Remember When

Think back to when you were a kid.

Didn’t have much control of your life, did you?

Dinner was what mom cooked. If you didn’t like it, you had the option of going hungry. That’s if you were lucky. Some of you lived in households where you were cleaning your plate whether you like it or not.

You didn’t have any say over whether mom and dad had money for the latest cool toy. Strictly speaking, you didn’t have any say over whether mom and dad had money for shoes that actually fit you.

And you sure as heck had no control over where you lived. You lived where mom and/or dad said you would live. Doesn’t matter if it’s a nice house, a cheap apartment, a rat infested tenement, or wherever.

So this is why I support a clean DACA bill to give a clear path to citizenship to kids whose parents decided they would live in a foreign land. Those kids did not ask to be brought here illegally. They certainly did not have any say in the decision, no opportunity to persuade their parents otherwise. I also still support comprehensive immigration reform that involves greatly simplifying the process, raising immigration caps, and stiff penalties for employers who don’t like following the law.

But while we’re on the topic of stuff kids can’t control, they also can’t control whether there’s enough money for health care. Unfortunately, Congress is continuing to drop the ball on renewing CHIP, the Children’s Health Insurance Program. That’s despite the fact that it has bipartisan support. That’s despite the fact that no Congressman is brave enough to come out against health care for kids who can’t afford it. Imagine the campaign ads against him!

Remember this when your Senators and Representatives come up for re-election.

In Closing: Poverty in America; Joe Arpaio just won’t go away; they missed #6, Democrats can win if they actually run better candidates than the competition.

Pride and Prejudice and Shorties

fear

My tabs are getting out of hand. Apologies for the sparse postings. Studying is seriously impeding my ability to goof off!

On the GOP: Be Afraid! And a few words on poverty.

On why making the No Fly List also a No Gun List is really a bad idea:  It’s absurdly easy to be put on the list, even if you aren’t even in preschool yet. There’s no due process to get off it. And exactly how many mass shootings have been committed by people who were already on the list? Judging from media coverage, I’d say that number must be very close to zero.

Dumbing Down: Even Sesame Street is dumbing down America and making us feel less safe.

What you should really be afraid of: Unexpected expenses: 63% of us are in deep financial doodoo if the transmission dies, the water heater springs a leak, or some other $500 expense pops up.

Another unfortunately rational fear: Death by law enforcement.

Close with something cheerful: Vegas and Sledge Hammer!

Burying the Shorties

Hey folks. Post server update, things are starting to get back to normal around here. BlogHer ads are running again. No luck setting up an appropriate header image that doesn’t obliterate text. Blogroll will be updated relatively soon, as it did not survive the transition. Posting as been light here because of a school blog project (which I will probably repost over here). In the meantime, please enjoy some delicious Shorties.

Shut them all down!: The resignation of Boehner might make a government shutdown more likely (because there’s not a grown-up to reign in the crazies), unless it doesn’t. Here’s somebody who knows more about economics than I do talking about what will happen if they actually do shut it all down.

On Poverty: It’s hard to consider the future when today is a pressing issue.

On Jobs and Wages: So here’s some information on job creation during various Presidential administrations. Also, it looks like Seattle’s $15 minimum wage has been a success… unless of course there isn’t actually enough data yet to tell. And let’s add some wisdom on tax cuts and jobs and wages.

Student Loans: Defaults are just a symptom of the real problems.

A brief guide to vaccinations: Written by a real doctor.

As if I don’t have enough to worry about: the FCC can can operating systems they don’t like?

Uber making up more of their own rules: National Labor Relation Board (you remember, which some Republicans want to scrap?) vs Fine Print.

The NSA: Oh no, I haven’t forgotten about them and neither should you.

So much for biometric security: 56,000,000 fingerprint records “lost” and potentially in the hands of Bad Guys? You know, unlike a credit card number, you can’t just apply for a new fingerprint! Mr. Cringely puts it best: Game Over.

Gee, imagine that: Fruits and vegetables are good for your mind as well as your body. Remember, the Government’s MyPlate recommendations can be briefly summarized as “half your plate should be fruits and veggies.” (The Food Pyramid? That old thing was torn down years ago!)

I’m not Catholic Either: But I pretty much agree. I will never agree with Pope Francis about everything, but in my opinion he’s still the best Pope we’ve had in my lifetime.

Something Every Person Needs to Know: Be on the lookout for people who are trying to manipulate you. Especially when it comes to intimate relationships. And salesmen.

A few random thoughts about Baltimore

So on one side we have a lot of people saying stuff that boils down to “those people are animals and that’s why they can’t have nice things.”

This attitude ignores the realities on the ground: no jobs, no economic development (because after all who would open a factory there?); a minimum wage that won’t get you above the poverty line and barely allows you to pay rent. Oh yeah, and there’s a teensy weensy double standard in play too.

And hey, why not punish “those people” for daring to want things like the right to get arrested without dying on the way to the station? “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” is for other people?

Sometimes, you need a comic writer or two to put things in perspective.

Of course, it turns out that the situation was at least in part caused by the police — no, not just because they killed somebody. When you show up in riot gear, force adolescents off school busses so they can’t go home, and then wait for trouble, you are the problem and will never be the solution. They came prepared for a problem caused by their own preparation.

And lest we forget that police-delivered death sentences occur in many places around our great country, Raw Story has these “tips”.

In Closing: don’t forget TPP; I bet we’d get “reform” real quick if cops shot up a banker or two; a couple feminism items; really #5 should be first, because you won’t get an interview without it; shipwrecks.

In honor of flu season…

Ok, so by now everyone knows that this year’s flu vaccine isn’t quite as effective as would be desirable. By the way, that’s because the flu virus changes (read: evolves!) quickly. There’s still a few things you can do to reduce your chance of getting the flu. One of the biggest things is almost free and you won’t even need a doctor: wash your hands regularly.

Hand washing — a controversial yet effective technique since 1846. I wish I didn’t have to point out that it’s a good habit.

In Closing: a few items about terror, the internet, and security; point, partially refuted.

 

A Revisit

Back in September I did a little item on a few TV shows. I thought it would be a good idea to follow up.

Madam Secretary: Sorry, stopped watching after the first episode. It’s opposite Brooklyn 99, which is actually entertaining.

Gotham: Still watching, still loving it. They’ve backed off on Jim Gordon’s partner, who is now Harvey Bullock. Harvey Dent arrives in tomorrow’s episode. Penguin is wonderfully sociopathic. Ed Nygma is developing a backstory. The girl with the green goggles? That’s Selena “Cat” Kyle. And it turns out that Alfred is a badass.

Scorpion: Oh my [deity] this show is hilariously awful. The premise of one episode was “terrorists are trying to blow up the internet.” Last week, they were unraveling a plot to kill people to keep secret the fact that a number of top hit songs were in fact written by a sure-fire hit-writing computer program. Hello, welcome to twenty years ago. Computers are very good at writing music. Just listen to what this guy can make a computer do!

This show is allegedly based on a true story. Grimm’s Fairy Tales are more realistic.

In Closing: Pope Francis continues to do good things; violence; poverty; kill the postman.

A Legitimate Question

 

Ok, good for the NFL deciding that beating the **** out of your wife or girlfriend is a bad thing.

But in the interest of fairness, why not suspend any player facing felony charges until everything is settled in the courts? After all, Joe Average would probably lose their job (mostly because of the inability to post bail).

In Closing: Nothing today but poverty in our mediocre economy, and spying on Americans (and others).

Music Monday, Might Be Tuesday: Elementary

Turns out chemistry isn’t as hard as I feared.

In Closing: voice actors; only when it comes to spending that helps normal people; anybody have any idea why our government cares about ISIS/ISIL more than Boko Haram? (Is it just oil? Could there be a faint whiff of racism?); money money money money; I bet he even remembers that Commandment about not killing; and jumping cats.

Music Monday: Excuse me, do those immigrants have visas?

It’s not new, but I can’t listed to the song now without seeing this….

And here’s a bonus cat for you, only 35 seconds long:

 

In Closing: Looks like this judge found a way to ‘splain it; high speed rail coming to Texas; on poverty, wages, debt, and getting by; LEGO scientists; on Congress; a few more items on Israel and Palestine; pollution has reached Antarctica.

Music Monday: Modern Minimalism in March

Last week I introduced everybody to minimalism. Sure, there are “serious” composers doing minimalism, but I think that the dance music community has done a far better job with the genre. Notice the small selection of notes used and the repetition of slightly-changed thematic material. Oh yeah, and it doesn’t go on for a half hour:

 

In Closing: do you really think almost half of black preschoolers do things that warrant a suspension?; drug resistant bacteria are a problem; TPP; happy; random facts; birth control; on minimum wage, you can’t afford to live indoors; those damned tests; and marriage.