Periodically, but especially in November and December, I contemplate my personal policy with regards to those who come up to me and ask me for money. Some folks, including a former pastor of mine, are adamant that one ought not to; there are registered charities for that purpose. I’ve not been comfortable with that absolutist position, though, and I take it on a case by case basis.
There was a day this fall, though, where my instincts were just…off. Something had happened at work earlier in the day that frustrated me. When I got off the bus downtown, a guy asked me for money to buy some food. As it turned out, we were right in front of a Subway sub shop. My first instinct was to say Continue reading Helping Those Who Ask For Money
A couple months ago, ABC News, following up on an NPR story, did an “expose” involving US unused, and purportedly unwanted, dollar coins.
“Passed by Congress in 2005, the Presidential $1 Coin Act ordered the mint to make millions of coins to honor every dead president, but not even Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., one of the co-sponsors of the original bill, uses the legal tender.” It goes on to explain that these coins are being stored, at no small expense, in warehouses, which does appear to be a waste of money.
Implicit in the ABC News story was that the obvious solution is to get Congress to get the Mint to stop making the coins.
Continue reading Dollar Coin Gathers Dust
I love money. I hate money.
After my mom died, my sister came across some letters my mom wrote to no one in particular – they’d be journal entries, I suppose, had she put them in a diary. One in particular from November 1995, was about how quickly my father was burning through their retirement savings. My mother was very thrifty, very good with money, but my father was…not, let’s just say.
When I graduated from college, I wasn’t making enough money to pay for my student loans right away, so it wasn’t until about five years after I graduated that I was able to secure a credit card. It was a Sears card, with which I bought a clock/radio for $12.95. I lived too much on my credit cards, especially when I was unemployed or a grad student.
Continue reading The Money Issue QUESTION
My father died on a Thursday; we had the funeral on a Sunday, and he was buried on a Monday. My mother died on a Tuesday, and our first inclination was to have the funeral on the following Saturday. But, instead of working on the obituary or the program on that day, we sat around telling Trudy stories. I think, in some way, we died my father’s death the way he would have wanted his death to be handled, quickly and efficiently; it also helped that we knew my father wad going to die at least the day beforehand. Whereas mom’s death took us, and indeeed her long-time doctor, by surprise; her heart was still strong, even after the stroke, and we were having conversations about placing her in some medical facility after she got out of the hospital the very morning she died.
Once Saturday was off the table, we considered Sunday, but it was Super Bowl Sunday, on which my mother’s mother died; I remember getting the call during the 3rd quarter of the game in 1983. Besides, it was just different. My dad was the hare, my mother, the tortoise, and we all know that slow and steady win the race.
So, it was a Tuesday funeral Continue reading Random Post-Funeral Thoughts
(With apologies to Anthony North):
Some largely nonpartisan things that have been bugging me about the electoral process in the United States recently, and not so recently.
MONEY: It has long been an issue, and there have been a series of legislative actions, Such as McCain-Feingold trying to limit the effect of money on the campaign. However, in January 2010, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court decided that corporations and unions have the same First Amendment rights as individuals, and as such may now directly and expressly advocate for the election or defeat of candidates for federal office, as long as they do not coordinate their efforts with campaigns or political parties. Without getting too wonky here, social welfare organizations may engage in some political activities, so long as that is not its primary activity. As a result, there is a lot more election spending this cycle than ever before. Continue reading P is for Polly Ticks
I found this at something called Monday Mayhem, only the URL spells it “mahem”. Whatever. It’s rather like Sunday Stealing except the lists tend to be shorter. I thought this one from January was rather interesting.
1. You see a strange car pull up to your neighbor’s house every day at lunch time. You accidental glance into the window of the house and notice that your ‘happily married neighbor’ is fooling around! What do you do?
Well, it depends very much on my relationship with the neighbor and the neighbor’s spouse. It might be that I would do absolutely nothing at all if I didn’t know them well. If the one fooling around was my friend, I probably would mention it to him/her. If the neighbor’s spouse was my friend, I would almost certainly mention it, not to my friend, at least initially, but to the cheating spouse, with a recommendation to end the affair; whether I told my friend would depend on the actions of the person “fooling around”.
2. You are at the mall and a mom with really annoying screaming little kids is walking in front of you. She goes to give her kids a quarter for the giant gum ball machine and she accidentally drops a $10 bill and doesn’t realize it. What do you do?
Continue reading The Scenario