Friday, July 30, 2010

Passport Pages + an Article


We did manage to get our passports sent to the consulate in time to avoid the new $82 fee for having additional visa pages added. Yay! It took about a week for them to turn around. It appears that they sew the new pages to a piece of tape, and then tape them into the passport. You can see the sewing and tape in the photos here (click to enlarge). The quote on the stitched pages is kind of appropriate - I wonder if they did that on purpose.

It's nice, but I can't help thinking it doesn't look like $82 worth of materials and effort. They don't even pay for postage - you have to include a self-addressed stamped envelope (unless they've changed that since the fee change).

In other news, I just clicked on an article someone posted on Facebook tonight and in the sideline of the article saw this headline: "America, There Is a Better Way: It's Called Germany".
I'm not prepared to make a comment on it yet as I'm still reading it, but wanted to put it up right away because regardless of the lean or content I figure plenty of people who read this blog might be interested in checking it out based on the title alone.


  1. Heh, I just bought that book that the article references after hearing its author on Rachel Maddow's show this week. Oughta be good reading in Detroit this week.

    I'll try to keep it out of my mom's hands or get her to read it while I'm over there so I can bring it back...on the other hand, how much value is there in preaching to the choir? ;-)

  2. @Cliff. If you lose the choir, they'll stop singing. That means they will stop inspiring the congregation. Without this inspiration, the congregation might stray from the path of righteousness. As Obama has discovered.


    The "...brilliant argument about why the one clear advantage America has over Europe and the rest of the world, its per capita GDP, has plenty to do with how unhealthy and unequal the country is."

    It's something I've maintained in in late-night, red-wine conversations for two decades. US GDP figures are bloated by stuff that a sensible country should reduce, not expand.

    Spend money on safe roads, and it's a drain on GDP. Spend money on crash repairs and higher insurance premiums, and GDP goes up.

    The same argument applies ESPECIALLY to healthcare. According to figures Geoghegan quotes, the US were to introduce a national health scheme like most other countries, the economy would contract by at least 5%, right? But it might contract without actually throwing people out of work.

    Anyway, don't get me started...

  3. I've been waiting form Geoghegan's book to make it out of my local bookstore's mailroom ever since a friend sent me the article via Facebook.


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