Tuesday, 14 February 2012

A Vote or Two or Three or Four

The Pew Center on the states indicates that around twenty million registered voters in the US.....have a problem.  It might be a small problem....it might be a major problem.  They admitted that 2.7 million are registered in at least two states.  And there's at least 4k people....registered to vote....in four states.  So far, they haven't found anyone who was registered in five states.

Their comment over this issue is that folks aren't de-registering as they leave a state.  Having been around the US via the Air Force....I can attest to the fact that no one ever spoke of a law or a necessity to de-register.  I've probably been registered to vote in at least five different states since 1977.  One would assume that you'd drop off the register after two or three years, but to be honest.....no one has ever sat down in front of me and stated the law of any state over this issue.

The Pew guys were careful.  They don't want to admit that twenty million votes might be loaded with fraud.  They didn't want to get into dead voters....because that's an entire book by itself.

So we are left with this mystery of sorts.  These 4k folks registered in four states.....are they voting?  Are we getting an extra 12k votes in November elections across the entire nation?

You'd think that some political party would want to rush out and fix this.....but you barely get a rise out of the Republicans and I can't recall a single Democrat over the past decade getting excited over voter fraud.

The bottom line?  The Pew guys simply admitted that we have a problem, but not much else.  And I doubt that anything comes out of this.  And for you guys registered in four states?  Why stop there......you might as well go for five and six states....to establish a record.  

A Little Off the Sides

Barbers are always an interesting topic with me.  As a kid growing up in Bama.....I can remember the 75-cent haircuts at the local barber.  Two brothers ran the shop.....at for the first twenty years.  A haircut took all of three minutes to accomplish and it wasn't until the early 1970s that they added a vacuum to get all the hair off your neck.

When I went off to the Air Force....my first haircut was free.....mostly because they removed almost every single hair on my head.  When I finally got to tech school at Sheppard Air Force Base.....I found the friendly barbers there....charged around $2.  I thought that was a bit hefty, but I would learn later.....it was standard pricing on any base.

When I got to Panama....I met up with these barbers who did razor-type cuts and you felt like a million bucks.  The problem was that all haircuts were around five bucks by that point.

Later, I got to Ramstein and got used to sixty-minute waits....to get a haircut.  The only magazines they offered were sports magazines.  And the going rate was around $9.

I took a two-week vacation to Turkey in the mid-1990s....and this Turkish barber asked me if I wanted my ear-hair "fixed"?  I said sure, and he lights up this Q-tip with some alcohol.....and then burns every hair on one side of my head.  I was in mortal fear when I realized the flame business....but he took off the ear-hair on the other side, and it really felt pretty cool at that point.  I vowed I'd never repeat that though.

When I got to Arlington.....for the first six months.....I was using some mall barbershop, and the rate was near $14.  I came to discover the Pentagon barbershop.....run by Japanese ladies.....was only charging $12, and I switched over to them.  Frankly, unless you really emphasize "a little bit".....they will cut every hair off your head.

Today, folks found out that the fancy barbershop over at the Senate building is about $300k in debt and only survives because the Senators found some method of dumping cash into the pot.

It was puzzling to me how you'd end up in $300k of debt, until they announced the pay scale of the four barbers who work there.  They make $54,761; $70,349; $73,658; and $81,641....which is a fairly hefty sum of money for barbers.  On top of that.....the government is handling their 401-K, their government health care, and paid leave.

To make this deal kinda work....a haircut ends up being $20, and a fancy highlight deal is around $105.  Don't even ask about a shampoo, cut and air dry.

How many Senators use this barbershop?  Well....nobody much is talking about that.  About a quarter of the old guys barely even have hair growing.  Course, their staffs would have access to the barbershop, but you'd have to wonder if these younger guys would even be willing to use the local barbershop.  You can figure a decent barbershop over here in Arlington would probably run around $14.

I'm guessing a number of barbers back in Bama are eyeballing the $81k salary and wondering just how good this guy really is.  Can he talk baseball?  Does he have insight into Clint Eastwood movies?  Does he know some catfish places in the local area?  Has he met any famous NASCAR drivers?  Did he pick up any secret info on Senator Roy Blunt?  Does he know any women who give Japanese massage sessions?  Has he got a special compound to darken gray hair?

So to keep the precious Senate barbershop in operation.....some joker pulled out $300k of your tax money, and ensured that it stayed in operation for another year.  Maybe they'd be better off to just shut down that operation....give the Senators a Pentagon-entry pass, and let them use our Japanese ladies.  Heck, for $12, they'd save enough money to have a beer.  Afterwards, they could walk around the corner to the executive dining area, and have a club sandwich for $13, and a unlimited amount of ice tea (with nice fancy crushed ice).  It might be a pretty good deal, if you ask me.