Tuesday, 29 November 2016

This Alternate Universe Thing

I will occasionally bump into science stories that will make me sit and ponder.  Today, was such a day.  The story?  Some scientists have wrapped up a project and issued their conclusion....they are fairly confident that time travel is now possible.

Their conclusion is that there are parallel universes (probably billions upon billions) and they are layered in some fashion.  Accessing them?  They kinda got to the end of their discussion in public and just left it there.  You have to wonder....were they a bit crazed or have they wandered into something that worries them a bit.

So you ponder over this.  In some alternate universe....the Romans never downsized, and eventually conquered not just all of Europe and the Middle East, but even Asia.

In another universe, Hitler got shot in WW I, and never came back to Munich.....so the Nazis never became a power-house like they were.

In another universe, the Yankees never traded for Babe Ruth, and he spent a decade with the Red Sox as a pitcher.

In another universe, Columbus and his entire crew were lost in a massive storm....never returning and delaying the discovery of the Americas by 60 years.

In another universe, Indians wiped out the Plymouth Rock colonists.

In another universe, the Anacosta Riots of DC in 1932 never occurred, and the bonus money for the WW I vets was paid out.  Hoover won the 1932 re-election and FDR went back to NY City as a graceful loser.

In another universe, the US never extended past the Mississippi River, and Mexico ended up controlling everything on the US west coast, and France controlled most of the center portion.

In another universe, Hillary Clinton was matched up with Jeb Bush, and easily won the election.

All of this discussion has to worry some people because someone might accidentally figure out the pathways to these alternate universes, and how to travel to them.  

You can imagine some crew getting on some platform, and Professor Walt spins the dial and just guesses that here is an alternate universe and just sends them off.....only to discover hours later on attempting to bring them back that this was a dinosaur-friendly universe, where humans never survived, and most of the crew are wiped out.

The other issue here....what we arrived at some Nazi-controlled universe and let the cat out of the bag that Hitler died in 1945 and in our universe.....the Nazis lost.

Or could it be that someone else from another universe has already come to arrive and set things right in our universe.....by helping Trump win over Hillary?

Yeah, that would be a shocker.

Monday, 28 November 2016

An Unbroken System Works as Advertised

The recount thing?

This is the simple side of this story.  If you can force three close Trump states (Penn, Minnesota and Michigan) and they can't wrap this up by the deadline of 19 December.....then it would be 47 states and Trump would miss the 270 number required to win.  The odds of all three states failing to meet the 19 December deadline?  It would be utterly remarkable at this point, but there are goofballs who are capable of allowing this to happen.

What happens then?

The Electoral College meets....does their vote, and wraps up the event.  No winner.

The election is then turned over to the House and Senate.

For the Senate, the top three VP candidates come up.  The Republicans own the process and will quickly pick Mike Pence.  I doubt if this takes more than an hour, unless everyone and their brother wants to make a speech over this whole episode.

For the House, they get the two TWO Presidential candidates.  Each state gets one single vote.  The Representatives of that state meet and talk it over....then vote as one single unit.  For some Democrats, it might be the only time in their lives that they actually meet Republicans from their own state.

There aren't any rules about who is in each charge of each state's voting procedure, so you might have a group huddle up in some corner (three guys) and just spend ten minutes talking about this.

The state breakout?  There are three states with even numbers of Republicans and Democrats....so they won't count for nothing.   Maybe some Republican will walk over to the side and vote for Hillary.  But the odds are.....three states won't vote.

So for Trump, there are 32 states with a margin for the Republicans.....thirty-two votes.  You need on twenty-six to win.

Hillary?  She has only 15 states in her column, with no possibility of getting to 26 states.

That ends that.

But.....IS REALLY OVER?

All of this is being done to show how broke the Electoral College seems to be.  Yet, in some ways, it proves how well the rules work.

By playing this card....what do you think happens in 2020, 2024, 2028, and 2032? Yeah, the Republicans will realize the game, and play it the same way.

For the general public, it's crap.  Why bother voting?  Some idiot will move in such a way to discount the votes of your state.  All that money, time and effort, and your vote didn't count?  A lot of people in Michigan, Penn and Wisconsin ought to hire lawyers and sue the heck out of the recount dimwits and their state....maybe to the tune of $2,000 per vote.

This might also force everyone to get hyper about dead people voting, illegal votes, and double votes.
Frustration over this gimmick?  Oh, I think it just went up a big notch.  If I were Trump....once elected, I'd turn a special prosecutor over to look at influence from lobby groups on elections, and the legal means of checking everyone who is registered.

But in the end.....remember, the rules worked as advertised.  Imagine though if 15 additional states had enough Democrats in the House to get Hillary the election.....even if the Electoral College went the other way.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

The Fake Study

There's this report I noticed today....Stanford University did a research project, and came to some startling but not surprising conclusion.

They took roughly 7,000 students (high school and university)....across the whole US (urban and rural)....and they asked them to evaluate news items which came from social media.

What they came to realize is that the bulk of these kids would accept some caption on a photo that declared some disaster, or event, or terrible woes.....and that was the acceptance of the item....whether it was true or fake.

They were unable to identify real stories from fake stories.

Of course, I looked at the story and then wondered....why limit this to students?  Why not go ahead with a second study and just look at 21-year-olds to 60-year-olds.....and see if they have the same issue.

My humble guess?  Yeah, they'd fail as miserably as the punk kids.

The problem is that you have some many misleading and carefully crafted stories from literally hundreds of sources....the odds are that you only have thirty to sixty minutes a day to absorb and grasp what the story is about.  You don't have time to ask why CNN built some interview into a story which was worthless, or why the BBC showed you misleading images, or why the Washington Post wrote a fairly long story with only three simple facts taking up nine lines of a 140-line summary.

The amusing thing is that Stanford researchers will sit there and poke into things which will upset a number of journalists and news organizations because it's obvious....there is very little difference between real journalism and fake journalism.

More research?  It would be of interest if they'd go and study adults....thus proving this whole fake reality of life today.  But if you did prove that virtually everything has an element of false nature to it....then what?

A Recount Mess?

The Green Party candidate started this suggestion of a recount, and now, Hillary has jumped onto this.  The requirement?  You would have to find three states (probably Michigan, Wisconsin, unknown third state).

Michigan whoops factor?  You'd need 11,000 new and shifted votes.

Wisconsin whoops factor?  You'd need 28,000-plus new and shifted votes.

One of the issues that the recount idiots might want to avoid is the sudden discovery of 10,000 dead voters in one state, or 3,000 voters who voted in two separate county elections, or 25,000 illegal voters.  If you draw any attention to something like that, it'll flip the public to a very negative and bitter reaction on trust with the system.

The Green Party situation?  In some ways, if they had shut down operations and pushed their vote toward Hillary.....there might have been a one-state change in the numbers....enough to make the Electoral College closer.

This ends up taking some people who are mentally fragile as it is right now.....giving them new false hope....and bleeding their ulcers just a bit more, in some fake world of politics and hoping they can reverse everything done. It's sad in some ways.


Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Topics For Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving approaching.....I will offer some helpful advice on a delicate subject.  This year, like most previous years....some folks will be visiting relatives who got a bit consumed by politics, and were all pro-Hillary (maximum-turbo).  If she'd won, of course, they would have gone and made this topic number one and done everything possible to antagonize you.  It might be nice if you just avoided politics in general, so here are 25 possible conversation topics:

1.  NCAA football (unless they are Auburn fans).
2. Johnny Cash tunes
3. Warts
4. Wrestling of today versus 30 years ago
5. Best episode of Southpark
6. Knee issues
7. Best Dallas Cowboy quarterback ever
8. News over the Ford Bronco coming back in 2020
9. Best bait for catfish fishing
10. Discussions over best Star Wars movie
11. Conversation over high school gals who you wished you'd dated
12. Worst hotel you ever stayed in
13. Best car wax
14. If you could be any Marvel or DC character....which?
15. What you like most about county fairs?
16. Amish jokes
17. Your impression of OJ and if he was really innocent
18. Bad sermons from your church
19. How football lost viewers
20. Best time to replace a septic tank
21. Best part of Canada to move to (just not saying you would threaten such a move)
22. Dog names
23. Alien visitations (referring to space aliens)
24. Captain Kirk versus Seven of Nine....who'd you want in a true emergency?
25. Your technique on bowling

I know....it's hard to avoid discussing Trump.  But do you really want people crying there in the living room, and you have to break out your best Scotch and Rum to get them drunk and through this terrible moment of their life.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Where the News Rests

Once upon a time....folks got daily news from: ABC, Bloomberg, CBS, CNN,  Daily Beast,  Huffington Post,  MSNBC, Fox News, L.A. Times, New Republic, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, The Guardian, The NY Post, The Daily Mail, Washington Post, Twitter, and Facebook.

At some point, folks woke up from some nap, and realized that it's not really news.  Oh, there's a mixture here.....8.5-percent facts, 10-percent event news, and the rest....mostly slanted and creative fiction-fact.  Fiction-fact?  Well....that's where you hype up your opinion and blend it as a news item but it's really not worth talking about.

So, here's the sad thing.  In an average day, that 10-minute stop you have at the local Chevron Gas Station is probably the only place where you going to get the three or four stories that might really matter to you.

Fred, the local attendant, will chat with you about several different stories:

1.  The local bank got robbed by two transsexual guys/gals and took $3,000.  They were both dressed like one of those Kardashian women.  You ask which one, and Fred responds with Khloe.  You ask which one is that, and Fred just looks at you in a daze.

2.  Some local teacher got caught with a 18-year old high school kid.  Prosecutor is talking about six years in prison.  You ask if she was a 'hottie' and Fred responds with a wink.

3.  A fight broke out at a local bar-b-q.....mostly three women who met up and discovered that they were all dating the same guy....the cook at the bar-b-q.  You ask if anyone was hurt.....Fred responds that two of the gals required an ambulance....but the gal on the ambulance crew arrived and noted that she'd been dating the bar-b-q cook as well, and started a fresh fight with the survivor gal.

4.  Some minister got fired from the local church for spending $4,000 on some fake ministry trip to Iuka, Mississippi.  You ask Fred how you'd ever spend $4,000 in Iuka, and he hints that some trashy trailer-park whore was involved and some Deacon's wife walked in on the mess (she was supposed to be the one-and-only for the minister).  Fred hints that there might be a couple more ladies from the church within this love-ring of the minister.

5.  Leroy such-and-such.....some guy of the community who was regarded as crazy....was hit by some speed-boat while in the local river....while sitting on a rubber tube of some type.  Funeral services will be held at such-and-such church.  His kin folks are looking for donations because Leroy hadn't had a regular job since that trucking accident in 1982.

6.  The Winkler hay barn burned down last night.  Cops looking for a suspicious vehicle seen nearby.

Here's the honest truth.  For roughly fifty percent of America....the trash news put out by the sources I listed at the top....really don't matter to the regular humble guy.....working hard to just pay his living and take care of himself, his family and pay taxes.

This is the guy who'd prefer to hear the 7AM local news and find out about what's happening within 20 miles of his house.....rather than 3,000 miles away in some Syrian battle-zone.

These are the people who've never met Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, or even the governor of the state.  Most of these people will tell you that the most big-name person they ever met....was some Playboy model from 1988 who showed up at some gun-show in Nashville.  You got a signed photo of her and still have it in a locked cabinet (where the wife can't see it).

It really isn't just fake news....it's about 3,000-percent of news that is more or less of no value to the typical American.  Why filter in or out this extra data?

We are in an age where the Chevron guy probably can be our one source of news, and that's all we need.

Alt-Right Versus Alt-Left

It's an odd term which has come out in the last year.  Most folks, if you ask them what an alt-right means....will probably suggest some type of new technology or some mental disease.

The news media has coined 'alt-right' to mean a 'loose group' (hint: they aren't in the Klan, a 4-H Club, or a registered lobby group).  This group, according to the news media, is OUTSIDE of mainstream conservationism.  This usually means that they aren't real conservatives or moderate conservatives or flexible conservatives.  I know....this is the news media who is telling you this, and you have to wonder where they got their definition, but they would just grin if you asked.

The news media will then tell you that these anonymous people (always faceless for some reason....maybe hoping to trigger you to identify them as Klan folks)....use Twitter, Facebook, social media, YouTube, and Breitbart/Drudge to get their message out.  If they were legit, they'd be using the news media (don't you realize that).

Their goal (the alt-right) is to challenge social "norms".  Those norms are never explained in detail by the news media through.  One has to accept that there was a norm last year, or in the last decade, and that the evil alt-right are trying to replace that norm.  How many norms exist?  Unknown.....but it must be into the thousands. Will norms just always stay the same?  Well....if you asked the news media....they'd just grin because no norm EVER stays the same....well before the alt-right ever showed up.

Is there a alt-left?  Officially, via Wiki?  No.

In reality, an alt-left has been around since the 1960s and is simply a fixture of the news media, lobbyists, political parties (both Republican and Democrat), and even religious fixtures.  All the alt-right guys did was figure out the gimmick and build a modern media device to deliver the message.  Social media, YouTube, and the Internet actually gave them a platform.  The amusing thing is that the alt-left thought they owned the platform, and now.....they have to share it, and actually get smart on the competition.

This fight between the alt-right and alt-left to legitimize racism?  Oddly, both seek to ID the other as the racist in the room.  If you measured the usage of the term "Hitler" over the past year within the social media or news media.....the term has likely be used a billion times.  On the humorous side, you can ask most 16 year old kids today, and half of them have no idea who this Hitler guy is but his name sure gets mentioned an awful lot.

Eventually, I think some smart guy will invent a new group called the alt-alt-right or the alt-alt-left, and freak out the social and news media crowd.  A bunch of PhD guys will assemble in Princeton and try to work out some definition for Wiki over some weekend, and admit that they've never really heard of such a group before, but it must have something to do with Hitler.

Monday, 21 November 2016

The Fake World We Live In

Twenty-five years ago, I used to pick up the Weekly World News.  I read it mostly.....because it was all fake.  Nothing in the WWN was ever real....you could depend that.

I sat down last week to examine this idea of fake news.

What has happened over the past two decades is that we are now flooded with a massive amount of fake news....fake TV.....fake sports....fake acting....fake politics.....fake religion....fake education...and fake reality.

You can get up and watch two hours of the Today Show on NBC, and probably expect a blend of 50-percent reality and 50-percent fake. They do it so well now, that you might not even notice the difference.

On Sundays, you can go and attend some church service, which is blended with some scripture reading, some fake talk by the minister, and view some stirred up people who aren't really sure about where the real stuff and fake stuff get separated.

You can sit and watch shows like Amish Mafia, Storage Wars, or Duck Dynasty.....and get a dose of fake stuff.

Both the Republicans and Democrats engage upon so much fake stuff.....that you have pretender Republicans trying to pretend that they are Republicans....but doing a lousy job at it.  Even the President at times....goes through some fake act, and you just ask what the heck that was all about.

University operations?  They've done their best to convince you the parent and some stupid 18-year-old kid that $20,000 a year on some degree program is worth the money, but then you start asking questions and eventually realize that the eventual degree....is mostly fake and not worth the money you paid. The professors?  They work hard, but mostly lead you to ask just how fake they are.

The simple truth is that we can't see to tell a difference anymore.  Fake is a reality in our lives.

Some stupid teen will attend two years of college and get themselves all twisted into a frenzy.....yet not be able to structure a mature moment of observation and thought-process.  It's so bad now....that the teen will go into some fit and ask for a "safe-place" to comfort themselves.  And the safe-place they get?  It's fake.  Yeah....it's as fake as the fit that the teen was throwing.

How much of our lives are fed into this fake reality?  It's hard to say.....maybe fifty percent.....maybe even seventy percent.

Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube all help to achieve the fake level of reality.  You might have a dozen friends on Facebook who are fake, and you don't even realize it.

So I came back to the Weekly World News.  I probably haven't read a copy in ten years....and I discovered that they quit production in 2007.  Reason?  Not enough business....no profit.  And now?  With everything virtually fake, I doubt that they could really exist.  It's funny.....society is so fake....they wouldn't even read the Weekly World News.  That says a lot.

The Cheap-Cheap-Cheap Tickets

I follow the airline business and news a good bit.  Over the weekend, I noticed this new ticket gimmick....from United Airlines.

The deal is "basic economy".  So, you get a heavily discounted ticket....in fact....really cheap.

But there's this other part of the deal.  First, you will only have a purse or computer bag.....no carry-on or suit-case allowed.  Second, no pre-selected seats.....you just get what's left over.  And then the final part of the deal....you will be the last to board on every single flight.

A normal ticket that might run $250.....might be discounted off to $180 to $190 for this basic economy....which might entice some folks, but then you start thinking about how to pack or survive.

Some guys will look at Fedex and just ship a small package with a change of clothing and their shaving bag to the destination hotel....if this were a five-day thing.

Some folks will simply stuff a pair of underwear and socks into the computer bag, for a two-day trip and just survive off this.

For a business guy, the ticket might make sense.  For 95-percent of society, no....this probably isn't that practical.

Comments from the public so far?  Pretty negative.  Most say that United is just out to screw people, and it's unfair.  The thing is....when you look at a typical 6AM flight out of Nashville or Atlanta....probably half the folks onboard are simply business people going to a meeting somewhere within three hours and intend to fly back home either that night or the next morning.  Most travelers aren't that type, but the early AM guys are usually that way.

Maybe in three years, everyone admits this was a good idea and others will adapt to it.  Most regular people?  No....they probably will never sign up for the discount.

Friday, 18 November 2016

My Suggestion For the News Media

After viewing the disconnect over the past year of the American news media.....both print and television....I have eight suggestions:

1.  Some folks need to take a month off and just go off to Alaska, Ireland, or some Pacific isle.....to just rethink their whole view of the world.  Toss in some minimum stress....read some Mark Twain books....smoke some weed....and toss back five or six cocktails a day.

2.  For the New York Times reporters...I would suggest that they all get a car and spend a hundred days crossing America.  They need to visit some barber-shops, some deli shops, and see a few baseball games with retired guys.  They need to figure out the difference between factual stories and cleverly-written non-news stories.

3.  For the folks on the View....you might want to reestablish who your viewing audience is, and why they exist in the way that they do.

4.  If you are in the 4th year of a university program in journalism....you might want to ask yourself about the future of journalism.

5.  For all journalists.....define slanted news.  Nothing fancy.....just eight lines of a plain definition.

6.  For all journalists....what is your plan B if your network or newspaper slows on viewers/readers?  Would you have to flip burgers for a while in a bad market period for journalists?  Could you change over and become a forest ranger or hotel clerk?

7.  If you start up this fake topic of fake news....where exactly does it go?  How fake is CNN?  How fake is the Washington Post?  How fake is Drudge?  You might find that just about everyone in the news media today....even the BBC...is somewhat fake.  What does that say?

8.  Finally, are people laughing at what you produce?  If they are....why?

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Silver Spring Story

So, this is an odd story.

A church up in Silver Spring, Maryland....Episcopal Church of Our Savor....on Powder Mill Road....ended up a few days after the election with a vandal-type sign....racist in nature.

One of the church leaders commented: "I guess none of us realized where we were living,"

Having lived up in the region (Arlington is only 25 miles away)....the story picked my interest.

Silver Spring is an odd metropolitan city.  Population? 76,000.  Chief business?  US government offices for the most part, and a major urban area for a lot of the people who work in DC.

Politics?  Massive stronghold in Montgomery county (where Silver Spring sits).  In the Clinton-Trump race.....four to one results in favor of Hillary.  If you were looking for the Trump supporters.....they quietly occupy the area and probably are mostly employees of the US government.

Did some Republicans or Trump enthusiasts put up the sign?  I would have my doubts.  Why draw attention?  The election is over. Who would be hyped-up to draw attention?  Anti-Trump enthusiasts.

My humble guess is that some dimwits from the local community.....probably even associated with the church in some minor capacity....thought to make up some hyped-up negative message and get sympathy drawn.

One of the odd figures on the sign is the low "R" in Trump.  Graphic arts student?  No, the lettering would have been better designed and displayed.  This is someone who just whipped up the sign.  Done alone?  No....because of the method of attachment.....it's at least two individuals.  Cops won't care and they won't waste an hour of investigation.  But I don't buy off on this being Trump-people. It's someone with a victim agenda.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Kids, Kid-Adults, and Trump

Yesterday, I read some short piece on Yahoo News entitled: "The Trump Effect: Psychologists warn that children are watching".

Basically, the story goes that kids are watching all these adults in some freakish behavior change, and getting the idea that either Adolph Hitler has arrived, or that Satan has stepped out of Hell.  Some psychologists are suggesting that maybe some visits to a mental health clinic might be necessary....well....if the kid really gets feared-up a bit.

Through Thursday and Friday, I sat and observed various behavior issues by teens...some in high schools who simply walked out of school to show some kind of anger or frustration.  Or in the college-scene....some rioting in the streets.

In my home state of Alabama.....we didn't exactly have any kids exiting schools, or students in Auburn or Troy, or Jacksonville State lighting up fires and conducting demonstrations.  In fact, most kids just kinda....went to school.

I looked around for other 'normal' states....like Iowa or Idaho.  They didn't have any riots either.

Most of what you see boils down to west coast action.....some folks in NY City....and maybe a dozen-odd university areas.

The problem I see is that once you cross a line and start to really hype up people to conduct violence around a university, and you whoop up on "Junior" or "Wanda".....a student there who might have some Trump-enthusiasm.....they have a father.  And once some police report gets filed....'Dad' is going to confront the university about why they didn't protect Junior or Wanda, and they will want to be paid off.  We aren't talking about $500, or $50,000.  This is where Dad takes a university into a court and asks for $2 million for failing to protect their son or daughter.

The university?  They wake up from this weird dream that has lasted for a decade, and realize that they've got a bunch of uncontrollable or ill-behaved punks.  If these punks hurt five or six kids....in some stupid act of violence?  Well....on campus, that could result in 20-million dollars being shuffled out to pay off five fathers.

It'll take exactly a week for the campus board to meet and discuss actions.....then bring in the problem kids and dismiss them, period.  They might even decide to go after the aggravation thugs and launch a lawsuit for $20 million in pain and suffering for themselves.

Suddenly LeRon and Marty....guys who were led by Professor Jose or some weird Hillary-won team out of NY City....are standing there with three years invested in such-and-such university, and no way to complete the degree.  Moving to another college?  Maybe.  But they might ask how you got expelled and decide that you aren't the kind of kid they want either.  So three years wasted.....on a degree which can't be wrapped up unless you get some Montana university to accept you.  Yeah, it might actually go to such a weird deal like that.

At this point, I'm of the mind that we've got two or three million punks in America (mostly outside of the south) who can't think on their own, can't control their emotions, are attached to some fantasy world, and are thug-like in terms of behavior.  I'd like to tell them to get a life, but how and where?  Frankly, they aren't even capable of making it through the fifth day of Marine boot-camp.

The news media?  By covering these punks and putting their sorry behavior on TV.....they aren't helping.  Most people look at 19-year old dimwit females making some marginally intelligent argument for the sake of Hillary's loss and wonder how she got through two years of college so far.  This kid's future?  What HR guy would want to hire punks like this?

There's something wrong here, but I just don't see it getting fixed.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

The Black Empty-Suit or the Latino-Empty Suit?

Over the next six months, the VIP group of the Democratic Party will meet at some hotel conference.  Their chief topic after lessons learned from this 2016 failure?  Who to start pushing for 2024 (maybe 2020, but I doubt it).

Eventually, some consultant for the party will convince them that they can't run another white guy/gal, period.  It has to be a minority guy.....to get the extra votes needed.

So the question is....do you go for a empty suit filled by a unknown black guy or a unknown Latino guy?

Everyone will agree that the formula around President Obama was perfect.....he was a virtual unknown, with no real filling material for his suit.  It only makes sense.....it needs to be a total unknown, with no foundation crap, no corruption situation, no connection to the Saudis, and easily have a life written about them (whether it's true or not).

So, do you pick a Latino guy or black guy?

The Latinos in roughly ten years will be the number one minority in America.  It would make sense to push a Latino-empty-suit.

But then you ask.....will the blacks get hurt by this Latino guy?  Can the Latino-empty-suit pull black votes?

Then you ask....aren't there different Latinos?

Oh my. There are Puerto Rico Latinos, Mexican Latinos, Cuban-conservative Latinos, Cuba-liberal Latinos, Haitian Latinos, Salvadorian Latinos, Honduran Latinos, Panamanian Latinos, etc.

Would the general Latino population circle the camp with a Mexican Latino empty-suit?  Maybe. How about a Cuban-liberal Latino empty-suit?  Probably not.  Would blacks circle the camp of a Mexican Latino empty-suit?  I have my doubts.

So if you were looking for a five-star circus to erupt in 2021.....watch for the race to find the next empty suit and what nationality or culture the guy or gal will be.  If you could just find some black-Latino Salvadorian gal with a Columbia law degree who is married to some pro-NFL black quarterback....man, that would be the charmer to hook up with and vote for.

The Thing About Grubhub

One of the technology and food sector trend companies....Grubhub....had their stocks fall drastically yesterday.  Five-percent.  Cause?  Well....there on Wednesday, the CEO put out an employee email saying that if you voted for Trump.....you were probably not going in the direction of the company as an employee and you'd best leave.

That memo?  Well....it went public real-quick.

Yeah, it got GOP people aggravated and some vow never to use Grubhub ever again.

The CEO, Matt Maloney?  Well, he says that people mistake the way he worded the memo, that he just wanted a peaceful environment to exist within the the company.

Oddly, on the same day that he put this memo out....he sold 14.5 thousand shares of the company, for roughly $500,000. (Wiki info)

Did he calculate this and sell before the 5-percent drop?  Hard to say.  The CNBC crowd aren't really diving into this story.....maybe the Wall Street Journal will do a piece next week to detail out what was going on.

The thing here is that as a business enterprise.....doesn't matter if it's a six-man tire-sales shop, or a 3,000 man IT developmental company....you can't get into politics and expect to survive.  This trend, which I suspect started in the 1990s.....has reach an epidemic state.  Why these CEOs get this "stupid"?  I think there's a new group of CEO who came out of college in the 1980s and got dragged into some different way of thinking.

What will happen to Grubhub?  My guess is that they will find a ten to twenty percent drop in the customer base within three months.  Maloney will try to explain this to the board at some special 'quiet' meeting in April or May of 2017.

Maloney's explanation will be that it's all a temp-thing and recovery will be seen with new advertising.  Three or four of the board members won't buy into this suggestion.  By July of 2017....Maloney is sent off (let go).

What will happen next is some move by the board to acquire another similar company....fuse the two.....and rename Grubhub into something totally different.  The new CEO hired?  He or she will be told in a direct way that they are not to be political in any shape or form. They probably will even be told they are not to donate money to some candidate unless it's for their state or local town.

As for Maloney?  My bet is that he gets into politics in 2018 and runs for some office (maybe state legislature....maybe even some US Senator job).

Friday, 11 November 2016

1860 and 2016: A Lot in Common

Along the last week of the 1860 election....it had turned into a bigger mess than any previous election.  In a normal presidential voting year....there would be typically two significant parties in the mix.....the Republicans versus the Democrats.

In this 1860 election....six months prior at the Democratic Convention held in Charleston, SC.....things got screwed up.  The likely (guaranteed winner)...Senator Stephen A. Douglas arrived and all he had to do is put up the general and regular platform, which said that slavery was not acceptable but no one was going to change nothing.

Well....the Alabama delegation decided that because of Lincoln's comments and the anticipated games to be played out to end slavery....that Douglas needed to put a heavy comment into the platform to say slavery was acceptable.  It didn't happen.

So the Convention ended a couple of days later, without a vote on Douglas, and everyone walked out.

It's decided six weeks later, at a second convention in Baltimore.....that get everyone lined up and agreed on Douglas, and not to drag this into a big mess.  Some folks are peppy and angry because of this treatment and forced vote.

So this group of folks....mostly southern state Democrats.....walk down the street and have a meeting.  They decide to front a third-party, and their guy....John Breckinridge of Kentucky is the chosen guy.

This sets up an interesting election.  If you go state by state....without the Breckinridge mix in this deal....Douglas wins.  But up and down the line....Breckinridge steals votes entirely in the south....taking literally every single state.  In the north, some split continues, with Lincoln taking most all of the remaining states outside of the south.

Douglas?  The guy who should have won the entire election?  By reshaping this election and taking support away from the obvious supposed winner, the southern states created a dynamic which should not have existed.

Douglas after this election?  He's dead eight months after the election, from Typhoid Fever, in Chicago.

If the Democrats had simply stuck with the better received guy, Douglas?  That's the thing about it.  Lincoln would not have won.  Slavery, for some brief period of time (maybe another five years) would have continued, and the cotton market shifting over to India and Egypt would have shut down the value of virtually every single slave.  The war would never come, and people would not have gotten so peppy and energized over this whole Lincoln topic.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

California as a Nation?

So sometime on Wednesday....the trending topic of California exiting the union occurred.  Some folks are hyped up big-time as being negative on Trump.  A couple thousand folks jumped onto this wagon and it'll likely be discussed for weeks.....maybe even months.  Some idiot might even be able to get it on the ballot for 2018.

The problem I see is that it'll go to being some independent country.  Right off the bat....you need a currency.  Do they have anything to really achieve a reliable currency?

Debt?  If you look at various county-level and city-level debt sheets.....it's probably the most debt-burdened state of the fifty.  That's problem number one.  Banks won't be interested in covering trillions more in debt to help them achieve this status.

Then you have the problem of pensions.  Between the cops, fire department personnel, and city workers....the state has a tremendous problem.  Most countries don't start out with massive pension shortfalls like California would.

Roads and bridges? That's another issue.  Just one single earthquake would bankrupt the country.

While you might have sixty-percent of the state who favors such an idea....the other forty-percent (I think) would be terribly aggravated by this and seek to leave the new country quickly.  Companies might see this as a burden unless you offered very clear tax structure (something they'd frown upon and double-down on company profits for taxes).

I humbly believe that in less than a decade....they'd be broke and in bad shape...desiring to return to the US, and the 49 states would say 'no thanks'.  So then California would offer itself to Mexico, and they'd be taken back to the Mexico empire.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

The Fake Slant of a Story

Some Mediaite idiot reporter covering the Trump victory party last night....posted this photo of EXPENSIVE drinks at the Trump rented facility in NY City.

They hyped it as ultra expensive.

The thing is.....if you've ever been to NY City....mixed drinks in general do cost $13 each.  Wine (good wine) runs $13 each.  US beer does run (in a big glass) $10 each. And rarely will you find any sodas in NYC for less than $5 or $6....especially if ice is dumped on top.

So either the reporter is some guy who came out of Waco, Texas or Guntersville, Alabama, and was expecting $6 beers, and $8 cocktails....or they wanted to hype up some bogus slant on an unworthy news item.

If you don't want a beer in the Hilton of New York City ($11 for imported Canadian stuff), then maybe you should have gone down a block or two and just stepped in some Korean "mom and pop" shop to buy a six-pack and drink out front.

Frankly, I've had it with journalists being so slanted that they can't really tell an honest story anymore.

Some Advice

So, after the smoke cleared this morning.....I will offer some folks humble advice:

1.  Polling organizations.  Basically, you did some great creative work over the past six to twelve months and made up some numbers which were fairly unbelievable.  Unless you can figure out your problem or issue....you basically won't be considered as reliable or capable.  You've got at best....maybe eighteen months to correct your situation, or start to feel the heat.

2.  WaPo or New York Times.  After a long year of cheering up some trends and hyping some bogus angles....you might want to consider readers and how reliable your material is now considered.  If you can't fix your problem in the hundred days....I'd suggest to bring in ten of your top paid people into a room and ask them to prove their case for their salary, taking a 10-percent cut, or just select the five least desired people to fire/dump.

3.  German intellectual journalists.  Well, you did a lot of creative stuff with the cartoon voice for Donald Trump.....the crappy pictures for Trump....and the slanted angles of 'copy' on Trump.  Now what?  You deceived your vast audience, and they are sitting there and wondering....just where did you get your material, or get this so wrong?  I'd drag in your German reporters in the US and ask them to start leaving the boundary of Washington DC or NY City, and actually go out into the general public....maybe visit Idaho....talk to some Tulsa barbers.....have some bar-b-q with some local Texans, and develop some real knowledge of the nation rather than this fake NY Times BS.

4.  CNN.  On the 'burning bridges' scale....you maxed out at a ten.  Toss in the question routine for the debates, and you look pretty lousy.  You've got maybe four to six months to correct your behavior and find some journalist morals.....or just accept the fact that a quarter of your previous audience isn't coming back, and that will relate to profit margins by the summer of 2017.

5.  Fake Republicans.  Your charm and wit....have run out of steam.  No one believes your slant on things and you might want to consider either early retirement, or resigning.

6.  Saudi Arabia.  For four decades, you held the keys to just about every American President.  Well....there's no key for Trump.  You can reshuffle things and just hope that some Senators are still on your agenda.....but their days might be numbered.

7.  Paul Krugman from the New York Times.  Paul, you need to take twelve months off and just drive across the US....in search of real people instead of just taking to other intellectuals like yourself.  Get a $12 haircut in Tulsa.....eat some hushpuppies in Florida....and have a beer or two with some farmers in Mississippi.  It might help to improve your perception of the nation and what priorities really do exist.

8.  President Obama.  You basically had eight years to help generate jobs and do something for the black community (something more than just speeches, fake accents, or false talk).  So after eight years....what is that you can say or hype up your message about?  Is it possible that the voters in Michigan and across several of your "win" states just added things up and had "fake agenda" in their mind?  Could you have done something to really bring change, and just screwed up big-time on that?

9.  Democratic National Committee.  Dump your IT guy and hire some professionals, who will build the right firewall and protect your emails.

10.  WikiLeaks.  You need to keep on doing what you are doing, and don't look back or allow special interests to manipulate you into being something fraudulent or fake.

11.  Mexico.  You've got around a hundred days to consider how to approach this fence business along the border.  Maybe you ought to take some progressive steps and just agree that the fence and better security...would make the drug trafficking trade a lesser thing, and push them to use the ocean more.

12.  The Pentagon.  The NATO mission is going to downsize.  Are you ready?

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Wise Decision Making

I could probably write a 500-page book on the topic of wise decision making.....but I'll try to limit to just 40 lines.

By the time I got to boot-camp, I had quietly come to the first level of wise decision making and knew the basic concept.  Over the next thirty-odd years.....I came to observe various levels of wise decision making, good decision making, marginal decision making, and incompetent decision making.

Most people are capable of making wise or good decision making.....maybe even seventy-percent of folks.  Having a college education doesn't really mean you make it to this list or not.  I've worked for three or four people.....one with a MBA....who were absolutely incompetent at the decision process.

The poor decision makers?  It always interested me that they'd repeat mistakes over and over, never learning any lessons, and hated to have advice offered to them.  These were people who basically needed to be supervised or given low or marginal tasks to accomplish.

I sat and witnessed one boss who had around $50,000 of funding dumped into his hands and he had to come up with a spending plan or priority list within one weekend.  Never did he ask for suggestions or take any polling with the team.  Six moths later, as this money was spent and things started to happen....it was obvious that his priorities were worthless and without any real pay-back for the office or the members of the team.

It always interested me that people who were on this poor decision side of life....did this at work, at leisure, and at home.  These are also the people who had bad relationships....conducted bad business transactions.....and just simply could not climb out of this pit that they'd fallen into.

I look mostly in this political season at Hillary Clinton.  Going back to Arkansas and the days at the law firm.....you see this trend of bad decision making starting up.  You would think....well....after a dozen screw-ups.....you would learn some lessons.  The only lessons were to hide mistakes or bad decision-making.....more and more.

At this point in the summer of 2008 when she knows that she's got the State Department job.....which includes a million-dollar IT office there in DC, and dozens of IT and security personnel to ensure the job gets done, she unwisely decides to have her own email server.  From that point on, there are dozens upon dozens of mistakes made, and never once is there some lesson or focus to bring her back to wise decision making.  As she walks out of the door in 2012?  The decision making process just continues along the same route.....poor to marginal decisions.

Shock over Wiener having all her message traffic?  Maybe.  But she basically did every unwise decision possible....to enable Wiener to have that chunk of trouble.

There are a thousand things that you can say about decision making and the processes involved.....but in the end, if you don't practice the art and repeat these processes each and every time.....you will simply never climb out of the pit.

Winning the election and going forward over the next four years with wise decision making?  If I were to make a wager.....I'd put down ten-thousand-dollars that the same trend....the same unwise decision making....would all continue "as is".

At some point, we will probably learn that yes, she officially does have Parkinsons and does take medication.  Someone will ask her if the hectic schedule of President makes the condition worse for her, and she will just grin and say no.  It'll be the 5,000 bad decision of her life and probably won't get much notice by the news media.

Punishing people who commit themselves to bad decision making?  I've witnesses various bosses trying to educate or drag bad decision managers onto another level, and punishment just doesn't work.  In the end, if the individual doesn't commit to changing their life or thinking differently.....all you can do is push them into a one-person office and give them as little responsibility as possible.  How you do this to a President.....is beyond me.

Saturday, 5 November 2016

My Alabama Prediction

I try not to get heavily involved in Bama politics.....but there is this wild scenario that I see unfolding.

A lot of Bama folks are aware of the impeachment deal going on with Governor "Lust-in-my-heart" Bentley.  This week, the folks running this put a suspension on it.....giving some light-weight reason not to rush this.

Reason?

I think several things will unfold.

Senator Sessons will be offered some type of position with the Trump administration, and I think he will resign by January.  Bentley.....if still in the governor's chair.....will appoint the replacement.  You need Bentley there....to accomplish this.

But I also think that Senator Shelby....82 years old and likely to be re-elected next week.....will hand in his resignation by March of next year, and Bentley.....if he is still not impeached by then.....will appoint himself or a favorite party....in the seat.  If he appoints himself....the impeachment ends.

Crappy politics?  Yeah.  For Bama, we've seen just everything over the past two decades.

Stopping this?  Virtually no way.

Maybe I'm wrong, but the suggestion to slow down on the impeachment business ought to make people ask questions.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

The Voting Story

I read this story originally out of the Washington Times.  So, it's true but you have to ask more questions.

There's this group....the American Civil Rights Union, which did research on people currently listed on voting registration lists across the US.

They came to this guy....they won't give his name....maybe because there is more work going on about this guy.

He's listed as a registered voter for Montgomery County, Maryland, and having a birthdate of 7 August 1853.

You can do the math.....but he's over 150 years old.  In fact, the curious thing is that they found that he voted in both 2008 and 2012.

The odds of him still being alive?  About a 100-percent chance that he's dead, and probably a 99-percent chance that he's been dead since the 1940s.  How he kept voting?  Unknown, and I think the cops are spending a lot of time trying to figure out how this continued.  The sad thing is that we might even prove that the guy died in WW I, in France.

No one from Montgomery County ever clearing his name?  Ever?  No.

Year after year, keeping him on the list?  Yeah.

So, let's say that people get angry enough to force Congress to fix this.  You do this by dumping all voting rolls and restarting from a fresh point.  You make a free national ID a requirement.  And then you have duplicate names routed to state investigators with a $20,000 fine attached to each duplicate vote you attempt.

What happens then in the next election?  Assuming the 2012 election voting numbers of 125-million....how many will fall off the list?  My humble guess is that 20-million names will disappear.  That in itself would be a shock to the DC establishment, journalists, and intellectuals. It would bring up some shame to admit to the free world that we had faked that many people in our democracy.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

The WaPo Story

The Washington Post (WaPo) is going today (Wed) with a story that members of the NSA and FBI have helped to send files to WikiLeaks.  Evidence?  So far, from what I've read....it's weak and marginal but worth reading into.

The reason why they did this?  WaPo leaves most of that to some slant handed to them by the Hillary campaign.

My guess.....if proven true.....is that both found literally thousands of connections to illegal behavior by Secretary of State Clinton, the Justice Department, and the leadership of the CIA.  Eventually, each group on it's own found some character....probably a retired member in their community, and had them contact WikiLeaks (my best guess).  Eventually all of these emails and digital folders were transferred over.

If WaPo is correct?  The worrying part of this story is that it doesn't really end with Hillary Clinton and that all of this massive pile of information could include info on the inside connections of the White House currently (the Obama Administration).  WikiLeaks has been careful not to dump on the President.

So the Russians weren't at the front door and part of this whole story?  Hard to say.

Right now, there is more than enough info to prosecute various controlling figures of the Clinton Foundation.....but oddly no Senators (even GOP type) really care to do that.  Might they (the Senators) be next on the list?  My gut feeling is that WikiLeaks will move on after November, and aim at someone else....maybe the journalists....maybe the Senators.