It is difficult to make a man miserable while he feels he is worthy of himself and claims kindred to the great God who has made him. ~Abraham Lincoln
Question #92016 posted on 02/08/2019 9:40 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What is the most expensive thing for sale on campus?

-Po’ Lazarus

A:

Dear Po,

This is a bit of a technicality, but Amanda Knight Hall is for sale. It's estimated that it would take ten million dollars to renovate, and I've heard rumors that BYU is looking for a $800,000 down payment. That's way more expensive than any of the super-fancy BYU memorabilia in the BYU bookstore.

Peace,

Tipperary

Question #92011 posted on 02/08/2019 4:28 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I have amazon prime and love getting packages. What is the cheapest thing I can get and still get free shipping?

-My Name Here

A:

Dear MNH,

If you have Amazon Prime you get free shipping on literally everything. Otherwise the minimum purchase for free shipping is $25. I saw a bunch of stuff for $1, but I bet you could probably find something even cheaper. The sky’s the limit! (Well, 1 cent is probably the limit but that’s not as exciting to say.)

Peace,

Tipperary

A:

Dear Aziraphale,

Because Amazon's stock of random things available for sale, and prices attached to those things is nigh constantly changing, chances are this answer will be obsolete within a day or so (possibly less) of posting. So the cheapest thing you get with free shipping is constantly fluctuating.

~Anathema

Question #92012 posted on 02/08/2019 3:04 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

So in a hypothetical world where somehow the glass rotating plate in my microwave broke because a well-intentioned roommate dropped it. Would anyone who lives in Heritage halls be able to measure the diameter of their glass microwave plate and report back to me the size. Thank you.

-Epic Gamer Sans

A:

Dear Gamer,

That doesn’t sound hypothetical at all. Anyways, I don’t know anyone living in Heritage Halls because I’m old. But I googled the diameters of glass plates in microwaves and most seemed to be between 9 1/2 to 10 1/2 inches. If you google the brand of the microwave along with glass plate you can get an exact measurement. Also, if something breaks in your apartment you can always call maintenance. Hope this helps!

Peace,

Tipperary 

Question #91977 posted on 02/08/2019 12:02 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Soooo... the ongoing shutdown. Trump's fault? Pelosi's fault? Or does it take two to tango?

However unlikely your solution is, what do you want to see happen to resolve this conflict?

-Frustrated

PS - If anyone wants to rant about how ridiculous it is that our government is structured in such a way that it can indefinitely refuse paychecks to hundreds of thousands of workers who can't quit for fear of losing pensions they've spent their whole lives earning, here's your chance.

A:

Dear Frustrated,

I think it's important that we understand what a shutdown is and how it works before we go too deep into this current shutdown and whose fault it is. My dad has a Master's degree in Public Policy, taught American Heritage at BYU-I, worked as a federal contractor for 15+ years, and has been involved in various levels of City, County, and State government. So I talked with him on the phone to make sure that I could provided a nuanced and accurate answer for you all.

How Government Spending is Allocated

The fiscal year for the federal government starts on September 1st. The Federal Government operates under a budget that must receive approval from both houses of Congress and the President. All spending bills must originate in the House of Representatives, and then are passed on to the Senate and the President. I think that most people would agree that the Federal Government should operate under a budget. The idea of the Federal Government being able to spend whatever it wants is a scary idea. Forcing them to operate under a budget approved by our representatives is a way to ensure that we are being represented by our government and that they are constrained to the powers given to them under the Constitution.

Each individual agency and subsets of each agency have separate budgets and the house may propose a budget for any or all agencies. It is entirely possible to fund the Department of Defense without funding the National Forest service. This gives the government some flexibility in what gets approved when, and is an important point later on down the road.

What Happens When a Budget is Not Approved

What happens when a budget is not approved by September 1st? There are three options:

  1. Pass a partial or entire budget
  2. Pass a continuing resolution, which basically allows agencies to operate under last year's budget but without additional expenses such as new contracts or material purchases
  3. Halt spending entirely. This is the default option if neither options 1 or 2 occur
Of these three option #2 is what happens pretty much every year. With elections happening in November, basically no one is willing to vote on anything because all spending bills have to make compromises and concessions to both parties and it would be really easy for those running against them to attack any newly signed budget. So basically the government runs entirely on continuing resolutions every single year from September to December or January. Government agencies are pretty used to this by now and plan their budgets accordingly so that they can operate for several months under continuing resolutions. However sometimes the government runs for years at a time on continuing resolutions as was the case under the Obama administration.
 
Continuing resolutions are usually pretty harmless, but they can have negative side effects. My dad worked as a government consultant and the continuing resolutions allowed them to be paid for their current contracts, but eventually the contracts ran out and even though they had been awarded the bid for projects, the projects had not been approved in a new budget and my Dad basically became unemployed for over a year due to this. So while passing continuous resolutions is the easiest political move for both parties and is generally acceptable, extending continuous resolutions for a long time begins to become an issue.
 
Government Shutdowns
 
Any agency that doesn't receive funding through either a continuing resolution or budget is not allowed to spend anything. As you can imagine, if they aren't allowed to spend anything, then they don't do anything. This is what we call a government shutdown.
 
As mentioned above, partial budgets can be passed and are usually passed in every shutdown. There are a few agencies that both parties agree are necessary enough that they don't mess with them too much even during a shutdown. For example, the budget for the Department of Defense has been put on continuing resolution because it turns out all of Congress thinks that suddenly having no soldiers would be a bad idea.
 
Government Shutdowns aren't anything new. My dad told me that every single presidential administration in his life time has had at least one shutdown. Getting people to agree upon things and compromise is hard, and government shutdowns are one way to force action. Sometimes shutdowns occur over important budget issues or sometimes they occur just because politicians are being petty. When Jimmy Carter was elected president there was a partial government shutdown for 6 months even though the Democrats had a majority in both houses of Congress and the White House because the Speaker of the House refused to meet with President Carter. So, while it is unfortunate that federal employees and citizens are being used as political capital, this isn't anything new.
 
The Current Government Shutdown
 
What is new about the current government shutdown is that we have broken the record for the longest government shutdown. The reason why a budget hasn't been passed is because the President of the United States has refused to sign any budget without allocating spending for the Department of Homeland Security to build a wall along the southern border, and the House hasn't passed any budgets that would fund the wall. The Republicans had a majority in all houses at the beginning of last year, but they didn't pass a budget and have since lost the majority in the House of Representatives (where all funding bills must originate) which has now made some form of compromise a much firmer reality.

This would be a pretty normal situation, but the President and the Republican Party have refused to sign continuing resolutions in order to force a budget to be signed. This means that most agencies have been shut down, as opposed to continuing resolutions. 
 
Typically, this would also be a normal situation with minimum collateral damage. Federal Agencies give employees paid time off. Some time off can be rolled over into the next year, but the majority of it must be used or it is lost. Although the paid time off is by calendar year, the deadline to use paid time off is actually January 15th. The "use it or lose it" paid time off policy coupled with Christmas and New Year's means that most "non-essential" agencies are effectively shutdown in December and January anyways. When my dad was a consultant he planned on not being able to get any government work done between December 1st and the middle to end of January because most people were off on vacations. 
 
The current shutdown is harsher though because some agencies that normally work during December and January and are usually funded by budget or continuing resolution even during partial government shutdowns have not been funded. The most dramatic of these is the Travel Security Agency, which operates under the Homeland Security Agency. Because the budget for the Homeland Security Agency is such a sticking point, a continuing resolution hasn't been granted to the TSA—even though it could be. The TSA is still forcing employees to work even though it can't pay them because it's really important for us to have airport security. Quitting would cause them to lose their jobs and pensions, but they don't get to sit at home either. This is one of the most dramatic side effects of the government shutdown, which is why the media focuses so much on it. 
 
Whose Fault is it?
 
Technically it is the fault of pretty much everyone. Saying that it's everyone's fault is the lamest answer I could give, because it ignores both the fact that some people definitely have more power than others (i.e President Trump and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi), and that the moral weight of certain people's decisions is higher than others (again both Trump and Pelosi), but it is true. The House of Representatives hasn't passed anything, and even if they did the Senate or President would likely shoot it down. We as a country elected all of these people. So in some way or another the blame is shared across a wide group of people.
 
Deciding who shares what part of the political and moral blame requires a much more nuanced knowledge of the situation than I currently have. Plus, while assigning all of the guilt to one person makes things easier and news stories entertaining, it ignores the messy nature of making policy and compromises for such a diverse nation. Now, that doesn't mean that I don't have a opinions. For example, I think that President Trump should extend DACA by executive order or agree to it without concessions. I also am against funding the wall, but ranting about that doesn't really do much to educate anyone and isn't going to change things.
 
Really, if you want to get down to it, this is all a result of the government put in place by the founding fathers. The government they designed was slow, inefficient, and required large amounts of compromise. This means that we don't always get the best results. Sometimes we end up with decisions that are simply bad for our country. However, the design of our government has checks and balances and helps limit terrible decisions. As much as we like to complain about the efficiency of our government, it's one of our greatest assets. For example, Trump has been President for over two years, he has had a majority in both the House and the Senate for most of that time and he still couldn't get the wall built. We definitely can improve, but I think it's important to realize that the government has been full of fighting, pettiness, and poor compromises for hundreds of years. As annoying as it is, that's actually part of what's good about our government and we need to give the founding fathers more credit for creating something that functions well even under the worst of circumstances.
 
What Should Be Done?
 
Obviously, a budget needs to be passed eventually. At the very least I would hope that the President and Congress are able to compromise enough to pass more continuing resolutions. Now, whether or not there should be a compromise, what would be the best compromise, and what would be the best compromise that we could realistically expect are entirely different questions.
 
Personally, I hope that the final budget includes a bill that would allow for the continuation of DACA. I also hope that either a budget or continuing resolution is passed for every agency in the near future. While both parties have a responsibility to do what they believe is right, failing to compromise is hurting citizens of the USA.
 
Another thing that needs to be done is for us as voters to hold our Representatives accountable. If you think your Representative has been making the right decisions you should re-elect them. If you think they haven't been making the right decisions you should call them or email them to let them know that they are doing a bad job and that your vote next election cycle depends on how they react to this situation. We may not individually hold the power that Pelosi or Trump hold, but collectively we do have power and if we don't exercise that power than we are more likely to get stuck with the wrong people in power.
 
TL;DR: The Federal Government hasn't passed a budget so they don't get to spend anything. It's good that the Federal Government has to follow rules, but sometimes that leads to federal workers not getting paid and that's bad. Everyone has a part of the blame. Both parties will need to make compromises to pass a budget. This isn't anything new, but hopefully they handle things well because their indecision and lack of compromise is hurting American Citizens.

Hope this helps!
 
Peace,
Tipperary
A:

Dear Upset,

I'm going to get a PhD in political science (I just got into Princeton, y'all!) and even I am so sick and frustrated at the government and the shutdown I feel like I don't have enough energy left in me to go off on a rant. Basically Republicans and Democrats were agreed on a bill that would fund the government that didn't include money for the border wall. But then Fox News started calling Trump a wimp for giving into the bill without demanding funding for the wall (which ISN'T EVEN NECESSARY AND IS A WASTE OF MONEY but I digress), so Trump decided to shut down the government so his favorite people on TV wouldn't keep calling him a coward. And then, even though he said he'd take responsibility for the shutdown, he blamed the Democrats!

Yes, Democrats are somewhat responsible as well because if they really wanted to they could have given into Trump's demands and reopened the government. However, Trump is the primary one responsible (which, again, he said he would take full responsibility for shutting down the government over the border wall). And, as Guesthouse says, it wouldn't have been very wise for the Democrats to simply give into Trump's demands, or it'd just teach him that if he hurts enough people (who he claimed were quite happy to suffer for the border wall) he'll get his way. It's despicable he uses people as playing cards, but honestly I don't think it's going to stop.

-guppy of doom

A:

Dear Frustrated, 

/rant

I don't want to project my personal politics as facts, because they're not. They're opinions. And my opinion is that Pelosi isn't great, but we've had lame politicians in Congress before and gotten this kind of thing figured out. The shutdown probably would have happened for at least a little while anyway and we would have been upset, but after a couple of days, it would end, just like it always has.  The reason it's been going on for 4 weeks is that we have a president who is 70 years old but still throws tantrums when he doesn't get what he wants. He wants to spend billions of dollars on a wall without knowing ANYTHING about what actual data says about immigration. So my gut says, it's partially everyone's fault for sucking at compromises, but it's mostly his fault for wanting something that's way too expensive and totally ineffective. I could go into detail about the sociological data on immigration, but trust me when I say that this idea is so useless. Also, it's not diplomatic at all. It's like a stupid childish way to solve what we think is a problem. Plus, it's inhumane. It's pretty obvious how Trump feels about other people that he doesn't like. He's perpetuating the horrible narratives we've created about human beings who want to live better lives. Haven't we come far enough along in humanity to be able to act more mature about this kind of thing? Sheesh. 

It's also not fair at ALL to the federal employees who are suffering because of this. It's not their fault that our government is so defective. Sure, it's not news to us. We've dealt with shutdowns before. I hope it gets figured out soon. It may seem infuriating that Pelosi is so stubborn and keeps rejecting Trump's compromises, and I don't agree with a lot of her platform either, but I don't think the solution to this shutdown is to cave and give Trump the money for his stupid wall. Appeasing toddlers by feeding them candy every time they cry isn't good parenting, and giving Trump his wall just because he's used to being given everything he wants isn't the solution to this problem. 

Mostly I'm just kinda disappointed and frankly embarrassed... I live in a country that still treats people like garbage if they aren't rich white men. I'm gonna do my best to help make the world a little bit better, but as far as this shutdown goes, I don't really have a lot of control. So I'm just gonna keep watching the John Mulaney Kid Gorgeous special on Netflix and laughing at the horse in the hospital bit for its accuracy. 

Cheers, 

Guesthouse

Question #91971 posted on 02/08/2019 12:02 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

The writers in 2012 weren't too keen on answering Board Question #68368, citing it was tedious and there was no known reason. Looking at the dates, there was a reason: something big happened within a day or two of the date listed (New York Times, September 10th 2001 tipped me off). I won't repeat the question, but what might be the big events that this reader was subtly referencing? (and for bonus points, something that did happen on that unsuspecting overlooked day in history)

-Corsica S.

A:

Dear C.S.,

So I know you didn't ask for us to answer the original question, but I started to because I was curious and then I got into it and then it was just too late. And tedious is right

Some of the papers required payment for access, others are small enough that the only archives are in local libraries as microfiche. I don't get paid enough as a Board Writer to be able to afford Washington Post articles from 20 years ago or travel to Kansas, but I tried my best. However, I don't think all of them are actually referencing super significant dates. I did a lot of local research in and around those dates both nationally and locally based on the newspaper... and some of them just didn't turn up anything interesting. But, since you asked and because I looked it up anyway, here you go: 

Deseret News--January 9, 2012

For this one, it's really hard to tell which thing was the headliner, but here's the link to all the articles for that day.

Fave bonus story of the day:  A couple entered an unlocked Taylorsville home, watched TV, took showers, and drank hot cocoa and then left. Didn't take anything. They just.... trespassed and then left....???

I looked up the news for January 7-11 and didn't really find anything that stands out as particularly memorable. January 9th, 2012, is about 1 month before Joshua Powell and his two sons were killed (murder-suicide) in their home. Also, it was right when Mitt Romney was running for president, so that was definitely a lot of what the Utah news was about. You can tinker around in the archives yourself, but I genuinely have no idea what 'larger event' may be nearby. Readers who may know may enlighten us all. 

Ogden Standard-Examiner--May 15, 1999

This is one that I simply couldn't find. I also couldn't find much about any news from other sources around that date. There was a major tornado in SLC within a few months... but nothing particularly notable, unless readers (again) are aware of something. 

If you're dying to find out yourself, I emailed the Standard-Examiner and they said that the Weber Library has microfiched articles. 

Chicago Sun Times--August 31, 2004

WM. KENNEDY SMITH SWINGS BACK // HIS LAWYER: IT'S 'SOLEY AND EXCLUSIVELY' ABOUT MONEY // He denies sexual assault, his attorney calls accuser's suit 'a gross abuse' of legal system... That's mostly it... most of the major news headlines on and around that date are about the sexual assault accusations of William Kennedy Smith. 

The day before, the Republican National Convention started for 2004 in which George W. Bush would be nominated, and demonstrators carried mock coffins outside Madison Square Garden. 

New York Times--September 10, 2001 

Published weekly, so there wasn't anything specifically for the 10th, but on the 9th the headline was "Fear of Recession Ignites Discussion of More Tax Cuts." How exciting! And you definitely already guessed the nearby date. 

Los Angeles Times--September 12, 2001

I bet you can guess with this one. "Terrorists Attack New York, Pentagon: Thousands dead, injured as Hijacked US Airliners Ram Targets, World Trade Towers Brought Down"... and that's pretty much all the news that day. 

Washington Post--November 7, 2000

WP wanted to charge me to look at anything in their archives, which is stupid. But Nov. 7, 2000, was the historical election where George H. W. Bush won against Al Gore in what has been determined to be "the closest election in U.S. History." I'm sure that day they weren't quite talking about the problems with Floridian votes because that wouldn't be until later that night. Undoubtedly though, the Post had frontline news focused entirely on the election. 

Los Alamos Monitor--March 22, 1997

The only news I could find was that a nuclear physics study lab in Los Alamos got a new president and supposedly some really important documents went missing. In 1997 I found indications that China had stolen some data or information from the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the White House found out in the summer. Anyway, whatever it was, it definitely involved a nuclear physics study lab. I couldn't find any exact sheets or headlines, but some of the general news around that date indicates that's what was going on. See Here and Here

Topeka Capital-Journal--February 29, 1996

No idea here either... but if you really care, you can check out the Microfilm at the Kansas Historical Society on Reel NP 4403. Maybe something about the murder of Michael Jordan's father in North Carolina is the date being referenced?  

Concord Monitor--June 17, 1995

I'm pretty sure there was no published newspaper on the 17th, but the headlining article for the 18th says, "Center questions still linger: Council votes tomorrow". Further research explains that the city was trying to buy property for a civic center, and that was the major news for most of June in Concord. June 20th news indicates that the City Council voted (13-2) to buy the property and spend $3 million on building the center. Again, that's mostly what they're focused on. See Here.

Savannah Tribune--April 1, 1990

I really don't know what the original asker of the question was going for. Nothing particularly notable happened in April or March of 1990 in Savannah specifically. Here and here are lists of events in GA in April 1990... and I don't see anything. Granted, at this point I stopped looking as hard because I didn't feel like there was much to find. You can find murders and political scandals and "newsworthy" events for all of these dates, but none of them really add up to me. If you're interested, lots of big golf Tournament stuff happened on April 1, 1990 around the nation... so there's that.

 

So, my dear Corsica... I have no idea what dates all of these newspaper references are nodding to. I almost doubt that all of them are pointing to anything specific, because I dove into countless rabbitholes to get the originals and also to find historical events connected to the dates... and some of them just turned up completely empty handed. Maybe my standards weren't high, and maybe I just wasn't sure what to search for. I don't remember any of these dates... but if we have readers who are appalled that I could possibly miss something obvious about any one of them, drop a correction because I would genuinely like to know. 

Cheers, 

Guesthouse

Question #92009 posted on 02/08/2019 11:04 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What is the best area to live in Provo for off campus housing?
-Me

A:

Dear You,

It's hard to tell because it depends on your situation and what is important to you. Some important things to consider are how nice an apartment is, how much it costs, how close it is to school or work, parking, whether or not you have friends there, the culture of the apartment complex/ward, whether you want a shared room or a private room. What I like to do is identify what the single most important thing is to me, make a list based off information from the BYU Housing Guide, and then visit several different apartments. The first year I started with the cheapest apartment and then worked my way up to the first apartment I could handle. Sophomore year I looked for private apartments south of campus. This year I'm at the foreign language housing.

I feel like I've made good decisions every year. I highly recommend looking through the housing guide and making a short list to save time, and then visiting places in person. It's hard to tell how much you'll like a place based just on pictures. I hope this helps!

Peace,

Tipperary

A:

Dear you,

Not in Provo

Cold Hard Facts