Saturday, October 23, 2010

Time Keeps on Slippin'

A little blast from the past for those old enough to remember...

No real changes here; Debbie - working. [Updated: Debbie got some good news at work today, but I'll let her tell everyone.] Me - not working. At least not for money. I shelve books at the library for a few hours a couple days a week, but that doesn't pay. I'm still in tax class, which of course doesn't pay either. So it's not like I sit on the couch all day playing Farmville, but I'm still not contributing anything to household budget. And that's life in Sanford.

This article is supposed to be about the 15% unemployment in Las Vegas, but a throw-away line caught my attention:

Warnock, who also has industrial experience and a military background in explosives safety, said he's had a few nibbles from potential employers, but mostly for positions for which he's overqualified.

Several of us unemployed people (meaning everyone) at tax class were discussing this concept of "overqualified." Just what the hell does that mean? Other than "I'm a sniveling weasel of a manager who is terrified of anyone with a personality or any demonstrated ability to do complex tasks like show up on time or make the occasional semi-intelligent remark." My last five jobs were census, tax prep, pot scrubber, pot scrubber, pot scrubber. And yet according to a recruiter in New Hampshire, I was "overqualified" for every job in Keene, NH. Whatever, sniveling weasel.

The Worst Schools in the Country will now be feeding its students breakfast, lunch and dinner. I realize that schools lost all interest in their primary purpose decades ago (see Pournelle's Iron Law), around the same time parents lost all interest in their primary purpose, but since when did our schools become wholly-owned subsidiaries of Burger King? This article popped up the same day that I had to listen to a couple women going on and on about the horrible injustice of it all that their kids will now have to pay some pittance (less than two bucks) for breakfast and lunch at school. The horror. I guess feeding them breakfast for a few cents at home is completely out of the question, and I won't even bring up the dreaded sack lunch for fear of the permanent scarring the precious little tykes would suffer.

Speaking of the Imperial City, it's nice to know that while the rest of us are wallowing in the after-effects of the None-Dare-Call-It-Depression Recession, the District has been enjoying an economic boom that will be paid for by our great-grandchildren. We seem to be doing everything possible to make our generation the most hated in the nation's history.

It's likely a hint or a sign or an omen that you should pack it in when you are a 18-term incumbent senator and your senate campaign can only attract a single, $500 donation. It's 1994 all over again.

The banks are still trying to dance around the huge mess created when the Masters of the Universe decided that the pesky laws regarding property titles were bogging them down. Now the Cook County (Chicago) sheriffs department is refusing to enforce evictions even if the banks restart the foreclosure process. This is bad:

Nobody dares to buy or sell property because there is no way of knowing who actually owns it, whether the chain of title is on-the-level, whether (or not) there is a document somewhere with coffee mug rings and taco sauce stains denoting the past and current owners of, say, a half acre of sawgrass scrub with an abandoned harlequin brick ranch-house full of mold feasting on damp sheet-rock in the unspeakable South Florida humidity.

Not that any of this seems to register with the stock market.

One of the major annoyances we've had since opening an account at Chase Bank is the constant bombardment we get every time we walk in the door about how we should use our debit card more because not using it is "dangerous." This is, as anyone with half a brain knows, complete and utter crap. The only reason banks want people to use debit cards is so they can make millions in over-draft charges. The problem for the banks is that people are catching wise, which will likely mean a return to the Good Ol' Days of monthly fees just for having a checking account. As far as I'm concerned, it can't happen soon enough. I'd much rather pay $9 a month or keep a certain balance in my account than have my bank actively working to wreck my personal finances for fun and profit.

More fun on the church-state front:

The city council decided last month to remove the [Christian] flag from above the monument in Central Park after a resident complained, and after city leaders got letters from the American Civil Liberties Union and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State urging them to remove it.

These cases always leave me conflicted. On the one hand,  it's like the ACLU et al never want this issue to die, going around finding obscure places no one has ever heard of and, literally in many instances, making a federal case out of nothing. I'm betting that prior to all this, 90% of the Christians in King, North Carolina wouldn't have known the Christian flag if they saw one. All that's been accomplished is to harden the position of those who already see the ACLU as evil incarnate, as well as convincing those who simply didn't care that the ACLU is a group of cry-babies who grow faint at the mere sight of a manger or bit of cloth on a pole. The other side of the argument is that if you expect everyone to pay for your little memorial in the middle of town, don't get all pissy when one of those everyone's has a problem with the flag you fly over it. The answer is simple: pay to put whatever display you want on your private property and the ACLU will be right there next to you defending your right to do so.

I stumbled across an interesting story about Albert Einstein. As with most historical figures, he is reduced to an icon; the mad scientist with wild hair, scribbling equations and mumbling deep thoughts to himself. While the wild hair thing is certainly accurate:

there was a great deal more to the man than most people today are aware of.

That's it for this week.

No comments: