Thursday, 21 June 2018

The End Result for the Week

I spent about an hour this morning, pouring over the bits and pieces of the Trump order on migrants.

So, in the end here (I'll let anyone correct me if I'm wrong).....you have deportee-candidate dad/mom sitting in a deportee center with the deportee-candidate kids....waiting on a status order and 'ticket' to return to the homeland. What really changed?  Same centers.  Same food.  Same guards.  Same bunks.  Same blankets.  Same toilet facilities.  Same landscape.  Same end-result. 

This hype for the past seven days?  Over something that really didn't change much of anything?  Yes.

And if 'dad' or 'mom' aren't the real parents of the deportee-candidate kids?  Well....no one from CNN, or ABC has really said much over that topic.  What if deportee-candidate 'Junior' tells the Border Patrol guys that 'Dad' is really NOT the 'Dad'? What if deportee-candidate 'Junior' says that 'Dad' beats him? 

You just sense that there's a pretty big mess here, and the best thing to do is get a wall built, and hustle folks (with their kids) back home as quickly as possible.  And if Latin American country refuses to take their people back....cut them from grant money.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Family Jails

Last year, I was sitting there and watching a German documentary.  It was an interesting 15-minute episode where 'Martin' (the German journalist) had gone off to Peru and was going into a local prison.

So the folks there have this interesting concept.  The judge sentences you to a year or three years of prison, and your family basically moves into the prison with you.  You get a little one room studio room, with the bare essentials, for you, your wife, and your kids.  The government gives them enough food to 'make things right'.

This 'Martin' guy goes around and talks to the wives and kids....trying to get some understanding of how this works.  The problem he saw....there's men there in the jail, for rape and violent assault.  So it doesn't make any sense to put the family into the middle of this jail business. 

Toward the last third of the documentary, 'Martin' is sitting there and discussing this terrible wrong with the jail-house boss.  And the manager of the jail can understand 'Martin's' feelings, but he always says....it's better to keep the family together.  'Martin' later leaves the prison....feeling happy that he's out of the facility, and just wanders off with German frustration that you really can't fix this mess.

I sat last night looking at some CNN piece trying to explain the immigration episode and the evil Trump-camp atmosphere.  Basically, they were going to help create this mindset with Americans that it was a fine thing to have a family situation in a jail-camp deal, with dangerous people interacting with the kids but it was good for the family to stay together. 

I'm guessing in a year....this German journalist....'Martin'....will show up in Texas and try to find the logic in the way this works, and condemn the Democrat's solution as being pretty damn stupid. 

The PBR Story

From where I grew up as a kid in rural Alabama, we had a number of folks in the dry county area, who were particular about the beer they drank.  A couple were 'addicted' in some way to Pabst Blue Ribbon beer.

I have a list of twenty-odd beers (some even German) which I consider to be sub-standard beers.  They lack taste, character or the 'magic' ingredient.  I include Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) on that list. 

So I noted this morning via a CNBC report....that there is the potential for a worldwide shortage of PBR.

How this would happen?  Well....the folks who own PBR had a deal with Miller-Coors to make PBR in bulk.  No one talks about the financial side of this or the profits for either company.  What they do talk about is that Miller-Coors doesn't want to make the beer any longer (after well over 30 years). 

Somewhere on the paperwork agreement, there is an option to continue on, and Miller-Coors does not appear to be willing to move to the option.  They just want some type of end-date. Naturally, the PBR folks are talking about some legal course, with half-a-billion mentioned in the news piece.

So you come to the 'end' discussion? 

There are basically three problems here.

First, I would have doubts that some judge would go and order Miller-Coors to produce something beyond the contract date. 

Second, you would think that PBR would have realized this less-drinking-trend five years ago, and had some plan 'B' in existence already.  You could have easily gone and bought some brewery or worked out some deal with a Mexican brewery chain. 

Third, is it possible that people just woke up and realized that PBR is just lousy cheap 1-star beer?  Is it perhaps time to retire PBR and just admit it was an bad beer?

So here's my suggestion.  Typically, when you've fallen this far, you get up and rebrand your item.  Why not go out and refreshen the recipe of PBR, make a brewery out of a warehouse in Huntsville, Alabama, and sell it only in bottles. Make it into a decent three-star beer.  In one single move, you'd make it into a premium beer, and charge 50 cents more per bottle.   

Ten Questions Over This Hyped-Up Kid-Border Business

For several days, I've pondered upon all this reactionary news media talk, and come to these ten questions:

1.  I read today that Sessions wants to force all of these situations into a mandatory DNA test.  DNA tests typically require at least three weeks in the lab....so the family will be sitting idle in some center before the results come back. Then you get to the important question...if ‘Juan’ isn’t the father...just how quick do you dump ‘Juan’ into the single men’s center and then hustle the kids back into a kid’s only center?

2. What if ‘Juan’ has been led by his wife to believe both kids are his, for the past twelve years, only to be told by ‘Jerry’ (the US border patrol dude) that no...the kids are not his. Yeah, we could actually make this into a TV show and see some might curious events going on.

3. What if ‘Juan’ refuses to take a DNA test? Can you legally force some foreign guy to take the test? You can’t even do that to an American guy.....so how can you force ‘Juan’ to do this?

4.  What if kid number one is 'Juan's' kid but number two is not?  Can 'Juan' claim this was his wife's first kid with another guy?

5.  All of this relates to a law which President Trump is simply enforcing.  This law? It goes back to the 2004 era, under President Bush, and it was mostly passed via the Democrats.  Who voted on this method?  Did Nancy Pelosi vote for this?

6.  Will you use the same method upon finding American runaway kids, and force them to return to their parents, but only after a DNA test resolves if that parent is the real parent of the kid?

7.  Where will all this DNA info on foreign folks be kept?  Who in the government will have access?

8.  If you put 'Juan' and his two kids into a family center which is approved by the Democrats.....and 'Juan' happens to rape some 12-year old girl from another family at the center about ten days into this....will this lead folks to create a man-only center and a kid's only center?  You know....like they have now.

9.  What if the kids are fearful of 'Juan' and says that he beats them?  Will you force the kids back to 'Juan'?

10.  If this DNA testing business cost $300....will you force 'Juan' to pay for it?

It just seems to me....the more you think about this....the worse it gets.  What if four kids (all age 13) made their way from Panama to Texas, without a 'Juan'?  What does that say about security of four different borders and the fact that no one said a word in Mexico or such?

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Do We Really Care?

Over the past decade, one had to sit and watch various entertainers, singers, comedians, actors, and fake prominent folks turn into social justice 'warriors'. 

At some point, the question started to come up....do you really if such-and-such comedian is a social justice warrior?  Do you care what hype your favorite entertainer is giving? 

As each month went by.....you had more and more folks wanting to share their social justice occupation.  At some point, even NFL players got into the act. 

The blunt truth is that we are losing interest in these social justice 'campaigns'.  We are even approaching the mentality of suggesting that some of these are just plain fake in nature. 

The take by some of these comedians and actors?  Well...they are doubling down....insisting that they have some legitimate battle going on and they want to share it with you. The general reaction?  Turning off the TV, or hitting 'mute'.  In the case of the NFL, people are in a mindset to stop watching games, paying $100 for a seat at some game, or to spend $500 on a specially-designed leather jacket with the team logo. 

So I think this new era is about to arrive where people just say in simple words....we just don't care about your 'battle' or social justice cause.  You aren't really a comedian, an actor, or entertainer.  You are something, but we just aren't sure what that something is.

For some folks, it means a career has potentially ended around age forty-five, and their lifestyle will have to be downsized drastically.  Maybe there will be some social justice campaign about the unfairness of life.  I'm sure we'd all like to hear about that 'battle'. 

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Lack of Competency

At some point around 2010, while working in the basement of the Pentagon....I worked with an Army guy who had this part-time job on the side.  No....he didn't really bring this up to the commander (there's an actual regulation that says 'other' jobs need to be referred to your commander so that he can explain your dedication angle to the Army). 

This part-time job?  Well....we spent around ten minutes talking over this and I simply had a curious nature how this worked.

You see....he'd get a call around the middle of the week and there would be this 'seminar' that he'd teach on Saturday and Sunday....typically six to eight hours each day.  It was a one-on-one seminar, which I felt was awful strange.

So the topic here?  Well....email, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

There were these folks getting hired for high and lofty positions in DC (GS15 or above).  Basically, they were coming from some location outside of the beltway, and they simply hadn't never used the internet to the degree that this job demanded.  So they were paying some guy to teach them everything they needed to know.....over a weekend.

So I asked about the pay here, and for a full-up weekend....this guy would make $700.  Taxed of course.  He figured the company in question was taking in near $1000 for the service.

The key theme?  Being discreet.

So I asked....are there really that many folks who don't know this level of technology?  In a full year that he'd been connected to this job.....he'd had roughly thirty weekends occupied by this job, and he figured the company had at least twenty part-time people who were in this service occupation.

His take was that various people in the 1990s had stepped to the side and missed the whole introduction stage of Microsoft.  Now these were the people facing 2010, being hired into lofty positions, and unable to perform at expectations.

All of this made sense to me.  Maybe they'd pick up enough to solve their problem. 

But then he said this odd thing.  Being with someone for an entire weekend....one-on-one....you reach a point where you are getting to know the individual, their background, their skills, their knowledge, their common sense level.  Most of the people he met (remember, this is an Army NCO)....probably weren't the type that you'd go and hire for leadership positions.  In some way, when they stepped to the side in the 1990s and missed the technology 'era'.....they were missing a lot of different trends and eras.  Yet here they were....being brought into DC to lead some group or agency. 

My NFL Chat

I sat this morning and read through some sports news piece where some 'angry' NFL players were saying that the NFL-owners are in some fear stage of Trump, and that's why this whole National Anthem thing is brewing 'hotly'.

After about five minutes, I sat and pondered over this.  I don't know if the players saying this are hyped up on drugs, or just so stupid that they can't envision what happened here.

So my two analogies to make this point:

1.  You know nothing about farming but have heard that raising cattle is profitable and real easy.  You go out with your savings, spending $500,000 on a farm, a barn, plenty of hay for the first year, all the equipment necessary, and 250 head of cattle.  You envision this being real simple and easy.  You sell off a minimum of 80 head of cattle each year, and life is great.  On day one of the new life....you walk out into the field to discover that these cattle are 'wild and aggressive'.  They chase you, with the intent to stomp you to the ground.  Day after day, this goes on.  You live in constant fear of the cattle. The money is invested but this is a 'hobby' that is bringing fear into your heart each and every day.

2.  You buy a great restaurant which turns $250,000 of profit each and every year.  It's a proven money-maker.  As you take over, you hire three new cooks, and in the first six months.....wake up to five accusations of food-poisoning.  You paid a lot of money for this operation, and the public is coming less and less often. 

In this NFL-owner situation.  Most bought into their operations back in the 1970s and 1980s.  A long term investment.  Back three years ago, the Dallas Cowboys were valued at $4.5 billion, and pulling in around $800 million per year (TV deals, sports gear, etc).  The Vikings were valued at $2.4 billion, and pulling in around $400 million a year. 

With the negative talk going on....lesser sports paraphernalia being sold....fewer tickets being sold....fewer people watching, are the teams making less money?  Well....they won't admit this in public.  But you have to figure they've lost 10-percent of the yearly income MINIMUM (maybe more).  Can you consider the Cowboys to still be valued at $4.5 billion?  I question that and would suggest that if they were for sale.....the price would be slightly below $4 billion. By the end of 2020?  If nothing resolves this mess?  Their value might even be near $3.5 billion.

How would you feel if you owned something of value ($500,000), and woke up three years later to find the same item is now worth $300,000? 

The owners aren't afraid of the players, or Trump.....they are afraid that their item of value....doesn't hold the same value, and doesn't make the same amount of yearly profit. 

Where this will end?  At some point, during the signing period of contracts.....a vast majority of players will be offered contracts at 10-percent less than the previous contract.  They will threaten a strike.  This strike?  Well....it might move the problem onto the next level, and quicken the pace of the sinking.