Monday, February 17, 2020

Washington's Birthday (2020)

George Washington
Today is Washington's Birthday. Well, it's not, but it is. It's the federal holiday "Washington's Birthday." Some people call it "Presidents Day" because some people are stupid. There is no federal holiday called "Presidents Day." Never has been.

When George Washington was born, the date was February 11, 1731. You see, the United Kingdom of Great Britain was using the Julian Calendar back then. There is an issue with leap years with the Julian Calendar, so the calendar was always slowly getting more and more inaccurate. Also, in England and the colonies, New Year's Day was on March 25. Go figure.

Anyway, in 1750, the U.K. changed to the Gregorian Calendar and fixed things. New Year's Day was now in January. The calendar dates were adjusted 11 days, which meant that, retroactively, George Washington was born on February 22, 1732. But that was only the first time people screwed around with his birthday.

The federal government did try to do right by Washington in 1879 when they added a fifth national holiday. Washington's Birthday, February 22nd, was added to the list of New Year’s Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day as national holidays. Other holidays were added later, until we have the ten we have today.

In 1971, the Uniform Monday Holiday Act went into effect, moving many of the holidays to Mondays instead of the proper or traditional day. Washington's Birthday was one of those. And, just like the government, they made it so it would never be right. The holiday falls on the third Monday in February, which means it can be as early as the 15th, and as late as the 21st. It will never be on the 22nd, which is when it actually is.

Some states used to celebrate Lincoln's Birthday on February 12th. Around half the states have state holidays honoring both Lincoln and Washington today. And, states can do that. Still, the federal holiday is, and has always been Washington's Birthday.

If your state celebrates more than just George Washington today, fine. Honor Lincoln and the other presidents that your state recognizes. But, there is a reason the federal holiday is simply Washington's Birthday. Don't forget to honor the man without whom we might very well not have this great nation.

George Washington. February 22, 1732 - December 14, 1799. First in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Space Junk

Suddenly, some people are all concerned about satellites orbiting earth.

The Night Sky Will Never Be Same...
Thousands of Artificial Lights Streak Through Dark...
Musk, Bezos Junk Up Atmosphere...

What these people don't seem to realize is that there have been artificial satellites and large space junk orbiting Earth since October 1957. By the time Sputnik 1 decayed and reentered the atmosphere, other satellites were orbiting. We've not been without stuff in space for over 52 years.

With the number of satellites that are being launched by Amazon, SpaceX, and other companies, it's suddenly a problem? The people complaining haven't seen the night sky in years. I can go out and look up into the night sky and see things. I still like to do that. But people who don't are suddenly getting their panties in a wad over some companies putting up satellites that will provide Internet access over the entire country.

Don't get me wrong. Space junk is a problem. And the increased number of satellites will increase space junk. But space junk in the form of more Internet access. Have you seen what's on the Internet. I'd stay clear of that thing if I were you.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Maybe She Has The Right Idea

Everybody on the right is getting their panties in a wad about Nancy Pelosi ripping up her copy of Trump's State of the Union address. Well, not everybody. I'm not.

You see, I think this should become a trend.

Think about it. Somebody stands up in Congress and gives some papers to the Speaker of the House. The person reads it, then the Speaker of the House rips it up.

Imagine if that was a bill.
"Madame Speaker, I present to you my proposal that the government get involved with the regulation of the color of vacuum cleaner bags. We cannot allow this plethora of colors of vacuum cleaner bags to continue to cause confusion among the American consumer when having to choose between beige, taupe, off-white, and light grey. My proposal would allow for the creation of the Department of Vacuum Cleaner Bags with oversight authority on all such items manufactured in or imported into the United States and offered for sale to consumers.

I also present my accompanying proposal that covers industrial vacuum cleaner bags and ensures they conform with the standards set forth by the E.P.A. and the United Nations Climate Neutral Strategy.

I also present my accompanying proposal to increase funding to the United Nations specifically for its Climate Neutral Strategy."
Tell me, would you be upset if the Speaker then ripped it to shreds?

It should be the duty of the Speaker of the House to rip up everything handed to her (or him, once things right themselves). If that means a presidential speech or two gets ripped up in the process, that's the price we have to pay.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Iowa Stubborn

With apologies to no one (although the late Meredith Willson might not care for this)...

Oh, there's nothing to say
About the Iowa way to caucus,
When we caucus
Which we can’t get right at all.

There's an Iowa kind of special
Chip and software attitude.
We've never been without.
That we recall.

We can be down
As your falling poll numbers in the backrooms
If you ask to get the vote results on time.
And we're so by God stubborn
We won't admit that there's a problem
For a week or more.
Want the results? You can kiss our ass.

But what the heck, we'll tell ya,
What we think we want to tell ya
You can throw a fit
But really keep it to yourself.
You really shoulda give Iowa a pass.

But we'll give you a kick
And a smack to go with it
If your polls should happen to crash.

So, what the heck, you're welcome,
Glad to have you with us.
Even though you may not ever want to come again.

You really ought to give Iowa
Hawkeye Iowa

Ought to give Iowa a pass!