
But first . . .
REPUBLICANS’ MORE BUSINESSLIKE APPROACH TO DISCRIMINATION
As
reported here:
SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP)  Republicans can reach a broader
base by recasting gay marriage as an issue that could dent pocketbooks as small
businesses spend more on health care and other benefits, GOP Chairman Michael
Steele said Saturday. . .
☞
He’s spot on, which is why the GOP should come out against marriage
generally, not just samesex marriage. Married workers cost more if you provide
family health insurance. So the smart hiring order is: single people first;
and then married gay people (who are less likely to have kids needing health
insurance and more likely to have working spouse’s with their own
health insurance), and then, if you absolutely must, married heterosexual
couples. It’s just good business.
THE TEST TUBE
Meanwhile,
Massachusetts has had marriage equality for five years. A sort of test tube
for the rest of the country. This site –
from advocates of marriage equality – considers the pros and cons. What
effect have the 10,000 samesex marriages had on “the institution of
marriage” – other than allowing 20,000 more citizens to affirm its
value? One encouraging finding: statewide support for marriage equality has
increased ten percentage points since it was enacted. That suggests that, with
time, some of the fears and uncertainty resolve themselves, as people come to
understand that love is not a zerosum game. The happiness of one couple need
not come at the expense of another.
EVEN FINANCIAL WRITERS GOT CAUGHT UP
IN THE MORTGAGE MADNESS
Stephen
Gilbert:
“Did you see this?
A first person account of how a couple fell into the mortgage pit. The victim,
however, is a financial writer for the New York Times. I can think of a
$5.99 paperback (I bought it a long time ago) that could have saved him a load
of grief.”
☞
The 48yearold financial expert with a nearperfect credit score borrowed
$414,000 on takehome pay, post alimony and child support, of $2,777 a month.
The monthly payments were $2,500. His new wife kicked in, but soon their
combined credit card debt was $50,000, a good chunk of it at 27% annual
interest. They solved that problem, paying off the cards by taking out an even
larger mortgage at a higher rate . . . then his wife lost her job and the
mortgage payments became impossible, a problem they solved by not paying it.
It’s been eight months of nonpayments, and still this is not a home in
foreclosure (the banks are backed up).
And
when you read the story, it almost seems . . . well, not reasonable,
exactly, but, well . . .
NINE
Mark Budwig: “You wrote: ‘Start
out with 10. Subtract 1 and 0 from 10 and you get 9. From there on
in, the die is cast. Because when you go up to 11, you are adding
one more – but also subtracting one more. So still 9.’
The correct meaning of ‘the die is cast’ is identical to ‘the
dice are cast’ – that is, events are set irrevocably in motion and
the outcome is in the hands of fate. When Caesar crossed the Rubicon, he had
no idea how things would work out, just that as Fortune’s Favorite, he
would prevail. The die was cast.”
Bryan
Norcross (and Jim Roberts and Ken Doran and Rob Gordon and Nick Watson and
Michael Haynes and James Ooi and Toby Gottfried and Andrew Klossner and several
others*):
“You asked,
‘Why does any twodigit number – when those two digits are
subtracted from it – become a number divisible by 9?’ A little
math proof: If a twodigit number is AB [with A in what my firstgrade teacher
Mrs. Green used to call ‘the tens place’], it is equal to: 10xA +
B. Adding the two digits together is: (A + B). Subtracting the two digits
from the twodigit number is thus expressed: 10xA + B – (A + B).
The B’s cancel each other and you’re left with: 10xA –
A . . . which is 9xA (ten times something minus one of those somethings leaves
you with nine of them). And any number that is a multiple of nine is
also, of necessity, divisible by nine.”
*
But no women. What’s up with that?
Artie: “Forget twodigit
numbers; if you take ANY whole number – 4,875,331, say – and
subtract from it the sum of its digits, the result will be divisible by
9.”
☞
Artie goes onto to explain the math and asks me to put him in touch with any of
you whose kids may need math tutoring in Manhattan. Just one more service
bundled into the cost of your subscription.