Saturday, 24 May 2014

A One-Star Speech

It was an odd speech. President Obama....at a fundraiser episode in Chicago....Thursday night.

The President put a great deal of blame for lack of achievement in his agenda, toward the Senate, which has a certain rule formula put into it since 1787....two senators from each state.  Prior to the 1900-era, a state legislature choose the Senators....NOT the public.  The President kinda left that piece of the story out.

As the President said.....it creates this wave of disadvantage for him.  It's hard to imagine this, and how he'd rearrange the Senate to fix itself....other than all one hundred from one political party.

Then the President got into demographics being part of the blame for achievement limitations.  As he noted....Democrats are urban players, and show up from big cities (like New York and Chicago as he suggested).  For some reason, this gives Republicans some type of disproportionate control over Congress.

If you sat there and took the speech serious....then you had to think....well...the Democrats ought to be out there in the rural regions of America and small towns....selling the same message, and thus have ninety-percent of the control over the House as well.  Well....they are out there and selling their message....it's just that the rural folks and lesser cities aren't buying it as much as the urban mega zones.

Then finally, the President suggested that the Democrats were suffering from some type of pest causing people not to vote for Democratic candidates....for any position.

Back in 2008....President Obama gave mostly all four and five-star speeches.  I can't think of anything for that whole year that was less than a three-star situation.  The past two or three years?  Spiraling downward on speeches and suggesting some fairly comical situations unrelated to reality.  I haven't heard a single three-star or better speech for 2014.

This political fundraiser speech?  Lousy.  What would you do to fix the Senate imbalance he suggests?  Maybe reduce the Senate to twelve guys and limit the Republicans to two positions?  Maybe get rid of the Senate entirely?  Maybe limit the Senate to just visiting foreign countries, approving treaties, and approving cabinet officers?

And this disproportionate number game for the House?  People elect them....the same people who vote in Presidential elections.  It's just that each state has rigged up practical and complex districts....to help certain voters and certain lobbyists.  How would you fix that?  We could sit around for an entire years discussing it and not come to any rational conclusion.

Sadly, this is what we get for political speeches these days.....lousy commentary, and nothing worth paying $1,000 for a plate of roast beef, mashed potatoes and ice tea.

Rough Men of the Original America

There is a brief little story which never gets brought up in high school history, or for that matter....even college history courses, over an incident in 1622 which lays out the behavior of Americans....way before 1776 or the Constitution.

You see....the development of America goes back to 1607 and Jamestown.  The Plymouth crowd and the Pilgrims?  Well....they would arrive fourteen years later.

Jamestown was the centerpoint of America, civilization, and survival, in this this era.  By 1622, there were roughly fifteen-hundred (1,500) people existing in the Jamestown region.  That includes men, women and children.

The neighboring Indian tribe....the Powhatens....had gone through a leadership change, and by 1622....they had decided that the Englanders were a problem and needed to be eliminated.  Toward early spring, an attack was mounted.  The Powhatens didn't need absolute extermination.....just a massive attack which would lead onto the normal expectations....namely, that the Englanders would grasp the threat and leave.

The results of the attack on this one day?  347 Dead.  Roughly one-quarter of the entire civilization that existed in the Jamestown area.....gone.

It was openly discussed in Indian circles for days after the attack that within two months (two moons), that all Englishmen would be gone.

Well....it's an interesting thing.  When word got back to England and you'd expect someone to get peppy....yank settlers back and rethink this whole new world concept as being unsafe.....it went exactly the opposite way.  They sent back a couple ships of troops and men....armed.

The hostility of the survivors of the attack?  That's an interesting thing too.  They openly went rogue, burning up Indian corn crops in the region, and attacking Indian villages within striking distance of Jamestown.  It took six months....but they more or less dragged the same attackers from March of that year.....into a suggested negotiation phase.

What can be said or suggested here....is that it's hard to imagine some settlers being easily agreeable to some form of negotiation with people who'd killed a quarter of their civilization just months before.  Well....they weren't that agreeable.

For the festive negotiation phase....English alcohol was to be brought in and laid out for the guests (the Indians).  There were good containers of booze, and there were poisonous containers of booze.  The Indians drunk the bad stuff, and around two hundred of their party in attendance....got fairly sick, and were easily killed by the Englishmen at the scene.

The expectation that the Englishmen would just roll over after the massive attack, and leave?  Well....they guessed wrong about this crowd.  The expectation that the same crowd would be stupid enough to negotiate in good faith with the attackers?  Well.....they guessed wrong about that too.  These guys who came early on into Jamestown....weren't the wussy type or likely to accept rough treatment.

"We sleep safely at night because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would harm us.” is a quote that gets attributed back to George Orwell and Winston Churchill.  The quote fits for those Brits who came in the early 1600s, and stayed.  It says alot about the character of men who arrived and stayed.

Simply Observations

I blogged this last week....over Representative John Conyers of Michigan and his failure to accurately get enough signatures to get onto the primary ballot.  The district clerk declared he could not be on the ballot.  Well...yesterday, a federal judge stepped in and said that Michigan had too hard of a system to get onto the primary, and tossed out the situation....saying Conyers is now on the ballot.  No real shocks locally.....they all expected someone to help save Conyers.  Interestingly enough, the same type scenario occurred two years ago, and the federal judge in that case didn't want to help the guy involved....Republican, if you were curious his political identification.  My prediction in the primary is Conyers easily picks up sixty percent of the vote.

Press reports indicate that some guy walked up to the White House security gate and noted that he had an urgent appointment with the President, but wasn't on any visitor's list.  The guy argued for a second and then began to take off his clothing.  Yeah, he got down to nothing, and then the White House cops decided enough was enough.  They hauled him downtown for assault (he did try to throw a punch) and indecent behavior.  Adding to the episode is that ID that he showed.....was a foreign ID.  No one says his nationality or name, but I'm guessing he's probably another Canadian guy on drugs.  Just my humble opinion.

Some smart guys at University of Oxford sat down and analyzed life expectancy of folks with mental disease.   They came to some curious conclusions.  Generally, if you got some mental issues of an extreme....you are carving off ten to twenty years of life from the normal expectations.  For recurring depression?  It's seven to eleven years less than average.   Bipolar?  It's nine to twenty years less.  For drug or alcohol abuse?  It's nine to twenty-four years less.  What they point out is that folks with mental issues don't access healthcare in appropriate manners for physical issues....until it's too late.  The bottom line?  A smoker might get more life years than a bipolar person.

Finally, some astrobiologists (yeah, there is such a profession) stood up this week and talked to Congress.  They more or less said....it's absolute on life being found out in the universe....maybe bugs, maybe bigger critters, maybe even human-like creatures.  Not any of that ninety-seven percent deals....it's one-hundred percent.  And as they hinted....it's only a matter of time before we come to have full evidence of such a situation.  And then what?  Well, it'll charge up most folks to ask stupid questions over creation and if there are a thousand Earth's out there.