Charity

May 25, 2009

I no longer give money to poor people or even to people who have been disaster-stricken. The last time I donated a buck help the unfortunate was after the Thailand tsunami. I regret that.

My attitude is somewhat subsidized. There are plenty of people who will give to the deserving unfortunate, so I don’t need to pile on. But I now put the emphasis on the deserving–unfortunate is not alone enough to make me care.

Here’s my latest act of charity: I didn’t reduce my Netflix subscription plan. I’m on the 3-at-once plan. They solicited me to upgrade for $1.54 a month. When I went to look at the plans, I realized they were doing some funny math. Per disc or something. Thinking about it, we don’t watch more than 1 disc a week. We have a disc that’s been here for 6 weeks, and another we forgot to send back, and another we might watch tonight 8 days after we got it. I have a Blu-Ray player that does streaming, and there are 400 movies in my streaming queue. My DVR is 40% full still after we’ve watched all we could this weekend. As homo economicus, I should reduce down to 1 disc at a time and save $10 a month, not add another $10 a month (which is what the $1.54 would really turn out to be).  And Neflix is a horrible popup ad offender.

But I didn’t reduce my plan. Because I love Netflix. Their site rocks, their streaming rocks, they’re swimming upstream against sharks, and not always doing the right thing, and I want to help them out some. There are plenty of other businesses where I make similar decisions. I buy software I don’t really need just to say Nice job! I shop at local stores that have great service, just to do a little something to keep that from going extinct. I tip 50% at restaurants I love that are now empty, not because I think it will keep them in business, but just trying to encourage.

The other day, I gave my first guy with a cardboard sign at a freeway exit some money. He was selling single roses for $3 and I gave him $10.

Especially now, there are so many hard-working people getting screwed by the economy. Whether it’s Netflix or a little restaurant that can’t survive a 40% drop in business or a guy begging by the freeway who leads with providing value instead of playing the pathetic card…I love these guys.

To modify a phrase, the best way to help the poor is to help only those who are trying hard not to be one of them.

UPDATE 2016: That freeway guy is still selling roses at that exit, still leading with being destitute. I got taken.

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Bristol Palin – Still Abstaining

May 23, 2009

Abstaining from logic.

Presumably, Bristol got knocked up while on the abstinance plan. So I guess her argument is, had I followed that plan, I wouldn’t be knocked up. Therefore, abstinence works. It just doesn’t work for stupid sluts like me.

Ok, Bristol, your mom probably told you not to run with scissors. What a stupid bitch your mom was. She should have put you on the scissors-abstinence plan. She should have told you never to use scissors, and then there’s no chance you’d ever get hurt from running with them.

The effectiveness of all birth control methods is evaluated not on whether people perfectly implement them, but on how successful at not getting pregnant the people are who report that they intend to implement the method.

Anyhow Bristol Palin got pregnant while using abstinence as her birth control method. So abstinence is  not 100% except in a world where nobody is allowed to grow up and use scissors.

Actually, I don’t have studies to back this, just personal observation, intending to be abstinent is far less effective than any other form of birth control, including using condoms. Both abstinence and condoms are horribly annoying ways to avoid pregnancy.

The religious right is right to ridicule the notion that condom education will significantly slow the spread of AIDS. People who like the kind of sex that causes AIDS aren’t likely to like condoms. Not that the rest of us like condoms either. Condoms suck, and not in a good way.

Condoms suck, teenagers fuck. That pretty much sums up why neither condoms nor abstinence are particularly effective forms of birth control.


Oh, Mamma!

May 17, 2009

The Week is one of my favorite magazines. It’s a hip version of Reader’s Digest. Every article is constructed, paragraph by paragraph, from multiple sources. George Will next to Paul Krugman. They try to give you what everyone is saying about everything, real fast, and it’s still very readable.

A couple of weeks ago, before my Mother’s Day rant, The Week ran one of their usual everyone but the kitchen sink articles, titled “Motherhood: When good moms flip out.”

 Some Scarsdale mom had a meltdown and made her 10 and 12 year old bratty daughters get out of the car. The 12 year old, properly chastened, chased down the car and mom relented. the 10 year old, less docile, did not. The cops took her in, and evemtually arrested her stupid bitch mother when she came to pick her up. The consensus opinion in The Week was that the mom was woefully abused. Being a mom is so so hard. Most women writing the stupid apologias for this horrible mom admitted they felt tempted to do this kind of thing a lot. Which goes to show.

Most moms suck. If being a mom was a real job, most moms would have been fired long ago.

A week later, in The Week, they had an excerpt from “Free Range Kids.” At the back of each issue, they do a 2-page excerpt from an interesting new book or essay. The New York mom who wrote the book let her 9 year old ride the subway home. She gave him money, prepped him, lived in the city with him, rode the subway for years with him. And, of course, he successfully did it. Every morming show booked her, ambushed her, pilloried her for being a horrible mom. Actually, she’s not only a great mom, but a pretty good dad too.

She’s fought back, pointing out that statistically it’s not more dangerous than it was 30 years ago to let kids out of your sight, and so on.

I don’t know what you call this:  The pussification of our children, the matrification of our culture. Why I hate everybody. But this is why you have so many 20-somethings living at home acting like 12 year olds, and 16 year olds who act like 8 year olds.

When I was a kid, on Saturday, I’d get on my bike and ride. 10 years old, and I’d try hard to get 50 miles away from home before noon. There were no cell phones or embedded GPS chips. My whole point was to make sure my parents didn’t know where I was. I grew up in Northern Virginia, as I like to say, “within the blast radius of the Pentagon.” I rode my bike across Shirley Highway, through the mixing bowl, to get to stores I liked. I pedaled up Rock Creek Parkway and then hopped off onto trails to take me into Maryland.

We lived on Duke Street, near Cameron Station, a military base. I used to catch perch in their pond with a fingerline. Duke was a busy, multi-lane artery. I rode my bike at 35 mph down the hill from the Landmark shopping center, exhilarated that I was passing cars.

I’ve heard it said that the job of a mom is to make a kid feel safe and loved, and the job of a dad is to pry the kid of out of mom’s clutches and help the kid grow up. So, maybe I’m a little hard on moms whose job is supposed to be to over-protect. Maybe I should be harder on dads who have abdicated to the women.

Anyhow, I wish Free Range Mom had been my dad.


Release the Hounds!

May 13, 2009

Or, Release the Pictures!

More Abu Ghraib hazing pictures, courtesy of the ACLU’s FOIA request, are about to come out.

I wish the media would release the horrific 9/11 footage and pictures they have that they’ve sat on in the name of good taste lo these many years. You don’t even need a FOIA request for that to happen.

I’d like to see a picture of some Sunni shithead with his toenails painted magenta being made to lick a dog’s butt on the front page right next to bits and pieces of some banker who made the mistake of getting to work on time on 9/11.

I  agree we shouldn’t torture or even haze these guys when we capture them. We should just execute them, humanely. I don’t know, but I really doubt that we’ve learned enough from those we’ve captured that it justifies the PR problem they have become.

We should take no prisoners, and then we wouldn’t have this problem. And the rest of them out there would take us a lot more seriously. You don’t question cockroaches.


The Race Card

May 12, 2009

Ganeen Goroffalo or Janeen Girofello or Jamin Horuffalo or whatever the hell her name is has been running around–when she’s not trying to out-uber-bitch Chloe on 24–claiming that we Tea Party types are racists. I’ve seen her say this a few times, but today was the first time I saw her back it up. Her evidence: there was a sign at one of the protests that said, What you talkin’ ’bout, Willis?

I guess that’s kinda racist. I’m not sure I get it. When I went to the Tea Party in Seattle, I didn’t see many black people. I don’t remember if I saw ANY black people. That’s pretty much how it is on any given day in any given mall in Seattle. I don’t usually notice if there are or are not black people around. Maybe that’s just because I live in Seattle, where we only allow nice black people. That’s a joke, you know, like Wanda Sykes made at the Press Club Dinner. Oh, was that too much?

I didn’t see any signs at the Seattle protest that even Watumean ImaWaterbuffalo could have taken as racist, except the “Somewhere in Kenya a village is missing its idiot” sign. I’ll defend that sign. My kid sent me that on a coffee cup, because I cracked up so much about it.

Back to the original subject…

I’m sick of the race card. Never ever ever play it on me. I will stick that card so far up your ass after folding it into a ninja star that you’ll have to stand and squirm while trying to pass that card while filing whatever complaint you might want to make against me.

Janeane, I’d be origami-ing right now except I know how much you’d like it.


Mother’s Day

May 9, 2009

Ah, Mother’s Day.  The hypocritical, hyperbolic holiday that is second only to Christmas in its bathos and BS.

I don’t celebrate Mother’s Day for the same reason I don’t celebrate Lawyer’s Day. What? there isn’t a Lawyer’s Day?

The rule of law is incredibly important–it’s the difference between the USA and Somalia. Why don’t we celebrate the professionals that keep the rule of law going?

Well, lawyers suck. They’re venal, stupid, aggressive ambulance-chasing sharks. And they infest Congress. They may be important in principle, but they’re not doing the kind of job they should be doing. So we kind of hate them and make nasty jokes about them and would never think to celebrate them.

While all that we think about lawyers may be true, I submit that living in the USA is somewhat different from living in Somalia, and so even if lawyers aren’t perfect, they’re doing an OK job.

Unlike American mothers, who are doing a horrible job and who are doing their damnedest to make America more like Somalia. On average, American mothers are more venal, brutal, stupid, aggressive and incompetent than lawyers. They don’t deserve to be celebrated, as a class. Sure, there are lots of great moms and lots of great lawyers. In America, there are more great lawyers than great moms, percentage-wise.

In certain communities that shall remain nameless lest I be accused of being racist, the majority of moms don’t bother getting married before having children, and don’t bother using the same sperm donor twice. In others, moms get married and then get divorced plus minus a year or two of reproducing.

Unless widowed, every single mom has screwed-up in very important ways. Single mothers are stereotypically treated as struggling blameless heroes. Most of them are not. Some of them, having made truly stupid decisions, suck it up and use their self-inflicted adversity to dig out and make great lives and become great mothers. Most don’t. They just ruin their kids.

We have these stereotypes of the poor as victims and of single mothers as hard-working even-more-deserving victims. Both are untrue of the majority. Most poor people really are lazy and most single mothers are sexually irresponsible and lazy. They deserve to be poor, but their kids are innocent. Till the kids grow up to become stupid, resentful, entitled jerks raised by a role model who is a stupid, resentful, entitled jerk.

Newt Gingrich was right: Put these kids in orphanages, and they’ll be a lot better off.

I don’t want to be considered classist, so I’ll attack middle-class and upper-class moms too:

As you go more and more up the SES ladder, you find fewer and fewer women who are decent mothers. Whether a woman marries money, or is the money, she sucks at being a mom. Rich men aren’t selecting for great moms, mostly. Britney Spears is more famous, not less competent, than most poor moms and rich moms.

As for the middle class, maybe 20% of middle-class moms are competent.

What about my mom? Lousy, thanks for asking. Now you can ignore what I’m saying.

So, no cards, no letters, no congratulations from me to any mom, even the good ones, on this crappy day. This is the one day I will not compliment a mom.


Trickle Down

May 6, 2009

My next door neighbor’s wife just got laid off.  She worked part time. She had a nanny-share arrangement with another couple. Now she’s home, no longer needs or can afford the nanny, and the other yuppie couple can’t afford to pay the full freight.

So the nanny just got laid off.  The nanny’s husband got laid off too, several weeks ago.

My neighbors, being smart, hard-working, highly paid people likely–similar to me–have savings and low or no debt. But they’re a lot younger than I am. So having to go through their savings to survive what’s about to hit them won’t hit them as hard as it will me. Still, we’ll all make it through, and we’ll all just end up working longer than we wanted to.

That nanny and her husband don’t have the same cushions– emotional, intellectual, financial, gerontological. I’ll bet they’re in a world of hurt right now. I’m arguing with my wife about staying home and watching movies on our 61″ TV and ordering in instead of spending $150 on a night out.

Obama’s swipes at the “rich”  sideswipe the working poor. As if federal taxes are their biggest problem. This is what comes of electing a President who’s never had to think about the food chain or his privileged position in it.