Adventures in Bureaucracy
I think I am ready for Christmas. It's just after midnight with well over 48 hours before the initial Christmas Eve events, and the presents are wrapped, the cards have been sent (or will be tomorrow -- as long as the postmark is before the 24th, the cards should get there some time within the twelve days of Christmas), and I don't have anything to stress over.
Unfortunately it looks like the Great Colorado Blizzard of Aught-Six
is going to affect the family's Christmas plans, as at least one flight has been cancelled, and it doesn't look like there is any chance of rebooking before the holiday. I can understand the frustration of some of the passengers who were stuck at Denver International, but two feet of snow does tend to snarl airport operations. I wonder whether United, the major operator, will be able to put in larger aircraft to help move people out -- substituting 747's for 757's on some of the trunk routes would certainly make a dent, but it's not like they have spare jumbo jets just sitting around. Do they?
Maybe next year Coloradans won't pray quite so hard for a white Christmas!
An on-line session with Archbishop Wuerl
gets to the really important issues of the day:
Potomac, Md.: Where do your true loyalties lie -- Steelers or Redskins?
Donald Wuerl: Fortunately, the teams are in different conferences and both apparently need prayers.
I wonder if Henry Ford ever expected this
when he started his assembly lines.
Something to think about
if someone ever brings up the idea of "updating" the Halloween classic "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown."
Americans are renouncing their citizenship
because of changes to tax laws that make those working overseas subject to both U.S. and foreign taxes. The numbers have never been that big, and they still aren't, but it's an interesting phenomenon.
I don't agree with the tendency to analyze everything in strictly monetary terms, and I would think citizenship is one of those things that should have some sort of emotional component to it. But hey, if it's worth giving up your passport to save a few bucks, well, who am I to judge? Besides, I've heard that these decisions aren't exactly irrevocable, but that just may be some rumors about very rare cases.
Still, there may be an unpleasant surprise the next time a former citizen tries to come back: section 212(a)(10)(E) of the Immigration and Nationality Act
, which states that "Any alien who is a former citizen of the United States who officially renounces United States citizenship and who is determined by the Attorney General to have renounced United States citizenship for the purpose of avoiding taxation by the United States is excludable." I had never seen this one applied at my port, and it probably depends on the inspector asking just the right questions to pick up on it, but it's on the books. Something else to think about before one abandons his citizenship, I suppose.
Public transportation in Los Angeles
-- apparently it exists. If I ever become a travel writer (in case cashing in my annual leave doesn't quite cover the expense for living in the Argentine wine country), there's got to be an article in how to see Los Angeles without a car.
Just when frustration on the job is getting to be nearly intolerable, along comes this article
(via Ace of Spades
) about some places to go when it's time to say, "Screw it!" A year at the Maharaja Suite is sounding pretty good, except for all the hippies in the local area, but maybe some extra rupees would get some local staff to chase them away. Then again, sitting around for a year watching grapes grow in Argentina doesn't sound bad either.
Pardon me while I go to calculate how much I'd get if I separated from service and cashed in my annual leave balance.
And they thought nobody would notice
. This one definitely one-ups that whole "War of the Worlds" thing.
I can completely understand the hoarding urge, as the stacks of old magazines in my apartment attest. But this
goes way beyond rational explanation.
It's kind of sad when my first reaction to this story
was surprise that a Broadway star was straight.