Friday, 20 October 2017

The Shakespeare Story

I noticed out of the Brit Independent (a decent newspaper), that they had a article written up over Oxford University.  The topic?  Well....professors are now having to put up a 'trigger-warning' moment when they do Shakespeare plays....because kids can't handle the content of the literature.

Naturally, the question would eventually come up....are the intellectuals now having to protect young minds from not only radica ideas, but even fictional ideas?  Is Shakespeare traumatic? 

All of this makes me wonder about how much sensitivity has been branded and assembled into kids today who are between 16 and 21 years old.  What happen in this period of 2008 to 2017?  Is it more than just a US thing, and now part of the European mentality as well?

If you get to censoring Shakespeare plays or branding them as potentially harmful....where do you go with this type of protection?

The behavior here, if you missed the message....is that of 12-year-old kids.  Children who never grew up, and you are expecting some magical change in character, with them becoming leaders in the next thirty years.  It's hard to imagine them as CEOs or authority figures. 

Thursday, 19 October 2017

My Humble Opinion of Megyn Kelly

I sat last night and watched two clips of the new Today Show product with Megyn Kelly.  I don't why it popped up in my mind.  I had seen several folks commenting on the poor quality of the show and figured I'd be a judge.

If you've never been around Latin America....you tend to find afternoon or morning shows where they are done in some live-format, and tend to have some blonde 'floozy' or bimbo in an ultra-tight skirt, open blouse, sixteen-pound gold necklace, and five-inch heels.  She glitters....as she talks. 

Naturally, it's all in Spanish and you don't really care because you are only watching for the 'Chiquita-this and Chiquita-that' discussion.....some wink-wink by the bimbo....and some fake laughs that mostly women over the age of forty will get the joke. 

My impression?  Megyn is probably set to stay around and doing this show for six months.  At that point, NBC will try to reinvent her into some night-time Sixty-Minutes type show.  After six months of failed efforts with that, the network will admit that it's out of fresh prospectives. 

Back in the 1990s....you kinda noticed various networks going this direction and trying to bring in fresh marginal talent (men and women) to pose as journalists and moderators.  A handful had quality talent...most didn't.    Bryant Gumbel didn't. 

I was drawn for many years to sit and watch the Sunday morning episode of CBS news with Charles Kuralt.  CBS didn't really want to use him for many of it's shows....mostly because he came off in a unique fashion and seemed to be telling a story in a undramatic and non-intellectual fashion.  On the Charles Kuralt-scale....I can rate Megyn as a marginal '2' at best.  But on the Latin American scale....she's a '10'.  You just have sit and pause waiting for the 'Chiquita-this and Chiquita-that' moment and just grin as she delivers.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

My Opinion of the Russian Oligarch Troll Farms

For about ten months, I've followed this hyped-up story of the Russian Oligarch troll farms involvement in the 2016 election.

My observations?

1.  This is absolutely NOT a Russian government operation.  If it was, you would not have been so easily led back to the front door of the troll farm.  It's a commercial operation, financed by one wealthy Russian billionaire.  Putin might occasionally have lunch with the guy, but I don't see this as being a Russian government operation.

2.  Based on everything said....less than one million dollars was spent on this whole thing.  If you think about it....if you'd tried to do this same thing in the US....it would have cost you $300 million minimum.....which says a lot about them recruiting a couple of guys for a reasonable price and just giving them one single boss with simple instructions. 

3.  Do that many Americans even review news items off Facebook and Twitter?  So far, no one can cite any evidence that five-percent or ten-percent of American society is paying attention to the troll-manufactured news bits.  That's the odd thing about this whole story.  It's hyped-up by CNN, the WaPo crowd, the NY Times, and MSNBC, with Sunday talk-show enthusiasts running scared.  But there's simply not any real evidence that this effort by the Oligarch trolls has succeed at anything

4.  Finally, what happens in the spring of 2020 during the primary period?  Will the Oligarch trolls come out in force?  Will they hype up Bernie Sanders?  Will they hype Trump?  Will they hype anything?  It's a big unknown.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Trump Playing Four-Dimensional Chess

Just to explain the Trump-Iran nuke deal in simplicity....it works like this:

1.  You have a draft-law which Senator Bob Corker (R, Tenn) wrote with Senator Cardin (D, Maryland) that deals with the Iranian Nuclear Treaty situation.  It basically says that the President will certify or decertify the deal and that the Senate will not have an open vote on the treaty written. In essence, the Senate didn't want to discuss the way that the treaty was written.  It'd only cause trouble.  President Obama didn't want this problem, but it passed with 99 votes for and one against (Senator Tom Cotton, Republican).  So the President (Obama, at the time) certified the treaty and passed the mess onto President Trump. 

2.  President Trump will decertify the treaty.  That means because of the Cardin-Corker wording in the law....the Senate now has 60 days to discuss this and go into some direction, or do nothing. 

3.  In the view of the intellectual world, and the EU (especially the Germans), something needs to be done to resolve this or go back to the nifty treaty written.  Well...it's not Trump's dilemma.  It's the Senate's job, which it avoided in 2015.

4.  What happens next?  If the Senate cannot reach another conclusion....another fake draft bill....in this sixty day period period (between now and Christmas), then the thing falls apart and no treaty will exist. Remember....only the Senate can be the final word on treaties....NOT the President. 

5.  President Trump is merely pushing the buttons of Corker, Cardin, and forty-odd individuals who are hyped-up for keeping the treaty on the books. 

What I think will happen?  Corker leads the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and he needs to write up a simple twelve-line piece that says the Senate will accept responsibility of the treaty, then go and get McCain lined up, with the two independent Senators, and one mystery GOP senator....sign off the bill and then get the house to go along with this. 

Oh, but you also need the bill to pass the House....where you need twenty-four GOP members to vote with each Democratic House member.  You probably won't find 24 members this friendly.  If Trump threatens to veto the House/Senate draft?  Well....you'd need two-thirds of a vote in each, and it'll be a truly amazing thing that get that many votes lined up. 

Hmm, yeah, that might be a problem....unless of course you agree to tie this to some tax reform package, health-care reform deal, or Wall-construction package. 

Yeah, you can see where this Iran-Treaty business and the Corker-Cardin-Law is heading.  You will have to deal with Trump to fix this treaty business, and if you don't....it's not Trump who gets blamed.  It's the Senate.

It took Trump a year to learn how to play the Senate games.  At this point, I think he's mastered it completely, and they are standing there in some daze.  The thing is.....how many more stupid creations did the Senate create in the past decade....like medical care deal or this Corker-Cardin-Law? Trump might have a dozen of these lined up on the white-board and preparing to drag them along. 

The Research Project

I sat and read a piece from the Daily Caller today.  A George Soros foundation group went out and spent a fair amount of money to hire three researchers to go and survey 'working-class' Americans in five cities....in an effort to develop the strategy for the 2020 national election.

Open Society Foundations?  It's simply a network of groups that use money to build agenda politics.

So the study got published.  The aim of this...curiously....is to look at the plain white working-class voters, and why they drifted over to Trump.

I looked at the five cities involved in this....it's an odd group. Tacoma, Washington (I lived there for a while), Phoenix, Arizona (I lived near there for a while), Brooklyn, NY, Dayton, Ohio, and Birmingham, Alabama (I grew up near there).  Why these five?  Unknown. Maybe it's just luck.  They talked to four-hundred folks.

Birmingham is an unusual place.  Typically....if you were middle-class and working-class....you probably work in Birmingham but you don't live there.  Most folks have moved out of Jefferson County if they have the capital.  People tend to worry about crime....thug behavior...corrupt city officials...and city bankruptcy behavior.  People that live in the county and city?  They vote Democrat on a solid basis...it's been that way since the 1950s.

Tacoma is an unusual place.  From the crowd under forty, I'd say that sixty-percent regularly smoke marijuana.  The industry of the city revolves around three things: (1) the base/Army post situation, (2) the port, and (3) Boeing crowd.  It's a fairly solid Democratic vote.

Brooklyn, NY?  It's an unusual place.  Folks worry about the economy and crime.  You can go back over the past six elections, and they tend to vote Democrat in every single election.

Dayton, Ohio?  It was a one-percent win for Trump over Hillary in 2016. 

Finally, I come to Phoenix.  Phoenix has a general history of voting more so for Democrats than Republicans. 

In the end after the Soros group reads through this business....my suspicion is that they see the need to create a Trump-equal....or a Trump-copy, and just mouth-off everything Trump promises.  The problem is that you'd have to talk about jobs....a topic that hasn't been something that Democrats could deliver upon.  Talk of cutting government services and trimming the budget?  No....it's merely a topic that gets some light discussion and never occurs.

The value of this research project?  I'd have my doubts.  Maybe if they'd gone into small towns in Iowa and Mississippi....to glean a broader prospective, it have had more value.  In this case?  Just more urbanized topics to sharpen the current Democratic message. 

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Thirty Pages

I sat and read over three or four stories early this morning over the FBI, the Lynch-Clinton documentation from the tarmac meeting to discuss Hillary, and the likely review to come out of this.

Basically, the FBI kept saying for months that no documentation existed from the Lynch-Clinton tarmac meeting in late-June of 2016.  Then in the last week, they found thirty pages of material and handed it over.

The basic story?  Lynch said that the whole meeting was just a casual meeting with Bill coming out to her VIP jet sitting on the tarmac in Phoenix, Arizona....to discuss grandkids, golf and travels.  Yeah, I know....it just sounds kinda hokey but she's more or less sworn to that story.

Why on board the jet?  I'm guessing it was out of the way from the public and they suspected that no one would spot Bill entering it.  It wasn't reported by national press (yeah, that's another odd part of the story).  It was the local Channel 15 reporter who spoke to the story, that swept the nation.

The thirty pages?  I'm guessing that there's three or four emails, with one final report over the entire trip that Lynch took, and the final report is likely a quarter of this entire thirty pages, with only three lines having to do with Clinton.

I seriously doubt that anything will come out of the thirty pages. 

Why Bill had to meet face to face?  He has some magnetic personality and thinks he can charm folks with that casual southern charm.  So the face-to-face meeting had to be part of the whole game.  Since there are no other witnesses to the meeting....you simply have to assume what Lynch wrote....is entirely true. 

Ethically?  Well, it's one of those episodes that really makes Lynch look bad.  A regular person with ethnics would have looked at the potential troubles and just said 'no'. 

So you can imagine the next couple of days while some folks pour over thirty pages and come to realize that there's really not much to say....Lynch bumped into Bill....maybe two lines of commentary about grandkids and golf, and she wished Bill good health.  A lot of drama, over nothing much.

Friday, 13 October 2017

Kerbow Family Connection

Over the past couple of years, I've spent some time looking at one single stretch of the family tree which ran to the Kerbow name.  It's an odd name....French in origin.

So, the story goes to this period around 1731 when some French Huguenots boarded a Dutch ship called the "Billender Townsend" out of Rotterdam, Netherlands. Jean Kerbo (spelled slightly different) boarded, and ended up in Philly.

The thing about this Huguenot group.....they'd lived in the Pfalz region of Germany for several decades....mostly because of religious persecution.  A lot of this religious fervor that occurred, comes out of the Thirty Years War period (1619-to-1650 era).  The war started originally between the reformers and the Catholics.  Halfway through this war, the religious side of this conflict mostly ended and it became a single community opposing another community....mostly over revenge-killing.

The family arrived in Philly on 8 October 1731.  What's generally said is that family united with other Huguenots in the Maryland region....going south into North and South Carolina over the next decade or two.  By the 1860 period, one division of the family had moved into Minor Hill, Tenn.  That's where my connection occurs.

The religious side of the family?  If you go through things, this whole religious thing kinda 'dryed-out' after one generation in the US.

The original area of France?  If you gaze at a France map....it's on the southeastern side...about forty miles south of Nancy, in a region called Haute-Saone....a county-like area that is about forty by forty miles, and mostly all farms. It's about a 20-minute drive to the Swiss border, and there's nothing urban there....this is pure farming territory today.

The population shift for Haute-Saone?  Well, that's an interesting story.  From mid-1800s to 2005...it was a dramatic shift....dropping from the 400,000 level in the 1800s to 210,000 by the end of WW II.  Most of the shift?  This was a pure farming area, and lots of people left for industrial jobs by the mid-1800s to early 1900s.

Today?  You only find the Kerbow name around the US, to a smaller degree in Estongia and France.  My guess is that the bulk of the family left in the 1600s/1700s, and some ended up in Estonia as well.

Added note:  There are at least six different spellings to the name (Kerbo; Kerbow; Kirbo; Curbo; Curbow and Kuehrbeaux).