30 March 2021

Insurance-Denial Link Sausage Platter

Well, I was supposed to be fasting overnight (except for the tasty, tasty "special" beverage) in preparation for making TMI movies of my intestinal tract, but the insurance company decided it was unnecessary so won't pay for it. Which is consistent with the theme of this link sausage platter. So blame your indigestion on my insurer (which points disturbingly back toward my intestinal tract).

  • This nation was founded, in large part, on the concept that major policy decisions should be undertaken only after there's a real opportunity to vote for (or against) those who actually make those policy decisions. At a jurisprudential level, this gets into the legislative-delegation problem; at a broader level, it concerns whether those with quasireligious attachment to specific policy doctrines really want a vote in the first place, or would instead prefer that we look at a lot more like the Holy Roman Empire. Not excluding boundaries drawn by self-interested, self-righteous idiots (all too much like boundaries in Africa and Southwest Asia, drawn by upper-middle-class-and-upper-class white European men with little or no understanding of either the geology or historical geography of the area).

    Of course, a lot (not all) of the tension behind this could be reduced by recognizing that most people travel just a little bit farther in their ordinary lives than did rural eighteenth-century colonists, and by implicitly rejecting the concept that "the precise location of one's pillow determines one's proper political subdivision." We should have multimember districts… with voting systems designed for them, instead of simplistic plurality/first-past-the-post systems. If we can manage to tolerate "games behind" in baseball standings, we can tolerate something slightly more complex than sheer number of "wins" (votes… or first-place votes… or voting for each and every position equally…). It's bad enough that, say, the Philadelphia conurbation extends across three states with little respect for lines drawn in the eighteenth century; but subdividing it for partisan advantage?

  • Of course, artificial divide-and-conquer is the traditional means used by those in power (in the West or otherwise) to ensure that they remain entrenched in power. It's not just overtly in government, either; consider the problems created by measuring "media success" with the same metrics as "widget production", or — at the next stage, when things become really hostile — overt union-busting (carefully avoiding mention of anything relating to warehouse workers) (damn, I blew it there, didn't I?).
  • All of which rather pales next to paying our overdue bills for preventing things from getting worse. Bluntly, the genocidal acts in Rwanda and former Yugoslavia and [redacted] and [redacted] are all direct consequences of inadequately trained, equipped, supported, and otherwise insufficient peacekeeping forces. You don't get to be guiltless at the later horror if it was in your power to take effective steps to prevent them — specifically including paying 0.008% of your defense budget, less than the cost of one moderately-advanced fighter aircraft a year — and you chose not to. It's the pretense that preventive maintenance isn't cost-effective (tell that to the survivors).
  • Last, and most disreputably, we have self-interesting real-estate magnates bitching, whining, and moaning that "we can't suspend evictions and foreclosures forever" because, well, that would limit the investors' ability to profit.

    Why the f*ck not? Is there something "magical" about real-property investment that means those who invest in real property (and you should ask yourself why "land" is the only "real" property, and ponder the linguistic issues across languages there) don't have to share in all of the risks of any other kind of investment? Consider the other link sausages along with that, too; for example, "eviction and foreclosure" also have a strong tendency to move The Wrong Kind of People into more-easily-gerrymandered voting districts.

    This is another example of those-with-excess-capital having the real sense of entitlement. Investors in residential real property in this nation are disproportionately those who have benefitted from inherited wealth; even those who think of themselves as "self-made" have a high tendency, if one looks at their profiles, to have so benefitted (even if only within self-identified communities). And now they're demanding yet another benefit for themselves: Calendar-tied payments and rights to exclude in a time that the calendar is völlig beschißen by events outside the control of those required to make the payments.

    We're all in this together. You're not special snowflakes. OK, you think you are (and your skin tone is disproportionately snowflakish)… but I really wonder what gives y'all the privilegeright to whine about your business failures when the one "acceptable" investment class that completely violates the principles of "diversification" and "modern portfolio theory" is "residential real property." We snicker at those who put their entire life savings into cryptocurrency speculation or a single hot stock, but we're supposed to have complete sympathy for those who do the same with houses…