Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Morning Blog

What a surprise! Apparently, the vast majority of Burmese feel that they have better things to do on a Sunday than participate in a sham election. For one thing, it seems as though hoarding food is a pretty popular pastime.

Sigh...much as I love cheese, this is your government at work. I'd really, really like to see the Department of Agriculture and all the subsidies it represents disbanded. A lot.

This is interesting though...

For years, the federal government bought the industry’s excess cheese and butter, an outgrowth of a Depression-era commitment to use price supports and other tools to maintain the dairy industry as a vital national resource. This stockpile, packed away in cool caves in Missouri, grew to a value of more than $4 billion by 1983, when Washington switched gears.

I want to visit the fabled Cheese Caves of Missouri.

Not surprisingly, the Religious Right is now up in arms against school programs to stop bullying. Granted, they're not pro-bullying...Oh, no, no, no! Heavens to Betsy no! They just don't want children to be told why it's wrong.

This is interesting to me: Because of huge problems with crime and state appropriations of vital parts of the economy, Venezuela is not surprisingly, having to deal with massive emigration. Folks are looking at their circumstances and deciding that they'd prefer to not be robbed by common criminals or Hugo Chavez. However, because of the safety net that (for the time being), is funded by oil, Venezuela is attracting an influx of unskilled workers from countries that are even crappier.

Venezuela's new slogan: "Still Better Than Haiti!"

This is actually a really interesting article about pilot programs to rent college textbooks. My gut tells me that it should work. It's been awhile since I was in college but the costs of books are astronomical!

It strikes me from reading the article, that one of the major problems is asymmetrical access to price information: The books are marketed by the publishers directly to the professors and the professors at this point decide what their students should be reading. However, even though they're required by law to do so, the publishers face no consequences if they don't inform the professors of the costs of the books. So essentially, you have a situation where someone is buying a product on behalf of someone else when not only do they have no knowledge of the what the costs will be, but really no interest have no self interest in controlling them. To be honest, I can't comprehend how this situation has been allowed to exist for so long. Amazing.

The Secretary of Defense has now called for the repeal of DADT. However, he thinks the chances of it being done away with during the lame-duck session of Congress are slim. Here's the thing though...So fucking what? Want to know how Obama can get rid of it? He can wake up one morning and say "Get rid of it". HE'S THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF. If he was honest about doing away with a policy that harms our national security and our military preparedness, he could get rid of it before breakfast. Any day. Any time. It's just that simple. But know what? He lied during his campaign about what he would do regarding the most significant civil rights issue in America today. And yet the Republicans received their largest number of gay votes ever this year? My, how surprising. Whodathunkit.

Petunias have developed anti-inbreeding genes. West Virginians...Not so much.

Pirates! Dastardly sea-dogs...They should all be bastinadoed. The lot of them. Seriously though, I can't help but be confused as to why anybody with any sense would go yachting anywhere near Somalia.

Here are the past 24 hours.

Not so sure about this... Britain is making the unemployed do unpaid work or lose their benefits. Now, I'm all for encouraging people to get off of welfare or the dole or whatever you want to call it but how exactly are you going to find time to look for a paying job when you're being compelled to do non-paying work? Additionally, it doesn't appear to apply to all of the unemployed, only those people whom advisers think would benefit from experiencing the "habits and routines of working life". Doesn't it seem as though that could be really easily abused? Would you want a bureaucrat deciding whether or not you're lazy?

Sigh. Silvio, Silvio, Silvio. You rapscallion, you. Here's more fun with Berlusconi. I should note that thanks to this op-ed, I have learned how to say 'pussy' in Italian. If that doesn't get you reading it, I don't know what will.

I suspect there may be easier targets for carjacking than formula one drivers.

Here are things Darpa is doing that will not shoot you in the face. Here are things Darpa is doing that will. In case you're lazy and don't feel like reading through all of the fun sci-fi weapons, here's a direct link to instructions for building your very own LED based puke ray. Please note that the ray does have a safe setting that's suitable for discos and raves.

That's it for the MoBlo. Sort of busy today about the apartment but I'm going to try to catch up on some of my blogging backlog today if I can. Thanks for reading!

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