In the soup: Starbucks, Bing, Congress, et al

Education funding cuts

Cutting funding to education? No wonder students are protesting today. The resulting tuition hikes in many cases will be so large that students already on tight budgets won’t be able to stay in school. Teachers will be fired, some classes will be eliminated, others will get much larger. I don’t agree with the students out there chanting “Education should be free”; that’s just plain pie-in-the-sky naive. But cutting funds to education, especially in the form of sudden, large, unexpected chunks, is ridiculously short-sighted. Students are the future of this country. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot …

Bing searches

Doing an image search on Bing? Maybe you’ve noticed, as I have, that although your search may turn up hundreds of thousands of results, noted proudly at the top of the returns page, you can only view the first 1000. I’ve been frustrated for months, seeing all those returns and not being able to get to a “page two” of search results. Finally wrote to Bing about it. They say it’s that way on purpose. There is no way to see the 1001st image or beyond. As gamers say, “working as intended.” I guess Bing thinks their “decision engine” is so good that whatever I want is sure to be in the first 1000 images they turn up. They think wrong. And I still don’t see why they brag they’ve found a gazillion results if they aren’t going to show them to me.

Starbucks and guns

Starbucks has announced that pistol packin’ customers are welcome in its stores. Saying it’s legal to do so wherever state laws allow gun carrying is all well and good. But they and other businesses should know that where firearms are in evidence, my patronage won’t be. I don’t care if it’s legal. Everyday citizens who feel a need to carry firearms in public worry me. Starbucks also had the option to ban firearms in their stores. They had to decide which segment of the population they wanted to serve — those who choose to carry guns or those who prefer not to be around people who carry them. Personally, I’d have guessed most of their customers and potential customers fell in the latter category. But they’ve decided. And so have I.

Kids in the control tower

Kids in the JKF air traffic control tower? Not cute. Don’t try to tell me it was okay because nothing happened … this time. Don’t tell me it was okay because the planes in question were on the ground. Lots of airline accidents happen on the ground. Air traffic controllers are supposed to have extraordinarily good judgment and the ability to make correct split-second, life-and-death decisions. However experienced they might be, I’d say this dad and his supervisor have amply demonstrated they lack the judgment to be in a control tower.

Health care reform bill

I thought I had a pretty good idea of how reconciliation works in Washington. With both the House and Senate having voted on their respective versions of a health care reform bill, I thought it now went to a committee, which would somehow cobble a merger of the two and spit out the result, dictated by the majority party, as a finished bill for the president to sign into law. But I heard an explanation last night that made it sound like even after the president has signed it, the bill goes back to the Senate to be tinkered with some more. I guess the pundits were right when they said reconciliation is an arcane process understood by very few people.

As for whether this bill deserves life, breath, and the light of day … uh, no. Not anymore. It’s been nitpicked to death by both houses of Congress to the point where there’s probably not a politician in there who could pass a pop quiz on its contents. And even though Pres. Obama jumped in this week, very belatedly, and called for an up-or-down vote in the next few weeks, the damage has been done and the opportunity lost. This is an election year, and there’s not a politician in Congress who isn’t weighing his or her vote with an eye to election results this fall. The interests of the American public no longer have any bearing — if they ever did.

3 thoughts on “In the soup: Starbucks, Bing, Congress, et al

  1. But they and other businesses should know that where firearms are in evidence, my patronage won’t be. I don’t care if it’s legal. Everyday citizens who feel a need to carry firearms in public worry me…

    I don’t want to freak you out or anything but if you live in a state that issues concealed weapons permits than you are surrounded by people that are “packin.” And isn’t it truly amazing you haven’t been shot yet?

    I live in an open carry state. I have zero issue with people that open carry. They are far more aware of their responsibilities as a gun owner (safety, laws, etc.) than the gangbanger walking around with a pistol shoved in their waistband. Because that’s how criminals carry. And that is dangerous.

    In other words… good for Starbucks!
    I’m perfectly aware that concealed carry exists. And I’m not happy about it. At least with open carry, I can see and avoid it. I know all about how gun owners are responsible, trained, etc. I’ve owned one myself. Doesn’t matter. It’s the mentality that they have to carry a gun at all that bothers me. I’m not worried about getting shot, but people who carry must be. Why else would any law-abiding average citizen need to carry a gun? Paranoia? Feelings of inadequacy? John Wayne syndrome? Still living in the “Old West”? Whatever, you don’t represent the average citizen I know and I don’t want you and your gun around me if I can help it. Do you really, REALLY think you’re going to shoot someone? Are your odds of becoming a victim really great enough to justify carrying a gun? Sorry, I just don’t buy it. It’s escalating an air of violence in our society that we should be trying to quell.

    1. If you don’t want to protect yourself or your loved ones while out in public, then that’s your decision. Don’t worry I won’t try to make it a law to force you to carry.

      Why else would any law-abiding average citizen need to carry a gun? – BECAUSE THERE ARE PLENTY OF NON LAW ABIDING CRIMINALS THAT CARRY GUNS – that’s why.

      You are in the mall shopping in a store. You hear gunfire. Would you rather be in that store with a legally armed citizen prepared to defend him or herself (and you) or in a store with absolutely nobody there to defend you?

      Now, no BS about the odds are this or that. Simply answer YES or NO.
      Sorry, but that’s not a yes-or-no question. I’d be hiding in the store (or ducking out the back), waiting for police or security out on the mall to deal with the shooter. I don’t want to be anywhere near you or your gunfight.

  2. I have lived in both states.
    Frankly, I’d rather have the concealed permit.
    At least the people who are packing heat might think I am too. (Even though I don’t own a gun).

    Healthcare? Well… I haven’t completely given up hope yet, but it does look dismal. Still, there is a shred of possibility. You never know.

    The education funding thing is a fricken mess.
    Sounds like I should barricade the entrance to my cave …

... and that's my two cents