Elsewhere on the Internet

I wrote a few things last week. Maybe you’ll like them. I hope so. My self-worth is tied up in whether or not people like me. Ok, not really. But it still feels nice to be liked. :-)

I wrote about lack of skills in American workers. I added that to my long list of reasons why education needs reformation. Like, yesterday. School choice leads to competition and high performance. Just sayin’…

San Francisco is thinking about banning pet goldfish. No really. I can’t make this crap up. They already banned happy meals, so I guess goldfish were the next logical step. Next step? Banning people.

And lastly, Troopathon! Yay for our peeps overseas. Thank you to everyone that helped us raise over $500,000 for care packages for the troops.

Scare Tactics in Politics: Prisoners Released

California is releasing tens of thousands of inmates after a ruling by theSupreme Court on Monday. No, they haven’t been wrongfully imprisoned and suddenly found innocent due to some new DNA technology.

It’s just that the prisons are overcrowded.

A sane solution would be to build more prisons. Unfortunately, there’s apparently not enough money to build more steel bars. So, we should totally tax the rich, because even though they pay the vast, vast majority of our taxes, they still aren’t paying enough, because new prisons aren’t getting built!

Another logical option would be to spend less money per prisoner, so that the savings could go toward building new facilities. The average prisoner in the State of California costs over $48,000 annually, with about $16,000 of that going to health care, mental health, and dental costs.

Prisoners, convicted felons, probably have better health care than you do.

Seriously, does your health insurance cover free hormone replacement therapy for you if you happen to be transgendered? California prisons do. And soon, they may even provide gender reassignment surgery as well.

Read the rest at The Stir

Adult ‘Baby’ Doesn’t Need a Disability Check — He Needs to Grow Up

While I try not to judge others, occasionally I come across something that makes me stop and say to myself, “Wow. That’s disturbing.” Such a moment happened this week when I stumbled upon a story about Adult Babies. Fully grown humans that like to wear diapers, sleep in giant cribs, and suck on pacifiers.

If I can’t say this is weird, then I might as well not be able to call the sky blue, because that stuff is messed up.

Thanks to the Internet and prime-time network television (hello CSI and the “Furries” episode!), I’ve become aware of some of the stranger oddities that people sometimes choose to indulge in. Being someone that doesn’t understand the appeal of defecating in a giant diaper or putting on a bunny suit to get it on, I’m always strangely fascinated by these people.

Read the rest at The Stir

A Law Banning Flat Bed Sheets Shouldn’t Really Be California’s Priority Right Now

California is just about bankrupt, which must mean that it’s time to pass a law outlawing flat sheets and short-handled feather dusters in hotels across the state.

Seriously.

This year alone, the Golden State will spend about $25 billion more than the $82 billion it expects to take in from taxes and fees. We have big problems in California, but instead of tackling issues that actually matter, the legislature has introduced a bill to ban flat sheets at the Hotel California.

Supporters of the bill argue it will reduce worker injuries by eliminating the need for workers to repetitively lift extremely heavy mattresses when making beds. They contend that flat sheetscause workers to strain their backs, shoulders and wrists, and are often responsible for repetitive motion injuries.

State Bill 432, sponsored by Senator Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles), also calls for the use of long-handled tools like mops and dusters so housekeepers do not have to get down on their hands and knees to clean bathroom floors.

Read the rest at The Stir

Jenny Erikson Radio Show – Episode 0015

In which I chat about our splendiferous family vacation and how California politics almost marred it, and Ashley Sewell joins me to talk about Osama bin Laden’s death.

Welcome to California, The Welfare State

California is one of the most generous states in the nation toward illegal immigrantsteachersthe unemployed, and single mothers. It’s also just about bankrupt. As the saying goes, it’s easy to be generous with other people’s money.

One of the biggest money pits that the oh-so-generousCalifornia taxpayers are funding is the state workers’ pension fund. California public employees have some of the cushiest retirement packages around. These so-called public employeesoften get fatter paychecks in retirement than they did when they were working.

The Golden State? The Welfare State seems more appropriate.

Something is horribly wrong with California’s pension system, and unless something is done to reform it (soon!) the pyramid scheme will collapse. Early retirement ages combined with longer life expectancies means that retirees often collect more checks during retirement than they did during employment. This is not a pension — this is welfare.

No one needs to retire at the ripe-old age of 55 and receive an average of 75% of their last annual salary for the rest of their life. California is unique in this, as all other states average salaries over the last 3-5 years on the job when determining pension payouts. Because of this ‘one year’ rule, California retirees are often able to artificially inflate their salary by switching to a high-earning job for one year, or cashing out years worth of accrued vacation time.

Read the rest at The Stir

California Lawmakers Care More About Gay Awareness Than the Three R’s

California State Senator Mark Leno has introduced a bill in the legislature that would make it mandatory for public school teachers in that state toteach their students about lesbiangaybisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans.

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful Education Act, or SB48, on Tuesday, and supporters say it will help prevent bullying of gay students by their classmates.

Bullied straight students are apparently S.O.L.

Seriously, what is wrong with disciplining kids for bullying for any reason? Are we now going to distinguish between regular bullying and hate bullying? Oh wait, it seems that teachers aren’t always allowed to discipline their students for bad behavior. Just ask Professor Frank Rybicki of Valdosta State University, who was arrested for battery after closing a student’s laptop when she refused to stop web surfing during class.

Read the rest at The Stir

Low-Flush Toilets Cause Stink in San Francisco

Low-flush toilets are ridiculous. The concept is good, especially inCalifornia where water is in high demand and short supply. But the practicality of water-saving toilets is non-existent.

Once upon a time, people did their business in buckets or holes in the ground. Fancy rich people used decorated chamber pots, and they employed people to empty them. I’d like to see Dirty Jobs’ Mike Rowetackle that task. Actually, I take that back. I have no desire to watch anyone clean out a chamber pot. Ever.

Then someone brilliant invented flushing toilets with the revolutionary U-bend, which kept the smell of the sewers from coming up through the bowl. Within a century, toilets as we know them today became commonplace in developed countries.

Add the invention of Charmin Ultra-Soft, and toileting became a much more pleasant task than it had once been.

In 1994, Congress decided that water was too precious of a commodity to waste flushing waste, so anew law was put into effect mandating low-flush toilets. Where toilets once used up to seven gallons a flush, the new law made it illegal for toilets using more than 1.6 gallons a flush to be sold in the United States.

And people have been flushing three times for number two ever since.

Read the rest at The Stir

Schwarzenegger Gives Convicted Knife Fighter a Break: What About the Victim?

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger spent his last moment in office Monday morning grabbing a cigar and wishing luck to returningGovernor Jerry Brown. Before he lit up in a pubic building in one of the most anti-smoking states in the Union, the Governator reduced the sentence of the punk son of one of his political cronies.

Esteban Nunez (now 21), the son of former California State Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, was serving 16 years in prison formanslaughter, which he pleaded guilty to. In the fall of 2008, young Nunez and three of his hooligan friends went drinking in San Diego and tried to crash a frat party. They got tossed out, so they did what all sensible young men do when their feelings are hurt: They went looking for trouble.

The group of miscreants eventually found Luis Santos and his friends and challenged them to a knife fight. The fight ended with Santos’s death. Sharp metal pointy things thrust through the heart do have a tendency to kill people. (As a side note, maybe we should ban all knives in order to make the world a safer place … that would work, right?)

Read more at The Stir

California Bans ‘Evil’ 100 Watt Light Bulbs

In a move that’s crazy even for California, the land of fruits and nuts isbanning 100-watt incandescent light bulbs. We have to save Santa from global warming, after all. Starting January 1, 2011, California will begin a yearlong phase-out of the offensive bulbs, emptying store shelves of them by 2012.

The other forty-nine states will follow next year. In 2007, the Energy Independence and Security Act was enacted to ‘Save the Earth.’ It bans the production, sale, or use of 100-watt incandescent bulbs across the country by the year 2014. Because people aren’t smart enough to make their own decisions about how to light their homes.

Many people will choose to replace their evil incandescent light bulbs with those curly compact fluorescent lights (CFLs). According to the government, it’s better to potentially expose your children to mercury than to use a tiny bit of extra energy. CFLs contain mercury, and most be disposed of at a toxic waste facility.

Read the rest at The Stir