Friday, 24 February 2017

Demons, Curses, and Prayers

A number of cult folks, witches, and those of the demonic realm have come out this week to put a curse on President Trump.

I've surveyed the comments.  Generally....'spells' have a particular slant to them.  In this case, it's simply a curse or spell to get him out of office.  The fact that he might be out in four years or eight years....might show success with the curse business....but otherwise, it's mostly all a show.

Not to be outdone....the Christians have gone to prayers for Trump.....to lessen the effect of the demons.

In Alabama, if you were to bring up demons and witches....it starts to worry some Baptist folks, and they generally meet to discuss the matter, and get some words from the local minister.  They will ask about witches....which there really isn't much in the Bible covering that topic.  But there's plenty on demons.  Although he might tell them that only Catholics can cover this position....with exorcism.

Exorcism isn't something you ought to bring up around southerners.  They get all freaked out and worried abut casting demons out and will cite some movie that they saw in 1979.

If I were Trump, I'd haul up some voo-doo Haitian gal to do a double witch-curse to reflect back upon the fake cult-demonic crowd, and let that Spicer-kid who does the daily White House briefings introduce her and let her do a two-minute chant.

All of this makes one wonder....what exactly we've come to with politics?  Is it bad enough that we need demons, or prayers to counter curses?

Trump would probably say that he felt he dealt with all that demon stuff back in November with Hillary and it just can't work much with him.  Bill might agree with that statement.  

Thursday, 23 February 2017

How to Blow $5,000

Last week, I sat and read a couple of pieces over the CIA guy who resigned....citing that he had conflict with Trump in charge of the government now.  At the time.....I didn't think much of the deal.  If you work for the government, you have to accept the fact that Presidents will come and go, and your part in the government is an awful small piece of it.    After that bit of reading....I put the story away....there wasn't much to it.

Today, someone went and updated one curious part about this former CIA guy.  It's an odd piece.

The guy got hyped up on politics in mid-2016 (mid to late August) and donated two checks to the election campaign.  One went to Hillary.....and one went to the DNC as a group deal.  Altogether....five thousand dollars.

Normal folks will get hyped up on politics, and might occasionally donate 50 to 100 dollars in a normal election year.  In a hyped up year.....I could see some regular and normal folks writing out a check 500 dollars.  If you were a business man....wealthy farmer....big-time New York Yankees pitcher....or a Indy 500 driver.....then I could see a guy donating 5,000 to 10,000 dollars.

But this was a CIA guy....maybe in his mid-30s....probably in the GS-12 range.  For DC, this meant he was making 85 to 103 thousand dollars a year.  If you live in Maryland or Virginia.....you pay a fair sum to the state tax folks.  With property tax, vehicle tax, sales tax, social security, TSP donations, state tax, federal tax, etc.....you will see 50-percent of your pay disappear.

This guy gave 5,000 dollars away in a heat-of-a-moment election?  What kind of idiot does that?

I am reminded a situation at a base where I was stationed.....where one of the guys that I worked around got into a year-long state-of-mind mess.

He'd moved into some apartment building....got friendly with some single gal there....and she becoming some potential love interest.  Sadly, along the way....he spent around $4,000 to help buy her a used vehicle.  Then he helped to spend a thousand on some TV because hers broke.  Then he came up and spend various sums of money on little bills that popped up (a hundred here.....two hundred there, etc).

At the end of this period.....he'd put nearly ten-thousand into this relationship situation. Then he came home one day....she'd moved out and left her apartment.  No note....no address mentioned by the manager....nothing.

For three months, he was a in a bad state of mind.  All this money spent on his honey.  He felt they were working up to some magic moment (marriage of course).  He was unable to really concentrate at work and was continually screwing up....to the point that his performance was being monitored by his boss.  Most everyone told him to take a month off and just go camping or fishing.  A couple of months later, he just ended his military contract....got out....and was going to move back back to wherever he grew up.

I see this CIA agent in this fragile state of mind.

He could have spent the $5000 on a down-payment for a car.  He could have gone off to a fancy resort in Aruba for a whole month and sipped top-of-the-line Jacky D's.  He could have bought a pretty fancy watch.  He could have gotten a top of the line leather sofa.  He could have put a big down-payment down on a sail-boat.  He could have gone to Vegas and stayed a weekend in the $1,500 a night hotel room.

Instead, he blew the 5,000 on Hillary and a lost cause with the DNC.  My humble guess is that he's a bit angry and disturbed.....it was money flushed down the toilet.

Did he have intentions of getting some pay-back?  That's the odd thing....if she'd won, his name would have been on some special favor list, and maybe her crew would have come in, and he'd go and ask for a big special CIA assignment to Rio, or London, or Paris.  It sounds crazy but 5,000 might get you a pretty good favor.

If you wanted a special ambassador job....like to Tonga....it'd just require usually $250,000.  You'd go for two years....act real swanky and wear some fancy clothing as the ambassador.

What happens with this CIA guy now?  I'm not sure.  Maybe he ends up with some foundation, or think-tank, or with some private bank data company.  The $5000?  Well, here's the thing....if he'd donated it to some charity....you'd at least get a tax credit.  In this case?  There's nothing left of the $5,000 except some remarkable evening he had planned to watch the Hillary win.....and how he fell apart hours later.  Kind of tragic.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

This Cuba Thing

Last year.....everyone got all hyped up that the tough line with Cuba was finished, and that the travel ban was lifted.  So they all chatted like wild monkeys on the massive amount of tourism and flights going from the US into Cuba.

This morning.....the news folks admitted the newest trend....airlines cutting back on flights into Cuba.  Jet Blue, Silver, and American Airlines all said reduced flights are the way to go.

What happened?  First, it's not tourist season to make some warm-weather trip into Cuba.  I could see maybe seven or eight months out of the year where people would care to go.

Second....the Dominican Republic already had a large number of resorts and was well established.

Third....what exactly is historic or very magnetic in nature to draw you to Cuba?  I really can't think of a single thing.

Maybe in five years....some massive tourist zone will be created and this will make sense.  But right now....there is nothing to get excited about.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Ten Things That Seem Odd

Over the past month, there are ten things which have strike me as odd:

1.  After you look at the Flynn contact with the Russian ambassador.....you have to ask.....how did he come to get the personal number of the Russian ambassador?  Obviously, the NSA and FBI folks knew the number.  Never once did the general seem to worry that someone would monitor incoming calls and ask stupid questions later.  It's probably another sign that he wasn't the brightest guy around.

2.  I noticed yesterday some comment by NPR that President Trump was now engaged in a permanent campaign.  Where exactly has NPR been for the past eight years?  Didn't they notice the same tactic and strategy within the President Obama administration.....or were they too stupid to notice it?

3.  CNN has hyped themselves into a corner.  They can't do a positive story on the Trump administration....even when something positive does occur.  They've become some loosely connected group of 'Agent Provocateurs'.....mostly working on some agenda....not the news.

4. It's becoming apparent that the last place in the US where you'd find free speech....is on a typical university campus.  Socrates would be rolling on the ground and laughing.

5.  Does anyone really care what the Hollywood crowd really thinks on politics?  I mean seriously.....as long as some dimwit can pretend to be a damsel in distress, or fake-Superman, or deliver a decent Macbeth line or two....that's really all I expect.  Beyond that....even if they eat dog-food, or sleep in a snake-pit....I really don't care.

6.  For all these idiots pumping the $15 wage for burger joints and such.....when you finally accomplish this completely....then you walk in and discover that a Big Mac meal is $9.99.....will it curtail your future visits?  The other question here that bothers me.....are there really people who plan on some forty-year career at McDonalds....just flipping burgers for the rest of their life?

7. The odds that the Republican replacement healthcare law will fail within ten years?  I'd give it better than 90-percent odds that it will fail as well.  Oddly, no one is asking questions....they just know that the present program won't work, so it's time to move on.

8.  I read a piece this morning where some university students were hyped to condemn the Dalai Lama's visit....because he wasn't tolerant enough for them.  It's the same crowd who would have condemned Britain's Neville Chamberlain visiting Nazi Germany and going negative against him because he wasn't tolerant enough of Nazi society.

9.  If you wrote down a list of all the enemies of the President Bush, President Obama and President Trump administrations.....it'd probably be 100 pages long.

10.  When you go and examine this Oroville Dam episode in California....it's just a matter of when the dam fails, and possibly kills a thousand people that reality will set in and folks realize that responsible leadership never existed to protect them.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

My Perception of 2020

While most folks are hyped up and think that President Trump will run again in 2020....I have my doubts.  I think a massive number of changes will occur over the next four years, and Trump will ask himself what is left to change, and find very little.  At that point, he will have to ask himself why run?

There is a schedule to this business.  By the summer of 2019....decisions have to be made as folks prepare for the parmary period in January of 2020.  So we are roughly 27 months away from this decision point.

The likely Democrats in 2020?  Some say Hillary will run again.  I have my doubts over her health, and would suggest she won't run.

I would put Senator Warren on the list, but I just don't see much enthusiasm for her in the south or mid-west. At best, she might be able to take four states in the primary.

Senator Book from NJ?  Same story....he might have some support in the northeast, but from the rest of the nation?  No.  Another four-state winner perhaps.

Senator Gillabrand from NY?  She would project a centralist-type Democrat but she carries little if any enthusiasm. She is a two-state winner at best.

Governor Tim Kaine from Virginia?  He give decent speeches, and has a fair amount of lobby-support.  Out of the entire group.....I'd say he might be in a better position than most.

For the Republicans?  Would we have 16 people again in the primary?  Probably so.

My top three GOP suggestions would be (1) Ted Cruz, (2) Nikki Haley, and (3) VP Pence.

Pence probably holds a slight lead over everyone.    

Maybe I'm wrong on this, but I think a significant amount of change is going to occur between now and 2020.  For the Democrats, their rallying call to undo all the change will be questioned by the public, and probably bring them more negative focus.  The news media?  They've got themselves into a difficult position....carrying a mostly daily list of negative news isn't winning back viewers.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

I'd Like to Reboot Person of Interest

Back in 2011....the CBS folks came out with an unusual story-line and show....Person of Interest.  It took around four episodes to convince me of a decent program, and by the middle of the second year....I had interest in watching each episode.  Last year, after 4.5 years and 105 episodes....it ended.
There are probably ten shows that I put into the category of 'under-weight' and and deserve a re-boot....a totally different version of the original series.  I didn't really think in this manner much about re-boots....until I saw Battlestar Galactia (version 2).  In certain cases....re-boots make the the story-line better, and I think Person of Interest is one of those shows.

How I would change it?

1.  Dump the name.  It was a lousy choice.  It should have been "Man in a Suit" and every episode should have had some witness describing the John Reese-character as a man in a suit.

2.  As geeky as they tried to make the Finch-character....I think it was only 75-percent of what the real Finch should have been.

3.  Somewhere along the 10th episode, Finch should have had this moment of reality hit him that system (which he'd been working on for six years)....had already broken off with the AI (artificial intelligence) stuff, and created it's own logo, brand-name, company, and was hiring people for various agendas.  Finch should have spent a dozen episodes in a shocker state over his system taking off without him and virtually uncontrolled.

4.  At some point in the second season, I would have John Reese confronted with impossible odds and needing mostly a miracle to occur, when the system tells Finch that it's called on the 'Spartans'.  Within minutes, a dozen characters appear out of thin air and rescue Reese.  Finch would quietly ask the system....who precisely are these folks?  The system would respond that they are the B-team....people that just needed focus in life.  The system would refuse to discuss the team or the ultimate purpose.

Oh, I think the original show did a decent job.  It's just that it could have been better.

Monday, 13 February 2017

The Thing About Fraudulent Voting

Pardon me....while I tell this story....to reach a point.

About ten years ago, I was sitting and watching some German documentary about people and their unique jobs.  It was a slow piece and frankly not a show that I'd recommend.  But they had this one episode where they introduced you to this pool manager of a small German village.

He had a multi-functional type job, and did at least twenty different tasks everyday....to ensure that the pool operated in an efficient and safe fashion.....so the camera team accompanied him on a typical day.  He checked the dressing rooms and ensure sanitary conditions.  He'd walk the grounds to ensure the landscape guy was doing what he was supposed to do.  He'd walk the parking lot to ensure it wasn't littered or such.  He would enter into the cafe area and make sure that it was kept clean and tidy.

So the guy came to the pump room area, which I had to admit....it was fairly new and complex.  Lots of buttons and valves.  He pulls out a test kit and has basically two tests which he completes.  You can tell....he doesn't want to get into many details and is trying to keep this real simple and short.  But the crew finally asks.....what are these tests for?

There's this pause....like he is contemplating how to explain something without getting you disturbed.

Test one....is about bacteria count.  He had a green, yellow and red chart.  As long as the test results stayed green or yellow....things were fine.  He'd just adjust the chlorine and chemical additives to fix the bacteria.  The question came quickly back....so you can't eliminate bacteria completely?  No....there is a safe margin of allowing some bacteria to exist.  If you get into the red area?  Oh, well....then we shut down for a day or two, and flush out a lot of water and get rid of the bacteria that way.

How did this bacteria get into the pool?  Well...he kinda says it in a nice way....folks don't bathe well, or they wear suits that carry bacteria, or it just arrives via the city water department.  Zero bacteria.....as far as you could tell....was never possible.  And if you had a strong smell of chlorine?  Well....that's helping with the bacteria issue (at least from what I could get from the conversation).

The second test?  He explained it a nice way....but it was the urine content in the water.  You see.....people (probably mostly kids) pee in the pool.  If there is a lot of urine.....you flush out some water and add fresh water.  That was the type of explanation that the guy gave.

I sat there after listening to all of this.....feeling a bit nervous because you really couldn't feel safe or sanitary with the pool business as it was.  Either bacteria or urine was there.....ever marginally so.  But the the thing was.....every single day....he tested it to make sure it was minimum.

So, I come to voting and fraudulent efforts by the public to illegally vote, double-vote, or dead-person-vote.

I'd like to feel marginally safe about the voting lists in my district or county.  I'd like to have some pool-manager-like guy who would go and yearly pull up 10-percent of the listing and review it.  I'd like for him to compare against the state listings or across the nation.  I'd like for him to verify that every single guy is living and a US citizen, and only registered in this district.

The odd thing is that pool managers are doing this test stuff for the general good of the public.  These county clerks?  They don't care if the voter lists are clean or free of issues.

Maybe I'm talking apples and oranges here.....but I seem to be more confident of my pool being low on bacteria content and reasonably free of urine....than I'm sure about double-registered folks or dead folks on the county listing.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Building Another Tea Party?

I sat and read some long-winded piece this morning over a highly enthusiast Democrat who felt that the Party had suddenly logged onto and discovered the secret for 2018/2020.....by becoming a tea-party-like organization....with grass roots.  It was a hyped up to some degree...like some professor discovering penicillin works, or that a chemist figured out the true ingredients to Pepsi.

I actually sat there in mid-Feburary of 2009 and watched the initial trigger to the tea party episode....with the finance-bond guru Rick Santelli making some passionate bond-talk and for about four minutes....he was delivering some kind of sermon that tugged on your heartstrings.  After that....for at least an hour....I pondered over Rick's words.  All Rick did was state the obvious....what most middle-income hard-working Americans felt.  They were on the outside, and were getting whipped around by marginal politicians who weren't capable of handing the situation.

So came the tea party out of those four minutes of comments by one single bond guru.

I'm going to offer ten bits of advice to folks who think they can reinvent the tea party and angle it toward a vast agenda.

1.  Nothing about the 2009 birth of the tea party had anything to do with violence, burning down buildings, assaulting people, hindering traffic, or halting free speech.  If your gimmick re-birth is to take your new tea party to those tactics....you will not garner much public support beyond hard-core radicals (who already are with you anyway).  The regular-working guy leaning Democrat....isn't that hyped up or thrilled over the antics I described above.

2.  If you arrange for some mass protest event with your new tea party which involves hundreds or thousands of folks.....make sure they clean up their mess when it adjourns.  Virtually every single tea party event held from 2009 to present.....usually results in a clean environment upon completion. Don't trash up some place and think that someone else will do the job for you.

3.  If you start to look around and note that these tea party-like demonstrations being held....are simply meetings of the previous crews (feminists, BLM, environmentalists, anti-capitalists, mad revolutionary movement college students, LGBT, gay folks, etc) and there's NO middle-class regular democrats/independents in the group....then it's not really a new thing.  It's the same old thing with a fake new front.  Maybe the news guys can spin this, but regular people watching this will just be humored by the fake nature.

4.  Most everything I've seen about the tea party gimmick from 2009 to present....involves free speech.  If you can't vouch or run a free-speech situation at one of these events....don't count on the general public getting all thrilled.

5.   Remember this odd factor of the tea party....it was never a political organization.  Oh, they did try to maneuver into some stance of having tax-free status, but if you remember....those silly IRS folks stalled virtually every attempt to organize such groups.  Would the IRS of 2017 treat you the same way?

6.  Remember the insult gimmicks against the tea party?  Tea-bagger?  You might want to start up real quick with a new name which cannot be used in way to insult your great little organization.  Make up some gimmick name with 'heartland'....that always charms folks.

7.  Remember that a lot of the sales notion of the tea party crowd was 'big government', 'uncontrolled spending', and 'reckless DC behavior'.  Beyond that....they really didn't have much of a pattern.  They stayed within certain lines and kept people enticed with simple aims.  Can you find such a simple pattern for the new Democratic tea-party?  I would have my doubts.  The minute you suggest more benefits or increased spending....won't your members ask....where will the money come from?  More taxes on companies?  Will that help or hinder jobs....think about that before you start a campaign.

8.  These BIG events and protest episodes.....are they mostly in highly urbanized areas....where you already had votes and support anyway?  Why wouldn't you go and run your events in rural areas....small towns....places where you had minimal notice over the past twenty years?  Are you having some recognition trouble in those red counties?  Maybe you should sit and examine how the 2009 tea party crowd got national attention and across a wide spectrum.

9.  Oddly, if remember the key thing about the origin about the 2009 tea party....it was not about one candidate....nor is it that easy to find in 2010, 2012, 2014, or 2016 some united tea party effort.  Oh, it is correct that in some states....they did find some ways to go together on a handful of candidates....but they never had some national trend episode.

10.  When Rick started that four-minute chat or rant about the economy in 2009 and the losers in DC screwing up things...he tugged on the dynamics felt by the general public.  Can you find such a moment....four minutes in brief context....that fixated people to act?  Simplicity is the key component of the whole original tea party thing.  Anything that takes an hour-long speech or 2,000 pages of text, or some group of foundations funding you....isn't the kind of anchor you want to start this upon.

Just some humble advice.

A Little Hike

Occasionally, I'll pick up a story which ought to have 10,000 lines of description but you only have twenty lines describing the whole event.  So it is with this story.

Back in the 2012-era....in Vancouver, Canada (on the far west coast).....this guy Anton Pilipa just up and disappeared.  What the family will say is that Anton had some mental issues.  No one says if he was on medication....but I would suspect such.  Anton's particular issue?  Schizophrenia.

If you've ever been around people with Schizophrenia.....you tend to notice that they aren't in the same world as you or I.  They can look at a situation with five characteristics.....and reach a totally different conclusion in the end.

What is hinted in the story is that Anton had some interest in reaching a particular library in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  The particular library?  The National Library.  It's a fairly fancy library by most standards.  What few realize is that while they sat down and designed the place in 1961...it would be a decade later before they started work on the library structure.  Oddly, they didn't finish work and open the facility until 1992 (taking almost twenty years in this construction and opening phase).

If you bring up this particular library with social and intellectual groups in Argentina....they generally get weepy-eyed and emotional....it's like a place of honor.

For whatever reason, Anton (the schizophrenic) got kinda emotional about this library as well.  No one tells that part of the story.

So, Anton just disappears.

In the last week.....Anton has reappeared....in some jungle setting of Brazil.  Five years have passed.  He's fairly weak and a bit tired.....but folks in Brazil have figured out his identity finally and got him in some hospital.....where they've set up some medication to control his schizophrenic problems.

Anton hasn't said an awful lot about his little adventure....but it appears that he just took off, and walked down the US coast....on through Mexico, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Panama, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, and probably three other countries....to reach the library as his destination.  Course, he had this one problem....no passport.  Without an ID....they refused him entry.  Yep....having walked over 11,000 kilometers without a passport.....he now found that he could not enter without this one document.

Various borders which should have stopped him?  None.  He kinda proved that how silly the whole border thing has become.

He did all of this....without any real cash....that's the shocker of the story.

The Darien Gap?  No one brought up this part of the story.  Typically, when heading south and getting into central Panama....you will eventually reach this point where Highway 1 ends (in Yaviza).  It's a great road that stretches from Canada down to a jungle setting in central Panama.  There....highway 1 officially ends.

To get from Yaviza over to some real point of civilization in Columbia?  It's about a hundred miles of jungle.  No road or trail really exists.  Some folks will claim a path, and have made the hike but it's not for normal people.

Anton hasn't said how he made this part of the trip.  I have my doubts that he hiked it.  But you'd have to go and pay some guy with a boat in order to skip this part of the trip.

Maps?  No one even suggests that Anton had a map.

Presently, the family is working up some kind of plan to get Anton back to Canada. The embassy folks will have to work up some passport and I suspect with two weeks....he will be returning....on medication.

How long this will last?  Unknown.  Most folks who have schizophrenia don't like the medication route because they feel inhibited....not in full control.  The odds of him leaving again?  Probably higher than 50-percent chance.

The last curious thing about this whole story?  Five years have passed.  If you pull out a map and chart the whole thing....you or I could walk from Vancouver to Argentina, and up into Brazil in about eight months.  That only explains roughly twenty-percent of the period of Anton on this hike.  So where was he the rest of the time?  Did he get lost a couple of times?  Did he head off in the wrong direction for six weeks at some point and then corrected his direction?

There's this epic story waiting to be written.  Sadly, I doubt if Anton really cares to sit down and tell this story.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

White House Press Briefings

Over the past decade, there would be occasions that I'd go and watch some unfolding news episode with the daily White House Press Briefing.  In a normal year...I'd probably catch at least five or six of the episodes....some years up to dozen.

This past week....I've gone back to watch every single day.  Watching it live?  No....I usually go to YouTube and review it there.

In some odd way, it's become entertainment, which ought to sound silly (even to me).

For eight years, I sat and watched the press corps ask an occasional stupid or silly question....most were baited in some way that the right answer would just flow like water from the President's spokesperson.  Maybe once a day....some idiot would challenge the guy but it was rare.

It was like every single journalist was on some drug sedative or tranquilizer.  They were thinking and acting at 40-percent of their normal capacity.

Since the Trump administration has arrived?  It's like they threw away their tranquilizers and pulled out some Mountain Dew or Red Bull (triple-shots), and got hyped up on something.

Version 1.0 and 2.0?  Well....yeah, it's amazing that they could revamp their sedative-appearance in a matter of days and now appear on some blitz-like question game.

The problem for the general public watching this?  They would mostly sit there and ask where these people were from 2008 to 2016?  Reversing from one side of the spectrum to the other?  Most people don't buy into that type of behavior....it just makes you look foolish and stupid.  If your local minister behaved like that....you'd fire the guy.  If your local school principal acted this crazy....you'd fire the gal.  If your boss did some 180-degree flip on business attitude....you'd get worried and throw your resume to other companies.  If your wife did some whole reversal of character....you'd think she was on some swell drugs or having some affair on the side.  If your son did some flip on prospective and seemed to be acting logical and conscious of his schooling....you'd think aliens had come and swapped a clone with him.

Yeah, it's a problem now.

Maybe somewhere down the line in five or six years, the news journalists at the daily meeting might finally get ahead in some way.....but I don't see their fortune turning anytime in the next couple of months.

This gimmick of allowing Skype situations and reporters from Tulsa or Athens, Alabama to ask questions?  It was the most brilliant move I've seen in decades.  Why not let regular journalists ask the questions?

The odd factor in all of this?  When people see Spicer (the WH spokesperson)....they see the President.  When Spicer speaks....it's Trump-chat...just more thoughtful and direct.

It'll be interesting if we come to realize that five-million Americans watch the daily press conference, and hype it at church, the barbershop, the coffee shop, or at work.

Friday, 10 February 2017

The Problem with Negativism

I sat yesterday and tried to watch thirty minutes of Wolf Blitzer on CNN.  I hadn't watched his show in two months, and just wanted to catch up on US news.

I had last watched Wolf Blitzer in mid-December.....so it's been a while.

I made it to about minute 20 and just said....that's it, I can't consume anymore.

If you compare the mid-December against this 9 Feb 2017 episode...it was night and day. The mid-December Wolf version was mostly pro-Obama Administration. At least when someone is doing a pro-angle, you can sit and consume the news.....ask yourself questions and note the amusing pro-angles they pick or the pieces of the story that they chose not to discuss.  The 9 Feb Wolf version?  Totally negative-coverage continuously....minute-after-minute.

The thing about negativism....it drains you out.  There's only so much you can take, and then you just have to walk away.

Wolf would slide story X over to his expert for a comment, then go to story Y with the second expert....all prepared with negative-slant.  The problem for me is that they couldn't really put any news out there....it was pure speculation.....stacked with slant.

Back in the early 1980s.....we had this neat news network that existed....Headline News.  It was pure news and in thirty minutes, you could be up to date with world and national news.

What happened with Headline News?  At some point in the mid-1990s....they disappeared, and CNN reinvented the whole concept of around-the-clock news.  It stopped being this blunt news service and became some in-depth long-winded and often intellectual news network.

The other problem I see with this trend is that if you were an employee with CNN, and had to get up each day to present the negativism business....it'd end up having a personal toll on your life.  You'd drive to work....preparing yourself to be negative.  You'd spend the whole day whipping yourself to a maximum negative stage.  Then you'd drive home in a negative state of mind.  Personally, I'd probably be burned out in less than six weeks.

Maybe CNN can hold the line and be this negative for four to eight years....but it'll only work if they continually go and recruit new people and freshened up the negativism every six months with some new faces.

 

Thursday, 9 February 2017

The Bigfoot Capital

Down south in the state of Alabama (my home state) we have a interstate connection (I-65) that goes between Mobile and Montgomery.....which passes through Evergreen.  It's safe to say that Evergreen doesn't have much going on for it's near 4,000 resident population (note, they've near 50 under 4,000).

Most people who do pass through....mostly driving from the Northeast down to New Orleans or returning from some two-day blast in New Orleans.  If you stop...it's mostly fuel, Ding-Dongs, or Mountain Dew.

Tuesday night, folks from the City Council met up and determined that some draft measure was fit to pass....they'd make Evergreen the official Bigfoot capital of the state of Alabama.  Up until that point, we hadn't had a official capital for Bigfoot in Alabama.

I should note politically, it passed unanimously....meaning it was something that both Republicans and Democrats could agree upon....either sadly, or in the epic sense.

Now, most folks would say it's a safe measure....no cost or such.  I would disregard that no cost deal....the first thing some Republicans will want to do is stage some erection of a fancy upscale statue from some guy out in west Texas.  The Democrats will counter that proposal that only a fancy Italian-made Bigfoot statue would be fitting for the city.

Within weeks, it'll be decided to run up some Bigfoot festival.....with booze stands and such, and the anti-alcohol crowd will get all hyped up and angry about such an idea.

A Bigfoot beauty queen pageant?  A Bigfoot pie contest?  A Bigfoot costume outfit?  A Bigfoot hunt? The list potential goes on and on.

The thing about this type of measure is that it attracts witty intellectual geeks like Germans to comment in a negative way.  With so much misery in America, surely they (the city council) find more corrective actions to fix America.  Probably in the past ten years though....I doubt if they've had more than ten Germans pull off the interstate and fuel-up....so no one much is that familiar with the city or local Bigfoot conditions.

How far might things go?  Back forty years ago....a gas station out in Colorado used to have some "thing" advertised at their station, and you could pay $1 to step into the room to look at the "thing".  Afterwards, you'd have a laugh and try not to admit that you paid a dollar to see some bogus attraction called the "thing".  Maybe in the case of Evergreen.....they ought to stage some display jail-room with some guy or gal in a Bigfoot suit and charge folks $5 (inflation rates in 2017) to see a live Bigfoot.  Then all these Philly guys or Boston folks would stop off and want to brag to their buddies that they finally saw Bigfoot.

As much you guess....we folks from Alabama like to have a bit of humor in our lives, and it tends to always go a step beyond reality.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

On the Topic of Weight

I sat yesterday and was reading this quote from some Hollywood-type (I won't even bother using her name), who wanted everyone to know that she'd lost weight during the US election period.  She was so bothered and suffering from stress....that she couldn't eat.

Naturally, I was curious about this phenomenon and tried to look through various articles on this.....to see how much she lost.  Well, it's odd.  No one asked her, or no one wanted to say.  I looked at pictures of the gal from 2015 and recent shots.....my humble guess is that yeah....she probably lost about 10 to 15 pounds.

I sat and pondered over this.

How many Americans might have been affected by the weight-loss-by-election theme?  A hundred-thousand?  A million?

Would they gain the weight back now, after the election?  Or would they go to the next level of stress under the Trump period, and lose another ten pounds per year (adding up to 40 pounds of loss by 2020)?  Would they reach some unhealthy state of life, where they'd require hospitalization?  Would some type of treatment program have to be developed to save these people from a unhealthy lifestyle?

The problem I see is that this person is so attached to politics and the outcome....that she's developed a new level of anxiety that would come to repeat itself every four years. Twenty years ago, this level of behavior would have been laughed upon.  Today?  There might be 500,000 Americans with weight-loss problems caused by elections.

In the end, I can imagine some professor becoming an expert at this business, and developing some treatment program for these folks.  Naturally, it would involve shutting down social media within their lifestyle....eliminating news viewing...entertaining new friends who talk about everything except politics....and developing some hobbies.  

So if you are in the company of some relative, who was a bit of a obsessive-Hillary fan and they seem to be awful thin....thinner than usual...then you need to be supportive.  Offer up some cookies, ice cream, pizza or peanut-butter items.  Spend an evening without any political chatter, and offer two or three slices of high-calorie cake.

My last question is the most curious though.....did the GOP-related crowd also suffer weight loss?  For some reason, I just don't think that happened.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

This Berkeley Thing

Over the past couple of days, I've probably watched about 60 minutes of the Berkeley riot episode from YouTube.  This was all caused in some way as a violent reaction to Milo speech event scheduled there.

My observations?

Whatever opposition cause was planned.....more or less....developed quickly into a violent encounter.  It was the behavior and conduct that you'd expect out of 12-year-old kids who looped themselves up on five or six cans of Mountain Dew and were on some sugar freak-out.

The destruction gimmick?  There is a cost factor involved, and in the end....they only helped to accelerate the tuition costs of the university....something that will lead them to future protests and more confrontations.....and more increases in the tuition situation yet again.

The facial coverings? They all looked like Mexican bandits from south of the border.

Their demeanor and attitude?    I think most are unable to live in any universe or work for any company/organization unless they (the company) conform to their standards (of the punk kid).

There aren't rational moments of conversation....that's one odd thing you noticed from the interviews conducted on the street.  They did seem clever, but it was mostly memorized lines from some PhD professor.  My impression of independent thought with these folks....on a scale of one to ten....they were barely at a three.

So this all brings me to this odd situation with American universities of today.  I get the impression that whoever runs the PhD lecturer or professor game....has loaded the deck with people of marginal skills.  Maybe this started in the 1960s and simply is the long-term product of poor hiring or poor management of the university system.  I won't blame just Berkeley.....I think most all of them have done some lousy job.

The course of things or trail?  If you were parent and really sat down to measure up the end-product of four to six years at some university, and came to grasp that this $100,000 of your money was producing a insignificant young adult who couldn't function in the western civilization or around people of different thought processes....then you might shy away from that college and look for something else.  You wouldn't want to waste all that time producing an idiot who can't survive in the real world.

My last observation?  If you were a regular hard-working middle-class Democrat or Democrat-leaning guy from one of these non-urban or non-welfare class counties in the US (3,100 of them)....viewing all this violent stuff and confrontations with public damage.....then your enthusiasm for the 2018-mid-term and next presidential election (2020) won't really be pumped up.  In a way, all this confrontation and violence stuff doesn't have appeal to that type of voter.  So it's hurting the Democratic Party....more than helping it.

You would think some chiefs at the top of the party would grasp that and look for better ways to focus these brat-kids....but that doesn't seem to be much of a priority.

Just my humble two cents.  Oh, and if I were a cop there.....I would have just stood back and not put my life at risk over some intellectual-loser kid.  

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Ten Things that would Help the Democrats

If you look at 2018 (mid-terms) and 2020 (next national election), the Democratic Party is in trouble.  They need to a brief pause....some thinking accomplished, and a bold new direction ahead.  So my top ten suggestions.

1.  Identify violent protests and public destruction of property/physical attacks on individuals to be a "NO-GO".  Any group doing it....gets cast out.  Anyone sponsoring it financially.....gets denied access to the party or it's candidates. If you retain the party of violence theme.....you lose votes.

2.  Sit down and think of various idea for actual creation of jobs....regular jobs....NOT federal jobs.  It's not rocket science.  Create tax-free zones where the first five years are federally tax-free for the company, if you create new jobs out of thin air.  Push for training programs within junior colleges that would benefit start-up companies.

3.  Settle this migrant/immigrant mess with the Republicans.  Just continuing this without any conclusion....keeps bringing it up each single year as some national emergency.

4.  Retire Nancy Pelosi.  Just about every time that she comes on and gives some ten-minute interview....southern Democrats sitting at home just sit there and have this huge gut-feeling of some nutcase talking on some national show.  Maybe twenty years ago, she had some sense or potential....she's just dragging the party along at this point.

5.  Admit the feminism thing has kinda maxed out.  Either find a different way of slanting this gimmick or dump it.

6.  Dump the idea that the majority of Americans want to hear some hyped-up Democratic message or theme from some Hollywood-type.  The vast number of Americans really don't care what such-and-such singer or actor says....other than they continue their craft and just be non-political.

7.  If you continue this Black Lives Matter thing, and continue to aggravate cops.....then nothing really changes except you have cop-unions very anti-Democrat.  One might agree that there's some lousy cops and we need to look at behavior of cops, but a lot of the thugs with the BLM thing are not the type of characters that the party should associate with.

8.  CNN is doing a lousy job of selling your theme and message.  If you've got them on some contract or insider deal.....you'd best correct them or fix this.

9.  Hillary Clinton is mostly finished up.  If she's still holding cards and an insider to the Democratic Party for 2018 and 2020.....then the 'Titantic" is sinking slowly into the sea.

10.  Dump the fake news thing.  It's situated to be more of a comedy situation than reality.  If you keep bringing up Putin, it'll only damage the party appreciation more in the end.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

The Milo Story

I noticed a fairly big violent episode at Berkeley University in California....over an anticipated visit and lecture by Milo Yiannopoulos.

If you'd brought up Milo's name with me a year ago.....I had no idea who he is.  Today, I probably watch sixty minutes of his lectures each month.  He is a journalist who linked up with Breitbart.  Young guy....gay....authentic intellectual but also clever enough to read through various fake agendas.  In terms of debate capability....I'd easily rate him as one of the twenty most capable debate masters in the western world.

Milo comes out to university campuses and gives a 90-minute lecture....which mostly takes about the fake nature of feminism, BLM, and at least forty other modern day 'fads'.

The thing I admire....he brings data, facts, and statistics to the debate.  A lot of these foundation-idiots that CNN or MSNBC or Fox drag in for conversations....usually just state a case without data or facts.

The threat of Milo?  Here's the thing.  If he shows up on a campus, and has an audience of 1,000 students....it's usually only 1-percent of the audience who are anti-Milo.  The rest want to hear his lecture.  When he finishes....I would take a guess that they begin to ask questions of the "anti" crowds, and the agenda-anchored professors.  These student speak out to other students, and that thousand....probably will 'infect' at least another thousand over the next year.

The violent protest thing?  I generally have the opinion that once you do anything to state property....once your identity is established and what you did for damage....ought to be enough to bring you in and expel you in a matter of an hour.  I'd also go to the next level and put you on a list for the entire state and deny you entry into state-funded college or university.

It's simply unacceptable behavior.  It's what you'd expect out of a 12-year-old kid, who is on some fussy sugar-fit.

The neat thing about these explosive and destructive episodes....is that the campus has to repair whatever was broke or burnt, and typically....they add more cops.  So, by doing this great 'deed'....you end up pumping the yearly tuition up another $500 per student.  It may take six months....maybe twelve.....but their tuition rate will slip up a notch.

California, as a state, puts out a lot of money to keep tuition rates where they are.  Yearly tuition?  Roughly $13,500.  The room and board?  Almost $15,000.  If you removed the higher-rate money that the state moves into the university?  I'd take a guess that yearly tuition would be closer to $20,000.

Will they riot and burn more things if tuition talks occur and a rate increase happens?  Oh my....yes.

If you were a parent and your kid was bringing up Berkeley as a college possibility?  Well, you'd sit and pause over the thug-like mentality that you see, and wonder what exactly the draw to the college would be.  I might also wonder what the thugs will degree in and how that works out for the rest of their lives.

If you had Socrates around at this point....I suspect he'd be puzzled and wondering where the mental capacity in this case went wrong.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

That Budweiser Commercial

My brother sent me the link to the new Budweiser commercial for the Super Bowl.....more or less a catchy historical piece on Mr Adolphus Busch and him being an immigrant.

So I watched it.   Yeah, I got kinda emotional over it.  There are five observations.

1. First, it's a shock....he actually came to the front door of America (Ellis Island) and did the paperwork and health-check.....passed, and entered America.  No false name.  No fake ID.  No Jihad stuff.  Just plain Adolphus Busch.  You should note, this was 1857....only three years prior to the Civil War.  I should also note you didn't have stupid State Department idiots running much of anything.

2.  There's never a single minute that you can attribute his life to social benefits or some government hand-out program, period.  In fact, he's a local kid from here in the area I live....of Kastel.  He was the 21st kid of a twenty-two kid family.  In simple terms, while the family did well in wine....he was set to get virtually nothing of the business because he had 20 kids ahead of him.  He came with three older brothers, who were also in the same situation....nothing to gain by staying in Kastel.  I should note, Kastel sits upon the Rhine and is five minutes walking over the bridge to Mainz.

3.  The beer thing?  Well....they skipped a large of this story.  Most Americans didn't drink beer.  Most Irish didn't drink beer.  Most Chinese didn't drink beer.  Most Amish.....well....they didn't drink period.  So it's a virtually small and limited audience....Germans.  He has to go, where Germans exist in America.  And they are his only customer.  You might also want to note that roughly a decade later when "junior" went back to Germany as a fairly big success in the brewery business....his dad (ever the wine connoisseur) advised him that beer was not the business to put your heart into.

4.  This slam about ten seconds into the commercial about foreigners?  Well...EVERYONE, to include the Indians as well....are migrants or immigrants into America.  Maybe there is some slam against particular nationalities, but go and look for any country in Europe that was having success mixing twenty different cultural groups into one single society.  The Ukraine, to some minor degree might be mentioned....but no country in Europe, or for that matter throughout the rest of the world....ever blended such a group into one single focus group.

5.  Finally, I come to this odd aspect of the video and what I see.  Germans rarely ever fail at something that they put their heart and soul into.  To their credit....they will MAKE something work, one way or another.  This is part of Adolphus Busch's success.  He looked at the saloon trade, beer gardens, and found various ways to make this attractive to non-Germans.  He built the business into what it is today.

I should note that roughly 25 years after Busch entered the US.....a 16-year-old German kid (underage noted here) entered through the same port (Ellis Island)....gave them his true name (no fake ID), and was approved for entry.  Again, that kid didn't ask for much....or get any hand-out.  The kid did well and also had some remarkable success....trying to come back in 1904 with his success into the Pfalz region of Germany.  The Prussians didn't take this well, and told the young man to leave.  And so, Frederick Trump returned to America.  Fourteen years later (1918), he got sick and died.  His widow, the Scot, handled things well, and eventually handed things down to her grandson Donald.

From what I hear, Donald has done well.  Frederick probably would have told him to skip all this government bureaucratic stuff, and just stick with hotels.

The "This is Who" Moment

I noted in the news this morning....roughly 900 State Department folks signed up some deal to say "This is not who we are" toward the Trump Administration and this ban on six countries for 90 days that came out of the weekend.

They wanted to send a message.

I sat for a while and pondered over this.

Allow me to tell you....(the brilliant individuals signing this counter statement to the Administration)....who you are.

When President Obama noted last year that there were six countries from which our visa and Green Card program was screwed up over.....that was your moment of reality.

Ask yourself.....who runs the visa program?  Oh, yeah....the State Department.

Ask yourself....who runs the Green Card program?  Oh, yeah....the State Department.

It's you guys.

For the last thirty to forty years, with all the marginal effort and poor management....you made the visa and Green Card program into a joke.  Oh, you had help....President Clinton, President Bush, and President Obama.  You had idiots from foundations and terror groups who also helped.  You had Senators who helped. Even Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation helped.

Here's the curious thing....now that you made this stupid statement "this is not who we are"....the administration wants this fixed.  So they will be handing you (the State Department) some guidelines and expectations for change (probably within the next week).

I know how clever and stupid that you can be, and I'm already betting that you will just say "no", and refuse to solve this problem or implement the changes necessary.  That's ok.  The boss will document this, and in roughly three months....as the ban gets lifted and no fixes are in place.....we move to the next stage.

My humble guess is that you've got maybe three months of employment left at this point.  At that point, I expect around a thousand folks to get a notice of termination.  Even if you survive that list....there's probably a second list with another thousand by the end of 2017.

Here's the neat thing for you State Department folks.....as you get let go, there is this freeze across the rest of the government.  So, in the past, you'd just go to the CIA or maybe some Archives job for six to twelve months.....to get a chance to come back.  Well....they won't be offering jobs during the freeze.

Plan B?  Maybe across DC, with NPR, the foundations and the university crowd....there might be 300 jobs for you.  But remember....lots of other government agencies will also be letting folks go, so you got competition.

Plan C?  You could go and apply across the nation to major colleges and hope someone will let you instruct for a year or two....waiting out the moment when Trump gets impeached.  Course, maybe he makes it through 2020, and gets re-elected.....can the university hold you until 2024?

Here's the reality of plan D.  You might want to prepare for a job with some high school in Texas or Oklahoma.

Mad?  Angry?  Whining to your folks or relatives about this?  Some might come back to you and ask why didn't fix the Green Card program?  Or why didn't you fix the visa-program?

Those intellectual friends from Paris, Berlin and London?  Oh, they will call you up and tell you to stay strong and anti-Trump.  You will eventually ask.....isn't your visa-program screwed-up in France? Oh yes, but we are 'safe'....they won't fire us.  Then you ask your German associate in Berlin.....don't you have 500,000 failed visa-applicants in Germany?  Oh yes, but we are 'safe'....they won't fire us.  Eventually, you will realize that they really don't know who they are.....they are just as naive as you.

You'd best open up some bottle of Jack Daniels and prepare yourself for a dose of reality.  This is where you really learn who you are, and how you got to where you stand.

The Wives Story

I noted in the news today that some guy who was 93 years old in Nigeria had passed away.  His significance to get mentioned?  He was a Muslim cleric guy, with 130 wives.

Yeah....130 spouses.

I have my doubts that he could easily remember the names of all 130 women, but maybe that's not such a big deal in Nigeria. Maybe you could utter 'darling' a fair bit and just sneak by on remembering everyone's face and name.

Creating a problem for the other guys?  Well...that's the thing about a society which has usually a 50-50 birthrate.  It generally means that he was hurting the chances of 129 other guys in the country.

I'm one of those folks who often sit through a Mormon story of multiple wives and will listen to the whole theme and landscape described.  I might be able to see some reason or logic with maybe two wives....beyond that, I think a guy is treading on shaky ground.  Too much jealousy....too much greed....too many fights over nothing, it's just not worth the hassle to bulk up on wives.

Folks in Nigeria note that this guy leaves roughly 200 wives and kids now.  Hard to say what happens, or if some other guy will come up to take some of the widows.

Maybe some guy will write up a movie script over this and make a Hollywood production of the guy.  My title for it?  One is Never Enough.

2018 Mid-Term

If you pay attention over the next 15-odd months, there is a political theme underway....to help some Democratic Senators who live in blue-states-for-Trump survive.  The list?

Florida: Bill Nelson
Indiana: Joe Donnelly
Michigan: Debbie Stabenow
Missouri: Clair McCaskill
Montanta: Joe Tester
New Jersey: Bob Menendez
North Dakota: Heidi Heitkamp
Ohio: Sherrod Brown
Pennsylvania: Bob Casey
Wisconsin: Tammy Baldwin
West Virgina: Joe Manchin

The rest of the races?  Mostly all considered 'safe' or in Hillary-states.  There are two Republicans talked about as weak....but only one (Dean Heller of Nevada) is in a blue-state/Hillary-state.  That one Republican seat might flip.  Note as well....Hatch of Utah will be forced into another run.  But I seriously doubt that he stays....retiring instead.

Here's the thing.  Eleven Senate seats are in a fair amount of risk.  Just losing five of these would be a big deal, giving a net-gain of four for the Republicans and giving them roughly 56 seats.  If they go and win nine of the eleven (entirely possible at this point), that would put them at 60 seats.  That creates a two-year period for President Trump to push through various pieces of legislation with only McCain and Graham to stall things.

When you sit and watch these 60 Minutes Oprah pieces....note the background, landscape, or positive story theme, and what state is featured.  It'll likely be one of these eleven states.

When you sit and watch CNN do some positive slant over the heartland, look at the landscape and state used.  It'll likely be one of these eleven states.

On top of this, you have Feinstein of California who will probably retire, and this would normally bring up some heavy competition.  Bernie?  Yeah, he's up again, but advancing on age.....so he might step down at this point.

Settle back and be entertained for the next eighteen months.