Blood from a Turnip

This morning when I woke up, I had 67 email messages in my inbox. Over 60 were asking for donations: this candidate, that political movement, charities and whatnot. There were more in my spam folder, and yet more that had already been filtered to a “political” folder.” Another half dozen begging messages or so have arrived every hour since then. More than a few have tried to guilt me into giving, imploring me to help unlock matching funds, defeat political bad guys, or simply implying that my lack of giving must surely be a mistake. Yes, I did a bunch more “unsubscribes” today. Part of me wishes I had thought to add up the minimum recommended donations for each one of these emails.

Let’s just say for the sake of argument that I have a total 80 begging emails today — remember, that’s just today, and that’s a bare minimum. And let’s say that on average each one asked for “only $5.” In real life, some asked for only $3, and others asked for $20. So, 80 emails times $5 each is $400.

Yeah, not gonna happen.

I do declare, I have no use for Debbie Wasserman-Schultz or Reince Priebus.

EDIT: 4 more emails asking for contributions arrived while I was writing this post!

For the record, the other emails were almost exclusively asking me to buy stuff. At least I would have something at the end of that transaction.

In Closing: hush now; Japan has always had a knack for making things smaller; let’s do this over the Holidays and hope nobody asks a bunch of questions; well, being forced to buy a product from highly profitable corporations is better than nothing, I guess; Unintended Result; nothing to hide, in a world where buying gardening supplies can get you a SWAT raid; and thank goodness Radley Balko is out there telling the truth.

Need new workout clothes?

I am not getting paid a dime to say this, but I like Champion workout clothing. Let me tell you why.

I was sold on the original Champion JogBra years ago. It has since been replaced by higher-tech even-lower-bounce products. In certain activities, it’s very important that The Girls don’t move around too much. Some of the new models even have double layers for more support — and there’s space between the layers for your gym locker key or armor or something. But my love of Champion goes much further than just bras.

These products are durable. I have a couple items that are about 5 years old and still going strong. The only reason to replace them is to keep from getting bored wearing the same old thing. You just aren’t going to get that kind of wear out of the stuff you find at the local discount store.

Now I like fashion as well as the next person. Champion manages to have both “new hip styles” and classics that you will always be able to wear to the gym. Come on, a modestly cut pair of navy blue workout shorts isn’t going out of style. Fine, pair it with a workout shirt in the latest “in” color.

For those that are plus sized, Champion absolutely has larger sizes. I can’t imagine how demoralizing it must be to know you need to work out to lose weight, yet  have a hard time finding exercise clothes that fit properly. At the risk of a really bad pun, they’ve got big girls covered.

Champion products are also very reasonably priced. I’m a clearance rack junkie, personally, but I can get an entire outfit of stuff (sometimes two) for what one premium bra from Lululemon costs — and I don’t have to think about wearing something called a Ta Ta Tamer or supporting a company with questionable values.

And finally, this may seem like a silly point. It is clear that orders are processed and packed by a human being. I know this because when I order a bunch of stuff, my items are packed into “outfits.” Say I have two bras, two shirts, a pair of shorts, and a pair of capris? They will be in two envelopes, one top/bra/bottom in each, color coordinated. Personally, I think that’s pretty cool!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some new workout clothes to toss in the washing machine.

In Closing: one young lady’s solution to child marriage; blah blah Snowden NSA privacy snooping et cetera; Her Majesty; fighting among ourselves?. See you all next time.

The NSA Scandal is a Gift that keeps on Giving

So, let’s get started. No particular order here.

The NSA is apparently tracking a lot of information about where people are based on their cell phones. I’m not sure whether this makes it better or worse, but this appears to be a big deal overseas, where Bad Guys might want to follow American spies “case officers.”

More and more people of note are publicly saying that “surveillance” of personal data is wrong, and that would include what the NSA’s been up to. In fact, 8 major American tech companies have asked the Feds to please stop already. Couldn’t have anything to do with the fact that they stand to lose money. Security experts have already said they can no longer trust Intel’s crypto technology, and that means companies that actually need secure data have to migrate off systems that use it — potentially migrate off Intel hardware altogether.

I think the Feds honestly want to catch some terrorists. Even though the job is tough. Even though so far, they’ve had to manufacture terrorists in order to actually catch one. Of course maybe if they stopped playing World Of Warcraft it would be easier.

Despite all this controversy, it looks like the Government wants to do as much as possible to make it look like they are making changes, while in fact changing as little as possible.

Merry Freaking Christmas.

In Closing: Some thoughts on the minimum wage and the wages of workers in general (and lookie here, education turns out not to be a magic bullet); Duhpartment of Research says keeping your body healthy might keep your mind healthy; food lies; shadow inventory is a crock; funny how you have to have money for taxes to matter; the stimulus did work, but not like you can tell; good analogy; about time.

Would You Shorties

What is Problem?: Putin sees no problems whatsoever with Prism.

Interesting Statistic: Young children with guns have killed more people than terrorism in the United States this year. Maybe we need a law prohibiting little kids from owning guns… um, yeah never mind.

Wake Up Call: Boomers, this is the future calling.

He swears he doesn’t know where his son could possibly have learned such language: Sure Dr. Heck. Stick with that story.

A Few Items Buried in the Immigration “Reform” Bill: No health benefits (as someone who has heard about multiple reports of tuberculosis in the community in the last 6 months, this strikes me as a recipe for an epidemic); Real ID back from the dead with a side order of a government list of people allowed to work (right, what could possibly go wrong).

A Few Items on Wages, Wage Inequality, and Wealth Inequality: Gatsby Curve; temps; wages for normal people are dropping; and wages vs tuition.

Food Myths: the truth about salt; and 7 other things.

Let me fix that for you, hun: before

These girls can’t get their ears pierced, they can’t take an Advil at school without parental permission. Yet, they can go into a pharmacy in this Brave New World of women’s equality and — quote — reproductive health and get a morning after pill.


These girls can’t get their ears pierced without a parent’s consent, they can’t take an Advil at school without parental permission without risking expulsion under zero tolerance policies. Yet, they can go into a pharmacy in this Brave New World of women’s equality and — quote — reproductive health and get a morning after pill that will keep them from having a baby they can’t take care of and that their body isn’t really mature enough to give birth to.

It’s not a boon for pedophiles. It’s a boon for girls who are mature enough to realize that babies having babies is a bad idea. And yeah, I think maybe schools ought to revisit policies for high schoolers on OTC meds such as Advil and Maalox. But that’s another issue.

The Bar Set Low

Music Monday will be delayed a bit.

So. A woman will be allowed to ask questions of all the important men at the big Presidential Debates for the first time in 20 years. This is after a “recent push” to let a woman do this big, important job. That recent push, by the way, is from 3 female high school students that started an online petition.

Really? This is what passes for an achievement these days? Has the participation trophy movement finally reached this high? Whoop-dee-freakin-doo.

No mistake. Congrats to Candy Crowley for being named a moderator. I hope she holds their feet to the fire and won’t take lies for an answer. And congrats to those high school ladies that learned they can make a difference just by bringing enough attention to an issue. That’s a great civics lesson and one we adults should take to heart.

However, there are many more “women’s issues” that deserve the same kind of news coverage: your right to control the size of your family is a political football instead of a private and personal matter; some high school students are subjected to pregnancy tests (here’s a hint, none of them are boys); sexual harassment still exists (and I admit it cuts both ways sometimes); a woman can still lose her job for having kids; women still earn less than men while conservatives make excuses instead of solutions; and, as PunditMom points out, nobody’s asking who will be watching Paul Ryan’s kids while he’s on the campaign trail as they asked about Sarah Palin.

If only we could solve all those things with a couple of petitions.

There is no in closing today.

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.