Archive | April, 2010

>David Ignatius Thinks You’re Not Taxed Nearly Enough

30 Apr

>…And he’s got the fix; a magic fix that will repair the economy, erase the Federal deficit, unsour the milk and cure yaws: a nice fat Value-Added Tax.

Sure looks to me like it subtracts value, which is the usual way of such names.

Srsly, who’s giving these fools typewriters? And how come none of them remember what it is like to live from paycheck to paycheck?


>It’s European Typewriter Day!

30 Apr

>’Cos they credit a different guy with making the idea work. Y’know, I’d say “when it’s steamboat time….” but his boat steamed rather early (1808!) and it steamed for love: he built the thing so his beautiful, blind girlfriend could write letters! It appears he also invented carbon paper — instead of the typewriter ribbon.

Sadly, his machine did not survive, though letters written by means of it do; and that’s how we know it was real. Can’t seem to find images of them online, rather a pity.

–Among other things, this points up a better aspect of dating tech geeks. Just sayin’.


30 Apr

>…I have spent most of today in bed asleep and I am heading back there next. I don’t know what bug bit me; I was getting ready for work this morning, really havin’ to struggle, and suddenly realized I felt way more than awful. Called in, laid down and was asleep again in seconds. Tam woke me for a late lunch, followed by an upset tummy; I have napped a bit since and I am falling asleep at the keyboard now, that drifty, feverish feeling.

Am I having fun yet?

>Push, Push, Push

30 Apr

>Breda linked to it first, then Tam; one video in particular caught my attention.

What we have here is small-town[1] police, done up in their bestest riot gear and looking a bit self-conscious about it, sent out to “control” a crowd of Tea Parties outside a venue where POTUS is holdin’ forth. Now this unruly mob is a) standing around, b) waving signs critical of FedGov, the President and various gummint actions and c) singing patriotic songs — inflammatory stuff, like “America the Beautiful;” they are the kind of crowd that takes one (1) policeman to control, using clever sworn-officer tactics like saying, “I need all of you folks to get up on the sidewalk, this side of Maple Street,” or better yet, having their own leaders tell ’em.

That’s how it went down, too, while the LEOs in helmets and heavy vests stood in a line like a Greek chorus, only silent, perspiring and kinda embarrassed. It was their Moms wavin’ signs over there, or the nice ladies from church or the guy that runs the gas station. And it was the Secret Service or some worry-wart minor offical nervous about bein’ in a flyover State that sent ’em out geared up to take on rock-throwin’ WTO protestors. It worked out; one non-riot-geared officer and a guy with a bullhorn later, the Riot Squad marched away.

But keep it the hell up, idiots, and you will buy this country a mess. It stunk out loud when Presidents Clinton and Bush (respectively) instituted and maintained “free speech zones” at their appearances; now we’re callin’ out the local muscle over protesters not merely outside the building where the President’s at but across the dang road from it and well-behaved to boot — nary a flung pie or rotten vegetable to be had, let alone an effigy dangling from a pole (Mr. Bush and Mr. Clinton inspired plenty of those; consider their absence, the next time some marooon[2] snerks “racist!” about the current round of protesters).

It worked out okay this time; hooray, us and by “us” I mean both sides, the boys in (very very dark) blue and the sign-wavers. Hey, maybe it’ll work out next time, too. And the time after that. But how many times must goofily disproportionate force meet well-behaved amateur protesters before some nitwit slips up?

And after that, what next?
1. Quincy, IL; very like the place where I grew up, give or take a major waterway, a good-sized river bluff, a clockmaking school and an abundance of bars.

2. There’ll be some ijit shows up an’ tells me that term’s racist, too. Ask Bugs Bunny; I got it from him and his writers used it in contexts where the implication is clearly one of stupidity. Color in that outline yerself, maroon.

>When Logic Is Waterboarded

29 Apr

>…Why, newspaper editors will do it, of course. Consider if you will, a Midwestern newspaper editor attempting to drum up support for a bus system that isn’t paying its own way; he figures it should feed more at the public (i.e., non bus riding) trough rather than raise rates and he justifies it thusly:
“Fares cannot cover the entire cost of the service. Car travel is subsidized by government via highway funding, and public transportation deserves to be as well.”

Italics mine, naturally.

Um, sir? Sir? Mister Editor? First off, there’s a hefty tax on automobile fuel, a big chunk of which is supposedly goin’ for, guess what, highways an’ streets. (I don’t know if the city’s paying that when they diesel up their buses. Could be they are getting a free ride). Second — and I’m not sure if you have noticed — the verdammt buses are operated on the exact same tax-subsidized roads as private automobiles, albeit more slowly and with the occasional passenger-to-passenger beat-down.

City buses: already “subsidized” twice over (or thrice — are there any magic Fedbux in the mix?) and still bleeding money. It’s be cheaper to hand out free bikes to rider, with used cars for the hardship cases — but wait, “cash for clunkers” helped dry up the pool of affordable used cars; h’mm, so much for Uncle Sam’s input, hey?

But never mind; if he gets his way, the editor of the local catbox liner will tax us poor ignernt rubes into his New Socialist Man no matter what. It’s for our own good, you see; besides, it’s all government-funded, so it must be okay. And he’ll make the buses run on time, once we’ve all been taxed so heavily we can’t afford our own cars. Neat, eh?

Over my cold, dead $2000 Hyundai, you miserable rat.

>Does She Seem Familiar?

28 Apr

>The heroine of Saki’s The Schartz-Metterklume Method; it certainly seems as if she’s someone I’ve met…. 😉

(Thanks to Staghounds for the tip!)

>"Quo Yifis;" Or, As Seen On TV

28 Apr

>I glanced at the television; some chat show was on. The graphic for their next segment fair lept* out at me:

Next: Shields to star in family-friendly film

Didn’t bother to wait for the interview. I’m pretty sure you can’t have it both ways; either “family-friendly” or the yif brigade.

* “Lept” is a perfectly good word, which can be found in all the better lexicons; even “leapt” shows up. Firefox and Blogger, purveyors of Basic English, will have none of it. It’s “leaped” as far as they’re concerned, or you can go jump off a cliff.