Sunday, May 04, 2008

Short Attention Span Musing - Numbers Edition

...First number up today - 6

6, as in 6 years, which is how long one air marshal has been having trouble catching his flight assignments, according to this Washington Times article.

The reason?

His name is on the 'no-fly' list.

And he's not the only air marshal facing this problem.

From the article -
False identifications based on a terrorist no-fly list have for years prevented some federal air marshals from boarding flights they are assigned to protect, according to officials with the agency, which is finally taking steps to address the problem.

The air marshals service response?

They issued a memo advising their employees who face this situation to contact a supervisor at the airline denying them boarding.

I have a little sympathy for the affected air marshals, but only a little. Thousands of civilians have faced this issue, with little or no recourse available to them.

Maybe now that the problem is affecting people from the same government bureaucracy that created the faulty 'no-fly' list in the first place, they'll put some real effort into straightening it out.

...Next number up for consideration - 20%.

20%, as in the reduction in Phoenix's per capita daily water usage over the last 15 years.

From the Arizona Republic article -
Water usage in Phoenix has dropped 20 percent in the past 15 years, the result of ongoing educational efforts and increased efficiency, city officials say.

According to information from the city's Water Services Department, average per capita daily usage has plunged from about 250 gallons per person per day to about 200 gallons.

Total water usage has held steady, even as the population has soared past 1.5 million people.

No snarkiness here; it seems that ongoing water conservation efforts have had a visible effect.

I would be interested in finding out the breakdown of the reduction - is it rooted in residential conservation efforts, a reduction in industrial or commercial usage, etc.

However, regardless of the area most responsible for the usage reduction, it's still encouraging news.

...Last number - 20,000.

20,000, as in the number of American jobs lost in April, the fourth consecutive month experiencing a net job loss.

From The (Philippines) (emphasis mine) -
US economy shed 20,000 jobs in April

WASHINGTON -- US employers cut 20,000 jobs in April in a relatively stable showing for the US labor market as the jobless rate fell a tenth of a percentage point to 5.0 percent, the Labor Department said Friday.
And therein lies the spin - a loss of 20,000 jobs is being portrayed as good news, because it wasn't as bad as expected...

Does anybody else think that every single day this year, George Bush has thanked God that he doesn't have to try to run for reelection on his economic record? And that every day, Republican candidates across the nation look to the heavens and curse the fact that they *do* have to run on the economy?

Anyway, no "Sunday Morning Crappie" post this week - it would have gone to John McCain anyway, and I have to admit, it's getting kind of boring picking on our Johnny for his flip-flopping.

On the other hand, while I'm getting bored with McCain's pandering, Desert Beacon is not. Click here to check out her latest Sunday Morning Deck Bass award.

Have a good week!

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