Grouchybritches

I don't feel tardy.

Charles Bukowski: Oh Yes

Oh Yes

there are worse things than
being alone
but it often takes decades
to realize this
and most often
when you do
it’s too late
and there’s nothing worse
than
too late.

BuyPartisan App

Have you ever been shopping for groceries and found yourself lingering over a box of cereal wondering which political activities you’d be indirectly supporting by purchasing said box? Of course you haven’t. You aren’t a weirdo.

But fortunately for all the weirdos, someone has created an app that lets you scan products and see where the product manufacturers and employees put their money politically. It’s called BuyPartisan and should be a boon to everyone whose life isn’t consumed enough with politics already. It was created by a guy named Matthew Colbert, who is a former campaign and Hill staffer according to this write-up in the Washington Post.

I really have a hard time understanding the appeal of this service. I’m a bit of a political junkie at times, but the idea of analyzing the political habits of whoever makes my sauerkraut strikes me as tedious waste of time. Even worse, I think it would indicate a very narrow-minded way of thinking. If you really feel compelled to insure that even your canned peas share your political views, you might want to consider whether you have an unhealthy fixation on politics.

Who You Gonna Call?

The interwebs have been all abuzz this week with the news that Ghostbusters 3 might actually happen. The majority of the talk as been about how the plan is to have an all-female cast. Is this a good idea? I don’t really know, but I’m pretty sure the debate over making it all-women is ultimately beside the point. I’ve not seen anything that indicates that Bill Murray plans to take part in the movie. And a Ghostbusters movie without him is all but pointless.

Here’s an idea. Why not just write an original movie?

Standards

As anyone paying attention is well aware, lots of people are losing their current health insurance plans. Naturally, this is a major political headache for the President given his repeated assurances that if you liked your coverage, you could keep your coverage (PERIOD!). By extension, it is also a major problem for Democrats. So it’s not surprising to see some of them pushing back against the story.

A favorite argument seems to go a little something like this.

“Sure some people are losing their coverage, but they had really crappy coverage anyway. The Obamacare regulations ensure that they will now be able to get better, more comprehensive plans. So even if they are paying more, they’re getting a better deal.”

Now I can’t say with certainty that the government won’t do a better job of setting standards for insurance policies than the existing market does. Who knows, maybe the folks that wrote the policy requirements are smart enough to manage something as involved as the healthcare market. On the other hand, this same administration took over 3 years and spent over 600 million dollars building a web portal that doesn’t really work.

I guess we just have to hope that managing the healthcare market is too complicated for the free market but not as complicated as building a web portal.

Lou Reed, R.I.P.

Legendary singer/songwriter, Lou Reed, has died. Here is his song “What’s Good” from the album Magic and Loss. The last line of the song is “Life’s good but not fair at all.”

Transparency

According to a report from the Committee to Protect Journalists, the aggressive tactics used by the White House to prevent leaks is having a chilling effect on journalists and whistleblowers. Apparently reporters are finding it increasingly difficult to get their sources to talk to them. Considering the fact that the administration has used the 1917 Espionage Act more often than previous administrations combined, this isn’t too surprising.

What is a bit surprising is how little the press seems interested in trying to do anything to change the situation. Sure, they’ll complain about it and do pretty frequently. But that seems to be all they really care to do…complain. It’s pretty obvious by now that a pouty editorial here and there isn’t going to alter the administration’s behavior in the slightest. And sadly, the authors of the report don’t seem to grasp this any better than the press in general.

In its report, the Committee to Protect Journalists recommends several reforms, including ending the practice of charging people who leak information to journalists with espionage and preventing secret subpoenas of journalists’ records.

This seems Pollyannish in the extreme. “Ending the practice of charging people who leak information to journalists with espionage”? Why not suggest ending the practice of being secretive and controlling? That’s no less likely to happen.

Here’s a crazy idea. If the press is unhappy with the opacity of the White House, they can make an issue of the topic. It’s not like they don’t have a platform to spread the message. Why not press the White House and its allies about their behavior at every opportunity they get? They could even try taking an adversarial stance with the administration from time.

Or they could just try pretending that the President is a Republican.

Odds & Ends

I considered posting something yesterday so I’d have at least one post in the month of September. Then I realized that would be even more lame than not having any posts in September. On the plus side, it does make my “I don’t feel tardy” tagline kind of ironic.

Speaking of months…since it’s October, I’m going to read some Kerouac. I basically ripped the idea of Kerouac October off of Maverick Philosopher, Bill Vallicella. I think I’m going to give Desolation Angels another shot. I’ve tried reading it a couple of times before, but have never managed to make it all the way through it.

Same Trailer Different Park by Kacey Musgraves is an excellent album. I highly recommend it. Here’s the video for ‘Merry Go Round’.

I just recently starting watching Breaking Bad because my brother was going on about how great it is. So now I’m going to have to binge watch it while trying to avoid stumbling across any spoilers on the interwebs.

I’m currently taking an online introductory philosophy class offered by MIT and edX. It will be interesting to see how well the online format works. And hopefully I’ll be able to get some blogging material out of it.

Wolf Corgi!

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