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Short Takes

Apparently it is perfectly acceptable to put G-d before country, as long as you don’t say Allah.

Money is not supposed to buy happiness, but having it is apparently enough to avoid the wait for scarce resources.

On the standard Friday politics round-up with E.J. Dionne and David Brooks, NPR host Michele Norris was apparently seriously concerned that Obama’s promise of bi-partisanship isn’t working out . Honestly, she sounds like she thinks this will be a problem for Democrats.

The super-patriotic Republican leadership [now, with even bigger flag pins] apparently doesn’t know the difference between the Declaration of Independence and the preamble to the Constitution. They also can’t remember the Pledge of Allegiance. I wonder what the lead level is like in the Capitol’s water supply?


1 cookie jill { 11.07.09 at 12:54 pm }

I do recall that Queen Mother “Looks like George Washington” Bush had some bulging eye problems because of water “poisoning”issues.
.-= last blog ..It’s Breeder’s Cup Day =-.

2 Bryan { 11.07.09 at 7:15 pm }

I would have put it down to an excess of bile.

3 Kryten42 { 11.07.09 at 10:42 pm }

@cookie jill: Yes… It often happens when the water is contaminated with excess alcohol and consumed with non-prescribed *medications*. It’s a common problem amongst the elites apparently. :)And it can cause an excess of bile, generally when the organs begin to cease functioning properly. But not to worry… They don’t need to rely on America’s *health care* system to remedy the problems caused, unlike *ordinary* folks. 🙂 Unlike ordinary folks, the elites will generally survive their excesses.

4 Bryan { 11.07.09 at 10:54 pm }

They can’t manage to pay their “staff” minimum wage, but they can afford rehab clinics and personal trainers.

I hated to argue over what I charged with people who were paying their kid’s tennis coach $50/hour.

5 Kryten42 { 11.07.09 at 11:19 pm }

I heard some stories about elite’s from a LEO I met in NYC. He’d been assigned as our official tour guide (as you would know, the real reason was to ensure we weren’t bothered by the unwashed masses, and that we didn’t inadvertently cause any legal problems, diplomatic immunity notwithstanding.) 😉 He wasn’t happy about the duty at first, but during the next 10 day’s, he warmed to us once he realised we weren’t going to make him a gopher or cause trouble that he would have to get us out of. We took it very seriously actually, and went out of our way not to abuse his time and to listen to what he told us, etc. We didn’t need him all the time, or every day, and we told him to go do his job more often than not. We didn’t want a nanny any more than he wanted to be one. I leaned a lot about cop’s (at least NYC cop’s) from him. Bloody tough job! Anyway… one day, near the end of our visit, we had to go to an official meeting and he was required to take us. It was obvious he was seething underneath, and gentle probing would elicit nothing. After the meeting, I persuaded him to tell me why he was so obviously pissed. Just the short highlights (I’m sure you can fill in the details): He told me that he and his partner had pulled over an obvious drunk weaving all over the road in an expensive car. He’d run the plates, and knew instantly it was going to be a problem, but he was determined. By the time he’d returned to the precinct station, the guy’s lawyer was there with the commander shaking hands because the commander’s daughter was going to be allowed to get free tennis lessons at the guy’s club. There was more to it of course, but you get the idea. I got the impression it happens a lot. I did ask how he put up with it… He simply said that most days, he was allowed to do his job.

*shrug* way it is.

6 Bryan { 11.07.09 at 11:55 pm }

That’s why cops join unions in the US and talk to the media. That crap goes down all the time and it’s a real PITA. You file complaints and nothing happens because DAs want to be elected to higher office and that costs money.

The senior officials in the NYPD all want to be Bernie Kerik, well, up to the point where he was indicted.

It’s not as bad in the smaller jurisdictions, but it’s still political.

It’s also the reason there hasn’t been a lot of push back on dashcams in police cars. If he had a video of the arrest, there wouldn’t be any way of pulling off that crap that wouldn’t involve seeing that video on the local news if it was attempted.

I didn’t have a video, but I did have a small cassette recorder that went with me everywhere, you know, in case there was some doubt about what happened 😈 .

7 Kryten42 { 11.08.09 at 12:03 am }

Actually… now that I can’t stop thinking about that trip…! 😉 😆 I havn’t really thought about it much over the years since.

It was my first trip to NYC, and the LEO was meeting us at JFK and taking us to the Sheraton (I hadn’t realised until we arrived that it was on Times Square which annoyed me actually as I prided myself on doing good research before a trip. I knew it was was on the corner of 51st & 7th.) It was at that point that I asked the LEO to take me on a tour, and explained why. We had time before we were due to meet the CG at the Aus Consulate on E42nd (I remember that because whenevr I thought about the NY Consul, it always reminded me of HHGTTG, of course!) 😉 Anyway, I apologised for him having to provide taxi service and assured him it wasn’t our idea. After a brief silence he said that if we ever had to get a cab from JFK and we wanted to arrive with luggage and ourselves intact (to which I snorted and smiled), we should follow these rules:
1. Never take expensive or new luggage,
2. Always check the driver’s ID,
3. Keep the luggage with us and if we must put it in the trunk, to ensure that the luggage was removed before payment, or give a sufficiently large tip to ensure the cab doesn’t take off with the luggage.

And welcome to NYC! 😆

The next day after discussing lunch, the LEO introduced us to Blooms! And I am forever grateful! 😀 (Lady Min can tell you how much I love a good deli and/or bakery! Mmmmmmmmmmmmm…

8 Kryten42 { 11.08.09 at 12:35 am }

LOL We posted together again. 😉

Ahhh… so is that why a taped conversation couldn’t normally be used as evidence? 😉

One thing that truly amazed me in NYC is how the city suddenly changed when night fell (or so it seemed to me anyway!) During the day, the doorman at the Sheraton was a very polite and smiling middle aged guy who was obviously part of the foundations of the place, and only the outer doors were closed (but unlocked). Come night, the doorman became the Hulk with piercing eyes and no smile, and both inner and outer doors were closed. Our LEO guide said that if I really wanted to go for a walk (I mentioned that I was nocturnal by nature and enjoyed prowling) in the evening, I should look crazier than everyone else, and I’d probably be OK! I reminded him I was carrying a licensed Glock 17. And he gave me the hardest look that promised much and that I’d be way better off staying in my room! (Do LEO’s in the USA get trained to do that BTW? Or is that just normal NYC street experience?) I said that he shouldn’t worry. I’d never needed to use my weapon and didn’t even want it, but I had no choice. I was trained to take care of problems quickly and simply with minimal injury to anyone. And he just grunted and gave me a sideways look that I interpreted to mean “Good luck with that in NYC at night!”. 😀 I liked him and promised I’d be smart and stay out of trouble. And he just smiled. 🙂

Then we went to Blooms for the 2nd time!! He introduced me to Matzo (He called it that, I discovered at Blooms it was Matzah Ball) soup! It reminded me of my training where we’d been taught that the way a field op survives is to keep mouth shut and eyes and ears open until one learns the local customs, mannerisms and way of speaking. Little things can get one in big trouble. 😉

I enjoyed NYC actually. 🙂 Though my fave place of all (that I visited) would have to be Santa Cruz. I even planned to maybe live there one day (many years ago!) 🙂

9 Bryan { 11.08.09 at 9:11 pm }

I love the delis in the City. No matter what you want, you can find it in NYC if you are ready to walk down side streets.

The Bay area has some good Russian and Asian places, but New York covers everywhere.

Of course, you can’t really get Louisiana, except in Louisiana, but NYC has everything else.

10 Badtux { 11.08.09 at 10:20 pm }

Hey, we have good Latin American places and Ethiopian places too, y’know, as well as various European cuisines. Though I must admit that with a pho shop on every other street corner, Asian cuisine is what the Bay area does best :).

Still haven’t found a decent Louisiana-style eatery. Going to have to get my fill during the Thanksgiving vacation break, I guess…

11 Bryan { 11.08.09 at 10:47 pm }

Most of the Euro places get contaminated by California and avoid the “good stuff”.

Louisiana cooking requires the local fixings that don’t ship well, and should never be frozen. It takes years to create a good iron skillet and many of the spices are local only. One of my neighbors was from Louisiana and she tried growing her own fixings, but it wasn’t the same, they lacked that Mississippi muck in the soil.