Thursday, 5 January 2012

When a Tune Doesn't Work

Here in Virginia....they had a bunch of third-grade kids who are in some music appreciation-type class.  They apparently wrote up and performed a "Occupy" song.  It took me a while, but I finally found the lyics:

Some people have it all, but they still don’t think they have enough


They want more money, a faster ride


They’re not content, never satisfied


Yes — they’re the 1 percent


I used to be one of the 1 percent


I worked all the time, never saw my family


Couldn’t make life rhyme


Then the bubble burst, it really, really hurt


I lost my money


Lost my pride


Lost my home


Now I’m part of the 99


Some people have it all, but they still don’t think they have enough


They want more money, a faster ride


They’re not content, never satisfied


Yes — they’re the 1 percent


I used to be sad, now I’m satisfied


’Cause I really have enough


Though I lost my yacht and plane, didn’t need that extra stuff


Could have been much worse, you don’t need to be first


’Cause I’ve got my friends, here by my side


Don’t need it all


I’m so happy to be part of the 99

I sat there and read it three times.  I'm kinda amazed that a bunch of eight and nine year-old kids could write stuff like this.  In fact....I'd like to meet them but I'm guessing that they mostly would discuss Ninja Turtles, Power Rangers, and professional wrestling.  Their vast knowledge of the banking sector, shameful investment schemes, and left-wing politics is probably limited to some degree.

So word got out, and parents in this school district over near Charlottsville, Virginia.  You are mostly in the middle of nowhere (southern side of the state)....with only two key local things.  One is the home of Thomas Jefferson, and the other being a major state university.  Parents asked a bunch of questions, and the school finally tried to avoid saying anything negative about whoever was involved, and that they would be a bit more careful about future song topics.

My guess is that they won't be allowing the kids write up any Jesus lyrics, get-doped-up lyrics, live free with Nazi lyrics, or I-love-my-pistol lyrics.  Once you open up the door and start free-style song writing....heck, you might end up with some Lynyrd Sknyrd tune:

Big wheels keep on turning


Carry me home to see my kin


Singing songs about the south-land


I miss 'ole' 'bamy once again


And I think it's a sin


Well I heard Mister Young sing about her


Well I heard ole Neil put her down


Well, I hope Neil Young will remember


A southern man don't need him around anyhow


Sweet home Alabama


Where the skies are so blue


Sweet home Alabama

We sure don't want eight year old kids writing up tunes like this.....they might end up as rock stars.

As for the adults involved in this episode?  Well....I'm thinking they are grinning and smiling over what they accomplished.  Got themselves on the front page of various newspapers, and earned a status symbol.  My advice....if this is the best tune you could dream up....you'd best stay working at the county garbage dump or keep flipping burgers over Wendys.

The Time Travel Obama?

I usually pass on stories like this....but temptation was just too much.

The story came out yesterday that a new conspiracy theory does exist.  Some guy.....who is a Washington (state) lawyer....says he was part of a time travel program developed by the DARPA folks.  At some point, in the 1970s (he was careful to avoid exact dates)....he was in a project called Pegasus.  He says the program was going on in California, which involved the "Mars training class" and that they had ten young college punks who were to travel in top-secret form via teleportation, to Mars.

Who was in this group of ten?  President Barak Obama, of course.....as a college kid at the time.

The White House has come out and admitted the President never was in such a program and never has traveled to Mars.

It is a nifty story, you must admit.  Course, if you were going to do time-travel.....wouldn't you prefer to use the Earth instead and halt the Nazis in 1938 instead?  Or stop Lincoln's death in 1865?  Or save Marilyn Monroe?  It'd sound really great if twenty-year old Barak Obama jumped at the last second and tackled Jack Ruby before he shot Oswald....thus giving all of us a chance to hear the factual side of what Oswald might have said in the weeks and months after the shooting of Kennedy.  Obama could have walked around the corner, clicked his heels and returned to the 1980s.....and probably found events slightly changed.

If you want to dream up some really oddball story like this....it helps to be more realistic.  I'm thinking this lawyer guy from Washington probably had a long weekend event with Jack Daniels, and watched all the episodes of Lost in Space over three days.

My Neighborhood

Two interesting political events are underway in DC this week.....which concerns the District (not the nation). They aren't likely to be mentioned in any state or local press that you read.

First, our mayor...who has finally made to 365 days in office....is on a recall effort as of this week.  Mayor Gray has kinda suffered through 2011.  There are various ethics episodes that made him look either incompetent or absolutely unethical....take your pick.

DC has an interesting recall situation.  First, you need forty-five thousand signatures of registered voters in the District.  You have to find forty-five thousand folks who agree that Gray has to be recalled.  The odds of meeting that number?  I'd give it less than fifty-percent.  Even if they did hit the magic number....you'd expect the signatures to be challenged every step of the way.

One expert from the District claimed that you'd need a minimum of $150k to face off this legal challenge to the signatures.

Then the city has this nifty rule.....of the eight city districts within DC.....you need to have at least ten percent of the registered voters within five of the districts...to make a recall legit.  So you can imagine this deal where you get forty-five thousand folks signed up but the vast majority come from three districts, and you never cross the line to the ten-percent rule.

My humble guess is that you'd need to be fairly organized and aim forty folks to handle your recall petition and hopefully have each group balanced out to get the minimum ten-percent.  I'd also guess that you better aim for seventy thousand signatures, just to be on the safe side.

My advice to the Mayor......don't worry....you got your job for three more years and you can safely retire at that point.  The city has a guaranteed deal that no recall effort will ever be successful.  Pretty smart planning, if you ask me.

The second event?  Well....our local city councilman.....Harry Thomas Jr....is fairly close to a deal with the federal prosecutor.  His crimes?  Harry set up a neat charity fund, and then asked the city to toss funds into it....for low-income kids.  The city handed over $300k.  Harry spent a majority of the money on a new SUV, golf, and air travel holidays.  Someone figured out the whole scheme.....and then the IRS folks got involved.

Harry has been smart about this....never admitting guilt.  But then he came back to say he'd pay the $300k back....in six installments ($50k each).....no mention of interest.  The first installment was supposed to occur in the last week, but didn't happen.

So the word from just about every news organization in DC is that he will resign from the city council within the next seven days.....and then get a nice deal with the federal prosecutor, with no jail time.  Naturally, most locals are upset about the idea of him walking off.

I sat and pondered over this.  A DC city councilman makes $130k a year.  Figure taxes (federal and local), and he walks away with $85k.  It's enough to live a good life in DC, but based on various comments.....I'm thinking that Harry has been living the good life for the past six to eight years....over-spending, and basically broke.  Making this $50k payment?  I'm guessing that he is trying to procure a loan via banks and they won't touch him.  A personal loan?  Not having status as a city councilman means you don't have many special friends ready to loan out cash like this.  My humble guess is that he makes two payments, and then declares bankruptcy, and avoids any more payments.

What happens next to Harry is the curious part.  He has no real talents, other than being the son of a famous Washington DC political figure from the 1970s.  He does have a degree in marketing, and maybe he could hook up with some real estate syndicate in the District which is buying up property and building new upgraded neighborhoods.  He might not be making the $130k a year anymore, but maybe he needed a kick in the seat of the pants to clean up his act.  Who knows?

Just another day in the neighborhood.