Tuesday, 30 June 2015

The Lack of Trust

By age nineteen, I had almost complete trust in various professions and categories of people.  Somewhere along the second year of the Air Force.....I put health professionals (nurses, administrators and doctors) along with AF First Sergeants into this category of zero-trust.

In blunt language, I became an absolute skeptic of either group of people.  Whatever they suggested or said.....you had to ask more questions over and have a good bit of doubt over what they were doing.

As the years rolled by....I added other professions onto the list.  Safety inspectors, car mechanics, bank clerks, lawyers, insurance agents, and college professors.

Somewhere in the early 1990s.....I added all cops (local, state, federal, FBI, etc).  It wasn't very difficult.  I came to a point where I realized half of these guys were either unqualified for their job, bothered by mental problems, or just plain stupid.  Sadly, half of these guys are trying hard to do their job, and their buddies are screwing the profession over left and right.

By 9-11, I came to be skeptical of Senators, Congressmen and Presidents.

After 9-11....came TSA agents.  Maybe half of these guys are qualified for their job and doing a four-star job.  The problem is that every time you cross over into some airport....you come up against some joker who ought to be a security guard at some 7-11 operation or a mall in southern Mississippi.  One single idiot out of a group of six that you might encounter today at some airport.....who ought to be doing something else other security.

Journalists?  I added them around 2010 to the list of folks who you just can't trust.  Foundation guys, think-tank experts, and TV news media guys......all fall into this same group.  They tell you something, then you realize they skipped some topic or element of the story....intentionally.  You'd like for them to back-up and tell this.....but they won't dare explain this because it's not part of their slanted view of the news.

Religious ministers?  Well, yeah.....I've put them on the list as well.  When they show up in a BMW or stay at a five-star hotel.....there's something in their profession that bothers me.

There's just not many professions left where I have some trust in what they say or recommend.  It's a fairly short list (barbers, barkeepers, farmers, and bar-b-q joint operators).

Is it a growing trend among people?  I've come to think that a lot of Americans are growing skeptical of people they used to trust.  Judge Judy, Alex Trebek of Jeopardy fame, and Clint Eastwood are among the few left that I would have absolute trust with.

All of these leads back around the world of law enforcement and our general attitude that there's awful of corruption, greed, incompetent nature, and bizarre behavior being demonstrated daily.  It's to the point where you get pulled over and you start to immediately look at some guy in sunglasses and black-stormtrooper boots, and think it's some potential scam to rip you off.....one way or another.  The guy starts to ask fifteen questions and trying to figure what you did wrong or how to screw you, and you just start to freeze with each question and think....what exactly is this guy going fishing for and why me?

Yeah, it's a sad deal in a way....we've corrupted ourselves enough....to lack trust in the majority of people we run into.

Chris Christie: The Number Seven Guy

Back in 2007, Chris Christie had some opportunities and gave a marginal effort.  Eight years later, with the stupid bridge episode from New Jersey.....Christie is a guy waiting on an impossible dream to occur.

In New Jersey and New York....he'll make it awful tough for any other Republican to run and capture local votes.  He should win both with a 10-percent margin over the number two guy.  But beyond that?

In Iowa, at best....he'll end up as the number seven guy.  And in half the state primaries.....I don't see doing much better than number seven.

His asset is speeches and debates.  With the exception of Cruz and maybe Walker.....he is better than the rest on debate delivery.  In terms of pumping up a crowd, he might be at the same level as Walker.

I think he's in this race for strictly one reason.....the VP job.  If you look over various combinations and look at the likely leaders of the race (Cruz, Walker and Rubio).....he might fit very well with Walker.  Zero chance on VP for Rubio or Cruz.

Had the bridge episode never occurred?  Well....that's history now, but you have to figure that his trusted staff really screwed him over when they suggested the bridge episode.  Without that screw-up....he might easily be the number two guy today instead of the number seven guy.

Note, I'm even putting Donald Trump in a higher rating than Christie.  Trump might carry NY state if Christie can't subtract his support.  

Sunday, 28 June 2015

The Professor, The 'Nice-Guy', and the Stoic Man

It's one of those odd periods of American history that don't get much attention....the early part of the 1900's.  Over a sixteen-year period, we had three guys assume the Presidency, who should have been named the professor, the 'nice-guy' and the stoic man.

As Taft got into a messy Republican issue with former President Roosevelt and split votes in Taft's re-election attempt....the outcome was a bit shocking.  Woodrow Wilson would end up as President of the United States.

If you wrote Wilson's resume....it'd be a fairly curious and short resume.  Wilson was a southerner and the son of a Presbyterian minister.  He was a fairly intelligent guy and ended up going through Davidson University and later attended Princeton University out of New Jersey.  It's safe to say that he impressed the professors at Princeton.  After graduation, for law school....he picked the University of Virginia.

What you can generally say is that he spent roughly a year trying to be a lawyer after graduation, and eventually just gave up.  Some folks sum up this part of his life as impatient and having a significant amount of stubbornness.....sticking to one strategy and not able to move onto a plan B when required.  It'll be a trait that follows him for the rest of his life.

After the lawyer business....he leans toward a PhD (John Hopkins University), and achieves that in 1886.  You can use common sense on this but the only thing a PhD was worth was a full-time professor job....and that's route ahead for him.

Four years, with the help of 'insiders' at Princeton (his old college).....he got himself appointed onto the board of the university.  He attends yearly meetings, gives speeches at various dinners, and talks up the changes needed at Princeton.  Twelve years would pass, and negativity would brew at Princeton over the leadership of the college.  Being on the board, Wilson had various opportunities to help in the brewing process.  The college president was terminated because of ineffective leadership and the board wanted changes.....Wilson was offered the chancellor's job and set into play various changes.

It's safe to say some changes were acceptable and some were not.  He went after more donations to the university and enlarging the quantity of professors.  He brought more attention to the school, and made it clear that he didn't want the previous status of a rich-kid's school where you paid for a degree but didn't clearly earn it.

From 1902 to 1910.....for eight years.....Wilson ran Princeton and got attention throughout New Jersey.  At some point in 1910.....the governor's race opened up and he ran.  He won with a fairly safe number of votes, and then proceeded to do four brief years of governor duty.  In 1914.....with Taft and Roosevelt heavily engaged in a personal vendetta situation....the Democrats didn't see great opportunities and went with a lesser known Wilson as their choice.  Oddly, Wilson wins.

From professor, to college president.....mix in four brief years as governor, and now President of the United States.

You can give him mostly positive marks for six years of his period, with the war as part of his record.  The last eighteen months?  Because of the stroke, he was basically non-existent.  No public appearances and the few cabinet meetings held really didn't demonstrate much of anything.  The nation wanted a full-time President and a strong guy.

Warren G. Harding would be this strong President character, at least acting that way. Harding's resume?  Not much better.

Harding would pick up ownership of a marginal newspaper in Ohio after college and spend the next three decades improving upon it.  Most people will note that the real motivation of the newspaper and effective business plan.....was mostly the work of Harding's wife.  Harding was a guy who knew how to wear a three-piece suit and looked distinguished no matter what the occasion was.  He gave bold speeches throughout Ohio and eventually was noted as someone with political potential.  In 1904, he was elected Lieutenant Governor of Ohio...spending two brief years in the job before being elected as Senator of Ohio.

After arriving in DC, he generally got known as a 'nice-guy'.  Republican and Democratic Senators liked him.  He seemed impressive.  His staff, coming out of Ohio with him.....were quickly noted as well.

Harding had two hobbies.....women and poker.  His staff had two hobbies.....poker and heavy drinking. It was a good match situation in DC.

Harding, after six years as senator....went for the Presidency and won.  Roughly sixty days into the new Presidency....what can generally be said was that his five-star speech ability was mostly bogus and the speeches were empty.  The intellectual side of Harding which people had been impressed with during the Senate period had dissolved.....Harding was mostly a marginally bright guy with a bunch of corrupt guys around him.  For roughly two years, the corruption situation ran in turbo fashion.

Eventually, Harding kinda woke up and realized the amount of corruption going on.  Oddly, on some trip out to the west coast.....Harding died. What historians note is that in the two brief years as President.....he'd packed on a lot of weight and had virtually no physical activities (some suggest he'd gained roughly fifty pounds in two years).

Calvin Coolidge arrives into a job that no one expected him to fulfill.  Cal had worked himself up.....lawyer activities, state legislature, and mayor.  He was more of an administrator than a leader.  He went through both Lieutenant Governor and Governor....getting noted as a practical manager.  He ended up on as the VP on Harding's ticket and became a quiet unassuming VP.

It's best to say that Cal quietly did his best to clean up the corruption of the first two years of the Harding administration after he inherited the Presidency.  He would run for another term, and then quietly retire from office.  If you were looking for one single President with stoic tendencies and simply a good administrator of the office.....Cal is by himself on that level.  He was what the nation needed.....a competent guy with no corruption and no intellectual side.  Today?  No one really mentions Cal much, for the simple reason that he never wanted the attention.

Yeah, for sixteen years....that's the cast of three characters that the nation got stuck with.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Short Essay over Prohibition

I have a fascination with American history of the 1920s.  Naturally, there's a limited view of history told of the period....we tend to like starting history at WW II (1942).

One of my favorite topics is Prohibition.  There's a lot of odd history, which people simply never got introduced to.

For example.....most every single community and town that existed in America up until Prohibition....had a saloon.  Sizable towns had several.

Saloon had grown in statue since the 1800s and its safe to say that a lot of guys would get off work and automatically walk to the local saloon.  They sit there for an hour or two. On any day off....they'd stay for hours.

There was a general belief in society that American culture was addicted to saloons and booze.  This led the way for some type of control.  The problem was.....you'd go and fix something by legal means and it'd lead to a court confrontation.  Eventually, the only method left was the Constitution.....meaning an amendment needed to be added so that the court could not get around the law.

When you look back at the amendment....it simply said that no one in the U.S. could manufacture, transport, or sell alcoholic beverages (with the exception of medicinal or religious reasons).  You could drink alcohol but it doesn't take an idiot to realize getting it to you was physically impossible without some legal implications.

All of this comes up shortly after WW I, within the women's right to vote period, and in the midst of the Wilson era.

What people tended to notice during the first month was the remarkable closure of saloons and bars across the nation.  Your friendly neighborhood saloon.....no longer existed.

What quietly occurred over the next year or two....was a two-vehicle substitute. You could privately buy some illegal booze (imported or manufactured within the US) from a local guy or operation.  Maybe your local grocery guy would get a truckload that he kept in the back of the warehouse, or your local barber would provide you some relief at a fair cost. The second part of the substitute was 'speak-easy' operations.....a private club with a strong door.

Speak-easy operations opened up a strange new door.  They were meant to be private and slightly better than the old saloon operations.  They had real entertainment or gambling.  Unlike the saloon atmosphere where drunks hung around.....speak-easy operations were for people to drink, talk and socialize.  Oddly, they opened up the drinking scene to women, which wasn't the case with saloon operations.

It took a year or two for most people to observe that women....after getting the right to vote and finding more potential jobs.....were now open to drinking themselves.

All of this led into this odd observation by the revenue mechanism of the US government.  Booze taxes were zero, and it was now a problem because they didn't have some method to make up for losses.

The new Harding government (after Wilson)?  Most everyone within his 'club' found that the White House kept ample amounts of booze and had it trucked in from Canada.  The folks who should have shown some restraint and law obedience.....weren't doing so.

It took roughly thirteen years to admit Prohibition was stupid, get it back onto another amendment schedule, and get it finally passed.

Our drinking habits?  Well.....they changed.  I suspect for the most part, to a better level.  Prior to Prohibition, drinking was a manly thing.  After Prohibition....I'd take a guess in major urban areas (New York City for example).....probably fifty percent of all women were regular alcohol drinkers by 1930.  Speak-easy operations were a more classy business situation than the old saloon trade. And if you asked most folks.....beer lost out over that decade to the cocktail trade, and has pretty much made itself a major factor in alcohol consumption today.

We needed some dramatic change to overhaul drinking habits, and that's precisely what Prohibition delivered.

How Polygamy Now Fits

It's not that I support threesome or foursome marriages, but as I looked over all the chatter from yesterday.....it hit me that the court actually wrote the introduction to legalized polygamy into this decision.

The scenario will be this way.....within six months, a guy will walk into some marriage license office and ask for a license for his second wife.  The license clerk will respond with it being illegal, and the guy will challenge this in local court, then state court, and by October of 2017....be in the Supreme Court to present their case.  Decision expected by summer of 2018, but you can't really deny a threesome marriage situation because all of this has to deal with "happiness" which is written into the Constitution, and the cornerstone of this week's decision.

There will be ever so brief pause by the news media when the decision is handed down.....a bit of shock....because they thought that marriages could only be between two people.  Well....that's simply not the case.

A marriage of five or ten people?  I would say it's now possible and there's virtually no limit because 'happiness' is a factor.  This brings me to the big question....can a guy really be happy with two wives?  I just don't see this trend going to be a happy situation for most folks.  It'll twist itself into a fad.  Over the course of the first year of legalized polygamy......I'd take a humble guess that 20,000 such marriages will occur.

The problem with polygamy will be the handling of benefits.  Like social security or pensions.  When one of the foursome passes on.....do the remaining three split it by 33-percent?  It'll beg for more Supreme Court action....more decisions.....more divisions.

So get used to the idea of polygamy....it's really not that far off and maybe you actually can think of another gal that would add value to your present marriage.

Friday, 26 June 2015

This Confederacy Discussion

Over the past ten-odd days, I've sat and watched this Confederacy flag business and the various 'bumps in the road'.  Some folks are taking all this personal, and some folks are on an agenda.  If I may.....let me offer six observations:

1.  The war ended over 150 years ago, with whom three generations of our ‘kin’ have passed on since it occurred. Oddly...most of southerners will admit that we were dirt poor in 1860, and maybe two or three steps above dirt poor today.  In the period after the war, the economics of any of the southern states was lousy.  It took at least five decades for most folks to see some light at the end of the tunnel. In some ways, the war fixed a problem or two, and in other ways.....it generated a whole generation of folks on the marginal end of the economic scale.

2.  Oddly, ninety-nine percent of people who claim southern status today....never were in any large scale farm situation or owned slaves. You can ask southerners about this and I'd take a guess that more than eighty percent can’t even name their ‘kin’ who was alive at the time if they were in the war or just stayed home. It's a shock to most folks that as you look over some county's residents in 1860....you come to realize that there's only a hundred-odd guys who are plantation 'CEOs' and own slaves.  The other two or three thousand males in the county?  They are simply small hundred-acre or two-hundred acres farmers.....nothing more than that.

 3. Getting any southerner to explain Tennessee’s status of 1860 to 1865....is just about impossible. Tennessee was never part of the Confederacy.....but barely attached to the Union itself.  It's a difficult topic and most southerners just avoid this discussion.

 4. The pride thing generally only comes from the ‘them-versus-us’ situation. You see the same thing with the Germans after WW I.  You see the same attitude with various countries that lost wars.  In this case, a lot of southerners got upset over the regional carpetbagger situation.  For a decade or two, hostility generally brewed throughout the south.

5. A lot of this southern enthusiasm waned off by 1900 and went to a lesser degree. After 1950s, and going into the mid-1960s...for some odd reason, you see fake enthusiasm built up by some fraudulent political gimmicks/groups. A lot of this flag charm stuff came up in this period....rather than the fifty years after the war. No one has ever tasked the news media or historians to chat over fake enthusiasm of this period, and how it wove itself into hundreds of thousands of people. Much of what you see today....is the result of this period, and not the 1860s.

6.  Finally, my general prospective is that there is a vast amount of information concerning this period of 1800 to 1860.....which has been just quietly stuffed into a closet and historians/news media players have simply left either purposely or accidentally on the floor.  The same problem exists with the 1920s and the period leading up to the 1929 Wall Street crash.  No one ever talks economics in the 1840s or the structured/layered situation of the South from 1800 on.  No one talks of politics and the us-versus-them attitude taken in Washington DC.

Maybe some people will stand up and finally ask some stupid questions and come to realize some facts.  We are roughly 150 years from the event.  What happens in 2150?  Will we still be arguing over a war from 1865?

Thursday, 25 June 2015

The Nutcase Bill

I sat this morning.....gazing over over a couple of newspapers and noticed this one odd piece.  Two  senators (Manchin of West Virginia and Toomey of Pennsylvania)....Democrat and Republican....want to start up a new gun-control bill....but ONLY if there's 60 votes sitting out there.  If there aren't obviously sixty votes.....why waste the effort?  So, they've got their staffs walking around and trying bean-count votes.

What kind of bill?  Well....the ONLY thing they'd say is that they want to make a law to keep guns away from crazy people (note: mental illness).

If you walk into any church, fishing resort, golf club, beer joint, or gas station and bring this topic up.....generally ninety percent of folks would readily agree....they sure don't want their nutcase nephew 'Robert', or crazy Uncle Leroy, or screwball neighbor Dorthy, or goofy boyfriend Lester, or insane daughter Mandy, or nutcase sister Leslie....having a gun.

Yeah, ten-percent of folks still voice that nutcase folks ought to have the right to guns.....go figure.  After they get shot or some nut at the gas station pulls a gun on them....then they get smart and realize nutcases ought not have guns.

The problem I see here though....once you open the 'crazy-in-Bama' situation.....why stop at guns?

If your lunatic sister is certified as crazy......how can we allow her to have a driver's license, register to vote, get a bank loan, have a pilot license, get married, or operate a lawn-mower?

If your psycho cousin is a certified nut.....how can we allow him to purchase dynamite, a chain saw, or purchase legal narcotics at the drug store?

If your wacky neighbor is a certified nut.....how can we allow her to own a sword, keep up a snake collection, or carry a sledge hammer in their car-trunk?

You see, these two guys are opening up a Pandora's Box of sorts.  Why limit crazy folks to just no guns?  How can you allow them roam freely around the neighborhood, with  a chainsaw in their possession or marrying some other nutcase gal three hours after meeting them?

How many certified nuts are there in America?  Unknown.  No one has ever sat down and really counted.  If you asked any guy from Bama.....we'd give you a humble number of three-percent of folks in Bama being certified as 'nuts'. In California.....it might be more.  In Oregon, it might be a lot more.  It'd require a judge to sign the paperwork, but we'd be fairly sure that three-percent of our Alabama relatives and neighbors were nutcases.

Would the senators then be willing to take the full situation, and just do the right thing?  I'm guessing "NO".  They wouldn't want to stop crazy folks from marrying, carrying dynamite, or having rattlesnake collections.  They wouldn't want to limit a guy on the three-thousand freedoms that most regular folks have.

It's a nice thought that they have, and I'm guessing they are hoping that sixty folks will stand with them on this.  But it's mostly just a fraud if you ask me.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

The Forty-Hour A Day Worker

I generally regard Amtrak as a failure.  They exist mostly because of a couple of routes which people seem to be preoccupied with (New York to Boston, New York to DC, Chicago to Seattle, etc).  Beyond that.....Amtrak could dissolve today and seventy-five percent of America wouldn't care.  I would even take the humble guess that seventy-five percent of America will confess they've never ridden Amtrak. Three percent of the nation might (my own guess) say that they've used Amtrak more than ten times in their life.

This week, we had another report which kinda demonstrates the incompetence associated with Amtrak.  The Inspector General of the organization went out and did an audit of time-cards.  I've worked with government and private industry, and what you can generally expect of a time-card audit is maybe one-percent with issues, and the issues will generally be minor in nature.  I've only known one guy ever fired over time-card fraud.

Well....this inspector for Amtrak did a long review and came to find at least twenty cases where people confessed they'd worked forty hours in one single day.

Yeah.....it's a bit hard to believe.....since we've been told over and over since high school.....there can be only twenty-four hours of time in one single day.

I paused over this and wondered....how it might be possible.

First, a guy might be finished with route one or his standard nine-hour route.....get pulled to help with a guy who didn't show up and pull another eight hours of duty.  I can understand a case like that.....but it'd only get you up to seventeen hours.

Second, maybe the guy was on some weekend holiday deal and felt he needed to double-time the hours.  But typically, you'd put in a separate code for weekend or holiday periods.....not to double your hours to meet the situation.

What will happen?  Amtrak didn't say much and I assume that the inspector will privately meet with the dozen-odd people who claimed forty hours in one day, and try to get them to amend the card.  This means they'd have to pay the money back or find some agreeable way of fixing this.

I would also suspect that some 'fix' will be put into the system and once you do more than twelve hours a day.....some boss will automatically get a warning and have to review your stupid card.  Course, you'd think that a boss already reviews your card, and some bosses boss also review anyone with more than forty hours a week.

Guys getting a reputation for forty hours of work in one day?  In Bama.....if word got out that you were charging the company for forty hours of work in one day.....folks would start to ask some stupid questions.  You'd stall them by saying that you were praying for four hours of the forty (some companies might need a prayer)....clearing out files for four (you are shredding as fast as you are printing)....mowing company grass for six (you told the landscaper guy to go home early today).....working at the office normal business for ten....changing bathroom tiles in the office bathroom for four....and spending twelve hours in various meetings around the whole complex (some of which had nothing to do with your division or projects).  Questions would arise and some doubt would be cast over your truthfulness.  Frankly, once you got past ten hours of honest work....it's best not to brag much or admit much in public.

Book Review: Edge of the World

By Michael Pye

The full title is "The Edge of the World" or "How the North Sea Made US Who We Are".

First, if you were going to build a historical library for decades to come and you wanted five 'cornerstone' books to start the library with.....this is one of the five.  It invites to sit down, pause, and ponder over the great revolution of sorts that came up in the North Sea region (UK, Ireland, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, and Nordic countries), and how they advanced innovation, technology, capitalism, commerce, the world economy, and cultures.

The book is written in a fashion that you basically need to read one paragraph at a time, and soak in the vast amount of information that Pye is giving you. I almost consider the book to be a dozen books combined into one because of the depth of discussion involved.

Chapter two concerns the 'Book Trade' which generates a great deal of thinking and pondering how innovation and how we went quickly from a low-literate society in the 1500s, to a high literate society by the early 1700s.  Information came in various packages and was consumed at a fantastic rate.  Advancements were put into book form and people read the new strategy or ideas of one guy in another land, and took the ideas to their own craft or business.

If there are any negatives with the book....it's mostly over a large amount of knowledge that Pye is sharing with you, and you have to really put the book down....sometimes for days....to gaze over what he's laid out and you end doing additional reading from other sources to better grasp Pye's story.  Pye could have made this a 1,500-page book, in my humble opinion.  He does the best he can....condensing a fantastic story into a simple pure tale.

As for recommendations?  I wouldn't suggest the book for high school kids because it's got way too much for most kids to handle.  A amateur historian would love the book, and I think anyone who wants to really understand the way which innovation took us from a simple age to a bold new world.....this is the book to start with and use as a base.

Flag Stuff

This is the official South Carolina flag.  I know....you've seen dozens of pictures over the past week of the 'other' flag and assume that it's the state flag.

There are two flags in this little story.  The first one.....this flag....came up in 1775 and has some Revolutionary War history tied to it.  The Palmetto Tree was used to construct some fortifications.....which held up to British cannon fire.  Everyone was impressed by that, and they simply made the tree into the flag.  The half-crescent moon goes back to some notion of liberty (no Islam).

As the Civil War came up.....another flag was made up as the battle flag and it's more or less what stands around today and is a symbol of some sorts......but is considered the state battle flag.

So, to halt some radical thinking of people that they'd have to design an entirely new flag after they dump this Civil War battle flag.....no, they already have a flag sitting there and ready to go, and it's been around since 1775, with almost no one complaining about the blue and white flag....other than folks who hate Palmetto trees.

Getting rid of the old battle flag gets rid of racism?  Well....no.  It is a minor element of a marginal sense, and simply represents one single brick in the wall.  As for continued production of the South Carolina battle flag?  I would expect some Chinese flag shop to continue producing a couple thousand of these flags yearly, and at least ten thousand South Carolina folks to fly their battle flag as some type of stance.  Maybe three-hundred years into the future.....it won't be such a big deal, but right now.....it's a state issue.

One little note.....as for states left with a 'problem'?  Well.....Mississippi is about the last state with a connection to the Civil War.  Alabama's flag is mildly representing the Civil War but has a white background.  I'd expect a frenzy to occur in Mississippi by late summer and they'll replace their flag.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Karl and Guns

I rarely come to agree with Karl Rove (Bush's chief of staff for the entire eight years).  He is from Alabama and I will admit that politically.....he knows how the system works).  Yesterday on one of Sunday talk-shows....the subject of the Charleston shooting got brought up.  Karl got challenged.  Karl got witty.  Karl then says.....if you want to stop all these shootings, why not just amend the Constitution and delete the second amendment?

It was a brilliant suggestion, and puts the view into a different prospective.  Let's say that an effort started up and a year down the road.....enough votes occurred state-by-state.....to revoke the second amendment.  What happens next?

Fifty separate state legislatures and the DC Congress would meet and argue for months and months over the 'new' rules.  As soon as you felt the smoke cleared slightly.....some nut would come out and shoot a dozen people....scarring the public to either suggest bringing back the second amendment or making more stringent rules about guns.  People would start to question why cops need automatic rifles or pistols.  Some people would question the military for the need for automatic rifles.  Some legal nut would sue the federal government claiming a free and happy life could only be guaranteed by having guns for protection.

In this regard, Karl has it correct.  Go ahead and start to screw around with the Constitution.....like they did in 1919 to make alcohol illegal.  It took around a decade for everyone to admit.....that was a big mistake.  Dissolving the second amendment?  It'd likely take less than three years for the public to admit that this correction didn't really help matters.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

The Thing About Phobias

Around twenty years ago.....I worked around a person who came to admit one day that they had a fair number of phobias.  Being from Bama.....I know of the business surrounding phobias and have some brief understanding (probably six lines at best) of the science over the topic of phobias.  As one professor explained in a class one day.....phobias are real, but they could be just as much imaginary, if a person desired them that way.  That kinda stuck in my mind.

Most people I know.....have at least one phobia.  The most popular one is spiders or snakes.  I've run across a few guys who had a phobia about relationships, or fear of heights (I get this one if I have to climb on the roof of some two-story house).  I've come across a number of women who had a phobia about insects, or cockroaches.

This co-worker though.....admitted to roughly a dozen-odd phobias.  They'd even gone to a mental health doctor and the doctor had written this stuff into their military health records.  I kinda asked at this point.....did the doctor really confirm this stuff or did they write without any evidence?  Well....yeah, it was mostly just agreeing but without any evidence.  I didn't see what good this mention in the records would do, but they must have figured it'd help them down the road.

Most of these alleged phobias of my co-worker....I've forgotten.  The two that stuck out in my mind were fear of darkness, and fear of scents or smells.  Working in a vault was a daily problem for this individual to handle and they kept a flashlight around with them constantly....in fear of the lights going out.  Maybe once a year....electricity around the base would cease and the emergency lights would flicker on and this person would be in a huge panic to get out of the building....into the sunlight.  The scent thing would drive us in the shop crazy.....we'd be asked if we switched after-shaves, or started using a new soap.  If we were painting.....this individual would have to leave the building for a day or two before things would be acceptable to work in the shop again.  Someone came in one day after getting a new car, and our scent-freak spoke out that they could smell new-car-scent on them.

There are literally thousands of phobias that are recognized today: fear of virgins, fear of bald guys, fear of getting a fever, fear of Chinese people, fear of lusty and beautiful women, and even fear of people uttering foreign languages (walking a French airport would freak them out greatly).

I've gotten to the point where I can sense when someone is showing anxiety and panic attacks over a phobia.  I'll just ask a question and try to draw them into a calm state of mind.....take some deep breath moments....sip some water....and try to just get over it.  The simple stuff isn't ever a problem.  When they kinda hint that they got problems in taking medication (which the doctor told them to take).....or they got some issue with flying in a plane and we are ten minutes into a two-hour flight, well.....it's too damn late to solve this issue.  I'm more into a direct-mode and telling them to suck it up and just get on with what they got to do.

Lacking patience or understanding with people with phobias?  No.  I can understand a few of these.  But some start to make me laugh.....like a fear of beer, or a fear of anything new.  It's irrational and I just don't have the patience to play games with some guy on these issues.  Life is pretty short, and if you are standing around and worrying about big-breasted women or worrying over a fear of cats.....you'd best clean up your act and enjoy what you got.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Charleston Shooter

Generally, if you wait five to seven days after a mass shooting....you start to get to the 'real' story (usually not gun-related).  In the Charleston episode....Dylann Storm Roof....was taking medication.


You take Suboxone when you are already addicted to some opiate drugs, and you want to get off them.  If you have pain-related issues....you DON'T get any relief with Suboxone.  Once you get on Suboxone....unless you really pay attention and have a limited amount of the drug.....you will become permanently addicted to it (at least the experts say this).

There's this one odd affect of Suboxone.

If you've been taking Suboxone for a while and gotten pretty accustomed to it......then you think you want to quit it, in most cases, you will become aggravated and violent.  Based on what I've read.....you have a sudden bout of physical frustration and uncontrolled reactions to real-life situations.  In effect, you are a walking-time-bomb.

As much as some people want to desperately blame guns for this particular act.....it's again....drug-abuse.  The hint usually, which I will offer as simply common sense, is that normal regular people don't walk up to a group of people and utilize a gun in a cold-hard fashion to kill a group of people.  It's a different case where you have an ex-wife or ex-husband who wants to take out the former spouse with a gun.  They have motivation and don't require any drugs to reach their intended goal.  But when you talk about strangers, and a group of people....it just doesn't work the way that most people think.

As for a just punishment for this kid?  You have no choice.....he was stupid enough to be addicted and it's his own fault.  It may take six years, maybe even fifteen years.....but he'll eventually be put to death.

Friday, 19 June 2015

The $10 Bill Figure?

There's talk this week that within the next couple of years.....the Treasury Department will put out a new $10-bill....without Hamilton's face on it. Instead, it'll feature a woman's face.  Who?  Currently....undecided (at least that's what they say).  Congress will have some words over this and I'm pretty sure that they will have the final say.

My choices?

1.  Marilyn Monroe.  I know....she's a lusty gal with drug issues but she's iconic.

2.  Amelia Earhart.  I know....she's the missing gal from the 1930s.  But she's also iconic.

3.  Queen Liliuokalani of Hawaii.  The last queen of the Pacific Island.

4.  Mila Hamm.  Retired American pro-soccer player.  I know.....no one much has heard of her but within the soccer field.....she's known.

5.  Annie Oakley.  Best female shooter that ever lived, period.

6.  Calamity Jane.  For a decade or two.....she was one of the best shooters of the 1800s.  Then life went into a spiral, and she drank herself to death.

7.  Clare Barton.  The Red Cross gal and a fairly genuine person (no thrills, no gossip, no pimps, no issues).

8.  Margret Mead.  Probably the most intellectural gal that the US ever produced.

9.  Pocahontas.  Basically.....she was not an American (this was way before 1776) but she was Native American and it'd count double on approval rating if you put her on the bill.

10.  Laura Ingalls Wilder.  Yeah, she's the one who wrote Little House on the Prairie.  It might be hokey but folks have some image of her, and American culture.....so she's an icon.

My guess is that it'll be awful hard for the Senate to reach some conclusion and in the end.....they will pick someone like Pocahontas as the acceptable figure for everyone.

What this does though....is open the door for changes with the $1, $20 and $100 bills.  I suspect within five years after we get this issue with the $10 bill resolved.....other suggestions will pop up and even the figures on the coins will come into a debate.  Who knows.....maybe Elvis will eventually make his way onto the 25-cent coin.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Advice on Hearing Aids

Having gone through the 'game'....I will offer these ten bits of advice:

1.  My humble guess is that a quarter of all guys over the age of fifty....have a fair amount of hearing loss, due to weapons firing, heavy equipment or work over the years.  Out of every ten guys with problems.....I'd take another humble guess of only one woman with similar hearing loss.  Why?  Unknown.  I'm still waiting for some university to do research.

2.  The real cost of a hearing test?  Some health insurance policies will cover it.....some work it into the deductible.  A typical low-end price is $75, and a typical high-end cost is $225.  The test itself takes roughly 40-to-50 minutes.  For your general state of mind.....pay the cost and have it done at least once by age fifty.

3.  Hearing loss goes across a spectrum.  You could have significant loss on only ONE single part of the spectrum.  It could go across each spectrum.  The only way to tell....is the test.

4.  The person conducting the test and trying to sell you the hearing aid deal.....is the same person.  Just be aware of that.

5.  When the test is complete.....the tester will give you a sheet identifying where your hearing is good or bad.  Ask for a copy of this (demand if necessary).

6.  Once the tester says you got issues.....the salesmanship starts.  The guy or gal will say that they DON'T sell cheap hearing aids and the lowest they sell is $2,750 (the usual low-end).  They will fit you with this one and run the bird-chirp CD, and you will be amazed at the quality of the sound.....being better than your damaged sound picks up.  Then they will pull out the $6,500 hearing aid and it'll be twice as good or three-times as good as the cheaper $2,750.  What the gal is not telling you.....is that the cheaper one has a 'button' which you could max the sound-pick-up double or triple what you had before.

7.  The $6,500 hearing aid will always be on sale this month, with $450 off (typically).  Act amazed.

8.  Are there $1,499 or $1,999 hearing aids that work as well and sold nationally?  Yes, at COSTCO.  Brand X type devices, and they work the same way (four-star quality).

9.  Why the warranty matters?  Well.....guys with their first hearing aid screw up and allow water or rain to get it wet and screw it up.  You learn after that.....to remove the hearing aids at times of physical action (hauling hay, driving the tractor, cutting grass).

10.  There is a difference between the in-the-ear hearing aid and the hanging-off-the-ear aid.  If you don't want folks knowing about your issue....the in-the-ear deal works OK.  Think about this option before buying it.

Sadly, the hearing aid folks are counting on you spending $3,000 to $6,000 and help pay for their salary structure.  You can get a decent deal for less. The battery deal?  Well.....yeah.....if you try hard....a typical battery will last you four days.  Rechargeable batteries exist.....check into them.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Simply Observations

One. Rachel Dolezal and the "I identify as Black" concept.  It's kinda surprising that the label thing has taken quickly with some news media folks and sold across as acceptable.  A guy might look at this and say: "I identify as a Redneck" and expect folks to just accept that.  Someone might say: "I identify as a meth-head" and expect folks to just accept that.  Some gal might say: "I identify as a right-wing conservative Christian and deny gay marriage" and expect folks to just accept that......well.....oh.....that ID doesn't sell well on TV, I guess.  Expect tens of thousands of t-shirts to now sell by this weekend....entitled as "I identify as such-and-such".

Two. It's one of those odd stories.  The ISIS folks have a fairly decent turn-over situation in Iraq and Syria.  So, they have an HR department.  You'd kinda be dazed when this comes up.....but they are that 'smart'.  The current gimmick of the HR department of ISIS?  Well....they pretend to be social workers coming to your door to "help" you.  Once inside your friendly side......they use recruitment ideas and get you signed up to be a player.  It wouldn't surprise me if they even threw in some benefit chat or gave the guy a coffee cup.

Three. Syria finally came up yesterday and asked the EU for help.  Basically.....the one million Syrians in Jordan are now too much to handle.  What the EU will say or do?  Unknown.  If this were a six-month long problem concerning a previous earthquake or tidal wave.....no problem.  But this is a potential decade-long issue and you can't say what will happen to the Syrians sitting around in various countries.  It's possible.....that none will ever return in this lifetime to their country.  To have imagined this a decade ago?  Not possible.  More Syrians to Europe?  There's only two or three countries with an open view on this presently.  Oddly, no one ever mentions Russia.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

The Thing About Donald Trump

The announcement came today of Trump running for President.  For most folks who consider themselves Republicans or leaning-independents-toward-Republicans.....Trump is this nutcase guy who can't win the Presidency but in the space of ten minutes.....says five things that really spark your interest.

Trump isn't a politician, nor does he fit any realistic profile of a guy running for office.  Dirt dug up on the guy?  For every pound of dirt that any news organization digs up.....Trump has people who dig up twice that much on the newspaper or news organization involved.  Pound for pound.....Trump extracts a pay-back.

A couple of guys would sit there and imagine Trump winning.....but when you get down to actually voting for the guy.....I could see one in ten actually voting in some primary for the guy.  Maybe if Cruz or Walker said some really stupid stuff.....you might have ten percent of either guy's group move to Trump as some opposition vote.

Would you really want some CEO guy running America.....firing the CIA guy when he did something stupid, or dumping the VP in the middle of some meeting and telling him to just go home?  The Chinese?  They'd be in utter fear of what this guy might do.....same for the Saudis and the French.

The guy most shocked by a possible win?  Trump himself, my humble opinion.

The House of Clinton versus The House of Bush

Since yesterday's announcement of Jeb Bush running for President.....some people are quietly forecasting (at least in their little world).....this mythical battle of the House of Bush versus the House of Clinton.  It's kinda like Game of Thrones or Mad Men series of appealing scenarios that people would like to be a part of or participate in some fantasy world.

Yeah.....things are a bit screwed up.

In this fantasy epic.....the House of Bush would tear up the Republican competition in Iowa and lay down Cruz and Walker in a matter of four weeks after the primaries started.  Rubio might be a problem, and they'd have to bring in some heavy hitters to talk the slant against Rubio (he's a foreigner....he's a Mexican.....he's a lawyer.....etc).  The House of Bush would then easily win the primary series and ride the white horse into the Quicken Convention Center in the mythical city of Cleveland.

I won't bore you with details, but in this fantasy.....Cleveland-land (double usage of words intentional).....Republican values would be laid out and Fox News would find the sixteen actual Republicans who live in Cleveland-land and feature them with the beast-killer.....Jeb.

A white pony would be brought out by the House of Clinton.....as a joke to Jeb, and the four-month battle "royal" (pronounced the French way) would start up.

Court jesters would line up with NBC, CBS, and ABC to help the House of Clinton as much as possible.  Old white male court jesters would line up with Fox News to help the House of Bush.

About a week before elections in November of 2016.....people would wake up from this dazed experience and ask themselves.....do they really want either the House of Clinton or the House of Bush in reality?  The answer is.....NO.

For this reason, I suspect that Jeb....while with honest and good intentions.....is on a marginal campaign and will not be able to mount any clear numbers of success in Iowa, or the first five state primaries that occur.  He might take five to eight states by the end, and be part of the convention battle in Cleveland-land (it's a catchy phrase.....you must admit).   But in my humble opinion....Jeb is sixteen years too late for this epic run (he is the better Bush, I do admit).

So, in your fantasy world......this all-out battle between the House of Clinton versus the House of Bush.....it's just fake.  Don't get pepped up over nothing. Settle back.....drink some PBR....eat a bran muffin....and watch some repeats of the Rockford Files.  It'll be more entertaining.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Civilization and the GPS

Last Thursday, I left on aI s four-hour drive from central Germany to Leiden, Netherlands.  For six years now.....I've been a dedicated GPS guy.  I haven't been lost since 2008.  I've got a fairly new GPS.....eighteen months old.  When I bought it......it came with a update deal for one year.  So around December of last year.....I did the last big update of the system.

So I'm driving along about two-and-a-half hours into this trip.....when I start to look down at my amazing little gadget which is feeding me eight significant factors every second or two (location, speed, course direction, kilometers left, kilometers since start, the route ahead, etc).  There's something now occurring of a unique nature.....the red road ahead and land features are rapidly disappearing.....I've got about a kilometer in front of me with some road left, then NOTHING.

I'm kinda freaking.  Nothing.

Sure enough.....forty seconds pass and I'm in uncharted territory.  It makes no sense.  I've got full connectivity, full power, and a European map (not a Germany-only) map loaded.

I start to look at the autobahn area and note......it's all brand new.  New blacktop, new signs, new landscape, new trees planted, etc.  All of this....probably since January.

I figure maybe.....after five miles of this.....we will come to the old road area and it'll all come out great.

Well.....this took roughly twelve miles.....before suddenly terrain appeared and a road appeared on the GPS.  Data starts to flow.  My nerves start to return to normal.

You see.....I've been through a massive change in life.  For roughly fifty years of my life.....I readily accepted being lost on an occasional basis and it was just part of life.  With the GPS revolution.....I follow my status....my route.....my remaining time left....etc.  I know where I'm at.....throughout a four-hour trip to the Netherlands.  I can't imagine not having this capability at my disposal.

Returning from the Netherlands?  Well....it's safe to assume.....I didn't take the same route.

As for updating my GPS?  I'm agreeable to doing the update.....but the old side of me.....hating to spend money on things....is peeved. I will have to throw 40-odd Euro into some stupid GPS update, and I may have to do it yearly.

The Clearance Story

If you hold a security clearance.....every five years....this 'dimwit' security guy will appear in front of you (doesn't matter if you work for the Pentagon, State Department, Homeland Security, FBI or whoever).....and he'll hand you a disk and demand you spend roughly two hours filling in various questions so they can investigate your background.  They want your addresses, travels, financial information, mortgage information, potential mental health issues, family background, etc.  

The 'dimwit' will take this info....in digital form, and incorporate it into their massive database.  The last time I did this (2009).....I asked the 'dimwit'.....how exactly do you protect this?  In the old days.....it was in paper form and went into a folder.  The 'dimwit' simply said it was protected and I had nothing to worry about.  I just looked at him, the floppy involved, and knew the guy had no idea what he was talking about.  

Well....this past week....the DC crowd came to admit that the Chinese cracked their stupid firewall, and got all the files.....apparently all of the present, future, and past employees (that kinda includes me).

The 'dimwit' crowd?  They are a bit shocked.  They can't explain how this all occurred but an investigation is underway.

No one will talk numbers.....but if they took everything.....there's probably over two million folders of a personal nature involved.  

Hostility and anger?  From what I've read.....there's some senators fairly peeved, and government unions want a 'bill' fixed up......a permanent and everlasting financial check service to protect all present, future and past employees with a clearance, and a one-million-dollar liability insurance for each individual.  

What will the Chinese do with the info?

Every time that some State Department or CIA guy makes it tough for China.....the Chinese will pull the guy's folder, and hand the personal info to some Chinese connection in Las Vegas.  He'll find "Barney" who will take the info and sell it to a ID-theft guy in Dallas.  This Dallas guy will use the ID and info to charge tens of thousands on this CIA guy's account.  Six months down the line.....the poor CIA guy will wake up.....and try to get the cops or FBI to hunt down his ID thief.  With present behavior.....nothing much will happen until the CIA guy hires a P-I and does his own work.  The CIA security department?  They will freeze this CIA employee and suspend his clearance.....possibly for six to twelve months. His value?  After a year.....he'll give up on the CIA as a career and find something new to do.  He's finished with them.

So, start figuring three-hundred such guys a year.  The Chinese aren't stupid....they will start selling their data to the Russians and French.  Eventually.....a whole generation of CIA employees will leave and things will have to be restarted with some new crew.

The damage done?  Worth billions.

All of this......tied back to the security 'dimwits' who kept telling people that they could hold their private information secure.  

The White/Black Gal

Over the weekend, I've tried to read through and make sense out of this Spokane, Washington gal.....Rachel Dolezal.....the NAACP chapter president in Spokane.....who was born white into a Montana family apparently and they had adopted several black kids as part of the family.  Rachel at some point, went off to college and studied black studies.....getting a degree in the area of expertise, and then married a black guy for a couple of years.  For five or six years.....she's cut off her family and mostly pretended for the most part....to be completely black (frizzy hair, dark tan, etc).  Most folks in Spokane thought she was black, so it's come to them as a bit of a shock.....she's a white gal pretending to be black.

I don't see a big deal with this myself.  We have folks who pretend to be religious and they aren't.  We have folks who pretend to be Republicans and they aren't.  We have folks who pretend to have college degrees and they don't have such degrees.  We have folks who pretend to have morals and certainly lack them.  We have folks who claim to be such-and-such.....but aren't who they claim to be.  We have quarterbacks who pretend to be qualified or capable.....signing mega contracts......then fumble around through a season and demonstrate they aren't quarterbacks.  We have news journalists who pretend to know something.....but don't know much of anything.  We have bankers who know just about everything except banking.  We have mechanics who say they can do a simple brake-job, but can't do the simplest of brake-jobs.  And we have think-tank idiots who appear on CNN, but barely can speak to the topic they were brought in.....to chat about.

Course, being the head NAACP person.....means you get a free ticket to the national meeting (wherever they hold the meeting), and you can just imagine this gal flying in, and shaking hands with a hundred black VIPs and they each have some irritation that she's not supposed to be there.  Folks will stand around in the hallway.....gossiping on how they can 'fix' this or prevent this from happening in the future.  It'll consume half the off-camera action for whole weekend.

As for the family angle?  I'm guessing that she just likes being noted as "black" and it's part of some simple gimmick to get noticed.  Heck.....there might be a couple thousand folks looking at this.....buying some frizzy hair stuff.....getting a tan, and showing up at their office HR shop to note their properly ethnic status change.  Personally.....none of this should matter.  But for some odd reason, we've made it matter, which is odd, if you ask me.  If I were her parents.....I'd just send her a note and say that we've made the change too.....becoming Mexican or Hispanic and include some picture of everyone in some Mexican-style clothing.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Why Hillary Doesn't Sell Well

There are five things that generally come up in the average mind of an American with Hillary.

1.  If you had some prioritized list of traits and transparency is at the top......she does lousy and simply doesn't care.  It's proven over and over....she fakes you out with "oh, that was a mistake" or "you know those Republicans".  The problem is....if you have an independent voter standing there and looking for positive character attributes.....her transparency is a virtual zero.

2.  On debate skills.....one to ten....she's a marginal four.  Bill Clinton was a nine to ten on debate skills.  When you compare the two.....you know that she's got limits in debate and isn't that sharp to go knock the opponent while dueling in the middle of a debate.  She's got a message and simply sticks to the message.

3.  When you go and look around her support staff.....they are fiercely loyal.....to the point that they probably won't tell her that she's screwed up and needs to pause and reset the clock.  Having that many 'yes-people' around you.....doesn't help your message or get you popular feelings with the public.

4.  The Clinton Foundation thing is a gimmick.  Just about everyone who reads up on it....realizes that it's a money-maker and asset machine to hide currency and cash.  If there were ever a time to dissolve a foundation....it's now.  But she's not bold enough or courageous enough to part with the foundation.

5.  Four years were spent in the State Department.....what exactly was noteworthy and remembered by the public?  Nothing.  On day one at the State Department, you should have had ten things lined up and made as goals to get people to remember you and your bold actions.  Instead.....no one can recite a single accomplishment over four years, other than you ran your own email server.  It speaks volumes over your decisive nature, your brilliance, and your vision for the nation.

Weaker candidates have run for President, and weaker individuals have actually served as President.  But if you were running against five hefty Republicans with four-star credentials......you need some "beef" in your stew, and she lacks that.

Monday, 8 June 2015

A Poll I Noticed

Sometimes....among my news areas that I review each day.....is WHNT (Channel 19) out of Huntsville.  I grew up in the region and came to have some attraction to WHNT.

There are three basic reasons why I like WHNT: (1) HD Bagley (he's been retired from the station and he passed away last year)....who happened to be the best weather guy that ever walked upon this Earth.  (2) WHNT carried wrestling for years and years in the 1960s when no one else in the region would carry it. And (3), they tend to always ask stupid questions that seem to matter to a typical guy from Alabama.

Well.....I noticed a nifty poll taken on WHNT today and was asking folks what they felt.

The question was:  If the world was ending who would you want to tell you?  (1) Brian Williams, (2) Scott Pelley, (3) Rush Limbaugh, (4) The President, or (5) Your minister.  So far, ministers are leading the other guys by 25-percent.

Naturally, if they'd listed Paul Harvey (he's been dead for six to eight years) or HD Bagley (he's also passed on).....most folks would have picked either one of them.  HD would have encapsulated the whole dialog into 44 words, said 'God Bless', and then suggested a decent tune for the last five minutes of existence.

Rush barely got 11-percent of the vote so far, and you'd have to figure that he'd want you to know this was the fault of Nancy Pelosi.

The President so far....is barely pulling 20-odd-percent.  I'm not sure if folks would believe him.....if he indicate the world was ending.  Most Republicans would tear into the discussion and say it's a fraud and not to worry.

Why this question comes up?  I'm not sure.  About once a year, if you attend some Baptist church in Bama.....some minister will some Revelations topic and scare up a bunch of folks who look for the sign of things ending.  Few realize that for years and years after the New Testament was written....Revelations was left out.  It didn't become part of the accepted text until 419AD, and even now....some folks have particular Bible editions without Revelations.

As for who you'd want to break the news?  I'm not sure if it matters.  Matt Lauer from the Today Show might do Ok.  You might want Terry Bradshaw....the football analyst....to be telling you the bad news (he's spoken up numerous times about bad news for the Cowboys and we've gotten use to that).  Oh, and you might even want some Channel 19 junior anchor gal who seems to always do well with bad stories.

Frankly, I don't see a big necessity to be telling something that might be the end of the world.  If it's that complicated or requires some hour-long speech.....it's probably a waste of time.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Jobs and Politics

Graphics tell a story.  Sometimes, it's a story that amazes you and yet there's virtually no words tied to a graphic.

This week....Verdant Labs did a graphic of occupations and political leanings.

They asked a bunch of folks questions and came to some odd conclusions.

Most pilots are Republican, while most stewardesses are Democrat.  Why?  Unknown.  Maybe it's the social occasions of each where a few drinks works some magic.

The vast number of bartenders are Democrat, but the vast number of beer distributors are Republican.  You might figure that the bartender sits and talks a lot to people and is part of some social scene.....while the beer distributor is a business guy.

Most truckers are Republican, while most taxi drivers are Democrat.  Again, the social setting for the taxi guy invites conversation.  For the trucker......he's a loner for the most part.

Most floral arrangers are Democrat, while most exterminators are Republican.  Most exterminators work alone.....while the floral arrangers work in a heavily social setting.

The vast number of yoga instructors are Democrat.....while the vast number of car salesmen are Republican.

Most park rangers are Democrat, while most sheriffs are Republican.  This might be the law and order scenario where sheriffs tend to enforce daily.....while the park rangers mostly stand around and talk to people and act friendly.

Most farmers are Republican, while most gardeners are Democrat.  Farmers are intensive businessmen at heart.....while a gardener is much lesser the businessman.

Oddly, most train engineers are Democrat.  The vast majority of people in the publishing trade....are Democrat, which is just as odd.

There's a five-hundred page list of questions that a person might have.....after reading over the whole listing.  Why do certain people in certain occupations lean as drastic as shown?  What makes most farmers Republicans?  What about the folks who walk around for three decades as a Democrat and then suddenly come to some life moment where they flip in a short period of time to being a Republican?  How would they figure into this graphic?

Questions, questions, questions.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Simply Observations

First, this Bruce Jenner trans-to-something story?  Well....around five percent of society runs around and tries to be something DIFFERENT.  If they could transform themselves into a Klingon or Cyborg creature.....a thousand guys would line up tomorrow and lay down $15,000 to make it possible.  In the end.....it's a story about.....nothing.  Sorry, if I don't get excited.

Second, some smart guys did a chimp study and found out that if you had a chance to heat up or cook a dish....the chimps would prefer heated food.  Now.....not that it really makes much difference but it shows they'd like to enhance their lifestyle and do something other than plain old regular room-temperature bananas or pudding.

Third, someone came up this week and asked a stupid question and got a stupid answer.  The question is....is there anyone in Washington DC....who counts or knows the true number of Americans in existence?  The answer?  No.....no one counts such people.  Nor does it appear that the US government cares if there is such a number or if they should know it.   This revolves around a case going to the Supreme Court and accepted by them.  The case.....Evenwel v. Abbott, asks if the Constitution's general understanding of “one person, one vote” principle requires equal numbers of voters per district....rather than of numbers of citizen and non-citizen people.  It'll put a strange on things if the Supreme Court says all people count and future Census counts would just go full-throttle on counting people.

Naturally, you'd think that someone knows each guy, his citizenship situation and his address.  Well.....no, no one has such data and I don't think the government even wants to open this door and start collecting such data.

The Chocolate Story

Years ago....I had to skip lunch to make some appointment.....so I grabbed a candy bar and put it inside my jacket.  Ten minutes into this drive....I pulled the chocolate bar out, and of course.....it was all melted up.  You ate what you could and just skipped the rest.

Chocolate has this tendency....with any kind of heat....it melts.

So I noticed in international news today....the Swiss guys (they basically run the developmental side of chocolate) have come to a new recipe of sorts....a chocolate that they claim.....WILL NOT melt.

Now, I admit....I'm skeptical of this.

Sometimes.....you can do things with chocolate that probably isn't a positive thing.....like when the military invented that funny fudge bar for the MRE's.  It's the bar you can eat and get constipated to the maximum degree (you might actually go three days without a bowel movement if you ate two of these bars).

A chocolate bar that won't melt?  It has to have some strange ingredients within it and I'd question what they were.  So far....the Swiss guys aren't saying what it's got or such.