Paying the bills Open Thread

I’ve put it off long enough.  I must pay bills.  It’s not a particularly onerous task nowadays, since I do most of it online (fully cognizant of the risks I’m taking, but still giving in to convenience), but I still hate to do.  It’s my own fault.  Instead of paying bills as they come in, when I have to deal with only one or two at a time, I pay them every two weeks, by which time my inbox has assumed nightmarish proportions.  I’m an example of that stale old joke never getting around to that New Year’s vow to end my procrastination.

I should be done with this task in about an hour but, until then, have some fun here.

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  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Don’t you have autobill for most of the routine stuff?

  • Matt_SE

    I posted a moderate-length response regarding this article:
    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2014/01/rush-to-accept-melissa-harris-perry-apology-misses-chance-to-confront-left-on-race-baiting/
     
    And now it’s gone. This is an open thread; was it deleted?

    • http://bookwormroom.com Bookworm

      Matt:  For reasons that are unclear, WordPress simply deleted it.  I’ll try reposting.

  • https://picasaweb.google.com/102427392960537405774 Kevin_B

    Not that long ago I heard about citizens approving amendments that legalize as well as tax marijuana on the state level in Coloroda and the District of Columbia, and I saw a BBC documentary called ‘America’s Stoned Kids’ that was mostly about the issue in Colorado. This raised many questions and heightened my interest in the narcotics question. I have read enough posts here at Bookworm Room to know that some here, especially the more libertarian persons amongst us, advocate or at least used to advocate the legalization of marijuana. Once having myself espoused the pro-legalization view, seeing for myself and hearing about what marijuana can do, amongst others, made me reconsider this position, and I am now in favor of continued prohibition. I did a little bit of research recently and found an interesting article on the website of the Heritage Foundation by one Charles “Cully” Stimson, in which he argues against the legalization of marijuana and urges citizens to ‘just say no’. It’s an interesting read for sure.
     
    http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2010/09/legalizing-marijuana-why-citizens-should-just-say-no
     
    One thing I noticed in the article is that he used the argument that alcohol consumption carries relatively few health risk and even some significant benefits. That bit, in my opinion, stinks just a little bit. That to me doesn’t sound entirely trutful. Alcohol in moderate amounts, many say, is relatively harmless, but is that even true? And is there really any truth bit about significant health benefits?

  • Danny Lemieux

    Kevin_B, most arguments about marijuana are not about whether it is good or bad but whether its prohibition is better or worse than the alternative. In my view, there are far too many people with life-ruining jail sentences for simple possession or sale of small amounts of a drug that people want. Legalizing (but controlling the sale of) drugs also takes the criminal element out of the equation. A huge portion of the crime in our country is fueled by the drug trade and its customers. The libertarian argument to which I subscribe is that people need to take responsibility for their own actions: punish the actions of someone under the influence of marijuana (or alcohol), not the consumption thereof. Conversely, if people ruin their lives with drugs, then let them suffer the consequences thereof (I say use only tax revenues from drug sales for rehabilitation, not other public funds). Where I draw the line, though, is with kids: sell or give drugs to kids, do major, major time (life sentence, even). As far as the health benefits of alcohol, there are many. For beer, Google the excellent and enjoyable documentary, “How beer saved the world”. With regard to wine, there are many, many studies documenting its benefits for circulatory health. Plus, hot off the press….;).  http://atlanta.cbslocal.com/2014/01/04/study-moms-who-drink-wine-while-pregnant-have-better-behaved-kids/

  • SADIE

    “Legalizing (but controlling the sale of) drugs also takes the criminal element out of the equation.”
    Colorado’s two-prong legalization sells medical pot at $200/oz. and recreational at $400/oz. plus tax, which will still insure that the professional dealers will maintain a market to sell to smokers.  To the topic of alcohol, you can nurse a glass of wine through dinner with no side affects – no one is nursing a ‘joint’ or is it called a ‘blunt’ now.  The recreational smoker is intent on getting buzzed with side affects. It’s going to be a challenge for law enforcement to pull-over drivers who smoke and are driving too slowly, not to mention the additional challenge for elderly drivers who naturally drive slowly and smoke.

  • Charles Martel

    Sadie makes a good point about the government’s inability to control its spastic response to legalization: tax the hell out of marijuana and then scratch its head at all the illegal sales going on.
     
    If the dimwits who run us could just this once resist fisting the golden goose’s cloaca, maybe we could see beneficial effects from decriminalizing the naughty herb.

  • https://picasaweb.google.com/102427392960537405774 Kevin_B

    most arguments about marijuana are not about whether it is good or bad
    I don’t think there is much of question whether marijuana is good or bad. It think it’s fairly clear it’s bad. Bad or immoral enough to be banned? That’s a more difficult question. But many conservatives still feel like saying yes to prohibition of marijuana, and historically, many, including Ronald Reagan, who was all for the war on drugs, have done the same.
     
     
    In my view, there are far too many people with life-ruining jail sentences for simple possession or sale of small amounts of a drug that people want.
    It’s an interesting question as to why there is market for these substances in the first place, one we have dealt with before and which we may not be able to answer completely. In any case, might it not be that there is something wrong or amiss with the persons who use narcotics? 
    I do agree that ‘life-ruining’ jail sentences for the possession or use of small amounts of narcotics may not be a good thing, but does that mean we should give dope users a legal free to go (non-legal consequences or not)?
     
     
    Legalizing (but controlling the sale of) drugs also takes the criminal element out of the equation. A huge portion of the crime in our country is fueled by the drug trade and its customers.
    The criminal element of drugs is undeniable. However, would legalization or decriminalization take that away to a significant extent as to be positive? If the government puts high taxes on legal marijuana, why wouldn’t people still buy cheaper illegal stuff from the local dope dealer? The article I linked also casts grave doubt about whether legalization would take away or even significantly diminish the criminal aspects of dope production, distribution and use.
     
     
    The libertarian argument to which I subscribe is that people need to take responsibility for their own actions: punish the actions of someone under the influence of marijuana (or alcohol), not the consumption thereof. 
    I understand the argument, but in the case of drugs, I have grave questions about it, fueled amongst others by what Stimson’s article points out – and I do tend to think he’s right on at least some points.
     
     
    For beer, Google the excellent and enjoyable documentary, “How beer saved the world”. With regard to wine, there are many, many studies documenting its benefits for circulatory health. Plus, hot off the press….;).  http://atlanta.cbslocal.com/2014/01/04/study-moms-who-drink-wine-while-pregnant-have-better-behaved-kids/
    I will certainly look up the documentary. Also, didn’t one of the Founding Fathers call beer a gift of God to men? I don’t question whether studies exist documenting positive benefits of alcohol, but are they actually sound and reliable? Also, do the purported benefits outweight the potential negative effects? On that final article: that comes as a surprise. I always thought alcohol was seriously discouraged during pregnancy.
     
     
    To the topic of alcohol, you can nurse a glass of wine through dinner with no side affects – no one is nursing a ‘joint’ or is it called a ‘blunt’ now.  The recreational smoker is intent on getting buzzed with side affects. 
    I can to some extent understand the allure and joy of drinking wine or beer in moderate amounts, I see my parents doing so regularly. The whole purpose, however, of smoking joints, blunts, spliffs or whatever they’re called these days, most often is getting stoned. Getting high is not a side effect of smoking ganja, it’s the inherent and intended effect. 
     
    Sadie makes a good point about the government’s inability to control its spastic response to legalization: tax the hell out of marijuana and then scratch its head at all the illegal sales going on.
    After Prohibition was repealed (although in some counties, the so-called ‘dry counties’, especially in the South, it continues to this day), many states and counties chose to control the sale of alcohol through various measures, including levying taxes on alcohol. Did the criminal aspect of alcohol ever go away? No, criminals still alcohol, and people who use alcohol still commit criminal offenses. Also, moonshining exists to this day. 
     
     
    we could see beneficial effects from decriminalizing the naughty herb.
    Stimson and other very question if there will be any beneficial effects, and even there will, whether they will be outweighted by the negative and unintended effects. Also, ‘naughty herb’ sounds a bit too kind and cute to me. Perhaps it’s an exaggeration, but I prefer to use the term ‘evil weed’. 
     
     

  • http://bookwormroom.com Bookworm

    Matt_SE posted this earlier, but for reasons that make sense only to WordPress, it vanished:

    Linked at Instapundit:http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2014/01/rush-to-accept-melissa-harris-perry-apology-misses-chance-to-confront-left-on-race-baiting/

    I had this thought myself yesterday. This is why RINOs lose: either they are afraid to fight back (and having little grasp of conservative ideology doesn’t help), or they have their heads stuck in an anachronistic time when you could disagree in America without being vilified.

    In Romney’s case, I think the second option may be more likely. The man acts like Ward Cleaver from Leave it to Beaver. Good for him, but bad for winning elections when you have to make a personal connection with voters.

    On a personal note, I would say my parents are both uncomfortably RINO. They seem to understand that Obama is the worst president in their lifetimes, and that he is a despicable liar. However, they seem to only superficially understand that there is an ongoing culture war…a WAR. This is no longer a family spat; the kind of quaint America where for example, criticism of other Americans “stops at the water’s edge.”

    Time is running out for America and if Republicans don’t start getting serious, start going for the jugular when given an opportunity, it will be too late. This clutching-of-pearls business is getting old.