Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

A $105 Million Here, a $105 Billion There, …

May 31, 2011

“… And pretty soon it adds up to real money!”

The original quotation, uttered in wry commentary at his fellow Senators’ earmarking habits, was “A billion here, a billion there!  And pretty soon it adds up to real money!” –  Attributed to many US Senators, including Estes Kafauver.  In the 1950s when the total federal budget was under a hundred billion, a billion was a lot of money.

*”New $105M Va. prison remains empty” is the Jan 2011 headline about a Virginia state prison.

But four months after the Grayson County prison was completed at a cost of $105 million, it sits empty — the consequence of a declining number of inmates statewide, and a reduction in state dollars to lock them up.

Having a new prison without prisoners is a striking turnabout for Virginia. The state’s inmate population of about 38,000 has nearly doubled since 1994, when the General Assembly voted to abolish parole and to embark on a prison-building boom.

In the past two fiscal years, however, the number of inmates has declined for the first time in recent history, dropping by 2.8 percent.

* “What if they built a school and nobody got to go?”

Why I resigned from the Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria Party

September 13, 2008

I joined a half-dozen social-networks in March 2008, including Facebook.  This is the story of the political conspiracy I discovered at Facebook …

I went to label myself as a US Democrat and Facebook was using a typeahead guesser.  Straightforward, yes?  Well … no.  Entering my political party, after four keystrokes leading to “demo”, I was offered these choices, none of which were the United States party.  


Then I continued on to nine keystrokes, “democrats”, showing me different choices, again none of which were the party I wanted.

Then “democratic” failed but
“democratic P” got US Democratic P(arty) as you can see from these screenshots taken on March 30th, 2008 at my Facebook acct.  12 keystrokes before you first saw them offered as an option!  And on a website based in the US, at that.

The US Republican Party?  They came up after 2 keystrokes – “Re”, hence my claim of conspiracy.  🙂

Rechecking Facebook today nearly a half-year later, I need one keystroke, “D”,  to be given ten choices that include the US Democratic Party.  And one letter, “R”, to be given ten choices including the US Republican Party .  So it seems the conspiracy has ended …

Now, as to why I had joined and then resigned from the Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria Party.  I got so frustrated trying to guess the correct choice to make the US Democratic Party show up as a choosable option that I gave up and chose the most sarcastically improbable party that I couId.  Days later, I tried again and succeeded at choosing the US Democrats.  I now (post-Olympics) wish to stress that my resignation from the Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria Party had nothing to do with 11 of their Olympic wrestling team being DQD’ed [spoken “dee-cue-dee’d”, DisQualified – Drugs] before the 2008 Beijing Games, and the subsequent withdrawal of the team.  And I imply no disrespect by not having choosen the Democratic Party of Bulgaria instead originally.

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