Friday, 26 July 2013

Vandalism at the Lincoln Memorial

Last night as you slept.....a vandal went and sprayed green paint at the Lincoln Memorial.  The park service guard came upon the situation around midnight.  So far, no one knows much of anything.  Camera tapes are being reviewed, but cops aren't saying much.

So, I'll offer some insight.

Almost all of the memorials in DC....have a significant amount of cameras and night-time lighting.  You'd have to be an idiot to walk up and do something like this.

A message?  It doesn't sound that way....just simple vandalism.

From the site, you don't dare walk toward the WW II Memorial or the Vietnam'd just get covered more by cameras.  You avoid the bridge leading back over to the Arlington Cemetery.  So you'd move toward Georgetown and try to get back into DC proper.

The guy?  I'm betting an inside job.....some disgruntled guard who knows the schedule and has some pains over the furlough.  He likely knew enough about the cameras to avoid really being seen as he arrived and left.  Congress will jump up and get peppy.....talking of more guards, less furlough, and the need to protect the nation.  The dimwit will have gotten them to react just like he expected.

The Mythical Magical Formula of Education

Years ago.....someone made up the idea that twelve years of high school were enough for a young person to be educated.

Down the line, someone else made up a formula for two years of university education giving you a technical background of sorts in some fields.

Then further down the line, someone else made up a formula that four years of university would make you a finely educated individual.

And then even further down the line, someone made up another formula involving six and eight years of university to define you even more bright and capable.

How did each reach this conclusion of a magical amount of days?  It's best not to ask that question.

Finishing up high school requires 4,380 days (toss in the vacation periods and holidays).  A growing number of folks will agree today that ten percent of kids would be ready to graduate from high school at the end of the tenth grade, and maybe fifty percent by the end of the twelfth grade.  Course, you'd be screwing with football, basketball, and baseball establishments, if you did this.  The whole NCAA bowl process could be in jeopardy if you wiped out the current high school formula.

Could we develop a one, two, three, and four year degree?  Yes.  Most community colleges already offer a one-year program where you come in and simply study one core business, nursing, nutrition, or software usage.

A three-year degree?  Simple.  Toss out these requirements that have little to do with the core subjects.  Why force an engineer to take two history classes, a science class or two, or such?  Why force a business major to take history classes or science?

My humble guess is that we'd wake up to discover that a quarter of all kids going onto college would readily select the one-year program and get themselves into the market early-on.  Fifty percent of the four-year folks would shift to a three-year program.

Overnight, there'd be problems at every university in America....with way too many instructors and professors.  Lay-off's?  Yes, without a doubt, and this is the problem with this concept.  No university is going to agree to such changes.  It just brings on more and more issues.  You built dorms.....which suddenly will have a 30-percent hole in them.  You will have classrooms that stand empty half the time.

So we aren't exactly going to find any changes occurring, with either high schools or colleges.  More of the same...would be the future.

The Irish Solution

It's a story that won't get much attention in the US.  I doubt if CNN or any of the networks will cover it.  A few newspapers will glaze over it, and it'll quietly disappear.

This week, the Irish government is busy.  You see, after years of mounting evidence....they've finally come to the conclusion that the Senate in Ireland's government is just worthless.  In fact, so worthless, that they are trying to dissolve it entirely.  They readily's become a talking forum, without much value.

Years ago, I went off for an Irish weekend.  I drove around the countryside, and on one evening....I stopped in a pub and decided that I'd get the full Irish treatment.....commentary and talk by the members of the pub.  After two hours, I'd come to the conclusion that it was way too much talk and mostly worthless.  I suspect that the Irish realized their Senate had become the same thing.

The current Irish Senate has an interesting deal.   You can't get elected to it.  Imagine that.

The Prime Minister gets to appoint eleven members of the sixty Senators.  The university system gets to appoint two Senators.  And five national boards of industry (don't even ask).....get to appoint the remaining members.  They meet and talk.  There's this funny rule.....if they don't like a House passed piece of legislation.....they can stall it, but they can't out-vote it.

The journalists covering this story got around to one key question....once dissolved of the sixty much money do you save?  Twenty million bucks....approximately.  I sat there.....kinda in amazement.  How do sixty guys spend twenty million?'s best not to ask.

So this brings me around to this Bama moment of pondering.  What exactly of value are we getting via the US Senate?  A bunch of talking?  Yes.  Is there anything of value?  No.

Maybe it's best that CNN doesn't talk much about this.  If you suddenly had fifty million Americans talking up the idea of dissolving the US'd create a terrible amount of anxiety for those hundred Senators.  What the heck would they do for the rest of their lives?  It's hard to live like a millionaire and Hollywood wannabe star.  Some would have to go back to Mississippi or Delaware, and work on their golf game or hope for interviews with the Channel Nine news staff as the highlight of their week.