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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:
Many comedians consider stand-up the purest form of comedy; Doug Stanhope considers it the freest. “Once you do stand-up, it spoils you for everything else,” he says. “You’re the director, performer, and producer.” Unlike most of his peers, however, Stanhope has designed his career around exploring that freedom, which means choosing a life on the road. Perhaps this is why, although he is extremely ambitious, prolific, and one of the best stand-ups performing, so many Americans haven’t heard of him. Many comedians approach the road as a means to an end: a way to develop their skills, start booking bigger venues, and, if they’re lucky, get themselves airlifted to Hollywood. But life isn’t happening on a sit-com set or a sketch show — at least not the life that has interested Stanhope. He isn’t waiting to be invited to the party; indeed, he’s been hosting his own party for years.
Because of the present comedy boom, civilians are starting to hear about Doug Stanhope from other comedians like Ricky Gervais, Sarah Silverman, and Louis CK. But Stanhope has been building a devoted fan base for the past two decades, largely by word of mouth. On tour, he prefers the unencumbered arrival and the quick exit: cheap motels where you can pull the van up to the door of the room and park. He’s especially pleased if there’s an on-site bar, which increases the odds of hearing a good story from the sort of person who tends to drink away the afternoon in the depressed cities where he performs. Stanhope’s America isn’t the one still yammering on about its potential or struggling with losing hope. For the most part, hope is gone. On Word of Mouth, his 2002 album, he says, “America may be the best country, but that’s like being the prettiest Denny’s waitress. Just because you’re the best doesn’t make you good.”
Ratio of husbands who say they fell in love with their spouse at first sight to wives who say this:
Mathematicians announced the discovery of the perfect method of cutting a cake.
Indian prime-ministerial contender Narendra Modi, who advertises his bachelorhood as a mark of his incorruptibility, confessed to having a wife.
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Science’s crisis of faith