This has been a month where cutting through all the news to find just one story has been tough. From the Boston bombings, to the fertilizer plant in Texas and Margaret Thatcher’s passing, the list goes on and on. I don’t know about you all, but I am ready for May. I have nothing new to add to Boston, I think my (and potentially yours as well) Facebook feed hit all the “What if the brothers had used guns instead of bombs?” articles as well as the “Why was Boston terrorism while Sandy Hook was not?” ones. And the thing is, we can talk and write about it all until we are blue in the face, but so long as Congress is filled with paper tiger cowards who will worship at the altar of the War on Terror but can’t find the spine to vote for universal background checks, then this is the dialogue we will have. Over and over and over.
On my walks with the pup-meister these last two weeks I’ve been listening to Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History podcast on the Mongol invasions of Asia and into Europe (a massive 5 parter with the awesome title of Wrath of the Khans. No not that one). Genghis Khan and his sons and grandsons ran rampant throughout the 13th Century and wound up killing millions upon millions (seriously – estimates of victims of the Mongolian invasions range from 10 to 50 million deaths) of individuals in their drive to conquer all the territory they could reach. Read more…
Hello again loyal readers! I hope you all have either: 1) correctly picked all the lower seeds for your bracket; 2) selected the Shockers and the Eagles in your office stock pool (a decision at first questioned by the pool operators but now makes you look like a freaking genius!); or 3) stayed far far away from the March Madness and instead have safely ensconced yourself in the rarified air of spring training baseball stats in preparation for the most glorious day of the year! My better half tends to pick her bracket by mascot, and last year she had the Shockers winning it all (“I thought they were lightning. Bears are pretty fierce but lightning will kill them all.”). And then decided not to do one this year. Alas.
You know what’s one thing people don’t ever say, “I wish I knew more about”? President Harding. I’m actually going to go the other way and say he might be one of the more forgotten presidents we’ve ever had. When’s the last time someone said, “Hey, I was just thinking about President Harding”? Even when the hot topic was which president the Nats would select to join the Presidents Race I’m pretty confident Harding was never part of the conversation. Side note: Taft? Really? Are we trying to get him in post-mortem shape? End side note. Well fear no more – your unknown, unspoken, and unmentionable desire to learn about President Harding is about to be fulfilled. You. Are. Welcome.
Hello loyal readers! This past Friday, we found out what happens when Speaker Boehner gets 98% of what he wants in reward for holding the country hostage on the debt ceiling: an arbitrary $1.2 trillion cut in government spending, $85 billion of which happens right now. And when he says that the revenue issue was resolved in the fiscal cliff deal just remember, the $632 billion in revenue also came with $33 billion in cuts. So yeah, totally fair and balanced. Just like Faux News.
And for those of you that are students of history, or you know, just pay attention to world events (which is no one with influence over our Republican “friends” though, sadly) this love of austerity has happened before, and is currently being tried in Europe. How’s that going for Europe? Not well.
And if you happen to suffer from a particularly virulent strand of xenophobia, we don’t even have to look to Europe to find salient examples of why austerity is a bad example, especially in a weak economy. In the midst of the Great Depression, the economy took a belly flop in a kiddie pool. Granted, it’s all relative compared to the Ishtar-sized flop that occurred between October 1929 through 1933. And that was a long, heavy flop. If you have been following the various economic arguments since the beginning of the downturn, chances are you’ve read about what happened in 1937. Here, or here. And now that we’ve actually taken several pointless bites out of our economy, maybe we’ll get our own reprise of it. So what happened? Read more…
Hello all! I’m back. Try not to squee with excitement too loudly. You’re probably wondering where I’ve been the last few years and honestly, I couldn’t really say. Work has been up and down, my better half and I bought a house and got engaged, but really I have no excuse. I hope you’ll forgive me.
So, what did I miss? Oh, you know, this and that and everything. Read more…
My, my, my, it has been a while loyal readers, has it not? I would imagine some of you (well, the 1 person that keeps hopefully checking the blog every couple days) are saying to yourself, much as Debi Newberry did to Martin Blank in the classic Grosse Point Blank, (pause for effect) . . . Where have you been? or more like What happened? Answer: nowhere and nothing really, I’ve just been a bit of a lazy blog poster. For that I am sorry.
But, I’m lying in bed at 5:20 this morning, awake, and I’m mad about that because 1) it’s a Sunday morning; 2) I worked yesterday; and 3) I’m secretly really tired. But darn it if I can’t sleep. And you want to know why? It’s so annoying, I makes me despise them even more . . . the debt ceiling. INORITE? I am awake at a silly hour after turning off the light about 4 1/2 hours earlier because the R’s in Congress are the biggest bunch of self-serving idiots that I know. As Wanda Gershwitz would say, “To call you stupid would be an insult to stupid people!!” Yup, that’s right.
Hello my loyal readers! I know, I know, it’s been too long. Where the heck have I been? Well, in a nutshell: finished the best job in the world, moved to a new city, went to the Dominican Republic, went to Wyoming for a long weekend (which is 1, 2, 3, that’s like 26 states away!), moved with my better half to a new apartment, blah blah blah, started my new/old job. Then immediately, it’s a month later.
I’m in mourning tonight for the renewal of the American intellect that I thought we had going 2 years ago. The stupidity of some of the idiots that were elected tonight is beyond words. With nothing but soundbites and platitudes, the tumbleweed between the ears rolls in January, and it’s going to be painful.
This, however, made me laugh tonight. Which is saying something.
Fear not though loyal readers, the intellect is not dead yet- the challenge is going to be finding it again. My better half worked the phones for WV, and I couldn’t be prouder of the commitment. I’m thinking about getting tshirts made for all the converts, reason and facts really can make a difference if you are willing to pick your battles.
Anyway, I’m back, vacation over. Sorry it’s been so long.
Hello loyal readers! I’m sorry that it’s been a while, I just moved this past weekend from a small NE town to a big east coast city. Needless to say, it’s been taking up a bit of time. And, my better half and I are off on a vacation tomorrow for a week! We are very excited- there will be a beach. Whether it will stop raining for us to actually get onto the beach remains to be seen, but we live in hope.
I’m hoping to have something up in the morning for you to chew on (namely the Community Center issue in NYC), but in case I don’t, have a lovely week. We plan to.
By the way, yesterday (August 18th) was the 90th anniversary of the 19th Amendment’s passage, giving approximately 30% of the country the right to vote. I say 30% because until the abolition of poll taxes, literacy tests, and the passage of the Voting Rights Act, African-Americans of either sex found it hard to vote. It was Tennessee that was the 36th state to ratify the proposed amendment, pushing it from the land of proposed into the land of actual. On August 26th it was certified and became, as “they” say, history.
Enjoy the rest of August, how quickly time flies.
PS- I listened to my 12 Byzantine Rulers podcast again recently, by Lars Brownworth. He’s got a new book out called Lost to the West, and I’m planning on picking it up tonight for our trip. You can find the podcast on iTunes and on the wonderful worldwide web, check it out if you’re at all interested in the word of the Byzantine Empire. I’m not normally a pusher of stuff like this, but his podcast is 1) incredibly interesting and 2) free!