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Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014

Big Wheels get Big Bucks (also)

Monday, July 16, 2012

The squeaking wheel doesn't always get the grease. Sometimes it gets replaced. (unknown)

The guy who invented the first wheel was an idiot. The guy who invented the other three, HE was a genius. (Sid Caesar)

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With a three percent raise to $129,600, Le Mars City Administrator Scott Langel Scott will still make a little ($400!) less than the Governor of Iowa. The administrator of a city of 10,000 population will, though, be making about $5,000 more than Larry Noble, retiring head of the Department of Public Safety. He was getting by with only $125,000.

"I know, but I had a better year than Hoover." (Babe Ruth, to objections that the salary he was demanding was more than that of the Presidents.)

It is reasonable that the city pays mileage, but I've always had a problem with the IRS rate of 55.5 cents per mile, unless a specialized vehicle is required. For a personal car the rate is too high. Fixed costs such as insurance, licensing, interest and much of the depreciation will be usually be the same even if you drive extra miles.

Our president is increasingly being referred to as POTUS (President of the United Sates), so should Governor Terry Branstad be the GOTSOI? Is Langel an ADOL?

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It's been one of those slow starting days. My dad would have said, "I haven't turned a wheel yet."

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The three percent increase isn't much, but the salary indicates what longevity in government does. Also interesting will be when Scott retires and a new person takes the job --the new guy often gets nearly as much, which usually shouldn't be, for the former guy was being paid for experience in the job.

The POTUS salary is $400,000, plus a $50,000 expense account, a $100,000 nontaxable travel account and $19,000 for entertainment. That increase was signed into law by Clinton but it did not take effect until he left office.

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From the Slippery Slope department - More and more Americans favor decriminalizing the use or possession of small amounts of pot. I loathed chopping that tough, dusty, stinky hemp weed on the farm! Call it pot, weed, reefer, cannabis, Mary Jane, ganja, tea, leaf, or skunk, it is here to stay, legal or not.

Within the last month the State of Rhode Island, and the city of Chicago, have decriminalized small amounts of pot use or possession. They joined the states of Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, and many other cities.

In Spanish the word 'pot' literally means "the drink of grief." It is short for the Spanish potiguaya or potaguaya that came from potaci--n de guaya, a wine or brandy in which marijuana buds have been steeped.

The 'decrim' efforts pushed for years by users is gaining ground with policy makers, even those formerly dead set against it. Reason? Monetary. Instead of an arrest, court time for the officer, and judicial system, and jail time, offenders will receive a citation ($250 to $500) like a traffic ticket.

Many officials agree with the decrim movement but in conservative areas it would be political suicide to fess up.

Proponents of decrim say that treating small amounts of marijuana as a crime wastes money and diverts police from more dangerous activity. It also brands many minority youngsters with a police record that will hold them back in life. This new policy is more humane and more responsible, they say.

Opponents fear it will produce an explosion of drug abuse. But that fear may be unfounded, say proponents in the fifteen 'decriminalized' states (17 states have legalized medical marijuana).

One proponent says, "Have you read anything about Omaha becoming Haight-Ashbury east? Me either."

There will be a nationwide "Weed Not Greed" cannabis tour beginning on August 17, visiting 33 cities in 22 days. Organized to draw attention to the "re-legalize" movement and to educate voters about the benefits of the plant, "Weed Not Greed" will depart from the Seattle Hempfest. Figures.

A Gallup Poll last year said that a record-high 50% of Americans now say the use of marijuana should be made legal. Forty-six percent say it should remain illegal.

When Gallup first asked the question in 1969, 12% of Americans favored it, while 84% were opposed.

Support for legalizing marijuana is directly and inversely proportional to age, ranging from 62% approval among those 18 to 29 down to 31% among those 65 and older. Other groups - Liberals (69-34), over Conservatives; Democrats 57%, Republicans 35%.

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Lawn? What lawn -- its drier here than at a WCTU meeting.

Don Paulin, 2carpenterdon@gmail.com, 7557 30th Av, Norwalk, IA 50211 - 515-201-7236

By Don Paulin
Been There, Done That