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If You Win Powerball

Posted by Ogged
on 01.09.16

Schedule your press conference for 7pm on November 8.


 

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Debate Team, Represent

Posted by Ogged
on 01.08.16

I know the DNC is passing this around because Cruz's position is unpopular with Hispanics, but this is a *great* answer. If he weren't such an ugly, slithering schlub, we'd have a much bigger problem.


 

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Rage

Posted by Ogged
on 01.08.16

Big poll about anger in America.

I'll tell you what makes me angry. Some of those data visualization decisions!


 

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Speaking of mojo

Posted by Ben
on 01.08.16

Cuban heels for a Cuban guy! I am 100% down.


 

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The birders!

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 01.08.16

The birders have written an open letter to the Daily Kos, warning the Oregon militia that they are being watched by the birders, who are millions strong and pissed.

Just a friendly warning from the birding and wildlife photography community to the Oregon terrorists. We are watching your every move, and we have been watching you for a long time. And yes absolutely you are domestic terrorists of the worst kind, and the truth about your decades of constant poaching of protected wildlife around Malheur and other wildlife refuges, national parks, national forests and BLM lands has been well-documented.

Here's another link, introducing some great vocabulary:

Kevin and the birders realize something that the Bundys and other ammosexuals fail to grasp - a compulsive need for a gun for protection is cowardice.

via my messy roomie


 

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Raising Awareness

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 01.07.16

What a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea! Boglarka Balogh dressed up as a member of seven different African tribes to keep them from going extinct. Someone should really throw red paint on her.

Balogh took the original essay down, so you're stuck with Jezebel mocking it if you want to see the photos.

Via E. Messily


 

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Good Question!

Posted by Ogged
on 01.07.16

 

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ATM - AlaTeen

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 01.07.16

Dear Mineshaft,

I have small children (under age 10) and an alcoholic ex. I guess it's now more accurate to say I have an alcoholic ex under investigation by CPS for drinking-related problems, which leaves me with full custody and no visitation for her at this point. The investigating caseworker has suggested that children over the age of reason should go to AlaTeen meetings to learn from and with peers how to deal with these unhealthy parental dynamics and the impact on them as children, though this isn't (yet?) something I've been officially instructed to do.

I'm hesitant to try but also want alternatives to suggest if I don't think this is right for them. (I'm already working on starting family therapy for them and me, for instance.) My hangup is fear about the Teen in the name, they they aren't even tweens yet let alone older and I'm not sure whether they'll be exposed to topics that are too mature for them, even granting that just such an experience is what got us into this situation. Everyone is physically safe and fine, but I do want to find ways to help them process both the inappropriate parenting and the legal change in their relationship with their mother. I've been assured by a friend who should know that AlaTeen is the way to go with this, but do my imaginary friends have alternatives or reassurances on this front?

Yours in presidentiality,
Pierre Trudeau (because spoiler alert: the kids will grow up fantastic. I already know.)

Heebie's take: So the fear is that the age range for AlaTeen is, say, 7-16, and so the kids would be hearing about sexual abuse and date rape and teens being abusive to each other and specific post-puberty things like that? But that aside from that, you'd like the set-up in all other ways?

Here are my thoughts:
1. Can you attend the first couple meetings with them? Maybe that violates the parameters of the situation.

2. Can you talk with the person who is running the show, and find out how graphic exactly the members tend to be in their descriptions?

3. Hearing about date rape is very different from going through date rape, and not necessarily traumatic. I mean, it's upsetting to see someone traumatized, period, but I don't think that hearing about a post-puberty trauma if you're pre-puberty makes that any worse.

As long as they're seeing a therapist and talking with you, it strikes me as an opportunity to have a lot of foundational conversations about issues that are coming down the road. Now, you may be up to your ears in heavy conversations already, but I think this would just fit into existing themes pretty well - when a relationship is functional, people treat each other kindly. What are the key cues that someone is not treating you kindly. Etc.

4. Processing is, well, a process. Your job is to facilitate that process, but there are many ways of doing that. And a process takes a long time, even if you choose the perfect course of action. What I mean is: can you tell the difference between a kid who is slowly making forward motion and a kid who is deteriorating or stuck? (Keep a journal so that you have data about the frequency and nature of data.) If everyone is making slow forward motion, then it doesn't really matter if you add in AlaTeen or not. Eventually when one of the kids is stuck, then you do need to try different things, and AlaTeen is a good thing to try.

Bottom line: see if you can attend a few meetings and talk to the organizer. If you feel like you need an extra tool in the toolkit now, go for it.


 

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It's Gonna Be A Long Year

Posted by Ogged
on 01.06.16

He's getting his mojo back.



 

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Storm and troopers

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 01.06.16

You know the cliche about how nice progressive parents believe that gender is learned until they have a little sprog, and then they watch their sprog develop and decide that it's gotta be significantly innate? We've covered Storm-inspired territory about how the parents are usually kidding themselves about providing a gender-neutral environment.

Nevertheless, Pokey is describing a fantasy right now about how stormtroopers are attacking the house and getting in the windows and everything, and he is single-handedly shooting them back and so on, and I'm thinking, "what the fuck is the appeal of this scenario?"


 

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Brevity Is The Soul Of It

Posted by Ogged
on 01.05.16

In more important news, Twitter is considering changing the 140 character limit to 10,000. That seems nuts, but apparently they want to implement it in a way that's similar to the "read more" slide-down that we have here. It still seems nuts! I agree that they should increase the character limit, but to something like 300 or 500. I don't want to read a headline and someone's blog post.


 

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Shed No Tears

Posted by Ogged
on 01.05.16

I'm surprised that he's surprised.

of those making over $240,000, a full 10 percent say they don't have enough money to buy the things they need. And an astonishing 37 percent say they're cutting back. I'm not sure what to make of this. Either there are a whole lot of rich people who manage their money really badly, or else this is some kind of statistical artifact. Or maybe rich people consider separate summer and winter getaway homes to be among the things they "need." It's a headscratcher.

Let's get it out of the way that you shouldn't be Todd Henderson and complain about how tough it is making $250k/yr (quite the contrary, you should think about how far a fifth of that goes), but there are some real and less real but understandable things going on here.

--If you have a high salary, odds are that you live somewhere with a high cost of living, and mostly that means your home is going to be pretty expensive. That's a sizable chunk out of your salary.

--You will pay for schools. Even if you send your kid to public school, in a lot of places with "good" schools, property taxes are roughly equivalent to private school tuition for one kid.

If you're committed to frugality, you can cut back on both those things. You can live in an ok neighborhood and not sweat the schools so much. And this is the real reason you don't complain if you make $250k: because you could be living like someone who makes $50k, but aren't, and that implies "your life isn't good enough for me." But it's also not some crazy pathology to say, hey, I make five times the median, I should be able to live somewhere totally safe and send my kids to good schools (with a conventional understanding of what makes a good school).

Then there are the real economic factors.

--If you make $250k, you will get precisely zero financial aid for college (maybe VW will show up to tell me I'm wrong). If you have two kids and want to spare them loans (and this seems to me a worthy goal, especially given the ratio of potential debt to income these days), that means you have 18 years to save roughly $500k. That's a lot of money. About $2300/month in post-tax income that you have to bank.

--If it's a two-earner household making $250k, there are child care costs. Around here, full-day preschool runs over $1000/month per kid. A nanny costs at least as much. I'm sure it's more on the coasts.

--Retirement savings are another large expense. Assume you want to retire at 65 and will probably live to about 80 (you're well-off, after all). I don't have a good sense of how much income you need if your house is paid off and the kids are out of school, but multiplied by 15, it's going to be at least another $500k, and maybe twice that. And that's assuming no huge end-of-life medical costs.

Then you factor in all the rest of the regular costs of living: insurance, medical bills, maintenance, incidentals, etc., and it's not hard to see how even someone who makes $250k can feel like they need to cut back. But is it possible to manage all these expenses in a psychologically plausible way, even in an expensive city? Yup. Should you feel bad for these people? Nope. Not even for a second. But it's not really a headscratcher.


 

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Guest Post - Crazy ass racist work adaptability chart

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 01.05.16

Sir Kraab writes: I don't know what kind of job I would have been any good at at this company: My Norwegian side and my German side don't have a single point of overlap except that they can both work the day shift. (Only my German side would also have been good at the night shift, apparently, which seems counterintuitive, geography-of-origin-wise.)

Download file

Heebie's take: That is one hell of a chart. I don't think any job at this factory looks like a good fit for me.

For some reason I'm not getting the option to display the chart, only to link it for download. Sorry.


 

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Guest Post - Batteries

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 01.04.16

Nick S writes: This is something I'd meant to send in a couple of weeks ago, but perhaps it's better now as a chance to think optimistically at the beginning of the year. It's an argument that battery prices (one of key barriers for alternative energy) should continue to decrease in price dramatically and that this is a big deal.

Both of the previous scenarios have looked at this from the standpoint of installation in homes (or businesses - the same logic applies).
But the dropping price of storage isn't inherently biased towards consumers. Utility operators can deploy storage as well, Two recent studies have assessed the economics of just that. And both find it compelling. Today. At the price of batteries that Tesla has announced.

Overall I'm modestly pessimistic about the chances of alternative energy displacing fossil fuels rapidly enough to make a significant difference in the climate change picture (without failry heavy-handed regulation or government intervention) so it would feel like surprisingly good news, if that turned out to be happening. Does anybody here know more?

(via Brad DeLong)


 

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Oregon

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 01.03.16

What the hell is going on.


 

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