Picking Ducks, Picking Pockets

I ran up on Miss Kay when she was about 14. There’s an ‘ol sayin’ in the south, if you marry ’em when there about fifteen, sixteen, they’ll pick your ducks. If you wait ’til they get to be twenty, they’ll pick your pocket. So Miss Kay and I married early. – Phil Robertson, from the I Am Second Movie

On the way to work today I heard there was a new Phil Robertson ‘controversy’, as if the media didn’t embarrass themselves enough the first time.

So I ask’d that boy, I said, “Listen”. He was out d’ere a while ago. I said, “Are y’all datin’?” He had his little girl wid ’em there, ya know. I said, “Ya’ll datin’, or ya married?” He said, “Well, we’re dating.” I said, “Well son, I’m gonna give you some ‘river rat counseling’ here. Make sure that she can cook a meal. You need to eat some meals that she cooks. Check that out. Make sure she carries her Bible, that’ll save you a lot of trouble down the road. And if she picks your ducks, now that’s a woman!” They got to get where they’re hard to find. Mainly because these boys are waitin’ ’til they get to be ’bout twenty years old ‘fore they marry ’em. Look, you wait ’til they get to be twenty years old, the only pickin’ that’s gonna take place is yo’ pocket. You gotta marry these girls when they about fifteen o’ sixteen they’ll pick yo’ ducks. You need to check wit’ mom an dad about that o’ course.

Of course, reading it is a lot different than seeing it with the inflection and humor that Phil brings with a twinkle in his eye.  I recommend you view it as well.

First off, he is not recommending ‘men’ marry young girls. He calls the young man he is talking to ‘boy’ and ‘son’, so he is clearly talking to someone much, much younger than him. I believe Phil himself was about eighteen when he married Miss Kay, who had just turned sixteen. He is not advocating pedophilia as some would have you believe. It is my understanding that, in his day and age, couples marrying this young was not uncommon. I have relatives that did it and it wasn’t even close to the stuff of trench coats and playgrounds.

I have to disagree with him however. The fifteen and sixteen year olds of his era weren’t the selfie-taking princesses of our era. They were much closer to being women at their age than many girls, even in their twenties, are today. But being 67, Phil might not see that

So, once again we watch Phil charm his audiences while the media fruitlessly tries to find scandal where there is none.

Happy New Year!

Twenty-fourteen is here, fully arrayed in 365 days of possibility. I have some old goals to reanimate as well as some new ones, including writing more here. I’ve always had the idea to maintain different blogs depending on the subject matter, but for this year I am going to try and centralize the majority of my thoughts here. This isn’t the first time I’ve tried this, but I want to try and write a little something here every day.

Onto fresh starts!

-Bryan

Minnesota makes free online education illegal.

Minnesota has decided on behalf of it’s citizens that a new start up offering free online classes from reputable universities is unacceptable in it’s state. Lernin’ must come from da state, ya’ll.

Coursera.org offers free courses from 33 universities including Standford, Princeton and Duke, all free of charge.

The law’s intent is to protect Minnesota students from wasting their money on degrees from substandard institutions…The thing is, no one is wasting their money on Coursera courses, because they’re free. (Yes, says [George] Roedler, [Manager of Institutional Registration and Licensing at the Minnesota Office of Higher Education], but they could still be wasting their time.)

What becomes clear in the article is that the issue isn’t over substandard institutions, but rather the schools that Coursera lists haven’t paid their registration fees to the state to ‘operate’ in Minnesota.

Sticky fingers, everywhere. Click here for the full article from Slate.

Unemployment Numbers Explained

A friend of mine posted this on his Facebook page. I have no idea where it came from, or who wrote it, but it pretty much sums up the ridiculousness that is our unemployment reporting.

COSTELLO: I want to talk about the unemployment rate in America.

ABBOTT: Good Subject. Terrible Times. It’s 8.1%.

COSTELLO: That many people are out of work?

ABBOTT: No, that’s 14.7%.

COSTELLO: You just said 8.1%.

ABBOTT: 8.1% Unemployed.

COSTELLO: Right 8.1% out of work.

ABBOTT: No, that’s 14.7%.

COSTELLO: Okay, so it’s 14.7% unemployed.

ABBOTT: No, that’s 8.1%.

COSTELLO: WAIT A MINUTE. Is it 8.1% or14.7%?

ABBOTT: 8.1% are unemployed. 14.7% are out of work.

COSTELLO: IF you are out of work you are unemployed.

ABBOTT: No, Obama said you can’t count the “Out of Work” as the unemployed. You have to look for work to be unemployed.

COSTELLO: BUT THEY ARE OUT OF WORK!!!

ABBOTT: No, you miss his point.

COSTELLO: What point?

ABBOTT: Someone who doesn’t look for work can’t be counted with those who look for work. It wouldn’t be fair.

COSTELLO: To whom?

ABBOTT: The unemployed.

COSTELLO: But they are ALL out of work.

ABBOTT: No, the unemployed are actively looking for work. Those who are out of work gave up looking and if you give up, you are no longer in the ranks of the unemployed.

COSTELLO: So if you’re off the unemployment roles that would count as less unemployment?

ABBOTT: Unemployment would go down. Absolutely!

COSTELLO: The unemployment just goes down because you don’t look for work?

ABBOTT: Absolutely it goes down. That’s how Obama gets it to 8.1%. Otherwise it would be 14.7%. He doesn’t want you to read about 14.7% unemployment.

COSTELLO: That would be tough on his reelection.

ABBOTT: Absolutely.

COSTELLO: Wait, I got a question for you. That means there are two ways to
bring down the unemployment number?

ABBOTT: Two ways is correct.

COSTELLO: Unemployment can go down if someone gets a job?

ABBOTT: Correct.

COSTELLO: And unemployment can also go down if you stop looking for a job?

ABBOTT: Bingo.

COSTELLO: So there are two ways to bring unemployment down, and the easier of the two is to have Obama’s supporters stop looking for work.

ABBOTT: Now you’re thinking like the Obama Economy Czar.

COSTELLO: I don’t even know what the hell I just said!

ABBOTT: Now you’re thinking like Obama.

Yes. You are.