Sunday, April 24, 2016

They're Sacrificing, Too

April 24, 2016

I know that we think that legislators are frequently out of touch with reality, and don’t have sympathy for the common man; but the Missouri legislature, at least, has demonstrated that it is willing to make sacrifices for the greater good. 

They cut millions in spending for education and health care; 

but they also removed the $50,000 from the budget that would have paid for valet parking for legislators at the Capitol. I hope they can survive the stress.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Alice in the Show-Me State

April 7, 2016

Today’s post sounds like it comes straight from Looking-Glass Land, but it’s real:
A former lobbyist was making interns at the State Capitol nervous with what they felt were inappropriate comments and behavior. In the Old Days (a few months ago), the interns would have been patted on the head and told that a creepy vibe wasn’t enough to get the guy kicked out; but with 2 recent resignations for sexual harassment under its collective belt, the legislature decided to Take Steps. So they got a restraining order against the creepy former lobbyist.

But they couldn’t serve it, because they couldn’t find him. So because they couldn’t find him to tell him to stay away, he can resume what he was doing in the first place—which was showing up where he’s not wanted.

(“I don't understand you,” said Alice. “It's dreadfully confusing!”
“That's the effect of living backwards,” the Queen said kindly: “it always makes one a little giddy at first.”)

But they delivered a letter to his lawyer saying that he has to notify them before he comes around, and has to say exactly where he’s going and how long he’s going to be there. So it’s bizarre, but I suppose it’s something.


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Sorta Karma

April 17, 2016

Illinois lawmakers can't decide on a budget, and the state is behind on payments to just about everybody, including medical providers.

The state's Comptroller says that, from now on, lawmakers will have to wait in line to get paid like everybody else.

The move may fold under legal challenges, but, for a while at least, she's making her point.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Instant Karma

April 13, 2016

Did you hear the one about the senator who voted against a bill prohibiting airlines from making seats smaller?

The next day, Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona tweeted a picture of himself jammed into an airplane seat, with his laptop showing an article entitled, “The Senate just voted against airplane legroom standards.”

He tweeted, “Okay, so perhaps my vote against this bill was a tad impetuous…”

Nice to know that he could laugh at himself.

Nice that he’s sharing some of the pain he could have helped stop.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

MYOB (Burkini)

April 9, 2016

Another item that’s exercising the “We’re grumpy about everything” crowd is the burkini. It’s a bathing costume that completely covers the body. It’s not unlike those of the early 20th Century, but more stylish. It also covers a portion of the wearer’s face, to comply with Muslim religious standards.

And some people are griping that it’s oppressive.

I don’t have much experience with oppression, but I never pictured oppressed women frolicking on the beach in the first place. And if women want to dress modestly in public, why shouldn’t they? Not everybody insists on showing everything they’ve got.

So relax, and let other women make their own fashion decisions. It’s their choice. Really.


April 9, 2016

I ran across an article on Secular Stagnation the other day. As I understand it (and I probably don’t), it seems like, if people are happy with what they’ve got, and don’t buy a lot of stuff, the economy stagnates. Even putting money into savings is bad under this theory, because nobody’s producing anything, so nobody’s working, so we’d better get on the stick and start creating demand for stuff, whether we need it or not.

Not that I have a lot of spare change lying around right now, but apparently enough people do to make the author of the article nervous.

So I’m thinking, “Instead of thinking up more junk for people to buy, Why not repair a bridge? Or give money to a zoo?”  Crowdsourcing is big these days. I won’t give a stranger money to go on her dream vacation, but I might feed a zebra, or pitch in to fill a pothole.

And my new purchase wouldn’t clutter up the house; I wouldn’t have to dust it; and I wouldn’t have to figure out what to do with it when I got tired of it.

And if we played our cards right, we could deduct the money from our taxes, on the grounds that it’s going where our tax dollars should be going, but aren’t.

Just a thought.