Saturday, July 28, 2012

Why Aren't We Blaming The Victim?

Twenty three counties in Wisconsin have been declared drought disaster areas, and so far Pat Robertson hasn't blamed the Wisconsinites for reelecting Scott Walker.

The Sporting Life

Last week my friend and I went traipsing around the Nike Site above Anchorage. It's way above Anchorage, and pretty steep. At one point, he asked if I needed a bottle of water. "No, I need a bottle of oxygen," I replied.
That stuff is actually quite toxic, and can cause blindness in high concentrations.
"Well, can I breathe it till I need glasses?"
Last night we watched the opening ceremony in London.  J. K. Rowling was there, and it was magical enough, that you might reasonably have inferred that the  Quidditch World Cup was about to be played, but sadly, no, it was just the Olympics. Or at least, that's what they told us.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

This Isn't Really A Post, But I Just Read This In An Article

And it seemed like too good a sentiment to not share:
"Out of an abundance of caution, they blew it up."

Very Bad News That Won't Be Reported In The Weekly Reader

Another victim of private equity firms and the rush to digital media, the Weekly Reader will not be returning this fall. I loved the Weekly Reader when I was in grade school, and if I'd known it was in trouble, I would have renewed my subscription now. Certainly young readers were better served by WR than by digital media, even such sober and even-handed digital media like this blog.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Come, Let Us Reason Together

Oh right, like that's ever worked. Planet Money reports on policies agreed upon by six economists spanning the spectrum from left to right (unlike Fox's span from far right to plain wrong). Agreed upon.
They also report that none of them can be enacted by our politicians. For example, the mortgage interest deduction distorts the market,  raising the price of real estate, giving a bigger benefit to the rich, and encouraging not home ownership, but debt. Ending the mortgage deduction, and doing the five other things are  both wise and impossible.
For another example, everyone can agree that Mitt Romney has never uttered a declarative sentence without also stating its categorical opposite. We can syllogistically agree that  Mitt is two faced, Two Face is a villain, so Mitt is an entitled bully, born rich, who thinks corporations are people, and makes his dog ride on top of his car And yet, even though we can all agree on that, we still might wake up to him as president of all us, together, for no good reason

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

As The Muggle Queen Said, "We Are Not Bemused."

Once I left the Republican Party, it was easy to look back and see that I had been defending the indefensible; that the party of Main St had become the party of Wall St. Once that started, it was hard to stop.
So, here's a fun drinking game for third graders; every time J.K. Rowling uses the word "bemused" have a juice box.

Monday, July 09, 2012

I Suppose We Have To Save Even Idiots

Did I tell you that this spring they cut an hour or so off my route? And that after the snow melted, I could actually do my route in eight hours or less? Or that tomorrow, they're putting it all back on my route, plus five more stops?
Did I tell you that the mailman who works right next to me (and that used to be my mailman) had a stroke a couple of years ago, and that a few weeks ago he had a seizure landing him back in the ICU with a respirator? And that he couldn't talk, so they gave him a whiteboard and a marker so he could write? And that his arms just flopped around, so that he was writing gibberish? And that whatever he wrote made more sense than the line of travel they "proposed" for my route. It's a proposal, if a shotgun wedding is a marriage made in heaven. Because the line of travel that I just saw today for the first time, takes effect tomorrow.

So, having said all that, I have a favor to ask. You know this job I'm embarrassed to have, working for idiots? Can you help me save it, and the Postal Service? Darrel Issa, car thief, stolen valor liar, and Congressman from California, has a plan to reform the Postal Service. It's called H.R. 2309, "for want of a more scathing term."
Here are some bullet points for when you call your Congressperson at 888-863-6103:

► H.R. 2309 would needlessly eliminate Saturday delivery, the USPS’ largest competitive advantage, to save a fraction of its annual operating budget. This senseless cut would damage millions of small businesses and result in major volume losses that have not been accounted for.

► H.R. 2309 would eliminate 90 percent of all door-to-door home and business delivery—a cut that is unpopular among the millions of Americans who currently receive such delivery. This change alone would hurt advertising mailers, small-business mailings, and eBay and Amazon deliveries, just to name a few—not to mention the inconvenience of having to leave a residence or place of business to retrieve mail from a cluster box location.

► H.R. 2309 would downsize the USPS’ invaluable networks by closing thousands of post offices and mail-processing plants in a haphazard manner, which would result in massive delays in mail processing and simply destroy the current USPS service standards that customers have come to rely on.

► Perhaps worst of all, H.R. 2309 would do nothing to reduce the crushing annual payments to pre-fund future retiree health benefits—payments that no other agency or business must make—despite the fact that the retiree health benefit fund already has nearly $45 billion in it, enough money to cover health care costs for future retirees for decades to come. As a matter of fact, the bill actually increases the congressionally mandated payments to the fund, which would all but guarantee a collapse of the Postal Service in the future.

We need to make sure every member of Congress receives this message loud and clear to ensure that H.R. 2309 never makes it to the floor. Please help to protect the future of the Postal Service by calling your representative at 888-863-6103 and by urging your co-workers, family members and friends to do the same.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Cat Owners Aren't Paranoid. Well, They Are, But They Have Their Reasons

Your cat may not be trying to kill you, but, then again, "when you add up all the different ways it can harm us, says Flegr, “Toxoplasma [carried by cats] might even kill as many people as malaria, or at least a million people a year.”

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Consistency Isn't Just A Hobgoblin Of Small Minds; It's Also A Landscaping Problem

Back in May, we were complaining that the snow wasn't melting fast enough. Now it's the Fourth of July, and we have something completely the exact same thing to complain about.