seeking knowledge and laughter, putting a bullseye on inaccuracy

A Failure of Our Republic

This video is worth watching through the end. It describes a problem that is all but ignored but nearly everyone, most especially policymakers.

This is a failure of our republic, which has been captured by massive corporations and shapes policies to further enrich a few at the expense of many.

Two books that address aspects of this that I recommend are Republic, Lost, and The Fine Print. Please buy them from a local bookstore if you can - supporting massive companies like Amazon or Walmart are a big part of the reason our economy is in the state it is.

An interview with David Kay Johnston about his book, The Fine Print, is below:

We can fix this, but first we have to recognize the source of the problem -- our government is not working for us, it is working for those who can cut it checks with 5, 6, 7, or more zeros at then end of them.

A Different Perspective on Schools and Education

If nothing else, the anecdote that starts this article in Mother Jones is fascinating. The article is "Everything you've heard about Failing Schools is Wrong."

Education and teaching is very complicated and for years I have wondered if we are getting better or worse at evaluating teachers.

Our Dumb Selves and Letting Wall Street Off Without Even a Warning

In a few years ... maybe even 10 or more if we are lucky, the economy will crater again. Wall Street will have screwed us again, but we can only blame ourselves.

We are supposed to be in charge of this country but we are not. We're too busy watching "unscripted" television and ignoring very real threats to our well-being because that is inconvenient. Michael Lewis reviewing a supposed exposé of Goldman Sachs:

Stop and think once more about what has just happened on Wall Street: its most admired firm conspired to flood the financial system with worthless securities, then set itself up to profit from betting against those very same securities, and in the bargain helped to precipitate a world historic financial crisis that cost millions of people their jobs and convulsed our political system. In other places, or at other times, the firm would be put out of business, and its leaders shamed and jailed and strung from lampposts. (I am not advocating the latter.) Instead Goldman Sachs, like the other too-big-to-fail firms, has been handed tens of billions in government subsidies, on the theory that we cannot live without them. They were then permitted to pay politicians to prevent laws being passed to change their business, and bribe public officials (with the implicit promise of future employment) to neuter the laws that were passed—so that they might continue to behave in more or less the same way that brought ruin on us all.

Why Do Grandmothers Exist?

I found this way more interesting than I expected on reading the title... From The New Republic...

Loving Tim Dorsey

I've been reading my way though the Tim Dorsey mystery/thriller/funny books... of the Carl Hiaasen/Dave Barry/Elmore Leonard variety. These are among the zaniest and most fun of the genre in my humble opinion. Lots of history about Florida too. Much fun.

Just finished Torpedo Juice... which includes this awesome exchange:

The deputies backed up US 1 in their white-and-green sheriff's cruiser. Gus was driving. He kept shifting his weight. The seat had one of those wooden-bead seat covers.

"Is that thing helping your back?" asked Walter.

"Actually hurts more."

"Why do you still use it?"

"I paid for it."

Classic. And I totally do this all the time, especially with food. ... sigh ...

If you want to pick it up, go in order. I also really enjoyed Triggerfish Twist.

Photos of Christmas Past

Christmas photos from the Mitchell celebration at the end of 2011!

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Thanksgiving Photos

Your welcome for Thanksgiving photos from 2011!

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Gulf Coast Travels with the Klinkers

Photos from our 2011 trip to Texas to hang with the Klinkers.

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