Saturday, 13 March 2010

Just Dull Boring History

As I traveled back and forth to the US over the past fifteen years....I always came to enjoy the History Channel. I could stop in at some hotel and spend two hours catching up on some French battle, Japanese warlords, or the Czars of Russia.

As I signed for cable.....I ensured that the History Channel was amongst the optional package. I figured that I'd be watching ten to fifteen hours a week of the channel. I was wrong.

It's funny how things evolve....and you suddenly realize how different something has become.

A typical weekend on the History Channel? UFO and bigfoot episodes. Then you get reality show of truckers on ice. Then there's the lumberjack show. Then you've got the two guys who go out on antique hunts to find rare deals.

I hate to suggest that I've lost my enthusiasm over the History Channel.....but it's just not the boring history stuff that I was always used to. I was hoping for a hour-long feature on how Einstein got to be Einstein. I was waiting for the history of the 1920 depression. I was waiting for the events of the 1969 New York Met's amazing season to be laid out in simplicity.

So I'm left with a History Channel that I'm just not happy about....and yet still watch.

War and Civilians

There's a simple discussion going on currently.....which involves the CIA folks who fly the armed unmanned drones over Pakistan. There is a general rule in the world.....that in wartime....only men in uniform are conducting wars. Don't ask me who made up this rule....because it's typically violated on a minute-by-minute basis.

The idea of civilians being part of a war.....irritates those folks who think that there is a rational way of conducting war. Soldiers are an integral piece of every war. They shoot bad guys. They run ships and subs. They fly jets and helicopters. And they conquer lands and protect countries. Civilians don't fit into the scheme....by these rules.

I'm guessing at some point....some group is going to take a case into court and sue the CIA....to force a national debate over the issue. At some critical stage....the CIA will say "sure", and then invite military members to be part of the CIA team. This will all be done in an effort to play the game of war.....with the rules established by folks who want established standards in the science of war.

Something about this doesn't make any sense.....but this isn't war like we knew from 1945 or 1966 or 1991. Things are a bit different. The curious thing at the end of this....is that the bad guys still end up losing or dead. It's just how you get to the end...that matters.

Job Interview

Supreme Court Chief Judge....John Roberts...has to often hire law clerks. He likes to hire guys and gals who show self-confidence. It's difficult to figure the magic moment in a interview....where you know the young person in front of you....show the right self-confidence.

At some point, for one hiring episode.....he decided that he'd bring the final couple of picks in. But before they arrived at the secretary's point....he laid out a dozen glazed donuts and a dozen regular donuts. The judge told the secretary to offer up donuts as they arrived and to mark down who took the donuts. This was to be the magic qualifier for getting the job.

So candidate after candidate arrived. When offered donuts...each declined. The absolute plus-up....didn't go to any of the candidates.

I sat and thought about it. It's hard to walk into a job interview. If I had been offered donuts....I would have been tempted....but then you end up with glaze on your chin while doing a interview. I would imagine that out of a hundred applicants....there might be three that would have taken the donuts.

It's just not one of those things you'd think about...while interviewing.

It Was Never About the Prom

While most of the folks thought the lesbian prom story from Mississippi was finished yesterday....it's not.

A court injunction is now being engaged, to force the school to hold the prom.

It's a curious event now. Here is a school which had a lesbian confront them with a date situation for the prom. Then the girl wanted to war a tux....not a gown. The school paused and said "no" to both. Then they said they'd go ahead and cancel the entire event.

The sequence of things to come? A county judge will likely schedule a meeting for late March....to meet the 2 April originally schedule date.

The facts are simple. No state law governs proms. No state has any law to cover such an event. But a 'code' exists in each state, to typically approve the local principal as the authority over such a school-sponsored date.

The county judge will spend these days pausing over the lack of law....then say that the prinicipal is within his rights.

The case proceeds into the state court. A week later...past the 2nd of April....they say the same thing.

By now....the school district has spent thousands to defend its position, and the lesbian case continues onto the federal level. At some point, a federal judge will stand up and order the school to hold the prom.

The principal....under court order now....goes back and tells the high students of the prom committee to go back into gear. My guess is that they stand up....and say no. Then the principal basically arranges a Friday night prom by himself.

The prom attendees? The lesbian, her girlfriend.....and maybe six kids from the class. Oh, and I forget the 88 members of the press corps who arrive and want to be part of the evening.

Somewhere across the county.....at some church....is another prom of sorts....where half of the class is meeting and having their own prom.

The media will portray the town as far behind the American standard....and then....some guy who typically writes blogs only....writes a 5-star Steinbeck-like novel over the whole episode which involves a bunch of loser journalists and some locals who want to control their own destiny.

Life's not simple...that's the sad part about this story.