Friday, 27 January 2012

Simply Observations

The massive cuts announced by the Pentagon yesterday?  Well...it's an amusing thing.  They are designed to take almost a decade to accomplish.  So, it looks good for about six months, then some war episode will occur in Central America, Asia, or the Middle East....and the President will announce various planned cuts are now suspended.  The odds of all the planned massive cuts happening?  I'd rate it less than ten percent.  It was a decent public relations event.....and not much else.

The $14k offering that the cruise line will make to the Italian cruise passengers?  Well....I'm guessing the majority of folks will turn it down and consider a massive court case.  The problem I see is that you go with some massive case, with a dozen lawyers....and sit back for a five-year court operation.  When it finally ends...after the lawyers get their cut....you end up with $70k (my humble opinion).  The cruise line will figure the game out and sell off a boat or two....declare bankruptcy, and it could be another five years before some judge can release all this money.  I might be thinking $14k would be worth it....then I figure the taxes here, and I probably only get $9500 after the IRS gets their money.  $9500 for a 3-hour cruise gone wrong and losing my luggage?

Do I care much if Pat Sajak had a few drinks between shows (Wheel of Fortune)?  No.  Was he drunk when spinning the wheel?  You can't find a single example of such behavior.  I've watched eight different updates from local and national news over the past two days, and don't see much to report.  Folks who worry about this....ought to demand a breathalyzer for news folks, TV weathermen, game show hosts, and US Senators.  We might be shocked at how many are tipsy or drunk on a daily basis.

This Bob Dole negative talk over Newt?  I kept thinking.....Bob who?  Then it hit me.....he was some minor Republican party Senator from the eighties and nineties.  He is apparently throwing his support behind Mitt.  I thought that was pretty neat....326 Dole-supporters....now supporting Mitt.  This might help out in Kansas....maybe.

Finally, a publisher in Germany has been in a major fight to reprint "Mein Kampf" (Hitler's book....his one and only book).  The German government has a ban on the book....you can't find it on any shelf, or print it.  Even if this publisher gets some legal understanding.....it'll be curious just how many copies might be sold.  My humble guess....less than twenty thousand.  To be kinda honest....you can likely buy the book at a digital book site, and download it to your Kindle in Germany.  The German cops probably haven't figured out that angle to the deal yet.  The fear of Mein Kampf?  It's a fairly difficult book to read, and I'm guessing most folks will stop after a dozen pages.  But the problem is that you just need some dimwit in Bavaria to read it....get all peppered up.....and start making speeches....to restart the whole Nazi movement.  One guy....is all it takes.

My Neighborhood

Across the river, in DC....there's this effort underway to build a trolley-car line....roughly thirty-seven miles within the District of Columbia.  Cost?  Well....it's figured at $1.5 billion and you can bet on it approaching $2 billion, and maybe costing even more than that.

The first part of this was supposed to be active in 2013.  No one is expecting that line to be finished....because of various issues, and meet that anticipated opening.  The trolley-cars are all foreign made, and electrical.  Because there's a law in DC forbidding high-voltage trolleylines (going back one hundred years)....folks aren't sure if the city council will have the guts to fix this issue.

So we come to today's little item of interest.  The city paid almost half a million....to tell them how this will change DC.  You would have thought a report like this would have been created ten years ago when they first discussed the matter, and been part of the planning process.  It wasn't.

The report says that property values (property taxes would be related) will escalate, possibly up another seven billion dollars over the next decade or two.  In fact, they kinda hint that most poor folks in eastern DC....will likely be forced out as they discover various offers for their houses, and just leave DC.  The black voting ratio?  They don't cover that topic....but it's very likely that half the black population in eastern DC will be gone within two decades....if this trolley-car line is ever completed.

The idea here....if you think about it, is that the report convinces various big players in DC politics to climb onboard and accept expenditures for the trolley.  Stores, apartments, condos, and various construction projects will eventually come because of the new trolley system.

I suspect if half the population would have realized the implications back a decade ago....of the black population being eventually pushed out....then it wouldn't have been accepted so much by the city council.

DC by 2030?  I'm guessing it will be this interesting transformation....with less crime....less drugs....and maybe less corruption.  Some European-style trolley-cars will be roaming across the landscape and some idiots will claim it almost looks like Amsterdam.  And the likely three billion dollars spent....will seem like a great idea.