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Archive through March 4, 2003

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Jack Collins (_blackjack_)
Absinthe Mafia
Username: _blackjack_

Post Number: 834
Registered: 11-2000


Posted on Tuesday, March 4, 2003 - 10:03 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Likewise, there is not a single state in the country where 40 hours at minimum wage is enough to rent adequate housing at 30% of their income. It is pretty easy to work your ass off and still not have enough money to pay for someplace to live.
Jack Collins (_blackjack_)
Absinthe Mafia
Username: _blackjack_

Post Number: 833
Registered: 11-2000


Posted on Tuesday, March 4, 2003 - 9:52 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Oh, just so you know, the median TANF (the post-"reform" incarnation of welfare) benefit to a family of 3 is about $5000 a year, about 1/3 of the present poverty threshold, and those benefits are temporary and cut off if the recipient doesn't find work. That is barely enough to pay rent in most parts of the country, and won't get you a closet in most cities.
Jack Collins (_blackjack_)
Absinthe Mafia
Username: _blackjack_

Post Number: 832
Registered: 11-2000


Posted on Tuesday, March 4, 2003 - 9:44 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Yep, that's the big dirty secret of homelessness: most of them are NOT the ragged bums you see begging for change. They are regular folks, often families, who just had one too many things fuck up in the same month and ended up losing their home. More than a third of the homeless are CHILDREN for fuck's sake! Yeah, let's put all those lazy fucking 7-year-olds in work camps!

Teneg, you are suffering from what they call "cognitive dissonance". Since you brain can't deal with the fact that people are suffering in this supposed land of plenty, it concocts a rationalization that these people must DESERVE their fate. Taken to its extreme, it is the source of the hatred and prejudice that the privilaged have historically always had for the downtrodden.
Pataphysician (Pataphysician)
Elitist Bastard
Username: Pataphysician

Post Number: 483
Registered: 5-2001
Posted on Tuesday, March 4, 2003 - 7:50 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Teneg trollishly stated:
"but the only problem with that would be that none of these fuckers want to work. and that is a fact. they are walking piles of trash."

I just started volunteering at a homeless shelter. Every single one of the 'guests' had a job.
Kallisti (Admin)
Madame Guillotine
Username: Admin

Post Number: 863
Registered: 1-1998


Posted on Monday, March 3, 2003 - 11:22 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post


quote:

they are walking piles of trash.

they fuckin disgust me...




'Til one of your toothless cousins' welfare checks stop comin' in ... then its family.


“A lady who has a secure seat is never prettier than when in the saddle, and she who cannot make her conquest there, may despair of the power of her charms elsewhere.” - THE MANNERS THAT WIN, 1880

http://www.feeverte.net
gary kiger (Teneng)
Mousquetaire
Username: Teneng

Post Number: 17
Registered: 2-2003
Posted on Monday, March 3, 2003 - 10:57 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

"Too bad the Republican didn't realize that the guy was homeless because American CEOs had sent most decent-paying jobs overseas, and the fellow had been working three part-time McJobs to pay the rent . . . with no benefits like sick pay, retirement savings, or health insurance, of course, but just slightly too high an income for Medicaid. Then his antidepressants ran out, he couldn't afford the prescription and . . . well, you know the rest of the story.

Guess what, many people on the streets have mental health or addiction issues. Blithely offering them jobs doesn't help if they don't receive treatment so they can manage to show up for work! That, and they can't even APPLY for jobs without an address."

one solution would be to set up labor camps, have them building roads or somthing, ya know a place where the can "get back on there feet". where they can learn to provide for themselves.

but the only problem with that would be that none of these fuckers want to work. and that is a fact. they are walking piles of trash.

they fuckin disgust me...

Crosby (Crosby)
le Duc
Username: Crosby

Post Number: 313
Registered: 12-2001


Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2003 - 8:21 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post


C'est ma santé
Absinthe Queen of Reviews (Head_prosthesis)
Absinthe Mafia
Username: Head_prosthesis

Post Number: 1694
Registered: 1-2001
Posted on Monday, February 24, 2003 - 11:40 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Bush and Blair Duet
Pata-P LOVES SPECIAL "H"! HE'S "A" NUMBER ONE FAN!!!
Crosby (Crosby)
le Duc
Username: Crosby

Post Number: 309
Registered: 12-2001


Posted on Monday, February 24, 2003 - 10:09 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post


C'est ma santé
Absinthe Queen of Reviews (Head_prosthesis)
Absinthe Mafia
Username: Head_prosthesis

Post Number: 1672
Registered: 1-2001
Posted on Thursday, February 20, 2003 - 5:00 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Alpha, Alpha, (one more time) Alpha...

Soix aren't for Antes they're fer kids!
Sock Puppet free, since 1993
Z (Zman7)
Absinthe Mafia
Username: Zman7

Post Number: 202
Registered: 7-2001
Posted on Thursday, February 20, 2003 - 4:47 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Time for a glass of Hilz.
Quidam (Artemis)
Absinthe Mafia
Username: Artemis

Post Number: 594
Registered: 10-2000


Posted on Thursday, February 20, 2003 - 4:11 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

"Attack on humor".

That's almost as funny as the attached quote is gibberish. Take a dose of the Three Stooges and don't call me in the morning.
Kallisti (Admin)
Madame Guillotine
Username: Admin

Post Number: 851
Registered: 1-1998


Posted on Thursday, February 20, 2003 - 3:15 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

"Fun is for shallow people" - some bitch I know.
“A lady who has a secure seat is never prettier than when in the saddle, and she who cannot make her conquest there, may despair of the power of her charms elsewhere.” - THE MANNERS THAT WIN, 1880

http://www.feeverte.net
Alphasoixante (Alphasoixante)
le Vicomte
Username: Alphasoixante

Post Number: 88
Registered: 9-2001


Posted on Thursday, February 20, 2003 - 2:49 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

okay. one last attack on humor:

"Conciliatory laughter is heard as the echo of an escape from power; the wrong kind overcomes fear by capitulating to the forces which are to be feared. It is the echo of power as something inescapable. Fun is a medicinal bath. The pleasure industry never fails to prescribe it. It makes laughter the instrument of the fraud practiced on happiness."
Kallisti (Admin)
Madame Guillotine
Username: Admin

Post Number: 847
Registered: 1-1998


Posted on Thursday, February 20, 2003 - 12:04 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

One more attempt at humor:

http://www.lunchboxing.com/feat_group11.shtml

which is only really funny if you know that it is based on real life government instructions:

http://www.ready.gov/nuclear_visual.html



k a l l i s t i

http://www.feeverte.net
Lordhobgoblin (Lordhobgoblin)
Absinthe Mafia
Username: Lordhobgoblin

Post Number: 677
Registered: 10-2000


Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 2:40 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

"I work with many people from Iraq. According to them he is very much hated and feared."

That's like saying Castro is very much hated by his people because the Cuban exiles in Miami hate him. Of course those who leave a country because they hate the regime there will hate the regime there. They are not representative of the people of that country. Next we'll be using opinion polls carried out amongst the Kurdish population to show how much the average Iraqi hates Saddam.

To suggest that the anti-war protest is a cover for a personal hate campaign against George Bush is just rubbish. As a person he's really not of that importance and really not likely to have millions of people taking to the streets just because they have some sort of personal grudge against him. Many millions of people took to the streets at the weekend because they don't want a war that will see anywhere between 50,000 and 250,000 (depending on which source you choose to believe) innocent civilians killed and a war that will do nothing to protect us from terrorist threat.



Jack Collins (_blackjack_)
Absinthe Mafia
Username: _blackjack_

Post Number: 817
Registered: 11-2000


Posted on Monday, February 17, 2003 - 6:04 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post


quote:

I can't believe how deluded all these anti-war (it's really an anti-Bush crusade)are towards this situation.



My position against the war is only anti-Bush because Bush happens to be the one pressing for war right now. I was just as against Clinton's policies toward Iraq (which were essentially the same as Bush I's). I oppose the war because it is WRONG, because it is an act of aggression that does NOTHING to benefit the American people, and is likely to INCREASE the hostility towards us that lead to 9/11.

There is NO reason Iraq has to be our enemy. They didn't used to be, and we had no problem with their having WMD's when they were using them against Iran. Saddam is no worse than half a dozen petty, oppressive despots whom we consider on "our side", including the ones we were protecting from him in 1991. We MADE him our enemy, and he has profited mightely from it. However much the Iraqis may fear him, they fear US that much more (because they have been told to), and they see him as the only one who can protect them from us.

If we want to weaken Saddam, we should ignore him. Drop all the sanctions, provide aid to his people. Give him nothing to use as ammunition against us. Maybe when the Iraqi people see that it was Saddam, not the US, who was keeping them from recovering from the Gulf War, if we can show them that there is no US aggression for Saddam to protect them from, THEN he will cease to have such a hold over his people...
Jack Collins (_blackjack_)
Absinthe Mafia
Username: _blackjack_

Post Number: 816
Registered: 11-2000


Posted on Monday, February 17, 2003 - 5:54 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

There are certainly plenty of people who don't like Saddam, especially among the rural Shi'a, etc., and I don't question that there is plenty of fear, but I think the level of popular support he has is pretty damn obvious. If nothing else, he is massively popular among the MILITARY, because if he wasn't, they are in an ideal position to remove him at their whim.

I don't doubt the experiences of the Iraqis you know, but keep the perspective that these are people who LEFT Iraq. They are not necessarily representative of the average person on the street of Baghdad, who has no access to information beyond what the gevernment gives them.

I guess it's a matter of how you define "popular". If 10% of the population wants your head on a stick, and 40% of the population would throw themselves on broken glass for you, are you more or less popular than if 100% of the population is ambivalent about you?

I doubt even the anti-Saddam Iraqis are going to see us as "liberators" tho, since we left them to suffer under our sanctions for 12 years after promising to help them. Hell, even the Kuwaitis don't see us as "liberators"...
Z (Zman7)
Absinthe Mafia
Username: Zman7

Post Number: 200
Registered: 7-2001
Posted on Monday, February 17, 2003 - 4:18 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Saddam is MASSIVELY popular among the Iraqis? Are you for real? Where did you get this brainstorm of stupidity? I work with many people from Iraq. According to them he is very much hated and feared. They are driven into the streets like cattle for these forced demonstrations of love and adulation for Saddam. The population lives in terror of him. Saddam is NOT popular, massive or otherwise, with the Iraqis. Here's a prediction for you. When the US et al kick his ass out, the people of Iraq will look upon the US as a saviour of sorts. We will find the French, German, Chinese, and Russian manufacturers selling all these forbidden weapons to Saddam's regime. France doesn't want a war because they are doing billions of business with him. If he's gone, they are out all that cash. I can't believe how deluded all these anti-war (it's really an anti-Bush crusade)are towards this situation.
Jack Collins (_blackjack_)
Absinthe Mafia
Username: _blackjack_

Post Number: 815
Registered: 11-2000


Posted on Monday, February 17, 2003 - 3:48 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post


quote:

Legally held weapons do nothing to prevent dictators taking and holding power, this is a myth perpetuated by the US gun lobby. Dictators usually come to power on a wave of popular support.



Their utility is not so much against demogogues as against tyrants, if you get the distinction. Free speech is a more useful tool against demogogues, which is why we try to protect both over here.

EDITED TO ADD: The other major safeguard agains Demogoguery is a strong constitutional structure designed to keep the whims of the majority from being able to make drastic changes to gevernment power. But I know LHG doesn't agree with that, either.

Interesting historical aside: Hitler did nor enact strict gun control laws. He just took advantage of those which had been imposed by the Weimarr government, ironically, in an attempt to crack down on armed paramilitaries like the Brownshirts.
Lordhobgoblin (Lordhobgoblin)
Absinthe Mafia
Username: Lordhobgoblin

Post Number: 675
Registered: 10-2000


Posted on Monday, February 17, 2003 - 9:36 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

"Well, America is still kinda in denial of the fact that Saddam is MASSIVELY popular among most of the Iraqis"

As was Hitler with most Germans.

Legally held weapons do nothing to prevent dictators taking and holding power, this is a myth perpetuated by the US gun lobby. Dictators usually come to power on a wave of popular support.

There is this perverse assumption in the West that if WE do not like a particular ruler then naturally the ordinary people in that country could not possibly like him either. If we believe this then we can fool ourselves into thinking that we can bomb the shit out of a country and be doing it to liberate those civilians who we are bombing the shit out of. But then when Saddam was in our good books we looked on him as a benign dictator liked by his people (except of course if you happened to live in Halabja, in which case we turned a blind eye to). Now that he has fallen out of our favour he is the anti-Christ and his people hate him and want rid of him.

Baghdad is awash with privately held automatic weapons. My Dad was working there during the Iran-Iraq war and everytime there was news of an Iraqi victory the sky would be lit up with the civilian population stood on the roofs of their houses letting rip into the sky with their weapons. No change in the gun laws in Iraq between then and now. Iraqis keep these guns to make a stand against invaders, American and British invaders will not be treated as a special case. There'll be no cheering in the streets of Baghdad (like there was in Paris in WW2) when allied troops come marching in but there will be plenty of noise coming from the civilian population.

Jack Collins (_blackjack_)
Absinthe Mafia
Username: _blackjack_

Post Number: 812
Registered: 11-2000


Posted on Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 12:50 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post


quote:

Free market means free people.



"Free people" meaning that they can be bought and sold for pennies...

Remember the 1800's? Back before the government started "sticking its nose" into things? I imagine very few of the working class felt all that "free"...
Jack Collins (_blackjack_)
Absinthe Mafia
Username: _blackjack_

Post Number: 811
Registered: 11-2000


Posted on Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 12:45 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post


quote:

The legal private gun ownership in Iraq doesn't seem to have had an impact on Saddam's rise to power...



Well, America is still kinda in denial of the fact that Saddam is MASSIVELY popular among most of the Iraqis (and that American aggression has contributed to that). Granted, it is much easier to maintain your popularity when you control all the media and can kill anybody who criticizes you.

Trying to derail the gun talk, because I know where THAT leads...
Jack Collins (_blackjack_)
Absinthe Mafia
Username: _blackjack_

Post Number: 810
Registered: 11-2000


Posted on Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 12:39 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Man, did you pick the wrong day to have this argument. I'm straded at work by a foot-and-a-half of snow and have nothing better to do than research statistics... ;)


quote:

The question was, would it break the bank to fund health care for everybody on top of the other things for which we already pay.



Obviously not, since, as I stated, it likely would cost LESS to do so than to continue using the system we do today. That was my whole point: attempting to preserve the extand insurance and for-profit hospital industires ended up costing taxpayers more.

Here's a nice article detailing a Harvard study which indicates that close to 60% of healthcare costs in the US are already being covered by the government.

http://baltimorechronicle.com/health_sep02.shtml

Here's a WHO study, which breaks things down by pecentage of GDF, not tax expenditures, which finds the US pays the most overall, but ranks 37th in terms of quality of care, below Colombia, Chile and Costa Rica...

http://www.who.int/inf-pr-2000/en/pr2000-44.html


quote:

Get the government the hell out of it, and voila: taxpayers are now paying NOTHING.



...and the uninsured are left to get sick and die, since the private hospitals aren't going to treat them for free if they aren't required to, and if we require them to, we should be willing to pay for it.

In addition, an awful lot of INSURED people are getting money from the government, in the form of tax subsidies provided to employers to encourage them to offer private coverage.


quote:

This makes me a lot more picky about whether to show up at ANY medical facility.



It's an awful shame that you should be forced to do so, since an awful lot of things which can be caught and treated if you get routine checkups are much more dire if you wait until they are so bad that you HAVE to seek treatment. And a lot more costly.

As an example, if an unisured person was to come down with colon cancer, he would be very unlikely to know until it was well on it's way to killing him. And he would HAVE to depend on government money to get treated, because even the most frugal penny-pincher cannot hope to save enough money to pay for chemo and surgery. His only other option is a slow, painful death.

Did you know that ALL kidney dialysis is paid for by the government? Medicare pays the cost of dialysis for every American, not just retired people, simply because NOBODY, rich, poor, insured or not could actually afford to pay for it themselves. So basically, under a totally private system, the thousands of people whose lives have been saved or extended by the technology would have died, because it wouldn't be seen as cost-effective.


quote:

A good number of the people in there at any given time didn't need to go to ANY medical facility, but even among the ones that DID, a visit to the doctor in a couple of days or whatever would have been sufficient.



Er, yes, that is because they probably have no insurance and no other access to medical care. Their choices are to go to a private practice and pay far more than they can afford, or to go to the ER, knowing they will at least get looked at without having to pay.

But day-to-day care is only a drop in the bucket in comparison to acute or chronic illnesses. While it is concievable that someone might be able to pay for routine care out of pocket, the costs of treating a chronic condition that requires regular medication or examination, or a catastrophic situation like a sever trauma or cancer, would bankrupt even well-off people. I'm not a terribly sick person, but if I had to pay out-of-pocket for my own health costs, it would be almost as much as my rent.


quote:

People are a lot more likely to abuse any service when somebody else is paying for it, and that includes insurance.



Yes, and I suppose people would be a lot less likely to call the police if they had to pay for each visit, too, but the function they serve is vital enough that we are willing to bear the costs as a society.


quote:

Bullshit. I call bullshit on that, not because of the number; no matter what the number is, that's impossible to prove. How did they come up with that number (setting aside the possibility that whoever came up with it probably had an ax to grind, making sure the number fit their objective)?



The statistical concept of "extra deaths" is pretty firmly grounded as a part of epidemiology. If you have two populations, distinguished by a clearly deliniated factor (smoking, working with asbestos, not being insured, etc) and the mortality rates in one popluation are SIGNIFICANTLY higher than that of the other population (after factoring in variables like lifestyle, etc), then there is some statisitical probablility that the extra deaths were related to (if not directly caused by) the distinguishing factor.

(Again, it's more complicated than that, since there is complex factor analysis, age adjustment, weighting, etc.)

For instance, if you had group A, uninsured men 35-60 diagnosed with colon cancer; and group B, insured men 35-60 diagnosed with colon cancer, and you found that in 5 years that 2 times as many of the uninsured had died from colon cancer as had the insured ones, and that this rate was also higher than previously established 5-year mortality rates for men 35-60 diagnosed with colon cancer, you could make a good case that those extra deaths were related to the lack of insurance.

The study in question, done my the Institute of Medicine in 2001, did a more detailed case analysis, breaking down the statistics for specific conditions and identifying those (primarily AIDS, hypertension, diabetes and cancer) for which there were identifyable patterns of increased mortality related to access to care.

Here's a review of the study:

http://www.iom.edu/iom/iomhome.nsf/WFiles/Uninsured2FINAL/$file/Uninsured2FINAL.pdf

Here's the study itself, if you have a few hours:

http://www.nap.edu/books/0309083435/html/


quote:

If the government picks up the cost in the end anyway, as you say, it wasn't lack of health care that killed those people, but their own pride or stupidity from not going for treatment even thought they couldn't pay.



No, because these same studies found that the uninsured were less likely to recieve more complete diagnostics and aggressive treatment, that they didn't get follow-ups, and that the general level of care they got was inferior.


quote:

And I'm pretty sure Hitler killed as many as 20,000 people in a day, so you're wrong.




Well, calculating how many people Hitler "killed" is kinda tricky. Those who were outright hearded up and slaughtered, includind prisoners of war and political prisoners, was probably 15 million. If you want to count those killed in battle against the Nazis (mostly Soviets), that's another 10 million or so, another 10 million or more civilians (again, mostly Soviet) who got in the way. You could, of course, also count all German military and civilian losses if you wanted to, which would tack on another 5 million or so. And then you might as well blame him for ALL the deaths that occured in the war, since he instigated it. So we've got anywhere from 15 to 55 million deaths, which would put him well over 1 million per year of his reign, but still less than 20,000 per day, as you suggest.

So, yeah, he was pretty darn bad, and it would suck if somebody that bad came along again. But call me goofy, but I am more concerned with ACTUAL deaths, which we KNOW are happening and which we CAN prevent, for LESS than we are spending now, than I am with POSSIBLE deaths which MIGHT occur and which we could CONCEIVIBLY prevent, assuming that the simple existance of our massive military force would prevent such genocides.

Which it didn't in Kampuchea, Rwanda and Burundi, Nigeria, Bangledesh, etc...
Lordhobgoblin (Lordhobgoblin)
Absinthe Mafia
Username: Lordhobgoblin

Post Number: 674
Registered: 10-2000


Posted on Sunday, February 16, 2003 - 8:55 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

The legal private gun ownership in Iraq doesn't seem to have had an impact on Saddam's rise to power, nor did it save the Kurds at Halabja.

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