Thursday, 9 November 2017

Saving-the-World

Back in 2006, NBC produced a TV show called 'Heroes'.  It blasted along for the first year and was among the top shows on TV.  Year number two saw a fair decrease in viewers.  Year three and four were marginal.  The hype for the show?  We intend to save the world.

The whole creativity and sales point of the script was that these special people were going out and saving the world. 

It's one of those odd things that stand out today....a decade later.  We have all these people focused on saving the world today.  There are agenda groups...individuals....hyped up on some purpose which leads to their participation and drive toward saving the world.

Since the November election a year ago....I look upon a significant number of people being in some hero-status and expecting Hillary come to arrive and help save their world.  Without Hillary, in their eyes....the world can't be saved.  I know....it's comical in a way, but that's the fractured nature of society in 2017.  The adolescents who grew up in the past two decades were lectured over and over by peers and teachers....we are all on a mission to save the world.  Failure or having the wrong people to save the world....isn't an option.

I sat in Detroit's airport for two hours this past summer and watched some CNN 'hype'....becoming amused over the commentary of passengers in the waiting status and their negativity of CNN's 'save-the-world' theme. These were obvious people who weren't into saving-the-world and can't be brain-washed with the intellectual message anymore. Ten to twenty years ago?  They would have questioned their skeptic nature and just bought off on CNN's message.  Today?  There's a powerful amount of skeptic nature brewing in America. 

Kids freaking out in college about commentary challenging their view of the world?  Well, this gets back into the hero mentality.  Imagine Batman being told by folks not to rescue them or save them.....that he needs to just back off and leave the situation.  These adolescent kids are sitting there at age eighteen and see their mission in the next decade as to save-the-world, even if people don't want their services.

The snowflake generation?  I would actually prefer to call it the saving-the-world generation, and they can't imagine anyone turning them down.

Where this all leads onto?  I'm of the mind that a lot of these adolescent adults will wake up around age thirty and realize that there really isn't that much to save.  After they've been told x-number of times to desist on saving action....they will go into some stage of self-examination, and then realize that they've been brain-washed in various ways to believe something. 

The idea of Hillary being this hero to save-the-world?  Well....it can only be special people doing this line of work.  Hillary....Batman....Bernie....Flash....Superman...Obama.....Ironman...etc.  Trump?  No, he can't be a save-the-world kind of guy. It's a silly discussion but we got here because of juvenil understanding and adolescent behavior. 

How did the Heroes TV show come to fade after the first season?  People just got tired of the theme, and that'll be what happens in real life.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Gilligan's Island: My Reboot

There are a dozen shows from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s....that I'd like to see rebooted or done again today.  One of them is Gilligan's Island.

My reboot would go this way.  'Skipper' is a one-man airline exectutive and pilot.  He's put his life and savings into one single plane, and runs people around the Hawaiian islands.  Skipper drinks too much...curses continually....lives on the fringe of society. 

Skipper has one single employee...a happy-go-lucky young twenties female with the last name of Gilligan.  She's stretched her capabilities as far as you can go.  She claims to have a flying license but it's fake.  She also claims to have graduated from Harvard, but that's fake as well.  And she claimed to have made a movie with John Travolita but that's a lie as well.

Skipper and Gilligan are hired to take some passengers out to some island 600 miles southwest of Hawaii.  A storm arises....Skipper is drunk....and Gilligan is playing some video-game.  The aircraft shifts direction and flies an extra five hours, and then crashes onto an island in the Pacific.

The passengers?

You have an MIT professor, who got fired.  He was flying out to his last chance in life....some sea-exploration project. 

You have a washed-up TV star, who readily admits that she needs some second chance.

You have a female CEO from some TV shopping network who is abusive and a terror.  She's brought her husband, a safari-hunter-survivor-gourmet cook kind of guy along, who seems to be a lot like Higgin's (Mangnum) type character.

You have a young 20-year-old guy who aspires to be a Hemmingway-type writer, and basically tells the story a great deal from his prospective.

Finally, you have an honest-to-God 'snowflake' social justice-warrior female from Evergreen College in Washington.  She freaks out over the crash, the uncivilized lifestyle, and the survivor-attitude required.  Trigger-warnings occur on an hour-by-hour basis with her. 

The group lands on an atoll which has one single fresh water spring, approximately three-hundred acres of sand and palms, and one single hill that's about three-hundred feet in height.  The radio is out.  There's a wrecked vessel on one end of the island, with indications of a survivor but they never seem to be able to find the survivor.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Gilligan's Island

Over the past month, for some odd reason, I went back and watched five or six episodes of Gilligan's Island.  As a kid, I probably watched every episode at least ten times, and over the past thirty years probably another three or four times.

There are a lot of things left in your imagination over the castaways and the island:

1.  You never notice a latrine or toilet.  So you kinda wonder....did Gilligan have to dig a new pit each week?  And what would have been used for toilet-paper?

2.  You often see mountains in the background of shots, but the opening shot is some small 100-acre-like isle.

3.  After a couple of months on the island, you would have been steadily losing weight....especially for the skipper.

4.  Clothing should have worn out after twelve months.

5.  Ginger must have brought three suitcases of make-up on the trip because she looks like some beauty queen in every shot.

6.  In the real world...Mary Ann and the Professor would have hooked up.

The thing is.....you just can't take the show that serious. 

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

The Thing About This $5.6-Million

So, to the Trump dossier that Fusion GPS wrote over Trump and the Democrats paid $5.6-million.

I sat down today and came to realize that this entire dossier....which I thought was 300 to 500 pages....was basically 35 pages.  That's it.  That's $160,000 per page.

It's an unbelievable amount.....for fictional material.  And the Democrats felt it was worth not only the $5.6-million, but threw another $3-million in on top of that.

How was the money spent?  I'm guessing there was a bar tab set up, and whoever this British dude was....he stayed at five-star hotels....sipped through as much booze as he wanted....had $90-a-plate dinners....and interviewed only the best hookers in town.

How stupid is this?  If you were a working-class democrat and had sent Hillary $75....you'd be kicking yourself right now and wondering what-the-hell-idiot would go and spend money like this on fake stuff.  Did Hillary actually approve this? 


How Stupid Can You Really Be?

So, the basic story is that the DNC (Democratic National Committee), in hopes of taking down Trump in the campaign and helping Hillary win....paid $5.6-million for the Fusion GPS dossier on Trump. 

I sat there for about thirty minutes thinking over this and reading through the various accounts.  They listed the payment as 'legal fees', and it's basically structured in this way.

Since we know that about 99-percent of the dossier is a fraud and fake....the question would lead back to the DNC....if you just wanted a fake dossier, why pay $5.6-million?  You could have done the same dossier with some creative writer for $5,000. 

Someone at Fusion GPS convinced the idiots at the DNC that they had the best people, the best writing, and the way of making the fake dossier seem truthful, and so the price-tag of $5.6-million makes sense. 

Money flushed down the toilet?  This is what amazes me.  You could have bought 224 pick-ups with that money.  You could have most of the home-ticket tickets for the University of Alabama football season, for the entire stadium.  There are dozens of things that you could have done with $5.6-million.  But with this money....all you got was a fake dossier on Trump? 

It presents this image of the leadership of the DNC as being not only corrupted, but just plain stupid. Who authorized the payment?  How was the money shifted over, via wire-transfer?  Could Trump now sue the DNC for defamation of character? 

So, I come to the last note of criticism....Hillary Clinton.  When you start back in Little Rock with decisions made....like White Water, and then you go down the list with over a hundred significant screw-ups that should have derailed your public career (and never did)....now you come to the dossier story.  She likely stood there after hearing the details of the dossier and felt absolutely sure that this would convince those stupid Republicans and moderates not to vote for some sex-fiend like Trump. And now? 

This Uranium-One Story

This story of the sale of US uranium to the Russians has been brewing for months.  Bill made $500,000 from a Russian syndicate by giving a speech.  Hillary's foundation got some money after the deal was pushed through.  There's probably enough on the story to write sixty pages of material.

I've looked this in the past week and come to three observations:

1.  There's tons of uranium in Russia and it doesn't make any sense that some Russian billionaire folks would work up some deal with the Russian government to go out and buy more at inflated US-prices, and ship it to Russia. My belief?  I think the Russians baited the Democrats, and Hillary....into getting deep into this deal, and at the right time (expecting Hillary to win), they would have disclosed more to the deal and probably gotten a Senate investigation into President Hillary (assuming she would have won), and maybe triggered her resignation from the Presidency with a threat of impeachment. 

2.  In 2009, Secretary of State Clinton directed Rober Mueller (our special prosecutor now) who was the head of the FBI.....to fly off to Russia personally and deliver a sample of some ''captured uranium" that the US had intercepted being sold by Russians to some middle-man.  Was the FBI holding the uranium?  I kinda doubt that.  So the question....why Mueller?  Why did he have to be this delivery guy?

3.  Finally, what exactly did Bill know about this entire deal?  Did this whole thing start up because of some European meeting that Bill attended and the deal originally pitched to him....not Hillary? 

If you had come up in the 1980s and suggested that the US government would ever approve a uranium sale to the Russians....most everyone would have laughed...yet here we are, and eight years later, it's looking like bribery. 

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

The Trouble with Thinking

I noticed this got brought up today.

There's a  University of Illinois math professor....Rochelle Gutierrez....who wrote up this new book....which basically says that algebra and geometry sponsor “white privilege”.

Reason?  It's a Greek creation.  A bunch of white dudes.

Her big cause?  She suggests to teachers that they ought to be aware of 'identity' politics when it comes math.

I sat there for a few minutes reading over the article and her gimmick.

You see, I enjoy history....but I also have a fascination about math.  So, you lay this out.....most all math leads back to two groups....Sumerians and Babylonians.  It's basically the same region but some will argue that the Sumerians were there before the Babylonians existed. 

The Egyptian angle?  They were hyped up on linear equations (lot of this seen in the Pyramids). So the term algebra is Arabic in nature.

If you were talking about geometric algebra...then yeah, it’d be the Greeks who developed this. They'd sit around for hours after the sun set and discuss how many pickles you could cram into a barrel, or how you might measure the volume of a container of water.  Rather than waste time talking about zombie stories, or fake politics....they were actually thinking beyond reality. 

I don’t think this professor knows much about the historical side. It doesn’t matter who developed it....just that it works. She sounds like some loser who is continually looking for something to get all angry about. She might as well suggest that tampons and bras are ‘white privilege’ because white guys from France developed them.

Why didn't some African guy go and develop algebra ahead of the Arab dudes?  That might be worth asking. 

All of this fake 'white privilege' talk gets to an amusing stage.  Are Arab guys 'white'?  Are Egyptians 'white'?  Are Greeks 'white'?    Should you get all hyped up because hamburgers, muffins, Coke, or ball-point pens were some white guy's invention?  Should we be thinking of 'white privilege' every time we open up some a box of Orellos?  Should it bother some black dude or Mexican dude if cocaine, marijuana, crack, meth, or opioids were some 'white privilege' invention and I should decline it if I were Latino or black? 

The trouble when you start pondering or thinking....a rational person would eventually ask questions that some dimwit intellectual professor can't answer.

Monday, 23 October 2017

Picture of Hillary?

This came up in the news from the weekend....in New Jersey.  Hillary Clinton is showing up for a guy running on the Democratic ticket for governor (Phil Murphy). 

There's a party-like function planned out (Whoopi Goldberg will be there too). So to get in the front-door....you need to cough up $1,000.  A fair sum, I will admit but it'd really help this Phil guy in his quest to be governor.

To get a picture with Hillary?  Well....$4,300.  Yeah.  It's an awful lot.

So I pondered upon this amount of money, and the fact that you'd have a shot with yourself and Hillary as a memento.  Is it worth $4,300?

There are three or four folks that I might be willing to pay $500 to have a picture with....like Dolly Parton, Nick Saban (the Alabama Coach), and Putin of Russia.  I would pay $25 to have a picture with Kay Ivey (our governor of Alabama), and I might be willing to pay $40 to have my picture with William Shatner (of Star Trek fame).  I would pay $150 to have a picture with Senator McCain, if he'd put on a MAGA hat (Make America Great Again)....but I doubt that he'd agree to that. I'd also pay $400 to have a picture with our former governor (Bentley) and his fallen-woman gal....but I doubt that they'd ever appear in public together again.

My brother and I are probably different on this issue.  I doubt that he'd be willing to part with even $10 to have some picture made with him and some semi-important gal or political figure.  It'd be different if they'd come over and haul hay with him for eight hours, or if they'd spend half-a-day fixing some fence on the property.  But for an image thing?  No.

How many folks will part with $4,300 for a Hillary picture?  Well, that's what I'd be curious about.  I doubt if she finds more than fifteen people who'd be willing to part with money like this. 

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Ashkenazi Jews and Western African

This topic comes up because of a DNA test I took and noted that I have around .5-percent of Ashkenazi Jewish DNA show up, and .7-percent from western Africa.  From the family?  Well....this takes a while to figure out.

What I can say is that from my Grandfather's mother....she comes from a family that immigrated into the US around 1730 from central Germany....arriving into Philly and staying for a couple of years in the Maryland area before branching out.

So they were Germans?  Well....no.  You see this side of the family started out in Haute-Saone, France.  It's down in the southern tract of France....fairly near the Alps....in a fairly rural area.  Somewhere in the 1650 to 1700 era....they left this region and moved into the Pfalz area of Germany (again, a rural area).  This likely (not a guaranteed thing) came because of the Thirty Years War (1619 to 1650), and the decimation to farms throughout Germany because of the war and the plague.

Prior to the 1619 era?  The Jewish thing comes into play because of the Roman Empire and the introduction of Jewish traders into France and Germany in this period.

My guess is that some member of this family while in the Pfalz period of 1700 to 1730 era....ended up meeting some Jewish gal and she came with the 'clan' into the new world.

One of the curious episodes that come up because of the Roman introduction of the Jewish traders....is the era around 1096 in the Pfalz region when Crusader-mobs went out on large massacre expeditions and killed off a large segment of population of Ashkenazi Jews.  The three chief cities in the region where it was largely noted were Mainz, Speyer, and Worms.  In the case of Speyer, the Catholic Bishop put up a protective circle around the community and saved a fair number.  But its safe to say a large portion of the Jews were wiped out.

At various stages around the late 1700s, it was strongly emphasized to the Ashkenazi Jews in central Europe....that they needed to change their names, and 'blend-in'.  So families changed their names.

If you look at roughly the nine-million Jews in Europe in the 1930s.....almost six million of them were Ashkenazi Jews.

As for the western Africa DNA?  There's a mystery gal married in the 1830-era with just the name of Rebecca, born in 1814, and from Georgia.  Little else is ever mentioned of her....except the husband and her chose one of the most remote locations of Tennessee to settle into.  My humble guess is that she was 50-percent or 25-percent from a slave-situation in Georgia.  The western Africa thing?  From Senegal to Nigeria.

One can only take a guess...somewhere in the 1700s era....this Senegal-gal came into Georgia and ended up with a child from the situation with a white guy.

As for the story of Rebecca being part Cherokee?  It's been told for almost two-hundred years, and it's a false story but fairly believable. 

So you gaze over this .5-percent and .6-percent....just wondering.  There is more to this whole story but there is way to really figure out the rest of this.

I should note from this DNA test this one other odd feature....2.8-percent Nordic.  This angle?  I'm guessing why the bulk of the family sat on the Norman beaches of France about a thousand years ago....Nordic Vikings/raiders came through and pillaged the land, and some of these Norman women ended up with Norman-Viking kids nine months later.

Then you come to this one last aspect out of this DNA business.....Neanderthal DNA.  Yes, I have some....but it's not as much as most folks.  So somewhere about 20,000 years ago....Yarg met up with some Betty or Veronica gal....and had relations with her.  This could explain my appreciation to steak and bacon today, and why I don't get that excited over chaos much.  I guess Yarg would be proud of the far distance that the family has come and the accomplishments of most of the 'family'.

Fiction and History

In my senior year of high school....the history teacher required us to purchase (cheaply, I must admit) a copy of Uncle Tom's Cabin and read it as a class history project.

I read the book in approximately two weeks.  It's around 400 pages long, and a fictionalized piece on the period before the Civil War, and intended to be some explanation to the necessity of the Civil War. 

As I wrapped up the book on a Sunday evening....I sat there quietly and contemplated...it was a decent book but it is entirely fiction.  For a literature or English class, it would have been appropriate.  For a history class?  No.....it wasn't fitting because of the fictional nature. 

The book was designed by Ms. Stowe to be some emotional piece.....bringing you to the cause of opposing the south and slavery.  Even by age 17, I'd read well over a thousand pages of history material and non-fiction analysis of the period prior to 1865.  I'll admit that UTC's slant on things is probably 95-percent correct, but there is little to cover the economics of America from the early 1600s to 1865, and how you got to this particular situation in life.

In simple terms, it's a lousy book on history but a decent book for getting your emotions to oppose southern values of that era. 

The instructor?  My general belief from a decade after this mandatory reading was that students were supposed to get a negative view of the south, and understand the pro-Union position.  Slanted?  Well.....yes.

The same behavior occurring today?  My guess is that it's a common theme and repeats itself often. 

The sad thing is that we actually had a test (maybe ten questions) which came at the end of the reading assignment, and you actually had to remember around six to eight major characters.  I made up some cheat sheet, with three lines to each character and I had around four people who copied to sheet.....who obviously didn't read the book and needed background material to the test.  The sad thing to this is that you are basically memorizing fictional names and events....for a history exam. 

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Birmingham?

I read a piece off Al.com this week over the idea that Birmingham, Alabama might have great chances in attracting this major Google operation (50,000 jobs).  The slant on this story is that Birmingham is gay-friendly, which might give them points with Google.

This story starts in 2016 where they did some municipal equity evaluation.  At that point, Birmingham achieved a score of '12'.  Well, yeah....that was a fairly low score.  So a year passed, and it's odd....they actually got a new score in 2017....'83'.  How do you get 71 points in less than a year?  That ought to be a eight-page story, but they give you a two-liner explanation that the city passed a ordnance which says you should not discriminate on sexual stuff. 

In case you were interested in what Auburn made on this municipal equity evaluation?  Well....'4'.  I kinda have my doubts that they even knew the equity evaluation existed.

So, back to the idea that Birmingham might be selected for the Google site.

Being from the state and having some knowledge of Birmingham....I would offer these observations:

1.  Crime-wise, it's a place that you drive through and don't stop.  If you use the airport (which is a fairly decent airport)....you just want to pull off the interstate and drive straight in.  The cops?  They have a number of private security folks around the airport and that's what makes it safe.

2.  Home prices?  Around most of Jefferson County, you can still find a fair number of homes in the $60,000 range.  It's hard to find folks who really want to live in the county.

3.  If you did a corruption analysis study of the city?  You'd be mostly laughing and realize that no one in the city trusts the mayor or the city-council.

4.  Potential of talking highly educated folks into moving into the region?  They'd spend a weekend reviewing the regional potential and I suspect that 90-percent of folks would grin and say 'no'. The ones who do accept?  They will draw some boundary and intend to live at least sixty miles from the heart of Birmingham. 

It's an interesting suggestion but I think Google will laugh over the idea.





'Empty Barrel' Talk

I've sat and watched Florida Representative Frederica Wilson over the past week and comical sequences or bickering with the White House. Then this 'empty barrel' verbiage came up.

Military people will use the term once in a while....but it's mostly the guys with history degrees.  I've probably heard this term used at least a dozen times in my life.

It tends to lead back to the 1600s/1700s and be used for a ship which has a high number of barrels onboard which are empty.  So as the ship rocks back and forth....creaking with hundreds of noises....the empty barrels will bump against each other and simply add to the noise.  A full barrel would have stability and not bump against the wall of the ship.  Eventually the ship term made it's way to land-usage and people would identify others who talked a lot....as 'empty barrels'. 

Representative Wilson went full turbo after that usage and claimed that this was racist in nature....mostly because she went to the dictionary and read it there.  I think she made up her mind that 'empty barrel' meant something over the slave-trade but it just doesn't fit that way. 

Back in 2009...the 17th district of Florida (Wilson's district) was a 50-50 blend of Republicans and Democrats.  In 2008....Obama ran and only got around 48-percent of the local vote. In 2012, after the Census results and redrawing of the Florida map (for more representation)....Obama got 86-percent of the vote.  Yes, it's a gerrmandered-district....heavily designed for someone like Wilson. 

The problem I see here for the news media is that every time you get Frederica Wilson up for a national interview....some Democrats watch the exchange and just shake their heads.  She's like some character dreamed up on WWE-wrestling.  If the Democrats were all hyped up to show intellectual landscape....with Wilson, you lose confidence.  I think the White House realizes that and will keep heat on her. 

Friday, 20 October 2017

Vampire Story

Last year, I sat and watched some TV travel documentary on Malawi.  It's one of those little countries in the east-central Africa.....mostly resting against Lake Malawi, and a fair amount of woods/forests and open plain.  It reminded me of Michigan to some degree (well....without Detroit).  To be honest, after watching the hour-long show, it kinda stuck out in my mind as a place that I'd prefer not to travel into.

They chatted for about five minutes on folks there, and their humble belief in spirits and ghosts.  It would be safe to say that about 90-percent of the public believes in things like this.

I noticed that Malawi came up in the news this week.  Over the past two months.....they've had this story going around the nation of vampires.

Yeah....vampires.

Mobs have gotten hyped up when accusations occurred and guys were pointed out as vampires (I assume this occurred at night), and the authorities say that eight guys are dead so far...dead over vampire accusations.

The authorities have discussed this problem.  One side of the issue is that virtually everyone believes in witches and evil spirits.  So it's not that hard to convince folks in the vampire story.

The dead guys?  Well....if you just got pointed out and had bad teeth.....that might get an ass-whooping.

So the government has gotten involved and are discussing public media and advertising. How it would work?  Anyone's guess. 

We've been fortunate so far in America....with all the anti-Trump hype....no one has suggested vampire stuff going on and the need to get worried about a new Trump threat of biting folks.

The Shakespeare Story

I noticed out of the Brit Independent (a decent newspaper), that they had a article written up over Oxford University.  The topic?  Well....professors are now having to put up a 'trigger-warning' moment when they do Shakespeare plays....because kids can't handle the content of the literature.

Naturally, the question would eventually come up....are the intellectuals now having to protect young minds from not only radica ideas, but even fictional ideas?  Is Shakespeare traumatic? 

All of this makes me wonder about how much sensitivity has been branded and assembled into kids today who are between 16 and 21 years old.  What happen in this period of 2008 to 2017?  Is it more than just a US thing, and now part of the European mentality as well?

If you get to censoring Shakespeare plays or branding them as potentially harmful....where do you go with this type of protection?

The behavior here, if you missed the message....is that of 12-year-old kids.  Children who never grew up, and you are expecting some magical change in character, with them becoming leaders in the next thirty years.  It's hard to imagine them as CEOs or authority figures. 

Thursday, 19 October 2017

My Humble Opinion of Megyn Kelly

I sat last night and watched two clips of the new Today Show product with Megyn Kelly.  I don't why it popped up in my mind.  I had seen several folks commenting on the poor quality of the show and figured I'd be a judge.

If you've never been around Latin America....you tend to find afternoon or morning shows where they are done in some live-format, and tend to have some blonde 'floozy' or bimbo in an ultra-tight skirt, open blouse, sixteen-pound gold necklace, and five-inch heels.  She glitters....as she talks. 

Naturally, it's all in Spanish and you don't really care because you are only watching for the 'Chiquita-this and Chiquita-that' discussion.....some wink-wink by the bimbo....and some fake laughs that mostly women over the age of forty will get the joke. 

My impression?  Megyn is probably set to stay around and doing this show for six months.  At that point, NBC will try to reinvent her into some night-time Sixty-Minutes type show.  After six months of failed efforts with that, the network will admit that it's out of fresh prospectives. 

Back in the 1990s....you kinda noticed various networks going this direction and trying to bring in fresh marginal talent (men and women) to pose as journalists and moderators.  A handful had quality talent...most didn't.    Bryant Gumbel didn't. 

I was drawn for many years to sit and watch the Sunday morning episode of CBS news with Charles Kuralt.  CBS didn't really want to use him for many of it's shows....mostly because he came off in a unique fashion and seemed to be telling a story in a undramatic and non-intellectual fashion.  On the Charles Kuralt-scale....I can rate Megyn as a marginal '2' at best.  But on the Latin American scale....she's a '10'.  You just have sit and pause waiting for the 'Chiquita-this and Chiquita-that' moment and just grin as she delivers.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

My Opinion of the Russian Oligarch Troll Farms

For about ten months, I've followed this hyped-up story of the Russian Oligarch troll farms involvement in the 2016 election.

My observations?

1.  This is absolutely NOT a Russian government operation.  If it was, you would not have been so easily led back to the front door of the troll farm.  It's a commercial operation, financed by one wealthy Russian billionaire.  Putin might occasionally have lunch with the guy, but I don't see this as being a Russian government operation.

2.  Based on everything said....less than one million dollars was spent on this whole thing.  If you think about it....if you'd tried to do this same thing in the US....it would have cost you $300 million minimum.....which says a lot about them recruiting a couple of guys for a reasonable price and just giving them one single boss with simple instructions. 

3.  Do that many Americans even review news items off Facebook and Twitter?  So far, no one can cite any evidence that five-percent or ten-percent of American society is paying attention to the troll-manufactured news bits.  That's the odd thing about this whole story.  It's hyped-up by CNN, the WaPo crowd, the NY Times, and MSNBC, with Sunday talk-show enthusiasts running scared.  But there's simply not any real evidence that this effort by the Oligarch trolls has succeed at anything

4.  Finally, what happens in the spring of 2020 during the primary period?  Will the Oligarch trolls come out in force?  Will they hype up Bernie Sanders?  Will they hype Trump?  Will they hype anything?  It's a big unknown.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Trump Playing Four-Dimensional Chess

Just to explain the Trump-Iran nuke deal in simplicity....it works like this:

1.  You have a draft-law which Senator Bob Corker (R, Tenn) wrote with Senator Cardin (D, Maryland) that deals with the Iranian Nuclear Treaty situation.  It basically says that the President will certify or decertify the deal and that the Senate will not have an open vote on the treaty written. In essence, the Senate didn't want to discuss the way that the treaty was written.  It'd only cause trouble.  President Obama didn't want this problem, but it passed with 99 votes for and one against (Senator Tom Cotton, Republican).  So the President (Obama, at the time) certified the treaty and passed the mess onto President Trump. 

2.  President Trump will decertify the treaty.  That means because of the Cardin-Corker wording in the law....the Senate now has 60 days to discuss this and go into some direction, or do nothing. 

3.  In the view of the intellectual world, and the EU (especially the Germans), something needs to be done to resolve this or go back to the nifty treaty written.  Well...it's not Trump's dilemma.  It's the Senate's job, which it avoided in 2015.

4.  What happens next?  If the Senate cannot reach another conclusion....another fake draft bill....in this sixty day period period (between now and Christmas), then the thing falls apart and no treaty will exist. Remember....only the Senate can be the final word on treaties....NOT the President. 

5.  President Trump is merely pushing the buttons of Corker, Cardin, and forty-odd individuals who are hyped-up for keeping the treaty on the books. 

What I think will happen?  Corker leads the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and he needs to write up a simple twelve-line piece that says the Senate will accept responsibility of the treaty, then go and get McCain lined up, with the two independent Senators, and one mystery GOP senator....sign off the bill and then get the house to go along with this. 

Oh, but you also need the bill to pass the House....where you need twenty-four GOP members to vote with each Democratic House member.  You probably won't find 24 members this friendly.  If Trump threatens to veto the House/Senate draft?  Well....you'd need two-thirds of a vote in each, and it'll be a truly amazing thing that get that many votes lined up. 

Hmm, yeah, that might be a problem....unless of course you agree to tie this to some tax reform package, health-care reform deal, or Wall-construction package. 

Yeah, you can see where this Iran-Treaty business and the Corker-Cardin-Law is heading.  You will have to deal with Trump to fix this treaty business, and if you don't....it's not Trump who gets blamed.  It's the Senate.

It took Trump a year to learn how to play the Senate games.  At this point, I think he's mastered it completely, and they are standing there in some daze.  The thing is.....how many more stupid creations did the Senate create in the past decade....like medical care deal or this Corker-Cardin-Law? Trump might have a dozen of these lined up on the white-board and preparing to drag them along. 

The Research Project

I sat and read a piece from the Daily Caller today.  A George Soros foundation group went out and spent a fair amount of money to hire three researchers to go and survey 'working-class' Americans in five cities....in an effort to develop the strategy for the 2020 national election.

Open Society Foundations?  It's simply a network of groups that use money to build agenda politics.

So the study got published.  The aim of this...curiously....is to look at the plain white working-class voters, and why they drifted over to Trump.

I looked at the five cities involved in this....it's an odd group. Tacoma, Washington (I lived there for a while), Phoenix, Arizona (I lived near there for a while), Brooklyn, NY, Dayton, Ohio, and Birmingham, Alabama (I grew up near there).  Why these five?  Unknown. Maybe it's just luck.  They talked to four-hundred folks.

Birmingham is an unusual place.  Typically....if you were middle-class and working-class....you probably work in Birmingham but you don't live there.  Most folks have moved out of Jefferson County if they have the capital.  People tend to worry about crime....thug behavior...corrupt city officials...and city bankruptcy behavior.  People that live in the county and city?  They vote Democrat on a solid basis...it's been that way since the 1950s.

Tacoma is an unusual place.  From the crowd under forty, I'd say that sixty-percent regularly smoke marijuana.  The industry of the city revolves around three things: (1) the base/Army post situation, (2) the port, and (3) Boeing crowd.  It's a fairly solid Democratic vote.

Brooklyn, NY?  It's an unusual place.  Folks worry about the economy and crime.  You can go back over the past six elections, and they tend to vote Democrat in every single election.

Dayton, Ohio?  It was a one-percent win for Trump over Hillary in 2016. 

Finally, I come to Phoenix.  Phoenix has a general history of voting more so for Democrats than Republicans. 

In the end after the Soros group reads through this business....my suspicion is that they see the need to create a Trump-equal....or a Trump-copy, and just mouth-off everything Trump promises.  The problem is that you'd have to talk about jobs....a topic that hasn't been something that Democrats could deliver upon.  Talk of cutting government services and trimming the budget?  No....it's merely a topic that gets some light discussion and never occurs.

The value of this research project?  I'd have my doubts.  Maybe if they'd gone into small towns in Iowa and Mississippi....to glean a broader prospective, it have had more value.  In this case?  Just more urbanized topics to sharpen the current Democratic message. 

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Thirty Pages

I sat and read over three or four stories early this morning over the FBI, the Lynch-Clinton documentation from the tarmac meeting to discuss Hillary, and the likely review to come out of this.

Basically, the FBI kept saying for months that no documentation existed from the Lynch-Clinton tarmac meeting in late-June of 2016.  Then in the last week, they found thirty pages of material and handed it over.

The basic story?  Lynch said that the whole meeting was just a casual meeting with Bill coming out to her VIP jet sitting on the tarmac in Phoenix, Arizona....to discuss grandkids, golf and travels.  Yeah, I know....it just sounds kinda hokey but she's more or less sworn to that story.

Why on board the jet?  I'm guessing it was out of the way from the public and they suspected that no one would spot Bill entering it.  It wasn't reported by national press (yeah, that's another odd part of the story).  It was the local Channel 15 reporter who spoke to the story, that swept the nation.

The thirty pages?  I'm guessing that there's three or four emails, with one final report over the entire trip that Lynch took, and the final report is likely a quarter of this entire thirty pages, with only three lines having to do with Clinton.

I seriously doubt that anything will come out of the thirty pages. 

Why Bill had to meet face to face?  He has some magnetic personality and thinks he can charm folks with that casual southern charm.  So the face-to-face meeting had to be part of the whole game.  Since there are no other witnesses to the meeting....you simply have to assume what Lynch wrote....is entirely true. 

Ethically?  Well, it's one of those episodes that really makes Lynch look bad.  A regular person with ethnics would have looked at the potential troubles and just said 'no'. 

So you can imagine the next couple of days while some folks pour over thirty pages and come to realize that there's really not much to say....Lynch bumped into Bill....maybe two lines of commentary about grandkids and golf, and she wished Bill good health.  A lot of drama, over nothing much.

Friday, 13 October 2017

Kerbow Family Connection

Over the past couple of years, I've spent some time looking at one single stretch of the family tree which ran to the Kerbow name.  It's an odd name....French in origin.

So, the story goes to this period around 1731 when some French Huguenots boarded a Dutch ship called the "Billender Townsend" out of Rotterdam, Netherlands. Jean Kerbo (spelled slightly different) boarded, and ended up in Philly.

The thing about this Huguenot group.....they'd lived in the Pfalz region of Germany for several decades....mostly because of religious persecution.  A lot of this religious fervor that occurred, comes out of the Thirty Years War period (1619-to-1650 era).  The war started originally between the reformers and the Catholics.  Halfway through this war, the religious side of this conflict mostly ended and it became a single community opposing another community....mostly over revenge-killing.

The family arrived in Philly on 8 October 1731.  What's generally said is that family united with other Huguenots in the Maryland region....going south into North and South Carolina over the next decade or two.  By the 1860 period, one division of the family had moved into Minor Hill, Tenn.  That's where my connection occurs.

The religious side of the family?  If you go through things, this whole religious thing kinda 'dryed-out' after one generation in the US.

The original area of France?  If you gaze at a France map....it's on the southeastern side...about forty miles south of Nancy, in a region called Haute-Saone....a county-like area that is about forty by forty miles, and mostly all farms. It's about a 20-minute drive to the Swiss border, and there's nothing urban there....this is pure farming territory today.

The population shift for Haute-Saone?  Well, that's an interesting story.  From mid-1800s to 2005...it was a dramatic shift....dropping from the 400,000 level in the 1800s to 210,000 by the end of WW II.  Most of the shift?  This was a pure farming area, and lots of people left for industrial jobs by the mid-1800s to early 1900s.

Today?  You only find the Kerbow name around the US, to a smaller degree in Estongia and France.  My guess is that the bulk of the family left in the 1600s/1700s, and some ended up in Estonia as well.

Added note:  There are at least six different spellings to the name (Kerbo; Kerbow; Kirbo; Curbo; Curbow and Kuehrbeaux). 

Trump and UNESCO

Back in the 1920s, under the League of Nations....there was this long discussion to make the world a better place.  So the intellectual crowd came to this idea that if people just understood accomplishments and culture of other people....the world would be a mighty fine place, with no wars.

So the seed to UNESCO started up.  After WW II, the idea really took off.  If you asked UNESCO what their goal is?  "To contribute to the building of peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, the sciences, culture, communication and information".

To run, they require a fairly big chunk of money....shocker?  It wasn't that way in the 1950s, but you can imagine the past three decades with a fair amount of growth.

My description would be the intellectual's intellectual organization for the UN.  There are probably over forty different groups under the organization, with highly-paid members, who want to draw people into their focus.

At different points over the past two decades....they've come to irritate a number of governments.  Most of this would be considered 'pokes' by UNESCO against various countries.....and some going to the opposite way.  Even WikiLeaks in 2012 got into the middle....suggesting that UNESCO is a human-rights joke.

The UNESCO World Site gimmick?  It's a who's who of sites around the world that revolve around culture, and the need to be preserved.  Sadly, once you get your site onto the list....there's a UNESCO intellectual group who want to help micromanage your site.  An example here?  The San Antonio Missions (five of them in the center of the city).  If you came up and wanted to make big alterations to the area around these, you'd find some UNESCO folks wanting to have approval process.  This occurred in Dresden when the city said they were going to build a bridge across the river, and UNESCO said they wanted a historical-feeling-type bridge and the city said it'd be just a simple regular bridge.  UNESCO removed the World Heritage status to show their anger.

Can UNESCO survive without the US?  Yes.  Can the finances be a problem? Well, the US kinda quit paying into the pot back in 2011 over an issue.  So they've had to already downsize anyway. 

Thursday, 12 October 2017

On the Topic of Autodidacticism

As a kid, I had this reading interest.  Already by age ten...I had an interest in history, geography, cultures, etc.  I was lucky, this rural school I attended....had a decent library.  It might have been on a twenty foot by forty foot room....but they had an ample amount of books.  Added onto this, my mom would take me by the county library, which had a larger selection.

I never thought much about this interest or curiosity of mine...even after I left home and went off to the Air Force.  They offered various training segments, instruction in odd things (assembling and disassembling rifles for example), bigger libraries, and I simply broadened out my prospective.

I had what you'd call autodidacticism. Autodidacticism is typically a behavior where you are self-educating yourself, proceeding through life with some instructors, or an entire lack of instructors. Autodidact people tend to pick and chose their interest.  They are typically terrible students for the system used in most schools today.

An Autodidact kid might come up and shock you because he's actually interested in ancient Rome.  He wants to know about the construction of the Colosseum.....it's intended purpose....how they operated....who came out for the events.....and how the Colosseum fits into the spiral of the Roman Empire.  Naturally, 99-percent of high school teachers can't answer these questions.  In fact....probably over 50-percent of college history professors....can't answer his request.  This is the kid who reads forty books over the period in question....memorizes the names that matter....and has some poster over his bed of the Colosseum.  At some point, the kid will grow up....travel to Rome, and stand in awe of the Colosseum for several hours.

Autodidacts tend to skip regular college because they really can't provide an adequate education.  If they do attend college, you tend to notice that they may pick and choose various classes which don't fit to any major.  For example, you might have some kid who picks two or three economic classes just to understand capitalism, it's history, and the logical anti-capitalist motivation.  Beyond that, he has no other interest.

This is also the kid who might take a community college class on how to build a log cabin, but never actually go beyond that point or ever build a log cabin.

Education went through some odd periods.  The Catholic Church picked up education and operated a number of instructional programs, and ended up starting the college system as we know of it today.  Up until the mid-1800s....if you went to any US or European college program....what you found was a simplistic program built upon five central themes....debate, ancient history, Latin, philosophy, and theology).  Engineering and science got added in the mid-to-late 1800s. 

What you found a huge growth pattern upon in the 1800s were Autodidact people developing their interest....going out to study things on their own, and building a reputation as an expert. 

You can find cases where people would travel for miles to hear so-and-so speak to some topic, or some expedition to Africa, or some new medical idea. 

Oddly enough, if you peel away a lot of the Batman character displayed over the past twenty years....he's a Autodidact.  He is self-taught to some degree, and using masters to provide an education in other areas.

The world ahead for the Autodidacts?  That's an interesting topic.  The internet basically offers this vast landscape to go and learn odd knowledge that was difficult in the past to gain.  You can sit now via a YouTube lecture and get a two-hour lecture by some noted British professor from Cambridge on Roman war techniques.  Or you could sit and hear a sixty-minute talk by some Japanese professor on herbal remedies that were commonly practiced in Japan's 1600s. Or you could hear some gifted guy talk about horse-shoe procedures and how they differ from one culture to another.

In some ways, we are opening up a vast door now for Autodidacts.  They could go way beyond anything that we'd ever dreamed of. 

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

The Worry Story

The WattsUpWithThat crowd wrote up an interesting piece today....over a university study piece (by Chapman University)....studying 'fears' of people.

The study crowd says that climate change/global cooling.....really isn't high up on the list of fears by Americans.  Shocker, eh?

In fact, more Americans believed and feared paranormal things (like ghosts)....more than climate change.  I think if you did the same survey on Germans....it'd be the exact opposite.

On the top fears or worries for Americans?  Number one: corruption of government bureaucrats. Amusingly enough....fear of Trumps reform of the Healthcare Act came up as number two on the fear list.

Fear of North Korean nukes?  Way down as number nine.  In fact, folks worried more about not having enough money (ranked five on the list).

I sat and pondered over the listing. 

From the list of the top ten fears that most Americans showed fear over?  I kinda have to admit that I don't sit around and worry much about any of these. 

Oh, I worry about snakes if I'm in a snaky area and there's high grass.  I worry about food poisoning if I'm at a questionable one-star restaurant.  I don't worry much about ghosts, cannibals, meteors, wild dogs, or angry elephants.  I do worry about nutcases who talk to themselves, Brahma bulls, driving in snow-storms, real Nazis (not the fake Nazis), and people who appear to have leprosy.  I don't worry about meth-heads unless they seem totally out of control.

The problem I see with this survey business is that they aren't really going out into country settings and asking regular people about this stuff.

Most folks from where I grew up would hype up their worry over tornadoes, their car transmission failing, the county voting to go dry, their wife finding out about their mistress, the water heater failing, meth-heads, corrupt cops, and some Alabama governor making a play on their wife or girlfriend.  Folks worrying about climate change?  I doubt if it'd even make the top forty worries.

This worry discussion?  I guess someone worries about what makes you worry. 

My Idea for a TV Show

I have this idea for a television script.....with all the fake reality being played out in politics today in America.

So, various people have threatened to leave the US....to mostly Canada....because of the Trump win.

My script idea is to take some guy, and his family (of course) and go through the Trump exit.

The guy would discover about ten minutes into the show that Canada won't accept him (some marijuana charge from the 1980s).  Eventually, he'd settle on Costa Rica.  The family would haul all of their belongings onto a 1982 school bus and drive down through Mexico.

Eventually, they'd arrive at the designated immigration point for Costa Rica....to discover the town that they are encouraged to settle into....is El Trump.  There's some unease with dad as he discovers this.

The rest of the plot would revolve around the family discovering that secretly....each of them had some attraction to Trump-like thinking.  At the end of the first season, they'd all stand and admit....they were Trump enthusiasts but just never knew it.  And now, will they leave Costa Rica to return?  Or will they bring Trump-enthusiasm to Costa Ricans?

Europe Rehab Story

For a week, off and on, I've been following this Harvey Weinstein story.  To be honest, on my rating scale....in terms of real news, from one to ten....it's rating near a '1'....meaning that it's not really news. 

It's basically a story of a wannabe big-wig for some Hollywood studio who sat around for three decades hitting on women and no one said much of anything.  Not the women, not the studio, and not the journalists (they actually had the story available for a decade). Now, for some odd reason....one gal mentioned something, and the NY Times did a fantastic 180-degree turn to briefly tell the story.  Why?  That's a complete unknown.

Now?  I read off TMZ that Harvey got on a private jet and flew off to Europe yesterday.....heading to a private rehab clinic that does sex addiction treatment.  No one says much over where the clinic is located.

I sat and pondered over this.  To be honest, most places where you'd go in Europe....folks would be generally hyped up over lusty stuff.  Desensitizing you from sex addition?  It's a curious thing to imagine.

This might be some Swiss clinic on top of some mountain....with Swiss therapists who get all chatty about internal feelings and harmony with nature.  Maybe two a day....you go and have goat cheese, with some glacier water....then you roll around in some freshly cut hay to chill out.

This might be a Finnish clinic by some lake....with Finnish therapists who get all chatty about your intellectual side, and how you need to use such-and-such Finnish technique to control your urges.  Then the lunch folks will wheel out some bear meat, moose steaks, and 9-percent beers, letting you sweat out things in some sauna and then jump into the icy waters of the lake.

Or this might be a British clinic in the midst of some rolling hill area of England....with Brit therapists  getting all chatty about Shakespeare, Francis Bacon, and Herbert Spencer.  They'd bring you into some room with two Scottish thug guys who assault you a bit, and insist upon proper manners when dealing with women.  After that, they'd bring you over to a pub....give you a hefty gammon sandwich with an ale, and then make you watch six hours of BBC every night.

Personally, I have my doubts about how this will improve any guy but at least he can say that he's been to a clinic and done the rehab program. 

The Lifestyle Story

This got brought up today with WattsUpWithThat.com, and I thought it was a a bit amusing.

In Europe, the university system goes out and does a lot of research that US universities would not touch....let's say for political reasons.

So the folks at Cambridge University....wanted to know how Conservationists think and react....in the real world.  These are the people who get peppy about saving the world, cramming global warming/cooling down our throats, and get all chatty about climate change.  It would be logical then to assume that they really take this stuff serious and live stoic-climate change lives.  Well....NO.

From the group of Conservationists selected....they are just plain regular people.  They are no different from the anti-climate change crowd, which ought to freak journalists out.

You would think that lifestyles would change and people would be different. For example....Conservationists fly frequently....as the college discovered...on average of nine times a year.  You can figure two of those are for vacations, and the rest for conferences that they need to attend.  All of that....does more damage....if you buy into their argument.  But even they aren't buying into their argument.

These are also the same people who eat fish/meat five times a week.  They don't convert to vegan like you'd suspect.

Buying carbon offsets on their airline tickets? Never.

I sat and pondered over this story.  It's like some heavily-consumed anti-alcohol guy doing his big chat, and you find out a year later that he still sips two shots of brandy every night before bed, or you have someone trying to convince you to reseed your yard but the guy lives in some upscale condo surrounded by concrete. 

What happens now?  I'm guessing that some anti-climate change people are going to start forcing the Conservationists to modify their lifestyles, and live the way that they chat.  The less meat thing?  That probably won't go well....and the suggestion of only attending one single conference a year....maybe at a campsite in Bolovia with no room-service or wine?  You can forget about that.

Just something to think about.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Murders and Numbers

2016 number of homicides (with any type of weapon, to include knives, hammers and axes) in the state of Alabama: 407

2016 number of homicides within the city of Birmingham and the county of Jefferson, Alabama: 151

2016 number of homicides within the city of Mobile, Alabama: 43

2016 number of homicides within Tuscaloosa, Alabama: 20

Yeah, More than half of the state's murders....came from one single county, and two urbanized cities.

2016 homicides in Utah?  A total of 90 for the entire state.  Of that, nine involved people shot by cops. 

One of the 90 Utah homicides, actually was a woman who ran off a road....killed by a tree impact....with a vehicle repossession guy attempting to retake her vehicle.

So, when you see some journalist or intellectual try to talk about guns, and banning of guns....then you need to ask more questions...dig deeper into the whole story. 

Have murders in Alabama really increased?  You can go back to 1960, and find that 406 people murdered. In 1964, we actually got down to 316 for the state.  Over the past seven years in Alabama?  We actually averaged around 300 per year. 

So, you get to the point of trying to write some script or law to remove automatic weapons.  If you go down the list....from the 4,000-odd people on the Alabama homicide list....you might have saved five or six.  If you'd banned knives?  It'd be way over one-hundred....maybe going to two-hundred. Seems like you go for knives first, if you were logical about this.

Science Beyond People

I often go and read through science reports, which lay out a lot of odd information.  Today, I went to a curious piece by Watts Up With That.  Their big article: hurricane forecasting and how the public can't read or grasp what the weather information is saying.

This University of Utah study went and looked at the normal methods.  Typically, there are summary displays which show the possible paths of a hurricane with a 'cone' and boundaries.   Most folks, as they found out....really can't read the path-business or understand the 'cone'.  If Joe the weather guy says that a hurricane is likely to hit their city or county....well, that's different.

For a lot of intellectual people walking around and thinking that the world is all tuned to their knowledge base, or even cares....the big shocker, most people don't really grasp graphic charts or fundamental information unless they get this on a daily basis.

When you see a pollen-chart come up every single day of the week for five years....you can assume that most people grasp that chart and what it means.  When you plot a tornado warning area...it's because they've seen this enough times....over and over....know that they are in a watch area or a warning area.  You can ask most folks to define this, and I'd take a guess that 98-percent of adults in the south can define the difference.

But hurricanes?  You so rarely see them.

Even if you explained this in detail....some folks have the idea that a category two hurricane is really not a big deal.

Lack of education?  No.  I'm of the belief that people retain only X-amount of information for things that they regularly worry about or the topic comes up at least once or twice a year. 

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Epic of Gilgamesh: Poem Three

If you follow my essays, this is a series of twelve pieces over the epic poem series of Gilgamesh...written over 4,000 years ago on some clay tablets and were stories told around the campfire there in Sumeria. I'd suggest that you go back two days ago and catch poem one before reading this one.

Today, we follow our two heroes, Gilgamesh (king of Uruk), and the rural backwoods guy Enkidu....who got civilized by a local harlot gal, and then took up a fight with Gilgamesh over some young brides.

In poem three, we find our two guys standing there in the rural court area of Uruk, with the senators or elders wanting to give Gilgamesh advice prior to this big journey.  Not a lot is written over the advice....it's probably mostly words about not sipping booze or wine with folks you don't know....don't pick fights with bad-ass folks....and watch out for harlot-women along the trail.

At some point after this meeting....Gilgamesh decides to visit his momma....noted as Ninsun (sounds like Nissan but different).  She was a Goddess, in absolute form.

Most folks tend to go back and look up the literal translation of Ninsun, and it tends to be the lady-in-charge-of-wild-cows. 

Most guys sitting at the fire and listening to this....particularly from rural areas, would have this image burned into their mind over some sturdy and big-boned gal who tended the nut-case cows of some valley who'd go and chase guys down.

Anyway....Ninsun gave some advice as well to Gilgamesh.  At this point, Ninsun think so highly of this friend of Gilgamesh....she makes him a son.  There's not much written down over how Enkidu felt about accepted in the family...one has to assume it was accepted without much talk.  That's how stoic guys are.

Then Gilgamesh hands out some words to the elders about how to run Uruk while he's gone.  This is sparse in terms of what was said.  One might suspect that he made sure they didn't do nothing stupid.  Then, the boys leave for the big adventure.

End of poem three.

To be honest, I kinda think poem three is weak, but there was probably more made up with Ninsun, and her Goddess business. 

Epic of Gilgamesh: Poem Two

Part of my series on the ages old story of Gilgamesh (you need to go back a day or two to review poem one)....this is my rendering of poem number two (without the poetry stuff).

As we last left our three characters (Enkidu the unsophisticated rural guy, Gilgamesh the thug king, and Shamhat the harlot gal with slutty behavior).....Shamhat had just brought Enkidu into a camp of shepherds.

Naturally, most audience members listening into the story are a bit thrilled, because this is probably their chief occupation, and it's a bit thrilling for their craft to be mentioned in a story.

There on the first day in the camp....the shepherd guys are introducing Enkidu to the local refined food.  It's safe to say....it was a bit gourmet-like in nature, probably very fatty/greasy, and the spices and pepper-usage were a bit too much for Enkidu. But he was never a guy to turn down a free buffet-dinner.

After a while, the shepherds have a vote and appoint Enkidu to the head position of night watch.  To be honest, this is the worst job of a shepherd and Enkidu probably didn't grasp that until the end of the first shift. 

As days passed.....one evening....some guy with no name (there's always that type of character in a Steinbeck novel)....comes passing by.  A bit of conversation starts up between Enkidu and the stranger.  Guys in this case typically talk about weather, sheep, women, and 'stuff'.

The stranger brings up a new topic though....Gilgamesh (the king) and his treatment of new brides.  The talk gets hyped up and Enkidu is all disturbed that such guy is taking advantage of these fine women.

In a flash, without much thinking....Enkidu decides to take off to Uruk.

To be honest, Enkidu wasn't much of a traveler....probably had no idea where Uruk was located....and didn't have a map or compass.

No one says much over days or weeks passing....that part of the poem that just leaves this out.  We an assume that it took more than a day or two.

So our hero....Enkidu arrives at this capital city and plants himself at the entrance of a wedding chamber.  As Gilgamesh prances up to the doorway.....he finds Enkidu blocking the door.  It's a bit of a shocker.  Typically....no one ever blocks doorways in the kingdom.

A fierce fight erupts.  The poem doesn't really give this much coverage.  It ought to have been a sixty-line moment, and a lot of fist-to-fist coverage spoken about.

What we can say is a pretty good fight occurs, and there's a pause....mostly because both are tired-out and not able to fight much more.

Enkidu notes that Gilgamesh was fairly strong.  Both guys admire each other....a bit of sweat has fallen off each other.  Gilgamesh says that he Enkidu ought to be friends.  Note, he didn't say 'special friends'....just that they could hang out with each other.

Gilgamesh talks up this epic adventure idea....going off to the Cedar Forest.  Enkidu asks what's big about this Cedar Forest, and Gilgamesh responds that there is this monster called Humbaba (some kind of monster demi-God).  If they together were to defeat Humbaba....legends would be told over both.

Enkidu looks over this talk and the Humbaba creature, and he kinda thinks this ain't very smart.  He's advising Gilgamesh against this idea.  Some old guys in the Kingdom....mostly Senator-types (like Senator McCain) also note that they don't think this hunting down Humbaba idea is that smart.

Gilgamesh is not to be deterred and our dynamic duo run off in search of the Humbaba.

End of Poem Two.

It should be noted that there's almost no mention of the Shamhat gal (the slutty gal training Enkidu in poem two), and there's never a name given to the newly married gal that Enkidu saved from Gilgamesh.  It should also be noted that no mention of the stranger's name who suggested this adventure to Enkidu was mentioned.....or if he had a limp or any warts.  The party down at the Shepherd camp?  The alcohol consumed at the camp?  Well....it's best not to mention that part, I guess.

The Campus Story

It's page three news and begs questions....but it came up in the past week with the University of Missouri putting out a list of instructions on how to run or host on-campus events for the general student population.

In the middle of the guidelines....they 'nudge' the students to some degree and suggest that you (the students) ought to ask yourself...."If my event is potentially triggering, have I consulted with someone from the counseling center?"

Then it asks students...is this event of such a harsh thing for your lifestyle or mental side.....should you go ahead and have a counselor present to help you make it?

Finally, the university asks in a simple way....do you know where your 'safe' space is located?  It kinda reminded me of the Air Force days when you had to know your storm shelter, and that some Major might run up to you and try to test you on where the nearest tornado shelter was located.

In some ways, the university is admitting that the kids attending now (over the age of eighteen) are not mature enough or capable enough to make rational decisions, or interpret data that you hand out. 

Then you look over at this counselor business.  With a campus of 20,000 students....how many counselors would require?  Three-hundred?  Five-hundred?  If Dalton-the-student did call you up and state some personal emergency over at the campus cafeteria....that they were out of vegan-food, how would you prioritize your arrival?  Be there in six minutes?  Expect me in sixteen minutes?  Or would you just advise Dalton over the phone that jello is a good substitute?

If these kids are this immature....can you even allow them to buy a six-pack of beer?  Or to purchase a pack of Marlboros?  Could you even trust the kid to handle condoms or date some slutty gal from out-of-state? 

It seems like to me the answer here is simple.  You need to pause kids at 18, upon graduation from high school, and force them to get a job in the real world....waiting for a year before going off to college.  Maybe even two years of waiting. Perhaps they ought to even consider developing an Army boot-camp system where you go through twelve weeks of intense training to bring your maturity level up two or three notches. 

The atmosphere up at Missouri?  It makes me curious if they have some kind of maturity problem across the state and got a bunch of kids pretending to be eighteen-years-old, when their behavior level appears to be 12-years-old.

It's a pretty bad situation when a campus leadership position is there to suggest you can't handle reality but we'll accept you on campus anyway. 

The Problem with Stupid Intellectuals

"Some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals believe them."

-- Orwell, from Notes on Nationalism (1945)

Maybe up until a decade ago, I could sit and watch a debate or discussion by a couple of intellectuals, and be somewhat 'entertained'.  But I reached some stage where it often pains me to watch intellectuals, journalists, scientists, political figures and provocateurs engage in discussions.

If you sit there and bring up poverty....the end-game of the discussion usually centers on what you want to 'give' the folks in poverty.  Yeah, it has to be a 'gift' or some government promise in the end.  Job-training or a craft-skill crash-course?  Birth-control knowledge and reasonable cost methods for the control?  Classes and knowledge on how to manage money once you get it?  None of these usually get brought up.

If you sit there and bring up gun control....the end-game of the discussion is usually centered on all weapons being banned (like the Australia method).  Hunters and farmers?  Left out of the discussion.  The mere fact that probably 90-percent of Republicans and Democrats in urban areas like St. Louis, Memphis or Birmingham have pistols in their car and house, and they have no desire to give them up?  The fact that most of these mass shooters from the past twenty years have legal or illegal drugs/prescription drugs in their system?  These are things never brought up in these discussions.

If you sit there and talk over fixing health care costs....the end-game of the discussion is that the dozen-odd things which make health-care expensive....cannot be discussed.  Generally, the talking intellectuals just want everyone to be included, and subsidy coverage for the poverty-class to be the support structure to keep this going.  We won't talk about drug companies, law-suit craziness, or the cost of medical schools. These are topics forbidden in any discussion.

If you sit there and bring up tax reform.....the end-game is a wild debate where no one really wants to pay taxes.....not the private wealthy guy....not the companies....and not working-class guy.  Why the government can't downsize it's spending budget?  Don't bother bringing that up.  Also, don't bring up state-by-state allocations.  There are literally hundreds of topics under this situation, which are just laying off in the shadows of the conversation.

If you sit there and bring up climate change....the end-game is usually to create a wealth distribution gimmick where rich industrialized countries pay the lesser countries.....for something, but you aren't sure about how this really works. The fear-factor about peer review?  Don't bring that topic up with the intellectuals.  The fact that they were fairly settled on the science in the mid-1970s with global cooling, and then a dozen years later....insisted that the science was settled in the late-1980s.....global warming was the absolute problem....then said a dozen years later, nope, the science is settled on climate change.  The fact that 500 sciences exist in the world, and only one is settled apparently, never dawns on most scientists talking the subject. 

An apology to the scientists and intellectuals.....you could do better, if you used your knowledge combined with common sense.  But you've yet to reach that level.


Saturday, 7 October 2017

Epic of Gilgamesh: Poem One

A long time ago, off in the lands of Mesopotamia....in the age of Sumerians, we had a bunch of pretty creative folks.  That's over 4,000 years ago, and likely going way past that point.

The locals of the time got around to the art of telling stories....more or less to entertain folks.  You do that when there's no TV, radio, or internet.

Now, it has to be said that these were of the Hemingway or Steinbeck type story-tellers....that they got hooked on a decent story, and there have been literally dozens of variations of the story told.

So, we come to what is referred today as the 'Epic of Gilgamesh'.  It survive mostly because we've found tablets which lay out this story.  This version which survives is done in the poem method, and it makes some folks think that it was done to preserve the story in one simple constructed story and prevent forty different stories being manufactured.

The original version?  Translated into English....Surpassing All Other Kings.

The first tablet lays out the story, and I'll tell in a basic fashion....without the poetry or fine words...just in plain-speak....southern-style.

Out yonder in the lands....there lays this land of Uruk.  There was a king of the region and his name was Gilgamesh.

Folks tended to respect Gilgamesh because he was two-thirds god and one-third man.  Now, usually some engineer or intellectual guy from the audience would halt the story-telling and say you can only fifty-percent X and fifty-percent Y.....or you could be one-quarter this, and one-quarter that....etc.

Well....you just have to accept the fact that Gilgamesh, for the purpose of this story....was a one-third, two-thirds kinda of guy.

Course, this would bring up the next question....how would you know that he was only one-third man?  Well, it's just a story....don't get all tangled up on this.

So, we get back to this story.

Its safe to say that things weren't great in the land of Uruk, and some folks felt that Gilgamesh was oppressive in nature.  At this point from the audience, the engineer would ask....you mean like Trump?

No....not like Trump.  Gilgamesh had invented some method of understanding that it was fine if he slept with women on their wedding night.  No one is saying he had 'seconds' or 'thirds'....that he had this understanding.

Questions from the audience would arise again....what if there were twenty women getting hooked up this Saturday?  Well....this is just a story.  There just isn't any king-like guy going around and hooking up with twenty women in one night.

Now I should point at this point that the tablet where this part of the story would have some more details....is a bit broke, and we are left to wonder what the heck happen to Gilgamesh on these special nights., but the information just ain't there.

Guys were complaining as well....mostly over too many physical tests or events...or through too many construction projects in his land.

So, as folks pleaded with the Gods (plural) to fix this Gilgamesh business....they responded.....more or less.

Way out in the rural regions of Uruk...there was this rather non-intellectual guy...a plain regular sort of dude, who went by the name of Enkidu.

Legend has it that Enkidu had a pretty nifty beard, and had a fair amount of body hair (something women admired in those days).

The few folks who knew Enkidu....spoke of his preference for the life of simpleness, living under the stars, and sipping spring-water.  Some local hunter had a problem with Enkidu because he was always springing his traps.  We don't know what kind of critters the hunter was going after but it appears to be small game....not tigers or lions.

The hunter guy then told the sun-god Shamash about Enkidu.

No one knows much about this sun-god dude but he was popular.

An arrangement was made with Shamash, who felt that Enkidu could be brought into the real world....taught a few things....put on some clothing....become more sociable.  In order to make all this happen.....Enkidu is introduced to a gal called Shamhat.

It's safe to say that Shamhat was a bawdy gal....a lady of the evening....or a harlot.  The poem doesn't go into details.  We don't get the description like Steinbeck would give....golden flowing hair.....legs that drive a man crazy....or million-dollar lips.

It's hard to say how young men around the campfire and hearing the Gilgamesh story imagined Shamhat.  It was probably a five-star lust scene and guys just making up different images of her.

Shamhat had the sole job of teaching Enkidu manners.  As the story goes....after seven nights in some tent with Shamhat....Enkidu emerged half-way to being civilized.  How this is possible, is left out of the story, and probably discussed later by various men sipping wine and offering observations over Enkidu.

Enkidu left out of the love-tent business and headed off to a shepher'ds camp to get the rest of the lessons.

What's generally said then, as we conclude chapter one....is that Gilgamesh woke up from some dream about the arrival of someone to change his life.  No, it's not Shamhat, if you were thinking that.

End of the first poem over this story.

Now, I admit...there's a whole lot of information left out and I suspect that there are other tablets out there with a better version....probably racier and a bit more sensual in nature, but that's the one and only version dug up so far.

Money Laundering

After the hype of the Vegas shooting....the term money-launderer has been uttered a couple thousand times.

For the benefit of folks who don't grasp the amount of money being shifted around in the underground economy......some numbers ought to be mentioned.

In the first decade of this century....it's generally believed that one trillion got moved out of China alone.

It's believed that three-quarters of a billion got moved around by Russians to situations outside of Russia.

It's estimated that almost half-a-billion dollars left Mexico. 

It's estimated that a third-of-a-billion dollars left Malaysia. 

Its estimated that a quarter-of-a-billion left Saudi Arabia. 

You can add it up, but generally....it's around fifty billion dollars a month during this entire decade....that money had to move around without being noticed.

Around the US?  No one ever wants to sit down in front of Senators and talk over the issue, with numbers.  You have to figure that at least 100,000 individuals are working around the clock....to launder money in the US. 

It has to go into fake companies or business operations, or fake apartment buildings, and come out clean at the other end to be used for real cash assets for people.....or be moved overseas where it's laundered into another country's banking system.

What you need to take out of this?  For a period of a decade (2000 to 2010)....roughly three trillion dollars were likely moved around the globe quietly by a number of individuals.  And I would imagine for the period of 2010 to 2020....it's probably double that amount. 

Maybe the End of the Bergdahl Episode

This past week, if you went to page two news out of the US....there's this story over Sargent Bergdahl.  He's the guy who felt the Army was doing him wrong, and just decided one day to walk out the back of a Army post in Afghanistan....then being captured by the law-lords of the region, and held as a captive for five years.  Thankfully, President Obama and team decided to trade some Gitmo folks for him.  Sadly, the Army didn't feel any positive stuff over his adventure and charged with some crimes.

This week, Bergdahl said he'd accept a guilty deal without a lot of court action, over the charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. Generally, you could get five years max for desertion, and life in prison for misbehavior before the enemy.  The judge will make the final decision. Some folks feel that he ought to be shot.  Some folks feel like the guy, having spent five years in some Taliban-like prison deal....ought not get much more than five years of Army prison.

Why avoid the court action?  I think he had five years in the Taliban-like setting and got his rational sense back into his system. 

What I'd give the guy?  I'd give him a fifteen-year prison sentence, with five of those hooked to credit with the time in the prisoner setting with the Taliban folks, leaving him ten full years in the Army prison.  If you look over his attitude and intelligence level....it's kinda obvious that the Army should have dumped him by the fourth month of service.  He just wasn't Army-material.  Taking him off to Afghanistan?  Big mistake on their part.  Maybe if he'd gone through a six-month long boot-camp period and really gotten orientated about the team-concept.....things would have worked out.  He wasn't motivated or capable of handling Army-life.  I'd take a guess that a quarter of the American population would not be capable of handling three years in the Army. 

As for his future after leaving the Army prison-life?  I just don't see this guy doing much more than flipping burgers or stocking shelves at some grocery. 

Friday, 6 October 2017

Pepsi and Nasty


In the last two weeks, the mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, has made it into the news almost daily because of events there and the anti-Trump theme.

Carmen Yulin Cruz.

Yesterday, she did an interview wearing a 'nasty' t-shirt.  It's supposed to be some kind of message, but it's hard to say what.

Typically, you were appearing in front of me, in some leadership role or executive role....wearing a t-shirt saying 'nasty'...I would likely have tainted or misguided thoughts.  For some reason, the image and 'nasty' would burn into my my mind.  After that....every time I saw the person...I'd be thinking 'nasty'.

Forty years ago....no mayor would have gone out and worn something like this, period.  Today?  It's a provocative lifestyle and people want to entice you or draw you to some fake conclusion.

After a while, you look at the whole image of the photo, and then you latch onto the Pepsi machine on the right-side of the image. "Nasty" and Pepsi?  A subliminal message?  Something to do with titillating or wicked thoughts?

Now I'll start thinking something sensual every time I see a Pepsi machine, and think of the word "nasty". I'll probably have to go and visit a mental health expert now.

The Plane Story

I noticed in today's news that the passenger gal who got all upset about two dogs being carried in the passenger area for a flight, then got dragged off by airport security when she made a case of dogs on board...intends now to carry forward a legal situation with the airline (Southwest). 

Southwest says (at least that's their position)....that they are awful sorry that the lady ended up getting off by airport security and they've been trying to have a chat with her. 

Some people were leaning toward the gal in this story...until it came up three days later that she was a professor of Islamic studies at a prestigious US university.  Folks who know the Islamic religion well....also know that Muslims tend to be anti-dog (a good bit).  The idea of riding in a cabin for two hours?  It might be unsettling.

Why she complained in the first place?  She says she had to be on this flight, because her elderly father being sick.  In her defense, she says she's got a serious allergy issue with dogs.  Actual proof of the allergy?  Well, that will pop up in court and there might be a discussion about the nature of this. If she has the paperwork, then the judge is going to ask how she intended to travel while knowing dogs might be part of the deal.  She might not be able to answer that one.  All future air travel with this gal?  Well....yeah, it's best not to ask about this either. 

The folks handling this on the plane?  Well.....I ponder upon this.

Back thirty years ago (1980s), you could walk out to the airport and tended to find generally nice folks standing there and flights were a special thing.  It didn't matter how bad the food was, the bitchy-nature of the stewardesses, the funky smell in the airplane bathroom, the weird nature of the ticket-lady, or the lateness in taking off (folks didn't say much if it was two hours late). 

In the past fifteen years....something has occurred with air-travel and it's not the same experience.  Part of this is the cheap nature now, and you have all those Greyhound bus dimwits who pay the $150 for a round-trip deal from Atlanta to Detroit, and the whole nature of the experience is gone.

Folks whine about the food, the knee space, the amount of bags that people drag onboard, the after-shave that 'Bob' is wearing, the funky grandma-smell from some of these older women, the drunk-level of guys onboard, the slutty dress and attire of some women (the boobs literally just falling out of the apparel), and any flight being more than 25 minutes late is now a big deal.  Some folks just get disturbed if the stewardess appears to be over the age of fifty and a bit chunky. 

The front-desk folks and the airport security staff?  Well, they really don't want to let some idiot go and make some type of negative experience out of the deal.  I noted a video from last month that I watched where some anti-Trump gal got hyped up over a young guy sitting next to her, and she tried to get the staff to remove him (he had a pro-Trump-shirt on).  There was one brief attempt to calm her down, and then they called for security.  She was going to exit the plane at that point....no questions or begging would help.

I look at this professor and I see the same situation....you get one chance to calm down, and then the security folks step in.

All of this brings me to my point...the public probably needs a reminder now....that just getting from point A to point B is the test of flying around the nation.  You want to get there safely, and you'd best not find 688 reasons to whine over the conditions or the attire of the fellow-passengers, or their dogs.

The issue is that we seem to want to draw a line and let people know how we feel....trying to force change or force others to accept our vision of things.  The sad thing is that once this starts up....you might have a guy like me standing there and noting your slutty attire as being too obvious, or me suggesting a dry-county approach to alcohol on board the plane.  Note as well, I'd be perfectly happy for dinner options on a plane if you just handed out Mountain Dew and beef jerky.  The dog thing would be acceptable to me, as long as it was a border collie (not one of those poodles). 

Thursday, 5 October 2017

The Time Travel Story

I noticed this story off Fox News today.  There's this guy up in Wyoming, who appeared in Casper on Monday night looking for the cops.  Cops found him, and he wanted to let them know that Earth was going to be attacked, and that he'd come from the future (2048) to warn them of the attack.

Normally, police in Casper don't get many time-travelers.

At some point, they decided a alcohol-test was necessary for the time-traveler dude.  End-result?  .136

A fair amount of alcohol.  Course, he wasn't driving, so DWI is not possible.  Drunk and disorderly?  Well...he wasn't disorderly.  I'm guessing he'll rest out the next twenty-four hours and then get released.

What he said while in this stage....aliens are coming in 2048.  He was originally aiming for 2018, but landed in  2017 instead.

The thing about this is that thousands will read the story, and just wonder about this.  Was the guy for real?  Are there aliens invading in 2048?  Did the guy really travel through time? 

This guy....as fake as he might be....just earned himself a title for the rest of his life....the 'time traveler'. 

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

My Three Gun-Control Ideas (Each Potentially Failing)

I enjoy reading at times the various ways that people want to FIX things, and how each generally goes to create a new and more creative problem in the end.  So my top three ideas:

1.  Limit all magazines to six rounds only.  Rifle, shotgun, hand-gun, etc. 

Most gun-control enthusiasts think that this will have a quick and easy return value.  No study has ever shown that it works.  Getting people to accept the six-round limit?  If you owned the larger magazines....you would not cough them up. The other amusing side of this is that you could go out and buy sixty six-round magazines, and just keep swapping them out as you ran out of bullets.

2.  Cash for guns.

Generally, the gun-control enthusiasts think that people will walk in and turn their gun in for $100 to $150 in cash.  In reality....the people that generally do this are the ones sitting there with a broken gun or a weapon with a age/trust problem in it working.  When the gunsmith says he'll need $250 to fix a weapon, that they bought for $350 ten years ago, the $150 offer might make sense to hand in. Otherwise, it's a waste of money.

3.  Removing military rifles from the public.

From what era are you talking over?  Are you talking about M-1 rifles from WW II era? Are you talking about the M-16/AR-15 from the Vietnam era?  I'm guessing most folks think the AR-15/AK-47 are the evil weapons and just dumping them would make sense.  The fact that most all of the 500-odd people killed so far in Chicago for 2017....were not shot by AR-15/AK-47 weapons?  Well....it's best not to bring this up.

So, I'm going to put a radical idea.  Requiring that all bullets/ammo manufactured and sold in the US...have a compound added.  A chemist could sit down and figure out the type and amount to use. The compound purpose?  To dirty the chamber in a fairly short period of time....requiring a complete cleaning after approximately ten shots fired.  If you didn't clean the barrel by the 15th round....it would create a problem for the barrel to be 'blocked' (thus damaged).  This would not affect any Constitutional situation or take away anyone's rights....but it would make gun cleaning a fairly repeatable task.  Military assault rifles?  It would make them completely ineffective for any mass shooting. 

The 12.5 Million Story

The general experts agree that roughly four-percent of the US population are psychopaths....meaning that they lack conscience and empathy.  They are very capable being manipulative, violent and usually end being criminal.  There's a grading system for psychopaths, and the higher grades (30 or more), means you need special care and probably a full-time facility.  So you eyeball the numbers and come to realize that 12-million Americans could potentially reach the stage to be a threat.....like the guy in Vegas.

Three years ago, it was generally estimated that around two-million Americans were fully addicted to pain-killers and opioids.  Some were at the full extent of not being in control of their mental capabilities.

The Americans with mental disorders, having hallucinations and delusions?  It's estimated at roughly nine million Americans have psychotic disorders that range from 'light' to 'significant problems'. 

So you add these three groups up.....threw in the full-up crazy folks, and you have around 25-million Americans that you need to worry about.  To be honest....you could cut this group down to about half that size and just say that lesser group wasn't a big deal.  You stand there admiring this landscape....12.5 million Americans who could potentially kill you, your family, your neighbors, your friends, and your work-associates.

If you pose these kind of numbers to the public....most would suggest that something has to occur revolving these people and guns.  But you'd also have to start talking about denying the same crowd the right to vote, the privilege to drive a vehicle, and award them guardianship by some mental facility. 

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Days of 'Whatever'

A couple of months ago, I got all interested in Evergreen College (public college in Washington state) and their various issues with out-of-control students.  I've essayed two or three pieces on the college and their woes.

Yesterday, I sat and read over two particular days of each calendar year that the college seems to recognize in some fashion.

There is the Day of Absence...which is recognized as a local community day for discussing and getting hyped-up about 'identity groups'. Naturally, if you were white....you aren't among the 'identity groups'.

You can join up with various groups....just to mostly sit around and talk....excessively from what I can figure.  All of this is supposed to lead in some way to anti-racism.  The evidence of such?  Well....it's best not to ask for facts or evidence.

The second day in question is the Day of Presence.  This one is interpreted in various ways by different people.  It's mostly the day after the Day of Absence discussions and supposed to be when students show 'strength' and 'power'....although again, it's best not to ask how or why, nor should you suggest any debate over the topics.

After some reflection, I came to ponder this idea...that this college needs a full calendar of days to think, discuss and reflect a lot of things.

They need a day of pestilence (to reflect upon disease), a day of Apocalypse (to reflect upon coming evil times), a day of Anhedonia (to reflect upon the lack of pleasure), a day of gluttony (to reflect upon over-eating), a day of fragility (to reflect upon the chaotic times upon us), and even a day of fatuousness (to reflect upon the sad state of stupidity in the world today).

There's probably over 250 days required for folks.  You could have a day of harvest (to reflect upon the hard work of farmers), a day of asininity (to reflect upon craziness around us), a day of indomitable (to reflect upon stoic nature), and perhaps even a day of beer (to reflect the essence and wonder of beer).