Wednesday, 11 August 2010

The Real Story

I've watched this silly bit of talk for several weeks over the Islamic dudes in NY City who want to build a mosque within rock-throwing range of the Twin Towers.

I came today to realize some amusing observations.

First, a couple of Muslim guys own the old Burlington jacket factory building where the Islam folks want to build this mosque. It's interesting here...there were three Arab dudes who were in on this purchase. This mosque deal was never their intention from the start...if you read various business journals on the deal.

The boys here....paid five million. So far, to this day...the property has paid no profits or dividends. In fact, the timing of the purchase came at the lowest possible point for flipping to another party and making a profit. Even if they wanted to recover their $5 million right now...it's virtually impossible unless you got a dopey guy standing there and wanting the property for a special reason...like a mosque.

So what the three guys need...is a bunch of dopey folks who have lots of money and some big dream...to recover the $5 million and maybe another $5 million as profit (we can only imagine). So they need rich dumb folks...like Saudis or such...to make this happen.

You can guess how this game develops.

But there's a funny ingredient to New York City....which the three investors, the dimwitted Saudis, the fundamental radical Imams of the world, the mayor of New York City, and most media outlets have missed. Nothing gets built in New York City without union workers or mafia control. You can pick any structure over the past sixty years within the city...and it had to have the union guys and mafia in control.

So it's another funny thing...this $100 million that folks keep talking about for the property and building? It's actually closer to $500 million by the time you come to the end.

The union guys and the mafia will milk this cow until there's nothing left. The rich dimwitted Saudis will keep tossing in another $10 million, on top of another $40 million, on top of another $80 million. Eventually....seven or eight years from now...when it is finally done...it'll be questionable if it's capable of standing on its own weight.

So everyone can whine and chat all day about this terrible situation for downtown NY City. The Muslims can chatter up a storm like mad Brazilian jungle monkeys. But back there in the shadows of Manhattan are your friendly union and mafia guys smiling. There's millions and millions involved in their future and they can all retire to the Bahamas if they play their cards right.

Sam and the President

It was another Ronald Reagan moment...where you wonder just how capable this guy was when he was a mere fifty years old.

The Rules

DC came out with the various rules that will be attached to it's medical marijuana program. Nothing has started yet, but we are edging closer and closer to the magic day.

One of the rules is that no doctor can be allowed to locate an office at a dispensary. I thought this was a pretty nifty rule. It just wouldn't be right. It's ok to be across the street, or parked in a bread-truck office in front, or just operating a stand on the side of the street...but you just can't be in the actual marijuana store itself.

Another rule is that the marijuana store can't market themselves to doctors. That just wouldn't be right for Joe's Smokes to hand out some advertising literature...like the fancy drug companies do....to regular doctors. Course, if Joe's Smokes wanted to hand the doctor a map and $50 just for being a friend....that's probably ok...at least I'd think so.

Another rule is that if you own a marijuana store...you must be "of good character" and have not felony or drug-related misdemeanors. The thing is....they didn't explain how they'd arrive at this fact. If you just say you are "good"....that might be good enough and we could just avoid having some guy check you out. I kinda wondered about this rule. "Good character" is a odd thing in DC to find....especially if you count all the house members and the senate members. Maybe there are some.

Another rule is if you are a marijuana user....you got to use your prescription inside your house or your local medical facility. You can't use your prescription out on the street...that just wouldn't be right. Course, if you wanted to use it on the front steps of your house...that's probably ok. If you wanted to use it in the front yard...that's probably ok. If you wanted to use it in your car that's parked by your house...that's probably ok.

Then there's this rule about a marijuana store must not sell alcohol or engage in any other business. If you were thinking about a bait & tackle & marijuana shop...it won't work. If you had aspirations of a tanning salon and marijuana shop...well...you just can't do that either. If you were thinking of a coffee shop & marijuana sales store....that's out. So there's a profit margin problem here, if you think about it. And you can't even sell tobacco in your marijuana shop either...which is odd, I think.

There's also a rule about doctors giving out prescriptions must be in a "bona fide physician-patient relationship". If you did some chain-saw work for the Doc....it's questionable if he could just pay you with a prescription. If you had some lusty affairs with the Doc....that might be a problem if you wanted a prescription.

The rules also require you to have a physical exam no more than 90 days before prescribing marijuana. Normally, this means blood being drawn....which some folks have an issue with.

There are 87 pages to this rule book, and you'd think that we need these guys to work for the house or senate in writing up rules because of the simplicity involved.

The funny thing is that if you want to be a manager to such a shop....you as the manager must pay a $150 yearly fee. No one has explained what exactly this helps or prevents....but it's a nifty tax in my mind. And if you are a regular clerk at the establishment...it's a $75 a year fee.

The amusing thing about this list of rules....there's also this subsidized deal. If you make poverty wages ($22k or less), then you'd be eligible for discounts on marijuana.

After reading up on this whole episode....I'm of the mind that there's alot of rules for a business to operate here...way more than a bar or bowling alley. I'm thinking that unless you break half the rules....you probably won't turn a profit. And if you don't turn a profit, then the street sellers of marijuana are absolutely correct in their assumption that this whole thing will fail within two years.

But here's my 5-star prediction on this whole thing. A dozen doctors from Haiti will appear on day one and become this legendary doctor agency who sign off on half the prescriptions involved. Within six months, the cops will question how authentic these Haitian doctors are, and then some Fed guys will show up to deport the Haitian doctors. There is a funny smell to this entire mess.

METRO Story of the Week

As most of you know....I often chat about METRO bus and subway services here in the DC area. Today....another new topic.

Somewhere here in Arlington yesterday....one of the METRO buses was racing down a street and rammed into the back of a car.

Then an interesting thing happened...the bus paused, passed the car, and took off. He never stopped or waited for the cops. Hit and run.

METRO supervisors got called out, along with the cops. They have the tag number of the bus involved.

I looked at the picture taken and kinda laughed. It'll be a couple thousand bucks in damage but the bus driver is finished now. They can't keep the guy on duty but I'm suspecting that the union will try to force the issue and maybe even force METRO to pay the guy some kind of severance pay. So it's just another day in paradise.