JUNE 14, 2011.


ITEM: Let’s say you owe $60,000 on your credit card. What do you do? Naturally, you enter a dream state where you ask the company to raise your limit, right? And then with a new ceiling, you can pay off the 60 grand.


This is what the White House and the Fed Reserve are trying to do with the national-government debt. Raise the debt ceiling. Otherwise they won’t be able to invent more money to pay the interest on what they already owe.


Of course, your credit-card company isn’t going to raise your limit when you already owe 60 g, so you’re not going to be able to pay off the 60 from newly minted credit.


At some point, the music stops. Not with government, though.


In case you’re interested, this all started with Alexander Hamilton, who claimed that building up federal debt was a GOOD thing. And ever since then, the balls have been juggling in the air. What Hamilton meant was: LET’S SUBVERT THE MEANING OF THE REPUBLIC. LET’S MAKE CENTRAL GOVERNMENT AND A NATIONAL BANK THE CORNERSTONES OF A COVERT MONARCHY OF ARISTOCRATS.


He won the argument.


ITEM: The reporter never bothered to ask the most interesting questions. Happens all the time. A tour-bus driver in Michigan was taking people to Ohio. The ride was overbooked, so he put six passengers in the luggage compartment for the trip. Yup.


Unanswered questions: why did the six agree to take the tour in a dark box a foot off the ground? Did the driver wave a gun? What possessed the driver to come up with this solution? How was the whole deal discovered?


Well, an Ohio patrol officer exposed the ruse…but how? Did a passenger spill his guts at a roadside stop? Were the people in the luggage compartment knocking on it trying to get out at a red light? And how could six people fit inside the compartment along with all the suitcases, if the bus was full?


Or is most of the story wrong? Perhaps six people said they WANTED to ride with the luggage. I’ve often thought it might be fun. Maybe this sort of thing happens all the time, and the Michigan-to-Ohio tour is just the tip of an iceberg.


ITEM: An Illinois man entered a convenience store and demanded 99c from the clerk. The clerk refused, so the man pulled a gun. My theory is the man saw a big sign outside the store advertising something for 99c, and he thought it meant that’s all the store HAD. 99c.


ITEM: A woman in England wants to give her womb to her daughter, who doesn’t have one, so the daughter can have a child. The surgical transfer would be temporary. The womb would be removed from the daughter after: the daughter’s egg is fertilized with her husband’s sperm and inserted in the womb, and after the baby comes to term and is born. It’s like a rental womb.


Of course, the highly risky uterus-transfer surgery has only been performed successfully on a few mice. Is this what is meant by “the genetic imperative?” A human must pass on his/her DNA to another generation? Simple adoption is no good? Risk hemorrhaging and dying in the O/R instead?


I call it medical adventurism—the desire of people, who believe they lack other alternatives, to experience something wild, beyond the pale, about which, if they survive it, they can gab and chatter all the way into old age…at which point they would possibly understand how utterly whacked they once were.


ITEM: At a site called Teptronics, you can fork over $17.99 and buy your kid a plastic toy that looks like a little bulbous aquarium. Inside are five seated figures. From left to right, Lenin, Gandhi, Che Guevara, Malcolm X, and Mao. Lenin looks like the pissed off puppet-old-man, Walter, that ventriloquist Jeff Dunham uses on Comedy Central. Pinched face, nasty attitude. Gandhi looks like a walrus with glasses. Che looks like Horatio Sanz on Saturday Night Live doing a bearded bozo. Mao looks like some guy with a generic ceramic Chinese mask over his face. $17.99. “The Revolutionaries Collection.” Really.


ITEM: From Syracuse to Watertown. 70 miles. On foot. A man named Ned is traveling with his wife. She’s in a wheelchair. He’s pushing her. Her name is Teagan.


Ned says they were married in 1986. When he met her, she was just a head. He built the rest of her body and put her in a wheelchair. She’s a big doll. Wooden head, wooden body. A mannequin.


The really interesting part of the story, though, is that Ned was interviewed by a local social welfare worker. The worker reported that Ned seemed very happy. My question is, what would the social worker have done if Ned said he was very sad? I think the answer is clear. If a guy pushing his wooden wife of 25 years 70 miles in a wheelchair is happy, he gets a pass. If he’s performing the same activity—quite competently—but he’s sad, that’s not okay. Such a person would have to be treated. With drugs. Keep smiling, Ned. Don’t let your guard down. Eccentric-plus-sad is a definite no-go. They’ll lock you up and take Teagan away.


ITEM: The post office lost $8.5 billion last year. Nice work, guys. Now the head of the PO Union has a really innovative idea. Expand the duties of letter carriers. Equip their trucks with sensors that can detect bio-terror attacks. Really. This will somehow justify the red ink in the PO’s books. And if I may ask, how do these sensors in trucks work? They register an increase in the presence of viruses? I’d love to see the specs. I’ll bet they’re a doozie.


Computer modeling architecture, uh, ahem, predicts, according to several humidity variables, the 6-8 percent likelihood of reverse transcriptase activity occurring in a geo-area six by seven inches square…which can be extrapolated out to a city block, at which point the predictive value diminishes to a minus-4% accuracy on a slow Tuesday afternoon between 3 and 4, given automobile frequency of one car per hour on a street…”


ITEM: And finally, I almost forgot, here’s an interesting report from North Carolina. Since December 2007, 311,400 jobs have been lost in the private sector of the state. During the same time period, government employment is up 500 jobs.



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