Saturday, 7 April 2012

It's the Little Things that You Notice

It is a comical story of sorts.  Some senators get together and toss together a bill (Senate bill 1813).  It's introduced under California Senator Barbara Boxer.  The whole purpose of this bill originally....was to re-authorize funds for the federal folks in building or fixing highways, highway safety projects, and 'other' purposes.

Most everyone was keen to support this deal.  Then, under the additions game....Senator Harry Reid appears and tosses in a little amendment....which basically says that the State Department could revoke, deny or limit passports for any guy who the IRS deems as delinquent on taxes to the tune of $50k or more.

In essence, if you owed money to the IRS....you couldn't be traveling beyond the reaches of the fifty states.

I sat and pondered over this....looking for news articles where the IRS admitted that this was a problem....but I just couldn't find any mention from the IRS that folks were skipping the country and owed the IRS.  I would imagine there are such people....but it'd be nice if you mentioned this in public before jump-starting some Senator to get involved in something.

The problem here?  Well....some lawyer will grin and look for a victim in this mess after the law passes.  He'll find this one farmer who has fallen on bad times and owes the IRS over $50k and encourages him to apply for a passport, which the State Department will deny him.  Then the lawyer will take this into court.....saying that the "pursuit of happiness" has been taken away from Bob the farmer.  Since the Constitution ensures you can pursue happiness....all the way to the streets of Thailand.....this will be a pretty nifty lawsuit.  I'm guessing that the farmer and his lawyer will win.....likely to be some sum of money in the $1 million to $5 million range.

Eventually, some idiot will acknowledge this is a stupid law, and write a one-liner into a beef-protection act.....which says the passport rule is revoked on this stupid mess.

My Real Neighborhood

In my hometown (the four-road crossing where a chapel, two churches, a cemetery, and feed-store exists) in Bama.....they had a kidnapping yesterday morning.

Sometime around 5AM, a local gal.....Ashley Nicole Barrett Sterry (a youthful gal at 29 years old) sent this text message to momma that said she'd been kidnapped and being held in some block-like building.  "Get help" was the obvious intent of this message.

Cops came out.  The young ladies car was in her drive, although they were later told that the car had been originally parked up at the four-roads point.  Interestingly enough.....nothing had been taken from the car....like the purse.  So whoever took her.....did this in a rush, but cleaned up their situation.  You'd almost say this was planned in some manner.  It would appear that for the next couple of hours....a couple of cops and probably a couple of local guys....moved heaven and earth in the local area....looking at block-like buildings.

To be kinda honest.....I'd be guessing between 100 and 200 such buildings exist within five miles of the kidnapping point.

Somewhere around 2PM in the afternoon....less than eight hours after this all started up.....Ashley shows back up at her house.....safe.  Momma says that some man in a big white car dropped her off, and that it could have been a Lincoln Town car.....well.....maybe.

In essence, the biggest story of forty years has occurred for the cross-roads community of Grassy....and it ended safely eight hours later.  Before this point, the best that anyone could have done for big news item....was the doped-up wife who put a knife up to her husband's chin was he was on the lazy-boy recliner and cut on him a little bit.  Note: he was reclining while this occurred.   Note: while the cops did search her out, capture her, and try to charge her......her husband kinda accepted her back (we have a fair amount of forgiveness in Bama).  Added note: Later she took off with some trucker.

So we are left with a fair mystery.  I'm guessing the local folks are still buzzing over this.....looking at everyone in the local region who owns a Lincoln Town car.  If you asked me to figure up how many guys in the local area own such a car....within five miles....I'd be guessing around six folks.  To be honest, Lincoln Town cars just aren't as big a deal as they were in the 1980s.  Most local guys who have $40k....would spend it on a Dodge four-door all-wheel drive pick-up with a Cummins diesel engine, satellite radio, and customized leather seats.

Over the next couple of weeks....I'm guessing that guys and gals in the local area start carrying guns with them as they travel from one place to another.  Women will arm themselves in the house with a pistol.  Young ladies will have a Bowie knife on their belt, in preparation for taking down some potential kidnapper.  A shotgun will stand by the bathroom door.  And some folks will go down to the local gun shops to pick up on some .480 Rugers (with sufficient power to take down a bear) to arm themselves up a notch.

What actually happened here?  Some mysterys ought to stay mysteries....if you ask me.  But I could come up with three or four scenarios here.  This gal is 29 years old, and likely at least one time divorced....maybe even two times divorced....so there might be an ex-husband in the midst of this story.

Second, being twenty-nine.....she's likely had several boyfriends in her past....with one of them who might have some odd beliefs or ideas.

Third, this is a meth region....something I kinda hate admitting.  We have various characters who live there and exist off meth....and they can get unhinged over something as simple as you looking at their Lincoln Town car in the Piggly Wiggly parking lot.

Fourth and final.....a real kidnapper in ninety-nine percent of all cases....doesn't drop his victim back off at the house....alive.  So maybe, it's just not a kidnapping.  Maybe you've got a person who is a borderline schizophrenic....didn't take her meds on schedule.....got asked out on a date with a local farmer guy who owns Crown Victoria (which Momma just mistaken for a Lincoln).  The guy turns on his radio at noon to hear this whole kidnapping story, and realizes that this gal who was staying over at the farm.....is the victim and he might want to dump off back off at her house.

My guess is that it'll be at least a decade before another such four-star event occurs.  My brother will likely lean on this story on Monday morning over at the engineer's donut and coffee session.  He'll lay out the intrigue involved....the mysterious nature of it....name the eight guys who might have done this but all were at the Baptist church revival session on Thursday night.....point out the closeness of the Tennessee line where alcohol flows like a waterfalls while God protects folks in the dry area of Grassy.....and then finally note that dad's border collie kept watching in a certain direction all yesterday morning (thus knowing something wasn't right with the world).

This all brings reality back to a community....where typically you just worry about tornado episodes, hail storms, ice over bridges, drunk folks coming home from the stateline, or contaminated meat over at Piggly Wiggly.  It's a big world out there.