Friday, 8 April 2011

From the News Today

Just some observations from life today in the news.  Someone had gone out and found a Woolworth's menu from the early 1960s.  You could have ordered a Banana Split for 39 cents.  Today....you can't touch one for less than $5.  Want a lunch of a ham sandwich?  It used to run 30 cents....today, you'd have to pay at least $1.50.  Makes you wonder how things will be in 2025.

Researchers out in California have come back and now insist that the amount of pollution in the air there, is causing brain disorders.  I sat and pondered over this for a minute after reading it....and then concluded I was in full agreement.  This would readily explain why so many crazy people live in California.  All that huffing of exhaust fumes.....just makes you "nutty California-like".  The neat thing is that you might be able to claim disability by age 40 and just sit around on the beach to be paid $3k a month state disability.

Up until January of this year in New York state....trying to strangle some guy was not a crime.  A wife could have strangled her husband, and the cops would just look the other way.  Now, if she slapped him....that would be different.  Well, the law changed, and it's a funny thing.....since January, there's been 2k arrests.  Cops are fairly busy now and the minute that you say your cousin tried to chock you......it's arrest time.  From the statistics so far, it's almost 95 percent men who have been charged.

We have a big argument brewing in Virgina around the Dulles airport (the 'big' airport west of DC).  For decades, folks have been waiting for METRO to finally reach the Dulles Airport....which is roughly twenty miles from DC.  The project is in the final stages of planning and there is this last piece of the puzzle (arrive above ground or below ground at Dulles).  If they plan this arrive above ground, then they save $300 million on costs.  Most regular folks were in agreement to do this.  In the last two days, the folks in charge voted, and they want it to terminate in the airport, below ground....cost an additional $300 million and taking a possible extra year of construction (minimum).  The county is furious and there's some hostile feelings over this amongst Virginia residents.  The need for the below-ground arrival?  Well...one comment from the METRO commission voting on this (they include DC folks, Maryland folks, etc)....is that this below-ground arrive would make them a "World-Class" airport.  I pondered upon this....trying to grasp how a tunnel subway made your airport hot-stuff, but I don't get it.  Meanwhile, no one knows where the extra $300 million will come from.

The New York Times finally put out a five-star article on bio-fuel and the rising costs of food.  Basically, they finally came to admit that this whole bio-fuel idea probably wasn't the brightest thing in the world, and it will create huge instability across the globe if bio-fuel isn't stopped.  The curious thing which they really didn't want to discuss in the article....is that American farmers are making huge profits off this rising food price situation.  And when farmers are happy....they shop at John Deere and the Tractor Supply Company (TSCO).  Naturally, both of those companies are making vast profits.

Just Some Observations

As part of this preparation for the government shutdown, it was commented that it is an actual violation of law.....if a government worker is furloughed (sent home) and he attempts to work (by email or Blackberry or just stopping at the government office for two minutes), then he is in violation of the law and could be charged with a crime.

Yes, only in America, could you be charged with a crime for working.

So, if my government building suddenly had a leak....unless the director (likely to be one of the few actually authorized to work) invites you over to look at the leak and advise, then you simply can't go or take any action to avoid structural damage.

I sat and pondered over this.  It's a state of mind that we didn't have back before the 1950s.  This is something that we've developed in the past thirty years.  We apparently feel good about this attitude and no one ever questions it.

As for the guys who triggered this event?  This is another interesting observation.  There was a hint that they would work through the weekend, but they also hinted that Easter recess is coming up and they might take a minimum of three days off for that.  Personally, I'd like two simple rules in place.....not a single Senator or Representative to appear on camera or in some TV news episode until they've passed a budget.....and number two....no days off (except Sunday morning services at some church).

The fact that the Republican house offered to pass another continuing resolution to get through seven more days, and the President just said "no"....he'd veto that, is probably the part that makes this most comical.

They were supposed to pass this back in August and September of last year.....and never did.  As we entered October, there should have been Presidential leadership then.....but it never showed.  It should have been fixed by Christmas, but never was.  It should have been fixed by mid-Feburary, but never was.  It would be a plus if the President had negotiation skills but it's becoming more apparent that he really lacks these.  I think the original intent of using VP Joe Biden to help things progress might have been wishful thinking.  Joe would have to act on the President's behalf and I doubt that the President's inner circle would ever allow that to happen.  Joe's job was just to appear, smile, and carry on a conversation.....and I doubt that he was supposed to do little more than report back to the inner circle.

Finally, my last observation.  the comical thing here is that guy who is furloughed and wanted to go visit Idaho for possibly three weeks....could now go and likely get paid full pay during this period while off on vacation.  The problem is....you just don't know how many days this will last.  The idiots might find an answer by Tuesday next week, and by Thursday....we are back.   Free vacation.....paid like work?   Only in America.