car·riage re·turn

n. the lever or mechanism on a typewriter that would cause the cylinder on which the paper was held (the carriage) to return to the left margin of the page


A Non-Partisan Federal Government Shutdown Thought Experiment

Photo courtesy the United States Marine Corps. Reused with attribution in compliance with Creative Commons.

Consider the following for a moment:

You are a military spouse. While your husband/wife is on the other side of the world,you remain behind,raising your children,paying your mortgage or rent,car notes,etc. You have no idea if your spouse will live through the next 7-13 months on the job. Thanks to the federal government shutdown,your spouse’s paycheck,likely your sole or main income,is about to vanish for an uncertain amount of time. Suddenly,in addition to constantly worrying about how you would tell your children their dad or mom is never coming home,you have to worry about something as basic as how you’re going to feed and clothe them. What do you do?

Please consider making a donation to the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society,Army Emergency Relief,the Air Force Aid Society,or Coast Guard Mutual Assistance. These non-profit organizations provide cash grants and zero-interest emergency loans to our men and women in uniform. You can support the troops,even if Congress won’t.

Donate securely online here:

Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society

Army Emergency Relief

Air Force Aid Society

Coast Guard Mutual Assistance

Four thoughts I had while running to the grocery store yesterday afternoon

Accelerating through S-turns on entrance ramps in the rain is made much more interesting when you know that you’re due for tie-rods soon.

At 3.79/gallon for premium,our next car will most definitely use regular unleaded.  This makes me sad,as comparatively few wagons out there fit that requirement,and I don’t want a crossover if I can avoid it.

As I was driving,I saw a driver’s ed car festooned with signs.  At first I thought they read “Panamanian Driving School,”which threw me.  I figure a certain amount of highway driving time is required these days,but that seemed excessive.  After I had that thought,I realized the sign read “Panamerican Driving School.”

I like seeing county names on other state’s license plates,and wish Wisconsin did the same.  Of course,I have no idea how they’d fit Trempealeau on the plate.  I’d also like to see the state go back to solid color plates,but that probably will never happen.  Barring that,the design above,part of a larger rebrand,would be a major improvement.

More State of the Union Thoughts Framed by Common Sense

photo by Flickr user Kid_Benjamin

Regarding debt:

“And by a plain method of argument,as we are running the next generation into debt,we ought to do the work of it,otherwise we use them meanly and pitifully.  In order to discover the line of our duty rightly,we should take our children in our hand,and fix our station a few years farther into life;that eminence will present a prospect,which a few present fears and prejudices conceal from our sight.”

Regarding Washington’s obliviousness to the poor and middle class:

“It is the good fortune of many to live distant from the scene of sorrow;the evil is not sufficiently brought to THEIR doors to make THEM feel the precariousness with which all American property is possessed.”

Regarding investment in infrastructure,education,and alternative energy:

“The present winter is worth an age if rightly employed,but if lost or neglected,the whole continent will partake of the misfortune;and there is no punishment which that man will not deserve,be he who,or what,or where he will,that may be the means of sacrificing a season so precious and useful.”

Regarding the challenges before us:

“Resolution is our inherent character,and courage hath never yet forsaken us.”

Thomas Paine on Michele Bachmann

Michele,any rebuttal?

“But to expend millions for the sake of getting a few vile acts repealed,and routing the present ministry only,is unworthy the charge,and is using posterity with the utmost cruelty;because it is leaving them the great work to do,and a debt upon their backs,from which,they derive no advantage.  Such a thought is unworthy a man of honor,and is the true characteristic of a narrow heart and peddling politician.”– Common Sense (1776)

Goodbye,Dome Sweet Dome

She may not look like much,but she‘s got had it where it counts,kid.