(Just a spacer comment to push the tweet into the wider part of the column.)
UPDATE: I came home to a package containing a *printout* of all 351 pages of it! Obv the dystopia cares about wasting paper. pic.twitter.com/j4hcbw9gyv— bruise almighty (@kmlefranc) February 1, 2020
Read all you want about what kind of thing makes this algorithm clutch its pearls.
So, current gym owner is a kid from the Rio Grande Valley. He's great. He has no inherited wealth and is subsidizing the gym by working 40 hours/week at an Amazon warehouse, at night. I mentioned federal grants for minority small business owners to him, and he was unfamiliar with this, and so I said I'd send him some links.
The first thing I'm noticing when I do a naive search is how many non-.gov sites come up, and I have no idea which ones are scams and which ones are nonprofits dedicated to helping someone navigate the application process.
Grants.gov looks like the place to start, though. I'm trying to see it through his eyes and anticipate whether it will be overwhelming or confusing, or if it will be pretty user-friendly. To me, it seems pretty user-friendly but still requires navigating a huge world with lots of jargon, and so I'm not sure whether it would work out for him or not.
So: any advice for a minority small business owner to try to navigate the federal grants process? How big is the pie that gets divvied up, and how competitive is it? What makes the process smoother? Any words of wisdom that I can use to guide him through would be appreciated.
I am really rooting for him to succeed, but his current strategy of having a second job is not sustainable.
Mosso Charro writes: The European Union Is Going to Miss the U.K. When It's Gone:
Yet the overriding feeling among the EU's political elite remains one of regret. British people were almost never so told, but the U.K. played an important and influential role as a member. While its politicians badmouthed Brussels and its population became increasingly euroskeptic (a word invented for the purpose), its diplomats played a constructive role.
Heebie's take: Is it too depressing a debacle to have fun thinking of the right breakup song for these two? There should be some 70s ballad about regret and impulsiveness and failure to work it out that fits just right.
I have been WAITING for this moment, when my kids to get old enough to show me the new funny things of pop culture.
Bad Lip Reading has been around for years, but this one is so catchy and just is cracking me up. (I can be a backpack while you run.)
I can't find the thing now that I saw last week, and it's driving me crazy. I thought it was at Digby, but I can't find it now.
Basically, it was a horrible violation of Godwin's Law (or example of?) but I still found the point interesting. But I'm having trouble recreating it. It was something like, "The Nazis who had some cognitive dissonance were the most violent and kind of went all in for Hitler in extremely murderous ways because they knew it would all come crashing down if he was defeated, and so they doubled down and went all in to keep him from being defeated."
The idea was that while we're all so baffled by Republican mental contortions right now, they're doing what's consistent from a cornered-reptilian-brain perspective. The ones that are too dumb to realize how cornered they are, aren't lashing out quite so bizarrely.
Maybe this was in the context of Pompeo losing his utter shit at the NPR interview?
My other topic to post about was going to be the new flu thing.
Moby Hicks writes: Obviously, Pittsburgh is the perfect laboratory in which to study regulatory abuse and gentrification. So, I was not surprised to see this article about our locality. Two things struck me as missing. First, from the perspective of an outsider who has moved into the city, it is remarkable how poorly maintained many things are in Pittsburgh. This is not limited to neighborhoods that are being gentrified or rental properties. I've kind of bought into the ethos, but when I was new to the city (and often pushing a stroller around), it took all my friendly nature not to drop dimes on people with sidewalks that were not passable for wheels. Second, I think blaming all of this on flippers could be missing something. People who buy houses from flippers are probably not very enthused about living next door to peeling paint and junked cars even if they aren't thinking of selling.
Also, I now feel justified in my policy of pulling down all the "We Buy Houses" signs that I can reach.
Heebie's take: I loathe house-flippers with a burning fury. I detest how they indiscriminately rip out things which aren't new but maybe not ugly (along with things that are ugly) and replace it with this homogenous lowest common denominator of bland decorating. And then the new-ugly has the veneer of "new" and thus inhibits the new owner from doing something better with it, or keeping it in the old, pleasant state. It's like fast fashion for houses.
Anyway, from the link:
Community groups are also convinced that the flippers have essentially weaponized tip lines like the city's 311 nonemergency service, trying to create a hassle that will incentivize homeowners to sell. "This is something I've heard of and we have confirmed reports of it," said Dave Breingan, executive director of Lawrenceville United, a nonprofit community group that advocates for area residents.
Fuck those jerks. Also:
Maura Kennedy, director of the Department of Permits, Licenses and Inspections, said that about 99 percent of residential inspections originate through the 311 line. Inspectors don't know, in most cases, who originated the call, or why--nor should that matter. "The inspector should not be making a value judgment on the caller," Kennedy said. "[O]ur situation is balls and strikes. We apply one standard consistently and the code is for everyone."
Fuck her for fetishizing Roberts' bullshit line. Humans, use your judgement. You are not an algorithm, and life has context.
I guess the last one ran off the page.
To be honest, it's not dominating the oxygen in the country as much as I thought it would be. It's possible it's just not intersecting my spheres much, but it's no OJ Simpson trial. It doesn't even seem to be a Kavanaugh hearing.