Wednesday, 20 September 2017

What If Bernie Never Existed?

I read a piece today that discussed the idea over a scenario where Bernie decided not to run for the Presidency in 2016.

Basically, it would have left Hillary with two Democrats.....who had no real appeal and the whole Democratic primary would have been mostly a joke.  Hillary would have spent very little....toured probably only twenty of the fifty states....and walked into the Convention with a forty-minute speech.
Hillary-hype for the remainder of 2016?  I would take a guess it would have been marginal at best.  A third of Democratic voters would have just felt no passion for the campaign, and likely stayed home on election day.

In a sense.....the DNC needed Bernie to come out, and deliver a Paul Newman-like performance....driving up the passion....and getting peopled hyped over 'something'.  Hilary...the DNC....and the party elite....needed Bernie to deliver.

The problem is....Bernie started to believe his speeches....his passion....and the public attention.  In the end....Bernie became a boat-anchor which Hillary could not grasp or utilize.

We now move onto the 'year-after', and view the Bernie affect in various ways.  It's like a battle-scar....you rub it and feel a twinge....like things could have go a different way if this had been a Bernie versus Trump election.

I think in four years...some guy is going to come out and present a book called: 'President Bernie' and talk at length about how Bernie would have handled everything....fixed the healthcare system....balanced the budget....and rebuilt the government.  Hillary will sit there and grit her teeth over the book, and journalists will spend weeks talking about a President Bernie scenario.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

On the Question of Hippies

My brother brought up this topic of 'where the hippies of the 1960s are' in a conversation.  It was centered on where the hippies went off to....where they retired....etc.

I sat and pondered over this.  I finished high school in the mid-1970s....when the hippy era was closing out.  Course, I lived in Alabama, and would readily admit in the whole state in 1977....there probably weren't more than 2,000 total hippies.  Some were real hippies....meaning they smoked marijuana daily....listened to Iron Butterfly, Arlo Guthrie, Neil Young, and Jefferson Airplane....sipped weird cocktails made up of rum, prune juice and lemon juice....and would often take off to San Francisco for some unknown festival which they'd talk about for weeks.  Oddly, most drove VW vehicles, always seemed to be borrowing money, and had badly stained teeth (mostly from a lack of brushing habit).

Some were fake hippies...meaning that they mostly just smoked marijuana, skipped baths for five or six days at a time, and generally refused to work.  

The attempt by The Seventies Show to use the character Leo....to explain this era and the pot connection probably made more sense than most people think.  I think a lot of folks from that era....just drifted around mentally and ended up cleaning up their act at some point.

Where did the hippies go?  I suspect that 90-percent of them ended up in California.  They stood there working in Blockbuster shops in the 1980s and 1990s.  They worked their way up to team-leader level of pizza shops.  They found landscaper jobs or got into artsy work.

These were folks who talked excessively about the album Incense and Peppermints by Strawberry Alarm Clock.  They explained the intriguing details of the Zombies album She’s Not There.  They memorized every line of the four Billy Jack movies....detailing scene by scene analysis.

They will tell you all about the 1967 movie....The Happening, which probably hasn't been on TV in forty years.  Delmonico....the mafia character....played by Anthony Quinn....ends up being this hippy-hero of sorts.

From the 2,000-odd hippies of 1975 from Alabama?  I doubt if more than four dozen exist today in the state.  Most of them probably went through some religious rehab program....got college....and ended up being regular people.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Moore-Strange Event

This Thursday evening in Alabama.....Judge Moore and Senator Luther Strange will appear on a stage for a debate.....a one-of-a-kind-no-moderator type of debate.  It's the chance to hear both speak....for the primary episode to reach the election between the two....and a Democrat challenger.

The two have a reputation.  Luther Strange is noted by a fair number of Alabama folks as being corrupted or connected former Governor Bentley.  Judge Moore?  He's been noted by a fair number of folks as being overly-religious and maybe just a bit 'dazed' (an Alabama term for someone who say something crazy on occasion).

On the dramatic front....Moore has probably more debate skills than Strange....maybe two to one.

How this will go? My scenario runs this way:

- Judge Moore will lead off with a condemning statement.....saying that Strange has sinned more than the normal guy.  Then as his last minute comes up....he'll lead off with a prayer to the good Lord to forgive Strange of his sins.

- Senator Strange will be standing there in a pained-look...trying to imagine some comeback, but he can't deliver.

- Judge Moore gets the next round and goes right back to condemning Strange.  Then praying for Strange again.

- At home, thousands of Alabama folks will be weeping away at the tactic.

- Then Senator Strange finally gets a vision.  He falls on his knees and starts some prayer asking for forgiveness....then notes that first-stone business in a glass house.....he who is without sin, etc.  Then he wraps it up with some badly mangled Deuteronomy quote....using the Old Testament to whack away at Moore.  Strange jumps up....does a laying-of-the-hands on some guy in the first row....healing them of something, and the guy runs out of the studio.

- At this point, Judge Moore is screwed.  There is no comeback.

- Folks sitting at home....wipe away their tears, and then go and call their minister....asking for an interpretation.  Ministers are dumbfounded over the episode.  In their mind, Senator Strange pulled out an ace and beat the Judge's judgement business.  Strange wins.....by eight-point spread.  Some will say the Trump-endorsement did it....some will say the praying did it....some will say the Old Testament effort did it.

The X-Class Truck

 I went off to the Frankfurt International Car Show today.  Lots of innovation and new trends.

So I turned a corner, and here is the new Mercedes pick-up.

It is a great vehicle.....lots of power....high quality seats that flip to six different settings or tilts.

The thing is....because of the cost....what guy would really want to go and put farm-like cargo in the rear?  Looking at the US market?  No doubt.

Then I came to this deal in the rear....a bike-transport rack.  It's hard to imagine any farmer getting some idea to haul bicycles around with this type truck.

Cost?  Way more than most folks would pay.

Maybe if you were a fake southerner with some high-class professional pay situation and just wanted a status symbol in your driveway to impress the neighbors....it'd make sense.

If I brought up with my brother...he'd go over the stats and be impressed with the power and look, but he'd give you ten reasons why he just couldn't go and haul hay or cattle feed around with this.

How many will sell per year in the US?  You just don't know.  It might be a trend.



Sunday, 17 September 2017

Only An Observation on Common Core

I sat this morning and watched a 15-minute YouTube rant by a parent....having to deal with their kid in the new school year and yet another episode over an assignment in math.....dealing with Common Core math situations.

The assignment was a word episode.  There's probably six numbers laid out....a particular question, and you need to determine two things (at least in my humble opinion).  The two things are: (1) the red herrings (wasted and information of no value), and (2) the final formula.

As a kid, it would have been great to have some math mentor stand there and explain red herrings and how they fit or stand-out.  I wasted probably five years of my youth without this red herring explanation, then finally one day....the right math teacher wasted ten minutes to drill down into a three or four word problems....then ID each red herring, and it all made sense from that point on.

But in this YouTube rant....the parent is all pepped up over Common Core and the need to make this formula into a half-page problem/solution....rather than just four numbers with some addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division 'artsy' stuff done.

In some ways, this Common Core business is about having some kids stand there and invent an Einstein-like formula over four simple numbers which in the end....need to equal 63.

In today's world.....I would have been sitting there (age twelve) and grasping the foolish nature of Common Core math, and probably decide to really take this to the degree required, and write a four-page breakdown of Farmer Joe's wagon, and the six products on the wagon, and show in some rocket-science type math equation that 63 is the answer.

The sad thing is that some idiot math teacher would have branded me as some Archimedes-type character, or the second coming of Srinivasa Ramanujan.  Some math department would have jumped on some chance to recruit me for a scholarship, and I'd be standing there at age twenty-five with some useless PhD in math because I could write a six-page formula for a six-line problem. It's the kind of thing that real mathematicians freak out about.....making a formula into a fake or fraud.

I have this opinion that most university departments are going to create an entry-level math program where you need to complete two high-school-like courses....to overcome your stupidity level from high school....thus charging you around $600 per course, and then get you to the level that math makes sense once again.  Well....yeah, this might actually cause you to add one whole semester onto your path and cost your dad another $7,000 for that one extra semester deal.

For the crowd who don't go off to college?  I suspect in twenty years....we will have fifty million Americans who can't calculate simple real-life problems and we have to hire special people (usually college math graduates)....who figure out how many apples that Farmer Jones has on the wagon, or how many buckets of liquid pest-control you can spray on your forty acres of farmland.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

The ESPN Topic

From a brief period in the early 1980s (two years), and around 2010 (3 years)....I had ESPN.  Most of my life....I've live outside of the US without the ESPN option.

If you watched ESPN for first twenty years of existence (it started up in 1979).....they just ran plain sports.  You could turn it on at 1AM and find a soccer game or some rugby match being covered.  During NFL season....they covered injuries, and the leftover news from the weekend.  It was a simple formula.

By 2010, on fifty-odd occasions that I did view the network....it was hit-and-miss.  They were starting to add comments that went beyond sports.  If some NFL player got into a wife-beating episode....you could expect ESPN to find two experts and have some twenty-minute moderated chat over a non-sports topic.  If some Yankees guy got busted for drugs....they'd go and find two lawyers to chat for half-an-hour over drug-abuse and legal consequences.

In a way, you could predict....week by week....they were edging toward a political agenda.  That agenda?  It would be toxic for probably a quarter of the viewers.  Why watch something that doesn't appeal to you.  So viewers left.  Advertisers realized the loss and demanded less pay-scales.  The network, without any thought over where this was leading them....was losing money.

Here's the thing about economics.  If you build semi-conductors or chainsaws....that's your core situation.  You don't want to have politics in the middle of selling your product.  A guy shouldn't have to stand there at the store and look at a chainsaw that he'd like to buy.....realizing that it's attached to such-and-such political theme.  It's the same way with pizza.....if you come to realize your pizza has to be attached to some political agenda that you can't agree with....you won't buy the pizza.

So I see ESPN today....in a deep pit of trouble.

At some point after this NFL season, and probably after March-Madness....I think the ESPN management folks will go and have a two-day meeting outside of the US (as far away from cameras as possible....maybe even in Moscow).  This whole lost revenue thing and political gimmick? If this continues....the network will have to cut pay by the end of 2018.  They have no choice...dump politics, period.

But ESPN won't be the only network doing this.  My guess is that 2018 will be a harsh year for some other networks, and they will make the same choice.

Religious Provocateurs

Quietly, without a lot of fanfare.....various foundation groups are now coming to grasp that you can turn an entire religious population of folks to a particular political agenda.  It's not simple or an easy route....but you could quietly entice several million Americans into supporting some agenda that a decade ago....they would not have accepted.

The basic route?

You go and find one very impressive minister who talks a good bit and gets people enthusiastic.  The game to be played out is that he isn't there for a church or to save souls.  He's there as part of a structure.....a network....as a middle-guy.

So around this middle-guy minister....you have people of the legal profession.....foundation lobbyists....money-people....and social media types. In a sense, you are building up the tools which the talkative minister uses to connect to the church-based ministers below him.

The foundation money people lay out funding which you can use to have week-long discussion groups at nice resorts.  You send out ten invitations to people with larger congregations (at least a thousand members).  Free hotel deal.....bring the wife along....prayer and spitual discussions....and some injection of political thoughts.

You never go and over-sell the political part of this gimmick.  You simply want these ten ministers and their wives to feel like there's some extra things in life that they ought to be stressing.  Along the talks....you start to break out mental patterns of deacons that some deacons are too old-fashion to realize the new world approaching....so you give these ministers the understanding of how to by-pass those deacons.  In a way, you need them to retire, or be forced out by the remaining deacons.

You talk up social media and innovation.  Maybe your money-handlers will even help to finance a church web-site or some social media endeavor of that church.

You talk up different ways of getting ministers to a leadership level....performing not just church functions but society-like functions.

You talk up cross-denominational efforts and cultural themes.

You start talking about core-community practices....enforcing your standard not just across the church crowd but the local community itself.

You pick out certain individuals who show enthusiasm and capability, and use mentor-skills to bring them to a new threshold or plateau.

You stress youth involvement....involving this new theme introduced.

You use the words awesome, fabulous, breath-taking, impressive, magnificent, stunning, awe-inspiring, majestic and mind-blowing a great deal.  You keep a list of a hundred description words which tend to be used over and over, but people like to hear sermons where the words are used.

The seed of the network is then laid down.  In four years or eight years....you call upon your crowd to deliver.  In the midst of this 'wave'....some folks....even some deacons....will stand there and say 'no' because it's obvious to them that this is a manipulated political agenda.  The ministers caught up in this?  They will show these people the door and suggest they leave.  Some might leave....some might suggest firing the minister, and the deacons might call a meeting to implement the firing.  The fired minister?  He'll call up the network 'chief' who got him all peppered-up on social causes, and they will work to find him another church.

Religious provocateurs?  Yes.  That's the simple term to use.  As much as Jerry Farewell did a marginal job to bring a number of Christian conservatives to one central view there in the 1980s.....there's another effort underway now to create the new wave....the Christian liberals.

The amusing image here...is that you might profess to be a iron-clad conservative today, and wake up in six years as a member of some church-group, and suddenly find that you've fallen into a crowd of socially active church members, and you feel kinda 'liberal'.  You go home one Sunday....pour a shot or two of some strong alcohol....light up a cigarette....and stand there amazed that some minister has convinced folks that Jesus was a liberal.  After a long bit of pondering and thinking....you eventually come to realize that the only way this could work is if you were deceived, and then you kinda wonder....how this was possible?

So....you might want to pause and think over things that you often hear on a Sunday.  Some of the Jesus-chat....might be a opening line for a provocateur message.

Friday, 15 September 2017

First Relative in the New World

My first relative to arrive in the Americas (to stay) was named Job.  Oddly enough....his father....John (1611 born) had been to America on a number of occasions....as a ship's purser or cargo-master.  They'd land....release passengers and cargo....take in more passengers returning with goods to transport, and they'd leave.  I doubt if they ever remained on American soil for more than two weeks.

Around 1666...in the spring, Job would be nineteen years old, living in London, and facing some challenges. His mother had been dead for around 15 years.

At this point, in the 1660s....London was considered the most populated city in the UK, with almost a half-million-residents.  Most of the structures were wood, and streets were haphazardly laid out.  In terms of urbanization....no one had ever suggested that things needed to be organized.  It didn't matter how one viewed the situation....it was all standing ready for some massive fire to occur.

Who lived in the midst of London?  Mostly the working class or common folks.  If you had a title or any wealth.....you lived beyond the streets of London.....pretty far out beyond the city itself.

If you were measuring things on health aspects...it'd probably max down near a one (as bad as it could go) in the heart of the city. At some point in 1655....the Bubonic Plague started up. Bodies were picked up daily on each block and just buried at random.  Staying in London didn't make a lot of sense.

So in the spring, around March of 1666....Job went accepted up a deal.  He signed a contract to go off to America for a period of two to three years (different folks argue the period).  You were basically signing up a deal to be tobacco farm labor for a unknown family....working six days a week.  Sundays were an off-day but you could generally find families that had extra work that needed to be done and you could hire yourself out for a day and be paid in something that had swapable value.

At the end of that period....Job was free of the contract....stayed, and reportedly ended up owning two farms and lived to the age of 70.

Entry into the new world? Likely Baltimore.  The farm that he ended up upon was located in Rappahannock, VA....roughly eighty miles to the southwest of Baltimore.

It would be a year or two after this....that Job's dad would settle up affairs in London....take up a new wife, and leave for the same region of Rapahannock, VA.  He would end up being the second of the family in the new world.

If Job had stayed in London?  This gets to being interesting.  As fall arrived (2 September)....a fire started up and went through the mid-section of London for roughly three days.  It's safe to say that Job was a lot better off having taken this big step.

The 'Visiting Fellow' Story

UPDATE:  Well....at 3AM on the east coast....Harvard put out a statement to say the 'visiting fellow' invitation to Chelsea Manning was a mistake.  End of story.

Original essay:

University operations often run with a gimmick.  Sometimes, it's NCAA football.  Sometimes, it's some science department with professors standing in the shadow of Einstein.  Sometimes, it's about some radical program with no grades and no tests....just pass/fail (Evergreen College).

I noticed this morning that Harvard University came out yesterday and announced that Chelsea Manning (former Army....convicted felon....commuted sentence from President Obama) will now be a 'visiting fellow' with Harvard (for one academic year).

What is a 'visiting fellow'?

The general meaning is that a university operation will desire to have a educated guy....usually a professor, a noted scholar, a well-known political figure....to visit the university and either lecture (meaning one single night or a series of nights) or do research at the university in connection with some program they are running.

While not always the case....you might find some deep pockets individual who comes up occasionally and donates to the college's program.....will have some individual that they want covered under the college's 'umbrella' for a year, and only because of that request....you get 'visiting fellow' status.

Pay during this academic year?  Yes and no.  If you are a professor just on 'loan', then you have pay still coming in from the original job and you don't get any additional pay.  Most colleges will provide accommodations....like a on-site apartment or a cottage deal.  If you have no incoming pay, there probably will be some pay-scale set up for a person of your caliber.

In the case of Manning? I'm guessing that some donor came up and made the case that it would be nice to have Manning around for a year, and some pay-deal (probably in the $40k a year range) was set up, with on-campus accommodation.

As for what Manning will do?  Unknown for the most part.  Harvard hasn't said much.  There is some talk by the University that Manning  will speak on "technological, social and economic ramifications of A-I".  Maybe there will be a lecture or  two.

Negativity on this decision?  More than a few have commented on this.  Most will note that Manning is a convicted individual......never pardoned by President Obama, just commuted.

Manning's expert status on "technological, social and economic ramifications of A-I?  This is an individual who spent three brief years of enlisted duty with the Army....in military intelligence, with daily interaction with databases.  Presently, I'd say there are probably over two million individuals from the Army, Navy and Air Force with the same background, same minimum years at the job, and same education level.  If you went looking for the same individuals with a university degree....probably over 200,000 exist.

Some expert status with bringing Manning to Harvard?  No.  This was simply a gimmick.  They don't have a NCAA program that draws folks.  They usually produce lawyers.  It's something to draw attention and get some front-page news.  PR-work mostly.

The idea that some Harvard student might challenge Manning in some lecture or public forum?  Well....it's best not to bring that up.  My guess is that a quarter of the student population will be amused by the 'fellow' action and even more amused that the college gave status to Manning as some 'expert'.

Who knows....maybe one day....even I will get invited over to Harvard to be a 'Visiting Fellow' for a year.  As long as they provide accommodations....a free breakfast each day (coffee, waffles, and bacon) and free cable TV....I'm up to give a lecture or two on social, technological, and economic ramifications of A-I.

The Thing About Information

I sat this morning and read through a piece from the University of Pennsylvania.  They had some graduate students working on a poll with regular people....seeing how informed they were about important things.

So the questions came out and the poll survey team found that a fair amount of people didn't know much about Constitutional rights.

The numbers say.....37 percent could not name any of the First Amendment five rights.  Freedom of Speech?  Well....that was pretty dismal with almost half the people unable to connect that to the First Amendment.

There are a fair number of people....mostly intellectuals...who walk around and have this idea that everyone should know 88,421 facts on a minute-by-minute basis.  In 1968, if you'd asked folks around Detroit who the Vice-President was....it was a 50-50 chance that they'd know the guy's name.  If you asked about the two Senators from Michigan....it was probably a 33-percent chance that they'd remember his name.  But if you brought up the Detroit Tigers and ten pitchers listed on the team....most guys could name the bulk of the pitching staff.

In the 1970s, if you asked most people how to make French Toast....they'd give you the three-line description.  Today?  Most would say they pull out the toast from the freezer and just heat it up.

People just don't remember things like the experts think.  If you asked about the components to a car, most folks can name the simple things like brakes but if you asked about catalytic converter....they'd have no idea what it does.  If you asked the difference between AM and FM....maybe 50-percent of people would know the difference.  If you asked how a toilet works, with the float....probably only 50-percent can describe this in detail.

Is it important to know the rights?  Sadly, after you finish school....it really doesn't matter.  In fact, for most of us...90-percent of the information we were grilled upon in high school....has no real basis for the next sixty years of our life.  Most of us....would like to keep it that way.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

My Advice on Hillary

I sat this afternoon watching two interviews of Hillary Clinton, with her explaining how she lost....two different times....to two different moderators.  I'm guessing over the three weeks that the book is out....she'll do at least forty interviews....explaining how she lost.  Over and over.

If I shuffled this topic out to my brother (engineer and farmer)....he's say that it only take one single failure on a board to make it non-op (meaning you could stop talking about this loss business after excuse number one was given).

Personally, I'd like for Doctor Phil to head up some interview, and maybe he could bring on French mental health expert, and try to 'heal' Hillary.

As a kid, we had some neighbor who hunted a good bit (Alabama guys used to do this....most of them today watch ESPN, Fox News, or huddle with the local minister on sin-chat).

The guy had driven up and my dad and I were standing there.

In the back of the truck was his favorite dog.  The name escapes me.  Most hunters give out dignified names to their dogs (Buckshot, Banshee, Jag, Dakota, Hercules, or Trigger are typical names for hunter-dogs).

In short words....the dog was dead.

Whatever he'd been chasing....had turned and torn him up fairly good.

Tears rolled down his cheek as he chatted about the dead dog.  He'd had him for a while....paid over a thousand dollars for him.  The dog was like a third-cousin to him.

I didn't say much.  I felt bad for the dog.  My dad did mostly the listening routine.  This is usually where you let some guy chat for a while and get all the bad stuff out.  This usually comes from a relative passing, some divorce action, or a lightning strike on a dozen of your cows.

In the words that came from the guy....he'd already stopped at least six times and told his story.  He'd probably wasted an hour of productive work time for each of these farmers.

In this case, the weeping stuff went on for more than fifteen minutes and probably tested my dad a good bit.  Finally, with stoic sense....my dad spoke of the greater good of the dog, and he deserved a good clean burial. In some way, my dad gave the guy enough advice to just drive out to some woods....dig a simple grave....say some words from Old Testament, and end this grand tour around the county with a dead dog in the back.

The guy needed that advice from my dad, and he left in a happy mood.

I look at the Hillary situation, and what she really needs....is some stoic guy to just say...it's done, you can't do no more.....let it go.  She'd haul off weeping and saying 'right as rain'.  Then you'd suggest she go off to Montana....do some Indian chants.....sip some fine Macallan Edition Number 2 whiskey (usually $100 a bottle)....and burn a copy of the book.

My hunch is that she's got at least forty more interviews to do, and unlike the guy with the dead dog, there's some kind of monetary appreciation thing going on.

How Hillary Actually Lost

I read through the news this morning and there's this listing that Hillary Clinton's new book puts there....the 43 reasons how she lost.  According to the news folks....she utters the word "Russians" a pretty good bit throughout the book.

I will admit she is creative at finding 43 reasons.  In my simple world....there's basically ten reasons why she's not President today:

1.  In 2008, with tons of support and money....with fine political folks on the staff....she couldn't win Iowa.  In 2016....with tons of support and money....with fine political folks on the staff....she couldn't win Iowa.  Her message doesn't convey to farmers or people who live in the rural parts of America.  She had eight years to figure that out....but could not come and solve this vast mystery of connecting to the state.

2.  Bernie Sanders had a message and theme that people wanted to hear.  He appealed to the downtrodden Democrats who'd been waiting for two or three decades for this great change to occur, and some real wealth re-distribution. Hillary had a 1980s script, and wasn't going to touch wealth re-distribution.

3.  The 9-11 Memorial episode, with the fake pneumonia....simply didn't sell.  You don't get over pneumonia  in seven days.

4.  She didn't appeal to black voters, and they didn't come out in mass numbers in urbanized areas.

5.  She went by the scripted Democratic theme of 'attack'....allow the news media to carry the 're-attack'.....wait ten days and follow on the next 'attack'.  Well...Trump took to social media and responded to the attack....avoiding the news crowd, then counter-attacked with social media, and the news folks were forced into a defensive posture for at least of the political season.

6.  She was aided by the news media in a period where public confidence is draining with journalists, and people aren't reading Time, Newsweek, NY Times, Washington Post.....and interest in CNN is spiraling downward.

7.  Over the final 100 days of the election....she made roughly 65 events.  One week of this was the off-period for Pneumonia.  Trump? He made roughly 110 events over that last hundred days of the campaign.  Note as well....Trump went into the heart of states where he felt he could take votes away from Hillary.  Hillary wasted a number of these events in states that she had 'locked-down'.

8.  Eight years as Senator should have been some highlighted period.  What she had accomplished in eight years were a number of speeches, and three laws drafted by her office.  That's it. Naming streets or post offices....doesn't give you much of a hype on the resume.  The four years as Secretary of State?  I watched a group of Iowa Democrats take on the question of that great period.....with no one able to state any accomplishments for that four-year period on the job.

9.  You can't help but perceive that Hillary felt this whole thing was a cake-walk, and that she'd easily get the popular vote.  She accomplished that.  But there's around four states that she needed to absolutely win (Michigan was absolutely one of those)....and it didn't happen.  Her staff?  I'd take out a fair amount of blame and dump on them.  They should have noted the weak nature of those four states at least thirty days out, and she should have concentrated her campaign on the weak states for at least 75-percent of the final three weeks.

10.  She geared her election for a normal GOP performer.  That would have been enough in any of the past four elections to have easily won.  If this were Romney, Bush, or McCain....they would have been beaten.  Instead, she had something that the GOP hasn't had in decades....someone way outside of the box.  Maybe not since Coolidge, has there been this type of candidate.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

People in the Real World

I sat this afternoon....noting some comment by a professional journalist from MSNBC....Katy Tur. She basically said that she was now permanently scarred (probably meaning mentally)...from President Trump calling out one of her written pieces, which I assume was political in nature.

I sat and pondered over the comment.

I've come to this opinion that a lot of journalists would be better off selling tires, cooking at school lunch-rooms, driving Greyhound buses, or planting trees around in National Forests.

I have my doubts that most are capable of handling some real chaotic life-event.  For some of these people who appear on CNN or Fox News....having a flat tire or six-hour electrical outage....would be the end of the world for them.

Then saying that you might be mentally scarred....if so-and-so reacts to what you wrote?  What kind of wussy would say that about their written material?  These are people who can't even sit in the shadow of Hunter S. Thompson.  If they'd even tried to hang out with Thompson....they wouldn't have lasted more than an hour max.

But here we are....in an average day with ABC, CBS, PBS, NPR, NBC, MSNBC, Fox News and CNN....with BBC, RT, and France-24 in the shadows....literally ten thousand of these talkative and chatty journalists....who might fall apart at any given moment because Trump did a 16-word Tweet on them.  Think about that 'human-glue' that holds them together and how weak it is.

It's probably just another reason why we need to limit ourselves to thirty minutes of news per day.  As for Katy?  Well....library work is less stressful, and it's rare that folks openly criticize a librarian.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

A Little History Story

There are probably ten-thousand different bits of history that I've gone over in a fair amount of detail, and asked myself or pondered upon the actual events or outcome.

One of those...is the Chappaquiddick Island episode with Ted Kennedy and Mary Jo Kopechne...happening on 18 July 1969.

The basic outline is that Ted left a party on the isle with Mary Jo....took a wrong turn...got over a bridge, and then ran off into the water.  Ted managed to climb out.  Mary Jo didn't make it.  Ted was considered somewhat drunk.  Ted somehow made it back to the hotel at 2AM.  Cops come in the early morning to the site.  Ted gets signed off as it being just an accident. End of the story.

Some things about the episode don't fit.

The purse in the car?  It's not Mary Jo's, and no one ever really determined who owned the purse.  Three people in the car?  Well....I've come to think that.

The wrong turn?

Here's the thing about Chapaquiddick.  The party house is on the south side of the isle.  You drive up one single road for 3/4 of a mile and there a left or right turn.  Left goes to the ferry to return to the mainland. Right goes to a bridge which only takes you to another sandbar area....running four miles in length.

Ted turns right.  It's 4,000 feet to the bridge.

I don't think this was a one-car situation.  I think Ted left with two ladies in his car...with a friend/associate (with another lady) in the lead car.  The lead car crosses over and goes up the sandbar.  Late night party fun is anticipated.  Ted is about a minute behind.  Ted drives off the bridge.  The lead car driver, I humbly think....waited around fifteen to twenty minutes for Ted, and then came back around....finding the car in the water, and Ted on the bank....probably with another woman, and Mary Jo in the sunken car.

As the cops tell the story....Ted walks down the road....turns left, and for some reason (in the darkness around midnight) goes back to the party house.  No one can explain any good reason for this. Oddly, all the booze bottles and beer cans? The cops find none there the next day.

Ted apparently sits around for a while, and then walks from there to the ferry area.  It's a 2.4 mile walk.....in the dark....with Ted still somewhat drunk.  The fact that houses and cottages exist there....mid-summer, with people who could help?  This never figures into the cop investigation.

Ted arrives at the ferry dock, and then swims (yes, unbelievable)....roughly a quarter-mile swim in the dark at 1AM while somewhat drunk.  Then Ted arrives at the hotel where he sleeps off the drunken episode.

For me, it's hard to believe the story as it stands.  Ted would have had to walk at least four miles in the dark....in a fairly drunken state.  I think the folks in the second car helped Ted clean up the mess and just get him to the dock.  The cops do shift some blame onto Ted.

The affect of this episode on the 1972 Presidential election?  That's an interesting episode.

Ted Kennedy instead of Hubert Humphrey?  Without the Chappaquiddick incident, I think Ted would have come very close to defeating Nixon in 1972.  The news folks would have hyped up the Ted agenda, and Nixon's war situation would have been a negative.

Purity

I probably won't be spending the $17.99 on Hillary Clinton's new book....“What Happened."

I read around a dozen books a year, but this is probably not the material that I'd really get hyped up about.

I've come to view various comments about what she wrote.  At some point, she notes that she had a lot of frustration with Bernie Sanders over the way that he tried to step into the election and change political party 'purity'.

I was confused by this reference to Democratic Party 'purity'.

If I mentioned purity to my brother....I'd get some lecture about distilled spirits and alcohol content.  This would be one of those twelve minute analytical moments delivered by an engineer about how you reach absolute maximum purity and how you can spoil purity.  Course, none of this would have much to do with Bernie, Hillary, or politics.

I probably missed all those 'purity' classes in college.  The topic just never came up.  We did spend numerous hours discussing the Civil War, Lee, economic downfalls, Roman legions, Churchill, and the affect of weather when landing on Normandy beaches in July.

So I've tried to rationalize this.  Is this purity-stuff related to the fact that Democratic Party is a group of agenda groups, and that Bernie’s working-class crowd and university punks....aren’t part of the Democratic ‘purity’?

Or is this some kind of fake ‘purity’ (like fake politics, fake religion, fake Russians, fake bankers, fake Hollywood, fake golf, fake NCAA football, fake journalism, fake climate change, etc)?

Or is her form of ‘purity’ something that you can’t really grasp without a couple of cocktails and some White Fire Alien OG marijuana (the good-good stuff that you can only buy in a Colorado Spring head-shop)?  Maybe I could reach a level of understanding....if I just smoked the right stuff.

My guess is that 'purity' is some code-word used by the DC lobbyist crowd, and it means something totally different.

This is probably where I'd open up a bottle of Jacky D's Motorhead whiskey and test the 'purity' level.

Voter-Tourism Idea

If you follow New Hampshire news, folks are hyped up....there's been this story developing....6,500 folks registered on that cold November day of last year to vote....with out-of-state licenses.  They said they had moved into the state.  Well...someone checked things in the last three months, and virtually none of the 6,500 folks have gotten new New Hampshire licenses.

Yeah, voter fraud being suggested.

There's some meetings going on and the names of the 6,500 are known.

I sat and pondered over this topic.

The task here ought to be sending a summons to the 6,500....to where ever they live, and ask them to appear in front of a judge with an electrical bill. My guess is that most don't live in New Hampshire, and then the question ought to be....where do you live?

Then you'd go as the judge and ask the state where they live....did they vote in the 2016 election in that state.

Course, all of this would come back as a legal problem involving a $5,000 fine (state law fine).

But why stop there?  It seems like you'd then put up some billboards around the state and try to interest folks in voter-tourism.  Pay $5,000 and get a chance to vote twice in elections.

Some folks in Tennessee would look at this and then suggest....why not a package deal to double-vote?  You fly in....get taken to a nice cabin situation....full-up catfish dinner...go down to the court-house and vote....get a chance to shake hands with the judge and maybe some retired NFL quarterback....get a round of golf, and neatly package the $5,000 fee and trip into a $6,999 deal.  Maybe even throw in a picture taken later with a BLM-protest guy and a fake-KKK guy.

All across America, we could hype up voter-tourism.  Heck, you could even arrange for a guy to buy a 20-year package after he passes away.....getting a straight-ticket absentee ballot and voting as a dead guy....for $25,000 payment to the state in question.

You could even arrange for Brits and Germans to fly into the US....pay for some package voter deal, and vote in five states for $30,000 while lounging on various beaches over a ten-day period.

There's tons of money to be made, if we just latch onto the concept.

Monday, 11 September 2017

Miss America Story

I tried to make sense out of this....Miss America finalists were quizzed on President Trump's past comments, his decision to pull out of Paris Accord and whether they agreed on collusion with the Russians.

To be honest, I haven't watched a Miss America pageant since like 1971 while visiting my uncle down in Demopolis, Alabama (figure that comes up to around 46 years).  We had vanilla ice cream served in significant portions (my uncle probably had ice cream every single night of his life), with fresh peaches.  To also be honest, I don't remember what gal from what state won, what they wore, or what dimwit question they answered.  The ice cream business?  Yeah, for some odd reason, I remember that.

I pondered over the questions.

It would have been interesting to ask them what collusion means....but they probably would have said it was insurance that you buy via Prudential.

It would have been interesting to ask if they'd ever met any Russians but most would have responded were Arab-like and wore robes.

It would have been interesting to ask about the Paris Accords, but this would have led onto Honda Accord car, or Paris, Texas.

It would have been interesting to ask about their feelings for Bernie or Hillary, but most would have responded that they were too young to vote or forgot about voting.

Viewership?  Well....this got brought up....a 13-percent drop from last year.  Frankly, no one cares for the show anymore.  If I haven't watched the show in forty-six years....that kinda says something.

The Gang Story

It's an odd piece of news I picked up this morning and read through several times.

Up in Portland, Oregon....the cops for two decades had crafted and maintained a gang-database.  If they arrested you, and you had the tattos or gang membership items....you got put into the database.  Name, crime, and picture.

You could walk up to the internal system and list out various gangs that operated around Portland, see the members, and ID trends or links to other gangs.

At some point in the last year.....someone came up to notice that most all of the gang members listed in Portland....are minority individuals (black, Latino, Asian, etc).  They didn't say 100-percent minority but a large portion of the database was that way.

The guy feeling of the individual?  It just wasn't right. They are dumping and deleting the database. You still get into the regular crime database....but no gang affiliation.

Somehow, the department has now been convinced that the need to ID gangs and trends....isn't that big of a deal and would be discriminatory in nature.

Out of about 1.6-million people in the Portland area....around ten-percent are Latino.  Six-percent are black.  Seven-percent are Asian.  And 72-percent is white.

I pondered upon the problem here.  The real problem is that there just aren't enough white gang members in Portland.  If there are around 1.1-million white folks there....at least one-third of the gang-members ought to be white.  And that's just not happening.

What the city really needs is a recruitment program to bring the numbers up to the right statistical average.  I'm not suggesting really bad white gang folks.....like those Italian thugs in NY City or Philly.....but like the white gang-members of Madison, Wisconsin, or Myrtle Beach, SC.

Why don't they have more white gang-members in Portland?  I suspect that as the years went by and marijuana became a highly used drug in the city.....a lot of the white guys mellowed out and became....well.....'wussy'.  They'd hang out but mostly to drink booze and smoke joints.

I would imagine as well...that someone noticed that there just aren't that many women listed as gang-members, and lack of women also was a problem.  It's hard to convince women to join up with gangs.....most have better things to do, and would prefer a real lifestyle.

The odds of this process spreading to other urban areas with gangs?  Yeah.....I kinda doubt it..

Sunday, 10 September 2017

The Stoic Guys in a Storm

I see a fair number of comments made by young individuals in Florida....over the impending hurricane.  For those under 25....it's like hurricanes have never occurred in their life (I admit....it's been over a dozen years since the last one).  For those over sixty years old....they don't over-react....they've got a chest full of medals having dealt with at least twenty hurricanes in their life, and there's some list up on the kitchen-wall with forty items listed.

If you grew up on a farm as a kid, you tend to know the stoic route and the reactions required.

At the first suggestion of storm activity....the farm reaction is....did such-and-such weather-guy from the local channel say this, or was it that idiot from the national channel?

Then the farm guy will ask....show me the Doppler-radar....as if they have a vast knowledge level of Doppler and can explain this in great detail.  Doppler radars often rank up there with International Harvester tractors, and McCulloch chainsaws.

Then the farm guy will ask if this is wind-related, rain-related, hail-related, hurricane-related, or tornado-related.  He'll let you know that he has a particular action list for each one (maybe forty task lines) and each is treated different.

Then the farm guy will go out and note the fuel-level in the truck.  The dog will take note of this and realize that we've moved from regular daily business....to near-chaos business.  A half-full truck will require a trip to the general store where you converse with eight guys on the latest gossip, their weather interpretation, the upcoming funeral for Brother-Jim, and you will pick up a case or two of Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Then the farm guy will find the appropriate jacket for the event.  Most of them have not been washed in twelve years.

Then the farm guy will start to follow events via the weather-radio network and occasionally pull up the Doppler picture off his cellphone.  The dog will follow along because he senses that utter catastrophic events are likely to follow.

Then the farm guy will check his fencing to ensure no problem really exists prior to the storm.  It's wasted time because the cows have already checked all weak fencing points and know the best place to escape the farm.

Then the farm guy will note some Baptist minister stopping by and attempting to pray for him and his farm.  It usually takes sixty seconds to let the minister know that some Catholic Priest already did the prayer and spilled a bit of water on the drive-way.  Things are fine, and he can move on.

Then the farm guy will note the last hour prior to the storm....mostly pulling the lawn furniture in and roping up any loose items.

Then as the storm lays in and power goes....the farm guy will pull out the $2k generator he bought and find that it won't readily start up and he wastes an hour of the storm cranking it up.

As chaos and turbulent winds occur....the farm guy sips through a cup of coffee and lays out the better choice dog biscuits for dog.  A surreal calm comes over the dog....like the calm that comes after leaving the veterinarian office without any shots.  

Then the farm guy goes into repair mode....cleans up on limbs in the yard....cracks up a beer or two, and assesses his situation as ''acceptable".  Actually....it doesn't matter what happens....the end result is always "acceptable".

He'll drive around now and visit other farm guys who generally say the same thing.  Some will offer up a beer.  Some will remark about such-and-such storm from 1982 or 2008.

Then he'll do another fence review....to find a dozen cows standing there some point where a tree is leaning against the fence.  The cows...sensing a chance to escape...pause and wait.  In five minutes, the tree is cleared....the fence tightened up a bit, and the cows have a frustration moment.

By this point, the farm guy will return.  He'll settle back to watch such-and-such weather guy, who will have a full slide of comparison against the spring 1972 storm, versus the April 1958 storm, versus the November storm of 2009.  The farm guy will write down some notes, in order to have some commentary at the general store for tomorrow.

Storms come and go.  If you asked the guy about the last forty storms, he'll rate each and note how things came back to some normal stage.  As much as some journalist or 'snowflake' would get hyped up....the stoic nature kicks in and restores the sense of balance in the real world.

Something to View

I sat and watched the Kid Rock political speech....it's a five-minute piece.  I would strongly recommend watching it.

From my prospective....he delivers probably one of the best short political speeches of the past twenty years.

Yes, there's plenty of cursing and bluntness that would get some people disturbed.  But he didn't exactly invite you to a quiet Sunday church meeting or desire to give you happy good-feeling thoughts.

Odds of winning a Michigan Senate election?  At this point, I'd say it's a 98-percent chance of him winning....possibly even taking four of every ten Democratic voters along the way.  Some folks will likely try to sway the election and talk about drug issues, but Kid Rock might suggest that there are dozens of boozers in the House and Senate already....so what's the big issue?  Some journalists might try to suggest that he's not qualified for the job....but he'll remind the journalists that probably half the Senators in DC are either unqualified or dim-witted....even after twenty years on the job.

The Senate?  They have to be standing there and wondering just where this Kid Rock introduction is going to end up.  He'll insult virtually every single one of them and likely be dumped upon by half of the GOP.  Fine....those are likely the folks on a short ladder and finding themselves out on the next election.

Yes, there's some trend underway, and if you see Kid Rock elected....there's a unwritten script existing at that point.  That's something we haven't seen in a hundred years.  I suspect Jefferson would be grinning from ear to ear if he were viewing this renovation of American politics.

The No-Conflict Journalism

My brother recently brought up the term 'Cuban journalism' when referring to the news media of the US.  In a sense, Castro-run journalism was a one-directional operation and everyone focuses on one single message.

But there is a bit of history tied to Cuba and journalism.

Prior to the 1960s, Cuba had two venues of journalism....print-media and radio.

It's safe to say from the 1920s on....Cuba ran from one puppet-government to another, or a regime period with a dictator.   In 1933, Batista emerged as the 'savior' of the common people...inventing a five-man council to run Cuba for roughly seven years.  From the prospective of the news media....you could say or write anything....as long as it didn't conflict with the government.

At some point around 1940, everyone felt that an election ought to occur, which mean Batista would be officially elected to his position.  From the prospective of the news media....you could say or write anything....as long as it didn't conflict with the government.

For four years, Batista held the presidency, and then retired....oddly enough to Florida.  You would have thought that was end of Batista.  But no.

Around 1952, the US has decided that Cuba has some problem....too many leftists....too many strikes.

So in 1952, Batista comes back to Cuba and runs a coup.  From the prospective of the news media....you could say or write anything....as long as it didn't conflict with the government.

By 1 January 1959....things in Cuba had reached a stage where Batista-style government had failed, and Batista left the country.  Castro-management was the new process.  From the prospective of the news media....you could say or write anything....as long as it didn't conflict with the government.

Since the 1959, things have kinda run along a scripted slant, with few changes.

For over a hundred years, the news media in Cuba has operated with this odd prospective.....you can say or write anything.....as long as it doesn't conflict with the government.

So you as a journalist.....write about some failed relationship, a problem with your stove, or the best place where you can have a beer.  After a while, you get used to the limits of discussion and it's a normal thing to avoid criticism of the government.

Oddly....in America, we have the opposite problem.  We sit and listen to hyped up political commentary and various agendas....on a daily basis....and get about 4000-percent of news which will conflict with the current government, or past governments (Obama, Bush, Carter, Clinton, etc).  In fact, some of us might even wish that we had the Cuba form of journalism....for at least three days out of the week.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

2020: Trump versus Sanders

A handful of journalists will go and talk over the idea of Bernie reviving his campaign and squaring off against at least two significant Democrats in the 2019 primary period (likely to be Warren and Booker).

I give the odds here at least 10-percent that Bernie will try another time.  But here's the odd factor.  In Iowa....if you marched out Warren, Booker, and Sanders....Sanders wins....hands down.

I would even go and suggest at least twelve states where Sanders would be easily in a better win-situation than Warren or Booker.

The big negative?  Bernie would be 79 years old during the primary year.  Maybe if he were in his mid-60's....this might make sense, but I think his energy level was absolute maximum in 2016, and he can't match that again.    Would the supporters of Bernie try to talk him into another run? Yes.  And I suspect that he might go and show up next year in Iowa....just to hint that he might run.

A Bernie-like character out there that might attract votes?  No.  That's the thing about the party presently....no one talks like Bernie or acts like Bernie.

The odd feature of the 2020 primary period?  There are five cities in the running for the convention.  Oddly, Birmingham, Alabama is one of the five.  If you were looking for some southern charm and special attention to filter out across the south....helping some candidate....picking Birmingham would make sense.  But also in the running is NY City and Saint Louis, MO.

So I come to this wild idea of Bernie entering the race, against all odds....meeting Trump.  Could Bernie beat Trump?  There's at least two Trump-win states where I think Bernie has a better chance than Hillary (Michigan and Ohio).

A lot of crazy things are likely to happen between now and November 2020.

The Counseling Story

I was sitting this morning reading up on news and came to some Berkeley College news note.  Apparently, Ben Shapiro is scheduled to come out and speak at the university.  For those who've not ever sat and heard Ben.....he's a fairly young, clever, and conservative intellectual.  In a sense, imagine a youthful 'Rush Limbaugh' in his mid-20s, except Ben is probably more capable in debate.

Berkeley is going to provide counseling and "other" services to students who might be upset, dazed, or impaired by Ben.

I sat and pondered upon this statement by the university.

First, it's hard for me to imagine anyone having some kind of mental situation that just by hearing someone speak....a guy would go off on some mental 'fall' and be in need of counseling.  And if they did get this quickie-mental help (twenty minutes of chat)....what does it say about the profession of mental health that quickie-chat fixes a guy's problems?

Second, what would you say to someone hurt this badly by some comment by Ben?  "Get over it"?  I doubt it.  Would you tell the kid to take a dozen deep breaths, and sip a Pabst Blue Ribbon?  Would you show the kid a series of pictures of penguins and kittens to chill the guy out?  Would you slip the kid a pill to dope them up for an hour and help to forget the episode?

Third, if there's this much potential for someone to unravel....shouldn't the university have people like this on call twenty-four hours a day?  I mean....you could bump into some guy at 7-11 or the Jiffy-Lube, and they'd say some Ben-comment, and then flip you out.  Your bartender could make a simple 40-word statement and unhinge you.

But then I come to this awkward thought....if you are that close to mentally losing it....why are you at college?  This is the place where instructors and professors would present a wide-array of thoughts and if you were this 'weak'....this counseling thing would be something required at least ten times a week.  You ought to be working at some gas station in Tulsa and living a pretty simple lifestyle.  

It's a bold world out there, but it appears to me that we have reached a point where there just aren't enough bold people to live in it.

Friday, 8 September 2017

Ten General Rules For College

Occasionally, I will offer advice, and this particular segment centers on college-bound kids and punks.

1.  College isn't free.  Someone (maybe not you) is paying for your tuition, or you might be crazy enough to borrow the money.  Don't waste  time like you did in high school.

2.  Look around on day one of the freshman year.  Twenty-five percent of the folks you meet....won't be back next year.  They were either not ready for the situation, or just thought you could slide by.

3.  If you got some social agenda and intend to break up classes or lectures....remember that the system is built to suspend you, or terminate you from the school.

4.  Ask about professors and their quality ahead of time.  You could be sitting in a class with an Einstein-like guy giving you tons of information, or some dimwit named Wanda who will give a 3x5 card worth of information over a whole semester.

5.  If you came for NCAA tickets or sports action....you probably won't be around for the second year.

6.  If you get into girl-trouble and there's legal accusations....the real cops might come for you.  Just remember that.

7.  In four years, that degree will be your meal-ticket in life.

8.  Your chief acquisition in life from college is the ability to analyze, prioritize, and assess what's in front of you.....the knowns and the unknowns.  If by the end of the second year....you get the feeling that none of this is coming across....you need to asses the program and if you need to move out of the university.

9.  If you fall into some company of individuals with some radical social agenda....ask yourself where exactly they will be in twenty years....working at some pizza shop or manager of some program.  At that point, you might want to separate yourself from these new friends, and move on.

10.  The world needs people with French literature degrees, and expertise in penguins....it's just that a dozen or so of these folks are needed each year.  The world needs engineers, scientists, and businessmen.....hundreds of thousands are needed each year.  If you want to major in penguin research....you better be one of the top ten guys in the world, or have a plan 'B' to work at some airport car rental shop later in life.  

Nine Minutes to Understand Reality

It's a good video piece with David Graeber who gives you nine minutes of discussion on Bull$hit jobs.

Around twenty years ago, I came to work in an organization that had several individuals who basically just showed up and found a dozen ways to pretend to work....but never really did much of anything. They were actually paying these people $80,000 a year for doing almost nothing.

After a while, I came to recognize managers...who were sitting there in Bull$hit jobs and pretending to manage a dozen people, and their services really weren't required.

Graeber talks about this trend.  He points out this interesting fact....that under capitalism....these type jobs wouldn't normally exist.

In the past thirty-odd years, with all this automation delivered....you would think that we'd weed out these jobs with no pay-back.  But no....we actually work to create more of these jobs.

After watching the whole nine-minute piece, I came to this odd question....where do things go now?  Obviously, we aren't going to admit that fifty-percent of the general work-force in the world are doing things with no value, but can society and capitalism continue to allow this to exist?

I look back at the American farm culture....where you needed two or three 'hands' to run a 200-acre farm, and today, with automation....one single guy can achieve the same results.  That guy is not stupid enough to go and create side-work for two extra hands to be hired, and simply pay them out of his pocket.  He keeps the money and eliminates the Bull$hit work required.

Maybe there are some sectors where this type of fake work won't survive, but you just have to wonder about the rest of the job sector.  Are we existing in a world where we really don't have anything useful for a quarter of the population to work upon?  What does that say?

Watch the video....it's worth the nine minutes.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

“Invisibility Microaggression”

I noticed today in the news that someone brought up “invisibility micro-aggression,”.

The basic meaning of this is:  You arrive at some airport, and sit down next to someone, and she looks kinda-Asian.  It probably doesn't matter....the flight might be leaving late, and for some odd reason, you've started a small conversation with the slightly-Asian gal.  Then along about the 10th question.....you ask....where is she from.  Naturally, you didn't intend this to mean too much or be mean, or even offensive.  But the act alone....maybe such that this Asian-like lady gets this stupid question asked six to ten times each week, and she's annoyed after the 200th time this year in having to answer this stupid question.

Being an American around Germany, I have this odd deal happen occasionally because Germans want to know precisely where you come from.  The fact that I've lived in five different states in my life, and two countries...makes this a slightly painful answer, and I tend to just answer from the state where I grew up.  But to call this a micro-aggression?  No....it's just a part of life.

All of this hype toward micro-aggression is leading to one single future trend.

The 'I-don't-care-about-you' micro-aggression.

This is where you don't care about the guy or gal you bumped into.  You don't care about their spouse, their kids, their college, their degree, their church, their religion, their ethnic status, their car, their debt, their golf or bowling scores, their NFL team, their NCAA team, their lusty affair, their landscape around the house, the failing rate of their septic tank, the four weeks they spent in jail for bad-checks, their habitual drug use, their choice of whiskey, their favorite Star-Trek episode, their favorite brother from the Cartwrights, their political stance, their social media theme, their favorite hotel, their summer vacation, their failures in life, their successes in life, or their belief or disbelief in global warming.  In short, you don't start stupid discussions at the airport or anywhere with people because it all leads to some micro-aggression stage.  You mind your own business.

I know....it's not friendly and it gets you labeled anti-social.

But every single detail of this orchestrated agenda is built to lead you deeper into some accusation by someone....to be on a micro-aggression trend.  So buck the system. Don't give a damn.  Let people know that you don't give a damn.

Alabama Saga

I sat and read through Alabama news this morning (my home-state)....and here was the latest on this Senator-primary polling business.  Judge Moore now leads by double-digits over Senator Luther Strange.  Pretty much a guaranteed thing now that Moore wins the primary and easily wins against the Democrat.

For most people in Alabama, the past two years and this primary episode....have been like some Ben-Hur or Spartacus movie epic.

The opera would open with seventy-five-year-old Governor Bentley lustfully whispering into the ear of his gal....Rebekah Mason.

Mrs Bentley would suspect something, and get someone to show her how to tape the Governor.  Then all heck would break out with the wife divorcing Bentley.

Accusations of misusing state funds would follow.  The state would want to prosecute and dump Bentley....but for some odd reason....just keeps delaying the act of impeachment.  It shouldn't have taken more than a month or two.

Then Trump wins the Presidency.....offering Senator Sessions the AG job.   Sessions drops his Senate job.

Then folks wake up to realize the top guy handling this entire impeachment process....was Luther Strange.  Bentley appoints Luther, and then starts his resignation paperwork.

Things would typically be all fine at this point in the opera....but then the Goddess Kay (vice-Governor) steps out of the darkness and says 'hold on'.  At this point, you start to hear dueling banjos in the distance and some yodeling.

The Goddess Kay says no way, and orders up a primary.

Luther has fallen into a blackberry patch and there's basically no way to exit without some scratches.

Off in the distance....come a running....two Alabama gents to challenge Luther.  The fair-haired Mo, and the Moses-candidate Moore.

Goddess Kay admires the fight from the distance and knows that only good can come from this epic battle.

In the days to come, the Moses-candidate Moore will likely win this epic battle and ascend to the lofty Senate job, and the fat lady will emerge from the back stage to sing "Rambling Man" as the curtain comes down.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

The Funny Governor's Order

I sat and tried to make sense out of this news piece.  With Hurricane Irma bearing down upon the Caribbean....the governor of the Virgin Islands (US territory) has signed an emergency order that dictates the National Guard of the island (approximately 1,000 folks)....can seize private guns, private ammo, private explosives, and property....to respond to the hurricane.

The order allows the Adjutant General of the isle to dictate the rules to this and everything would be approved by the island's chief prosecutor.

Legal?  I was amused at the idea.

First, you'd need a court order by a judge to go into each single house and you'd have to demonstrate how this guy or that family needed to hand over their weapons.  Just in time constraints alone.....you'd have at least two or three judges around the clock....twenty-four hours a day....signing these search-and-seizure letters.

Second, the National Guardsmen obeying this?  Having worked around such individuals in my life....I can vouch that no enlisted guy would obey some order to walk up to a house and attempt to enter the house, and seize the owner's weapons.  There might be some Colonel at the head of the island's Guard unit, who says sure....but no one is going to obey that officer with this type of order.

Third, the Constitutional challenge?  It basically suggests that you only have Constitutional rights in fair weather, and none in bad weather.  Jefferson would laughing so hard that he'd probably have fallen on the floor from this 'joke'.

Fourth, once you seized all these weapons....where exactly do you intend to store them?  There are 102,000 residents on the island and one might take a guess that at least 10,000 weapons exist there. What armory exists that can hold such an amount of weapons, and how many Guardsmen will you have standing there to guard the armory instead of being out in the hurricane zone?

Fifth, let's say that the Guardsmen do obey this, and the first place they stop is the house of the governor, and his chief of security.  How exactly will either react....having their own weapons taken?

Sixth, the private property angle?  Seizing some guy's store-front, or his car?  I can't see any Guardsman obeying that order.  It just opens them up for prosecution later about an illegal order.

Where this leads onto?  At the conclusion of all this hurricane clean-up....likely to take six to twelve weeks minimum....this idiot governor will stand up and say proudly that his seizure program was a remarkable success, and that no one was shot.  Then some Fox News guy will ask how many weapons were seized by the Guardsmen, and the governor will say he has no idea (the number likely will be zero).

Oddly, this will be talked about for weeks....how some governor made up some bogus executive order, and how no one listened to the guy.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

11,648 Hour of Worthless Chatter?

I sat and watched this video.....33-minute verbal essay by Scott Adams (he does the Dilbert cartoon).

Its a discussion over CNN and something that even I came to realize back in March and April of this year (2017).

Hour by hour.....CNN will march out some discussion panel of 'experts' who have the job of dumping upon anything that relates to President Trump.  For a few weeks, they might have carried some interest with people....but after a full month of this type of journalism....most viewers eventually lose interest.   If the group would have gone and analyzed forty different political people every day....from US Senators....to British or German foreign ministers....it might have carried on some public interest.  But they didn't go by that angle.

Here's the thing which Scott points out, and I totally agree upon....it's the cheapest method to run some news network.

You gather and run some marginalized news network with reporters and journalists based around the world....then you take your prime-time hours....mid-morning....then 6PM to 9PM, and you have twenty-odd 'experts' who wander in.....chat for most of an hour.....pause for an hour, then repeat with another group of experts.  Money-wise, it's the best way to fill up the time-slot.

If the experts were smart....they'd start to demand more money, and make this whole CNN-agenda method less-affordable....but they never seem to be that smart....or CNN is smart enough to keep finding new 'experts' hanging off various parts of the journalism 'tree'.

The problem I see....long-term....no one has ever had this type of business plan developed and worked it for possibly eight years.  So in effect, we are stuck having to imagine four hours a day.....seven days a week....365 days a year....times eight years.  11,648 hours of anti-Trump talk?

You can imagine some historians sitting there in the year 2217...reviewing this vast collection of eleven-thousand hours of anti-Trump talk and trying to come to some conclusion how this was sponsored....and kept going....week after week, and month after month.

That much worthless chatter?  Oddly, they probably will sit down and note for historical purposes....that the word "Hitler" was mentioned at least 94,288 times over the eleven-thousand hours.

Scott Adams is correct in his analysis, but it won't really change much of anything.

The Thousand-a-Month Idea

MSN brought up this report, which I read through three or four times. It's a curious piece.

There is this research foundation....the Roosevelt Institute....which did this study, in connection with the Italian University of Cassino and Southern Lazio and the Bard College's Levy Institute.

The result of the study is a suggestion that you ought to give every adult (assuming over the age of 18 years old)....$1,000 in a cash handout each month.  If you did this....the US economy would surge by $2.5 trillion in just seven years.

The tail-end of this study suggests that by paying out the handouts....would result in increased taxes, which is a slight negative and you'd have to find some method to avoid this angle of the consequences.

For several years, this hand-out deal has floated around Europe and been a popular idea for fringe political parties.

The general issues I see with this?

First, you assume that each person getting the $1,000 a month....will spend it.  There's never been a real study done to say what a thousand people getting the $1,000 a month would do with the money.  I have doubts that all of the thousand would readily spend it each month.  If you had ten to twenty percent who stock-piled the money....it wouldn't be such a positive idea.  The idea of some borrowing even more money, and that $20,000 loans being easily created and banks trying to gimmick-up 20-percent loans out of this thousand-a-month?

Second, none of the research ever done....has suggest how the $1,000 a month would be spent. This bothers me in some ways.  Some people would go and find a upscale car, and put a thousand dollars down, and pay a monthly payment of $999 on the car.  Some adults would spend the whole thousand on a weekend at some Indian casino.  Some would buy a thousand dollars of meth.  Some might go and buy shares of stock.

Third, you would eventually come around and ask....all these material-type products that the thousand per month went to.....are they actually made in the US?  The laughable answer is no.....the vast majority would probably have been made either in Mexico, some Asian region, or China.  It would be different if the money all went to US-made products....that would invent jobs....create a wave of enthusiasm within the US market, and be a great positive trend. But you can't even come close to even twenty-percent of this mass purchase each month being US-manufactured.

I don't intend to knock all of these efforts by the private foundations....we need research like this.  But you see various limits to the concept and wonder why they won't investigate where the money would be spent or what materials/products would be bought?

Dream On

Because it's been in the news....a moment or two to simplify and explain the Dream-Act episode.

1. The Dream Act is short for Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act.  It was written as a legislative multi-piece process for getting alien minors into the US (people over 35 would NOT qualify).  Yes, it was age discrimination that the House and Senate (both GOP and Democrats) were writing.  All of this process would lead a young alien kid to permanent residency.

2.  All of the requirements required a six-year period.  It was never clear if enough 'gate-keepers' were around to monitor the progress of the individuals on their six-year mission.

3.  The entry rules under this draft?  First, you had to be of good moral character (this wasn't clearly defined, and it's Republicans and Democrats who remarkably wrote this rule....both generally lacking moral character).  You should NOT have entered the United States on a non-immigrant visa.  Somehow, in the midst of all of this....you have some proof of having arrived in the US before age 16.  If you arrived at age 16 years, and one week?  Well, you'd fail on the 'proof-gimmick'.  You needed to show proof again that you were in the US for at least five consecutive years since their date of arrival.  If you left for six days of some funeral back in Honduras?  Well....that would disqualify you.  If you were a guy, you needed to register with the Selective Service.  Finally, you needed to have a high school certificate, or a GED, or have been in some institution of higher education

4.  The first version of this act started out in 2001 (yeah, it was sixteen years ago).  It NEVER passed via the House.

5.  A second version of this act came up later in 2001.  It NEVER passed.

6.  Another round of the Dream Act came up in 2007.  It NEVER passed.

7.  Another round of the Dream Act came up in 2009, with the Democratic House, Democratic Senate, and Democratic President.  It NEVER passed.

8.  Another round of the Dream Act came up in 2010, with the same combination of characters.  It NEVER passed.

9.  Another round of the Dream Act came up in 2011, with Harry Reid personally carrying the draft.  It NEVER passed.

10.  In 2012, President Obama just more or less wrote an understanding that he'd enforce it....even though it's not a law.  Oddly, throughout this entire period from 2012 to 2017....the GOP held grave reservations over the way it was written and wanted it removed.  So here we are in 2017, with President Trump, and he is removing the understanding, and challenging both the GOP and Democrats to go ahead....craft the legislation, and pass it.  The odds?  They won't do it.

You can laugh about the whole fake nature of the act....that you can't find enough characters from either party to ever pass it....yet they appear weekly on TV and talk a hyped-up sense over the whole thing.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

The Don't-Goof-This-Up Situation

I sat and looked at this picture (from the AP folks) off Drudge this morning.  President flew down again and had a half-day of activities in Houston again.

In this scene....the older gal had pulled up and President Trump walked up and had a brief chat with the older Houston gal.  As you notice the moment...she has embraced the President with her hand on his left arm....a sign of connection.

I paused over the moment.  She likely left that epic meeting between herself and President....teary-eyed and emotional.  She probably drove back home and talked to her husband 'Lester'....noting how she'd bumped into Trump.  'Lester' probably asked if it affected her, and she probably went on for two hours talking of this one brief moment of dialog with Trump.  Eye-to-eye....chatter over the weather, the flood, the compassion of people....Trump giving her a chance to say something that was bothering her, and for a brief time....she felt up-lifted.

Maybe she did admit that she voted for Hillary.  Maybe she even suggested that she had voted for that McMuffin-guy.  Or maybe she admitted that she'd forgotten about voting that day in November.

Here's the thing....on any given day, you might take a turn and stop in some parking lot....and President Trump might suddenly walk up to your car-window and want to start a chat.  Don't goof this up.  Offer up a 'howdy'....speak with some respect....and say your brief sixty-word commentary.  This is it, your one brief moment in life when you might be able to influence or bring some insight to a situation.  Don't screw it up by admitting you voted McMuffin.

Orchestrated Politics

When you go digging through history....you can find orchestrated fake episodes which the news media helped to funnel to the public, and shape public opinion to a particular conclusion.  So there's the bonus-Army episode of 1932....which I will explain in detail.

For decades in American history, it was common to offer up a bonus to people who would sign to help fight in some American war.  Typically, you got land or property, for a set period of time. By the end of the Civil War, it was becoming apparent that there was a limit on open land left and this idea of land-grants for military service....had to come to an end.  In the case of the Spanish-American War....luckily, it only last about one-hundred days and no incentive was required.

However, as you come to WW I....we had a slightly different case building up.  In this episode....the entry of the US didn't occur until early 1917 (note, after the November 1916 election, where President Wilson campaigned to stay out of the war)....that the US entered the brief war, and spent barely eighteen months in the engagement.

A bonus deal?  It's an odd thing....the war actually ended and folks went home.  Wilson's term would end in early 1920, with President Coolidge entering office.  Four years go by....a GOP-led Senate (figure near 60 Republicans, with a majority)....set up legislative matters to hand out a Army-bonus for WW I (having ended five years prior).

All of this comes up early in 1924, and is passed by the House and Senate.  Coolidge?  He vetoes the bill....but the vote comes up in the Senate and they overturn his veto.  Imagine that.

The deal?  Well....every guy who spent time in service for the war received a dollar for each day of service, with a limit of $500 maximum.  If you did overseas service (actually in France), then you got $1.25 for each day....but there was a $625 limit on that.  Amazingly enough....anyone who had very limited time and had fifty dollars or less owed....they got paid immediately.  Everyone else?  They got this certificate which they could hold and would be paid out in twenty years....1944.  In truth....the government had some money sitting there and could afford the group owed the $50 or less.  The rest?  They simply didn't have the money, and this was a debt that would be invented out of thin air in 1944.

There were a minimum of three million certificates created for this, and the debt listed was between three and four billion dollars.  If you did this by 2017 numbers....it was roughly fifty-billion dollars to be paid out.

No one says much between 1924 and 1929 over the deal.  But you have this odd episode of the Wall Street crash, and depression setting in.

So around by 1930, there some hyped-up nature over the bonus deal.  Some folks want the bonus open to a loan out....so you could walk in and get a partial payment (a loan).  This starts out at the twenty-percent level, and later....there's talk of a fifty-percent loan-out.  It goes nowhere.  Why?  The House and Senate sit there....in the midst of a depression....talking about finding money which doesn't exist, and suggesting higher taxes to pay out the bonus money.  No one wants higher taxes.

By January of 1932 (an election year), there are marches conducted on Washington by disgruntled former Army members.  Protests are set up in Washington DC....with approximately 25,000 folks there in the spring period....coming and going. By July, it's suggested that ten-thousand protesters are now in a camp atmosphere (intending to stay long-term).

As July arrives....the political atmosphere in DC is charged up.  Protests are common.  Some people think that anarchy could be on the verge of occurring.  So President Hoover (the GOP guy) orders the Defense Department to take action.  Note, there's virtually no real cop presence in the city to handle this type of mess.

On 28 July 1932....a brief one-day episode unfolds.  US Army versus ten-thousand former Army members....on the far east side of Washington DC.  The print-media at the time lays out the whole episode, and a massive amount of blame gets dumped on President Hoover for the way that this was handled.  Four months later, the election shift has occurred....one of the worst election defeats for a sitting President occurs....all going back to the Bonus-Army riot.

Oddly enough....in 1936...the topic of the bonus money came up through Congress again....passing through both House and Senate, with FDR vetoing the pay-out.  This time?  They voted again and overrode the veto....paying out roughly 2-billion dollars of bonus money.  Taxes?  No one says much....it was simply debt added to more debt and everyone looked the other way.  Who passed the bill?  It was a massive Democratic House and Senate that had taken over in 1932 and 1934.

One can look back at 1924 and how a bunch of politicians screwed up....how Hoover screwed up with the handling of the protesters....and how the Democrats made everyone happy in 1936 over the bonus...all neatly created or orchestrated.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Fake Weather?

In 2016, I came to be introduced to fake news.

This week, I came to be introduced to fake weather.

What the National Weather Service has said....is that some folks are making up bogus hurricane maps and projecting hurricanes beyond five days, and in some way.....attributing this back to the National Weather Service.  Yeah....fraudulent weather predicting.

Why produce fake weather warnings?  Well, you have to assume that there is some agenda to this....people wanting others to get hyped up and worried, when there is no need for worry.

But this starts to open up various issues.  If you have fake weather reports....could you have fake crime reports?  Could you have fake travel reports?  Could you have fake NCAA coverage over the upcoming season?  Could you have fake political trends?

Years ago....I grew up in a particular community that had a couple of TV stations, and weathermen.  Generally, if you went to some worry about the weather pattern....you would then turn to Channel Nineteen, to get H. D. Bagley.  Whatever H. D. said.....was pretty much gospel.  It didn't matter if it agreed with the National Weather Service or not....it was words by H. D. that would either sooth you or get you into the storm cellar.

What would H. D. likely say of the fake weather business....if he were around today?  He'd likely accuse them of being communists.  Folks would agree, and they'd lessen their connection to the internet and all this fakeness.

Friday, 1 September 2017

The Map Story

There was a piece to come up today on Alabama (my home state) and essay of sorts centered on the fact (suggestion) that Alabamians can't read maps.  So in the case of a tornado warning....you have to actually read out individual houses with folk's names....telling them to run for the storm-shelter.

It was of course a parody....but after you sit and think over it....yeah, probably around 10-percent of the adults in the state of Alabama cannot read a map.

I noted this coming up around the 8th grade while attending an Alabama school.  The teacher wanted a public speech moment, and force kids to stand up at the front and give some two-minute  explanation of how to get from the school to their home (may at the most....5 miles away).

It pained (a usual Alabama term) a number of kids.  They were given an entire day to write some basic words down, and it really didn't matter.

Some kids were lucky and lived on state highway 207.....meaning two sentences at the most.  Some had to inject north, south, east or west into the commentary, and I noted from several folks that they used wrong direction.

Some kids refused to identify road numbers, and just said the 4th right turn after such-and-such church, or identified themselves to the state-line.

Barns were identified by several kids....as were churches....cemeteries.....general stores.

I led the folks on a 20-odd mile route explanation (my house was at the most two miles away)....taking folks past the state-line....up into the Appleton region (complete with dirt roads), back across the state-line.....adding descriptive notes along the way with house-trailers, combines, and oaks.

The thing is.....reading maps just isn't some talent that you need much in life.  I grew up with people who haven't been more than 300 miles away in their entire life (these are people over the age of fifty).
You can talk to a hundred Alabama folks, and at least forty of them will tell you that their limit in life is one state away (going to a Braves game), and that they still keep a big Atlas under the car-seat for special trips.  If you brought up the idea of driving across the US....to Oregon?  Oh....that'd freak some folks out.

It's just the way that it is.

This Odd neo-Nazi and KKK Combination

Over the past six months, I've sat and read through print-media, blogs, and watched hours of news and fake-news.  This odd creation of KKK members in association with neo-Nazi members have been a curious thing for me.   It's continually portrayed as two groups working on a similar agenda and in protests together.  For me....it's a theme that can't exist.

Most people fail to grasp the KKK, and their history.  Their creation....around the 1865-era, in Pulaski, Tennessee?  They became a vigilante group within a particular county which had no plantations and very few blacks.  Whatever the original theme was with the regional group....it moved out of the region....took on other shapes and styles, and became an instrument with various agendas.  Oddly, the KKK came to exist only in regions with strong Democratic Party-landscapes.

At some point in the 1915-to-the-1930s....the KKK is said to have hit their peak.  Some historians even go and call it the 2nd version of the KKK, and they were unlike the version that existed in the 1865 to 1915 era.  The KKK actually left the south in this period, and extended itself out into the midwest and northeast....as a urbanized organization, and having a vast political agenda.  The same historians will say that in this 1920s era....the membership went between three and six million members nation-wide.

After WW II?  That's an interesting thing.  The political usage of the KKK basically came to an end by the end of the 1960s. Today, the FBI says that the membership rests around 6,000. That's it.

If you went and asked any KKK member of this modern era about political feelings....most will identify as libertarian types....leaning slightly to conservative. Few will figure into the Democratic Party.  Most KKK individuals will say their membership is tied to be pro-white, and anti-multiculturalism.  Oddly, I don't think you can find a single KKK member who espouses socialist values.  Maybe I'm wrong on this....but this type of agenda simply isn't agreeable with most KKK folks.

So you turn....to this neo-Nazi group.

First and foremost....if you follow the 1932 Nazi Party political platform....Nazis are absolutely socialists and left-wing (I know....Wiki and most dictionary platforms say right-wing, but they've been written with a slanted view and are incorrect).

If you say that you are a member to the neo-Nazis....you are socialist-minded, period.

Some of the agenda that the neo-Nazi folks talk about is Aryan in nature, and would fit to the pro-white and anti-multiculturalism.  Course, if you wanted to avoid the socialist label.....you would not be a Nazi....you'd be a Aryan-club member.

The FBI on Nazi membership in the US?  Four years ago, the FBI said a max of 8,000 members in the US.

If you went to each of the 8,000 and read off the political platform of 1932....I suspect that the bulk of members would say that they AREN'T Nazis...because they don't believe in socialism.

So, what happened here?  Could these two groups have a drink together or ride a bus together, or even protest together?  No....I don't think they could.

If you had some associate or co-worker who was hyped up one Monday and said he'd gone off to join the KKK or neo-Nazis group....then you read off the social platform business....the socialism angle....the guy would tell you that he's likely a libertarian-type and that what you discussed....well....they aren't socialists.  They would then try to grasp....what it was that they attended or joined up with.

My guess?  Various groups over the past fifty years have been infiltrated with people with different agendas and made into something "else".  The Greenpeace group got hijacked within three or four years of creation and became something totally different.  The magazine National Geographic was hijacked and made into something totally different.  In this case, I think both the KKK and neo-Nazi crowd have been hijacked and being pushed onto becoming something totally different.

My end-point here....when you see some CNN report, or read some NY Times article over a protest with both groups participating....what exactly are the groups, and is it possible that both can exist in some relationship?  Fake?  Yeah....probably a fake agenda by someone....you just don't know who.