The Bookworm Beat — 9/2/2014 Truly Epic Illustrated Edition

I’m in a very visual state of mind today, so I thought I’d dedicate a post to the superb cartoons and posters people send my way.  Special thanks go to Caped Crusader, Sadie, Earl, and W “B” S for helping me compile this truly epic illustrated edition.

Cicero on foolish Romans

Eye on the ball

Truth in the equation

Problem is where he lives now

Benefits of crossing American border

New iPhone and food stamps

Jobs created under Obama

Gas prices when Obama took office

Fantasy Island

Obama's self-portrait

The real Ferguson tragedy

Coexist NOT

Driverless car

Checkout time

The Muslim war on women

Arguing with a Progressive

Reasons Obama wouldn't golf

Tobacco and pot

Pat Robertson - Progressive straw man

TSA and Ebola

If Netanyahu worked like Obama

The real terror tunnels

Political correctness versus killing

Grow flowers or grow weeds

Freedom is meaningless

Obama knows who's evil in the world

No WH guests at cop funerals

Socialized medicine the cornerstone of communism

Veterans trying to get illegal's benefits

The flow of goods between Israel and Hamas

Obama does what's necessary

True friends

America a model for the world

The tragedy of math

The Face of Radical Islam

Mike Rowe about hard and smart work

And a hat tip to the wonderful American Digest for these two:

Old Lady trash

Exhibit 1

The Democrats’ America : Rule by Judges

Judge and gavelIn 2009, I wrote a post entitled “Does Brown v. Board of Education constitute the Supreme Court’s one free pass?” in it, I argued that Brown represented the Supreme Court coming up with a rather badly reasoned (albeit moral) legal opinion to leapfrog over the fact that the South was not moving with sufficient speed to end segregation.

Because segregation was a great evil, the Court created a legal principle out of whole cloth in order to short-cut its destruction. Waiting for a paradigm shift in the South (which would have been reflected in the Southern ballot box) would have consigned at least one generation of blacks — and possibly many more — to a marginal, unequal existence in the United States. By issuing the Brown opinion, which led to grotesque images of white Southerners attacking black children and therefore made the public aware of the great moral wrong that continued to exist in the South almost 100 years after the South lost the Civil War, the Court jump started the Civil Rights movement.

The problem with the Brown decision, I said, is that, while it did end one evil, it created another evil, which is the notion of judge-made law:

Considering the evil that was the Jim Crow South, and considering that the system would have taken decades to die out on its own, here’s the big question:  Was it a good thing that the Supreme Court jump-started Jim Crow’s death by issuing an activist decision that was both Constitutionally incorrect and factually just a tiny dent in the system, but that worked to turn America’s eyes onto a great wrong being done in its own back yard?

My answer is that, righteous though the results were, the decision was still wrong.  Keep in mind that the societal benefits in Brown‘s wake were not the intended consequences of the decision.  Instead, the benefits flowed from an unintended consequence:  the novelty of media attention focusing on an issue most Americans had managed to disregard.  In other words, it wasn’t the Court decision that brought about the change; it was the dumb luck that flowed from that decision. While the decision is viewed as carte blanche for activism, because it was followed by a successful societal change, the change flowed, not from the decision itself, but simply from the attention it garnered.

The example I focused on in 2009 to show the damage from judicial activism was the Kansas school system. There, a judge not only ruled that the schools weren’t equal, he also micro-managed precisely how equal they should be, practically down to the last pencil. In other words, he wasn’t just a judge, he also acted as a bureaucrat. The judge-managed schools were a costly disaster.

The above discussion is about the judge-made law and bureaucracy looked at from the judges’ point of view. Two articles, though, have made me aware that, of late, one specific party has decided to abandon the democratic process altogether and to rely solely on the rule of judges, whether legislative or bureaucratic.

The first article I read was about gay marriage, which has become the law in almost half of America’s states . . . thanks to judges, not the voters:

While it probably is true that perceptions are slowly shifting among the populaceen masse, such tidal changes typically take decades if not generations to show up as legislative changes, let alone constitutional ones. The wave of states legalizing same-sex marriage unions is not the result of shifting values in America, it is the result of amazingly resilient and determined activists using the courts to overturn the will of the people.

Homosexual marriage amendments (or state-constitutional bans thereof) have been placed on ballots 34 times and have been defeated 31 times. Yes, even in California Proposition 8 — an amendment to the state’s constitution that denied same-sex couples the constitutional right to marry — passed overwhelmingly. Yet California has same-sex marriage. Why? How is that possible if the masses spoke, and in California’s case spoke loudly?

What’s happening in state after state is not the citizenry is giving its seal of approval to same-sex marriage — in fact, we are doing quite the opposite. Then once a measure fails lawyers funded by activists file lawsuits and begin a legal process. If and when the first attempt fails they file an appeal and try again. And again. And again. These lawsuits run up through the court system until finally landing on the desk of a judge sympathetic to the cause. That judge then takes the will of the people as expressed through the ballot box and with the stroke of a pen throws it out.

The will of the people is becoming subordinate to the will of the judges thanks to the Democrats’ endless forum shopping.  I’m not saying here that the judges have decided rightly or wrongly, I’m just saying that we have a dangerously undemocratic confluence of judges who, since the 1950s, see themselves as moral arbiters, and Democrats who have decided that, because the ballot box in our republican democracy is controlled by Bible-thumbing gun-clutchers, these activist judges should decide all of the day’s pressing issues.  This is profoundly undemocratic.

This Democrat trend, to turn to judges rather than the people to advance a political agenda, is also reflected in the increased use of judges to destroy political candidacies.  Barack Obama famously brought down his opponents in Chicago through courthouse shenanigans rather than through a direct appeal to the will of the people.  Texas Democrats, too, are famous for trying to destroy Republican politicians through lawsuits, with the manifestly spurious criminal suit against Rick Perry being only the most recent example.

Scott Johnson has assembled a bushel-full of quotations from people on both the left and the right side of the aisle excoriating the suit against Perry. The left is abandoning democracy on a judge by judge basis.

Broken internet

The internet seems to be down in our neighborhood. I have intermittent access, but even then, it’s slower than the old dial-up days. Comcast has promised to send a tech out to our house by Wednesday, but we’ve already seen a truck at work on someone else’s house today. Perhaps I’ll be able to do serious blogging (as opposed to intermittent blogging) by tomorrow morning . . . or if I’m unlucky, it will take a lot longer. Just remember to check in periodically to see what’s going on.

Farewell, Robin Williams!

Robin Williams 1“Why are all those helicopters flying over Tiburon?” asked Mr. Bookworm.

“I don’t know,” I answered. “Maybe there’s a fire or an accident. I’ll check.”

I turned on my internet and immediately discovered why helicopters are circling Tiburon like vultures: Robin Williams was found dead at his home in Tiburon today, a probable suicide.

To say I was shocked is an understatement. When I told Mr. Bookworm the news, he physically recoiled, like a cartoon character . . . and I totally understood. That was exactly how I felt.

Robin Williams emerged on the scene when I was in high school. The morning after Mork and Mindy played, all of us would gather in the hall before band (our first class), and dissect all the funny jokes, and riffs, and quotable material. His manic energy and improvisation utterly charmed us.

Then, in 1979 or 1980, I saw him perform live at a “Bread and Roses” concert in the Greek Theater at Berkeley. It was a packed show, with appearances by the Smothers Brothers; Hoyt Axton; Peter, Paul & Mary; Father Guido Sarducci; and a host of other extremely well-known figures from the 1970s world of comedy and music. Robin Williams left them all in the dust.

Practically vibrating with energy (and, probably, cocaine), Williams walked through the audience, riffing off of clothes, hair, and anything else that caught his fancy. His persona changed from second to second, as he transformed himself, just through voice and mannerism, into a small child, a Texan, a sassy black woman, a Yiddishe mama, and anything else that seemed appropriate at the time. I don’t really remember Peter, Paul & Mary, but I’ve never forgotten Robin Williams.

As the years went by, Williams outgrew both television and the small screen, and headed to Hollywood, where he did very well. With the exception of his role as Genie in Aladdin, which I thought was brilliant, I never much liked his movies. He had a terribly tendency to go for bathos, which is my least favorite form of entertainment. Even disliking the movies, though, didn’t blind me to his talent.

Williams’ personal life became the stuff of soap operas. The newspaper (yes, back in newspaper days) reported that he infected someone with Herpes, that he was cheating on his wife, that he left his wife for his nanny, that he was addicted to drugs and alcohol, and that his heart was a mess, requiring surgery. He endlessly cycled through rehab, always trying to beat back his demons.

It all seemed so sad and sordid, but Williams never let it slow him down. He appeared on television and I kept an eye out for him whenever he appeared on Johnny Carson or Jay Leno. I’d even make an exception for him and watch the Letterman show, if Williams was on. As the years went by, some of his shtick went stale, but there was always something worth waiting for.

Living in Marin, I saw Williams periodically over the years. The photo above was taken at our local Barnes & Noble a few years ago, when he was kind enough to pose with one of the little Bookworms. I also saw him a couple of times when he made surprise appearances at the local comedy club. I actually wasn’t impressed with him the last time I saw him, in early 2010. He appeared tired and, far into Obama’s administration, was still making tired jokes about Bush and Cheney.

Still, he had that Williams charm, which reached out and embraced the audience. Even though I wasn’t inclined to laugh at retread Bush jokes, I still enjoyed watching him. More than that, I remembered that, while Williams didn’t agree with Bush’s policies, he more than once flew to Iraq and Afghanistan to entertain the troops.

And now all that manic, innovative comedic energy is gone, apparently snuffed out by Williams’ own hand. Rest in peace, Robin Williams, and thank you for the laughter.

Monday morning round-up and Open Thread

HobbyLobbyStowOhioPerspective is a good thing. In the middle of the night, one of my children woke me up with the news that he felt really sick and had already thrown up all over his carpet. I tucked him up on a couch and waited until morning to inspect the damage. He wasn’t kidding about the “all over the floor” part. If it weren’t for the fact that (a) he has no fever; (b) he doesn’t have a stiff neck; and (c) he hasn’t thrown up again, I’d be very worried about meningitis. That looked like projectile vomiting to me.

I spent half an hour cleaning his carpet and feeling, not sorry for myself, but less than happy. I mean, who wants to spend time cleaning puke off a carpet? Soon, though, I was reminded in a most unhappy way that there are worst things in life. While I was scrubbing, my husband was reading an email telling us that a friend I’ve known 20 years and my husband has known 40 years died suddenly, leaving behind a wife and two young children.

We almost never saw this friend, because he lived far away, but we always knew he was out there. Somewhere, alive and vital in our universe was a good, kind, warm-hearted man who was our friend. And now he’s blinked out of our existence and, much worse, out of his young children’s lives. I am heartbroken for their loss. There are infinitely worse things than cleaning guck off a carpet. Anyway, on to the posts.


You’ve all heard by now that, by a 5-4 majority, the Supreme Court ruled that 1993′s Religious Freedom Restoration Act means that a closely held corporation that has a religious leadership opposed to birth control need not provide contraceptives as part of the Obamacare mandated insurance packages companies must offer to their employees. Instead, they must be treated in the same way as not-for-profit, primarily religious organizations.

That mandate means that things will get even more interesting when the Supreme Court hears cases arguing that religious organizations should be able to withdraw entirely from the scheme. The opinion is very narrowly drafted to cover just the Hobby Lobby situation (closely held corporation with manifestly religious owners), but it still strikes a major symbolic blow against the Obama administration’s overreach.

Those who think everyone in America must fund a women’s reproductive choices, even while having no say in the matter, are shocked and horrified. As for me, I’ve discovered that it’s impossible to make them understand that if you view birth control as a mortal sin, it doesn’t matter whether you use it yourself, pay someone directly to use it, or pay someone indirectly to use it — it’s still a mortal sin and you’re still morally culpable


My friend Stella Paul asks “Is Obama trying to get us killed?” She then amasses a mountain of evidence pointing to a “yes” answer to that question. You should definitely read her article, but prepare to be depressed.


James Kirchick argues convincingly that Barack Obama is leaving America in even worse condition than Jimmy Carter did. True dat.

For one thing, Obama got an extra four years within which to inflict damage. For another thing, unlike Carter who still seemed to like America, even though he didn’t understand the nature of her greatness, Obama genuinely dislikes America. When Carter’s policies proved disastrous, he tried to change them. Obama, however, will never change his disastrous policies. He likes their outcome.


It’s always been easy as a general matter to be prescient about President Obama. We didn’t know the specifics, but we knew he’d destroy our border integrity, ruin our economy, and de-fang our national security. What’s more difficult is to be prescient with great specificity, but that’s precisely what John Hinderaker did back in 2008, before Obama was even elected, when he worried that an Obama Justice Department would go after 510(c)(4) entities. Color me impressed.


A growing crisis in our constitutional system threatens to fundamentally alter the balance of powers — and accountability — within our government. This crisis did not begin with Obama, but it has reached a constitutional tipping point during his presidency. Indeed, it is enough to bring the two of us — a liberal academic and a conservative U.S. senator — together in shared concern over the future of our 225-year-old constitutional system of self­governance.

More from Sen. Ron Johnson (R., Wis.) and Prof. Jonathan Turley here.


Another blow to the impending Armageddon from “anthropogenic climate change”: “startled” scientists cannot explain why the Great Lakes, rather than dying, are thriving. Of course they can’t explain. “There are more things in heaven and earth, [Prof. Climate Scientist], Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”


The DemProgs continue to malign the Tea Party, and people like Jack Kelly continue to make valiant efforts to set the record straight.


David P. Goldman argues that, when it comes to Iraq and Syria, our best option is to stay out of the fight and to let the Sunni and Shia factions — both of which loath America and wish for her destruction — to fight it ought amongst themselves. I’ve mentioned before that this is my preferred idea. You’ve heard the expression “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” right? Well, there’s nothing better for me than when these two enemies battle it out without me.

And yes, the innocents among them are going to die, but nothing we can do will stop that slaughter. It’s not just that life is dangerous in a war zone. It’s that the nature of these intractable enemies is that they view the innocents as both legitimate weapons and targets. Our involvement wouldn’t change that ugly reality; it would just make us equally culpable when the innocents inevitably suffer.


Here’s why Michelle Obama is dead wrong to impose herself on school menus (and this is separate from the fact that she’s a hypocrite, who doesn’t abide by her loudly trumpeted ideas about healthy eating):

But attending Ivy-League schools doesn’t magically make someone better parent material than an individual who attended a public university, or, dare it be said, someone who didn’t attend college. It also doesn’t mean that she should be a co-parent to your children. Make no mistake; the underlying assumption is that federal technocrats and educated individuals such as her need to act on your behalf to meet the best interests of your children.

Read the rest here.


Lee Smith writes about the way Israel harnesses geek energy, creativity, and intelligence to her national security (think Stuxnet). If Israel can stay one step ahead of Iran’s bomb-making, and manage to stop any Arab Winter wars from spilling across her borders, she will inevitably emerge triumphant from the Middle Eastern mess. Smith also points out that Israel’s dynamic humanism highlights the antisemitism behind the BDS movement.


A trial court judge kicked out George Zimmerman’s defamation claim against NBC, which had selectively edited his 911 call to make it appear that he was a racist. I haven’t read the opinion, but the newspaper summary makes it sound dead wrong. To begin with, it sounds as if the judge bought the defense’s argument that Zimmerman was a public figure, which raises his burden of proof.  But Zimmerman wasn’t a public figure.  He was a private citizen who was turned into a public figure by, among other things, NBC’s careful edit of the 9/11 calls.

The court also held that there was no evidence NBC knew it was airing false information, something that again smells wrong. To the extent that NBC deliberately edited down the calls, how could it have been unaware of what it was doing?

The judge also made much of the fact that, later in the call, Zimmerman again emphasized that the guy sneaking around his community was black. It ignores that Zimmerman understood, from the dispatcher’s questions, that this mattered.  It was therefore entirely reasonable for him to repeat this important piece of information in the call. What wasn’t reasonable was for NBC to pair it with selectively edited material so that the package made him sound racist.

Finally, the court glommed on to the fact that NBC interviewed people who said Zimmerman wasn’t a racist. However, the whole notion of racism was an issue only because NBC made it an issue. To then have people say, “Oh, no, he wasn’t a racist. Why would you think he’s a racist?” only served to emphasize the point NBC was trying to make.

I hope Zimmerman appeals, although if Florida is like California, he has only a 2% chance of reversing the trial court’s decision.


Last night, I watched in bits and pieces a lousy Star Trek : Next Generation Episode in which Captain Picard is trying to stop thieves from taking a dangerous engine byproduct from his ship, the only purpose of which can be terrorism. That was bad. But what was even worse from Picard’s point of view was to discover that the thieves weren’t terrorists. They were stealing for the money. “Profit!” he sneered, in tones of disgust he hadn’t used when discussing terrorism. The thief, also viewing profit as the ultimate evil, replied that she preferred to “think of it as ‘commerce.’”

Watching the show I was immediately struck by the writer’s revulsion for profit, which is pretty funny considering that the Star Trek franchise exists only because it’s creators and distributors profit mightily from it. That’s why Kevin D. Williamson’s article about the Left’s hostility to profit struck such a chord with me:

People intensely dislike profits. The belief that turning a profit is tantamount to operating some sort of con is disturbingly common.


There are a few obvious potential explanations for why this might be. It could be popular culture, in which the world “corporation” is practically a synonym for evil, in spite of the fact that the power of individual corporations is in rapid decline. (It seems likely to me that the corporation as currently organized will not exist in 50 years. More here.) It could be envy; anything ancient enough to make the list of Seven Deadly Sins and to form the basis of a hundred thousand cautionary myths is bound to have some explanatory power. But we should consider the possibility that it is simply the result of an intellectual error.

Read the rest here.


Yesterday, I wrote about the peculiar dignity of a homeless man at the laundromat who stripped himself naked so that he could get clean. Today, I learned that San Francisco is trying to bring that dignity to other homeless people with portable showers on old buses. A lot of San Francisco initiatives are loopy leftism. This, however, strikes me as a great idea, insofar as it helps cut down on disease and skin parasites, and it helps people retain their humanity.


Myths about WWI debunked, and erroneous debunking about WWI debunked.


Some things change, some things don’t. What doesn’t change is that we all must die. What does change — with exceptional speed in the last 100 years — is the how and when of our deaths.


If you thought what Firefox did to Brendan Eich was bad, wait until you see what’s happening at Chase.


Sometimes, people really should play with their food. They make magic with it when they do.


If you were stuck in the airport overnight, could you do this with your cell phone?

All by myself from Richard Dunn on Vimeo.

Here’s how Richard Dunn made it happen.


Let bird chill in sink

Republicans are on the right side of history

Sarcasm is the sign of a healthy brain

Can't eat pork

Waiting to react

(Thanks to Earl, Caped Crusader, and Danny Lemieux for their help.)

My trip to the laundromat gave me a surprisingly inspiring snapshot of life outside the upper-middle-class bubble

Laundromat Corte MaderaThe washing machine repairman is coming Tuesday, but my family ran out of clothes today, so off I went to our small town’s one and only laundromat. It’s a very nice laundromat: it has surprisingly high-end commercial machines (see the picture, above); its detergent and change machines work; it has useful rolling baskets; and, while the environment is basic, it’s pretty clean. There’s parking nearby, too, so I didn’t have to shlep several loads of dirty clothes any great distance.

My arrival coincided with a busy time, so I was able to get a good sense of the laundromat’s patrons. The vast majority were Hispanics, in all sorts of combinations: young families; single men and women, both old and young; and various combinations of people who were obviously both friends and neighbors, making for a social experience.

My guess is that all of them live in a complex of low-end apartments a couple of blocks away from the laundromat. Some drove; some walked, dragging their laundry in rolling carts.  I doubt many are here legally, but maybe I’m just cynical.

Without exception, all of the Hispanic patrons had smart phones. There was little to distinguish them, then, from the average college student or 20-something who lives in an apartment building without a washer or dryer, and who goes to the local laundromat, finding amusement for a couple of hours in his or her smart phone.

I was one of only five Caucasians there. We ran the gamut: I was the upper middle class suburban homemaker with the broken washer; there was the working-class, middle-aged single woman who quite obviously comes there every Sunday; there was the retired older woman who obsessively, compulsively folded and refolded underwear that looked remarkably like old-fashioned bloomers; there was the haggard looking young woman who looked as if she was no stranger to drugs; and there was the homeless alcoholic or drug abuser (you can tell by the face), who stripped himself to the skin so that all of his clothes could be clean.

It was this last laundromat patron who was most interesting. At one level, it was profoundly distasteful to see an obese, marginally clean man with his groin draped in a black garbage bag. Since he was sitting, my over-active imagination got totally grossed-out by the thought of the smorgasbord of bacteria he was leaving on that hard plastic chair.

At another level, though, there was a peculiar dignity to his presence. Homeless he may be, addicted he may be, but he’s still going to clean his clothes . . . all of them. Nor would he let the indignity of near-nakedness stop him. He hid his chair in a corner, only to have to relocate on a regular basis as other patrons needed to use the machines he’d blocked with a little privacy barrier.  The Hispanic women who were trying to get to these machines treated him with friendly respect.

From my point of view, there were surprising pros, and expected cons to the experience. The main con was that I had to do it the first place. When you’re spoiled enough to have a washer and dryer in your home, it seems like an extreme imposition to have to pack up the dirty laundry and hit the road.

The next con was my own personal meshugas. My Mom was a true germaphobe, which is unsurprising given that one of the primary ways to survive a Japanese concentration camp in the tropics was to be as clean as possible despite the grim and grimy circumstances. I therefore grew up as a germaphobe too, but I fight it constantly. Being paranoid about germs can be very limiting. Still, I wash my hands too often and obsess about the possibility of contamination from using a washing machine and dryer open to the general public. After all, who knows if the machines I used weren’t previously used by people just as dirty as the homeless man tucked away in a corner. I’m glad these people have access to washing machines, but I don’t want to share with them.

The last con is that the machines simply aren’t as good as mine is. The laundry didn’t come out as clean as mine routinely does. That’s disappointing. I like it when my laundry smells wonderful and looks as spotless as much-loved, much-worn clothes and towels can.

But as I said, it wasn’t all cons. The main pro, and it was a big one, was that I had everything done in something under two hours, including the round-trip home. I was able to wash all the clothes simultaneously, in three separate washing machines. Then, the dryers were so large that I was able to combine all three loads into a single dryer. I sped the drying process (and relieved my boredom) by opening the dryer periodically, pawing through for dry items, and folding them on the spot. By the time I left, everything I came with was folded and ready to put away.

Things are a lot different at home. I can do only one load at a time. Worse, because my solar panels mean that I have very limited times within which I can use my electric utilities during the summer (unless I want to pay a punitive premium on electricity), it’s rare, outside of weekends, that I can wash and dry clothes in one swoop — unless I want to start laundry at 6 a.m. or stay up until midnight, depending if I aim to get the clothes clean morning or evening. This timing problem can be disastrous when the days are hot, because the clothes start to mildew in the washer during the twelve-hour interval until I can use the dryer. It doesn’t help that I have a lousy memory at the best of times, and will often forget completely that I ran a wash load in the first place.

If I do manage to get things dry and mildew-free, I don’t have any incentive to fold right away. I’ve got some perfectly nice laundry baskets and can just stack the clean laundry in them until the spirit moves me. It can take days before the spirit moves me.  Then, once the laundry is folded, the spirit doesn’t necessarily continue to move me through to putting things away. The result of the sloth a home laundry center engenders in me is that I’m never without laundry somewhere in the house: dirty, wet, unfolded, or not yet put away.  Psychologically, that’s a lousy way to run a house.

And here’s the second pro:  It’s good for me to leave my upper middle class citadel and see how other people live.  It reminds me of two things.  The first is that I am singularly blessed.  You’ll notice I don’t say “lucky.”  I didn’t get here by luck.  I got here because my parents first married and then uprooted themselves in the hope of a better life; because my father worked 17 hour days right up until he retired; because I went to school (paying my own way) to get the degrees that would increase my earning potential; because I’m a cheap skate and save my money; and because I married a man with similar economic values.  The blessing is that these middle class behaviors pay off in America.

The second pro is that, as I looked at these people, mostly immigrants, I realized that we’re all blessed.  What I saw was a very American kind of poverty.  It’s not the grinding poverty endemic to Africa or India.  It’s not the scary poverty of Latin American slums or America’s own ghettos.  It’s the poverty of people who, sadly, didn’t have all my blessings, but do have the ability to stay clean, which is a form of godliness, raising us up above animals.  It’s more than that, though.  Looking at the Hispanic immigrants, I was reminded that what they’re experiencing is also the poverty of people who, like me and my parents, have the opportunity to move away from the laundromat one day, and find themselves in their own home with a washing machine.

I was going to end this by saying that America’s political plutocrats, like the Clintons, Obamas, and Warrens, would do well to visit the laundromat.  I realized, though, that they’d be incapable of seeing a laundromat as anything other than an opportunity to create a new government laundry program, complete with complicated laundry formulas, multi-layered bureaucracies, cronyism and other corruption, and long, long lines.