In just one week….

Our national nightmare of Election 2016 will be over one way or the other.

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Not sharing how I voted, only want to encourage all of you to (in the immortal words of Nike), “Just Do It.” Once and only once. Assuming you are alive. No selfies.

In closing: Apple; no, you’re not even allowed to explore another culture’s traditions or fashions or Halloween (again, only if you’re a woman, nobody’s ragging on guys with tartans or topknots); and oh Weiner.

We Need to Talk About Shorties

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Addiction: It’s not what you think.

Housing: I worked in the housing industry for much of my adult life, and I find what this guy has to say interesting.

“Let’s not invite the guy who abuses us over”: Or “Let’s not call the cops if we think they’re likely to harm us.”

Consensus on Climate Change:Facts are not enough…. We need to connect to people’s hearts.”

Protect Your Vote: Here’s some tips.

Why a picture of hot lava? Why not a picture of hot lava?

Gettin’ the Band Back Together: Some of you might have noticed that my old blogroll did not survive last summer’s site updates. I will be putting together a new and improved Blogroll in the next several weeks. If you know a site I need to consider, let me know!

Circus

“And I kept hacking at Hewlett Packard until it was only this big”

I can’t quite get my head around the crazy this week. Ted Cruz announced his Veep running mate today — despite the facts that a) that usually is reserved for actual nominees and b) that usually gets done so as to shore up alliances and produce the strongest overall ticket. And who was his pick? A retired General maybe? A well-liked Governor, perhaps? Wait, no, maybe a member of Bush’s cabinet?

Nope. Failed candidate, failed CEO, and barely passed the Turing test: Carly Fiorina. See, picking a veep is something you do to make your ticket more likable, not less. But I suppose this is what desperation looks like.

Meanwhile, one of the Koch Brothers has gotten disgusted with the clowns coming out of the circus they’ve been funding. As the supposed Chinese curse says, “May you live in interesting times.” More accurate in this case: “Lay down with dogs, get up with fleas.”

In Closing: a couple items on the job prospects of the Millennials and others; who am I kidding, I’m not gonna write a whole post about Harriet Tubman; Juice; British notice reality of a trade agreement; Judge points out the actual meaning of “in plain sight’; and oops.

Meanwhile, in Arizona

Long time readers know that in the past, I have been critical of the Sheriff of Arizona’s Maricopa County, Joe Arpaio. Nor am I alone. And yet even Arpaio seems to think this guy is an idiot:

An Arizona grandfather has been arrested and accused of leaving his five-year-old granddaughter alone in the desert with a loaded and cocked .45-caliber handgun and the instruction to “shoot any bad guys,” authorities said on Monday.

[snip!]

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio told Reuters by telephone… “I don’t know how a five-year-old can tell a good guy from a bad guy, but that’s what she said she was told.”

Here’s some other coverage of this fine, upstanding grandfather.

In Closing: Presidential candidates on money; Tokyo color.

A Whole Weeks Worth of Economy in One Post!

So USA Today has helpful hints for people of my generation towards saving for retirement. Unfortunately they forgot Step 0: have a job with a retirement plan and that pays well enough that you can actually save money.

So then, about jobs. Earlier this week, the jobs report came out. The good news is that there are more jobs. They’re even paying a bit more — by a whole $0.05 per hour (don’t spend it all in one place, kids). Yet still, unemployment claims are up and Very Serious People are speculating about plateaued progress and  The Next Recession.

Just maybe that’s why consumer spending and factory orders are down.

Even so, I am NOT among those calling for the Fed to avoid raising interest rates. For one thing, the Fed doesn’t have as much control as many people think. Second, the last several years should have proven that the interest rates banks charge one another really doesn’t have much to do with whether or not your boss gives you a raise. Third, I’ve been saying for a decade now that super low interest rates don’t actually stimulate the economy. Yeah, we’ve had super low interest rates for a decade now. Maybe if interest rates went up, corporations would spend some of their cash.

Of course, if you are very wealthy, the economy looks just great. Remember that when you listen to the 2-ring circus we’re calling “2016 presidential candidates.”

In Closing: Warren Buffet has single handedly prevented many unwanted pregnancies (and probably a few cases of cancer); The TPP is on life support, but still out there and it still is a no good very bad thing for average people; ain’t nobody but spies like us; more studies tell us the same damn thing; I am still not sure why anybody ever thought this was a good idea; to hell with the H-1B program.

Eat It

Today’s question:

Do you tend to order the same thing at restaurants? Or do you like to jump around the menu?

Answer: yes. It depends where I am. There are places where I just want the one or two things that I know are awesome. There are other places where I am busy trying new things. Remember, Vegas is a world class food city! Sorry, I don’t have much more to say about the issue than that.

In Closing: no regard for the Supreme Court; catching the cold; one Indiana lawmaker doesn’t think you should have a choice whether you raise a child with severe disabilities; cybersecurity; doing the same thing and expecting different results; finally somebody said it out loud.

The Woman in Shorties

I Tell You What: These days, writing anything cogent about torture is, well, you know.

Important Medical Research: Somebody found out why the doctor’s waiting room has mostly out-of-date magazines.

Does it seem like toys are more gender specific these days?: Well, you’re right.

Pope Francis has had a busy week: Brokering international deals, condemning slavery, and he’s still got to work on Christmas.

Just for the record: I am already freaking sick and tired of speculation about the 2016 Presidential Elections. The fact that these guys (and a couple of ladies) are already jockeying for position is disgusting and evidence that the system is terribly broken. Seriously, my calendar still says 2014; Iowa is still over a year away. I still think my simplification plan could work, particularly paired with my campaign finance reform plan…. Here’s some nice candidate trivia for you.

Above the Law: Uber finally condescended to obey a court order and stop working in Portland. Portland being Portland, they’re trying to find some way to work with Uber. In the meantime, some insight into what happened in Nevada, and their business structure. Yeah, maybe they should play by the rules. The big news is an alleged sexual assault by an Uber driver on an Uber rider in Boston. I am not going to link it as an “I told you so” because I think that the whole model has bigger problems than finding Bad Apples.

Wealth, Jobs, and the Economy: Ok, really more like inequity, bad trade deals, bad jobs deals, controlling the media you watch, and being watched.

And Finally: Boobs and Man Soap.

A Simple Request

I was looking at my calendar, and happened to notice that it’s 2014.

Can we please, for the love of all that is good, stop speculating about the 2016 Presidential Elections?

Seriously. It’s over two years until that particular election day, and two other First-Tuesday-After-The-First-Monday-Of-November election days between now and then. A lot can happen between here and there: scandals with -gate appended to them; game-changing political decisions; world events could impact American politicians; personal issues up to and including death could shorten the list of potential candidates; Kanye West could decide he’d make a better President than all those old white guys and the Godfather’s Pizza dude — that would liven up the debates that will seem interminable two years from now.

Enough already.

In Closing: let’s start off with all the NSA, NSA, Snowden, privacy, and NSA links you can manage; DRM is part of the security problem; just a reminder that if the products the weight loss industry worked, eventually they wouldn’t have any more customers; on minimum wage and working for a living, sort of; wisdom (h/t); um, yes; sure looks nicer than a traditional solar panel!; free things to do in Vegas; addiction; Biblical scholarship; and Quantum Physics for Babies.