Monday, 2 May 2011

The Most Interesting Thing

I spent around forty-five minutes today reading the news on Osama.  There are various pieces to this operation which are curious notes....but there is one fascinating piece.

This house that he was found in....isn't just a house.  It's a one-million dollar mansion in Pakistan.  We are talking about a million-dollar estate with 18-foot walls surrounding the place and almost no windows.  This would all be a bit odd.  But here is the unusual piece.....here in a million-dollar estate....they burned their garbage.

I would imagine that you could drive around Pakistan and maybe over the whole country.....find around 250 million-dollar estates.  If you were looking for one with almost no windows and 16-foot walls....you'd probably find less than three of them.  But finding a million-dollar mansion where folks burn all their garbage?  No....you just won't find that.

You can go off to France, Germany, Japan, and a dozen countries where you'd find million-dollar estates....and you just won't find anybody that burns their trash.  It's always picked up.

So I go back to my Bama days.  My dad, and almost everyone around where I grew up in the 1970s....burned their garbage.  You'd have a 55-gallon drum and toss a bag in....light it up, and then watch it burn.  After two months of this....the drum would be full and you'd tie it onto the truck and dump it at the local garbage dump.

This was a regular habit of my dad up until the 1980s.....when the locals are all got peppy about grass fires, and then it kinda got to be a bad thing.  Yes, I can remember twenty-odd grass fires starting and having to rush out and douse them with a hose before they became issues.

So I can kinda identify with the Obama folks here.  They probably had this habit from the Africa years and just kept up the trend....even when they were living in a one-million dollar estate.  Course, he also probably didn't want anyone ever reading his fantasy letters to some lusty gal in Bossier City, or gazing at his credit card information which had details over his 1-900 chats with a service out of Detroit.  So I can understand things like this.

Charlie in Bama?

It has been a fairly busy weekend in Bama.  Lot of folks have been out to help other folks who had home damage from the tornadoes.

Amongst the curious episodes....you have almost as many church groups in action with chain saws, axes, and free food for locals....as FEMA or the Federal Government.   Over and over, you get commentary from the New York reporters on the scene....kinda amazed at how church groups are involved in food distribution, providing help in devastated areas, and folks just aren't waiting for the federal government to save them.

In fact....I would suspect that the New York reporters are a bit shocked at folks offering up cookies, milk and fresh chilled water to them (something they don't typically find in most places they report from).

Somewhere in the midst of all this weekend mess...is Charlie Sheen.  Via a tweet....Charlie says that he's coming to Bama to help out.  I paused over this announcement, wondering how situation might occur.

I can imagine Charlie Sheen arriving in Phil Campbell....which was fairly hit by a tornado and getting out of his SUV to find that almost no one knows him.  He'd probably meet and greet five or six of the local Bama guys....shaking hands with them.  Most would confuse each other by proclaiming Charlie a FEMA director or maybe a Washington Senator.  Then they'd shake hands with Charlie....offer up the best whiskey or moonshine they had, and briefly describe their moment of the tornado.

Charlie would be kinda overcome by the kindness of the five Bama guys, the free whiskey, and the general friendliness of everyone there.  Hours will pass as Charlie sips whiskey with the guys.  Then darkness will fall.  Charlie will finally find his way back to the SUV and decide then and there that he was meant to stay in Bama.  A week later....he buys a single-wide trailer, a Kubota tractor, a hunting dog, and announces that he's giving up Hollywood to stay in Bama.  Folks kinda accept crazy Charlie....mostly because he's like other crazy folks in Bama anyway, and life goes on.

Osama

I will make a couple of observations over the timely death of Osama.

First, from various reports....this was a 6-year-plus period in which we simply had this hint about this compound and that it might be housing a VIP.  We are talking about a small unimportant tip that simply kept getting a bit more interest...until finally, there was enough evidence to send in a SEAL team.  You have to have alot of patience to follow a trail like this for six years.

Second, it's amazing for me to turn my TV on at 3AM and see that folks are up in New York City....celebrating the timely death of Osama, and they just might go on until the sun rises.  If you had to pick one area of the US where this was the best news of the day....it'd be the big apple.

Third, what now?   He will be buried quickly....likely at sea.  Name recognition is now gone.  You get stuck with Mullah Omar who is totally unbalanced and no one has heard from the guy for almost eight years, and then a couple of number two guys who aren't really known beyond Pakistan or Saudi Arabia.  Recruitment might perk up for a month in honor of the killing, but I suspect the long-term recruitment numbers are going to dissolve.

Fourth, who takes charge now?  It's kinda like a mafia hit.  A couple of guys meet....they argue....someone gets hostile and shoots a primary candidate, and then everyone moves onto round two.  I don't see some absolute ruler of the movement for weeks or months.

Fifth and final, sadly....the war continues on.  Within a month....some idiot within Islamic threat will carry out some attack on a subway in London, Paris or Frankfurt.  They will have to achieve some act....simply to show they are still functional.  We may have killed our chief target.....but honestly.....nothing really stops from this event.  And that's the sad part about this story.  You'd all like an end.

An Unusual Idea

Somewhere in the midst of news for Sunday....came this short piece where New York mayor....Micheal Bloomberg now suggest that the best way of fixing Detroit....is to require all new immigrants to go and settle there. He says it'll jump-start the city.

So, you can imagine this ad appearing in Lebanon, the Congo, Thailand, and Brazil. Come and immigrate to America...but you must stay in Detroit. For some reason, I just don't see it as an enticement.

A guy would ask questions and eventually come to decide that living in Africa...just might be better than Detroit. Same for the guy from Brazil. Same for the guy from Lebanon. People might eventually come to decide that coming to America wasn't a great idea...if they had to stay in Detroit. In one swoop, we may have changed the whole attitude of people immigrating into America....merely by mentioning Detroit as the mandated destination.