Well. It has been a long time since I have posted anything political. And that is because frankly, it has been just too depressing a topic to really talk about lately, particularly when I try to put it all in historical perspective, which is what I do – after all, I am a historian.
Not to be too dramatic, but I am really, really worried.
Continue reading “Lily Tomlin was right. No matter how cynical you get, it’s impossible to keep up.”
This weekend isn’t all about Turkey, Black Friday, and football. It’s also about Small Business Saturday & Sunday, sometimes called Plaid Saturday & Sunday. These days are the exact opposite of what Black Friday is all about. They’re about shopping at local stores, shopping handmade, and keeping your holiday spending in your local economy where it will do the most good.
As it so happens, I have two Small Business Weekend shows this weekend, and they’re going to be a wonderful antidote to Black Friday insanity, indigestion from eating too much, and Forced Family Fun Time.
Continue reading “#ShopLocal – Small Business Weekend Shows”
Frankly, I am just stunned that the voters of the United Kingdom decided to leave the EU. Obviously I am not British, and I can’t pretend I understand all of the issues going on there that might motivate people to vote that way. But I do know that many of the consequences predicted were not good. And I also know that many of the people who voted to leave are in the parts of the UK that depend on the EU the most, like Cornwall. The government of Cornwall is now insisting that the UK government make up for the 60 million pounds a year of EU funding that will be lost by Brexit. To quote from Cornwall directly:
Prior to the referendum we were reassured by the ‘leave’ campaign that a decision to leave the EU would not affect the EU funding which has already been allocated to Cornwall and that Cornwall would not be worse off in terms of the investment we receive. We are seeking urgent confirmation from Ministers that this is the case.
Suddenly Cornwall is like some teenage kid who seriously pisses off his parents, and then suddenly doesn’t understand why they aren’t going to pay his college tuition anymore. You guys really didn’t think this through, did you? And you believed everything that the Leave Campaign told you?
You know, that would be comical if it wasn’t so damn tragic, because there are going to be real consequences now, which will affect a lot of people’s lives.
Continue reading “Brexit, or when people vote to harm themselves”
After the post I wrote most recently and some discussions I’ve had with people in various parts of my life, I’ve run across a fair number of people who seem to think that this schedule I’ve been living, this logging of 60-70 hours of work a week, minimum, is fun. That I do it because I like it and that somehow I’m not aware that it is inherently bad for me.
They are so, SO very wrong. But they refuse to understand that this has been a matter of survival. This has been the way that I’ve adapted to keep us afloat and alive and not living on the streets. So few people truly understand that our economy here in the US has fundamentally changed. Geoff and I are living proof that the old way, each having one job, having some security in that job, buying a house, and then eventually retiring just isn’t the way things work anymore.
Continue reading “I’m not a workaholic, I swear”
As a historian, and as someone who grew up in the South, I can’t help but shake my head at how a generation after the tumult of the 1950s and 1960s, we as a society are still struggling with virtually all of the issues that Dr. King fought against. Don’t get me wrong, we have come a long way, even in my lifetime, but that progress still doesn’t mean that we live in a “post-racial” society.
Continue reading “MLK and cultural appropriation”
Wow. Just, wow.
I am amazed, truly amazed, that this movement for Scotland to gain independence may actually succeed after all. The referendum is set to take place this Thursday.
And it is an extremely complicated issue, one that I would imagine the overwhelming majority of Americans (including myself) understand very little, outside of having seen the superb (but historically inaccurate) movie Braveheart.
Continue reading “So… Scotland… I hear you might be single soon…”
These are mostly what has been popping up on my Google+ feed lately. Some of them are doozies. Enjoy.
Continue reading “Recent news roundup- Political cartoon edition”
Both Apple and Radio Shack have decided to not open on Thanksgiving. Good for them.
Like Kelly had mentioned earlier, too many stores are trying to maximize their profits by extending hours as much as possible on Thanksgiving weekend. And they are doing it at the expense of their lowest-paid employees. It’s not like the CEOs are going to pull a late shift themselves that day. But the CEO class really can’t relate to their employees most of the time anyway.
And the supreme irony of this is that being open longer this Thanksgiving weekend is not likely to make the weekend more profitable. Things sold on Thanksgiving are generally done at the expense of Black Friday sales, rather than generating new sales. It’s not like people who avoid shopping that weekend or on Black Friday will suddenly decide to go shopping on Thanksgiving Day itself.
Of course, I don’t see a lot of people asking the question “what would happen if ordinary people had more money to spend?” either. In fact, there’s no shortage of people who complain about the lack of consumer spending without asking “how are regular people supposed to increase their spending when they are broke?” These same people trash talk the idea of raising the minimum wage while talking about how tough a time the very wealthy have with their taxes. Actually, not so much – especially when you look at the historical patterns.
As one of the broke people, I can definitely say that yeah, if I had a better paying job (or jobs), I would be able to spend more. And we’re trying to get that better job or jobs.
The current debate over who should be replacing Ben Bernanke at the Federal Reserve should be a no-brainer, if you base it solely on abilities and sound judgment. There is no good reason why President Obama shouldn’t appoint Janet Yellen. But there is a lot of resistance to it anyway, and I imagine a lot of it is from the people who would rather see Larry Summers in the position.
Personally, I can’t believe people still take Larry Summers seriously.
Continue reading “Big egos and bad economics”
This is a passage from 1 Thessalonians I’ve always liked. (NSRV). I’ve tweaked it a little to reflect our current circumstances.
Rejoice always, 17 pray work without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit.
Continue reading “Work without ceasing”