Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Fifty-First State Talk?

As some of you know....I lived for four years in Arizona and regularly track Arizona news.  There is a bit of shock for me today.....as I discovered...via NPR (sadly)....that a fair number of folks from southern Arizona (mostly around Pima county) want to slide their area off the state and create the 51st state.  It would of course be called Baja-Arizona.  Kinda like North Carolina or North Dakota, in a way.

The jest of this discussion and partition which is circulating (being signed by a fair number in Pima county), is that they are unhappy that a majority of Republicans in the state run things.  They've ruined the state....so say the folks in Pima county.

After four years in the state....I can truthfully say that about half the way down from Phoenix....you start to cross a line.  North of that line for the entire state....four folks out of five are Republican.  South of that line, it's mostly four folks out of five who are Democrat.

How and why?  I came to realize that the university down in Tucson tended to be a magnet of sorts.  If you asked who believes in global warming....the vast majority of professors will say they believe in it.  The student population bends the same way.  If you gaze around at the stars who make Tucson their "other" home, the vast majority would be labeled leaning toward being a liberal of sorts.  The city council is mostly the same way.  The county council is the same way.

The odds of this 51st state thing taking off?  I'd say it's mostly a joke.  However, stranger things have happened in life.  If this did occur....I'd imagine that Florida would break off into three states....that Tennessee could do the same, and maybe even Michigan could be three states as well.

If you had posed this scenario to Jefferson....he'd likely have laughed a good bit and asked for some local whiskey to be shared around with the guests at the table.

If you were ever wondering why folks started discussing breaking the southern states off from the United States....you might come view this attitude in Arizona as being a sort of trigger.  Folks start thinking outside the box, and then all hell breaks loose.

As for Baja-Arizona?  It's capital would be Tucson, and naturally....it's first governor, two senators and two representatives....would all be Democrats.  Arizona (the remain north part) would be deemed a threat, and likely discussed at length each day in the local state house of representatives   Kinda funny in a way.

And?

Sometime next year....when you buy a new cellphone or Blackberry....it will have a special chip which will allow it to receive government alerts (naturally sent by your county, state, or federal folks). Somewhere in all the rules to this chip....the government did agree that they'd allow you (the user) to opt out of getting these fantastic government warnings....unless it's from the President. The pusher on this business? Your friendly Federal Communications Commission.

I paused and pondered over this.  One hundred years ago....any warnings that you got....came mostly from your neighbor or some church bell in town.  If it was real important.....it came from a newspaper which was printed two days ago and it might have taken another day to get over to your house.  So now....in the blink of an eye, the President can come out and tell you something real important.

You can imagine this Twitter-like message....140 characters....from the President.  "Americans, this terrible thing has happened today, and we are all sadden and outraged by the event.  We will not stand idly by....Americans have never been that way, and we are the candle that burns throughout the free world.  Pray for America tonight, and rest assured, I'm in charge."

To be honest, that 140-character message is probably already pre-programed into the chip....and will be ready for any Democrat or Republican President to push out.

I sat and thought about this.  To be honest....out of 300 million Americans....there are likely two hundred million adults, and probably eighty percent carry cellphones or Blackberrys.  Strangely enough.....I'd take a good guess that at least twenty million American adults don't have a cellphone or access to one....nor do they want one.  In fact, they never got the Beta tape player, nor did they agree with the DVD technology, and they might not even have a remote control for their TV.

The jest of my commentary is that this super-message from the government and the President....probably won't mean very much.  These idiots are acting like we all need to be connected.  The blunt truth is that we simply don't care what most of these government guys think.  In fact....if they just had real Doppler-radar coverage and had a three minute warning before the tornado....they'd be more appreciative.  I have the feeling that this chip is mostly worthless, but it makes a few Democrats and Republicans feel important.   

Simply Observations

If you have five minutes today, there is a five-star article over at Vanity Fair, from a guy who has developed a serious cancer problem and lost his ability to speak.....and in the process discovered the true value of speech.  Until you've been set back, and discovered the problem with lack of speech....you really don't have a grasp of the world around you.  Enjoy five minutes of terrific writing.

The Navy Chaplains stood up a couple of days ago and said they had no problem in marrying guys to guys and gals to gals.  It's part of the DADT(don't ask & don't tell)-take-down. They wouldn't force the Catholic Priests or the Baptist guys to do it....but any other denomination could marry up folks in a state where such was allowed.  Naturally, this got congress and the senate real upset because they've passed a law back about ten years ago to identify marriage as only between a man and woman.  The heat was on....you could easily perceive that a bunch of folks were running turbo-style with dismantling DADT.  So yesterday, the Chaplains stood back up and said they wouldn't be having such marriages.  Kinda comical in a way.  Had they continued....you can imagine the boat pulling out with 500 sailors....and suddenly Jake and John appear in the ships chapel for him to marry them at sea....perfectly legal under these rules.  So Jake and John would then be husband and husband for the rest of the voyge.  A bunch of folks realized the implications on a scenario like this, and I suspect the potential comedy finally convinced the Navy to chat with the Chaplains.

Skype got bought by Microsoft.  I sat and read about five different business versions of the situation.  Somehow, a number of folks have convinced themselves that this was positive.  I'm still waiting.  Skype was totally free unless you wanted all the bells and whistles.  Skype worked each and every time that you turned it on.  I've saved thousands over the past year....using Skype.  Now with Microsoft?  It'll be incorporated within their Internet Browser, have a $49 attachment to your PC, and eventually cost you something in the end.  Oh, and the government will have a secret deal where the mainframe Skype server is totally open to them so they can listen into each and every conversation.

It's a strange thing.  We shoot and kill bin Laden in his own house.  Here are his various wives (yep, more than one).  We could have taken all of them onto the helicopters as we left.....but we didn't.  So now, the Pakistanis have the wives.  We apparently have some desire to interview them.  I'm pausing here because I'm wondering what the heck a wife will say about some trophy husband like the bin Laden dude?  The CIA guy would ask about issues, and the wife #1 will say he never cleaned the dishes....wife #2 will say that he always hung the toilet paper over (not under) which upset her greatly.....and wife #3 will say that he always liked burnt toast in the morning with half a cup of coffee and half a cup of milk.  The CIA guy will scratch his head because he really doesn't want to put this out in a message.  Meanwhile, the Pakistani guy in the corner is thinking about all this....and wondering if he ought to be hanging his toilet paper over and not under.

There is a suggestion now today....that our guy Chavez in Venezuela....actually got to be buddy-buddy with the Columbian FARC (the fake revolutionary guys who mostly just protect the drug cartels and collect funding to survive).  He was such good friends with them....that he asked them to kill Venezuelan opposition leaders.  To make this friendship solid.....Chavez apparently gave around $300 million to the FARC.  This suggestion.....comes from secret files that popped up in the public within the last week.  So far, no one is saying much of anything.  The sad thing here is that the FARC already looked fairly fake as a revolutionary war unit....but now they are Chavez bad-boys to boot?

Finally, a local story.  In all of Washington DC....the "District"....up until last month, there was only one authorized gun dealer.  If you bought weapons....you had to buy via this one guy.  The city has made the purchase of weapons such a pain, that it's just comical in a way.  This one dealer?  Well....he ended up with lease issues (imagine that), and temporarily shut his operation down.  He's looking at new property and hoping to reopen in a month or two.  Officially....if you want a weapon now in DC....you can't buy it legally.  Course, you could ask your local dope dealer and he'd sell you a weapon for $50....just don't ask questions or expect a receipt.

Just humble observations.