Revamp the U.S. Congressional Page Programs -- House and Senate -- such that all Congressional Pages will be above the age of consent in any relevant jurisdiction.
The Page Programs will also be expanded: At least 8 pages will be hired for each member of Congress. Full representation of race, gender, and sexual preference will be mandated. Additional Pages will be hired as needed to accommodate those with special needs, as well as to accommodate any incompatibility between a particular Page and Member of Congress. We anticipate the total number of Pages needed will be on the order of 5000.
In an effort to more effectively control the Federal Budget, Pages may be exchanged between Congressional Members as needed for different Duties.
At least three Pages will accompany every Member of Congress at all times, including out-of-town air travel and airport bathroom breaks.
To supplement the expanded Page Programs, and to allow for "headaches," wear and tear on individual Pages, and other extraordinary situations, an Incidental Page Program will be established. The I.P.P. will initially be managed by Deborah Jeane Palfrey, who has proven her worth in similar D.C. manpower situations. It is anticipated that Ms. Palfrey, however, will need some time to expand her workforce outside of the D.C. area.
Members of Congress will make an effort to utilize Page Resources before stepping out elsewhere for assistance.
All Pages will be Trained in appropriate Courses of Study before their Congressional Service.
Congress shall have power to enforce this program by appropriate legislation.
I used to work a couple hours a month in a food co-op. One was supposed to work there in order to shop. I didn't shop there, but one of my housemates did, and wanted everyone else to work there. She stormed out once while working because she felt like others -- including but not limited to an ex-boyfriend -- hadn't done their job that day. She was amazing at figuring out how she had done as much or more work than others. I didn't shop myself partly because I didn't drive, and partly because I almost never walked there. But I did eat some of the food my housemates shopped for, and I believe I helped pay for my part. (I also helped pay for her cat food, but we'll save that for now.) As her co-op boyfriend, ex-boyfriend, or whatever he was at the time put it, "Well, some people shop but don't work, and some people work but don't shop."
Nowadays, I write a weblog (and pay to, but I could do it elsewhere for free). Many people read blogs, or at least it seems that way. Some people comment on them (I assume usually having read them, but I imagine there are exceptions). People other than me write weblogs too; some people (maybe) write but don't comment. Some people write stuff I never would, and publish it. Others write stuff I might or might not write, and may publish it, or not, or just publish it to a limited audience. Some writers and commenters will respond to other comments, some not. Some bloggers don't allow comments, or restrict them tightly or loosely.
You can see that the weblog phenomenon is at least two degrees freer than the co-op phenomenon -- there are at least a couple more significant variables in there, and really a lot more than that. But basically I'm interested here in blog reading, writing, and arithmetic commenting.
So there are several different groups a person could be in -- ok, 8, not counting shadings, special conditions, or other variables:
If one falls into the last group, that person is essentially not part of the above model, or at least not participating. But thanks for playing.
If you fall into group 1, you're in the model, but we'll never know (unless perhaps this post induces you into another group). Again, thanks for playing. Your prize: you get to read more blogs! Yay!
2? Yay! You get promoted to at least group 4, unless you comment on
things you don't read. (If you only do that a little, I'll let you
slide here; if you do it a lot, try to cut back, or perhaps you could
just try another group?)
3? Possible; let's skip this one for the moment.
4? You know who you are. The good thing: so do we. (We may also know you
from another group, or from something outside the model. Go ahead and
put yourself into another group if appropriate.)
5? Again, possible; again, let's skip this one for right now.
6? You are a magician: you not only write a weblog, but comment on things you haven't read. Either continue with your magic, seek professional help, or place yourself in another group. Please.
7? Ah, yes. Thank you. You definitely know who you are. We probably do too.
8/0/none? Already dealt with. But check and make sure if you like.
Now a number of what I think are fairly obvious questions present themselves:
What group are you in? I'll make this easier by saying that if you're in a group that doesn't comment, but would like to comment here, knock yourself out, and put yourself in whatever group is appropriate.
What group would you like to be in? Again, no pressure -- do whatever you like. You may even think of this as a thought experiment, so to speak. :)
What group am I in? [Well, I'm patently (as the lawyers say) in group 3. I claim to be in group 7, but I could be wrong, or even lying. I could even be in some other group -- think Monty Python here. But if it helps, I'll state that I believe I'm in group 7. Think what you will.]
What group would you like me to be in? [I include this for its structural value and joke potential. I do think of myself as somewhat tolerant and self-deprecating. However, I do pay for this weblog, and exert some level of control here. :) ]
Ok, we've dealt with you and me, right? Now, what about... them? You know, the ones in other groups. Or even others in your own group. Do you feel particularly strongly about any other groups, or others in your own group? Do you have a favorite group, or a least favorite one?
Clearly this model could be further extended and defined. For instance:
Commenting on one's own weblog, or commenting to comments on it: Personally, I'd just leave those people in a group that has a W in it. But do as you like.
0? What's up with that? Oh, never mind: I guess we'll never know. Or perhaps you'll tell us later in your own inimitable way.
W? What's up with that? Oh, never mind: I guess we'll never know, or perhaps you'll tell us later, yadda yadda yadda.
C? What's up with that? Have you tried RC yet? Perhaps you're pressed for time.
R? What's up with that? Have you tried bleh bleh bleh? ;)
What about, say, pluses and minuses? You know: someone who reads a lot but does nothing else could be in a group called "R+". Their sibling could read a few blogs and comment a little; we could call their group "R-C-". Or we could call them "rc", but then we might have some typographical or other problems. Or, perhapsnot: the world is rich with possibility.
Boy this thing gets complicated in a hurry, doesn't it?
I thought I had something else to say, but perhaps not. But if I change my mind or remember, I can write more, or even edit this. That's a good thing about weblogs... or perhaps not... but I'm sure I had something else to say.... Oh, yes, I remember now. I hate memes. But metablogging -- well, meta has always been able to get my attention. You might say.... ;)
With all the talk about Barry Bonds and his 756th home run, it's only natural for me to think of... Willie Mays.
"What? Joe rarely watches sports. Joe never writes about sports. Willie Mays? Really?"
Yes, him. I'll explain.
Most folks who know me know I'm not much of a sports fan. But I was born in San Francisco, and have an affinity for that city's teams. I've seen a couple of Major League Baseball and NFL games, all with my dad in Candlestick Park in the late 60s or early 70s. As I said, I don't follow sports much, but I sure remember the Giants, because I've seen them play. And I can't tell you how many times I heard a game on KSFO in San Francisco called by Lon Simmons and Russ Hodges. I remember over and over hearing Hodges say "Bye, bye, baby!" I remember the sadness when Hodges died. I remember the Hamm's Beer commercials, and Jim Lange; I still remember my excitement when I realized that the Jim Lange on KSFO was the same Jim Lange I saw on The Dating Game. That was a Big Deal.
But back to baseball: The three players I remember the best from the Giants were the two Willies -- Mays and McCovey -- and Bobby Bonds, who's Barry's dad. I'm pretty sure I've seen Mays, McCovey, or both hit home runs out of Candlestick, and maybe Bobby too. I feel like I know those guys. Several years ago, when I ran into Don DeLillo's novel Underworld, I first was worried because I was told the book started with a baseball game, and I thought I wouldn't get into it. But when I started reading the book, I found out I knew some of the characters: Mays, and even Russ Hodges, who came with the Giants when they moved from New York to San Francisco in 1958. I was excited; I was absolutely hypnotized.
So, when I first started hearing about Barry Bonds, I'd often get him confused with his dad, Bobby, and say the wrong name. Hell, they're both named B. Bonds, and both played for the Giants.... Willie Mays is even Barry's godfather. It's a family affair. And, like his godson, Mays hit a hell of a lot of home runs for the Giants, and 660 overall, which is still 4th in MLB. I remember my disappointment upon hearing and understanding that Mays was probably not going to catch up to Babe Ruth. I still feel sad about it.
Lately, with all the Barry Bonds news, I got curious about Willie Mays again. At age 76, he's still around, and has his own Wikipedia entry, thankfully. I was pleased to read that he's considered by some "the greatest all-around player of all time." That eased a bit the sting of not catching Ruth. And I started looking at Mays's record. Apparently Mays started playing professional baseball in 1947, and played for several different teams (including some "black" teams, as segregated sports were still hanging on at the time). He didn't play for MLB until partway through the season in 1951. Then he missed part of 1952 and all of 1953 after being drafted into the military.
Well hell. That's not fair.
So... do those other runs count? Those runs he hit playing for minor league teams? And how can you adjust for those years lost to the draft? Well, you can't. But what if -- what if Willie had started playing MLB much earlier, or even right away? What if he hadn't been drafted? How many home runs would he have then? Would Barry Bonds, instead of chasing Hank Aaron, been trying to catch up with his godfather?
I wonder how they both would have felt about it.
I wonder how they feel about it now.
Hey, Willie! I'm thinkin' about you, man! You're great, you hear me? You're the Michael Jordan of Baseball! No, wait -- Jordan is the Willie Mays of basketball! You hear me, Willie? You're The Man!
Edit: Oh what the hell -- I ran into this, so I might as well post it.