I spoke with the prison’s head of Volunteer Services this morning and learned that the demand to pull my volunteer card dis not come from them. It came from Security. The problem is this. Because of my COPD, I am more likely to suffer a medical emergency while climbing the stairs to the Activities floor than other people. Were that to happen, they would have to call an ambulance and lock down the entire prison for my extraction. Lockdowns are costly. So there’s no way I could have gotten her to budge, as she was being overruled. However, I did get one concession from her. I will be able to enter the prison as a guest, not a volunteer (who can go to any venue), when my group’s events are boing held in the Visiting Room instead of the Activities Floor, as it is on the main level. It’s still a huge loss. I’ll be going from 2 to 3 times a month to 3 to 4 times a year and will have little opportunity for working on issues with them in depth. But at least I got the most I could have gotten.
Jig Zone Puzzle:
Today’s took me 3:07 (average 5:14). To do it, click here. How did you do?
From The New Yorker:
Short TakesA rally featuring a racist speaker Friday night in Mobile attracted a crowd of just twenty thousand people, widely considered a disappointing turnout for a racist event in Alabama.
According to racist event planners in the state, a crowd of twenty thousand would rank the event as one of the smaller racist rallies in Alabama this year.
Organizers of the rally were quick to defend the size of the turnout. “There is always a lot of competition for the racist audience in Alabama,” an aide to the speaker said. “There were other racists speaking at other venues in the state Friday night. Plus, a lot of racists now prefer to stay at home and stream racist content on the Internet. Given all the options available to racists, I think twenty thousand is a solid number.”
Andy knows that Hairball picked AL for his rally because AL Republicans passed a Latino-hate law even worse than the infamous "papers please" law in AZ.
From Daily Kos (classic 2/2012): It is now the common wisdom of millions of interested parties that ALEC does not work for the vast majority of citizens, that it is a vicious corporate lobby and that it is thee main force behind the deterioration of personal liberties and workers’ rights in the United States.
Arguing against ALEC’s influence over state legislation has become more difficult thanks to efforts such as ALEC Exposed which display how similar bills advancing in GOP-controlled states are and from whence they originate. Now, Florida Rep. Rachel Burgin (R-56), a 29 year old former legislative aide and graduate of Moody Bible Institute, has made the task of indicting ALEC for undue influence in state politics that much easier by forgetting to remove ALEC’s mission statement from a bill (PDF) she suddenly "decided” to propose. This bill calls on the federal government to reduce taxes for corporations (HM 685).
Burgin discovered her error, but not before Common Blog spotted it:
Let us not forget where the bills Republicans introduce and pass, especially at the state level, are written.
From NY Times: …Whatever the precise mix of causes, what’s important now is that policy makers take seriously the possibility, I’d say probability, that excess savings and persistent global weakness is the new normal.
My sense is that there’s a deep-seated unwillingness, even among sophisticated officials, to accept this reality. Partly this is about special interests: Wall Street doesn’t want to hear that an unstable world requires strong financial regulation, and politicians who want to kill the welfare state don’t want to hear that government spending and debt aren’t problems in the current environment.
But there’s also, I believe, a sort of emotional prejudice against the very notion of global glut. Politicians and technocrats alike want to view themselves as serious people making hard choices — choices like cutting popular programs and raising interest rates. They don’t like being told that we’re in a world where seemingly tough-minded policies will actually make things worse. But we are, and they will.
This is the conclusion of an excellent Paul Krugman editorial. Click through to see how he got there.