Friday, 16 November 2012

Simply Observations

First, it came out today that this Petraus hottie gal....Ms Broadwell....had a couple of folks who approached her in the summertime about this idea of running for the Senate seat in North Carolina.  At the time, she got all peppy about this idea.  So she went and told her boyfriend....the general....of this idea.  He kinda sat and asked a fair number of questions....abortion, budget control, oil, natural gas, gun control, tax reform, etc.  Eventually, the general said that he didn't think that she'd fit into either the Republican or Democratic parties.  That probably a fair let-down to the gal.....you couldn't be a Republican or Democrat.  I imagine the general just sat there and thought....what kind of dimwit is this?

Second, let me explain the whole deal with the Twinkie company collapse (Hostess).  The Hostess folks figured out their business model was screwed probably like five to seven years ago.  You had union rates, union agreements, and the current market wasn't going to allow for any real profit like they used to have.  So you jack the company up into overdrive, and go for full-up bankruptcy....borrowing a massive amount of money in the end.  The banks say you need to cut costs.....you turn to the unions who absolutely refuse a massive salary/benefit cut.  You declare full up bankruptcy, and sell the assets....mostly the names (Twinkie, Hostess Cupcakes, etc).  You have little companies out in Mississippi and Tennessee who buy up the names, and suddenly start a massive business operation by the summer of 2013, in a non-union environment.  The 18k unemployed folks?  Screwed.  Tough luck.  You should have figured out what Hostess was doing back in 2010.

Third, some idiot reviewer woke up in the midst of this Liz Taylor movie with Lindsay Lohan, and realized....she can't act, period.  And?  Now, you realize this?

Fourth and final....some police chief out in Nevada City, California decided to fix his local homeless problem.  He's handed out permits.....allowing them to sleep in public.  As long as you have a permit....it's ok.  It's also to pee and urinate in public too....I'm guessing.  For cities to visit....I'm thinking that Nevada City isn't a place you want to stop or slow down for.

The Card of Punishment

Out of science and onto your local newspaper....feeling sad makes you do stupid economic stuff.  No kidding.

Some smart guys went out and did the research.  It's kinda simple here.  When you feel down and out, you tend to start focusing on making yourself happy, and you do that by spending in a unnecessary fashion.  Course, this comes from a number of Harvard scientists.  They tested folks and found that you tend to use your credit card or credit line.....to make yourself happy.

Their belief?  Credit cards are your life-line to surviving....mentally.  When you hit some pit and need to get out.....just flash the card, marvel at what you bought, and life feels like living again.  Course, there's a debt there which will come up eventually to make you feel more negative.

I looked at the article and I eventually came to this conclusion.  What we all need....is a fake credit card, with fake money....to use on a fake shopping page.

You buy some fake item with the fake card....you get an email from some company with a picture of the fake stuff you bought.

You get pictures from the company of yourself on some fake beach in the Bahamas where you spent your fake vacation.  The hotel room picture look great, especially with a giant fatty food buffet line and free fake beer that you would have consumed.

You show your new fake car, with all the spec's.

You start to feel good.  You sit and compare this to the last fake vacation.  You talk about this fake car purchase versus the last fake car purchase.

Maybe I'm onto something.  Course, we'd have to charge you for having a fake credit card, and there'd be some charge for all the fake pictures that we'd send you.  But that's a heck of a lot better than spending $16k this year on stuff you never needed but you felt pretty happy about.




My Neighborhood

About a week ago...we had this odd episode....up across the river (to always mean DC).  A local DC high school had a homecoming football game episode.  At some point during the game, there was this tussle that brewed up.  Some gal (a mature adult) got jumped up and beat a bit....nothing big but she's got some bruises.

The culprits?  Well....the school principal (a lady), and two of her staff members.

As of yesterday....the principal had given herself up to the police and was arrested.

Cops are still trying to sort this out, and no one is explaining much of a reason why the school principal got all up into a kick-ass situation with this one gal.

Course, you'd think that principals would be older folks....fairly mature.  In the old days.....growing up in Bama....it was all old men that ran the schools....mostly in their late fifties and on up into their late sixties. The worst you could get out of them was some joke left over from WW II.

My humble guess is that the principal will admit she'd been on some pain medication and just cut loose to beat up on this gal.

Taking Classified Home

Years ago....I went through the Air Force intelligence school.  During the first week, we had this security business laid out in simple detail.  Anything that is classified....stays in the school vault.  There were harsh consequences laid out, if you were stupid enough to violate this understanding.

So three months go by, and we have this little episode to develop in the class behind me.  The librarians come to the end of the evening and are conducting the 100 percent inventory.  If you had classified for a project....then you could sign it out and store it in your class locker (within the vault).  It was a simple deal....holding classified in the locker.  The librarians came to check each locker and mark the signed items off.

Well....there's a twenty-page document missing from this inventory.  They know the kid who signed it out.  It's not in the locker.  So they pull out the checklist and call the Colonel who manages school, and he calls the cops to go and visit the kid at his dorm room on base.

The cops arrive....knock...and walk right in.  You have no rights when you live in a dorm room.  Here's the classified document on the kid's desk.  He was working on a project and needed extra time to develop his project.  They confiscate the document and direct him to report to the school in the morning.

They had to conduct an entire investigation into this....which likely consumed forty hours of interviews, thinking and writing.  You'd feel sorry for the person picked to do this.....they have better things to waste time on.

The kid was suspended for a couple of days while they sorted this out.  Basically, he got a reprimand at the end, and pushed back a class in the deal.  It was mostly done to make sure everyone understood that it was stupid to remove classified from the class or the vault.

Somewhere in the middle of my career....we had the story briefed to us about the junior NCO trying to outprocess from his UK base, and the shipping folks come upon an entire box of classified material that the guy was keeping in his barracks room for a personal research project.  He had accumulated all this stuff....taking a page here and there....out of his vault....and saved two thousand-odd messages.  The shipping folks called the SPs and they arrested the NCO.  Again, hundreds of hours were wasted on an investigation and developing a final report.  We never knew the final outcome, but I'm guessing they revoked his clearance, did bad-conduct paperwork on him and kicked him out of the Air Force.  Being in the intelligence field your entire life and having no further security clearance....kinda kills your career in the civilian world, unless you wanted to work at Jiffy Lube.

All of these people know better....but they all find some stupid reason to condone their stupidity.

Just Humble Observations

First, the Senate came up today with a new chairman for the Senate Budget Committee.....Senator Patty Murray from Washington state.  Right off the bat, she wanted everyone to know....that she just didn't have it as a top priority to work up a budget package, which had been the top job of the Committee for two hundred years, and then suddenly three years ago was regulated to being unimportant.  Here's a fact which may shock you.  The democrats actually have sufficient vote today in the Senate to pass any single budget (you merely need a simple majority of 51 to carry the Senate....not sixty as you would for regular laws).  They could pass a budget today easily, with all their members.  The problem is....a fair number of Democrats are in fragile voting situations and just don't want the pressure of voting on a budget.  It's a sad way to run things.

Second, hidden between stories...there's a directive by Pentagon chief Leon Panetta....to all generals....to cover some type of ethics training.  There's roughly a thousand generals and admirals in today's military. So you can imagine these guys sitting there and realizing they don't really have a ethics program.  So they will run off and hire some company to teach them ethics.  It'll be some weekend session in San Diego probably....the thousand generals check into some hotel....sit through eight hours of fancy ethics talk, then run off to the bar and all get drunk and do stupid things that evening to get into further trouble.  When they do finally return to their regular job....they will be all pumped up on ethics and think that all of their people need ethics training too....thus creating this giant wave of ethics training across the US military.  Everyone will be shaking their head because ninety percent of folks do the right thing as part of their general character   If you ask me....this whole thing has turned into a comedy.

Third....it's come out in public now that there was substantial classified info on the Petraeus mistress's home computer.  Now, she is a reserve Army officer and has a security clearance....but you just can't have classified data on your home computer.  I'm guessing they will go line by line, and eventually come to this point of saying that charges have to be developed.  At the very least....she will go through a court martial in the summer of 2013.  My humble guess is that she will be dishonorably discharged, and could face some time in a military jail for this....depending on the type and variety of classified info.  How stupid do you have to be?  This is what I don't get....she knows better.

Fourth and final....there's a hint of the new chief of CNN.  It could be the Dick Clark Productions guy.....Mark Shapiro.  The thing is....he has no background in the news business.  He's an entertainment production guy.  A signal?  Well....if you can't sell your product anymore in the market place because most folks prefer either MSNBC or Fox News, then you have to re-market your product.  I'm guessing you will start to notice CNN carrying a lot of entertainment news.  You might get a full hour of Hollywood news at 7PM, maybe a full hour of celebrity rehab at 8PM, and toss in a full hour of celebrity camping and fishing at 9PM.   I know that Wolfe would go nuts over this type of operation, but frankly....who is watching CNN now?