The Watering Hole, Monday, April 30th, 2012: GOP War on Women, the Latest Skirmish

H/T Think Progress and Crooks and Liars

Before I even saw yesterday’s Meet The Press, I had already run across several idiotic comments purporting to explain the difference in pay between women and men for doing the same job with the same qualifications. The slimebucket Alex Castellanos, whose rudeness and oily, condescending misogyny reminded me of Dick Armey’s run-in with Joan Walsh, illustrated once again how GOP bootlickers can be such pigs. But apparently it’s not just male GOP pundits who feel and act this way. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), also on the panel, dismissed the discussion entirely as a ‘distraction’ from the real issues of ‘economics and jobs.’ Of course, when Rachel Maddow then asked why, if the economy and jobs were so important to the GOP, so many Republican State Legislatures were pushing and passing laws which limit women’s reproductive rights, re-fighting settled abortion law and intruding on a doctor’s relationship with his patient. Alex Castellanos trotted out some crap about this ‘distraction from the issues’ being President Obama’s modus operandi (at which point I would probably have gotten up and slapped that slimey smile off of his face.)

Other recent blog threads, both those about this subject and some that had nothing to do with it, have brought out some of the dumbest defenders of, and supposed explanations of why women are paid less than men. Here’s a few examples:

“We must’ve seen different videos. I don’t know Alex, but I saw him try to offer a calm reasoning for this difference and was shut down as if he were a buttinsky. He wasn’t.”

On a thread regarding the suicide of a 16-year-old Moroccan girl who committed suicide after being forced to marry her rapist, comments ranged from the subject itself, to the Trayvon Martin case, then to women’s rights in America:

“Yes, but let’s not negate the issues that face American women. Are we to be grateful that we make 70 cents to every man’s dollar? That men want to make decisions for us about whether we use contraception or what our insurance pays for when drugs specific to their sexual pleasure are covered in full? There is still ground to be covered in this country despite the fact that we don’t have threats such as that faced by this poor young girl and that should not be forgotten.”

This comment was countered with:

“…name the insurance companies that pay for “drugs specific to their sexual pleasure are covered in full?” I am a nurse and have male patients who have erectile dysfunction as side effects of medications they need to take for other medical conditions and they haven’t found any insurance company that pays for erectile dysfunction medications. Also, erectile dysfunction medications should be considered preventative medicine as medical studies have indicated that there is a higher risk of prostate cancer among men who aren’t sexually active. Birth control isn’t preventative medicine as pregnancy isn’t a disease nor is it an abnormal physical condition. Unplanned pregnancy is a social problem, not a medical problem. Contraception enables us to have sex without the risk of pregnancy (ie. sex for pleasure and fun rather than for what it is biologically and physiologically intended for), making sex possible as a form of entertainment. Should health insurance cover other forms of entertainment, too? We should make our own decisions about contraception, take the responsibility for our own sexual behavior, and stop demanding that everyone else pay for our decisions and pleasures — not to mention, stop blaming men because some women want the right to be treated like responsible, mature, accomplished women while demanding that they be treated like irresponsible children when it comes to their sexual behavior. We “make 70 cents to every man’s dollar” has largely been debunked upon further examination. Men tend to work longer hours than women do, tend to take the most dangerous jobs, tend to work in jobs under harsher environmental and physical conditions, and men tend to spend more years of their lives working than women do. Currently there are more unemployed men than there are unemployed women and there has been a trend toward preferential hiring practices geared toward women.”


“Feminists never know when to stop”


“Be thankful for what you do have or you’ll always just be focused on what you don’t”


“Wow women make 70% of what men make!!! Where are these women? If I could lower my payroll by 30% just by hiring women, I’d do that in a heartbeat… and so would every major employer in the country. Get your facts straight before you spout nonsense. Women on average earn less because they place a lower priority on earnings and a higher priority on family and time off. Women who put in the same hours and commitment as their male counterparts are often promoted first.”


“We women make 70 cents to every man’s dollar, because we do less work in the same hour.”

And comments from the Think Progress thread on this topic, particularly from one commenter:

“Castellanos is more correct than maddow is. In the past, maddow argument was true. But when you compare job to job, hours to hours, time at work to time at work… woman MAKE THE SAME amount as men. If woman want to make more, go to law school, med school, engineering school, MBA school and get high paying degrees. Woman go into nursing, teaching, secretarial, waitressing etc.. that pay crappy. For the same work, for the vast numbers in 2012, they make the same.”


“if you want a competitive salary, get a competitive education. Get a competitive job and keep it. I don’t see any of the woman billionaire industrialists like Meg Whitman complaining about their salaries. But I do hear a bunch of poorly educated woman (and men) complaining that they don’t make as much money as they “deserve.”
Tough. The market determines what you “deserve.” If you think you deserve more, quit your low paying job, start a company and produce the product that will earn you your “deserved” salary”


“I just know in the areas I move in… medicine and hospitals, clinics. Plus I have extensive networks of legal friends. Pay is based on productivity. One of the highest paid professional I know is a female surgeon. Works 80 hours a week and earns every penny she makes. The secretaries, nurses, clerks, billers, accountants etc are paid hourly. The more you work, the more overtime you put in, the fewer vacations you take, the more you make.”

…and, finally…

“If you want a high paying job, get an education, put in the hours, or form a company and produce some social/economic good that will make the world a better place (and bring you financial success). Then you will be paid more. If not, sit at home and whine.”

I don’t know about you, but this crap is really starting to get to me.

This is our daily open thread — Have at it!

Sunday Roast: The President owns the Whitehouse Correspondents’ Dinner

Heh.  The President killed at last night’s Nerd Prom…

What’s the difference between a hockey mom and a pitbull?

Pitbull is delicious.

Cue that awful woman from Alaska to whine that the President is attacking her.  Ha!  I think Michelle didn’t know that one was coming. 

This is our daily open thread — Enjoy!

The Watering Hole, Saturday, April 28th, 2012: I Got Nothin’, So Here’s Some Skunk Kittens

Skunk Kittens!

Belz, Lissa and skunk kit
In the olden days, when I used to feed the stray cats outside on our deck, occasionally a litter of skunks would join the cats and kittens. They seemed to get along fairly well, and no one got sprayed, despite the fact that, if one of the skunk kits wanted total control of a food dish, the kit would back its butt up against the feline kittens until the feline kitten moved to another dish. I remember one time walking out the screen door with a couple of plates of food in my hands, and felt a paw grabbing at the edge of a plate – it was one of the skunk kits, standing on its hind legs next to me, apparently anxious for its dinner. Skunk kittens are almost as cute as feline kittens, and about as friendly.

Until or unless I come up with something better, this is our daily open thread — What’s on your mind today?

Music Night, April 27 2012: A Bit of History

I remember rock music being more provincial in the late 60s. Yes, there were national acts like the Byrds and international acts (obviously) but they were mainstream and promoted on AM radio. What was emerging was an alternative: quiet spoken dj’s playing long cuts from people you’d never heard of, on FM radio. Not much advertising because no one bought ads on FM and much more regional music. West Coast and New York did not co-exist, while a ton of great British music went largely unheard in the States.

Somehow, I got keyed in to New York’s music (and would wait decades to hear the Pink Fairies, Atomic Rooster and Stone the Crows, but that’s another story). At this time it may be hard to imagine the Velvet Underground as obscure, or knowing only the vaguest bit about Iggy & the Stooges (they had music in the Midwest?), but for me, stuck in California, this was strange and exotic stuff. Oh, and the Fuggs. And Pearls Before Swine… But I digress.

This video is a fascinating look at a brief slice of the time.

The Watering Hole: April 27 — Norway sings of hope and togetherness, in the face of murderous hate

On April 26, 2012, 40,000 Norwegian people came together to sing a beloved children’s song Barn av regnbuen (Children of the Rainbow), which is a translation of Pete Seeger’s song, My Rainbow Race.  They did this in response to the claim by horrific mass-murderer, Anders Behring Breivik, that the song indoctrinated the children of Norway — to love and accept everyone via multiculturalism.  I won’t try to make sense of the diseased brain of Brevik.

The song, which promotes and hails multiculturalism, was performed by [Lillebjørn] Nilsen and a crowd of more than 40,000 people in Youngstorget in Oslo, on April 26, 2012, as part of a protest march against the actions of Anders Behring Breivik after the July 22 attacks in 2011. The performance was arranged as a Facebook event by two volunteers after Breivik claimed, during his trial, that the song was being used to “brainwash” Norwegian children. The song was thus performed a few days later, in the midst of the ongoing trial, followed by a march up to the site of the trial, where the crowd laid down flowers.

They came together, not in hate or to spite Brevik, but to take back their much-beloved song. A mass murderer would not be allowed to define the intent of the song, nor would he be allowed to turn them into fearful, distrustful people.

The United States understood this in the days following September 11, 2001. Then the hate-mongerers and corporate profit machine decided that there was more money in making and keeping the people scared out of their wits. So many of us, beaten down by years and years of joblessness and fear generated by the seemingly endless economic downturn, fell for the scape-goating tactics of the hate merchants, and our society continues to suffer to this day.

As a people, Americans need to put aside our fear, hate, and distrust, in order to fight back against the profit-driven machine that is destroying us. We have never before been so divided as a nation, and I don’t care what they say on Fox (hate-mongering corporate profit machine) or any other corporate-owned media says, President Obama is not the one dividing us.

Ben Franklin said it best, although in a different context: “We must hang together, gentlemen…else, we shall most assuredly hang separately.”

I am sick of the death spiral of this country, and I want to stop it.  We — all of us together — need to take this country back from the ruling class.  How can we do it?

Shall we sing?  What song would bring us together as a nation?

PS:  I just saw that Rachel Maddow covered this on her show last night!  Best thing in the world!

This is our daily open thread — TGIF!

The Watering Hole, Thursday, April 26th, 2012: Odds & Ends, From Local to National

Let’s start off local and go on from there:

First: A follow-up to my recent mention of the local lack of enthusiasm for (or knowledge about) Tuesday’s New York Republican Primary. In Putnam County, just to the south of us, about 1500 people did their civic duty, a third of the number who turned out in 2008. Surprisingly, some voters cast their ballots for both Rick Santorum and New Gingrich. All in all, about 30% chose “Not Mitt RMoney.”

Second: Fanning outward a tad, five Democrats are now vying for the opportunity to unseat U.S. Representative Nan Hayworth (R-NY19.) Although this article from the Southeast-Brewster Patch is a few months old, it’s a very informative rundown on four of the five campaigners, who had participated in a forum back in January. The issues discussed (as seen in the article), all reflect concerns that are national in scope. (Note: Wayne and I met one of the candidates, Matt Alexander, at the local Dems holiday party back in December, and had a good chat with him. Nice guy, well-spoken without being ‘slick.’)

Third: Still focused on New York State, but, again, with national implications: For at least the 5th time, a medical marijuana bill should be introduced shortly in Albany. Apparently, this particular bill, at this particular time, may have a ghost of a chance; even the Wall Street Journal seems to believe there’s a glimmer of a possiblity. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that New York becomes the 17th State (plus the District of Columbia) to legalize medical marijuana.

Next: A article regarding former President Jimmy Carter’s comments about Mitt Rmoney; in another Newsmax article, Reince Priebus tries to wax enthusiastic about Mitt RMoney and the Republican chances in November.

Finally, just for laughs: a link from Newsmax led me to this too-funny-to-be-taken-seriously video. I could only watch about five minutes of it, but I found it pretty goofy – hope you do, too.

This is our daily open thread — What’s on your mind today?

The Watering Hole, Wednesday, April 25, 2012: ???


Good Morning, fellow Zoosters.

Is it Wednesday already?

I got nuttin… got a little swamped yesterday. Is Newt stil in it to win it? How did Mr. Etch a Sketch do in yesterday’s primaries? Why is it predominantly small Red states get to pick our Presidential candidates? By the time primaries come around to New York and California, all the good candidates have dropped out. (Not that there was any “good” Republican candidates this time around – Huntsman was barely passable as “good” but then he started moving to the Reich as well.)

If Romney is elected, will he impose Mormon Law on us?


The Watering Hole: Tuesday, April 24, 2102: Waz up?

Anybody notice the moment Mr. Etch a Sketch became the presumptive Republican Nominee, polls showed him in a dead tie with President Obama?

Do The Powers That Be want a race so tight either one could win by a Diebold?

And if The Powers That Be really want Mr. Etch a Sketch, why is the price of gas going down? The surest way to destroy the economy is to raise gas prices above $5.00/gallon, and that’s where they were heading not too long ago?

Newt…why are you still here?

Austerity measures are being rejected in Europe. Maybe that’s because only the working class had to suffer austerity…the wealthy got wealthier while everyone else suffered. The French Government was the first to go. hmmmmm….sounds familiar…..


The Watering Hole, Monday, April 23rd, 2012: Apple Blossom Time

Old orchard in spring

Snowy Blooms

Apple Blossom Buds

Since our office is situated next to an apple orchard, these days I have the pleasure of watching the opening blossoms, like huge snowflakes, on an entire hillside of apple trees. Combined with all of the other blossoming trees – redbud, lilac, magnolia, dogwood, cherry, plum, etc. – this brief but spectacular show of nature’s beauty should satisfy something in everyone’s soul.

This is our daily open thread — What’s on your mind today?

Sunday Roast: Tonight’s Sky

If you didn’t go out last night to see the Lyrid Meteor Shower, you’ll probably be able to see some leftovers tonight.  I’m planning on going down to Boiler Bay tonight (er, last night), to see what I can see.  Too bad my camera isn’t up to the task of taking pictures at night.  I’ll let you know what I see!

This is our daily open thread — Happy Earth Day!!

Person Personhood

When the debate began to focus on calling impregnated eggs a “person” with all the rights of a live-born individual, this author predicted such a move would result in prosecuting and incarcerating women who suffered miscarriages.

Unfortunately, that is already happening, and has been going on for years. Laws written to charge an attacker with homicide for killing a fetus are being used, not to incarcerate attackers, but women who miscarry.

According to the article, in South Carolina, for example, one man has been charged for assaulting a pregnant woman, while 300 women have been arrested. A law designed to protect pregnant women has been used to attack women who get pregnant, then miscarry.

As this author stated earlier, prosecutors are going after women who use drugs. Even if there’s no connection to their drug use and their miscarriage, they face incarceration. It’s not too much of a leap to go after women who drink, or smoke, or, at some point, to charge an ob-gyn for negligent homicide should the doctor’s patient miscarry.

This nonsense has got to stop. It’s not about protecting life. If it were, these same people would be avidly against the death penalty and war. It’s about controlling others, women especially.

The United States of America is a democracy, not a theocracy. Women, if you like the notion of using the government to control what goes in and out of your vagina, continue to vote Republican. Men, if you like the notion that your wife or your daughters could be jailed for a decade just for having a miscarriage, continue vote Republican.

Or, don’t vote at all. Your silence is also acquiescense.

The Chess table has been set. Which role will you play? Pawn, Bishop, Knight, or Castle? Remember this, though, a Pawn that reaches its goal is transformed.

The Watering Hole, Saturday, April 21, 2012: Aung San Suu Kyi

All cartoons are posted with the artists’ express permission to TPZoo.
Paul Jamiol
Jamiol’s World

Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is the leading pro-democracy opposition leader in Myanmar formerly known as Burma, one of the world’s most isolated and repressive nations.

Aung San Suu Kyi has gone from years of house arrest to becoming the elected leader of her country. However, much of her Parliament is still controlled by backers of the oppressive military. Let us hope she succeeds in freeing her people.


Friday Night Music! – Back to the Future, Part I.

In my first post I started in a natural place, my rock and roll roots. I’d like to jump ahead 55 years to my two newest favorite bands. !Deladap has been on a quest since its beginnings in 2004 to mix roots Roma music and the contemporary electronic dance/club sound. They are ever evolving and the band had had many identities over its relatively short lifespan. The members range for a variety of central and eastern European countries. They are based in Vienna. Most of their songs are presented in Slovak, a language that seems to be meant to be sung. However, I have selected one of their few English ventures, Crazy Swing. Right from the outset you can detect the Roma influence wrapping around the American swing intention. The song was performed before a group of judges on a small stage for the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 for the Austrian nomination. Ultimately it was disqualified when it was found to have been published in advance of the contest date parameters.

Speaking of swing, the rage in many European cities for the past year and a half or so is the phenomena of electro-swing. As its proponents describe, it is a marriage of the best music of the first great depression with the best mixer technology of the second. This mix of swing and urban dance/trance enlivens the style so that today’s young audience can rock to live performances. Paris based, Django influenced Caravan Palace probably represents the best of a growing genre of fantastic musicians and performers of electro-swing. Hugely popular in Europe, they recently ventured to North America last year with stops in S.F and L.A.

Purists probably hate it. I love it. Let’s (Electro) Swing!

The Watering Hole, Thursday, April 19th, 2012: Good News/Bad News?

A few days ago I received an excited missive from James Salt at Catholics United. (I still don’t know why I’m on their email list.) The email read, in part:

We’ve got our party hats on at Catholics United HQ. Why?

Our organizing efforts are working. The Catholic bishops are beginning to speak out against Paul Ryan’s devastating budget cuts! Click here to read more.

To say the least, this is fantastic news!

If you are as surprised and as happy as we are, will you take a moment to call Cardinal Dolan’s office in New York City? Call him now at 212-371-1000. Here’s what we recommend you say:

First, thank the bishops for speaking out against Paul Ryan’s budget.

Then ask that they continue to fight on behalf of the poor and less fortunate.

It may have taken almost a month, but it’s great the bishops are finally standing up against the immorality of punishing the poor. Paul Ryan and his far-right cohorts need to understand that when they attack the poor, Catholics cannot–must not–remain silent.

At first I thought, “okay, that’s good news.” Then I read The Hill article to which the email had linked, and the second paragraph gave me pause:

In a letter sent to the House Agriculture Committee on Monday, the bishops say the budget fails to meet certain “moral criteria” by disproportionately cutting programs that “serve poor and vulnerable people.”

While the fact that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops are speaking out against the Ryan budget IS a good thing, the fact that the USCCB has ‘certain “moral criteria”‘ by which it judges, and apparently influences, legislation, is NOT. Just look at the recent brouhaha over contraception coverage in the Affordable Care Act, demonstrating the amount of power the USCCB can wield.

On the other hand, though, maybe it really IS more good than bad news. In defending his budget, Ryan reiterated and expanded on the reasoning behind it. From The Hill:

Ryan made the moral case for his budget in an interview last week with the Christian Broadcasting Network. He said government shouldn’t be responsible for lifting its citizens out of poverty — rather, that it’s the obligation of the citizens themselves to be society’s caretakers.

“A person’s faith is central to how they conduct themselves in public and in private,” Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, said in the interview. “So to me, using my Catholic faith, we call it the social magisterium, which is how do you apply the doctrine of your teaching into your everyday life as a lay person?

“Those principles are very, very important,” Ryan said. “And the preferential option for the poor, which is one of the primary tenets of Catholic social teaching, means don’t keep people poor, don’t make people dependent on government so that they stay stuck at their station in life, help people get out of poverty, out into a life of independence.”

As an ex-Catholic, I have never heard of this “Social Magisterium” idea before. And, after reading up on it a little, I find the idea more than a little disquieting:

“The inviolability of human life in all stages of its development from conception to natural death, and in every condition of health and well-being, is primary because it reflects the life of God who is the source of human rights….The Church never yields to the violations of the right to life which continue to occur.

Society reveals its whole truth as a community of persons….The lay faithful’s apostolic duty in the temporal order is to be understood as service to persons, first expressed in marriage and family life. This duty to society can be fulfilled only with the conviction of the family’s unique and irreplaceable value in social and ecclesial development. As the basic cell of society, the family must receive primary concern in a time when egoism and its derivatives threaten to dry up the springs of life, and when ideologically inspired social systems try to usurp the family’s role in education….A vast cultural, economic, and legislative effort is needed in order to safeguard the family’s role in humanizing persons and society. This duty falls above all on lay people, who must obtain from public authority the respect and support family rights need in fulfilling that role. Saving the family will save society itself.”

According to another source,

“THE MISSION OF THE ECCLESIASTICAL MAGISTERIUM The Church’s mission belongs to the supernatural order…it does not interfere with legitimate temporal options nor support specific political programs…Nevertheless, the Church has a strict right–also a duty–to teach the moral aspects of the secular order, whether this be in politics, economics. or social matters…”

So, Paul Ryan believes that his Catholic faith and this “social magisterium” not only inform, but dictate, his legislative policies.

But the USCCB disagrees with Ryan’s interpretation of Catholic faith.

And, while they agree with the USCCB in this instance, has also called the bishops out on their focus on wedge issues at the expense of focusing on (what C-U believes are) the more essential and traditional aspects of Christ’s teachings.

I’m confused: how many versions of the Catholic church ARE there? And how much influence should any version have?

This is our daily open thread — What’s on your mind today?

The Watering Hole, Wednesday, April 18, 2012: Corporate Personhood, Part Three

This is our third installment of our multi-part series on Corporate Person Hood. Here at The Zoo, our investigative reporters have learned that the Person Hood movement is expanding. Once relegated to the large, multi-national for-profit corporations, there is now a crass-roots movement to recognize small corporations, those with 25 or fewer shareholders, as people, too.

Lawsuits on behalf of Limited Liability Corporations are being contemplated, arguing that the 14th amendment, which prohibits discrimination, should be interpreted to prohibit discrimination based on size. “Size, when it comes to a Corporation, really shouldn’t matter.” said one attorney, who chose to remain anonymous. “A one-member LLC is still a corporation, and that corporation is a person. Mitt Romney said so.”

Not to be outdone, religious non-profits are claiming being excluded from Corporate Person Hood is religious discrimination. “After all, we represent the Body of Christ” a spokesperson for several denominations claimed. “His Body on Earth must be recognized as a Person.” That interview was cut short as the representatives from various denominations began fighting amongst themselves as to which one should be recognized as Christ’s Corporate Person Hood.”



The Watering Hole: April 17, 2012 – Tax Day

I don’t think you’ll need reminding do you? If anybody should have an “Oops”-moment here’s the extension form.

Mitt Romney has filed an extension. This comes hardly as a surprise, given how complicated it is to track down all those investments all over the planet and to get a nice tax rate about some 15%. Honestly, is it worth the trouble? Look what you have to do to get it.

You have to shovel 100 million into a trust for your sons and, boy, is it complicated to get rid of that pesky gift-tax. But then, which parent doesn’t want their kids to have it better in life?

Look what you have to go through to get it. People actually try and ask you questions about your very personal decision how to optimize your own tax-load. Disgusting really. No respect whatsoever. But then, can you really just talk to your friends and donors nowadays without getting slapped around by the press. No way. Interfereing lot those hacks. And again they mention taxes. And Swiss bank accounts.

No friends, it is not that easy to avoid paying taxes, really not. But then, if Mitt were President…..

The Watering Hole, Monday, April 16th, 2012: Mixed Bag-o-News

For today’s offering, I give you a selection of the stories whose headlines drew my attention from various sources.

First up, from “Save the Cato Institute, Save the World?”, a piece by Justin Logan regarding the continuing saga of the Koch Brothers vs CATO’s President Ed Crane.

Still at in the wake of Rick Santorum’s announcement that he was (finally) bowing out of the Presidential race, Joshua Keating reminisces about five of Santorum’s foreign policy gaffes in his post “Our Favorite Rick Santorum Moments.” (Keating and I agree that the ‘Dutch Euthanasia’ story was #1.)

On to here, the headline “Gillespie: Romney’s Social Stances Won’t Alienate Women” caught my eye. As I started reading the article, I was puzzled by the fact that Romney had hired Ed Gillespie, who, with Karl Rove, ran the American Crossroads Super-PAC and Crossroads GPS. This puzzlement led me to: where their April 5th, 2012, headline read “Mitt Romney Hires GOP Super-PAC Guru and Ex-Corporate Lobbyist.” I was glad to see that Mother Jones questioned the co-mingling of SuperPAC and candidate. Shouldn’t that be against even the Citizens United ruling?

Another bright shiny object from Mother Jones: “Mitt Romney Courts Big Tin Foil” – who could resist a headline like that? I haven’t delved into this one myself yet, but it sounds promising.

And lastly, from (under the category “World Opinion”): “5 Curious Titanic Stories You May Have Missed,” the first ‘curious’ story being the fact that too many younger “Titanic” moviegoers did not realize that the movie was based on an historical event. (facepalm)


This is our daily open thread — What’s on your mind today?

Sunday Roast: Fatal crashes increase around April 15

(Photo Source)

According to an article in Time, a research study by Dr. Donald Redelmeier of the University of Toronto shows that fatal car crashes increase about 6% on and around tax day.

Examining 30 years of road crash data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, researchers led by Dr. Donald Redelmeier of the University of Toronto compared the number of fatal car accidents occurring on tax day (April 15 or whichever weekday that taxes are due), one week before and one week later. Their results show that 19,541 people were involved in fatal crashes on the 30 tax days — that’s 404, or 6%, more than on the non-tax days the researchers studied.

The study posits various possible causes, such as fatigue, stress, and distraction, but doesn’t mention the one cause I thought of first:  Suicide. 

I guess we can’t really know a driver’s intentions regarding suicide, unless they leave a note or proclaim on the way out the door, “There are only two sure things in life — death and taxes — and they can’t get taxes out of the dead.”  Well, they can, but that kind of ruins the drama of the moment. 

I also wonder if such crashes could be attributed to drivers be distracted by enjoyment sunny Spring days, and looking at bright yellow daffodils after a long gray winter. 

I’m not saying the study is bogus, after all they did look at 30 years worth of data, this is just the way my brain works.  Or not…

Like it says in the article, being stressed out sometimes causes us to forget basic safety precautions, so be careful out there.

This is our daily open thread — Got your taxes done?  Tomorrow’s the day!