Archive for December, 2011

This is a great cost-cutting idea for all businesses!  Why not deduct corporate taxes from your employees’ salaries as well?  All credit card transaction fees should be paid by employees!  This way businesses can pay de facto lower salaries, reap more profits and pass that extra cash onto investors who deserve it.  Who cares about employees, they’re a dime a dozen and it’s become clear that the economy does just fine no matter how many slackers are out of work.  It’s not like card fees are part of the costs of doing business, and we certainly can’t  regulate credit card companies.  And how many servers does one restaurant really need anyway?

Waitrons are making ALMOST HALF of the federal minimum hourly wage.  What more do they want?!?    Why don’t they go work on Wall Street where you can make millions of dollars JUST FROM TRANSACTION FEES ALONE!?

(Truth is, despite Fox Rothschild’s Dickensian take on this issue, this bill simply does the right thing for restaurant workers.)

Here's a tip: next time leave cash for your server





There are all sorts of unusual holiday traditions all over the world: the Austrian anti-Santa known as the Krampus; the giant Swedish yule goat that is traditionally a victim of arson; and that special Christmas chicken from KFC in Japan.

Some of the earthiest traditions seem to occur in Spain.  First is the caga tio, the log that shits out candy after a beating, and then there’s my favorite, the caganer.  The caganer is a pantless, squatting figure relieving himself in traditional nativity scenes.

The original peasant caganer figure has now been joined by a whole host of celebrity versions.  There’s a pooping Queen Elizabeth, a pooping Pope, and even one of our own Barack Obama.

Pooping in good company -- Einstein, Obama and the Queen!

This is a tradition that might be right at home here in Philly.  First, it’s ecologically friendly — a sort of “green” holiday figure.   And second, we have no shortage of characters who shit on the city.   It would be fun to have a pooping Philebrity.  Hmmm, now what potential candidate most recently and famously shat on the City of Brotherly Love…?

Former head of the stool department?

Michael Smerconish, perhaps inspired by Time Magazine’s Person of the Year, has made some local suggestions of his own.  I have to commend him for paring down the list because there is never a shortage of notable characters in this city.  He left off some prominent candidates, though:  deviant Mummers; a hyper-emailing Con-gressman; greedy DROP-receiving pols;  and a certain SUPERintendent who turned the town upside down as she left.

But, we’ll work with what we have, and here is the Separated at Birth version of Mr. Smerconish’s pics:


It looks like Lowes may not be the only advertiser bowing to pressure from a bunch of fundamentalist kooks.

The Florida Family Association claims that most (65 of 67) of the companies that were targeted in the anti “All American Muslim”  campaign, did not continue advertising on the TV show.  (FFA’s website was crashed by Anonymous, so this is the cached version.)  Some companies have said that FFA is being less than truthful in that claim.  At this point, Lowes seems to be taking the brunt of the anger of the broader-minded opposition.  Hard to say if that is warranted…

This group is an example of a small vocal minority that has outsized clout…Why? Because “family” companies are really afraid of fundamentalists not buying their products?  This is not the entire Episcopal synod threatening a boycott.  It’s probably a collection of Bible-belt busybodies with a lot of time on their hands.  How big a financial loss would they represent, versus a potential boycott?

But it just goes to show how a small, well organized campaign can wield a lot of power.  Hmmm, maybe we could get them to go after some of entrenched politicians…

A Sports Illustrated poll of NFL players ranked Eagles fans as the league’s most intimidating.  This in the same week where Casey Matthews reported that fans were so mean to his family that the rookie’s fiancée was driven to tears.  Back in the spring, GQ Magazine named Philadelphia fans (both Eagles and Phillies) as the meanest in America.  And is there any other NFL stadium that had a municipal court judge in residence to deal with fan’s criminal behavior?

Still, it is widely recognized that the fans are extremely loyal.  Possibly even…obsessed?  Might be interesting to do a little behavioral analysis on this crowd…

Well, the food Nazis are at it again.  Trying to interfere with the free market by pretending there’s some problem with our school lunches.  They’re the enemy of value added, and want to take us back to a time when frumpy lunch ladies actually cooked food!  Nobody’s gonna do THAT anymore!

In some schools, we now have large, successful food companies (like Philly’s own ARAmark) who are in business to make money, create jobs and feed our kids in a wholesome, cost-effective way.   They are emblematic of how private industry is helping our public schools — helping to get rid of entitled union employees cooking in the cafeteria kitchen.  We should trust these experts to provide school lunches to our most precious resource – our children.

According to Lucy Komisar, writing in the New York Times (that liberal rag!):

“…Michigan Department of Education, for example, gets free raw chicken worth $11.40 a case and sends it for processing into nuggets at $33.45 a case. The schools in San Bernardino, Calif., spend $14.75 to make French fries out of $5.95 worth of potatoes.”

SEE!! Value added (so what if there’s a few empty calories added as well)!

Don’t let some liberal feed you the line about childhood obesity or chronic illness from eating overly processed food.  Everyone knows a little baby fat is cute!  And lower test scores in the schools that serve processed foods….Why do you hate America’s food?!?!

If the school district receives 1 chicken for free and then buys it back as nuggets from the food processor for $10.00, how much money did it save?

If you’ve ever heard a UPenn student correct someone who has mistaken their Ivy League school for the state university, you know they’re just a tad sensitive about it.  So now it is not surprising that some students want to distance themselves as much as possible from that other (embarrassing) institution of higher learning — even if it’s only a semantic distance.   (There’s an article in today’s Metro.)

 It doesn’t look like there will be a name change anytime soon (UPenn is loathe to change historical names), but here are a few suggestions just in case:

This might be the most cost effective option


Why let that cool dolphin go to waste? And the Latin is classy!


Or maybe they could just change the design of their shield.  Though that might also be a hard sell since they have a pretty strict usage policy for those symbols.

Et tu, Brutus, you think we're a state school?


I'd rather have a social reformer possessed of an Inner Light than some fake feline for a mascot.

The Philadelphia Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (PICA) recently released a citizen’s guide to the city’s general fund – what comes in and what goes out moneywise – and it’s worth a look!

Only one other large city taxes individual wages (New York), but they tax UNearned income as well so wealthier citizens bear more of the burden.  We are stressing wage earners (AT TWICE THE RATE OF NYC!) and collecting property taxes at a pathetic rate that’s lower than all other major cities in the US.  This dimwitted tax structure actually has been shown to harm our local economy.  The tax burden on Philadelphia’s middle income households is worse than any other large American city.

But let’s look on the bright side and all the extra stuff we get for our tax money!  Efficient snow removal…okay, maybe not….low crime rate…um….how about well-paved streets and sidewalks…hmmm…there has to be something from all that tax money….

And it’s not just individuals, small business is punished by the city bureaucrats, too.

The mayor is always saying how we need to be smarter, but when is that actually going to happen?  First we need smart leadership, and though there does appear to be a plan in place, like so much of city government it’s just talk at this point.