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According to the CPI, we’ve experienced low and stable inflation over the last few decades. But, one only needs to look up the prices of cars, jeans, college tuition, health care, rent, and many other day to day items to realize that the average American’s expenditures have grown at a much higher rate than the reported inflation number (see shadowstats.com for an eye-opening education on “changes” (perhaps, manipulation) of this calculation). At the same time, the average American’s pre-tax income has remained stagnant for the last decade. Rising prices versus stagnant incomes is, by our definition, inflation because the purchasing power of the average American has decreased over the last decade. While our definition may be relative, the result has the same deleterious impact on those it affects as does the tunnel vision definition of inflation. –“Waiting for Inflation? It’s Already Here,” Robert Barone, Minyanville
The doll hospital is just like a real hospital. There are doctors. Nurses. Orderlies. You bring the doll in and they wheel the doll away in a little doll wheelchair. Or, if the injury is bad enough, on a doll gurney. There’s even a helipad on the roof, for when a doll needs to be MedEvac’d after flipping her pink Corvette on the Pacific Coast Highway. My wife tells me that most of the operations at the American Girl hospital are done free-of-charge. I don’t buy it. That doesn’t sound like American Girl to me. That sounds like Canadian Girl. Or French Girl. An American Girl hospital would charge you $8,000 for a needle and thread. Oh, you want them to thread the needle? That’ll be another $14,000. Up front. In cash. –“Dad’s an Ass: An American Girl Story,” Warren Benedetto, DadWagon
The gap between political realities and their public face is so great that the term “paradox” tends to crop up from sentence to sentence….Debt, intemperance, and incompetence in rearing our children are no doubt regrettable, but they are vices, and left alone, they will soon lead to the pain that corrects. Life is a better teacher of virtue than politicians, and most sensible governments in the past left moral faults to the churches. But democratic citizenship in the twenty-first century means receiving a stream of improving “messages” from politicians. Some may forgive these intrusions because they are so well intentioned. Who would defend prejudice, debt, or excessive drinking? The point, however, is that our rulers have no business telling us how to live. –“Morals and the Servile Mind,” Kenneth Minogue, The New Criterion
More from TedRoss:
Years ago, I lived in Montana, a land of purple sunsets, clear streams, and snowflakes the size of silver dollars drifting through the cold air. There were no speed limits and you could legally drive drunk. My small apartment in Missoula had little privacy. In order to write, I rented an off-season fishing cabin on Rock Creek, a one-room place with a bed and a bureau. I lacked the budget for a desk. My idea was to remove a sliding door from a closet in my apartment and place it over a couple of hastily cobbled-together sawhorses.
Average number of bacteria living in a pound of U.S. mud:
Canadian doctors saved a baby from drowning in his own drool by using Botox on his salivary glands.
A black bear named Pedals, famous for walking upright on his hind legs through Rockaway Township, New Jersey, was reported killed by a hunter, and a hiker in California was attacked after he interrupted two bears mating. It was a “pretty good bear attack,” said the local police chief.
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"She never thanked me, never looked at me—melted away into the miserable night, in the strangest manner I ever saw. I have seen many strange things, but not one that has left a deeper impression on my memory than the dull impassive way in which that worn-out heap of misery took that piece of money, and was lost."