A brown belt for Big Guy – not that it’s important
Mon, 12/03/12 – 12:49 | Comments Off

It was testing week in karate and, as usual, Big Guy was under the gun. Not as much as he used to be, when he didn’t have a clue and had to frantically cram, but …

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Food

Picky eaters and allergy-safe cooking — the two aren’t necessarily unrelated.

Girl Gone Wonk

From policy to politics, this rant’s for you.

News

The day’s events in a family way — unless something else amuses me.

School days

From preschool to kindergarten — so far

Simple Gifts

Inexpensive homemade gifts, creative parties and low-cost projects, for Christmas and beyond. Many are easy enough for children to help.

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Articles tagged with: government

A SWAT for requiring over-the-counter prescriptions
Thursday, 17 Mar, 2011 – 15:43 | Comments Off
A SWAT for requiring over-the-counter prescriptions

As a former speaker of the West Virginia House of Delegates was fond of saying, “fat possums travel at night.” That translated roughly to “watch out for legislation trying to sneak through in the waning …

Let’s freak out about learning another language
Thursday, 10 Feb, 2011 – 17:25 | 4 Comments
Let’s freak out about learning another language

For years Russian was the only foreign language taught at the high school I eventually attended. To my knowledge, no one during that era grew up and defected to the Soviet Union.
I took three years …

The First Amendment right to freebies
Thursday, 29 Apr, 2010 – 23:01 | Comments Off
The First Amendment right to freebies

It’s based on a couple of laughably wrong assumptions, but at least paranoid bloggers have support in  their “everyone is out to get us” theory.
The “evidence,” flimsy though it is, is in a new Harvard …

No, the government can’t limit your salt. But you should
Tuesday, 27 Apr, 2010 – 21:52 | Comments Off
No, the government can’t limit your salt. But you should

Calm down, folks. Uncle Sam isn’t going to bang in your door and confiscate your salt shaker. Though it’s really not a bad idea.
According to a very poorly phrased Rasmussen poll, 55 percent of the …

A SWAT for refusing to let the birth certificate nonissue die
Thursday, 22 Apr, 2010 – 18:03 | Comments Off
A SWAT for refusing to let the birth certificate nonissue die

It’s kind of ironic, given that John McCain was the subject of the original birther lawsuit, that Arizona is like a pit bull after a steak when the citizenship at issue is Barack Obama’s.
Or not …

Everyone could find jobs if they were just willing to move
Thursday, 1 Apr, 2010 – 20:21 | 2 Comments
Everyone could find jobs if they were just willing to move

How nice it must be to have all the answers – even if the answers keep changing when the question is whether to extend unemployment benefits.
At least unemployed workers are no longer lazy – apparently …

Gimme a B, Gimme an A Gimme a D! What’s that spell? Bad idea!
Thursday, 25 Mar, 2010 – 17:09 | Comments Off
Gimme a B, Gimme an A Gimme a D! What’s that spell? Bad idea!

California sent out tens of thousands of layoff notices to teachers last year, and by the time this spring’s are tallied the total will be similar.
The state’s scores on a national test were higher than …

Don’t mess with Texas? Then don’t mess with history
Thursday, 11 Mar, 2010 – 19:07 | 4 Comments
Don’t mess with Texas? Then don’t mess with history

Life was so much simpler when I was in school. History texts focused on presenting facts – and back then, a fact was a fact was a fact.
Today, though, there are some who think the …

Part of the digital divide will never be bridged – so be it
Wednesday, 24 Feb, 2010 – 19:26 | Comments Off
Part of the digital divide will never be bridged – so be it

Two contradictory tidbits from a CNet story this morning about an Federal Communications Commission report on expanding broadband Internet access to more parts of the country:

A third of adults who don’t have broadband at home …

Shiver in the cold, kids. That bad woman isn’t licensed
Tuesday, 9 Feb, 2010 – 19:30 | Comments Off
Shiver in the cold, kids. That bad woman isn’t licensed

We have a raging health-care crisis that we cannot solve.
Unemployment has “dropped” to 9.7 percent, but that’s a trick. The real number is much higher because we no longer count people who are so discouraged …

A SWAT for mocking parents instead of talking to them
Thursday, 4 Feb, 2010 – 20:00 | Comments Off
A SWAT for mocking parents instead of talking to them

I get that some parents are a total pain in the rear. I’m sure I am at times, though I try hard not to be.
And I know that a sarcastic diatribe can be cathartic.
Unless, of …

A SWAT for sucking up the freebies while work goes undone
Thursday, 28 Jan, 2010 – 20:00 | Comments Off
A SWAT for sucking up the freebies while work goes undone

It’s amusing, in a “fiddling while Rome burns” sort of way, to see how public officials flock to the freebies like hogs to slop – and then fail to report the corporate largess that’s showered …

A SWAT for trying to officially turn ISPs into copyright police
Thursday, 21 Jan, 2010 – 19:59 | Comments Off
A SWAT for trying to officially turn ISPs into copyright police

Here’s how it works at Wal-Mart: A security guard spots someone she suspects of shop-lifting. She stops the person, calls the police and an investigation takes place.
Here’s how it would work if Wal-Mart were the …

A SWAT to Verizon for trying to squeeze people who want to leave
Friday, 25 Dec, 2009 – 18:00 | Comments Off
A SWAT to Verizon for trying to squeeze people who want to leave

Pity the poor ginormous telecom that’s forced to scrape for every nickel and dime it can find in order to stay afloat. Eventually, those costs have to be passed along to the consumer, you know.
I’m …

A SWAT for trying to disturb the peace at Christmas
Thursday, 17 Dec, 2009 – 20:45 | Comments Off
A SWAT for trying to disturb the peace at Christmas

Merry Susan Hyatt is a 61-year-old substitute teacher in Redding, Calif., who’s also taught in Southern California. In all those years she seldom encountered students who weren’t Christian. “I don’t think I’ve ever had a …

A SWAT for hissing at a call to play nice
Thursday, 26 Nov, 2009 – 20:17 | Comments Off
A SWAT for hissing at a call to play nice

It’s the type of meaningless legislation that usually draws scant attention beyond the members of the team being honored or the local luminary being recognized.
Except this time, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II’s resolution backing the designation …

A SWAT for putting pets before people
Thursday, 22 Oct, 2009 – 23:07 | Comments Off
A SWAT for putting pets before people

I understand Republicans a little less every day.
Government-funded public health insurance: Bad. It’ll blow up the budget.
The stimulus bill and its middle-class tax cuts: Evil.  No need to fritter away money unless we’re throwing it …

It’s dangerous. Stop doing it. No bribes necessary
Monday, 19 Oct, 2009 – 22:42 | Comments Off
It’s dangerous. Stop doing it. No bribes necessary

Recent studies show that texting behind the wheel is more dangerous than driving drunk. Eighteen states and the District of Columbia already ban texting while driving. Federal employees can’t do it, and there already was …

Food allergies aren’t funny, but here’s a SWAT for a bill that’s a joke
Thursday, 8 Oct, 2009 – 20:13 | Comments Off
Food allergies aren’t funny, but here’s a SWAT for a bill that’s a joke

You have a nasty habit of speeding. You know your break-neck tendencies put others’ lives in danger, but you do it anyway.
But then along comes a proposal that would pay you to not speed. Sounds …

A SWAT for choosing Fluff over substance
Thursday, 17 Sep, 2009 – 22:21 | Comments Off
A SWAT for choosing Fluff over substance

Give Massachusetts Rep. Kathi-Anne Reinstein credit for persistence.
For three years now, she’s been a staunch defender of fluff – Marshmallow Fluff, that is. Apparently, it’s no joking matter in Massachusetts.
She led the opposition back in …

A SWAT to those who try to turn a sideshow into the main event
Thursday, 10 Sep, 2009 – 21:29 | Comments Off
A SWAT to those who try to turn a sideshow into the main event

I’m not going to pick on Joe Wilson.
The South Carolina congressman  earned the honors of poster boy of the week for Foot in Mouth Disease after his impolitc political outburst Wednesday during the president’s health …

A SWAT for raising a stink about body odor
Thursday, 3 Sep, 2009 – 22:03 | Comments Off
A SWAT for raising a stink about body odor

It must be tough these days in paradise, what with the economy being what it is and the hit that’s caused in Hawaii’s tourism industry.
And the natural human reaction when things are spinning out of …

A SWAT for letting the big company skate
Thursday, 27 Aug, 2009 – 22:18 | Comments Off
A SWAT for letting the big company skate

Remember the big toy recall of two summers ago,when everything from Thomas trains to Dora campers disappeared from retailers’ shelves as plaything after plaything was recalled for violating lead standards?
Remember Congress’ uncharacteristic haste in the …

A SWAT for trying to call a foul on the NBA’s age limit
Friday, 24 Jul, 2009 – 0:06 | Comments Off
A SWAT for trying to call a foul on the NBA’s age limit

Note to Tennessee Rep. Steven Cohen: Kobe Bryant comes along only once in a generation. Except when LeBron James comes along seven years later. But by and large, the average teen-ager  isn’t ready to leap …

A SWAT for parents seeing dollar signs in the sewer
Thursday, 16 Jul, 2009 – 22:21 | Comments Off
A SWAT for parents seeing dollar signs in the sewer

In this era of texting-happy teens, it was only a matter of when, not if, someone would take a tumble while messaging on a walk – apparently there are no laws against that yet.
So it’s …

A SWAT for trying to hit workers when they’re down
Thursday, 9 Jul, 2009 – 22:44 | 2 Comments
A SWAT for trying to hit workers when they’re down

It’s the most obvious promotion on Earth for business in a capital city, so of course Sacramento businesses quickly decided to offer state workers discounts on their “furlough Fridays” – their mandatory unpaid time off …

Don’t like pizza dancers? SWAT them away
Friday, 3 Jul, 2009 – 11:33 | 2 Comments
Don’t like pizza dancers? SWAT them away

It’s probably a stretch to call pizza dancing an art form, though at least one national chain holds a competition to recognize the company’s best at twirling the board.
It’s also a stretch to call people …

Road tax idea would have Uncle Sam riding shotgun
Thursday, 2 Jul, 2009 – 0:13 | 2 Comments
Road tax idea would have Uncle Sam riding shotgun

Good news for conspiracy theorists: The government might not need its fleet of black helicopters for much longer. Isn’t it nice to see possibilities for economizing in this budget climate?
If a study under way at …