Prison Pete

Sunday, April 17, 2005
  Short Takes on the News.
The following quotes appeared in the New York Times on the dates shown. I found them notable; I hope you will too.

From an article dealing with the New York State budget:

"The report recounts one of the most convoluted acts of borrowing in state history: the decision to borrow money to buy Attica, the prison, from itself in 1990.

So far, the comptroller found, the temporary $200 million infusion of money from that sale has cost the taxpayers dearly: the state has paid $242 million on the debt so far and still owes $323 million more before its bonds are paid off."

One wonders how many crooks it took to figure out that deal and what money changers got to get in on the gravy train. The other thing to ask is where were all the people who are supposed to watching out for John Q. Public when the deal was first made. The article goes on to mention that less than 10% of the NY state's debt has been approved by the voters.

The following quote appeared in a story related to the fast repairs done to a signal control room that caught on fire in the New York City Subway system. The initial estimate was that it would take years to fix, but they ended up getting things close to normal within a couple months.

"'Some people might have called this a Rube Goldberg operation,' Mr. Reuter said in describing the signal system that will be in temporary use for at least several months. He later added, 'The engineers are literally drawing it on the backs of paper write now.'"

See, that is why you need engineers, they can tell the front from the back on a piece of paper and they know which side is best to do drawings on.

This is one that makes you realize why you should never sign anything without checking with a lawyer first. I have read this many times and still do not understand the difference, but hey, I will let you all out there be the judge. The quote is from the February 12, 2005 paper and is from a story dealing with New York Yankees player Jason Giambi's use of steroids.

"In Giambi's contract, he would not be paid, for example, if he couldn't play because of physical impairment or mental incapacity 'directly due to or approximately caused by' a series of circumstances including 'the intentional use or abuse of any type of illegal substance.'"

Now could be me, but would not any use of an illegal substance be an abuse, intentional or otherwise?
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