Total Pageviews

Powered By Blogger

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Animal, Vegetable, or Mineral?

    A week or so ago there was an article in the local newspaper about a car accident that occured on a nearby parkway.  Fortunately there were no serious injuries or fatalities.  As it turns out the accident was caused by a 19 year old driver and he had been drinking alcohol.  So he was given the usual array of charges which as I recall numbered about five.  That's the way it goes these days.  No one is ever charged with let's say shoplifting.  Instead the charges will be shoplifting, possession of stolen property, petit larceny in the second degree, possession of an unstamped letter to be mailed and therefore postal fraud, and wearing white after Labor Day in the third degree.  It's as if police and prosecutors have come to realize that if they throw enough shit on the wall at least some of it will stick.

    Anyway, upon further investigation the police found that the 19 year old driver had been drinking at an apartment rented by a 22 year old friend.  And so the 22 year old was also charged with a variety of crimes including endangering the welfare of a child.  I found it interesting to learn that the law considers a 19 year old man to be a child.  Several years ago a couple of 17 year olds that I know were busted for purchasing a case of beer with phony ID.  When they appeared in juvenile court, and among other things, the judged warned them that they had better be careful because next year they would be 18 and therefore treated in court as adults.  When I heard this I really wanted to write or call someone but I didn't know who to contact.  How can it be that an 18 year old can be treated as an adult for doing something they are not supposed to do because they are considered a minor?

    So let's put the first story together with the second.  Apparently we have some weird sort of Darwinism going on in our legal system.  At 17 you are considered to be a child.  Then at 18 you become an adult but at 19 you revert back to being a child.  Huh?  It's kind of like a butterfly crawling back into its cocoon and having to wait there awhile before it can get to be a butterfly again.  Does any of this make any sense?

    A couple of years ago there was a soldier in a nearby town who tragically was killed in Iraq.  He was 20 years old and left behind a wife and a young daughter.  I really don't want to make light of this but how is it that a 20 year old can die in a war, leave behind a wife and child, and never have lived long enough to legally drink a Budweiser?  Are we stupid or what?  I have been told, and I'm not going to bother verifying this, that soldiers under the age of 21 can drink a beer or two on their military base.  Great.  If you have a wife and child or two and you're 20 years old you can't have a drink.  But if you've been trained to kill and carry a rifle you can.

    I'd like some help with my readers on this.  How can we ever hope to solve our national debt, win the war in Afghanistan, solve global warming (if there is such a thing), etc. when we can't even figure out what a 19 or 20 year old is.  Come on folks.  You've all been there.  Who should I call?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

America the Melting Pot?

    Those in my age group were always taught that America is a melting pot.  While I think that might have been true years ago, I'm not so sure that it is true today.  Here's an example of a melting  A group of us might go out for a cup of coffee and one of us might have it with milk and sugar.  Someone else might have it black.  Still others might have it with saccharin, aspartame, splenda, and maybe someone will even have an expresso con panna.  In the end we will all be sitting down enjoying a cup of coffee together and that's all anyone will think about.  Once the coffee is made, you can't seperate out the sugar or the milk or the splenda.  It's just plain coffee.

    In contrast, we could all be enjoying a tossed salad.  Now a tossed salad might include lettuce, spinach,
tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, red onions, and any number of other fruits and/or vegetables.  The difference between coffee and a tossed salad however is that while each ingedient enjoys the same bowl, each ingredient also maintains its own identity.  As a result, some may choose to pick out the tomatoes and toss them aside.  Others might not like the cucumbers.  And to make it more complicated, tomato organizers might even get all the tomatoes together and have them form their own group called a tomato salad.  Likewise, the cucumber organizers might organize all the cucumbers into a cucumber salad.  Get the point?  It would be like having a bunch of (and where have I heard this before?) community organizers.

    So where does this end?  Instead of enjoying a nice tossed salad whereby all of the components reside in the same bowl, each ingredient would insist on still being on the same dinner table but residing in a seperate bowl so it could maintain its own identitiy.  Instead of a tossed salad we would then have a bowl of lettuce, a bowl of tomatoes, a bowl of cucumbers, a bowl of olives, etc., and there would be no such thing as a tossed salad as we know it.  I suspect that even environmentalists would object to that.  It would just create more bowls to wash which would mean using more fresh water, flushing more detergents down the drain, bigger sewage treatment plants, and more water pollution.  It would be like having a bunch of people of different nationalities who all want to live in America but wanting to continue to speak their own foreign languages and fly their own foreign flags.  How stupid would that be?

    Personally I think that there is nothing better than a nice chilled tossed salad especially on a warm summer day.  I enjoy every bit of it and I think that's how a salad should be.  The only thing is that I think we can all agree to keep out those anchovies.  I hate those anchovies.  You know what I mean, wink, wink.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Poll Results Are In!!!

    This is pretty exciting stuff since I can now publish the results of how all you readers responded to the various polls I have put up there (so to speak).  In the first I asked "At what age should young adults be able to get a drivers license".  The results were:

16  -  55%
18  -  20%
42  -  20%

    From these results I would conclude that at least the majority of people would prefer to see their teenagers working as opposed to sitting around eating Doritoes and playing Nintendo.  Hooray that at least most of us have some common sense!!  But it's interesting to note that fully 5% think that no one should ever be able to get a license.  I suspect that these are the Al Gore worshippers who think we should all move around in helicopter vehicles and who fail to understand that it takes fossil fuel to power the propellers.  So let me educate them.  The propellers don't move for take off or flying because they are powered by the wind.  They create wind as a result of burning fuel.

    In my second poll concerning people of color the results were:

Pink  -  0%
Purple - 36%
Orange - 36%
Blue - 28%

    The most interesting thing to me about these results is that there are millions of women who walk around the country wearing shorts, spandex pants, and other attire that have the word pink displayed across their asses yet apparently no one actually wants to be pink.  Go figure.

    Lastly I asked, "What State Aid Should the Government Provide".  The answers were:

Gatoraid  -  25%
Coolaid  -  0%
Lemonaid - 0%
Let me keep my own money - 75%

    The results of this poll are obvious.  The overwhelming majority of you are more interested in maintaining your finances then you are in maintaining your level of some government agency recommendation about your level of hydration or electrolytes.  That's a good thing.  Another good thing is that no one seems to be interested in government provided sugar.  I guess that's a start.




Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Poles Have Reversed!!

    The other night I watched the CMT country music awards hosted by Kid Rock.  While I'm not necessarily a fan of Kid Rock I was struck by the fact that when he came out on stage smoking a cigar and then was chastised by a fan in the audience for smoking in a non smoking arena he acknowledged the admonition but continued smoking his cigar.  Later in the show, the camera brought us back stage where a shot bar had been set up for performers who had left the stage.  I loved the political incorrectness.

    You know two score and plus or minus five or so years ago, our nation was preoccupied with millions of long haired, left wing, pot smoking liberal hippies who lived by the mantra "do your own thing" and who were inspired by Richie Havens singing Freedom, Freedom.  At the other end of the spectrum were the right wing, conservative, clean cut, country music, and mostly southern rednecks who considered the long haired, liberal freedom fighters to be unAmerican.

    So here is what has happened.  The liberal anti-establishment people who have now become the establishment and who once advocated legalized pot and free love want now to dictate how much salt we can put on a cheeseburger.  And on the other hand, the conservative red necks want us to be able to smoke in public places.  How did this happen?  When did the poles become reversed?

    I've long said that I would have loved to live in America when it was a free country.  As one small example why can't I open up a bar called let's say Mark's bar and allow smoking?  And then down the street someone might choose to open up another bar that did not allow smoking and call it Roy's bar.  That way if I chose to go have a drink and have a cigarette I could go to Mark's and if I didn't want smoking I could go to Roy's.  At least I would be free to choose.  Who says that in America some asshole politicians get to make that choice for me instead?  How did we let that happen?

    In my younger days I would have considered myself to be a liberal.  However, as I have become older I have learned that there really is a fundamental difference between liberals and conservatives.  Here it is.  If a conservative decides that he or she should eat less meat, he or she will eat less meat.  If a liberal decides that he or she should eat less meat, they want to pass laws to make sure that everyone eats less meat.  If a conservative thinks that it's a good idea to wear a seat belt he will.  But liberals aren't satisfied until there's a law to make sure everyone conforms to the same behavior.

    So here's my suggestion.  Get off my case!!  The only way we are ever going to regain our freedoms is if politicians come to recognize that while they might like to mull over future legislation while sipping Scotch, others might like to do the same while smoking a bone.  And you know what, if you want to maintain your freedom to own and carry a gun just maybe you will have to give rights to two men or two women who want to marry each other.  I know that's a stretch and maybe we just can't get away from people trying to cram their personal ideologies down other peoples' throats but if we want to maintain our freedom I'd like to quote J.P. in the movie Angels in the Outfield when he says "it could happen".

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

What is "State Aid" - Part 1 (I Think)

    States all around the country find themselves in financial chaos.  This is primarily because they have been over spending for years and now find themselves at the brink of insolvency.  Responsible Governors have been leading the way in reducing spending but much to the chagrin of local politicians and officials who are faced with shortfalls in supporting school districts, police forces, and other local services.  They frequently blame the problems on the loss of "State Aid" and explain to their constituents all of the measures they are taking to push for more.

    To understand the problem I think it would be helpful to define exactly what "State Aid" is so let me give it a shot.  State aid is the percentage of money previously confiscated from the taxpayers that is used to support programs and services as determined worthy by the politicians currently in control and doled out to geographical areas that are again determined worthy by the politicians currently in control.

    Let's dissect this a little.  Why would I say "the percentage of money previously confiscated"?  That's because in order to collect our money and redistribute it, we need commissioners, department heads, clerical support, office space, office furniture, and cleaning services for the occupied spaces.   In addition, we need duplicate staffs called auditors since auditors are inherently more trustworthy and honest than are the first people to touch our money.  We need to pay for all of this so in essence, we pay a handling fee just like when we buy tickets through Ticketmaster.

    Imagine if we did our grocery shopping like this.  We would all go to our favorite grocery store and we would each give the manager let's say $100 to provide us with a week's worth of groceries.  Now immediately the store manager would take 30% off the top for the handling fee meaning that we would theoretically get back $70 worth of groceries for every $100 we gave him or her to begin with.  Next the manager would get to decide who gets back $90 worth of groceries, who gets $50 worth, etc. but let's save the unequal redistribution for another day and assume that we would each get our $70 worth.

    So we would all hang out in the parking lot waiting to see what we received.  You would here comments like "oooh, I hope I get some ice cream this week", and, "I really need a piece of chicken for Tuesday night", or, "I hope I get sweet pickles this week.  I really didn't like those dill spears".  It would be like spending the afternoon with a bunch of nitwits.  Yet, that is exactly what our local "leaders" do when it comes to state aid.  Just substitute school budget for ice cream, a town park for chicken, and maybe a sidewalk someplace for the sweet pickles.

    So here's an idea.  Let's just stop sending our money to Sacramento, or Albany, Trenton, or Lansing.  Instead, let us keep our money in our own communities.  That way we can just give it directly to the school district.  If we want a park, we can build it.  And if we need a sidewalk someplace, we get to decide.  After all, we're adults.  We can make those decisions.  Heck if nothing else at least we'll save the handling fee!!

    Please take a moment to respond to the poll regarding this subject on upper right.  This is valuable information.  Also, let me know what your thoughts are so I can use them in Part 2 of this topic.  You can either post a comment or email me at tzdk8@aol. com.  Thank you.