Friday, 26 March 2010

Ed's Words

I caught the clip of MSNBC host Ed Schultz...making a observation that talk-radio is ready for some kind of government movement toward running or controlling radio programming.

I think Ed was on some caffeine binge and just rattled off something that was bothering him. He'd like to take AM radio and it's talk-radio empire...and dissolve both.

From a historical moment...AM was dying out in the early 1980's and wasn't going to be a profitable enterprise except for rural areas of America. If you wanted music...you went to FM because of the better quality sound you got. AM survived the 1980s because of minor grow of talk-radio...and then boomed in the 1990s.

What Ed hopes for...is that the FCC will announce some "fairness" rules and thus put AM radio into a slow spiral of limited profit...thus inviting the government in to run the AM stations in each community.

Naturally, you'd be asking where this money to run AM stations will be coming from...and you will simply get this blank stare (it's your money, if you can't figure this out).

The positive side of this is that on-line garage radio-stations will start to pop up after this...and the "fairness" idea will actually create this wave of mom & pop stations that fill the void. If Rush Limbaugh wanted to broadcast under these circumstances...I'm guessing he would do it from his own garage.

So nothing changes...except we end up paying for a bunch of AM stations to run with a bunch of community activists trying to speak to the heartland except they can't say the right words to get any respect or attention.

My DC

There is an article today about DC...and it having one of five folks who live in poverty. For kids there...it's one in three who live in poverty.

I sat and pondered over this bit of "news". They wanted my sympathetic side to kick in and feel sorry for them....maybe offer some cash on the table for another program to fix things.

But then I started thinking.

I had to move up to the Arlington area for a new job...my first trip ever to the beltway. I’ve been here for roughly 100 days now.

Once you cross the river and arrive in DC...it’s like arriving in Paraguay. There’s the upscale government buildings area...some expensive townhouses and condo’s for the folks who work in the upscale gov’t buildings, and then you’ve got the “real Paraguay”.

I’m told by the local paper that six of every one hundred adults in the DC area are HIV-positive. I’m told by the local paper of the dozen or so areas in town not to be after dark. I’m told by the local paper about efforts to approve grass sales as a medical-usage product.

Once you arrive at a Metro station in DC...less than seven minutes from my Virginia station...you start to watch over your shoulder and question your security. At least five percent of the folks you meet on a Metro platform look like zombies and are likely doped up. The curious thing about the zombie feeling is that this is like 11AM in the morning.

The cheaper paying jobs? Well...they got all taken by the El Salvadorian guys who live in the area. They work the coffee shops, the pizza shops, the burger joints. They are happy about the $7 an hour in a major metropolitan area...even if it puts them in a poverty situation (it’s better living in poverty in America than living in poverty in El Salvador). But you have lots of the original locals who don’t get jobs now...because the El Salvadorian guys are here and taking the lower-class jobs.

Would I ever stay here permanently, in DC? No. You’d be a fool to move and live in DC the rest of your life. Read the police blotter and ask folks about their experiences with crime in the local area. Living across the river in Virginia...is relatively safe (at least in comparison).

The answer for DC? If I were the Federal government....arrange for a yearly purchase of tracts of DC land...buy it and bulldoze it. Push everyone out to Maryland or Virginia and recover the DC area as just a place of business or government operations.

Forget about recovering DC as a town for people to raise their kids and be happy with. It’s like living in New Orleans and being nine feet under sea level...at some point, you realize your stupidity and just leave, if you knew what was good for you.

In this case...I'm sure the political guys will solve this by putting more cash on the table for more programs that ensure a good ratio of zombies to Metro riders...and keep life going...as is.

Jointifornia

There is a full-up discussion underway...serious in nature because it just might pass...to allow recreational mary-j-u-wanna to be approved as "ok" in California.

I sat and pondered over this.

DC is big-time into this idea and hoping they can become the Amsterdam of America. I'm thinking that this measure will absolutely pass in California. Heck, they even attached a tax deal to this so they could make money out of the deal. The import guys and the illegal street sales folks? I'm guessing they are starting to worry a bit about this...their entire market could collapse. Heck, we might even have to give them stimulus money because of their sales failure.

The cops aren't saying much. But if you sit there and think about this...it works in their favor. There is still a rule out there about being high while driving. They administer the test, and if you fail...it's the same kind of ticket as if you were drunk. In Germany...you lose your license and play the fee game with the cops. So the cops would get a major ticket to hand out and lots of fees collected.

In my youth, I worked in an engineering section and drove dump trucks for the Air Force. We had a guy who smoked a joint everyday at lunch...a young airman. One day out in base housing...we were in the process of using a crane to dig up a pit of sand.

It was an oval pit...about forty feet in depth and thirty foot in diameter. We took a break. The crane operator finished up and was walking back to the rig. Me and the second driver were standing there and discussing things....not thinking much about the third driver...who could not be seen.

Some seven-year old kid walked up to the crane operator and told him not to climb up yet.....that the fourth member of our team had fallen into the pit.

We walked over and in the bottom of this sandy pit....was our buddy...kinda dazed but ok. The thing was that he had smoked a joint just 60 minutes prior...gazed over into the pit during the break and then fell into it.

The guy was lucky because if the crane operator had cranked up the machinery and dumped the scoop into the pit....it would have landed on the guy and killed him. The crane operator wanted the guy out of the area and removed from our team. After that day, I had this thing about doped-up guys being on a work detail. I was willing to take lots of bad attitude guys and even lazy guys....but a doper on the team invited danger if they didn't time their experience the right way.

At some point...maybe ten years from now...I fully expect some discrimination clause to be inserted...with age, religion, sex, gay, etc....and companies won't be allowed to discriminate against dopers. If you walk into your dentist office and smell a whiff of mary-j-u-wanna....you won't be able to just cancel and walk out the door. You'll have to sit there and take the doped up dentist. On the positive side...he might offer you a free joint.

My point of respect for folks who do mary-j-u-wanna...is that they do it at home...and ensure that the effects are worn off before they get into a car or operate machinery.

For some reason, in California, I don't see this working in a practical way. Imagine some teacher showing up for the first class of the day....doped up for an hour or two. Imagine your car mechanic doing your brake job right after lunch...when he had a joint. Imagine your accountant doing your taxes thirty minutes after she did a joint.

At some point, you basically toss up your hands and give up because folks have misused a trust.