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2008 May 11 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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The Joy Of Public Service

One of the reasons people put up with the aggravation of working in the public sector for less money than the private sector is the promise of a decent retirement package. They should have known better.

David Cho of the Washington Post writes that Growing deficits threaten pensions

The funds that pay pension and health benefits to police officers, teachers and millions of other public employees across the country are facing a shortfall that could soon run into trillions of dollars.

But the accounting techniques used by state and local governments to balance their pension books disguise the extent of the crisis facing these retirees and the taxpayers who may ultimately be called on to pay the freight, according to a growing number of leading financial analysts.

The politicians don’t want to tell the public the real cost of their government, so they create fantasies about various funds. Well, reality is about to pay a very unpleasant visit. Public employee pension funds are a very important investor, and if they run into trouble, it will be extremely nasty for the economy.

May 11, 2008   Comments Off on The Joy Of Public Service

Terrorist Pelicans?

I reported earlier on the suicide attack of a spotted eagle ray, and now we learn of a pelican attack near St. Petersburg from the BBC: Pelican ‘bombs’ bather in Florida

A woman required 20 stitches to her face after a pelican crashed into her in the sea off Florida, apparently diving for fish.

The pelican is “pining for the fiords” as some would day.

If there was a Florida university with any money left, they might try to figure out why the wildlife is conducting suicide attacks on female tourists.

May 11, 2008   4 Comments

Got To Save Us From “The Brown Horde”

The Associated Press reports on the unintended consequences of the anti-immigration provision of the “economic stimulus package” in ‘I’ve done exactly what I was supposed to do’

SAN FRANCISCO – When Maulit Shelat heard about the Bush administration’s plan to pump up the economy by sending out stimulus checks, he sat down with his wife and drew up a list of priorities: first up, remodeling the bathroom.

But Shelat is married to a foreigner who still hasn’t completed the often years-long process that allows her to apply for a Social Security number. Her not having that number makes even him ineligible for the tax rebate checks that started going out last week because they filed jointly.

This problem also affects military personnel with foreign wives, which means that the troops fighting for the “American way” on their fourth tour in Iraq won’t get a rebate check because they married a German. Yet another brilliant move by Congress in their War On Sanity™.

May 11, 2008   Comments Off on Got To Save Us From “The Brown Horde”

Good News?

flag of Serbia

The BBC reports that the Serbian reformers claim victory

Serbian President Boris Tadic has claimed victory in the general election with early results suggesting a big lead for his pro-Western alliance.

Mr Tadic said Serbs had chosen the path of integration with Europe but he vowed his new government would not recognise Kosovo as an independent state.

Despite its lead, his bloc will have to seek a coalition with other parties.

Its ultra-nationalist rivals say they could still muster enough support for a nationalist coalition against him.

This is certainly better than if the nationalist had won outright, but Tadic still needs to form a governing coalition, and that won’t be easy. While a plurality of Serbians want to move on with their lives, there is still a large group that cling to the pseudo-history promoted by Milosovic that led to the deaths of so many in the former Yugoslavia.

May 11, 2008   2 Comments

“It’s a Cookbook!”

While I could muddy the waters and discuss И.В. Сталин and his particular kульт личности, as outlined at the 20th Party Congress by N.S. Khrushchev, visitors would probably be more comfortable basing this on Richard J. Daley and his variation of the cult of personality that resulted in the Chicago political machine – the catapult that launched the career of a certain Senator.

Let’s see, DDay can start it off with The Obama Party, the 50 state voter registration drive by Obama, for Obama. Having trashed and complained about the WVWV registration efforts, Obama is going to task his followers with registering voters, after the majority of the primaries are over, because he wants to help himself and not the Democratic Party.

Ian Welsh looks at The Obama Squeeze, and the changes coming to the Democratic Party. His take is that Obama isn’t McCain, and he might not be as bad as a Republican.

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May 11, 2008   12 Comments

Happy Mother’s Day


To everyone who functions as a Mother, take the day off and annoy your kids, especially those that “don’t call” or live in an alternate universe and haven’t seen the sales. Even small children need to be inculcated with guilt early and often.

May 11, 2008   7 Comments

Passing the Plate

Florida License Plates

Florida Plate Blogging


Standard Florida Plate

A weekend feature of Why Now.

May 11, 2008   2 Comments