Sunday, 18 March 2012

The 51st State Thing

This November, the biggest thing about the national election....might not be the Presidential race.  It might end up being the Puerto Rican vote on becoming the 51st state.  The current odds?  It won't go past the 49 percent point.  Course, stranger things have happened, and we might come to be shocked with a sixty-percent slam-dunk.

The flag with 51 stars has already been designed, and folks are sitting there and contemplating the end-result of this.  Two more senators....which would likely be a Republican and a Democrat.  With a population of almost four million, they'd likely get four representatives.  They'd have to be carved off some other states, and you can imagine New York state losing one, and maybe California. Course, that's all in the event that it passes.

The effect of this Latino population?  This would end up being a fairly interesting shift for the nation.  There would be two new Latino Senators suddenly appearing in the Senate.  I'm guessing that some Latino channels would be interviewing them nightly, and what they said....wasn't just important for Puerto Rican Latinos.....but important for Texan Latinos, Louisiana Latinos, and even Michigan Latinos.  Within ten years, there would be a Latino President, and it might be a Republican.  Stranger things have happened.

The Non-History Channel

This week....Senator Chuck Grassley stated an opinion...publicly of course, that the History Channel was lacking....history.  I rarely agree with things that Senator Grassley says....in fact, I'd consider most of his opinions to be worthless.  In this....he might be right.

For just over two years...I've been watching the History Channel on a regular basis.  I probably catch twelve hours a week.  Sadly, almost all of what they cover...is non-history.  If you did want actual history, you'd have to turn over to History II Channel, which still is a fifty-fifty blend of Bigfoot and the War of 1812.

So on a typical weekend, you get a history dose via the History Channel of bigfoot hunting, alien visitation, UFOs in Kansas, Ax-Men, Goldrush (the reality show, not the history episode), and two guys hunting for old bicycles in Kentucky.

I wish I could spend ten minutes with the guys who run the History Channel, and just suggest they develop some historical themes for the channel, and dump the alien shows.  There's the Discovery Channel, and other options for all this fake stuff.

Some suggestions:

- Take four families and challenge them to a full-year of 1898 living.  Demonstrate the houses of the era, the medicine of the era, types of entertainment they might have, etc.  It'd be a chance to tell some great history, and do a reality show at the same time.

- Pick up six folks and give them Lewis and Clark's map, and challenge them to walk the route out to Washington state, and back.

- Start up a 9-part show entitled "Traveling Carny Life".  Pick out forty folks who did the traveling circus and fair life over the 1950s, 1960s and up to today.

- Start a series to talk about French life in Louisiana and what still survives today.

Frankly, there's alot of history, which would interest people.  We don't need to continue discussing alien visits to Alabama, or watching fake guys dig up fake gold in Alaska.

My Neighborhood

There's a bill going through the Maryland Senate....which basically puts a $50 fine onto you...if you are driving a car with young kids in it (under eight), and you are smoking.  In fact, if you are the driver, and your passenger is the smoker....you could end up with the fine as well.  Most Maryland folks expect the bill to make it to the Governor's desk and be signed.

You can imagine cops out there....looking for bad guys, but getting yet again a funny bill which simply irritates people over being stopped and the cop asks the kids in the back how old they are, after he notices a lit cigarette in your hands.  You quickly turn and tell Frankie Junior and Wanda May to shut up and not answer the cop.  The cop gets upset about your orders to the kids, and demands to see your drivers license, and orders the kids to tell their age.  Frankie and Wanda say nothing.  The cop eventually says he 'thinks' the kids are under eight, so you get a $50 fine.

So you go over to the court house and challenge the judge.  The judge asks the kids how old they are, and they both respond nine.  The judge wants proof.  Dad then tells the judge that he doesn't have the right to know the ages of the kids.

Eventually, this $50 fine case goes to the Supreme Court.  Dad says that you can't ask kids how old they are, and he's probably right.

The failed fine goes back to Maryland, and you can imagine this effort around 2020....where every kid in the state is required to get a kid's ID and carry it with themselves, when in Dad's car.

This is the nation, that we've evolved into.

Fantasy Talk

It was a simple political statement....the President says Congress ought to terminate tax breaks for the oil and gas companies.....then lots of natural things would occur and help encourage them to find discover new alternative sources of energy.

At this point, you sit down to ponder this.

If your local Piggly Wiggly had this federal tax credit for $20k a year on their income, and you took away that credit, then your Piggly Wiggly manager would grin a bit, and he'd up your prices.  Del Monte chunky mixed fruit cans would go up eight cents.  Your forty pound bag of dog chow?  It'd go up by a quarter.  The pickle jars, no matter what brand.....would go up by 10 cents each.  Nickle by nickle, dime by dime, dollar by dollar, your Piggly Wiggly would make up the $20k tax credit loss.  You would personally help them to accomplish that.

Would some lousy Louisiana oil company....making $1.5 billion a year in profits....just accept a lousy decision by Congress and give up more of their profits?  No.

Then you have to ponder, how does this cut relate to discovering more oil or natural gas?  It doesn't.

In the fantasy world of political figures, there's not a lot of straight talk.