Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Simply Observations

Our French dude in New York City who was arrested a couple of days ago for an attack on a maid.....Dominique Strauss-Kahn (DSK)....may have another little twist to his episode that he may regret.  The maid....by several newspaper accounts....lives in an apartment house that rents only to people who have AIDS.  She has a daughter....and it's not clear if the mother or the daughter is the one who gets the privilege for the lesser rent scale apartment.  I'm guessing the cops likely handed DSK a copy of the newspaper, and he's sitting there now and wondering about his situation.  As always....I always emphasize.....anything can happen in New York City.

The Center for Disease Control....came out with this list to get people to thinking....what you need for a "Zombie Apocalypse".  Naturally, it's supposed to be the list that you need for a hurricane or flood episode....but they wanted you excited and thinking.  I stopped there and kinda thought more about zombies than I did about floods, tornadoes or earthquakes.  My top three items on a "Zombie Apocalypse" situation? 1.  Bergman MP18 (German machine-gun made for WW I and was actually inserted into forced peace treaty to never be manufactured ever again....so you can guess it's fire power on anything).  2. The Henry Rifle (frankly, it's over 100 years old, but it's always impressive to see it pumped for each round). 3.  M14 Rifle (1959-1970, the Marine weapon of choice).

As most of you know....there's only five TV shows on my list worth watching as of yesterday.  I took one off my favorite five....House.  The sarcastic medical series....came out and announced that the love goddess....Lisa Cuddy, played by Lisa Edelstein will finally exit the show next week....and not return for next season.  Cause for the exit?  The network basically said that numbers were great for the full cast....or a full run of episodes.  So somewhere in negotiation....I get the impression that they came to Edelstein and asked her to accept being cut out of eight shows.....to save on cost.  She likely said no, and decided it was time to leave. To be honest, she was fifty percent of the show.  My guess is that numbers will rapidly deflate here by the sixth episode of next season, and it will likely be the last season of House.  Meanwhile.....we will wait with baited breathe to find out what Ms Edelstein does next.

Over on the United Airline front....some idiot in management didn't catch the issue....but when they were adding new flights to the list of coverage....they pumped in United 93 and 173....both being 9/11 flights.  The union took all of thirty minutes to respond that this was awful stupid.  United stood up and then readily agreed.  The curious thing....for the next 300 years of United service....you basically can't use these numbers.  It's kinda like playing for the Braves and you'd like to have "44" as your number but that's retired because of Aaron.

Finally, presidential contender Rick Santorum spoke out yesterday....saying mostly that John McCain doesn't know much on interrogtation techniques...even though he was a prisoner of war. McCain had been out pumping up the talk that torture of any form...including waterboarding...just ain't acceptable.  McCain supporters are all anti-Santorum now.  Personally....I don't know nothing positive over McCain or Santorum....and it'd be better if both would just retire and become a county councilman somewhere.

Disenfranchise?

Over the last five years....I've people use the word "disenfranchise" a couple of hundred times.  The actual meaning of the word?  To deprive one of a legal right, a privilege, or immunity.....or the perceived legal right, the perceived privilege, or perceived immunity.

I would imagine if you stopped one hundred people at a mall....from ages sixteen to eighty....that barely twenty-five percent would know some part of the meaning.  About half would tell you honesty that they don't know what the word means.  The same group would tell you that they've heard it on CNN or ABC news....but otherwise, they can only guess what it means.

Disenfranchise is thrown around today when someone (typically a liberal, not a conservative)....is writing up or speaking a blistering verbal attack against an opponent or group.

There is an interesting commentary by Donna Brazile in USA Today....where she lays out a major issue that  some states are moving toward....photo-ID required to vote.  She throws out this number....twenty-one million Americans who don't have a photo-ID....and would not be able to vote under such a requirement....thus invoking the disenfranchise label by the evil states attempting this.

The statisitics come from the NYU School of Law who called out and interviewed between 900 and a 1,000 folks.  The four major questions are simple enough....I will agree.

I kinda sat there and pondered this.  Twenty-one million Americans who cannot prove who they are or drive, or even cash checks.  They can't enter a telephone or cable-TV office to start service.  They can't charge a credit card.  They can't open a bank account.  They can't drive a car.  They can't own a car.  They can't register a car, a rifle, a boat, or even a scooter.  They can't buy prescription drugs at a drug store.  They can't buy alcohol or tobacco.  They can't travel via an airport or fly.  In most major American cities....they would be detained by the police for any violation until they brought evidence....a photo-ID....to prove who they are.  They can't register for a college or technical school.  They can't travel to Canada.  They can't buy a hunting or fishing license.

I'm pretty sure that Ms Brazile didn't intend to mention any of the acts I just laid out above....because you'd start to ask silly questions....like do these people live in the woods and just eat pinecones?  Do these people avoid banks entirely?  Do these people have any medical attention that requires drugs....and if so....how would they get their prescription drugs without an ID?  So none of the twenty-one million can fly on an airline?  None of them can drive or buy a car?  None of them have telephone or cable-TV service?  None of them have ever bought booze or alcohol at the corner store?  None ever attended any college?

For some reason....I'm having doubts about the poll and the intended results.

In fact....we might want to ask another disenfranchise question.  If you had a bunch of folks walk up and vote in six different voting districts....or two different states....like multiple voting....wouldn't that disenfranchise all the regular folks who only voted once?

Once you drag out this word disenfranchise.....and you start to really survey the potential issues....it's not a single-sided sword anymore.  You could have some guy living in NY City and voting there....while having a vacation condo in Florida and actively voting there as well.  Disenfranchised?  Yep.

So as you sit tonight, and hear that disenfranchised word again....you might want to ask a question or two. You might have a laugh....and then just turn the TV channel over to Jeopardy....knowing that some folks know the meaning more than other folks.