Saturday, 15 November 2008

Your Friendly Government Manager

It appears likely by the spring of 2009, that the US government will own vast amounts of companies throughout the US...from Ford, Chrysler and GM....to various airports in the country....over to possibly several telecommunications companies. In fact, there is no limit to how far this government ownership situation may go.

Naturally, being from Bama....I have a vastly different prospective on government ownership of companies. Allow me to offer some analysis.

First, as screwed up as Ford is....on a incompetency scale of one to ten....they currently rate 8.5. Government ownership and management....might actually help to bring them down to a incompetency scale of 7.5. Maybe this might be a good idea....and the 8-cylinder F-150 can survive on.

For some reason, I have utter fear of Catfish Cabin and its various restaurants....along with Sonic and Dunkin Donuts falling into the hands of the US government. I believe government ownership would condemn these operations to fall within weeks.

Hooters, under US government ownership? What idiot congressman or senator signs off on this and expects to be reelected. Will any government representative even be willing to show up in a Hooters?

Midas Muffler, under US government control? As hostile and angry as folks get now with poor service with a few operations....that government representative would have to exit the US and live in Costa Rica to avoid the heat.

Hustler magazine, under US government control? Well....maybe the idiot would be smart enough to add a stero column and a special section for former Playboy readers....to help them become accustomed to a bold new world.

Burger King, under US government control? 100 percent Argentine beef whoopers or would we be forced to have American beef loaded with steroids?

NBC, under US government control? Would we get more US government commercial activity....like buy bonds or get tested for worms? MSNBC under government control? Would Keith Olbermann be allowed to stay or would have to move to Montana and work for channel 9 as a local anchor?

Dallas Cowboys under US government control? Would we get a lousy quarterback dumped on the team or would we get a special deal with the US government owned Chicago Bears? Would the only NFL team not owned by the US government....the Green Bay Packers....seek to dissolve the league because of incompetent management across the entire league?

Preparation H, under government control? Would the formula change? Would the government screw up a perfect preparation? Would alot of truckers weep and cry when the formula simply didn't work?

Finally, we come to Pepsi. Alone in the shadows....they are the last company on American soil that will allow some idiot government guy to come in and take control of the company. They will be hundreds of Pepsi men standing tall and fighting to the bitter end....to keep Pepsi "government-free". I believe, in my heart of hearts....that Pepsi can survive, and thrive when all other companies fail.
So quietly, I sit here now....awaiting the arrival of government men....who will tear the heart out of Six Flags, Budweiser, Victoria's Secret and Fox News. The blame clearly goes onto the laps of those Princeton, Harvard, Colombia and Yale business graduates....who plotted from day one to bring down America....and here we are.

Behold, 1984

Very shortly....Manchester, the debt capital of England...home of the United (soccer), stabbing capital of the United Kingdom, and the binge drinking capital of England....which has almost half a million people....will shortly begin making residents or kindly asking residents (depending on your view)....to carry electronic tracking tags that log how far they run or cycle each day.

Basically, some folks there in the region want to know how many calories residents burn.

1984?

Manchester is amongst nine towns in the UK who will collect this data and attempt to take on the UK obesity problem. No mention was made of a tracking device to record data for stabbings, debt or binge drinking. That will likely come later.

I paused for a while and read this over twice. How many dopes would give the tag to their eleven-year old kid and get them to pump up the values? How many folks would tie the tag onto their dog and cut them loose in the park?

After you get the tag data....then what? Can you force the guy to change? Can you tax the guy in some manner to force change? Can you remove challenges like cheap booze or tv from his daily schedule? Maybe I'm asking too many questions. I suspect that I'd be the last guy you ought to attempt a tag deal with.

American-made Cars, Finished?


I walked around this week and had a brief encounter with five individuals. I asked each about what kind of car they'd really like to have if they had to buy a new one. With the Pelosi bailout coming for the auto industry, I figured maybe opinions might matter.

All five answers were non-American cars....Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Toyota, Honda and Nissan.

One guy did admit that if he could pick only for himself....he might like a new Ford 150 pick-up, but his wife wouldn't agree on that.

I sat down and thought about this scenario....if I had cash in my pocket.....what would I buy? I was leaning heavily toward Audi or Mazda. Then I thought....there was a perfect US-made car out there...from the late 1990's....the Ford Crown Victoria. It was the classic car, with power and style. I could lean toward the Crown Vic.....with some stipulations in my pick.

The problem here....is that by saving Ford, Chrysler and GM.....we are barely doing anything for the Crown Victoria. It'd sell itself and most police organizations would have nothing else but the Crown Vic. So the bailout has little value for the Crown Vic community.

So I'm left with two hundred-odd million Americans who have a bad memory of a poorly built American-made Ford, Chrysler or GM car....and even worse memories of the repair attitude by the local dealer. They built trash for us and then smiled as the repairs just didn't work. Then they smiled as the resale value of the car went down steeply. Frankly, I don't get the the rush by congress to save a bunch of idiots...who are one step away from being a Harvard business school grad.

Just a Dash Here and Dash There


For many years, I have felt socially uncomfortable. I am out of touch with the rest of the world because of my Bama heritage. Bluntly, I just can't get into abstract art.

It was early on....in 1979 that I realized this. I actually went to a art museum in Frankfurt and after sixty minutes...walked out. I felt out of synch....as if I was incapable of grasping and understanding the changes or shifts in human vision.

By the late 1980s....I had learned simply not to even bother with this abstract stuff, nor to worry about it. In the last ten years....I merely laugh when the topic comes up and look the other way. The silly thing to me...is that some guys are actually getting paid to paint this stuff, and other guys are getting paid to explain this stuff. Even when CNN comes on and they desperately want to bring you into the real world....there is this guy named "Sebastian" who says he knows abstract and chatters away for half an hour about what the painter was saying.

Frankly, after looking at the stuff real careful, I'm often thinking the guy was standing in his garage....sipping on Jack Daniels.....and just took out a paint bush and did a dash here and a dash there of green and red paint. Eventually, he finishes, both the bottle and the painting....then calls up Larry, his friend in New York City. Larry drives his 1966 VW van down and picks up the painting. A month later....Larry has sold it in New York City for $44k. He sends you $2k for your Jack Daniels bills and he spends the rest on his new clutch for the VW van and a trip to Lake Tahoe.

Abstract is basically thinking of nothing and painting something. The lines don't have to meet....the snow doesn't have to fall vertical....the horse can have five legs....the woman could be bow-legged....the chicken could be six-feet tall...the queen could be standing there in a Wal-Mart evening grown...and the John Deere tractor could be painted dark blue. Once I grasped all of this....then I realized that even I could paint abstract and be recognized as a world-renown artist. My only problem is....I'd only be using black and green for colors....and most folks just don't like those choices.

My Honest 63 Questions:

This week, the Obama camp put out a seven-page document with 63 questions. To get a job with them, you had to fill out the form and provide data....LOTS of data. I thought about this and eventually came to a 63 question list of my own but it was a very honest list of questions.

1. Can you name all fifty states and their capitals?
2. Explain the concept of the bill of rights.
3. Name any neighbor who borrowed stuff but never returned it.
4. Identify five presidents since 1900.
5. Are you saving energy by using twenty-two times the amount of power that a normal American family uses?
6. What should you do when bitten by a rattlesnake?
7. Who won WWI and WWII?
8. Isn't Brittney Spears the most beautiful woman in the world? (Yes or no only)
9. Should Lance Armstrong run the 2009 Tour de France?
10. Hank Williams or Elvis, who was better in the end?
11. The Pacer, was it the worst car ever made?
12. Should Zombies be declared authorized voters?
13. Should Brittney Spears play Joan of Arc for Mel Gibson?
14. Is Elvis truly dead?
15 If you made any public speeches....were any directed toward circus folks, dwarfs, Texans, or abstract art?
16. Have you ever been in Memphis, New Orleans, or St. Louis (negative points if you have)
17. Do you keep at least six guns in your house or car? (bonus points if yes)
18. Do you believe in Bigfoot, Loch Nessie and aliens? (bonus points if yes)
19. If you had to dig a septic tank, would you call a cousin or a neighbor for help?
20. Have you ever paid more than $19,999 for a car? Cite the model and brand if yes.
21. Would you pay $350k for a $240k house? (negative points if yes)
22. Would you toss out forty percent of your paycheck to cover a mortgage?
23. Would you buy a $300k house with only $30k in down payment?
24. Who was the best Bond?
25. Have you ever been in a Wal-Mart? (Negative points, if no)
26. Explain in detail any speech that Alan Greenspan has given (positive points, if you can't)
27. Where is Gitmo?
28. Show a 8x10 photo of any tatto on your body or your wife's body (in color please)
29. Provide all of the names of your dogs that you've owned since 1988.
30. Describe on a plain piece of paper your feelings toward Tonga.
31. Do you know anyone from Red Bay, Alabama?
32. Provide a listing of friendships and girlfriends, since 1978. Use red ink if they are former friends now.
33. Which weighs more? A ton of bananas or a ton of peanuts?
34. Which StarTrek commander would you prefer to be Janeway, Kirk or Picard?
35. Have you ever shopped QVC?
36. Have you ever watched wrestling?
37. Have you ever forgotten your wife's birthday?
39. If you lived in a dry county, would you honor the laws of that county?
40. If your minister was a nutcase, would you be willing to say that in public?
41. If a bunch of union cars and US car makers came up to you and asked for $50 billion...would you ask why they can't make cars that folks want or just hand them the $50 billion?
42. Does it bother you that the car union guys get $17 million a year in Viagra, which is built into the cost of every single car made?
43. Do you have a problem with burning leaves in October in your front yard?
44. Have you ever bought a mower that you felt very dissatisfied with?
45. If Tab was the only drink left on the face of the earth....would you accept it and drink it?
46. On a hot day...cold beer or cold wine cooler?
47. Whats your belt size?
48. Can you cook up your own breakfast?
49. If a bunch of Harvard/Princeton/Yale/Colombia business school graduates came to you and said they had bankrupted America...would you halt the entire business school program at these four universities?
50. How many times should a guy be allowed to vote on election day in America?
51. Do you know any hippies?
52. Do you mow your own grass?
53. Are there any true explanations to putting a septic tank in the front yard instead of the back yard?
54. Is Keith Olbermann of MSNBC a dope?
55. Give five good reasons why any guy should stay 30 years in the Senate.
56. Have you ever dated a deranged man or woman?
57. When was the last time you attended a county fair?
58. Do you know any women who wear a blouse a size too small?
59. If you needed help...who you would not call and why?
60. If you had to talk real personal to someone....would you do it on the front porch or the back porch?
61. Why do most Democrats take money from bankers and most Republicans from oil companies?
62. Can you point to Mongolia on the map?
63. Are you a forgiving kinda guy or a revengeful kind of guy?

So there, I've written my 63 stupid questions....in the event I were to be president and need to hire up some folks. Frankly, I think my questions are better, but maybe I'm just a bit different from the Obama folks.