Thursday, November 27, 2014

Black Friday and Thanksgiving hours

I'm in the top 15% of Americans by income. I'm not even close to rich - the top 2% have so much more money it's mindboggling - but at least 85% of the country makes less than I do. That means I really cannot comment on where other people should shop or when they should. My choices are born of privilege that others simply don't have.

I don't have to try and make $9 an hour ($18,720 a year) or even $15 ($31,200/year) feed and clothe and transport and educate and entertain my family.

I personally never shop at WalMart, but then I don't have to. And I don't have to shop on Black Friday to save some money. And that's why all these memes - gods, I must have seen 60 at least this week - about how Black Friday is evil and people who shop on it are evil or stupid and probably both just annoy the hell out of me. (And don't even get me started on the ones that say straight up you shouldn't want anything more than you already have. I mean, this is just that whole undeserving poor trope again: it's entirely possible to be sincerely thankful on Thanksgiving for what you have and still want to buy something else. Unless you don't plan to give anyone a Christmas present this year and don't want anyone to give you one, either, shut the hell up, okay?)

Ahem.

Personally, I wish everyone in the country made enough money that they didn't need to save a few hundred bucks today.

But they don't.

So if you're shopping today or tomorrow, I hope you get what you wanted and save the money you're trying to save. And come home safely.

And on the flip side ... all the above means I don't have to depend on my employer's generosity or the whims of last-minute scheduling. I don't have to hope for overtime to make that part-time or even full-time minimum wage ... see second paragraph above. And I don't have to swap working today for things that I need or even just want (see third paragraph...) Seriously. That is a problem I have never had to face.

So if you're working today or tomorrow, I hope you have a good day.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to my American readers, and happy end of autumn (or spring) to the rest!


cornucopia

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Broken

Normally, when you run over someone and then drive away, you are considered to have at least violated a traffic ordnance. But apparently, if you run over someone protesting the Ferguson decision and then speed away, your action is approved of by police: "Police did not take the driver into custody or ticket him, according to KSTP."

Mind, this wasn't in Ferguson. It was in Minneapolis. And the person who was run over was a white woman.

But the system of blue solidarity may be just too entrenched. One bad apple spoils the whole barrel, the saying goes, and a handful of bad cops spoil the whole force - because they are protected instead of indicted.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The point

Ezra Klein writes:
Monday night, St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch released the evidence given to the grand jury, including the interview police did with Wilson in the immediate aftermath of the shooting. And so we got to read, for the first time, Wilson's full, immediate account of his altercation with Brown.

And it is unbelievable.

I mean that in the literal sense of the term: "difficult or impossible to believe." But I want to be clear here. I'm not saying Wilson is lying. I'm not saying his testimony is false. I am saying that the events, as he describes them, are simply bizarre. His story is difficult to believe.
And he tells us why he thinks that.

And then he tells us this (my emphasis):
Which doesn't mean Wilson is a liar. Unbelievable things happen every day. The fact that his story raises more questions than it answers doesn't mean it isn't true.

But the point of a trial would have been to try to answer these questions. We would have either found out if everything we thought we knew about Brown was wrong, or if Wilson's story was flawed in important ways. But now we're not going to get that chance. We're just left with Wilson's unbelievable story.
And that is the point.

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Things that are not alike

An indictment is not an execution. It's not incarceration. It's not even a conviction.

An indictment is an acknowledgment that something happened, something that needs to be examined in a court of law.

It is an acknowledgment. It was needful. Justice was not served.

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Monday, November 24, 2014

November crescent


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Chicking?

Today's Bound and Gagged is odd. I suppose they didn't want to infringe the copyright, but they did spell "more" as "mor"... and "chikin" as "chickin'". What do you suppose they think that apostrophe is for?

 turkey joins cows with sign reading 'eat chickin''

chick-fil-a sign

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Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Week in Entertainment

DVD: Some of Scott & Bailey season 3. I'm not crazy about the "moment of jeopardy-cut to months earlier" frame, but the through story (I'm assuming) with the horrible family is quite engrossing.

TV: The Sky TV adaptation of The Colour of Magic (which includes The Light Fantastic), rather well cast and made - enjoyable, indeed. The Lego Movie, which I'd managed to miss before and which I found enormously entertaining. November Christmas, which I watched because Sam Eliot is in it, but was - even for Hallmark - full of glurge. Worst of all, the story was about a town coming together to make Christmas come early for a little girl with cancer but - just in case the fact that it was on Hallmark wasn't enough - they got rid of all possible tension by having the girl narrating as a grownup! Also caught up on The Middle and Modern Family, both of which were good, and Grimm, in which I'm glad to see that Nick at least realized he would have to move to a different city if he didn't get his powers back. If the spell works (and really, they're not going to give him powers back? What kind of show would they have?) it's going to be a good thing that FBI agent "knows" he's not a Grimm...

Read: The Dinosaur Feather, a very good Danish novel about murder among scientists. The last two Julian Kestrel novels. I liked them all, but the last one was a tiny bit contrived and the whole Italian setting bugged me for some reason. Still, it was an enjoyable series. 

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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Still not

And South Carolina joins the list.

south caroina in rainbow

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Hmmmm

Over at Contrary Brin, David Brin looks at the election and asks:
Recall that the GOP controlled Congress for TWELVE years, from 1995 to 2007 and for the last six of those, they controlled every branch and lever of the US government, from presidency to courts to Congress and so on. What did they do with that perfect and complete lock on power? Did they take control of our borders? Solve the “entitlements crisis?” Balance budgets? Deregulate reviled agencies? Offer a plan for health care reform? Can you recall anything they actually did, during those years? Other than deregulate banks and Wall Street?
It's an interesting read, particularly when he starts trying to look for hope.

(Via AZ Spot)

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At 4:45 PM, November 23, 2014 Anonymous Mark P had this to say...

The problem is that everyone -- everyone! -- knows this, but no one other than a few brave Democrats, will say it. And then the mainstream media act like they're kooks for saying it.

 

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Cold Gold


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Jet Stream Weirdness

Chris Mooney looks at the idea that climate change - the loss of Arctic ice in particular - is driving the extremes of recent winters by affecting the jet stream.

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