Tuesday, September 20, 2011
A Busy Halloween
Saturday, September 17, 2011
And Another One
If Bud Abbott and Lou Costello were alive today, their infamous sketch, 'Who's on First?' might have turned out something like this:
COSTELLO CALLS TO BUY A COMPUTER FROM ABBOTT
ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?
COSTELLO: Thanks I'm setting up an office in my den and I'm thinking about buying a computer.
COSTELLO: No, the name's Lou.
ABBOTT: Your computer?
COSTELLO: I don't own a computer. I want to buy one.
COSTELLO: I told you, my name's Lou.
ABBOTT: What about Windows?
COSTELLO: Why? Will it get stuffy in here?
ABBOTT: Do you want a computer with Windows?
COSTELLO: I don't know. What will I see when I look at the windows?
COSTELLO: Never mind the windows. I need a computer and software.
ABBOTT: Software for Windows?
COSTELLO: No. On the computer! I need something I can use to write proposals, track expenses and run my business. What do you have?
COSTELLO: Yeah, for my office. Can you recommend anything?
ABBOTT: I just did.
COSTELLO: You just did what?
ABBOTT: Recommend something.
COSTELLO: You recommended something?
COSTELLO: For my office?
COSTELLO: OK, what did you recommend for my office?
COSTELLO: Yes, for my office!
ABBOTT: I recommend Office with Windows.
COSTELLO: I already have an office with windows! OK, let's just say I'm sitting at my computer and I want to type a proposal. What do I need?
COSTELLO: What word?
ABBOTT: Word in Office.
COSTELLO: The only word in office is office.
ABBOTT: The Word in Office for Windows.
COSTELLO: Which word in office for windows?
ABBOTT: The Word you get when you click the blue 'W'.
COSTELLO: I'm going to click your blue 'W' if you don't start with some straight answers. What about financial bookkeeping? You have anything I can track my money with?
COSTELLO: That's right. What do you have?
COSTELLO: I need money to track my money?
ABBOTT: It comes bundled with your computer.
COSTELLO: What's bundled with my computer?
COSTELLO: Money comes with my computer?
ABBOTT: Yes. No extra charge.
COSTELLO: I get a bundle of money with my computer? How much?
ABBOTT: One copy.
COSTELLO: Isn't it illegal to copy money?
ABBOTT: Microsoft gave us a license to copy Money.
COSTELLO: They can give you a license to copy money?
ABBOTT: Why not? THEY OWN IT!
(A few days later)
ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?
COSTELLO: How do I turn my computer off?
ABBOTT: Click on 'START'...
Eye halve a spelling checker
It came with my pea sea
It plainly marks four my revue
Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.
Eye striks a key and type a word
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am wrong oar write
It shows me a strait a weigh.
As soon as a mist ache is maid
It nose bee fore two long
And eye can put the error rite
Its rare lea ever wrong.
Eye have run this poem threw it
I am shore your pleased two no
Its letter perfect awl the weigh
My checker tolled me sew.
Friday, September 16, 2011
Predictions and Driving the Narrative
More Conservative Shenanigans
Left unsaid, and unremarked on, is that millions of Pennsylvanians live in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and their surrounding suburbs, compared to the thousands that live elsewhere. Pennsylvania's largest counties, by population, all surround major urban areas. This is not surprising. These areas also trend Democratic. The more rural areas, counties with populations less than 100,000 comprise more than half of the Commonwealth's count of counties, and contain a fraction of the population. If you added the entire population of Pennsylvania's 28 smallest counties, those with populations under 50,000, they don't even add up to the number living in just Allegheny.
Now, this push comes just as Harrisburg is set to redraw congressional boundaries. Gerrymandering is bad enough as it is, but this is an invitation to seriously screw with the system by creating freakish district boundaries to further dilute the influence of Pennsylvania's majority party. Oh and don't expect relief from the state Supreme Court, which is in the hands of the GOP.
Nebraska and Maine already have the system the Pennsylvania GOP is pushing. But the two states' small electoral vote values mean it's actually mathematically impossible for a candidate to win the popular vote there but lose the electoral vote, says Akhil Reed Amar, a constitutional law professor at Yale University. Pennsylvania, however, is a different story: "It might be very likely to happen in [Pennsylvania], and that's what makes this something completely new under the sun," Amar says. "It's something that no previous legislature in America since the Civil War has ever had the audacity to impose."
Ever wonder why they're only pushing this in blue states, and not places like Texas? Oh, and why are Republicans in Nebraska backing a plan to return that state to winner take all?
Thursday, September 15, 2011
What's That You Say?
Two bills have been introduced in the Legislature to make English the "official" language of the Keystone State, meaning there no longer would be any state government pamphlets or publications printed in any other language.
The bills were introduced by Republicans, of course. Some of the rational given is patently absurd. Here's the sponser of House Bill 888, Scott Perry of York:
"How safe do you feel knowing you are driving your vehicle at 60 mph next to individuals operating vehicles up to 40 tons who have been licensed with minimal standards of English proficiency?
Ummm...they took a test to determine their eligibility for a CDL? What difference does it make if they took it in English or Spanish? How does the language of a test affect the ability to competently drive a truck? Street signs are fairly well standardized in the Americas, an ALTO sign and a STOP sign are both represented by red octagons and mean the same thing. Based on Mr. Perry's standards, US licensed drivers shouldn't be permitted to drive while in Mexico or Quebec.
Then, he gobbles his OTHER foot to the ankle:
"I question the state's right to force its taxpayers to subsidize ... elevated teaching costs and other elevation taxation costs ... for the sake of a minority of individuals" who don't speak English."
Because in Mr. Perry's little bubble of white privledge, no one other than English speakers pay taxes in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania I suppose, and heaven forbid we use TAXPAYER DOLLARS to educate someone!
Most of the complaints from these elected officials seem to revolve around printing costs of multiple forms, yet they have no problem using my tax dollars to constantly e-mail me "Legislative Newsletters" tooting their own horns. Given the realities of modern communication and computing power, along with the ubiquitousness of desktop computers in gubmint offices, if printing costs were such a concern why not just make all the forms available online, in a multitude of languages? If someone doesn't have intertube access they could always pick a copy up at a government office where they're available pre-printed today, but in the future could be printed up as needed by the staff when requested?
Labels: culture wars
Listing the List