Monthly Archives: January 2010

Thoughts on Light Rail. Logical Mr. Spock?

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Not even in a 1960’s sci-fi television show.  Or should I say, “logical Mr. Barack?”

I would be the first person to admit, that I’m not the sharpest knife in the drer; Pancil in the pack; tool in the shaid; brightest bub in the lamp; you get the drift… but I can’t for the life of me figure out this light rail boondoggle I heard about the other night when I was flipping between the State of the Union address and the Hispanic Shopping Channel.

I live in Atlanta, Georgia where we have this little transportation outfit called MARTA which began rail service back in the 1970s; and which I think may still be operating from a 1970s strategic plan.  It is a government operation, and I’m pretty sure it has never been able to pay for itself through pure ridership, advertising, or pay toilets (if they have any). 

Last night, having arrived home from Newark, NJ, I headed to the MARTA station to catch the train home.   I waited 20 minutes in a dark dreary station for it to show up and then leave the station, was ithen nformed that I would have to transfer trains due to a reduced evening schedule, was pan handled on two separate occasions whilst snuggled up with about 100 bedraggled  strangers, and was ultimately deposited in another dreary station.   I was not left scratching my head as to some of the reasons why it is fiscally challenged. 

 I did notice a sign that said they were having a public meeting to solicit ideas on how to address some of their issues, and I could only imagine who might schlep down to their offices for that meeting to help solve all its problems.   My advice, “Go LOOK in the mirror people!” 

The problem with Mr. Obama and his Starfleet Command is their government approach to government.   Don’t you think that if some smart company or investor thought for a minute they could make a buck off of light rail, they wouldn’t have done it already??  Warren Buffet could scratch a check in a heartbeat if thought it was viable and add that to his choo choo collection.

I read that Obama wants to drop $8-$13 Billion to fund high-speed light rail, and I’m thinking for my family of 4 we spend $3,000 per year on a high deductible health plan with an HSA which includes well care.   A little quick math and I’m figuring $8B could cover the health care nut for about  2.6 million families or over 10 million lives.  Now, I’m not proposing the government buy health insurance for 10 million people; there are just better ways to piss away my borrowed tax dollars.

Obama’s government approach to government is kind of like when your mamma gives your kid a $100 gift card to Wal-Mart, and your kid promptly goes and blows it on $100 worth of Yugioh cards.  He then trys to convince you it’s a good investment!  The purchase feels pretty good for about 5 minutes and then the reality of stupidity begins to set in.  The only difference with government is that it can even rationalize reality.

Here’s an idea.  How about a little bit of Un-Government?  Now there’s a little change I could believe in.  If President Obama could grasp that concept, who knows where he could lead this country?  That might even be statue-worthy.  Definitely a cut above and installation at Madame Tussauds.

So what about this light rail thing?  Maybe I am living in a cocoon with my only perspective being a local public transportation system that has given me a jaded perspective.  But I don’t think I’m off by much.   Change?  My butt!  Simply a government approach to government.  Do you smell something funny?

Back Off College

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I am sorry college, but you need to back off. I know the idea of you is nice, but once we actually started something I can’t wait to be through with you. There are so many problems with you. Let’s start with the biggest one: you won’t give me any space. You are clingy, and overbearing, and you get downright annoying after about 30 minutes. I mean it’s as if you expect me to think about you 24/7 and I simply won’t. I have a life outside of you, believe it or not. I am only 16, and this relationship has already gotten much more serious than I would have liked at my age. Everywhere I look or no matter who I talk to, you seem to come up. You’re either really popular or extremely frightening because you seem to be all the buzz around here. I know everyone seems to think you have the magic power to get them where they want to go, but past that I really don’t see the appeal right now. All too soon you have forced me from a perfectly happy friendship with high school and into a suffocating relationship with you.

Second, I have tried so hard to impress you. I’ve given my all on so many levels. You want a smart girl? I studied harder. But it wasn’t enough. You want a well-rounded girl? I signed up for heinous activities that I don’t even like just to try to get your attention. I figured that maybe if I put myself out there, maybe you’d take interest in me. But you’re simply stone cold. Obviously you want talent. So I have trained: dance, voice, acting class, striving to be the best because the best is all that will cut it for you. I feel like I am constantly auditioning for you. I have to be better than the next smart, pretty, talented girl who catches your eye. Night and day I ponder the endless possibilities of what you have in mind as the best. Would it be lots of good grades, several activities, boatloads of talent? Do I have to be gorgeous on top of all that? I mean, come on, let’s be realistic here. I can’t do it all! I don’t physically have enough hours in my day!

Third, being with you is like being with a brick wall. I mean, come on. You lure me in with all your positives: so-and-so loves you so much they wish they could go back and do it all over again, look at how happy blah-di-blah is now that you’ve been in their life, you can take me exotic places, get me out of the South, give me everything and make my hopes and dreams come true. That is what I see on the surface. You want me to learn everything about you, to dig and investigate, and make sure you’ll make me happy. You want me to visit (and we both know long-distance relationships hardly ever work), you want me to meet with “your people”, and even visit your website and look at all the perfect pictures of you at your very best. You expect my utmost devotion and flattery and attention. But what do I get in return? I mean you confuse me with other girls all the time. You know nothing about my personality or charms. All I get  is the occasional postcard from you bragging about the fantastic new things you’re progressing in, or the beautiful new feature you’ve had worked on, sometimes even that you are dying for me to come and giving me specific dates to conform to. You expect me to drop everything going on in my perfectly happy life and come be with you for a weekend, sometimes even making me miss school, and all for what? You drag me on, and it’s entirely possible that when all is said and done, you’ll decide that I’m simply not good enough and reject me. I will fall in love with you and then what? BAM! Like a ton of 10 pound bricks I’ll get a simple letter in the mail saying I’m not what you want. It’s entirely possible that you’ll break my heart as soon as I start to think I have a chance. And I will never know why. I’ll never know why the girl in my Math class or my best friend was better than me. You’ll never tell me. I’ll have to pick myself back up, look myself in the mirror, and tell myself that you were never what I really wanted anyway. I’ll never hear from you again. And just like that, two years of my life that I gave to you will have been ill spent. Of course, there is also the possibility that something about me will appeal to you, that I will have just that spark you’ve been yearning for and then, SUCCESS! I will get you like I’ve been plotting and scheming to for so long. I mean, sure, I’ll be stealing you from someone else, but then I guess they should have been more like me, right? What’s that old expression…”All’s fair in love and war”?

Light Skinned American With No Negro Dialect Except When I Want To

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Just for the record; I am a light-skinned American with no Negro dialect except when I want to.  Although that fact, I don’t think, would help me in any sort of election.  In fact, I would suggest I am woefully unelectable.  About the only thing I’ve been elected for lately is jury duty, and I am not sure if that was an election or more of a selection. 

Our jury foreman was a dark-skinned  African-American man with a multi-cultural dialect.  I would describe it as a Negro, Black, African-American, Georgian dialect.   The point being, that he was elected, neither because of the color of his skin nor whatever the heck his dialect was, but because in the eyes of 11 other multi-dialect voters sitting around a table, he seemed to be a respectable guy, capable of managing a process, and articulating our decision.  In short, he was qualified. 

I don’t consider myself a particularly enlightened individual, although I have dropped a decent amount of weight over the past few years.  For a little heavy enlightenment on light skinned comments with  a light-hearted delivery,  I highly recommend Polite Society’s post,  “Negro Dialect?”

As for Harry Reid, I can certainly forgive him for his stupid comment, and I pray for forgiveness for the river of stupidity that gushes from my mouth pretty much anytime I open it.  I can also thank him for helping Polite Society to enlighten me.  I would also be thankful if Uncle Harry’s foot in mouth disease is miraculously cured with a one way ticket back to Nevada.