My bravery is not of the celebrated variety
By James K. White | August 5, 2009The first legal bet made in Las Vegas, Nev. occurred in 1931. Several wagers have been made since then. In what is likely an unrelated matter, the very first Dracula movie was released in 1931. Some 20 years later (1951 – for those without calculators) Topps issued their first sets of baseball cards. The original sets are now worth a lot of money to collectors across America. Lest we somehow forget, it was also in 1951 that the United States had more than 2,900,000 troops stationed in Korea in what has been termed a “police action.”
It was in 1909, on the 100th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth, that the U.S. Mint first issued the Lincoln penny. Today’s one cent coins contain only 2.5 percent copper. All American pennies minted after 1982 have contained 97.5 percent zinc.
The longest snake accepted as being reliably measured was a 32 foot 9 inch reticulated python (1912). I would enjoy meeting someone who had the courage to tickle that reptile twice. I can be chased to stay indoors for days by a menacing garter snake. My bravery is not of the celebrated variety.
When enough money is available, strange events can and do transpire: In late 2005, an indoor ski resort opened in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The edifice offers 242,187 sq. ft (22,500 sq. meters) of snow covered area and features a 1323 ft (400m) slope gently sprinkled with approximately 13 million pounds of generated snow – year round. I do not know the details, but a person might have to pay a fee or be on a special list in order to use the facilities.
Speaking of large expenditures, the Italian Polizia Stradale in Rome must have grown weary of being unable to catch some law-breakers. I make this comment because those Polizia now possess two Lamborghinis used on patrol. Each of these cars can attain speeds in excess of 200 mph. That would be enough to catch my Pinto.
U.S. presidents John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, Andrew Johnson and Chester A. Arthur had no vice presidents.
That especially bouncy substance used to make SuperBalls is called Zectron.
Do you have a fear of snow avalanches? If so, you might want to know that observers of the Alps report approximately 250,000 avalanches per year along the regions of those beautiful slopes.
Well, please exercise good judgment when selecting pythons to tickle and do have a splendid week.
Social Security could be very good
Perhaps we are asking the wrong questions during election years. Our Senators and Congresswomen do not pay into Social Security and, of course, they do not collect from it. Social Security benefits are not suitable for persons of their rare elevation in society.
Many years ago they voted in their own benefit plan. In more recent years, no congressperson has felt the need to change it. After all, it is a great plan. For all practical purposes their plan works like this:
When they retire, they continue to draw the same pay until they die, except it may increase from time to time for cost of living adjustments.
Their cost for this excellent plan is $0.
You and I pick up the tab. The funds for this fine retirement plan come directly from the General Funds, "Our Tax Dollars at Work!"
From our own Social Security Plan, into which you and I pay (or have paid) every payday until we retire (which amount is matched by our employer), we can expect to get an average of $1,000 per month – after retirement.
Social Security could be very good if only one small change were made.
That change would be to jerk the Golden Fleece Retirement Plan from under the Senators and Congressmen and put them into the Social Security plan with the rest of us.
Then sit back and see how fast they would fix it.