Thursday, 21 October 2010

Juan Williams and NPR

I watch around two hours of the O'Reilly show each week.  I admit, half of it is mostly entertainment...and little to do with real news.  He does bring on opposing views and I tended to like this part more than anything else.  Course, one of those folks....was Juan Williams....a sort of liberal colunist from NPR.  Well...up until today, he worked for NPR.

Juan was asked on O'Reilly's show about his perception of Muslim folks.....and he gave his own personal view.  By the standards of can't answer a question like this unless you just say you "love Muslims."  The NPR management decided Juan's answer was too polar....and dumped him.

Now, I have to be honest here.  NPR is desperate about their finanical situation and they really need to dump about half of their $200k a year managers and journalists.  I realize you are kinda shocked over this topic....that they'd have all of these big-name guys as managers and journalists....working for the US government.  But they came to realize that they were extended on costs about a year ago.  Bluntly.....they've got major problems and need a help fix the budget.

Juan's comment probably helped the budget guys.  For you folks thinking you could step in and take Juan's job, and take home Juan's pay?  Well....I'd figure on a thirty percent cut on the next guy in that position.

As for Juan?  I actually think that CNN will pick him up and prepare him to be on the 8PM slot within four months.  This new CNN news show is not showing numbers and I suspect Juan might be given a chance.  Course, Juan might be offered a job with Fox News.....and shock the public by accepting it.

As for NPR?  They might find a few more complaints about Juan's termination.  I suspect in January that the Republicans might finally demand some face-to-face meetings.  The trouble is that you can't really cut's such a foundation and you'd need the President's cooperation, which you won't get.

So I had this idea.  We force US military bases to close and units to move.  We've forced the FBI to relocate operations.  We've forced various elements of the government to move over the past twenty years.  So why not dictate that NPR and it's entire operation (out of Washington DC) a cheaper and lower-cost-of-living area?

I was thinking....Nashville.  In the center of the country.  Plenty of open room.  I'd actually be nice and give them double the amount of office and studio space that they have currently.  I'd pay for each employee to move (he'd have to sign on for three years in Nashville as part of the deal).  In exchange....every employee would take a twenty percent pay-cut.

I suspect that most everyone with NPR would refuse to move.  So we'd start this new marvelous NPR unit in Nashville, with brand new people.  A new attitude.  A new view on life.  And you know....I think we'd all start to listen to NPR more....and appreciate their new prospect on life.  Yes, a change would help those NPR folks greatly.  We should help them along. I'm sure Juan would agree....they need a change.

Civics 101 Failure

Separation of church and state.

It's a simple phrase, that we've heard a thousand times. If you go out and ask most folks, they will say it's in the Constitution. This topic came up during the senator debate up in Delaware this week. Ms O'Donnell came to say it wasn't part of the Constitution...which jerked the chain of all the law students in the audience. The media had a good laugh...for maybe thirty minutes. Then something unusual happened. Folks pulled out the Constitution. It''s not there.

Yes, a shocker, isn't it?

So lets go back to civics 101 and read the Constitution one more time. There's one phrase only concerning churches throughout the entire Constitution. The state will not establish laws over churches. That's it....simple and pure. That's all that the Constitution says. Nothing else. There's no mention of them being separate because you can't even make a law saying they are separate.

The separation of church and state? It's a Supreme Court phrase dreamed up in the 1950s. The court could make a quote but it's not a the boys are safe on that.

The law students at this debate?'s best to say that they should have demanded better professors but I'm sure this is a less-than-honored law school and if you can just get into a practice where you can sue McDonalds for extra hot coffee or help some guy jerk his tatto artist around for a misspelled word on his butt....then you've got a great piece of paper to certify your skills.

As for the journalists of CNN or MSNBC? Do you guys have a copy of the Constitution around? Would you like to borrow my copy? My advice is for you guys to stick with global warming, wet t-shirt contests, and pumpkin-carving fests in Macon, Georgia.

We've got a problem in America where idiots think they know the Constitution, and then they want to change it. The problem is that they don't even know what it really says, and they just chat on the topic like Burmese wild-monkeys.

Oh, and if you want to continue the can quote from the Soviet Constitution where they did actually write that "church and state will remain separate". It's best not to quote the Soviet Constitution.....because they used to change it every single year, so you had to continually get a new copy to stay updated on the latest grasp of Soviet law. Also, you might notice that no one says Soviet anymore, and you might to ask why. That's in my civics lesson 102.

The Car Story

It's nifty living in the DC region.  You start to grasp things that are a bit different from Bama or a normal state area.

For those of you who didn't know....this area (Capital Virginia, DC, and Capital Maryland)....have state governments which are fairly broke.  For years, they operated with fancy budgets, built fantastic empires, and paid nice bonuses each and every year.  Last year, the dam broke...and these local government offices are plain broke.

So a new chapter was officials in this region are now taking extraordinary measures to collect millions in delinquent payments.  Lots of folks are simply broke and can't pay their property taxes, their vehicle taxes, or even their personal taxes.

I was reading the Washington Examiner this morning....they quoted that $40 million in the local area is owed just overdue real estate taxes.

The boys are now taking on new ideas to get income.  They give you a notice....then they drive up to your house.  They hook the cable up to your car, and legally grab it.  For the first couple of months....that worked and people would show up to pay something on their taxes.  But now?  The tax guys admit that folks don't care....and they won't show up to get the car back.

One of the counties in the local area will refuse to re-register your car if your taxes aren't paid up.  So in effect, you could be in a position where you can't drive to work..... and you are simply stuck with public transportation as your only way to keep working.

The longer that this current economy continues in this trend....the deeper this mess will get.  Imagine all of 2011 running at the same pace.  State tax collectors will likely find themselves eventually stuck with a bunch of 15-year old cars and no real market to sell them.  At the other end....are government services folks (library managers, traffic cops, and parks management) wondering how things will run in the long-term.