Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Colin Kaepernick

I've sat and watched for the past day or two.....this NFL episode breweing with the San Fran quaterback who won't stand for the national anthem.....mostly because it's going against black folks.

Some folks want to bring up that we are talking about a two-star marginally capable quarterback....Colin Kaepernick.  I would say that for the price involved.....his yearly pay scale as the back-up quarterback....he's worth the money but not the hassle.

His argument?  Things that represent America.....are negative.  It's slanted against minorities.  So, his stand....to represent his argument is to avoid standing for the anthem.

For a coach....it's a pretty dismal thing to have players on some social agenda.  Imagine if you had forty players on the team, and each one had a separate agenda and you continually found yourself trying to explain why this guy advocates this or slams that.

In this case....if I were the coach and the player was hyped up to sit during the national anthem.....I'd do the simplest thing possible....remove all seating from the sidelines....for the entire game.  Make every player stand.  If players aren't happy about it.....trade or release them.  If I were the opposing teams?  Every time that Kaepernick came on the field.....I'd play the national anthem.

By the end of this season.....I think Kaepernick will have moved on and found that no team in the NFL wants some social agenda player like himself on their team.  He's one of those guys that might want to review other career options.  

The Threat of Leaving

It always amazes in election years....that people come up and say that if so-and-so wins.....they are moving to Canada or some foreign country.

Prior to the Bush-Gore election....you just didn't have this type of stupid threat made by people.  Now?  You probably get at least forty VIP or entertainment folks who make the threat....usually if the Republican wins.  It's rare that some idiot Republican vows to leave the US if the Democrat wins.

My brother brought it up this week.....Barbra Streisand vowed to move to Australia if Trump wins.  My question originally with this.....has she ever been to Australia?  I mean....maybe around Sydney...seventy-five percent of folks are liberal-types and hyped on social stuff.....but once you leave town and head out into other regions.....most of Australia in my humble opinion is kinda conservative....like mid-west US.

Do these people ever research where they say they are going?  Maybe they made a trip there in the 1990s and remember the place fondly.

Did any of those folks who talked of going to Canada ever go?  As far as I know.....no one ever left.

No one ever says they will move to Mexico or Ireland or Argentina.....don't know why.

I came up last night and thought of this new idea.....a TV show based on some idiot who made the threat to leave the US, and actually ends up in some imaginary Central American country.....which they thought was paradise (by the description on the brochure) and it turned out to be some minor-league dictatorship.  It'd be a four-year show....which the guy would eventually have to be rescued....by the US Marines led by the guy who forced him into leaving.

My suggestion to folks who want to make such a threat.....you'd best know this country that you say you will be heading off to very well.....because if you get there and discover they are hyped-up conservatives to the max.....well, that will be a big problem.


Saturday, 27 August 2016

Oregon fair generates buzz

Oregon fair generates buzz with 1st legal pot display in US | WTOP



Interesting piece from WTOP.  Oregon fair will display legal pot.  Twenty years ago, it would have been impossible to imagine something like this.

Friday, 26 August 2016

What My Resume Might Say

I sat this past week on the topic of resumes, and simple experiences.  I am retired for the most part....and it shouldn't even enter into my mind.  But I sat and contemplated all of the various skills or crafts that I got dragged into....in my life:

- Farm craft (this is the level where you are allowed to operate the tractor, herd cows, cultivate, and haul hay without supervision)
- Snow removal (with one hour of orientation, I became a snow removal guy....even if I was from Alabama and had never seen more than one inch up until that moment of orientation).
- Concrete and asphalt
- Heavy equipment operator (Sarge gives you eight minutes of his time on X, Y and Z vehicles, then he signs you off.  I was qualified on a fire-truck once....which made no sense)
- Graphic arts (I've built probably 5,000 slides over my entire life)
- Librarian
- Analyst (you end explaining a forty-page problem in two minutes to some guy who has to make a decision on something that he has no knowledge about)
- Purchaser (you either help the idiot spend money, or you manage their credit card enough to ensure no one goes to jail)
- Lawn maintenance (the AF ensured I had lots of training in this art)
- Presentations (I basically gave speeches)
- Trainer
- Planner (you step in to plan what shouldn't have to be planned, or when emergencies occur that need people focused on the right outcome)
- Property manager (you make sure that things aren't lost, even when they appear to be)
- Building manager (you call the electrican or plumber, and ensure that things work like they should)
- Instructor
- Watch guy (you basically sit and wait for something to happen)
- Manager
- Sand-bag technician (you fill bags.....lots of bags....then stack them)
- Fork-lift operator
- Bus-driver
- Snack operation manager (you basically decide how the Coke-Pepsi-diet drink ratio works with an office of 30 people)
- Editor
- Child-behavior analyst (that's what you call a guy who has to ensure Lt's grow up and become real leaders)
- Base beautification technician (you paint rocks, trim hedges, and fake people out with 2-star landscaping efforts)
- Computer expert (you walk around with 300 3x5 cards of marginally useful information but know what cables to check, or how to reboot a computer, or know what the E42 error is on a HP laserjet printer).

At the end of all of this....the best you can say is that I was a multi-task guy who carried around 30,000 3x5 cards in my pocket.

Blacks and the Past Eight Years

Over the past couple of days....the White House has attempted to put out a theme that blacks in America are better off now.....than prior to 2008 (the Bush years).  It's mostly because Trump says.....nothing much has happened over the past eight years....so why continue to vote for the Democrats if you didn't get nothing or improve.

It is a legit discussion.

If you were a black kid from a family that had some enthusiasm for college or some trade-craft.....I agree, you probably did pretty well, and it's a success story to some degree.  I won't say it matters who was President.....just that for the last eight years....in your case, you did well.

If you were a black kid from a low-income family.....no enthusiasm for college or some trade-craft....no money....no real hope.....then you are at the same level as your dad was twenty years ago.  If you were lucky....you flip burgers for someone, or do some kind of lawn maintenance job for the city.  Maybe you sell some great meth.  

I don't buy that there's any real difference between Republican or Democratic idiots who act as President.  You can go back over thirty years, and the only real change was the low-income jobs that Ronald Reagan brought along to most small communities.  The NAFTA gimmick?  It more or less destroyed jobs for the lesser people in America and other than pumping gas, cleaning toilets, flipping burgers, or driving long-haul trucks.....about a million Americans are sitting around and frustrated about reality in the nation today.

The idea of twisting the health care act into some massive benefit to the black community?  Ask most people what they paid in 2008, and what they pay today, and see how they view the gimmick.  I doubt that you find that many people who are happy about what happened.

Here's the thing.....what the black community needs is some access to trade-craftsman schools....NOT colleges.  They need a trade that opens the door toward employment.  Then they need real jobs, which are might be gained if NAFTA is dumped.  If you could find some candidate who could take a hundred unemployed black kids....ages 18 to 25.....and offer up some entry-level trade-craft situations for fifty-percent of them.....we'd all be better off.  People would have a real life.....buy a car.....buy a house eventually.....pay taxes.....and be part of some bigger community.

I won't say the past eight years were zeroed-out years for the black community.....but I think most just sat there and kept waiting for for some 4th quarter repair-job.....that just never came.  Their guy.....with all the hopes pinned on him.....simply couldn't deliver much more than a good acting job.

This Trump option?  It's a crazy idea....but let's be honest....who is going to create jobs that have nothing to do with massive taxation and government funded jobs which don't really do much down the line except create more taxation to pay for the jobs?  I won't say the Trump option is sane or the best idea.....but if you only have two options.....maybe for some kinda of crazy job creation....Trump might make sense.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

The Captain Kirk "White Paper"

This week, the science guys have come up and got all pumped up about a planet that make be like the Earth and fairly near.....well.....near enough that we might be talking about a space trip out to this planet (unmanned very likely) in about twenty-five to thirty years. The big talk is.....it just be have life on it and we'd start to prove or disprove some things.

So, you have to pull out the Captain Kirk text-book and start some assumptions.

Any ship we send.....will be told to orbit far out....search for radio and TV signals and approach the planet with extreme caution.

The minute you learn that there is life.....how do you approach?  Or do you skip that step and simply retreat?

If you learn they have nukes and have used them in the past.....will you make any attempt to send a 'message'?

When your ship comes back to Earth, with all this data over life existing there.....intelligent life.....possibly threatening life.....then what?  Will you even allow the returning team to return to Earth and explain what they found?

Suppose you land there and find some primitive culture of man existing....in the midst a dinosaur era.  Will you go and help them wipe out the dinosaurs as part of the "good-Earth" agenda?

If you land and find the culture more or less in the technology era of 1912.....will you land and declare yourself as some friend to their culture?

My guess is that NASA has ten guys on the payroll....all PhD types.....and all thinking about how stuff like this can be handled.  It's probably not a very happy group.  They know that you are simply asking for trouble....no matter what folks you find.....even if these are cave-men or 6th century-thinking folks.  Do you give them penicillin?  Do you hand them a copy of Shakespeare?  Do you lecture them on poker and how to play it?  Do you demonstrate baseball?  Do you mention Hillary and her email woes?

What if the natives of the new planet see you as a "God" and worship you?  Does our Roger Ramjet astronaut guy then say that he'll come back in five years and bring other "Gods" with him?

If you do make the decision to kill off 300,000 dangerous dinosaurs on this new planet.....will it get you in trouble back on Earth?  Will some court lawyer drag you into some mess because of decision on a planet half-way across the universe?

If our astronaut guy strikes up a relationship with cave-gal Jane there and has some kids with her.....will it cause some trouble with NASA?

I'm guessing there is a 3,000 page paper sitting there at NASA with the countless number of scenarios and how each should be handled.  Frankly, it'd likely scare the crap out of most PhD guys to think at this level and worry about the impact of things down the line.


"Throwback" 2016

Back around 2010, I had this chance to try "Throwback" Mountain Dew.  It was the original recipe....made with real sugar.  For those who don't remember the original drink....at some point in the very late 1970s to early 80s....sugar became fairly expensive....so our drink folks decided to flip over to high fructose corn syrup, which was cheaper.  It was almost as good as the original drink (at least in my humble opinion).

I sat there on a Sunday afternoon and sipped the "Throwback" Mountain Dew in a large glass with crushed ice.  It was refreshing, and stimulating.  It was the way that Mountain Dew ought to taste.

This week, I came to this odd feeling with the 2016 Presidential election.....that Donald Trump is the "Throwback" candidate from the 1960s and 1970s.

To be honest, if you look at the whole primary....you had fifteen-odd characters who were modern-day Republicans and in some weird fashion....a majority of voters deemed them to be "fake" in conservative way.  Trump?  He was talking like some 1960s Republican (even before Reagan).

We've concluded the primary business and the convention, and what you see on a daily basis is a "Throwback" guy talking in some fashion that reminds people (at least those over the age of fifty) of some period of time when you didn't have all this fakeness in politics.  Oh I admit....Trump might be fake in the end.....but the whole system has gotten so screwed up.....that most everything is fake now.
CNN? Fake.  Washington Post?  Fake.  New York Times?  Fake.  Fox News?  Fake.

Things are so fake now, that we watch the Kardashians do fake stuff on TV and consider it to be authentic entertainment.  We watch the History Channel with fake Amish Mafia Show give us a couple of guys in beards who seem to be acting like Amish guys and we believe it.

Is this what the whole campaign year is about?  Simply "Throwback"?  Maybe.  But considering all the options.....it's probably something we can accept for a couple of years.


Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Ten Observations Over Politics in the Modern Era

1.  In some ways, politics have become like the TV show "Lost" toward the last season.  Viewers are mostly fed up by continual hype, false topics of discussion, ignorant DC political figures, wannabe-journalists, and fraudulent agendas.  It doesn't matter if you talk to Democrats or Republicans....they've all gotten frustration in their system that they'd fire some people.

2.  If you lined up the twenty-odd people who ran in both the Republican and Democratic primary.....forcing each to write their resume for you to view.....you end up with the vast majority giving you a 3x5 card instead of a full-page resume.  Seven lines of real accomplishment over their entire life.  Some people will even write they are married to so-and-so.....as some accomplishment for their political career.

3.  The news teams of the various network, along with the NY Times and Washington Post....have demonstrated themselves of being incapable of reporting or investigating anything.  Why they have all these reporters of inferior quality on their staffs and giving you two-star analysis is a total mystery.  The Sunday talk shows?  If you pulled up what existed in the late 1970s and compared to today.....you'd comment that something isn't quiet right.

4.  If we emerge out of the November election with Trump....I expect a continual tirade of news slanted articles and pieces....to the degree that people refuse to buy or read the NY Times or Washington Post.....or view CNN or Fox News.  By the end of 2017.....some news groups will be meeting and discussing cuts in budget because no one cares to hear the latest slant.  What will unemployed journalists do?  It might be interesting to ask them what their plan "B" occupation is.

5.  It's bad enough that even at the state level now.....people are hyped up and frustrated with their regional 'actors'.  They'd like to fire them.

6.  Things are actually bad enough....that ESPN....what was a former sports network, is today a sports and politics network.  People laugh about this, but they are serious.

7.  Every time that voter ID comes up as a topic and some intellectual wants to tell you the terrible woes of poor people getting to the poll station but they just don't have a photo ID and are denied the right to vote......I keep wondering what happens when they get a narcotic prescription from their doctor and go to the pharmacy....how they are turned away there from getting their wonder-drug and die?  But oddly, we can't see to cite a single case where people got turned away from drug stores and getting their narcotic drugs.  Odd....isn't it?

8.  If you gave a simple mental test to every Senator and Congressmen over the age of 65.....how many would pass?  Fifty-percent?  Seventy-percent?

9.  Most reporters who want to be your trusted source.....rarely go out into the heartland and talk to guys in barber shops or women in coffee shops.  To connect with the general American public.....is a hard task for a reporter in these modern times.

10.  Political debates in this modern era are mostly about who is asking the questions.....rather than who is answering the questions.

Friday, 19 August 2016

The Zika Future?

If you read deep enough into the Zika Virus stuff today....there's this report which suggests some scientists have come to this odd idea.....that it's not just pregnant women and unborn kids who should worry.....but just about every single adult who gets it.

What they suggest is that once you get infected....there's some business going on in the brain, and little by little.....bits and pieces of memory are being "washed".....slowly.

The bigger issue is that they haven't really done much research over this stuff, and it could take them five to ten years to really come up with facts of a major nature.

So, you sit and ponder.

You are 35 years old, a graduate of some college, and making $65,000 a year.  You are sharp and fairly clever.  Today.....you get bit by the Zika mosquito, and go through the minor episode of the virus.

Twelve months down the road....you are doing one of those Japanese Sodoku number puzzles.  It's the type you should be able to complete in 12 minutes.  It takes you sixteen minutes to finish this one.  You think it's odd but just assume it's a bad day.

Six months pass, and you are deep into a project at work.....and you find that you are dragging out a book to review for common information that you used to remember easily.  It's all science and math stuff.....which you were easily doing two years ago.

A year will pass, and someone makes a comment at the office that you don't seem to be at your top level any more.  You blame it on stress and take two weeks of leave in Hawaii.  You come back and find that you don't remember the password to our laptop or your office email account.

You go to the doctor and ask for help.  They give you some tests but there's nothing conclusive except you seem to be slower than the average guy.  Off and on for two years.....you take various tests and they are trying to blame this on a brain 'freeze' or some stroke.

One day.....some guy suggests you do a Zika-related test and you are positive.

A month goes by and the expert sits down with you.  Here's the sad projection. He figures you have five to ten years of decent (meaning 7th-grade level) intelligence left.  Somewhere around age 50 (twelve years into your Zika episode).....you will reach the 3rd grade level of memory and intelligence.  You ask the doctor for advice, and he just says you need to prepare for some heavy-duty care.  He thinks that's the deepest point, and that your remainder of life.....will be that of some third-grade kid.

So, you start to look around.  In your company of 1,200 employees....you've seen eighty people with the same symptoms.  You suspect that at least 200 people are infected.....maybe more.  Your boss might be Ok for a while, but he won't keep you around and paying you $65,000 a year.....if you are a third-grade capable adult with a degree.

How do we function as a society?  How do we fly planes, operate nuke plants, and run the US government?  Just something to think about.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Health and Presidents

Lately in the news....the topic of Hillary's health has come up.  From a historical prospective....there are various President who had really bad health prior to the Presidency and some in the midst of the Presidency.

Wilson's stroke episode...at least for the last eighteen months of the Presidency....basically left him unable to do much of anything.

But I tend to regard Warren G. Harding at the top of the list for bad health.

Before taking over in 1921.....if you look over the various historical pieces written....the guy had severe hypertension and serious evidence of diabetes.  He smoked a fair bit....chewed tobacco, and ran both cigarettes and cigars.

Harding in 1921 was noted at 200 pounds....which was hefty for his frame of 6-foot.  Between the weight, continued episodes of poor breathing.....he was continually tired and unable to put in a full eight-hour day.  Three years into his presidency.....he died of a heart attack.

If you looked at his health in 1919....he was one of those guys that you really didn't think the job was in his best interest.....it was simply going to kill him sooner or later.

In the job of President prior to the 1960s....you rarely went anywhere and your day mostly involved things around the DC residence.  If you look at the job of today.....there's at least two or three trips every month of a fair distance....across the US or into Europe or Asia.  Toss in the fact that your work-day starts at 7AM and won't end on most days until 6PM.....it's not a job for someone with stamina or health issues.....they are simply killing themselves for the job.

Personally, I think eventually some folks are going to say that an independent health assessment should be conducted by the party prior to each primary season and candidates in lousy health....ought to be told they aren't fit, and thus keep them out of the event.

One of the odd things that you can view from the Harding episode......if he'd survived the heart attack and later it was determined that he was bi-polar as a result of the heart-attack....but refused to step down.....there's nothing that Senate can do except to suggest impeachment.....but there's no law against having a bi-polar President around who goes off and gets crazy at times.

Pretty crazy....huh?

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

State Park Topic

I rarely follow Alabama legislative matters....mostly because it's a fairly screwed up process and all worked up for hype and political agendas.

This week, AL SB260 is up for discussion.  It's a draft to say that any and all money that the state parks pull in....stay within the state park budget package.....up to $50 million a year.  Why is it so important?  Well....to keep running the state with lousy budget practices....the dimwits in Montgomery tend to raid the budget to pay for bills. And sometimes....they dip into the state park money.....without saying anything to the public.

No one really got into this discussion until last year.....when they were seriously talking about shutting down a dozen parks and selling them off.  That got people peeved and asking stupid questions.  Oddly, the state legislative folks never answer any of the questions, and it appears that some of the profits that the parks were pulling in....simply wasn't there.  You'd think an audit would occur, but folks quickly found cash and pretended that things were fine.....no closures at that point.

I've pretty much lost confidence in the Montgomery crowd in being able to run a simple operation like a state park system.  It's not exactly rocket science, and half the parks are simply a boat launching point with twenty-odd picnic tables for the locals to have a Sunday afternoon event.  There are a another dozen state parks in the system, which pull in a ton of money every single year.....with no issues in finding guests or golfers to come out and spend a weekend in the sun.

Last week, I read a piece by the state auditor for the state parks....Jim Zeigler....laid down the facts that five of the minor operations were closing....but they were likely to be picked up by local authorities or town councils....and would continue to be operated in some fashion.

Jim then went on to say that all of the parks left....could easily bring in roughly 90-percent of the money necessary to run them.....and if they just "tweaked" these operations....increase a few fees and ran them correctly.....the system would pay for itself. and the state (in particular, the governor) would not stand around and discuss closing them.

Twenty years ago....I'm not sure if anyone at the state level talked much about the economics of the park system or how they inject income into a local area for tax revenue.  You'd think that some smart professor at one of the fine state universities would sit down and do a cost analysis over the parks and what they drive into each local economy.

Are we done now with the closure-talk?  Maybe.  At least for 2016.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

The Trump-Hillary Marriage?

This weekend, the NY Times wrote up a piece over a noticeable problem in 2016....differences of politics in this election year, between a husband and wife....to such a degree....that they just might have to divorce.

So they used this story of a NY City couple.....intellectual couple....professionals....the guy was a Trump enthusiast and the wife was a Hillary enthusiast.  Once the husband announced that he was a Trump guy.....she kinda laid out the cards that this was potentially strong enough to trigger a divorce.

It is an odd dilemma.

When you go and survey a hundred-odd couples....there used to be three simple things that mattered.  First, there was the friend-index business where you found enjoyment with the company of the gal you were dating....you both bowled....you both liked camping....you both liked Labrador Retrievers....you both liked Italian food....you liked Burt Reynolds movies.

The second thing typically involved the lusty stuff.  You liked wicked weekends in Vegas, and she did too.  You liked her dressing up as a cop, and her interrogating you.  This index ran from a marginal 4 on most scales to a '10'.

The third thing was that silly religious thing.  She was Catholic and you were Catholic.  Or you were Baptist and she was almost Baptist (Presbyterian).  She had no religion, and you were almost no religion.

If you were around in the 1980s or 1990s....no one sat and asked you which network you got your news from.  Today, if some gal asks....and you say Fox News....well, you might get the response: "Oh, you must be a Republican".  Or you might ask this gal, and she responds with NPR, and you say: "You know they are kinda liberal slanted" and then discover that she's zeroed you out on date potential.

Some people....like my brother the engineer....would let you know that there are probably forty-four filters in place....even before we ever got to 2016 and Trump.  In the Hillary discussion, if it got to that point, he'd probably try and see if you made it past the normal 44 filters, and if it got to Hillary question....he'd try to just overlook the problem....knowing by mid-November that it wouldn't be a problem worth worrying about anymore (he'd say that while grinning).

The problem I see with the way that the NY Times tells the story....is that a guy has enough trouble in life finding some gal who isn't dim, crazy, debt-enriched (meaning she owes $80,000 on college loans), two times divorced, camping-obsessed, a vegetarian, an unfiltered smoker, a Jim Beam captivated drinker, dressing in some skimpy attire meant for a 130-pound gal but she's 175 pounds, entrenched on a particular NCAA football team, tormented by NPR's emergency of the week, and she's bewitched by rural living (fantasy after fantasy) only to admit later that it was the Green Acre's like fakeness that drew her to the idea.

A guy simply can't worry about some gal being a Hillary-supporter on top of the normal priorities.  Course, maybe in some cases....it's the guy who is charmed up and pro-Hillary, and the wife who is pro-Trump.

My advice?  It's best lay in a big supply of Jim Beam in the garage, and prepare for a long period of drinking over the next eight years under President Trump, and hope that your drinking can mask your frustrations with a Hillary-wife.  Somewhere out there though.....there's probably a pro-Trump wife fed up with her pro-Hillary husband.  Maybe some web site will create a liaison type of on-line deal. Maybe this will turn out to help some guys find the perfect woman of their dreams....who was just pro-Trump all those years and never realized it.

Course, if we'd just done the right thing and voted for Jeb Bush back in the primary....none of this frustration business would be occurring.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

The Magic Question

"The American public doesn’t understand that Hillary Clinton is telling the truth about her classified emails because government classification issues are “too complicated to explain to people.”

-- Bill Clinton

It's an interesting quote that Bill delivered.

Every year, via the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines....along with another 10,000 folks who get into Homeland Security, the FBI, and the CIA....there's a training seminar of sorts....to teach you about classifications, proper use of security, and the differences in protecting information.

It's designed in a way that even the lowest private in the Army.....can easily pick it up in about an hour.  It's not rocket science or built like any fancy language such as Latin.

To be honest, if you've been around classified for five years or more, and can't really explain the difference in the terms or how to protect classified.....then you are fairly stupid.

So, I'm just wondering.....how stupid is Hillary?  And how stupid is Bill for defending Bill for being stupid?

Bama Native in Pakistan?

I tend to follow German news, European news, world news, US news, and even Alabama news.

Today, oddly....there's this one story sitting out there.....which revolves around world news and Alabama news.

There's this guy.....Matthew Barrett.  He's actually from around where I grew up in north Alabama....near the Huntsville region.

Now, I will admit that some of us from Alabama are destined to walk a pretty good distance in life and go off to experience a number of things which most Alabama folks never get a chance to observe, consume, or be entertained by.

In Matthew's case.....he got some fascination about seven or eight years ago in Pakistan.  On my list of 185 countries in the world to go and visit....Pakistan sits right after North Korea and Iran.  For some odd reason, Matthew got all hyped up and peppy about Pakistan.

In 2011....the Pakistani authorities woke up one day and noticed this odd guy in an area where a sensitive military/intelligence installation was located and did some ID check on him.  American guy.....from Alabama....Mathew.  They don't talk about the meeting, the questions or the interrogation but I'd take a guess that they threw at least 500 questions at him.  While the label of "spy" seemed to be the likely choice.....after a while, they just got to some point of thinking that this guy just ain't right.

In Alabama, we have a fair number of folks....who just aren't "right".  This will be the crowd that you'd like to say were crazy but since we have so many of this type in Alabama at present.....we tend to say that they are "special".

Matthew had been in Pakistan for a couple of years (maybe four).....up until this ID check business.  He'd married some Pakistani gal.....had two kids....and had some kind of profession.  We are not sure about this profession.  No one says much over this.  If he was paying taxes and not getting drunk....it's hard to see why they'd be disturbed about the guy.  Course, I should note that this is the area of the world where opium poppies are grown illegally.....not to say that was his cash crop.

So, Matthew came back into Pakistan.....did a visa application and was accepted (even though he's supposed to be on a bad-boy list, and this week.....it appears that the bad-boy list topic came up.  So they rounded up Matthew once again, and this time.....say he will be expelled.  Back to Alabama once again.

My guess?  There's just something of a fine nature drawing Matthew back to Pakistan and in six months.....he'll sneak back into the country.  From the Pakistani prospective.....they don't want a large contingent of Alabama folks getting some fancy ideas about touring Pakistan or moving there to set up some trailer-park.  It'd be like in Alabama....if a bunch of New York City people started to show up in Huntsville and buy up property and start to bring strange habits and customers into the Tennessee Valley area.  You just can't allow something like this to start up.

Blacklisted in Pakistan?  It's a label that would get you a reputation in Alabama.  Folks at the local Piggly Wiggly or bar-b-q shack would chat up this topic if you walked in and were the blacklisted guy.  Most folks can claim they were blacklisted at Wal-Mart or some casino in Mississippi.....but to say you were "Pakistan-blacklisted".....well, that's a one-of-a-kind type blacklist.  You'd be the only guy in the state with that label.

The "Einstein" Republicans

This week, it came up that this effort discussed and talked about in Texas....by Republicans there....to have a state-mandated citizenship test for voters to pass if they wanted to have permission to vote.....fell apart.  Mostly because in the test phase of the test....Republicans representatives of the state.....failed the test miserably (17 of 98 folks failed the multiple-choice test).

There probably wasn't a lot of enthusiasm politically to make this a reality.

The plain truth is that most folks barely learned much in high school civics.....perhaps enough to fill up a dozen 3x5 cards by age 30.  If they went onto college....maybe they could forty such 3x5 cards but it really doesn't increase the comfort level of having a vote and casting it in a thoughtful fashion.

Typically, with a multiple-choice test.....if you wanted to really help the people taking it.....there will be two obvious answers which are ID'ed real quick as fake or false.  So from that point on, it's a fifty-fifty shot if you got the answer right.

But here's the thing that you ought to ponder about.  You get these idiot Republicans who come up and want to chase people around on the Constitution, American history, and patriotic facts.  About half the time, you come to realize that the idiot memorized about half of what he's talking about and then he hits some brick wall.....with zero knowledge.  He wanted to impress you and get you all misty-eyed over America, but after the brick-wall hit.....you just sit there wondering what that bogus act was all about.

So, if you live in Texas.....don't worry.....there's no multiple-choice test coming up for you to get the right to vote.  You can still vote for the idiot Republicans.....or the idiot Democrats....without any real conviction or thrills.

Friday, 12 August 2016

Ten Million Jobs?

I sat and watched about five minutes of the Hillary speech on the ten-million new jobs that she would create, and then went back to commentary from four different sources on the event....with talking really hyped up and positive of the new job creation, and one source being fairly critical.

To make this work, and create ten million jobs out of thin air.....you would need a shovel-ready plan.  Oh yeah....remember how shovel-ready plans go?

What jobs is she talking about?  Bridges, roads, schools, etc.  If you dig into this whole thing....you'd have to funnel literally hundreds of billions across the US....of which at least half would be for the materials, and general construction costs....then 2,000 jobs here in this community for road work, and 300 jobs in this community for bridge work, and 19,000 jobs in Iowa for this road project.

Trained people ready to go?  Well....no.  You'd be lucky if maybe 500,000 of the ten million had a background and training to work on bridges and roads.

The odds of illegals coming into the US and getting the jobs?  Well.....she didn't mention that part but you'd have to assume that at least a million illegals would fit into this.

Where would the hundreds of billions come from?  Unless you fixed the corporate problem of holding cash overseas because of US tax laws working against them.....there's no way to fix this unless you tax the heck out of someone.  So you wonder.....who is going to get taxed to hell and back?  Corporate organizations or the public?

How do you pass something like this.....with a Republican Senate and Republican House in control?  She doesn't talk about that.....but you have to assume that there will still be some control stopping her project.

Will the jobs be split fairly among states?  You would figure some ratio deal and the state of Alabama ending up with 300,000 jobs.  But then, would all 300,000 jobs be fairly split across Alabama, or would this go to Birmingham and Mobile mostly?  Would half of the newly hired guys just stand around and be flag-holders for some fake road construction company?  Would we be paving roads just for the sake of paving them?

I'd really like to believe that the government could create jobs out of thin air.  But I seem to have lost my trust that the government knows how to create such jobs.  Normally, they just know how to create park ranger jobs, and US Marine jobs.

But it all sounds nice.....to just invent ten million new jobs and get these poor slobs who are sitting at home and watching afternoon TV out into the real world and sweat a bit.  You just have to wonder....if it was such a great idea, why didn't Obama do it?

People Desiring to be Fired

“Given the catastrophic impact that Donald Trump’s losing presidential campaign will have on down-ballot Senate and House races, we urge you to immediately suspend all discretionary RNC support for Trump and focus the entirety of the Republican National Committee’s available resources on preserving the GOP’s congressional majorities"

-- 70-odd Republican-pretenders who signed a letter to the RNC

I sat and was reading US news this morning.....from Fox News.  They apparently got this letter from some insider of the RNC and it's signed by former Republican Senators/Representatives and staff people (meaning the players who connect to lobbyists on a daily basis).

They want party funding to Donald Trump's campaign to be stopped.  Diversion?  Well, that's the only logical way to use the money.....to help all the poor Republicans in various races which will fail because Donald Trump is running.

For most people sitting and observing all this....are arriving at two beliefs.

One....there are simply a large number of Republican pretenders....way more than just a hundred or two-hundred....who are either pure fake Republicans, or bought completely off by various lobbyist groups who were never Republican in nature.

Two....that if the RNC gets this stupid and cuts money, then you come to two conclusions.  One conclusion would involve Trump losing and a large segment of Republicans would decide that the party itself was screwed up and thus NEVER vote for them ever again.  The second conclusion is that if Trump wins.....he has to take over the party and forcibly kick out probably five-hundred pretenders or fakes.  Yeah....to FIRE them as if they were working for his company.

I think in the year after 2012's election....a fair number of conservatives began to ask questions about the leadership and the fakeness of their behavior.  Their 'talking-heads'.....the misbehaving Senators, and the car salesmen-turned-Represenatives....were just jokes on a public stage.  People had strong doubts.  This year....simply proven that the negative on these people is correct.

Only time will tell what happens next, but I kinda think some folks ought to pull out their resumes and go to work finding a new profession....they just won't make it in the political world after November. And they will get a chance to be fired by Donald.

Thursday, 11 August 2016

One Remarkable Event of the Obama Administration

After eight years of the Obama Administration.....there are plenty of screw-ups to talk about....probably in the same number and level as the Bush Administration.

My favorite all-time loser episode....came around mid-Feb of 2009.

The President needed to show some heavyweight nature early on in the Administration.....with the banking business going south.

So, someone suggested and he agreed.....to have one single morning with roughly 130 of the great minds of politics, banking and business to meet at the White House.  All on the same morning.

Toss in the Administration people who were mostly there to connect and chit-chat.....then there were 24 Senators, 29 House members, and 56 Community, business, banking and worldly guys.  They were supposed to break off into five or six groups....and have a couple of suggested topics and someone sitting in each group to get ideas.

I'm guessing that some free food was served out front.....plenty of coffee....donuts....pastries....etc.

From this mess, you can deduce four observations.

First, the White House walked into the Presidency early on, with no real idea about how screwed up things were, how desperate the bankers were to get a special deal for their operations, or how the public really wanted things fixed.

Second, you got an immediate idea that they really didn't know how to manage meetings and felt that "more was better".....when any business guy would tell you otherwise.

Third, in three hours....with a bunch of hyped political talkers.....this meeting likely got worse and worse as each hour passed.

Fourth, it was an early indication that this crew didn't really have a handle on the economic mess and were just feeling around for some agenda that would make the journalists happy.

If you brought up this meeting today.....no one would really remember the episode or how it went.  I doubt if the President even remembers the day.

How many of the ideas were taken and used?  Unknown.  There might have been 3,000 ideas generated that morning, and only four accepted and implemented.  We have no idea today just how that effort worked.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

The 50 Idiots

I sat today.....looking over this crowd of former Reagan, Bush I and Bush II dimwits....fifty in number (precisely), who has said that Trump isn't qualified for the job, and you should not vote for him.

I sat there....on the first problem....basically, they don't say to vote for Hillary but you consider there's only two idiots in the race, so it's one or the other.  So these brilliant but stupid idiots who worked for Reagan, Bush I, Bush II, and the Saudis (yeah go check the references for all fifty.....lobbyists, foundations, etc....back to some Saudi connection).  The brilliance of voting for Hillary?  They don't tell you that....but just don't vote for Trump.

The second problem.....why precisely 50?  Nothing ever gets to that amount of precision.  Ask some farmer.

Was Bush II ever really that qualified?  No.  Did any of these idiots come up to suggest not to vote for Bush II?  No.  Odd, isn't it.....a character with no real knowledge or competence, but they couldn't bring themselves to say that over him?

What would I do as Trump?  After November's win.....I'd send a letter to each and let them know that they aren't going to be cleared for any security clearance in the future, and zero chance they will get any insider lobby chances with his administration.  In fact, I'd note each of their lobbies and try to ensure they get blackballed.

To sit there and think that these GOP pretenders want you to vote for Hillary?  It's just a remarkable bit of stupid that they advocate.  Not even once....are they concerned about how stupid they look in a professional way.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Candidate: Evan McMullin

I noticed yesterday that there is another conservative runner in the Presidential election:  Evan McMullin.

His resume:

After graduating from BYU, he did a tour of missionary work (most all fulfill this requirement) in Brazil.  His first real job?  A refugee resettlement officer for the UN, in Jordan.  His second job?  Ten years with the CIA....which he doesn't get chatty about, but says he was doing anti-terrorism work.  Then oddly enough, he goes to work at Goldman Sachs investment banking. There's not much of an explanation how you flip from CIA-warrior to investment-gambler, but he evidently stayed there two years.  Then he went to the House Republicans as some kind of adviser, which leads one to ask if this was some favor for Goldman Sachs or just a insider lobbyist.

All total?  Six lines of a resume.  Never elected to any public office, and the MSNBC folks getting all misty-eyed over his announcement....giving finally some alternate choice to the Republicans who aren't hyped on Trump.

What happens?

This is almost mid-August and the odds of getting on all fifty state ballots are ZERO.  At best, I figure he might be able to work his way through and get on twelve states.....if he has a ton of cash....maybe twenty-five states.

My best guess projection?  Across the US....he might get near 100,000 votes.  Even in his home state of Utah.....if he gets more than 4,000 votes....it'll surprise me.

A six-line resume guy running for the Presidency?  Well....it's pretty much a repeat of George Bush, Barrack Obama, and even Hillary Clinton.  But, that's how politics in America has drifted off into some fake reality.

Ten Things That I Tend to Notice

1.  Off and on, for this Olympics coverage, I've watched about four hours of events.  It's rather odd, they pull the camera back at almost every arena or stadium, and you are looking at fifty-percent of the seats empty.....for every single event that I've watched.  Last night was some swimming competition....with half the seats empty.  No one says nothing about hotels in Rio, but you get the impression that the big crowds haven't arrived.

2.  With all this Zika mosquito virus talk in Florida.....you just wonder if they ever spray for mosquitoes in this neighborhood or town.

3.  The military, after almost twenty-five years of running the body-mass index business as their weight or body appearance "gimmick".....have admitted that it was mostly a failure in terms of getting people physically in shape.  In fact, they have now taken the whole program away from the Personnel Affairs people, and put it into the hands of fitness folks.  Amazing, it only took twenty-five years for that to happen.

4.  It took nine years for the FDA to decide that they needed to study and approve every single vapor-delivery device for tobacco smokers/inhalers.  They allowed these simply to be packaged and sold....without anyone ever studying the device or the additives put into the inhaler.  Go and sit and ponder upon this way of doing business.....and now having to correct behavior....nine years later.

5.  If you read deep into the entertainment news.....NBC went out and bought the rights to "Harry Potter".  What does this mean?  Somewhere two or three years into the future....some new TV series will appear.....with the Potter-team and try to run a hour-long series each week with witches and warlocks in battle against various demons and evil characters.  Do you really need that?

6.  There seems to be some small group of big-wig Republicans all hyping up how they can't vote for Trump and can vote for Hillary.  Strangely enough.....none of them can cite anything of resume fillers for the past sixteen years of effort by Hillary.  Maybe there's some sword to fall upon....but it's like they took off hyping Tab as a great soda drink and have never sipped the stuff in their life.

7.  If you go and read up on the after-life of the Bernie-supporters.....roughly one-third of them will swear they won't vote for Hillary.  They may not vote for Trump either.....which means they either vote for the Green Party candidate or stay home. In any case, it's a dismal moment for the Hillary campaign people to realize that you could be talking about 4,000,000 votes across the whole US....which aren't in play for the November election.

8.  No one says much.....but if you count up.....there's been roughly 4,000 days without a major hurricane hitting the US (24 Oct 2005, that was the last one).  An odd thing?  Yeah.  Go and ask your weather guy to explain this, and he can't really give you a decent paragraph to answer the question.  Some Jesus-factor, or just plain luck?

9.  After watching two interviews of Hillary this past week.....I am convinced that if you asked her to define what classified is.....she couldn't give you a simple three-line sentence to explain it from unclassified material.  She'd have no idea what you were talking about and it just seems like she never sat through any training seminar in her entire life.

10.  I sat and watched the French version (the nudie uncut version) of Barbarella last night (well, at least 30 minutes of it).....from 1968.  It was an Italian-French science fiction piece with Jane Fonda.  First, the acting was marginal.  Second, the story probably could have been written by a 12-year-old kid.  Third, the graphics in the background are cheap and lousy.  With the exception of the boobie shots in the first five minutes....there's virtually nothing about the movie to hold your attention after the 10th minute of the movie.  How this became a cult-classic?  You'd have to dope me up and give me half-a-bottle of Irish whiskey.....to get me hyped over the movie.  Amusingly enough, they didn't even run this on the regular German channel....but on the German-French Arte channel, which only does artsy stuff.  On my list of the ten worst movies of all time.....Barbarella just made it.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

The Only Factor of an Election

In reality....even you conduct a hundred polls that say Hillary has fifty-plus percent of the national numbers in her pocket....even if half are fifty-five-plus percent....what matters in the end is enthusiasm of those voters to show up and actually vote.

In 1976, Jimmy Carter won an amazing election, with roughly 40.8-million people (50.1-percent) voting for him.  State-wise, there are at least six states that he just barely won the election with 51 or 52 percent of the vote.  A couple of thousand votes switching here and there, or people not showing up to vote.....and Jimmy Carter would have lost the election. He needed enthusiastic voters showing up.

To be honest in the summer of 1976, the Republicans were mostly divided.  Ford was running against Ronald Reagan, and nothing was decided until they got to the convention.  After the convention, what you can say from events occurring....is that Ford just didn't have enthusiasm cooking for him.  His speeches, his energy....gave zero push.

So, what happened in 1980, after four years of Carter achievements?  Almost 44 million people showed up and voted for Ronald Reagan.  That's five million more voters than Ford had.

Why?  Enthusiasm, along with the Iran hostage crisis.  Had Carter solved the crisis long before the election...it would have helped.  But when you examine state by state voting.....all of those close elections in 1976....are wiped out.  Carter has those voters either vote across the aisle for Reagan or his people stay home.

Enthusiasm is what carries an election to a successful conclusion.

So, I look at pictures from 2015 and the primary run....where Hillary's people rented an arena or hall, with expected capacity of 2,000 to 4,000 people.....with some really fine pictures which seem to show full capacity, and then some journalists show a picture from a different angle, and you realize that barely 500-to-700 people showed up (the hall isn't even half-full).  Last fall, I can remember seeing at least a dozen of such pictures.

This spring came.....same repeat....you'd have some journalists showing full capacity.....then you'd have the actual distant photo taken.....showing maybe a half-full audience..

Trump?  He rents a 5,000-person arena.....and has a overflow crowd.  Over and over, this occurs.  Those people are enthusiastic and show up.  Those are the same people who will show up on right day to vote.

This 2016 is a weird election, and polls going all over the place.  Frankly, I don't think the polls matter as much.....as the ability to fill arenas......day after day, after day.

Oh, I think Trump does lack a lot of skills.....he will produce tons of executive orders to challenge Congress and the Senate.....and he'll frustrate intellectuals because of his view of a changed world not matching their own view.  But the question is.....will enthusiasm carry voters to the station and actually vote more than Hillary, and the answer is yes.

Go look at both 2008 and 2012.....President Obama knew how to create enthusiasm.....McCain and Romney did not.  What happened to Hillary in the 2008 primary?  With tons of money and a full year of effort....she could not create enthusiasm in Iowa.  Much of the effort of her team and their failure that year.....centers on the lack of enthusiasm.

So settle back for the final three months and ask yourself.....where is the enthusiasm?

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Republicans for Hillary

On the personal level....it doesn't bother me if some guy wants to claim he is a Republican and has decided to vote for Hillary.  If some ages-old Democrat says he wants to vote for Trump, then it's their choice.....I could care less.

When you have some guy who has been through the voting process, and for a decade, or two decades, or three decades.....they've claimed to be some Republican, and gotten contributions via local, state, or national efforts.....and they say they must vote for Hillary this time around because of their "NO-TRUMP" feeling, I'm just shaking my head.

What happens after November to these people, if Trump wins?

Well, Trump will begin to take control of the national committee for the GOP.  There will be a list of Governors, Senators, Representatives, etc.....who voiced their support for Hillary.

I don't think the Trump GOP people will terminate these people from the party, but they will run active real GOP members against them in the next election and limit funding from the national apparatus.

So, if you were some Representative from California who has been around for fifteen years and listed as a Republican, yet voiced support for Hillary.....two things will possibly occur.

First, you probably won't get any decent committee positions and you will be sitting there to draw a check.

Second, your only recovery for your career....is to flip from the Republicans to the Democrats.

You might as well accept it....there are roughly fifty characters who have some kind of office and claim themselves to be Republicans....who won't be progressing anymore because of their advocacy for Hillary.  They will return to small towns.....sell cars....become community college directors....or reach the status of 'lobbyist'.  It's their decision.

The idea that Senator such-and-such could be a Republican and voice his support to vote for Hillary?  At best, he might be able to convince five individuals back in his home state to go the same way.  It just isn't something that you want to fall upon your sword and be recognized for in the decade ahead.

If you had said two years ago, that some Republicans in the House or Senate would be supporting Hillary.....I would have laughed and said 'impossible'.  But we've reached the point of stupidity where guys can't think straight and have lost their common sense.  If you ever sit in the presence of these guys.....simply ask them what great accomplishment in life has Hillary accomplished.....to earn their endorsement?  Watch them grin.....because there just isn't anything they can speak much about. But hey.....endorsing someone doesn't take brains, as demonstrated here.

Friday, 5 August 2016

The Iran Ransom and President Obama

It's an interesting episode.

So, to the facts.

Somewhere in the middle of the Iran hostage crisis....I'm talking about the 1970s episode with President Carter....NOT the current US hostages who were held and let go by Iran in the past six months.....we seized their national money sitting in US banks.  Two billion dollars worth.

For decades, this two billion has sat there in US government hands.  We couldn't find any way or method to just release the money without a bunch of opera sequences or Senators asking five-star questions.

So, here is the newest American hostages held in Iran, and someone in the White House (probably the same guy who screwed up on Sergeant Bergdahl's episode.....figured up this deal.

$400 million in various currencies had to be delivered on a unmarked plane....before these folks got released.  No senators were noted in the talks within the White House, for obvious reasons.

Money-laundering?  If you go and look up the concept....it half-way fits into this situation.

Where did the money come from?  That's a curious thing.....because typically, you can't just walk into a bank and ask for a hundred million in cash.  My guess is that they went to a dozen banks which the US government has funds sitting in, and got each to agree to hand out 20-to-40 million each.  The banks had to sit there and ask stupid questions because this would normally get picked up real quick by bank monitors and the federal government monitors.  Anyone asking for just a million in cash....would be identified and the fed audit folks would be there with questions.  Oddly, in this case.....it appears the system never worked.

Who transported the money?  Unknown.  Probably the CIA.....maybe even the Pentagon.

Why did this come out now?  Unknown.  I would take a guess that fewer than twenty people knew the whole story on the US side.  For the Iranians.....probably over a thousand knew that money got paid out to them in some fashion.

What's all of this say about investigative journalists?  They are dead.  In 1975, this would have been page one news by the 10th day after the pay-off.  Sixty Minutes would have run an entire hour episode and even had the Iranian kid who was selling watermelons at the airport being interviewed about what he saw.

President Obama?  He has nothing to worry about because the Republicans in the House and Senate fully support him.  Oddly, asking them to explain this.....will get you nowhere.

In a week, folks will forget most of this and it'll all just be written off as history.  Some CIA guy will sit at some bar in Seattle, and note after his fifth beer.....he was the guy who packed up the pallet of cash and he actually kept $20 as his "take" of the deal. He'll flip the $20 bill toward the bartender who will frame it on the wall as part of the Iran "loot".  That's the way that life works.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

A Pussy Society

This week....Esquirer (yeah, they are still around) printed a piece with their interview with Clint Eastwood.  If you didn't know....Clint is 85 years old and fairly sharp for his age.


Somewhere in the interview, they got around to asking Clint about his impression of society today.  Clint didn't mix words.....he referred to them as the "pussy generation"....that a fair sum of people can't handle pressure, stress, reality, or such.  People are whipping up the word "racist" when they don't even have an idea what it means.

I think somewhere around the age of fifty....I came to this same reality as Clint, except I'd refer to it as a 'pussy society'.  Fakes, wannabes, intellectuals without any wit or common sense, thoughtless journalists trying to stir up some mess which has no validity, leaders that need to be fired and sent to the Wal-Mart tire shop to manage inventory, and dimwits trying to create the next great fraudulent gift to society.

People sit and work at the Washington Post, NY Times, CNN, ABC, CBS, Fox News, and whatever.....to create some fake wave of excitement that seems to get you hyped up for a day....a week, or even a year.  Sometimes, you stop for a second and start asking questions.  The wannabe journalists of today can't comprehend you doing that.....but it's some trait that used to exist in American society.

The questions will typically be....(1) what is you told me, and what did you forget to tell me in terms of facts? (2) Is there more to the story?  (3) If you slanted it.....why?  (4) If there is some agenda tied into this whole thing.....who benefits?  (5) If you did all of some fake agenda and in the end....no one really wants to punish the guy who started this.....what does it say about our society itself?

I think people had brains and enough cleverness to figure out the gimmicks....at least up to the 1970s.  For some reason, maybe it was just television's coverage, enough fake journalism, lobbyists heavily at work, or clever stories that just seemed too real to be fake (like the cause and trigger of Watergate....some naked photos of John Dean's slut wife with some other guys sitting in a safe within the Watergate hotel complex where the DNC headquarters was located).  When you tell people that today....they are mostly disbelieving of that angle and think it's some vast conspiracy angle.  Well....no, this was about naked photos of some gal embracing some other guys besides her husband.  Yeah, that was it.

Could society handle that one simple truth?  No.  So, we end up as some pussy society.....all faked out over a long and complex story which really circles back around to the safe and it's contents....the naked photos.

We've spent decades now....working up to the level of a pussy society.  We could recover....we could get some brains and start asking real questions.....we could filter out the crappy stuff and get back to reality (well.....back to the way it was in the 1960s).

Clint might be right on this one.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

The Thing About Unfit Folks

I sat and read through a fair amount of political chatter today over the reference of the President saying Trump was "unfit" for the job.

So I sat there and kinda asked the stupid question.....how many unfit folks have I come across in my life that held jobs?

To be honest in the Air Force....if you were of the rank of E-4 or below....no matter how stupid you were.....you were fit for the job.  You could be lazy....foolish.....dimwitted....brainless....thick-headed....sluggish....and moronic....but it didn't matter.  We'd get the job done with someone supervising you and getting you to shovel sand, pour concrete, or paint rocks white.

It took me ten years to realize that yeah....we could even take junior officers (2Lt, 1st, and Captains) who were "unfit" and get some production out of them as well.  In the background would be some mid-grade NCO or senior NCO.....who would drag Lt Jones or Captain Betty to the finish line and make sure they did what had to be done.

Along about the 15th year of my career.....I eventually figured out that you could have an unfit senior NCO or Chief....and you could drag them to the finish-line as well.  They could be drunks or just 1 star marginal performers.....that was Ok.

Along about my 20th year of my career....I came to realize that you could have an unfit commander, or even an unfit general around.....and folks would work hard to get them to some successful point.  Lazy, foolish, stupid or moronic....it didn't matter.  Some folks even got medals for being successful unfit leaders.

A couple of years ago, after finishing up time in the Pentagon and DC.....I came to realize there are tons of government workers, Congressmen, Senators, and likely Presidents around.....who are unfit for the job they occupy.  They pretend to do something of significance.....but frankly, their resume consist of eight to ten lines and they can't make a decision without six people telling what to do or how to do it.

Is Bill Gates really fit to be a CEO?  Probably not.  Is Matt Lauer from the Today Show unfit for his job?  Probably so, but you'd have to replace Matt with another loser and unfit idiot....so why waste time firing the guy?

The twenty-five guys who play for the Yankees?  Well....there might be five or six who are fit, and the rest are losers or unfit for duty with the Yankees.

Is Nick Saben qualified and fit for his job with the University of Alabama football team?  Probably so.  But if he was unfit, and a fake and a fraud....but still winning games....you wouldn't care.

In Alabama, we even had an unfit guy for governor, who hired out some unfit gal to tell him what to do and how to do it.  He did figure out that she was unfit, and fired her.....and he's still governor today (until we get him impeached or arrested for something).

We are mostly a nation of unfits.   Some unfits work out.....some don't.

I mean, you could go from some professor job, to some state senate job, and then onto a US senator job for three years, and then become president....yet be mostly unfit for the job. Or you could be some general operations chief of some baseball team.....then run for governor of Texas.....and then end up as president of the United States, and still be unfit.  Or you could marry some political guy.....move around with him for two decades....move to New York and become a Senator overnight, and eight years later become Secretary of State, with a eight-line resume and be mostly unfit for any real job.

So, don't all excited when someone chats up unfit.  Look around the room for a minute at the six other guys there, and the odds are that at least two ought to be Dairy Queen managers (not the executive type but the guy in charge of the burger flipping), and one guy ought to be the tire stock guy at Wal-Mart.  We just don't have enough fit guys for all the real jobs in life.....so it's a trend that we get them up into management and leadership positions.  Hopefully, they can fake everyone out enough.

Maybe this Trump dude is a loser, but since we've had an unfit Bush, an unfit Obama, and an unfit Hillary Clinton as both senator and secretary of state.....well....it won't hurt to let another unfit guy into the mix of things.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Zakaria and his Bu****it Game

I sat and watched the minute-long clip of CNN's Fareed Zakaria who dubbed Donald Trump a "Bu****it Artist".   It was entertaining to some degree, but it also demonstrated Zakaria himself.....a professional Bu****it Artist.

Over the past couple of years, I've probably watched an hour a year of Zakaria's gimmick international affairs show on CNN.  He'll occasionally have a decent guest on and get to some serious moment of conversation worth reviewing.

What Zakaria sells....is intellectual wit, with a marginal amount of charm.  He'll slant most stories to fit his context or favored outcome.  He does it in a way.....that you can tell that the story is weak, his references are limited, and that he's avoided any real homework on the topic being discussed.  On the bu****it scale, I'd rate his material from one to ten.....at around a five.  Some journalists are better bu****it talkers and some are lousy bu****it talkers.  For the CNN staff.....he's average at best.

CNN keeps him around because he's their international correspondent, and hyped-up intellectuals from Norway, North Korea, Germany and Siberia like his style.  They think he's awful clever and brilliant.

The remarkable thing is that twenty years ago....Zakaria's label on Trump would have stuck.  Today?  There are too many people who've asked questions....gotten smart.....and labeled the news media as a collection of bu****it enthusiasts.  Clever but fake.....would be a good term to use.  They've lost an enormous amount of respect by the general public.  This is respect that they won't be getting back anytime soon.

As for the way that Trump handles this?  He says he won't allow any interviews by CNN until they clean things up.  Somewhere in the background, you would think that a couple of the executives would like to put Zakaria on some month-long suspension for the use of 'bu****it' and the political nature that Zakaria has allowed himself to sink into.  But this put CNN into a delicate spot....if they don't appear neutral on this campaign issue....then they will appear to be pro-Hillary, and lost viewers at a rate which is unacceptable.  Less viewers.....less profit.  In my mind, they have to do something quick to fix the issue.

It's an unusual election....with all kinds of characters in the landscape.  So settle back and enjoy the entertainment.

Rare Elections

I am a amateur historian of sorts.  One of the more fascinating bit of history that I enjoy....are elections....weird and controversial elections.  Over the past hundred years.....we've had two elections that fit into this category.

The 2000 election between Bush and Gore is one of the two.....which most people remember and will be able to recite the basic features and comical conclusion.

The other election?  1912.

This was a guaranteed election for President Taft (running for his second administration) to win.  If you went back to 1910....it was a 95-percent chance that he'd win.

So what happened to make it so screwed up?

President Roosevelt (Teddy) had run the US from 1901 to 1909....less we forget....he was the VP when McKinley died.  While fairly popular with the public.....he was never the favorite son of the general big-wigs of the Republican Party.  He was an intellectual....very capable and clever.....and a progressive thinker.

One of the major things that interested President Roosevelt during his period....was the national parks and forests.  At one point, he decided that he'd use executive orders to determine and acquire a piece of property....beneficial for the US strategy of national forest.   If you go back and review the nature of this deal....because it involved funds....it should have gone to the House and Senate, and been done in a particular way.

Roosevelt refused to turn this into a barter session or a drawn-out process.  There are dozens of reasons why this made sense, and the same number of reasons why this was a screw-up on his part.

At the conclusion of his term....his good friend and associate (they were on a first-name basis)....William Taft stepped into the Presidency.  Both men were smart, capable, and brilliant.  Taft was more of a legal mind and probably an ill-fit for the Presidency but a perfect fit for the Supreme Court.

At some point in the first year of the Taft Presidency.....some element of this executive order came up, and Taft....being a legal mind.....decided that this had been done wrong, and he wanted to fix it.  So he, in a perfectly legal way.....voided the executive order of Roosevelt and proceeded to do it the right way.  But this meant some negotiation and some timber interests involved in the whole scheme.  In the end, this came back to Roosevelt (who'd left the US for a year-long safari in Africa), and turned him into a bitter associate over the way that this had been handled.

Looking back....there various ways that Taft could have done this in a better fashion.  A simple forty-line hand-written letter outlining why he had to do it.....would have put Teddy into a better state of mind.

So Teddy would eventually return to the US....hostile and angry over the mismanagement angle of the Taft administration.

The election....instead of being Taft versus Wilson......was turned into a Taft versus Teddy versus Wilson.  Wilson, with 41-percent of the national vote but an enormous amount of electoral college votes....won the election.  Taft with only 8 electoral college votes, and roughly 23-percent of the national vote....was denied the win.  Teddy had basically screwed over Taft with 27-percent of the vote.

People sat around for weeks after this election....in a dazed state of mind.

Had Teddy just stay retired.....Taft would have claimed easily 50-plus percent of the vote and more than enough electoral college votes to win.

Taft would have been standing there in 1914 when the war in Europe started and had a totally different view of things.

Teddy would have come to the White House and asked to lead the American contingent into the war, and likely been the one standing there for the negotiation phase, and ensured no sour-loser type loss as Germany saw it.  The war would have likely ended by 1916, and avoided a lot of the problems to create WW II.

I look upon 2016 and this upcoming election as being another weird election with impact upon history and the future.  It might be positive.....it might be negative.....but there's some serious impacts likely to come out of this election..

Monday, 1 August 2016

The Debate Argument

So, we have sparks upon the presidential debates now.....with deep discussion and criticism by the NFL and Trump.....over the debates being scheduled on game nights.

I know.....it's a lousy topic but it's apparently gotten stirred up.

So the fact, there is an independent commission which handles the planning for the debates.  They have the first two debate scheduled for 26 Sep (Falcons versus Saints on a Monday night game) and 9 Oct (Giants versus Packers on a Sunday night game).

The third debate is scheduled for 19 October and the VP debates up for the 4th of Oct (a Tuesday night).

Me personally?  Let's be honest, unless you live in Atlanta or New Orleans on that 26th Sep date.....that's about the only folks who will be dedicated to watching the game instead of the debate.  Nationally, the Giants and Packers game might be interesting to watch.

But let's look at the other options.  Probably five-percent of the public will watch this via YouTube later (like me).

At least twenty-percent of the public doesn't care and won't watch a single minute of any of this debate business.

My brother would likely say it interferes with cattle business, deworming the dog, lawn mowing or four-hundred other priorities off the farm itself.  He'd rather they do this at 6AM, but that just ain't going to happen.

Might the NFL dedicated folks miss the debates entirely?  Well....yeah.  That might occur.

Course, it really doesn't matter because there's always something going on.....NCAA wrestling, bass tournament news, pumpkin competitions, the neighbor's house on fire, or some neighbor mowing her grass in a bikini.  So, I don't think it really matters.

How to become an Alabama Recognized Lobbyist

Most guys in Alabama aspire to get a hunting/fishing license, and maybe get registered up with the Cattlemen's Association.  After that, there are probably forty other "clubs" that guys might want to join or pretend to be a member of.

So I did research today and came to the area of Alabama law, which would make you a recognized lobbyist in the state.  It means you can have a business card.....make up a fake but realistic lobby group.....and pretend to entice Alabama political folks into doing stupid things beyond the norm of stupidity.

So, first, it costs $100.  I know....that is a fair sum of money for a regular Alabama guy.....amounting to five cases of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, or six dinners at the Catfish Cabin with all the trimmings.

So you fill out the form....your full name and business address.  No fake names....although you can have a nickname like "Winky" or "Low-Ball" or "Bear".

You will require a business address, but it's safe to use your house address, or the last trailer-park address where your mistress was accepting mail for you.

Then you have to list all the categories of subject matter which you will be lobbying for.  For example....if it's gambling, you can just say gambling.  Or you could say 'school revenue generation' instead of gambling if it bothers your morals so much.

Now, if you are working for a group or corporation, you need to state this.  For example, if you are lobbying for Buddy's Fish Fry or Uncle Tip's Beverage Shack.....just state it in simple language.

Then finally, you need a letter from each player in this group stating they understand who you are and that you are working in their interest.

At that point, you get back a form, and for the next year.....you are a recognized lobbyist in Alabama.

Several hundred folks are listed and you have to sit there and wonder.....just how much state and local money is being tossed around and part of some lobbying effort in the state.  A gambling lobby versus a anti-gambling lobby?  Well, yeah.  A hunting lobby group versus a anti-hunting lobby group?  Yep.

So, if you were looking for something to bulk up your business card and had a hundred bucks just sitting there.....this might be a decent way to get a reputation in the local area.