The Atticus Shorties

Indiana: Taken to absurdity (as if it weren’t already there).

Won’t Somebody Think of the Children: testing, 1, 2, 3….

Things People Say: to women.

I bet I know a way to create some jobs: repair some bridges.

Sobering Statistic: On average, 3 people were killed every day in March — by police.

Aw, you know I wouldn’t skip this part: a few choice NSA and privacy links for you, and one bonus TSA item.

Both ends of the spectrum: top and bottom.

A few choice words: on Christianity. Bonus track from the Pope.

I Don’t Know How I’ve Overlooked This: Sandwich Monday.

And Let’s Finish with Vegas under a Full Moon: Enjoy.

A Rant about the Constitution

Some people in Congress — by which I mean Republicans — have been ranting about how the President can’t do this or can’t do that because it’s unconstitutional (even though those accursed commie libruls can point to Republican presidents who have done the exact same thing.

Well guess what? I can point to at least two things that Republicans want to destroy that are explicitly required by the Constitution. The Post Office is mandated under Article I, section 8, and the Census by Article I, section 1.

So the next time some right wing blowhard tells you how the President is shredding the Constitution, remind him to read the freaking document. The NSA, TSA, CIA, FBI, DEA, FISA, IRS, INS, and a whole lot of other government entities they couldn’t imagine doing without aren’t there, but the Post Office and the Census are specifically mentioned in the first freaking article of the Constitution. Stuff that in your conservative pipe and smoke away.

And then maybe you can shift the conversation to how the government could create some jobs by making sure our bridges don’t fall down.

In Closing: warms the heart, and other bits too; I am not really sure what to say about Ferguson and police killing with impunity anymore; I think I’ve brought up a couple of these tips before; and practice. I had some things I wanted to say about Uber, and that might yet happen.

Keep It Simple, Silly.

Alright, so apparently it took tens of thousands of kids showing up all alone in our country, having traveled thousands of miles through incredible obstacles to get us to collectively pay attention to immigration policy for more than 5 minutes. There’s screaming on both sides: they’re kids, many of them little, and they need our protection; they’re here illegally and we need to send them back to their [incredibly impoverished and unsafe] homes as quickly as possible before they bring crime and disease for crying out loud, due process be damned.

Let’s be clear on this. Immigration policy is broken. Further, our current system for asylum and naturalization is so complicated that any solution that does not involve radical simplification is no solution at all. That simplification needs to include a reduced amount of paperwork, written in a way that it can be filled out in some cases without the help of expensive lawyers. That simplification needs to eliminate limits on the numbers of immigrants that can come from specific regions and get work permits — unrealistically low limits that even the Senate knows need to go. Maybe it doesn’t need to be so simple that a little kid can navigate the system, but certainly an adult who knows how to read should be able to get started.

Of course that’s only one piece of the puzzle — the part the most helps the kids right now. In the long term, we as a nation have to stop doing things that increase poverty and gang violence in Central and South America. That will make it safer for other children to stay in their homelands with their families rather than come thousands of miles to a strange land that only offers the faintest hope of a better life.

We also need to remember that children aren’t the only ones who illegally come to the United States because no matter how bad conditions are here, it’s better than at home. Conditions are bad here for undocumented immigrants because the byzantine rules for work permits means they work in low wage, low skill, long hours, sometimes blatantly illegal, non-existent protections for workers jobs — the so-called “Jobs Americans Won’t Do [because we foolishly want minimum wage and a safe workplace]”. The employers who exploit these willing workers (and put law abiding businesses at a competitive disadvantage) must face consequences: fines, inspections, jail for the people who sign off on breaking the law.

This is not a complete solution. However, it’s how we “stop digging the hole” we’re trapped in.

In Closing: “The beatings will continue until morale improves”; the latest attempts to undermine your privacy (and indeed, your access) online, and bonus NSA links; the rich get richer and the poor get poorer yet again; “This isn’t about your health. It’s about control.”; great, because it turns out we’re gonna need some new bridges soon! (I saw a picture of the set-up last week and it’s truly impressive); and Remember Come November. Oh, and vote in the damned primaries so we at least have decent candidates!

I bet I know how some jobs could be created….

More than half the nation’s public schools need to be repaired, renovated or modernized, a survey released Thursday found.

Getting these schools in good condition would cost about $197 billion….

Since to the best of my knowledge there’s no Renovation Fairy who can complete a project by waving a magic hammer, that work would have to be done by people. And since all those schools are here in the United States, there’s no outsourcing this to a foreign country with cheap labor. As a bonus, it might result in schools with fewer structural safety issues and better learning environments.

And when they’re done with that project, maybe they can do something about the 78,000 bridges that need a total of $3,000,000,000,000 in repairs.

Seems to me we can keep some construction workers busy for the foreseeable future.

In Closing: your dose of Snowden, NSA, privacy, CIA, and assorted related news; I guess Billie Jean was his lover, and the kid really is his son; sex work; and Vegas, baby.

5150 Shorties Way

Let’s clean up some tabs here…. It’s supposed to be cold in Vegas tonight. First person to say that disproves global warning gets smacked upside the head.

It’s called “math”:  Someone notices that rent can be more than a mortgage these days. Funny thing, your landlord is entitled to a profit over paying his own mortgage!

Go ahead, opt out. They dare you: The TSA. And be sure you have an ID with your age on it if you look young.

Drink Up: Red wine seemingly increases testosterone, and reduces the amount peed away.

Musique Concrete: How Dr. Who changed music.

That leaves 1-3 hours for eating, pooping, demanding attention, and running around like a fuzzy maniac: Cats spend the rest of the time sleeping and grooming.

Defused: The latest school shooting rampage was not stopped by “a good guy with a gun.” It was stopped by a teacher talking him into laying down the weapon. Hmm.

Free Gift!: You can now play CDs you bought from Amazon from the cloud in many cases. Even if you bought them 15 years ago. Surprise!

Dave Johnson: He tends to be a bit long winded, but he’s correct.

Too Big To Fail must be Too Big To Exist: Robert Reich.

Didn’t anybody else think the headline didn’t make sense?: It turns out there was a lot more to the story of the woman fired for being too attractive.

And now back to their usual silliness: The American Academy of Pediatrics thinks it would be wonderful to have a doctor in every school. Well sure it would, particularly since I’m sure they would want that doctor to be one of their members! I’m not sure where they think these doctors are going to come from, since there is a shortage which will only get worse as Baby Boomers retire. And I’m certainly not sure where they think school districts will come up with the money. After all, average (median?) pay for a pediatrician is $156,000, and that’s one of the low salary specialties. That kind of money could pay for at least 3 teachers. Which do you think will give the district the most bang for the buck in this age of budget cuts?

Last but not least: The best time to buy almost anything.

Music Bonus: Apocalypse Someday

Happy Solstice! Since you are reading this, it would appear that the world did not in fact end today.


Have some bonus links about Christmas.

In Closing: TSA; diet and diabetes; I bet we could create some jobs building and repairing infrastructure (nah, that costs money!); political suicide; don’t confuse us with facts; and how nuts do you have to be to get fired from Al Qaeda?

Happy Thanksgiving


In Closing: That would be bad; Googlegator; Japan Crush; Rolling Jubilee gets more press; the last cooler than average month was during the Reagan Administration (maybe hell froze over when he compromised with Democrats or raised taxes?); Lost Decade, American Style; Forbes and USA Today disagree on the buyer, but agree that somebody will make your freaking Twinkies (and screw workers in the process); of course, you could just make your own freaking Twinkies; maybe if the so-called adults made it clear that we must treat others with respect, this wouldn’t be a problem; vintage pictures of Japan; Susie’s right; so is Robert.

Old Time Religion

Today, a bunch of men in another part of the world were so threatened by the very idea that a woman might learn something that they shot a 14 year old girl as she rode home from school in a bus. What a bunch of big, manly men that they had to go shoot a teenager for daring to engage in radical activities like reading a freaking book. They tried to assassinate her for “want[ing] an access to the world of knowledge.” Oh no, she was a liberal and an infidel. The shooters wanted to make sure they had the right girl. After all, it served their purposes to leave the rest of them scared to go back to school; let them grow up to be ignorant and easily subjugated wives.

Damn right there’s “outcry” and “revulsion.”

Don’t pretend that this is about religion. This is about a bunch of scared little baby-men who fear that if women know about the world, they will demand the rights accorded to human beings and will stop allowing themselves to be treated like property.

Feminism at its most basic — at the level that anyone who isn’t a caveman, a member of Taliban, or perhaps a modern Republican should agree with — says that women have the same unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that men do. On this basis and this basis alone, I am a feminist. However, modern feminism has too much baggage. My partner will read this and argue that I’m not a feminist at all, but rather I believe in equal rights. I don’t think I’m any better than men. I don’t hate men. I don’t hate other women that disagree with me. I believe that a lot of my life is none of your business. I believe that the “patriarchy” is actually an over-hyped and under-effective tool of the oligarchy.

These ass-hats who think guns can enforce their opinion on morality should take their old time religion with them straight to whatever passes for hell.

In Closing: fragile infrastructure has real costs; cool boat; hedge fund pirates; fine print; yoga; Natalie reminds us that “not tested on animals” is a fraud; heh; explanation of the Washington bubble; on unemployment and payrolls; and I see his point.

Music Monday: Old School Redheads

And now for something completely different, a Baroque Concerto for Two Violins by the Red Monk, Antonio Vivaldi. My favorite is the second movement. Sorry about the static video.

In Closing: Clearly this was compiled before the weekend political talkies; Siberian Princess; some miscellaneous food items; as someone with experience, I don’t think much of their mapping algorithm; who could have known that making sure people can afford a mortgage could prevent default??; 5 reasons the Romney/Ryan plan is bad for America; rhetorical ammo; roads; the unemployment rate sucks; Arnold has ad-libs bigger than that car; why we need Social Security; and they should have made him check the damned thing.