Robert Moses Comes to Winston

Posted in Economics, Winston Salem on January 4th, 2007 by Дмитрий

So Winston-Salem has just decided to level a neighborhood close to downtown to make way for a ballpark with adjacent upscale shopping, restaurants and bars. Chalk another victory for style over substance, wealthly shoppers and sports fans and alcoholics over working class families.

Is it still the 60s? I thought the idea of kicking people out of their homes for the sake of grand public works projects was something that died with Robert Moses? And is it just me or are almost all of the residents being cleared very dark-skinned? I know the church being kicked out is primarily black. How convenient that the City can legally remove a ’slum’ - no one will complain, of course, because most of those who vote for the politicans who are doing this are not poor or black.

Don’t get too comfortable in your own home, my friend. You never know when Big Brother might decide your home looks like a convenient place for a place of mass spectator combat, or an expressway to nowhere. I remember back when Santa Claus was in business - before Robert Moses demolished his workshop to build the North Pole Expressway - Moses said that Santa would be better of if he retired to Florida, and I agree that naming it the Robert Moses North Pole Expressway was inevitable. But I miss Santa.

Anyway, I wrote a letter to my City Council member, at least…

An Experiment in Amnesia Insurance

Posted in Travel on January 20th, 2007 by Дмитрий

[Written on the birth of my iWeb Site.]

This is my latest attempt at a weblog. I write this knowing that I don’t intend to make it publicly linked yet, but I will know the URL and be able to refer to it and post to it as I see fit, and will feel more inclined to write regularly. Additionally, I’ll feel I have as much time as I need to retrofit my old entries into iWeb. We’ll see how it goes.

Last night I returned from San Francisco. The western half of the country was very white. It’s been cold and snowy this week over much of the nation. The worst turbulence I’ve ever experienced on an aeroplane somewhere over west Texas. And the most beautiful view of lights on the ground somewhere above either Atlanta or Nashville… I suspect the former, but can’t be sure. It looked for all the world like the alluvial flows of an ancient river plain was injected with a trillion sparkling lights. Very beautiful indeed.


Posted in Economics, Health on January 22nd, 2007 by Дмитрий

I’m now worth as much as I make. Being self-employed means that I don’t get things like state disability, worker’s comp, health or dental or vision insurance, or free term life, which most professionals in positions such as mine would be getting as riders to their salary. Additionally, David’s been dealing lately with a very unwell uncle who had no children and did not exactly make solid arrangements for his care, which is now becoming necessary as his health fails (being as he is in his upper 80s).

I’ve been working for over a month now with a broker to get myself fully insured like any normal full-time professional would be, as well as getting myself a good life insurance policy. My health, despite being an unmitigated glutton, is pretty good, and I now have a life policy and a disability policy and I’m working on a long-term-care policy for both myself and David. It’s rather expensive to obtain this type of piece of mind, and to any of you people who fail to take your employer’s benefits or feel you don’t need this kind of stuff at your age, we need to talk.

At my San Francisco client, I’m a manager of the benefits for the most part. One thing we changed at the beginning of this year when we switched benefit packages was that employees who did not sign up for anything would automatically be enrolled in our cheapest health plan (at no cost to them). A couple employees started veiled enquiries about why they couldn’t just take that compulsory compensation in cash (in so many words). Just goes to show how ‘invincible’ these young people feel.

You are not invincible. You have no wealth if you have no insurance.