Death and Taxes

Today’s lunchtime news chum brings together a collection of articles related to taxes and various legislative efforts:

Music: Do I Hear A Waltz? (Pasadena Playhouse Cast): Do I Hear a Waltz?


Humpday News Chum: Making Money, Spending Money, Rocketdyne, South California, and Soda Jerks!

Today was the first day in a while where I had some lunch time to look over the news, and thus I present a slightly larger-than-usual humpday late lunch news chum:


Fear, Uncertainty, and Distrust

While I’ve been eating my lunch today, I’ve been thinking about various things in the news and how they reflect the fear, undertainty, distrust… and stupidity in our society today. Let me give you two examples:

And since we’re talking about knowledge, here are some “Did You Know?”s:


California Highways on Slate

Later today, I hope to be posting an update on the California Highways site. But until then, I though I would share a link that was sent to me. Slate is doing a series on unbuilt highways, and they coordinated with me on the article on the Beverly Hills Freeway (in particular, the map image at the beginning). They also have a nice article on the Embarcadero Freeway. He also has entries on New York, Chicago, Toronto, and Washington DC. It’s a nice series, with some nice maps.


No Shit, Sherlock!

And you wonder why California is wasting money. Sigh. I just discovered this while working on the highway pages:

ACR 112 (Portantino and Smyth): Cuss-Free Week:

WHEREAS, The California Legislature invites the people of this state to take the No Cussing Challenge each year during the first week of March to improve our relationships, to set a tone of harmony and connectedness in our communities, and to inspire ourselves to higher endeavors; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, the Senate thereof concurring, That the Legislature designate the first week of March of each year as Cuss Free Week; and be it further
Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly prepare copies of this resolution for appropriate distribution.

This hasn’t passed yet. I’m thinking I should send a letter to my assemblyman (who happens to be Cameron Smyth), indicating he should stop fucking around and wasting my tax dollars on this shit. I wonder if he would get the irony.


Thursday News Chum

For some reason, finding good news chum this week has been harder than finding a solvent US-headquartered automobile company. But I know my audience, and did find a few things worth commenting over a few days of skimming the news over lunch:

  • From the “Maybe We Need A Part-Time Legislature” Department: I’ve commented on this before: our state legislators seem far too eager to introduce bills, without realizing that each bill costs money… and so, one significant way that California could save money is probably by making the legislators get real jobs. Two articles this week highlighted that for me: The first was a story from the SLO local paper about how there is a bill in the assembly to make pseudoephedrine prescription only. Yes, I’m aware of its use to make meth. But it is also one of the few effective decongestants out there, and it already requires a log to get, with quantity limitations. Prescriptions will just make it more expensive, with respect to doctor charges. On the state Senate side, there’s a bill regarding mandatory spay and neutering. Now, I’m all in favor of having animals spayed and neutered, but according to the AKC, this bill is unnecessary. When you look at all the bills introduced, and look at the specifics of the interesting ones, you wonder how much of our current fiscal problems come from the legislator feeling they need to do something to justify their salaries.
  • From the “It’s an Original” Department: Playbill brings news that the 1983 film comedy “Valley Girl” is being turned into a movie musical. There are also plans to make a movie based off of “Stretch Armstrong”… yes, the toy. This has led some to argue about the dearth of original movies, and how there are too many remakes of recent movies. However, just as with theatre, being original does not guarantee success. What we need is not necessarily original movies or theatre, but movies or theatre from good sources. There are plenty of excellent books out there that could be well adapted, but this would require that folks actually read books. Perhaps that’s too much to ask.
  • From the “Teach Your Children” Department: Sorta related to conclusion of the last item… Viacom is discontinuing Nick Magazine, because of the usual problems with print media. It seems that kids these days don’t read… and don’t buy from advertisers. Soon, the only successful kids magazines might be the ones that don’t have ads (such as Ladybug). I’m not holding Nick Magazine as a paragon of great writing (it is more in the category of great marketing), but its death does say something about these shill magazines. I wonder what the future holds for the Food Network magazine.