Thursday, 27 July 2017

The Transgender Story

I sat and read through the President's general order and the negativity that came after that.  There are in my mind....two essential areas....which fell apart when the Pentagon sat and tried to envision this working.

1.  Boot-camp.  If you had transgender 'Joe' show up for boot-camp (female to male)....how would you handle the shower situation?  Or 'Missy' showing up (male to female)?  No one could ever detail the whole thing out.  Would you force 'Joe' to the men's physical standards, and if you did....how many would fail.  Few people realize this angle, but there's two different rule-sets for push-ups, sit-ups, and the 'run'.  Which do you use for the transgender?  Or do you make up a whole third-set  of physical standards?  No one ever said this part of the solution.  My guess is that it became more difficult to solve.

2.  Role of military in transgender health-care.  No one could ever say that the military would not get stuck with the bill for hormones or surgery necessary.  The hormone therapy?  Someone has to pay, and if you were on some process and your remote medical unit couldn't readily provide the hormone on a regular basis....your success rate would go down quickly.

Oddly, there are a thousand categories in which you could end up being disqualified for military service.  Epilepsy, low IQ, being too short, mentally unstable, etc.  Early on in my career, I noted the episode that developed at the health clinic on base where they wrote an evaluation up on a records clerk, ensuring that she could not re-enlist.  The reason?  Continued incompetence.  Week after week, she screwed up records and paperwork.  After twelve months of dealing with her....it came down to the point of every single detail of what she did on a daily basis....had to be peer-reviewed and checked.  As she was wrapping up the two-year tour (having roughly one year left on the contract), she was desperately trying to have the evaluation removed, and they were very firm in saying that the service just wasn't a place for her.  They didn't want to 'fire' her or toss her out, but simply to ease her out at the end of four years.

Will this simply end with the transgender deal?  No.  I would expect the House and Senate to pick this up and write some forty-page law to just do it.  Which physical standards will they use?  It won't even be mentioned and the Pentagon will sit there and have to figure out the way of solving this mess.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

The Toilet Paper Story

I noted this story off Breitbart today....which featured the picture taken from a Twitter note of Henrique Capriles.

As the story goes....in Venezuela....they were having a military awards situation with the commander giving out some citations, and as part of the 'rewards' with the certificates....you got two rolls of toilet paper.

If you haven't followed Venezuela news over the past year....things have gone into the crapper....literally.  If you walked into a store and had a hundred bucks on you....desperately wanting toilet paper....it's a very questionable situation if the store would even have toilet paper to sell you.

I sat and pondered upon this.

In the three decades that I was associated with the US military....there were a couple of occasions that you got some kind of 'reward'.  Usually, it was a three-day pass, a day off, or some $10-coupon at the local NCO club.  It was something that you generally didn't laugh about, although in value....other than three days off....it had limited appreciation.

The toilet paper?  I'm guessing each single GI went home and treasured the two rolls of toilet paper.  As bad as things are in Venezuela, I'm guessing that folks have learned to do their morning business in the toilet with two or three sheets....maybe four for a really bad situation.  These are young GI's and looking over the toilet paper as a pretty uplifting 'gift' from the colonel.  

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Sessons-Trump-Mueller

So you have an Alabama senator who gets this awful rare chance to meet up with a Russian ambassador.  If you lined up the last five Alabama Senators....I doubt if any of them had ever met the ambassador.

Weeks pass, and you get offered some job, and the Senate folks want to ask about meeting any foreigners of influence, and you say 'no'.....you never did.

You get confirmed, and then a month later.....it's obvious that you told a fib.  What's the deal?

(A) You are pretty Alabama-stupid.  (B) You are growing old and forgetful.  (C) You are told to get past point A by your chief supporter, and then are able to hand off the special prosecutor situation to someone that your chief supporter tells you is the 'right' guy.

It can only be one of the three answers.  Two of them make you look like a loser.  The third makes you look like some guy with an agenda designed by your chief supporter....whoever he is.

At this point, I think Sessons has demonstrated he's out of his league, and that he might be compromised because of his incompetence.  In other words, he needs to retire back to Alabama.

Mueller? Well....he's got this problem in that his old law firm (before the special prosecutor job) donated a fair sum of money to Hillary Clinton.  Mueller himself didn't donate....but his firm did.

Most of Mueller's big-lawyer team?  They either donated money to Hillary or were members of legal firms that donated money to Hillary.

At this point, Trump needs to find some legal wiz.....Cruz probably....ensure he's never ever met a Russian, and hire him as the Attorney General.  Cruz would then run the investigation business himself because of a lack of Russians in his background.

The Polling That Matters

I'm often amazed at the fake news agenda and the attempt to portray a national poll, which would lead you to certain false beliefs.

If you go back to the 2016 Presidential election....just over 52-percent of the general public showed up to vote (that in itself says a lot).  But here's the real substance to look upon....thirty states came to vote for Trump....only 20 states for Hillary Clinton.

If you go and do polling of the 30 states, I'm willing to guess that virtually all of them are still in some positive trend for Trump today, and will likely be that way in 2020.

So, only the thoughts of 30 states matter?  Yes, that's basically the whole story.  It doesn't matter if 90-percent of California or New York go another direction....those thirty states hold the electoral power over the remaining twenty.

What also falls into the 2020 election?  There's this odd 2018 senate race going on in Michigan....with 'Kid Rock' now announced as a GOP candidate.  He'll have to run against a Democratic senator who has been there three times now and won.  The influence of 'Kid Rock'?  He'll draw the youth vote and some of the Detroit votes, along with the GOP.  For 2020, Senator Kid Rock (assuming he wins in 2018) will be a major cog in getting Michigan again in the win-column.

If the GOP wins another three Senate seats in 2018?  It puts the polling back into the thirty-state equation, and you can basically discount whatever the Hillary states of 2016 say or think.  You could easily have another case where one or two million votes do appear for the Democratic challenger to Trump, but not enough to affect the thirty-state count.

On the Subject of Meetings

This morning, I read through a political news piece talking Jared Kushner (Trump's son-in-law) and his meeting business with the 'Russians'.  At some point, Jared realized that the meeting was a total waste of time, and sent a 'chat' to some associate to call him at the meeting and 'get him out' of the meeting.  The news journalists hyping up all this stuff....seemed amazed at people trying to get out of meetings.

At some point in the early-1990s....I moved from a play-mode to a manager-mode, and then came the realization that you had to go and attend meetings.  Some were a mere fifteen minutes long and drilled quickly down into the issue, and were worthwhile as a meeting.  Some were 90 minutes long, and basically accomplished next to nothing.  I came to value most meetings as worthless.

At some point around 2002 to 2004....I probably was wasting four hours a week in meetings.  In 2010 to 2013.....as a manager within the Pentagon empire, I was lucky to get myself down to 180 minutes per week.  The only enjoyable meeting each week in that last year was the building custodian meeting where all kinds of building renovation or history came out from the chief of the Pentagon building.

I brought this up years ago with a older guy who could remember the 1970s era, and how there were rarely meetings.  In his mind, when the internet and computer era arrived....meetings increased.  As he pointed out.....more people wanted 'stock' ownership in decisions made, and success from meeting decisions rarely paid dividends.

At some point about fifteen years ago....I worked with a female who had a husband who had a degree in business management (the master's degree), and he had weekly meetings with his staff (the wife, and the two kids).  One of the kids was a teenager and had become anti-meeting....thus causing friction in the household.  The wife tried to explain to the husband that these meetings were not of much value, and instead got lectured on the necessity of a 'focused-team'.  I asked the co-worker how would this all end, and she felt the kid would be out the door as soon as she graduated from high-school.

Jared in my humble opinion....has realized the value of meetings.  If you don't reach the necessary chat-topic in five minutes, and reach some solution in fifteen minutes....there's something wrong.  The sad thing is that we probably need thousands of Jareds in the US government, to stop worthless meeting-garbage.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

The Burlington College Story

Over the past year, I've sat and watched the Burlington College episode, with Jane Sanders....proceed.  It is a curious story.

Prior to 1971.....Burlington College didn't exist.  Some folks met....talked over some ideas and had this vision of a private college that served the local community.  Their eventual motto?  "Light a fire".
In 1972, the basic charter was written and the college took off....well....slowly took off.  In terms of student count....depending on who tells the story....they never got much past 300 students (that includes both full-time and part-time).

The campus?  It was set to roughly 30 acres....fairly small by most standards.

In 2004, the college talked Jane Sanders (wife of Bernie) to become the President of the university.  Her immediate goal...repair the schools's financial health.  Part of this idea was to grow the university (more students) and part of this was to find someone to entice folks to donate to the school.

Six years go by and the school has gone out to buy property for $10 million....out on some lakefront area.  Being lake-front....you can assume it was over-priced and probably not an economically wise idea.

To make the deal occur....Sanders had to go over to a bank and convince them this was great for the bank and money would roll in to pay the loan back.  Whoever sat there at the bank and approved this....probably weren't that capable or competent.

It took almost a year for the whole thing to reach a level where the board of trustees with the school realized financially....they were screwed.  Sanders resigns under pressure.  Roughly three years will pass before the school's accreditation is in serious trouble because of all the financial troubles.

It's hard to figure the angle to the lake-front property.  My guess is that some third party wanted the property for a lesser cost, and they convinced Sanders to make the move....get the loan....realize the screwed-up nature of having the property, and then sell it at loss to the third-party.  Maybe a 20-to-40 percent loss....on a quick sale.

If you look over the resume of Sanders, there is little there to indicate that she had a business, real estate, or financial background.  In other words, she was marginally capable of filling this type of position.

The legal folks?  They will have to prove that she intentionally ran the college into the ground, or made money off this episode.  I don't think they can prove such.  If they do go into court....it'll be a short case where incompetence or marginal skills are laid out....which doesn't get you jail-time.

As for the college?  I'd blame the the recruitment committee.....they knew precisely who they were hiring and of her limits.  They got what they desired.

Friday, 21 July 2017

The $39 a Month Health-Insurance Concept

You don't really have to be a rocket-scientist to sit and visualize how to make a simple $39 a month health-insurance concept to work.

So, you start with cigarettes being taxed at a rate of $40 a pack.  Smokers will have to make a decision whether they smoke a pack a day....with the monthly cost at roughly $1,200 or they quit (the intention).

Then you go and ration out beer, wine, and alcohol.  Your limit?  Basically two six-packs of beer or two bottles of wine, or one bottle of booze per week.  Cheating on your limit?  A $1,000 fine.

Sugar content in candy, snacks, sodas and food?  You force the companies to cut sugar content by fifty-percent.

Weight situation.  You draw a simple line on weight.  A guy who is 6 foot 1 inches tall....can weigh a max of 185 pounds.  Every pound past that point is a $50 a pound tax figured onto your income tax each year.  You come down to the county court-house in January of each year to figure out your weight, and send the weight credit to IRS.  You weigh less than 185 pounds...you get a $10 a pound credit.

Got a guy on a drug-overdose?  Notify the dispatch unit to look the guy's name and address up.  First time ever?  You do everything possible to save the guy.  Second time.....you do absolutely nothing.   Leave him there.  If he makes it....fine, if not....he's not going to cost you any further money.

DWI accident?  Once they assess your alcohol level....they send the note to IRS.  You get assessed a $2,500 tax for alcohol-stupidity.

Rehab for alcohol or drugs?  You get one single free rehab for your entire life.  The second rehab is assessed and fifty-percent of the cost is handed to you via IRS.  The third rehab?  100-percent is assessed back to you.

In a period of five years, you'd slowly watch as each year....the health-insurance package drops.  All of the incoming taxes are handed over to the health-insurance bureau.  Through some simple deductibles (out-patient set at $20 a visit and in-patient set at $150 a day), you would find health insurance very affordable.