Keep It Simple, Stupid

“STUPID” applied to the scriptwriters for the Democrat’s B-movie for decades.


Here’s how they did it with FDR in office

…In the interest of supporting a united front between liberals and socialists, let me start this off with a rather long quote from Matt Christman of Chapo Trap House, on why Obamacare failed to gain more popularity:

❝ There are parts to it that are unambiguously good — like, Medicaid expansion is good, and why? Because there’s no fucking strings attached. You don’t have to go to a goddamned website and become a fucking hacker to try to figure out how to pick the right plan, they just tell you “you’re covered now.” And that’s it! That’s all it ever should have been and that is why — [Jonathan Chait] is bemoaning why it’s a political failure? Because modern neoliberal, left-neoliberal policy is all about making this shit invisible to people so that they don’t know what they’re getting out of it.

❝ And as Rick Perlstein has talked about a lot, that’s one of the reasons that Democrats end up fucking themselves over. The reason they held Congress for 40 years after enacting Social Security is because Social Security was right in your fucking face. They could say to you, “you didn’t used to have money when you were old, now you do. Thank Democrats.” And they fucking did. Now it’s, “you didn’t used to be able to log on to a website and negotiate between 15 different providers to pick a platinum or gold or zinc plan and apply a fucking formula for a subsidy that’s gonna change depending on your income so you might end up having to retroactively owe money or have a higher premium.” Holy shit, thank you so much.

RTFA. It deals with a lot more than Obamacare because, guess what – the Dems shroud their timorous legislation in enough Cloud Nine fog to hide the Titanic.

Tuna casserole, again? I want a divorce!

In her 30-odd years as a divorce lawyer, Vanessa Lloyd Platt has heard it all. The woman who sued for divorce because her husband insisted she dress in a Klingon costume and speak to him in Klingon. The man who declared that his wife had maliciously and repeatedly served him his least favorite dish, tuna casserole.

“It’s insane,” Ms. Lloyd Platt said. “These things should not have any part in the procedure.” But they come up all the time in England, which unlike every state in America does not have a no-fault divorce law…

Under current English law, divorces are granted only under one of five categories, including adultery and abandonment. About half of the cases fall under the heading of a broad category called unreasonable behavior, in which one party has to accuse the other of acting so unreasonably that living together has become intolerable.

Many divorce lawyers and judges have long chafed at the requirement, and some like Ms. Lloyd Platt are campaigning to change the law to allow no-fault divorce…

In addition to the Klingon man, there was a woman who said her husband had not spoken to her for 15 years, communicating only by Post-it note. And there was the man whose wife “would without justification flirt with any builder or tradesman, inappropriately touching them and declaring that she could not stop herself.”

One petition read: “The respondent insisted that his pet tarantula, Timmy, slept in a glass case next to the matrimonial bed,” even though his wife requested “that Timmy sleep elsewhere.”

There were complaints about husbands with atrocious body odor and others who changed the channels too fast. “The respondent husband repeatedly took charge of the remote television controller, endlessly flicking through channels and failing to stop at any channel requested by the petitioner,” one petition read…

“People have had to start playing games with this, with the complicity of the court,” said Patrick Chamberlayne, a divorce lawyer in London. “They put their heads together and say, ‘Surely we can come up with something that the court will agree on.’ That’s when you get the sort of trivial nonsense like ‘He was late home from work’ and ‘He wasn’t supportive in the kitchen…’ ”

There was a push in 1996 for a no-fault divorce law, but the plan died amid worries that it would make divorce too easy…

RTFA for more anecdotes.

Not a lot of explanation about who provides the pushback against no fault divorce. Certainly assorted religions of the sort that feel they have a charter to interfere in peoples’ behavior lead the way; but, I’d bet there’s also a certain class distincion involved. So many posh types feel they can’t divorce because it just doesn’t look good – therefore why should ordinary working families have the opportunity to do what they dare not.

A website in India for whistleblowers on bribery

Imagine if you had to pay a bribe to see your newborn baby, get your water supply connected or obtain your driving licence. It’s an everyday fact of life in India – but campaigners are now using people power and the internet to fight back.

“Uncover the market price of corruption,” proclaims the banner on the homepage of ipaidabribe.com.

It invites people to share their experiences of bribery, what a bribe was for, where it took place and how much was involved.

Launched in August, the site gives Indians a chance to vent their frustrations and shine a spotlight on the impact of corruption on everyday life.

“I did the driving test correctly but still the official said I was driving too slow, I realised his intention so gave him 200 Rupees and got the thing done,” is a typical example of a posting…

The website was the brainwave of Ramesh and Swati Ramanathan, founders of a not-for-profit organisation in Bangalore called Janaagraha which literally means “people power”.

“Bribery is routinely expected in interactions with government officials”, Swati Ramanathan told me, “to register your house, to get your driving licence, domestic water connection, even a death certificate.”

Having lived in the US and the UK for several years, they were dismayed on their return to see how widespread corruption had become and decided to do something about it…

The website has evolved into a consumer comparison site where people can also get information and advice in different languages on how to avoid paying bribes…

So far, nearly 10,000 bribe experiences have been reported across 347 cities and 19 government departments…

Twenty senior officers have been cautioned, and technology is now being introduced to minimise the opportunities for bribe-taking.

Bravo! One of the best uses of enforced transparency in government.

You can’t count on politicians to volunteer transparency; but, you certainly can give it to them – whether they want it or not.

Newlyweds separated by incompetent British bureaucrats

MPs have taken up the case of two young newlyweds who are being forced apart as an unintended consequence of a new immigration law aimed at protecting Asian women from forced marriages.

Adam Wallis and Canadian Rochelle Roberts, who married in the UK a week after her visa ran out, face an enforced year and a half of separation until she is 21…

Keith Vaz, the chairman of the Commons home affairs select committee, said last night the case could prompt a change in the law, adding: “This is clearly a case which needs to be looked at by a minister. What needs to happen is the government needs to say, ministers in the Home Office need to say, that this is not what we intended with this act…”

This is as stupid as the Zero Tolerance regulations much beloved of school administrators in the United States. Removing the requirement to think – removes responsibility for stupid decisions. Supposedly.

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