Friday, 7 January 2011

Psychiatrists and Sociologists

It is a comical thing to discuss.  After the WikiLeaks episode....the government is very upset with how all this classified came out.  This week....an eleven page memo was prepared and distributed by the OMB folks (they run all manpower in the government).  Basically, it's very suggestive that all government agencies ought to take up with a policy of their own to have psychiatrists and sociologists actively measure the “relative happiness” of workers or their “despondence and grumpiness”.   Naturally, this would all rate toward a number which indicates their trustworthiness.

I sat there and pondered over this.  First, there is this problem that half of the employees of the US government are generally grumpy to start with.  So I'm wonder if it would measure folks into a grump-max and grump-lite category?  There's already a mental health report from 2010 which says over thirty million Americans have serious mental health issues.

Then there's this issue who exactly is measuring who.  You are telling me that a bunch of Michigan State psychiatrists and UCLA sociologists are going to be the end-all way of telling a government chief that thirty percent of his force is despondent or grumpy?

The tests involved?  Multiple choice?  Personal interviews with Doctor Bob who grins every time that you admit you have no problem and goes right back to ask about your problems?  A test with some highly attractive gal with a tube top....who keeps asking about your bad feelings?

I suspect by summer of 2012....I'll be sitting in some office somewhere, and this government contracted doctor will come in to interview me for twelve minutes.  There's going to be a thirty question test (favorite tv show, favorite wrestler, favorite news channel, least favorite soda, favorite president, etc).  Then they'll ask some personal questions about my grumpy situation and why I'm so sarcastic.  At some point, I'll finally ask the doctor if he studied medicine with Doctor Phil or if he attended medical school in Mexico.   I'm guessing he'll rate me somewhere in the middle, and the government will put me on some watch-list.

The positive here....is that we are going to hire up ten thousand dimwitted psychiatrists and sociologists from college programs.  The negative?  The young mental health punks will decide who keeps secrets and who doesn't.  Our intelligence ability and national future....will be guarded by psychiatrists and sociologists.  For some reason, this doesn't give me much of a good feeling.  So if you feel grumpy....it's best to fake folks a bit and act really upbeat....like that feeling you get after a entire week of attending a Baptist Revival.  Just my two cents.

"News" News

There are two episodes to mention today.

First, last year, I kinda thought that Helen Thomas was basically finished.  None of the major media units wanted to take her in after her episode of commentary against Israel.  To be kinda honest, her glory days were the 1960s and 1970s.  There's not alot of significance over the past fifteen years that she's written or been involved in.

Well....this week....one of our local Virgina papers has taken Helen in and she's now doing a column each week.  Yes, the Falls Church News-Press.  Yes, I realize it's not exactly a noted or high-standing paper.  Yes, I realize that it's a weekly paper only (not daily).  Yes, I realize that it's total circulation is around 30,000 which makes it a fairly small operation.  And yes, it is a fairly liberal paper....so you don't have to worry about Helen being forced to write conservative-slanted columns.

I kinda doubt that they pay Helen much, and it might be more to gain some notice for the paper than anything else.

Second, the NPR folks finally finished their in-house review of how Juan Williams came to be fired.  They kinda agreed that it was a fairly incompetent method of terminating an employee.  They also agreed that the VP for NPR News....Ellen Weiss.....demonstrated some pretty poor management skills.  But they were willing to keep Ellen on....although without her customary end-of-year bonus.

Folks then walked up and asked what that bonus might have been....and things got real quiet.  No one will discuss internal things like this.  Folks then asked what last year's bonus was.....and they won't discuss that either.

Most of the news organizations have glossed over that bonus deal but it's a curious thing.  They were willing to keep Ellen after all this business occurred.  They didn't want to fire her, which is kinda curious.  But then she made the decision to step down now....rather than stay.

My guess on the bonus?  I'm guessing it was at least $200k.  Typically....most of the salary levels of NPR are known.  But the bonus structure isn't.  So I'm thinking its a hidden way of pumping up management without having to admit in public what the guy really gets.  You can admit a $200k yearly salary smiling, and never mention that the yearly bonus is $200k as well....and get away with it.

Update: News sources now indicate the bonus was in the range of $100k (figure $75k after taxes).

Dual-Constitutions?

The Washington Post is a newspaper that I subscribe to for worldly news and METRO updates.  Beyond that....I mostly read it for laughs.  Today, there's an update from the Post over the Constitution being read in the House from yesterday.  The fine outstanding folks from the post want you to know that the "real" Constitution wasn't read....but the amended Constitution was utilized instead.

Yes, for most simple folks who sat through civics in high school and maybe one or two classes in college....it is a bit confusing....two Constitutions.  For the folks who don't remember anything on the Constitution.....the article will be read for 60 seconds and then something on TV will pop up about snow falling in Kansas....and they will forget about this dual Constitution business.

The simple story here is that we write onto the Constitution, and like any living document....we realize errors and misunderstandings....so the document is changed.  It's a shocker for most folks because they generally think that the document hasn't been messed with in two hundred years.

So yes, there is a full Constitution which has pieces relating to the count of "others" (meaning slaves) as 3/5's of a person when you do a Census.  Yes, we actually did write up a Constitutional piece forbidding alcohol (it came right after we gave women the right to vote).  And yes, we used have senators elected by state assembly....and not by the public.  But we rewrote each of these.  Shocking?

Here's the bottom line....we aren't perfect.  We write and sometimes discover errors in what we write.  So we amend.  To be honest, I suspect that both parties are fearful of bringing up changes to the Constitution because it'd entice the public and the media to take up massive campaigns and swing back into a anti-alcohol-like situation as we face one hundred years ago.  We could easily pass something and realize four months later it was a massive screw-up....then waste several years trying to undo it.

The Ways of Iran

The Iranian government stood up today and said that it would absolutely move heaven and Earth.....to stop the business of importing sex dolls into Iran.  Without saying alot why this comes up....they hinted that they would pursue guys who were acting as import agents and crush the Iranian sex doll industry.

This stirs the heart of a guy from Bama.  We too....have tried hard to keep the sex doll industry from establishing itself in the heartland of Bama.  Only through the magnificent efforts of the Baptist folks....have we met success and kept the sex doll industry non-existent in Bama (so we are told).  Our chief worry are those establishments across the state line into Tennessee as they possibly corrupt the morals and captivate Bama guys.

I sat and pondered over this situation.  I'm guessing several Mullahs have been briefed in Iran.  The chief of the Revolutionary Guards probably knows about the problem as well.  Who would import stuff like this?  Probably those pesky Russian guys who show up to sell ceramic statues of Muhammad, pallets of Taiwanese-made condoms, and fake Pepsi.

You can imagine the Iranian cops being briefed now.  They have orders to ask stupid questions and examine the trunks of cars to the extent of looking for sex dolls.  They probably asked their bosses what the dolls looked like and the boss had to bring his personal sex doll in to show his cops.

The thing about this....if these guys really get into this and decide that they can't marry or pick up hot lusty Iranian women like they should....they might just give up and accept a sex doll as a substitute.  This would create a national trend that you'd rather not think about as so many Iranian women would wonder why guys aren't interested in them.

For you Iranian guys....my advice here....it's ok just to have a 'happy Betty' around the apartment just as a joke, but if she and you are pretty serious....then you've got issues.  You might want to continue your effort to get a real gal.