Sunday, 20 January 2019

2020 Democratic Primary and 15-Odd 'Players'

What happens if you have 15-odd individuals running in the Democratic primary next spring?  You can anticipate four conditions occurring:

1.  For the most part, six of them will be gone by the fourth primary.  Cash-wise, from 12 May on (a total of 12 left)....it'll be down to just three candidates.

2.  The overwhelming odds are that no one will have sufficient votes to win an outright convention deal.

3.  The VIP votes at the primary will then go and pull on who they favor....even if it's the number two or three candidate.

4.  The odds are heavily fixed that the convention winner won't be someone really capable of taking on Trump.....even if the journalists say otherwise.

The two characters that I think could beat Trump?  Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden.  But at this point, neither appear to be lined up to run.  Maybe I'm wrong.

How I'd Repair Immigration

Trump seems to have a plan, and a few other GOP guys suggest some alternate ideas.  Democrats?  It's best not to ask them, because officially.....there is no plan.

So this is my ten point-plan.

1.  The wall gets built.

2.  I remove all US Army troops from Europe, and deploy them to five staging areas or Army posts in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California.  At least fifteen-thousand would be assigned a simple task of patrol and recon.  The US Border Patrol folks would continue to exist and be the arresting agent for all collected 'crossers'. 

3.  I'd establish six to ten containment villages along the border and this is where everyone gets taken.  You stay there until your future situation (where you go) is determined.  Kids, parents, etc.....it won't matter.  At least two US Senators (one GOP, one Democrat) will be required to visit these camps each month.  It'll be a rotating duty for the US Senators.

4.  A simplified visa/work-permit will be created.  You declare yourself, and show some form of native land ID (it must be valid).  You show that you've been in the US prior to 1 January 2018.  You swear that you have not registered to vote in any US election.  You demonstrate that you haven't been convicted of any felony in the time that you've been in the US, or arrested for drug-related charges.  The visa/work-permit will be issued and good for five years.  It'll re-issued every five years as long as you don't vote or get convicted of any felony.  After ten years of demonstrated good behavior....you can apply for citizenship.

5.  Any non-American who gets the visa/work-permit, and completes three years of US Army time (including the reserves) will be given a fast-pace situation to citizenship. 

6.  If you are the manager of a US business and found to have hired non-American and non-visa immigrants, you get detained for criminal charges.  The minimum for jail-time is 90 days, or a payment for each non-visa employee of $10,000 to the local state authority. 

7.  Any non-American and non-visa holding individual arrested for drug trafficking.....is kept on hold until the trial case comes up.  If convicted, you will serve your time in prison (preferably your home-country) and when released....if you are ever found on US soil...it'll be an immediate disposal to your home country.

8.  No driving license will be valid or issued to any non-American unless you hold a visa or work-permit. 

9.  No foreign students will be allowed to stay in the US more than 90 days after anticipated graduation of their school situation....unless you complete a work-permit or visa application.  Anyone with an advanced degree who applies, will be given a higher priority for the visa or work-permit.  Anyone with a PhD will be given the fast-track (in two years) to be given US citizenship.

10.  Any non-American and non-visa/non-work-permit individual found to have voted illegally in the US....will be released back to the nation and forbidden any permit or visa for a period of ten years. 

Saturday, 19 January 2019

In the Fake World of Toxicness

This week, I sat and watched a clip off YouTube of this new Gillette ad that folks are discussing a good bit.  The theme?  Bad boy-men who seem to be 'bullies' of some type, and they needed to be knocked down a step.

So I pondered over what is a Procter and Gamble brand and wondered about the effort of advertising. 

The sad thing is that I've been a Gillette user since probably August 1977 (when I went off to boot-camp).  The electric razor wasn't practical there, and the only cheap razors that the BX Shoppette offered....was Gillette.  Even today, their offer is limited to Gillette, a off-brand for the BX made by Gillette, or BIC.  For those who've never used BIC.....it's a lousy razor of low-quality, and you usually end up with a dozen cuts.

So, back to the commercial.  My interpretation is that someone on the ad-team built the original concept, which would have flowed in a positive way.  At some point, someone else advanced in the ad-team, and built it to have some message that advanced toxic behavior, and in the end.....you have an advertising moment which became a political hit-piece. 

My guess is that Procter and Gamble, with Gillette.....are standing there now and realizing that something really went wrong in the purchase of the ad.  You can't really take it down without admitting you screwed up.....but you dislike the negative attention.

Will guys stop using Gillette?  I would suggest some number (probably in the 20-percent range) are leaving Gillette.  The sad thing is that they have a superior product and this ad wasn't needed. 

But there is other question laying there.  If men's behavior was 'bad'.....shouldn't the Ford pick-up division run the same type ad?  Or how about the NFL?  Or how about Bud?  Or how about the chain-saw folks?  Harley-Davidson? 

Friday, 18 January 2019

Just Logical

If your church was all up into a financial crisis, with money missing and the accounting book all messed up, and then your minister says he and his wife are going off tomorrow on a three-week vacation....there's something wrong.

If your bank called and said that three months of mortgage payments hadn't been paid, and your wife suddenly says she's got tickets for tomorrow for a Mediterranean cruise of two weeks....you'd pause and suggest to her that there's some more important work to do.

If your septic tank overflowed, and your cousin showed up with his bass-boat to suggest you and him haul off for a three-day weekend starting this afternoon.....you'd tell him in blunt words that you got real work to do.

If your wife let you know that she'd been arrested for hefty drug possession this afternoon, but she's got a casino hotel room in Louisiana all rented up for the next seven days....you'd stop her in her tracks, and say 'no'.....we got real work to do.

Real people....logical people....common sense people....would eyeball the problem, the resolution, and the path ahead.  They'd prioritize. 

So I just gaze at this Nancy-goes-on-holiday-to-Brussels situation, and kinda wonder how she relates to real people. 

Trump, Nancy and WWE-Wrestling

Around eight years ago, I started to get into reality shows.  You know....like Amish Mafia, Pawn Stars, Hardcore Pawn, or Ice Road Truckers.  At some point in early 2013, I was probably watching twenty-plus hours a week of reality TV.

I reached some stage in the spring of 2016, where I started to identify Donald Trump, the GOP, Hillary Clinton, the Democrats, the news media, social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc), and politics.....as reality TV.  It's just pure entertainment.

After the election?  Well....it just got better and better.  Journalists came on the air and literally made themselves into WWE-wrestling type 'talkers'.  If you watched CNN for all of 2017....it was pure WWE-wrestling....around the clock.  Sometimes, there were three or four wrestling-type commentators chatting away, and you'd get a thrill or two every five minutes. 

Without realizing it....both the Democratic and Republican Party became wrestlers.  Some folks play the act as 'managers', and some play the act as 'wrestlers'. 

Yesterday, it reached a high point on reality TV  enthusiasm....as Nancy was on the bus and probably halfway out to the Air Force Base with her 'entourage' for some grand tour (what wrestlers typically do).  That's when President Trump came out with some letter....telling Nancy and her entourage....the 'luxury-jet' ride was not possible.  A bunch of fake journalists came on the air, then cried rivers of tears....like good fake wrestlers would do.....and then vowed some revenge.

The problem here, is that a lot of us are now divided.  Me.....I see it as pure entertainment.  But there are folks who get caught up into this gimmick, and think it's all real.  For some, this is better than a Baptist revival or state fair visit in August. 

Does anyone even realize what it's become?  I doubt that.  If they did come to realize the fakeness of democracy.....then we'd all kinda slip out of the room, and head back home embarrassed at how we got all hyped up over nothing. 

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

To Make Sense Out of BREXIT

In simple terms, on 23 June 2016....a referendum was 'allowed' by the right-leaning government on whether the UK should stay as a member of the EU.  When you go back to the early 1970s....as the membership was concreted in.....there wasn't that much of a thrill with the public.  The leadership figured this vote would be a 55-to-60 percent 'remain in the EU'.  They guessed wrong....it was 52-percent to exit. 

The government then spent roughly eight months mostly 'grinning' at folks and trying to find some exit to the referendum.   The bitterness shown by the pro-EU Europeans (the French, the Germans, etc)?  They went way beyond what you'd expect and that really didn't help matters. On 29 March 2017.....notice was finally given.  They would follow the set path that the EU has to exit.  Basically, you have a two-year exit period to negotiate all the little pieces to still do business....travel without a visa....handle banking transfers....etc.  Along the way, the EU wanted the UK to pay 'damages' (this got into the hundreds of billions of Euro 'talk').

At some point, all of this negotiation chatter went negative, and the treaty product seemed to be worthless.  To be honest, this hype about paying the EU some kind of money....made it seem like paying a 'whore' for services. 

At this point, a 'hard' BREXIT versus 'soft' BREXIT started to get discussed.  This meant that if you reached the deadline (the EU Constitution says you could exit with no treaty and find things very messy if you wanted to conduct trade), you would be screwed.  A 'soft' BREXIT meant a treaty existed. 

The vote last night in the UK?  The Prime Minister had the treaty and folks had a chance to read the requirements.  A vast majority (way more than a handful of votes, actually 200 votes more than necessary) said NO. 

What happens now?  The EU is sitting there and shaking its head.  They refuse to give any real deal situation to the Brits.  Adding to the EU pain....the election in May for EU representatives across Europe will be affected by this event. 

Could another referendum be held?  Yes.  Some suggest that 55-to-60 percent would vote to stop the BREXIT.  Course, it might be another 52-percent in favor of leaving the EU. 

How this might end?  It is possible that it goes to a messy end, and President Trump arrives in March 2019....to offer up a major trade deal with the US, and engage in some deals that go way beyond what the EU could ever put on the table. 

Saturday, 12 January 2019

Should McDonalds Be Strictly a Teen-Job Center?

Here's the thing, if you walk into any of the more modern McDonalds....you find a significant amount of automation at work.  You don't need counter-help because they've got touch-screens ready to take your order.  Enough of the grill and fry business is process-driven and with automation built into it.  So what you really need in a 8-hour shift is one real manager type (over the age of twenty-five), a number two guy with experience at the customer and operations level (over the age of twenty-five), and then the 'kids'. 

By the term 'kids'....I'm suggesting that the bulk of McDonalds employees probably should be between 16 and 21 years old. By the time you hit the age of 21 to 24....you need to have some real path laid out and procured some type of education or training....to 'move up'.  If your ambition is to be the permanent and everlasting French Fry guy at McDonalds....then you've failed.  Your entire life is set to a minimum wage situation.....where you will rest from age 16 to age 67.  Go do the social security amounts for retirement.  I doubt if you can get more than $400 a month if this was your path in life.

This idea that you can reside at McDonalds for your entire life and live off the minimum wage situation?  It's a joke.  You need to have a path, and the goal of getting some additional training/education, then moving on.