Tuesday, 26 February 2008
So a moment to introduce Gen McPeak. He is one of the lesser regarded generals in the past twenty-five years of the Air Force. His thing was to jump-start change....like tossing a bolt of lightning onto a lake of gas. He was the guy who brought TQM (total quality management) into the Air Force. Everyone ran around tossing out regulations and written manuals.....then eighteen months later....they all woke up and realized that they didn't have written regulations to cover half of the operations in the Air Force.
McPeak brought dozens upon dozens of changes to the Air Force uniform.....then over half of the changes were undone within twelve months....and others were retooled or redone again within another two years. His junior officers often made the joke that he was more of a "fashion designer" than a "role model". Bring up the famous "ice cream" suit that he made field grade officers buy ($1000 for the whole outfit and fitting).......and the thing was retired within three years because of a huge dislike by the senior leadership.
McPeak is the original genus who dreamed up the "reorg-upon-reorg-upon-reorg-upon-reorg" concept. This is where you have over 2,000 individuals on a daily basis in the Air Force.....dreaming of the next reorganization and spending their entire duty day accomplishing this.
McPeak's entire management style is that you simply need to keep busy....anyway possible.....even if you are doing totally unproductive work. The objective is to have projects on your plate and look busy. From a morale prospective....he was a "10" on the joke scale....with almost his entire time as the chief of the Air Force.....spent on "fixing" everything and instead screwed virtually everything up.
In today's world? Well....Gen McPeak is the guy who supports Indonesia in East Timor (kind of a poor demonstrator of human rights, but maybe he doesn't have much grasp of that). In terms of the Iraq war....his statements have often indicated to quickly pack and leave as soon as possible. Most folks regard his lack of strategic vision, as his biggest weakness....which is demonstrated over and over with the "change-the -change-of-the-change-of-the-change" mentality. If something doesn't work.....we go to plan B...then plan C....then plan D. Rather than think ahead....he limits his vision, and settles for anything.
The feeling amongst those in the Air Force who remember him? Most start to laugh when its suggested he might be coming into the White House. Some officers would likely call it a career and just leave....if he were to be a major player in the Pentagon in the Obama administration.
My personal guess is that he will be coming into the Obama staff.....as some type of foreign adviser, and probably terminated within eighteen months for opinions that differ greatly from the CIA, State Department and the Pentagon. Busy work won't work in their state of mind...and they won't allow some retired general to suggest 1,000 changes. Obama will have to take the guy into the first year, but thats as far as he ever gets.
Monday, 25 February 2008
The gal started dying....and several passengers who were medical personnel....tried to keep her going.....but it didn't matter. Even the defibrillator that was onboard....failed. She died.
They ended up flying her onto New York City....in the first class section of the plane...with a blanket over her.
Several things really make me pause and wonder. First....the odds of two oxygen tanks failing? It ought to be one in a million. Adding to this a failed defibrillator? One in 30 million at least. This Airline will go into court and pay at least $20 million to her family.
Second...personally.....I wouldn't be satisified.....I'd want the CEO of the company and the next 20 guys down....to do one year in prison. The guy who inspected this equipment last? He probably needs a good five years in prison.
Third....I'm pretty sure that the equipment is rented by the Airline....probably some company in New Jersey.....and checked maybe once every six months. The stewardesses probably knew the tanks were empty when they took off. Its pretty sad that you depend on folks this much....and they can't be prepared to help in a real emergency.
Sunday, 24 February 2008
I grew up in the heart of Bama....where trailers were acceptable and part of your life. Some folks started noticing in the early 80s...that trailers were going in a vastly different direction than logic dictated. Whatever rules of science or Einstein had been in place before....were tossed to the wind.
So we have a very creative society today with trailer life. The thing is....you don't have this in California or New York or Michigan. In fact....its almost all within the southern belt where you start to see this creativity. I used to think it was genius....but lately....I've come to believe that its because alot of these guys have too much time on their hands.
These guys start thinking....what if I had four thousand pounds of concrete? What if I raised the trailer ten feet into the air? What if I built my own fireplace inside of the trailer with real bricks? What if I put the trailer on pontoons and placed it on the lake? What if the top of the trailer was cut off and a sheet piece of Plexiglas was placed there with full view of the sky? What if I tied the trailer onto some trees overlooking a 500 foot cliff?
This free time is what is creating a massive problem for America. They simply cannot accept this much free time and this much creativity. The mere suggestion of a trailer today....brings out the redneck view of life now.
So, what I'm asking you folks from Bama and Arkansas and Texas.....just settle for a regular life. Take your woman out to a fondue restaurant. Ask your cousin to recite some poetry while you clean the shotguns in the living room. Grease all the joints on the lazy-boy recliner. Replace the bathtub while you have free time. Wash the dogs in the house tub if you got that much free time. Empty out the septic tank if you think you've got a itch to do something. The bottom line.....don't think creativity with trailers....use that energy for the betterment of society.
- The Sad Woeful Tale of Today's Democrats
- This week....we learned that Karl Rove....who was once a Bama political operative (if we could have such a thing in Bama)....apparently asked some other Bama operative (meaning we have at least two in the state).....to get "dirt" on the then-democratic governor...Don Siegelman. So this operative tried, and tried, and tried, and tried. But dang.....Don was apparently totally faithful to his wife, and thus had violated the true democrat's creed in always having lust and affairs. So no dirt was dug upon Don....concerning affairs.
We learn this via 60 Minutes....who sent that handsome hunk....Scott Pelley....down to Bama. The women down there likely swooned when Scott showed up.....and offered a whole bunch of peach cobblier pie.....just my humble guess.
Scott quizzed this gal over and over. Yep....it was that terrible Karl Rove fellow that made her do this. She really resented this later.
Barely any at all in this interview on 60 Minutes....does Scott mention that Don Siegelman is doing several years in prison for corruption....dealing with the state medical fund. He basically gave away positions high up in this....to folks who contributed to his campaign effort. Normally....all Bama governors do this....but this idiot Don....he kept paperwork and emails of the episode. So he is doing several years for corruption.
The fantastic part of this story....as Scotty finishes it up and does the final bit to really charm your pants off.....is that he brags how Don Siegelman rose up to four major positions in the state...winning them fair and square.....in a heavily Republican state. I almost started crying then....thinking....finally.....things have changed in Bama and we have truly become a "red" state and gone to the blessed corner of the Republicans. But....SADLY.....I was wrong.
My brother has reaffirmed on numerous occasions that Bama remains a strong-hold of Baptists and Democrats (he won't even count the number of Republicans in the state on one hand). And folks.....the Democrats outnumber the right-wing crowd by a score of two to one. Yep....that Scott Pelley guy....as handsome as he is....is a liar. I know most of you are weeping at this point.....thinking that we ought to give Scott a chance....and just let looks count more than intelligence.....but we have to be fair about this.
So tonight, as you sleep....the sad woeful truth is....there are a handful of Democrats who apparently don't sleep around or cheat on their spouses. I don't know how they rose up to their lofty positions like this but they did. I'm pretty sure the Democratic national committee is setting its eyes on this situation and calling an emergency meeting. Part of the great sales job of previous Democrats....was built on sex and lust....and if this message goes down the tubes....they will become just like the Republicans. Gees.....America is sinking fast.
- McCain and Life
- In recent days.....we learned of McCain's affair....if it was an affair....if it ever occurred....if he was even awake when the gal walked in the room...if...if....if.
Any day now....we will learn that McCain did steroids with Barry Bonds and half of the Yankees.
Any day now....we will learn that John McCain was three stalls away from Senator Craig when he was at the Minneapolis airport stall...giving hand signals.
Any day now.....we will find out that John McCain was kidnapped by aliens as a kid and escaped only when the alien captors were watching clips of Elvis.
Any day now.....we will discover that John McCain wrote half of the episodes of Lost, and actually wrote the song "We Will Rock You" while sitting at a Paris cafe.
Any day now....we will discover that John McCain and Dan Rather are twin brothers separated at birth.
Any day now....we will discover that John McCain bought together the entire group of "Black Eyed Peas" and also secretly ran Soul Train for years.
Any day now....we will find out that John McCain dated Hillary Clinton for three years.....before that Bill Clinton dude came along.
Any day now...we will discover that John McCain is a long, long, long distance relative of Queen Elizabeth of Britain, and secretly was brought there last year to be knighted.
At the current pace....we may need a special McCain network....to carry the fast paced announcements.....minute by minute.
- The Duke "Others"
- Three dozen other members of the Duke lacrosse team are putting up a court case....against the school...city....and cops. It promises to be an amazing time in the area for at least five years. The city was preparing itself for the major case of the three kids who went all the way to the end....and may collect as much as $30 million (of which the city has insurance for only $5 million). Add in another $30-odd million for the rest of these guys....and figure in the university's payment necessary to make them happy (maybe in the $30 million range as well).....and this will literally soak the entire area for cash.
My best bet is that the city will try to negotiate the case with the three guys who got the charges trumped up on them...and try to settle for a $10 million pay-off. If they get them to accept less...then the other 30 can't ask for any more than $10 million. The university? Its an unknown factor....being a private university....they are likely to have lots of cash reserves and can afford the best attorneys in the country.
Its funny how Nifont literally screwed over the city, the police department and the university in such a fashion....and is totally bankrupt today....with nothing left that folks can take from him personally. This is the sad part of the story.....where a guy is supposed to have common sense....and then does everything totally wrong.
- Clintonizing John McCain
- Today....we have front page news from the New York Times....about John McCain's affair with a lobbyist. Somewhat old news....when the story came out five or six years ago....and no one really cared then.
My bet? John McCain personally approved the story and is helping to pump himself up.....to look like Bill Clinton as a hot-blooded male who has huge sexual stamina. A lot of guys are now saying....yeah....that John....is a man who is still chasing women at 70 years old. John probably had to pay some Times reporter at least $50k....to restart this entire rumor.
Frankly....does anyone really care? After years of GW and Clinton....with various gay affairs in congress, and then corruption throughout the senate....do any of us really care? Think about it.
We really haven't lost sleep over Hillary or Bill or Minneapolis airport stalls with guys giving signals.
It doesn't bother me that the mayor of New Orleans is totally corrupt and a fool.
It doesn't bother me one bit that Mr. Brown of the UK is a absolute fool at managing things.
I don't even care about the dimwits who are sitting on some special board investigating baseball....like they are really going to fix steroids or give Hank Aaron back his home-run title.
Do I even care if some dementia fool is placed on the supreme court? Nope.
Will any idiot fix the water trouble in Georgia, or will it simply be God and his mighty rain powers that settle the issue there?
Is anyone going to vote the fools out of congress?
So there....let the stud-muffin John McCain have his hour of satisfaction. Let Larry King ask him if any of this is true. John loves it.....it gives him the powers "Clintonizing". You can't beat that.
- Yonkers Women
- Yesterday in Yonkers, New York.....just a stone's throw from Manhattan.....where I spent 24 hours at the mercy of New York City last July (my famous JFK episode).....there was a slight episode yesterday.
The best we can say...is that some gal (Kyeisha is her first name)....got into a random discussion with a room-mate....who had her boyfriend at the place at the time. For some reason...looks, beauty, and hottie-ness came into the discussion. And this guy...for whatever reason....made the comment that Kyeisha....was "ugly". There are some things a guy can say....and get away with. But this isn't one of them.
So Kyeisha....took out a kitchen knife of some proportion.....and stabbed the dude in the shoulder. He was likely a bit shocked....looking at the knife inserted....and then like most guys....was just going to faint there like a wussie, and then realized that she was still standing there...and likely to pick up knife number two. So the dude then ran...out of the building...and the cops found him....to arrest her later.
You can just see the Yonkers cops....trying to be "nice"....but asking him over and over in her presence..."now, what did you say to her?"
I'm guessing that Kyeisha is a might bit upset, and she won't cool off for a day or two. The judge will likely sentence her to hostility classes and accept some story of her being on drugs....which almost every New Yorker will use as their "defense" if arrested by the cops. Then they can get rehab and a "get-out-of-jail" card.
Thinking back now....to my 24 hours in Manhattan....and what could have happened....man o man. At any moment on the street.....I could have had some cross-dresser dude walk up and ask me if they were cute, and I would have said "man, under the street lights of Montgomery (notorious for 80 watt street bulbs)....you might be Ms. America", and they would have hauled off and beat my butt in front of Grand Central Station. Or I could have had some hunky gal asking me if her pants make her look fat....and after I said "like a tub of lard" in Bama-chat.....she would have hurt me awful bad.
Thinking back.....I'm glad I was only stuck there for 24 hours. I mighta been dead after 72 hours.
- Strange Episode
- Off in Oklahoma City, OK....the cops pulled some lady over for a traffic stop (no bad license, no bad tag, just a random stop.....so we are told). The thing is that she had 31 pounds of grass in the car and a half pound of coke. This is the fascinating thing....she is the secretary of the attorney general of North Carolina. Add to this strange brew.....almost no news group in North Carolina (except one web news area of a TV station)....has published the event.
Now, if a guy had a pound or two of grass in their car....it'd be for personal use. This would be kinda understandable (by Bama standards).....but 31 pounds puts you in a different group. The half pound of coke....a fair amount. But then no one back in North Carolina hears a word. Now if you asked.....what political party does the attorney general belong to.......well....it is the Democratic party....which shouldn't matter. But in this case...it probably does.
What why would you be in Oklahoma City......a thousand miles from home....buying your grass there? This is even more puzzling because Bama is the number one grower of Mary-j-u-wanna in the US.....so we often brag. Why would any idiot drive clear across Arkansas and Tennessee.....so buy your stuff there? This would be like wanting Bud brewed in Arkansas, and driving from Portland to buy it at the brewery. Nothing makes sense here.
- The German Tax Opera
- Germans want to tell you....to weep over your shoulder....to share a beer....over their stupid tax scandel. You'd think they hadn't had a single scandal since 1945.
The updates? Well...the crown prince of Liechtenstein is supposed to show up and really knock heads with Frau Merkel.....if there even possible. Being the crown prince of something....don't amount to much and pretty much rates you with the mayor of Mobile on the status scale of the world.
Twenty-five more (more or less) search warrants were done yesterday.....same as Monday. And the boys kinda tell everyone that this twenty-five....is the best that they can do. So anyone who had an account with this stupid LGT bank in Liechtenstein.....can pretty much go and shred every document, unless you got hit late Friday of last week. In a country of 100,000 cops and easily 100,000 tax workers....you'd think they would have done all 900 individuals in the "stew" by Friday of last week.....but thats not the plan (wink, wink).
Adding to this....the crown prince said that Germany has a 3rd world tax structure. Actually....to be honest....some folks came out a year or two ago...and ranked germany against the 103 top countries in the world on tax structure. Remarkably.....they were ranked....number 103. Yep, dead last.
Why? Well....they base the entire system on the wealthy paying a upward trend scale. So if you were making $30k a year....you barely pay 20 percent of your salary. If you make $50k a year....its closer to 28 percent. So by the time you get to $1 million a year....its supposed to be around 40 percent of your salary. What idiot would agree to donate that much money to the government? So today...in open press....some tax experts from Germany readily admitted that over $44 Billion a year (BILLION). Of this hidden amount of money....at least $8 billion is believed to be funneled into Germany on a yearly basis.....with the rest spread around the world.
Think about that.....your citizens are hiding over $44 billion in income per year. And your head of government....along with your parliament are very accepting of that....and the tax structure is not about to shift to fix the issue.
What happens now? Well....some folks are thinking that the court cases will not be so easily for the German government to win....because they bought stolen data. The EU may step in at any point....and really screw up the German case. Adding to this.....the massive dump of accounts in this little country....and probably some Russian group thinking how to take advantage of this entire mess. The amusing thing to me....I'm still stuck in this German tax mess...paying these idiots.....and its costs me a arm and a leg.
- House for Sale
- Wonderfully desert landscaped house for sale. 1200 sq feet of open housing for your remodeling and creativity. Air conditioning recently improved. 100% US concrete. Parking for up to two vehicles. Newly designed flaps for quick and easy movement to let the light in. Previous tenets kept joint in 1st class condition. Previous burning oil smell almost gone from old air conditioning system. Pallet of water to be included with purchase. Lighting fixtures just remodeled and bulbs now all burn 100 watts. Within 300 feet of toilet facilities and within 500 feet of cooking facilities. Sand bagging easily accomplished with a fresh dump of 1 ton of fresh sand near the front door. Call now for appointment to view.
- Nessie and Its Hunter
- Today, we learn that legendary Nessie hunter, Robert Rines....85 years old....is about to retire from the hunt.
He has searched Loch Ness since 1971.....looking for the mighty beast.....which has yet to be proven.
He admitted to interviews this past week two little things. First.....he has a 100 sea floor contacts that he wishes to check before he hangs up his hat.....hoping one of them might be the body of the Nessie.
Secondly, and more importantly....Robert now squares away and thinks that Global Warming probably killed Nessie. I think this theory is cool because we know that Nessie is fictional and Global Warming for the most part....is fictional too. So the two really fit well together. Yep, it was the warming atmosphere that killed Nessie. It was the carbon. It was the terrible greed of the Americans that finally killed off Nessie.
And while this happened.....Bigfoot also died....because of Global Warming. He died a long, long, terrible suffering death....because of Global Warming.
The thing that picks up cows in Arizona and Texas and mutilate them.....it too died because of Global Warming.
The creature that roams the New Jersey outback....it died because of Global warming.
Fllipper, T-Rex and all the dinosaurs.....all died because of Global Warming.
Barney and the Teletubbies....all died because of Global Warming.
Captain America.....died because of Global Warming.
Hercules, Xena, and Bugs Bunny.....all died because of Global Warming.
There.....I said the terrible truth. I feel better now. In fact....I'm mixing four fingers of whiskey in with my ice tea....with a full slice of lemon....to really take away the pain and suffering I currently have about all them dead things.
Its a sad woeful tale.....to admit all the death and destruction because of Global Warming. And to be honest....I haven't even gotten around to Bert (of Bert and Ernie fame), who died because of Global Warming. I knew you didn't want me to drag it up.....but someone had to. So we salute Mr. Rines....and his dedication to Nessie.
Somewhere out there....in the great Loch....Nessie is sitting there on the rocks tonight....grinning from ear to ear....that he outfoxed that dimwit Rines one more time. Maybe thats the thrill that a Nessie needs in life....to outfox those damn stupid humans.
- Denmark & Happiness
- 60 Minutes went out and found a professor who had spent several years at Harvard....studying happiness....teaching a boatload of students....and he had plenty to say.
Basically....we Americans are unhappy. Its not the houses, or the education sector, or the government's fault. Its not really the fault of churches or the crime sector or even the amount of taxation in our lives.
Basically....we are expecting a lot in life....demanding more than our fair share....and working for that lofty goal. The professor has a point.
Over fifteen years of my life....I've traveled the globe. I've been to Central America, and most of Europe. I've seen an awful lot of societies and their expectations in life. I've seen the uppidity-ups and the demanding crowds. I've seen the folks who spent $250k on a car, and the groups who lived in upscale neighborhoods of London.
The professor was very clear to point out Denmark. He stressed that we had lessons to learn from Denmark.
I've spent six weeks of my life in Denmark. I've known the happy Danes for a number of years. I have no doubt about the scale of their happiness.
I shall be honest. The Danes tax the heck out of booze....so you really can't be a glorified alcoholic. Wanna eat out? Well....meals on the economy are quiet expensive.....so its something special when you do eat out.....and so you get used to eating mama's apple pie and grilling some chicken on your backyard grill. The Danes are not flashy with cars. In a town of 10,000 people....you probably won't find many expensive or sports cars. The Danes typically don't travel to the Bahamas or Fiji.....and if they are lucky in a 20-year period....they might make a trip down to Italy once and maybe a trip over to Spain once.
The Danes save money.....what little they have after taxes. They pay a fair amount on gas taxes....to ensure that they don't race around and waste fuel constantly. The Danes don't exactly have alot of people begging to come to Denmark....because of the cost of living. They are open-minded but then they really don't have much tolerance for Islamic groups.
In fact.....there really isn't much for a Ripley guy to say negative about the Danes. If you asked to pick a place where I could just settle and write for the rest of my life.....I might just pick Denmark. And if I had to find a negative about the place.....they don't have a Britney Spears gal runing around to spice up your life. Course....maybe thats not such a negative thing.
- German Tax Troubles Continued
- There was a fair amount of discussion in Germany over the weekend....over the Liechtenstein Bank episode. To revisit it for a second....its legal for a German to have an account in a foreign country....but you have to admit it. Most don't. Most avoid taxes in Germany and have foreign income roll into that foreign account easily. The Germans paid some guy on the inside....$5 million...in 2006.....to get the master list of accounts and German names. They spent eighteen months researching....and last week...started their court battles. Word is....over 1,000 big name and little name Germans are going to face taxes. The amount of income that the Germans could derive from this episode? Maybe $250 million with taxes and fines together.
So now, three interesting things occurred.
The idiot at the Liechtenstein bank who handed the info over.....is apparently very worried now. Word on the street is that a number of private detectives are looking for him....and he wants German state protection. Nothing was promised about this....and I doubt seriously that they want to get into hired protection (it also hampers their case and future cases....if he accidentally dies in a car accident....things happen....you know).
Germans are very happy about getting at these rich people....because all German naturally HATE rich people (they will actually tell you this....thats how hokey that has become). But then....they sat there and started asking stupid questions this weekend....like....will the German version of the CIA be offering $5 million to other banks....in Panama, the Seychelles, Luxembourg, Bahamas, etc? The potential number of banks out there? Well....its up well over 100 banks that take German "secret" money throughout the world. So this might be an interesting episode.
Then finally....some folks suddenly woke up....who weren't members of this affected bank....but have their money in other hidden banks. So today....this massive group....probably over 150,000 folks....are demanding real security over them and their money. The banks throughout Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, etc.....are going to have to take several measures to make customers happy. The Russians? Probably standing there and prepared to offer real death contracts for any bank employee who can't keep a secret....and I'd bet that some banks would sign up for the Russian service.
And for those wondering why the heck you'd arrange your money like this? Well...go ask your local attorney or investment dude in the US. There are probably over 1,000,000 US citizens who have some type of account outside of the US today....to avoid IRS contact. We do the same thing.
- Berkeley Council
- So the meeting between the left and the right met in Berkeley, Cal....last week....to argue their points on the Marine recruiting station. Around 2,000 total protesters...at least thats what the cops will say. The city council kinda back tracked and said they were against the war....but supported the troops....which didn't make the left very happy. The marchers kept going. And the cops had almost 100 of their finest out....to protect the public.
Here is the bottom line....this little episode on Tuesday last week....cost the city about $100,000 in overtime pay for the cops. The amount of business denied to the city that day and for the week....maybe upwards to $200,000 (the best estimate one can get from the press and officials). Will it continue this week? Probably so....although in much less numbers. Will the mess end shortly? I'm guessing within two weeks....things will kinda slide off the plate. The city spent a fair amount of money and probably doesn't want to continue to screw things up.
- Just So You Know
So we learn today....that potential President Hillary....will ask the Justice Department to determine if alleged 9/11 plotters currently held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba , could be tried in civilian courts or regular military courts rather than face military commissions that have sparked controversy both inside and outside the United States.DOD wouldn't care one way or another...they are merely taking orders on this anyway.
So now you'd have around 20 special prosecutors appointed by the justice department...and you could figure at least an entire year for them to get onboard and settled into their job before they could try the cases. Because their entire livelihood depends on the length of this episode...their salaries of $120k a year, and their staffs...you can count on this taking a very long, long time to try a case.
You can also count on some state governor organizing his state police and state attorney general at the base where they will land at...and formerly lay charges there in that state against the guy. The DOD guys and the Feds may not hand the guy over...but they can't really stop any state from laying in charges. If any state resident has had harm brought to him...by any of these characters...then the state can toss on some kinda of charge. I'm guessing Hillary will be very upset by this state action...but its the way things work.
Finally...after three long years in a Fed jail....most of the cases will be tossed out and the guys will then be stuck. Most countries will refuse them back...so then Hillary has to explain to the public why the US has to accept the guy....permanently....as a resident.
If you are wondering how much leal experience she has....check the years at the Rose Law Firm in Little Rock. She was more or less a middle-man on property transfers. So the depth you'd like to think is there....isn't.
- Knight Rider RETURNS!
- It seems like we waited an eternity....waiting on Micheal Knight to return with Kit. Finally....thanks to those dimwits at NBC.....we have it.
Over the past two years....I've had the chance to watch about 20 of the original Knight Rider shows. To be brief and honest...from that first season....it was the most pitiful show that you could dream up. The bad guys were the only plus-up on the show. Hasselhof can not act....and to put him into any scene....was like putting George Bush in a room with monkeys. It was a terrible show in the first season. By the last year of the series.....the scripts had improved and Hasselhof showed five ounces of acting skill....which is better than no skills.
So I'm happy that we've been able to bring this back. Now I can sit back and hope that Petticoat Junction, Green Acres, and Barnaby Jones will eventually return as well.
- The Falling Satellite and Putin
- The US has a spy satellite which is falling. Yep....it will reenter the atmosphere shortly. Two weeks ago....this came out and they indicated that it would dissolve mostly in the atmosphere and what remained....would fall in a ocean probably. Then a few days pass.....and they start to say that the US would be responsible if something got hit or broke by this.....which is strange because they never said something like this before when those stupid satellites fell.
So a few more days pass....and they start talking about shooting the satellite down....so it'd be in pieces. They start talking about toxic fuel onboard and they would be able to aim and hit this satellite.
Suddenly Russia wakes up and says....hey, this anti-satellite testing.....which we really don't like. The US denied testing, and instead continues on with the idea of shooting down the satellite.
You have to imagine....back at the Kremlin....there is Putin sitting there....upset over the US. So he starts to smile, then calls up his buddies with the space and rocket stuff in Moscow.....and says: "shot the thing, now". The boys get their measurements and six hours later....a Russian rocket shoots down the failing US satellite. Then Putin calls up Bush to let him know that Russia was just happy to help in this matter and that the US didn't need to waste any of its precious time on this matter.
You could just see the Pentagon guys sitting there.....totally upset. And the Russian guys would be grinning from ear to ear.
- Charles Barkley and Fake Christians
- I rarely respect athletes who talk beyond their sport. I can count on one hand....those men of baseball, basketball or football....who are intelligent enough to challenge you with their comments and wit.
Charles Barkley.....one of the great heavy-weight forwards of the NBA, is one of those five. Charles is a Bama-ite at heart. He really doesn't lessen his words or charm....its a 10-pound layer of commentary that you will get....whether you like it or not.
So this past week....Wolfe Blitzer came up and interviewed Charles. Charles let it be known that he has purchased property last year in Bama, and will put in his seven years to get residency there, and then run for governor of Alabama in 2014. More than a few of us are waiting for this event.
So then Charles went on to chat about "fake Christians". He didn't hesitate to dump on people playing a Christian card but they didn't act Christian nor did they want to really behave as a Christian. Fakers, yep.....real fakers. Charles let them have it with both barrels.
I sat and pondered this. I grew up in the Baptist empire of a dry county. There is some appreciation that I have for the folks and their intentions. But down to the core....most of those folks I grew up around....simply used their Christian attitude as some shield which could be dropped whenever the necessity arose. They could say some very unkind things about folks....which really lacked any real Christian meaning. Yep....they were fakers.
Over the past 30 years associated with the military....I've seen the same fake crew. They would lay on the anti-drinking speech, the anti-carousing attitude, the anti-anti sparks....and I'd just stand there and think that they lacked any real inspiration or concept of their compass in life.
So I kinda agree with Charles, and I'm kinda hoping he makes it to 2014, and I kinda hope that he wins as governor. We could use eight years of Charles....to fix more than a few things in Bama.
- Bush in Africa
- GW has been on tour the last couple of days....in Africa. I was browsing through the photos of his trip.....and this great picture of tubed-GW shirts came up. I started looking at this and thinking....man....these women look hot with the GW image on their tubes. We need to get these GW tubes and start selling them around the US.....and start making women back into hot lusty Bush freaks.
- SB 908
- SB 908 will become an interesting thing to remember.
Out in California....there is a state senator who has written up a bill, SB 908, which is to require the California school system to buy books on climate change and actually teach the climate as one of the core items.
Sen Joe Simitian, a democrat from Silicon Valley, believes that we need to move ahead and focus on the environment....and ensure our kids know what they are talking about. The bill in question....has passed by majority though the California Senate and will come to the house very shortly. So far.....the governor has said nothing.
Joe admits....most of what is being stressed here....is the belief of the US Academy of Sciences (our big smart dudes in science), who in 2005 said: "Climate change is real".
I sat and pondered this mess. You'd have to expect the first punch of this sort from California (not Mississippi or Arkansas). The thing is.....no one is very sure about anything. Alot of what has been said in the past ten years.....is only partially true or in cases....the data used to conclude a fact is entirely false data. So we are left with few real facts. One fact is true....climate change is real. In fact....there are four changes of the climate each year....summer, fall, winter, and spring. If these did not occur, we'd all die as a species. So we ought to be happy about climate change. Some folks aren't happy. They would like to paint it as a sad and terrible event.
As on the situation in California....I'll predict that this goes through and becomes law. I'll predict that the governor has a press conference and pumps up this wonderful law. I'll predict that the state board of education will immediately buy 25,000 copies of Al Gore's video. I'll predict that a number of 15-year old punks will immediately cast doubt on the teachers and the lectures. I'll predict that some family will start court action (as they did in the UK to discredit Al's movie, and they won). I'll predict that this entire dimming effect shifts by the end of next year to Oregon, Hawaii, and Washington state. I'll even predict that we have mandatory global cooling videos brought out in the school system there within four years. How many parents will yank their kids out of school? Probably over 3,000 California couples will make the decision this year to teach their kids at home. The state will likely mandate that even these kids sitting at home.....via home-learning.....have to attend some type of global change class.
Just how far will this spread? Not that far....I think the steam for the climate change and its crowd will begin to peak out in five years, and by 2015....its more or less history. When Al Gore is finally caught on a stage and has to fully argue his point with a learned individual....the situation will start to fall apart and confidence in global change....will drop. So it in our world tonight.
- Asking the Right Questions and Getting th Right Answers
- With the campaign in full swing in Wisconsin...reporters following Hillary were looking at various questions and angles to connect Hillary to the locals. Somewhere in the past day or two....some reporter who had tailed Hillary for over two years....posed a remarkable Hillary-question: How'd she feel about gun rights?
Hillary suddenly woke up and said: "You know, you may not believe this, but my father took me hunting." Then she went on to say how it felt like a hundred years ago and that she firmly back gun rights. Then she added: "My father taught me to shoot."
Pondering this remarkable background of Hillary.....I sat and wondered if we could continue this line of questioning and maybe learn more of the Hillary that we've never met.
So I would have lead this questioning off with: maam, have you ever changed brake pads on your car before? Hillary would have suddenly woke up, realizing all of the manly men out there would like to know her situation. Then she would go on to say: "You know, you may not believe this but I do all of the brake pad work on our cars. I've done this since Bill and I married, in order to save money." Then she'd go on to describe the grease she got on her fingers.....although most of us guys would have wondered what the hell you'd have grease on your hands from....if you are dealing with brake pads.
Then I would lead to this question: maam, have you ever lost a hunting dog on a hunt? Hillary would have suddenly woke up, realizing all of the hunters in America could connect with this statement. Then she would go on to say: "You know, you may not believe this but I had a beagle that ran off while daddy and I were hunting.....and I spent fourteen hours looking for him." Some hunters would be weeping at this disclosure. And then she'd go on to describe how a dog owner feels real close to their dog.
Then I would lead to this question: maam, have you ever been picked up by a alien ship? Hillary would have suddenly woke up, realizing all of the alien-probed folks in America could connect with this statement. Then she would go on to say: "You know, you may not believe this but I was taken about 20 years ago while on a drive in Little Rock, and was later released in Memphis, Tennessee." Some alien-probed folks would really feel proud to vote for someone of their kind. Then she'd go on to say she really didn't feel probed but then she did lose account of time, which is good enough for most folks.
Then I would lead to this question: maam, have you ever been to a wrestling match? Hillary would have suddenly woke up, realizing that the mighty underclass of the south could connect to her with this statement. Then she would go on to say: "You know, you may not believe this but I used to regularly attend professional wrestling matches with Hulk Hogan and Hacksaw Dugan. I loved the drama and fight involved and it was wonderful to hang out with the folks at the arena and have a few beers." A lot of southerners would have really felt good that she was one of them. Then she'd go to say that she really liked that Undertaker dude but just didn't have time to attend his matches currently.
So it is in politics today.....a sad and woeful tale.
- The Seattle Supersonics, to Oklahoma?
- Quietly over the past couple of years....folks within the management of the Seattle Supersonics....have pushed the city of Seattle for a new arena. Basically...we have a problem because the city did a major renovation in 1995 to their present arena and still has a open bond out there to pay on the remaining cost of that renovation. So the city really doesn't want to talk about building up a new structure.
The Supersonics were bought by a guy in recent times....who is from Oklahoma, and fairly well off. He basically wanted to bring NBA basketball to a place where people would appreciate it.
The mood in Seattle is pretty hot. The city and the mayor are upset about comments this week by the commissioner of basketball...that something is to be worked out on this deal. The supposed deal? Well....the arena folks get a pay-off of two years of value...which will likely finish up the bond issue. The city would likely get nothing for its efforts....but then they don't own the team. The city however, is pulling out a contract to say that they have done everything the NBA asked....and that the team can't be moved....at the whim of the owner.
Seattle has a long history of dismal professional sports. The Pilots of the baseball fame came to the town....on promises of a major stadium to be built....and six months later....that deal fell....so a year or two later....they moved to Milwaukee and became the Brewers. When the Mariners finally came to town....it was strictly a private deal to build up their establishment and get things going.
Frankly....this is the one city where zero interest by the political players is obvious. Even the question of how long the Mariners remain in Seattle is up on the board....and one could see them moving in five years to some other location.
I am a harden Supersonics fan....from the 1970s. There were a work of wonder in those days. They had Jack Sikma and Freddy Brown. They were the underdogs, who played for the fun of it. But those days have passed...and you have a dismal team that the locals just don't show up in droves for. In Oklahoma....I'll bet on 20,000 fans every night....and massive political support in the local town.
- Steve Fossett Declared Dead
- So after five months...Steve Fossett's wife finally had the judge declare him dead. What we can say for sure...is that Steve took off from a ranch near Minden, NV on the 3rd of September 2007, and was never seen again. The amount of search put into this effort....one of the largest in the past twenty years within the US....but they could not find the aircraft or the pilot. Steve had one bottle of water onboard, and could have activated the beacon easily if this was merely engine trouble and he had to land somewhere.....but didn't.
Some folks have this fantasy....that Steve faked his death....and is on some sailboat in the Pacific. I'd like to believe that idea.
- Reviewing and Pasting
- Whilst I am in the process of taking down my 360 blogs and pasting them onto a new site (to be announced soon)....I have come to go back and read some of my blogs from the past 2.5 years. In some cases....I'm rather surprised how creative and how entertaining they were. Some of them actually were five-star blogs. Some were crap....even I'll admit. The spelling errors in the first six months....really bad. But the editing improved and spelling errors are rare these days.
After doing all of this....I'm kinda wondering if someday....I ought to band my 1000 best blogs....and export them into Word....to form a book. It probably wouldn't sell.....but would be a dandy project to work on.
- Jena Six or A Louisiana Fat Lady Opera
- So let us revisit a wondrous moment in American history....actually recent American history....and educate ourselves on what happened before and after. I got part of this piece from Patrick J. Buchanan and his "chronicles". The rest....from different sections of the internet.
It is a great media story to tell....bunch of racist white students at Jena High School in Louisiana hung some nooses around a school tree to warn black students not to sit under it. This triggers a fistfight, with racist white kids and innocent black kids involved....and then the black kids in the fight were indicted for attempted murder, while the white racists walked away with almost no punishment.
Then in the fall of last year.....some 20,000 folks traveled to Jena to march against this terrible event. Alot of this march was covered in the media and the internet. Most folks felt shamed by those dang whites who live in Jena. Life is real bad for folks around this part of the country.
For some reason.....alot of the story....was kinda rewritten, and rewritten, and rewritten. To be quiet honest....as far as anyone from the school knows...there never was a “whites-only” tree at the high school. Yes, there was a tree, and generally...both blacks and whites hung out around the tree. The nooses hung there.....based on comments from a vast number of the kids there....came from three young teens, who got the idea from watching Lonesome Dove on TV, where rustlers are hanged.
A lot of the kids even say that this slanted joke was aimed at several white boys who were on the local rodeo team. Adding to this interesting episode....the joke continued on....to be aimed at the rival school’s Western-themed football team.
The school woke up at this point.....noting that this noose thing had gone too far....telling the kids of what the hidden meaning of the nooses were.....which triggered the majority of them to be sorry. All of them had black friends, and it would appear that none knew the offensive committed. Lets face it....if you live in a community of blacks and whites....you have some racism but the general mood of the community is now acceptance and moving on.
The school even went to the next step.....putting those involved into nine days at an alternative facility, followed by two weeks of in-school suspension, Saturday detentions, attendance at Discipline Court and evaluations by licensed mental-health professionals. No one has explained where the mental-health pro's came from but one would assume the state or the county has someone under contract.
Nobody....not even the cops....felt that this was an intentional hate crime. The nooses curiously enough....were only up one day.....at the very most. Few students even saw the nooses. So everyone thought this entire episode was ended.
Amusingly enough.....THREE entire months pass by......September, October and November....from which no one connected anything to a racial event. It was to be the quiet before the storm.
Then.....as if it had to happen.....on the first of December.....Robert Bailey Jr. who was a student of the school.....apparently tried to crash a party at the Fair Barn in Jena. This attempt to walk into the party....resulted in Justin Sloan, 22, who wasn't even a high school student....knocking the crap out of Robert. So then we have a cop called in.....witnesses reporting what they saw. This dude.....Justin....was prosecuted for battery.
Barely twenty-four hours pass....Robert and two associates jumped some white dude at the “Gotta Go” grocery. No....I'm not even making up this name....its all quiet true, if you dig into the internet. The guy who got jumped, remember....he is a white dude.....ran to get a shotgun out of his car. It is eventually wrestled away from him. This part of the story....has only two witnesses but most folks believe it to be true.
Then forty-eight hours pass.....and we come to the “schoolyard fight.” For some odd reason.....some black students barricaded an exit to the gym and lay in wait for Justin Barker. As Justin went for another exit, he was struck in the head from behind by Mychal Bell. Multiple witnesses say Justin fell unconscious as a gang of eight or 10 blacks stomped and kicked him in the head. The assistant principal who reached Justin was originally dead. When the local hospital finished up patching up Justin....they handed his family a bill of more than $5,000.
Here we start to have events which relate to nothing with the noose or the "Gotta Go" grocery. The six dudes involved.....were arrested and charged with attempted second-degree murder. None of the six even mentioned the noose incident.....as did none of the witnesses who watched the beating.
Somebody....probably the local mayor and the DA....helped to fix up the situation.....reducing the charges to battery. Bell, tried as an adult, was indeed convicted by an all-white jury. This was a strange thing....but then as the DA commented on later....no blacks answered the summons to the jury pool.
Another curious questions arises.....why was Bell prosecuted as an adult? By state law....he had four prior convictions for crimes of violence. Yep....this guy was issues-prone and destined for big-time prison in the years to come.
Somewhere in this mess.....Bell's conviction was overturned, Bell was ordered retried as a juvenile. Even though this was counter to state law....the DA apparently went along, and this was supposed to help Bell avoid a major strike against him....with less jail time. A competent lawyer would have told Bell that he was the luckiest man alive.
Rather than face the same 17 witnesses, he pled guilty in December to hitting Barker from behind, slamming his head into a concrete beam and kicking him in the head. Now in this case....he gets sentenced to 18 months in juvenile detention, and amazingly enough....he agreed to testify against his co-conspirators. Yep....PLEA bargain. The guy rat on his buddies and got less time....and ended up with a great deal.
Now we are getting to the real interesting part of the Jena Six episode.....money. Somewhere in the midst of this mess.....there was almost $500,000 raised for the defense of the guys involved. It was supposed to pay legal bills. No one....rightly.....knows where the heck this money is.
We do know that Bailey posed for some internet site with a smiling pose....with $100 bills in his mouth. Locals are now reporting that Bell’s mom drives a new Jaguar, and Bailey’s mom a new BMW. Two other Jena Sixers, Carwin Jones and Bryant Purvis....actually appeared as presenters at some Hip-Hop Award show on the on Black Entertainment Television network.
Back a number of days ago.....Purvis, who had moved onto Carrollton, Texas, to restart his life....was charged with assault. He apparently was caught choking a kid at the school and then rammed the kid into a wooden bench.How much media time does the Jena Six get today? None. How many big news folks chat on Jena today? None. How many historians have written books on Jena today? None. How many 60 Minutes episodes have been made in the last six months? None. How many Louisiana politicians talk up Jena today? None. How many movies are in the making on Jena? None. Does Jessie Jackson even mention them? No.
I'm a pretty low-key guy who simply reads and reads and reads. Eventually....you realize that a story....really isn't much of a story. This is one of those cases.
- Ought to Import for Baptists
Out in Singapore.....a retailer pulled a line of cheeky Jesus branded cosmetics from its shelves after complaints from irate Catholics.
The cosmetics, called "Lookin' Good for Jesus", is made by American makeup company Blue Q. Course, most of us haven't heard of Blue Q. I'm guessing they are out of Brownsville or Topeka.
Wing Tai Holdings, which manages the Topshop brand in the city-state, pulled the items of its shelves late last month after some customers complained. Apparently, they didn't want to offend anyone.
I was sitting there and pondering.....they oughta have this in Bama for them Baptists. We could set up some stores right outside of their churches, and the ladies could wonder over after services, and get some cream and smelly stuff for themselves. Those Blue Q dudes could make some cash off this idea.After checking on the internet for Blue Q...and understanding their brand name....I decided that this Baptist angle just wouldn't work. Blue Q....makes "If Marijuana were legal breath spray", "Instant rehab breath spray", "Look and feel Canadian breath spray", "dirty girl body wash", "dirty girl body cream", and some nifty "Cat Butt" magnets. So....if you are in the mood to be a dirty girl....you know what site to check on.
- Serious Crime
- So this is what we know. There is this guy.....facing assault charges after allegedly spraying bar patrons twice with bear spray, at a bar in Kodiak, Alaska.
This apparently occurred at the B&B Bar.
The cops say this dude was escorted from the bar on Saturday, but returned 15 minutes later and allegedly sprayed customers. Police talked to him later and took the bear spray, but were called away on a more urgent matter.
You would think that would be the end....but no.....on Sunday, police were called to the bar again after the same guy allegedly sprayed patrons with another can of bear spray.
The cops then found the guy walking down the street and charged him with six counts of misdemeanor assault.
Now you are sitting wondering...what the hell is bear spray? Well....its pepper spray but in a container three times the size of pepper spray. The purpose.....if you haven't figured that out.....to chase bears away from you....without firing a gun. So consider it.....an industrialized can of pepper spray.Now I have to say this....the US Fisheries and Wildlife Service....put out this bulletin a while back....basically saying that the real rule to bears....is to avoid them at all cost. The bear spray....while a nice tool....doesn't really ensure anything. And in some cases....it might just make the bear more upset.
- Congress & the Senate: Busy Beavers
- This week.....between the magnificent baseball hearings and the Senator Craig "bad boy" report release....there was a little vote which wasn't detailed that much in the papers. Apparently, your friends in congress voted to authorize nineteen forms of torture. Well....to be honest.....they made sure that water-boarding wasn't an accepted form of torture with the CIA.
Apparently.....the Army got real cool on this whole thing years ago, and wrote an interrogation manual for Army folks. It authorizes only nineteen forms of torture (which really aren't the bad torture that you'd think....like water-boarding).....and that was it. The politicians decided that this was a dandy document and they'd just use it.
The thinking here...is that we will be fairly nice about this torture business....and the rest of the world will be too. Yep.....the rest of the world....will be too. Keep repeating that.....and you may eventually believe that.
Personally.....I thought this whole chat on torture over the past three years....was pretty bogus, and that there were simple and non-painful methods of torture. Personally....I'd put a TV in a area and force the prisoners to watch the Teletubbies....for eighteen hours a day. I'd serve up some pecan pie with laxative mixed in. I'd put on some opera music twenty-four hours a day. My method might take longer, but I'd still get the same amount of information.
So, God bless them congressmen and senators.....all this busy work this week.....and serious baseball issues. America can rest quietly tonight.....knowing our boys are hard at work.
- Bill and the Real World
- Bill Clinton, over the past month, has wanted to remind everyone of how wonderful the 1990s were. Barack Obama, has chosen to remind folks that the real changing point in our lives, was the 1980s....under a different president. Bill is upset about that talk. But Barack has some excellent points. I sat and pondered this. Then I started to compare and Barack together, and their accomplishments.
- Barack didn't take any illegal donations from the Chinese
- Barack didn't serially abuse any number of women all over the country
- Barack didn't mass murder a bunch of religious cultists in Texas
- Barack didn't force a Cuban child back into the arms of a dictator
- Barack didn't raise taxes higher than anyone ever did before
- Barack didn't sit on his ass and allow the US to suffer numerous attacks from Islamic extremists
- Barack didn't use a hottie intern as a personal hostess on the floor of the Oval Office.
- New Baptist Covenant & the Gorical
- For those who missed it the past week or two.....Al Gore was a major dude at the new Baptists covenant....which is a liberal Baptists group....NOT like the Southern Baptists.....and this group is pro-environment....pro-democrat.....and pro-Clinton. You can't beat a draw like that.
So in the midst of this week long discussion and bonding (whatever them liberal Baptists do)....some dude presented Al the "Baptist of the Year" trophy.
I sat there and paused....thinking when did the Southern Baptists ever have a Baptist of the Year effort? Never. Dang.
So its a mighty fine feeling for Al. He has the Nobel, and now the Baptist of the Year trophy. Thats a mighty fine feeling to have. I'm sure he sat there and memorized at least six to eight lines of Bible chatter, and probably rendered a minute of speaking in tongues....to get such a prize.
Out in Bama.....folks are just finding out about this. Apparently, the media has really not mentioned this much. I'm guessing it ain't a big deal to most folks. In fact....some folks in Nashville are shocked....cause they ain't never seen Al at a Baptist Church. But you know....stranger things have happened....like global warming....global cooling....and global change. And you just gotta be in the right club, and say the right things....to be accepted.
Me? Well.....yep.....I am putting my name in for Baptist of the Year for 2009.....but its a long-shot....especially if they find out that I have sipped a bit of bourbon on occasion and watched some ladies at the mud-wrestling tournament in Iuka, MS. This might be held against me. I'm hoping this bunch is different from them Southern Baptists....and be forgiving......alot forgiving would be sure nice. Maybe Al could put a word in for me.....and speak out about my love for the environment.
- Hurricane Katriina: Version 8.1
- Really and truly....the hurricane never ends.
This week....the government finally went into turbo drive over the damn trailer business. Yep....all of those 40,000 trailers....are toxic in nature. So the several thousand that they'd already sold.....they gotta recover them....so they are paying to have them back.
The folks living in them for hurricane purposes.....well....they gotta move into full-time housing. So those kindly folks at FEMA are going to pay for hotel/motel costs. Yep. This will go into a a $1500 a month cost per family now, for the several thousand families still using the trailers....two years after the grand episode.
The head of FEMA, admitted that they would NEVER EVER use trailers again. I sat there and just started laughing. This was a public comment....on camera....and it made me weep almost.
Personally, I'd offer folks a camping tent and tell them to get aggressive about rebuilding or moving out of the state. If they don't want to make the effort....fine....get used to a tent.
How much will Katrina cost over the next ten years as folks continue to live in a hotel or motel in Louisiana? I'm betting well into the three billion dollar range. We could have paid every family $80k and moved them to Kansas....away from the coast....and just made lots of folks happy (excepting them folks in Kansas).
The trailers? Well....its interesting....they all go back to some rented area in Arkansas....which has some lady next door (she was on CNN).....who is all upset and weeping about the toxic stuff getting to her. You can see a massive court case brewing here. I'm betting she gets $1 million easily, and the state of Arkansas will eventually sue about the 40,000 trailers....so they will get $100 million for their suffering. Its amazing how Katrina goes on to cost more and more.....because some idiots decided to live nine feet under sea-level.
- We Merely Wait
- In the great ways of this world....we are waiting.
One day.....at some small NASA-run operation in the outback of Australia....there will be a 45-second audio message to come through. It will be in a language that no one understands at the site, and of absolutely no doubt....from beyond the earth. There will be a mass urgency.....bringing the tape to the view of numerous secretive groups in the US, and finally the president. Some media group will bust the story a week later.
It will shock and probably cause panic amongst half the world's population. It will daze even the more intelligent of our society....that someone else exists.
So weeks will go by....with thousands of suicides. The reason? Well.....one can only assume the worst case scenario...that some aliens are coming and we will all die....sooner or later.
At some point....NASA will reassure us....with evidence of a second and third tape.....that the source of the broadcast....is over 180 years of travel away. So its virtually impossible that they could zero in on the Earth, and arrive tomorrow. In fact....at best....it might be at least 100 years away before we might receive a guest.
That will soften up the anxious crowd.
We will all sit there....in our dens....sipping a ice tea....and thinking of what will happen long after we are gone. Will the Earth survive? Will the Earth be amazed at the peaceful nature of the aliens? Life will go on.....although it won't be the same kind of life we always thought about.
- My Hometown and the Police
- My hometown in Bama....which shall remain nameless....had two interesting recent events.
First....based on break-ins and robberies....the folks got upset that their one-man police department wasn't really patrolling the town.....he was patrolling the state line (four miles outside of the city limits), for drunk drivers and anyone carrying a can or bottle of booze (dry county....remember). Our guy had been there for ten years, and actually was honorably mentioned in the state records a couple of years ago as having the second most DWI arrests of anyone in the state.
Folks were pretty upset when the local cop said "no".....he wouldn't patrol more than 60 minutes per day. Basically....of the lousy $1800 they pay him.....his entire pay-check is dependent on him catching drunks at the state-line....four miles outside of the city limits. He probably pulls in another $1200 a month off that....plus you might guess another $1000 off bribes that folks offer to just let them go.
So the townsfolk got up and demanded the mayor finally stand up. The mayor had a little meeting....then the next week....the cop announces that the is moving to the next town over....triple our population....which has a five-man police force, a four-lane highway with tons of tickets possible, and a speed boat that they use on weekends to ticket drunk boaters (compliments of them friendly folks at Homeland Security that gave them grant money to protect the local lake). Them folks over there.....even took the guy's picture and proudly announced that he was a member of that staff.
My hometown? Well....they are still searching for a guy.....who is willing to work for around $1800 and spend half of the patrol day in town......guarding their property. Personally.....I'd just start a shooting campaign and take out the robbers one by one.....and the necessity of a local cop might not be needed. I suggested to my brother, who still lives there....they ought to recruit some young female type out of community college and offer her a job. He didn't think that would catch on....too many locals don't think women can do police work.
So the second story? Well.....my brother's neighbor has a 50-lb bulldog....big fella....who got attacked in the backyard by two local pit bulls. The neighbor heard the noise and eventually came out.....with a pistol, and shot one dog dead, and the other ran off. He knew the owner....a mile up the road. The bulldog? Bad shape...but was wearing a collar and appears that he might survive.
The neighbor picked up a rifle after going to the Vet and went to the neighbor with a friend of his. The neighbor didn't know nothing about her dogs being off the property and that one dog hadn't come back yet (my brother's neighbor didn't mention that he'd shoot the dog stone-cold dead). He wanted to shoot the remaining dog.....but this would just trigger a neighbor war of sorts.....so he went home.
The bulldog's owner....called the county cops.....but they weren't interested....since it wasn't a human attacked. The mayor of the local town didn't care either. The amusing thing....there were five-year old kids that hang out in the backyard usually....so they would have been torn up if the pit bulls had been there. Neither the county cops nor the mayor grasped or understood that part of the story.
So the neighbor is sitting there. He knows the remaining pit bull will return.....maybe in a week....maybe a month....but it will return. He has a shotgun ready for that dog. The thing is.....the lady who owned the pit bulls....admitted that the pit bull had pups.....so this issue isn't going away.
After a couple of days....most of the neighbors are aware of the episode.....and all have guns at the front door....waiting for any sign of that dog. I'm guessing that a pro-kill pit bull attitude is now going on. When these pups get up to a year old and start wondering the neighborhood....all of them will be dead. This lady with the pit bulls....actually has three or four kids....her husband is in jail for something although most folks aren't sure if its robbery or such.....and she is a stripper over at Huntsville. Nice mixture of a house.
Personally.....I hate seeing this kind of aggressive attitude. But the reality is.....you have to control your dogs....especially bit bulls. If you can't.....we'll fix your problem for you. So it is tonight....in Bama.
- President Obama?
- So let us pause for a second....sip some ice tea....and ponder upon the Obama. What will his first four years bring?
First....he readily intends to end the war....not quickly....but not in four years either. My best guess is that he will meet with advisers in the first two months....then meet with the Iraqi leaders....and then pull 10,000 troops out by 1 May. There will be a 18-month long drawn-down. There will be no pause and no relief for the Iraqi government. I don't think the US military really care by the end of next year....its a lose-lose situation in the end anyway. Iraq won't collapse, but some bold leadership who is willing to kill 5,000 Mullahs and family members....will ensure peace comes to the land. Hint: the second coming of Saddam, more or less.
The talks of massive construction projects in the US....costing billions upon billions? Yep....by spring of next year....there will be a infrastructure bill to rebuild bridges and national parks around the US. Up to $30 billion will be spent over four years. Every single senator will be in on the game.
The carbon credit game? Forget about it. It'll be a hostile factor and Obama's crew won't find friendly folks to make it happen. The Kyoto Treaty....still not passed by the Senate....and there will be court cases to challenge the government's position by the end of 2009.
Relations with Hugo of Venezuela? Improving. We won't say nothing bad.....but we won't say nothing good.
Saudi Arabia? Not on the inside of the White House any longer. Count on several direct questions coming out and the Saudis refusing to cooperate.
Our relations with Mexico? Pretty much the same......and Canada too. Russia might be surprised that Obama is anti-Moscow to some degree and a little cold war brews.
Finally, the economy....nothing. It doesn't surge but it doesn't tank.
We are due to get four years of basically a quiet period. The media will actually start looking for human interest stories. Rush Limbaugh will lose eight percent of his national audience by the end of next year. And the Clintons will quietly divorce with hardly any media attention.
- Tampa and the Church
- Down abouts Tampa....there is a church run by the Rev Paul Wirth. Paul came out last Sunday and decreed that two things will happen for 30 days at his church. Ifing you are married....you are expected to have sex daily, for 30 days. If you are single....you are expected to abstain from sex for 30 days....both male and female.
Apparently this is not a Baptist church....because alot of the married women would have been weeping and crying at the end of the church....with the Reverend forcing to drop their six times a year schedule and do it daily. I'm guessing a bunch of guys will be tired out and just sleeping through services next Sunday....if things go according to plan.
Baptists would have a tizzy fit about some suggestion like this. They'd want the proper paragraph in the Bible and who said this....because they don't remember Moses or John ever suggesting such. And then there would be issues with the sports. But I was sitting there and thinking....in between baseball and Football season...with March Madness still a month away.....this might actually work.
- Texas, Sinking into the Pit (Fact & Parody)
- This week....the federal court system overturned a Texas ban on sexual toys. Texas law apparently made sales and promotion an offense worth two years in prison. Down abouts Austin, the DA and the local folks fought long and hard (get that) to oppose the sales at the local "Adam & Eve) distributor. But thank God...the Feds stepped in ....across all of Austin and the whole damn state of Texas....thousands of women have shopping locally and appear to be helping the local economy of Texas to recover...without the Bush pay-off...and they all appear to be smiling.
Based on comments made...."Big Wang", a major manufacturer out of Taiwan has their 122 employees working overtime....as they attempt to build enough devices to supply the folks in Texas with the required amount. These are being flown into Dallas, under cover of darkness....and loaded on armored cars to be toted around the hard-pressed state.
Other rumors say that "El Gringo" manufacturing out of Mexico City is also gearing for a long and hard weekend....to make enough devices to provide the folks out in West Texas, who prefer a slightly different size and variety of toy.
Based on current information...the governor is seeking guidance and a hard guideline from GW and Cheney on how to handle difficult and hard position the state holds...commenting "its hard to see the right direction to take here". We are thinking that the governor is deep into a hard analysis point....wanting hard facts...before he takes the next position.
Neither Davy Crockett or Jim Bowie ever anticipated such a hard battle to be fought...over such things. The stars shine tonight...over the Alamo.
- Lake Powell
- So today....some folks have published a science report....saying that by 2021.....Lake Powell will be empty.
For those in the Vegas and Arizona region...this is a big thing....and for those who have sipped Corona beer along the rocks and watched the sun sink.....its a weepy-eyed thing.
But before we get too far.....apparently the head dude of the Central Arizona Project (Larry Dozier).....said "You can't make it go dry in that situation using any rational set of assumptions."
Yep....Larry actually said that. The idea here by the science group....made of real scientists....is that there will be a twenty percent reduction in runoff over 50 years. How they came to this numbers game.....is a bit beyond anyone....including all the folks who work for the Central Arizona Project.
But then we have the Arizona state governor....Janet Napolitano.....who says she agrees the two differ in their thinking but then she agrees wi the points made in the research. Janet...if you were wondering...is a democrat....but that shouldn't reflect more than 18 percent in this story (yep, I made up those stat's.....but you can't be sure if I'm right or wrong).
So what is the truth here? Well...ifing I were a practical kind of guy....I'd say that this 20 percent reduction rule....works on the Tennessee River as well....and it will be dry by 2050. It also works on the Great Salt Lake....which will be dry in 2032. The Great Lakes will be dry by 2100. And the Atlantic Ocean will be dry by 2180.
I like reduction scenarios....because you can just keep using them over and over and over and over. I could probably use the same 20 percent reduction feature to body fat....but sadly....as I've discovered....it doesn't reduce very well.
Pepsi and Coke could be extinct in 120 years....if the 20 percent reduction rule is kept going. For some reason.....I just have my doubts about 20 percent reduction. But lets be fair here. A whole bunch of states have miscalculated about their growth and losses.
Mass-a-tax-chuteses is going to lose about ten percent of its population over the next twenty years. Arizona, Texas, Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama....stand to gain a fair mount of new residents. None of these states have planned for the real growth....ask Georgia about their water supply. Same thing for several portions of Texas today.
There is no doubt that something needs to be discussed, and some states need to draw up a 2020 plan and a 2040 plan. Presently...nothing is being discussed...and maybe to some small degree....this science report might at least get some folks to the table to examine their future and the real truth to the matter.
Monday, 18 February 2008
- Walking and Smoking Tall
- First....let me say something about where I grew up. As some of you know.....I was disprivelaged (I'm making it a word today) enough to have grown up in Bama....just three miles from the Tennessee border.....in a dry county. You must understand.....three miles to the north....them Tennessee folks never had an issue with booze. You could sip as much as you wanted....primarily because of a lack of Baptists....my humble opinion. For years....its been this way. Folks still live in my country, and make it pure by keeping it dry. And folks sin terribly.....by driving across the state line to get booze....although we have local cops who make alot of extra cash by pulling over 80 cars per week....at night mostly....and guessing correctly that half of the guys are drunk or carrying booze back across the line. Usually a fellow has to offer up a bribe or such....maybe $100....to avoid trouble....or get into the fine business to be strictly legal. So....for years.....its been a Bama problem. Starting today, Tennessee Department of Revenue agents will begin stopping Tennessee motorists spotted buying large quantities of cigarettes in border states.....Alabama of course is one of them. And they will be charging them with a crime and, in some cases, seizing their cars.There are some upset folks.....who we will refer to as critics.....who say the new “cigarette surveillance program” amounts to the use of “police state” tactics and wrongfully interferes with interstate commerce. Tennessee Revenue Commissioner Reagan Farr says his department is simply doing its job, enforcing a valid state law while protecting Tennessee retailers who properly pay state taxes.Apparently, the Gestapo agents have already been watching out-of-state stores that sell cigarettes near the Tennessee border to “get a feel where problem areas are,” Farr said.He didn't really want to hint......but apparently....he already has “problem areas” in mind....which will be generally along interstate highways with exits near the Tennessee border.The idea is for the monitoring agent to spot a person buying cigarettes in volume at an out-of-state market, then departing in a vehicle with Tennessee license tags. Monitoring agents spotting such a suspect will call an arresting agent who will stop the car when it enters Tennessee.“This shows once again that Reagan Farr and the Department of Revenue are more interested in turning Tennessee into a police state than doing their job of collecting taxes,” said Drew Johnson, president of the Tennessee Center for Policy Research.Apparently.....Tennessee’s cigarette tax went from 20 cents per pack to 62 cents per pack effective July 1.....and the revenue folks have seen a huge decrease in purchases within the state. All eight states that border Tennessee have lower tax rates, meaning smokers can save up to 45 cents per pack — $4.50 for a 10-pack carton — by purchasing out of state.The border states with the lowest cigarette taxes are Missouri with 17 cents and Mississippi at 18 cents. The highest is Arkansas with 59 cents. Bama is sitting there with 42 cents per pack.
- Couric Against Dan
- Shocking....Katie Couric has come out....basically saying that Dan "the Man" Rather did sloppy work on the Lt Bush story. Dan wasn't happy....and says that she will change her mind when "the facts come out"....which might be any day now.....well.....maybe any week now.....oh.....well....maybe any year now. Sooner or later.....Dan's facts will come out.....and all you false-believers will be eating your words. Sadly.....on this analysis of Dan.....Katie might actually be right...which is more of a shock than anything else.
- "AFSO-21" It!
- Here on Ramstein...we have a new Air Force term, which has been tossed around a bit over the past 10 months. Its called "AFSO-21". Basically...if you can find a process or requirement...and revamp it to save man-hours, man-power, cost, etc....then you "AFSO-21" it. This isn't geared toward minor league stuff like tossing out one form, or allowing folks to toss out one process....this is major league stuff. So how do you AFSO-21 something? Well...first....you never tell the customer or users until after you've gotten approval to do the massive change. Its very important to keep them in dark as much as possible until the bitter end. If they knew how you were going to disrupt normal operations and create a massive mess for folks to clean up later...they'd just stop you in your tracks. Second...the minute you get permission from the general to proceed...you go at breakneck speed to cut billets to that organization as quickly as possible whilst you make the process changes. Make sure that you never give the unit a fighting chance to get on even ground in the beginning of this massive change. Third....if you save one real billet (40 man-hours per week)...advertise it early as three billets actually cut...and be happy when then when they take two billets. Fourth...avoid talking cost saving and simply talk in general about money saved. Even if it was $11 a month...thats enough for a medal. Fifth...once this gets in full swing...start your change of station paperwork to move to another base as "X-day" occurs...so that you aren't around when they discover it doesn't work. Sixth....once you have it signed by the general...immediately start the paperwork to get a medal. Don't give the leadership a chance to gauge the process change as a failure. Seventh....if you can dump work that you currently do on someone else...and get your manpower cut...then thats really worth a big medal. Remember not to tell the other guy that he is absorbing 40-manhours per week of additional work with the present manpower he has. Eighth.....everyone in the chain can claim credit for a AFSO-21 effort...so try to get several medals lined up in a row so that the general can sign all of them before he discovers its all a bogus gain. Ninth....lean toward massive cuts and massive manpower changes...to get the bigger chunks of AFSO-21 credit. Remember...failure is only possible if the customer grasps what you are doing before you can leave the base in question. Last but not least....AFSO-21 is simply the program of the day....in six to twelve months...enough generals will grasp how nothing was saved and that it was a wasted management tool used like a sledge hammer to bring down the Air Force.
- James Hanson (NASA's Green Boy, in More Ways than One)
- Sadly.....even after last weeks episode with Jimmy Hanson of NASA....we kinda thought Jimmy would hide out for a while and not be seen. He is the chief scientist of the organization.....although not the "CEO" of NASA. He has been pushing the green agenda and global warming for a number of years. Today.....we learned that ole Jimmy.....had taken a $720k check from George Soros. George has maintained this position in wealth.....with a trend toward the carbon credits stuff. The early guys who get into carbon credits....will just plain tear up the market once all the rest of us buy into the game. Jimmy....apparently desperate for cash.....said just about anything that was necessary to make George happy. Kinda sad in one way that Jimmy would put himself in such a position.....for cash. But you know....NASA boys don't make that much on the space business anymore. Hardly anyone comes up to offer bribes or insider info....so you could work a 30-year career with the boys and only retire with $2k per month for the rest of your life. For a chief scientist.....that just ain't enough....even if you toss in another $1,500 a month from social security at age 62.....it just won't add up. So Jimmy has taken the payoff. Personally.....I think Jimmy ought to just hand George back the money....and let everyone know that he wasn't saying all those lies for cash. Thats the fair thing to do. But I'm thinking.....Jimmy will simply stand there.....like a cornstalk in Iowa....and wait for some investigator to come along and accuse Jimmy of crimes. I'm not quiet sure what prison they send NASA scientists to. I'm pretty sure it won't be the one they sent Ted Bundy to....or Tony Noriega....or GITMO. In fact....they might have to make a prison over at NASA and just send the boys back to a dorm at night....with simple barracks style dinners and coveralls that say NASA on the front but in pink or light blue. I'm guessing Jimmy ought to spend at least six months there....maybe even a year or two. Course, GW.....as wise a man as he is.....almost like Solomon.....could just call Jimmy up.....and bring him, Pete Rose, and Micheal Vick into the White House....and tell the boys to duke it and fight it out....last guy standing.....gets a pardon. I'd cam the thing for GW, and we could sell it over the internet.
- Voting: 2008 Style
- Perhaps I am the oddball of the entire group...but up until the 1960s...you didn’t have to present any kind of ID to vote. My dad talked about this....having lived in Alabama and Ohio in the 1950s and noting only this subject of a drivers license being required by the local polling staff (their own rules before the state required it). I’m leaning the opposite way on this topic. Lets toss the entire gate open, and just plain let anyone and everyone vote. Those who want to register in different states and vote several times....go for it. Face it...folks are already doing this and we can’t seem to stop them. Everyone gets upset when you discuss a national ID card. Folks get upset if you discuss assigning folks to a particular voting station. Folks get upset if you suggest counting absentee ballots from GI’s as a mandatory requirement. Folks get upset if you suggest cutting back on absentee ballots except for GI’s. So lets just drop the fight, and get folks in to vote as much as they can...you can never have too much democracy. Once we Republicans accept this idea and embrace it...then we will all start registering in nearby counties and vote five or six times in one day. We will carpool and go from city to city, county to county and even state to state. Some guys might even try to set a record and vote in fifteen states in one day. Maybe after a while....the democrats might actually suggest some control because we Republicans embraced this a might bit too much.
- The B-52 and Nuke Missiles Story
- So today, we learn that not only is there an official inquiry underway by the Air Force....but that Secretary Gates has called General Welch (the last 4-star of SAC, retired...almost 10 years now)....into the game for a totally separate inquiry. The belief is....that the Air Force is now squirming alot and can't grasp the reality of the situation and how this all occurred. So allow me to lay out the situation. The boys back at the muntions area changed policy a couple of years ago...storing real nukes missiles with the dummy missiles. No one can really explain this but some folks think that they ran short on manpower and just figured they could manage having both around in the same storage area. Someone grabbed the wrong ones, and took them out to a aircraft which was pre-loaded and then flew a mission to Louisiana. The airman who met the aircraft sat there....looking and looking...and finally called over the radio to have his boss come out to inspect the plane. "Something was wrong"...was the statement. The boss took an hour to get out there apparently....then grasped the siutation and took charge. The Air Force in its brilliance....stated that in the early stages of this mess...they didn't think the media would care....they even wrote that into the original report to the commander. Secretary Gates is smelling a major problem here. Lets lay out where the Air Force has screwed up. Back in 1991...there was a fair manpower cut. If you had a squadron of 120 people...they cut eight billets. They took five of your admin guys, thus leaving only three admin guys in the whole squadron....simply because computers were now being used and the five were believed to be wasted manpower. Where you had a full-time safety guy....that billet was cut....and safety became a part-time duty for some guy. Same story for the supply guy. After about twelve months...you started to notice that you had 8 guys permenantly deployed to Saudi Arabia....so the 112 folks really weren't at 112 all the time. Then around a year later....someone came down and took 12 specialists of one field and twelve specialists of another field in the unit...to combine....to have a watered-down specialist. The bad news was....of the 24 billets you had in these areas....they cut four. Then another year passed and the command asked that you cut one officer and one NCO position....period. No explanation. Then another year went by and you found that nine billets had to be cut because of a change in procedures and processes. You couldn't figure out what that was....but the management determined this. So you woke up and now counted around 97 billets. A change in organizational authorizations occur....where you have 97 billets but they only fill 90 of them....so you have seven billets just sitting there permanently empty. The next year....the seven billets which are permanently empty...disappear. Then a reorganization occurs....and your orderly room goes down to one support person. And some captains slot gets cut....so you are at 88 positions now. Another year passes and you find a manpower specialist team there....discussing shortcuts. Six months later...you learn that they are cutting 9 billets. So you are down to 79 bodies now....where in 1991 you were at 120. You have at least seven guys permanently deployed and six guys are always inprocessing or outprocessing each month...with five guys always out on leave....so to be truthful...you only have 64 real workers....not the 120 you had in 1991. What you learn to do over the years....is make short-cuts. You do less with less. You refuse to have indepth training programs because you can't manage that. You refuse to keep vast record files because you don't have time to manage that. You don't paint every two years or do any major fix-up projects unless the commander orders you to do it. The number of guys volunteering to get out is now six to eight every summer. You have NCOs who come in and barely work two years in a job...expecting to be moved somewhere else to get a better work atmosphere or better evaluations. The commanders...never stay more than two years. The NCOs...working to get moved to a new job constantly. The old experts that we had 30 years ago....gone....and they can't sit there and teach a 19-year old guy about how to fix things quickly. Backups of hard drives....forget that. Unit picnics or bar-b-q's? Well...they just take up manpower...which you can't afford to lose. Deploying? Don't worry...you get the entire month prior to leaving to take care of personal affairs and another month upon return to recuperate from the 120-160 days gone. Wonder why folks would screw up and allow nukes to fly? Well....its real simple. You short-cut yourself, your shop, your squadron, your base, your mission, your pilots, and the US government. You do it...because you really can't do otherwise. But don't worry....you can only have more cuts coming....there will never be a build up to occur. So things can only head one direction.
- You Have to Feel Sorry For the Guy
- After my July trip, which got me stuck in New York City for one night.....I really feel sorry all of them folks who fly into New York City. Apparently....in the past six hours....President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has left Iran for New York City, where he is due to address the UN General Assembly. Some kinda of big deal for folks there. Things are likely to go wrong.....traffic will go into a massive stall.....food poisoning.....flight cancellations.....you name it. So I do feel sorry for this Mahmoud fella. My advice.....get your stuff done and get the heck out of New York as soon as possible.