A Tax on People Who Are Bad at Math

Here is what is annoying about the lottery. If the two people who won yesterday had played the Powerball Simulator twice a week for the equivalent of 7,000 years (like I did yesterday), they would not have won (like I did not win). Then they would have said to themselves, “Self, them is some bad odds. I’m gonna go watch some TV.”

Arr. Probability, I hate you.

Scouting Dilemma

On the one hand, the Boy Scouts of America are (officially) a discriminatory organization of whom I really do not approve. On the other hand, my boys are in Boy Scouts (Cub Scouts, technically). They enjoy the peer social activities, and I enjoy the opportunities they would not have if they were not in an organization like that (camping, civic duties, volunteering, etc.). I also like that they have friends there and get to hang with them.

But I am finding it more and more difficult to reconcile the two.

There are few established alterna-Scouting opportunities available in our area. (No CampFire group, no YMCA Adventure Guides, no BPSA group.)

So, I can:

  1. Keep my kids in the BSA and shut my mouth (or work from within for change). In the meantime I keep sending money to the BSA, implicitly supporting their positions.

  2. Pull my kids from Scouting and enjoy not having annoying activities three times a month.

  3. Put my time and treasure where my ethics are and start something myself, either personally ((DIY looks cool) or with the structure (if not support) of some organization like BPSA.

The first choice, sticking it out, is where we have defaulted. But when we joined the current Pack, (remember, we just moved) at the introductory meeting some honcho from the local Council came to sell it, and the first thing he said was how wonderful it is to have a place “where we can talk about God. We can’t do it in our schools!” He went on a bit about how glorious this was, and how important, and then he might have caught my eye and he never came back to it. It left a really unpleasant taste in my mouth.

The second choice, ditching, would be easy, but it feels so wrong. Worse than choice number one, in fact.

The last one is clearly the right choice. But I am old, lazy, and tired (or at least I feel that way) and this would be a huge commitment on my part. I think there might be some support in the community (at the very least in my church, where it has already been brought up once), so I probably wouldn’t be flying alone. But this is really quite a daunting task. I am, shall we say, daunted by the thought of it.

Thoughts? Encouragement? Volunteers?

The best elections links of the day (if you’re happy right now)

Here we go:

My thoughts on the election

So, the election is over. And I am pretty pleased with the results. I don’t have anything really grandiose to say about it, no proclamations or predictions, but throughout the night (I was up until 1 am local) and this morning I have had some random thoughts.

There may be profanity below. There will definitely be Liberal bias, so you have been warned.

  • During his concession speech, I realized that I have no animosity towards Mitt Romney. I think he is an ambitious man used to success, and he really, really, really wanted to be President. I think he really is a moderate, and I don’t think he believes half of what he “stood for” in this campaign. And while it disturbs me that he would be so glib with his values, I don’t hate him for it.
  • But Mitch McConnell can take a flying leap onto the nearest freeway. Here is what he said this morning, “Now it’s time for the president to propose solutions that actually have a chance of passing the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and a closely divided Senate, step up to the plate on the challenges of the moment, and deliver in a way that he did not in his first four years in office. To the extent he wants to move to the political center, which is where the work gets done in a divided government, we’ll be there to meet him half way.” (Source). That is such bullshit, coming from a Republican Party that deliberately, explicitly, and ultimately unsuccessfully stonewalled the President on everything he tried to do, even when he moved to the right of the political center. I call bullshit, Senator.
  • I confess that listening to Obama last night, I felt a little of the hopey, changey thing from four years ago. And it felt good.
  • I may have gloated a bit on Twitter last night. But seriously, the GOP spent the last four years actively denying Obama, trying to cast him as a failed President, and last night they got their ass handed back to them by the People. Fuck yeah.
  • Where has Boehner been? Isn’t he from Ohio? Rob Portman was popping up everywhere like an eager gopher, but not John Boehner. Curious.
  • Last night, only one person I voted for was actually elected, even all the way down to the local school board. Not the worst ballot experience I have had (that was 2004 in Omaha, Nebraska, when nobody I voted for was elected). I may be living in the wrong place.
  • The next generation has arrived. Gay marriage passed in two states (after losing 33 times in previous elections). Pot is (or will be) legal in Colorado. (Source). And the youth vote carried Obama again, just like it did four years ago (Source). So fasten your seat belts, Boomers, your young tattooed Latina barista is about to take the wheel.
  • Fox News, et al., was not only wrong, but dishonest with their viewers, all season long. This article in the Atlantic is (liberal and) very interesting. And they call us sheeple. (The Atlantic)
  • And finally, this. “I believe we can keep the promise of our founders, the idea that if you’re willing to work hard, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or where you love. It doesn’t matter whether you’re black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, able, disabled, gay or straight, you can make it here in America if you’re willing to try.” (Transcript source)
    See the video

I voted. Also, donuts.

Last night we got together with some like-minded neighbors to kvetch about the election. It was tons of fun, and we are eternally grateful to the host for tracking us down (she showed up at our door with an invitation, based on our yard signs). Then this morning we got up before the crack of dawn to bundle the kids into the car and go vote. We actually got there before the polling place opened (6 am!) and there was already a line of forty or fifty people. We voted, I dropped everyone off at home to get dressed, and I went and got celebratory donuts.

It has been a good day so far.

Please, exercise your right to vote.

Take your kids to show them how important it is.

And then get donuts.