Jeremiah's School of Levitation

Upsy-Daisy!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

I Remember a Billion Milliseconds Ago As If It Was Just the Week Before Last

I got this email today:

---------------

Here's something thought provoking-

The next time you hear a politician use the word "billion" in a casual
manner, think about whether you want the "politicians" spending your tax money.

A billion is a difficult number to comprehend, but one advertising agency did a good job of putting that figure into some perspective in one of its releases.


While this thought is still fresh in our brain, let's take a look at New Orleans - It's amazing what you can learn with some simple ! division ............

Louisiana Senator, Mary Landrieu (D), is presently asking the Congress for $250 BILLION to rebuild New Orleans.

Interesting number, what does it mean?

Well, if you are one of 484,674 residents of New Orleans (every man, woman, child), you each get $516, 528.

Or, if you have one of the 188,251 homes in New Orleans, your home gets $1, 329,787

Or, if you are a family of four, your family gets $2,066,012.

Politicians in Washingt on, D.C. !!!...........................Are all your calculators broken????
Maybe everyone should just flood their houses, then we can all be on the "big easy" street for the rest of our lives, and forget about working, and paying taxes and all that useless stuff!

------------


The first part is cute. It is interesting how large a number a billion is. It's also interesting to note that some parts of Mississippi have apparently not progressed for a billion seconds. How large a number a billion is isn't all that useful beyond its obvious mathematical necessity, but knowing its breadth is good for perspective's sake, along the lines of "If I had a nickel for everytime someone said..." which I like to embellish by completing that statement with a real estimate of what I'd really have if I got a nickel each time for something someone said. For example, "If I had a nickel for every time someone told me that I looked like Spike Lee, I'd have about, oh, 65 cents." That sort of diffuses the perspective part of it and creates what some may call "humor."

However, the second part, about New Orleans, is a crock of steaming Bush. Come on. Yes, 250 billion is a lot of money. But, to break it down by family or individual is stupid. As if the government is going to hand a check to a family and call that "Rebuilding New Orleans." If I lived in New Orleans, and the government handed me a check for $516,528, I'd say "To hell with New Orleans! I'm going to move to a bungalow in Kauai and live the rest of my days on a goddamnned beach. The only thing I'm going to rebuild is my bar."

I bet Senator Landrieu knows this very well, too, which is why she (and Republican Senator David Vitter, the cosponsor) isn't touting this as some sort of personal compensation, but rather, as exactly what she says: some money to rebuild New Orleans (as well as some of the state wetlands--that's the other thing--this isn't all going to be New Orleans money). Rebuilding New Orleans has as much to do with getting families back on their feet as it does with repairing damaged or destroyed infrastructure, getting business that have lost millions in revenue going again, restoring homes, offices, schools, making sure that the citizens' health concerns are all addressed and that toxins are cleaned from the waters and ground, getting the police department strong again, getting people employed, jeez, man, the list is huge, and just may come to about 250 billion to do right (though, I do think the legitimate worry is that some unjust wallets may get fat, just not the wallets of displaced New Orleans residents). And, so far, nothing's really happening with the bill, probably because of the cost, so the debate goes on.

So, stop sending out these cranky, petty, misleading, half-blind, kooky emails to me. If you want to get your calculators smoking, calculate the dollars we've spent in Iraq and how that relates to the actual progress and how much more it'll take to actually progress, or calculate how much money Bush and his cronies gained to make by the DP World ports deal. If your calculators don't smoke, then maybe your head will.

Or, if you do keep sending these emails to me, then send me a billion of them, and also send me a nickel for each one.
Jeremiah, 12:30 PM

5 Back at me:

...and then today I read this.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060316/ap_on_go_ot/katrina_contracts

Just like Iraq, man.

Damn contractors. (Didn't Halliburton get some New Orleans contracts as well, those precious little no-bid thingies?)
Blogger Mona Buonanotte, at 9:55 AM  
Link didnt' show correctly:

http://news/yahoo.com/s/ap/20060316/ap_on_go_ot/katrina_contracts

(I sincerely need to learn better linkage. Right click, where's the damn hyperlink? Gar....)
Blogger Mona Buonanotte, at 10:27 AM  
I got this same email from my aunt in new jersey and it just pissed me off... i sent my response and then read what you wrote in its entirety and they're pretty similar. i'm going to put the whole exchange on my blog.
Blogger Tim, at 10:57 PM  
Good responses -- got the same irksome forward and couldn't help checking the math, which was way off and encouraged my digging deeper to respond to the "sheep" who follow without looking.

A billion seconds ago, it was almost 1975, and the Vietnam War was grinding down.

A billion minutes ago, Christ had been crucified 72 years hence, and Masada fell to the Romans.

A billion hours ago, humans began wearing clothing in response to the ice age at the end of the Eemian interglacial period.

A billion days ago, hominids had been walking upright for almost 3.5 million years. (Yep, we've been walking upright at least 2.2 billion days.)

A billion YEARS ago our complete ecosystem became fully formed as it is today, and the first multi-cellular organisms appeared on Earth, but it's only taken 1.5 billion MINUTES (since we started burning fossil fuel in China) to trash that ecosystem.

A billion dollars was the US national debt in 1863, while a billion dollars today pays interest alone on today's national debt.

It's no one's fault that New Orleans was destroyed, but had it been NYC, DC, LA, or even Charleston, we would see a vastly different history today on management and recovery.

Does anyone know the status on LA's bipartisan efforts to secure that 250B? My biggest questions: are the refineries up yet and are our gulf rigs back online? How much money have US oil companies made since the new Iraq war began? And how many tax dollars have been collected as a result of the subsequent rise in gas and oil prices? Could some of that money go to help New Orleans and other Katrina-damaged areas of the gulf, considering the role of gas and oil in that region? Could adjustments to gambling taxes in the region help finance some of it?

I do believe the US government's responsibility is to help New Orleans in some way. Not to bail it out, but to provide clear, strong leadership in financial management and physical recovery through corporate partnerships or legislation. THAT is the American way. And we help our own.

-Robin

P.S. A billion humans lived on this planet in 1835, and today, there are currently 6,619,599,390 at the time of this mail. How on earth will be able to survive if we don't help one another? At more than one birth per second, when you get this mail, well ... you do the math.
Blogger Robin, at 8:02 AM  
Good responses -- got the same irksome forward and couldn't help checking the math, which was way off and encouraged my digging deeper ...

A billion seconds ago, it was almost 1975, and the Vietnam War was grinding down.

A billion minutes ago, Christ had been crucified 72 years hence, and Masada fell to the Romans.

A billion hours ago, humans began wearing clothing in response to the ice age at the end of the Eemian interglacial period.

A billion days ago, hominids had been walking upright for almost 3.5 million years. (Yep, we've been walking upright at least 2.2 billion days.)

A billion YEARS ago our complete ecosystem became fully formed, and the first multi-cellular organisms appeared on Earth, but it's only taken 1.5 billion MINUTES (since we started burning fossil fuel in China) to trash that ecosystem.

A billion dollars was the US national debt in 1863, while a billion dollars today pays interest alone on today's debt.

It's no one's fault that New Orleans was destroyed, but had it been NYC, DC, LA, or even Charleston, we would see a vastly different history today on management and recovery.

Does anyone know the status on LA's bipartisan efforts to secure that 250B?

My biggest questions: are the refineries up yet and are our gulf rigs back online? How much money have US oil companies made since the new Iraq war began? And how many tax dollars have been collected as a result of the subsequent rise in gas and oil prices? Could some of that money go to help New Orleans and other Katrina-damaged areas of the gulf, considering the role of gas and oil in that region? Could adjustments to gambling taxes in the region help finance some of it?

It is the US government's responsibility to help New Orleans. Not to bail it out, but to provide clear, strong leadership in financial management and physical recovery through legislation and corporate partnerships. THAT is the American way. And we help our own.

-Robin

P.S. A billion humans lived on this planet in 1835, and today, there are currently 6,619,599,390 at the time of this mail. How on earth will be able to survive if we don't help one another? At more than one birth per second, when you get this mail, well ... you do the math.
Blogger Robin, at 8:05 AM  

Say sump-tun