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24 February, 2013

One Kid, Two Kid, Red Kid, Blue Kid

Here's one kid. She is punching a snowbank, which insulted her family, or otherwise earned her wrath. She could care less that it is bigger than she is, and is happy to be the center of the shot.

Here is two kid (numero uno, in birth order), walking atop a snowbank that she saw as a walkway to another view. She is happy to disappear into its immenseness, and would be unhappy were her face to be recognizable.

I love both of these kids. They are both osum. They have some samenesses, and they have some differences. It would be sad otherwise.

With both of them, there is magic. The combination of complements, or play of opposites, or whatever they are to each other, creates alchemy. The kind that can turn a Northwest mid-winter day cloudless, that can make their dad's stoiclear eyes tear up with happiness. 

14 February, 2013

The Minimum Wage Wager Looks Worth It

This week, President Obama proposed raising the minimum wage, causing many disdainful harrumph among the plutocracy's elephantine representatives in Congress. The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25/hour; in Washington State, it is $9.10, highest in the country. The state's bottom of the barrel, then, is 25.5% higher than it is for the US.
So-called Conservatives would argue that Washington's wage structure is a disincentive to employment, but the data don't bear that out. From 1990 until now, when Washington's minimum wage has risen most every year, the state's rate has gone up and down according to the same macro-economic forces that have affected the federal rate. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in the US was 7.8% in December, 2012. For Washington, it was 7.6%. Far from being 25.5% higher, it was lower. 

Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rate*

Now, let's compare two states, Washington with it's "high" minimum wage and Georgia, where the minimum wage is a paltry $5.15. This is 44% below Washington's and 35% below the federal minimum wage. Has having the lowest minimum wage led to Georgia businesses offering everyone a job? No, not even close. 

Where's the harm in a higher minimum wage?*

Georgia's unemployment rate is higher, and has exceeded that in Washington throughout the past few years of economic crisis. From 1992 to 2007, to be sure, Georgia's rate was lower (in April, 2003, the WA rate of 7.7% was half again as high as in GA), but there is no evidence to suggest that an increasing Washington minimum wage contributed to this.
In fact, lower unemployment in Washington during the Great Recession shows that a higher minimum wage does not put a halt to hiring. In fact, a minimum wage that approaches a living wage may contribute to resiliency, if you think about it. More income, particularly at the lower end of the income scale, allows more spending, largely local, that keeps the consumer economy running. Georgia's working poor are likely to be pumping 44% less into an ailing economy than Washington's.

* Data from US Bureau of Labor Statistics, charts generated on Google Public Data.

13 February, 2013

World Radio Day

Ironically (I think that's the right word), I found out about World Radio Day on the internet. 

I love radio, think it is important, and write about it from time to time. But I won't do that again now. Instead, here are some links to radio stations up here in Washington (and one on Kaua'i) that keep me going as I drive from signal to signal.

KAOS Olympia

KPLU Seattle

KUOW Seattle

KBOO Portland

KSER Everett

KSVR Skagit Valley

KYRS Spokane

KKCR Kaua`i


04 February, 2013

Their's No Escaping "Irony"

My last post was about Irony. Then later that day I watched Futurama online, and Irony was a subject of dialogue at several points, one character debunking another's labelling something Ironic until finally someone whips out a dictionary and reads the definition.

Such are my super powers. I think about It, and It appears. But only when no chips are down, and when I least expect It. There's no money or glory or even crime-fighting benefit to this power,...and It makes me very happy.*

Which may be Ironic. Or maybe what's Ironic is that I thought about Irony and randomly saw a show about it,...Nah, that's not It. Or maybe it's that I keep writing about Irony with a growing confusion as to it's meaning. Could be, although I suspect the confusion is Karma busting me for picking on Alanis Morissette (did I spell that right?**).

*  Cartoons also make me happy, and I like Futurama a lot, so I looked up the Ironic episode just now (here), and found out that it was the finale of the original series. It's called "The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings." Ironic, don't you think, that I was procrastinating both while watching the show and looking it up later.

**  Because mis-spelling it at this point would be like using the wrong "there" their. Totally embarassing.

03 February, 2013


There's a song by Alanice Mauricette (did I spell the star's name wrong? how ironic) about irony, a series of scenes, followed by the musical question, "Isn't it ironic?" Mostly, though, the scenaria just seem to suck, and maybe don't reach the threshold my old self requires for Irony. But she was a kid, and the album as a whole was pretty good. Helped me drive 3000 miles during my escape from the East. 

Anyway, I was thinking about the collusion of misfortune and irony, wondering which one held sway, when I got this shot.