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      From Saez, Chetty, et al So, unless you think that genetic potential is that unequally distributed (and can explain eras where this chart did not apply, as in the post-WWII decades), you can pretty much forget “meritocracy.” Meritocracy is just a way of saying “we test for the things the middle and upper class has […]
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The country of Puerto Rico, Part 2

After a weekend of everyone focusing on the NFL, twitter is focusing with increasing alarm on Puerto Rico. The island is expected to be largely without power for 4-6 months. It puts my little week without after Sandy in perspective. Imagine no electricity for AC, refrigeration, hospital equipment. It’s a nightmare.

But that’s not the only indignity for Puerto Rico. There’s also the Jones Act. That act prohibits any foreign ships from entering Puerto Rico unless they have passed through a US port. So, any aid from any other country can’t get to Puerto Rico speedily. If the French have a few more generators or the Dutch have supplies left over from rescuing Sint Maarten, they have to go thru the US first.

The hospital is nearing collapse. There is a dam in danger of bursting, safe drinking water is scarce and as far as I know, no one has lit a fire under the Trump administration to do anything about it.

Republicans are too fixated on creating a spectacle out of their crazy “healthcare” bill.

Governor Rosello has to go on TV to remind the president that “Puerto Rico is part of the United States”.

This is turning into another Katrina but we aren’t seeing it yet. Sooner or later it’s going to explode on our radar and we’re going to bear the burden of having Puerto Rico descend into chaos and unnecessary deaths on our watch.

So, if there are any NFL players out there who are planning to take the knee tonight, make sure you don’t waste this opportunity to do something for our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico who are in dire straits.

Wherever this flag is flown

We take care of our own.

And it flies over Puerto Rico.


Monday: Personal Theme Songs

BiFF says he’s looking for a personal theme song ala Ally McBeal whose therapist recommended one. Ally picked “I Know Something About Love”

Mine is The Warrior by Patty Smyth. It always makes me feel victorious. The video is totally stupid but the song is great. Here’s a version minus the creepy Cirque du Soleil extras.

Do you have a personal theme song? Put it in the comments. For those of you who don’t know how to do that, follow this example:

Copy the link from youtube and paste it after the = sign. Close bracket.


The NFL players certainly struck a chord yesterday. I thought the protest was a distraction, and it is, but it’s more important than that. Because what’s the point of a protest if no one sees it?

And what exactly was this protest about? Let’s review:

  1. Colin Kaepernack started bending the knee to protest the way African Americans are treated by law enforcement. Yes, no one should have their civil rights and due process rights revoked, not even white people. But unfortunately, it happens to black people far too often with deadly consequences. And the point of Black Lives Matter is that these are people we are talking about. Real, living, breathing people with hopes and dreams and children and values and jobs and churches and friends and family who love them. They’re not predators just waiting for you to pass through their neighborhoods so they can beat the shit out of you and take your stuff. With the current crop of Republican politicians, you wouldn’t know that.
  2. Colin was suspended from his job as QB for the San Francisco 49ers. He isn’t being picked up by other teams in spite of his playing ability. In other words, he had been blacklisted, no pun intended.
  3. Other players have also decided to bend the knee during the anthem in protest.
  4. The immigration travel ban
  5. The attempt to roll back Medicaid, with the goal of specifically targeting certain groups of people. No, no, don’t try to deny it. Let’s not mince words anymore. The goal is to deprive poor and black people of medical care because Republicans refuse to draft a real bill that will cover everyone at a reasonable cost. They’re more into who *deserves* medical care. The answer is: everyone who is human. But that’s not how Republicans, their donors and THIS president roll.
  6. Charlottesville. Enough said. I take that back. Nazis are bad. There are no two sides to this argument. It is indefensible to be a nazi or stick up for them knowing what they stand for. Sure, they have the right to protest, like anyone else. And we have the right to despise, mock and shun them because they are evil shameless supremacist assholes. Just saying.
  7. The President (not MY president) calls the protestors “son of a bitch”, insulting fellow Americans and their mothers, and says they should be fired by the team owners. Refer back to item 2 where Kap has been blacklisted. In other words, an official of the United States has sought to quash the free speech rights of these players and encouraged their bosses to terminate their employment as a condition of displaying unwavering public obedience and patriotism, a thing that the USSC in 1943 decided that he is NOT supposed to do.

I think these players are representing the rest of US who have had it up to here with this divisive, unkind, mean spirited discrimination of black people. And muslims, women, poor people, the elderly, dreamers, immigrants and working people of all descriptions.

Yes, we’re sick of it. HE does NOT represent US.

And that us includes the majority of voters who did not vote for this ignorant, callous, self-centered, bombastic, incompetent orange colored idiot who is the face of America to the world.

There are people in Puerto Rico who desperately need our help. There are cancer patients and parents of sick kids all over the country who once again have to go through anguish and anxiety over their health insurance. The planet is melting. And there are rogue nations out there with ill intent planning to use sometimes simple yet ingenious methods to take us down.

I’m sick of this crap.

He is managing to unite us in a way he never intended. We, the majority, are not going to let this creepy President Pennywise divide us any longer.

We’re all in this together.


Greg Sargent pointed out the ultimate hypocrisy of sports officials finally getting angry at Trump after he’s gone after all of the other disenfranchised or underrepresented groups.

How does that saying from Rev. Niemoller go? I’m paraphrasing here:

First they came for the Muslims, and I did not speak out—

Because I was not a Muslim.

Then they came for the African Americans, and I did not speak out—

Because I was not a African American.

Then they came for the Women, and I did not speak out—

Because I was not a Women.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Well, better late than never.