Thursday, 29 November 2012

When I was a Kid (1975)

When I was a kid, the average home ran for around $42k, and you could buy a house-trailer for $4k (a single-wide).

When I was a kid, stamps ran around ten-cents.

When I was a kid, your average upscale car ran around $5k.

When I was a kid, you had four channels (the fourth was PBS, which you never watched, unless Monty Python was on).

When I was a kid, people were actually thrilled to go the Grand Old Opry in Nashville, and it was a big deal.  If you couldn't make it to the Opry, then you watched Hee Haw.

When I was a kid, "damn" was still a four-letter word.

When I was a kid, in 1975, Mannix, Gunsmoke and Adam-12 were coming to an end on TV.  The highlight of the week was Rockford Files, Happy Days and Welcome Back Kotter.

When I was a kid, in 1975, the only fast food within forty miles was Burger King, McDonalds, and Crystal Burgers (we didn't even have a Pizza Hut).

When I was a kid, your choice of sodas was Mountain Dew, Sundrop, Pepsi, Coke, Tab, and Doctor Pepper.  There wasn't much of a diet drink unless you had a glass of tap water.

You could still get a big glass of ice water (with crushed ice) when you sat down at a real restaurant 

When I was a kid, there was this thing starting up called Saturday Night Live.  The problem was....it only came on after 1030 on Saturday night....when most folks were already asleep (in Bama).

When I was a kid, if you called more than forty miles away....it was out-of-state or hefty charges.

When I was a kid....if you got suspended from the school....you were in real trouble and it was questionable if they'd ever let you come back.

When I was a kid.....most cops that you ran into....were someone's cousin and just got the job because they wanted to wear a uniform and tote a pistol (yeah, that hasn't changed in forty years).

When I was a kid....the highlight of sports on Saturday was local wrestling with Tojo Yomamoto and Tommy "Wildfire" Rich, on TV.  It was announced by some local hoot (Grady Reeves) and you felt like you were actually at the studio when things would go out of control.

When I was a kid.....eight bucks and a afternoon at the county fair was worth a million bucks.

When I was a kid..... ninety-eight percent of the folks in the county had never flown on a passenger jet.  Seventy percent of the folks in the county had ridden Trailways or Greyhound.

When I was a kid.... Penicillin was about the only thing that would help you when you got real bad off.

When I was a kid....Aqua Velva was probably the most used aftershave by most guys.

When I was a kid....you thought that anyone making $25k a year were absolutely rich.

When I was a kid....TVs were still manufactured in America.

When I was a kid....the most sugar you could put into your system was a moonpie.

When I was a kid....Paul Harvey could squeeze all the news of the day into ten minutes and you really didn't need much more.  And if you felt like you needed a pick-me-up on Saturday....you'd listen as Paul Harvey gave you one of his fifty-two sermons a year which recharged your focus on life and made you appreciate living.

That Gitmo Story

The news folks kinda figured out that Senator Feinstein asked for a report on the idea of bringing the Gitmo prisoners up into a US prison.  So they went and asked about the reasoning of this.  All she would say was that she thinks the President has a viable option, end of comment.

In 2008, the President laid out this grand plan to end Gitmo's use as a prison, and bring the 'boys' into the US.  There were probably forty campaign speeches made that year on the comment, and this was probably ten percent of the reason he won the Nobel Peace Prize.  Well...other than getting an Illinois privately built prison in line for a contract....nothing else has occurred.

The emphasis?  If you bring the Muslim radicals into the US, then the odds start heating up on allowing a regular US court to handle actions rather than a military tribunal operation.  Then you could introduce various elements of torture which means that you can't really prosecute.  And when you can't prosecute, then you have to find some dopey country who will take the guys that you suddenly want to release.

My humble guess is that a country or two has already signed up to take the 'boys'.  There's probably a federal judge or two already selected as the guy to handle this business.  And there's probably some campaign fund contributions sitting there from someone....to help make this possible.

What happens?  Congress (run by the Republicans) won't budget or consider such a move.  So the President would have to use executive powers to make this happen.  Any private citizen of Illinois could easily launch a case against this and get a federal judge to halt the move until some kind of review is made (there's probably a dozen reviews already accomplished but it never hurts to have one more).

There is one other odd element to this.  The prison atmosphere needs to be clean and limited to strictly the Islamic guys.  If you ever mix any of these characters with regular American prisoners....none of the Islamic guys would survive more than twelve months in a mixed prison.

Of course, all of this is done in the interest of American justice.  Who's version of justice.....is your own best guess.

My Neighborhood

Across the river, into DC....there's this University of the District of Columbia (UDC for short).

The UDC folks run an establishment that draws mostly just local kids from the lower side of DC, in literal terms.  To be honest, UDC has been drifting around for the last couple of years and has some long-term issues of surviving financially.

UDC has now reached a point where they actually need to lay off twenty-five folks (administrative, and instructors).  Normally, they'd just terminate them....but in this modern age, you need to offer up a severance package.

So UDC needs $4 million......to help those twenty-five folks walk out the door....feeling whole.  Unfortunately, they don't have the money.

Naturally, this means that they need to visit the city council of DC and beg four million dollars from them.   Why the city council?  UDC is a public system, that survives mostly because of help from the DC city council.  In lean times....the city ordered UDC to downsize....in order to survive.

UDC is an odd educational establishment.  It started out in the 1860's as a small-town type local college mostly to develop teachers, and eventually....in the 1970s....ended up being merged with two other local but small colleges.  UDC is the result.  Today, they operate with around 5k students.  In a bit of a twist, it is the only public university left in DC....everything else is private.

The money issue?  They've budgeted themselves into a corner.  As the years went by, they extended out various pay increases and generous benefit plans.  The DC city council is the source of any extra funding they require.  The odds of getting the $4 million?  Someone in the DC council will eventually figure out some scheme to put at least half that on the table.  I'm guessing that was the magic number that they were hoping for anyway.