I’m back in town and after some food shopping will likely collapse and ride the next day or two out on life’s bench.
I’m not sure if it’s the stress of all that’s happening or if something more specific is leaving feeling perpetually under the weather, but as I noted earlier my own health has been in the subpar range over the past few weeks. And as I now have to begin probate duties, I don’t see an end in sight — at least for the next couple weeks.
That said, I’d like to thank each of you who has contributed to my call for aid. Your generosity has certainly helped lift what was an additional and unforeseen burden. It was only 29 days between my Mom’s being admitted to the hospital for leg pain until her death. What was originally a 2-6 month prognosis turned on a dime: it was 20 days from the discovery of the cancer to my flying in and putting together the funeral arrangements the day before the burial.
And then to find out my brother was calling the funeral home on the day of the service to try to have a death certificate released to him so he could collect on a life insurance policy he purchased on her after having cashed out her prior policy and naming himself sole beneficiary on the new policy — well, that was the rotten cherry on top of the shit sundae.
So again, thanks to all of you for your kind words and prayers. My mother didn’t suffer. That’s a blessing.
Special thanks to the following folks for their financial generosity:
Janes M III
…and extra special thanks to William P
and Brian C
update: I’m working over the next few days to close out any remaining open accounts in my Mom’s name that I can find as well as to find out information about pension payments left her by my father — whether they continue to the estate or cease upon my Mother’s death.
As executor I have to deal with all aspects of probate, which is grueling.
On the positive front, I reached out to the Baltimore detective today and she’s going to use some of her leave time to contact all the people who are lining up to tell their stories about the abuse my mother suffered at the hands of my brother — all of which reaches full relief as the different experiences of the different friends and neighbors and health care workers are cobbled together.
Evidently, my brother had the gall to troll for sympathy on facebook and deleted comments from people who excoriated him. Personally, I can’t even see the posts because he’s had me blocked; but I’ve received notice from others who were appalled by his phony mourning — especially given the fact that he spent the morning of the funeral trying to pressure the funeral home to release to him a death certificate so he could cash out “his” money. He’s listed under Steven Michael Goldstein, I believe. Feel free to leave him a message!
Also, I want to take this opportunity to send out thanks for additional support received from readers, who deserve to be recognized:
I feel like I’m a friend to the grass roots, as nearly all of the names here have come from those who have no big time blogs, have no advertising deals with the GOP or other GOP friendly institutions, and are merely just people looking to get their country back. Which tells me that my marginalization didn’t have the desired affect some of my detractors hoped it would.
Again, thank you all so much, and I’ll keep you updated as I go forward. I will be, once the probate is in order, the plaintiff against my brother. Which, that’s always fun!
Better to have evidence, especially exculpatory evidence, excluded when one is in pursuit of “Justice” …
The reason that most grand juries don’t go very long, as Vox’s Amanda Taub has written, is they’re typically only looking at a selection of the evidence that’s been cherry-picked by the prosecutor. In the Ferguson case, however, St. Louis County Attorney Robert McCulloch’s office deliberately presented the grand jury with as much evidence as they could possibly find.
Oh THE HORROR!! How dare the Grand Jury (an investigative body) be given the whole picture to enable it to sort through what was fact and what was made up sh*t.
Compare and contrast
— Peter T Volkmar (@ptvolkmar) November 25, 2014
A comment from Geoff:
All the burning and looting is just to strike out at the “[p]etty bourgeois” professions – the classic base of fascism.” [Further:]
When Leon Trotsky looked at the emerging Nazi movement that mushroomed in Germany after 1929, he argued that the Brownshirt marches, parades and street violence had the effect of terrorising their opponents and giving political direction and the illusion of strength to the movement. He described this effect as “turning worms into dragons”.*
[From Richard Fernandez:]
Of course the Reds had their own street gangs. Doesn’t everyone have one? No, and that’s the point. Conservatives don’t do stuff like that, at least not naturally. They have to be forced to even think it.
Conspiracy is so ingrained in the Left they are forever mirror-imaging themselves in conservative groups who completely lack this sense of consciousness. For example, some posters at the Democratic Underground really believed members of the FreeRepublic posting board are brownshirts. It is entirely possible that many on the left actually think of the Tea Party are incipient “domestic terrorists”. They see themselves in others.
They can’t believe that conservatives have no process for “turning worms into dragons”. Whether that is good or bad I leave to the reader. But the fact remains that “dragons” are qualitatively different from “worms”. There is no doubt about this. Worms are inhibited. Dragons have lost that key sense of restraint. Worms will trust in their elected leaders to represent them to the King. Dragons will breathe fire, such as at Ferguson.
There is the widespread misconception that people can be radicalized by suffering. Alinsky showed this was not true. People can only be radicalized by acting on suffering. Just getting beaten over the head is never a radicalizing experience. It just always results in a headache. Fighting back, however feebly, is always radicalizing.*
The heat of emotion is only for the foot-soldiers. The leadership will be, needs to be, cold as dry ice.
Now can we move on?
No announcement yet, but I’m sure the usual suspects, from professional race-baiters to Lamestream media (sometimes, one-and-the-same) are anxiously awaiting with promises of ratings and fame dancing in their heads.
Unfortunately, no blizzard in the weather forecast to put a pinch in the plans of performance art post-announcement.
So has Hurricane Race War made landfall yet?
— Juliette A. Ochieng (@JulietteAkinyi) November 24, 2014
Even as this is a minor tweak at Barry, the rather deferential tone is more like a kid trying joking with a favorite uncle rather than any kind of Truth to Power dissent.
The sheeple still maintain.
Is beauty worth commenting on?
(Hat tip sdferr in a test of my thoughts on putting comments into posts.)
Update! From our friend, Lee:
“When I was a youngster, my dad took an interest in botany. All well and good, except he wasn’t over his previous ( and perennial as it turns out) passion for photography, with predictable results.
I gotta tell ya, after looking at eighteen thousand pictures of the most beautiful flowers in the western hemisphere, one can get an itching to see a picture or two of a rock, or a dry patch of sand say. Something, anything, to provide some context, or perspective, or otherwise relief from an endless parade of exquisitely beautiful and diverse same old same old.”
Update! From our Darleen from our Heinlein:
“An artist can look at a pretty girl and see the old woman she will become. A better artist can look at an old woman and see the pretty girl she used to be. But a great artist–a master–and that is what Auguste Rodin was–can look at an old woman, portray her exactly as she is…and force the viewer to see the pretty girl she used to be…more than that, he can make anyone with the sensitivity of an armadillo see that this lovely young girl is still alive, not old and ugly at all, but simply prisoned inside her ruined body. He can make you feel the quiet, endless tragedy that there was never a girl born who ever grew older than eighteen in her heart…no matter what the merciless hours have done to her. Look at her. Growing old doesn’t matter to you and me; we were never meant to be admired–but it does to them. Look at her!”
This is what a Feminist looks like — The university system as The Village of the Damned [Darleen Click]
Brendan O’Neill on the death of Free Speech in the UK.
Have you met the Stepford students? They’re everywhere. On campuses across the land. Sitting stony-eyed in lecture halls or surreptitiously policing beer-fuelled banter in the uni bar. They look like students, dress like students, smell like students. But their student brains have been replaced by brains bereft of critical faculties and programmed to conform. To the untrained eye, they seem like your average book-devouring, ideas-discussing, H&M-adorned youth, but anyone who’s spent more than five minutes in their company will know that these students are far more interested in shutting debate down than opening it up.
This side of the pond is little better …
The ‘no platform’ policy of various student unions is forever being expanded to keep off campus pretty much anyone whose views don’t chime perfectly with the prevailing groupthink. Where once it was only far-right rabble-rousers who were no-platformed, now everyone from Zionists to feminists who hold the wrong opinions on transgender issues to ‘rape deniers’ (anyone who questions the idea that modern Britain is in the grip of a ‘rape culture’) has found themselves shunned from the uni-sphere. My Oxford experience suggests pro-life societies could be next. In September the students’ union at Dundee banned the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children from the freshers’ fair on the basis that its campaign material is ‘highly offensive’.
Barely a week goes by without reports of something ‘offensive’ being banned by students. Robin Thicke’s rude pop ditty ‘Blurred Lines’ has been banned in more than 20 universities. Student officials at Balliol College, Oxford, justified their ban as a means of ‘prioritising the wellbeing of our students’. Apparently a three-minute pop song can harm students’ health. More than 30 student unions have banned the Sun, on the basis that Page Three could turn all those pre-rapists into actual rapists. Radical feminist students once burned their bras — now they insist that models put bras on. The union at UCL banned the Nietzsche Society on the grounds that its existence threatened ‘the safety of the UCL student body’.
Stepford concerns are over-amplified on social media. No sooner is a contentious subject raised than a university ‘campaign’ group appears on Facebook, or a hashtag on Twitter, demanding that the debate is shut down. Technology means that it has never been easier to whip up a false sense of mass outrage — and target that synthetic anger at those in charge. The authorities on the receiving end feel so besieged that they succumb to the demands and threats.
Heaven help any student who doesn’t bow before the Stepford mentality. The students’ union at Edinburgh recently passed a motion to ‘End lad banter’ on campus. Laddish students are being forced to recant their bantering ways. Last month, the rugby club at the London School of Economics was disbanded for a year after its members handed out leaflets advising rugby lads to avoid ‘mingers’ (ugly girls) and ‘homosexual debauchery’. Under pressure from LSE bigwigs, the club publicly recanted its ‘inexcusably offensive’ behaviour and declared that its members have ‘a lot to learn about the pernicious effects of banter’. They’re being made to take part in equality and diversity training. At British unis in 2014, you don’t just get education — you also get re-education, Soviet style.
Who knew that being an observant Jew or Christian would be the radical provocateur against The Orthodoxy.
(I would have said, “The Man”, but that would have been inexcusably heteronormative, sexist and unconsciously submissive to The Patriarchy.)
Because PR is much more important than your silly liberty …
Here’s a Friday Obamacare news-dump for you: In a 300-page regulatory proposal released late this afternoon, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that it is considering changing Obamacare’s auto-renewal rules so that, within the health law’s exchanges, instead of being automatically renewed into your current health plan, you’d be moved into the lowest cost plan from the same service tier.
From the attached fact sheet:
Under current rules, consumers who do not take action during the openenrollment window are re-enrolled in the same plan they were in the previous year, even if that plan experienced significant premium increases. We are considering alternative options for re-enrollment, under which consumers who take no action might be defaulted into a lower cost plan rather than their current plan.
(Fact sheet via Adrianna McIntyre; proposal first noted by Politico.)
States running their own exchanges could start doing this in 2016, and federal exchanges could start in 2017.
It’s not just auto-reenrollment. It’s auto-reassignment, at least for those who pick that option. Basically, if you like your plan, but don’t go out of your way to intentionally re-enroll, the kind and wise folks at HHS or state health exchanges might just pick a new plan—perhaps with different doctors, clinics, cost structures, and benefit options—for you. And if you want to switch back? Good luck once open enrollment is closed. There’s always next year.
A hassle? Maybe. But have faith: They know what’s best. […]
[S]ince HHS decided over the summer to institute auto-renewal, and since the majority of Obamacare enrollees are expected to take no action and thus stay in their current plans, the reality is that under the current system a lot of enrollees are likely to see large premium hikes, just because they didn’t shop around for a new plan.
They only have the purest of motives, you know. Bless their hearts.
h/t PJ Tattler