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.