November 30, 2012

Stop the presses!

I think I may actually agree with Newt Gingrich on something. Or with a little bit of what he's saying anyway:

Well, I think this whole fiscal cliff language is designed to maximize a sense of fear that’s nonsense. The very same people, the Congress and the president, who invented the fiscal cliff—this is all an invention—could break it down into 12 foothills, or 15 foothills or 20 foothills. …
I think we ought to recognize this entire fiscal cliff is an artificial invention of Washington, created by people in the Congress and the presidency. And it can be broken down by them into a series of steps that can be taken without having to be rushed into one gigantic, last-minute, little understood, with no hearings, one vote up or down—I think it’s a terrible way to govern the United States.
ON THE OTHER HAND, I'm down with just about all of this.

Have a good weekend!

November 29, 2012

What was his first clue?

When asked about his political aspirations, former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship told a Wall Street Journal reporter in a recent interview, "I don't think I'm electable." One wonders what chain of reasoning might have led to this conclusion. Read more about it at Coal Tattoo.

Apparently the interview was done before yesterday's news about additional criminal charges that might be going up the Massey corporate ladder.

And if you want more of Mr. B., click here.

NON SEQUITUR. If you are in need of a weird science article about immortal jellyfish, click here.


November 28, 2012

Like a dog

I've been meaning to blog about Moby-Dick here but today another literary classic is on my mind. That would be The Trial by Franz Kafka, one of his more Kafkaesque novels. In it, the protagonist, Josef K., finds himself accused of a crime but is never told what it is. He must devote a great deal of effort to his defense, although he has no idea how to do that. In the end, he is casually executed. His last words describe the killing:  "Like a dog."

That's pretty much the way the majority on the WV Board of Education treated former superintendent Jorea Marple, an amazingly capable and dedicated educator. The school board is supposed to "reconsider" her firing tomorrow, although I imagine they will only do it over again. If anyone should be fired, I'd start with them.

ON THE OTHER HAND, sometimes the American justice system works better than Mr. Kafka's. I was encouraged by this announcement of the latest development in the federal criminal investigation of Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch mine disaster. I hope it keeps on getting better and better.


November 27, 2012

Two for a Tuesday

A while back, I planned to do a series of posts here on why everyone should drop everything and read Moby-Dick. I plan on resuming that effort any day now. In fact, I was reminded of it today while walking around in the wet and chilly weather. In chapter 1, Ishmael speaks of "a damp, drizzly November in my soul." If that doesn't fit the WV weather on a day like this, nothing does.

Anyhow here are two items of interest:

CONSERVATIVES VERSUS PRISONS? Pretty much. I need to crank out an op-ed on this.



November 26, 2012

Just what we needed

The Gentle Reader has no doubt noticed the family decals on some automobiles that show the proper combination of parents, children and beloved pets. A friend recently sent me an email about the latest development, i.e. zombie family decals, which are definitely worth a look.

According to the website,

In the zombie apocalypse, family means everything. It's not limited to blood relations, either. If you're trusting someone to watch your back and keep the walkers from eating you, they're family. If someone trusts you to double-tap them after they've been bitten, they're family.

Show your pride in your family with these Zombie Family Car Decals. They're black and white and red all over and include the whole gang: Mom, Dad, Daughter, Son, Baby, Dog, Cat, and Fish. We're not sure who is lugging their goldfish tank around during the zombie apocalypse, but who are we to judge? Maybe it's a talking goldfish like Klaus from American Dad.
This is yet another example of the unfettered market's ability to spontaneously meet human needs and desires. Or something.

THE PHANTOM MENACE. Here's Paul Krugman taking on the "deficit scolds."

CHURCH POLITICS. According to E.J. Dionne, some Catholic bishops are questioning the church hierarchy's rightward drift in recent years.
LUNAR LUNACY. Apparently, blaming the full moon doesn't hold up.


November 25, 2012

This n that

I am so not ready for the end of the Thanksgiving weekend, but I have a lot of work things in the hopper. One such item is an idea that  the WV legislature is considering, to wit work sharing, a way of dealing with cyclical downturns in the economy by reducing hours rather than jobs and allowing affected workers to collect partial unemployment insurance for lost wages. Here's an op-ed by yours truly on the subject.

GO TEAMSTERS. Lincoln County WV native Ken Hall has climbed to the height of influence in the 1.4 million member Teamsters union. Here's his take on the shameful firing of WV school superintendent Jorea Marple.

LIKE THE SAYING SAYS, you only get one chance to make a first impression.