Monthly Archives: February 2013

Weasology Entry – “High Quality Educaton”

Might be a good idea to have a Weasology Handbook. To his credit  Today Chris Hayes on his show “UP” signaled a problem with the words “high quality” as in “high quality charter schools” after one of his guests, Darrell Bradford of something called “Better Education For Kids” praised some charters in Chicago.  Yeh, of course high quality charter schools are just great, he laughed.    He was right to warn us about this phrase.   But he let the phrase  “high quality pre-school  education” be defined by his guests without analysis.  As defined by most of his guests this morning, high quality pre-school education was about learning…get this…”persistence, “discipline” and my favorite, “finishing things.”  The professor (and to my chagrin a woman) also emphasized how spongy little brains are at 4 years old.  Ugh. Continue reading

About “Save the Post Office” | Save the Post Office

About “Save the Post Office” | Save the Post Office.

This is a good site for information on the U.S. Post Office.  So is this one at On the Commons that gives a great history.  Surely this is an issue that should unite all Americans and even those of the two warring tribes, the Democrats and Republicans.

In Montana You Can Make a Difference | Electric City Weblog

In Montana You Can Make a Difference | Electric City Weblog.

This was a very good blog even though I disagreed with some, well OK a lot,  of its perspectives.  Contributors  like Gregg Smith and Dave Budge kept things interesting.  And Rob Natelson  perspective as a constitutional scholar was much appreciated.  He did a lot of work.  They are closing down the blog.   There is a lot of that going around.

As a friend recently said, this is a time for more action and less words, words, words.  But I am grateful to those hardy souls who can take a lot of the noise out there and help  us connect the dots and in so doing connect with each other again without interference from our feudal lords and their lackeys.

News From the Saloon – “I Just Can’t Quit You”

That was a great line in “Brokeback Mountain” spoke by one cowpoke to the other.  And this week I heard it in reference to party politics.  A neighbor came up and informed me that he’d just been to Helena, our state capital.

“The Republicans are plum out of their minds up there, ” he said.   He was referring to the new batch of nonsense that clog up our legislative process every two years although it sounds like the atmosphere is not as bat-crap crazy as last time. Continue reading

News From the Saloon – No Safe Harbor For the Hoarders

Wikimedia creative commons . Photo by Juddo.120px-Fat_cat_1

At the bar last night were some of the regulars.  My friend Phil just got back from a trip to the Caribbean paid for by his wealthy older brother.

“The harbor was packed with yachts.  I mean hundreds of them, ” he said shaking his head. “Some of them are only there for a couple weeks a year.  What it costs to run one  for a week is more than my salary for a year.  Why don’t they just rent one?”

“They don’t know what else to do with the money, ” I sighed, “They Hoover it up from the rest of us. Or as Taibbi says, they stick their blood funnel into everything that smells of money” and then they stuff it into these floating mattresses among other things.”

And surprise, surprise, this morning on “Up” with Chris Hayes, Hayes asked Paul Krugman the same question concerning the hoarding of profits by the 1%.  Profits are way up for the few and companies like Apple have gobs of cash.  You could blame it on no demand, he mused.  But then he added: Continue reading

Remote, But Not Alone

Going to the Movies“House of Cards” with Kevin Spacey which started yesterday on Netflix is, from what I’ve seen so far,  on the money, so to speak, regarding our corrupt crony capitalist system .  It was a hit in the UK and everybody loves a good political thriller, so Netflix decided to gamble and produce it themselves.  They got David  Fincher and the guy that wrote “Ides of March”, Beau Willimon, to write the scripts.  You can watch all 13 episodes at once too. But   Variety calls that “binge viewing”  and will lead the company to ruin while Netflix calls it viewer autonomy and believes it can bring in new viewers because of it and make a nifty profit.   Hollywood and Silicon Valley rarely see eye to eye, so no surprise at Variety’s harumphing.  Whatever!  I heartily recommend it.  Delicious in its evilness.

As to whether people will cotton to watching one episode or all thirteen, it’s probably just a matter of psychological type or simply how much time you’ve got.  When I read, I finish a chapter and often pause because the author does.   But just as often I can’t help myself and I have to start reading into the next chapter until I realize that I have to get some shut eye.  That is a singular pleasure.   On the other hand with a TV series whose episodes only air one at a time, there is the joy of seeing the current episode of a series and then discussing it at the water cooler or water hole the next day and speculating about where the story is going with others.    Watching all 13 episodes in one sitting or even half one night and half the other is a more solitary experience and more like reading a book. Watching an episode per week as with normal TV series is a bit more communal.  Not quite  like going to the theater and sitting at a cafe afterwards and arguing about it, but a not bad second best.

I remember way back when my friends and I were young actors.  We went through every detail of Sunday night’s Brideshead Revisited” on Mondays .  Now “Downton Abbey” has become the latest “Brideshead” as the characters become part of many of our lives,  resist as we might. (What a twit that Lord Grantham is!)  So is the new “Netflix” idea going to lead to more community or more aloneness, I wonder? Continue reading