Monday, November 24, 2014

Does Our Racism Extend to Pets?

The Fairfax Animal Shelter needs special incentives to get black pets adopted.

McArdle on Barry

Megan McArdle has a good post on Marion Barry, a post to which I made this comment:
Fascinating--a relative, a WASP living outside Boston in the 40-70's time frame, amazed me as a boy with his violent opinions against Catholics and mayor Curley, while I grew up to become one of the white liberals who helped elect Barry to the school board before leaving DC for the burbs.
Maybe the Chinese proverb should read: "may you have interesting politicians"


I've been remiss in paying attention to the structure and settings of this blog, meaning comments have been disfunctional for a good while.  Hopefully I've fixed that.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Bureaucrats Get Some Attention

Politico has an article on the challenge facing the USCIS bureaucrats who have to implement President Obama's executive order on immigration.  It's divided between emphasizing the size of the challenge (4 million applications) and the lessons learned from handling Obama's 2012 order for the "Dreamers") which was about a tenth of the size.

One thing Politico doesn't mention that Vox has a piece  which mentions the role of intermediaries, those who claim to be able to get people what they want from an impenetrable federal bureaucracy.  There's some evidence that 40 percent of the immigration "experts" are con-people.

The holy grail for bureaucrats is to design and implement a process which works the first time, which handles almost all the situations, and which doesn't require intermediaries.  It's a dream, not a reality.

Rugby and "Swing Low..."

Who knew?

There's a strong association between British rugby and the song "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" per wikipedia.

This comes from an Ann Althouse link to a Brit article on a Labor politician getting canned for tweeting a picture of a house covered by St George's flags, which led to the wikipedia article on St George's flag, a flag which has some connection in Britain with racism which led to a discussion of patriotism and the possibility of selecting an anthem for the English, one of the options mentioned was "Swing Low..."

Friday, November 21, 2014

Great Sentence of the Day

From Northview  Diary:
If turkeys have the reputation for not being likely candidates for Mensa, it is guinea fowl which come right for the factory devoid of anybody home upstairs but a rapidly whirling hamster on crack.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

We're Losing Trees?

The  Boston 775 blog has a post on identifying the location of a Revolutionary war site in New York City.  There's a drawing by a British officer done from a specific spot which a researcher is now trying to identify.

The big challenge, it turned out, was that these parts of New York have many more thick trees than they did back in 1776, after over a century of farming.
That's true in  many areas: old photos of the area in which I grew up show the hills almost treeless, my memories are of some wooded areas plus trees in hedgerows, in the current century trees probably cover 50 percent or more of the area.

New Military Leaders: Utter Goofballs?

From a Dan Drezner ode to the West Point cadets: [Warning: quote out of context]
" many of the cadets were utter goofballs"

His next paragraph:
"No, two qualities impress about the West Point cadets. First, the one value they all share is a genuine commitment to national service. Not all of them plan to be career Army, but they were all very determined to do their part while they were in the service.
The second thing that impressed about the cadets was their diversity, and their recognition and appreciation of that diversity. .."

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Second Childhood Time: Paper Airplanes

Technology has advanced in all fields, including that of making paper airplanes, a subject which brings my childhood to mind.

Kottke links to a video on how to fold the world record airplane.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Latest Euphemism: "Sidestepped"

From a NYTimes article on Al Sharpton:
"Mr. Sharpton has regularly sidestepped the sorts of obligations most people see as inevitable, like taxes, rent and other bills. Records reviewed by The New York Times show more than $4.5 million in current state and federal tax liens against him and his for-profit businesses. And though he said in recent interviews that he was paying both down, his balance with the state, at least, has actually grown in recent years. His National Action Network appears to have been sustained for years by not paying federal payroll taxes on its employees.
I can't stand tax cheats--one of my first posts was on the subject (Richard Hatch).