Expatriate Owl

A politically-incorrect perspective that does not necessarily tow the party line, on various matters including but not limited to taxation, academia, government and religion.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Good News & Bad News

Rosh HaShanah was basically uneventful, which is not such a bad thing, considering our experience last year. No houseguests, but we did have a guest for lunch on the 2nd day. To everyone, I wish a happy and healthy and sweet and good year.

During the Rosh HaShanah holiday, while I was incommunicado from the high tech media world, some good and some bad things happened.

The bad news: The New York Sun has ceased publication. This former subscriber will miss it greatly.

The good news: The Government Accountability Office (formerly known as the General Accounting Office) now charges for copies of its printed publications. I say that this is good news even though I heretofore have, approximately once a month, ordered my free printed copies of GAO reports of interest to me. I now will have to either charge them to my credit card, or be satisfied to read the Internet versions of the GAO reports (and print out, at my computer, those which I really, really, really want in hard copy format.

But the GAO needs to set the example of accountability to all other government agencies. By instituting the new "no-freebies" system, the GAO is (A) reducing its printing and postage costs (which are really footed, in the final analysis, by the taxpayers) and (B) engaging in some entrepreneurship to approximate a fiscal responsibility so often absent from entities which have no profit motive. So, personal inconveniences notwithstanding, I do applaud the GAO's new system.

Meanwhile, I'm still waiting to see what does or does not fall into place regarding a possible excursion to Washington and/or Baltimore in about a month. I was in Washington about a year ago, and, as mentioned in the posting, I have always enjoyed visiting Washington. As an adult I have always enjoyed visiting Baltimore (when I was a little boy, my uncle and aunt lived there, and the interpersonal dynamics between me, my sister and my aunt just didn't play well). Engaging and exhausting as such an excursion would be, I'm hoping that something does happen in that regard. It's healthy to get out of your office once in a while. It is too early to tell just yet, but I'm hoping for at least one overnight in either Baltimore or Washington.

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