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.

No kidding….

Only 8% of Americans think the economy is “recovering strongly.” Most think it’s recovering, but not very strongly. Gee, I wonder why!

Despite the fact that poverty seems to be dropping and more people have health insurance, it’s tough out in the real world — that’s the place where people understand that there’s just no way Alibaba has more inherent value than Citigroup. Income is stagnant at best. Politicians seem unaware that there are two applicants for every job opening. Millennials are caught in the middle: worried about their parents and their student loans (which are dragging down the whole economy). People are arriving at the hospital with malnutrition. And artists are being a voice of reason recommending the next generation of artists learn skills and get part time or seasonal jobs when they can.

Things are tough all over. Well, for 92-99% of us anyway.

In Closing: secret laws shouldn’t exist; “get down, he’s got scissors!!!”; just what you need; red flag; in search of real reform; uncool; a stupid fiasco caused by the War on Drugs; a logical corollary of the law of supply and demand is that if prices are too high for demand, other sources and substitutions will come into play; just stop; and please help a no-kill shelter, more here.

More Things I learned

By the way, data released by the makers of the ACT confirm what I saw in person: many students simply aren’t ready for college. And it looks like I am not the only one who thinks some people should reconsider whether college is a good idea, especially if it means a mountain of student loan debt.

Life got in the way of full posts, so let me give you the Short version.

In Public Speaking class I learned:

  • I am a better than average speaker. I realize I should probably have known this already, but there are some really bad speakers out there. Hit Youtube and enter something like “persuasive speech” if you don’t believe me.
  • It is possible to speak for 5 minutes on almost any topic whatsoever, as long as you have some modicum of preparation.

In Sociology I learned:

  • Good science fiction/fantasy often deals with issues of sociology.
  • Sociology tries hard to be a scientific discipline, but it is saddled with some terminology that means something very different to the common person than to the sociologist.
  • Some people don’t want to hear that there might be more to their religion than the narrow doctrine taught in their place of worship.

In Biology I learned:

  • I should really have taken chemistry in high school.
  • Some people feel it is an instructor’s job to spoon feed information.
  • Red blood cells have no nuclei.
  • What it really means that HIV is a retrovirus.

No in closing today.

America Knows Best

Sorry for the little hiatus. Finals are coming Real Soon Now and my writing has been monopolized by a paper on Henrietta Lacks and HeLa cells. Fascinating stuff. For a minimally sciencey version, check out this biography.

Depending what day it is, the world news front is likely to say something about Iran, North Korea, and/or Syria. Iran is developing nuclear technology, and probably weapons. North Korea is more open about their weapon development. The US is warning Russia that they had better not send Syria better missiles, particularly since Syria is accused of using chemical weapons.

Now make no mistake. I don’t think anybody really wants Iran or North Korea having nukes. I don’t think most people think a better armed Syria is a good thing. But here’s the thing: who gave us the right to enforce our opinion?

Who is the United States to tell another sovereign nation what weaponry it can or cannot have? Under what authority? What if some other country decided that the United States shouldn’t have nukes? Or aircraft carriers? Or [insert fancy piece of military technology here]?

I know a lot of people in the West don’t think much of Al Jazeera as a news source, but they are right to point out that the American bargaining position regarding Iran — and truly, all 3 nations — is a lot like trying to negotiate with Republicans: the only possible option is “do it our way or else.” Or, if you prefer to be more patronizing if not outright racist, “everything would run so much better if you brown people would do it our way like civilized people!”

Maybe, just maybe, international issues could be resolved more smoothly if we treated other sovereign nations like big boys and girls rather than little children who need our guidance.

In Closing: soda; I suspected as much; Jesus is coming, look busy; the Borgias are coming, look busy; um yeah, you can’t do that; student loan debt is officially bad for the economy; consumer spending is up and late mortgages are down (good news!); eVerify; Too Big To Fail must be Too Big To Exist; side effect; don’t forget that Federal law always trumps state law; and riiiiight, exactly where I want to go on Mother’s Day. Not.

Bath Salts Shorties

Bottom line: “Even healthy oils are not calorie free.”

“You only think you need medication for that”: 5 psychiatric disorders with probable genetic basis.

Ancient Sea Creature: “The fossilized animal, an arthropod called a fuxhianhuiid, has primitive limbs under its head, as well as the earliest example of a nervous system that extended past the head. The primitive creature may have used the limbs to push food into its mouth as it crept across the seafloor. The limbs may shed light on the evolutionary history of arthropods, which include crustaceans and insects.”

Unintended Consequences: Keep up the fight, Karl Rove!

Bonnie Franklin isn’t even buried yet and she’s spinning in her grave: “[I]f [a single mom] wants to increase her take-home pay, what does she do? She has another child out of wedlock, right?… If she wants to lose it all, she finds somebody to support her and she gets married.” Right. You just keep saying that in public, Senator.

Mostly, it’s the sugar: Salt Sugar Fat author speaks. So does Stanford.

Great Beaches: I’ve only been to #6 and #8. I think #8 is far superior.

Bad news for the economy: Personal income and savings suck.

Bad news for the future economy: The student loan bubble sucks harder.

This is not new, people: The IRS doesn’t care if you got your money illegally, you still have to pay tax on it.

And yet look for it to be in the immigration “reform” cramdown: eVerify is like a no-fly list from the depths of hell.

Hansel & Gretel: Warriors of Shorties

I haven’t been as posty as I’d like lately. As some of you know, I have recently gone back to school. That means I have a lot of reading, and a bit of getting used to classmates who occasionally make me feel like this:


I remind myself that I am old enough to be mommies to some of them. So without further ago, shorties.

Social Media: It’s embarrassing that social media is now little more than yet another way to send me ads.

Social Security: There’s only a crisis if you want there to be one.

Too much Social, too little work: Up to 80% of a worker’s internet time might be spend “cyberloafing.” It’s easier to hide that you’re doing nothing at the computer than at the water cooler.

Bad Association: Turns out that Countrywide kept doing “business as usual” after B of A took over. I hope this surprises none of you.

Social Promotions for Educational Reforms?: I still like Kevin Drum.

Social Studies: The Avengers and The Breakfast Club.

Fitting in to Society: On immigration reform.

Vegas: Visitors are at a record high despite reduced convention traffic.

Reducing the deficit without slashing our own throats: From the progressives. But it won’t happen because the conservatives really want to make the majority of us into modern serfs by slashing the safety net instead.

Speaking of modern serfs: A third of student loans are subprime. They can’t be discharged through bankruptcy. They are creating a generation that may always be in debt.

Obesity is bad for you: even if you are the Governor.

On Republicans: From a Republican woman (endangered species, I know).

Gee, you don’t say!: Global climate change might adversely effect agriculture. Who knew?!?

Disaster Averted!!

It turns out that we need not fear a global bacon shortage. Prices may go up, but since I expect prices to go up on pretty much all foodstuffs (already seeing it on some products), I refuse to panic. Maybe now they’ll have to stop making that bacon-infused-lunchmeat crap.

In Closing: how to waste time while imaging that you are doing “marketing“; student loans and the default thereupon; ain’t I a woman too; you can’t reform schools successfully without addressing poverty; but clearly jobs are going overseas because we have too much regulation and lazy workers, right?; and when the ACLU and the Heritage Foundation agree, either something is a serious problem or you need to be on the lookout for other signs of the apocalypse.

Dark Shorties

Hey folks, I made it to the 16th posting every day either here or on my professional site without any shorties! Let’s see if I can make it a single shorties month.

Attack of the Zero Tolerance Policy: Man fired for picking up a gun he found at work and turning it in to police, despite the fact that the police said he’d done the right thing. Sounds like something I wrote once.

I hope nobody is surprised: The most popular times for American birthdays is just about 9 months after winter.

Don’t forget the War on Terror: Where are the missing terrorists? Why do the FBI have to keep making them up? And when did Rolling Stone become a go-to source for serious investigative journalism?? Back in the day it was a music rag!

Context is Everything: GM says it’s evaluating the effectiveness of its $10,000,000 worth of Facebook ads, just days before Facebook’s $105,000,000,000 Initial Public Offering (BTW folks, IPOs are a sucker’s game unless you’re a genuine insider).

Whatever Became of Iceland?: Turns out they had a peaceful revolution, debt writedowns, indictment of bankers, and a host of other reforms we can learn from.

Seemed like a stupid idea to me: FTC fines Sketchers $40,000,000 for advertising shoes as having magic weight loss properties. They always looked like a good way to lose my balance and fall to me.

Amazing what you can do when you are driven by a goal: Harvard MBA pays down $90,000 in student loan debt — in 7 months! Spoilers, it involved selling stuff he didn’t need, taking in boarders, frugality, and taking a second job.

Most balanced thing I’ve seen written on the subject: Internships. It’s sad that a college’s job has to include teaching “job readiness” skills like professional behavior.

And finally: fingernails.

Happy Mothers Day

Seriously, happy thoughts for all moms everywhere.

In Closing: Duhpartment of Research says training employees is important; negative net worth; Seriously? W called Alberto Gonzales “Fredo?; Duhpartment of Research also finds “you are what you read“; buried in student loans; and 86,000,000 uncounted unemployed.

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.