On the day after Christmas...
- In feudal times the lord of the manor would give boxes of practical goods such as cloth, grains, and tools to the serfs who lived on his land.
- Many years ago on the day after Christmas servants would carry boxes to their employers when they arrived for their day's work. Their employers would then put coins in the boxes as special end-of-year gifts.
- In churches, it was traditional to open the church's donation box on Christmas Day and distribute it to the poorer or lower class citizens on the next day.
Take your pick. Read more about Boxing Day
Re-Post of 12-8-13:
Oh little town of Washington,
how still we see you lie.
The crap -- a cheap and mean-filled heap --
as silent drones destroy.
In your dark hearts harbored
the everlasting ploy
through hopes and fears to millions here
serious fleecing to provide.
Obama, born of Oprah,
we gathered all around
to push Bush out forever,
a sick, destructive clown.
Alas, our dream aborted.
The Cheney course remains.
Obama’s charm at doling harm.
He’s master of the game. Read more about Re-Post: Oh Little Town of Washington
Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it: and Scrooge's name was good upon 'Change, for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail. Read more about Marley was dead.
Sounds a bit ominous,right? Then you read they are only removing it* because most people aren't even using (it is a time suck)**, and instead are leaving short messages via text or IM or other means. But this is only an imperceptible recession of the water from the surf line. Get ready for the coming tsunami. A communications sea change. Soon, few people will need or even have cell phones (except as data lines). Even now you can completely ditch all land lines and cell lines, and just use a wifi capable device for all your communication needs. A device that follows you or regulates your communication based on your preferences, "presence", schedule, and settings. Even an obsolete 3G Android smart phone could be repurposed to do all this, with the proper apps installed. Read more about Coca-Cola Disconnects Voicemail
It's a relief to have a diagnosis, but it would be even more relief to have a cure! So, while I don't have cellulitis, or the antibiotics are killing it, and the aches and pains have mostly gone away, I do have what looks like a bad case of poison ivy on my right, or typing hand. So I'm asking for poison Ivy cures! Read more about Common Household Remedies Request
This year I decided I was tired of coughing all winter from starting the fire in the wood stove by blowing on it, and getting all this horrible fine ash in my lungs. So I splurged on an excellent bellows: The Long John Bellows. It's made from wood, the bellows are suede, and the nozzle is copper, so I can direct the airflow right at the coals. There's no plastic. "Not a toy but a tool!"
So now my fire starts much quicker, I don't have to get down on my knees, and I don't have that horrible dry hacking cough so many Mainers have. Read more about Confession time: I love my bellows!
Business Insider, an interview with Twitter co-counter Evan Williams:
WILLIAMS: Yeah. Twitter is essentially a news service, and news is important for society, but personally I don't want to spend most of my reading time reading news. I get a lot more value out of other types of content and I think most people do as well. There's a natural urge to know what's going on. It's biological and it's social: What's new? What's everyone talking about? What's this shiny object? The vast majority of it isn't valuable to people and it may be even harmful, and that's well-reported, accurate news.
BUSINESS INSIDER: Harmful because it's misleading people or because it's taking up mindshare that could be used for better purposes?
WILLIAMS: It's creating anxieties that have no outlet. It's psychologically harmful. TV news is the epitome of this. Its whole goal is the raise enough anxiety that you tune in. It's not to inform or make society smarter. That causes us to have irrational fears about things that are extremely unlikely and highlights those instead of normal things that are actually harmful, like what you eat or watching TV news.
The New Yorker. So awesome. This is my favorite:
“Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory”
An excellent movie. The obviously unfit individuals are winnowed out through a series of entrepreneurial tests and, in the end, an enterprising young boy receives a factory. I believe more movies should be made about enterprising young boys who are given factories. —Three and a half stars.
But there are many others! Read more about Ayn Rand Reviews Children’s Movies
Another controlled experiment that shows profit-centered health care gives a smaller bang for the buck
That was the theory behind the NHS, before the neo-liberals -- may their names be forever cursed -- got hold of it and started privatizing it. (The neo-liberals seem to have the concept that we're going to go wait in doctor's offices for fun, so they've got to charge us for it. Bizarre.)
Anyhow, since Monday -- this winter really seems to have become my season of minor ailments, probably my unconscious telling me something with all those photos of rot -- I've had this superweird ickiness going on my right -- my typing -- hand, and then up my arm, so after my friend in the coffee shop diagnosed whatever the heck it was as cellulitis, from which her husband nearly died because he wouldn't go for treatment, I went to the wonderful Helen Hunt Health Center in Old Town to check it out. Read more about "Free at the point of care"
I got this press release in mail, but it doesn't seem to be anywhere on the web yet. So herewith:
Single payer in Vermont and the U.S.: Now IS the time
The following statement was released today by Dr. Andrew D. Coates, president of Physicians for a National Health Program:
Today, Vermont’s governor, after campaigning for single payer for years, announced that he would not work to pass single-payer legislation in Vermont this year.
The spectacular intrusion of special interests into the passage of the $1.1 trillion government spending bill on December 13, 2014 was breathtaking as bankers and lobbyists whipped the vote by calling Congressional representatives directly to demand a host of special interest provisions, including the following:
- Repealing the Dodd-Frank prohibition on locating derivatives trading activities in the same bank subsidiary company as their depositories containing checking, savings, and other accounts insured by the FDIC.
- Raising individual campaign contribution limits by roughly 10 times the present limit.
- Allowing businesses to default by as much as 1/3 of their private pension obligations.
- Preventing the EPA from introducing new climate protections.
So it is now abundantly clear that what we have is government by minority rule in which special interests reign supreme. Clearly, this cannot continue. It is for this reason that we are sharing the post below describing the only solution to the democracy crisis of which we are aware that can be implemented in the near future. It is long and we do not expect many readers to get through it in one sitting, or even at all. But if it piques your interest, you can re-locate it here at a more opportune time.
INTERACTIVE VOTER CHOICE SYSTEM
Technical Features of the Interactive Voter Choice System (U.S. Patent No. 7,953,628)
Accelerating the Technological Evolution of Democracies
Group Forming Network
World's First Large Scale Consensus Building and Conflict Resolution Platform
A Closer Look at Complex Adaptive Systems (CASs)
Integrating IVCS-Enabled CASs into Electoral and Legislative Processes
Summary and Conclusion Read more about The Technology Solution to the Democracy Crisis
“The Healthcare Is a Human Right (HCHR) Campaign expresses its deep disappointment in the failure of Governor Shumlin to act on the will of the people of Vermont to ensure universal, publicly financed healthcare in our state. This inaction is a slap in the face of many thousands of Vermont residents who suffer from poor health and financial hardship in the private insurance market that sells healthcare as a commodity to those who can afford it. The HCHR Campaign reminds the Governor that healthcare is a human right, and that our government has an obligation to ensure that right. Our government also has a responsibility to enact state law, and Act 48, passed in 2011, clearly requires Vermont to take actions to provide healthcare as a public good to all residents by 2017.
We all currently pay for our hodgepodge healthcare system - we just don’t pay in a way that leads to giving people access to care. Moving to a different financing mechanism has nothing to do with raising new money. Vermont’s businesses currently pay 80% of all private insurance premiums. Most of these businesses are large employers; they pay the lion share of health insurance. Individuals who fall sick also pay a big chunk - through roughly $800 million in out-of-pocket costs. The Governor’s task at hand was to shift private payments to a more equitable, public financing mechanism. His task was not to find new money.