Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Just the Thought

It was one of those strange televised events today....the nut from Arizona who wounded congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords....was brought into the court chamber.  The judge listended intently and was told that the guy is a nut and too incompetent to stand trial.  This guy.....Jared Lee Loughner....then went nuts and the federal marshals had to drag him out.  His one comment that was recorded: "Thank you for the freak show. She died in front of me."

The judge said that he'd allow a three-month period to pass before going to the next phase....another evaluation, and then possibly forgetting about charges and just committing the guy to a permanent facility.

I've come to a point in my life where I think folks ought to be forced in front of a judge the minute that anyone....a minister, a teacher, a librarian, a cop, or even a striptease model.....says that you are an actual nutcase.  You get seven days at a local facility and have to take a competency test to prove you actually can function.  If you can't.....you lose your freedom for a year and spend it in a state mental hospital.  Every year after that....you get another evaluation.

Yes, I guess we would be locking up twenty thousand Americans each and every year.  Yes, it would cost every state a fair amount of money.

The problem is....just in the state of Bama....there are at least three hundred folks who ought to be completely locked up because they are a threat to innocent people.  That number grows each and every year.  Some folks would want to talk about the problems of putting innocent folks into a mental facility, but my rational sense says that if you don't.....eventually, they will bring harm to someone that doesn't deserve it.

This Arizona kid?  Well....he'll convince the judge within a year to permanently place him in a secure facility.  Maybe in ten to fifteen years.....he might actually get out when he's been doped up enough and learns to act rational.  The curious thing here...the parents have to sit there and realize that he could have just as easily killed them one evening....for turning his World of Warcraft off or his cartoons.....and frankly, that would probably make you sit and ponder long and hard over.

Simply Observations

John Edwards.  If you had told me five years ago that John would be facing federal charges and could potentially get some jail-time....I would have laughed.  Today, it's very likely that John will be convicted.  I'm not yet convinced of real jail-time....it'd be a waste to put this guy into some nice four-star federal prison for eight months....over paying his girlfriend not to brag about their kid to the press while he was running for President.  The interesting thing here is that he came fairly close in the process to becoming a big contender for vice-president.  So you could imagine a scenario here where we'd have a crisis in the White House today....if Obama had selected him for his VP.

Mercedes in Germany has a team that apparently monitors Facebook, Twitter, and other sites.  Don't ask why, but these guys came up on a comment made about the German Chancellor (Merkel) and the the CEO of Mercedes.  Basically, the original comment made was that both Merkel and the CEO are bold-faced liars.  Then, a couple of Mercedes employees decided to mark the comment as "like".  Management brought the five guys in....brought out the copy of their original agreement where they said they wouldn't insult fellow employees.....which includes the CEO.  So this meeting occurred with the company representative, the Facebook junkie, and the union boss.  You can imagine the comic nature of this episode.  No one is fired, but the Facebook dude is put on notice that this might cause issues in the future. So you might want to ask how one would comment on the CEO being a liar if you worked for Mercedes.....but it's best to just grin and say that the CEO never....ever....lies.  Then wink at the camera.


Finally, hidden in the news from yesterday.....the President has issued an order for all federal agencies....no more full-size sedans or SUVs, unless you can prove they are necessary.  To be honest, most of the 600k government fleet are not full-sized or SUVs....but after you drive around DC enough....you'd say that there are a significant number of them.  The order goes on to say that within six months, the government agencies must say on their web page....to what extent they have full-sized vehicles or SUVs.  I sat and pondered over this.  Homeland Security will find various ways to get around this order.....as will FEMA and the FBI.  If you watch video clips of their guys arriving at crime scenes....the FBI always arrives in a black SUV.  I'd have doubts that they even own one mid-sized vehicle in the whole FBI fleet.  The curious thing is that before the late 1990's.....SUVs were fairly rare in a government inventory.  If you figured up the gas usage and potential future cost.....this might actually be a wise idea.  My guess is that we will continue to see a fair number of SUVs.....and folks grinning as they tell you that it's absolutely necessary for their mission.

A Moment on Vacations

CNN did a report up.....why Americans don't take 'real' vacations.  The emphasis of this....is that we simply don't behave like the Europeans and take two or three entire weeks off.  Our desires are usually to take extended weekends and sometimes take an entire week in the summer (mostly to paint the house or dig up the septic tank).

It's one of the few times that I'm in full agreement with CNN and their analysis.

I've come to notice while working here at the Pentagon that people generally tie up two days of leave to their three-day holiday weekends....and just take off for five days total.  I'd be willing to bet that at least four folks out of ten practice this throughout the year.

Years ago, I came to realize that Germans were dedicated folks to this two to three week concept.  They could not imagine going an entire year without that two week period off.  They will tell you that it's absolutely necessary for their mental sake.  Tour agents design these packages....for Egypt, Greece, Turkey, and Spain.....and people just lounge around excessively for two weeks.

After experiencing both views of vacation....I've come to be more agreeable with the US version.  Bluntly, after about seven days of vacation....I think the free time after that is mostly wasted.  You've relaxed enough and chilled to the extent that it's perfectly ok to go back to work.  The second week is totally wasted, in my humble opinion.  I'll even go as far as admitting that it's probably better for you to have one of these five-day weekends every other month, than to devise some 17-day beach vacation package for Greece.

I sat yesterday at the office and my co-worker brought up the holiday weekend coming up.  I kinda laughed.  By Thursday noon....most of my co-workers will be gone, and I'll be in a mostly empty vaulted area.  In some fashion....I'm almost getting a vacation with folks gone.

If Only They Could Talk

My brother pulled up the story.   It is the story that legends are made of.  Someone whispers off to Hitler during World War II that German dogs are superior and they could be taught to listen and speak.  Naturally, Hitler gets all peppy, and starts a special dog school....and the rest is history.

As far as we know....from what British historians have recently found....it all happened kinda like that.  But there's likely more to the story.

The historians say that the dogs that were shown....learned to communicate in some fashion with their SS masters.  The SS guys then brought educated dogs from all over Germany....to teach them signals to use with their paws.  Yes, there's a dog which did say 'Mein Fuhrer' in some fashion when someone asked who Hitler was.

What happened in reality?  My guess is that some dimwit with some future in the SS....got Hitler talked into a program....in the same fashion that idiots go to NSA today and get them to spend $1.5 billion on an intelligence system that won't deliver.   The NSA guys prance around with congressmen....all glowing eyes....and everyone acts like nuts.  The pro-Hitler crowd probably handed over all the funding necessary, and the first Hitler-approved dog school was in operation.

You can imagine the lady in charge....mostly there to bring out her Border Collie who knows forty-four different tricks, and she convinces everyone that he can utter "Hitler" when she does a secret hand signal.

Months go by.  Fancy wine gets delivered.  SS officers arrive every week to sit and sip beer under some trees as they watch some dog do some fancy tricks.  Everyone goes back to Berlin....bragging about the talking dog.  Hitler gets a picture once a month of some special dog....and things look great.

The war eventually ends....and the school?  Well....no one really says much about the end.  My guess?  A bunch of US intelligence folks arrive, quietly pack up all the smart dogs and the German lady....and send them off to a secret site in the US....where they breed and train the Nazi-developed dogs.  Naturally, these dogs are later taught to say "Kennedy" and "Nixon".

Considering the recent story of the Soviets loading up an advanced aircraft with Nazi-developed half-breeds, and crashing it in Roswell as a joke.....I'm of the mind that this story just might be mostly true. Stranger things have happened.