Shorties Forever

Hi folks! Late next week I should have another one of my semester end roundups, but for now, enjoy some freshly dismembered Shorties for Valentines Day.

Speaking of St Valentine: He was beheaded on this day around 270 AD.

Like Sand Though the Hourglass: A picture of sand under a microscope. Pretty cool, huh? Here’s the source.

Hillaryvision: Hillary had a pretty bad week by most measures. Even things that were supposed to help her — Kissinger advised her! Albright not patronized us but matronized us! — weren’t helpful. But at least she realizes that people on Social Security won’t vote for her unless she promises not to slash their benefits.

In Other Research, Water is Wet:Hospitals with more registered nurses and doctors per bed can reduce patient death by as much as 20 percent….”

News from Harvard: The United States can’t control encryption.

News from Princeton: He who counts the votes controls the election.

Bundy: Would the whole thing in Oregon have gone on as long as it did if the Koch brothers weren’t involved?

On Welfare: Some interesting facts.

And Finally some Good News out of Washington: Budget Surplus!

Shorties of Badassdom

When Kids are Smarter than the Adults: Apparently, being accused of twirling a pencil with a pencap on it is a problem that is best addressed by a 5 hour interrogation evaluation, including a strip search and blood testing. No idea whether anybody thought it would be a good idea to call mom or dad. Elsewhere — and I would totally like to believe this is an April Fools joke except that here’s local coverage including an interview —  police responded to a couple of kids building a tree fort with guns drawn. The child’s reaction was “I was thinking that I don’t want to be shot today, so I just listened to what they said.”

Tired of LinkedIn?: It was a pain in the butt to figure out how to close an account, so let me save you some effort.

You know you want this: Your dose of NSA, surveillance, spyingSnowden, privacy, and related links.

Jobs: A few items about the minimum wage, employment, job creation, and income equality.

A weighty subject: Some miscellaneous stuff about food, calories, obesity, diet, and exercise.

College Math: Sobering.

News headlines you won’t see: yeah.

And a reason to reach out to your Congressman: The Better Off Budget.


Trying to Trick Me

It’s important to read labels: IMG_20130512_103726


Hmmm, a whole section of oatmeal! Unless of course you want plain old fashioned instant oatmeal. In that case, enjoy your grits!

In Closing: Crap like this is one of many reasons Congress should read out loud every bill they vote on; I guess the sequester is working =/; for pity sake, do not jaywalk in Vegas (all those pedestrian overpasses are there for a reason!); if I may use a one word answerno; this sucks; Rolling Jubilee is back in the news; and inspirational.

The Cabin in the Shorties

Gee, no kidding: When young people pay all their money on student loans, they don’t have money to take out mortgages.

Separate but Equal?: On women’s workouts.

I hate agreeing with Kip: I’ve said a lot of things about former TSA director Kip Hawley over the years, but the Kipster is making sense these days. Among other things he says that there cannot and will not ever be a get out of the security line free card, even though he wanted to make it happen. Turns out that he’s starting to agree with Bruce Schneier at times.

They can only get away with it because mostly poor people ride the bus: Houston is going to put undercover cops and TSA officers on buses to paw through bags, report suspicious activity, and “interrogate” passengers. Where are they getting the money to pay somebody to ride the bus all day?

On the standard of living and the dual income family: Making twice the money but barely having the same standard of living means we are half as well off. Tricks of counting inflation are partly to blame. Of course, some moms (and a small number of dads but CNN doesn’t mention them) are finding that the costs of working can completely devour a paycheck. This is particularly true when the pay gap between men and women is taken into account. Oh, and when the minimum wage is worth less than in the Johnson Administration (when, by the way, the highest tax bracket was much more than it is today).

How nice for them: Bank of America is making money hand over fist again.

Peeing in a Jar: It turns out that Florida‘s drug screening program for welfare applicants was a big waste of money and found drug use rates roughly a third what they are in the general population. Funny, when you barely have money for food you can’t afford weed.

Don’t panic: Yeah, chicken sometimes has E.Coli in it. That’s why you don’t see Chicken Sashimi at your local sushi bar.

It’s back from the dead: Bowles-Simpson. I have a better idea: repeal the tax cuts that gave us a budget problem in the first place, and bring troops home from places they don’t belong.

More than 100 to 1 against: Corn producers want to change labeling of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) to the more benign sounding “corn sugar.” They can’t change the fact that some scientists consider it “unsafe for human consumption.” Consumers don’t like the idea.

Let’s Go!: The literal translation of this blog’s title, Ikimashoo.

Right, cause there’s no discrimination any more: Romney thinks it might be time to get rid of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Never mind the other things HUD does. Never mind the portfolio of FHA foreclosures.

Money Quote:First, if suburbanites with above-median incomes are big fans of a program aimed at helping minorities and the poor, it’s a safe bet that it’s not actually helping minorities and the poor.”

And finally: Crime must not pay.

Mama Economy

Remember Tay Zonday? He’s back, and he understands economics.

In Closing: Autopsy; Castro; Google thinks I’m a dude too (clearly I need to search more for shoes and makeup); Just for fun, read the first paragraph to somebody before telling them it’s Bob Dole; Because surely her hair is more important than anything else; Okay, maybe that’s a problem; and have a great weekend.

Well Isn’t That Interesting

Gee, isn’t it peculiar that right after a very close election in Wisconsin, a voting official with a history of not exactly doing things the proper way happens to find just enough votes for one particular candidate to avoid a required recount, against pretty much every rule of computer programming and common sense?

Good thing there’s paper ballots. Somebody better pick those up before the mysterious fire. You never know when a mysterious fire can happen. You might be experiencing one right now!

In closing: the contents of Notorious B.I.G.’s pockets when he died; have a Koch and a smile; escaped leopard menaces children; blast from the past; Fox News through history; stop coddling the kids, they know better; yeah, because clearly Eric Holder has nothing important to do; it’s never been about deficit reduction (go ahead! shut the government down! but stop paying the worthless congresscreeps who got us here!); on the middle class; How to tell if your neighbor is cooking up explosives; what’s that doing in this century?; Detroit; the truth about how California reduced malpractice costs; make sure you are both on the mortgage; I doubt this seriously (did anybody bother to compare cost-with-coupon to cost of store brand?); stop tweeting ads; earthquake art; whistleblowers; and a cat with a gun.

Shorties Highway

A few things about the Economy: Standard of Living; broke; working for nothing.

Wonder Wonder, Wonder Woman!: The History of the Universe as told by Wonder Woman.

Is it time to stop?: I don’t know.

Um, Yeah: Stock photos.

A sign of the Catpocalypse: Hello Kitty Hell tells you to buy Hello Kitty stuff by the 31st to support earthquake and tsunami relief.

A few things about Politics: Dems, Ur Doin It Wrong; Budget; Tax the Super Rich or Face a Revolution; Tom Hartmann.

Springtime in Vegas: Mojave Max says so.

Adapting: Sake.

And now for something cute: Smokey the Purring Cat. I bet that will wake you in the middle of the night!

International Women’s Day

Maybe I’m not the world’s best feminist. I believe that if I do the same work as a man to the same quality, there’s no way in hell I should earn less money than he does. I believe I should have the right to go where I please, do things that are legal, and manage my life without requiring the input or protection of a man. There are differences between men and women, and that doesn’t make either one superior. Nevertheless — despite my failure to stop shaving or do any other stereotypical radical feminist things — I couldn’t very well let the 100th International Women’s Day go by without any comment whatsoever. President Obama celebrated by making March Women’s History Month.

We’ve still got no woman President — nor even really a candidate I can vote for without serious reservations. This is despite the fact that many other developed nations have managed to have female rulers. Maybe next generation.

We’re still fighting and re-fighting very basic battles on women’s issues — and family issues! — as if the last 50 years never happened. Women‘s and worker‘s rights are being pushed back in some cases 100 years. All the things both men and women cherish — safe workplaces with sane hours, voting, control over our own persons, control over our finances — are under fire. Women may catch the worst of it, but men and women need to work together to overcome the class warfare that is actively trying to turn our nation into a haves and have nots society.

At least we can say women have it better here in the United States than in Afghanistan or Egypt.

In closing: ayatori; 4 Wall Street time bombs; Romneycare doesn’t work; probe Scott Walker good; bait and switch; if the Federal Budget is such a mess, start by defunding this crap!; resveratrol; and a delightful Chinese prospective on Charlie Sheen, reminding us that his father used to be the President. On TV, anyhow.

Which one is it, CNN?

Ok, this is what appeared in my RSS reader this morning. CNN can’t seem to decide if the President’s budget “takes a sharp knife” to spending, or “only boosts spending.” Apparently it went unnoticed that these are opposites. I guess they don’t teach things like logic and rhetoric to journalism majors anymore.

Granted, with Democrats like this, who needs Republicans?

But with news media like this, how can any normal person be expected to separate truth from fiction. I recently saw a bumper sticker that said “Confuse a Liberal: Use Facts and Logic.” I suppose that might work if you get to choose which facts you think are true.

In closing: the grocery gap; milk and sugar cause acne?; this will just mean more student loan debt; must be nice; gotcha; silly cops, you can’t go abusing upper-class kids; in the long run, we all lose; we could use some of this; it’s about public health, not baybeez; so much for no earmarks;

Shorties’ Ladder

San Bruno: Admittedly, before this tragic explosion, San Bruno was mostly a BART stop to me. But one thing is very clear to me: we have got to stop waiting until bridges collapse and pipelines explode to make sure our infrastructure is in adequate condition! And here’s a little hint to politicians: You actually have to hire people to build and repair things like pipelines, roads, and bridges. Better yet, quality infrastructure makes it easier for the private sector to create jobs when these projects are completed! By the way, did anybody notice that PG&E are only committing to paying up if it is found to be their fault? Um yeah, I think Allstate and State Farm will see to it that they pay. Here’s video of the explosion taken at a nearby gas station.

Health Insurance Reform isn’t over yet: Premiums are still rising quite a lot faster than inflation, and insurers claim that this is because they are paying out more money (probably because certain shady practices had to be stopped). Meanwhile, there is one provision that must get changed. However, the Senate failed twice today to get it passed. Under an obscure provision — that has nothing whatsoever to do with health care — small businesses would be forced to issue 1099 forms to any vendor with whom they purchased more than $600 worth of goods. Somehow it is claimed that this would raise $17,000,000,000 in taxes. I just can’t see how that works. After all, I get receipts from my brokerage and local NAR chapter documenting how much I paid them; why is my sending them notice that I indeed paid what they admit I paid going to generate money for anybody but my accountant?

On the Federal Budget and the Deficit thereof: So those bad old Tax-And-Spend Liberals managed to reduce the deficit 13%, with control of Congress (although their “control” of the Senate is a strange thing). At least Tax-And-Spend Liberals know you ought to have money before spending it. But do you think any Democrats are going to point this out on the campaign trail? Probably not. By the way, I can’t understand why CNN thinks it’s newsworthy that the Federal Budget isn’t done yet. This has happened pretty much every year for as long as I can remember. Of course the budget deficit would shrink quite a bit if we just let the Tax Cuts For People Who Don’t Need More Money expire. Even Moody’s says that giving the rick a tax break doesn’t do jack for the economy, and they’re paid to figure this stuff out. Frankly, if the only way to make that happen is to accept higher taxes myself next year, so be it. Let me get my damn checkbook.

A Few Items on Education: School breakfasts are the coming trend (couldn’t they eat something more healthy than sugary cereal and whole wheat donuts? Sorry it’s still deep fried cake). David Sirota on the educational bait and switch that has left our students unfit to do much more than putter on computers and pour lattes. Why college grads can’t write despite employers begging for literate employees that can write a freaking memo. And more than you really wanted to know about student loans.

A Few Items on Banking and Financial Reform: It looks like the international community is telling us that we will tighten up regs whether banks and Congress and Bernanke likes it or not. However, the holes in the regs look remarkably like cheese from the region where the rules are even now being hammered out. Meanwhile, the SEC is trying to prevent financial firms from hiding their debt. Funny, we’re still having this issue how many years after Enron? Meanwhile, it looks like President Obama is actually going to do the right thing and put in a recess appointment for Elizabeth Warren as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. That means there is a chance things will be done that favor Joe Average above the Banksters. Oh and one more thing: if banks are failing to pay the feds back, why exactly aren’t the feds foreclosing on their worthless hides?

Cops Hate Dogs: It amazes me that someone who is sworn to protect the people can have such a low regard for living beings. One must wonder if they even respect human life.

“But that’s a nose in the middle of your face!”: Even CNN is pointing out that simply assuming people are physically able to work until they are 70 is an unrealistic plan for “saving” Social Security.

Silver Lining on the Economy is just Aluminum Foil: The wage gap between men and women is shrinking. My take is that the bean-counters figure it’s more cost effective to lay off the high-wage man than the underpaid woman, with the long term effect being that wages in general are lower when it comes time to hire again.

It’s still Sugar: High Fructose Corn Syrup is being re-branded as “corn sugar.” That doesn’t change the fact that most research says it’s not good for you.

If you build it, they might come: It turns out that Fiats may be returning to the states. That is, if certain Chrysler dealers build special showrooms for them.