Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Move the UN

Mrs Vache Folle went to the UN last week to attend a ceremony in which the president of Poland was presented with an award for his country’s treatment of people with disabilities. She reckoned it was pretty cool to have earphones through which translations of the addresses could be heard. Too bad she couldn’t get a picture with the prez to send to the family in Poland.

Her principal observation about the UN was her surprise at just how seedy the place is. The facility is pretty much falling apart. It may be time to renovate or, better yet, move. I don’t know if the UN owns the site on which the building stands, but it could sell it for a tidy sum if it does. That’s some prime real estate on the East Side right on the water. And if it leases the site, I am sure it could do better in a less high rent area.

Besides the cost savings, the UN diplomats would benefit from a relocation by getting away from the horrendous traffic that they now must endure. You may be a bigwig in a limo, but you’re not going anywhere fast when New York traffic is backed up (which it always is). Moreover, the cost of living for diplomats and staff might be considerably reduced if they didn’t have to live close to New York City. A more temperate climate wouldn’t be bad either.

Let’s move the UN to, say, Knoxville, Tennessee or Asheville, North Carolina. These are great middle sized cities with lots of amenities and beautiful surroundings. It costs way less to live and work there, and getting around by car is way easier than in New York. It’s not too cold in winter, nor is it too hot in summer. Best of all, the denizens of these cities would be proud to host the UN. Knoxville fairly freaked when it had the World’s Fair some years ago.

The denizens of Knoxville and Asheville are a whole lot friendlier than New Yorkers, let me tell you, and they would love to have all those VIPs and dignitaries come to their town. New Yorkers just gripe about it. Security would probably be a lot easier in Knoxville or Asheville.

Of course, diplomats would have to content themselves with a less sophisticated lifestyle. Instead of fancy Manhattan restaurants, they’ll have to make do with country cooking. Instead of Broadway, they’d have the Grand Ol’ Opry a few hours away or Dollywood. Diplomats would love Pigeon Forge, don’t you think?


Anonymous said...

"Make do with country cooking"? When was the last time you were in Asheville, anyhow? I've had some superb meals in Asheville and never once has it been "country cooking".

Oh wait... never mind. Yes, the diplomats would have to suffer horrendously with bad food and hick entertainment. Send them to Knoxville, they'll like it much better there. And I'll like Asheville much better without them.

Dr. Lenny said...

Why not place the UN in Sudan or Ethiopia or Taiwan. For that matter, place congress at the same location, in the Sudan, Ethiopia or Taiwan. Then maybe we can deal. As it is now, it's a crazy whirled howdt there.

As an aside - the USDA is doing all it can to keep RCD funds down because of the potential for success and the cost of duplication. They can control things the way it is - because the NRCS and the Forest Service (Circus ?) both report to them. RCD seems to be a federal/local conduit to bypass the state in areas where the extra level of bureaucracy has made it impossible to get funds on the ground. Of course, that term on the ground really begs for better definition. The net effect is that the govt. provides incentives for some to really be innovative, because otherwise nothing will happen.
Now i've confused myself - i hope it starts raining soon. That way i can spend time gathering fall shrooms - and spending time howdt in the woods.