Check this page each week for new information on the swing dance scene in Boston, particularly new class schedules and dancing for the area, as well as the webmaster's weekly "editorial". Changes for the rest of New England will appear on those respective pages. Refer to the Boston dance calendar for updates on individual listings.

Changes to the other state pages are usually not announced; there's just too many of them and typically do not affect the general readership of this site.

September 18, 2016

This Week's News Older News

From the corner booth...

Over at Star Market, they have a promotion going on where you can redeem sets of stickers for free Kitchen-Aid cookware. You earn tickets by buying groceries: you get a sticker for every $10 you spend. I was just thinking that this promotion could encourage agile minds to think while shopping. Instead of just buying what you need, you start thinking: how much do I buy so that I just go over the threshold for another ticket without over spending. For instance, if you spend between $20 and $30, you earn two tickets. However, you want to spend just over the $20 and don't want to spend, for instance, $28. That forces you to keep track of your shopping spree and force you to use that math you thought you'd never use again after high school. It makes grocery shopping a little more interesting.

Of course, there are plenty of those kids who hated school and didn't want to ever use math ever again in their lives. Ironically, some of those same people end up in jobs where they're forced to use math against their will. Back in the "old days", cash registers were (more) manual than they are now. They added up your purchase but they didn't tell you how much change you got back; the cashiers had to figure that out in their head. Nowadays, the register will calculate that for you. But what happens if the power goes out? That's happened to me once. The cashiers had to add up the purchases and figure out change manually using pencil and paper. Someone I know went shopping at a local store and their total was $22.81. The customer handed over $40 and the cashier returned a $10 bill and some change. When the customer questioned that so the cashier handed over an additional $10. And so the customer complained again and made the cashier figure out what the real amount was. I hope a supervisor was around to observe the transaction and made that cashier regret not paying attention in school.

While I wouldn't be able to do my job without my smart phone, I don't like how these new phones allow people to retreat into their own little world and ignore the rest of the world around them. These high-tech cellphones encourage people to be selfish and self-centered, not caring about what happens around them. They'll cross streets looking down and not watching for the cars bearing down on them. This forces drivers to stop and waste gas while idling because someone will take their time crossing the street so they won't miss whatever crap is showing on their cellphone. That happened to me today; it annoyed me because it made me also miss a green light and end up wasting even more gas idling at the light.

I saw a great article about why there's no such thing as a protest vote.

If you truly believe in the platform for one of the non-Democrat and non-Republican Presidential candidates and you want to vote for them, sure, you should.

If you wanted Bernie Sanders to be President and you are upset that he's not the headliner on the Democratic ticket, then you should vote for the person whose platform is the closest. to Bernie. Likewise for the Republican voters: vote your conscience, even if your favorite candidate isn't on the ballot. If your favorite candidate was sane and mature, you should consider voting for someone with those same qualities.

However, if you want protest by not voting at all, your protest is not going to be heard. No one will care. Too many other people won't be bothering to vote because they're just lazy and don't feel like bothering. Your vote will look exactly the same as those people. The only way for your "protest" to matter is to cast a ballot.

The only result from you not voting? You're letting someone else make the decision for you. At least one of the major candidates is counting on that.

How am I voting? On the one hand, there's definitely one candidate that I don't want to be elected; I will certainly vote against that person. On the other hand, if you want someone to vote *for*, you just have to do a *little* bit of reading to find out what these candidates did during their college years and after that. The fog evaporates and things become a little clearer. Which candidate worked for civil rights after college and got a private school to lose their tax-exempt status because they deliberately and maliciously discriminated against minorities? Who used the country's bankrupcy laws to their personal advantage and stiffed their lenders and contractors? Who had their products made in the Far East instead of America? Who fought for the rights of women and minorities and children? Don't know? You should do your duty and find out.

See you on the dance floor.

Benson Wong

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