Doing Rich Lady Things Like Using Uber and Seamless Are the Modern Way of Giving to the Poor

I feel guilty when I order takeout. Why? Because that’s money I could be saving for a rainy day. The frugal American we-don’t-have-servants mindset is that anything you can do for yourself, you should, and paying others to do something because you’re too lazy, is wasteful. 

When my sister’s washing machine broke, she had to send out her laundry for a while as they waited on repairs. She said, “Olive, it’s great. I may never go back. I know it’s such a Rich Lady thing to do, but….” 

I began to think: The services that we consider Rich Lady Things–Uber, Seamless, laundry service, etc.–put money in the hands of the poor. If I tip the delivery guy generously I’m putting money directly in his pocket, much more efficiently than a government entity or charity could do. 

As much as I love the church, she doesn’t take care of the poor like she’s supposed to. Mainly because the government has stepped in to do her job for her, and made her irrelevant when it comes to taking care of the needy. Church budgets primarily go for buildings, and salaries, so there’s not much left over to give to the poor anyway. 

But could paying for services that I could theoretically do, but don’t have the time or inclination, be the modern way of giving to the poor? Those who are perfectly willing to drive me to the train station, or cook my food and bring it to me, are depending on my generosity. Could it be that I actually owe them their commission and tip? I’m stingy if I have the money in my hand, but don’t give them the opportunity.

The Biblical model of giving and helping the poor is outlined in the Old Testament in “not gleaning to the edge of the field.” At harvest time, the righteous were commanded to leave a little bit of crop around the edges so that the poor could come after the reapers and gather what remained.

When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and for the foreigner residing among you. I am the LORD your God. Leviticus 23:22

This was the wealthy man’s field–his grain, his land, his laborers–but in the Biblical sense, he owed it to the poor to not reap every single inch of produce his land yielded. Leave a little bit. Around the edges. For the poor. After all, that was there only chance at gathering–they didn’t have their own land or crop.

Yes, you could rightfully command your workers to gather every single stalk, every head of grain, but don’t do it. Leave a little bit around the edges. For the poor.

Today, I could insist on doing my own cooking and cleaning, but why? In one sense it’s a way of being rigid and greedy.

When my brother goes to the bank, he gets $100 in singles, in order to tip his baristas every morning. The idea of tipping as a way of giving comes from him, who declares he does not give to charities generally. But if you go out to eat with him, you will see that he gives generously to the poor.

Thoughts? Are there any Rich Lady (or Man) things you do, that may actually benefit someone?


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KISS

Keep It Simple Stupid….

John, a friend of quite a few years, invited me to Ratburger.org. He said something like he would like to have me post some of my “home stuff” or something like that.

Checking back in my emails, forgive me John, he wrote; “Check out Ratburger. I’d love to see some handyman posts there.

Well to start it off let me tell you a little about myself. I’m a scrounger, dumpster diver, saver and hacker of sorts. Not a computer hacker, but someone that hacks one thing into another thing.

Continue reading “KISS”

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How do I figure out what Apple computer to buy?

Is there a book I can read or something? My current apple computer is too old to update to Sierra so I assume that it will slowly die. I can’t play EVE online and I can barely listen to youtube while writing stuff on Ratburger or the other site.

I know what a Gigahertz is but I got 2.66 GHz on an Intel Core 2 Duo and it seems like an updated Intel Core matters more than GHz but I still don’t really know what’s going on.

Plug for my book

I read Scott Wilmot’s essay today over at R. He wrote about an incident at a Catholic college, where one of the students was harassed and intimidated “‘for affirming on a bulletin board the truth and beauty of marriage according to nature, the Church, and Jesus Christ.'” It is outrageous and deeply troubling that such a thing would happen at a Catholic school. It is not the first time this sort of thing has happened at a Catholic school, I fully realize. But I am always shocked when it does.

During the marriage wars that raged online before Obergefell, the most popular argument my side put forward is known as the complementarity argument. I won’t go into its details since readers here probably already know what it is. I think it is a fine argument, but it has a weakness. It requires those on the opposing side to accept a presupposition that they have already rejected. They have already rejected the idea that sex differences matter (of course, they are not consistent in that rejection, but that is basically what they say they believe). So to rely on an argument that requires them to accept sex differences as a legitimate phenomenon may have been asking too much.

I don’t know how many of you know that I wrote a book that is part memoir, part argument, about my life as a child of divorce, and some of the things I came to see about marriage as a result of that experience. The argument that I put forth there was something that I mentioned on R a few times, more towards the end of my tenure there. I took the concept of equality and built an argument for natural marriage on it.

I’m not on Facebook or Twitter any longer, but when I was, I would present this argument from time to time to social liberals and Democrats. I have not yet received a rebuttal to the argument. This doesn’t mean I’ve changed anybody’s mind. But I believe it means that I have given them something they actually have to wrestle with. They can’t simply disregard it like they did the complementarity argument, since I don’t require them to accept the complementarity of the sexes as a starting point. Instead, I show how natural marriage creates equality among children (and between the generations). When natural marriage is disregarded, I show how the inequalities among children multiply. And I literally show it, with diagrams. The argument is very clear.

The reason I bring this up now is that I often wonder what would happen if the argument were widely known among liberals. What would they do if they really had to take a concept they highly valued—equality—and reconcile it with natural marriage in a way that might change their minds? Or at least, it might give them pause to think that maybe they don’t have all the answers, or that perhaps those dinosaur social-conservatives might have been onto something all along. Might incidents such as what happened at Providence College continue, or at least might they tone down and become less harsh and more open to actual dialog? I don’t know. And I won’t know unless I tell people about my book and get it more widely distributed.

The complementarity argument had a drawback: it didn’t resonate with liberals. My book has a drawback as well: it doesn’t resonate with conservatives. This is because they don’t value equality very much. They realize that life is unfair, and so are reluctant to get behind an argument that encourages fairness. It is true that life is unfair, but conservatives will agree that:

  • we have a duty to think carefully about our choices.
  • we must consider how our choices affect those around us.
  • we must avoid willful ignorance of what our choices do.

I think my book fulfills all three of those points. It helps people understand, in a new way, how the sexual and marital choices that adults make today impact subsequent generations. For example, those choices often impose burdens on subsequent generations that the adults themselves would never choose to bear.

I don’t like promoting myself and this is why you won’t see me writing about my book very often. After reading Scott’s post, I felt strongly that I had to step out of my comfort zone and say something that I believe will be helpful. If you are in a position to recommend my book to liberals, would you please consider doing so? If you would like to read it first, here are a few suggestions:

  • I am happy to loan you my Kindle copy.
  • You can read it for free on Kindle Unlimited.
  • I can send you a hard copy for $10.
  • You can buy the Kindle version or the hard copy version through Amazon. I have it setup so that if you buy the hard copy for regular price, as an optional upgrade you can also purchase the Kindle version for $1.99 more.

Link to my book:

Marriage and Equality: How Natural Marriage Upholds Equality for Children


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Assault rifles age limit helps Christmas shoppers

I saw a bunch of articles in the past few days that mentioned one initiative proposed to help forestall future mass shootings by mentally troubled youths.  The proposal is to raise the age limit required for a youngster to attain before he is allowed to purchase an “assault rifle” on his own.

In their rush to press forward any and all limitations on guns, eager beaver journalists rushed to state capitols all around to get soundbite quotes from politicians.  In red states they tried to buttonhole Republicans, looking for quotes that could be used during electioneering later this year.   In my state, they raced around the Tennessee capitol and got a number of GOP officials to opine on some proposals that they might be willing to consider or at least permit debate on.  I was amused, sort of, by some of the Surrender Caucus saying their usual weaselly things.

I laughed out loud, though, at one passage.  This is from an article in the dead tree pulp edition of the Memphis Commercial Appeal that soiled my driveway this morning.   I did not check, but since it is probably behind their paywall, I transcribed by favorite section below.  The article has a byline by Joel Ebert of the USA Today Network.

House Speaker Beth Harwell said she was unfamiliar with the issue regarding bump stocks and wanted to study it further before reaching a decision.   “I’m certainly, with the President of the United States supporting it, it certainly makes it high profile and gives it credibility.  I’d have to study the issue a little bit more” she said.

Harwell declined to answer a question about raising the age to buy assault weapons, noting that she recently purchased one for her son.   “When that’s the only thing he wants for Christmas, what do you do, right?” she rhetorically asked.

Har har har har, hoo hoo hoo.   Journalists want to raise the age for her son to purchase the weapon she just gave him for Christmas.   Of course; this is a great answer.   It is already really hard to find good Christmas gifts for teenage sons, so, if they cannot buy the assault rifle they want, it simply goes under the Christmas tree.  Win-win!

Representative Harwell is running for governor of Tennessee.  This just makes me even more inclined favorably to her candidacy than before.   I don’t know her sons’ ages, but I have no doubt that Tennessee is a more safe place because they are armed.

 

As If Regular Reality Need Fixing…

As an official geezer, oldster and curmudgeon, I can take delight in the role proscribed. I can denigrate new things as “no big deal” and “Who needs that?” with a withering and wizened stare, the awesomeness of my experience backing up my delight in happy balloon puncturing. (Not available for parties)

However, I am also a gadget monger, a gear aficionado and person who enjoys having the needed tool in the truck, or their pocket or down in the basement cabinet.

It is great to imagine the probability of whether I should have a 48 volt combination chainsaw/winch just in case I break down in the wilderness during a zombie apocalypse and inbound tsunami. Such decision models are entertainment of a high order.

So last weekend, I finally got the time to try out a Christmas gift of Oculus VR googles for the Samsung Galaxy Phone. They had been sitting there , next to my post dinner chair, daring me to open them and get sucked down another tech timesucking rathole.

The Red Headed Irish Wisecraker demanded it , since NBC was advertising their Olympics VR app and she wanted to see figure skating with the new tech.

So I opened the box, and proceeded to read the manual, an old habit but one which has held me in good stead for decades.

I will say, setting aside the curmudgeon pose, that it was fun. NBC delivered crap, but the other stuff was fun. I was particularly fond of the offering by a guy who para skied with a 360 cam on his rig.

It felt like playing with a reel to reel tape recorder when they were the high tech fashion , or playing pong at a table in a bar, or watching the content explosion when CDs were suddenly available on most PCs.. The tech is still early, but it has immense promise.

Oh well, another tech entertainment rathole to spend time on.

So, fellow Ratburgers, what is your impression of the VR offerings to date? Don’t be shy, just scribble in the comment section below.


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I need to buy a washing machine.

You are probably thinking I need to buy a Maytag, Whirlpool, Kenmore, Speed Queen, or Frigidaire.  You would be wrong. My choices are between Aqua, Sharp, Toshiba, Hitachi, or Panasonic. Don’t those names just say laundry day.

When I first came to Japan I used this type of washing machine. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You washed the clothes and then put them in the spinner (on the right) to take the water out. Now the all-in-on washers are the norm. Japan is advanced and has solar clothes dryers. 

What should I look for in a washing machine?

 

 

 

 


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