Tuesday, 16 January 2018

The Sugar Tax

A case of regular Gatorade costs around $15.99....at least in 99-percent of the country.  If you live in Seattle....there's a surcharge for all stores within the city-limits....of roughly $10.50 on top of that case. 

So the question, would you easily walk into a Seattle city grocery, and pay $26.33 on the case?  Out of a hundred people....my best guess is that 95-percent of them will say no, and then drive a mile outside of the city limits, and buy bulk....enough for an entire month and avoid the $10.50 per case surcharge.

No one in the city council says much over the implications, but you have to figure that their city tax collection folks are looking over the situation and in six months....note they are missing 5-percent of their typical normal income.  In fact, if you were already at the bulk-grocery store....why not shop and buy most everything you need?  So you could be talking about 25-percent of the anticipated tax collection missing.

Don't get me wrong, I do believe this sugar gimmick of sodas and drinks is harming folks.  In a 12-ounce solution, there probably ought to be a maximum limit of sugar.  But all this fee-based business just makes folks go drive an extra ten-minutes and buy bulk....avoiding your fee. 

The Problem with Sh**hole Politicians

If you look back toward late last week....Senator Dick Durbin (D) is the guy who came out of a Trump meeting and noted that Trump mentioned the sh**hole countries.  This was a meeting with twenty-odd folks attending.

Then as each day passes, you begin to notice different interpretations of what Trump said by each of the twenty-odd Senators and Representatives.  Some felt was a negative word, but just not sh**hole.  Some said it was a neutral word. 

What really happened?

I'm to the point now where I think Trump was sitting there with twenty-odd folks who are either incompetent, drugged-up, or just in some daze. 

You probably had one or two folks who brought their invisible friend with them.  You probably had one guy who is on the edge of dementia.  You probably had at least one guy who is hyped up on opioids. 

The fix here....I think....is to start airing all of these meetings in a public manner, off YouTube and the sh**hole comments will pretty much stop, and some folks will start to comment on the crazy-factor of their Senator or Representative. 

Sunday, 14 January 2018

If This Had Been Alabama:

After looking over this whole hyped-up Hawaii worry of the missile launch warning from North Korea, I sat and pondered what would have happened in Alabama....had someone there accidentally pushed the 'green' button on missile warning.

Most folks in Alabama (probably over 90-percent) would not have seen it unless it was in the middle of local news, Judge Judy, the Andy Griffith Show, or aired via the Fox News.  Some folks would have felt their channel from the satellite was messed up and flipped it to the Braves Channel or some Mexican soccer game.

Four percent of Alabamians would have asked what 'BALLISTIC' meant.  Various meanings would have been offered and every college graduate in the state would have been getting calls to explain the term.

The first reaction by the Baptist crowd would be to arrange up a quick prayer over something misguiding the missile to land in some state. 

Some folks would have asked if this was a warning similar to tornado warnings, or just a tornado-alert (which tends to mean nothing unless Doppler-Radar shows it impacting).

Most local TV news folks would have argued about who would be the guy talking folks through this....either the weather guy (the chief science expert), or Misty (the blond gal from Tulsa). 

Bars and public drinking establishments would have offered up a two-for-one deal on drinks, but demanded cash for each drink served.....no credit cards.

Some guys would have debated putting feed or hay for cattle, or just waiting till after the impact to see if there were any cattle left.

This might have triggered some of the more long-term bachelor guys to finally agree to date some of the more long-term single gals.  Course, this is a 30-minute window and it's hard to figure how much of a date you can accomplish in that period.

Discussions would have occurred with the more intellectual Alabamians.....over whether storm-cellars or tornado-shelters would provide adequate protection over a nuke missile from North Korea. This would have triggered various comparisons to shelters that had been seen on the History Channel.

Finally, some Alabama kids would have called into their local school and asked if the missile alert was enough to cancel school for tomorrow. 

The Missile Warning Story

I noticed this in the news this morning, which worried a lot of folks.

The basic story is that in Hawaii...because of the North Korean missile business....they stood up a system to warn the public of incoming missiles (if it should ever occur).  Well....some guy hit the 'green' button and for thirty minutes across Hawaii....the alert said that there were missiles coming in.  It noted.....THIS IS NOT A DRILL.

From my Air Force period, we had two typical emergency warning episodes....one would always hint that this was an exercise or drill, and the other would openly state....this is not a drill or exercise.  You knew what you were supposed to do in the fake warning and the real warning.

In this case in Hawaii....folks saw this on the TV and heard the internet chat, and got freaked out.  I think they finally got a dose of reality, in that you actually need to worry about this North Korean missile business.  It could actually happen.

Course, another thing came out of this.....it simply took one single guy to make a mistake and activate the alarm.  No one has said how he made the mistake or if this was just a new guy problem, or if the button is too easily turned on.

This also got everyone hyped up on Saturday...like the Pentagon, the FBI, the missile-watching folks....all of them had to stand up and say that they were monitoring the episode and were 'vigilant' (even if they weren't).

This of course then triggered CNN to ask how the US military would track missiles IF THEY WERE LAUNCHED.  So everyone got this mega dose of military explanations about missile launches, satellite tracking, and geometric-chat....most of which is way past the understanding level of approximately fifty-percent of American society.

Then it also forced interviews with Hawaii state folks to explain what the hell they would do....IF there was really a missile hit on Hawaii.  They pulled out some checklists, noted the emergency response plan, and mostly hoped that more intensive questions didn't occur.

Somewhere out there, there's some Hollywood producer noting all of this and racing now to produce a script and convince CBS to make a movie for this fall entitled...."Doom Over Kepuhi Beach", where a nuke missile has slammed the beach and failed to detonate.  Racing to the scene will be 'Buddy' (David Hasselhoff playing a down-and-out former CIA guy who is a PhD electrical engineer and part-time marijuana-farmer) and 'Micky' (Cuba Gooding Jr, playing a retired Navy Seal who mostly drinks in the afternoon to excess and runs a coffee-shop).  Together, Buddy and Micky disarm the nuke missile, save Hawaii, and get a heroes welcome at the White House by President Trump, who refers to the potential nuke blast 'would have made Kep-U-ALL beach a sh**-hole live if it'd gone off'.  Hawaiians will be furious over the mispronunciation of Kepuhi by Trump, and that he suggested sh**-hole status on a beach if a nuke had gone off. 

Saturday, 13 January 2018

If Carlin were Alive

At some point in 1972, comedian George Carlin uttered the phrase which has stood around for almost forty years: "There are seven words you can never say on television.  The words are: s**t, p**s, f**k, c**t, co**ksu**er, motherf***er, and t*ts."

At some point around 1978, I bought the George Carlin record at the base BX, and I sat and heard the entire dialog.  I came to agree with George.  These were phrases which would never be uttered.

Well....up until this week with "s**t-hole supposedly uttered by Trump (maybe he said, maybe he didn't).  But then you had to sit and listen to CNN.  In a one-hour period, the term sh**hole was uttered at least fifteen times. 

Carlin, if he were alive today....would rolling around and laughing his ass off at the news media and the ability to quickly adapt to profane terms as being legit.  Trump?  I think he's got some masterplan existing now on how to insert c**t, f**k and t*ts into the next mid-week meeting and see how quickly the news media would bend any moral standing to utter the phrases.

It'll be some topic related to c**t-countries, or f**king poor behavior by some Asian dictator. 

The world is forever changed now. 

Alabama, Letterman, and Niceness

I follow Alabama news to some degree and noted this week that as part of some trendy new show for Netflix....David Letterman (former night-time TV show host) ended up coming down to Alabama for a tour of the Selma area by Georgia Congressman John Lewis.

The constructed vehicle for this episode is semi-serious, so Letterman can't joke around much.  But I noted in the comments section that he was awful surprised at how nice and gracious folks were to him.  He wasn't expecting that.  Course, if he'd asked the folks if they recognized him....beard and all....I suspect more than fifty-percent would have said no...that they just are nice to people in general.

So this brings up this odd topic of Alabama behavior that few ever admit to or recognize as some trait.

Some folks will say that it's all that church-stuff that reinforces public niceness.  Some would suggest it's something left over from the depression era and the 1930s.  Some would suggest that it's the fact that Alabama folks missed out on radical periods and that being civil/respectful is the result of that.

The truth is that most folks around the state can be awful sympathetic, good-natured, and diplomatic.  It's true, you might drive up and lay out some poor woeful story over your wife leaving you and your cousin might be real diplomatic and attentive in hearing the ninety-minute story, then offer you several shots of whiskey and urge you to attend church....mostly because that's where all the single women hang out and you can rebound.  We call that attitude of the cousin....true diplomacy.

Maybe you got some catastrophic story of the car transmission failing for the second time in twelve months.  As a neighbor, I'd try my best to soften the pain by offering a beer, and then suggesting that a Honda product would be a good replacement for the Ford.

When folks get into a sad situation, we Alabamians often tend to look on the bright side and suggest prayer and a shot of something.

My worry here with Letterman visiting and having this idea of folks being so nice....is that it'll all get back to those Hollywood and New York folks, and then suddenly they all want to show up and get some niceness and kindness dished out to them in abundance.  Some idiot will start up a Alabama-rehab program (probably will be called the Bentley-program) for crazy Hollywood folks, and then the whole state attitude will come crashing down.

So my final word and advice....mostly for Alabama folks....always be prepared as you walk into a Piggly Wiggly or a Catfish Cabin restaurant, because Letterman might be standing there, and you need to quickly utter the phrase..."How you doing", and don't let on that you don't recognize the guy.

The NPR Statement

"If you watch Fox News, you are living on a different planet than you are if you are listening to NPR.”
- Barack Obama

I sat and paused over this comment made by the former President yesterday.  It's actually a true comment....mostly because of the slanted nature of NPR and the amusing circus-like atmosphere of National Public Radio.

If you take all of your incoming news 'bits' from strictly NPR, you end up with a fairly screwed-up opinion of the world.  I'd even make that comment if you went 100-percent with only Fox News. 

We are living in an era where you have to have at least six to ten different sources of news, and discount probably fifty-percent of what you are told because it's so fake, or so slanted, or so constructed like some propaganda-vehicle.  And the sad thing is that most folks don't have the time to sit and analyze what they are being told.