David Thompson
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October 25, 2016

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( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

*hits tip jar*

Should cover some soap and a sandwich.

McN

Thanks for the laughs. Tip jar hit.

David

Leftist writer assumes that being kind, or at least sharing a photo of someone else being kind, will “annoy” conservatives.

Liz

what’s been going on here for – blimey - close to ten years,

I'm still trying to catch up on the reheated series. Your tip jar has been hit, David.

Em

More joys of public transport.

https://twitter.com/jayckb/status/790610399083323392

(Also pinged.)

David

More joys of public transport.

There’s a boldness to his squalor. And now I’m wondering why there’s a large amount of some mysterious white powder around his feet.

bilbaoboy

Dandruff ?

Adrian

an artistic release of gas

Very good. Tipped.

sH2

"New York University (NYU) has canceled a Milo Yiannopoulos speech, saying it presents 'perils to [the] safety of our community' because some students may 'involuntarily' stumble upon it."

http://campusreform.org/?ID=8296

David

students may ‘involuntarily’ stumble upon it.

It reminded me of the line from Withnail & I, “We’ve gone on holiday by mistake.”

R. Sherman

Well, we'll see if we can make it through another fundraiser without the wife looking at the credit card statement.

David

without the wife looking at the credit card statement.

It should appear on your statement as a subscription to the International Journal of Eproctophilia. I’m sure the dear lady will understand.

Alice

*googles 'eproctophilia'*

⊙_ʘ

David

⊙_ʘ

Apparently, it’s a thing.

Oh don’t look so innocent.

R. Sherman

Apparently, it’s a thing.

Just a thought, but you may wish to review your marketing protocols.

Lionel Ebb

New York University (NYU) has canceled a Milo Yiannopoulos speech

This stuff really is beginning to defy parody: http://bit.ly/29a8oXL I mean, spot the difference? Anyone?

I sneeze in threes

I don't have speakers on the work PC so can only imagine what will be said.

“I can’t do this because the parts aren’t there”

"Trans male Marcus has an anatomy more commonly associated with women so, in the bedroom with his cisgender girlfriend, things can get very frustrating for him."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04clf4h

Dom

The BBC video that I Sneeze linked to on transgender love ... at the bottom it says "you may also like ...". Uhh ... how do I put this?

Farnsworth M Muldoon

The BBC video...

A) Could someone translate that last bit about whipping cakes off (?) into American please.

B) OK - Marcus is the gal with the red earring lip piercing, the dirigible with the stubby beard doesn't exactly look like a "cisgender girlfriend" so who the hell is that ?

C) WTF is wrong with the alleged cisgender girlfriend - I may have missed that page in Everyday Feminism and Neurosis Affirmation, but if she (GF) knows she (Marcus) is missing the doo-dads but still wants to get it on, doesn't that make her rather non-cis ? It is getting so you can't tell the players without a scorecard.

David

Could someone translate that last bit about whipping cakes off (?) into American please.

Kecks, or keks, i.e., trousers.

Dom

"...doesn't that make her rather non-cis ?"

Actually, that makes her a cis-gendered lesbian. I mean if you're going to play the game, play it right. You may also like ...

David

Thanks to all who’ve chipped in so far. It’s much appreciated and makes a big difference to how much time I can spend idling with you heathens.

Farnsworth M. Muldoon

Kecks, or keks, i.e., trousers.

Toda - and a small gratuity for helping my with my English lessons should be finding its way to you.

Actually, that makes her a cis-gendered lesbian.

Maybe yes, and maybe no - if she (GF) fancies Marcus as a girl then yes, a cis-lesbian (which is actually non-cis, but also non-trans), but if she (GF) fancies her (Marcus) as a guy then she (GF) would be just plain cis.

It would be easier if they just stuck to the script - Marcus apparently likes girls - OK, be a lesbian, it is not as if a surgically applied johnson is going to work like a real one.

Fred the Fourth

OT, but (actually, there is no topic today, is there. So all you complainers can piss off.) :
Long article on public radio this AM about a ballot proposition in Colorado to create an entirely state tax-funded universal coverage medical program for all Colorado residents.
Two amusing facts I learned:
- The new tax would approximately equal the entire current state budget, about $30 billion, give or take. (Of course, that's if you believe the proponents' accounting. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?)
- The plan is to keep the budget under control by reducing payments to hospitals and doctors. This, it is stated, will not alter the availability of hospitals and doctors in Colorado.
- The plan will be funded by a new 10% payroll tax (which, it was somewhat fuzzily explained, will be paid by both employees and employers.) This, it was stated, will have no deleterious effect on the availability of taxpaying employees and employers in Colorado.

Colorado must be the best-run government on the planet. So there's no risk, none at all, when handing the state bureaucracy another $30 billion, that any of that money will be stolen or wasted.

Loved the last line from a proponent: "If we lose, we'll just try again, because it's the right thing to do." Winning, she did not need to state, is apparently irreversible.

Fred the Fourth

The new Colorado plan will not only pay for that surgically applied johnson, it will ensure that it works better than any bog-standard home-grown johnson. Because, Government.

Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

Single-payer legal care.

Because no lawyer does anything worth more than minimum wage.

Chester Draws

Long article on public radio this AM about a ballot proposition in Colorado to create an entirely state tax-funded universal coverage medical program for all Colorado residents.

Why do Americans not think this cannot work? Canada, almost all of Europe, Australia etc have a universal funded medical coverage that manages to be cheaper than what the US pay. So it can work. The British NHS has serious issues, but the French system is fine.

In NZ, at least, we have a taxpayer funded medical system that isn't quite free, the government correctly calculating that people do not value stuff that is totally free, but is cheap enough that insurance is not necessary. The basic coverage is sometimes supplemented by the wealthy or nervous with private insurance, but most people don't bother. The result is we spend half the amount per person on health that the US does, for approximately the same results.

The fact that it is government run may mean waste, but so long as that waste is inside what would be profit margins inside a private system the actual cost is less. We save on 1) insurance company costs, because they aren't involved, 2) employee costs linked to running schemes, because they don't, 3) costs involved with hospitals competing and duplicating, because they don't.

I understand that it cannot work in the US because of legacy issues, especially the ease of litigation, and a fear of government -- but to ridicule it on the basis that it clearly is ridiculous ignores much of the Western world. It can work, and it can be cheaper.

Farnsworth M. Muldoon

The plan is to keep the budget under control by reducing payments to hospitals and doctors. This, it is stated, will not alter the availability of hospitals and doctors in Colorado.

And indeed it may not as kindly old Dr. Young, Hopkins and Mayo Clinic, says the hell with Colorado, and is replaced by young Dr. Olde, new graduate of the Patrice Lumumba Glorious Comrades Extension College of Medicine and Tractor Mechanics Number 47, Managua. All the hospitals will be there, but services will be curtailed as equipment breaks down and doesn't get replaced, so, like Canadians going to the US for MRIs, Coloradoans will be going to neighboring states.

"If we lose, we'll just try again...

Just because it hasn't worked anywhere else in the world won't deter us !

redlonghorn

It can work, and it can be cheaper.

Other than the massively higher taxes, and the lower quality and lesser availability of services, you are absolutely right.

The fact that Canadiens cross the US border in droves to use our healthcare system tells me all I need to know about which system is better.

Daniel Ream

Why do Americans not think this cannot work? Canada, [...] have a universal funded medical coverage that manages to be cheaper than what the US pay. So it can work.

Thanks to our host's presence on a Canadian politics blog, there are several of us here from Her Majesty's Dominion.

It may surprise you to learn that many Canadians do not consider our single-payer system to "work".

Fred the Fourth

Chester,
Speaking only for myself as an American, I have no solid opinion about whether or not such a thing can work in some location. There are interesting examples of different ways to handle provision and funding of medical care to be found around the world, and one would be a fool to dismiss them out of hand.
However.
I live in the US. I live in Silicon Valley, California, for god's sake. I've been paying attention to the things the various bits of government around me do, and the things the electorate chooses to ask for, for something nigh on 55 years now.
[I was going to write a long explanation here, but I'll spare you all.]
In my opinion, it CANNOT be made to work here, with anything like our current government structure and government employees.
Look at the fiasco of the PPACA (Obamacare), for the most recent example of how well this will be designed and implemented in the US.
Me? I believe P.J.O'Rourke: 'If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it's free.'

champ

"Why do Americans not think this cannot work?"

Because Americans basically pay for the majority of the rest of the world's drug and medical device innovations. If the US went the way of Europe and Canada, medical innovation would screech to a halt. And if you say that European and Asian companies are making big advances in medical/pharmaceutical technology, that is mainly because they can reap enormous profits from the US market.

Tony of Brompton

Not hugely well of myself at the mom but I've dropped a few bucks into the hat.

dicentra

Just bought three Pat Metheny albums with your Amazon link and damn, do I feel pious.

dicentra

Actually, that makes her a cis-gendered lesbian.

Maybe yes, and maybe no

It sounds like we've got a terminology problem, here.

"Cis-gendered" means that you identify with the sex that you were born with, i.e., if you were born with lady parts and you self-identify as female, you're cis-gendered. Likewise if you were born with male plumbing and you self-identify as male.

If you were born with lady parts and you self-identify as male, you're trans-gendered. Same if you were born with boy parts and self-identify as a woman.

It has nothing to do with sexual attraction. Zip. Nada. Niente.

Marcus is a trans-gender who was born female but self-identifies as male AND who is attracted to women. (Careful, I've got a co-worker who is in this same boat.)

Meaning that before Marcus transitioned, she was a lesbian. Most lesbians were born female and continue to self-identify as such. Marcus's girlfriend is one such lesbian.

She is attracted to butch women. VERY butch women. It would not surprise me to learn that as a child she was sexually molested by a man, making her supremely mistrustful of men (trust being huge for women), but a trans-man is (a) man enough to appeal to her native heterosexuality but not (b) man enough to be a threat to her.

So it works for them, for now, and they both have a hard enough life as it is.

dicentra

The result is we spend half the amount per person on health that the US does, for approximately the same results.

What are your survival rates for cancer?

How many MRI machines do you have per capita?

What kind of wait times do you have for different kinds of surgeries?

How many new drugs and procedures do you develop per annum?

On those metrics I highly doubt Kiwi healthcare compares favorably.

There's no way you're getting the same level of service at half the cost. And there's no cost involved with competition, because competition drives prices down, not up.

Furthermore, our healthcare system is NOT a free-market system by any means or stretch of the imagination. Insurance companies have "networks" of providers who have agreed to accept X as a fee: if we go to an out-of-network provider, we may pay 100% out-of-pocket.

I don't get to choose my insurance company: my employer does. I might have 2-3 plans to choose from but that's it.

Doctors and hospitals don't compete with each other in our system; they just cut deals with the insurance companies and then spend an enormous amount of resources trying to collect what they're owed.

It's a Frankenstein's monster of cronyism, price-fixing, over-insuring, and treatment-dictating. Anything BUT a free-market system.

Chester Draws

Careful, NZ is a small country. Competition would not drive price down because two flash MRIs which are not used to efficiency are just expensive waste.

Life expectancy in NZ is two years higher than the US. Infant mortality is terrible, but better than the US. We have a higher immigrant %. Things like "cancer survival rates" are meaningless, since they depend on the type etc, which depend on race, diet etc.

The NZ system isn't that great, we're little and less rich than most western countries, but is cheap. The French system is good, but expensive. The US pay at French rates, but get NZ outcomes.

And no it doesn't drive our tax up. Our top rate is 33% and we have only national tax, 15% sales tax and low land taxes. We are low tax.

Chester Draws

Competition also only drives price down if companies compete on price. US health providers compete on service, providing gold-plated product which gives the same end result.

Restaurants often don't compete on price, which is why they are not driven out by McDonalds. But the nicest three star restaurant feeds you no more healthily than burgers.

Plenty of service providers don't compete on price. It's why the US has many of the world's top ranked universities, but boy you pay to go to them!

Darleen

US health providers compete on service, providing gold-plated product which gives the same end result

There are areas of medical service that is not covered by insurance, yet competition HAS brought the price down.

Want to have Lasik 20+ years ago? spend $8-10K or more. Now you can get Lasik or Lasek, with all manner of advanced equipment and about 2K.

All manner of cosmetic surgery & procedures have gotten better & less expensive over the years.

Spiny Norman

UC Berzerkley never fails to disappoint .

Left-wing students at the University of California, Berkeley are protesting again. This time, however, these students are calling for “safe spaces” for transgendered people, as well as “spaces of color” at the University (which they already have).

The protesters are also harassing white students trying to study, barring their path across a key bridge while allowing students of color safe passage.

The protest, which began last Friday, blocked Berkeley’s Sather Gate, disrupted studying students in the Student Union, and blocked traffic at the intersection of Telegraph and Bancroft in front of campus.

In video of the protest, the so-called anti-racism protesters were seen denying passage across the bridge to white students — shouting “go around” — while happily allowing students of color to pass through.

"Anti-racism" meant ironically, I can only assume.

Oh, and ping!.

Microbillionaire

There's no way you're getting the same level of service at half the cost.

I can see a potential way; for instance, New Zealand might have much fewer persons of a murderous persuasion running around knifing and shooting and batting each other. Thus, same level of service per injury, but half cost due to fewer injuries overall.

Hal

A Shower And A Hot Meal

Britsh Logic, aka twit @BritishLogic announces; Every pub meal is now served on a fucking chopping board

Do tell . . . I do remember reading something like this before . . .

Hal

UC Berzerkley never fails to disappoint .

Weeeeeelllllllll, yes, that lot does disappoint(1) . . . . . Unfortunately, Telegraph Avenue, aka the four block retail section that's about 500something feet out from that shot of Sather Gate, has not been doing well in recent years. Where if wannabe grandstanders actually did want to have an effect on foot traffic, they'd have gone West towards Shattuck and the Bart station to set up a blockade there---as it is, rerouting around Sather gate is a piffle.

Oh, and being nowhere near Sather Gate, the Math and Stats departments are rather uphill, to the East and up past College Avenue, in Evans, and EECS is even further uphill and to the Northeast, in Cory and Soda.

(1) Oh^2, and I wanna see that lot even just try and match an actual protest at Berkeley, with numbers of participants to match . . . . . . .

David

UC Berzerkley never fails to disappoint.

See today’s post.

[+]

Pinged good and hard.

Min

Doing some Christmas shopping via your Amazon thing. Keep up the good work.

Tim Newman

but the French system is fine

It's not, it's bankrupt. But to be fair, nobody notices. So maybe it's fine after all, provided the government can keep borrowing.

PiperPaul

"...harassing white students trying to study, barring their path..."

Where are the football players when you need them? Oh yeah, right - protesting the Star Spangled Banner (or is it the flag? I just can't keep up with the idiocy anymore).

Nemo

Hal,

Via your links in a place called the Bold Italic

"The only thing worse than Telegraph never recovering is it becoming yet another gentrified strip of road."

The author, Lexi Pandell, describes herself as a freelance writer who includes the obligatory 'cookiness' of "Will write for burritos" and the identifier @ucbsoj. Berzerkley, huh?

TomJ

When deciding on which hot meal will accompany the shower, you may care to take this into account:

http://www.newshub.co.nz/nznews/beer-and-pie-diet---the-final-verdict-2016102619

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Careful, NZ is a small country.

Indeed. If New Zealand, after a bit of interwebbing, was a US state, it would be Alabama, which has a nearly identical GDP and population. The two largest cities, Auckland and metro Birmingham are also about the same size, but Birmingham has almost as many MRIs as all of New Zealand, which brings us to point two.

Competition would not drive price down because two flash MRIs which are not used to efficiency are just expensive waste.

Actually, there are both hospital and independent MRI facilities in Birmingham (and most US cities) and the cost of MRIs in both has either fallen or remained constant (depending on the market). Next, "used to efficiency" is meaningless, the fallacy being that if a machine exists it won't be used to capacity in innovative ways that extra capacity creates. A classic example of this is that of a scaphoid fracture. The scaphoid is a small bone of the wrist with a poor blood supply, missed diagnosis can lead to long term disability in the affected wrist/hand because it will not heal properly (if at all) on its own. It is often missed even with serial x-rays, but is readily seen with MRIs. In Birmingham you can get an MRI for your wrist, likely in a day or two. In Auckland, you will be x-rayed, and might get lucky and be diagnosed properly, but you probably won't get an MRI because you would probably be on a waiting list even for something more serious because there is no excess capacity.

Life expectancy in NZ is two years higher than the US. Infant mortality is terrible, but better than the US

My two favorite fallacies. Life expectancy - the US has a higher rate of "accidental death" which skews the rate lower. Self removal from the population through criminal activity also skews the rate lower. At the other end, the US is far more aggressive at trying to resuscitate extremely premature infants. This is reported in the US, but deaths below 27 weeks are not reported in most countries except Norway. Worldwide, around 50% of neonatal mortality occurs in the first 24 hours, this is reported in the US, but not most other countries. All of these factors skew the US rate higher.

And no it doesn't drive our tax up. Our top rate is 33% and we have only national tax, 15% sales tax and low land taxes. We are low tax.

You left out that bit about the taxes and fees that cover the Accident Compensation Corporation, capital gains tax, and fringe benefits tax. Further, your top tax rate is levied on what is only $50,000 USD which is here the 25% bracket before deductions. Here in south Flyoverlandia with no state tax, budget dust property tax, 7% combined average state and local sales tax, with deductions that would be about a 15 % rate. Your 33% plus earners levy plus 15% VAT would be the equivalent of someone in these parts making about $2-400,000 USD, so, yes, you are high tax. I will give y'all points for everybody paying something, though, unlike here where nigh half the people pay zip.

John D

Tip jar hit.

Captain Nemo

This week in the identity politics of stupidity, the organisers of London Gay Pride have said they want their 2017 event to be "less focused on gay, white men". The organiser, a Mr Holt, said,"Over the years, the focus has tended to focus on gay, white men".

Hmm, I wonder why that was, historically speaking. Could it have anything to do with the ethnic makeup of the country being what it is? Could it possibly be related to the fact that in this country, it was gay and bisexual men who were the ones persecuted in a most appalling manner, while gay women got off as lesbianism in the UK has never been illegal?

Also, Mr Holt then says, "it’s also about making it a safe space – it’s much bigger than just ‘gay’ pride". In what way does he wish to make it a safe space? If his aim is a place where those of an LGBT persuasion are free from physical and emotional abuse, then that's something I think most people can get behind. If his definition of safe space refers to safe space from opinions, a place where only certain views are tolerated, and where, for instance the likes of LGBT UKIP and others are banned from attending, that's far more worrying.

http://www.standard.co.uk/goingout/attractions/date-announced-for-pride-in-london-2017-as-it-s-promised-to-be-less-focused-on-gay-white-men-a3378576.html

dicentra

Things like "cancer survival rates" are meaningless, since they depend on the type etc, which depend on race, diet etc.

Apples-to-apples comparisons are easily done, even with those variables. It's a way of measuring the wait time between diagnosis and the start of treatment. In the US, we're diagnosed with Stage-4 anything, we start chemo within the week. In Canada, it's a few months wait, which literally makes all the difference between life and death. For non-life-saving surgeries such as hip replacement or repairs to body parts that cause the patient intense pain and difficulty, the wait times are torturously long, which is why Canadians are willing to pay cash on the barrelhead to get that hip NOW instead of 18 months of agony for "free."

Plenty of service providers don't compete on price. It's why the US has many of the world's top ranked universities, but boy you pay to go to them!

Universities are expensive for the same reason healthcare is: third-party payment, which shields the consumer from price signals. It doesn't matter how high tuition is, enough students can get the loan for it (or daddy shells it out), so price-shopping is done only by people who can't get loans.

Insurance (and single-payer) likewise shields consumers from price signals, because it covers every middling thing (Rx to office visits) instead of being for catastrophes only (like auto insurance, which doesn't cover oil changes and new tires).

Restaurants often don't compete on price, which is why they are not driven out by McDonalds. But the nicest three star restaurant feeds you no more healthily than burgers.

McDonalds provides lower-quality fare, lower-quality service, and urine stench in the playroom for that lower price. Paying more elsewhere means getting better food, better service, better atmosphere, and a better overall experience. For some people, just BEING in the fancy restaurant (positional good associated with being in the "right place") is worth the price of admission.

People pay more when they're getting a concomitant increase in what they want, even if what they want is a Big Name on the pocket of their jeans.

The iron laws of supply and demand are iron: no exceptions.

R

I'm laughing my way through your 'reheated' posts. Have a drink or two on me.

mike fowle

Something towards a shower (I wasn't going to mention it, but)....

David

Something towards a shower

I need to be particularly fragrant for tomorrow. I have tickets for Doctor Strange.

champ

""Over the years, the focus has tended to focus on gay, white men"."

So is he planning to focus on gay Muslim men?

Slartibartfast

This one is classic Peak Guardian...

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/oct/26/selling-yoga-teachers-neocolonialism-british-indian-spiritual

james

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/oct/23/lord-and-lady-heseltine-gardening-squirrels-thenford-brexit

From the gardening section in the Grauniad.

The only section that I generally read.

Even by Grauniad standards, the comments below this article are quite stunning in their repetitive, predictable, unfunny nastiness.

Darleen

tip jar hit! Good for at least a nice bath gel & lotion set.

Ed Snack

Farnsworth, I would point out that there is no Capital gains Tax in NZ, none, nada, zip. However trading capital items can be deemed to be income and thus taxed at normal income rates. It is somewhat spottily applied. Fringe benefit just means that payments or services provide in lieu of salary are taxed as income; so if you are given a company maintained vehicle for private use it is treated as income (which in practice it is) and taxed accordingly - though taxed at the provider level. Vehicles used to be the major non-taxable benefit applied.

An ACC levy is paid a various levels, personal, corporate, and on Motor Vehicle registrations. It is indeed a form of tax being a compulsory personal injury insurance scheme, any treatment for injuries arising from accidents are paid for via the scheme as is compensation, income replacement, etc. Because it is compulsory it is relatively cheap, currently 1.39%. It does not apply to some categories of income, for example rents, royalties, dividends, retirement pensions; and is capped at a maximum of $1,650 or so pa. So broadly our top tax income rate is 34.4%. As a consequence though, personal injury cases are almost unknown and only possible if gross negligence is able to be proven.

I would claim one big plus on NZ's tax structure though: One lot of four rates (10.5, 15.5, 20, and 33% at US$ 0-10K, 10-34.6, 34.6-50.5 and over 50.5) plus a damn near universal GST (VAT, bugger all exemptions: means most people can fill in a tax return in 10-15 minutes online with little assistance.

There are some complications, a "Working for Families" scheme where you can claim a tax benefit per child based on your income levels. This is typically managed through the PAYE system so not something that overly complicates the end of year tax return though it can take a little setting up. The benfit reduces as income rises, however with one child you would cease to gain any benefit when your income is around US$53K.

The end result though is not that different to many other similar jurisdictions; the top 10% of earners pay a large share of the collected income tax.

LH

Great blog. Tipped.

F

A little something for your trouble. :)

Fay

Jar tipped. Hopefully enough for a few bottles of decent plonk to keep you lubricated.

Turk Turkleton

Beach privilege!

But time and social change have been rough on the Beach Boys. Their best-known hits (say, “California Girls,” “Help Me, Rhonda,” “I Get Around”) are poems of unenlightened straight-male privilege, white privilege, beach privilege. It is hard to imagine that they helped anyone toward self-determination or achieving their social rights.
P

Tip jar hit. Keep up the good work, David.

Hal

Oh, brilliant.

Mass. cop's wife faked home invasion, blamed Black Lives Matter

. . . and related observations.

As if that ever works . . .

Mark

Enjoy your stuff, David. Tip jar tapped.

***

Been lurking for years. An overdue contribution is on its way to you. :-)

klipper

*pinged*

witwoud

Kidney sold. Sorry, didn't get much for it. *ping*

Malc

Big fan. Small tip. ;-)

David

Again, thanks to all who’ve chipped in, or subscribed, or shopped via the Amazon links and widget. It all helps to keep this place here, even after close to a decade, and is much appreciated.

[ Fondles tip jar in a faintly indecent manner. ]

A.W.

an artistic release of gas

LOL Jar tipped

Clem

and the comments are where much of the good stuff is waiting to be found.

Agreed. Some British pounds have been stuffed in your g-string tip jar.

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