Not a good idea

In fact, the part I bolded seems like an astonishingly bad idea:

“Sullivan spoke with multiple consumers who’d seen their Starbucks card balances emptied and then topped up again.

Those customers had all chosen to tie their debit accounts to their Starbucks cards and mobile phones.”

It seems like if someone is going to link his Starbucks card, checking account, and mobile phone, he might as well just put them all in a bag and hang it on a hook just outside his back door.

Multiple choice

Of 13-year-olds: “Geography scores are even worse. Most did not understand time zones, and a quarter thought Canada was a dictatorship,” seen here.

They don’t really think Canada is a dictatorship, any more than they think Canada is a species of Acipenseridae. It was probably a multiple choice question, with one of the choices “dictatorship.” Some number filled in that bubble, for whatever reason – because it was A, or because they were playing connect-the-dots, or because “dictator” is a funny work. Some, if asked “what is Canada’s form of government?” would have said “It’s a dictatorship.” But then, if a multiple choice question asked seventh graders “what’s a dictatorship?” and one of the choices was “an aircraft carrier,” some would have said a dictatorship was an aircraft carrier.


The Chicago way

Chicago needs widgets. The city can’t just but them off the shelf at Home Depot or Wal*Mart. They have to go through a vendor. A percentage of the vendors have to meet certain requirements in terms of ownership (minority-owned, woman-owned, mob-controlled) along with the run-of-the-mill white guys. The city accepts “bids” via a easily corruptible process and chooses the vendor according to the whims of the aldercreature, the “reverends” or the voters the mayor needs. The vendor then goes and picks out the widgets at Home Depot or Wal*Mart and marks up the price by a skim-able percentage, contributes to the approved re-election fund, and pockets the rest.”

It seems like this is increasingly not just the Chicago way, but the American way.