Another Federal Agency That’s All Wet

The article is from Wired which I find humorous in that it’s about flooding. Something that generally doesn’t mix well with things that are wired. But anyway, the link to the article is here. And the short summary is this, flood insurance is a total joke and it has been for a really long time. Of course, it’s run by a federal agency who just now has decided to try to make it effective. Their current solution involves throwing yet more taxpayer money at a problem that nobody can predict.

There’s a reason private insurance companies won’t touch flood insurance. It’s a pretty simple reason too. Flood insurance isn’t profitable except in areas where nobody would ever buy it.

So here we are again, our government doesn’t really trust capitalism so instead of actually giving it a chance, they decided to stick their noses into the game by creating a tax based insurance policy that is now wildly overdrawn and losing money hand over fist every day. Perfect. Now we have a huge gap to fill, and the solution – as always – will be to ask everyone to put more money into the pot even though there’s absolutely no evidence that the next major storm won’t be even more expensive and thus waste even more money.

Wait…did I say waste? Am I suggesting that saving someone’s house in the bayou is a waste? Well, yeah, sort of. Life is full of risks. Building a home or starting a business in a location that is below sea level is one such risk. Does it mean you shouldn’t do it? No, feel free, but also, make sure to be ready to build a second home once every generation or so because your place is going to flood. Not if, but when. That’s the way water works. And it shouldn’t be the government’s job to rebuild your home. Because “the government” is NOT paying for it. The guy who pays taxes and lives above sea level is paying for a service he won’t ever use. Of course, if he did need to use it, he couldn’t because FEMA spent all the money already.

Too harsh? Maybe. An opinion I can have because I’ve never had a loved one affected by a flood? Probably. Of course, it could also be that I just really believe that insurance companies could make this work if the federal government would get out of the way. Would the insurance be cost prohibitive? Maybe. Perhaps not. Isn’t it possible that with slick advertising, State Farm can convince the guy in New Mexico to spend just a little on flood insurance by showing him video of floods in Arizona? And if they can sell enough in the markets that are the least likely to have payouts, might there be enough to cover those other markets? Again, maybe.

But frankly, at this point, I’d much prefer a maybe over a definite when the definite is that more good money is going to be thrown away to a federal agency that simply doesn’t work.



Kicking out Girls on International Women’s Day

Here’s the link to a story about a Girls On The Run (GOTR) club that has to stop using the school they’ve been meeting at in the afternoons for the last 14 years. Obviously, there must have been some change in the district. A new afternoon activity that requires the same space at the same time that will help more girls than GOTR. Or maybe there’s been a new policy put in place that prohibits non-District sponsored programs. State law maybe? County health guidelines? Or, the ever popular, “liability” cover-all? Nope. This one boils down simply to the fact that we have lost the ability in this country to look at someone and say, “Yes, you make a valid point. However, they were here first, they’ve caused no problems, and we have a standing agreement with them.” That’s right, some fuckin’ jackass “challenged GOTR having preferential status” by allowing them to use buildings indoors at the district. So, naturally, the district’s lawyers got on board and said, “Yep, we never gave this other group who didn’t ask 14 years ago a chance to vie for a space that they didn’t know existed. Therefore, nobody can use the space.” Come on, this is what we do as parents when we’re exhausted with our kids fighting. “If you can’t share, I’ll take it away and neither of you can have it!”

So, yeah, now I’m a little riled up because, frankly, here we fucking go again. Let’s rail against the president and state lawmakers about every decision they make that may or may not affect our actual daily lives, but when something happens in our own backyard, we don’t have the courage to look at our neighbor and say, “Frank, I brought you a couple of beers, because I like you and I want to discuss this GOTR thing. You gotta let it go. This isn’t about you. It’s about 350 girls and a club that causes exactly zero trouble to anyone. They asked for something two president’s ago and got it. Let’s find a place for your group to go that doesn’t involve throwing these girls under the bus.”

Or better yet, how about one lawyer, just ONE lawyer grow a set of balls and say, “Sorry. We’re out of room. We’ll be happy to let you know when a spot opens up, but until then, bug off.” A challenge to preferential status? Kiss my ass. It wasn’t preferential 14 years ago, they were just there first.

I swear to all that is holy that we have gone so far astray from simple common sense and decency that it frightens me. These people are highly educated and in charge of educating the next generation, but there response is to just fold up. I’m all for progress in most every area, but there are some concrete examples where we have lost every last ounce of courage to take a stand.

This is one of those times.

Shoes on the Couch

And then there’s Kellyanne Conway and the way she sits on a couch. I just can’t stand this double standard bullshit and, even more than that, I can’t stand the idea that by pointing any of this out I come off as a supporter of this total waste of existence that is currently serving as our Commander in Chief. Was that harsh? Look, I still can’t believe he won the election. Actually, that’s not true, I totally understand how he got elected. In fact, I predicted it after the DNC nominated the worst presidential candidate in the history of this country. I just can’t fathom how the supposedly brilliant, highly educated, liberalists of this country didn’t see this coming from a country fucking mile. Oh that’s right, because it turns out that ignorance isn’t directly related to education level. It just changes the things you’re ignorant too. Seriously, live for a year in the rural parts of this country and you’ll quickly find out how differently the country can be viewed and how values differ from those in the densely populated areas from those outside it. The differences are subtle, they’re distinct, vivid, and – most importantly – meaningful. Gun rights aren’t about guns. They’re about the belief that it’s an American’s right to buy something if someone is selling it. The Affordable Care Act isn’t about healthcare for the poor, it’s about an American’s right to NOT be forced to buy something just because the government is selling it. And voting for the president isn’t about ALL of the things that candidate says or does. Some people, apparently 46% or so of the voting population, still vote based on one or two issue they find more important than LITERALLY EVERYTHING ELSE. So, yes, they can completely ignore the racism, misogyny, sexism, and every other -ism of a candidate because they believe so strongly in one or two other issues that the candidate supports. Look, they would have voted for Romney, Cruz, Bush, or anyone else that wasn’t Clinton. Why? Because she lied. Plain and simple. She lied about Benghazi and she lied about emails. Is that petty? Maybe, but she was also First Lady when her husband lied. “But, come on, that was about an affair, not Presidential business.” Yeah, and again, you’ve kind of missed the point. The people I know in the parts of the country that voted for Donald believe that a pattern of lies is tantamount to treason or, you know, a mortal sin because – well – it’s one of the commandments or something. What she lied about is immaterial. And, by the way, it doesn’t help when it comes out that the DNC played fast and loose behind the scenes to make sure she got nominated over every one else. Including the candidate that actually would have beaten Trump. The data was pretty clear on that. Sanders beats Trump with room to spare, but Trump v. Clinton is a dead heat at best. So, you’ll excuse me if my view from the cheap seats has me shaking my head and muttering, “I told you so.” I’m a Libertarian. I voted for Johnson. Again! Because I think both of these two parties are so completely screwed up and can’t get own of their own way if they wanted too. So, back to our girl Kellyanne (and she is our girl, because we all let it happen). Are we really wasting bytes of data and bandwidth on whether or not she had her shoes on the couch? I mean, really? That’s the pressing issue in our country? Because, I’m confused. It seems like a distraction. “Hey, look over there! Let’s get really mad about that because it shows how much more refined and intelligent we are than them!” See, that’s the same logic that got him elected in the first place. There’s a whole chunk of this country that got real tired of being called stupid for the last 16 years. It wasn’t just during the Obama administration. It was also the eight years prior to that. Anyone who supported Bush was also ignorant, uneducated, etc. So for 16 years, people who simply wanted to vote their conscience about being Pro-Life or support of the 2nd Amendment or a strong military or a belief that a Republican President is better for the economy or whatever their issue may be. So, instead of screaming from the hills about how insulting it is that Mrs. Conway left her shoes on while she sat on the couch in the Oval Office, maybe you can take a few deep breaths, center yourself, and ask yourself a question. “What would I do if every time I turned on the TV or read the news (online of course) that I was an ignorant fool for the way I voted?” How long would it take before you said, “Oh yeah, you think my vote for Romney was dumb? Watch this!”

Bathrooms? Really?

Let’s start with the idea of transgender bathroom laws. First of all, what the literal fuck? Are we really wasting energy and time on this bullshit. If you think you’re a dude and you wanna use the men’s bathroom, good for you. Who the fuck cares? How does it affect anyone else? And I don’t care what you look like, it doesn’t matter. If you look like a man and go into a men’s room, why would anyone think you were anything other than that? To quote Sean Connery in The Untouchables, “Why would one claim to be that which he is not?” or something like that. And let’s try the alternative…a person who looks like a guy – you know, facial hair, no noticeable breast development, etc. – walks into a woman’s bathroom and while women are naturally uncomfortable, the seeming man says, “Sorry but I was born a woman so this is the bathroom I’m legally obligated to use.” So instead of just going into a men’s room where there would be no reason for anyone to question the situation, we’ve created an incident/awkwardness when none needed to exist. This is the very definition of government run amok. Stay the hell out of people’s individual liberties.