Great Barrier Reef (3611818048)
Good morning, Over Easiers! So, what’s good to talk about today? I thought Box Turtle might bring up this. I keep wondering if the pilots – probably young – actually knew that the Great Barrier Reef is endangered? Or a World Heritage Site?

Have you all heard about the group of young Dreamers – Mexican-born young adults who’d be eligible for Deferred Action, but who want to make point about deportations – who crossed the border and presented themselves at Nogales for entry to the United States? They asked for humanitarian parole, but of course, they’ve been detained. This is probably not wise. They have chosen to sacrifice themselves, but I wonder if they really understand their chances? It’s a dramatic gesture, but whether it will change any minds, I don’t know.
Then, of course, there’s the bankruptcy filing of Detroit. This morning, listening to a discussion of the filing, and whether the Emergency Manager could have done anything else, I shook my head. Finally one of the guests…probably the guy from AFSCME, said, “Orr is a bankruptcy attorney with years of experience. When you appoint a bankruptcy attorney, you’re planning on the remedy being filing bankruptcy.” Yes. How obvious can it be?

I don’t know if Detroit could have been saved, do you? It seems like in order to come back from the destruction of the auto industry, Detroit needed to have smart, and wise local elected officials. Unfortunately, that’s not what they got, for many years. It’s a shame. This whole country should be ashamed that it has allowed one of its great cities to come to this.

I’ve been hearing comparisons between Detroit and Pittsburgh, and even Detroit and San Antonio. The last, well, yeah, I think we lucked out. Our city council is often made up of clowns, but we’ve been fairly lucky in mayors. When the military announced it would be shutting down two of our five military bases, city government got together with private business and actually worked out a plan. Not all of it was great — the Alamodome, for example — but in the last fifteen or twenty years we have managed to diversify our economy. There are still too many low-wage jobs, but we are no longer dependent on the military as we once were, and that’s a good thing.

In kitteh news this week…my bad kitty is convinced he’s an outdoor cat who only comes in for meals, and pees on things when he’s kept in “too long.” Bath mat (new), new-rug-in-front-of-the-door, a coupla old rugs, all peed on. Sigh. I think I saved the bath mat, having discovered the wet spot promptly. But the rest, probably lost for good. I’m sorry to hear Nagi is behaving the same way…I worry about all our outside kittehs. He does look terrific in the exotic picture, though.

What do y’all think about Nate Silver leaving the Times? I’ll bet most of us here were reading FiveThirtyEight when it was on its own, and were a little worried that joining the Times would water him down, the way the WaPo did Ezra Klein. Apparently the Times tried to keep him, but he opted to return to sports. The funny/sad part is that according to the Times Public Editor some of the “traditional” political columnists never liked his work. Well, sure, he demonstrated that their type of ear-to-the-ground, brown-nosing of “important” people for news, is worthless. That’s why we read Nate, right?

My bout of living without a/c for a few days has reminded me of the old days, when we spent hot evenings on the patio or porch to escape the hot indoors.I can remember gazing up at the stars, picking out constellations. Even earlier than my childhood, folks used to sleep on “sleeping porches,” or even on the roofs in cities, neighbors sharing the cool top of the building. What happened to us that it’s no longer safe to do those things? Even leaving your windows open overnight seems foolhardy, unsafe. Is it just because there are so many of us? Well, I have no idea, but it is interesting that crime seems to be down all over the world.

image from Paul Holloway, Wikimedia Commons creative commons license