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Taemon



Joined: 08 Aug 2013
Posts: 1440
Location: Europe

PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 3:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

WheelsOfConfusion wrote:
Journalist Kurt Eichenwald was targeted with an intentional seizure-inducing message by some jackass on Twitter, who is now being charged with criminal cyberstalking with intention to kill or cause bodily harm.

Jesus Christ. That's a new low.
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mouse



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 20, 2017 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

one really, really hopes those idiots get convicted. all 40 or however many of them because damn.
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Usagi Miyamoto



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 9:21 am    Post subject: Everything is amazing for me, too bad for you. Reply with quote

I recently got treated to a few hours of the most high-tech robotic surgery available. I stayed a couple of days in the hospital after surgery in a lovely private suite with a million-dollar view and plenty of round-the-clock attention from nurses and assistants. And of course I was never happier than when I left.

I'm not sure what it all cost. Could be close to six figures worth of health care at retail, all up, but you know what? I won't even notice. When the bills come in, you know what the net new dollars out of my wallet will be? Zero. That's right. Zilch. And what do I have to thank for my good fortune? America's socialism for rich white people, that's what! That's right, it's private socialism, but it's heavily underwritten by Uncle Sam. Between preferential tax treatment for employer health plans and my HSA, taxpayers may be picking up two-fifths of the tab for my almost but not quite "Cadillac" plan. My Fortune 500 employer used to offer an even better deal, with practically no out-of-pocket co-pay component at all, but then the ACA came along and we had to do the HSA thing. It costs a few thousand dollars a year to fund; not free, but with two good incomes, not a budget buster for us, either.

How did I get to be so lucky? Well, thereby hangs a tale. Go read Unspeakable Realities Block Universal Health Coverage In America in Forbes by Chris Ladd to find out (yet another reason) why us rich white people in America get all the breaks.

Chris Ladd wrote:
Americans with good jobs live in a socialist welfare state more generous, cushioned and expensive to the public than any in Europe. Like a European system, we pool our resources to share the burden of catastrophic expenses, but unlike European models, our approach doesn’t cover everyone.

Like most of my neighbors I have a good job in the private sector. Ask my neighbors about the cost of the welfare programs they enjoy and you will be greeted by baffled stares. All that we have is “earned” and we perceive no need for government support. Nevertheless, taxpayers fund our retirement saving, health insurance, primary, secondary, and advanced education, daycare, commuter costs, and even our mortgages at a staggering public cost. Socialism for white people is all-enveloping, benevolent, invisible, and insulated by the nasty, deceptive notion that we have earned our benefits by our own hand.

My family’s generous health insurance costs about $20,000 a year, of which we pay only $4,000 in premiums. The rest is subsidized by taxpayers. You read that right. Like virtually everyone else on my block who isn’t old enough for Medicare or employed by the government, my family is covered by private health insurance subsidized by taxpayers at a stupendous public cost. Well over 90% of white households earning over the white median income (about $75,000) carried health insurance even before the Affordable Care Act. White socialism is nice if you can get it.

Companies can deduct the cost of their employees’ health insurance while employees are not required to report that benefit as income. That results in roughly a $400 billion annual transfer of funds from state and federal treasuries to insurers to provide coverage for the Americans least in need of assistance. This is one of the defining features of white socialism, the most generous benefits go to those who are best suited to provide for themselves. Those benefits are not limited to health care.

When I buy a house for my family, or a vacation home, the interest I pay on the mortgage is deductible up to a million dollars of debt. That costs the treasury $70 billion a year, about what we spend to fund the food stamp program. My private retirement savings are also tax deductible, diverting another $75 billion from government revenues. Other tax preferences carve out special treatment for child care expenses, college savings, commuter costs (your suburban tax credit), local taxes, and other exemptions.

By funding government programs with tax credits and deductions rather than spending, we have created an enormous social safety net that grows ever more generous as household incomes rise. It is important to note, though, that you need not be wealthy to participate. All you need to gain access to socialism for white people is a good corporate or government job. That fact helps explain how this welfare system took shape sixty years ago, why it was originally (and still overwhelmingly) white, and why white Rust Belt voters showed far more enthusiasm for Donald Trump than for Bernie Sanders. White voters are not interested in democratic socialism. They want to restore their access to a more generous and dignified program of white socialism.

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mouse



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

that's the thing, of course - if you have the right job, you don't even see the benefits you are getting, so it's easy to forget you are even getting them. i just checked. my share of my (quite generous) health insurance is less than $1000/yr, which i pay by payroll deduction (so pre-tax). i have deductables, but i have a (pre-tax) HSA that covers most of those. my employer picks up about 95% of the tab.

but hey - it's right there on my paycheck stub! it's all what _i_ earned! totally nothing to do with any government handout!

(also, trust your surgery turned out well)
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Vixine



Joined: 12 Jan 2016
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oooh, what body parts did you lose/gain/have poked into a less problematic position? I don't think I got robots with mine, but it was laproscopic, and I'm still waiting to get any kind of bills from it. I expect a large portion of it will be covered by the medicaid I get for being poor as fuck and only pay $22 a month for. (because that's totally sustainable.)
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Usagi Miyamoto



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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Location: wish I was here

PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2017 6:18 am    Post subject: My belly has holes like a Swiss cheese Reply with quote

I've got slightly less kidney than I started with. One small bit had gone rogue, and was terminated with extreme prejudice. Recovery from the attack of the killer robot a couple of weeks ago is proceeding nicely, thanks for asking.

According to the statements that have shown up on my insurance company website so far, the surgery and stay at the hospital retailed for $91,415.36, while the insurance company paid a mere $21,031.43 (cheap!), and the additional "patient responsibility" is zero. Sure is nice to have my insurance company negotiate a 77% discount like that. Getting a dunning notice for the full freight might put a crimp in even my generous budget. Instead, I'm only responsible for a bit over $6K, my out-of-pocket maximum, which comes out of money I've already put into my HSA over the last couple of years with payroll deductions.

So basically, the kind of bill that could bankrupt many ordinary middle class families is no big deal, because I work for a big company with a nice insurance plan, and I can afford what's effectively a couple of hundred dollars out of each paycheck for my HSA. The ACA has put this sort of coverage within reach for a lot more people. I'm very grateful for my publicly-underwritten private socialism; it gets me a better class of service at the hospital. But I don't begrudge the extra taxes I pay for the people getting the ACA subsidies, either. Thanks, Ryan, for failing to pass that tax cut I didn't need.
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Michael



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2017 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad you're alright
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Absynthe



Joined: 07 Dec 2006
Posts: 619

PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2017 10:09 pm    Post subject: Re: My belly has holes like a Swiss cheese Reply with quote

Usagi Miyamoto wrote:
I've got slightly less kidney than I started with. One small bit had gone rogue, and was terminated with extreme prejudice. Recovery from the attack of the killer robot a couple of weeks ago is proceeding nicely, thanks for asking.

According to the statements that have shown up on my insurance company website so far, the surgery and stay at the hospital retailed for $91,415.36, while the insurance company paid a mere $21,031.43 (cheap!), and the additional "patient responsibility" is zero. Sure is nice to have my insurance company negotiate a 77% discount like that. Getting a dunning notice for the full freight might put a crimp in even my generous budget. Instead, I'm only responsible for a bit over $6K, my out-of-pocket maximum, which comes out of money I've already put into my HSA over the last couple of years with payroll deductions.

So basically, the kind of bill that could bankrupt many ordinary middle class families is no big deal, because I work for a big company with a nice insurance plan, and I can afford what's effectively a couple of hundred dollars out of each paycheck for my HSA. The ACA has put this sort of coverage within reach for a lot more people. I'm very grateful for my publicly-underwritten private socialism; it gets me a better class of service at the hospital. But I don't begrudge the extra taxes I pay for the people getting the ACA subsidies, either. Thanks, Ryan, for failing to pass that tax cut I didn't need.


Congrats on the successful surgery. There's a 99.9% chance that your surgeon learned their baseline skills on a training simulator from my company. And they keep their skills honed and up to date between surgeries with our sim system. I love seeing the effects of my work in the real world. Partial nephrectomies used to be riskier in the days when open surgery was the only option.
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Usagi Miyamoto



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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Location: wish I was here

PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2017 11:21 pm    Post subject: Re: My belly has holes like a Swiss cheese Reply with quote

Absynthe wrote:
There's a 99.9% chance that your surgeon learned their baseline skills on a training simulator from my company. And they keep their skills honed and up to date between surgeries with our sim system.

Cool!
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mouse



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

it's always fun to see what a small world this ends up being.

and i'm glad to hear things are going well.
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Mindslicer



Joined: 04 Sep 2006
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Location: North of the People's Republic of Massachusetts

PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Uber Leaving Denmark Over New Taxi Law—Nationalists, Socialists Rejoice
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Mindslicer



Joined: 04 Sep 2006
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Location: North of the People's Republic of Massachusetts

PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 2:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/03/30/522123611/venezuelan-political-crisis-grows-after-high-court-dissolves-congress

Quote:
The Supreme Court of Venezuela has taken over the functions of the country's National Assembly in what critics at home and abroad say is a move by President Nicolas Maduro to establish "a dictatorship."

The high court, dominated by Maduro loyalists, announced late Wednesday that since the National Assembly was in contempt of its rulings, the magistrates would assume legislative duties.

According to CNN, Maduro explained the ruling on Venezuelan government TV.

"They're giving me and authorizing me enabling special powers that stem out of the state of emergency clauses in our constitution. This is an order by the Supreme Court. It's a historic ruling," said Maduro.
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Mindslicer



Joined: 04 Sep 2006
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Location: North of the People's Republic of Massachusetts

PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 3:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://countercurrentnews.com/2017/01/3000-homeless-people-denied-food-as-city-forces-charity-to-bleach-the-food-and-throw-it-in-dumpster/

I suppose denying the homeless food is one way to tackle the problem of homelessness.
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Darqcyde



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 11849
Location: A false vacuum abiding in ignorance.

PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 4:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apparently there was a bast of some sort in Russia a few minutes ago (maybe 20-30 mins as of this posting). A train rolled into St. Petersburg with the doors blasted open. Details are still emerging. It may have been an equipment failure , or maybe . . .
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Taemon



Joined: 08 Aug 2013
Posts: 1440
Location: Europe

PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 5:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apparently it was a bomb.
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