Monday, June 14, 2010

Rain and Clouds

The weather all this weekend was wet and cold, so we more or less stayed in the apartment. We needed to stay in anyway; I had a month of bookkeeping to catch up on, we had picked up a few movies on the cheap from the local Blockbuster that is going bust, and we both have books due back at the library in a couple days. So bookkeeping, reading and movies; that was our exciting Sunday. Try to control your envy.

Next week, the plan is to be in Madison, CT for Debbie's niece's high school graduation on Wednesday evening (congrats, Madison!!), then come back with Debbie's mom sometime Thursday. We'll be out showing her the sights here in southern New Hampshire on Friday and Saturday, then driving her to the airport Sunday morning. As of right now, the weather still looks sketchy for all of it. A few years in Arizona really spoiled us weather-wise. How can you plan anything when every single day has at least a 30% chance of rain? In any case, we'll likely snap off a bunch of pictures and I will try to get them loaded into our Flickr account in a semi-timely fashion.

And of course, oil is still gushing into the Gulf. No one is sure how much other than a lot, but now the Coast Guard has issued a 48-hour ultimatum. Or what? Everyone who knows anything is already working the problem. Is the Coast Guard going to pull them off the job? Do they plan to sit on the shore and order the oil back in the ground? I'm no fan of BP and when all the events leading up to this are carefully laid out, I don't expect them to come off looking too good. But when it is all said and done, there better be at least as many politicians hanging on crosses as there are BP managers.

The immigration kettle is still boiling in Arizona, with Sheriff Joe doing his best to keep the fire kindled. Once again, I can see two sides to the story. As someone who was responsible for checking employee documents, I can tell you that I never checked all that close. It would take someone about ten minutes to whip up a fake Social Security card that would be good enough to fool me. Driver's licenses are harder, but then again, I probably couldn't spot even a bad fake. First, I have no idea what the real deal is supposed to look like. Because of where the office was located, I was dealing with four different states with no clue about what anti-forgery features I should have been checking for on any of them. Second, the turn-over was so high, people were hired, fired or quit, and had moved to another state before anything made it to the state or federal government. It's not like I could go to some SSA or DMV web site and check if what information I was being given was legit.

On the other hand, every city and town in Arizona has at least one street corner where contractors go to pick up day laborers who work off the books. I'm pretty sure anyone stopping by those places has strong reason to suspect that he is hiring illegals. If Sheriff Joe wants to bust their chops, I have a hard time arguing against it. Of course, Sheriff Joe, being the king of douche nozzles and all, will go too far and give more ammunition to the believers in open borders and amnesty.

How to be a public school bureaucrat in three easy steps: 1) Offer teachers money if their students do well on standardized tests. 2) Do everything in your power to prevent teachers from teaching students what they need to know to accomplish that. 3) Act shocked and appalled that teachers actively participate in cheating on said standardized tests. People respond to the incentives you give them. Who knew?

Obama is begging for $50 billion on behalf of state and local governments. And why not? It's all a hallucination anyway. Why not $500 billion? Why not $1 trillion? It's not like it will make any difference given that state and local governments are on the hook for between $3 trillion and $5 trillion in unfunded pension liabilities alone. So, sure! Go for it! I also love the politics:

President Obama urged reluctant lawmakers Saturday to quickly approve nearly $50 billion in emergency aid to state and local governments, saying the money is needed to avoid "massive layoffs of teachers, police and firefighters"....

Why is it always teachers, police and firefighters? Why is it never the governor's massage therapist/whore? Why is it never any of the 50%+ public school employees who don't teach? Why is it never the secretary to the four-times-removed assistant to the Director of Paper Clip Acquisition? Always with the teachers, police and firefighters. Are there people out there stupid enough to buy this and who can remember to breathe?

Remember the old joke about how to tell if a politician is lying? Well, remember when we were told that health care reform wouldn't affect employer-provided health plans? I guess their lips were moving.

OK, then! Off to enjoy some more unemployment!

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