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      Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – January 29, 2023 by Tony Wikrent   Altercation: Goodbye and Thanks Eric Alterman, January 27, 2023 [The American Prospect] The key question I want to leave people with is this: Given the lack of guardrails, how far are these people willing to go? Trump is as popular as he was before January 6th and has been invited back on […]
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State of The Confluence and Request for Input

At first I was like…

Yesterday, I locked myself out of my house. Yup, just pure stupidity. I picked up the wrong set of keys as I was leaving and checked them just as the door went *click!* behind me. Getting back in was painful, as in, painful to the money supply. I’m still in job search mode. I HAVE a job, but it is a bad one. That is to say, the money is seriously low, the hours ridiculous and the benefits close to non-existent.

Fortunately, I have some professionals helping me find a new job. Unfortunately, it is taking a lot, LOT longer than I had anticipated, even with my “worst case scenario” pre-planning. I mean, this is so long, drawn out and fruitless that I am beginning to think that I will be trapped in this hellish job forever. My career counselors assure me that this is not the case and I must persevere but even they must be getting worn out.

and then…

Fortunately, I own my own home! Yup, free and clear. All mine, mine, mine! It’s nice and comfy and I had the money when I bought it to make some major repairs. (It was foreclosed for about a year) Unfortunately, I have property taxes, and while they are less than half of what I paid in NJ, they’re still significant and at this moment, I will have to dip into some previously off limit funds to pay for them.

So, locking myself out of the house yesterday was not on my “things to do with my money this month” list. What I had actually planned was replacing my upstairs toilet before the crack in the tank that is being held together with epoxy finally gives on me. Ahhh, the joys of home ownership. Why didn’t I buy a new toilet when I moved in???

Anyway, this is a long winded way of saying that I am contemplating a fundraiser, like just about every other blog in the world. If you have been a long time reader of this blog, chime in and tell me whether you think this would go over like a lead balloon or not. I don’t usually ask for money except for special events, like when I asked for train fare to cover the Occupy Wall Street protests. Also, Katiebird has been nagging me to rewrite the website for the upcoming presidential campaign. I think this would be a good idea and I have some things I would like to add to this here place. A fundraiser would allow me to pay my property taxes as well as invest in some server time, Dreamweaver licenses and other training materials. If you have an opinion on what you would like to see at a new Confluence, put it in the comments below.

Having the money to pay my taxes and train myself to develop a high end web site would give me a great deal of peace of mind as well as some potentially marketable skills. I’ve been using WordPress and can install and maintain CMS’s but I feel the need to work on design skills and coding. Katiebird has been very encouraging in this respect and she says i can do it so I believe her.

What I should have done, or “in emergency, break glass”

Anyway, thanks to all of you for your support over the last seven years. We have had over 12 million comments. Can you believe it? I never thought anything I wrote would get that much attention. And really, attention was not what I was looking for. The purpose of this blog was to be a refuge from the consensus reality that was being manipulated during the 2008 presidential primary and general campaign. I’d like to keep that focus for the upcoming presidential campaign. That is, I’d like to cover topics in a way that is true to the liberal spirit of this blog but remains free of the dogma that plagues so much of the left.

I’ve been considering starting a regular podcast featuring guest interviews. Some topics I would like to cover are the problems of the pharmaceutical industry, employment and labor issues, infrastructure (net neutrality, mass transit), the impact of religion on our current culture, GLBT and feminism issues, and, of course, a discussion of the candidates and their policies. If this sounds interesting to you, or something you could support, let me know in the comments below.

Finally, there is a “Tip Jar” in the upper left hand corner of this blog. It goes to the PayPal account for this blog. I don’t check it very often because we don’t do fund raisers very often. But if you feel so inclined, or just want to help defray the costs of a locksmith, just hit that link. Today’s date is 2/22/15. May I suggest a contribution in the form of a multiple of $2.22.


26 Responses

  1. RD, Pay Pal and I don’t get along.
    May I suggest that you get a p o box? Either that or email me and let me know where I can send a contribution.

  2. Heading out to make some new keys. At least two sets. One set to be stored off site.

  3. Here is an idea most large home owners don’t consider. Move into a cheap one bedroom apartment for a year and rent your big house out. When your income goes back up you can move back in. Or take in a renter to cover taxes and insurance (something I have done). It’s not like the only choice is the status quo or selling your house but it seems like that is the way most home owners feel. However you need to remember you are not a tax free org or charity. Your chosen tenant needs to pay actual market rate rent, every month, on time.

    • But when the roommate/tenant doesn’t pay on time what can you do? Also trusting a stranger in such close quarters would be impossible for me…..

      • Check out who you rent to. Don’t listen to sob stories or take in people who can’t make the payment (this could be difficult for a liberal). That means they must work, full time, now. No one has ever not paid me. Get a deposit when they move in that covers at least one months rent. But if this is too much to consider, it could be time to downsize and relieve the burden of trying to make ends meet for a living situation that you’ve outgrown.

        Of course fund raising through the website isn’t a bad idea if it works. I too have lost my professional lab job and I don’t think the old days are coming back. They now employ two kids right out of school for less than they paid me. Website fund raising sounds like a short term solution to a long term problem. But if it works that’s great for you.

        • Well, Riverdaughter…. Not me. I do believe that updating and moving the confluence is a good idea though. It’s a good way to learn more skills. Plus it’s fun

        • Did you get to the part where I said I own this house? I mean, OWN it. There is no mortgage. I can’t live anywhere more cheaply than here. I just need to pay my taxes.
          That gives you an idea of how bad the job market is. There are lots of jobs in Pittsburgh, I’m overqualified for most of them, therefore I must work for next to nothing. No, it doesn’t make sense.
          I blame Fox News.

          • Besides, I have room for a garden out back. So, you know, natural, organic food and all that.

          • I blame the bankers. And the tax structure.

          • I wouldn’t sell the house. The way rents are rising, that would be a very shaky decision.

          • Ditto.
            I love this house. It needed a lot of work when I bought it and I could stand to sink about $10k more for garage foundation work and repaving the driveway and sidewalk. But other than that, it doesn’t get more affordable. But all I need right now is property tax money. I’ll worry about the driveway and sidewalk some other time.

          • Riverdaughter,

            If you find the garden interesting enough to write about and picture about, we will find it interesting enough to read about and view pictures about.

    • Been there, done that. Not interested. The problem is that for the “roommate(s)”, utilities and taxes are optional while for the homeowner, they are compulsory. It was too stressful having to ask tenants for rent knowing they were not under any real obligation to pay while they consumed water, electricity, gas and wifi. In the end, they had increased my expenses and I broke even with the money they paid me.
      Believe me, it’s better now that I don’t have to share the house or seethe at the fact that they weren’t find of mowing the lawn or cleaning the bathroom. At least I can sleep without wanting to hurt them.
      BTW, the moving into a small apartment idea doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t have a mortgage, just property taxes. In the whole scheme of things, we’re not talking about a huge sum of money, just more than I have right now.

      • Renting your house at FMV (say $3000 a month) and renting a place for a third of that for yourself doesn’t make sense to you? That scenario ($3000 for your house; $1000 for your rent on small 1 bedroom) would put $24,000 a year in your pocket — plenty of $ for your property taxes plus money in your pocket — maybe even enough for you to move back into your house at the end of one year with enough to pay your property taxes for the next few years whether you get a better job or not.

        No wonder your economic politics are what they are.

        • That’s a pretty dreamy and idealized view of being a landlord.

          • Not really when you own the house free & clear — you don’t have to consider a mortgage as an expense. Obviously, I pulled the figure $3000 out of the air — but FMV for the house & rent of an apartment at 1/3 of that is realistic. Proper screening of credit and previous rental history, along with sufficient security deposit and documentation of move in & move out condition should pretty much cover everything.
            The only question is just how much you need the money for property taxes.

        • I don’t have any idea what the MFV for renting houses vs renting apartments is where RD is but here the numbers aren’t that far apart. Plus there’s the terrifying risk of property damage and deadbeats. There are landlords in my family and it’s not something that has ever appealed to me.

        • Yes, you did pull that number out of your ass. This is a 3 BR, 1.5 BA house. I *might* get $2000 but not $3000. Not that it matters. I’m not moving. And it’s not because I have anything against 1BR apartments. Economically, it makes no sense. I have done the math.
          BTW, I haven’t seen you around these parts for awhile. I can’t say I missed you.

          • I said I pulled that number out of may ass — so you repeating that I did isn’t any kind of “burn.” Of course your house wouldn’t rent for that high. But $2000 a month while you rent a place for $1000 a month leaves you with $12,000 for your taxes in one year — not to mention the reduction in payments in utilities you’d be paying in an apartment. But keep pretending “you did the numbers” — you’re not moving because you’d rather whine and complain about how hard you have it instead of working at a job that is “beneath” you and BEG for the money when you are better off than most (owning a house outright). Maybe the 5 or 6 sychophants who hang around here buy it; but anyone with any intelligence left here a long time ago.

          • I get the impression that if some financial disaster happened to Angie, or any of the other former regulars here who now hang out at the Freshwater Crustacean Pit, her or his reaction would be:

            “Mammon giveth, and Mammon taketh away; blessed be the name of Mammon.” 🙄

            I guess blessing Mammon and his economic system, no matter how exploitively his high priests mine you for profit, seems to make sense once you’ve drunk the Red Wingnut Kool-Aid. I still don’t understand how those folks had the good sense to reject the Blue Obummer Kool-Aid, but then turned around and chug-a-lugged the Red Wingnut Kool-Aid. 😛

            Red Wingnut Kool-Aid: turning sensible people into masochists since the 1970s. :mrgreen:

          • “I said I pulled that number out of my ass”

            I note she did not say how long it took her to remove her head first. 😈

          • Thank you, Id. I appreciate that. But there’s no use talking to people like Angie. She has no idea what she’s talking about (trust me). But her comments do serve a useful purpose in exposing the ugliness that our current media and conservative political environment provokes in some people.

          • “Thank you, Id. I appreciate that.”

            De nada. What are “sycophants” for? :mrgreen:

  4. I would love to see what you come up when you have your own space. WordPress.com has been good to us but it would be fun to have the flexibility to do stuff like crossword puzzles or other projects that aren’t possible here.

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