random miscellaneae - if that's a word... which I doubt

Been totally DROWNED at work for a while now, so I haven't had time to get on and update anything here - sorry to my loyal readers, both of you.

Seriously, if anyone knows of a competent mortgage loan processor, I need to add to what I've got, we're burnin out our one dude.

NPR is reporting this morning that the French student protests seems to be working and at least we're talking about the French President (Jacque Chirac- sp?) not being re-electable next time around. Then they turned to the protests here of the last 48 hours, drawing a parallel between the two events. I find a disparity here though. The young citizenry of France is upset by Chirac's signing of this labor bill that allows a more liberal hiring and firing policy, and a longer "probation" period. They vote and have vocalized thier unhappiness with the bill for some time now - I first heard this story about a month ago, and heard that Chirac was going to sign it.

So, by contrast, (or, listening to the press report it, "similarly,) we have our own demonstrations here over the last 48 hours. I say 'by contrast" because of two main differences: first, the VAST majority of those protesting here are not voters, hell, they're not even citizens of the country. Second, most of the nation's registered voters (between 61% and 80%, depending on which poll you read), would prefer that these people protesting in our streets would just as soon see these people deported and the companies that hire them to do the jobs they claim no one else will do charged with felony aiding and abetting a criminal.

At the very least, every employer shoudl be FORCED to use the SSN verification service, which is currently voluntary. With that in place, there is no excuse for hiring someone you 'thought' was legal. If you don't get a green light from the verification service, it's a no-go. Just my $0.02 on that one.

This just in: was it not a LONG TIME AGO that national elections were held in Iraq? Where the hell is the new government? Didn't they convene a session about a month or two ago, FOR ABOUT 30 MINTUES? Did they get tired? are the malnourished, and couldn't remain in a meeting sitting down? Seems to me, these people want their own brand of government, period, and even if we walk in there and SHOVE our brand of democracy down their throats, they'll jsut waddle along after the reigns are partially turned over, and at every opportunity simply try to wear us down with boredom at the speed they move through the process. I think they hope we'll soon just get bored with the whole idea and go away.

I read a funny post on a blog I read occassionally about this very issue:


Crack me up - funny stuff.

and in other news: I had a good old friend call me the other day and tell me he was going through a bit of trauma in his life. Shout-out to him, hope all is well - at least as well as can be expected...

Another friend asked me to recommend a book because he needed a few more bucks to qualify for the free super-saver shipping at amazon.com. I recommended The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand. He is a bit like me, in that he digs architecture, and this book has a lto to do with that. In fact, it was rumored in the 40's and 50's that the author was secretly having an affair with Frank Lloyd Wright, and this book was her public tribute to him. I enjoyed the book.

I was also thinking of some other books I have read lately. I recommend The Kite Runner. That book will open up your eyes once or twice. A good read. I also recommend the Beethoven biography, from Edmond Morris. The universal composer, written by a VERY competent biograher - check his list of work.

I need to do DaVinci Code again - I read that (seems like) a decade ago, and want to read it once more before the movie hits theaters now. Speaking of which, last week the judge in London took 71 pages to write a decision that basically said the suit against Dan Brown was without merit. Lawyers get paid by the word.

I have had to postpone my bass lesson today. I haven't had time to practice this week, but I'm not going to tell him that. :) I'm such a schmuck.

Speaking of that, we went to The Bayou a couple of weeks ago, and I forgot to write a little about that. So here that is: we went with friends and I wanted to go to the Bayou because my bass teachin buddy was supposed to be playing there that night. He was playing a couple of years ago with a group called Mambo Jumbo, headlined and organized by an EXCELLENT jazz drummer named Ricardo Romero.

He went away to school in Las Vegas and the group went away along with their web site. Well, when I asked Ben, my bass teacher about it, he said Ricardo was playing with him at the Bayou on Saturday night... so that's where we planned to go. Then in the paper a day or two later, we noticed that Ricardo was scheduled for Zanzibar. Anyway, to make a long story short, Ben was indeed scheduled for The Bayou, and that's where we decided to go. He noted that apparently, Ricardo heard that somebody was scheduled for the emsemble that he didn't get along with, so he went to Zanzibar. Anyway, at the Bayou, there was a guy playing Sax who I had not heard before - John Flanders - I head seen his name around before, but I had not heard him play before. My loss, for sure. This guy was amazing - never a wrong solo note, and always right in the pocket. I was totally impressed. When Ben came and sat down with us during one of their breaks, he noted that John has "all those Saturday Night Live" sounds. He had all the right sounds and was VERY good. He's on my watch list for sure from here on out.

So there you go. http://www.johnflanders.com/

So, that's it for now... lots of randomness for you random-loving dweebs.


Ethan said...

After I read The Fountainhead, I felt like a different person. I also really enjoyed We The Living (also Rand).

sarahbellum said...

dweeb?! i don't think so.

Reach Upward said...

Thanks for the link to my armor post. One of the problems with implementing democracy in Iraq is that we are doing it top-down. None of the lower level institutions that make for a democratic society exist yet. I'm not going to say the top-down approach won't work, but I'll bet it takes a very long time before it does.

On immigration, the SSN check is unfortunately flawed. I once worked for a federal agency that had to deal with the Social Security Administration with regard to SSNs as identifying numbers. Now, you'd think this would be a simple thing, but that assumes that you haven't had a government bureaucracy involved. The upshot is that it is very simple to scam the system, and if there's one thing that our illegal alien network knows how to do it's scam the system. We need something more foolproof than what we've got at present.

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