Consummate dilettantism!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Fill in the Blank

_________'s next leader will be an openly gay former flight attendant who parlayed her experience as a union organizer into a decades-long political career.

The answer? Iceland!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ugly Betty [More Chat]

[21:14] A: OMFG
[21:15] A: just had to say that
[21:16] M: no shit sherlock
[21:17] A: but even in the "ugly" makeup
[21:17] A: like, even hotter in the ugly makeup
[21:17] M: wat


Song of the Day

Electric Version by the The New Pornographers:

Monday, January 26, 2009

I Like Obama?

This is gonna be published somewhere; I'll let you know where when it is. In the meantime, read it; it's good.
Count me among the cynics. ‘Tis always better to doubt than to believe, and there is no shortage of reasons to doubt. We seem to be stuck in a timeless universe, living in a moment that knows no past and no future. The boundless enthusiasm for Barack Obama is simply not proportionate to what he has done or plans to do, nor can the nation hope itself out of the mess it is in. Only when we understand this can we confront the very real nature of policy, and what Obama has promised does not look promising. Can the President bail the country out by resuscitating hopelessly failed industries, by spending on projects that cannot hope to commence until the “crisis” has passed, by hoping to use our money better than we ourselves can? Can he hope to outlaw partisanship and “unify” government, an idea that I hope sounds as scary to me as it does to thee? Can he hope to surmount the vitally imperfect nature of our government, to avoid redundancy and waste when only a few hundred people have a say in where billions of dollars are spent? The answer is no, of course, and this is a reality that few of us wish to confront. Blinded by the magical brilliance of the inauguration, we seem to have forgotten that what goes on in Washington is very real and very serious. We should not expect salvation from lofty platitudes, nor that hopeful change is some unalloyed good.

Given the nature of my convictions, you would not expect me to have been moved by Obama’s speech. Yet you would be wrong, and I hold out hope yet. I was touched, indeed surprised, by the rising line in which he proclaims to the terrorists, for all the world to hear, that “our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken,” that “you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.” I was glad to hear my president submit a declaration of strength, not weakness, proud in the knowledge that my country would not succumb to the trendily radical sapping of the human spirit, a sapping that surrenders any claim to the right, that preemptively declares the scum of humanity the victor. A vigorous defense of liberty, a defense that fiercely recoils from the disgustingly pusillanimous equivocation that grips the souls of cowards, is the only way to halt the moral advance of terrorism. Any friend of liberty is a friend of mine. So I say: Mr. President, with trust in God, defend freedom; fight for good!

Friday, January 23, 2009

What Is Essential And What Is Not?

The lede of another tepid article from Yahoo! HotJobs:
In just 60 minutes, you could earn enough to pay for a tank of gas, the cable bill, gym membership, or dinner out. Thirty dollars still covers some of life's essential costs. Earn that much in just one hour on the job, and you have enough to build a comfortable life.
Why are we awash in foreclosures? Because we don't know how to live. Not one of the items above is one of life's "essential costs." Tank of gas? The bus is too low for you, I guess. The cable bill? Why do you have a fucking TV? What is so compelling about the television that you must have one at the cost of $50/month, especially when you can see most of the shows on the internet? Gym membership? I can't believe this. It's called a sidewalk.
Sidewalk: use it.

Dinner out? Jesus Christ, I want to gouge out my eyes; make your own food! Invite people over to your house! Unless someone else is paying, don't go to a restaurant for food at ten times the cost of what you could make or purchase yourself!

My philosophy is this: If you don't need to do something costly, don't do it. "But Ari," you protest, "these are just life's luxuries! Treat yourself once in a while! These are indulgences; some people just can't live without them!" Honestly? That's your reply? Your willpower isn't strong enough not to eat ice cream, get a gym membership, or watch TV? Set this as your desktop background, and maybe you'll change your mind:
Another starving child in Africa. I'm sure the cable bill is a real priority.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I Was Right: Biden Is President

You heard it here first, folks [SFGate]:
Several constitutional lawyers said President Obama should, just to be safe, retake the oath of office that was flubbed by Chief Justice John Roberts.

The 35-word oath is explicitly prescribed in the Constitution, Article II, Section 1, which begins by saying the president "shall" take the oath "before he enter on the execution of his office."

The oath reads: "I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of president of the United States and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

In giving the oath, Roberts misplaced the word "faithfully," at which point Obama paused quizzically. Roberts then corrected himself, but Obama repeated the words as Roberts initially said them.

A do-over "would take him 30 seconds, he can do it in private, it's not a big deal, and he ought to do it just to be safe," said Boston University constitutional scholar and Supreme Court watcher Jack Beermann. "It's an open question whether he's president until he takes the proper oath."

The courts would probably never hear a challenge, and some might argue that Obama automatically took office at noon because that's when President Bush left the office. But because the procedure is so explicitly prescribed in the Constitution, Beermann said if he were Obama's lawyer, he would recommend retaking it, just as two previous presidents, Calvin Coolidge and Chester Arthur, did under similar circumstances.

"The Constitution says what he's supposed to say," Beermann said. "... It's kind of surprising the chief justice couldn't get it right."

The only reason not to retake the oath would be to prevent further embarrassment of the chief justice, he said. "It would seem appropriate for the president of the United States to take the oath specified in the Constitution," he said. "It's the same oath all 43 of his predecessors took. He ought to take it."

Charles Cooper, head of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel under President Ronald Reagan, said that the oath is mandatory, that an incorrect recitation should be fixed and that he would be surprised if the oath hadn't already been re-administered.

Jonathan Turley, a constitutional law professor at George Washington University, was hosting an inauguration party at his home in McLean, Va., Tuesday and did a mock swearing-in of 35 children. When Roberts erred, one child shouted: "That's not right!"

"He should probably go ahead and take the oath again," Turley said. "If he doesn't, there are going to be people who for the next four years are going to argue that he didn't meet the constitutional standard. I don't think it's necessary, and it's not a constitutional crisis. This is the chief justice's version of a wardrobe malfunction."
They laughed at Galileo and Copernicus, and now at me! Hate to say I told you so, but, well, i don't: I told you so!

UPDATE: Obama's taken the oath a second time!
Chief Justice John Roberts has administered the presidential oath of office to Barack Obama for a second time just to be on the safe side.

The unusual step came after Roberts flubbed the oath a bit on Tuesday, causing Obama to repeat the wording differently than as prescribed in the Constitution.

White House counsel Greg Craig said Obama took the oath from Roberts again out of an "abundance of caution."

The chief justice and the president handled the matter privately in the Map Room on Wednesday night.
Obama's probably an avid reader of this blog; Obama or the Supreme Court, that is. Okay, so Obama's definitely president now, but I still hold that Biden was acting president there for a while! What's more important is that Obama didn't have the power to create a National Day of Renewal and Reconciliation. I therefore refuse to celebrate it on the grounds that it's an unconstitutionally created holiday.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Sufism and Zen

This is a short paper I wrote for a history class. I think it is of general interest, so I post it here.
Schimmel very briefly discusses the possible influence of East Asian thought on Sufism. I think that the parallels between Sufism and Zen are so numerous as to warrant more than a short mention. The parallelism is more than superficial; while most religions have mystical elements, Islam has a mystical strain that is profoundly Zen-like. Whether this is indicative of Islam’s borrowing from Buddhism is another question; I am merely pointing out the similarities.

Sufism is that which cannot be named. “A Sufi does not ask who a Sufi is”; Sufism is an indefinable philosophy of contemplation of the timelessly infinite. The Kashf al-Mahjub describes Sufism as purity. And what is purity? Purity is the seeing of the sun and moon, the seeing of and absorption into the ethereal, the endless sky of God. Men are exhorted to escape the confines of “stations,” stations that bind us to the world and to the finite chain of causality. Causality figures very importantly in Sufism; it marks the line between this world and the next. The concept of a “next” world is misleading here; Sufism focuses on the escape from this world into a state of purity that finds bliss in brutal hunger. Hunger and asceticism cause joy because they remove the veil.

The essence of Zen is namelessness. Kōans about Zen are designed to “shock” the listener into contemplation with the sheer force of their discord; Sufi tales are likewise described as being not literal (yet importantly not figurative), as being designed to propel the reader beyond that which is known. The Chinese character 無 is used as a reply to riddles that are not riddles; it represents the state of ultimate negation, the “off” state. There is no question; the question is not designed to question, but to induce contemplation. The concept of Zazen, or the clearing of the mind to become oneness with everything, is startlingly similar, in both practice and metaphor, to Abu Amr Dimashqi’s instruction to “shut the eye to the phenomenal world” – as Daito says to sweep away thoughts that are like clouds, so do the Sufis say that the “eye cannot see the light of the sun and moon with complete demonstration”; the heart sees only the empyrean.

The goal of the Sufis is to have an existence that is without cause and without end, an existence unaffected by time or the thoughts and actions of man. I argue that the practitioners of Zen have precisely the same goal.

Joseph Robinette Biden: Our New President

If Professor Ken Katkin's analysis here is correct, then Condoleezza Rice was the interim president from 12:00 to about 12:01.
(1) The 20th Amendment provides that "[t]he terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January...."

(2) Art II., Sec. 1 Cl. 8 provides that "[b]efore he enter on the Execution of his Office, [The President] shall take the following oath...."

(3) President Obama did not take the Oath of Office until about 12:03 pm today, after Vice President Biden took it at about 12:01 p.m. (Yo Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman were still fiddling at noon).

(4) Therefore, there was a brief window (just after noon) when George Bush and Dick Cheney were no longer President and Vice President, but Barack Obama and Joe Biden also were not yet qualified to enter on the Execution of their offices.

(5) The Presidential Succession Act, 3 U.S.C. sec. 19(a)(1), provides: "If, by reason of ... failure to qualify, there is neither a President nor Vice President to discharge the powers and duties of the office of President, then the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall, upon his resignation as Speaker and as Representative in Congress, act as President." Section 19(b) states that the President Pro Tempore of the Senate shall act as President (under the same terms and conditions) if the Speaker of the House fails to qualify.

(6) Neither Nancy Pelosi nor Robert Byrd actually resigned their seats in the Congress. Thus, neither of them qualified to become Acting President under the Presidential Succession Act. Plus, interbranch appointments might be unconstitutional anyhow. See Akhil Reed Amar and Vikram David Amar, Is the Presidential Succession Law Constitutional?, 48 Stan. L. Rev. 113 (1995); but see Howard Wasserman, Structural Principles and Presidential Succession, 90 Ky. L.J. 345 (2002).

(7) Section 19(d)(1) of the Presidential Succession Act provides: "If, by reason of ... failure to qualify, there is no President pro tempore to act as President under subsection (b) of this section, then the officer of the United States who is highest on the following list, and who is not under disability to discharge the powers and duties of the office of President shall act as President: Secretary of State ...."

(8) Notably, Section 19(d)(1) does not condition the Secretary of State's assumption of the powers and duties of the office of President on resignation of her current office, nor does elevation of the Secretary of State raise any constitutional issue of interbranch appointment.

(9) The term of office of the Secretary of State does not automatically terminate at noon on the 20th day of January.

(10) On January 20, 2009, Condoleeza Rice was (and is) still the Secretary of State.

(11) Accordingly, from 12:00 noon until 12:01 p.m. (when Vice President Biden took the oath of office and became Vice President), Condoleeza Rice was momentarily the Acting President of the United States, our first African-American President.
Although Volokh thinks the analysis is rendered "moot" by the discovery that Joe Biden took the oath of office before 12:00 P.M., it is not; it actually implies that Biden was the acting president before Obama was sworn in. (Although Barack Obama was at the time and still is the president under the 20th Amendment to the Constitution, he had not yet assumed the powers of the office.)

Fine. Joe Biden was the acting president, but as soon as Obama swore, he acquired the powers of the presidency. Right? Wrong. In fact, Obama never actually swore the oath of office. What he said, confirmed by video footage, was this:
I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear that I will execute the Office of President of the United States faithfully, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
To paraphrase Bill O'Reilly, "I don't know what that is, I've never seen that." What the Constitution requires is this:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
The word "faithfully" must precede "execute" for the oath to be valid. Therefore, Barack Hussein Obama does not currently have the powers of the president; rather, Joseph Robinette Biden does. Until Obama recites the oath correctly, Biden is acting president.

Hail to the Chief!

Friday, January 16, 2009

No Peeking!

I like how he's kinda peering over the taskbar. The All-Seeing is pleased.The background is the new, gorgeous, high-resolution official portrait of Obama. Get it here. Even (and maybe especially) if you don't support Obama's policies, you can't deny the ironic and aesthetic value of such a desktop.

We're Just Uncultured Boors, I Guess...

From a Reuters piece:
English and American businessmen were also more easily offended than their colleagues in the Middle East, Japan and China, nations with cultural traditions spanning centuries.
What does this mean? How does this little factoid have any relevance? Don't Britons and Americans have cultural traditions spanning centuries too?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

It's Really Nice Here

# Tonight: Evening clouds will give way to clearing overnight. Areas of blowing snow. Dangerous wind chills as low as -25F. Low -6F. Winds NW at 20 to 30 mph.
# Tomorrow: Bitterly cold. Mainly sunny. Dangerous wind chills approaching -25F. High near 0F. Winds WNW at 15 to 25 mph.
# Tomorrow night: Bitterly cold. Partly cloudy. Dangerous wind chills as low as -25F. Low -9F. Winds W at 10 to 20 mph.
Danger is my middle name!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

We Have a Winner!

From a thread called "Most Desperate Thing Done to get High?":
All of the above inhalants, smoked tea and oregano, tookDramamine, I drank 11 red bulls in about 20 minutes. That one was weird, I couldn't walk in a straight line, I literally felt as if my brain was sliding out of the side of my head and I couldn't control my basic motor skills for a while. I used to hold my breath and squeeze my neck until I passed out.Mutilating my body and drainingmy blood used to give me a pretty cool rush. I also used to break into peoples homes and mix all their prescription drugs together in a bowl and eat a handfull "cocktails".

I used to start fights with people I didn't think I could beat for the adrenaline rush. At my lowest point, I let a gay man suck my dick for some money to get drugs. I smashed in a mans brains with a hammer to take his drugs. Combined a bunch of different meds from fellow patients in a mental hospital. Purposely attacked the staff in the mental hospital so they would give me some "booty juice". I don't know what it was really called, but thats what we called it cuz it's a shot in the ass. That shit knocked me out for like thirty hours. I also used to take the transformers out of stereos to electricute myself with 12V batteries.

Attempted to make my own alcohol by mashing up different fruits into a pulp and leaving it under my bed for a few weeks (I actually drank it too). Played Russian Roulette to get a rush.
Another good one:
Alright. It was my birthday some years back, and I decided to go to dinner at a decent French eatery. And a friend of mine, who bothered me to no end, invited himself. After a decent meal of frog legs and good wine, I went home - followed by my "pet."

He wanted to get "high, dude!" I explained that I had nothing to help him in this endeavor. But he persisted in demanding "Anything" to alter his head state. Having had enough, I suggested he take an entire box of 12 Marezine tablets(cyclizine .HCl) and grind them into a powder and put them in a turkey-baster and shoot 'em up his butt. Guess what he did?

Yup. You never heard such moaning and groaning in your life. Part of me felt sorry for him. But another part of me was holding my ribs laughing. I went on to help him study chemistry in a University. He is now a research bio-chemist for a major pharmaceutical company. But he will never live down the "Night of the Turkey-Baster."
Ah, this one's nuts:
IV'ing pure ethanol (from the chem lab I worked at) out of a 10ml spore syringe (I replaced the huge needle with a 27 guage one). Not particularly intoxicating, shooting alcohol is kind of silly since it absorbs so rapidly when you drink it. A 10ml rig is pretty fucking large too and this wasn't some 80 proof vodka. Anyone claiming to get wasted doing this is full of shit unless they can get 100ml or more into their bloodstream quickly.

A previous poster seems to have some simlar experiences as myself. Played russian roullete once by myself just for a rush. Let a fag in frisco suck my dick for 20 bucks (bought a balloon of dope with that). I also got picked up hitchhiking in northern cali by a fag who gave me 30 bucks and some pot to WATCH him jerk off (weird shit), I bought a half gram of chiva with the 30 bucks.

Massive amounts of dramamine on a couple occassions. Horrible hallucinations, one time I attempted driving home while completely delerious and imagined that I was being pulled over by a cop that wasn't there. Ate 2 seed pods off a datura plant I was growing as well, left me blind for a couple days afterwards.

Found brown looking cotton balls on my bedroom floor, mixed them up with water and injected. Figured there might be heroin left in them, wound up with a nasty infection.

Injected 60 extended release wellbutrin pills (crudely extracted) over the course of an evening. Very speedy in a shitty coke sort of way. Injected propylhexadrine from benzadrex inhalers as well.

Went 3.5 days without eating, sleeping, or drinking anything in hopes of achieving natural delirium.
How the Mazatecs did it, I guess:
drank large bottle of 25x salvia tincture. . .spent 4 hours licking my stereo to try to turn it off. . .
This sounds fun:
killer tequilla, snort the salt, lemon in the eye, then drinking the shot. ruins people
Ari: reading these threads so you don't have to!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

LazyTown Rap

I'm sorry for copying you, but this video needs to be seen:

Listen to the lyrics!

Saturday, January 10, 2009


I posted this here:
This is certainly true, and there is no doubt that Israel is trying to minimize civilian causalities. But the important thing to realize (if you accept the premises that the number of civilian casualties must not exceed the number of civilian lives ultimately saved, and that Palestinian lives are morally equivalent to Israeli lives) is that very, very few Israelis have died from Hamas rocket fire. The Israeli government surely knew that its actions would result in the deaths of hundreds of innocent civilians -- that Hamas likes to hide behind them doesn't mean that Hamas is responsible for their deaths. If an attack on Gaza kills 500 Palestinian civilians in three weeks but saves 5 Israeli lives over the next year, can the attack really be called moral? If its goal were to topple the Hamas government (which would probably save more lives than it took), then perhaps it could be, but as matters stand I think it is a serious moral mistake to support the Israeli attack.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Experimetrix: My New Love!

So I'm in class today, perusing the syllabus, minding my own business, when the lecturer says, "...and you'll have to get 3 credits of research participation. You can register for experiments online at Experimetrix." (Okay, he didn't speak in hyperlinks, but you get the idea.)

I'm all, WHAT?! YOU CAN DO THAT?!?!?!?!?!11111oneoneoneeleven

Sure as day, you can sign up on the internet to participate in awesome experiments and get credit or cash. I've got three tomorrow and plan to do many, many more.


[19:44] R: ur a homo
[19:45] R: ....wut is this......
[19:45] R: i dnt get it
[19:46] A: you sign up to participate in research experiments
[19:46] A: you know, the ones where they strap you in a chair and wiggle your ding dong and stuff
[19:47] R: ....

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Legal Drinking Age?

The United States is one of about only nine or ten countries (Cameroon, Honduras, parts of India, Oman, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, the Northern Mariana Islands, Fiji, and, to some extent, Egypt) in the entire world that prohibit 20-year-olds from buying alcohol. (I exclude from the list countries that ban alcohol entirely.) In what messed-up logic does a drinking age of 21 make sense? Not in any logic I know.

One cannot legally buy (and in many states, even drink) beer, but can wield an M16 in deadly combat with murderous terrorists. Seriously. Does that make sense to you? If it does, there's a petition I'd like you to sign...

Friday, January 2, 2009

Social Security Sucks. Bailouts Too. Teachers Unions Too.

Social Security has often been compared to a Ponzi scheme. It is not a Ponzi scheme. It does have "Ponzi-like" qualities -- new investors are expected to pay off old ones, and without new investors, the system would either collapse or run into serious problems. But the difference is that the Social Security Administration invests some of your money in U.S. Treasury bonds; a Ponzi scheme is not typically characterized by real investments. (Whether Social Security is a "mixed" Ponzi scheme is certainly debatable, as is the question of whether it would collapse without new investors.) But this discussion misses the point: Social Security actually generates a negative rate of return.

Yeah, that's right. CoyoteBlog runs the numbers and comes to a startling conclusion:

A few weeks ago I got my annual "Your Social Security Statement" from the government.  This is a statement carefully crafted to look like it’s telling you a lot while at the same time covering up Social Security’s dirty little secret.  But with a spreadsheet and 5 minutes of work, one can figure out what is really going on.

The statement shows the total of my social security taxes paid into the system, including the employer share.  It also shows my taxed earnings per year, and my "benefits."  The main benefit is the monthly annuity payment Social Security will make to me after I retire.  My statement shows that $140,139 total taxes have been paid into the system on my behalf over the last 25 years.  Based on these taxes and (this is important) the assumption I and my employer will continue to pay in at least $7440 per year until I retire, I can expect an annuity at retirement age of 67 (under current law, which the statement makes clear can be changed at any time) of $1,985 per month.


In fact, this all opens up the obvious question, what actual rate of return is Social Security paying out on your "premiums?"  Well, in fact we can calculate this with the same spreadsheet.  I plugged in 2% for the interest rate.  No go — resulting annuity is to high.  Then I plugged in 1%.  Still too high.  Could the government be paying you 0% on your money?  I plugged that in.  Still too high.  In fact, the implied rate of return on my money in the Social Security system is -0.8% a year.  In other words, not only is the government not paying me any interest, they are charging me to hold my money.

Some people, of course, will reap a lot more from Social Security than they put in. Who are these people? Welfare recepients. Retirement plan my ass.
Fine, let’s call it a retirement program. Well, as a retirement program, it is a really, really big RIPOFF. Ever worker in this country is being raped by this retirement plan. In fact, it is the worst retirement program in the whole country:

* As we see above, it pays a negative rate of return
* It is not optional - you go to prison if you choose not to participate
* Unlike a private annuity contract, the government can rewrite your benefits level any time, and you have to take it. In fact, my statement says "Your estimated benefits are based on current law. Congress has made changes to the law in the past and can do so at any time. The law governing benefit amounts may change because, by 2040, the payroll taxes collected will be enough to pay only about 74 percent of scheduled benefits."
* There are no assets backing this annuity!! [This point is actually incorrect -- see above.] An insurance company that wrote annuities without any invested assets backing them would be thrown in jail faster than Jeff Skilling. The government has been doing it for decades.
(CoyoteBlog is one of my favorites. You should check it out.)

Laziness, incompetence, greed, complacency; these are the traits that characterize the new America. What is a bailout? The sustaining of a bubble of stupidity. When you reward failure, you reinforce it. I know a substitute teacher in New York State who brags about going to retire with a veritable mountain of cash, footed, of course, by the taxpayer. The amount of money he's guaranteed to get while not working is unconscionable, and far from uncommon. Has he ever done an honest day's work in his life as a substitute? Probably not. Sitting and watching children isn't really that hard. But our good educators, our police; so woefully underpaid! Underpaid? That's a union line designed to mask how much money they're actually making for how little work they're actually doing. Swine drinking from the public trough describes these people:
Stories abound of police racking up overtime in their final years of employment to punch up their pensions. So do reports of double dippers — those who collect a public pension while continuing to work on another public payroll.

For example, there are sex offenders and other criminals who have been forced out of their jobs but who continue to collect their public pensions.

And some retired elected officials draw paychecks as well as pensions in two different public arenas.

At the forefront of the statewide debate on pensions are the public schools, where contract language and state laws permit high-level administrators and teachers to retire relatively young — 55 — with pensions that are, in some cases, bigger than their salaries.


Six-figure pensions are not unheard of among educators.

Statewide, 696 former teachers and administrators have pensions of more than $100,000, according to the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System. The largest annual pension, $316,245, goes to James H. Hunderfund, a former Long Island superintendent.


Buffalo teachers and administrators can cash in 220 unused sick days. Administrators can cash in five weeks of unused vacation days as well. The district also offers “early retirement incentives” to many veteran teachers and administrators — up to about $26,000 for teachers and $50,000 for administrators.

In just two recent years, the combined payout was $14.5 million to 522 people.


It all makes for a comfortable retirement for many former school employees — but, some argue, at too high a high cost to those footing the bill.

“The pension fund is essentially the taxpayers of New York State,” McMahon said.
Early retirement incentives? This makes me sick. I cannot tell you how infuriated I get reading this. (Read what teachers unions don't want you to read. Please.) People who work for a living, who struggle to make money, who run small businesses, people like the author of CoyoteBlog, like my dad, who either do good work or fail, don't make this kind of money, and yet do infinitely more real work in a week than these people do in years. You want to know what mentality the bailouts are going to support? Read no further than this.