Friday, 8 August 2008

The Anthrax Dude

For several days.....I've been pouring over the reports of the Anthrax dude. There are a thousand facts scattered around this entire episode. For me....there is the mental reason....why?

I kept reading about the distance between this guy and his brother, for over twenty years. Then I read of his "God-like" behavior. Then I read of his bouts of depression and continual visits to the mental health specialists. Then I read on the group therapy, and the threats to this handler. Then I read about the drug prescriptions, and his eventual suicide.

Somewhere in the middle of this....I asked this guy bi-polar? item or two on the internet indicated that the guy actually wrote and admitted this into an email, and he apparently showed lots of the characteristics that you'd associate with being bi-polar. I stood there.....wondering what idiot ever signed this guy up for top secret security clearances.

I have a very low trust-level for anyone with bi-polar. They could kill you....with only a minute or two of thought. They could be your best friend for 364 days out of the year, and then your worst enemy on the final day.

For any organization like this....having Anthrax in full view.....allowing a bi-polar guy to continue to work in this absolutely foolish.

When they do security clearances....their big traditional fears were financial problems, blackmail, heavy drinking or drug use, and then affairs. Those were the big items which would block your clearance. After looking at this guy....I'm thinking we ought to include the guy's mental health. If anyone is showing bi-polar.....just pass on their services.

How much did this guy cost us? A couple of billion dollars.....and for that reason....we ought to be scratching our heads. Something is wrong here.....real wrong.

Maybe, Just Maybe,

So the juices are flowing. If we had a choice of Paris, the old dude or the "One".....would we do the right thing and select Paris?

Its a hard and long debate. The truth is....we really need a third candidate, and I'm pretty sure Paris can't screw it up anymore than Bill Clinton or George Bush did. The problem is that she's underage. Damn those constitutional writers....they just didn't realize the impact of a age requirement.

Now we got to wait another twenty years before Paris is old enough to be the President of the United States.

The Measurement of a Tire

I spent part of today reading up on the Obama tire gauge episode, and frankly, felt silly.

Most guys (I won't discuss what the hell women do).....check their tires about three times a year. The truth is....with most modern tires...the pressure doesn't change much. Over the past two years...I've never added a single pound of air to any of my tires. This entire pressure gauge suggestion was great in the 1970s....when we all had substandard tires, and were happy.

Every fall....I do up a major check of my entire car....from top to bottom. The tire pressure gets checked while I debate if I should dump the tires or not. I'll even check the tire pressure if I'm doing a 500-mile journey....just to be safe. But its really not going to help for me to check the pressure every two weeks.

I sat and pondered the Obama plan....then realizing the great "solution" at hand.....a tire pressure tax credit. Each year....give a $100 tire credit for folks who vouch that they checked their tires monthly. There would be a one-page form for us to annotate the check and initial that day off. Then as we submit this with our regular tax paperwork...we'd get a extra $100 back for this enormous action....thus saving money and gas. I realize some of you may question my motives here.....but if the great Obama thinks this is a swell idea...and we might save the earth by this action....then I'm all for the $100 tax credit. My only question would be.....could we do this in metric.....thus being more European and scientific in nature?

A Woeful Tale of Dimwits

Yesterday, I sat down and watched a 12-minute report on German teenagers being interviewed for apprentice jobs. Two German employers drew up a simple 10 to 15 question test.....and asked them as part of the interview to complete some questions.

Most of these questions centered around common civics-related questions....who is the Chancellor (Merkel), and what does the Bundestag do (pass laws). Then the tests turned to math. They asked some very simple what is a quarter of one hour (15 minutes), whats ten percent of 100 kilograms (10 kilograms), and if you sold four items for one Euro fifty much would they cost (six Euro).

Well....these dimwits failed miserably. The first guy had five kids....all around sixteen years old and they really didn't do well. Most failed all of the civics questions. This guy was a coffee shop manager and wanted a trainee that they could introduce to the entire business. The second guy was a painter. He wanted a trainee who'd stay the two-year period and actually be a daily painter for him as he trained. One kid did well at math, but failed the civics badly...while the rest just did bad on all topics.

Both were dissatisfied and simply weren't going to bring on any of these possible kids. Across Germany've got this case of kids who are simply not learning anything or applying that knowledge to real life. What the teachers doing? That would be the curious question.