“Congressional Republicans are expressing outrage over freshman Rep. Alan Grayson’s suggestion on the House floor Tuesday night that the GOP health care plan amounts to little more than “don’t get sick” — and if you do, “die quickly.” Republicans have called for an apology from the Florida Democrat, and have compared Grayson’s remark to Rep. Joe Wilson’s (R-S.C.) “You lie!” outburst. But there’s a big a difference between the two floor statements. One was unprecedented — the president had never been called a liar by a member of Congress during an address in all of American history. By contrast, charges that the opposition’s health care plan will kill people have been about as common on the House floor lately as resolutions naming post offices.”—Despite Outrage, Many House Republicans Have Said Dem Health Care Will Kill People (via robot-heart-politics)
President Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed the Second Bill of Rights during his State of the Union Address on January 11, 1944.
It is our duty now to begin to lay the plans and determine the strategy for the winning of a lasting peace and the establishment of an American standard of living higher than ever before known. We cannot be content, no matter how high that general standard of living may be, if some fraction of our people—whether it be one-third or one-fifth or one-tenth—is ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill-housed, and insecure.
This Republic had its beginning, and grew to its present strength, under the protection of certain inalienable political rights—among them the right of free speech, free press, free worship, trial by jury, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. They were our rights to life and liberty.
As our nation has grown in size and stature, however—as our industrial economy expanded—these political rights proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.
We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. “Necessitous men are not free men.” People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.
In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all—regardless of station, race, or creed.
Among these are:
The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;
The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;
The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;
The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;
The right of every family to a decent home;
The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;
The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;
The right to a good education.
All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.
America’s own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for our citizens.
Miracle Fruit Makes (Almost) Everything Delicious [Link]gimundo.com
Willy Wonka came up with some pretty cool confectionary creations: Non-melting ice cream. The Everlasting Gobstopper. Edible wallpaper. And who wouldn’t have loved to try his Three-Course-Dinner-Gum? (Though we probably wouldn’t have been so wild about turning into a giant blueberry, a la Violet Beauregard.)
But did you know there’s a nature-made treat that rivals any of Wonka’s wild concoctions? It’s the miracle fruit, a berry from West Africa with an amazing effect: When you eat a piece of the strange fruit, it makes everything sour taste sweet for the next hour or so.
I typed the phrase “Cuente con el pana” into google and it offered me "count on the corduroy". In Ecuador, this phrase actually means “count on the friend”. I am pretty enchanted with the corduroy translation, though. I am going to start using in English. As in, tonight I am going to a movie with a corduroy of mine. Or, I ran into some old corduroys at the bar yesterday. Try it! It’s very fun.
On a History test we were asked, “Who was Michelangelo?”. I answered, “Renowned artist/Ninja Turtle. Wore an orange headband. Weapon: daggers.” My teacher marked this wrong and wrote back “WEAPON: NUN CHUCKS. CHECK YOUR FACTS.” Teenage Mutant Ninja Teacher? Awesome.
Jobdango is a local employment website, posting ads and hosting resumes for job in the Pacific Northwest. It is the epitome of awful marketing. The “dango” just sounds to jovial to attract any promising employers.
Yesterday, while I was walking own 5th avenue I saw a guy driving a Jobdango Segway. This further solidified my impression of the company’s target audience, future telemarketers and, on a good day, circus performers. As always, Segways make me day.
I was just asked if I read Public Utilities Fortnightly. Did they even have utilities when this word was part of the english lexicon? I am having visions of Robin hood: Men in Tights with solar panels.
Freakonomics Quorum: The Economics of Street Charity [Link]freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com
My favorite response is from Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed. She writes:
Could we first dispense with the smarmy connect-the-dots answer this question seems to cry out for? That is, that I’d use the $10 to buy a hot dog for the beggar and perhaps give the change to the vendor as a tip, thus rewarding a hardworking citizen while assuring that the shiftless beggar does not get the wherewithal for another drink — while of course giving me a nice little hit of middle class self-righteousness.
Although I’m atheist, I defer to Jesus on beggar-related matters. He said, if a man asks for your coat, give him your cloak too. (Actually, he said if a man “sue thee at the law” for the coat, but most beggars skip the legal process.) Jesus did not say: First, administer a breathalyzer test to the supplicant, or, first, sit him down for a pep talk on “focus” and “goal-setting.” He said: Give him the damn coat.
As a matter of religious observance, if a beggar importunes me directly, I must fork over some money. How do I know whether he’s been drinking or suffers from a neurological disorder anyway? Unless I’m his parole officer, what do I care? And before anyone virtuously offers him a hot dog, they should reflect on the possibility that the beggar is a vegetarian or only eats kosher or Hallal meat.
So if the beggar approaches me and puts out his hand, and if I only have a $10 bill, I have to give it to him. It’s none of my business whether he plans to spend it on infant formula for his starving baby or a pint of Thunderbird.
For me the matter is simple. At the end of the day, I would rather be the person who gave to those who asked and was a fool than the person who turned away someone truly in need.
Secondly, for those whose complaint is that the same people are out asking for money every day, I offer this perspective. Do you think the seventy-five cents you gave them yesterday was sufficient to get them clean clothes for a job interview? Do you think it is enough to get them first, last and deposit on a place to stay? These people are out there because they need help and because, while the change they collected helped keep them fed today, it’s hard to turn your life around a quarter at a time.
All you have to do is follow three simple rules. One, never underestimate your opponent. Expect the unexpected. Two, take it outside. Never start anything inside the bar unless it’s absolutely necessary. And three, be nice. [Road House]
If you want the ultimate, you’ve got to be willing to pay the ultimate price. [Point Break]
I want you to believe in yourself, imagine good things and moisturize, I cannot stress this enough. [To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything Julie Newmar]
Yesterday on the radio the DJ announced that Cane West and Ree-Ha-Na would be coming up in the next set list. I guess it’s possible to work for a major radio station and not know anything about the artists. Hopefully Kanye and Rihana’s people weren’t listening. This DJ is clearly a pop culture dropout.
“I decided that the idea of manhood that I had been given, that blueprint for self-destruction, that my father had lied to me about manhood, my drill instructors, my Army sergeants, my scoutmaster, my gym instructor in high school. They had all lied to me about what manhood was, and it was up to me to begin to figure out what it really meant…I decided that the great struggles, the wars that you’re talking about—it could be the Bosnian War, it could be the Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, it could be the Korean War, it could be the Iraqi War, whatever, it doesn’t matter—it’s all—every—the thing they all have in common is that it’s young men with guns doing it to everybody else. Women aren’t doing it. Kids aren’t doing it. Old people aren’t doing it. Disabled people aren’t doing it. It’s young people with guns, you know, that are doing it to everybody else. And we don’t have a problem with violence in the world. We’ve got a serious male problem. And I bought into it, so I know. And I’m buying myself out of it, you see. The most important movement in the world is the feminist movement.”—Utah Phillips (via thebronzemedal)
“Well the time for bickering is over. The time for games has passed. Now is the season for action. Now is when we must bring the best ideas of both parties together, and show the American people that we can still do what we were sent here to do. Now is the time to deliver on health care.”—President Barack Obama (via think4yourself)
Yard work has long been my least favorite kind of work. Since I bought my house, I have been in trying to improve and maintain the small garden patch I call the front yard. I have no allusions of gardening grandeur. My only goal is not to be the worst yard on the block. I am perfectly fine with being the second worst. As long as someone else’s yard is a little more awful, the neighbors won’t think to mention mine.
I have been busy the last couple weeks. The weeds have taken up residence. right next to the blackberries. Last night, I realized I was not going to have any free daylight hours in the near future due to my schedule and also fall’s eminent arrival in Seattle. Fall means turning leaves, pumpkin flavored everything and "daylight hours" from 8 AM to 5 PM.
For all of these reasons, I decided to take care of the weeds when I got home last night, around 8. While I was weeding in the glow of the streetlight, REM’s Gardening at Night kept spinning through my head.
My conclusions are two fold. First, gardening at night is very impractical as it is hard to tell which plants are weeds and which are not. This can be frustrating. Someone should invent night vision weed goggles. I bet you could sell a ton on skymall. Second, more odd concepts from songs should be acted out to evaluate practicality. Next up, seeing my reflection in a snow covered hill.
Wal-mart is now advertising a new “low” rate for cashing checks of only $3.
Any such rate seems like it’s too much, since the check is your money, and paying $3 for your own money is a rip-off. But, as Wal-mart points out, $3 is a lot less than many of their competitors charge for this same dubious service. Those check-cashing competitors, Wal-mart says, can charge as much as $8 per check.
Wal-mart’s TV ad for this check-cashing service actually underestimates the savings this could mean for their marks customers. A fresh-faced young couple tells us how happy they are to be using Wal-mart’s $3-a-check service instead of the $8 alternative. The husband holds up a calculator and tells us this saves them about $200 a year. With both of them earning a paycheck every two weeks, that’s actually more like $250 a year — and that $50 difference would be substantial for the annual budget of a working-class couple outside the fringes of the banking system.
The same quick and dirty arithmetic also lets us easily calculate the annual cost of check-cashing for this couple even at Wal-mart prices: $150 a year.
That $150 is a poverty tax — a fee paid by the poor because they are poor.
But then calling it a poverty tax isn’t accurate. It’s a poverty surcharge, not a tax. If it were a tax, then the couple in Wal-mart’s ad would eventually see some kind of indirect benefit from that $150. Taxes go toward civilization — national defense, highways, sewer systems, health care, police, food safety, clean water, fighting wildfires, developing flu vaccines, etc. And taxes are part of the social contract assented to by everyone who participates in that civilization. But this $150 poverty surcharge doesn’t help to fund any of those things and it isn’t part of any social contract. It simply lines the pockets of the Walton family and the rest of Wal-mart’s shareholders. The poor families paying this surcharge receive no benefit — direct or indirect. All they get in exchange is access to their own money. This $150-a-year surcharge is simply a transfer of wealth from them to much richer people, a direct, you-have-no-say transfer of at least $3 subtracted from every paycheck.
“All we have to worry about is getting things done and doing them as well as we can. Don’t even worry about the Republicans. Let them figure out what they’re going to stand for. ‘Cause as long as they’re sitting around waiting for us to mess up, they don’t have a chance.”—Bill Clinton: “I Wouldn’t Even Worry About The Republicans” (via rillawafers)
This week I declined to sign a arbitration agreement. The agreement would have entitled me to $540 next year in exchange for giving up my right to file suit and have the argument heard in court, forever.
I have long said a (liberal) convictions are expensive. Buying local, eating organic, putting up solar panels, etc. can absolutely break the bank. I remember joking when I graduated from college: I am not willing to sell my soul, but I am willing to rent it out for a while, at least until I get the mountainous school loans under control.
Today I am making a note, negative five hundred forty dollars - preserving article 8 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
In the last week I have ordered three meals that usually come with cilantro. Despite my polite request to omit the herb, all three arrived with cilantro; an offensive of varying degree.
The first was a Vietnamese sandwich with three sprigs. I removed them easily and continued my meal. The second was a pico de gallo situation, meaning it chopped up and harder to avoid. The third was today Thai spicy salad, in which the cilantro was EVERYWHERE.
If it were just a preference, I would make a big deal out of it. But it’s not a matter of like or dislike. It more a matter of it makes me feel sick for hours. Eating lunch today meant tiptoeing through a culinary minefield.
With the salad, which was delicious in every other way, I got a fortune cookie. It reads: “You will finally solve a difficult problem that will mean much to you.”
I am hoping that the problem to be resolved will be cilantro. My first choice would be that we make up and become great friends. If that is not possible, the second and more realistic wish is that everyone would stop setting us up on play dates.
“Does absolutely everything have to be viewed through a partisan lens? Even if Obama were to be so foolish as to try and pitch his ideas on fiscal policy to fifth-graders – which would turn them into Republicans for sure – do we really want our kids sheltered from ideas with which they may disagree? How are they to stand up to opposing views if they haven’t even heard them? It wasn’t always this way: I have a vague, ancient memory of Sister Theodosia taking us into the music room to watch the only TV in St. Mary’s School because Hubert Humphrey was talking about something or other, I forget what. I do recall that she made clear that she was not a fan of HHH – but even the woman who railed against the immodesty of sleeveless shifts knew that healthy academic inquiry involves taking in a variety of opinions with which we are perfectly free to disagree. In fact, since Tuesday’s planned topic is personal responsibility, I don’t know why those who dislike Obama wouldn’t be eager to let him be the one to spoon up the medicine, which will be a turn-off to many tender minds. And did I cover my kids’ ears during the Bush years? No way; how else was my son to perfect his Jon Stewart imitation?”—Protecting Our Kids From Obama’s Subversive ‘Eat Your Peas’ Message - Politics Daily (via apsies) (via think4yourself)