- So The Telemarketer Calls......
- First....you act real appreciated about all that money that they want to give you....causing you just signed the bankruptcy paperwork twenty minutes ago.
Or ifing they start out with, "How are you today?"...you just say, "I'm so glad you asked, because no one these days seems to care, and I have all these problems. My wife shot my hunting dog, my son quit NASCAR, my minister converted over to the Jehovah's, and Grandma just got her first tatto."
Or ifing they say they're Billy Bob from TexaMess, ask them to spell their name. Then ask them to spell the company name. Then ask them where it is located, how long it has been in business, how many people work there, how they got into this line of work if they are married, how many kids they have, etc. Continue asking them personal questions or questions about their company for as long as necessary. Eventually....they will tire of the game.
Or ifing the Telemarketer says: "Hi, my name is Judy and I'm with XYZ Company." You: Wait for a second and with a real husky voice ask, "What are you wearing?"
Or ifing its a gal talking to you.....just cry out in surprise, "Judy? Is that you? Oh my God! Judy, how have you been?" Hopefully, this will give Judy a few brief moments of terror as she tries to figure out where she could know you from. Tell Judy that her man....might be sleeping with your cousin....but you ain't sure.
Or ifing MCI calls trying to get you to sign up for the Family and Friends Plan, reply, in as sinister a voice as you can, "I don't have any friends, would you be my friend?" Tell them that most of your friends have disappeared or been picked up by the alien ship.
Or ifing the rug cleaner calls....you say: "Can you get out blood? Can you get out goat blood? How about human blood? That dang ceremony we had in the living room last night ruined Lara's best carpet and we need some real powerful stuff. Then ask them ifing they would mind having a ceremony over at there place next Saturday night....just a informal thing....with a few drinks included."
Ifing the Telemarketer gives his or her sales, ask him or her to marry you. Doesn't matter if they are male or female....just let them know that you ain't talked to someone like this in a long time....and you have a lusting in your heart.
Ifing you ain't got much time to talk.....tell the Telemarketer that you work for the same company, and they can't sell to employees.
Ifing the Telemarketer sounds friendly....tell them that you are on "home incarceration" and ask if they could bring you some beer. Let them know that its real bad to be locked in your own house....and there just ain't no beer left.
Ifing you feel real brave....tell the Telemarketer, Okay, I'll listen to you. But I should probably tell you, I'm not wearing any clothes. Let them know that you've got a fetish about no clothing and you walk around.....even in the front yard without clothing.
Finally....tell them that you are really a space alien and not allowed to purchase earthly assets. Its against your code of ethics.
- Al Gore's Rio Concert!
- Back ON! Yep....the judge was called in and the tour promotion folks got some letter signed by the chief of police that enough cops would be there. I'm guessing....things may get a bit hairy in Rio.....and ifing you were intending to be at the concert....you might want to take along a machete or pistol.
- Four Demonstrations of Incompetence
- So today, lets toss around ten absolute demonstrations of incompetence and see where it goes.
First...some fool at Viacom (which owns CBS), started tossing around names to fill Dan Rather's spot...and eventually Viacom became convinced....thus telling CBS to be convinced....thus having CBS management tell the CBS new bureau to be convinced...that Katie Couric was the solution. Tied to this episode was the necessity to pay her one of the biggest contracts of all time. As one digs around CBS news and the old boys...there really isn't a single one who had terrific things to say. Most had serious doubts. When Katie announced that she wouldn't travel to the ends of the earth for a story....like so many news anchors....that was the clear signal.
- Viacom didn't care. Their objective from day one....was to have a strong voice for Hillary in 2008 and Katie would be it. Unfortunately, there was one slight error in the judgement...if Katie lost 25 percent of the viewership by the end of 2007...then 2008 wouldn't matter. If you couldn't keep top talent in the CBS news bureau through the summer of 2008....then you'd have rookies reporting things that perhaps weren't true. Mistakes would be made. Today....Couric looks like a fool...and has to get up each morning...to keep up the paychecks and endure the punishment...to reach November 2008...and probably have almost no career left at that point.
Lets turn to Barry Bonds...the fool. Pretend to be a legend...on steriods...stretching out your career...to be the greatest homerun hitter of all time. Sit and laugh at the commissioner and the baseball writers because you don't care what they say. Have a good laugh when they say you won't enter the hall of fame later....because you really don't care. After all....its all about Barry and nothing else. Barry is incompetent. Even funnier...baseball is incompetent for letting him play out this game.
Pretend to be Mr. Moore and produce a movie on the fantastic results of national health care...using Britain, Canada, France and Germany as examples. Make sure you cast the US as a terrible place for healthcare. Go over to the public of each of those foreign countries and ask them if they are truly happy with their health care or if they would prefer something else. The truth is that alot of these people have private politices on the side as well...and get preferred treatment...from better doctors....because the state-run system is lacking. Mr. Moore ought to realize this....but he is a rare form of incompetence.
If you were a real car company...with stocks and shares...and billions in assets...why would allow your company to slide to such a depth? Ask Ford. Ask the CEO. Ask the board. It would seem that they just didn't want to build a good car and didn't care if it sold or not, and didn't care if they were to bankrupt the company.
- While the master was away...Larry would crank up the internet and cruise personal web sites....hoping to find the love of his life. He would spend hours and hours....hunting for the hot babes.
- Talking Dogs
- Congress busy with immigration control? Nope.
Congress busy with finally fixing social security? Nope.
Congress busy with tax reform? Nope
Congress busy with cutting the budget? Nope.
Congress busy with bringing jobs to the unemployed? Nope.
Congress busy with improving educational opportunities in America? Nope.
Apparently.....the House Judiciary Committee hearing into the decision to commute the sentence of former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby will also look at other presidential pardons, the chairman of the committee said Thursday. "Yes, we’re going to review all of them, including Bill Clinton, Bush one, Bush two, we’ll go back as far as they want," Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., said in an exclusive interview with FOX News Radio today. Conyers added that the Nixon pardon would also be covered in the review.
The fascinating thing here....is that to alter this little power of the president....you have to convene a constitutional convention or start an amendment process....things that senators and congressmen are very wary of.....once you start talking about this....alot of folks come and start more things....like term limits for senators.....limiting congressional meeting periods during the year.....and perhaps even pay cuts.
Just another day in America.
Saturday, 16 February 2008
- Dufflebags of Cash
- This week in MEXICO CITY....the government there was vigorously trying to deny accusations of a Chinese-Mexican businessman who is wanted on drug charges but asserts that $150 million found hidden in his mansion came from members of President Felipe Calderón's party, including the secretary of labor. Yep, you read that correct...$150 million...in the house.Zhenli Ye Gon, a naturalized Mexican citizen who owns a pharmaceutical company, is suggesting, through his lawyer in New York, that the labor secretary, Javier Lozano Alarcón, had threatened to kill him last year unless he agreed to hide duffel bags stuffed with tens of millions of dollars in his house.I'm thinking...some folks are real upset right now...to have lost $150 million cash. Ifing I were this Gon fella....I'd be finding a way to exit Mexico quickly....otherwise....I'd be dead. Sure wish I could find a situation like this where someone wanted me to keep dufflebags of cash around the house for them. I wouldn't mind and I'd only charge $5k per duffle bag to manage them.Being former military....I was sitting there and trying to figure how many damn dufflebags would be required....for $150 million. And I'm figuring over 30 bags.
- Al's Grand Show
- As announced today...the big judge dude in Rio....has banned Al Gore's "Love Earth Fest"....not enough cops to control an anticipated 800,000 in the city. Actually....Rio will come out even if Micheal Jackson is singing Somalian love songs and dressed in spiked heels and silky pants. The judge says it ain't safe...so the concert is out.
- Fools.....Absolute Fools
- So as we start to learn today....the failure of the England bombings....go party to the use of a medical syringe used as part of the firing mechanism....which caused a malfunction. Thats the problem when you send Dr. Abdul to do Mr. Engineer's job. None of these doctors knew a dang thing about what they were doing.Apparently, the mobile telephones initiated firing mechanisms rigged inside a Mercedes E 300 parked several yards from the front door of Tiger Tiger nightclub failed despite multiple calls to the cell phones designed to remotely trigger the devices. Again....a real electrician amongst the group....could have done the job right.....but not Dr. Abdul.Had the fuel-air bombs successfully ignited into a superhot fireball filled with roofing nails, casualties were almost a certainty among the 500 or so patrons who partied late at the 1,700-person occupancy nightclub that perhaps best symbolizes London's vital nightlife scene.Instead, at about 1:42 a.m., a vigilant ambulance crew on an unrelated call spotted a plume of cold propane from a slightly opened window of the car that contained patio fuel cylinders in the foot wells behind the driver and passenger seats. When a bomb technician in a 90-pound Kevlar suit walked down to the vehicle to examine it, he also found a firing system rigged inside the car and another inside its trunk along with four jugs of gasoline. The technician successfully disarmed the devices in minutes....again...because Dr. Abdul and his incompetence.A second Mercedes rigged with a similar incendiary device was parked several hundred yards away. Several experts on improvised explosives tactics suggested that the second device might have either been meant for patrons who escaped the first or to target rescue workers.Within 14 hours after the plot failed, the same two men believed to have planted the bombs in London attempted what appears to have been a suicide incendiary attack on the doors to a terminal at Scotland's Glasgow Airport. That attack failed too. The vehicle failed to reach the doors, and its contents failed to ignite even after one of the occupants tried to douse the car in gasoline, setting himself on fire in the process. Safe to say that he has serious burns and will be in need of a good burn specialist. Course, once in prison system of the UK....he will get some fine expertise there.Over and over....incompetence. Mr. Bean himself could have disarmed any of these fools and probably looked like Rocky. Sad....truly sad that we have a bunch of incompetent fools who wage war on us....and literally wasting the rest of their potential lives in a prison with no allowance to use their doctor skills.
- Dimwit of the Day
- In the last week or two.....our good buddy....Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the and absolute dimwit president of Iran.....decided to purge liberal teachers from the country's universities.In what will be seen as another step in his drive to crush reformers within his own country, Mr Ahmadinejad said that students should campaign to have secular professors removed.During a meeting with student groups he said that Iranian universities had been tainted by secularism for 150 year but that "a change has begun."The positive of this matter....is that a bunch of half-witted dimwit mullahs will be teaching university sciences and math to kids who are ten times as intelligent as the mullahs. This would be like getting all of the Baptist ministers in America together.....to teach math or science.Mighty good work going on here.....Mahmoud is working hard to make the public as stupid as possible....for generations to come. Forget about nuclear energy or technology...the Iranians will be lucky if they work a VCR or build a birdhouse or tighten a chain on a chainsaw. Course, the more I think on this.....the more positive this deal becomes.....in fact.....it is a really super idea.
- A Bad Week For Tommy Boy
- So the Tom boy....alias Tom Cruise....ran into a second roadblock this week....where his production group was refused permission to use a Berlin location to shoot his new film. Last week, the German Defence Ministry banned the actor from setting foot on key military sites in the German capital that were to have featured in the production. The ministry said the actor's membership of the Church of Scientology was the reason behind the ban, and insisted that the makers of the film would not be allowed on its premises "if Count von Stauffenberg is played by Tom Cruise, who has publicly professed to being a member of the Scientology cult". Yep, they actually said that.
This is kinda irking Florian Henckel von Donnersmark, the Oscar-winning German director of the film Other People's Lives, which graphically depicts the spying techniques of the Stasi, the former secret police force in Communist East Germany.
Florian.....writing in Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper, Von Donnersmarck said Cruise's role as Stauffenberg would "improve Germany's international image more than 10 World Cup football tournaments". He even said: "The biggest star of the (Second World War) victor nations is not good enough to play our superman Stauffenberg, if this star's convictions are not exactly in line with those of Germany."
But the funny thing here.....is that Germany treats Scientology with suspicion and keeps it under surveillance. Members of the German parliament have even said publicly that, although it is not banned, they regard the organization as a cult which recruits impressionable young people and is bent on making money.
The ban on Cruise has met with incomprehension in the United States. The Philadelphia Daily News was reported in Germany to have remarked in an editorial yesterday: "It would be difficult to find a better way of recalling the Nazi era than by preventing a man from doing his job because of his beliefs." Of course, the writer of this Philadelphia story....might want to open up his closet and explain what his connection to the Scientology crowd really is....but I doubt that he'd be bold enough to do that.In this case, the Germans are rolling Tom boy around and will continue to do so. My guess is that they will eventually make the movie, in Prague. By the time they are done....it will be the biggest failure of 2008 and make zero profit. You have to remember.....in 20 years....there have only been two movies on world war two that have made profits (Saving Private Ryan and Schlinder's List). The rest were barely able to pay off the cost involved. This will likely be the same way. And winning support for Scientology in Germany? Back to square one.
- Scooter Free!
- Well.....kinda free.
GW kinda took the prison part of the sentence and dumped that but requires him to pay the $250k and do service.
We can say some negative things about this....which most of the networks did. But there are some amusing connected with this entire episode. If Scooter had simply told the truth at the grand jury episode.....then nothing would have ever happen to him. He fibbed up there and earned special charges. So the actual act that most folks would accuse him of....dumping the identity of that poor (well she is awful damn poor) CIA agent.....just can't be part of his issues. So why all the jail time for this? Sandy Burger basically did as bad a deed as anyone, to include Scooter, but isn't going to get any jailtime and only pays $50k for a fine.
Some folks say Bush is overplaying his powers....but then when you examine all them fellows that Bill Clinton did the pardons for, then you start to find some folks with real issues and you have to wonder why no one said nothing then. And then you have to understand.....the president has these powers, and you are very unlikely to take them away. So all the jokers on tv....are getting free hot air time and get a chance to jab at GW one more time....at least until Monday when the hot air runs out and they have to hunt for a new episode.
Don't get me wrong....I'm not pro-Bush or anti-Bush.....both parties are in the crapper right now in my humble opinion but we are going to have to wait this out and hope for the best. The republic has to survive in the end.
- So how will I describe JFK?
Perhaps the wost airport anywhere?
Maybe. I used to have three airports as "dumps". I'd put the Wichita Falls airport on the list (reminded alot of a bus terminal and absolutely no security, but thats been 25 years). My second on the list was Torrijos airport in Panama, which had a huge mildew smell and barely any coffee there to drink....with terrible security....and they were lucky if they could manage four flights a day coming into the place. My third choice would be Adana airport in Turkey....where the urinal on the wall....had no pipe connecting to the floor....instead, your personal fluids ran out on the floor to the middle of the room and drained out on the drain there, and there were the rubber chairs which you would literally slide off , and then the security there consisted of some 70-year old guy who was leaning against the wall most of the time.
But here in recent days, after finally traveling via JFK....I'm moving it ahead of those three. It is the worst airport in America and possibly the western world (I ain't been to North Korea yet, so I may withhold judgment there).
First, the mildew....reeks constantly. Then the carpet is crap no matter where you go. The concourses....organized by some monkey. The tram that might carry between the courses....is something from the 1960s and appears to barely work (so don't switch airlines there). There were birds flying throughout the place. The airport employees are mostly lazy bums. Then you count in the lack of significant AC in the place....where temp's soared in the low 90s (indoors).
Security (150 percent of what was needed)....which hurts in the opposite way. You can expect at least 45 minutes in line to get cleared to run the concourse.
Information about hotels and places to stay....almost a zero. They had a phone on the way for 12 of these joints but all were full so there were no options after that except calling a reservation service.
The customs crowd? Ha! Four guys stood there for 400 people when I arrived. It took almost an hour for me to clear these dimwits.
I feel sorry for New York....supposedly the doorway to America...if this is the best they have....it is pitiful. For those contemplating running via JFK....do yourself a favor and do it via Dallas or Atlanta. This is the last airport you'd want to get stuck at.
- The Reunion
- The reunion episode went off ok....as best as one might expect (minus the travel). Out of 75 folks....only 35 showed up.
After 30 years, there are issues. Twelve in the group married within the group....and some have divorced, so they can't readily show up at these meetings or they might meet the old wife or the old husband.
There are a few folks who done well, and a few who have gone through tough times. A cancer survivor amongst the group. The dude in prison, got out, but didn't show up. There is a oxy-user or two in the group (yep, I can tell), and a alcoholic or two (yep, I can tell).
The organizer, Maureen, (pronounced MO-Rennnnnnnn in the south), did a bang-up five star job, with the catering.....real bar-b-q and coleslaw and tons of ice tea (my drink of preference, and I must have consummed an entire gallon of tea). She is a tough gal and probably the type you need to organize affairs like this. I had the impression that she might have issues but she is awful tough and you never can tell with a person like that.
There were the characters that I would have liked to meet, especially from junior high school (six of us transferred over), but none of them have showed for a single one of these except me. They never got into this school too much....and to be honest, neither did I....but I go to see how folks are.
So it was not a remarkable reunion but it was decent enough. Will I go to the 40th? I am bordering age 50 soon and kinda have my doubts but then ten years ain't a long time. Maybe so.
- The Trip To Hell
- So this is how the reunion trip worked.
I flew from Frankfurt to JFK...getting there 30 minutes early...but then, there was a plane already in the spot where we were supposed to park...so we waited 30 minutes to get that spot.
Then, the customs area was handled by 4 guys....with 400 guys in line. So after an hour of waiting...I finally got through...only to discover a huge storm had occurred the previous day and they had canceled over 30 percent of the flights....so they are behind. And more storms predicted today (Thursday)....you can see where this is going.
So I run through the highly disorganized JFK...to arrive at my gate...to discover the flight is delayed for one hour. After half-an-hour....they updated the board....its going to be two hours late. Then an hour later...they cancel the flight.
So I run up to the ticket counter....number 120 in line...and proceed to wait 80 minutes to be told....I might be in New York City until Saturday...which won't help me in reaching my high school reunion on Saturday afternoon.
So I talk to Jose, the Delta dude. I ask....can you just get me to Nashville (instead of Huntsville) the next day (Friday)? Nope. How about Memphis? Nope. How about Atlanta? Yes....but thats as far as I can get. So I agree, and Jose punches up some data.
I'm now stuck in New York City overnight...the last place on earth you'd want to be stuck.
I go out to the front door and discover that NY isn't like Chicago or Dallas or Memphis....there is no friendly fellow there to provide information for situations like this.
So I pick up the hotel phones and call all 12 hotels within four miles of the airport...all full of course. So then I call a reservation service..and get a room in Manhattan (the Roosevelt)...for $215....oh my God....what was I thinking?
So then I talk to some dude at the front door and he says its $60 to go downtown....and I'm from Bama....I just ain't gonna pay that. So he says a shuttle runs down there....for $19....so I'm game.
So here I am....my first trip ever through NY City and stuck there overnight. We drive downtown and I get dumped off at the hotel (no bags, because them Delta folks are holding them in some lost area). So I check into the hotel and then decide to walk a bit....since I ain't never been to NY City. After an hour of walking around...it was getting a might bit dark and I realized that this wasn't exactly a small town. So I hauled ass back to the hotel.
The next morning I got up and felt awful dang hungry...only to find the hotel offering a $30 breakfast...and I should have known better....it just didn't compare to Dennys. I felt like a fool for paying that but this is NY City.
So I proceed to the front door and ask the fella there about shuttles back to the airport. He gives me some instructions and I proceed to wonder around Manhattan for an hour before I finally find this bus site. Up comes this 30-year old bus which the city operates....which was a bit pitiful. I pay another $19 and off we go...waiting in traffic for an hour in town before he finally gets to the interstate and out on the road.
So I arrive back at JFK, only to discover that they didn't really give me a ticket....so I had to jump back over to the Delta folks and get this done ASAP.
Then I proceed to the gate...to discover that Jose had put me on a flight going from JFK, to Ft Lauderdale, to Orlando, to Atlanta....taking six hours....on first class tickets. Yep....strangest trip possible.
So I get to Atlanta, and then I walk over to find out that the flight to Huntsville...was delayed three hours and I might still be able to get a seat on it. So I'm playing real nice...and that Delta lady is helping alot...but dang...that Jose character had screwed up the ticket, and she couldn't get me back to my original end point. So she rigs up something....that will come back to bite me later, and I board the plane.
At 10:50 that night, I finally arrive in Huntsville....48 hours on the road. Strangely enough, my bags never got rerouted and continued on the original fight deal and they were already there.
So my reunion goes off well....and Monday I drove back to Huntsville...to leave...only to discover that them Delta folks had canceled me out of my flight....claiming I had used the Atlanta to Hunstville portion. So I chatted real nice with them and they were finally convinced to let me on the plane.
So you'd think all is well, and finished....but no....as I arrive in Germany....them train folks are on a strike and my train is delayed an hour.
It was the trip to hell....and I'd sure never go to NY City again....and you couldn't pay me to go via JFK airport ever again.
- Sipping a Long Straw
Here this week.....Elizabeth Edwards....begged...pleaded...and did everything possible to convince that horrible terrible Ann Coulter to just....."stop the personal attacks."
"The things she has said over the years, not just about John but about other candidates, lowers the political dialogue at precisely the time we need to raise it," Edwards said by phone on MSNBC's "Hardball" program, where Coulter was a guest.
Elizabeth Edwards said she did not consult her husband before confronting Coulter on the air, adding that she felt the pundit's remarks were "a dialogue on hatefulness and ugliness."
"It debases political dialogue," Edwards said. "It drives people away from the process. We can't have a debate about issues if you're using this kind of language."
It was a dang fine speech by Ms. Edwards and ought to settle back them wild stallions that run Ann Coulter. Well....maybe not. Ms. Coulter sat there for a minute and then asked about all the money that Mr. Edwards took from doctors in various malpractice lawsuits. She asked if he was willing to give back or stop this kind of episode....which we all know that this is how lawyers make their money. And the point here is that journalists do the same game....they pick on targets and get paid a fair amount for doing it.
She has a point here. Its a sad deal that we have today....folks fighting way ahead a time in a normal off-year for political fighting. Normally, this would be real quiet...but apparently....this is the quiet before the storm....and next year in July....we will face a very harsh atmosphere.
- Fairness Doctrine
- In recent days, the public has been given a slight taste of congressional interest coming active again....in the Fairness Doctrine.
The Fairness Doctrine....ended in 1985....and was basically an effort to tell the story via both the liberal slant and the conservative slant. It was a joke.
So here now....because of the enormous power of the AM radio....the Republicans are actually helping in bringing the subject back up for discussion....hoping to have such a negative view of this that it won't be brought up in a Hillary administration. With this debate, also comes the suggestion that the same doctrine would be applied across the line to the TV networks.....with the FCC in charge of fairness.
You can sit there now and laugh all you want....but some people are very serious about this. They actually believe that they can cut into the heartland and decrease the public love of AM radio and decrease the power of various right-wing commentators.
The truth here is that AM stations....if they have to put on a liberal host....know that they can't make profit. So rather than run five hours a day of huge-profitable "gems"....they would find a very neutral host or even run mostly a local show...and settle for 75 percent of the profits of today....rather than lose 50 percent of their profit over five hours. This would take down a huge establishment. And make AM radio back into a barely profitable enterprise....thus killing it off finally.
But adding to this pain and misery....the networks would be forced to accomplish the same thing....as the Republicans are now hinting....and this is something that CNN, ABC, NBC and CBS....really don't want. And those NPR guys? Yep....they get the same dose. For NPR....it would probably kill off a huge amount of donations today from the general left crowd.
In the end....all of the networks would lose financially.....and the public would start to tire of vanilla news and go back to music, sex and soap operas. Maybe thats not a bad thing....if you sit and think about it enough.
Personally....I can listen to Rush for about 30 minutes and I'm burned out at that point. Sean and Savage....maybe an hour. G. Gordan Liddy....maybe up to 90 minutes....he does a far range of topics and usually livens up the show. And finally, there is Neal Boritz....who I could listen for four hours a day....mostly because he is a southerner and he is comical over half the time. It'd be hard to apply the fairness doctrine to Neal....because he will tackle the Republicans as much as the Democrats. And that Dr. Laura? Six minutes is max....I can't stand her show. The folks that call in....are folks who can't make a decision and have to have someone boss them around. Maybe the fairness doctrine would work fine here....forcing some sensible folks to call into Dr. Laura and admit they ain't got no problems and just chat a while on weather and fried chicken recipes.
- Classtrips Can Become Chaotic
- Back in 1996.....a group of 40 eighth-grade punks (students)....out on a 2-day trip from Hartford, Conn......on a class trip to Washington D.C.....got stranded for a day....after their charter-bus driver suddenly disappeared. The kids said that just before dropping them off at the hotel around 11 p.m., the man had picked up a prostitute in the bus and that the two of them had ridden away into the night.
- More Damnation: Connecticut Style
- Back in 1993....the governor at the time....Lowell Weicker.....got a number of folks real upset. He ran up this proposal.....to reduce state assistance to parochial (religious) schools. Somewhere in the midst of this mess....over in Derby, Conn....Sister Linda Joseph said in a public statement to a local newspaper: "I would pray that he burns in the fires of hell."
- Eternal Damnation (Almost)
- Serious business going on...up in Lebanon County, Penn. Apparently....a local Mennonite farmer claims he would suffer "eternal damnation" if ordered to participate in a government numbering system to sell his ducks.
State Department of Agriculture officials said late last week....that the agency was incorrect when it advised poultry farmers they needed a federal premises ID number to participate in the state's avian influenza monitoring program this year.
The numbers identify farmers in the federal government's National Animal Identification System, a voluntary program designed to help health officials locate animals in the event of an outbreak of disease or other health emergency.
Spokesman Christopher Ryder said officials realized the error after farmer James Landis sued the department Thursday.
"Apparently they changed their mind at the last moment," Landis said. As we say in Bama....once lawyers get involved...its best to find a plan "B".
The lawsuit, filed by Lancaster attorney Leonard G. Brown III, said Landis and other members of the Eastern Pennsylvania Mennonite Church believe the Bible's book of Revelation warns that numbering systems that require participation for doing business are the work of the Antichrist. Out in Bama....we might say the same thing although it won't ever get published in the local paper. Once you start throwing "antichrist" around....folks get a bit upset.
"He sincerely (believes) that if he, as a Christian, were to participate in such a numbering system, it would result in his eternal damnation," the lawsuit said.
Landis contended the state rule would have unconstitutionally violated his religious beliefs and that Pennsylvania has no authority to require his participation in the federal system.
"The bottom line is, they gave us what we wanted," said Brown, an attorney with Clymer & Musser PC. "(Landis) was very, very happy."
Brown said he filed papers in court Monday that free Landis of the requirement and compel the Department of Agriculture to ensure that he has not been assigned an NAIS number against his will.
"I think they were overstepping their bounds and realized it and did the right thing and backed off, rather than plow ahead," Brown said of the Agriculture Department.
Personally...I'm thinking this eternal damnation excuse would work a good bit and I ought to toss this around daily whenever people ask for personal information.
- Quiet Before the Storm
- I will be quiet for several days....starting tomorrow night.
I'm off to America....for the grand 30-year high school reunion. This is the 5-day adventure.
Of course, most folks know that I have three enormous fears...snakes, reptiles, and New York City. Well...this cheapo ticket I have...requires me to fly into New York City...with barely two hours to clear customs and get to my connecting flight. The odds...heavily against me...will mean that I am stuck there over night.
I actually have printed out a listing of SAFE hotels....that I might not be stuck out in the open after dark....such is my fear of New York City. I've been told....that I'm a bit of pest on this issue and shouldn't worry. But...such is my fear.
Hopefully, I make it clear and safe....and then end up in Huntsville....where my rental car awaits (a Mustang....I decided to go for broke). The big deal....Saturday afternoon....with bar-b-q....and ice tea. And I shall not return until next Tuesday. So you won't hear much from me until then.
The picture fits well with the mind of one to return to the old home town.
- Jay and the Guard
- So as we last left Jay...the computer engineer dude I work with (from Bama)...he was pulling reserve/national guard duty....after over a year which he was supposed to be medically discharged for diabetes.....but the fellows screwed up and he was still in the guard.
So he returned yesterday, and updated me. He got there on Friday and proceeded to waste the entire weekend....as unproductively as one could be without getting tasked.
I asked Jay ifing the fellows were going to proceed with the medical discharge and he said "nope"....they apparently can't figure out how to handle this (so they say)....and since Jay has around 8-10 months left on the contract....they'd prefer Jay to just stay in. Apparently....Jay counts as some kinda positive number on their staff.
So then Jay tells me that he shows up there in the "old" uniform....which is still authorized. The fellows were unhappy about that too. So they wrote up the paperwork to give Jay almost $1500 worth of uniforms....everything you'd ever need to be in the Army. Free. I asked Jay if this was necessary because the old uniform was still authorized. He suggested that too....preferring to save money. But the fellows didn't see it that way.....and are going to issue Jay everything.
I suggested to Jay that he could be deployable....and he swears up and down that the Army doc's have said no....he ain't deployable. So Jay says he will stay on. Kinda amusing....every rule in the book says he ought to be out....and they are so desperate for positive numbers....they'd keep him on.
Makes me wonder ifing I should volunteer to be a reserve dude and just stand around on weekends....sipping mountain dew and painting walls. But being 49....that might not be the image the fellows want. Hard to say. I better stay home and just sip mountain dew here and paint my own place.
- Downfall of a Mighty New Bureau
- Once upon a time....CBS news was a mighty news bureau. They had giants who stood at the helm. They had the cream of the crop out in the field. They were as good as the 1927 New York Yankees.
With the dismissal of Dan Rather, the hiring of Katie Couric, and the approaching demise of the bureau....let us examine how they intend to fall.
Viaicom is the organization who really owns CBS. Viaicom had a heavy hand in the hiring of Katie. CBS.....from what most say.....preferred someone of a more worldly view. Viaicom's stance was.....lets get the 30's crowd watching. Katie was supposed to bring them with her from the Today Show.
The crowd didn't ever really come with her. Most of the old viewers simply watched and lost interest within two to three months. They left.
CBS is now dead last. CBS isn't allowed to terminate or move her out.....Viacom's player.....you know. And the spoken word is that she will be brought out next year.....after the November election Why? No one at CBS really can answer that. It would appear that Viacom spoke this word. There is a belief that Katie can give bonus points to Hillary. The CBS internal crowd.....sit there now....wondering how bad it can get over the next 15 months.
If you are the White House chief correspondent for CBS.....and your bereau is 4th.....you can forget about a bonus or a better position. You can forget about getting a hefty payraise. Eventually....when CNN or ABC finally calls....and offers you a job....with the same pay.....you will leave. And your replacement? Well....they can't really offer enough to attract the 4-star guys.....so the numbers will eventually decrease even more than what you have today.
As each month goes by.....Katie's value to the network and bureau decreases. The folks attracted to CBS.....start to leave. By the end of 2008.....the bureau will be a joke. Any idiot will be a total success for CBS as the replacement for Couric....even the Channel 9 weather guy from Tacoma. And Couric's future? I'm guessing by November of next year that she quietly retreats to write a book or two and get out of the news.
- Election Polarity: Turning the Tide
- So this is how it worked for American elections up until the mid-1920s. There were three basic ways to turn the tide in each state and get your guy ahead in the votes at the end. First, there was pure rigged voting. You had a county with 12 poling sites and you ensured that your guys ran the majority of these and rigged up the ballots. Second, you used the newspapers of the state or region to put your position...so it helped having the eight major papers in your state....with your party. Paper ownership mattered....as well as paying them as necessary. Finally....you had the party bosses who could stir up the votes at the last minute and convince 25 percent of a city to change their votes.
In the 1920's...came AM radio. Radio changed the message and the value of the newspapers. Newspapers got one hundred percent of the party money up until this point....now the money had to be split up. Radio regions in the 1920s were kinda drawn up. For example.....the two or three stations in the St Louis area.....broadcasts across almost 12 states. They heavily influenced a major part of the poltiical landscape. You buy time with one of the big guys there.....and your investment carried well. The same was true in Houston...broadcasting across most of Texas.
In the 1920s also came the art of taking a story and bending it.....not a complete lie but not telling the complete truth. You could pretend to be a journalist and get airtime to tell a story....which eventually led to the listener grasping something in a certain way. Will Rogers was an artist at accomplishing this toward the Republicans.....but there were Democratic artists out there as well.
AM radio controlled the public perception of politicans for almost four decades. But along came the 1960s and TV. While was a toy and a rare thing in the 1950s.....by the early 1960s.....most regions had a station or two. So now, AM radio and the papers had to share the politican's budgets between the three of them. TV made it more dificult for a boring candidate to break across the market....so it became a political dream of finding a "talking dog"....someone who simply talked well and looked good. The moral attitude or thinking ability of the guy.....didn't matter that much.
In the 1970s.....AM radio started to die out. The political dollars left. The market for most entertainment went to TV.....with FM left holding the music side of entertainment. And the papers? Well.....people were starting to read less and demand more.
By the mid-80s...AM radio was almost gone, when talk radio arrived. Rush Limbaugh arrived to find a small but interested audience who wanted a "Will Rogers" type character to talk, entertain, and set political agendas. The opposition in the 1980s didn't see a problem with . Rush could be on 50 or even 100 AM stations, and it didn't really matter. AM was dead......at least they believed it.
In the mid-90s.....Rush had company.....at least 25 different national or regional hosts, who were all neutral or conservative type hosts. Every single market in the US.....even New York City.....had these guys playing from 8AM to 8PM. By this point, the Democrats grasped that AM radio wasn't dead. It also grasped that a bunch of mildly interested voters.....were now keen on various political habits. A simple lie didn't work any more...and this fell back onto the Republicans just as well.
The Democrats tried to counter-balance this effort by starting their own network.....only to see it falter. Listeners kept waiting for balanced arguments and entertaining comments.....and they weren't getting them. Air America could not put on southern "Will Rogers" types.....because the party faithful just didn't like that appeal. So they ended up being stuck with a Saturday Night Live comedian who couldn't come up with great original ideas.
By 2000.....three major developments were approaching the political scene. Newspapers of the nation were reported in severe economic conditions. Of the top 40 papers in the country....at least 20 of them had problems. Even major papers from New York City, and from the west coast.....were tapped out. The political money wasn't coming in to help pay for high-priced journalists. Adding to the mess....was the internet. Forums like FreeRepublic.....tapped straight into the Rush crowd and quickly brought topics to the attention of 25 million people overnight. If the networks didn't deem it news....fine.....the internet would make it news. They could dig into stories and quickly correct any national journalists who attempted a fake story. Finally.....the arrival of FoxNews was something that most could not have anticipated. An entire generation of viewers.....tuned CBS, ABC, and NBC off. CNN.....finally had real completion.
FoxNews had a real sword to fight the other networks that most had not thought about.....educating people about national topics. CBS was left standing there....trying to tell a story.....which had a slant onto it. FoxNews simply poured the whole story on the floor and asked the viewer to make his own decision.
2007....we stand with politicians now putting their own commercials and chat sessions together.....without the papers....without the networks.....without political hacks....just using the internet. It is now possible for a guy with less than $10 million....to take on the big boys and win. AM radio.....is now alive and probably can't be brought down. And the papers? Well....get used to 20-page editions with lots of advertising. It is a bold new world.
This week....University drop-out Peter Lynds, 27, of Wellington, UK.....said he has further plans for mathematical and philosophical explorations after publication of his theories on the nature of time.
Mr Lynds, who studied at university for just six months, said his paper, Time and Classical and Quantum Mechanics: Indeterminacy vs Discontinuity, was being published in the August issue of a Dutch-based journal, Foundations of Physics Letters. The journal specialises in rapid dissemination of research in theoretical or mathematical physics, or the philosophy of science.
The theme of this paper....is that there is a necessary trade-off of all precisely determined physical values at a time, for their continuity through time. He is basically saying that any moving object is never "at rest", and that the concept of time being broken into specific moments is only a human perception.
"No matter how small the time interval, or how slowly an object moves during that interval, it is still in motion and its position is constantly changing, so it can't have a determined relative position at any time, whether during an interval, however small, or at an instant," he said in a statement. "If it did, it couldn't be in motion".
The fascinating thing about his idea....is that he isn't a university graduate. He only sat around the university for six months before leaving. This is a man who simply sat and thought about things and came to a certain point.As we stand and look at the value of four or six or eight years in a university...we are set in a cycle now of belief that the university graduate is smarter than the non-graduate.
Of course, we wouldn't have said that to Plato. Nor to Socrates. We wouldn't have mentioned this to Di Vinci. We certainly wouldn't have mentioned this to Merriweather Lewis of Lewis and Clark fame. We dare not mention this to Lincoln or Washington. It would have been a waste of time to mention this to Thomas Edison or Henry Ford....or the Wright Brothers. None of them ever attended university.
Somewhere in the past forty years....we've sat upon some idea that "buying" a degree....is a necessity in order to be a learned individual. Maybe we've missed something here and ought to backtrack a step or two. Maybe there are more Einsteins out there....perhaps in Iuka or Ripley or Jackson....than we really know about.
- To the Ends of the Earth?
This week....a federal judge who used to authorize wiretaps in terrorist and espionage cases criticized President Bush's decision to order warrantless surveillance after the Sept. 11 attacks.
Royce Lamberth, a district court judge in Washington, said Saturday it was proper for executive branch agencies to conduct such surveillance. "But what we have found in the history of our country is that you can't trust the executive," he said at the American Library Association's convention."We have to understand you can fight the war (on terrorism) and lose everything if you have no civil liberties left when you get through fighting the war," said Lamberth, who was appointed by President ReaganThere is an interesting episode playing out here.
The judge has a point here...and we ought to sit and ponder things.
First...this war won't end this year or next or in ten years. We will be sitting here in 2020...with the war still in full swing. Second....there will likely be more 9-11's...with thousands more Americans killed by madness in the Islamic community. Third...while the American public will pump up the talk on action...more internal surveillance and more executive actions will be taken with questionable constitutional authority. We will eventually train ourselves to simply look the other way and not question the actions of the government. Fourth...eventually...a presidency down the road...in twenty-odd years...either Democrat or Republican...will take some actions that we today would absolutely never stand for...but we will have conditioned ourselves by that point to just accept it. By that point...the enemy will have made his point upon our society and changed the constitution without ever allowing us to vote on the change.
Until society and the executive are willing to take "all actions necessary" outside our borders...this doesn't end. I don't see "all actions" being taken today...nor do I see us going to the "ends of the earth". So....sit and simply watch as time goes by...this will not be country that you grew up in.
- Mind Games and How They Work
- So let us draw the "Y" and show how they are supposed to intersect.
Tom Cruise is moving along to his next movie project. It is the true story of the assassination attempt on Adolph Hitler at the "Wolfs Lair" near the eastern front....which almost happen in 1944. There was a German commander, who had lost an eye and been severely injured in the eastern front...recovered....and regarded as a national hero. He became one of Hitler's top aides. By the summer of 1944...it was readily apparent in Germany that the war was going badly....with Hitler and his commander-wannabes (who sat back in Berlin) as the responsible parties.
This one commander, Colonel Stauffenberg, found a group of commanders who were willing to move troops and take charge after the death of Hitler. Stauffenberg saw Hitler as damaging Germany beyond repair and causing decades of punishment for the country. So he would carry out the only real attempt on Hitler's life. He would move a satchel into the bunker where Hitler was supposed to meet....loaded with explosives.
The bomb was placed underneath a thick table with numerous legs, and near Hitler. At some point in this meeting....someone in the group moved the satchel down a bit and away from Hitler. Stauffenberg had already left and proceeded to the airport. He was on the plane when the bomb went off. Hitler survived....but it caused a death or two and it was obvious who was responsible.
The coup never occurred and Stauffenberg was terminated by Hitler's crew. It would be 20 years before Stauffenberg was regarded as a national hero....and today...he is amongst the very few true hero's in German history.
Two years ago....a major film production was done in Germany and brought the story back to light. It was one of the best productions in the past decade and really sensationalized Stauffenberg's name.
Well....Tom....a member of Scientology....is hoping to put himself and the religion in a positive light by reproducing the story of Stauffenberg. There are alot of negative views of Scientology in Germany today...and only in recent months have they been allowed to open again in the country.
The practical view of this....is that people will watch the movie...have positive views of Tom....and be more willing to accept Tom's views in life...namely that Scientology is hot stuff and you need to adapt/contribute to their religion. It is an interesting episode to watch an actor manipulate his public and get an image that he desires. A fake amongst fakes....perhaps you could say. By summer of 2008....you will get a chance to view Colonel Stauffenberg....with the Germans....and settle upon what you see.
This is the world we live....for better or worse.
- The Best Seat in the House
- Sometimes, you can't really visualize things unless you are sitting in the proper seat.
- Pictures and Numbers Don't Lie
- Congress is currently enjoying a 14 percent approval rating.
The U.S. military.....is enjoying a 69 percent approval rating.
Why should there be such a difference? Gallup did the poll.....and left no real explanation. We ought to read alot of things into this.....but why waste effort? The picture says it all.
- Electoral College 101
- Ok, boys and girls...this is how the electoral college works.
First....you can't vote directly for the presidential candidate you like. You are voting strictly for some state dude who will cast his vote for your guy.
Second....every state has a number of electoral votes. Most (almost all of the states) require that the big winner of the state...gets all the votes. A couple of states are toying with the idea of splitting the electoral votes, and a couple of toying with the idea of giving the votes to the national winner (even if the state votes in the entirely different direction).
Third....when these electors meet in DC...they vote for the president, and then they vote for the vice-president. Two entirely different votes.
Fourth.....If no candidate receives a majority of electoral votes, the House of Representatives elects the President from the 3 Presidential candidates who received the most electoral votes. Each State delegation has one vote. The Senate would elect the Vice President from the 2 Vice Presidential candidates with the most electoral votes. Each Senator would cast one vote for Vice President. If the House of Representatives fails to elect a President by Inauguration Day, the Vice-President Elect serves as acting President until the deadlock is resolved in the House.
Fifth...and most critical...you have to have 270 electoral votes out of 538...to win.
So lets play the "Bloomberg" scenario which alot of folks are starting to discuss. Lets pretend that Hillary gets the west coast and a couple of mid-Atlantic states. Lets say that Thompson carries the south and all of the mid-west. And lets pretend that Bloomberg carries New York with its 31 electoral votes. The day after the election...no one has 270 votes. Bloomberg won one state...and froze out a real win.
The boys meet in DC and are in this week prior to the vote. Alot of politics are being discussed at state level. Suddenly....you have four states for Thompson and three states from Hillary....who are willing to switch their votes to Bloomberg....still not enough to give him 270 votes. But this really infurates Hillary and set the Republicans on fire.
So now, there is a long talk with Bloomberg...to get him to release his New York crowd to Hillary or Thompson prior to the casting. Bloomberg dictates what he wants...a VP seat...which mean one of the two has to dump their candidate. Neither likes this.
So the electoral college moves forward and does their vote. No winner. So now the house of representatives are brought in...and each state casts its one vote...which means that the south...while widely democrat in nature....just might vote Republican and Thompson wins. But the senate...might be a totally different story, and a democratic VP might be elected.
In the midst of all of this...ifing the House can't decide by zero day...then the VP who has been chosen....would take over as acting president until this is settled.
My guess is that Bloomberg really wants to change the entire electoral college system and is willing to make this a do-or-die situation. January of 2009....might be a point where you desire a long vacation to the Bahamas....and just sip booze....alot of booze.
- Only in Texas (Fact and Parody)
Out in Edinburg, Texas....where guys drive trucks, grass is mowed every Saturday, and women act prim and proper.....firefighters got a call this week. Sure enough....there was a building on fire. The boys arrived and spent almost half an hour fighting a blaze in which 2,000 pounds of marijuana went up in smoke. The fire chief was very upset by the situation....the boys breathed so much of it that they would have failed a drug test.
It took more than 35 firefighters (almost every guy....even the guys off-duty.....came out to help in this effort....in fact....dozens of locals wanted to volunteer and were pushed away by numerous cops from the region who showed up and were tending to crowd control), 1,000 gallons of water and five gallons of chemical suppressant to extinguish the warehouse blaze on Wednesday, Fire Chief Shawn Snider said.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents were investigating the origin of the drugs. The county fire marshal was investigating whether arson was the cause.
The fire chief said Thursday the firefighters were exposed to so much marijuana smoke that they would not be able to pass a drug test.....despite wearing air packs to prevent them from inhaling toxic or hazardous fumes.
After the fire....the boys all stood around the pump truck....giggling and telling 6th grade jokes and discussing the reality of Lost versus Bonanza. Locals had to help wind up the hose....causing the boys couldn't grasp how the hose went into a circle. Later, a couple of punk kids helped drive the fire trucks back to the station...with sirens blaring loudly....and two light-poles damage slightly. The firemen were taken over Pizza Hut and they ate 100 pizzas....all charged to assistant chief DeWayne who had his charge card with him (his wife don't know about this yet). Ms. Cooty....assistant manager on duty at Pizza Hut said that the boys acted somewhat proper....whilst they drunk almost 200 glasses of RC cola, and then moved to another 150 glasses of Dr. Pepper.
Later, their wives came by and carried the guys home....well....all except Erik "the Red"....whose wife took him across the border and dumped him a good ten miles south of the border. He woke up the next day and thought that it was all a dream....and then realized what the wife had done. He walked all the way to the border and caught a bus back to town. He and the wife ain't been on speaking terms since the fire.
- Point 5-0
Up in Tacoma this week....one of my favorite places....a local gal apparently tied a record for the amount of alcohol in her blood when the state police there (in their fancy lab) measured a blood-alcohol content of 0.50 two hours after she was arrested for investigation of drunken driving. Yep, this was two hours.....two hours....after she'd been arrested.
Ms. Ann Marie Gordon, the top manager of the police lab there, said the reading — more than six times the legal limit of 0.08 — tied the highest level ever found by technicians at the patrol's lab. Ifing you go back 2000.....they had a guy who also registered 0.50 on a blood test.
"It certainly would kill many people," she said.
The average blood-alcohol content of drunken drivers stopped in Washington is about 0.15, Gordon added.
So lets introduce you to Ms. Rebecca G. Lingbloom, 45, who happened to plead not guilty Wednesday to one count of driving under the influence of alcohol on May 10. Authorities contended in an affidavit that she nearly hit a pedestrian that day and was seen swerving all over the road.
A Pierce County sheriff's deputy later found her passed out behind the wheel of her car in the Summit area, the affidavit states.
The Deputy Prosecutor pointed out that Lingbloom was arrested for investigation of drunken driving twice in the 1990s, and asked the judge to jail her in lieu of $20,000 bail. Moericke also asked that Lingbloom be monitored with an electronic bracelet that would record her movements should she make bail.
The judge declined both requests after Lingbloom told him she enrolled in a six-month treatment program for alcohol abuse not long after her arrest. The Public defender assigned to the case.....told the judge he called the clinic before Wednesday's hearing and confirmed that Lingbloom was enrolled.
Point 5-0 is a heck of alot of booze. And this was two hours after they had arrested her. I'm guessing that they can't take blood ifing you are passed out (that wouldn't be fair, you know). It'd take alot of booze to get someone to that point.
- $1 Million for Paris Interview
- It is rather amusing to watch the race to be the first interview from Paris after she exits from jail. Barbara Walters thought that she had this all fixed up and a fair amount of payoff was ensured. But along came the Today Show who offered up $1 million...although Paris said that Matt Lauer couldn't do the interview because he didn't think she was a story.
In the last 24 hours, the Hilton family has pressured Paris to retreat back to Ms. Walters...to make sure the "right story" is told.
The honest truth is...most of us really don't give a damn anymore about Paris, or Lohan, or Cindy Shihan, or Madonna, or Cheney. Although we may still be hot for Brittney (the most awesome babe in America today). And sitting there....watching a 75-year reporter...ask stupid questions to Paris....who is equally stupid...just doesn't make sense. I'll turn the station over to a rerun of Animal Planet and watch Steve Irwin for the 1000th time...which would be worth watching.
- What Was She Thinking?
Out in Vienna this week....some lady on a flight Thursday from Riga (capital of Latvia for those of you from Ripley)....was greatly surprised to find on arrival in Austria that her dang bag was heavier than before -- about 300,000 dollars heavier.
The cash was part of some 5.9 million dollars that the Bank of Lativa was moving in three bags to the headquarters of the Raiffesen Bank in Vienna.
Robbers apparently took the money from one of the bags at Riga airport, but panicked and stuffed thousands of 100-dollar bills into the luggage of a female passenger which then ended up in the hold of the plane.
When the lady realized the episode....dimwit as she was....she took the money to the police, who excluded her completely from any blame over the incident. What was she thinking? She could have driven home, opened the suitcase and just figured....dang....free money....I can dump that husband of mine and move to Iuka. Unbelievable. I would have been in Alaska within 24 hours and sipping java in Homer.
- Sure Enough
- Sure enough, it was a dang proud day yesterday in my home town region. GW...the boss himself...came out to visit Brown's Ferry. For those who aren't familiar with Brown's Ferry....its a nuclear power plant. The TVA dudes run it (the only US gov't run power production "club" in America). Brown's Ferry is kinda famous. Back in the 1973, it was finished and licensed for almost 50 years of nuclear power production. Strangely enough, in 1975...there was some minor maintenance done at the plant...by candlelight. Yep, you read that correctly. The candle during some inspection...never truly explained why they had to use candles...but it apparently tipped over and caused some major electrical fire. So the unit affected at the plant (one of three) was taken down for almost sixteen years. Yep, it does take a while to repair Bama nuclear power plants...but then it was a gov't-run facility and all those bubbas were paid full salary during this time whilst they were working on it.
GW apparently went over to pat the boys on the back...no major accidents over ten years and things rarely go wrong now. The interesting thing is that the locals were all dang proud to have GW there and lined up on the road to wave at him. It may be Democratic territory but for some reason, they are slightly pro-Republican.
- Just A Bad Week
Today...Jay...our resident engineer in the shop...from
Bama...peaked out in the office.
Starting Monday...the Army national guard called him
up. Jay had earned his degree and worked up some deal
to convert his remaining two years of active duty over
to four years of reserve duty. Well...a year
later....Jay finally gets a doctors note that he has
diabetes. The Army doc checks him out and confirms
yes....Jay does have it....so he can't stay in the
guard. They give him some paperwork...which he signs
and they indicate they will submit. Jay don't
care....he's got a $80k per year contractor job lined
So 2.5 years go by....and this Monday....the Guard
dude calls up and asks why Jay ain't attending weekend
duty? Jay explains his whole story and the guy says
that they ain't never completed this medical
discharge....so Jay is still in the Guard.
Shocking...utterly shocking...to Jay.
They want Jay to come down to Heidelberg this weekend
for guard duty, and Jay explains that he has
diabetes...and has to take the shots. So they find
this paperwork and just say that they are working on
it but he has to attend guard duty.
Wed, Jay shaves off his beard.
Today, Jay decides that even though its a 120-minute
drive from Wiesbaden where he lives....to
Heidelberg....he ain't going to a hotel...too
costy...like a true Bama dude.
So he is driving down each day...Friday...Saturday and
Today, he goes over at 2:30 to fill up his tank at the
base station. Some lady in a huge SUV pulls up and
jumps in front of him. She gets out. Jay is a
patient guy...he don't care. She is about 350 lbs.
She stands there and apparently there is some vapor
lock issue with this SUV....so she can only fill 3
gallons a minute at the most. This takes about 10
minutes just to fill up.
Then she starts to walk around the SUV, and trips over
herself. She falls on a knee and then lands on the
back. She is bawling and crying up a storm. She
won't get up. Jay tries to look the other way....but
the Bama in him comes out. He gets out and tries to
help the gal up. He can't get her up....and she is
still crying up a storm.
Finally the store manager and the cashier come
out....helping Jay....and they get her up....to the
cashier area, to pay for the gas, and then drag her
back to the vehicle...to dump her in. She is still
crying away and complaining of pain. After five
minutes...she finally cranks up and leaves.
Jay pulls up and quickly fills up....only then to
discover that shift changeover is in progress...and
the cashier is counting money.
He comes back to the office about 90 minutes after he
left, and told his story.
After he tells me the story....I explain that only a
true Bama-ite could take all this punishment in one
week and not complain.
We are dang proud of Jay....and hoping they don't ship
him off this weekend to Afghanistan because of a
- The Evil Americans
- Yes, we can now report.....that top French government officials.....are ignoring warnings to ditch their cherished BlackBerrys.....despite warnings their messages may be intercepted by US spy agencies.
"They tried to offer us something else to replace our BlackBerrys," an unnamed official in the prime minister's office told Le Monde newspaper. "But that didn't work and some people use their BlackBerrys in secret."
French security officials are now worried that e-mails sent by government officials via their Blackberrys.....might be picked up by NSA because the servers for BlackBerry mail are located in the United States and the UK, according to Le Monde.
They first notified the government of this risk 18 months ago but have had to reissue the warning, the paper said.
We might as well go ahead and admit....yes.....NSA is collecting this data. Yes....NSA is collecting 360 data from Yahoo. Yes, all MSN emails are pumped into a NSA database. Yes, all phone calls are logged into a massive database. Yes, all blogs are logged as well. In fact....there is so much data...that no one, nor any filter...can reasonably figure out what is worth reading and what is worth tossing away. Thats the sad fact about the NSA.....they are a candy store with 10,000 candies....and its all free....but after a pound or so of chocolate.....then what?As for the French....its amusing they could not make a replacement for the Blackberry. That in itself says something.
- Sad News For Congress
- Yep, according to the June 11-14, 2007 survey conducted by Gallup.....24% of Americans approve and 71% disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job.
Congressional approval is down by at least five points since last month. The current 24% rating is similar to the poor ratings Congress received last year, with Americans essentially voting to take control of Congress away from the Republicans in November. So, in reality.....nothing has changed....the public is still unhappy. And it really doesn't matter.....you can vote out some losers and bring in brand new losers....and get the same score.....look at the Milwaukee Brewers....same tactic.
- Ifing I Had Some Free Time
- Apparently.....the European Space Agency is looking for volunteers for a simulated human trip to Mars, in which six crew spend 17 months in an isolation tank. Upon hearing this.....I quickly volunteered.
The boys are supposed to live and work in a series of interlocked modules at a research institute in Moscow. Once the hatches are closed, the crew's only contact with the outside world is a radio link to "Earth" with a realistic delay of several minutes.
The modular "spacecraft" measures about 19,250 cubic feet, the equivalent of nine truck containers.
Now you may be wondering why I'd volunteer? Well....I'm thinking there will be alot of poker tournaments, free time to watch SEC football, free booze with cheese and crackers, reruns of Lost, and lots of Hemingway books to read. And the best part....you'd get paid for doing nothing. The only issue I see is if they drag in some liberal arts French gal who is all into work and chitty-chat....and ruin the experience for me.
- Guns in Switzerland
So....lets get this straight....Switzerland is preparing for a debate this summer.... over the tradition of keeping army guns and ammunition at home. Apparently, opposition to guns-at-home is gaining momentum.
The general attitudes towards firearms may be changing in Switzerland. A recent survey found that two out of three Swiss want to ban army weapons from private households.
Parties mostly on the left side of the spectrum....and pacifist groups.... are hoping to build on these signs of public disapproval to force a nationwide vote. They are due to start collecting signatures for a people's initiative from August this year.
The initiative is calling for army weapons to remain in the barracks, a national gun register, a ban on private individuals buying or owning particularly dangerous guns such as automatic weapons or pump-action shotguns, and tighter controls on those who say they need to carry a firearm.
From the Green side.....Jo Lang, who is behind the proposal....argues that keeping an army gun at home is "a major security risk" and that "there are no practical arguments - only ideological ones". "Every year about 300 people die from army-issue guns in Switzerland. The majority of cases are suicides, but there are also family tragedies."
Being a Foxnews graduate.....I ain't one to always believe numbers when they are thrown around. So I hunted up and found something that was a bit interesting. The Swiss Federal Police Office reports that in 1997.....there were 87 intentional homicides and 102 attempted homicides in the entire country. Some 91 of these 189 murders and attempts involved firearms (the statistics do not distinguish firearm use in consummated murders from attempts). So then you take the population of this small country.....seven million, Switzerland had a homicide rate of 1.2 per 100,000. There were 2,498 robberies (and attempted robberies), of which 546 involved firearms, giving a robbery rate of 36 per 100,000. Almost half of these criminal acts were committed by non-resident foreigners...which would suggest another issue but we won't talk about that.
Strangely enough in 1993.....not a single armed robbery was reported in Geneva.
In a word, Switzerland, which is awash in guns, has substantially lower murder and robbery rates than England, where most guns are banned.
Lang has first-hand experience of the dangers of putting a gun in the wrong hands. In 2001 he was in Zug's cantonal parliament when a gunman shot and killed 14 people with a rifle, before turning it on himself.The Swiss....oddly enough....made up a law that all able-bodied men are issued with a rifle and 50 rounds of ammunition, which they store at home after completing basic training and can keep after finishing their military service. Well....yeah....only men....for some reason, they didn't trust giving out weapons to women....probably something to do with PMS.
Odd enough.....no one right knows just how many guns are in Switzerland. It might be 1.2 million.....and it might be 20 million. This makes this debate kinda interesting....because alot of folks just might not admit to having a gun, and creating a closet republic of gun owners.
Gun advocates argue that tighter controls would go against age-old Swiss custom, would not stop crime and would not have prevented massacres like the one in Zug.
Ahead of the launch of the initiative, the Senate on Wednesday debated and rejected an outright ban on storing army weapons at home. But it did pass a motion which would prevent most soldiers from keeping their ammunition in the home....which kinda makes you wonder what good a gun is....without ammo...but then you might pretend it was loaded (if you were slightly swiss-deranged).
The government had earlier come out in favor of a plan to allow only certain troops to take their guns and ammunition home. Certainly, we wouldn't want cooks or medical troops hauling weapons around....and maybe those dang officers too.
The interesting thing about this entire summer debate.....is that when you line up all these parliament members.....a vast number....for some odd reason.....are men over 60...white....married....and hardcore army lobbyists. In Mississippi....this would mean something but we wouldn't say it in front of News 9 tv crew. I'm sure they would have a few sips of local Jack Daniels and argue like gentlemen....at least for an hour or so. The rowdy boys would rightly throw a couple of punches by the 3rd hour, and then most of the hard-core guys would round up five sober members and vote through something that fits.
"In Switzerland there was an old saying: 'A man who can't defend himself and his family with a weapon has no honor.' We kinda have a saying like that in Bama too.....but it has something to with SEC football as well.