While I was making other plans, teil vier

I can walk again.

Wearing a joint-immobilizing boot brace, so I lurch around with a gait even more graceless than my usual palsied semi-stumble, but I can walk. And shower. And make my own breakfast. Hallelujah!

Better news: my prognosis is good. The joint had osteoarthritic damage that may be trouble down the road, but I’ve been osteoathritic in both feet for years now without symptoms. The big good news is that the joint cartilage wasn’t damaged, so I should get full use of the ankle back.

Boot brace for three weeks, physical therapy to strengthen the ankle after that. I won’t be back in kung-fu class for a while. Still, the medical level of this saga is going as well as could be expected.

The financial level, not so much, We got socked with a surgery bill of $2,238 today. Followup and PT…I don’t know what that will cost,but it won’t be cheap.

What’s worse, healthcare.gov chose this perfect time to yank our ACA subsidy because we can’t document the regular income streams. Of course we can’t document them because we don’t have them. Which means we have to pay another $2000 to keep our existing coverage for just the next month, and the bureaucrats have told us to apply for Medicaid. Which we may not be able to get before open enrollment in January.

This means the amount of money I need to pull in without burning savings just went up by $2000 a month. Which is doing a good job of keeping me focused on getting Loadsharers off the ground. If it does well, I’ll do well, and have successfully attacked the larger problem of LBIP funding.

There’s going to be a Linux Journal article, and at least one technology-press interview. I’ve even (gasp!) tweeted about this, something that happens approximately once every other blue moon.

I have a list of 11 people who have taken the pledge. I think we need around 11,000 (mostly supporting LBIPs other than me) to make a real dent in the problem. So please, go out and prosyletize to your tech-industry friends, and ask them to spread the word. We need this to go viral.

71 thoughts on “While I was making other plans, teil vier

  1. I don’t know if I’ve ever caught your thoughts about the health insurance situation in America. I used to argue vociferously for getting our employers to give us the money they pay on our behalf, and getting the government to let us buy insurance like auto insurance. I still think that gets us a long way towards fixing the situation, but I don’t know a single high-level politician who argues for this. After having recently fell through cracks during an “episode” between jobs, myself, I’m starting to think the whole thing is just too important to do anything but nationalize it, despite all the hyperbolic arguments against such a thing. What do you think about the current situation, and has this episode changed your opinion at all?

    • >What do you think about the current situation, and has this episode changed your opinion at all?

      My opinion is unchanged. We need to get the government the fuck out of the healthcare system, because its subsidies and regulatory requirements are the direct cause of the cost disease that makes the product unaffordable.

      • How then, do you explain the fact that American health care costs are pathologically high even when compared to Western democracies, where health care is more subsidized and more regulated, and American health care service is on average poorer than the service in said democracies?

        (No, the USA is not a Western democracy. It has democratic window dressing but is, objectively, a corporate oligarchy.)

        The unfettered free market can’t even prevent something as discretionary as social media from becoming a perfect shitstorm of graft and end-user abuse. What makes you think market fundamentalism will magically fix health care?

        • >What makes you think mrket fundamentalism will magically fix health care?

          The Oklahoma City Surgical Center, for starters. Where it’s tried, it works.

          • Private imaging services are another example. It’s worth me taking a <1hr drive to get the work done for ~$40-$150.

            If I used 'health insurance' it costs $350-$1200+.

            Yeah. Well worth the drive.

        • I like how America gets cast as a corporate oligarchy when convenient, and then a perfectly free market at other times.

          It’s okay to admit the cult leader didn’t give you consistent instructions for why central planning good, markets bad.

          • Corporate oligarchy is the end state of a laissez-faire regime. Read your Chomsky — especially Manufacturing Consent, in which he details exactly how corporations use their outsized influence to shape public opinion and get the policies most favorable to them implemented.

              • That response makes me think that a lobotomy might be superfluous.

                But I am used to Americans refusing to consider certain thoughts and to dismiss other peoples opinions out of hand.

                Fear has never been a good adviser.

                • >Fear has never been a good adviser.

                  Not fear. Loathing.

                  Chomsky spent the late 1970s issuing apologetics for the Pol Pot genocide. That puts him on the level of evil imbecility normally only occupied by Nazi racial theorists.

                  • “Chomsky spent the late 1970s issuing apologetics for the Pol Pot genocide.”

                    Many of the writers of the US constitution owned slaves. Some of the founding fathers, i.e., John Rutledge, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, Charles Pinckney, Pierce Butler, and Richard Dobbs Spaight, specifically spoke up in favor of legal protections for slavery.

                    Does that make you reject the US constitution?

                    You want to disqualify a man’s thoughts in one field by his opinions in another. A childish position. Or better, a SOP in US politics when unwanted thoughts are presented. It is simply a means to prevent people from thinking the wrong thoughts.

                    A man can be a genius in one field and a fool in another, William Shockley comes to mind. And some geniuses descend into madness, e.g., Gödel, Nietzsche, and Nash. And yet other geniuses are simply utter assholes, e.g., Newton. No reason to reject their work for their personalities.

                    To make it more personal. Whether your ideas on software development have value does not depend on whether your political views are considered sane or not.

                    • >You want to disqualify a man’s thoughts in one field by his opinions in another.

                      No, I disqualify Chomsky’s opinions about politics because his opinions about politics have had evil consequences. It’s not a different field, it’s the same field. He may have better ideas about linguistics, though some of my linguist friends express doubts on tht score.

                      The framers of the U.S. Constitution may have individually been in error, but what they produced is justified by its consequences, including a war to end slavery. For the analogy to hold, Chomsky’s followers would have had to forcibly end a genocide themselves.

                    • “The framers of the U.S. Constitution may have individually been in error, but what they produced is justified by its consequences, ”

                      Slavery for another 80 years? A horrible civil war? A racially segregated society for 2 centuries?

                      There can be arguments about that. With hindsight, it is a great document. But a large part of the population had to wait for many generations to see it brought into practice.

                      On the other hand, the analysis that Chomsky made about the power structures in the US are closer to what can be seen in real life than what the Constitution supposes to describe. And they are certainly much more realistic and verifiable than the fairy tales and myths I see expressed here.

                      I think you dismiss Chomky’s writing more because of what they tell you about your country than that they are actually wrong.

                      Btw, his work on linguistics was hugely successful, but I agree with your friends that the generative part of it is next to worthless, if not detrimental, in practice.

        • @Jeff:

          First of all, free market capitalism is a *horrible* system of economics. Just like democracy is a *horrible* system of government. But, also like democracy, free market capitalism is better than all the other systems that have ever been tried.

          Secondly, as Ian points out, you don’t get to paint America as a corporate oligarchy and then blame its problems on the unfettered free market, because corporations don’t want unfettered free markets, and if they’re in charge there won’t be one. Corporations want markets that they control. Because of this, yes, they share the distaste that free market advocates have for markets under government control (unless, of course, they can capture the appropriate regulatory agency), but that’s where the similarities end: free market capitalism’s original enemy was not communism, but the corporate oligarchy of Imperial Britain.

          As for health care, the US approach has generally been to subsidize private insurance, which delivers worse results than either single-payer or free market (and is more favorable to corporate oligarchs).

          Obamacare made things better in the short term, perhaps, for the urban poor, and didn’t make things too much worse for corporate-employed suburbanites like me, but it really screwed over the self employed and sole proprietors of businesses, whose business income is generally high enough to disqualify them from subsidies, but whose business expenses mean that their actual disposable income is equivalent to, or less than, the corporate-employed suburbanite.

          And that’s really the problem with the left: you rail against corporations, but every time you attempt to put the screws on them for the benefit of the lower and middle classes, the corporations have the resources to deflect the consequences and remain robust, while small businesses don’t and become less and less able to compete with the corporations, which gives the poor and middle class fewer opportunities for entrepreneurship and fewer options other than to work for a corporation, which increases income inequality and weakens democracy in favor of corporate oligarchy. And then you panic about the increased degree of corporate oligarchy and tell us we need more regulation to preserve democracy against the evil corporations. And this cycle will continue until you either wake up to what you’re doing, or your extremists purge the moderates and foment a full communist revolution, with all of the attendant horrors, or a revolution comes from the right, and the fact that Trump was electable makes me much less confident than many conservatives that that wouldn’t be just as bad, not because Trump, evil as he is, is the Hitler clone the left makes him out to be, but because he’s a sign that American conservatives have given up on winning by holding the moral high ground and are now willing to fight just as dirty as the Democratic Party. Trump is (IOW, he’s Brüning, not Hitler).

          • >he’s a sign that American conservatives have given up on winning by holding the moral high ground and are now willing to fight just as dirty as the Democratic Party.

            Libertarian though I am, I find I’m less and less willing to blame them for this.

            If you’re a social conservative and you notice that establishment Republicans haven’t even been able to keep creatures with penises out of the bathrooms your daughter has to use, how can you not conclude that their “principled” opposition has failed you at the most basic level?

            If you’re a Goldwaterite sort of conservative who cares a lot about free speech and liberty and anti-Communism, and you notice that establishment conservatives utterly failed to keep the Gramscian long march from taking over our campuses and the entertainment industry and journalism and now exercising censorship over social media, how can you not (again) conclude that their “principled” opposition has failed you at the most basic level?

            If you’re a conservative working-class man trying to feed a family in a decaying industrial town, and you notice that the government has spent more effort over decades subsidizing illegal immigrants than it does trying to reduce the tax and regulatory overhead of employing people like you, how can you not conclude that establishment conservatives are a bunch of useless cucks?

            I get it. I do. These people have real grievances; I may not agree with all of them, nor with the kinds of “solutions” that are likely to arise from muscular populism, but I can hear them.

            They think it’s time to fight dirty. I can’t say they’re wrong.

            • Exactly. We’re tired of letting the Democrats fight dirty and win while the GOP establishment fights honorably and loses. Losers don’t make government policy.

              Whatever else can be said about Trump, he’s the fighter that many, many conservatives have longed for.

              Or, to put it more succinctly: “We cannot spare this man. He fights.”

              • I don’t think I’d even call it “honorably”.

                It is the fool’s honor of letting the burglar rape your wife and daughters because you are so much more civilized than the barbarian who would lift a finger to defend them.

                • I’ve actually leveled this form of argument at anti-gun blowhards.

                  “You would never own a gun and think it’s wrong to use deadly force against an aggressor? Fine. Have you told your wife and kids that? Have you informed them that, as a physically and financially capable man, you utterly refuse to do whatever you can to protect them?”

                  Conversation kinda halts at that point…

            • Oh, I understand them. Before Trump appeared and scared me straight I was probably the most like that of the conservatives that I’m close to. But Trump made it clear to me that if you descend to that level, you risk your cause, and quite possibly your mind (by the process of rationalizing your own behavior), being co-opted by people who don’t share your goals. I majored in German in college and studying the fall of the Weimar Republic and how fighting dirty led German conservatives to allow themselves to be co-opted into supporting a lunatic running an off-beat socialist party helped with that.

              • >fighting dirty led German conservatives to allow themselves to be co-opted into supporting a lunatic running an off-beat socialist party helped with that.

                Well, yes. But Trump isn’t Hitler. He’s not within ten light years of being Hitler.

                • Neither was Brüning..

                  The Democrats jumped off this cliff decades ago. They still haven’t elected a candidate that’s Literally Stalin, or anywhere within 10 light years, but it’s coming unless they come to their senses. And now that the Republicans have also jumped off, the Democrats will be panickier and more likely to do stupid, evil things, and that will make the Republicans panickier, and politics who become more and more about who can defend the nation from the Other Side, and the statistical timescale for one side or the other to fall for someone who is within 10 lightyears of Hitler/Stalin will become shorter with every passing year.

              • The “level” descended to is rather pathetic when you sit back and block out the reeeeing.

                Oh no! Trump said mildly rude things on the twatter to people who deserved far more! The Horror!

                Meanwhile he hasn’t approached even the tamer quotes attributed to Churchill. And what Trump says is about 1/25,000th as bad as what the peasants out in flyover country wish to say to their alleged betters.

                Sorry, this line isn’t going to fly beyond basic advice to not get caught up in the mob.

            • If you’re a social conservative and you notice that establishment Republicans haven’t even been able to keep creatures with penises out of the bathrooms your daughter has to use, how can you not conclude that their “principled” opposition has failed you at the most basic level?

              There is a reason the Clown World meme has the same staying power that the NPC meme does.

            • Sorry, but the GOP has been the “Might is Right” party for as long as I can remember. They win elections by large scale Gerrymandering and Voter Suppression
              https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/03/us/politics/voting-suppression-elections.html
              https://www.npr.org/2018/10/23/659784277/republican-voter-suppression-efforts-are-targeting-minorities-journalist-says?t=1561109707072

              The latest deepfake of Nancy Pelosi promoted by the Trump entourage is just one of a very long line:
              https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/may/24/facebook-leaves-fake-nancy-pelosi-video-on-site

              But here are the Libertarians claiming the Moral High Ground while supporting a man who gropes women and is proud of it, who lies so often it is difficult to remember when he said something that was actually true, and a party that wants to strip women of their control over their own body.

              You “Liberals” are dragged quite willingly into the “Might Is Right” camp. No principle is sacred, just winning is all. And no, the Democrats have done nothing even remotely Stalinist. You are all bullies crying “he started” when they are called out doing despicable things.

              Btw, Trump has always been an admirer of Hitler. And it shows. Just this morning we hear that he was willing to start a war on the flimsiest of pretexts: The Iranians downed an unmanned spy drone in their airspace.

              Any prediction what would happen to an Iranian spy drone coming within reach of US air defense?

              • Typical leftist drivel.

                Free clue: shooting down another country’s military aircraft in international territory – not Iranian airspace; the mullahs lie as naturally as breathing, and the Koran commands them to do so – is an act of war. Trump has showed remarkable restraint, in no small part because he knows he would need much more justification than that to make a war he’s inclined to oppose from the get-go palatable to the American people. Remember he campaigned on opposition to the Iraq war.

                And Iranian drones and warships are in range of American defense systems all the time. If they don’t attack us, they’re safe.

                • “Trump has showed remarkable restraint,”

                  1) The attack was called off at the very last moment. Not sure who was the restraint on Trump.

                  2) The Iranians have downed a US drone before. No one was willing to go to war for that.

                  3) Any Iranian drone within reach of US air defense (that is, US coast, not US aircraft carriers) will be downed, over international waters or not.

                  4) Trump and restraint in the same sentence is material for stand up comedians.

                  “And Iranian drones and warships are in range of American defense systems all the time. If they don’t attack us, they’re safe.”

                  That is because the American defense systems are working close to the Iranian borders. Hey, the US have shot down an Iranian passenger flight, Iran Air Flight 655, and the captain responsible got a promotion.

                  Maybe something has been learned since then?

                  But my central thesis also still stands: Libertarians are supporting a Might Is Right party in its grab for power. They claim the moral high ground but have lost all principles. Free trade, women’s self-determination, rule of law etc. are all left behind for power.

                • >And Iranian drones and warships are in range of American defense systems all the time. If they don’t attack us, they’re safe.

                  Probably. Iran declared war in the U.S.in 1980, and that declaration has never been rescinded. Under even the strictest interpretations of the law of war, U.S. forces would be well within that law to take action against drones not posing a prompt threat.

                  • “Might Is Right” indeed.

                    While shooting down drones is bad and stupid, starting a war with the potential of another few hundreds of thousands of deaths(aka, the Iraqi invasion) is pure evil and genuine moronic on a completely different level.

                    Legalistic sophistry does not distract from the monumental irresponsibility of your Toddler in Chief.
                    (who also is lying like a toddler, I want to add)

                    • > starting a war with the potential of another few hundreds of thousands of deaths

                      Don’t be silly. Trump isn’t going to start a war. The Iranians handed him casus belli on a plate yesterday and he dodged.

                      Trump doesn’t need a war. His base would crawl over broken glass to vote for him, and a war could only lose him votes in 2020 outside his base. Trump may not be any kind of deep thinker, but he matches or exceeds any American politician of the last three generations in instinctive political cunning. I’m sure he has a firm grasp on that reality.

                      The Iranians almost certainly do want a war. They’re behaving as though they do, and it’s a classic tactic for an authoritarian regime in domestic trouble.

                      Trump, on the other hand, is cruising into 2020 with a highly motivated base, a booming economy, and several foreign-policy successes. The Democratic aspirants are a clown show so ludicrous that his own immaturity, impulsiveness, and foot-in-mouth disease look like gravitas in comparison.
                      Trump probably thinks the only thing that could stop him is vote fraud on a scale so widespread even the Democrats probably can’t deliver it – and he’s probably right about that.

                      When that’s your situation, you don’t upset the table by letting the Iranians draw you into a war. Better to let your domestic opponents fuck up unimpeded. But Trump being Trump, he’ll goad them into fucking up more egregiously than they would have otherwise. It will be amusing to watch.

                    • “The Democratic aspirants are a clown show so ludicrous that his own immaturity, impulsiveness, and foot-in-mouth disease look like gravitas in comparison.”

                      Doesn’t that remind you of the Republican line-up in 2016?

                      Also, given the majority of voters dislike Trump, if there would rise a candidate that is actually liked, she or he could win easily.

                      Hey, Trump has to struggle to win Texas from a Democrat, of all places.

                      Even Trump’s internal polls show him in trouble. And, predictable, he lied about it.

                      The party of “Morals”, “Law and Order”, and “Family Values” supports a man who is utterly immoral, ignores the law, and has the Family Values of Don Juan.

                      The GOP truly is the party of “Might Is Right”.

                    • PS
                      “Don’t be silly. Trump isn’t going to start a war.”

                      You are sure about that? Last night came awfully close.

                    • >You are sure about that? Last night came awfully close.

                      Haven’t you figured out yet that Trump is, if nothing else, a master negotiatiator? He pulls stuff like that all the time, and most people never connect the dots. But then, they’re not supposed to – an obvious bluff is ineffective.

                      >Doesn’t that remind you of the Republican line-up in 2016?

                      Not quite. The GOP had two, maybe three non-clowns in 2016. One of them (Trump) was wearing clown makeup, and won. For the Democrats to win this one, either Trump will either have to suddenly morph into as disastrously inept a candidate as HRC was, or the Democrats will have to steal the result in two or three swing states. Only the second is plausible, because Trump’s weaknesses do not include being bad at retail politics – you only have to watch video of one of his rallies to know that.

                      >Also, given the majority of voters dislike Trump,

                      The majority of voters polled. Remember when every pollster said HRC was a lock in 2016? That tells you how much to trust breathless reports about Trump’s negatives. They’re wishcasting.

                      There are solid demographic reasons that pollsters tend to heavily oversample Democrats and undersample Republicans in general, and hard-core Trumpalos in particular. And Trump-leaning swing voters are very quiet about their preference.

                      If the DNC doesn’t stomp on the hard-left rhetoric being uttered by the Democratic field…well, that stuff has no appeal outside the coastal metroplexes and a few college towns. But that’s where the Democrat base is concentrated, so the competitive dynamic of their primaries pulls their candidates ever further into socialist crazyland. AOC’s ability to warp the whole race with that preposterous “Green New Deal” manifesto exemplifies the problem.

                      I can see Trump winning in a Reaganesque landslide if that keeps up. Biden is the only figure with the stature to talk the Democrats back from the cliff edge, but I don’t think he has either the brains or the stamina to actually do it. Even if he does – Dear Goddess he’s a weak reed to lean on, one gropetastic news story from becoming radioactive. And then there are the simmering corruption scandals around his son…

                      I don’t see any sane alternative to voting for Trump this cycle myself. And that does not make me happy. When the likes of him are the least bad option we are in deep shit.

                    • If the DNC doesn’t stomp on the hard-left rhetoric being uttered by the Democratic field…well, that stuff has no appeal outside the coastal metroplexes and a few college towns.

                      People keep telling me that Atomic Swalwell is a ruse so that the other grabbers will look reasonable.

                      I keep having to point out that having a crazy distraction only works if there is a sane alternative.

                    • Expanding on my previous post……

                      There is only one significant group in the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy who are pissed at Trump. And that is gun owners.

                      So tell me: which DNC swamp monster is proposing sweeping repeals of 2A infringements?

                      Yeah, I didn’t think so.

                    • >There is only one significant group in the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy who are pissed at Trump. And that is gun owners.

                      That’s not true. Substantial numbers of immigration restrictionists think Trump has been mostly talk and no action. They wanted the border wall built yesterday, and some of them won’t be happy until there are some dead bodies piled against the other side, pour encourager les autres.

                      But where are they going to go? It’s at least theoretically possible that a Democratic candidate could back away from gun control and tacitly agree to leave us gunfolks alone, but there’s no corresponding wiggle room on immigration any more – it’s open borders or bust in that crowd. The nativists can only injure themselves if they do anything but vote for Trump.

                    • @esr
                      “Haven’t you figured out yet that Trump is, if nothing else, a master negotiatiator?”

                      I have seen Trump followers called “The Gullibles”. I see why.

                      Trump is a bullie and a con man. That is it. If he cannot bullie, its over. Pelosi simply walked over him when she took office, remember?

                      Trump the master business tycoon managed to bankrupt a c****o. A first in the US, if not the developed world. He inherited a king’s ransom and converted it into a mediocre fortune, if he does not have to repay his debts to foreign banks.

                      Moreover, he must be the most corrupt president since a long time. What other president stayed at his own resorts and let the taxpayer pay the costs to the PotUS?

                      Really, Trump admirers are “The Gullibles”.

              • And no, the Democrats have done nothing even remotely Stalinist.

                Pull the other one, it has bells on. The current language Democrats use — calling those who arrived in the USA without the government paperwork authorizing such arrival as merely “undocumented” migrants — while making no argument for changing the laws to authorize such arrivals is incredibly duplicitous.

                When it comes to immigration law, there are only two rational possibilities: either the current system to manage migration is moral, both in format and limits [in which case every attempt to avoid those restrictions is immoral], or the system is immoral and thus in need of revision. To leave the current system unchanged in structure, while lauding those who would bypass that system, is a doublespeak without compare.

                  • [Warning: long, link-heavy post. No apologies.]
                    Well, given that you didn’t provide a definition, perhaps you might not be entirely certain…

                    As it happens, there are four definitions I have heard used for “Stalinism”/”Stalinist”. The first would be a sub-doctrine within Marxist-Leninist communism, focusing on rapid industrialization of agriculture. Given that only the developing, “third world” nations have not completed this industrialization, this definition has been mostly relegated to historical usage only and would not apply anywhere in the US or Europe any longer.

                    The second definition I have heard leans on the international policy of the Russian government under Stalin, specifically the relationship between the national communist parties. This policy put Russian needs before all others… and as the US President is widely lauded as “leader of the free world”, I find it hard to believe most politicians on either side of the aisle here would fail to meet this standard under even a minor amount of scrutiny.

                    Third is the specific cult of personality which surrounded “uncle Joe”. This was driven not just by the mass media propaganda which every 20th-century dictator uses, but also enforced flattery or spectacle, and co-opting of the arts as well as national or religious iconography to create an idealized, heroic, and worshipful image of a leader. I think it should be obvious that wasn’t what I was originally referring to, but the Democratic party are pretty much doing that as well.

                    The final definition I have heard is the one to which I was alluding — that of Stalin’s regime as the real-world inspiration for George Orwell’s 1984. Stalin would go beyond what other dictators did in eliminating their enemies, and utilize his totalitarian dominion over the academy, arts, and press to literally airbrush away any errors which he or the party had made, removing all record of “traitors”. [Aside: did you know that 1984’s book-within-a-book was a distillation of Trotsky’s Revolution Betrayed?] Well, given how “control” must be applied in the context of a democracy… there’s a potential argument to be made here, too–you’ll just have to be willing to look past the fact it sounds like conspiratorial ranting.

                    I know you’re ready to reply that I’ve missed the most critical element in this fourth definition, but to me, that’s the funny thing: the death of one’s enemies is irrelevant here, as long as they can be erased from the public discussion altogether. And I would think the shifting attitude toward immigration signaled something entirely different if I had to dig back twenty years just to find a single Democrat making the same argument I did, that immigration laws are important and must be enforced [or amended, but they argue for enforcement]. But when I can pull the same magic trick using the immediately prior office holder–even applying the same policies of enforcement? Then I would argue the misleading language and stilted coverage is precisely the sort of revisionism at the core of the relevant definition.

                    • When accusing the Democrats to be run by Stalinist, you (intentionally?) invoke the picture of the Gulag and genocid3.

                      When called out that Democrats never tried to implement genocide and an American Gulag, you back down and talk about the Communist International and other Stalinist concepts that are of lnterest only to political historians.

                      When you want to discuss that, be more precise.

              • while supporting a man who gropes women and is proud of it

                This never happened, and yet such are the times, that you believe it did.

                who lies so often it is difficult to remember when he said something that was actually true

                Well, no, we’re not supporting you

                Trump has always been an admirer of Hitler

                irony

          • “Obamacare made things better in the short term, ”

            Obamacare showed that Americans have become unable to get anything done anymore. They cannot maintain their infrastructure, with bridges collapsing, they cannot maintain levies, with whole cities drowning, and they are unable to implement universal health care.

            The funny thing is, Americans do not even wonder why even many third-world countries can do all these things effectively, but they cannot.

      • Despite my reply to Jeff above, I think there is a case (though probably not for healthcare) for “localization” of certain industries (that is “nationalization” at the local government level, as opposed to the federal level). Particularly, last mile landline Internet service should possibly get this treatment, the rationale being that a local government is smaller than a nationwide ISP like AT&T or Comcast, and answers to its voters (who would be receiving Internet service from the local government in this scenario), rather than to shareholders (who may not be customers of the company they own stock in) thus improving decentralization and accountability. It also is a model known to work with water and sewer service.

        The big reservation I have about this is that it would make it all the easier for law enforcement to perform warrantless wiretaps (though, honestly, the commercial ISPs don’t seem to put up much of a fight), so I’m not sure I’d want it implemented without a constitutional amendment reaffirming that yes, the 4th amendment absolutely does apply to digital persons, houses, papers and effects.

        • The edit function seems to have disappeared, so I’ll add that I am *only* willing to consider such initiatives at the local level: even state governments are too big for it to provide significant improvements in decentralization or accountability.

  2. I retweeted and made my own plea. I don’t have many followers but my tweets are copied to my Facebook. It might reach one or two people who will heed the call to action.

  3. Pingback:

    Vote -1 Vote +1Eric. S. Raymond “can walk again.” http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=8392 h… | Dr. Roy Schestowitz (??)

  4. Just thinking… Maybe stickers, t-shirts and such could be a way to add visibility, too? The way some charities sell these, you know. Some simple merch, with $10-30 added to the item production cost, maybe with option to select who this goes to. There are enough sites which do on-demand production, all you need is a design to print and a seller account and they handle the rest.

    • At the Southern California Linux Expo they give free booths to charitable organizations, and they don’t worry much about whether you’re a 501c3, so that would be a great place to set up a booth. I’d even volunteer for a morning or an afternoon. You just need some literature to hand out or a way to give receipts for donations. I’m typically on call 24-7, so I can’t commit to running the thing, but if anyone in So Cal is interested, I’d be happy to help out. (I’m on gmail and the name before @gmail is probably obvious.)

  5. Money is officially in proximity of mouth. You, Dave, and Pat Volkerding are each getting $10 from me per month, and I’m considering more recipients.

  6. Eric,

    I was in a boot (and on crutches) for about four weeks not quite two years ago now, due to a torn calf muscle. Your doctors may or may not have mentioned that immobilizing the limb that way has a tendency to reduce blood circulation, which may result in a blood clot. It’s apparently standard practice to order an ultrasound of the leg to test for exactly this problem after a few weeks in a boot… so you may want to ask about that and account for it in your projected expenses. In my case, the clot was extreme – running the entire length of my leg from ankle to groin – and potentially life threatening, and I spent six months on one of the newer blood thinner/platelet inhibitor meds – another potential expense for you moving forwards. Ultimately large clots like that cause permanent damage to the vein which further reduces circulation and makes one more susceptible to future clots as well. Anything you can do to avoid that complication is certainly desirable.

  7. For an interesting read about the US health care system, I recommend The End of Healing, by Jim Bailey. The content is real discussion of american health care in the context of a fictional graduate seminar. The form/structure for the whole thing is analogy with Dante’s Inferno.

  8. I did a vector graphic of Atlas holding “the Internet” (a sphere cris-crossed with yellow arcs), based on the statue at Pontmerion, since there’s a standing request for one on the loadsharers page. I’m struggling to make it recognisable at the web-badge size of 32px tall, though, so maybe someone with experience targetting this problem space could optimise it for this resolution.

    It occurred to me that the symbolism here has a drawback in that it involves lots of load but no sharing, since Atlas is unassisted. So I also have an alternative design: the letters INTERNE with a group of figures, posed as in the famous (and public-domain!) Iwo Jima flag photograph, raising the final T into position. It suffers from the same resolution problems, though.

    If you want to use these for the project or try to improve upon them further, let me know where to submit them and I’ll do so.

    • So I also have an alternative design: the letters INTERNE with a group of figures, posed as in the famous (and public-domain!) Iwo Jima flag photograph, raising the final T into position. It suffers from the same resolution problems, though.

      The current NetBSD banner logo is based on a piece of artwork featuring daemons raising a banner reading “NetBSD” in similar fashion to that photograph. As I recall it, the original artwork was deemed to be culturally insensitive (NetBSD has a lot of Japanese hackers). Any further references to the Iwo Jima image are likely to be fraught with similar problems (and seen as derivative of the NetBSD artwork).

    • >If you want to use these for the project or try to improve upon them further, let me know where to submit them and I’ll do so.

      I woyuls like to see them. Can you mail them to me as attachments?

    • > It occurred to me that the symbolism here has a drawback in that it involves lots of load but no sharing, since Atlas is unassisted.

      How about people holding up Atlas?
      As in “‘I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry you.” ;)

      Of course, that still faces the problem of not being recognizable in 32px height …

  9. TIL that Eric inadvertently raised $30,000 for left-wing political candidates:

    “I’ve been torturing Twitter with lurid Eric S. Raymond quotes for years,” says Thomas Ptacek. “Every time I do, 20 people beg me to stop.” So Ptacek held his followers hostage: pay up, or the ESR quotes would keep coming. It’s estimated that Ptacek has driven somewhere around $30,000, just by threatening to post eye-searing screencaps.

    To me, it’s shameful that rich hackers who obviously have enough income to contribute to the OrangeManBad political fund of the month, especially when doing so is itself part of a dank meme, somehow can’t spare a few for other hackers who must scrimp and save and even beg. Your money will have more direct positive impact by supporting the least rewarded of us, than by the latest attempt to unseat Trump, and even if you think Eric doesn’t deserve the support there are others on that list who do.

    I think that I’m beginning to understand Silicon Valley culture a bit more, as well as what conservatives mean when they speak of “limousine liberals”.

    • >TIL that Eric inadvertently raised $30,000 for left-wing political candidates

      I didn’t believe this story when Ptacek first floated it, and don’t now. Dude’s just trolling.

      The reason? No death threats. Nobody ever sends me political rants by email, nobody calls me to scream that I’m a horrible Xist, no nothing. Either the NPCs Ptacek claims to be able to scarify are terrified of little ol’ me or they’re nonexistent. I’m going with nonexistent.

  10. Bringing this discussion back to the top level as @Winter’s last response was nested too deeply for the reply button to appear.

    When accusing the Democrats to be run by Stalinist, you (intentionally?) invoke the picture of the Gulag and genocid3.

    First, the aside: funny self-censorship there–but I can play along and self-censor, too. Second, as I read this conversation you’re the one who first invoked the name of Stalin–and I’ll quote you again [emphasis mine]:

    You “Liberals” are dragged quite willingly into the “Might Is Right” camp. No principle is sacred, just winning is all. And no, the Democrats have done nothing even remotely Stalinist. You are all bullies crying “he started” when they are called out doing despicable things.

    And here’s the post you were directly replying to, or at least the portion invoking communist doctrines [emphasis, again, mine]:

    If you’re a Goldwaterite sort of conservative who cares a lot about free speech and liberty and anti-Communism, and you notice that establishment conservatives utterly failed to keep the Gramscian long march from taking over our campuses and the entertainment industry and journalism and now exercising censorship over social media, how can you not (again) conclude that their “principled” opposition has failed you at the most basic level?

    So, when you conclude as follows in your most recent post:

    When called out that Democrats never tried to implement genocide and an American Gulag, you back down and talk about the Communist International and other Stalinist concepts that are of lnterest only to political historians. When you want to discuss that, be more precise.

    I can only respond “What the expletive?!?” Given that full context, I’d say then that the portions of “Stalinism” which apply to the Comintern — especially after the death of Lenin, when it was run by Stalin — is precisely the definition which best fits to what you wrote!!! It is you who should be careful with precision–either you were reading into another post an accusation which was not there (that one party in American democracy literally kills their opponents), or else you were yourself responding properly to the claims made, with a definition which matched the historical context, and are now retreating into the corner of demanding that “precise” language utilizes only a single definition which wasn’t relevant at any point of this discussion.

    • ” you’re the one who first invoked the name of Stalin”

      I responded to Jon Brase who compared the Democrats to Stalin.

  11. ” you’re the one who first invoked the name of Stalin”

    I responded to Jon Brase who compared the Democrats to Stalin

  12. Days late, but I had to ask, just as a devil’s advocate:

    [Democrats] still haven’t elected a candidate that’s Literally Stalin, or anywhere within 10 light years, but it’s coming unless they come to their senses.

    Engage your future history SF thoughts for the following: do you think Democrats will come to their senses, if Republicans and libertarians push back hard enough? Or that they might anyway? Or that they won’t, if the other side stands by and lets them hold the reins for long enough?

    For example, might there be a turn of events where Nancy Pelosi starts asking around within her party, hey, this latest bill is getting out of hand, don’t you think? Should we pull back on this? Looking at the Dems’ younger generation, it’s hard to find anything that isn’t about AOC. But are there any other young Dems who are making at least a little noise that the economic platform ought to be more capitalist, and getting traction? And about AOC herself? Her current reputation as a luminary by one side, and a ditz by the other, suggests she’ll be yet another in a long line of politicians known for having strong opinions that don’t convert into anything.

    In general, I note how much of the US government institution is motivated to get little done (aside from sinecure for its bureaucrats) unless *everyone* is on board. I also note that no Democrat thinks Stalin went about things the right way – at worst, they seem to have lauded Chavez at first, then shut the hell up when Venezuelans were visibly starving. (I speculate that they’re quietly trying to understand how Venezuela could have gone so wrong, given how promising it looked at first.)

    In light of this, what are the currently evident paths in the Democratic party toward either unfettered socialism, or toward Fabian socialism, or a watershed where things look too sporty and the party tries to push the pendulum the other way? How far away are any of these events? (Stipulated: anything can happen in 50-75 years. OTOH, I see no evidence of a Mule rising in either party.)

    • (Also: let’s assume demographic shifts aren’t a strong factor. Suppose people assimilate to mainstream about as fast as they come in, legally or not.)

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