Monday, November 02, 2009

November and We're Still in Michigan


The title says it all. The calendar is now flipped to November and no word on getting out of snow country. Ah well; at least we have four walls and a roof, even if it is located in the snow belt.

I spent today finishing up some insulating in Debbie's mom's basement. I need to get some more caulking to finish that job up, then after 24 hours, I'll slap on a quick coat of paint and another small chunk of the basement project will be done. We also need to start working on getting all the various piles we've made down here sorted out and put in their final home. I'd like to get back to working outside, but that doesn't look too promising for most of this week. I was hoping to have the back yard looking more-or-less finished before Debbie's mom came back from her trip, but I didn't make it.

So enough of what I didn't accomplish, already.

Some more indicators of our economic health. First, nine banks were closed on Friday (they were all owned by the same holding company, so it's not quite as bad as it sounds), bringing the total for 2009 to 115. That was followed two days lager by the fifth-largest bankruptcy in US history filed by Citi. I guess the taxpayers won't be getting any of the $2.3 billion of good money thrown after the bad already lost by Citi's Masters of the Universe.

And just when we were running out of things to worry about, we now have giant, man-eating jellyfish attacking and sinking Japanese fishing boats! OK, so that's not exactly how it went down, but holy crap! Six-foot, 400-pound jellyfish? I think we'll skip that scuba trip to the Sea of Japan we were thinking about....

Next is a story with a lot of sub-text to it. The basic facts are a couple teenage girls took pictures of themselves that were probably less-than-entirely appropriate. So of course the local high school feels obliged to get involved even though the pictures were not taken at a school function, were not being disseminated using school equipment, and were taken when school was not even in session. The girls are banned from athletics and forced to apologize to the "all-male Athletics Board," whom I'm sure were not titillated in the least by a couple teenage girls describing what it was that they were apologizing for. Now the ACLU is filing a suit on behalf of the girls. Good for them. I hope the resulting monetary award bankrupts the entire school district. Once again, I just don't get it. Just how wide of a sphere of control does a local high school cast? Is there no place where a student is safe from their overlords? Do parents have no say whatsoever in the upbringing of their own children? Does the school have a Perv Patrol that endlessly trolls the internet for pictures teens take of themselves that are no more (and often much less) pornographic than a trip to the beach or browsing the underwear pages of a clothing catalog? Do Americans realize what a laughingstock we are to the rest of the world for simultaneously being the most prudish non-Muslim nation on earth and the largest source of hard-core porn? Feh.

And once again, Peggy Noonan hits one out of the park:
We are governed at all levels by America's luckiest children, sons and daughters of the abundance, and they call themselves optimists but they're not optimists—they're unimaginative. They don't have faith, they've just never been foreclosed on. They are stupid and they are callous, and they don't mind it when people become disheartened. They don't even notice.


Well, I need to take a break from spreading joy and optimism so I can consume chicken nuggets and watch John Stewart.

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