Saturday, 30 September 2017

If You Were Going to Kneel Over Stuff

It's a short list that came to my mind....but obviously the NFL millionaire players are thinking of a single topic to knee for.  Some other suggestions?

1.  Making people pay a fee or tax on health insurance that they don't want to purchase.

2.  Doctors who hand opioids over to patients like 'candy'.

3.  494 people shot and killed within Chicago since 1 January (only up to 30 Sep 2017).

4.  Asset forfeiture policy of the US government.

5.  Global warming, global cooling, or climate change.

6.  MS-13 and the drug empire in the US.

7.  The poverty rate of 13.5 percent in the US.

8.  The student debt of $1.2 trillion dollars.

9.  Corrupt nature of both the House and Senate (both parties).

10.  The unrealistic salary structure of NFL players to ordinary Americans.

Course, I realize that these individuals have no understanding of this whole kneeling business, but it might be curious to have different kneeling tricks for different topics. 

How to Look Like an Idiot

I sat and read through some huge criticism piece over the tax deal via the Trump administration and the spokesperson who said that some folks might want to use the $1,000 coming back on this deal....to remodel their kitchen.  So the criticism was laid out....to blast this....you can't do a remodeling job on your kitchen for $1,000.

I sat last year and watched a German removation show where the expert walked into a home, and laid out the project....with the goal of 1,000 Euro or less (roughly $1,200).

So, here's thing....it's all self-help....which you mostly do over a two-day weekend...maybe stretching into a second weekend.

You remove the cabinets from the wall....sand them down a bit, and then paint them.  Course, you probably need a second guy to help lift and screw these back into place.

Fresh paint on the walls?  Yes.

New cupboards?  Yes.

A new light or ventilator-light-unit?  Yes.

A new faucet?  Yes.

Done.  All of this easy enough for a couple to do.  No fancy work.  No $4,000 required

The criticism?  All pretty stupid if you ask me....mostly by idiots who want to pay some guy $4,000 to do the same work.

Why is Puerto Rico in the Crapper After the Hurricane?

First, let me admit that I've never been to the isle in my life.  I have worked around five or six Puerto Rican folks while in the military and did have various conversations with them over this strange and mysterious island (ask a hundred folks, and you tend to find only about one-percent who've been to the island), and most Americans still think it's an independent country.

All this electrical trouble since the hurricane?  Well....if you go back through business news over the past couple of years....their national company has had some issues and had their bonds judged to be near junk-status.  If you bring up maintenance and upgrades?  Well....it's a marginal amount of work and you get the impression that they are surviving with a two-star program providing electricity to the country.  Stateside electrical companies willing to come in and help?  You'd have to arrange ships to bring the trucks and personnel....then agree that you'd likely never get any financial pay-back from the national electrical organization.

Then you come to the island's own junk bonds.  Yeah....they've been junk-status for more than a year or two.

I asked one work-associate back in the 1980s about the lifestyle of the island, and his emphasis was....just about everything on the island is connected to corruption.  The cops, the legal system, the drug-scene, etc.  In his explanation of things....there's two economies working in Puerto Rico.  One is legit and paying taxes....one is strictly non-legit and avoiding taxes.  You'd really have to screw up badly to be caught and face punishment....that was his opinion.

The unemployment rate of Puerto Rico?  For the past year.....roughly ten-percent.  But here's the nifty part of this story.  The rate has been dismal for over a decade.  If you had any skills or college education, you left the island.  Back around 2000, they had near 3.8-million people on the island.  Every year....thousands have left, so they don't count toward the current 10-percent unemployment situation.  Right now, they sit at 3.4-million.  If you follow what's been said over the past week, I'd take a guess that at least 150,000 will leave Puerto Rico by Christmas and likely never come back.  By spring of 2018, add another 150,000 onto that.  They will likely shrink below 3.0-million by July of 2018.   The best and brightest?  Yes, they will be the ones gone.

If you were an American company looking for a potential industrial site there....why?  Maybe cheap labor but it'll hard to find competent or highly educated people for the operation.

For Trump, the best solution here would be to activate 5,000 Guardsmen for six months of duty to help put the grid back back into operation and clear roads.  Then you might go and offer some tax incentive package for some manufacturing companies to come in and set up shop for ten years.  But beyond that....the corruption factor remains.  And I doubt that this will ever correct itself. 

California and the Gas Car Ban

It came up this past week with a draft proposal by a legislative guy in California (Democrat of course) to halt all new gas car sales by 2040.  You could still sell gas in the state, but the idea is that new gas car or diesel car sales....would halt.

The possibility of buying a new car in Vegas or Phoenix and driving it across the border?  Wasn't mentioned, but would likely be the best way to avoid this game.

The intent is to go the way of Germany (already aiming in 2030) for electric car sales only by 2030.

The problem with the California idea? 

If you live in San Diego or San Francisco itself....you probably can live this lifestyle.

If you are one of the guys working in LA, and driving 200 miles round-trip to work each day?  No, you probably can't make this work.  Oh, I agree...the majority of cars would have the 300-mile range by their advertising talk......but there's this California view of things.

For roughly six months out of the year.....the temperature in the mid-section of the state is 85-degrees minimum and on up to 95-degrees, so you'd have the AC unit on the car going 'full-blast'.  On an electric car.....that will eat up juice rather quickly.  You don't see Tesla talking over the rate of battery decrease....but I think an engineer could quickly add up the numbers and say that you'd lose one-third of your battery juice on the AC unit by itself.

Course, you could just open the windows like most California drivers did before the 1970s and bear the heat.  But I doubt if you'd like that idea.

The traffic jam atmosphere in the five major urban areas of the state?  That also adds to the whole concept. 

Naturally, I could see hybrid-cars being a better solution here.  It'd make more sense.  But they skipped right over those in this draft idea.

Will it pass?  On the first go-around? I'd say no.  But by the end of 2019, I'll predict that it's a big deal and passes.  The public might over-ride the law with a public vote.

California is a fairly unique place to live.  People don't live near where they work.  You can figure the average guy drives a minimum of ten miles (one-way) each day to work....some even up to 120 miles one-way.  You can see these folks sitting there and trying to estimate if the 300-mile range would work or not.  It might make some folks just say 'enough' and leave the state.   

How We Got This Way

After looking this week over the NFL mess, continued political bickering, Reality Winner, and public dysfunction....this is one of those essays to review how exactly we reached this point.

1.  The loss of McGovern in 1972.   Most have no memory of the era and what happened.  It was the mid-term with Nixon and the Democrats went and got the intellectual's intellectual to run against Nixon.  I've finished a great book by Thomas Frank this week, entitled 'Listen Liberal' which goes into detail about this one moment in American history.

It was a fairly low turn-out....55-percent.  When they finished the Electoral College count, it was dramatic....520 votes for Nixon and a mere 17 votes for McGovern. 

There was a review after this election to understand what happened.  The Democrats decided that they had the right guy, but the wrong audience.  Working-class Americans, union folks, and simple America....weren't smart enough to handle intellectuals.  So the Democrats latched onto a new direction....they would build the candidates to be designed for themes, urban topics, and agendas for 'smart' people.  I know....it is silly if you think about it.

Most of the effort in the 1980s failed.  Then came Clinton.  The highly educated and intellectual Clinton....had the accent and ability to be two characters.  In this case, it worked.  It almost worked later with Gore.  With Obama?  He could squeeze out two accents and voice his way to fit both groups, but every part of his platform was geared toward the urban crowd...mostly the same with Clinton. Hillary?  She couldn't really do the two voice trick, but her theme and chat was to the urban and brighter audience....not working-class Americans.  Trump?  His style, his words, his platform?  All geared toward working-class Americans.

2.  Part of the shift in the 1970s was to hype up bringing in the right people to be college professors, and use them as instructors for the new future.  As you go into the 1980s and 1990s....those individuals who came out of the system...leaning to the new agenda....were fresh new high school teachers. 

Over the past decade, these were the teachers who taught young minds like Reality Winner, and Manning. 

Today, these are the students showing up and playing their 'snowflake' role at the university system....trying to say they are smarter than the professors and know better....when they are probably not even mature enough for the atmosphere.

3.  The art of division.  It doesn't matter where you go today....into a religious setting, a sport setting, a family reunion, a Thanksgiving dinner, or office party....it's now set to be divided.  The recent Goggle story of the attempts to politically hype up employees and create a division in the work-place?  Just another example.

4.  In 1975, your news came primarily from Newsweek, Time, the local paper, the three networks, Paul Harvey, and the Sunday political chat shows.

In 2017, Time and Newsweek are virtually dead.  The NY Times and Washington Post survive mostly without substantial profit because of owners subsidizing them.  Paul Harvey is gone.  So you are left with Facebook, Twitter, cable news, something called 'Drudge', and twenty-odd political chat shows that go way beyond Sundays. 

5.  Most political platforms are written into a method that make no sense.  You work to convince people that solution 'X' will be the final word on solving a big mess. You wake up three years after implementing solution 'X', which was fairly complicated and contrived....to realize that it merely solved this problem and then created a whole new fresh problem which is now as big as the previous issue. 

In the 1980s, 1990s and past decade, this made sense.  But year after year....people are now asking questions and becoming more capable of looking at the whole solving problems routine.  If you can't resolve things....why make this into some dramatic opera?

6.  The invention of Common Core.  You were basically told that there is this great and highly developed teaching method called Common Core.  Intellectuals all flock to it.  It's marvelous.  Then you sit and try to grasp what the discussion is about.  Hours pass, and you eventually reach a point where you just don't grasp where this is better or how it'd improve much of anything.  You are briefly told.....you aren't intellectual-enough to grasp this. 

In this method, you get downsized and pushed back.  Just accept the intellectual discussion and things are fine.  Something about this seems crazy, but these intellectual people must know what they are talking about.

7.  Young people doing stupid things, with no real grasp that this will lead to a court visit...a judge reviewing your actions....and potential jail time.  Legal costs?  Never imagined.  You have literally thousands of individuals who are walking the thin-line....waiting to visit some jail or prison....over something that seems like a political-cross to bear.

8.  Inability to accept conversation or debate.  If you had suggested in the 1970s that a significant number of educated individuals would be unable to have conversations or debate on a topic of importance....most would have laughed.  Yet here we are.

High schools and the university system are slowly drifting away from debate skills.  In another dozen years, you will have a large segment of American graduates who can't debate, can't discuss topics with co-workers with true positions, and believe there can only be one single side to things.

9.  Capitalism is evil.  It's a common theme today....yet you look at the guy talking about this: (1) a $700 smart-phone, (2) $400 theme-prescription glasses, (3) a $25,000 car, and (4) $100-shoes.  The guy talks excessively about evil capitalism.  Maybe if he was wearing Indian moccasins, lacked a smart-phone and lived under a bridge....it'd all make sense.

10.  The division of the nation is based upon urban-America versus working-class America.  The two groups have totally different character, charm, and dreams.