Thursday, 16 January 2020

Odds On Favorite? Joe?

If you go around the Vegas betting crowd, the current betting scene is that Joe Biden will be the nominee from the convention and primary period.

I was kinda shocked reading over the whole story.  Conventional wisdom says that Joe Biden might be significantly 'hurt' if the impeachment occurs and he gets a call to be a witness.  But maybe they can avoid that....end the impeachment, and life goes on.

A thrilling last hundred days before the election?  No.  I would review the scene, and that final campaign period....suggesting that it'll be 75-percent of the thrill factor from the 2016 election....which was bad enough already for Hillary Clinton to lose. 

Who would be Joe's VP?  I'm predicting Stacey Abrams (of Georgia fame). 

Improving over the Hillary action of 2016?  No.  I'd give a minimum of thirty states over to Trump....maybe even taking two of the Hillary-win states over as well (New Hampshire and Nevada). 

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

After Watching Last Night's Democratic Debate

Altogether, I probably viewed around 35 to 40 minutes of it.  I'll make three observations:

1.  Moderator-wise, it was probably the worst 'team' that I've seen yet in the past twelve months.  It simply convinces me of dumping moderators entirely.

2.  I thought at some point, Bernie Sanders really took some heavy hits, and might be fairly damaged at this point.  The idea of Bernie taking at least eight win-states in the primary season?  I suspect that idea is gone. 

3.  Boredom.  Maybe it's the number of these debates performed so far, but on the boredom scale.....this was a perfect '10'. 

Sunday, 12 January 2020

The Better and Worse of Candidates For Trump

If you added up the five key political figures at this point (Mayor Pete, Joe Biden, Bloomberg, Senator Warren, and Bernie Sanders), I would rate them in this fashion against Trump.

1.  Bernie Sanders.  By far, the one that would be purely capitalism versus socialism, and I would suggest that Trump might be able to hustle up forty-five states on the 'win' side.

2.  Senator Warren.  Virtually everything she wants to talk about....has a price-tag attached.  So taxes would have to rise.  On the advertising front for October, she'd make it pretty easy for Trump to get 30 to 35 states.

3.  Mayor Pete.  Trump would basically talk non-stop over Mayor Pete's resume.  Again, I'd give Trump the call for 30 to 35 states.

4.  Joe Biden.  Joe has the resume, and can appeal to working-class voters.  Joe's problem is age, and sometimes suggesting things that are a bit crazy.  In a debate, Joe is Joe's worst nightmare.  Trump would face a Hillary-like force and probably only win 30 to 32 states.

5.  Finally, Bloomberg.  Bloomberg would not appeal to the Bernie-socialism voters, or the Senator Warren crowd.  Bloomberg's past behavior with women, and paying them off...would be dragged out.  All things considered....I think Bloomberg could take Florida, and make this a 29-state win for Trump....meaning it'd be a lot closer but Trump would likely still win.

Saturday, 11 January 2020

Crazy

"People experiencing mental health problems are more likely to be delusional. 
People who are delusional are more likely to be experiencing mental health problems."

I saw this quote today, and it's stuck in my mind for the past couple of hours.

Around the mid-70s to mid-90, I could probably walk around for an entire day, and run into one single person who had some type of behavioral problems.  Today?  I'd take a guess that in an average week....I'll bump into twenty-odd people with either stress-related issues, delusional problems, or just drugged-up situations.

You see it in airports, grocery stores, and subway stations.  You see it with young people and old folks.  You see it while waiting in line at McDonalds. 

It kinda makes me wonder.....what transpired after the 1990s....to  trigger this level of crazy behavior?

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

Time Magazine Story

Time magazine, which I really haven't purchased or read through much over the past twenty years (probably fewer than three times....mostly via airline flights where it was reading material)....has gotten itself into a bit of amusement today.

Somehow, the magazine decided that they really needed to go and explain significance of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani's killing....in kid-talk. 

Yes, it was an entire article designed for parents....to sit down and talk over the incident with their 8-year old to 12-year old kid.

Yes, it was designed in some way to be a guide.

The first problem to this is that they (the Time staff) assume that young kids watch the news.  Out of a hundred 10-year old kids....I might go and suggest that twenty percent might watch some news (more so for local news than national news), and the rest might catch their news via social media, or concentrate more on Hollywood or Kanye West-type news.

Then you assume that the kid asks dad right away....where is Iran, and dad is at a loss to find it on a map. 

Then you come to the issue of good guy versus bad guy.  Dad will sit there for a minute, then explain it's like Breaking Bad....where Walter White was really both a good guy and bad guy.  The kid will ask....isn't this like wrestling....where a bad guy turns good guy, and eventually reverts back to bad guy status?  Dad will suggest it's more like the Iron Sheik of the 1980s/1990s.  Junior will come back and ask if the 'Foreign Legion' (Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff) were mostly bad guys, and dad will study that for a minute....to respond 'yes'.   But he'll add....they were such good bad-guys. 

Finally, you come to the question...will the kid take the position of President Trump?  That's probably what worries these Time magazine journalists the most. 

This brings me to the final bit of pondering....is it possible that virtually all news is designed for 10-year old kids, and we adults are treated in the same way? 

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

Cultural Sites Discussion

The topic has come up in the past few days....since Trump mentioned 'cultural sites' are on some target list, for Iran.  So what are cultural sites?

Well, it's a loosely defined term.  For a target specialist....you break things down into a couple of categories, and cultural sites are usually (99.99-percent of the time) on a forbidden list. 

Examples?  Religious, historical (castles, and famous landmarks for examples), and educational sites (university campus areas). 

Do you really need to even consider cultural sites?  In terms of value?  There usually rate as a very low priority with nothing to be gained....even if they were a target.  It'd be like aiming at the Chancellor building on some US campus, or some statue item (like the Jefferson Memorial). 

Normally, you'd look for petroleum sites, bridges, military installations, TV/Radio stations, airport runways, port facilities, and radar sites. 

So all of this Trump-chatter is mostly BS?  Yep. 

Lets be honest as well....in the whole of Iran, there's probably over 500 target-rich points that you could be on some list and make life pretty miserable for folks (like targeting an electrical generator site, or some railway depot, or some airport runway). 

Iran and Funerals

From what the news folks say....there's a minimum of 32 Iranians dead, and wounded folks going up to around 200.  Whether you can regard the information as correct or not....is another story.  Maybe it's true....maybe it's double that.  But here's the thing about funerals of key-players in Iran.  You can go back to 5 June 1989 and the funeral of the Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, and note the trouble they had at that funeral, and you'd think here with this Suleimani funeral, and they'd apply 'lessons learned'.

So to retell the first attempted funeral on 5 June 1989.....you have to put youself in the middle of Tehran, and the utter shock that the Gran Ayatollah was dead.  He died on the evening of the 3rd, and they spent the whole day on the 4th preparing the funeral business.

What occurred on the 5th....is that the funeral parade had been drafted up and what they weren't prepared for....were the two-plus million local folks who came out.  Eventually, the procession through the streets idea....was given up.  They brought in a US-made Huey, and loaded the coffin on it, and took off to the graveyard.

The Revolutionary Guard folks were supposed to provide a secure fence area this area, and miserably failed. 

The Huey?  Somehow, the pilot found an area to land and cut the motor.....with the Revolutionary Guards supposed to come over and pick up the coffin, to do a walk around the graveyard....as part of some ceremony.

All 'hell' broke loose, and thousands poured into the area surrounding the coffin-team, and then.....a couple slipped, and the coffin fell....tossing the Grand Ayatollah (in a wrap) out on the ground. 

Crowds rushed up and started trying to 'touch' the dead guy.  Yes, as weird as it sounds.....thousands made the rush over. 

The Revolutionary Guards were in a mess, and somehow, a couple of them were able to push folks back, and get the body back into the box.  Someone in charge realized the mess, and ordered a path to the chopper to be accomplished, and the rotors began to turn.  Yep, they threw the coffin back on and left for a secure area.

The funeral?  Halted for that day.  Starting early on next day....a disinformation episode occurred, telling the public one thing, when they were going to do it drastically different.

This time, they'd loaded the guy on a airline shipping container (all steel) and with reinforcements....were able to bury him.

How many died from day one and two?  Unknown.  No one ever demanded accountability over the business.  It might have been hundreds....or perhaps just dozens. 

Lessons learned?  No....it appears that the same idiots who planned the one episode....were around to plan the second episode.