The Ship Of State

Californians are oozing with empathy, and it is reflected in the people they elect to the state legislature. If you are among the disenfranchised, they are there to cuddle you in the arms of government. Their only problem is finding a way to pay for it without scaring too many earners and job creators into leaving for greener and cheaper pastures.

Fortunately, we have the best climate on earth, and the most diverse and beautiful landscapes to explore and admire. This has always been the magnet that draws the dreamers to our golden state. But even so, when the burden of taxation becomes too great, even the sweltering humidity of Texas or Asia could begin to look more bearable.

And before you go off on my “libertarian” elitism of wanting services without paying for them, I get it.

I understand that we will most likely always have Big Government to run a state the size of California, and that it costs money. But at some point people need to start looking at what is important to them and putting their own wallet to work instead of relying on a system that requires huge buildings full of bureaucrats with massive pensions to dole out the leftovers for upkeep of our fair state.

It’s not impossible. Since the Republicans defunded Planned Parenthood, donations have skyrocketed. In our own community, citizens have backed local taxes to solve local problems such as potholes, sidewalks and parks. The money stays here instead of going through Sacramento or Washington. And when disaster strikes, as in the recent case of Lefty’s restaurant flooding, the public is more than willing to pitch in and help.

In the Age of Trump, which is likely to last four years at least, money from the federal government will not be forthcoming. With healthcare and infrastructure as immediate priorities, is it wise to go on a new spending spree?

It’s time to take another look at how tax dollars are spent, and how many hands the money must pass through before it comes back to where it’s needed.


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58 Responses to The Ship Of State

  1. Chris Peterson says:

    It seems that, whenever we speak of progressing, as a nation or state, the standard alarm is, “But what about the illegals.” Or the terrorists? Or the effect it will have on the “job creators?” I think the first thing we need to do is separate those issues and concentrate on exactly what you suggest: getting the most bang for our buck.

    Single payer for the tax paying majority of our citizens is not tied to the immigration issue. And when you speak of “relying on a system that requires huge buildings full of bureaucrats with massive pensions to dole out the leftovers for upkeep” or “how many hands the money must pass through before it comes back to where it’s needed”, you could easily be arguing against the insurance industry, which costs us all billions and doesn’t actually provide any meaningful service. As most industrialized nations have proven for decades, we don’t need them to mitigate the risks of health care; we are all tied to an organization that is cheaper, and far more efficient, to do so: our government. Rather than a handful of private companies making billions in profits, we would have one pool costing less, just by the sheer number of participants.

    But, back to the illegal immigrants; it’s obviously hard for some to remember that, before the crash of ’08, there were 11 million alien workers in the US, and no one said a word about them. They were busy picking our veggies and fruits, making our beds, cleaning our toilets, etc., etc., etc., paying billions in taxes and social security for services they would never see. And then suddenly, when those at the top fucked up the entire world’s economy with their greed; it was the folks at the bottom who they blamed, and the cry went out, “It’s the illegals’ fault!” (And there’s not a person on this blog who would last half a day doing what these laborers do for minimum wage or less.)

    So, let’s take on one of those issues at a time, eh? Let’s separate single payer from the illegal boogieman. Let’s compare today’s health care costs with single payer, and separately compare welfare for illegals vs welfare for billionaires, and factually come to a rational decision on each issue, rather than, once again, blaming those at the bottom for all our woes, which is the prevailing propaganda.

  2. fish says:

    Wow Chris….solved the health care problem in a single paragraph. Well done.

    Would you like to address the issues at the VA and actuarial instability of Medicare now that you have a little spare time on your hands?

    • Chris Peterson says:

      Are you saying that you believe with single payer those problems would still exist?

      Or, is your second sentence as facetious as your first?

  3. rl crabb says:

    As usual, the progressive line ignores the actual laws of the USA. The undocumentals rolled the dice when they came here and chose to live in the shadows rather than go through the immigration gauntlet that our forefathers did. I’ve had a few encounters with some of them and found them to be generally good people.
    What I object to is handing out a welcome basket to any who make it here, and then become eligible for healthcare benefits. California already supports more people than any other state. Why willingly add to that burden?
    I’m not totally against the single payer model, but citizens must be aware of the costs. There’s a reason that CA and Vermont shitcanned the idea once they realized the hit taxpayers would face. I don’t believe there is any inexpensive solution, as Republicans are finding out.

  4. steven frisch says:

    So first, I agree with you Bob that there is no inexpensive solutions–one way or another someone has to pay the piper.

    Right now there are many employers who are not paying anything toward health insurance, leaving employees either in the lurch for the full cost of the ACA or on the hook for the fines. But don’t be lulled into the sense that the insured are not paying for these people; we are in the form of increased rates because hospitals must treat them when they show up in the emergency rooms, and if they fall through the cracks and end up indigent we pay through Medical. Someone always has to pay the Piper.

    I currently pay $165K per year on health insurance for a staff of roughly 20 people with a payroll of approximately $1.5 million. Our staff does not use the ACA, we have a private health insurance policy, with a $2500 per year deductible and a $25 co-pay for prescriptions, and exemptions from the deductible for certain preventative care features, and we pay most of the cost of dependents.

    Not great, but the best we can do.

    However under the provisions currently being discussed in California for a single payer system my private contribution to health care would be replaced by a 4% federal tax deductible contribution by employees and a 7% payroll tax (which would be considered a business expense). The single payer system being discussed would have virtually no deductible and a $5 co-pay for prescriptions. In short, my staff would be WAY better off with an expanded pool (everybody who works) and lower co-pays, allowing for more emphasis on preventative care. Since I would likely increase wages across the board by wage class to cover the 4% contribution, I would be paying the same amount but I would be way better off because increased service to my staff.

    Covering every employee with the payroll tax would remove the stress on hospitals and clinics to cover the indigent, likely lowering costs across the board.

    Regarding the immigrant issue: immigrants pay into social security (if they are not citizens they cannot collect), workers compensation, unemployment insurance and disability in California (which they can collect but often don’t for obvious reasons.) Hospitals are required to treat anyone who shows up at their doors, so immigrants usually use emergency services. Under a single payer they would be under the same provisions everyone else would be expanding the pool and likely lowering costs, since frankly immigrants have a tendency to be younger and more able bodied than non-immigrants. In short, covering immigrants would lower costs.

    I think we would be foolish to at least not consider a single payer program, and run the numbers to fully vest it, especially considering the fact that the federal “replace” strategies leaking out of Congress all include some kind of non-deductible payroll tax on employees to cover costs previously covered by the ACA for pre-existing conditions and people under 26 who are on their parents coverage.

    We should be running the numbers and doing a life cycle analysis on costs–including calculating the long term reductions due to aggressively covering preventative care, which research shows returns about 8-1 in savings for every dollar invested.

    • rlcrabb says:

      Steve – Do you know how single payer would affect supplemental insurance for Medicare, since that is a fed program? (Or is it impossible to predict with the present tinkering in Congress?)

      • steven frisch says:

        I am not sure Bob but I can ask my agent when I talk to him this week.

        Since Medicare is already a single payer program and supplemental insurance is by definition private insurance I don’t think it would affect it. I think if anything this might expand the market for supplemental insurance.

        • steven frisch says:

          OK, according you our agent the market for supplemental insurance for Medicare is highly unlikely to be negatively affected by single payer. In nations with a single payer system there is a robust secondary insurance market. Of course without a complete reversal of the current political leadership a single payer system is not going to happen.

  5. steven frisch says:

    Should read “fully vet” not “vest.”

  6. rl crabb says:

    The other problem I see is once you throw the insurance business out, you’ll have to replace it with more government, which means they will automatically become another union force in CA politics, not to mention more pension headaches.

    • Chris Peterson says:

      I have a way of being overly simplistic when siphering things of this sort, but with $230 billion in health care costs in CA each year, and 40 million residents, it seems to me that just over $5K per person per year equal share is certainly cheaper than the $17+K average employer-based insurance you pay, and allows for added overhead and pensions.
      Maybe not; just thinking out loud here, and I’m more than sure someone will pitch in at some point with stats from the right wing blogs that shows we can’t afford to change anything without burning the Constitution and shutting down the economy.

  7. Greg Goodknight says:

    You can’t have a free market in health insurance without first agreeing what “insurance” is… is it a pooling of resources for when physiological lightning bolts hit out of the blue, or is it prepaid health care?

    People now expect insurers to pay for most everything with low or no copays and employees expect it for free to no cost.

    Were I the delusional benevolent dictator du jour, I’d decree that all “fringe benefits” offered by employers public and private would be taxable as normal compansation as of some date in the near future (end of the next fiscal year, perhaps?) with tax tables adjusted before that time to assure it’s revenue neutral.

    You could accept the fringe benefits your employer would buy for you, or take them in a bump of your gross pay to buy them yourself. Until that happens, people really won’t be free to choose for themselves as no real individual market for insurance will exist until everyone is buying care with after tax dollars.

    Another term that obfuscates reality is “preexisting conditions”. The problem is portability, as if you’ve always been insured and were when that condition was diagnosed, you are all of a sudden uninsurable if you try to by it for yourself when COBRA runs out. Risk pools larger than a big company’s headcount, say, a Congressional District, with a surcharge for people buying in without past coverage and big surcharges for actual care due to that preexisting condition, could do the trick.

    Engineering of all shapes and colors used to be peppered with real independent contractors. Virtually all of the draftsmen in big company SoCal aerospace were independents and their managers couldn’t get them to take salaried or hourly positions. Such apparent temp positions ran afoul of IRS rules. Get sick enough to be hospitalized now and you’ll find yourself running into an independent contractors running hither and yon and you’ll get an indecipherable bill from each and every one.

    Personally, right now I’d prefer pooled major medical coverage for the really expensive care I hope not to need and could ruin us financially, and, in lieu of an open and posted pricing from providers, a bully on our side who knows in advance what the price should be.

    • Michael Anderson says:

      GG wrote: “Is [health insurance] a pooling of resources for when physiological lightning bolts hit out of the blue, or is it prepaid health care?” That’s certainly at the heart of the question, is it not?

      But let’s get above the clouds even further. Why is health care tied to employment? You might as well make it available only to people who buy Ford trucks, it’s a completely stupid idea: the lack of portability destroys the rationality of this model, as you noted Greg. We all know the history of why it is this way in America, and there are now acres of buggy-whip employer-insurer companies whose businesses we can’t disrupt because, well, we just can’t…


      PPACA was an attempt to keep the health insurance industry relatively intact while insuring that the American work force was still globally competitive, as well as not dead from lack of a First World health care system. That’s an almost impossible task–incredibly messy–which is why Pelosi infamously said that “we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.” The most important parts of the PPACA were the cost-saving experiments that went after the >10% who impacted the system the most. Of course there is no discussion of this now, because we now live in Nazi America and the country is about to be lost.

      Interesting times indeed.

      I have no worries about California, we are tied to the global economy inexorably and the technological innovations that lay ahead of us will solve many of the world’s most acute problems. The biggest challenge we face locally are Luddites and/or propagandists such as George Rebane, Bill Tozer (whoever that is), Don Bessee, the Walts, Russ, Gail Damsky, dinosaurs in the obsolete Demopublican parties, and other various silo builders. In other words, the idiot populism embodied by Don Trump.

      Their power is deflating as I type this. Whether their deflation goes quietly remains to be seen. But if anyone thinks their ideas will win, they are wrong. Deadly wrong.

      • Greg Goodknight says:

        Mike, I accept your Godwin forfeit. Better luck next time.

        As Rand Paul mentioned a few days ago, a President doesn’t lose *their* right to free speech after an election, either.

        In raw terms, Democrats are down to the power they had before FDR, in the ’20’s. THAT’s what a loss of mojo is, “Progressives” aren’t exactly blazing a trail in flyover country and more Blackshirts beating people up, breaking windows and setting fires probably won’t win you friends in any state that isn’t California, Illinois, Massachusetts or New York.

        Here’s three quotes from the author of the Declaration of Independence that are apropos:

        “As for what is not true, you will always find abundance in the newspapers.” –Thomas Jefferson to Barnabas Bidwell, 1806. ME 11:118

        “Advertisements… contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper.” –Thomas Jefferson to Nathaniel Macon, 1819. ME 15:179

        “The press is impotent when it abandons itself to falsehood.” –Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Seymour, 1807.

        History is a long haul, and there will be plenty of time to sort out truth from fiction. To date, I’ve not seen anyone in the current administration threatening reporters with being shot or blown up, or even worse, reporters being shot or blown up; let me know if any real Nazis show up. Stop crying wolf when the only canis lupus are attack poodles from the WaPo or NY Times.

        • Chris Peterson says:

          All good, except this:
          “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.” -Thomas Jefferson

          Or this:
          “Freedom of conscience, of education, of speech, of assembly are among the very fundamentals of democracy and all of them would be nullified should freedom of the press ever be successfully challenged.” -Franklin D. Roosevelt

          In this nation, when you call the press the enemy, you call the Constitution the same.

          In our country, all power is vested in the people, and any administration or party would be wise to recognize that you can’t dictate to the majority, which started out as just the Democrats, but has since grown to include independents and the more intelligent Republicans. Unfortunately, neither this administration, nor this Congress, has yet to show any such wisdom, as they seek to push ahead with an agenda that their ultra-right has been proposing ineffectually for quite some time.

          As for Trump himself, it is beyond him to recognize that his crowds aren’t as big, and his support isn’t as strong, as he has imagined, and no amount of demonizing the press who report otherwise will change that. Between his self-determined illusions of grandeur, and comments such as, “No one knew health care would be so complicated”, he is showing us all just how unqualified for the position he really is.

          This will not end well for him, nor for the party that now owns him; lock, stock, and gold plated empty barrel.

          • Greg Goodknight says:

            “In this nation, when you call the press the enemy, you call the Constitution the same.”

            He called “fake news” the enemy.

          • rl crabb says:

            Actually, it refers to the “disloyal” media. Both sides tend to limit their reporting to the negative and ignore the positive. Here’s a little history of the term…

          • Chris Peterson says:

            The quote in his tweet was “the fake news media”, meaning anyone who said anything he didn’t agree with, which in most cases is the psychotic lies that come out of his own mouth.

            “Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.” -George Orwell

            The fact that you double down on your defense of Trump anytime he is criticized, Greg, is going to turn out very embarrassing, to say the least. The man is an imbecile, and at some point you will, once again, fall back to your usual “I am not now, nor have I ever been, a republican” laughable disclaimer.
            Quack, quack, waddle, waddle.

        • Michael Anderson says:

          Newflash! Gregory, Godwin’s Law was repealed in 2006. Bummer dude:

          Not only that, Nazi rule travels along a timeline and citing a comparison anywhere along that line is totally valid. IMHO, we are somewhere between January 30 1933 when Hitler was appointed chancellor and August 2 1934 when President Hindenburg died.

          Tense times for sure.

          • Chris Peterson says:

            The reason I don’t buy into the Hitler analogy is, if you ask me if, given the chance to go back in time, would I assassinate him before he became Chancellor, the answer would be a resounding yes.
            Conversely, I have way too much confidence in our democracy to even entertain the thought of doing so with Trump. If I thought otherwise; I certainly would.

          • Michael Anderson says:

            Chris, I’m not sure how you propose to go back in time but we’ll leave that discussion for another day.

            In the rotten heart and soul of every authoritarian–fascist/communist, Nazi, or otherwise–is the callous ability to abuse power, and convince those around him (and 99 times out of 100 the abuser is male) that his abuse is in their best interests.

            Trump’s arbitrary, poorly planned, and nonchalant first-week-in-office decision to send the SEAL team to Yemen, with disastrous results, would give the non-abuser of power pause, a time for reflection, and adjustment to not repeat the error. Instead, Trump doubled down, even ad libbing “Ryan is looking down right now, you know that, and he is very happy because I think he just broke a record.”

            Yup, Trump actually said that Ryan was “happy” that he died for no damn good reason, leaving 3 sons with no father, because at least he got a record 2 minutes of claps. Which of course is all about Trump, not Ryan.

            It reminded me of Nixon’s abuse of power in Vietnam. I had to leave Trump’s speech at that point in order to go throw up.

            RIP, Chief Petty Officer Ryan Owens.

          • Chris Peterson says:

            I would guess two Republican Presidents in a row would set us back in time sufficiently to accomplish the task.

          • Greg Goodknight says:

            Well, Mike, that fits the meme du jour that emotions are more important than facts, and I suspect Godwin has more to say about it than some guy who likes to call his opponents Nazis based all or part on false statements.

            I remember the guy who caused my wife to literally tremble with fear because he was on a crusade to keep Climate Brownshirts from walking down Broad Street unmolested and was threatening me with publishing our location so others could know where we live. What’s more, she remembers it, too.

            Godwin is on the record that If you’re thoughtful about it and show some real awareness of history, go ahead and refer to Hitler or Nazis when you talk about Trump. Or any other politician. The ‘toon and your comments are purely superficial.

            Trump’s Steve Miller is certainly a jerk, but if you actually read the words he said (reading a speech, blowing through the expected interruptions), Miller said little that Alan Dershowitz (among others) hasn’t said… the Constitution and current law puts the power recently exercised in the Presidency alone without prior judicial review to prove the President’s motives were pure in drafting the orders. And the Miller script wasn’t specific to Trump… it was the presidency, not this president. Obama had the same powers and, were Clinton to have been the winner in November.

            The sliming of Judge Gorsuch has begun, who, if confirmed by the Senate, will restore the balance (or the imbalance, depending on one’s point of view) that existed when Scalia was still around, but this time with a more libertarian edge. This is a good thing.

          • Michael Anderson says:

            I’m fine with Gorsuch.

            I’m not fine with doxxing.

            It makes me happy that we can agree on Miller.

            Have a great day!

          • Chris Peterson says:

            Cute: “the Constitution and current law puts the power recently exercised in the Presidency alone without prior judicial review to prove the President’s motives were pure in drafting the orders.”
            #1- the courts said nothing of wanting “prior judicial review.”
            #2- the courts don’t give a shit about the purity of Trump’s motives.

            All three divisions of our government have a duty to check the power of the other two. The main problem the republicans have, now that they hold two of the three, is the Constitution itself. Whether or not the SCOTUS is completely conservative won’t help that cause; if the Constitution holds that you can’t do a thing; you can’t do it. Period. Don’t blame the courts if you don’t like their decisions; your argument is against the Law of the Land, and that is the least patriotic argument you can make.
            The founders didn’t write the Constitution to protect the government from the people; they wrote it to protect the people from the government. One would think a libertarian, or one who calls himself one, would understand that basic tenet.

      • Ken Jones says:

        Greg, Trump did call the media fake news as the enemy. His tweet.
        The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People! Sick.
        Since when did the NY Times, NBC, ABC, CBS and CNN become “fake news”? These media outlets are not the enemy. Without them Trump would not be President.

        • Greg Goodknight says:

          There’s a reason I don’t twit… it limits statements to near bumper sticker proportions.

          How much coverage have those news outlets given since November of the Clinton campaign’s Podesta pushing those same outlets to interfere with the GOP primary season, to help Trump damage the mainstream GOP primary candidates? The pied piper strategy. It got drowned out by outrage that, according to unnamed sources quoting secret espionage reports it was the Russians who gave the emails to wikileaks, setting traditional journalism on its head.

          Tell me,guys, do you really think any of the WWII generation of journalists (prior to Gunga Dan Rather, who also didn’t question BS that said what he just knew was the truth) would put up with this?

          • Michael Anderson says:

            Yes I do, as well as Woodward & Bernstein. In fact, Bob Woodward said recently “…believe me, this is going to fester for weeks, if not months, if there aren’t answers to very serious questions.”

          • Greg Goodknight says:

            A variation on the accusation can lack all the usual evidence for universal alarm if the political charge is serious enough. That’s what the Salem witchhunts and the Spanish Inquisition were all about. Also Joe McCarthy’s search for communists hiding in people’s closets.

        • Chris Peterson says:

          And again; highlighting conservative idiots of the past, while defending the one in your face.
          Trump’s birther movement was undoubtedly a witch hunt. Anyone with an IQ over 50 was aware that he knew the truth, but pressed on. (Unfortunately, that still left about half of the T-Party.)
          An his Muslim ban is nothing short of McCarthyism on a global scale. (“Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the Muslim religion?”)

          Yet still, you defend. It’s as if you believe that the idiocy of zealous conservatives you site only applies to the past. Open your eyes, man. You just can’t be that daft.

          • Greg Goodknight says:

            Chris and Mike

            There’s a difference between “defending” Trump and pointing out the lack of any solid facts driving the innuendo. One does not have to be a GOP partisan to point out there’s no rational case that has been made. It’s a fishing expedition pure and simple, throwing red meat to the Chris Petersons and the Michael P. Andersons to give them hope.

            I get it… you guys are pissed the promised Progressive land wasn’t there for you on Nov. 9. There was a gigantic pile of road apples that day but until there’s actually real evidence, don’t expect the folks that don’t hate Trump to help you dig for the pony that you think is at the bottom of it.

            Let the patriot spooks who supposedly told reporters about the evidence of Russian wrongdoing actually come out and publicly lay out the evidence they have, rather than have the Michale P Andersons call his usual foes, like me, “traitors” for not joining the call for the witch hunt. Ruskies in the woodpile… just about what a Republican I know (big Brad) told me after Romney’s loss when I defended not voting for him.

            I get it, Chris, you’re an angry extremist. You can go off the deep end like the worst of the far right but that might not help your guys win the ten open Dem senate seats in Trump states or all of the other 15 seats in Dem states.

            There was a Smothers Brothers skit in ’68, “A Fable for Our Time”. Starred the great impressionist David Frye, playing the main parts from LBJ to Nixon, who, in the resetting of Arthur’s polling the sword from the stone, the only candidate who did it. Imagine, Democrats getting together to say Nixon won, he’s our president, it’s now our patriotic duty to accept the outcome.

            What a difference a half century makes. Obama presided over the loss of 1000 elected Democratic seats from top to bottom, you’re back to the Roaring ’20’s, nearly a century.

            Gorsuch will be confirmed. Kennedy might retire to let Trump pull another Gorsuch out of the hat. Ginsberg may have to retire. This may be a good 4 or even 8 years for libertarians who want the words in law to mean things… social justice is a political judgment, not for unelected men and women in black robes with lifetime appointments.

            RL, you’ve made it clear you don’t have a clue what the differences between libertarians and conservatives are… does anyone on The Union editorial board?

  8. fish says:

    The biggest challenge we face locally are Luddites and/or propagandists such as George Rebane, Bill Tozer (whoever that is), Don Bessee, the Walts, Russ, Gail Damsky, dinosaurs in the obsolete Demopublican parties, and other various silo builders. In other words, the idiot populism embodied by Don Trump.

    What….no fish?


    I guess I need to up my game!~

  9. Michael Anderson says:

    One last thing on this thread Bob. I am a big fan of Odd Bodkins and his genre is not owned by any one political cartoonist, thank goodness. In this piece I saw threads of Dan’s work, but your art is so unique, so clean…sorry, I don’t mean to be obsequious but these panels you’ve been doing recently about the floods have been incredibly detailed. I’ve really enjoyed spending the time looking for the hidden messages, almost like a treasure hunt. Thanks for the great works.

  10. fish says:

    Monique Graham, a fourth-year communications and dance major at Sacramento State, is $40,000 in debt from student loans. She explains how Assembly Democrats’ debt-free college plan would help her.

    Translation: I now owe 40K of non-dischargeable debt that will weigh on me like a mill stone for the next 20+ years. This to obtain a degree of questionable value…..unless I can get on with the government…..if that happens then I’m golden!

    • Michael Anderson says:

      I love the fish!

      He’s never afraid to see the bottom side of every little thing. And yet, he’s ok with you being on his lawn! Even if it’s merely the green libertatian pondscum in his tiny little pond.

      Unlike Bored Georgeman, who would really like you to get off of his lawn if he had his druthers.

      As for me, I am not much interested in ponds, scum, or lawns. I watch MSNBC in order to follow the careful unraveling of Don Trump.

      This will be the biggest downfall ever!! Make Watergate look like just an amateur break-in. Which it was.

      • fish says:

        As for me, I am not much interested in ponds, scum, or lawns. I watch MSNBC in order to follow the careful unraveling of Don Trump.

        Yeah…..enjoy president Pence….who I’m sure you were pulling for from the get go!

        I’ll give you this Michael, at least you’ve refrained from acting like “No Rope, All Dope” Paul Emery….breathlessly announcing every half assed poll like a vapid teenaged girl!

        Just sad…..

        • Michael Anderson says:

          Oh for fuck sake fish, we should get a room and stop bothering all these nice people!

          • fish says:

            Sorry Michael…..I can’t help being an exhibitionist,

          • Michael Anderson says:

            Like this?

            Btw, I am perfectly fine with a President Pence. Pence doesn’t slap his dumb name on steel & cement erections to address his picayunish thews, nor does he loiter in the lobby of the Bank of Bratva looking for hematuria in all the wrong places.

            So I’m good with Mike.

          • fish says:

            I don’t recall that particular interlude…..but since I drink I can’t rule it out either!

            That was a good find…..might have to be this years Christmas card photo!

  11. Chris Peterson says:

    “to obtain a degree of questionable value…”

    Seriously fish? You consider a degree in the arts to be of a lesser quality than one of the sciences? As Churchill is many times erroneously quoted as saying, “Then what are we fighting for?” Not to mention the faux pas of posting such an opinion on the blog of an artist. Talk about “questionable.”

    For shame. Perhaps Monique Graham could instruct you in the finer arts of communication?

  12. fish says:

    For shame.

    It’s adorable that you thought this would have any influence on me whatsoever!

    You consider a degree in the arts to be of a lesser quality than one of the sciences?

    I consider an degree in the arts to have much lesser ability to retire a $40,000 debt.

    Hey RL….you self taught or did you spend 40K learning your trade?

    • Chris Peterson says:

      Yeah, cuz drawing toons is a perfect analogy to becoming a professional dancer. No need for lessons there; they make it up as they go. lol

      Bob’s got a natural talent for what he does; been seeing his work since I sat next to him in the 6th grade. Every bit as talented, but he doesn’t have to learn the moves of Swan Lake, though I’m not aware of any ballerinas that can do what he does. Bob’s had to work many a job to support himself until he could break even at his craft, as have many of my friends and family members. I doubt he’s going to kick anyone for going another route to get there.
      And the average pay for a graphic artist is $42K a year. With a minor or major in communications, who knows what Ms. Graham has in mind. Whatever it is; apparently, she’s more like Jefferson and the founders than you are in her view of education. But you’re probably right; she should pursue your dream of social obscurity to that of creation.
      If art is in the eye of the beholder, then you appear to be using your wallet as your spectacles. With two artists, a musician, and an engineer for siblings, I’m glad my parents allowed us to follow our dreams.

      Best of luck and happiness in Fritz Lang’s Metropolis..

      • fish says:

        Orwell had it so wrong…..the “Two Minutes Hate” is apparently so much less satisfying than the “Two Minutes Smug”!

        Whatshername wants to be a ballerina let her schlep over to France and play in the minors for a while…..just not on the taxpayers dime.

        • rlcrabb says:

          I didn’t go to school to learn my craft, but I don’t make $40K a year because of it. The lessons took much longer to learn.

    • Michael Anderson says:

      Re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

      Budgets are not hard things to manage, but you will never manage them if you’re trying to hide sacred cows in the spreadsheet.

      No discussion of the education budget in the state of California should take place without beginning at the end product. In other words, start with a discussion on the desired result of public & private education and a consensus decision on that result, then work backwards.

      Everything should be on the table, including unnecessary buildings, administration, regulations, and sacred cows.

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