Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A few thoughts for a busy day

For those of us who don't stay up to 11 p.m. or who have other things to do, John Stewart has a wonderful take on the media following Barack Obama around the Middle East and Europe.

Stick around and play the next two or three sniglets that come along as well.

Kudos to Vanity Fair, which became fair and balanced with its cover, one of Barack Obama and the latest of John McCain with a walker, in response to the New Yorkers' cover featuring the Obamas. They are both in the same building.

Speaking of McCain, he has had his share of malapropisms lately, and one starts to wonder if he and J. Danforth Quayle, the potato-misspelling vice president under Daddy Bush, could be in the same place at the same time. Let's see: Quayle was in his 40s during the Bush era, from 1988-1992. Nah, he would be in his late 50s or early 60s now. Just a thought.

I read with interest the fact that the Department of Justice shelled out $268,300 or so to put 24 inner-city youths sailing on the Freedom Schooner Amistad for a fortnight as it wends its way along the East Coast.

That might seem like a lot of money, but sailing is good for the soul. A schooner, like all sailboats, cannot be handled a couple of drunks in an overpowered cabin cruiser. It takes a lot of work.

You need to haul up the sails, which is pretty easy for 24 people, until you have to haul up the boom as well. The boom is that tree trunk that goes up the mast and is parallel to the deck. There are two of them to haul up and down. On a ship the size of the Amistad, it weighs quite a bit.

You also need to keep the sails pointed in the right direction or else you either go in circles or are "in irons", going nowhere not so fast. You swab the deck, make your own bunk, help with the galley work and clean the head.

This teaches responsibility and teamwork.

It seems worth the money, just on a fiscal basis, if it keeps even one kid from becoming a ward of the Department of Corrections. That costs a lot more for even one year.

In human terms, it's worth a lot more. Good going, DOJ and whoever applied for the grant.

Busy day today, so there won't be much more. I was going to write about the state of the justice system and whose fault I thought it was, but I'll do that later in the week.

Stay tuned

Until next time...

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