I need to get COVID-19 within the next three weeks (the government tests arrived today)

On May 1, 2022 I ordered my “free” (i.e., taxpayer-funded) COVID-19 tests. They arrived in today’s mail. They expire on September 9, 2022:

For these to be useful, in other words, I need to copy the Pfizer CEO and add COVID-19 to my vaccinated-and-boosted body… within the next three weeks.

Related:

Full post, including comments

We’re Pregnant

My favorite group on Facebook is the Golden Retriever Club. The gift that keeps on giving recently yielded a linguistic innovation. You know how people who are not, in fact, pregnant people will say “We’re pregnant” when a household member is a pregnant person? Here’s the natural extension…

Another example of why Mindy the Crippler and I love this group:

And here’s a story about the SWAT team:

Separately, a native German speaker got in trouble with the moderators for using the word “bitch” (literal translation from the German) to describe a canine identifying as female. Speaking of pregnancy and Europe, a friend over in that correctly governed part of the world informed me of the recent birth of a daughter. My immediate response regarding the 6-week-old was to ask, “Has she received her first COVID-19 vaccination yet?”

Full post, including comments

Liz Cheney gives the finger to her constituents

The elite-born Liz Cheney purportedly represents the interests of voters in Wyoming. Back in July, she stated that investigating the January 6 insurrection might be “the most important thing I ever do” and, therefore, was presumably devoting maximum effort to this project.

Her non-elite constituents, however, by voting her out of office (66% to 29%! the elites are surely sorry that they neglected to take away the Deplorables’ right to vote!), have now told her that this is not something that they want her to do. What’s the former VP daughter’s response? “‘Now the real work begins’: Liz Cheney lost her election but vows to dig deeper into the Jan. 6 mission.” (NYT, August 17).

Ms. Cheney vowed to use her post on the House committee investigating Jan. 6 to continue prosecuting the public case against former President Donald J. Trump.

“This primary election is over,” she told her supporters Tuesday night. “But now the real work begins.”

Ms. Cheney, a Republican who is vice chair of the committee, quickly converted her campaign committee into a leadership political action committee called the Great Task, a sign that she plans to take her fight against Mr. Trump to new levels. But she also plans to dig deeper into her mission with the Jan. 6 committee, which could continue its work until the end of the year.

Also from Pravda, “After Loss, Cheney Begins Difficult Mission of Thwarting Trump”:

Liz Cheney is clear about her goal, but the path is murky: A presidential run is possible, she acknowledged, and she has a new political outfit aimed at the former president and his 2020 election lies.

Hours after her landslide loss, Representative Liz Cheney wasted no time Wednesday taking her first steps toward what she says is now her singular goal: blocking Donald J. Trump from returning to power.

The person who represents the voters of Wyoming has a “singular goal” that is actually at odds with what those voters want?

Ms. Cheney announced that her newly rebranded political organization, the Great Task, would be dedicated to mobilizing opposition to Mr. Trump.

(What if Trump gets killed by COVID-19 next week? Liz Cheney will have to disband the Great Task because it will be #MissionAccomplished?)

Is this a breakdown of representative government? It is almost as though a politician from Massachusetts were to say “lockdowns, school closures, vaccine papers checks, and forced masking are bad ideas when faced with an aerosol respiratory virus that has the ability to evolve” or “smoking marijuana daily might not be good for your health.”

Also, considering the 66%/29% defeat, has an incumbent ever lost by this kind of margin (37 points) before? For reference, AOC, the Democrats’ thought leader, beat an incumbent by 57%/43% (14 points) in 2018.

Related:

  • Recently celebrated by Progressives, Liz Cheney’s high position was condemned as an example of nepotism by Nobel laurate Paul Krugman in the New York Times: “The Sons Also Rise” (2002). “America, we all know, is the land of opportunity. Your success in life depends on your ability and drive, not on who your father was. … Talk to Elizabeth Cheney, who holds a specially created State Department job, or her husband, chief counsel of the Office of Management and Budget.”
  • “Liz Cheney’s biggest donors come from Texas and California” (Washington Examiner): “Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) far outraised her primary opponent … Cheney raised over $15 million in her reelection bid, with nearly $1 million coming from Texas and another $1.4 million from California, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission. That makes the two states her highest contributors, raising only $386,000 from donors in Wyoming. … Comparatively, Hageman raised $940,000 from Wyoming residents.”
Full post, including comments

New York Times hires a grandmother-age writer to expound on casual sex

“I Still Believe in the Power of Sexual Freedom” (New York Times, August 16):

At the tail end of 2016, I ended an eight-year relationship about six years too late. Our marriage was modern and progressive by most standards: We experimented with nonmonogamy; my partner did more laundry than I did. And yet I found myself unable to admit a simple fact: Our sex, it turned out, was bad.

Women’s right to sexual satisfaction is taken as much more of a given

How did I find myself in a marriage filled with bad sex? I was as equipped as anyone could be to seek out real erotic freedom, and yet I still spent my high school and college years feeling uncertain about how to do so. I idolized Samantha from “Sex and the City,” and I also wished my sex was more meaningful. I wanted sex to be meaningful, but I was also turned off by the whole heterosexual dance in which women demand commitment in exchange for sex and men acquiesce. I was turned off by the dance, and yet I clung to the cultural validation offered to married heterosexual couples, staying way too long at the expense of my own happiness.

When I left my marriage … to pursue my true desires, …

I do believe that reaching for more sexual freedom, not less — the freedom to have whatever kind of sex we want, including, yes, casual sex and choking sex and porny sex — is still the only way we can hope to solve the problems of our current sexual landscape.

(NYT: To be “modern and progressive”, a marriage requires that any man involved do most of the laundry while the woman is out having sex with her friends and this arrangement continues until the woman files her divorce lawsuit.)

Wikipedia says that the author, Nona Willis Aronowitz, is 38 years old. In other words, a grandmother for all but a handful of the 300,000 years of human history. And the NYT has enlisted this grandmother-age individual to write about casual sex.

This is not to say that I think there should be an age limit for Tinder and Grindr users. I’m merely surprised that there is a mass market of people who want to read about the sexual exploits of humans who are best suited, biologically, to be grandparents.

Very loosely related… the local Walmart and Hershey’s invite us to celebrate anyone who shows up using “she” as a pronoun. This would, presumably, include elderly Tinder users.

Related:

  • Christmas Cake, a Japanese term for “A woman 26 years+ who is considered to be past her prime, undesirable, used goods and/or no good.”
Full post, including comments

A friend’s teenager learns about the American legal system

A recent chat group discussion:

  • [18-year-old son] got off his second speeding ticket. Had an attorney. His friend has two tickets and got off neither. He learned a valuable lesson. That the Justice system is best if you have money.
  • That lesson does not apply in family court.

Noted.

Full post, including comments

How will Earth’s climate be affected by the Inflation Reduction Act?

“Biden signs sweeping climate, health care, tax bill into law” (state-sponsored NPR):

President Biden signed Democrats’ hallmark spending bill into law on Tuesday…

The sweeping bill allocates more than $300 billion to be invested in energy and climate reform. It’s the largest federal clean energy investment in U.S. history, although it falls short of what progressive Democrats and climate activists had originally called for.

“This bill is the biggest step forward on climate ever — ever — and is going to allow us to boldly take additional steps toward meeting my climate goals,” Biden said.

It includes $60 billion for boosting renewable energy infrastructure in manufacturing, like solar panels and wind turbines, and includes tax credits for electric vehicles and measures to make homes more energy efficient.

Democrats say the bill will lower greenhouse gas emissions by 40%, based on 2005 levels, by the end of the decade, which falls short of Biden’s original goal.

It looks like we’ve already cut emissions a bit via the miracle of sending all of our manufacturing to Mexico and China (epa.gov):

By 2030, thanks to just $300 billion in spending (less than a month of coronapanic spending? less than the total fraud that Americans perpetrated against the U.S. Treasury in obtaining COVID-tagged funds?), the U.S. economy will be reconfigured to push only about 4 gigatons of CO2 into the atmosphere rather than today’s 6 gigatons.

Here’s a question… how will this change the Earth’s climate? Can beachfront property owners now rest easy (and maybe send thank-you cards to working class taxpayers in the Midwest who funded the protection of their $20 million houses)?

Climate modelers love to model. Did anyone in the climate-industrial complex plug Joe Biden’s clean new USA into a model and figure out whether Houston becomes a pleasant place to spend summers?

Full post, including comments

Inflation is an emergency so I will start cutting back in 2026

“Passage of Inflation Reduction Act gives Medicare historic new powers over drug prices” (CNBC, August 12) is a headline that matches my understanding of the Inflation Reduction Act that addresses the emergency situation facing Americans. The Federal government will no longer necessarily pay huge $$ for mediocre pharma (or Bad Pharma!) and we’ll have something more like the British system where a committee asks “How much are the additional life-years obtained by use of this patented drug, compared to the effects of cheap generics that are similar, actually worth?”

Digging into the article, however, we find that no government worker need get off the sofa to do any negotiation for a few years. The soonest that taxpayers might spend a little less as a result of negotiations is 2026 and only 10 drugs will be affected.

Individual analogy: “My compulsive spending has resulted in a financial disaster so I’m cutting up my credit cards… four years from now.”

Returning to that CNBC article… What if you’re not old?

Lawmakers on the left such as Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT, have criticized the legislation for leaving out the overwhelming majority of Americans who are not on Medicare.

“If anybody thinks that as a result of this bill we’re suddenly going to see lower prices for Medicare you are mistaken,” Sanders said during a speech in the Senate earlier this week. “If you’re under 65, this bill will not impact you at all and the drug companies will be able to continue on their merry way and raise prices to any level they want.”

Who should do the negotiation on behalf of the beleaguered American taxpayer? The obvious choice: Martin Shkreli!

Related:

  • “The Journalist and the Pharma Bro” (Elle): Over the course of nine months, beginning in July 2018, Smythe quit her job, moved out of the apartment, and divorced her husband. What could cause the sensible Smythe to turn her life upside down? She fell in love with a defendant whose case she covered. In fact, she broke the news of his arrest. It was a scoop that ignited the internet, because her love interest, now life partner, is not just any defendant, but Martin Shkreli, the so-called “Pharma Bro” and online provocateur, who increased the price of a lifesaving drug by 5,000 percent overnight and made headlines for buying a one-off Wu-Tang Clan album for a reported $2 million. Shkreli, who was convicted of fraud in 2017, is now serving seven years in prison.
Full post, including comments

When will Governor Abbott send buses full of migrants to Atherton, Californa?

“Recession is when your neighbor loses his job. Depression is when you lose yours. And recovery is when Jimmy Carter loses his,” said Ronald Reagan. I wonder if there is something similar going on with low-skill immigration. It was a minor, but certainly manageable, problem when millions of migrants walked across the southern border and settled into Texas to wait for the decades-long process of resolving an asylum claim (during which time multiple generations of U.S. citizens might be born to the asylum-seekers and their descendants). Any time that a bus full of migrants arrives in a Progressive neighborhood, on the other hand, it is a crisis. See Welcoming migrants in our nation’s capital and Progressives in Maine want U.S. to admit more low-skill migrants… and, for a more recent example, “Seeking Asylum in Texas; Sent to New York to Make a Political Point” (NYT, August 6, 2022):

Gov. Greg Abbott chartered a bus to send a group of migrants to New York, where Mayor Eric Adams said asylum seekers were overwhelming the city’s homeless shelters.

Since April, Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas, a Republican, has been shipping newly arrived asylum seekers to immigrant-friendly Democratic cities on the East Coast to try to pressure the Biden administration into cracking down at the border. Mr. Abbott’s press office said the bus that arrived in Manhattan on Friday, which left Eagle Pass, Wednesday afternoon, held “the first group of migrants bused to New York City from Texas.”

Like Washington, New York is “the ideal destination for these migrants, who can receive the abundance of city services and housing that Mayor Eric Adams has boasted about within the sanctuary city,” Mr. Abbott said in a statement on Friday. “I hope he follows through on his promise of welcoming all migrants with open arms so that our overrun and overwhelmed border towns can find relief.”

Last month, after the city violated the right-to-shelter law by failing to provide rooms for some people who had come to the family intake shelter in the Bronx, Mr. Adams blamed asylum seekers sent from Texas and Arizona.

(If anyone who is human has a legal right to shelter, why is the mayor of New York is “blaming” people for claiming this right?)

The Silicon Valley titans who control public discourse in the U.S. continue to support low-skill immigration into Texas and low-income neighborhoods around the U.S. I wonder what would happen if the rich Progressives were to personally encounter some low-skill migrants. “The billionaire famous for his early investment in Facebook wants America to build again—just not housing in his backyard” (Fortune):

In 2020, when the pandemic was going strong, billionaire Marc Andreessen turned heads by publishing an essay on his company website titled “It’s Time to Build.”

“I expect this essay to be the target of criticism,” he wrote while expressing a mindset that has come to be called YIMBY, for “yes in my backyard.”

“You see it in housing and the physical footprint of our cities,” he wrote. “We can’t build nearly enough housing in our cities with surging economic potential — which results in crazily skyrocketing housing prices in places like San Francisco, making it nearly impossible for regular people to move in and take the jobs of the future.” Then he expressed dissatisfaction with the state of urban architecture. “We should have gleaming skyscrapers and spectacular living environments in all our best cities at levels way beyond what we have now; where are they?”

Andreessen also lives in Atherton, California, America’s richest town,

Andreessen, co-founder of the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, is known for being an early investor in major tech companies including Meta, GitHub, Skype, and Twitter. In June, Andreessen and his wife Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen wrote an email expressing their opposition to a proposal that would increase zoning capacity for multi-family home construction in Atherton.

“I am writing this letter to communicate our IMMENSE objection to the creation of multifamily overlay zones in Atherton,” the two wrote in their email, signed by both, as reported by The Atlantic’s Jerusalem Demsas. “Please IMMEDIATELY REMOVE all multifamily overlay zoning projects from the Housing Element which will be submitted to the state in July. They will MASSIVELY decrease our home values, the quality of life of ourselves and our neighbors and IMMENSELY increase the noise pollution and traffic.”

Previously, “the venture capitalist said any proposal to “choke off” immigration “makes me sick to my stomach” (from “Asked why he supports Clinton over Trump, Marc Andreessen responds: ‘Is that a serious question?’”). What would happen if a Greg Abbott caravan of migrants showed up in front of Mr. Andreessen’s house and asked for the housing that is their legal and moral right?

Separately, the robot geniuses behind Twitter and Facebook are showing me a lot of information about Beto O’Rourke, running to replace Governor Abbott in Texas. I’m wondering if real estate owners in Florida should be donating to Mr. O’Rourke’s campaign. What could possibly be better for Florida real estate values than a true believer in the tax-and-spend-and-lockdown religion taking power in Texas? Imagine if all of the California businesses that have moved to Austin, Dallas, and Houston (HP!) in the past few years had instead moved to Orlando, Tampa, and Miami. Here’s Mr. O’Rourke promising to spend more money on government programs that are already among the most expensive (Medicaid and unionized public schools) while farcically promising that taxes will be reduced at the same time that spending is increased.

Here’s Mx. O’Rourke’s 2021 demand to Follow Science by keeping Texas locked down:

Full post, including comments

The Pfizer CEO gets COVID-19 after four shots

Here’s a puzzler:

Why does the Pfizer CEO want to tell people that four shots of a purported “vaccine” from his/her/zir/their own company are so ineffective that he/she/ze/they needs to take an emergency use authorized medicine designed to prevent obese elderly unvaccinated people from being killed by COVID-19? He/she/ze/they got four shots and nonetheless faced an “emergency” situation requiring an experimental drug?

The big questions…. First, why wasn’t Dr. Bourla (a veterinarian so he/she/ze/they knows a lot about ivermectin!) smart enough to never take a COVID-19 test that could call into question his/her/zir/their company’s product? Second, assuming that such a test was somehow unavoidable, why disclose the reason for taking a week off? Why not simply say “I prefer not to work for the next five days?” Or “I have read so much about opioid addiction that I need to stay home and consume Pfizer’s own opioid for a week”?

Full post, including comments

Zillow’s inflation forecasts

From February 2022, when we were dumb enough to sign a contract to buy a house:

The market will go up 23%.

In April, when we were dumb enough to close on a house:

The market has gone up a little and will go up 18.3 percent more.

In June, Zillow is busy celebrating Pride Month (from 2020: “They’re bold, bright and one-of-a-kind — they’re the homes we love, Pride-month style. We may not be celebrating together in person, but we’ll never stop celebrating what’s beautiful.”), but the company’s robot still has time to say that the forecast is 14.6 percent:

August 5, 2022, the “typical home value” is up by a staggering amount and the forecast is 7.8 percent more:

August 14, 2022, the “typical home value” is still up (yet houses have seemingly been slow to sell for a few months now and there have been many price cuts) and, with the Inflation Reduction Act nearly signed by the vigorous Vanquisher of Corn Pop, the inflation forecast is down to 5.3 percent:

These forecasts aren’t mutually inconsistent. If we take the starting “typical home value” and inflate it by the forecast 23.1 percent increase we get $647,098 for the expected typical home value in February 2023. If, indeed, the current value is already $627,655, the forecast 5.3 percent inflation rate (to August 2023) will make that happen.

Do we believes these precise forecasts? If so, should Joe Biden ask Zillow to come in and take over the Fed?

Separately, speaking of house price inflation, it occurs to me that the capital gains tax applied to homeowners does not make any sense. Suppose that Dana Dentist, a gender-neutral driller of teeth, purchased a 4BR house for $500,000 fifteen years ago. Dana falls in love with someone he/she/ze/they met at a Pride March in another city. Dana sells his/her/zir/their house for $1.5 million (in 2022 mini-dollars) and buys an identical size/quality house in the new sweetheart’s city, which just so happens to cost $1.5 million. Dana is no better off. He/she/ze/they has exactly the same size and quality of house. Yet the IRS now hits him/her/zir/them for capital gains and Obamacare investment income tax on $750,000 (the first $250,000 of gain on a primary residence is exempt). There may be state capital gains taxes to pay as well if Dana did not live in Texas, Florida, or a similar state.

Note that this wouldn’t happen to a commercial property owner. If he/she/ze/they sold House 1, which had been rented out, and bought House 2 in order to rent it out, the sale/purchase would be done in a 1031 exchange and there would be no tax on the fictitious capital gain until, perhaps, House 2 was sold and not replaced.

What’s the downside of the Feds and states taxing fictitious capital gains? By making moving more expensive, the policy discourages people from moving for better career opportunities and, thus, reduces the overall growth rate of the U.S. economy (not as much as our family law system does, but at least to some extent).

Full post, including comments