Monthly Archives: May 2012

Snips And Snails And Puppy Dog Tails

The word out of Texas is that we have a Planned Parenthood employee assisting a mother in mapping out a plan on what she should do if her child is a girl instead of a boy.

Now, to be clear, I don’t care if the employee knew or didn’t know she was being filmed or set up.  The reaction is what I’m interested in.

If you support abortion, that is the ability of a mother to choose to have or not have the “thing” that grows in her, can you reasonably support a law that bans that mother’s choice based on the future sex of that “thing?”

I don’t think you can.

An that begs the question.

Government Spending: Obama And The Rest

We’ve all seen or heard about the Market Watch piece by Rex Nutting:

Almost everyone believes that Obama has presided over a massive increase in federal spending, an “inferno” of spending that threatens our jobs, our businesses and our children’s future. Even Democrats seem to think it’s true.

But it didn’t happen. Although there was a big stimulus bill under Obama, federal spending is rising at the slowest pace since Dwight Eisenhower brought the Korean War to an end in the 1950s.

And the graphs that follow made it through Facebook like a wildfire:

Pretty startling.  If true, and Politifact says it mostly is, it paints a significantly different picture than most people have come to accept.  And to be sure, there have been some herculean efforts to point out that Nutting, Obama and Politifact may not be explaining the whole reality.  For example, the stimulus is charged to Bush but the repayment of that stimulus is credited to Obama.  At the very least, the two actions should be charged to the same guy, either one seems fair.  Then there’s the fiscal activities that took place during Bush’s fiscal year but that Obama passed.  Those should not be given to Bush but rather to Obama.

However, there’s been something gnawing at me during this whole debate and until I read a piece this morning by Dan Mitchell.

He makes a great case that while Obama IS a big government big spender, it’s not as if the Republicans are innocent.

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Wisconsin: Recalling Governor Walker

We all know the story. The elections of 2008 led to the elections of 2010.  And the 2010 elections were of epic proportions.  Republicans on the federal and state levels dominated and it ushered a new world order in many governing bodies.  Here in North Carolina we see the first republican controlled senate and house for the first time in  more that 100 years.  And in Wisconsin, we see a republican governor, a republican senate and a republican house.

Some excellent things were about to happen.

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Tipping: When And How Much

I do a fair amount of domestic moving about.  In fact, I just got back from a short trip this weekend.  And for awhile now I’ve been struck by how many occasions I’m called upon to tip.  And I’m just beside myself for feeling out of touch.

For much of my working life I’ve been supported by tips.  I bussed tables in college and then moved on to a banquet server.  Later I became a bartender during school and then, in Seattle, I earned my complete living as a bartender for 4+ years.  I consider myself “in tune” with the tip’ed population but admit to now being confused.

So, here are some times off the top of my head that call for tipping:

  • Waiter/waitress – Bartender
  • Coffee barista
  • Taxi driver
  • Tipping the maid service when checking out of a hotel
  • Bell hop up and then down
  • Bell hop calling for the car valet
  • The car valet
  • Dry cleaner
  • To Go check out at restaurants
  • Bathroom attendants
  • Car wash attendant
  • Truck delivery guys when you purchase a washer/dryer from Sears
  • Pizza delivery guy

And I’m sure there’s more.

In many of these cases I’m not sure that tipping is warranted, in the others, I’m at a loss for how much to tip.  I just totally admit to not knowing.



Only Because I’m In North Carolina

It’s all over the inner tubes….

A teacher at North Rowan High School in Spencer, NC went nuts on a kid in her class because questioned Barack Obama.  And he’s right, she IS nuts and went out of control on this kid.  Out. Of. Control.

But aside from the individual aspect of it, I don’t think it’s news.

There is nothing very new here.

She is a teacher.  And we know that teachers are part of teacher’s unions.  And teacher’s unions vote for Democrats.

We all know that this is prevalent throughout our schools.

Nothing to see here, just keep on moving.

Free Market: Airplane Style

How many times have I been flying and need to get off that plane to make my gate?  Plenty.  And how many times did I muse, “I’d pay $50 to be that first guy off?”

Again, plenty.

And, as is the case with me, I began to imagine a world where the seats in a plane could be offered on the open market.

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Life Expectancy In The United States: We’re Number 1

A little while ago I posted that health care in America may be getting a bad rap.  That perhaps we might have the BEST system in the world, not the abysmal system that is often reported in the reports today:

The fact that America can deliver this service is a miracle in and of itself.  And the fact that we are such a wealthy nation that we can afford it is yet another miracle.

Now, to be sure, my case here is that our system is advanced and can be expensive.  However, we are a very wealthy nation and can afford the care.  However, in the comments, shenanigans was called and we discussed how the United States might be ranked #1, not #19-#29 or #47.

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Where Is Pino

I have largely been absent for the last week or so.  I am spending most of my non-work time organizing a BBQ fundraiser here in Raleigh.

We are selling BBQ plates to raise money for a local charity:

PLM Families Together is developing a new housing service that moves families directly from homelessness into housing or from other shelters into housing. Rather than having families move from shelter program to shelter program in today’s times when the short term stay at shelters is not enough for family stabilization, we will focus on stable housing first. Once housed, we will continue to work with the family for 12 months, helping them learn the skills for budgeting and working with landlords that is needed to maintain that housing. Housing first reduces the number of transitions for the family. Initial rental subsidy will be available for housing and will gradually decrease as families meet their goals; a less expensive model than renting our own apartments.

Additionally, we are selling tickets that will donate a plate to Urban Ministries of Durham.

Urban Ministries of Durham (UMD) welcomes approximately more than 6,000 people each year who come seeking food, shelter, clothing and supportive services.

UMD is the point of entry, triage and emergency services in the Durham homelessness continuum of care network.  Our programs are designed to:

  • Help prevent homelessness by providing food and clothing to offset living expenses and by referring guests to others in the community who may be able to provide additional help;
  • Assist those who are homeless by providing emergency shelter, stabilization assistance such as recovery programs and medical referrals, and  to help them connect with the resources that will enable them to return to stable housing as quickly as possible;
  • Foster collaboration with community partners so that coordinated efforts can provide needed  longer term housing and supportive service needs; and
  • Offer support with dignity and compassion to neighbors in need, regardless of  their ability to leave homelessness at the time.

It’s been very busy and challenging, but the event will be held this weekend.  I  can’t wait to see the whole of the experience result in success.

By the way, if you’re interested in participating, I have the ability to sell tickets through PayPal and you can contribute to the donation of a plate of Carolina BBQ to the folks over at UMD.  Just drop me a note in the comments or e-mail me at:

I hope to resume more full time blogging very soon!



If there was any doubt about who the media wants to win the election:

I’m pretty sure that this ends the argument about a media bias.

We Spend More On Healthcare Than…..Bug or Feature?

The arguments have been going on as long as we’ve had modern healthcare.  On one side we have those that claim the United States spends more on healthcare, with worse results, than any other industrial nation on earth.  Therefore our system is broken.

The other side claims that the ability to spend more on healthcare may be an indicator than our system is the BEST in the world.

To be sure, no one wants to have to spend $550.00 a month on medication when we could craft a system that delivered the life saving pills at a tenth of the price.  Spending money for money’s sake is silly.  But our levels of expenditure are elevated because the medical care system is, quite simply and without debate, the best in the world.

Just ask Mr. and Mrs. Baker.

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