The Occasional Joke

Nurse: Patient's name?

Centurion: Marcus Licinius Crassus

Nurse: And his date of birth?

Centurion: 115 BC.

Nurse: All right. And what is he here for?

Centurion: Cataphract surgery.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Who am I (to stand and wonder, to wait ...)

I have been characterized, when anyone pays enough attention to bother characterizing me, as a "liberal" and even a "Democrat," primarily because I often mock, abuse, cast stones at, and generally disrespect Republicans and conservatives. I respond, when I pay enough attention, by asserting I am Rubber, You are Glue ... --- Oh, yeah! Well, yo' momma so left of center, she ... by asserting that I approach issues without reference to ideology or partisanship, and that I am just mindlessly cynical a true independent.

The current social and economic situation in Detroit gives me a perfect opportunity to demonstrate the extent to which I cannot be easily lumped into one political grouping, just because I usually make the sign of averting when I hear of take a position in opposition to that of the Republican party. Some people see the appointment of an Emergency Financial Manager for the city as a disenfranchisement of the voters, since it effectively yanks the rug out from under the Mayor and City Council, for whom, hard as it may be to imagine, someone actually voted. My view is, to quote a associate of mine, so what's your point?

The City of Detroit, under the leadership of people elected by the city's voters, has become an embarrassment, an international joke, and a flaming disaster, not only for itself but for the whole state. No matter how much both of us may regret it, Detroit and the State of Michigan are inseparable, part of the same family, as it were, and the patience of the family is exhausted. Detroit -- its leaders, its voters, and all -- just got a bad performance review, and the state is putting them on an improvement plan.

Whether or not the EFM can "succeed" (and the definition of success in this case is wildly unclear, ranging from, on the one hand, a return to at least marginally balanced books to, at the other extreme, selling the whole place to North Korea,) something has to be attempted. Under the current crew of idiots Mayor and Council, nothing would have been tried, nothing would have changed, no effort beyond quibbling and posturing would have been imaginable.

So, while the state Democrats consider whether they can make an issue of it in opposition to the Governor's reelection campaign, and the Republicans undoubtedly hope to smear the Dems as being "soft on Detroit," I'm in the unusual position, for me, of backing Snyder.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Missed it by that much!

Son of a ... I had the interview nailed! My resume absolutely killed them. They loved my background in management and my process improvement chops. We were within a few thousand on the salary and perks -- down to quibbling about clothing allowance and so on. And then this little Italian guy in the back of the room has to stick his head up.

"Sorry to even bring this up -- dumb question, really. You are, um, a Catholic, right?"

Dammit, dammit, dammit!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Off to a good start

One of the state's largest embarrassments has been removed, and I'm not talking about that old railroad station in Detroit. Kwame Kilpatrick and his stalking horse, Bobby Ferguson, are in the federal pen, down in Milan. The folks down there have been leaving a light on for them for a long time. Once again, the most cleverly-crafted piece of legislation in decades, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations act - lovingly known as RICO - has been used to prosecute people who richly deserved prosecutin'. RICO is as close as we can get to a law against being a bottom-feeding, knuckle-dragging dickhead.

As one of the many millions of people who have Googled RICO in the last few days, I found some interesting cases to support my assertion that it's a well-written law, aimed straight at the practice of scumbaggery. Did you know that RICO has been tried (not always successfully) against all of these?
  • Catholic dioceses in abuse cases
  • The Hells Angels
  • An anti-abortion group
  • Major League Baseball
  • The Key West, Florida Police Department
  • The Gambino crime family
Now Kilpatrick and Ferguson join this club. Did I really say an embarrassment was removed? What was I thinking?