Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Rehab DC Style for Punks

For those who didn't know...the District of Columbia is pretty much one of the most dangerous towns in America.  The chief reason?  They have a huge issue with young men who've gone off track....and gotten themselves locked into a violent future.  We aren't just talking 18 year-old kids...but all the way down to 14 year-old's as well.

This week, the city guru's came out with the latest idea to combat the crime and violence....mandated Yoga for these young men.  I sat there and read through the Examiner article today...shaking my head mostly over this idea.  I realize that times are desperate and you pretty much have to invent radical choices....but Yoga?

I'm guessing some punks are sitting there in their car tonight.....working on their second beer and smoking a joint....and just laughing mostly over the city's threat to them.  The secondary threat is Tai-chi...which makes just about the same amount of sense.

The instructors for this?  All would be paid out of the city budget in some fashion.  Maybe in some hidden form....there are a bunch of unemployed Tai-chi or Yoga instructors....so hiring them to teach punks would help in some fashion.  As for the leadership ability of the Tai-chi instructors with punks? That would be a curious thing to watch.

I'm guessing that this will go on for about six months....until one or two of the Tai-chi instructor get the crap beat out of them...and then they will terminate the program while admitting that it had some pluses as they advanced with it.

A Curious Thing

It was a curious thing as the new Congress started up today. One of the first acts was to vote out the rights of six delegates from non-states (the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and American Samoa).

There is a bit of history here. Normally....non-state representatives are in DC simply to observe and advise...at least up until 1993. The Democrats extended voting rights for two years, and then the representative rights were tossed in terms of voting (after the Republicans took charge in 1995). But they came right back in 2007 when the Democrats took charge. My guess is that the Democrats will eventually return to control and these four 'non-states' will regain their voting rights.

It's an odd thing. Neither of the four are anything beyond districts or territories. They could push on and ask for state status (at least Puerto Rico, Guam and American Samoa). The District is a special case and I doubt that anyone wants to convert the district into a state except folks who live there. They would typically tell you the excuse of no taxation without representation.

My view is that this is mostly correct. You ought to be from a state...if you want to vote as a representative. The curious thing in this case....is that all the votes currently from the four...are either independent or Democratic votes. So the majority angle of this House...just bumped up six votes.

This might trigger some interest in Guam to finally take the step and move toward statehood but I'm betting they just don't want the hassle.

As for non-representatives?  Well...they just continue with their staffs and special privileges....they just can't vote.

The "You Idiot" Moment, Maybe

So this is the scene you should imagine....President Obama stands up and announces a massive change in government in front of Representative Pelosi or Senator Reid (I'm using the old regime guys because it just looks better).....and they get furious over the announcement, to the degree that they stand up and slap President Obama in a physical way.

It's a scene that you can laugh over because it never happened to these characters.  But somewhere hidden in the WikiLeaks messages, is this one intelligence report of a story that a intelligence officer was told.  The story was the head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Ali Jafari, slapping Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the face during an argument.   The story goes that Ahmadinejad wanted to support more freedoms in public to make people happy and less miserable.....and the chief of the Revolution Guards said that Ahmadinejad was the actual problem that people had in the first place.  Then the Revolutionary Guards dude slapped the President on the face.

I don't really know any Iranian folks but maybe this is a inside the yard thing where it's acceptable to slap people when they act stupid....like when Moe slaps Larry or Curly when they've been pretty dimwitted, or when Dean Martin slaps Jerry Lewis to knock sense into him before the zombie attack.  Maybe Iranians do stuff like that.

The thing is that both Jafari and Ahmadinejad deny this ever occurred.  I'm guessing there will be a public meeting at some ice cream stand between the two....shaking hands and acting real friendly.  Maybe the Revolutionary Guards guy will share his copy of Southpark 2010 with the President, and they both sit down to talk over Auburn's chances against Oregon.   Well.....maybe.

Not That It Really Matters

A METRO internal report finally came out and was published via the DC papers today.  I tend to blog METRO a fair amount because it's a public transportation mess in DC, which we've all come to accept.

One of the curious things in this report is the comment that METRO subway operators have a limited amount of time for breaks....so when they need to relieve themselves.....they just step out of the drivers cab....walk a couple of steps into the tunnel area beyond public view and just pee right there.  The commentary leads one to think that break periods are so limited....that the poor guys just don't have adequate time.

I sat and pondered over this.  To be honest....you've got Pepsi truck delivery guys who do this.   You've got oil rig workers who do this.  You've got lumberjacks who do this.  In fact, you can find over five million guys a day who probably perform their relief just beyond where they work.

Naturally though.....folks in DC are a bit worried over this idea of a public urination center being in every subway station and the possibility of fluids contaminating the platforms (kinda like guys just doing their thing in the bathtub or shower...instead of the toilet).

The comical thing about this is that a toilet is generally within a two minute walk of every subway operator but most don't want to waste four minutes of their break time on such insignificant situations.  The fix you can see coming?  More break time of course.  I'm betting on an extra fifteen minutes each four hours, just to ensure that guys don't pee in the subway tunnels.

The curious....since I am a Bama guy....is why there are so few women METRO drivers?   I can't think of a single female that would dare step out of the cab and walk twelve feet to do their thing in the tunnel.  Call it a sanitary habit of high standards.....but I don't think women would do that.  So in my mind....I'd be recruiting mostly all women to operate the METRO subway system.  This might upset some guys in excluding them but frankly, by admitting they were doing this....they kinda let the cat out of the bag.

As for sanitary clean-up of the tunnels over this matter?  Well...don't worry.  We've got plenty of METRO tunnel bacteria which will eat up this mess.  The most you might complain about is the smell, and that's a mixture of homeless smell, dead rats, puke from college students, and sewage from leaking pipes.

Health Care Woes

This health care insurance debate continues on.  The Republicans have tossed a simple two-page bill into the ring....to repeal it.  The House votes currently are sufficient to repeal it....without question.  The Senate votes are questionable.  The belief is that 47 Republican votes exist in the senate, and they might have two additional votes (Ben Nelson and Joe Lieberman).  Beyond that....no one is sure about extra votes and the measure to pass the two-page bill may be null and void.  Even if they had those votes....the President won't sign it and a veto would be likely.

So onward to round two in approximately six months as the Supreme Court gets into the fight.  If the court simply pulls the mandate that everyone must participate....then the law has serious issues in ever working as dreamed.

I've pondered over the law for a number of months and have come to three basic observations.

First, while everyone gets health care under the law.....the fairness factor is unfair.  A guy in west Texas with cancer can look for a three to four hour ride to get to a health center for chemo treatment while a guy in Maryland can settle for mostly a 30-minute ride.  There are significant areas of the US which simply don't have any real medical establishment within a reasonable distance.  Nothing about this 2,700 page law really addresses that, and I'm kinda surprised that a vast number of congressmen didn't stand up to require more distribution of health care throughout the country.

Second, there were a thousand ways to fix health care costs and help fix the problem....but one gets the impression that impacting the costs wasn't really much of a priority, other than pumping more people into the system.  So you'd have to believe that whatever cost issues we had up until this point....simply evolve into version two of the mess and then grows on.

Third and final....once people figure out that smokers, drug users, heavy drinkers, and overweight people impact health care costs for everyone....you can expect folks to get heavily involved in messing with your personal lives.  Why would anyone care to contribute to a yearly $12k bill for a guy who smoked for forty years and has serious health issues at age sixty? Why support knee and hip surgery for a guy who is 400 lbs at age 35?  I suspect that as we progress into this new era (once it starts)....that folks start to realize costs and how to really cut cost.  It won't be a pleasant thing.

In the end, we settled no debate with the passing of the bill....and we merely stand now to review all of the continuing problems or fresh new problems.  We probably didn't fix much of anything.