Sunday, 14 March 2010

Jihad Jane and Continued Saga

If you noticed in the past two days....another American gal came up to be named as Jihad Jane number two. She was found in Ireland.....awaiting a mission to kill the Swedish cartoonist as well.

Personally, I've come to a point where I'd like to meet this Swedish cartoonist....but that's another blog by itself.

As for Jihad Jane number two? The gal that CNN analysts will spend hour after hour gazing over. The gal that various think-tank experts will give their peppy words over? Well.....she's given this magic cover of being "educated" now.....in nurse's school....which makes all the Homeland Security guys "scared".

Please take note.....she's bi-polar.

Yes, bi-polar.

So any wisdom or peppy words that you want to utter....have to be given a moment of thinking before you go much further.

Let's consider what the Muslim guys have recruited so far.....one gal who quit school at 16 and married some 31-year old guy....and was barely able to manage her life....let along the idea of getting a passport and traveling to some strange and exotic country. The other gal is a bi-polar nurse candidate....who might have been short on meds when she got convinced the jihad life was simple and pure.

Think about the two recruits here.

If this is the best you can do.....recruit a woman with a marginal thinking ability and another woman who is bi-polar.....maybe your organization has some fundamental issues?

And this is getting hour after hour of coverage on CNN and Fox News? Something is wrong here....but you can guess what it is. But here's what I'm starting to think. If this is the best strategy that that Muslims have.....are the rest of the regular recruits the same way? Half-wits and bi-polar guys?

Not that I'm suggesting a weakness in the way this jihad game is played.....but if you recruit these kind of folks....what does this say about your organization?

I kinda rest my case.

Welcome to the Party

First, came the Tea Party. It was really a bunch of guys who were on the conservative side...and a bit hostile and angry over both Republicans and Democrats. There are tens of thousands of hard core members today....and probably another three or four million Americans who at least listen to the comments and have some belief in what the Tea Party believes.

This week....came the announcement of the Coffee Party. This is mostly middle-of-road Democrats who are a bit upset (not hostile) with where the Democrats stand today and where they might be in November. MSNBC and CNN have both tried to give a pump-up to the Coffee Party and they hint of tens of thousands. My best guess is that they probably have around twenty thousand folks across the country who are active currently and trying to recruit.

What I found mostly amusing was the lack of topics that the CNN guy could get out of one Coffee Party interview member....and they simply talked about growth, but no substance.

So I sat and pondered.

If both the Coffee Party and Tea Party can exist.....why not more?

So here are my list of suggested parties:

- The Mountain Dew Party. Mostly peppy 18-22 year old folks in the high point of life while attending community college or some university. They'd like cheaper education, more state parks, open-beer can driving, and no sales tax on anything.

- The Pabst Blue Ribbon Party. Mostly guys from Bama, who just want wet counties across the heartland of Bama. They meet at state parks....talk about bass fishing mostly....and always tell their wife that they are with the union or church guys when attending.

- The 420 Party. Mostly folks who just want mary-j-u-wanna legal....anywhere...anytime. It's safe to say what happens when five of these folks meet for a party meeting. We don't want to say anymore.

- The Methodist Party. To be honest, you gotta be a Methodist to be into this political party. The church will dictate the agenda.....you just bring cake, pie and coffee to the party meeting.

- The Beef Party. Primary....they are pro-beef and anti-vegetarian in nature. They meet mostly at bar-b-q functions.....discuss a good sauce for ribs or steak.....and talk down on the vegetarian agenda.

- The NCAA Party. This group is primarily made up of men....ages 18 to 65....who want a open play-off system for NCAA football. Strangely enough....there are very few folks from Alabama, Texas, Florida or Nebraska within this group. But there are lots of folks from Utah, Idaho, and Oregon.

- The Birth Certificate Party. A small radical group who simply wants everyone to produce their birth certificate for every single job or elected post they run for.

- The Swingers Party. Well.....we could explain their political agenda....but it'd cause confusion and chaos for you Baptist members.

- The Springbreak Party. These are all college students who want absolute rebellion allowed for seven days in April and May. They'd also like for beer to be tax-free during this period, and all police to be on forced leave during this period.

- The Pro-CNN Party. These are mostly CNN enthusiasts who want Fox News hosts and analysts forced to carry unfair and unbalanced news casts.....like everyone else. Only then....will everything be fair and balanced....you know.

- The Larry King Party. Five folks from West Palm Beach who think that life would be simpler if all news hosts just asked simple and dumb questions of guests.

- The Tube Top Party. The "TT" Party primarily works an agenda beneficial and supportive of southern women with style, grace, and boobs. They'd like for CNN to encourage more tube tops amongst its hosts, and they'd like for female congressional women to show more in their attire. Men support the "TT" Party, but also feel it might go into a spiral sooner or later.

- Finally....the "Bring-Them-Home" Party. They just want to make every senator and congressman spend 245 days a year in their home district. This would naturally limit the boys to 120 days of productive work a year.....and force them to leave the capital and come back to the state for vast extended periods. At some point.....these members would actually be able to remember the state capital and carry on a conversation that keyed in onto the top twenty topics of their state or district. Sadly, CNN, Fox, and MSNBC really dislike this party....and won't ever mention their agenda in public....for obvious reason.

So there.....we just might be in a season of discontent and turmoil. We might be finally at the end of the tunnel....where anger forces unthinkable changes. Or, we might be back at step one....where we can't be sure of nothing. It's hard to say.

Educational Spiral

The government...particularly the White House...wants to charge up the college agenda option...where more kids have the chance to go to college. Naturally....your tax money figures into this.

I sat and pondered over this issue.

Up until the 1940s....attendance in college was a minor deal. Out of a hundred kids that might graduate...you might have had two or three that went off to college. When World War II came and the GI Bill became an option.....the university system ramped up and became a business-like structure. By the 1970s.....you might have seen a dozen kids out of the hundred who went to college. And today....by the time you count community college.....you might have thirty to fifty kids who attend in some fashion.

This vision by the White House has several problems.

First, you have the first semester folks who arrive at Texas Tech....drink and party through the whole first semester....and come to realize a overall "D" grade by the end of that semester. They pack up and leave for home....where they get a job with Home Depot or Larry's dry-wall operation. Thanks to the White House plan.....we can increase the number of these first semester folks, and move them quickly into the private sector by January of each year.

Second, while some jobs require a significant amount of knowledge to be proficient.....the vast market of jobs in America don't. If you have a community of 25,000 people....and try to dump 350 college graduates a year onto the community....it might last three or four years, but you will reach a point where a graduate has to go over and be the associate manager of a Piggily-Wiggily operation or sell used car's for Donny's Chevy-Land. The amount of job dissatisfaction? You can already guess it.

Third, increasing the number of kids going through college....doesn't exactly mean you get a smart or intelligent guy at the end of the line. You don't want a college system that is simply pushing a kid through various classes to give them a certificate of sorts....and then dump them on a business operation when the kid can barely function.

Fourth and final.....everyone seems to have this idea that the university system in the US can ramp up operations with competent professors and take on another thirty percent growth situation with no issues. I would question this idea of competent professor growth and how it will work. I'm guessing in the end....you will discover some Nigerian guy standing at the head of the Economics 101 class....and this was the best that the university could do....with the cost agenda that they've laid down (profit outweighs common sense, if you didn't know).

At some point in the 1970s.....the German society woke up and realized that they were graduating a high number of students....who were not being offered jobs to what they expected after college. The trend really hasn't stopped over the past three decades.

In 2004, I met a German-American guy....his dad had been in the Air Force....and he had a degree in business management via a German university. The best job he could find was a insurance office where he was the guy to do statistics and he took home just enough money to pay his essential bills. He quit.....turned to the US Air Force, and over six years.....moved up rapidly to make twice the money as he was making via the German job.

I suspect in ten years....as the smoke clears with this White House vision of education growth....we find that producing more college graduates....didn't really do much in the end except make a higher segment of the society unhappy with their money situation. They expected more and didn't find it. There's a limit to all things.....but we often lose sight of that fact.

Flush by Flush

I did my taxes last night. When I did my first ever tax episode...it took a total of twenty-two minutes. By the third episode...I was down to eight minutes. Somewhere around age forty...I got up to an hour. This time...I spent six hours over the past two months in preparation and paperwork.

I use a software program...rather than pay the H&R Block guy. Over all these years...I've done it by myself. I refuse to pay these guys for work that I could do myself.

I've come to realize that the real difficulty now over taxes resides with stocks and property. I became a player in the stock market over the past three years, and make around twenty transactions per year. Each one creates a tax line or two...and it means you rely upon your records a fair amount to fill in the tax requirements.

It's not rocket science but it's not a simplistic episode. A simple high school graduate with a bare bones salary...can still do his own tax form. But beyond that...when owning property or a small part-time business....you've got no choices but to hire a tax accountant.

What amazes me is that we are approaching the 100-year mark of income taxes...and you have to stand in awe of what has been created and how well they can track a lousy $700 stock purchase and sale....with the IRS knowing the precise day it was acquired and gained. If you had suggested that in the 1920s...people would have laughed at you. Even up until the 1970s...folks might have laughed a little over the potential.

So as I stand and look forward toward the next 100 years...and realize that the government will likely know the precise amount of vanilla ice cream that you consumed in 2110...or the number of cups of coffee that you drank throughout the year...or the times you flushed some toilet...then you have to wonder how taxes will influenced. Flush by flush?

Simply something to think about.

If I Were A Vegas Bookie

The Universal Health Care package in the House? Within two to three weeks....it will pass (it'll be a one-vote margin and they will buy off each single remaining vote to attain what they need). It'll be a huge victory in the White House....but then return to the Senate to be worked (where various bits and pieces get tossed out), then pass through. A complete victory, to be enjoyed for about six weeks, until court cases start hitting the system and state legislatures start objecting to a federally-mandated program. By August....at least twenty-five portions of the law will be in serious jeopardy by the court fight. At the same time, at least twenty-five states will have sent a message that they will not allow it to function in their state. It all spirals down into the November elections and makes life miserable for Democrats.

Anderson Cooper and his new potential CBS job? It'll happen by August. He'll replace Katie Couric in time for the November election run-up. The fascinating thing....will be the two-percent jump in viewers....and then a grinding halt. CBS gains nothing extra with Anderson Cooper....than they did with Katie Couric. Well....except Anderson will be hired at a much lesser price tag than Katie.

Greece and its economic mess? They will end up with a loan by the EU to help fix all their problems. For eight months....they spend the loan, and then run out of money again. They run back to the EU who says they really can't give them another loan. By December, the government of Greece....falls apart.

Tiger Woods? Whatever fuel he was running on before.....is finished. He is shaken and I don't think he will ever return to the level he enjoyed. He'll take what he can get....and just continue on. The Tiger years will be a memory and that's all.