Thursday, 30 April 2009

Swine Flu and a Bamaite

What should a Bamaite do in the midst of Swine Flu? This is a curious question. Since we are the likely ones to sit and ponder....lets not waste any time on this effort.

First, if you were a Baptist church goer....drop it. You should stay home and avoid crowds who might give you the flu. Watch Godzilla movies....bar-b-q....restore furniture....or maybe even do that oil change that you've been talking about with the tractor. It wouldn't hurt to read a paragraph from the Bible like every other week....just to stay tuned into the Baptist theme. Plus you can pretend not to drink.

Second....lay in a supply of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer.....at least twelve pallets. Tell the Sam's Club guy that things might get a bit serious and you want the pallets ASAP. Hide them under a tarp out back and ensure that few neighbors know about this.

Third....avoid relatives...especially the stupid ones or the ones in trouble with the law. This flu thing works out in your favor. You can even make up stories that you are sick when you aren't.

Fourth....get in a major supply of catfish, frozen ribs, and fried chicken. Expect to bar-b-q alot during this period.

Fifth....get in a supply of "Quarantine" signs. My suggestion is to use them on your neighbors....after the sun goes down. Put it up and then in the morning....see how they react. Act curious as you approach the sign and then keep asking how long they've been sick. When they deny they are sick....tell them that you heard that some medical folks from Auburn were around and think they quarantined a number of homes but you suspect its because they were identifying anti-Auburn football freaks. Then leave.

Sixth.....whenever around Democrats...tell them you heard over Fox News that Democrats are more likely than Republicans to get the flu...something about sanitary practices. When they ask which show....tell it was O'Reilly. That'll get them to pinging.

Seventh.....while it is customary to shake hands as a southerner.....this might cause you to get the flu passed onto you. Always carry a small can of diesel around with you to wash with. If you start to have skin rashes....switch over to WD-40 and just spray it on.

Eight.....don't pass around or drink from the same whiskey bottle with anyone else under any circumstances.

Ninth....even if that neighbor gal is giving 5-star indications that she is free from her boyfriend, wearing a tube top, sipping whiskey from the bottle, and rather lusty....it just might not be the right time to get friendly with folks. But get a raincheck and tell her that you might be free in a month or two.

Ten....lay in a supply of cheap books on WW II, old-fashioned farming, how-to-make-whiskey and septic tank repair. You might be spending a fair amount of time at home.


SWAT

As most of you have come to know....I'm mostly against SWAT teams and the tank-mentality that most urban communities have drifted around to in the past three decades.

Cities like Atlanta, Chicago, Phoenix, Vegas, Seattle....have all climbed into a massive funding vehicle where SWAT means a significant amount of your funding. This includes state of the art technology and equipment. The fact that it might only get used three times a year at best....doesn't mean too much. Its a public sales pitch.

Various communities today....have a tank or armored vehicle. If you asked them to provide the instances of use over the past ten years....they'd all deny the request. If you went via the court system and finally got the full reports....you'd find a huge expenditure of public funds....for a "toy".

I'll cite of the best known....but also least known episodes of SWAT vehicles. Most papers didn't carry a single word about this in 2004. The press mostly passed the article. The papers in Arizona carried...around page two or three....but dropped the entire story after that point.

Around 23 July of 2004....26-year old Eric Kush failed to appear in Tempe traffic court. It was a misdemeanor episode.

It was decided after failing to show....that Eric was a "problem". So Sheriff Arpaio's SWAT team was rounded up.

The SWAT team shows up and proceeds to fire a smoke cartridge into Eric's house....its in the gated Fairway Hills community over Ahwatukee Foothills. I've been there....its typical middle class houses....golf courses.....simple life for the well to do.

One of the neighbors called 911....but the operator told them "don't worry"....its the cops conducting a mission.

About three minutes later....the neighbor noticed flames and then called 911 again. The house that they were messing with...and fired the cannisters into....was on fire. His house was just next door....so now, he was real worried.

The SWAT boys? Well....at this point....with their mighty SWAT tank in the driveway....they were worried about this black smoke coming out and that it might get damaged. So they moved it down the street a little. The problem was when they turned off the engine at this point.....the brakes failed and the vehicle rolled down over a 2001 Mitsubishi Mirage.

At some point in this mess....with Eric's girlfriend and kid out of the house.....with a full blaze going on.....the family dog tried to get out of the house but then got scared by the cops at the door....and went back in.....later dying in the fire.

When all of this ended....the $250k home had burnt to the ground, a dog was dead, and a car destroyed.

Eric? Well....he ended up posting a $1k bond the next day and walked out.

The public there got stuck with the bill for the mess....all because of the SWAT team and their inability to grasp reality.

The Arlen Plan (Parody)

Quietly, ever so quietly....there in 2001....as Karl Rove arrived in DC....he came to realize that Arlen Specter was a nut. He also came to realize that Arlen pretended to be a lawyer of some note....but mostly receiting Scottlish legal history....which only eight guys from Ohio and Pennslyvania were qualified to do in the entire nation. Finally, Karl came to realize that Arlen was the biggest pretender of being a Republican...when he wasn't.

After weeks of thinking and pondering....which most Bama folks do greatly.....Karl came to a fascinating plan. It was brilliant.

Karl hired a stripper from Jersey City who had hypnotic powers. She was sent to Delaware and in a private stripper session with Senator Joe Biden....she convinced Joe that Arlen could be converted to the Democratic party.

For several years, Joe worked weekly and monthly on this idea of brining Arlen Specter over to the Democratic party. All the while....Karl sat in the shadows and knew what would eventually come. It was a strategy that even Clinton himself...would have wept over.

So as the values of Arlen Specer came down to a neat and round number of zero.....then the momentum kicked in. You see...here was a pretender Republican....with the only talent in life as a Scottish law expert....who usually contributed little to nothing to the Senate.

On the 100th day of the Obama presidency....the conversion occurred. Joe was happy. Obama was happy. The media was happy. The Republicans were happy. In fact....the happiest guy of all....was Karl Rove.

You see...here is a 79-year old guy with limited contributions....who can no longer be the Republican pretender. In fact, the Democrats are now stuck with some Scottish law expert.....who gives them little to no extra value. Oh, it is 60 to 40 for the vote....but face it....it was 60 to 40 a month ago....before Arlen made his announcement.

But now, we get an extra bit of entertainment. In today's news....did you note how Harkin from Iowa is upset that he's possibly been bumped on seniority now? Did you note that a couple of other guys just got bumped a notch as well? Did you a bit of infighting? Unhappy feelings? Yep.

Karl is sitting there now....mostly smiling. For the remaining eighteen months prior to the 2010 election...there a bunch of old Democratic Senators who are upset and mad over their position in life being diminished. The Democrats are stuck with some 79-year old guy who mostly recites Scottish law whenever the opporunity occurs. And somewhere in this entire mess....a bunch of folks up in Pennslyvania are waking up to this tune that a pretender Republican is now a Democrat....or maybe he's a pretender Democrat? Who can be sure of anything? Well.....Karl can.

So in the shadows of this whole mess....having years working the plan....Karl is smiling because the Democrats are stuck with this goofy character. And they really can't say much of anything.

Enchanting....Ain't It?

I sat and watched the Obama press conference on a clip....just to see if there was anything of substance. There wasn't. You didn't miss anything. There was no real dumping of information. In fact...about fifteen minutes into this....I was about to force myself into turning the damn thing off.

Of the whole episode....there was Jeff Zeleney of the New York Times. He probably asked one of the most stupid questions of the past thirty years at a Presidential news conference.

During these first 100 days, what has surprised you the most about this office? Enchanted you the most from serving in this office? Humbled you the most? And troubled you the most?

It was crap. It was stuff you'd expect on Oprah. It was something that you'd ask some beauty queen after a hair job. It was a crappy question that you'd pose to Sharon Stone after making a new movie.

Enchanted? I'm trying to remember the last time any idiot asked me a question using the word enchanted. I would have stood there for 30 seconds...eyeballing them carefully....then asking if they ever ate any enchanted catfish with enchanted hushpuppies, with an enchanted ice tea and three enchanted half-lemons tossed on top? I would said that I felt enchanted each time I went to a successful bathroom release. I would responded that my enchantment was maxing at 90 percent whenever lightning was in the local area. I kinda feel enchanted when snow falls....but I'm guessing that's not the kind of enchantment that you'd like for me to brag about. Oh, and I get real enchanted when tube-topped women start stooping over....but I don't think you want to hear about that.

So, in the measurement of thing....trying to conceive this vision of Andrew Jackson standing there and responding to some reporter asking about his enchantment....he would taken his walking stick and whacked the New York Times reporter three or four times before settling down. Truman would have gazed at the guy for 30 seconds and then asked if the guy named a sip of water or something.

So I'm finished blasting away on enchantment. And if anyone really needs to know about my enchantment feelings....I'd suggest you think long and hard about what you are asking for.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

One Hundred Damn Days

For the past week...this phrase "First 100 Days" continues to come over and over on the internet and the news. I am rather surprised that this has been like some happy-slappy-dopey moment....where you've had a bit too much Jacky D's mixed with your Pepsi mixture.

I sitting there and wondering if people ever measure me over my first 100 days. If they did....what then?

Did Socrates get graded as a philosopher on his first one hundred days?

Did Henry Ford get graded as a CEO on his first one hundred days?

Did Billy Martin get graded as a baseball manager on his first one hundred days?

Did Jon Stewart get graded as a comic news analyst on his first one hundred days?

Did Jesus get graded after just one hundred days?

After a while, you start to discard this idea and the magic number of one hundred. If you have these kind of expectations from people....they are likely walking on imaginary water, and your imagination runs a bit free.

Just Inhale a Little Less

Today, we learned that sixty percent of American folks....typically citizens...but sometimes non-citizens....live in an area with unhealthy air pollution levels. After reading this....I felt kinda shocked. I mean....all that weepy stuff we do....the green push....the hard-ass laws on air pollution and quality....and then the American Lung Association comes up and says this today.

I looked over the list of twenty counties that they listed in Bama....noting that they failed to list Lauderdale...my home county...which was rather shocking. Then I started to notice that a bunch of Bama counties got a grade of "F"...which is confusing like hell to me.

You folks in Shelby county.....you're screwed. You're dying daily over there. Same thing for you folks in Madison county. The curious thing about this statistical display....is that I can go just about anywhere in Bama....and its damn fine air. If you were in LA....you'd beg to breathe Bama air....even down from some of those chicken-processing plants or down from a hog farm.

None of this made much sense. So I eventually started wondering if this was bogus collected data? I looked for an explanation as to how they collect data....but they didn't want to explain that part. So I looked for spreadsheets and the daily count....and that wasn't listed either. Usually....if you want to juice up and just pump people up.....you avoid explaining how you reached your conclusion, and these fine folks at the Lung Association did a damn fine job on that.

So here's my conclusion based on their data....sixty percent of us live in areas where there is trouble. We need to forcibly move folks from those areas to the other forty percent....and make folk's lives improved. Surely, you folks over in Shelby county.....if the government came up and said you needed to move over to New Mexico.....you'd all jump in the government bus and move.....right? And if you lived in southern Mississippi, and got the post card from the government.....pack up in a month and move to Montana....you'd move too.....right?

I guess I'm going to be in trouble with my moving idea. Plus we wouldn't want a bunch of Bama folks moving out to New Mexico and bamaizing the region there. It'd be a harsh thing for those folks to get used to NCAA football and NASCAR.

All in a Word

Swine Flu! Swine Flu! Swine Flu!

There....I said it. I feel better.

Apparently...the PC crowd have piled onto this. Yesterday....at some news conference...there was dimwit Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack going back and forth....referring to it as the "H1N1 virus."

Tom even said: "This is not a food-borne illness, virus. It is not correct to refer to it as swine flu because really that's not what this is about."

Then today, we have Israel...who rejected Swine Flu....saying it is now "Mexico flu" because Jewish folks prohibit eating pork.

Various associations are using other wording.

So whats the problem here? Anybody got issues with Swine? I can't of anyone from Bama who would have an issue. Most folks from Texas would say Swine. I even think most folks in Mexico would say Swine.

John Galt


"Where is John Galt?"

A long time ago...1957....Ayn Rand published a book (Atlas Shrugged). It was a 1,100-page book that 99 percent of us would have immediately laughed at the size and then said ‘no, we didn’t need to waste our time reading it’. The problem was....it laid out a vast philosophy over libertarianism and the free-market. Government was never the answer to any question.

Its central character....a guy by the name of John Galt.

For some reason, sales of a 50-year old book started to pick up last year....with almost 200,000 copies. In four months of 2009....it’s already done the same amount of sales. The fact is....the public is reexamining In the midst of the credit crisis and the federal government's massive bailout plan, the works of Rand, a proponent of a libertarian, free-market philosophy she called Objectivism, are getting new attention.

The thing about this book….and Ayn Rand’s entire vision….was about selflessness and the act of pure capitalism. Some will argue that capitalism, in pure form….doesn’t work. We tend to look for shortcuts and sell people damaged goods on occasion with no fear of issues later. But then if you looked at the broad lesson of selflessness, then this great virtue would help fix the wrongs (if used correctly).

Selflessness talks of humanity issues and sacrifice.

Selflessness talks of mercy, charity, and kindness.

Selflessness talks of understanding, patience, and support.

Selflessness talks of compassion, benevolence, forgiveness.

Selflessness speaks of pity, pardons of blame, and humankind.

So when you see a bumper sticker of “Where is John Galt?” and you wonder where he went….look around. He didn’t really leave. He was fictional in nature, but if you followed his lead….there are hundreds, thousands, and millions of John Galt’s out there….if you just look for them. They aren’t gone. They are quietly doing what John would have asked them to do.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Everything Has a Cost

Alert! Alert! Fox now becomes the first broadcast network to turn down a request by President Barack Obama for a prime-time news conference.

Instead, they will offer on Wednesday evening...."Lie to Me".

What should you know here? A bunch of news analysts will try to analyze this in such a fashion to say this is politically motivated. These news analysts are paid by their networks...just so you know they don't work for free. Each time the President takes a prime-time slot...he costs each network around $10 million each. That's ten million that the analyst's network will not be allowed to make. At some point, the networks who cover enough of these....won't be able to pay the great news analysis team they have...and they will smile as they let one go.

Another thing that you should wonder about...will more people watch "Lie to Me" than watch the President? That's a gamble that Fox decided to take. I'm willing to bet that twenty percent of the public watch the drama....maybe more.

Then we come to the curious thing...will there be anything of substance to come out of the prime-time "show" (I mean the Presidential press conference)? If it's a rigged episode with eight questions from eight chosen guys...then why watch?

So for the other networks...how long do you allow the President to jump into your profit margin? Why not force him to do this on Sunday afternoon, or Saturday evening? Can you afford five more of these for 2009? Can you afford twelve more next year?

Fox is fixing itself to remain profitable and avoid money issues. What will the other networks do in the end? Ask for government bailout?

A Nickels Worth of Arlen

The top news of today? Arlen Specter switched from the Republican party to the Democratic party. Arlen, for those of you who don't know....is the top senator from Penn. To be kinda truthful, Arlen has been a hard-left leaning Republican for the past five senate terms that he has held the office.

Does this really matter? No. Arlen was already voting mostly Democrat anyway.

What Arlen isn't telling you....is what matters. The state Republican party.....quietly and without any press coverage....very likely told Arlen that at 79 (this year).....they just weren't going to support him for the office in 2010's elections. He was finished. They had their sights set on a new guy to emerge and take the party spot in 2010.

So Arlen got all upset....chatted with some folks...and has some financial backing for next year's election (so he thinks). Pat Toomey is at the top of the Republican group....and the likely winner in November of 2010.

As for Arlen? He's finished in the real sense of the word. He'll get five or six special deals for his buddies in the state by being on the right party. I'm assuming that money is going to go into someone's pocket, and the Democrats will ensure he gets leadership positions in a committee to help out his corruption situation.

Robin Hood and Shane

Its a curious way of doing business. You start blabbing that you are the Robin Hood of a poor country....perform a couple of events to demonstrate this behavior....and suddenly a Taliban group is announced far and wide as the next “Robin Hood”.

In Pakistan over the past few months....using radio broadcasts and sermons.....these Taliban militants have started up this mystic image of themselves as the true Robin Hoods. They are helping the Pakistani poor.....fight the ruling hunta or elite, which naturally can only be corrupt and oppressive. The curious thing is that the poor are typically very conservative in nature....so this all makes perfect sense.

I sat pondering over this image and the way that the Taliban group suddenly went up a notch or two. There were evil characters in one sense, but then got the appreciation of the local crowds....by taking the guys in power down a notch. This worked in Peru with the Shining Path. When the Shining Path or Sendero Luminoso took up their walk to glory in the early 1970s....no one thought they’d be more than a bunch of radical small-time players. Over the course of a decade....they became highly respected in the rural aspects of Peru. They became Robin Hoods.

Then I sat and gazed over at ACORN....our less-than-radical crowd in urban America who have pumped up communities in the past two years to get their popular candidates into local government, and probably helped to some degree in getting Obama elected as president.

ACORN is truly not a radical natured organization...or at least they don’t portray that in public. Their goals all reach back to urban communities and bottom third of America (either the unemployed, the unemployable, or the bottom-ring of the working class).

ACORN sets up various community stages and programs that build onto public perceptions. ACORN knows that the urban school system doesn’t work and around thirty percent of the kids in the ninth grade today....will not graduate. They know that thousands of single girls in the state of Illinois under the age of 18 will have some kid and not marry the father.

ACORN works the Robin Hood angle as well as anyone else. They know that that their programs cost money....that the programs have only minimal value in the long-run.....and that there is always a political agenda tied to its fortune in the end.

So the Taliban guys in Pakistan....the Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) folks in Peru, and the ACORN folks in America....all have the legend of Robin Hood working in their favor.

The curious thing....if we were to oppose any of these groups....is that you need a beast of a different nature from Robin Hood to settle these issues and get the public to reach a totally different view of their situation. My choice? Shane.

Yes, that cowboy character from the 1950’s movie that we all came to identify with.

Shane is bigger and bolder than Robin Hood. Shane is the guy who stands up and encourages the little guy the stand up as well. Shane never had a political agenda. Shane never cared if you graduated from school or needed hot meals from some community kitchen. Shane’s concept of life was that you’d take care of yourself, and form a community where others supported you when necessary. Shane had selflessness.

Shane versus Robin Hood? Who wins? That’s a curious question.

Air Force One and Its New York City Adventure


So someone decided that the old picture of the President’s plane (Air Force One) and Mount Rushmore, was not up to date. To be kinda honest, it was shot during the Bush era.....so naturally, that's something that has to be replaced.

So they paused over this problem. You could have faked the picture, but people get all upset these days when you fake pictures.

So they decided….after numerous hours of analysis, that the best deal was a picture of Air Force One over the New York skyline. Naturally….we aren’t talking about the plane at 20,000 feet. So the plan was to run Air Force One up around 2,000 at some points near the Statue of Liberty and around 5,000 feet at other locations….with a jet-fighter escort swooping down as well….and then they advised FAA who signed off.

Curiously, they didn’t say a word to anyone in New York City….even the Mayor (Bloomberg). Naturally, after the plane did the swoop…..there panicking workers and forced evacuations.

Naturally…..the White House said later that they were real sorry over doing this.

Senator Chuck “Much to Say” Schumer (D-N.Y.) said it was "appalling" that the FAA would plan the photo op "knowing full well that New Yorkers would still have the memory of 9/11 sketched in their minds. We cannot let this happen again."

So I’m sitting here, in a pondering state of mind and wondering….now that you’ve done all stupidity and wasted tons of fuel doing this stunt (remember, we are dying of carbon on this planet)…..will they use the pictures?

These are pictures that they probably can never use in any forum because they are “legendary”. So the Mount Rushmore shot will be around another year or so….and then someone will quietly arrange for another flyover of some other location….like the Arch in St Louis. As for the wisdom of the folks handling stuff over New York City? Well….these days….even if it was a blimp….you’d be in trouble.

Funny What People Support

Quietly….ever so quietly….a Gallup Poll now indicates that 55 percent of Americans support harsh methods used under President Bush, and only 36 percent say they were not justified.

The amusing thing….those who claim they have followed this entire debate very closely….say that they support the harsh methods by almost a score of 2 to 1 (61 percent support such techniques versus 37 percent who did not).

Even if you discussed opening an investigation into this practice….curiously…barely half (51 percent)….agree on this idea.

Naturally, this doesn’t help the President, Rep Pelosi, the Attorney General or the media. In fact, these statistics don’t help anyone much…..but President Bush, VP Cheney and the American public.

In this case, don’t worry….we are proceeding ahead until the media steam in three weeks….runs out….and then the Attorney General announces that he really can’t do nothing. Then the Senate will announce that maybe they can do something but they need to investigate in order to prove their case….thus keeping this in focus for six months while they play their game for the media. Pretty neat how this all works.

Monday, 27 April 2009

ZAP: Zeros Aren't Permitted

I kinda sat there for while after reading a Fox News story today....about schools which have adapted the idea of ZAP (Zeros Aren't Permitted).

A growing number of schools are just saying that "F's" aren't in their system and that they will just play the ZAP game. This means that the kid continues but is given a chance to redeem himself.....maybe next week.....maybe next month.....but they will eventually redeem themselves. I'm kinda at a loss here to explain the logic.

When I was a kid.....we still had teacher logic that they could just give kids another "10 points" out of thin air as the report cards came out.....so they slipped from a "F" to a "D". In every group of twenty students....at least two got these free points.

I've sat and watched German teachers....who are the least likely give a single free point work their system. With some shock....they won't hesitate to fail a kid and in a group of thirty kids....there might be three to four which fail each year.

There are alot of changes that I wouldn't mind seeing in schools (even letting a kid graduate by the end of the tenth grade).....but ZAP isn't one of those changes.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

A Short Torture Discussion

So here is the imaginary scenario:

We go through various investigations and questions over interrogation and torture....then we come up with a list of six Bush-administration folks to try in court....compliments of the Attorney General.

In the midst of this court case....a 9-11 occurs. Two thousand people die on "X" day. A day later, another 700 people die in a 9-11-plus. The President goes into a quick "we will seek them out to the ends of the Earth" mode.

Nine days go by and then the CIA finds this guy in Italy who was a major part of this plan. Rather than play by the old rules and take him off to Gitmo....we bring him straight into the US. He smiles at the CIA handier. The only thing he will say....is that there is more planned shortly, then he shuts up.

Five days later, this comment comes out in the press. As the president is standing there at a major press conference....someone asks him....what we do to get this information. The response? "Everything is being done that we possibly can do".....end of statement.

Five days pass. Another press conference. This time....a formerly friendly reporter to the president happens to ask if we are going to use extreme measures to get the information necessary.

The President looks stern at the reporter....as if he was not to ask that question in public. He repeats what he said five days ago.

The White House is now scratching its head and butt at the same time. They can't order the CIA to torture anyone because the CIA interrogation folks will refuse to take such orders unless they are totally in the public and announced via congress.

At this point...every hour of every day....the President is sitting with a huge amount of stress and pressure. If anything happens now....without the torture applied to the prisoner....he gets the blame by the American public. If nothing happens....the public has doubts over the future. He loses in every case. So his only wish right now this minute.....no 9-11 repeat.

Meanwhile....we can't even be sure that prisoner of ours....knows a damn thing. So you might torture him months before you realize he's wasting your time.

So you got the choice of running a flea market in Ardmore, Tenn or being president....sounds like being the flea market boss is a better job and less stressful.

Unless We Forget

So after our idiot Homeland Security chief (Napolitano) got into this chit-chat about 9/11 hijackers entering the United States from Canada, then here was Senator John McCain doing the same trick.

Its been a hard week for the Canada government crowd...having to call around Homeland Security and then Senator McCain...then do TV appearances....all to correct some stupid concepts which are incorrect.

McCain sat there and told Fox News...Ms. Napolitano was "accurate when she suggested the terrorists responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington crossed into the U.S. across the Canadian border". "Well, some of the 9/11 hijackers did come through Canada, as you know," Mr. McCain said when asked if he was worried Ms. Napolitano was misinformed.

So I'm left with two visions here.

First, all of these idiots are spoon-fed daily topics to discuss and both Napolitano and McCain might be on some subscription with some operation which gives them neat stuff to chat about in public. You have to remember....most DC political figures are idiots and can't think for themselves. So I'm willing to believe that both got the same message and talked the same talk.

But then I come to point two. The American public may be forgetting its history...even recent history.

In six months....five million Americans will repeat this idea that 9-11 dudes came via Canada into the US. In five years....maybe thirty million Americans will believe this is a fact.

So I've decided the best way to counter this...is massive bogus information. So I'm passing this out, and expect it to become "fact" and legend within thirty days:

1. Three of the 9-11 guys were transvestites and were wearing dresses at the time of the crashes.

2. One of the 9-11 guys was offered a NFL contract to play professional football with the Packers.

3. One of the 9-11 guys had a nickname of "Skippy" and actually tried to open up a Bar-B-Q shack in Waco, Texas.

4. One of the 9-11 guys wrote a passionate love play, which was produced in London last year.

5. All of the 9-11 guys were left-handed.

6. One of the 9-11 guys constantly tried to make it big with the babes by saying he was a Latino singer from Mexico City.

7. Three of the 9-11 guys lived across the street from President Obama in Chicago for month.

8. Ms. Napolitano actually got campaign funding from one of the 9-11 guys.

9. Senator McCain hired one of the 9-11 dudes to haul office furniture for his staff.

10. Finally....all of the 9-11 guys had a large pizza before their flights...and used various out-dated coupons which were accepted by the delivery folks.

In a year, most of these will be viewed as "fact", and thats the sad thing about this world of ours...we are forgetting everything.

Swine Flu: From Zero to Sixty

On Friday...this story of Swine Flu was just starting to gather steam and be a front-page item. Today...it is front-page and starting to become worrisome.

There are several things going here, if you aren't catching all of the hints.

First, the bulk of this may be in Mexico presently...but its already shown itself in the US and appears to be doubling up each day. This doesn't mean much if we are talking about 100 cases on Friday, 200 cases on Saturday, etc. But you have to look at the 1918 flu epidemic and see that as each day went by....it grew on stronger and stronger. Of a hundred that might get it...even with the best drugs today...it would appear like that five might not make it. The worst group? Those already sickly, the older folks, and the very young.

Now, stand back and examine the 1918 event. Same story. Although we didn't have the drugs, and it was likely to be ten to twenty who died. The 1918 event had lots of curves. The President never declared a nation-wide emergency....it'd never been done before and Wilson himself likely had the Flu (rather than the stroke).

There were entire neighborhoods that were simply wiped out with vast portions of the population disappearing.

I read a book on this topic last year...The Great Influenza. If you have it in the local library...pick it up. From a historical prospective, it really lays out all of the issues.

One example cited in the book revolves around the father of one family coming home from work and feeling pretty sick. He went straight to bed. Sometime after the kids left for school the next morning....he died. The wife didn't realize the speed of this. By the time he died, she was apparently already having the sweats and problems. By the time that the kids got home...they found both father and mother dead in the house. Around that neighborhood, the problem continued on.

What starts to make this issue in Mexico interesting....is that one of the first cases occurred with the President Barack Obama’s trip to Mexico City (16 Apr). President Obama went over and viewed some historical stuff at Mexico’s anthropology museum in Mexico City by Felipe Solis, a distinguished archeologist. Felipe died in less than twenty-four hours after meeting the president. The symptoms given by the press so far....match up to the flu. How many Secret Service guys hung around the day prior? Could members of the Presidential staff gotten a dose of this?

What you should expect by Monday? A serious discussion over airline operations and travel will start up. If the case balloon to 5,000 in the US...I think a national shutdown will occur...which might happen by Friday of next week. How long? My guess is that they could do this for seven days at best. Is it too late? Yep...my guess is that it will continue to spread....perhaps at a slower pace. We gain days and maybe a few weeks by this option.

I would expect the National Guard and Reserve to be activated by next weekend...and you begin seeing tent-city medical operations in large portions of the US. Drugs? It'll be a national shortage and the companies will be forced into some type of government demand to produce at maximum capacity.

If this were to run the same way as 1918...expectations? This is difficult. A number of folks disagree with the death total of 1918...saying it was more, and some suggest less. Out of a 300-million population...if it were to repeat at the same levels...you'd likely see a group of twenty million folks who don't make it...as a minimum. In today's high medical world...my guess is five million just might not make it.

Your options? Once you know it's hit your town or region...I'd limit going out and use a surgical mask whenever possible. The problem will be that folks get this...and no one wants to help them through the flu...with fluids and care. Fear will grip our society. More will die because we are afraid to help the sick. The biggest issue...is that the moment you start displaying issues...you might have twenty-four hours before you are in the final stages of survival or death. This is the unique part about this flu...you won't have time to really do much...except to pray and hope.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

A Moment of Analysis

Lots of time has been spent the past couple of months on the topic of torture. Normally...within the confines of Bama...we don't discuss torture much. It might come up every eight years or so...when some relative or in-law has come to visit and stay more than six weeks.....but typically we Bamaians are not the type to discuss this on the front porch, at the local bar & grill or in a Baptist church.

I paused over all this discussion and did some pondering. There are government guys who say now that there is authorized torture and unauthorized torture. There are government guys who openly profess some knowledge of torture and the various degrees involved....making me wonder where exactly they got this training or if this was some bondage episode at a motel in Topeka with Nurse Bridget. There are news analysts now who want to describe various forms of torture but to be honest...other than staying overnight in a 2-star hotel in Bangkok...they really don't know much about torture.

So I've sat down and drawn up my 14 forms of Bama torture that I believe should be allowed by US government officials. I believe the UN folks, the MSNBC crew, the Baptists, the Wall Street crowd, and anybody associated with QVC....would agree to my Bama methods of torture:

1. Offer up a choice of Tuscaloosa tap water, real buttermilk (not low-fat), or a bottle a day of Jack Daniels. Thats the only things you can drink or sip while in our torture cell. I believe after three sips of Tuscaloosa tap water....you might start weeping over the remaining two choices of drink.

2. Thirty-six of the best episodes of Green Acres.....one after another....for twenty-four hours a day.

3. Fed a steady breakfast diet of low-fat bacon....low-fat biscuits....low-fat scrambled eggs....and low-fat jelly. It'll be defac coffee...from Maxwell House for your drink. It might take a week....but you'll break down sooner or later.

4. Put a die-hard Auburn fan and a die-hard Bama fan in the corner of the room debating every match they've played over forty years.....and let them do this four hours out of each day.

5. Put two guards outside the cell door from Demopolis who sit and chew on a fresh delicious watermellon all afternoon long....while denying you a piece.

6. Put twelve hours of Dolly Parton music on the speaker....at just a notch down from the normal speed. Play it every other day and deny to the prisoner that the speed is off.

7. Play Old Yeller for the prisoner every afternoon....but turn it off ten minutes before the end.

8. Arrange for six ladies to be brought into a adjoining cell with a beauty shop gal....and let them jabber eight hours a day on women-talk while getting their haircut....seven days a week.

9. Make the prisoner watch C-SP*N eighteen hours a day. After a month, allow them one free phone call and see if they try to call C-SP*N rather than their momma in Saudi Arabia.

10. Get yourself two guards. Gus and Randy. Gus gets highly expensive aftershave to wear each day and Randy gets Old Spice. Each has to use half a bottle per day.

11. Give the prisoner his clothing....a t-shirt with a catfish on the front and a pair of overalls.

12. During evening hours....play at a very low level...3,000 top gospel hits of the 1970s. Every third week, bring in a minister who will pretend to heal the guard of something and then leave.

13. For exercise....offer up the choices of (1) change out a septic tank, (2) clean a truckload of catfish, or (3) haul hay for four hours.

14. Offer up a feast every evening of catfish but no hush puppies.

If you are guessing that I'm NOT taking this business serious....you might be right. You end up making yourself look like an idiot....the minute you say that torture is legit. Interrogation is different and no one ever has an issue with that.

If you had simply put a guy in a small sized cell....and gone to a 19-hour day....you would have started taking him down a notch. A simple clock on high speed would have been step one. You could have kept the temperature up around 85 degrees and made them feel slightly uncomfortable but never step onto the idea of torture. You could have offered them greasy foods which would never would have been torture. You could have played bluegrass music twelve hours of the day....and it never would have been torture. You could have played games of dressing guards in poka-dots, repainting the interrogation room every single day a different color, and even wearing a patch over your eye as you interrogated him.

There are various forms of interrogation that would have ok. Torture? Well....you seemed to have crossed a line. And now? Its hard to say what happens next.

A Job?


Last night, I did a job interview. It was a job back in the states....for the Forestry dudes. Yes, the National Forrest Service.

There are several observations here. First, this would be a radical move from the Air Force line of work to the Forestry stuff. Luckily, I wouldn't have to count trees or shrubs. I wouldn't have to fight fires. I wouldn't even have to wear a funny green suit. What they want is a project guy.

So what would manage in this project? Well....this is the humorous thing. If you remember two months ago...back in the dark period when the nation was going down the toilet and the boys rushed up to pass a stimulus package of $750-odd billion? Well...those forestry folks quietly came up and asked for money too. Out in central California....they ended up with a fair amount of money (lets just say...more than $500 million) and leave it at that. They want a dude who will sit there....watch the projects....report status....and keep everyone in the loop.

So in a way, I'm helping them spend an excessive amount of money....on the national forests of California. Me.....spending money? Tears flowed down my tears as the interviewer explained the job. I sat there....hoping that one of the ten questions would be: "Son, can you spend other folk's money....lots of it?" The answer: "Glory be sir.....I can spend like Godzilla kills invaders".

There were ten questions in this interview. The amazing thing....I think I felt confident on eight of the ten, and neutral on two questions. They admitted there are around ten people in the running. I kinda doubt I'll get this job.

There were negatives. Its located in Vallejo, CA.....thirty minutes north of Berkley (heart of liberal America) and around forty minutes north of San Fransisco. Its a GS-13 slot and pays fairly well...but this isn't a cheap area to live.

I'm guessing I won't make it but I'm doubling my efforts on my next possible application: Admin Officer at Glacier Bay, Alaska (it appeared in USA Jobs this week). If you haven't checked the roadmaps around the area there....there are no roads into Glacier Bay. You either fly in or ferry in. Less than 500 people who live there permanently. No Wendys, no McDonalds, and no Wal-Marts. The minute I read this deal....I was stuck on applying. It'll close in ten days.....and in early May....I'm hoping for a 4-star interview with the Park Service on this deal.

So thats it....I might be getting a job in California to spend tons of money.....stimulius money.....on forest stuff. Who would have thought that this might occur?

Friday, 24 April 2009

The Lord has Spoken

There was to be a discussion today....between the United Kingdom's best debater alive.....Lord Christopher Monckton....former science adviser to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher....and VP Gore...at Congress.

The topic? Global warming. They were to be rigged into a joint appearance at the House Energy and Commerce hearing.

At the last minute....as Lord Monckton was landing...this jointness was turned off.

He was not to be in the room at the same time with Al Gore.

The Lord's comments?

“The House Democrats don't want Gore humiliated, so they slammed the door of the Capitol in my face. They are cowards.”

I sat there for a minute or two...unable to read on. This was the Hulk saying enough was enough, then clobbering me....or Batman saying that he just wasn't finished kicking my ass....or Godzilla winking at you at the last moment before he was supposed to die, and you knew that he was breathing a second life.

The Lord was right....cowards be these men of the House. They had absolute fear in putting Al Gore in front of a real debate.

You see, Al can't debate his fictional truth. Al has the cards dealt to the poker players in a certain fashion. They can't be dealt in any other fashion.

So we missed the main match....kinda like having Elvis and Buddy Holly on the stage at the same time and deciding who could really sing (Buddy).

How to be a Rich Professor

At some point, about four years ago at the Teachers College of Colombia University in New York....this gal Madonna Constantine came to light. At some point around 2005, there were several accusations of Madonna using quotes and data from professionally written papers without attribution (a serious discrepancy, if you are a professional). As time went by, the school finally decided to start a investigation. I would imagine that she knew for months that this would play out sooner or later.

The thing is...if you are a tenured professor....pulling in the big cash with a big name university, and you suddenly get to be unemployed....you wagon train has come and gone. If lucky, you can restart with some community college...back at the $50k per year level. It’s a serious drop.

At some point, then came the “noose” episode. Naturally, being black and a “systematically targeted” individual....this quickly became a major episode. Then came the suspension and the firing in June of 2008 because of the plagiarism allegations.

As the cops surveyed this whole noose episode.....based on witnesses in the building....the only person who could have placed it in the area....was Ms. Constantine. This probably didn’t help matters.

This week, Ms. Constantine came back out of the shadows and started a $200 million lawsuit. Not one to settle back and just accept fate....she now expects to be cleared of the plagiarism charges and given back her tenure.

This education stuff is a pretty neat trade. You get in with some college....you just keep working and barely teaching classes, and then one day....you can retire and clear $80k a year in retirement from a big-name college.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Why Society is Screwed Up

So here was Levi Johnston...ex-guy of Gov Palin's daughter...talking with CNN's Larry King on the air...when Larry asked about "passion".

KING: Where -- was -- did sex occur in their house?

If this had been me....I would have sat there for about a minute...looking at Larry....and then said: "You know Larry...it was everything...everywhere. We were doing it on the couch...the kitchen table....the coffee table...the washer...the dryer...and inside the doghouse in the backyard. We smeared peanut butter over bodies, sat in a tub of vinegar, and even did it while watching teletubbies. We listened to opera music and did it wearing pirate outfits. We did it in the tub with four gallons of pickle juice mixed with the water. It was hot, Larry....really hot.

At that point, Larry's mouth would have been wide open, and he would have asked: was this Italian vinegar or California vinegar?

I have a problem when idiot commentators do something like this. Paul Harvey wouldn't have done this. Edward R Murrow wouldn't have done this. This is pretty low journalism...and worthless. Do I really care where the kid did it? Do I care how he did it?

Just another day in America.

A Grade of Newspapers

The mark of a profitable paper is whether it’s covering news or playing with journalist tools as though the readers were 8-year old kids. Papers who play games….are typically the ones in serious financial jeopardy today and likely to go under.

This past week, there was the tea-party events in almost every community of the US. Some were big and some were small.

It’s a curious thing….there were literally dozens of papers on the day-after, which mentioned little to nothing. They might have mentioned some article from the AP on a episode in Charlotte or Atlanta or Kansas City….but nothing on local events.
So for your benefit, I offer up the following scorecard.

If your paper offered any news at all….even just ten lines….on the local tea-party event….give them five points.

If your paper offered a 30-line piece and actually did one interview….on the local tea-party event….give them ten points.

If your paper offered 30 lines and a picture, even if on page 8 of the local news section….give them fifteen points.

If your paper only mentioned some tea-party event, at a town more than 300 miles away….subtract fifteen points from the standing.

If your paper mentioned nothing on the tea-party events, then subtract thirty points from the standing.

If the best that your paper could do…was write a editorial…mostly negative…over the tea-party event, then subtract fifty points from the standing.

This kinda gives you an idea of how bad financially they are currently.

The problem here is not only modern age folks who simply don’t read papers….but conservative readers who have basically given up on the local paper. If fifty percent of the potential readers won’t read the paper because of its political slant, then they’ve given up profitably, and cannot survive long-term. They will eventually be sold out, at a loss or go bankrupt.

Yes, Canada is not Mexico

"Yes, Canada is not Mexico, it doesn't have a drug war going on, it didn't have 6,000 homicides that were drug-related last year. Nonetheless, to the extent that terrorists have come into our country or suspected or known terrorists have entered our country across a border, it's been across the Canadian border. There are real issues there."

So spoke Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who immediately riled Canadian officials, when suggesting that the Sept. 11 hijackers entered the United States through Canada.

This was kinda shocking because the 9/11 Commission determined they came to the United States from overseas (NOT Canada). On the plus side, its a positive that Napolitano never read the 9/11 Commission report, and we may have to assign a dozen guys to reread the document and brief the Homeland Security folks on the results (written over five years ago).

The sad thing is that this prompted a huge backlash up in the tundra world of Canada....with various Canadanians asking if this were true....and then being force-fed information by the Canadian TV network CTV the absolute facts. Once finished....all the Canadians sat down....opened up a beer and kinda wondered why they weren’t told this before....before turning on pro-hockey.

By this point....Napolitano came up and stressed that Canada is a "close ally."
She didn’t compare them to England or Cuba or China....but still they were awful dang close.

All of this came up....because folks are trying to discuss the drug war episode and why the Mexican and Canadian borders are different. Most Americans can’t understand why issues exist on one side but not the other.

So tonight....across the big land of Canada....we've got a bunch of pissed-off Canadians. The only way to settle this? Let them win the Stanley Cup....maybe that will be enough.

Just Atwisting in the Wind

The Obama administration is finding that it must turn to military personnel to fill hundreds of posts in Afghanistan that had been intended for civilian experts, senior officials said Wednesday.

Last month, we all noted this great announcement by Secretary Hillary and President Obama….a vast new strategy in Afghanistan. The promise? “A dramatic increase in our civilian effort” in Afghanistan, including “agricultural specialists and educators, engineers and lawyers.”

When this was announced, I was thinking….good goodness….these people have grasped the big picture and really want to fix issues in Afghanistan.

So today, we learn that between the big boys at the Pentagon and in the White House….well….all these billets that were supposedly going to be civilian in nature….will likely be filled by military personnel (meaning reservists for you folks in Red Bay and Demopolis)….and by contractors.

Shocked? Shocking? Well…no. First, there never was a clear plan that was laid out by Secretary Clinton or President Obama on this “fix-Aghanistan” episode.

The amusing thing here…..the military has absolute rules on how to force its personnel to go to places they don’t like. Its simple and direct….you go or you get discharged in a very hostile fashion. Civilian employees within DOD face a pretty stiff situation because they sign documents guaranteeing they will deploy when called upon. And as for us contractors….buddy, we go for the money. You offer up $200k and tell a guy to deploy to Kabul for twelve months….live in a modular trailer….and do a job……then we haul ass to the Kabul for the money.

The other part to this entire story is the great areas of expertise that Secretary Hillary wanted to expand on: lawyers, educators, agriculture experts, engineers, and civic people. So there are folks in the reserves that might into this category….and a handful of normal contractors that fit….but the rest?

So I’m expecting an ad to appear in Red Bay any day….government contractor company looking for five young dudes with a Auburn ag degree….willing to travel exotic lands and train farmers, for $120k a year…..tax-free of course. A couple of guys will show up, sign up….and discover their new buddies in Kabul have a better deal for $180k, and then find more guys with the $200k deal.

Meanwhile, back in DC….safe and sound….a bunch of state department dudes stand around, sipping coffee and thanking Ms Clinton for saving their butt, then going negative on the efforts in Afghanistan because they just don’t meet the expectations that they have.

Something smells funny here….but it’s the smell you have around a barn in Bama, and you know what that smell is.

Our Boys Hard at Work over Torture

The quote of the week (by President Obama after the various interrogation and torture memo’s have been released to the news media: "There's a host of very complicated issues involved there. As a general deal, I think we should be looking forward and not backward. I do worry about this getting so politicized that we cannot function effectively, and it hampers our ability to carry out critical national security operations."

Yes....perhaps now, after releasing it....you do worry about functioning effectively or it hampering our security operations. Obviously, this was not a key element of discussion prior to the release....meaning that it was mostly political gain that hoped for.

Then the White House added.....”that any congressional accounting of what took place should be done "in a bipartisan fashion outside of the typical hearing process that can sometimes break down ... entirely along party lines." Here I started laughing. If it was bipartisan efforts....you would have had a bipartisan team involved in the discussion of releasing the memos.....obviously, this was not ever a goal. So don’t bother wasting breath on the concept of bipartisan thinking.

Adding to the wild episode is today’s news that Miss Condi personally gave the orders in 2002 to do the waterboarding, as national security adviser. For the Obama team to drag Miss Condi out of the shadows and engage her on the media screen….I’m thinking this is a vast mistake. She can quickly sum up a situation and tear apart your political agenda if you aren’t careful.

The CNN folks wanted you to know that 38 percent of the public favors a criminal investigation of torture claims, and then they tell you that 24 percent of the public favor a noncriminal investigation.

It’s a curious episode. If the Attorney General comes out and says he wants to proceed on charges...then President Bush can merely say he approved their actions and then suddenly the Attorney General is pushed into the corner. He can’t readily prosecute a ex-president because of the status they have as executive of the US government. The Senate could take up this matter, and probably dream up an impeachment process or more, but then no one has ever done this. And at best, you might only find ten Senators who would be willing to proceed into some dark shadowy event like this.

So this entire event, is for political glory at best. They can waste four weeks chatting about this on various TV shows, and then act surprised when the Attorney General says its really not practical or in their best interest. Several media folks will go into a tailspin....wondering why nothing can occur....and waste your time over fifteen minutes chatting like mad monkeys on the serious jeopardy of such a decision. You’ll watch it for three minutes before flipping the channel over to Channel Nine News.

A Change for the President

Last year…which was an election year anyway….Senator Obama then….led up a charge to pass a law allowing black farmers to seek new discrimination claims against the Agriculture Department. The claims involve literally thousands of black farmers who have sued US Department of Agriculture. The claim here? They were denied for years government loans and other assistance that routinely went to whites.

The thing about this lawsuit….the government stood up and settled in 1999….almost a $1 billion in damages were involved….with 16,000 farmers. But then, thousands of other farmers woke up and realized that they should have been in on this deal. So they now want to challenge the government and get their “bail-out” money.

Personally, after reading four or five articles on this…..I’d say that these guys are entitled to something. If you want to involve cash, then fine. I’d be of the mind to offer tax credits which you could redeem each year to a certain amount, until you’ve used up all these credits. That would work just as well.

The issue now? The president and the administration want these major budget-busting lawsuits just to disappear. As John Boyd, head of the National Black Farmers Association puts it…."You can't blame it on the Bush administration anymore. I can't figure out for the life of me why the president wouldn't want to implement a bill that he fought for as a U.S. senator."

At the heart of the current matter….is this legislation that candidate for president Senator Obama put up….to reopen the case because thousands of farmers missed the deadlines for participating.

I’m guessing that the White House crew suddenly woke up and grasped the total cost (well over $1 billion and likely going past $2 billion). Frankly, it’s a pretty fair amount of money….which would go to a bunch of farmers. Its rare these days that farmers really matter to anyone. My advice to the administration….offer up a tax credit deal for half of the money they are owed and pay out the rest over a two-year period. Then advertise this as a great deal for the nation.

Otherwise….it’ll just be another item to use against the administration in 2012 as they run again.

Healthcare and What You Don't Hear

As we inch closer to national healthcare, you might want to note what you aren’t hearing from the senators, the representatives, the President, and the media. There are four key ingredients to making national healthcare work, and none of these players are talking about these much at all:

1. Hospitals, clinics, and doctors have to agree to a set cost formula that is very restrictive in terms of growth or profit. Gaze over at France, Germany and the UK….and you will realize that this is the primary ingredient for national programs to work. A national board in Germany reviews the set costs and approves how much can be paid. Will this be a part of the US solution? So far, you haven’t heard a word about this….have you?

2. Drug companies have to agree to a set cost….nation-wide, and then doctors and hospitals must agree to utilize generic drugs whenever possible (meaning 70 percent of the normal cost of a real identified drug). You haven’t heard any of the power players mention this….have you?

3. Procedures will be limited. This means that the newest and greatest procedures dreamed up….may not be available until the cost level reaches an appropriate level. Ask anyone in the UK or Canada about this deal…..they know from practice that you might have to leave the country and travel to the US or other regions to get some special operation. Did you notice no political figure or media kingpin talking on this topic?

4. Everyone will have to pay into the pot a percentage of what they make. This typically means roughly six to eight percent, with the employer covering a similar amount. Go to Germany and check it out….even if you make $1800 a month….you still contribute that 6.75 percent to the pot of money. So turn around and admit to the guys who work 40 hours a week at some restaurant and pull in $2k a month….that $130 will roughly be pulled from their check automatically and the employer will forced to find another $130 himself to donate (meaning zero raises for the next two or three years while he adjusts to life in this situation). Currently, this guy has $130 in his hand, with no health insurance. He’ll have to figure out how to rebudget his life with a $130 less, and probably a number of deductibles spread out in this entire scheme. Again, did you hear your senator, representative or favorite TV news dimwit mention these? Did you hear the president talking about this one?

So here we are….moving ever so close to national healthcare, and they haven’t said a word about the four key things of national healthcare. This is kinda like a Bama dude walking into a huge cave with 50,000 rabid bats and wondering if there is anything he should think about prior to the walk in the cave.

The key thing you should ask these guys to make sure they actually know what they are talking about? Ask them: “Will everyone pay a percentage of their pay?”. The minute they suggest that poor people can’t afford to pay, so the nation will have to pay for them….it means that you are no longer on a six to seven percent deal….and having to discuss a nine percent deal instead. Oh, and remember….rich people will still have private doctors and get the best healthcare in the nation….you can’t stop this part. So in ten years…as people complain that their rich neighbor is getting better healthcare and they want the President to fix this….the only way is to mandate everyone become a loser in America (a neat title for life in 2020 America).

So in ten years….when you are mostly broke and wondering how the healthcare program is so screwed up….ask yourself why you never asked stupid questions for the political figures to answer.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Challenges for Big Guys

I sat there kinda shocked today. Apparently….some smart folks over at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine….have determined that big dudes….heavy guys….means more food production, thus triggering a major cause of CO2 gas emissions….destroying the Earth.

As Dr Phil says…."Moving about in a heavy body is like driving in a gas guzzler."

A heavy dude is said to be emitting a ton more of climate-warming carbon dioxide per year than a thin one. I looked at myself….and I was trying fit myself into the right frame of destructive human (3/4, 5/6, 7/8, or 9/10). I was thinking three quarters…meaning I was mildly destructive.

What does this really mean? An extra billion tons of CO2 a year created. So the bottom line? This adds up to emissions that heat up the world, melting polar ice caps and raising sea levels. Oh, and I’m destroying rain forests.

I paused while looking over this….sipping an ice tea and eating a moon pie….wondering how I would fess up and fix my destructive ways. After a while, I came to some point where I was wondering why the heck this London bunch would care about big dudes? I’m willing to bet they are all vegetarians. There is a conspiracy here at work, and we need to watch how things unfold…to protect the big guys of America.

What may happen in the end….is some kinda carbon score fitted for you as you visit a county office, and they pull out the tape measure. A big guy would pay extra for living on the Earth….and a little guy would get off free of charge. That would be a sad way of life.

Texas and its Issues

Apparently, late last week, those kindly political folks in Texas passed a bill giving the police “real” authority to arrest people who fail to identify themselves. Its now apparently a crime, in Texas, if you don’t help the police or admit to your identity.

I sat and looked over this article. Current law made it legal to avoid giving your identity until after you were officially arrested. If simply detained or stopped at a roadblock….you could just smile and hand over your registration with nothing else….and the cops would be furious but limited in terms of what they could do. With the new law….if you didn’t immediately ID yourself, they can arrest you just for failing to help them.

As one senator spoke about the matter (State Senator Wendy Davis, a Democrat from Ft Worth): “I think we’re opening ourselves up to some unforeseen consequences".

This all sounds pretty weird to me. Naturally, in Bama….whenever the cops ever pull you over….you hand them your license and everyone gets along pretty fine. So I’m looking over at these Texas dudes and gals….wondering what the heck they are doing when they get pulled over or stopped at some roadblock. Something ain’t right here.

Naturally, as sarcastic as I am…..I might just smile at the cop….and then announce myself “Roy of Ripley” and see how far this identification goes in Texas. I’m guessing that the state dimwits didn’t ever think that we’d use English methods of identification like the days of Kings and damsels. You folks could be Cindy of the Valley beyond Tuscumbia or Don of the de-weeded-land between Guntersville and Mobile or Russell of the Hilly Land. I’m guessing the Texas cops would sit there for about 30 seconds and just utter the phrase “damn”….realizing that we’ve figured their game.

So when you’ve had a rough day, sitting there at nine….sipping some Bud….nothing on TV….wondering what are the idiots in Texas doing tonight to entertain themselves….just imagine the next dimwitted law that might erupt (Texas long-neck beers must be five inches minimum….just my guess). I’m hoping stuff like this doesn’t catch on in Bama. We’ve got enough trouble, with various dry counties and such.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

How to Be a Loser Magazine



It would have been an article to pour over...."The End of Christian America."

The Wall Street Journal guys probably poured 500 gallons of water on a coffee-cup fire.

The Wall Street boys kinda discovered that the real numbers of self-identified Christians have fallen 10 points since 1990.

Then they looked over at Newsweek. Their circulation has fallen since 2007 by 52 percent. Their statement? "It would be more plausible to state the End of Newsweek."

How do you lose 52 percent? I have to admit that I barely read Newsweek more than once or twice a year.....strictly when traveling. Most people I know....have dropped them over the past five years. Their articles are out of date, far off people's perceptions, and mostly anti-conservative.

My honest guess is that Newsweek will die out as a magazine by 2012. It'll stick around long enough to have impact in the November election that year....but it'll end shortly after that. You can't lose 52 percent of your base....and continue on.

Just a tip for the boys who write the articles for Newsweek....when you talk about the decline of something....you'd best find something more interesting to write on. The Wall Street boys already proved that the actual Christan numbers have increased (in terms of the millions), but the overall percentage is on a slight decline. This kind of statistic for Newsweek circulation would be terrific....but instead....its a 52 percent loss for you guys. That's pitiful.

Our Doped Up EPA Chief


"I'm trying to save the world, We're all trying to save the world."

These are the words of newly installed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson to CNN today.

I paused here, gazing back over the Constitution. I tried to find the verse that Jefferson wrote....where you were supposed to save the world. For some reason, I couldn't find it.

I looked over the general description of the EPA....and I still couldn't find any reference to saving the world.

So I've decided that Lisa smokes a fair amount of something and is living in a fantasy world. Its ok to smoke a little and feel chilled out. But when you start talking about saving the world....generally....you are pretty doped up.

Gotta Love the Pirates

So Larry the Pirate has arrived on American shores. To be honest, we don’t know his name….those Homeland Security guys are keeping this hush-hush. You really can run around and blab pirate names to the public….its some kind of law or something, you know.

So they flew Larry the Pirate into New York City. You can see from the picture, Larry is all happy and smiley over this whole thing. There are issues here. First, this is New York….so anything is possible now. ABC and Larry King are probably both trying hard to get an interview with Larry. I’m guessing Larry is awful dang happy because he’s getting free chow and a fresh change of underwear daily now….something you just didn’t get in Somalia. I’m guessing he gets a private cell and all the fruit juices that he could possibly drink. His momma now indicates that Larry is only 16….which kinda puts an entire new prospective on this deal. The Homeland Security guys are saying 19. If Momma is right….then these pirate charges go flush down the toilet quickly.

If convicted? Well…based on what some folks have said….I think the most that Larry can get is 18 months in a fed jail. If he cooperates and gives lots of data….they might even cut it down to eight months. But the thing is….if Larry completes that…then what?

Will we send Larry back to Somalia? I’m betting the ACLU is already working on a stay of forced exit for Larry. Larry will end up as some citizen of the US…..a radio talk show host for show called “Pirates Corner” which will be a satellite feed to half of America. By age thirty….he’ll be a regular commentator for ABC’s Sunday afternoon chat shows.

We are the only nation on Earth…that will take a bad guy….and transform him into some “rock-star” status individual. Who knows….maybe he’ll be married to Madonna by July of 2010.

If the Homeland Security guys were really successful in court….and slam him for four years of prison time….Larry would just be even more happier. He’ll get a chance to finish up a degree with NY State University, learn to speak English with a Bronx accent, and probably write a book called “Pirating, in Seven Simple Lessons”.

So sit back and enjoy the show. We’ll get Larry and all the glitter….and then learn that pirates are really nice people…when they aren’t pointing a gun at your head.

A Left Turn at the Beauty Contest, Literally

Just a stupid piece of analysis from this Miss USA competition episode that I blogged about yesterday. So far, and I’ve read around a dozen articles on this….the only person that got this gay marriage question from gossip blogger Perez Hilton….was the California representative….Carrie Prejean. I found this strange, but then it kinda occurred to me that a lot of things are known about the participants before they arrive, and he likely knew precisely how she’d answer.

Maybe I’m wrong. But if not, and she was the only one stuck with the question….then Perez Hilton is a dimwit and strictly out to play an agenda. As a judge, this would have set him aside immediately….but apparently, no one cares. As for game next year? I’d like to see it held in Jackson, Mississippi…with a number of southern judges….and maybe we can repeat the questions but in the opposite direction. That would start to make these competitions real interesting

Interrogations and Torture, Round Two

The speech at the CIA by President Obama….came and went. It was a political rally type speech. These are a group of pretty smart guys who analyze….and I’m pretty sure they are sitting there now….analyzing the president and his agenda.

The key features of the agenda: admit a bunch of wrong things occurred in previous years over the interrogations, release what was very sensitive and classified data, and finally….turn the war on terror into a contingency operation without using the term “terrorists” as much as possible.

I don’t’ know these CIA folks but having worked in the military side of things….I can guess they are sitting there and wondering why the president cherry-picked his release of data and didn’t explain all the valuable stuff that was gained out of the interrogations. Naturally, this wasn’t in his plans because then it’d be admitting that valuable things do come out of interrogations (note, I didn’t say torture….because I still think it’s not a necessity).

So what happens now? I’m guessing that some analysts will sit back and start reading the New York Times for intelligence data….and just pass it along up the chain. Why analyze when you have leadership like this? I’m also guessing that no one will seriously interrogate any prisoner from this point on.

If the boss says we need valuable data….I’d probably offer the prisoner some decaf coffee and a donut….and I won’t go beyond that point.

If the boss says this is really important that we get important information from the guy….I’ll give the prisoner an easy-chair, a case of Dr Pepper, and some peanut butter cookies. I won’t dare go past the line of worrying about court action against me when the President tosses me under the bus. The worst punishment I might deal out is putting a poodle in the room with the guy and offer him a warm Pabst Blue Ribbon beer.

Today, I noticed that VP Cheney came out and asked for a full release of data collected by the interrogations. He thinks that you might as well tell the rest of the story. At the poker table….he’s just doubled the bet and pretty much put the current administration into a corner. News analysts will have to ask this stupid question now….what information did you gain? And the administration….in my humble opinion….will want to just skip over that question.
So, it’s just another day in America.

Monday, 20 April 2009

My $2.50 or The Obama Pledge

What amounts to some cheap version of the movie “Dave”....it appears the magic number that the cabinet secretaries are going to be asked to cut...amounts to $100 million.

There apparently is going to be some magic number in each secretaries mind before the meeting starts....and he has his cards already facing up and smiling. To reach a silly $100 million? The defense secretary will simply trim a day of flying one day....calling it a training day....and toss around $10 million into the pot.

The dude from the parks service....will announce a cut of some type, but then up the entry fee or rental fee somewhere else. The guy from IRS will smile as he cuts the monitor lifecycle plan for his division from one hundred percent to fifty percent.
Reaching $100 million was nothing, and its mostly for show and nice press discussions. Now, if you really wanted to make an impression....start talking $8 billion and see how scared the guys really get.

Or we could go one better....from the stimulus package of January....if we could step back to this point and trim $500 million off it....wouldn’t look just as good? Remember....we haven’t even spent $1 billion of the money so far....of the $750 billion.

Naturally, everyone is happy about this scene. It makes the government look great...saving $100 lousy million. In the old days (prior to January 2009), we would have been impressed, but now....this is a joke when we pop off a $750 billion bill without a single idiot reading the magic words.

Then the final note of analysis....this $100 million, if carved would equal 1/$35,000th. So if you came up to me, and asked to make the “Obama pledge”...I’d just smile...skip two cups of coffee over the next month and make the 1/$35,000 challenge. Heck, at this rate, you could ask the President to unhinge his 500-man crew from the next “Obama for Europe” rally and just do a teleconference appearance, then save the $100 million. But then, maybe I’m asking for too much?

How to Screw Up the Miss America Contest

So here's the scenario....you are a hot-looking babe....from California, even.....and you are in the competition for Miss America.

There in the midst of the stupid dumbass questions....some knucklehead....who happens to be gay.....asks you about gay marriage.

All you have to say is "America is the home of the free and the brave", and then shut up. It would be enough....the nitwit would sit there and try to understand how this fits, and you'd walk away with the hot babe contest trophy.

So, this is how things should have run yesterday, but they didn't.

Here was Carrie Prejean, who was asked by judge Perez Hilton, an openly gay gossip blogger, whether she believed in gay marriage.

Her response? "We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite. And you know what, I think in my country, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there, but that's how I was raised."

It was the crapper....the four-star crapper. Carrie was a loser from that point on.

So I sat and thought about this. Typically...dimwit blondes are supposed to go to beauty contests. Gay guys could care less about this whole thing.....as do most lesbians. So we've actually turned some beauty contest into a giant "who loves gays" contest? Is that the game? My feeling is to let the contest stay a contest about hot babes with hooters, nice hair, stupid chit-chat, red bikinis, and future chances to be some guy's trophy wife in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

What should we expect for future Miss America competitions? I'm guessing ugly women who can answer the politically correct questions right.

The Right Vessel for the Right Job


The pirate issue continues to be in the top ten topics of the media. So far, people have admitted there isn’t any absolute answer to the issue. In the past week….one suggestion has come out with I’d tend to agree with and ought to be reviewed….convoys.

At some point during WW II….armed convoys started to protect Allied shipping lanes from German subs.

The issue in this case….there are around 20,000 transits per year in the Horn of Africa area. To be kinda honest…this is way beyond the current capability located in the region. Then you add in the cost….and you have to start questioning the wisdom.

I sat and paused over this problem. The real issue is the bulk force that most analysts want to convince themselves of in this capacity. The honest truth is that PT vessels from WW II…bulked up and twice the old size…would likely better a better choice….with a crew of twenty…would turn into more than a threat for the pirates.

So imagine a starting point at three separate triangle points….at the Red Sea entry point and then toward the far south and far east. The two far points would be at a pretty far distance out. You’d basically draw a mile circle and have vessels meet in this circle and then be escorted at the forward part and rear part by two XXL-PT vessels (one forward and one rear). Every twelve hours, you bring in another team of XXL-PT vessels. After two weeks of courier service, you bring the two vessels in and give the crew seven days off and bring in another team.

The bottom line is that after six months of this…the pirates will begin to make mistakes as they get to be more daring. They will eventually put themselves into serious situations with no reasonable outcome.

The Dimwits in Charge

This weekend....an interesting story popped up. CIA interrogators apparently waterboarded Abu Zubaydah (a 4-star Al Qaeda prisoner) 83 times (this was a 2005 Justice Dept memo). They even admitted they did another prisoner up to 183 times.

As you look over the entire story...you start to learn that Abu spoke a fair amount before the torture episodes started and gave them a good start on intelligence. Then...after the torture episodes start up....he really started to shut up and cooperate less and less.

The thing which I’ve blogged on numerous times over this issue....is that the Nazis in WW II came to a point where they realized that this whole concept of torture really didn’t give the information they wanted....so they lessened their belief in the idea.

These guys? Well, after three or four times....I’d probably shut up myself and just accept fate as it is. I’m guessing Abu did the same thing.

The neat thing about this release in information...is that future enemies will view all of this as totally acceptable and won’t hesitate to perform the same actions on any American GI...noting it was legal under the US government rules, so it must be ok.

The real problem I see here....if you were the guy in charge and after you’d done the waterboarding five to ten times on a guy...and the results got to be less and less...you couldn’t recognize that or grasp that it had less and less effect. Then you didn’t have any problem with using the tactic on the twenty-fifth occasion or the fiftieth occasion or the sixtieth occasion. It would have obvious to most folks after ten times...that the tactic had little effect.

I disagree strongly in releasing this information....it doesn’t help make us any safer or better. But on the other hand....you begin to see the stupidity of some government officials and question their management ability.

Licensed to Write?

There was a really nifty idea put out there in the last day or two....from a formerly influential Los Angeles Times writer....Rosa Brooks....who now happens to be an adviser of sorts at the Pentagon.

She has come out and advocated "direct government support for public media" and creating licenses to govern news operations. Her comments were kinda curious: "Years of foolish policies have left us with a choice: We can bail out journalism, using tax dollars and granting licenses in ways that encourage robust and independent reporting and commentary, or we can watch, wringing our hands, as more and more top journalists are laid off."

Naturally, she wrote this in her final column for the Los Angeles Times....which is one of those papers with serious financial issues.

This has stirred up some folks....saying that some newspaper folks will say this ends all independence.

So how would you license these guys? A test? A special class? What if the guy passes but later shows no talent or really screws up.....are you going to unlicense the guy?

Newspapers used to make a profit....but if you check out the reader comments over the past twelve years...most folks will comment on the news slant of their local paper, the lack of local news, and the willingness to jump onto political bandwagons every four years.

Are small-town papers dying out? Not necessarily....but the big name guys are....which leads you ask about how many 4-star reporters were kept on the staff for $80k per year and how much did they pay in terms of benefits (leased car, insurance, 401k matching, etc). Small-town papers stayed small....and probably kept a couple of $40k reporters around, with no real benefits except insurance and vacation time.

Its curious to me....that in the end...as the highly-paid Rosa Brooks left the LA Times....and emptied out her $100k salary pocket....the newspaper probably didn’t refill the slot. And if they did...its a reporter making $50k at the most.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

The Fix for the Right-wing Extremist Problem

After reviewing the flare-up over vet's and their potential to fall into a right-wing pit....with the Homeland Security folks and their department chief in full apolgy (yet she hasn't retracted the report, did you notice that?)...I've come to the mind that we need more analysis and more reports.

So I think I want to offer up my own report.....Centralist Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment. Basically, I'm ready to prove that the problem of radical exists not only with left-wing and right-wing...but also centralist-wing. This kinda means that you...the typical individual that reads one paper per day, the CNN nightly round-up, Time, Newsweek, and a dozen blogs or sites on the internet...could fall into the hands of centralist-extremists.

Its shows like Colbert-Nation and newsmen like Jon Stewart...who are doping up your mind and making you an extremist of sorts. You sit and sip Dr Pepper...snacking on cheese crackers at 11PM...reading over financial reports from Brazil, or gazing at blogs from farmers in Kansas, or reading cult magazines like Mother Earth. This is a sure path to hell or centralist-extremism.

What should the Homeland Security folks be looking for?
- Individuals who watches Dancing with the Stars religiously.
- Guys who've seen every episode of Jerry Springer's show.
- Women who buy from eight to twelve grocery stores per week to find the best deal.
- Younger men who view ESPN instead of porn sites at night.
- People who attend church regularly.
- Individuals who admit they haven't voted in any election in sixteen years.
- Ladies who wear tube-tops every Saturday as they shop.
- Men who bowl on Thursday nights and then pretend to be drunk when they come home but aren't really drunk.
- Couples who hang out at local bars together.

The centralist-extremists will eventually become a major problem...it may take 150 years...but mark my word...they are an eventual threat. We need to carefully watch them.

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Work and Evals

My company is not one that you'd really like to work for. After you figure the salary and the diminishing benifits package.....you start to laugh. This week....we went onto another level with the laughing.

Normally, all evaluations are done in Feb/Mar timeframe. At the end of March or the beginning of April....they are absolutely complete. We get our one, two or three percent payraise in April. Things have run this way for the past five years. Well....we got sholved into another division back in the spring of 2008. This one, which we won't name....is run by a bunch of retired Army commanders. Needless to say.....there have been issues, and this week...the eval became one.

So the management squad came up and said that the new division has a different schedule with evaulations (funny, back in spring of 2008....they never mentioned this). They do evaluations in November. Hmmm.....so eight months away?

I sat there....thinking. Now, if you were real management and just had a new group put under your management team....you'd explain all the rules and this eval business would be a big deal (at least in the top ten). But apparently, they let this problem slip.

So there is a discussion underway within the company. We won't know for another four weeks or so....but they basically have two real options: (1) make us wait another eight months on top of the previous twelve for a eval and a payraise or (2) do a eval now and one in eight months (which means probably a one-percent deal now and one-percent in eight months).

The curious thing is that they are bidding on this contract with the government right now....and might be thinking that they won't win....so they can dump everyone in November, with no pay raise.

Another interesting thing about this evaluation.....like the previous ones....we write them ourselves. Normally, it was a checked box thing....twenty checked boxes and then a score, then a payraise tied that plus-up or plus-down. However, our friendly Army management folks suddenly inserted a 20-line area and want a real written evaluation (like you'd do in the military). This naturally added four hours of time onto our schedule in figuring out twenty great lines.

As some of you know....I'm a Socrates-thinking individual. And a bit sarcastic. So I decided....to hell with evaluations. I know they won't read a line of this. So I kinda inserted the following two lines into the evaulation:

Working through various projects with Socrates-like thinking, settled issues and problems as they arose. Took the progressive attitude of letting those who would move the world, first move themselves.

If you stop and read this....and know Socrates....he spoke the second line....although in fancy Greek or Latin. I'm betting they never read a line of this, and let it go. But if you stop and read carefully....you basically see that I'm not helping a bunch of fools rush into unsound judgement. I'm standing as long as possible and waiting until their magnificent change has stalled, before I step in to fix the entire mess.

So thats my eval story....my company is not exactly the New York Yankees, and I'm dissolving Socrate's legend into myself....step by step.

Just a Moment of Analysis

Just an analysis of news and what people are watching. The stat's for this week?

FOXNEWS O'REILLY 3,980,000
FOXNEWS HANNITY 3,239,000
FOXNEWS GRETA 2,947,000
FOXNEWS BECK 2,740,000
FOXNEWS BAIER 2,401,000
FOXNEWS SHEP 2,185,000
COMEDY DAILY SHOW 1,777,000
MSNBC OLBERMANN 1,499,000
COMEDY COLBERT 1,446,000
CNNHN GRACE 1,336,000
CNN KING 1,292,000
MSNBC MADDOW 1,149,000
CNN COOPER 1,021,000
The curious thing here...not that Fox is way up at number one....but that the Comedy Daily Show and Colbert Nation....are beating CNN's Cooper and MSNBC's Maddow.

What does this mean? People would actually prefer to watch some bit of comic news relief....rather than hard-hitting news from Cooper or Maddow. And the ability of Jon Stewart to outscore MSNBC's king of news (the Olbermann)....is totally whacked out.

If you had stood there twenty years ago and predicted that news in America would have been chiefly controlled by Fox News or some comedians....you would have been laughed out of the building.

So the question is....can Jon Stewart and Mr. Colbert build onto this and take on the king's of Fox? Thats what I'd be interested in seeing.

But behind all of this....you have to wonder....as hard as ABC, NBC, CNN and CBS are working....they have comedians who are putting up the daily news....and getting better numbers. This is a big indicator that mainstream news....which we all got addicted to over the past decade.....is dying.

Like the newspapers....they can't change or do the job....so the replacement team is on the field and playing better than the normal team. Its an indicator of things to come.

Chris Dodd


Its been an amazing month for Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd. Chris showed tremendous lack of skills in grasping the financial mess that the country is going through. Chris got noted for some really great property loans....so his star has been dimming over the past month.

Someone sat down this week, and looked at his campaign donations over the past four months. Its interesting....the bulk of folks interested in Chris.....aren't from Connecticut. In fact, there were only five residents in Connecticut who felt like writing him a check. From the $600k he took in.....the bulk came from out of state....special interest groups.

So five residents donated a total of $4,250. Then we have 400 donors from outside of of the state.

If you were a real resident of Connecticut....you'd be asking some questions. Like, does Chris work for you, or for some out-of-state operation? He's your senator.....or he isn't.

This is my ongoing problem with 100 senators and 435 representatives.....they tend to think of themselves as national politicians and take money from various folks who have no connection to their home state. Chris is sitting there....with barely five people having any interest in his future within the state over the past 100 days. I'm thinking the future of Senator Chris Dodd.....in the next election....is pretty dismal.

At some point, the democratic party is going to waltz in....and announce the replacement character. Chris will act shocked, and probably go off to New York City for a week.....hanging out with his supporters there, and wonder where he went wrong. Maybe his kindly supporters in New York City.....will come up with a scheme for Chris to just jump states, and run there. Maybe.