Sunday, 20 May 2012

The Bama Thing About Porches

In Bama, we have this thing about front porches.  You need a porch for various reasons...mostly to entertain folks.  You also need the porch to mainly just relax and chill out.  Things tend to make more sense on the front porch.  Life seems simpler on the front porch.

Along the way that front porches operate....there's some rules and ethics, which I will point out here.

First, a porch is designed for entertaining, discussing, and "joshing" with folks.....not for heated arguments (which might be seen by a dozen neighbors and label your porch as unfriendly).

Second, generally....clothing and attire shall be in good taste and not within the vision of slutty, improper, or flirty. If some gal shows up in a tube-top that's two sizes too small....you ought to go ahead and let her know of issues before she gets settled into her chair.

Third, topics of discussion should generally be unlimited although you should not discuss Republican downfalls with a Republican, Baptists failures with a hardcore Baptist, or Islamic criticism with a Mullah.

Fourth, discussions on dead folks should be limited to folks who you don't personally know (like Marilyn Monroe or Hitler) or your dead neighbor who you will discuss in a somewhat positive light.

Fifth, discussions on neighbors.....shouldn't include anything about their personal lusty affairs.  I know that you have seen some gal driving around the back of his house and sneaking in the back door of the house.....but it just ain't right to share that information.

Sixth, conversations on cars will be limited to performance or reliability. It is not smart to bring up repair procedures unless you have the actual car up on the porch to show your associate the proper method of repair.

Seventh, you should always offers a clean and sanitary toilet within 30 feet of the front door, with extra toilet paper, some proper smelling sprays, and fresh towels for washing up. Soap ought to be either a bar or liquid form....but nothing outlandish or funny smelling.

Eighth, never invite a ex-wife or ex-wife's family onto the front porch.....nothing good of that can come.

Ninth, it's best to never invite or allow more than three hardcore political folks tn the porch....unless your intention is to get them drunk to admit various affairs or such.

Tenth, porch furniture needs to be quality made and of strong material.  It is advised to never buy any porch furniture from Wal-Mart. Cushions are advised.  Chairs with arms are typically preferred over those wicker chairs. Its acceptable to have a living room couch on the front porch but your neighbors may frown on this.....and your dog might be upset with folks sitting on his favorite spot.

Eleventh, drinking is generally accepted on the front porch. However, it needs to be monitored, and you should worry about some Baptist minister stopping by and asking what's in the cup.  Also, never serve alcohol to Baptists, unless its on the back porch away from view. In temperatures above 90....always offer ice tea with ice cubes. Coffee is an acceptable beverage on the porch but not that instant stuff. And if you can brew expresso...be sure to have the proper cups.

Twelfth, don't talk or discuss cult stuff with Baptists. It'll bother them for weeks to come.

Thirteenth, rocking chairs are a fine item to have on a porch, but ensure they are well maintained and don't fall apart when your heavy-weight aunt shows up and starts rocking.

Fourteenth, generally, it's best to never dig or place a septic tank within 60 feet of the front porch.

Fifteenth, discussions on the front porch after dark usually require some lighting device. A 60-watt bulb or candles would be suggested. Don't use a coal-oil lamp or a 200-watt bulb.

Sixteenth, heated discussions should be avoided but if you get drawn into one....always angle the talk away to some episode of Gunsmoke you recently saw, some perfume you tested at Walgreens, or your neighbor's fancy new hubcaps.

Seventeenth, on days when the temperature is above 90 degrees...always offer up crushed ice or ice cream to the visiting folks. Avoid coffee or hot tea. A overhead fan would be a fine thing to keep a wind posed upon your visitors.

Eighteenth, it's advisable to have some peanuts, mints, or M&M's on the porch as a relief item for some folks.

Nineteenth, never allow guests during a NCAA football game.

Twentieth, you ought not wear strong perfume or manly smells around old folks who visit. They generally don't like those overwhelming smells like Brut.

Twenty-first,  if for some odd reason, you did have a Mullah come visiting....don't bring up Jesus, Baptists, religion, freedom of speech, women's right, freedom of minds, anti-Iran matters, Billy Graham's health, 9-11, problems with Saudi religious police, or Ossama's passing. It would be strongly suggested to chat as much as possible on the chances of the Braves winning this year or if Ford is really as crappy as folks think.

Twenty-second, don't get into heated discussions with folks who recently underway a religious conversion. They aren't likely of a clear and focused mind.

Twenty-third, its best not to discuss chain-saw accidents, propane gas tank explosions, or dog attacks in mixed company (meaning with ladies present).

Twenty-fourth, sadly....some folks come to your front porch for some awful important advice, and expect absolutely nothing less than a miracle.  You might want to realize this, and consider your words wisely. You need to admit early on....you ain't Socrates, Gandhi, Ann Landers, or Doctor Phil.  Sometimes, you just need to end the conversation with: "Get a life".

Twenty-fifth, a man never dumps his girlfriend at the front porch.  It leaves a bad karma for years to come.  Neighbors will come over for weeks....wanting to discuss what went wrong.  The likely truth is that you met some gal from Facebook who lives in Memphis, and you just don't want everyone knowing of your new love interest.

The truth is....we have some high expectations and ethics over front porches.

Wasted Hours in Chicago

If you are watching this entire Chicago demonstration thing unfold this weekend....there is an interesting aspect to this.  Thousands of folks have made their way to Chicago to be part of the peaceful side of the demonstration, and the violent side of the demonstration.

The folks on the bad boy list?  Well....cops have been detaining them and just dropping them off at the station.  With all the cops out in the field....wouldn't you know.....there just ain't enough cops to process and release the boys at the station.  So they remain handcuffed or sitting in some holding cell.

Naturally, these guys had plans and figured that they'd be released within six hours after being detained by the cops.  A day later, without any food in their stomach....they are having some heartburn about this entire trip up to Chicago.  Total waste of time.

An investigation and civil case later?  Well...I doubt that you can make a case if the city shows that every single cop was being used in the field to protect the city.

A Future Mel Brooks Movie

It started out real simple.  A couple of guys had this funny idea about how you could make friends on the internet.  But they just couldn't take the idea to any level.  Lousy salesmanship, poor planning, or just plain lazy attitude about the product....it doesn't matter.

So along comes this one punk kid, who picks up the concept and actually makes it work.  The original guys?  Oh, they are plenty upset, but they just weren't ready for what needed to be done.

The smart kid?  Well....he needed a couple of people to make this work....so they ended up on the inner circle.  So became Facebook.

Days, weeks, months, and years passed.  Facebook grew.  The potential for wealth also grew.

It was apparent about a year ago that the IPO for the Facebook stock was going to occur.  In the midst of this IPO....was this guy, Eduardo Saverin.  He was set to take home a fair chunk of money.  However, sixty-seven million of that sum was supposed to go over to the IRS.

For Eduardo, this was a bothersome idea.  The US government didn't do anything for the money in his mind, and just handing them the money....was totally wrong.  So Eduardo found a lawyer or two, and then discovered that if you just gave up on being a US citizen (he was originally from Brazil, so he'd already given up citizenship once already).....then he could keep the whole sum of money (including the $67 million).  So he found the perfect place....Singapore, which had no capital gains tax, and elected to give up US citizenship.

This ought to be a story that ends at this point, and we'd have a simple observation to make.  But here enters last week....Senator Chuck Schumer (D/NY), and Senator Bob Casey (D/Penn).  They get all upset and then waste hours and hours writing up the "Ex-Patriot's Bill".  Basically, if you intend to exit America in this fashion....you lose a fair sum of your wealth.

The threat here?  If you have two million and intend to exit, there's a review by the IRS. You likely will just hand over thirty percent of your wealth as you exit.  The date it starts?  Well....that's a funny thing.....once passed, it back-dates ten years.  So if you left America in 2002 with sixteen million dollars....then the IRS would be coming for you.

The bill is simply a bill right now.  Schumer and Casey will have to present it, and then have some hopes that the Republican House would readily agree with them.  The odds?  Since the Senate Democrats aren't willing to even pass a budget, but will get all peppy on this one singular issue....I'd say a one-percent chance to pass.  It looks good in the press, and on some Sunday talk show.

But we aren't finished with observations yet.

You see, there's this tax expert out there.....Grover Norquist....who is fairly respected in Tea Party circles and the Republican Party.  Grover spent a day looking over Schumer's tax bill.  Then he finally started going back to the 1930s.....Nazi Germany, and this entire Ex-Patriot bill.....looks like the Nazi law that told Jews to cough up all their wealth, if they wanted to leave Nazi Germany.

Schumer has to be standing there now.....asking his aides....where the heck they got the wording for this new fancy bill that he's introduced, and I'm guessing none of the guys want to admit that they have this nifty Nazi information book that they keep for reference purposes.  The bad part about this.....is that now the big guys from ABC, CBS, and CNN have to walk carefully around this whole topic.  They don't want to appear being supporters of Nazis, but then they really hate rich folks.  The NewsWeak crowd?  Well....you can imagine the picture on one side of a Nazi official and a Jew, then on the other page....Chuck Schumer and this Facebook guy.

Who would have thought, that you could have taken a simple Facebook IPO profit story, twist it around $67 million, inject Singapore, toss in two Democratic Senators, create a fantastic title of Ex-Patriot bill, and then finish it off with the subject of Nazis?  It's a story for Mel Brooks, if you ask me.

The Minister Squirm

When you start to see ministers squirming around....it's typically a bad thing.  You can tell....they feel uncomfortable.  They have a bad feeling.  They don't want to say nothing much, but they really aren't feeling like they should.

Yesterday, the NAACP came out, and said they were fully behind gay marriage.  For black church ministers across the United States....they are now walking on very thin ice.  These black church ministers all had three or four sermons per year, that typically drilled down into this topic.  They had the various passages of the Bible relating to this....memorized.  If some woman walked up to a minister and voiced concerns over some relative, there'd always be the same response over which direction in life this relative was going.

The black ministers walked hand-in-hand with the NAACP on almost every single issue for the past fifty years.  I doubt if these guys are feeling comfortable right now.  There's probably several hundred of these ministers looking through the Bible and hoping to find the right passage which allows them to just bless gays and forget about everything they've spoken about for all these years.

I can see some members sitting in the pews, hearing an absolute turn-around by their minister....then standing up to question what the minister just said.  The member will remind the minister that just a month ago.....there was a heck of a big sermon over gay marriage and how they all needed to stand up against it.  Now, a month later....a total reversal?  It's hard to be in these shoes.  People will wonder why suddenly an iron-clad stance has suddenly whipped around.

My guess?  Around a quarter of all black churches are going to huddle up over the next week....and decide that they just aren't going to walk hand-in-hand with the NAACP anymore.  They will talk about focus and something bigger than a political slant on things.  Some folks will quit their church over this issue, and some folks will switch over to the church over this issue.

Some older members are going to grumble about this and just plain quit their church, period.  It might be a rough period over the next year or two....if you were a black minister.