If I Should Take a Notion to Jump Into the Ocean

… it ain't nobody's business if I do:

  • Tom Smith pens a perceptive essay on why economic inequality doesn't bother him—or any other reasonably sane person—that much.
    I am finding the spate of recent articles about the huge and growing inequality of wealth in the US pretty tedious.  I suspect they are making some basic mistakes.  They usually take the form of saying the wealthiest X percent of the US population owns Y percent of the wealth, where Y is a much bigger number than X.  What I don't get is, why should I care about the relationship of X and Y?
    Why indeed? Very deserving of the coveted Pun Salad "Read The Whole Thing (If You Haven't Already) Award" for today.

    [N. B.: though I say "coveted", I am not actually recommending covetousness. It's a sin.]

  • Radley Balko asks a question that, after the heat of campaigning dies down, might be answered more rationally: is relatively unencumbered campaign spending an existential "threat to democracy", or might a bigger problem be… incumbent advantage?
    The real threat to democracy is incumbency and the permanent political class. In the month before the election, public approval for Congress was somewhere between 15 and 25 percent. Yet even in an election year rife with "throw the bums out" sentiment, 87 percent of House incumbents who ran for reelection won last week. If Lisa Murkowski wins in Alaska, the figure for the Senate will be 84 percent. Those figures are slightly lower than the historical average,
    Of course, it goes without saying that the folks most anxious to supress "dangerous" campaign finances are… incumbent politicians.

  • Jon Miller and Joe Morgan will be gone next season from ESPN's Sunday night baseball broadcasts.

    I can't say I'll miss them, exactly. I'm sure whoever shows up in the booth next season will be fine. But I really enjoyed Miller's announcing style; he seemed surprised by every single thing that happened in the game. He would say something like: "Wakefield's knuckler picks up the outside corner, and it's two-and-two!" And you would swear that he'd never seen anything like that happen before, ever.

  • Scott Adams has a cautionary tale after he, despite advice, cuts jalapeño peppers without gloves:
    Imagine turning a broom upside down, so the pointy bristles are facing up. You take your hand, palm facing down, and bounce it on the pointy bristles. Can you imagine how uncomfortable that feels on your hand? Okay, good.

    Now imagine that a giant troll sees you playing with the broom. He snatches it out of your hand, chews the handle into a point and shoves it so far up your ass that you can taste it. Then he uses you like a huge flyswatter to kill a nest of porcupines that are living in his salt mine. My hand hurt like that.

    If any of you real men out there want to see if you can avoid Scott's fate, let me know how that worked out for you.

Last Modified 2011-01-18 1:32 PM EST