donate, I do, but some of it I try to make sure they see the kids use it, at least a few times, and some of that the kids end up liking and using….but a foot bath? Really? I don’t want a foot bath, I want fifteen minutes alone to soak everything, not something that ends up dumping water all over the house because I am not allowed to sit for 5 minutes, much less 30-45, and after I’ve tracked water everywhere one of the kids flips it.
    I appreciate the thought, because they were actually paying attention to problems, but how am I supposed to use that?

    I tell folks we want book-shelves, pretty rocks, magnet toys, anything dragon or elf related, legos, rockets, funny or pretty shirts and (for me!) fuzzy socks in bright colors. ONE PERSON has gotten me fuzzy socks since I started asking for them. (although the kids did like the novelty socks the got one year)

    We get “quality time” books (…homeschool. We don’t NEED a two hour on the weekend project that assumes the IQ of a toddler and the strength of an adult, we need something they can do by themselves and only ask for help when they need it, for a sense of achievement), fuzzy animals, and Vaguely Nice Moral books. Oh, and inappropriate clothing in rather ugly colors.

    I swear, half the success of Disney Princess is that 90% of the stuff is actually pretty.

    1. I can beat that: When the boys were 16 and 12 someone sent us…. toddler girl clothes.
      Yes, it was a family member. Yes, they were in touch with us, and knew we had more or less given up on more kids.
      WORSE these weren’t “my kid has outgrown, therefore you might as well hold onto them just in case” which in our situation would be pretty awful, still (like the SIL who sent us her kids last-stage clothing during the six years of infertility. Yes, it got donated.) No, this was brand new, expensive and honestly special occasion stuff. For which we’d have no use unless we HAD a toddler girl AND she was going to be flower girl at a wedding.
      Never got an explanation either. Dan and I stood there, staring at the box going “Psychotic break. has to be a psychotic break.”

          1. Like the brief period I ran an APA and got a check and a copy of a woman’s birth control prescription.

            I often wonder what the person whose job was opening mail at her insurance company’s mail order contract pharmacy’s reaction to boffer LARP APA materials was.

            1. I remember mislabeling checks; the dentist got the property tax check, and vice versa. Curiously, while the dentist’s office sent the overly large check back, the county cashed the dental check, for the amount of taxes I owed. Could have been a hell of a mess, as it was, it was a half-hell (heck?, Purgatory?) of one.

              1. I sent the Federal Taxes to the State & the State Taxes to the Feds (didn’t pay attention to the envelopes when putting in the forms). For once we were getting rebates back from both so they were sent in early. Got notices. Resent correctly. Now can’t do that. Feds get filed online. State still snail mail with return signature (refuse to pay them to do their data entry).

                1. I file with paper, and messed up the kicker rebate calculations two years in a row.(IIRC, the first year I missed the rebate entirely, and the second used the wrong baseline for the calc. Got small additional checks those two years. I think it’ll be moot this year since any state surplus went away with the peaceful protests in Portland.

                  The state also once claimed “you didn’t include a federal return, so we’re disallowing everything that would come off of it.” Bull excrement. Now, I do a cover latter and staple all the forms together. They haven’t gotten me ticked off enough to do mini-forms, with the 1040 on the same page as the OR-40. Yet.

                  1. Kalifornia calls their state tax form 540. So, they believe that Kalifornia is either half as important as the federal government, or constitutes half of the United States.

                  2. We file with Quicken printouts. Feds get filed electronically. OR State? Not. A. Chance. They can whine all they want.

                    With the kicker we got a decent *rebate. More than double what we paid the Feds extra (yes, our Fed taxes went down). Got a nice letter requesting all the 1099’s, which are not required to attach, even though you get 3 copies; never included them before (so it wasn’t the laughable $1400/year I get for my pension, they’ve had two years to laugh at that). I can guess why. Our overall income was about the same. Our taxable state income was halved. Oregon doesn’t tax SS income … guess whose SS income made up what we didn’t take out of the IRA’s this year? From now on, they get the stupid things even if they don’t want them … 2021 taxes my medical gets counted too, even tho I don’t turn 65 until almost the end of the year.

                    * What’s frustrating is hubby tried to cut what is deducted from IRA’s when we pull money for the state, he could only change it to 7% or 0%. Already at first. Latter means we’d have to file quarterly. Thhhttttt that.

                    1. I started quarterlies when I had the consulting gig in ’01 and ’02. Didn’t have any income for a while, but once we did, got back to them. It’s not a big deal, and we can determine just how close to the edge we want to be. (There’s a penalty if you pay too little, but you have to be way off to catch it.) To me, not a big deal, and we don’t have to let the Feds get a cut of our IRA payouts.

                      After I do the taxes for year Y, I’ll make a guess as to changes in income and rough out a return for year Y+1. (It’s how much we get from savings plus [redacted] and the SS payout, all of which are either completely or somewhat predictable. Any refund from the returns goes to (or makes up all of) Q1’s payment, and I have my money program (KMyMoney, because Linux) give me a not-so-subtle nudge to cut the checks about a month before due date.

                      I don’t know if there’s a no-check way to pay, but we aren’t doing that many physical checks now. Not like the bad old days when I’d do 30 checks a month. That’s a lot of clay tablets.

                    2. It’s how much we get from savings plus [redacted] and the SS payout, all of which are either completely or somewhat predictable.

                      Didn’t plan it this way. But non-IRA savings got eaten between the 2002 – 2004 drain + kid’s college years, thanks to the Oregon College fund tank (didn’t loose any money, but it didn’t make any either, bonus was the tax savings, which was something but still …). Could have made the kid take out a loan … He worked. He got scholarships, we helped with what was left over, without taking from IRA’s or even stop contributing to them OR our own work 401(k), maximum amounts; we weren’t hurting. The plan was to use outside savings until forced IRA pull. Oh, well. At least we never had to take IRA or 401(k) under penalty (we know a lot of people who had to). So far the IRA’s are still growing despite using it before required distribution years.

                      OTOH no European or other exotic trips either … lack of full passport might have contributed to that …

          2. No. There was no one else in the immediate family they could have confused us with…..
            It was just weird.
            Oh, among other things there was teen-girl size ballet slippers in pink.
            THEY might have fit younger son. WHO is not interested in ballet, anyway.
            Let me point out, NO GIRLS THAT AGE IN FAMILY.
            We’ll go with “psychotic break”

      1. Last Christmas we got, among other things, a TV that required either cable or wireless transmission to run, and a set of Blu-rays. From the same relative, who knew 1) we do not have a Blu-ray player and 2) we were scraping by financially, and cable/wireless was something we’ve never had and could not something we could afford to get.

        …One of those got returned, money used to buy groceries. The other couldn’t be, and was given to Roommate’s coworker who could actually use it.

        1. I’ve seen enough people utterly clueless about how tech works to believe that the TV could have been a mistake: your relative may not have ever realized that that particular model required cable/wireless, and just thought that he/she was giving you something to watch your Blu-rays on.

          But the lack of thought about the fact that you don’t own a Blu-ray player does suggest that even if your relative did know how that particular model worked, he/she would still have given it to you. *Shakes head*

          1. Trust me, this relative? “Everybody should have cable”. While he has a hefty mortgage to pay off and complains he never has any money. He also has, I would estimate, thousands of dollars of DVDs/BluRays, and his house is packed with stuff and his two kids’ toys.

            Gave him a copy of Clutter’s Last Stand.

            Reaction? Boiling fury, and “It’s all my wife’s mess anyway!”

            …You have no idea how much I’m looking forward to getting the legal mess over with so I can never see that relative again, ever.

            1. LOL. Our MIL claimed we were child abusing the boys because we didn’t own a TV till younger son was 6.
              We didn’t have the money/time or patience for TV. This was “child abuse.”

                    1. Ours will let you in to browse, but the masks are a requirement–even for the three-year-old!

                1. The local library moved from their old, tiny building to a giant new one. But they allocated a full third of it for conference rooms, another third for computers and DVDs, and spread out the bookshelves in an “airy” pattern in the space that was left. My best guess is they have about half of the not-huge selection they had before… mostly children’s books, it seems.

                  That’s the library I mentioned a while back, that has the “flying bird” signs, which are apparently the International Illiterate symbol for “library.”

                  1. The illiterates need to know where to stay out of?

                    Like George Carlin on restaurants with signs about seeing-eye dogs: Who reads the sign?

                    1. Like they are going to separate their need for signs based on where it goes, order two sets, keep them separated, risk running out of one when they have a full stock for another, be unable to change plans on where to put the signs — when they can’t order non-Braille versions anyway, since the factory doesn’t want to have two sets of molds or risk having an excess of one and a shortage of the other.

                    2. Seeing eye dogs are cool. They are not able to drive a blind person to the restaurant quite yet.

                    3. Plus those signs are out of date, & by definition inadequate inaccurate. Service Animals not just Seeing Eye Dogs, but medical alert, and PSTD trained (VS ESA who are not trained). That includes Service Dogs & mini-Horses, including Seeing Eye mini-Horses.

                      Trust me. It can be hilarious. I’ve gotten asked about my “Seeing Eye Dog”, when 1) she’s a Pom/Chi, 16#’s (way too small FWIW), and 2) I know they saw me get out of the vehicle from behind the wheel (not with keys in my hands because it is a fob), no one else gets out. I mean you want to turn to them and say “she’s my back seat driver”.

                      With CV19 I haven’t been taking her because trips are short. Her alerts are on task daily, but she hasn’t been going out. We’re going to be gone for 3 weeks. Which means she’ll be out 24/7. I mean at home she’s with me 24/7, just not the quick grocery shopping trips or when we go to a restaurant (I have my service human then, plus eating, so tasking won’t happen). Traveling, the service human works, but he gets lax. Hiking, he’s glad he doesn’t have to work. She tattles.

                  1. I have a TV but not Cable TV.

                    (My internet service is from the local Cable service.) 😉

                  2. We stopped using our tv as a tv after the digital changeover, because it couldn’t receive the one show we were watching (and we’ve never had cable). Instead we used it with our blu-Ray player, and then started using it as a monitor also. We’re currently watching one show off of discs and several by streaming; we just lately switched from Hulu to Netflix.

                  3. I’ve given up on TV; even Endeavour got too dreary for me, though we’ll watch Midsomer Murders reruns. $SPOUSE has her shows, with old Perry Masons in high priority watching.

              1. I feel like unlimited TV is closer to child abuse than no TV. Kids need shoes, sufficient clothing and food, not but TV.

            2. Gave him a copy of Clutter’s Last Stand.

              Reaction? Boiling fury, and “It’s all my wife’s mess anyway!”

              I’ll admit, I kind of understand that. If, as Sarah’s post indicates, we all have the right to go to Hell in our own way, then my Hell is filled with giant stacks of books, on top of and in between which are all of my knickknacks. But like I said, it’s my Hell, and I’m not going to push stuff on anyone else who doesn’t want to live like that.

              1. Going off of the “it’s all my wife’s stuff” part?

                I’d guess they’re one of the folks who complain about it, or not being able to find stuff, frequently.

      2. Oh dear.

        We are actually trying to sort out some stuff for passing to family/friends vs. donating vs. maybe selling, but we were going to ask if it would be useful before throwing it at people!

    2. I have a friend who runs a Stuff Swap through a local LDS stake. (She used to be LDS, so now it’s run by a relative.) Everybody brings stuff, sorts it onto tables, she says “Go!” and everybody takes stuff (no fights or stealing, people play nice), and stuff that isn’t claimed goes to charity. People who help clean get a one-minute head start the next time, and I usually get a couple of bags of *nice* infant/toddler clothes to give to a local crisis pregnancy center—AFTER everybody’s picked through. (LDS, like I said.)

      I’ve gotten marvelous things there. A leather jacket and leather boots in my size. A beveled mirror that we installed in the front bathroom once I soaked off the adhesive for the lights someone had stuck to it. But the important thing is that I’ve gotten rid of SO many things—and some of them were much appreciated. (Including a set of really old Tupperware. Multiple people were really happy with that.)

      Right now it’s all online, and I’ve lent out an unpowered push mower to someone with a teenager. (“I can have it back Saturday.” “Keep it all winter, if you like.”) It’s the best thing in the world to feel like you’re dumping things on people who actually want them.

      1. The Dutch churches I knew about when I flew in the Upper Midwest would have that sort of thing. One church in town did it in the spring, and it was summer clothes, summer yard tools, and so on, along with the usual. A different church had one in the fall. Yes, winter things, snowblowers that people no longer needed or had upgraded from, and the like, plus a home-canned produce swap, and the usual household goods and books.

  10. The left is very adamant about charity not coming “with a sermon.”

    The Left wouldn’t know charity if it bit them on the [buttocks].

    1. They wouldn’t know “without a sermon” either.

      Of course they’d call it “educating you” or “doing your emotional labor”. The later would even include a guilt trip for you not doing it yourself.

      1. I was poking around some of the pro-fa sites and saw that phrase, “doing emotional labor”, for the first time. It’s really weird. Are they trying to guilt trip others into feeling guilt? I don’t understand! When I want to feel an emotional state, I read a book. What gives someone else the right to choose my emotional state? That sounds like an unhealthy relationship. Is that what it means?

        1. When I’ve heard “doing emotional labor,” it’s meant things like listening to someone (frequently a romantic partner) talk about their bad day. It’s another form of gender-based oppression. Because of course it is. -_- From context, this one is different: I suspect in your case it was handling the white fragility of all those terrible white supremacists who haven’t already educated themselves like they were supposed to. (Evidence: they don’t already think the speaker is right about everything.) How dare they, man. -_-

          1. In context, I recall it talking about the unfair burden of emotional labor being put on LGBTQ+ group members. It was a bit unclear to me what they meant. The words they used appeared to have subtle difference in meaning.

            1. *laughs* That sounds like a “but it’s so much work to bully and browbeat everybody who has Ungood Thoughts near me! Especially if I have to read their mind to find them!”

        2. It’s another of those terms that used to have an actual meaning, but got co-opted as a guilt stick to beat Acceptable Targets with.

          It used to actually be useful in scholarly discussion of things like why a handwritten thank-you note is considered more grateful than an emailed or texted one. Now it’s just a verbal weapon of the Cultural Marxists.

          1. Oooh, I’d totally forgotten that part– which relates back to the subject of doing the work to figure out what gift folks will really, really like.

            1. That work is voluntarily assumed. When doing family presents, we have spent 6 months figuring out gifts, and sometimes choose not to give a gift because we can’t figure it out. Except for the one person that clearly values gifts as gifts. That person always gets something, even if just a token. We could just choose to give a standard box of fruit, but it isn’t as much fun.

        3. The non-weaponized version is the kind of family or group politics that makes things run smoothly– the Group Mom or secretary who makes sure that Joe doesn’t get the stuff with peanuts in it, that Will and Tom aren’t seated next to each other when they’re drinking, and remembers that Mary shows up 25 minutes after whatever time she THOUGHT she needed to be there.

          The weaponized version is they want to be praised for bullying people, while incidentally pulling away the credit from folks who actually keep things running.

  11. my rule of thumb is that if your “lifestyle” requires some form of government subsidy then it not a lifestyle but a form of dependence … most “homeless” are not shelterless … but of course, SOMEONE else works for/pays for the shelter they use …

    1. Welfare is pay without work. In order to provide pay without work for some, others have to work without pay. We used to call that slavery. Now they call it socialism.
      Long ago, when men cursed and beat the ground with sticks they called it witchcraft. Now they call it golf.

    2. *points at various groups that insist business deductions– that is, someone NOT taking ALL of your money- are a subsidy*

      Apparently, they agree, and are working hard to destroy the ability to accurately describe not interfering vs active supporting.

  12. Maybe what they have and what they do is the level they wish to live at.

    Thomas Sowell covered this so ably in Black Rednecks and White Liberals that any effort to summarize would be futile. I refer you to that essay.

  13. I object to the use of people’s choices to blackmail other people out of theirs.

    The Left seems wholly innocent of the concepts of unintended consequences and secondary effects. Either that or they are wholly evil — at a certain level the distinction between willful ignorance and evil is trifling.

    Thus they push policies, such as affordable housing, which drive up the cost of home ownership. And policies like “Food Stamps” (I know, they’re doing something with EBT cards to reduce the onus of taking those benefits, but they’re still just food stamps in an other form) which reduce the costs of not working, not husbanding your resources prudently.

    1. They also push government loan subsidies and interest deductions, which drive up the cost of housing, in the name of making housing affordable.

      Not to mention increasing the transfer of wealth from workers to bankers which would mean….


      1. They also push “Renters Rights”. Have you noticed that the more renters rights there are, the more squeaky clean you have to be before anyone will rent to you?

        1. Yep. Roommate and I are on a waiting list – only got on that ’cause we could prove not even a whisper of criminal history and funds beyond work income. And at that, we’ll be lucky to have a place in November.

        2. I have literally seen someone claim that if we got rid of landlords the ONLY difference would be no rent.

          1. Walking barefoot into the upstairs hall bath at 4 AM and discovering a half-inch of water is the sort of thig that makes one wish there were a landlord to call. Particularly when you get downstairs to the kitchen and find out where the excess water from the overflowing toilet had gone.

            1. makes one wish there were a landlord to call.

              Or come home from your 2nd Anniversary dinner & find out why in your new home of 3 months why you do not run the dishwasher & clothing washer at the same time … Sewer line backed up into lower bathroom through the toilet. Then learn that to clean out the line you got to run a snake out the toilet. (House is long sold.) When we had to connect to the new sewer lines for existing house, we made dang sure there was an overflow, with a clean out option that was not under the house (okay required but we still made sure).

      2. Not to mention increasing the transfer of wealth from workers to bankers which would mean….

        … which would mean large campaign contributions from bankers eager the laws remain unchanged.

    2. I have reached the point where if someone offered to buy my groceries with their EBT card in exchange for a fraction of the cost in cash I’d take it.

      I have had the offer in the past and refused because it is dishonest. At this point I just consider it a partial restitution of what was stolen from me.

      1. Would the fact that by taking that offer, you would be enabling that person’s drug habit weigh with you? Because I think it should: you would be doing harm to the other person by taking their offer. Which should weigh higher, IMHO, than the “getting back a little of what the politicians stole from me” argument.

        1. I view the the check the gov’t deposited for the PPP as such. I’d already paid twice that in taxes by then, this was just giving me a bit back.

          Unfortunately, I’m one of those that also looks at it as devaluing the money I *already* have via inflation, so it’s a mixed blessing. There’s a lot made of the problem of too much taxes (TEA party, why yes indeed I recall them quite fondly- when they were serious about it). Not enough of the spending too much of the money I pay in taxes and then some problem. Shut the departments, fire the government workers and deregulate the aitch E double hockey sticks out of *everything.*

  14. there were any number of people who were satisfied once they reached the “we’re not starving” level and went no further.

    Which is one reason many immigrants do exceptionally well in less than a generation — such as Maximo Alvarez who came here from Cuba, did not immediately expand his level of consumption, opting instead to plow “excess” earnings int investments and now owns 300 gas stations.

    Investment is actually just deferred consumption — relinquishing a present indulgence in order for the chance to reap greater indulgences in the future. Just as working long hours to learn a business is exchange of present benefit for later.

    Of course, such deferrals often lead to self-reliance, independence, and resilience. Those are not the sort of traits prized by the Left.

    1. My husband has many clients who came here, bought (with the help of relatives) a convenience store, worked long hours, made it profitable, then bought another….some of them are millionaires now. They paid back the kinfolk who loaned them startup money and have often loaned startup money to the next cousin off the plane.

      He has often wondered why black families don’t do the same. It seems to be a matter of those families largely being in competition with one another. No one trusts another member enough to help them. I suspect successful black businespeople are from families that don’t have this twitch.

      1. It’s worse than “not helping”: many families actively hinder their relatives who are trying to invest in long-term goals by insisting that those relatives “loan” them $20, or $50, or $100 to help with gas/rent/bills. If you refuse, you’re the bad guy — but the “loan” is never repaid, and never brought up again even when the next request for such “help” comes along from the same person. Who, if you then insist on repayment before you give another loan, will do their level best to destroy you emotionally for being so uncaring, etc. And so the crab bucket pulls down another would-be entrepreneur.

        1. I have an in-law like that. I like her otherwise, but damn, the sense of entitlement pisses me off.

        2. I knew somebody who moved in with family when he hit a rough patch. The plan was to get back on his feet and move out… but the rest of them developed a pattern of splurging on stuff and then depending on him to make up their share of the utility bills.

      2. Some Black families do do that. Barry Gordy started Motown with investments from his family council

        After co-writing hits for local singer Jackie Wilson and Smokey Robinson, Gordy, with an $800 loan from his family, purchased a two small two-storey house in a run-down area of Detroit in 1959, where he began building the Motown empire. He was then 30, a former boxer, failed businessman and former auto-worker who would later have dreams of running his own record company.

        Being an amateur boxer, he dropped out of school at 16 and entered into professional boxing which he later quit. He served in the U.S. Army in Korea and later opened a record shop specializing in jazz but this move failed after two years.

        While trying his hand at songwriting, Gordy became a car-factory worker. However, after failing to receive enough revenue from the hit singles he made for local singers like Wilson, he realized that he needed to produce his own records for his own label. He then founded Tamla Records which later became Motown – a cannibalisation of ‘Motor Town’, a nickname for Detroit.


        Gordy’s music, which is a mix of gospel, R&B and pop that combined to form memorable melodies, was then created to cross the racial divide.

        “White people want to be loved too. White people want money. I wanted songs for the whites, blacks, the Jews, Gentiles, the cops and the robbers. I wanted everybody to enjoy my music,” the greatest record man in American music history was quoted by The Telegraph.

        It is important to note that at the time Motown was founded, only two black-owned labels were in existence in America – Duke in Houston and Vee-Jay in Chicago. Sales, distribution, radio play and other significant parts of the record business were handled by whites.

        To be a major influence in the market, The Telegraph reports that Gordy had to debunk the perception of his label as being black, thus, he deliberately omitted the faces of the performers in his early album covers. For instance, the Isley Brothers’ This Old Heart of Mine, featured a photograph of two white lovers at the beach.

        An awful lot of Black people grew wealthy out of that, an awful lot of White people had to recognize the talent present there.

      3. The question is whether you lend your relative money to start a business, or regard your relative’s business as a source of endless loans with no interest and no need for repayment.

  15. Am I supposed to feel guilty that I don’t work as hard as Sarah? My husband makes a nice living (through insane amounts of work) and I have an inheritance from my parents. But we are both almost 60 and have a host of medical issues. We live a nice middle class life. We don’t do any home repair that we don’t hire. Sorry if I’m misinterpreting comments but I feel like I’m not measuring up. I don’t scrub and mop, I don’t buy at thrift stores. I use credit cards (imo carefully).

    Sorry if I’m inflicting TMI on everyone.

      1. THIS.
        I mean, Dan and I COULD make a ton more, and I’m trying to organize myself to make a lot more short term, for various reasons.
        BUT in our mid thirties we tried the “work all the time for a lot of money” and we were very unhappy. Not least because Dan had to be away from me….

        1. 1990 – 2003 Hubby refused all assigned jobs that required overtime, since I was working too. Since people he worked with wanted the overtime jobs (grievances were filed if they were in non-OT jobs for very long). What did he do after 3 PM (worked 7 – 3) … Oh, I don’t know. Meant kid was out of daycare early, and school years dad was either home when kid got home or spent 1/2 to hour at in school daycare. Then there was coaching, scouts, … spending time with our child. Me? I got the mornings before school. Hubby didn’t do the OT jobs until he was transferred away from home. So not being home might as well work any extra OT (plus by then I’d been unemployed almost a year, things change). Then when he got transferred home, extra money went to college funds.

          Do I wish I’d had stayed home when he was an infant/toddler (past 8 months)? Yes.
          Could we had afforded it? Maybe. Yes. But only if hubs sacrificed & worked OT jobs.
          Would I have had a career when he was in school? Not a chance. Not then. Now, yes, because working from home is possible.

        2. Steve was on the road for 15 years. He was home for about 36 hours a week. If we were lucky it was 48 hours. Now that he works from home, it’s still crazy number of hours. I can get him an iced tea refill or dinner.

    1. Yeah, it isn’t a ‘more frugal than you’ contest.

      Everyone has their own challenges, everyone makes the choices they see fit for those challenges.

      If you are making the effort to be careful with your use of credit cards, that is still an effort. It is a choice to live within your means. Which is bourgeois values, or something like those.

      The choices you and Steve make are between you and The Lord. They are no business of mine.

      Sarah’s argument is along the following lines: There are people who take very poor care of their own business. At least, conservatives see these people as taking poor care of their own business. One thing liberals say is that the result of taking poor care of business is unfair, and should be fixed. Their solution is that all business should be shared. So I give up most of my stake in my own business, and in theory instead get a sliver of a stake in everyone else’s business. The practical result is that the liberal controlled government bureaucracies try to exercise control over everyone’s business. The bureaucracies at best are not as bad as mismanaging personal business as the people who do the very worst at managing their own personal business. But those people are often enough choosing to manage their business poorly.

      The other thing that the liberals say is that they oppose bourgeois values, and think that people who choose to have them are wrong.

      Sarah, if she is saying anything at all about you or I, is saying that we choose to try to do better than the very worst. That perhaps we are doing so well that having a government bureaucracy take over would make us much worse off.

      I’m sorry if this explanation is a confused mess. My thinking is a little difficult today.

      1. The practical result is that over time fewer and fewer people bother taking care of their own business, because they know they’ll just wind up being given someone else’s any way.

        When it is “From each according to his abilities; to each according to his needs” people seem to develop more needs and less abilities.

        Also, with respect to liberals and bourgeois values, look at their actions not their words. The most prominent liberals are more bourgeois than I am. At best they are afraid to practice what they preach. At worst, they are preaching failure so no one can catch them.

        1. The practical result is that over time fewer and fewer people bother taking care of their own business, because they know they’ll just wind up being given someone else’s any way.

          Worse. The practical result is over time fewer and fewer people bother, because those that do and have, have it taken away for redistribution, but they never appear to get back anything in the redistribution process.

          Smaller, narrower situation. So we’re at SIL’s house. Her husband has left her. She has already borrowed from their parents. She needs clothing and school supplies for her kids, plus something else, I forget what. Question from her brother to me (you know they guy I’m married to … give me a minute, even after 35 years …), question: “How much did you deposit Friday?” (As in my net pay check for the entire month!!!!). My mumble as I went and got the check book so “we” could write her a check? “Why in the H*LL am I working AND going to school full time?” This was after we over paid for ex’s used left behind golf clubs, and not one of us played golf! (Then anyway.) Yes, we lent her the money. Could we afford it? (wags hands … obviously in hindsight.) No we never got paid back or even an offer of pay back. Former we didn’t expect. Without discussion we knew it was money given away. We did expect some type of offer to pay it back (hubby even has mentioned it in passing). No I have never mentioned my feelings at that point. But had enough of something from husband to know he knew how I felt.

          It happens in family dynamics all the time it happens with government too. Difference is we technically could have said no, even if practically we were never going to say no.

          1. She needs clothing and school supplies for her kids

            The gift was not, I suspect, for your husband’s sister but for his nieces/nephews.

            I hope they learned from your generosity, but even if they didn’t it does not diminish your effort.

            1. It wasn’t like we weren’t going to give her the money. But it was the way it was done. Just because he knew I would agree (maybe NOT to that amount, but then the difference between $900 and $500 back then, either was a lot of money, then …) didn’t mean we shouldn’t have talked about it. I’m sure the kids had no idea. OTOH the way he did it, made it clear that was all we had to spare. Plus he didn’t name an amount. I could have written the check for less than my net paycheck (I did round down, not up, to the nearest $100 …). She wouldn’t have known the difference or questioned it as she knew I was half time work & going to school full time at that point. But that would have caused problems between hubby & I, so being me, nope.

      2. THIS. It’s none of my business how anyone lives, but I also don’t feel like giving everything so everyone lives at the same level.
        And zero to do with Emily. The only people I kick in the rear now and then are my kids. (well, one of them. The other is flying solo. I’m going to try to help some but that’s LOVE not obligation.) And that’s different.

        1. Yep. I work less than I could. I also tried the all work and no fun to make the money machine run in my twenties. Hated that life. Now I work and make less, but have time for my folks. No kids, no wife, so I can afford a bit of takeout every now and then, and of course books.

          I’ve done charity before, and will again. It *has* to be on an individual basis. Seen too many times the ones that take you for a sucker and use your kindness for self destructive (or worse, general-destructive) behavior. Helping those with that sort of problem ain’t kindness.

          Some folks are comfortable in squalor. They *like* not working and drinking all day. They think I’m a complete idiot for holding down the equivalent of two full time jobs. They’re proud of their “intelligence” in finding a way to fund their lifestyle. Folks like that will not change until they are made uncomfortable enough to do so- usually by taking away the free cash.

          I actively fear accepting charity, even at the worst, because there’s an element of me that *is* lazy. The job I do now requires being a self starter, independent, and able to make decisions on the fly without full information. I do it at least in part to keep that part of me that is inclined to be lazy at bay. This isn’t a general prescription, mind- it just works for me.

          The ones that try and tell me how to live my life have so far been in almost every case folks from *one* particular direction. There are folks out there that want that kind of direction- y’all have probably met a few yourselves. The burdens of freedom ain’t the first choice for everyone, despite the greater rewards it gives. That’s all well and good- for them.

          Long as me and mine get to live our lives free of that kind of control, and nobody gets forced into it or kept from leaving it- I’ll abide it. It’s the sort that can’t help but meddle for somebody *else’s* own good that give me the growlies.

    2. Nope, you’re not.

      You’re fine.

      You’re making your choices that give you the life you want. You are not using force, directly or indirectly, to make someone subsidize it. Some might claim your husband is, but that is his choice and you clearly offer something he thinks is worth that choice.

      Is it the same choice Sarah would have made? No.


      That’s what freedom is about, the freedom to make life on your own terms.

    3. Em dearest,

      You do everything you can. Up until not long ago, I wasn’t here due to job travel 5 days out of 7. You have physical issues, starting with having broken both your shoulders, osteoarthritis, and anemia.

      You do more than enough for me, and I love you. Always.

    4. It’s just an illustration of the trade-off between Time, Money, and Effort… I think those are the three.

      You can trade any one or two of the three for the others, depending on which one you have the most of and which one you want to spend.

      Sarah trades Time and Effort for Money, because Time and Effort are what she has and is willing to spend, and you trade Money for Time and Effort, because that’s what you have and are willing to spend.

      Someone else might trade Time for Money and Effort, and only finish a project after 20 years of tinkering with it.

      If you’re feeling guilty about spending your TME differently that the majority of commenters, you can probably assuage that by reminding yourself that your spending choices keep other people employed.

      1. When you’re working, you have Money but no Time.
        When you’re unemployed, you have Time but no Money.

        1. Which is why home improvement was the pass-time of choice for a whole bunch of people. For the first time in years, they had both, at the same time.

        2. pre-Situation.

          In the current situation not so much. There have been various rumblings here about things like 70 applications for 17,000 jobs and that they should open up borders for farm workers that need to travel for work.

          On a more local level, we had someone, a year ago his earnings would have been 4-5x unemployment. But at home he was facing crying jags because he was going to work in the worst area to work in Sydney(in terms of infection).

          Unemployment has been doubled and as his wife was also not working it would be doubled again, she wasn’t eligible if he was working!. So suddenly he is at 80% of pay and no travel costs/time and bonus he gets to spend his time with his wife and perhaps a chance to make up the difference with some cash jobs here and there. He threatened to quit unless he got more pay, which realistically was not something we could afford. So he was told he could quit. So he did.

          1. Is it not the law where you are that if you get a job offer and refuse it, you lose unemployment?

    5. Not a bit. Y’all are both good people, and I wouldn’t wish this life on anyone that didn’t choose it free and clear. Good people are too precious to try and nitpick their lives. Don’t you worry a bit about it. *grin*

    6. Feel guilty, for living your life as you like it?

      If Life is a competition it isn’t over who lives most frugally.

    7. I am reminded of H.G. Wells’s Utopia where the first character from Utopia the main character meets is a tramp, and it is carefully explained that in this Utopia, you can choose to work as little as you like provided you work enough to cover your bare sustenance, and then ask for no more.

      (It was in reaction to Looking Backward, a Utopia where everyone got an equal share of production and the only one to get more leisure time was to sign up for a job so unpleasant that they had to lower the hours to get anyone to sign up. Since the possibility of slacking off on the job was not even mentioned as a possibility.)

    8. The main practical purpose of doing the “here are all the things I do to save money” thing is to get ideas. (Example: talked some relatives into upgrading their internet and subscribing to the streaming things that have the only shows they want, rather than paying for cable; checking out what areas have digital phone service for relatives there, who went to only cellphone because digital doesn’t work when the power is out anyways.)

      The main social purpose is to do the “oh my GOSH I could NEVER do that!” type emotion-building talk. (not using credit cards? Heck, no, I couldn’t do that!)

      Sounds to me like you were doing household management, at a bare minimum. Rental companies will charge quite a bit for that.

  16. I object to this Christian heresy with no redemption, no hope, no future, and no one being good or holy except those who envy and live at the expense of others.

    I had always thought Rand was exaggerating her “sanction of the victim” idea as part of her “new” heroic writing style.

    If there is something the past half decade has taught me, in a way even the Obama years as a whole did not, is just how much the Left embraces the nobility of oppression and victimhood. It was bad before, but starting around 2014-15 it just became something out of Atlas Shrugged.

    I think this realization has a huge part in my black dog of late.

    1. I talked to a friend stuck behind the lines in NYC. It helped but it also made me realize, the time of living in the cities we love is coming to an end for both of us. 😦

      1. I used to enjoy my medical trips; two nights in a nice hotel and time to read (once the eyedrops wore off), but this last was hellish. In Flyoverland, we’re casual about masks, even more so in BFE where we live (look it up if you care), but the fear and paranoia was over the top. Yes, they have 3X the cases we do. They also have 3.5X the population, and the same deathcount (two, each county).

        I was one of the first 10 customers in Costco on Saturday and got the hell out as soon as I got the last bits. Don’t have to go agai until maybe December for a Costco daytrip, and April for a med trip. We’ll see if it should be looked forward to. Narrator voice: I doubt it.

        1. *sympathy*

          We’ll see if it should be looked forward to. Narrator voice: I doubt it.

          This is, I think, the worst part of it.

          I never know if I’m going to get to where I’m going and find out they’ve gone voodoo-doctor over night.

            1. I have to see the retina specialist every 6-8 months. Between diabetes and other eye issues, I count it as strictly necessary. No retina people are in our county–our eye people are good at cataracts and such, but there’s only a few who do the touchy eye stuff, and they’re west of the Cascades.

          1. One of the techs admonished me to cover my nostrils. OK, Karen. (Surgical mask. I can do it. Tried full coverage with a dust mask while shopping yesterday. Had to uncover my mouth to stay upright. You do *not* want to lift my 300 pound unconscious body… [Muses about a mask made from repurposed nylon stockings…])

            I told her during the prep work that I probably had Kung Flu in March, and she replied that she probably got it in December, after a visit to Seattle. Left unsaid was any comment on the absurdity of masking up…

              1. I couldn’t figure how I got it. Did a Medford trip 2/21, but didn’t get sick until 3/12 or so. I usually get colds within a few days of exposure, so I figure it was a chance encounter in K-falls on the 10th..

                1. I went to the doctor last week and they asked if I’d been tested. . . .

                  They also not only took your temperature as you went in but put the result on a sticker and then stuck it on you

                    1. Alas, I don’t know. But she didn’t have any gold stars. Just sheets with the whole numbers filled out. (She wrote in the decimal.) It was just a bit worrisome to see how few people were there, even if it meant getting in and out easily on time.

            1. Every time I have to interact (talk) with someone with the mask on, I have to move it from off my mouth. They can not understand me with the thing on if there is any extra noise at all, wind, fans, machines, hum from fluorescent lights … my voice isn’t very loud, or carry very far without the mask … I refuse to scream or shout. It gives me a migraine. It would make them think Pepper is untrained (if she was with me) because she’d be alerting. So I won’t.

              1. I tried the face shield, but unless I’m moving, the stale air gets to be a problem. Plus, the plastic is fairly horrible for visual acuity. OTOH, the shield lasts, it’s just that I don’t like it.

                In Medford, I saw people wearing a weird variant of the shield. It attaches to the jaw, and the shield sticks up to a bit above the nostrils, leaving the eyes clear. Other than making the wearer look like a predatory fish, it might make sense. I don’t know if the stale air would still be a problem. I’ve had asthma in the past and strongly prefer not to have to deal with it again.

      2. Please do consider Plano or another of Dallas’ suburbs. As you value your life do not live in Dallas itself. The suburbs are great. The amenities and possibilities are endless. The only fly in this ointment is housing. The houses close in ain’t cheap. However each suburb and neighborhood within is different. Also there are small towns throughout the state that are quite different from the cities.

        Steve and I love Plano because of the amount and quality of medical care nearby. They even have a cutting edge veterinary oncology center in Dallas that Nemo goes to for treatment.

        Good luck on your future plans. btw, Dallas has 2 of the best airports in the country: DFW and DAL .

        1. If you’re going to pitch Dallas, I’m going to pitch Houston, or at least the Houston area. We also have two major airports, plus the Texas Medical Center. Most of the hospitals in the TMC have facilities in the Katy area, where I live, and places like Cypress and Conroe. Further, Where I live I’ve got ready access to three different library systems, Houston, Harris County, and Fort Bend County, all with a different selection of books and other material and all will relocate books from whichever library branch they happen to be to the branch closest to me. Houston has a pretty good zoo and the Houston Museum of Natural Science is an awesome museum with a planetarium down in the museum district which is easy to get to, if you’re not afraid of roundabouts.

          When it comes to weather, well we’re not looking for snow in September around here, but Houston is a lot closer to the Gulf of Mexico than Dallas is, so we get the moderating effect of a large body of water. It gets hotter there, but more humid here.

          I even know a real estate agent who can help find property that isn’t under the thumb of an HoA.

          1. I’m not afraid of roundabouts, but…JUST BECAUSE THE BRITISH DO SOMETHING, DOES NOT MAKE IT A GOOD IDEA!!

            They’ve put two of the damn things in on a street near me, and they’re TINY — the center circle is less than 20 feet across, with 1 lane around it! I’d rather have the STOP signs back.
            People can make stupid mistakes, but only the government can force everybody to make the SAME stupid mistakes.

            1. turn signals please! The roundabouts work SO much better when you use your turn signals, people!

          2. Part of me feels like I should wave local for-sale signs — our neighborhood is HOA-free — but I think Sarah has mentioned my locale is too full of allergens.

            1. Oh, I am not being serious. I reached the conclusion somehow that Houston would never make the short list, and allergies are a big problem here, at least for me. On the other hand, one of my former coworkers used to say “Houston is a nice place to live, but I wouldn’t want to visit.” I just wanted to point out some reasons why I believe I’ll stay.

          3. Well, except for the whole “run from hurricanes” thing. Which is one reason why Em and I picked Dallas. Just a few too many times of having my family on the Gulf and hurricanes making it as hurricanes to Montgomery AL was enough.

            1. Then there was the time that that hurricane (whose name I can’t recall, alas) zoomed past Houston and rained on Dallas for three days during a regional convention there. My sister, in Ohio, lost power from Hurricane Ike longer than I did, mostly because their repair crews were here to fix Ike damage because the Texas crews were in Louisiana and Mississippi to fix damage from a previous storm.

              Your mileage may vary. I’m kind of worried about Laura, but the center is supposed to go up the Sabine River (like that first storm I mentioned did) and if it follows the forecast path, the odds of damage here are rather small. The western gulf coast really doesn’t get very many storms.

          4. I wish you safety in the upcoming storm. Pitch Houston! The point is to get Sarah in Texas. Anyone want to pitch San Antonio or some other part of Texas?

            1. Just FYI, Where I am, I had no effects at all from Laura. None. I got more (about 10 knots of wind and a smattering of light rain) from Marco. Looks like it was far enough east to leave me alone.

    2. Do you think they embrace it as fundamental belief or as highly effective weapon against those who oppose their will to power? I know…embrace the power of and. 😉

  17. My biggest legal issue with no-fault divorce (separate from the direct and indirect harms to children and financially weaker partners) is based on the idea that marriage is not merely a sacrament, but a matter of contract law. And introducing no-fault divorce constituted an ex post facto change in the terms of the contract, without the consent of either party *to* said contract. It stripped protections from specific behaviors under contract law and replaced it with feelings and who put on the best (or most expensively legally represented) face for family law judges.

    I don’t have a problem with it, if that’s the agreement you entered into legally at the time of the marriage. But for those who married prior to the 1970s in most of this country, they were stripped of their rights to redress for breaching of the marital contract.

      1. Marriage IS a contract. When C and I got married, we used a version of the vows in the Book of Common Prayer (an old version), cut down to take out the God stuff, but keeping the very explicit mutual promises. We liked the idea that what we were doing was promising to perform certain actions toward each other, and not promising to feel certain things (which isn’t a promise anyone can meaningfully make) or talking exclusively about our feelings; that is, that we were getting married as adults, as a matter of adult business.

        In the course of picking a set of vows (we didn’t want to write our own, an exercise that is hardly ever done well), I looked at a whole lot of more modern versions, and none of them was as compelling as the very traditional version.

        1. While we left G-d in, because religious, Dan and I used traditional vows, and yep, I promised to obey. Not because he was the male, but because every association needs an ultimate decider and we were moving to HIS COUNTRY OF BIRTH. I.e. he knew implicit rules I didn’t know (and I don’t think anyone can understand the extent of that, unless they’ve lived it.) Has worked well.

            1. Not for long, dear. I told you and the rabbi that I wouldn’t convert, because that would be oathbreaking, but aside from that, I didn’t figure God cared whether I used Hebrew or Latin or English to tell Him we were married; He knew already.

        2. We used the 1928 BCP vows ourselves, which did cause a bit of stumbling over “thereto I plight thee my troth” part.

          But remembering that we entered a financial and child-rearing contract that is still binding whether or not we are in a romantic love phase or not (it varies) and even during the occasions when we don’t particularly *like* each other (which absolutely will happen from time to time when you live in one anothers’ pockets for a quarter-century) has held us together to work out a heck of a lot that would have torpedoed a marriage based on a more ‘idealized’ model.

          1. “Being in love means deliriously gooey at all times” can fairly be called either idealized or hallucinatory.

            Some people’s “‘commitment’ canceled upon the first day spent not deliriously gooey and/or first whim of attraction to someone else” veers directly into nightmare.

            1. Sort of early on in the marriage Beloved Spouse incurred a recurring upper respiratory infection — sinus infection, inner ear infection, etc. infection. I entered an “I’m stuck with this sick person” phase until I paused my self-pity long enough to consider that, were we not married, I would have happily been the attentive spouse, preparing hot compresses, filling prescriptions, expressing sympathy and such like.

              Sometimes you need to forget you’ve made a commitment and do what you would have done anyway.

          2. I remember a discussion of the morning gift — the medieval practice whereby the families would thrash out the financial details before the wedding, and then the morning after the wedding night, the bridegroom would sign over to the bride the right to the negotiated part — and the credit councilor loved it because after one too many couples who could not divorce only because their credit could not take the hit, he loved a wedding custom that put sex and money first and foremost.

          3. even during the occasions when we don’t particularly *like* each other

            As Beloved Spouse has observed, “There are some days I don’t even like me.”

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