Thursday, 19 April 2018

Evangelical Story

About six to eight months ago, I kinda noticed the creation of a religious 'fraud'....evangelical in nature....attaching itself to a foundation, and being hyped up as a political device.  Oddly enough....it anti-GOP.  That's something that you would not have noticed a decade ago.

So today, it came up about this BIG private meeting going on....a select group of fifty evangelical ministers (the top elite from across the nation), who'd been invited up to Wheaton College (Chicago).  This was supposed to be a two-day session and lay out some ideas and discussion, which everyone invited figured that it wouldn't be about the Presidency. 

At some point yesterday...all heck broke loose and a number of folks just got up in the middle of discussions and left.  The chatter that made them leave?  Hyped up anti-Trump talk.

To the degree covered....no one wants to talk about the private group who arranged this meeting, or their agenda business.  I noticed this with CNN, Washington Post, and NY Times. 

My humble guess?  These various politicized agenda groups have attached themselves to foundations, which talk of religious objectives, but tend to be very political in nature.  If you look at the November schedule for elections....it's come to a time to gather the evangelical 'herd' and lead them out of the 'Trump-Valley'.  Big shocker?

Basically, you'd have to build some religious argument that Democrats are on some moral high ground, and vote down against abortion and twenty other topics that evangelical topics.  Well....it's awful hard for the Democrats to stand up in some church environment and hype their moral standing on these topics.  So the foundation groups use what I'd call a proxy....this is a highly enthusiastic and charming minister who knows the inside to their agenda and is there to use the Jesus-talk and lead the 'herd' to the right position.

All of this is being done....with this mass meeting of the top fifty.....to lead onto a June meeting with a thousand-odd evangelical leaders from across the nation.  They would get the right anti-Trump message and then lead their members to vote wildly in Novembers election.

If this group fails?  That's a curious thing.

If people figure out the agenda...the 'fakes' involved....and the foundations hyping this anti-Trump theme, then the whole effort of the past decade will be laid out as a fraud.  It has basically nothing to do with evangelical positions.  It's just plain hype.

My guess?  If more than half of these folks in the fifty-group have left.....it leaves twenty-five sitting there and positioning themselves to be part of the fraud later in June.

In some ways, it's comical. 'Jesus' for Democrats, and anti-Trump....imagine sitting in some church group and hyping the message. 

Fortune Magazine

As a kid in Bama, I was kinda privileged.  By age fourteen, I had real pocket money each year, and would go and subscribe to two or three magazines....typically Newsweek or Time.  At some point around 1975, I subscribed for a year to Fortune magazine.  Basically, I wanted to some knowledge on money and investing.

Well...it took two copies of Fortune to convince that was the 'wrong' magazine to get investment advice.  It was mostly some journalism effort to hype various rich guys and how they lived...their houses....their yachts....their lifestyles.....not really how they got their strategy.  At the end of one year.....I dumped the magazine. 

Today, I'm reminded of the loser nature of Fortune when they stood up and wanted to hype David Hogg (of the Florida school shooting business) as one of the 50 great leaders of the world.

I noticed last week in business news that Meredith Corp....the owners of a group of magazines....to include Fortune....had put it up for sale.  Meredith Corp has already sold US News and Newsweek....for around $10-million each.  Fortune?  It hasn't sold yet, and some suggest it'll be below 7-million. 

Fortune right now for a subscription?  Normally $15.99 for a year.  Some folks claim they've been offered 'deals' for 99-cents a month. 

It's a dying magazine, and putting Hogg into this top leader hype?  Well....they made themselves into a joke.  It'll surprise if they clear 5-million in the end on their sale.

The True Hype Never Existed

I noticed this small item in the news today, from a poll done by the NBC News and Wall Street Journal folks.  So their poll question asked: is Hillary Clinton popular?

The answer? 27-percent of folks said 'somewhat positive'. The rest?  Less so.

So the general question by the news media is why.

I sat and pondered over this.  I came to this conclusion....Hillary Clinton probably never was that popular. 

Oh, the news media hyped her books, and her speeches....but when you get down to accomplishments, there was never anything to demonstrate long-term popularity. 

It's like talking about the 2012 Florida Marlins baseball team.  For a brief season, with tons of money thrown around....the Marlins built this mega-team, and won games. All of this would mean fans coming to the park and hype around the entire state.  Well....it briefly lasted a year, and then they dismantled most of the team, and today.....no one remembers the 2012 Marlins team.

It's like talking about the actor Nicolas Cage, and asking people to name one of his movies.  The hype carries him but few remember the movies.

I think Hillary just rode out this massive wave for well over thirty years and the wave came to an end.  No one can cite any great accomplishments in life.  At least with Jimmy Carter, they will talk about his houses that his foundation group helped to building over the past three decades. 

In three years?  I suspect that a quarter of the public will have forgotten her entirely. 

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

The Starbucks Episode

I spent an hour this morning....trying to understand this whole Starbucks racial episode that occurred in Philadelphia and how the cops got involved.

It's basically a eight-line story.

'Joe' and 'Marty' (both black) show up at this Starbucks and one of them wants to use the restroom.  No, they hadn't bought any coffee, tea, or $5-muffins.  They just wanted access to the restroom.  Starbucks, like so many commercial operations, prefers to allow use of their restrooms...ONLY to customers.  Joe and Marty declined to buy a $4 cup of Starbucks coffee or a $5 muffin. So they go and sit down in the customer area.  Yep....just sitting there.  This peeves the manager, who calls the cops.  Joe and Marty have not violated a single law.  The cops arrived (white guys).  They handle this in a semi-professional manner but intend to remove Joe and Marty.  All of this is captured on video. End of the story.

Most folks will suggest that if they need to use a public toilet....they will walk in and buy something (a soda, a muffin, a cup of coffee, etc).  In the past twenty years....I've probably gone and done my public toilet business with the act of a stupid purchase at least four-hundred times. Via McDonalds....I've probably wasted over $150 on something in this period....just to 'appreciate' their public (clean) toilet.  I've even bought at least twenty cups of Starbucks coffee....because of toilet needs.

Joe and Marty's tactic of sitting there?  That's the thing about the story.  They weren't going to buy coffee or a $5 muffin.  They just intended to sit there.  Maybe there was some physical message, or some intimidation factor....but then...that's not illegal.

All of this makes Starbucks look bad but then what really is the understanding over the public toilet business?

In Germany over the past decade....I've seen a number of public toilets go to a 'charge-deal', where you actually pay a buck for use of the restroom, and you get a 50-cent ticket upon leaving to use at McDonalds or Starbucks.  I suspect long-term....that practice will start to occur in the US, and free toilets will disappear.

As for Joe and Marty?  Starbucks will have to pay them off in some fashion.  It wouldn't surprise me if this got into the half-million range....all because of a toilet decision by the manager.

Yahoo

About six days ago....if you used features of Yahoo enough....this new privacy and terms agreement would come up.

At present, I think I've had to agree or accept the 'oath' now.....about 60 times.  It's reached a point where I'm questioning the logic of this continually popping up.

About nine years ago, I came to this point with Yahoo.....where I regarded them as a fairly lousy platform. They have all these engineers and geeks on the staff, and they do lousy work.  Things never get tested.  When they say function-X works this way.....it typically fails.  Why?

UPDATE: Day seven.  I've punched the 'I accept' button now at least 100 times.  There was absolutely zero testing with this stupid 'terms' page. 

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

The 2020 "Obama"

Basically, out of thin air, Eric Garcetti will begin to appear in various states....giving speeches and hyping his chances as the Democratic Presidential contender for the primary elections of 2020.

Who is the guy?  Mayor of LA....he was re-elected in 2017. 

The hype?  Well....he's Jewish-Mexican heritage (giving him the Obama-foreign appeal).  His grandparents were Russian-Jews who immigrated (legally) into the US.  He graduated from Columbia University (yep, just like Obama).  He was a Rhodes scholar (just like Bill Clinton). He served as a professor at Occidental College (in some ways like Obama).  He got elected into the LA city council back in 2001 (similar trend to Obama).  And he gives four-star speeches (like Obama).

So the odds here?  I sat and looked at his achievements that get hyped (over the past fifteen years).  Most of what is discussed are social causes (the environment, housing, homelessness, recycling, race issues, etc).  In urbanized areas, he could talk over these feats accomplished and it'd buy in votes.  In a national election, these aren't issues that the bulk of non-urbanized voters would really react upon.

What is being constructed here is the 'solution' for a urbanized President (what President Obama served as), where 70-percent of the voting districts weren't charmed with the product offered, but enough massive vote occurred in urban areas to get the Electoral College votes.  The fact that he's Mexican-Jewish?  It'll play into the election, but that doesn't really say much for where the black vote might end up. 

My general prediction is that he'll end up as the winner of the Democratic Convention, but I suspect that Bernie and some heavy competition will make this difficult.


Monday, 16 April 2018

By the Numbers

I sat for an hour today looking at FBI statistics from 2012 on homicides.  It's an interesting data sheet.

2012:

- 12,888 folks were dead from homicides that year.  Pistols were used in 6,404 episodes.

- 298 were rifle episodes.  No one splits this up, from assault-rifle to 22-rifle.  You would think that they'd want get this data.

- Shotguns were used to kill 310 folks.

- Knives?  They were used to kill 1,604 folks.

- Blunt objects (bats and hammers)?  522 folks.

- 707 folks were killed by fist, boots, or bodily harm.

- 13 folks were poisoned to death.

- 8 folks were killed by bombs.

- 90 were strangled to death.

- 87 folks were killed in some fashion by fire.

So, if you look at the 'facts'.....it's hard to see this assault-weapon hype getting to the top....when you might want do something about bats and hammers.  If the FBI had split off the assault rifle numbers from the 298 rifle homicides?  That's a curious thing.  If you got down to where there's only forty-five people killed by assault rifles that year.....well....twice that many were strangled to death.