Thursday, 31 May 2018

"Jackie" Show?

Yesterday, I read through a piece that concerned the firing of Roseanne, and the termination of the show.  Basically, some folks in the background....appearing to be led by Sara Gilbert (producer/actress) of the current Roseanne Show, want to remake the show around 'Dan' and 'Jackie'.  You would just say some unfortunate accident came upon Roseanne (kinda like the way that Charlie died on Two-and-a-Half-Men), and the show goes on.

In this case?  First, I have my doubts that John Goodman really wants to entertain this idea, and would probably suggest to them that they can kill off his character just as well.

So then you progress on....it's basically a Jackie and Sara Gilbert show.  Viewers?  They might get 80-percent of the viewers on first night of the new dynamic, and then lose five-percent of the viewers on each show that follows.  Yeah, it would crawl along to a dramatic finish in May of 2019.

The other problem here?  Well....Roseanne herself could go to Fox and offer up a new series idea.  Bring in some conservative writers, and write up a script of a wife who has passed on, and God has blocked off the gates, and more or less...sending Roseanne back down to occupy a different situation.  In fact, she might even go the route of coming back as the mother of four black teenagers.

The problem for Sara Gilbert's 'life without Roseanne' series.....is that it needed a particular dynamic to move each other character forward.  That dynamic would fail to exist.

My guess is that ABC and Sara Gilbert would be stupid enough to attempt this, and Fox would be crazy enough to bring a series with Roseanne out of thin air.  All of this would prove that the entertainment industry is really in some weird trend, and logic defies reason.

One might note as well.....Two-and-A-Half-Men....was fairly dismal after they killed off Charley.  But they did linger on for two more years.

So to the last laugh.  Can you imagine opening the first episode of the 'Jackie' show, and here are the members of the Conner family.....grieving over mama (Roseanne) having departed.  They would try to weave this fake good-bye story, with fake tears.....while the audience sits there and remembers all the negative things that were said about Roseanne.  How bogus will the first episode be? 

Disorder Story

I was read a short piece in the last week which picked up the topic noted by a single university, that they came realize around a quarter of their crowd are now admitting as they register.....they are mentally ill in some fashion.

Of course, the definitions were open to some degree.  If you suffered from anxiety, panic attacks, bi-polar issues, eating disorders, ADAH, personality disorders, substance abuse, etc.....you fell into this 'pit'.

Course, the real issue is that for all these years....no one ever put this on a submission form and asked the kid as he paid the tuition...do you have problems that you want to admit?  Frankly, until recently.....they didn't care.  The university has a product and someone wants to buy it.  The old attitude was just to sell that product and move on.

But this kinda makes you wonder....do we now have more people with mental issues than in previous decades?  I would tend to argue that we always had people who had 'issues', and the vast majority just lived with it and learned some counter-balance solution on their own.

In the case of the university system....I see them wanting to broaden their product and attach more fees/costs into the system.  If you had seven-hundred folks registered with the college and admitting eating disorders....well, you'd probably go out and hire two full-time counselors, and try to hype up their availability.....putting the cost into the tuition system.  Or you might have 1,500 folks admitting that they were suffering from panic attacks, and you'd have a special office on campus where they could 'escape' into and get 'relief'.

But in the midst of all of this disorder business.....would you have some folks who just showed up with no issue and figured....what the hell....I'll mark down that I've got a personality disorder, and a eating disorder....then spend a fifteen minute session with the disorder 'chief' trying to convince them of a fake background.  You can imagine 2025 rolling around and some university chief waking up one morning to be told that 88-percent of his students have some kind of disorder, and creating a whole department to micromanage the issue.

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Comedians Over at Sanofi

The company Sanofi came up today and did some kind of defense over Ambien. 

It's mostly all common knowledge that you can have hallucinations and delusions....while on the drug. That's one of the reasons why it says on the side NOT to drive cars or operate machinery while taking the drug.  You might as well go and put down Facebooking, texting on Twitter, or conversing via social media as other things you shouldn't do while on the drug.

Going to work? Around livestock?  Painting  a fence?  Grilling burgers?  Mowing grass?  NO.  This is the stuff that you should only take when intending to rest or recuperate in your house.  And you should have someone to come and check on you occasionally.  I won't say it's bad stuff.....but to think you can go and do your normal lifestyle stuff?  No.

My advice to the business guys who wanted to dump on Roseanne?  If she's got a prescription....what she did is pretty much normal for a 'user'.  You apparently don't know your product. 


My View On The Roseanne Cancellation

A year ago, there were serious talks going on to bring the actors back for a short-lived season (a dozen episodes), under the producer Sara Gilbert (number two kid on the original series).

Now, you can ask....was there any real resume existing that would be worth giving her the producer position?  I have my doubts.  Somehow, Sara got with the production company and ABC, and found the right explanation for her to be producer and to lead this effort.

My guess is that she gave Roseanne Barr just enough material to believe that the dozen episodes would be worth doing, and that a slant on politics would be carried to some degree.

Roseanne arrived with the rest of the crew.....then found that most of the writers brought on board....are all liberal types.  Shocker?  Maybe.

So in the first one or two episodes....Producer Gilbert gave just enough rope for Roseanne to spin a story the way she wanted.

As the season wrapped up....Producer Gilbert came out and said that Trump would absolutely NOT be mentioned in the next season at all.  Gilbert was laying down the 'card'.

Looking at the top position that they'd accomplished, the introduction 'slant', there was some great timing coming up in September 2018 to spring 2020, and they could weave a number of poverty stories, with the writing team.

Roseanne?  I think she just said 'enough', then sat down to figure the way to terminate the show.  Just quitting was enough.  Arguing with Producer Gilbert wouldn't cut it.  She needed the head person of ABC to do the firing.  Who was the personal friend of the President of ABC?  Well....Obama's chief of staff.  The ambien story?  It does work well, I admit.

So it's ended.  Gilbert is now stuck.  She can't climb any more ladders without calling in some special favors.  The odds that Fox will go and offer a series chance to Roseanne?  She could make up a whole new story....hire some right-wing young writers, and be back on the air by October.

Using the term 'abhorrent'?  Producer Gilbert felt compelled to use it when talking on Barr.  But here's the problem.....there's a dozen pretender stars on ABC who have said enough (Jimmy Kimmel comes to mind) who deserve to be fired as well.  Apparently, no one has the 'balls' to do that.  And as for Roseanne being racist?  Sorry, on the racist scale....she's probably a '2' at the very most.

Starbucks and Racism

Over the past month, I've sat and read over various accounts of suggested racism, or perceived racism....within the Starbucks empire.  So, my thoughts over this:

1.  If you've been to as many Starbucks operations as I have....probably forty in my life (counting the airport operations, malls, and various street corners)....you've had a fair chance to notice the employees.  Most are low-income minorities or college students.  My guess is that those two groups make up 75-percent of the employees.  The chief thing you notice is that you really don't have to be bright to make coffee.  I'm not saying they are stupid, but if you had any remarkable level of clever nature, you wouldn't exactly make this a life-long career situation. 

2.  Pay level.  If you work at most of the Starbucks operations (not NY City)....you get paid eight to eleven bucks.  A manager?  Somewhere between eleven and thirteen bucks.  It's not bad but it's almost what you'd get flipping burgers.

3.  Observing racism?  Well....I've seen a lot of commentary at burger operations (unnamed) where the talk from the guys in the back....was in bad taste.  But at Starbucks?  No....you just don't hear that much in terms of chatty personnel, or people making bad taste comments.  Oddly, I think that a majority of employees are women.  Starbucks doesn't talk about the ratio, but I'd take a guess sixty percent of the employees are women.

4.  Finally, if you had a pretty simple storefront, with only one single product...why would you do something stupid to suggest a racism angle?  I'd be looking more at who I've hired, and if I'm making a mistake in the hiring process. 

Monday, 28 May 2018

The Nine Out of Ten Story

I read a lot of science stuff, and dig into DNA-related science.  So today, I came to this one odd feature, from Phys.Org news.

They talked to a DNA expert who has been reviewing the general path or 'life' of DNA with humans and animals.  And there's this piece.

Nine out of ten species on Earth today.....counting humans and animals.....based on a study....came into being around 100,000 to 200,000 years ago.

Prior to that, the species (to include modern humans)....didn't exist.

The odds of 90-percent of animal life being 'new' and from the same odd time-period?  Well....the study and the science folks can't answer that.

As you look around at various dogs, cows, horses, birds, and various cultures of humans....they didn't exist 200,000-plus thousand years ago.  It basically would lead to discount both evolution and creationism, and you'd have to entertain the idea that someone just kinda dropped off various critters and humans.....and some existence started all of a sudden.

I know.....this will be hard for some folks to accept.  But the problem is that the DNA stuff has reached a level where you can be fairly sure about the general path and how things progressed.  It also means that the folks who arrived....had some kind of Noah's Ark of their own, and believed that the species were going to be part of a long-term plan.

Just something to think about.

Saturday, 26 May 2018

Why Trump Sits at 50-Percent Approval

President Trump sits at 50-percent approval rating.

Yeah, it's a bit of a shock.  Why?  I'll essay my ten reasons for the standing;

1.  No one reads newspapers much anymore.....or news magazines (like Time or Newsweek).  Folks will scan the front page for regional news, local politics, and regional sports.  But frankly, the Democratic 'thrill' potential with newspapers which existed for decades....is mostly finished.  In a way, the papers 'burned bridges' as they crossed, and never saw the damage inflicted upon their own product.

2.  ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS?  Look around at the group of guys and gals who've been let go, terminated for sexual affairs, or simply retired.  No one really cares what the networks say much anymore.

3.  Hillary?  For about a hundred days after the election of 2016, she had the right to talk and whine about the outcome.  Public-wise, the talking probably should have wrapped up by late spring 2017.  The anti-Clinton voters are simply being reminded on the positives they believed in voting for Trump.

4. Skeptical view of Senators, period.  It doesn't matter if you are Republican or Democrat.....people don't believe your hype or commentary.  The Sunday morning political shows are mostly there for dramatics and people appear more amused than in tune with the commentary of Senator 'Snuffy'.

5.  Respect for Team-Obama. When you look at the forty-odd people who surrounded President Obama, and their continual negativity chat....it's not getting much traction.  It is rather odd that the news media just two years ago could have used the people weekly on news programs or chats.  Now?  The respect seems diminished. 

6. Promises.  Typically, when some idiot is running for President.....he makes promises.  Typically, at best....ten-percent of the promises are carried out.  Well...Trump appears closer to the thirty-percent point, and might well accomplish fifty-percent by the time he reaches 2020.  Folks seem to admire that type of action, even if negative.

7.  The DNC.  You would expect the national leadership of the Democratic Party to meet....talk over the upcoming mid-term election and the message or brand....that they wanted to sell the public.  You see mostly three messages.  One is the Bernie Sanders message of more 'free stuff', which isn't being that well received.  A second message is the impeachment brand, which isn't being that well received.  And the third message is odd topic like gun-control or racism....which typically aren't four-star topics for the non-urban voters.

8.  The Stormy Factor.  I am reminded by the recent Marvel movie....Infinity War....where Doctor Strange is forced to consider fourteen-million future scenarios, and saying there was only ONE single scenario where the Avengers won in the end.  If Doctor Strange had been reviewing all options in 2015....yes, he would have likely said that only this Trump-guy could take on the 14-million situations, and oddly face some fake porn-actress in the national media, and not bow out.  By November, I don't see much left for Stormy to chat about, and her full-time occupation will be pole-dancing at strip clubs.

9.  The power of Breitbart.  It's almost like a poker game where some Breitbart journalist walks into a room and lays down one single card....then suddenly the game is over.  CNN having that effect? No.  The Today show?  No.  Go down the list of power-players from 2005 to 2015....none have that one single card effect, except Breitbart.

10. The McCain factor.  King Midas had this unique ability to touch something, and it'd turn immediately to gold.  Well....Senator McCain, even here in his dying days, has the anti-midas touch, and virtually everything he touches....turns into 'pee'.  More than half of Republicans will tell you that they regret their 2008 vote for him.  The Democrats?  They are in this awkward position where they have to show some enormous respect for McCain, which generally makes the public question the gimmick being played out.  McCain, for better or worse....has aided the President in various ways, and turned the McCain 'pee' dossier into a joke. 

Trump's Orders

I noticed President Trump did three things yesterday, which should have been on President Bush and President Obama's list.  All had to do with government employees.

The first episode....he issued an executive order to make it easier to 'let go' (fire) poor performing government employees.  The second episode creates a federal labor relations working board to review union contracts with the federal government. The wording would make it hard for federal unions to appeal firings and to lobby Congress.  The third?  It's an executive order that says you were hired to do a job, and if you are some union chief or union boss...you can only spend 25-percent of your time in that function.  The rest must be regular work.  Part of this order also says that unions existing in federal office spaces....need to pay for it.

All will be challenged in court, but likely to stand.

As I came into the Air Force in 1977.....one of the things you noticed after a year of activity was that some civilians that were employed by the Air Force....were losers.  Unlike the military where you could discharge them or punish them in some way.....you were limited in your actions.

Toward the end of my career with the military, we had this vacancy in a civilian slot that had to be filled within the organization.  They brought this gal in from the states to fill the job.  Within 90 days, it became obvious that she had an attitude problem and refused to take on any new work. Trying to change her job description?  It was next to impossible and the union folks continually pushed back.  I sat and watched her boss try to understand this behavior because they hadn't ever had a 'loser'.   Over the course of three years, in terms of productive work?  I'd take a guess that she never did more than 400 man-hours a year of anything productive.  That means nine months of an average year were just fake work, or unproductive. 

How many poor performers exist within the federal government?  I would take a guess that more than 100,000 individuals exist.  The Trump order?  I might take a guess that within the next year.....at least 2,000 of such individuals will be brought in and the Trump-order will be used to force them out.  As you get into 2020....you might actually see ten-thousand individuals shown the front door.  In some ways, it might change the landscape. 

The problem I see is that it'll all be forced back into court action....but if the government wins 90-percent of their cases....eventually the loser crowd will give up on legal challenges.

The other problem is....if you got fired by the US government, it's a bit hard to find anyone wanting to hire you.  You might actually push yourself into a burger-flipper career. 

Thursday, 24 May 2018

The Mini

For two days now....the 'family-car' (actually a Audi TT, and it would be nearly impossible to suggest it's a family car)....has been in the garage and we've had a rental Mini.

There are three observations that I can make over the Mini.

First, from the drivers seat....there has to be a minimum of sixty dials or buttons.  I still remember my first car....the Oldsmobile Cutlass.  It had eight dials, and maybe six buttons.  Looking at the Mini....there are probably twenty buttons or dials that once set....I would never go back and touch ever again. 

Second, it feels like an oversized go-kart.  No, that's not even a joke.  You take tight corners and weave through the countryside....like a go-kart.

Third, this is the Mini-3 series.....so it's big enough for the two front passengers, and there's a 'fake' back-seat for two additional passengers, and just enough room for a large bag of dog-food in the 'hatch'.  That's it.  Yeah, it's tiny. 

Would I buy one?  If I owned a second vehicle for regular travels, yes.  If this Mini-3 were my only vehicle?  No. 

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Swamps

My brother brought this item up today.....some Democratic strategist has been given the new top project to cover the national Democratic Party.  The idea?  To drain the swamp (throw out worthless political figures).

How this works?  Well....they say there was NO swamp prior to 2016, and that President Trump has become the 'swamp'.

Yeah, it's hard to say how they got this idea, and it probably did take several cases of cheap booze to format this strategy.

For a guy from Alabama....it'd mean that not only is Trump intending to drain the swamp.....but the Democrats also will be draining the swamp, and if all parties are successful.....well, there won't be any swamp.

Naturally, there's some disbelief in how this double-swamp-draining would work.

Could the Republicans themselves come out and confess that they have an agenda to drain the swamp....in effect....triple-draining the swamp?  Well....yes.

Could CNN come out and confess that they work to drain the swamp?  Could the Washington Post come out and confess that they'd like to drain the swamp?  Is there any limit to this?  No.

I think even my brother could confess that he'd like to drain the swamp as well....but then start to chat up on some special Auburn agricultural college method to draining swamps.

Monday, 21 May 2018

Ethical Behavior

After watching through the weekend on this 'chatter' that the Obama White House had a hired 'spy' within the Trump campaign.....you kinda notice this odd thing.  Nothing being said by former President Obama.  Yes, absolute quiet.

The logical answer that would come out?  Former President Obama would say that the first time he knew about such things....was this past weekend, via CNN news.

It would be OK and without much grief, except he's used this statement on at least forty occasions over the past nine years.  In some ways, he's told virtually nothing by all of his support personnel.....over and over....and it's remarkable that it's so easily accepted by the public even at this point. 

Who did sign off on the pay deal with the contracted 'spy'?  Unknown.  It'll probably take four weeks for the investigative team to come up with the individual who signed the contract deal.  The response from them will likely be that they were told that this contract was necessary, and the investigator will ask who said that?  Well....it'll take another month for the name to come out, and it'll end up being someone within the White House circle to the President. 

The problem here, is that you venture closer and closer to a level where the general public will absolutely go ballistic over the behavior level of the Obama White House.  Whatever legacy existed.....will slide off the plate and fall to the floor.  It would appear that no one was concerned about all of this ever becoming public information....which it has.....and no one cared about the damage to public confidence.  Then the really harsh reality comes up.....people end up trusting President Trump more for his brutal honesty.....than President Obama with his brutal dishonesty, which he can readily claim that he just didn't know about his people being this dishonest. 

All of this leads me to this odd scene at the end of a Peter Sellers movie.....Being There, where this guy who knows nothing and can't really comprehend anything....'Chance'....convinces the public of brilliance when he really didn't know much of anything.

Sunday, 20 May 2018

The Opioid Crisis in Numbers

Back in January, I noted that the suggested number of folks dying DAILY from Opioids....was nearing 175.   USA Today went to a number of one-million Americans who would die in 2020, if the trend continues on.  If you use the current trend line....63,000 per year and trend it to 1,000,000....it means that 2,739 folks need to die daily to reach this level.  The odds of this?  I have my doubts that it'll happen.

The other scenario which falls into this is the magic shot for overdoses.  I sat last month looking at a report, and the cost of the shot....$4,500 for one syringe of Nalonax. 

If you go and figure up a weekly requirement of 350,000 syringes....it adds up to 1.5-billion weekly.  Can the medical system really afford this for 'losers'?  My guess is by the end of 2018.....several states will have a rule in effect of just one single Nalonax in your life.....the second time, they just let you go.

I sat watching a news piece this morning.....some town of 10,000 in Ohio.  The cop was giving the reporter a ride.  In an average day.....he was reacting to a minimum of five overdoses.  It was eating up his legit time for crime.  He threw a ballpark number out there....figuring that 500 adults and 50 teens in the community were Opioid users.  The users were mostly focused on where to get their next 'hit', and how they were going to rob some house, or break into some car.....to get enough to pay for the hit.....then repeat that formula for the next day, and the next, and the next.

A zombie-like future?  How would you live in some town of 10,000 where 10-percent of people were looking at your car and house daily for something to steal?

That's the thing that bothers me about the million deaths a year that the USA Today article talks about.  You'd have to bring Opioids into virtually every single community and put fear into the entire nation about their neighbors.  The term 'walking dead'?  It would readily fit for the crowd.

Application for a Job

Dear Attorney General Sessions

After reading up on the hiring program of the US Attorney General's office to recruit 'observers' on US national elections, I would like to forward my resume.  I would like to apply to be a fake Democrat in the 2020 election and help to be a 'sleeper agent', 'mole', or 'plant' (you may use whatever term is appropriate).

I am willing to work sixteen-hour shifts, although I am particular about having breakfast between seven and eight AM.  Also, my limit on air-travel is six hours in a day, unless I'm flying business-class.

Having reviewed the pay schedule for your previous 'moles', I believe $7,000 per week is a fair sum (with four-star hotels approved as part of the package deal).

If you want me to pass along fake data or false assumption, I would have no problem in doing so.

I believe my background would give me the ability to pass along fake information, useless political chatter, and help to facilitate an investigative counselor for the next administration.

Yours truly,

X

What If Trump Doesn't Run?

Last year, I would have given this a one-percent chance of occurring.  Presently, I'd say it's about a 25-percent chance of occurring. 

First, it's obvious that Sessions and the whole collusion accusation all fit into some solution of taking down the Trump administration.  If you went into a second four-year period....the work of Sessions continues on, even if he's not there.

Second, I think most of what Trump wanted to accomplish....will be done by the fall of 2020.

Third, I think two Supreme Court seats will be nominated by Trump by the fall of 2020.

Fourth, a lot of the hype is tied to the November 2018 mid-term election.  If the GOP ends up with 58 Senate seats, and retains most all of it's House seats.....then I think Trump might stay on for a second term.

Fifth, and last.....what comes after Trump if 2020 is the last year? 

I don't think there's a grand list of GOP folks that the public would support anymore.  After seeing the Trump administration....fake GOPism, the Bush incompetence, and the McCain era would force a number of folks out of the competition.  Democrats thinking there's some need for a fresh new Democratic face?  That would be a joke, I think.

No, I don't give the Democrats much of a chance in this 2020 election if Trump doesn't run.  Although the scenario is out there....maybe Hillary will run again?  Could the Republicans rig up another loser election and help her out....like in 2016? 

Saturday, 19 May 2018

My Burger-Flipper Story

I saw this piece from a research project connected to United Way (ALICE Project).

Basically....51 million households cant make enough to afford what it costs in their town or area on housing, food, child care, health care, transportation and a cell phone.  It adds up to 43-percent of families in the nation....if you believe it.

I paused over this for a while.  It's a bit difficult to believe.

Course, if you marginally finished high school, and ten years later.....are still flipping burgers at McDonalds, cutting grass for the city parks department, or working at the school as the junior-junior janitor....then it's not that shocking.  You probably are still living in the basement of your dad's house with your girlfriend, and you have a sixteen-year old Ford for transportation.

Each time this United Way story gets told....people ought to stand up and ask them to introduce the the guy and his family that fell into this 'square peg'.  Most folks will ask questions....wanting to know what you did in high school, and how you failed to proceed on in life.  The term 'loser' might be uttered a bit.

I grew up in the 1970s in Alabama, and came to note various characters in the local area that you'd consider a loser.  Most were living in 'shacks' that had running water, a toilet, and had a 1950s pick-up.  No, they had no phone or health insurance.  No, they didn't have health care.  If you brought up the topic....you'd usually find out that most dropped out of high school around the ninth grade, and their only real job in life was cutting timber or changing tires.

The thing is that we had enough tire jobs and timber jobs to keep these people occupied and surviving. Today?  You've got thousands of these people around urbanized areas, and we've pretty well saturated the burger-flipper profession and filled just about every single timber job possible.

Yes, in some ways....we've reach a point where 'being all you can be' or getting ahead in life.....is not exactly the goal of maybe four out of every ten folks. Those four folks are aspiring to fill burger-flipper jobs and we've maxed out.  And these people can't move on.

What now?  If you can't invent more burger-flipper jobs....we are basically doomed. 

Talking Viking-DNA

There are a lot of people who live around the coast plain of France, Spain, Portugal, and regions of the Med....who believe their ancestor path is 'pure'.  Year, DNA tests are being done, and there's this minor bit of shock because....they have this northwest Europe and Denmark DNA marker that shows up.  Why?

This goes to a historical situation, between the 790 AD era to the mid 1100 era....the period of Vikings and conquest.

If the Vikings had ever been united.....most of Europe would have fallen and become some 'semi-giant' Viking-land.  But they weren't a unified type force, and their whole strategy was attack and rob.  You'd have a few vessels pull up....some Vikings jump off, and walk a few miles inland, then stage an assault on some village....where rape was common.

Nine months later, a number of these women would produce kids, who were 50-percent Viking.  Twenty-years later, the same Viking crowd might return....follow the same routine, and the 50-Viking woman would now produce a 75-percent Viking child.

So as much as people would be shocked to find a Viking 'marker' in their DNA....it's hard to avoid this unless you were Asian or Middle-Eastern.

Santa Fe High School Shooter

In roughly 24 hours, there's four odd things that you notice about this shooting in Texas.

1.  No assault rifles or semi-automatic rifles.  Just a shotgun, and a 38-caliber pistol.  Note, yeah....he was 17 and not legally old enough.....the weapons all belonged to the father. 

2.  Various 'signals' openly talked about in the media.  Yeah, folks suggest that for several months....he gave 'signals'.

3.  Bullied kid syndrome.  At least one associate of this shooter, openly talks about being bullied by coaches and other students.

4.  Big-time gamer.  No one says the hours per week, but I would take a guess more than thirty hours a week or more.

Drugs? Prescription routine?  Not mentioned yet.  I anticipate that we will find that he was on some type of antidepressant or mode-enhancement drug.....all legal of course.

Will this be brought up by the anti-assault weapon crowd?  No.  They won't use much of this because he didn't use the weapon they want to 'shut-down'. 

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Making Successful Choices

I write essays often to lay out a way of thinking.  I often sense that people are wandering around in life with a nickel-compass in their pocket, no map, no sense of direction, and just accidentally arrive upon some destination.  So this is simply advice:

1. There's a great quote by Will Rogers:  “Live in such a way that you wouldn’t be ashamed to sell the family parrot to the town gossip.”  I like the quote because you can lay out a very positive path in life....if you just tend to avoid negative situations, or bad associations.  Course, this means recognizing things as they are, and keeping sluts and dimwits at an arm's length. 

2.  When faced with an enormous and impossible decision....just use the simple logic of picking the solution that is less complicated. 

3.  Never hesitate to pick up and move.  Maybe it's for a better job....a better landscape....fewer idiots around you....less drama, but don't anchor yourself to never leaving a place.

4.  Things that get described as 'too-good-to-be-true'.....probably (90-percent chance) not that true.  It's like a blind date occuring and you have some crazy idea that this was the one in a million blind date scheme that actually worked. 

5.  Being skeptical is a wise skill to develop.  It's ok to be skeptical of politics, romance, banks, religion, news folks, and CEOs.  Imagine if Bill Clinton had just been skeptical of a second date with Hillary. 

6.  Mark Twain wrote 'Tom Sawyer' and was pursued to write his next great novel....which he seemed to be lacking in the next great story idea.  So he went off to Germany for a fair amount of time.  After coming back....something clicked, and he never seemed to run out of ideas after that trip.  Sometimes....a simple trip is all you need reshape your thoughts and lay out a fresh new path. 

7.  The key to a path in life is education, a job, and refusing to anchor yourself to bad decisions being repeated.  If you quit high school, and your present job for eight years has been burger-flipper for Burger King....well....you appear to be a boat anchor guy. 

8.  Either fix your problems, or be willing to just accept them.  If you go to the third stage of allowing the problems to exist forever but never able to reach a stage of acceptance, then your frustrations will dissolve a clear path ahead.

9.  Anyone who says that your purpose in life....is to 'save the world'....is likely a cult guy. 

10.  Lot of folks walk around with 'demons' in their pocket, and occasionally....they'd like to have some confession moment to dump forty tons of pain, suffering and woes.  Give them five minutes of your time and hear the confession, and offer some wit or wisdom.  But don't attach yourself to their sorrow, and be their continual 'save the world' guy. 

Change

When I left Alabama in 1977....I had this mental image in my mind over how things 'existed'.  Occasionally, I go back, and I will stand there admiring the scenery and eventually come to the concept of 'change'. 

The regional airport in Huntsville?  At best in 1977, I doubt if there were more than a dozen flights a day that ventured into Huntsville. Today, there's 225,000 folks who leave Huntsville for Atlanta.  There's 74,000 folks who venture to Charlotte, NC. 

As a kid in my local town of Florence, you basically had around twelve establishments to eat at in 1977.  One of them was the pool-hall in town (they made great greasy burgers).  There was one single establishment making pizza.  There was one single McDonalds and Burger King.  Today, there are probably in the range of forty restaurants now.  You can actually eat Chinese if you desire. The local pizza guys?  They have over 1,200 combinations of pizza that you can order. 

The 'dry' factor?  There's actually a decent pub/bar existing within a 15-minute drive. 

K-Mart in the 1970s probably had a max of twelve types of soaps.  You walk into a Wal-Mart today, and there's probably sixty types of soaps laid out.

Locals used to hype up their summer trip in the mid-1970s....they were going off to Gulf Shores, the Smokies, Nashville, a Braves game in Atlanta, and some fishing trip to Lake Guntersville.  Today?  They talk about Aruba, Las Vegas, NY City, the Grand Canyon, some Alaskan fishing trip, or some Braves game in Atlanta. 

In the mid-70s....guys wore $9 work jeans and a $2 T-shirt that they got from K-Mart.  Today, the guy is wearing a $60 pair of fancy Docker pants, and a $30 cotton shirt made in Vietnam.  The gal has on a pair of $110 fancy shoes that has an Italian label that you can't pronounce, and a pair of unmentionables that runs around $40 from Vicky's 'secret-place'.

In the mid-70s....if you did drink beer....it was usually PBR, Michelob, or Bud.  Today, locals drink Samuel Adams (trucked down from New England), or sip on some kinda Germanized custom beer that makes your eyes moisten up because it's so good.

In the mid-1970s....if you were really lucky in a single year, you might have met one single 'foreigner', and it was typically some New York guy.  Today?  There's a thirty-percent chance on a daily basis in Huntsville that you will bump into a Mexican, and ten-percent chance it'll be a Chinese guy named Wang. 

In the mid-1970s....you had four basic channels to watch (CBS, NBC, ABC, and PBS).  Today, with cable and satellite.....you have potentially four-hundred channels.

In the mid-1970s....if something broke on your farm equipment, it meant looking at some 1960 operators manual with no clear instructions.  Now?  You get on the tab....find some guy with the same item and problem and ask him how he fixed it.  The odd thing is that this guy might be living in Montana, and there's never going to be any face-to-face meeting.

In the 1970s.....you might have a total of seven banking options within driving distance of the farm.  Today?  With the ATM business, and internet options....you could have your bank in Iowa if you desired.

The thing is.....change has occurred, and most people don't even recognize it.

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

The 58-Story

Fifty-eight times....the Cruz kid out of Florida (the shooter in the school episode) was noted with school violations.  The result of the fifty-eight occasions?  Virtually the same treatment for each single one.....detention, an in-school suspension or out-of-school suspension for one to three days.

This came from an effort by the Orlando Sun Sentinel to dig into the school and school policy.

I sat there....pondering.  I grew up in a rural high school in the 1970s.  You could get into some fairly hefty trouble with one single event, and get a one to three day suspension easily.  If you'd come and repeated this twice in a month?  They would have terminated your stay with the school for the year.  In this case, they didn't care.  They were going to let this kid continue to play out some juvenile game, and let him repeat as often as desired.

Adult leadership?  It was never there.  This is a school run by 5th-grade mentality adults.

Somewhere along the third or fourth significant episode.....the cops should have been called and removed the kid from school.  He would have been a high-school drop-out....never going back to school.  But in their minds....this was the worst scenario.  They could have invented a disciplinary boot-camp program and forced the kid to go through six months of drill training to get him back to reality.  But that didn't occur.

My question?  How many other Cruz-kids exist like this?  Are there a dozen kids with fifty or more school violations on their record as well?

Monday, 14 May 2018

Kimmel Story

I noticed over the weekend that ABC's Jimmy Kimmel got mentioned.  The hype?  Jimmy says that all these anti-Trump comments and jokes....well....they aren't entertaining anymore.  So, he says he's downsizing the comment/jokes....not entirely but significantly.

What happened?  I would take a guess at three reasons:

1.  I think the network looked at the tone of comedy, and some political experts said that this tone was negative in various states for the Democratic Party message and November election.  Maybe Kimmel was getting better numbers than the rest of the networks for the time-period.....but this theme has a limit.

2.  What if Trump is around for eight years, and all of your 'number one' jokes are anti-Trump?  Could you sustain yourself for a year, two years....even eight years?  I have my doubts.

3.  Finally, you come to the brand of Jimmy Kimmel....what happens in 2024 (if Trump makes it that far)?  Can Jimmy remake his brand?  What if a Trump-like character replaces Trump....can Jimmy rebrand it to new anti-Trump jokes?  Is there a 2024 Trump-like character in the making presently?

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Trump's Nights

I sat and looked at Yahoo News this morning...it's become like the National Enquirer of news over the past eighteen months.  You can depend on them for good anti-Trump news.

The theme for today?  Trump's unhealthy and disturbing nights habits.  I didn't ever bother clicking, but I noticed one or two folks commenting that you had to click through ten different pages (click-bait) to get to the story itself.

True or fake news?  Hard to tell.

I've decided to contribute to the anti-Trump fake news by suggesting my own list of disturbing nightly habits for President Trump:

1.  He brought a 1964 Dodge Polara into the underground bunker under the White House and goes there to wax and buff it nightly.

2.  President Trump watches reruns of the 1966/1967/1968 seasons of Batman.....over and over.

3. He poses as a blogger from Iowa and writes passionate love blogs.

4.  He built a research lab in the basement and is working on a cure for cancer.

5.  He secretly leaves the White House and rides a Harley around Georgetown for an hour after midnight....accompanied by six Secret Service guys on Harleys as well.

6.  President Trump put in an entire wood shop, and does walnut desk units.

7.  He has a telescope on the White House roof and explores the galaxy with it.

8.  He has set up a military map display and is plotting for a major war against Germany.

9.  He plays poker against three Secret Service guys nightly, with a limit of $50.

10.  He has a ballroom dance teacher show up and he's practicing dance steps. 

Saturday, 12 May 2018

McCain Never Was That Bright

After sitting and reading over the comment by Senator John McCain and his 2008 election decision to bring Sarah Palin in as his VP.....being the wrong decision, I paused over the comment and the explanation.

For two days, I've pondered over this commentary.  So I've come to this observation.

McCain was, and probably still is....an unwise and immature Republican political figure.

If he made the decision, then he was the one who made it....not the Republican Party.  If he wants to go out in a death spiral now and admit all this stupidity of his....fine, but all it does is leave a bad taste in the mouths of people who read this and think of McCain being an incredible stupid political figure.

I went back and looked up the Naval Academy period.  At the conclusion of four years.....he was number 894 out of 899 students.  Yeah, there were only five guys behind him, and 893 people in front of him.

How do you accomplish that?  Lack of study, lazy behavior, no emphasis on class projects, test failures, and just plain carelessness.  Fifty years later, he has progressed to the same exact level.  You could probably go and review the 894 folks who were ahead of him, and find they all did better in life than McCain. 

So you look at the VP chatter and his admitting picking Palin was stupid....then you just start shaking your head.  He's admitting here in the end, that he just couldn't make wise decisions.  With most folks on making decisions....it's generally a 50-50 shot on decision-making, and it ending up being a good decision.  With McCain, it was never 50-50.....you tended to get a 90-10 factor of making bad decisions.   In fact, you could always listen to McCain speak, and easily reach the conclusion that whatever he was advocating....you were better off to go the opposite direction entirely.

Friday, 11 May 2018

Trump and Seinfeld Episode 86

Episode 86 of the Seinfeld show was very unique.  At some point in the middle....George Costanza says that everything he does....is a total failure, so Jerry says....then do the opposite of what you'd typically do.  Then George discovers that the opposite method works...in virtually every single situation.

This got brought up to a minor degree by Jessie Watters (Fox News) in the last day or two, in describing Trump's success.

I've sat for a long while thinking over episode 86, and Trump.

When you go back to the end of 2015, with the primary heating up....there was Trump with commentary and words that would never come out of a typical GOP Presidential contenders mouth.

When you look at the last couple weeks of the primary period, there was Trump with commentary that would typically get five-star negativity via the news media, and it didn't matter.

When you look at the two months prior to the election.....constant and massive news media focus on Trump in a negative fashion, and it didn't matter.

When you look at the first year of the Trump Presidency....day in and day out activity by the Democrats and the news media.....all negative and bitter, and it didn't matter.

Yeah, the Constanza method is working.  Why?  There is no logic.  It shouldn't work.

So I look back at George Constanza and it occurs to me.....we all wanted George to succeed in life.  The little guy....always screwed-over.....never getting some big break, and we (deep in our hearts) wanted George to to aspire and get ahead.  I think it's the same logic with Trump.

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Grasping the ID Discussion

Last week, I watched a video piece on YouTube which went back to the summer of 2017, and the moderator had gone to some university setting with a bunch of white students.  The question thrown at the students (all between 18 and 22)....why is voter ID such a bad idea for blacks?

The chief comeback was that blacks just don't have IDs, and even if they had potential for an ID....they don't know where to get it (yeah, there were actually two students who suggested this lack of address problem).  Then you had a student or two who suggested that blacks didn't have access to the internet. 

So the moderator left the university setting and went to downtown NY City.  The conversations then revolved around only blacks.

Of the dozen blacks interviewed on the street....from age eighteen to sixty....every single one of them grinned when asked if they had an ID, and then produced it.  Then the moderator asked if they knew where the license office was in NY City.....well, absolutely was the response.....some even giving you street number.  Access to the internet?  One lady pulled out her smart-phone and said she was 'hooked-up' twenty-four hours a day. 

So then the moderator told the blacks what the white college students had said, and the blacks just started laughing.  So the moderator asked them.....do you know of any black person....who does NOT have an ID?  No.....was the response of every single person.

Speaking over the state of Alabama....my home-state....with a population of 4.875-million (2017 numbers), and subtracting roughly 300,000 who are under the sixteen, you come to a general population of 4.500.000 million.  How many have a valid license or ID?  I would take a guess that it's fairly near 99-percent.  In fact, I would take a fairly decent guess that it's probably fewer than 10,000 US citizens in the entire state who might not have a license.

Most of those?  Mostly women who never learned how to drive, folks in mental institutions, and guys sitting in jail.  Toss in another 3,000 homeless guys who live under bridges throughout the state.

The problem here in explaining this to some intellectual folks is that you can't put tags on a new car without going to the county office and presenting your license.  You can't open a bank account, with an ID.  You can't buy booze without a valid ID. 

I've come to this conclusion.....what we need to do with all these college students and intellectuals....is give them a simple 90-day test.  Convince the group to hand over all their ID's and then see how well they can function in a non-ID world.  My guess is that by the 10th day....most will admit that you can't function in 2018, without an ID.  Then they will admit their perception of blacks lacking IDs is mostly all fake or bogus. 

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Persia

After viewing President Trump's piece on the Iran Treaty and his kind words over the old history.....I went back to the general history....when they were Persia.

For roughly 1,100 years....from 550 BC to 651 AD....they were among the three most dominant and advanced civilizations on Earth (the Romans and the Chinese were their only equals).  The dynasty groups responsible?  The Sasanian Empire, and Achaemenid Empire.

In fact, you can go back and look over the efforts of the Achaemenid Empire (550 BC to 330 BC) and marvel at what they did (long before the Romans).  They were guys who built a professional standing army.  They were also the ones who developed the postal system.  They were the folks who staked out roads and trails, and giving way to commerce (traders) to use them.  A governmental process of rules and expectations?  That goes back to the Achaemenid Empire.  They were the ones that the Greeks and Romans copied.

At some point, there's a Greek historian/traveler by the name of Herodotus who comes up to write a short piece on observations of the Achaemenid Empire.  In his mind (remember, he was a Greek), they had this odd standard of leadership.   He noted that Persians were the type of folks who tended to drink a fair bit of wine.....in significant amounts.  So when moments of discussion came with the King and the various counselors.....they'd go and sip wine to a great extent....reaching a level of.....well....being drunk, and then they'd talk about some crazy idea or some vision they had.  Then they'd lay down and sleep this off.  The next day....kinda like Otis from the Andy Griffith Show....they'd awaken and realize (A) man, that was a stupid idea, or (B) man, that was a brilliant idea.  And then they'd toss or accept the idea. 

Trying to suggest stiff drinks to most folks today....won't sell.  But you an admire these Achaemenid folks.

Things that the Persians gave us?  Algebra.  The guitar.  Chess.  You can go down a list of more than 500 items that came out of Persia originally. 

Just about every advancement in medicine in this 1,100 year period seen across the globe?  Well...most of them start off with an idea seen in Persia. 

Now, you note that I kinda limited this 1,100 year period, and that it ends around 651 AD.  What happens in the next hundred years after that?  The arrival of Islam.   It's a funny thing....up until 651 AD....Persia is mostly an open religious state (like Rome was prior to Christianity arriving and dominating the Rome Empire).

Had Islam never come to Persia?  They would likely be one of the three major countries existing in the world today.  They would have stretched from Iran, through Turkey, and on down to most of Egypt,....then encompassing all of Syria, Iraq, and Israel. 

Monday, 7 May 2018

My Idea? A Reboot of Barney Miller

This past week, I've sat and watched six episodes of Barney Miller.  I haven't watched the show in twenty-five years.  I have to admit....acting, lines, and characters....it's probably one of the ten best shows of all time.

So I'd like to see it rebooted and brought back.  Here's my concept:

1.  Make it a hour-long show.

2.  Create a new police precinct...the 12th.  This time....pick out an old secretive subway station that was opened in 1944 for war purposes, but closed off since 1945.  Give it character just in the appearance of a subway station.

3.  Bring Barney, a modern-Fish, a Shanghai-Chinese guy who left China for the American dream....being a cop, a modern-day Dietrich (who actually might be an alien), a female Ron Harris character who secretly written four tough-cop books and one marginally successful romance novel, a Wojo Bronx character, some visiting French cop, and three or four other detectives.  Feature at least a dozen oddball NY type characters who would have easily appeared on Seinfeld to be in the background.

4. Make it a mix of 90-percent black humor, 10-percent drama.

I think the public is ready for another reboot. 

Explaining this Iran Thing

There are five observations that you can make about this 'amusing' crisis existing now with Iran, and this nuclear treaty that President Obama fixed up during his administration.

1.  Back when all this treaty business first started to get discussed....2014....oil pricing was near $90 a barrel.  Iran....desperate to recover in the economic world....had been isolated and suffering.  So various talks came up and opportunities were realized.  If they could just open this peace door (especially felt in 2014), then this vast oil income situation would come.

Sadly, by the last quarter of 2015, when the treaty framework was falling into place....oil had fallen to around $52 (more or less).  You go and look at 2011 to 2014....a $100 or more per barrel. 

What happened?  US fracking.  Everyone across the oil sector has suffered.  Presently?  In the $45 to $50 range. 

Iran desperately needs to see economic change....to make the public happy (something that has lingered for two decades now).

2.  Everyone in Europe is poised to make money, once the treaty falls into place.  No one in Europe wants to deny the opportunity, period.

3.  Israel has done a fair amount of investigation and believes it's all a fraud.  Evidence?  It falls into the category of suggesting that Iran 'could' (not would) quickly revert the energy program into a weapon program.....beyond that nothing else.

4.  If the Iran government were a civilian-led situation....there might be more belief or trust.  The fact that it's entirely dominated by religious 'players'....leads one to wonder about stability.

5.  Finally, you come to this wild-card that one one seems to want to discuss....Saudi Arabia.  Basically, they are about one step away from starting their own nuclear program and this treaty probably would be enough to trigger that. Who would help them?  One can sit and ponder over that.  For Iran?  Well...it's an enormous problem.  If Saudi Arabia goes this direction....in a very short period of time....Iran would have to trip over the mess leading to weapons development. 

What happens here?  I suspect Trump will allow the treaty to go forward, with the warning to France, Germany and the EU....their respect will be lost once Iran crosses over some imaginary line.  Saudi Arabia will proceed with it's own nuclear program, and everyone will be sitting there and wondering how big a mess was created....in avoiding the the cancellation of the treaty.  The cherry on this cake.....it all leads back to the Obama Administration's efforts, and history would be very unkind on the problems it manufactured. 

Course, the other wild-card is the possibility of a coup in Iran, and some new leadership coming out of thin air. 

Regretted Votes

There are three occasions in life that I tend to regretted in terms of voting.

I regret voting for Ross Perot in 1992.  I realized about a year later that he never really wanted to win....this was more about punishing Bush, than anything else.  All of us wanted a third-party guy option....sadly....it was a fake option that we got. 

I regret voting for Senator John McCain in 2008.  It was a stacked situation, with your choice for the GOP of being McCain, Romney, or "Huck"....while on the Democratic side.....it was a choice of Hillary in her youth, or a unknown Senator from Illinois who simply gave good speeches but had no real experience.  It was for me....the most worthless election in my life.

I regret voting for Romney in 2012.  Again.....a stacked election with no options from either party.


Sunday, 6 May 2018

On the Topic of Cults

About a week ago, I got onto the subject of anti-capitalists (the Hillary essay).  In numerous ways, I tend to see the anti-capitalists, the hyped-up political factions, and some self-help groups functioning like a cult.

I had a chance around seven years ago to be in DC when two groups of anti-capitalists were in some camping situation and long-term protest.  I went over one Saturday to survey them, and their efforts.  To be honest....they are the only anti-capitalists I've met in my life.  I have seen a fair number of interviews and YouTube videos on the culture group, but this was my one and only day with them.

So group one.....about two blocks north of the White House....were mostly young folks....eighteen to twenty-five.  Their slant to me....in a short ten-minute period....was more of a lecture.  They had memorized phrases and had limited ability to argue beyond what they'd memorized.  Camp-wise....their place was a mess, and infested with fleas and mice.  They were mostly all college students, and this was a purpose in life.

So, group two....three blocks east of the White House....mostly all people over the age of forty.  They were more relaxed, and could engage on the various topics.  They did have some perception of the bankers and their connection to DC.  Camp-wise, their place was clean, tidy and organized.  They were folks who mostly came out of the 1960s and 1970s.  This group was anti-capitalist in nature, but not quiet the same anger or hostility as the first group.

After a while, I came to this conclusion over the two groups....they both functioned in some way like a cult.  Yes, it was one of those reality moments when you realize that cults aren't owned by religions only.  Political groups and even some self-help groups....are working along lines of a cult.

Over the years, I've kinda sat and thought over this a good bit, and recognized around ten cult features which go across various lines....meaning it's all the same in political, religious or self-help cults.

1.  Shunning.  If you don't think like the insiders....then you have to be an outsider, and you tend to be shunned (even if you were a family member).  It works that way now with politics, some self-help organizations, and various religions. 

2.  Denial of commitment is not allowed.  Once 'Joe' says X....then the group more or less has to follow what Joe says....even if it is pretty stupid.  It's like standing up in a black-run barber-shop and saying you lost faith in the Democratic Party.....they would not allow you to suggest a denial, and you'd likely get shunned.

3.  Everyone in the group (doesn't matter if it religious, self-help or political)....is 'elite'.  The 'you-are-special' routine is reinforced over and over....and you tend to feel hyped-up (at least for the first year).

4.  It's always a us-versus-them scenario.  Conflict....24-hours a day....seven days a week.....fifty-two weeks a year?  Yep.  Thanks to television....you get this theme all the time.  The internet helps to reinforce this value.

5.  There has to be an end....which justifies the means of getting there.  Maybe it's a fraud or fake goal.....but it'll tie in nicely with the means.

6.  Amusing as it sounds....everyone on the insider crew is hyped up to bring in new members and fresh cash.  In a way, it's designed as a pyramid scheme.

7.  Independent thought....thinking outside of the box?  It cannot be allowed.  The cult would falter quickly if a quarter of the insiders were paused and thinking over what was said or threatened.

8.  Reality is shaken.  First you get facts, then you get supposed-facts.  Then you get suggested-facts.  Then you get somewhat-true-facts.  Then you get fake-facts.  As long as you don't sit and ponder upon this....all the facts (even the fake ones) lead you to one single conclusion.

9.  Generally, everyone with the insider crew is hyped up that they are saving themselves, the nation, or humanity.  Saving is a common theme.....you tend to feel good about saving folks.  Saving gives you warm feeling of accomplishment. 

10.  Once engaged in some argument, and losing....the cult guy will resort to fifth-grade behavior and just start yelling, or repeating phrases to reinforce their view.  Debate-wise, they tend to lack skills or knowledge to win arguments.

As much as you'd like to think cults are just religious things....no, they exist in political spheres and self-help groups.

McCain

I sat looking at today's two top political headlines.

The first.....AZ Senator John McCain is said to have written up in his new book (The RestLess Wave) that he regrets picking Sarah Palin to be his VP in the 2008 presidential campaign. His preferred choice?  Former Senator Joe Lieberman, who flipped from Democrat to Independent for Connecticut. 

The odds of the John and Joe ticket doing much?  Well....I think one of three GOP working-class Republicans would have declined to vote, and stayed home.  It would have been one of the worst 'beatings' in GOP history. Maybe he should have just picked himself as the VP choice as well.

The second headline is that he's drafting up the funeral plans and says that Trump is on the list NOT invited, while VP Pence is invited.

Petty behavior....something for a 5th-grade kid. 

I would hope that Pence would avoid this funeral. 

Few ever go and read over the Keating Five episode (1989).  I would recommend some review.  All five senators involved....should have done a minimum of three years of time in a federal prison, and lost their jobs.  McCain was one of the five.  He, more or less, proved that you can get away with just about anything if you are a Senator.

Friday, 4 May 2018

Hillary Being Too Capitalistic?

Yesterday, for some interview....Hillary came out and said that one of the reasons (one of 300, in my humble opinion)....was that she often came to be portrayed as capitalistic, and a fair number of Democrats are anti-capitalistic.  So they didn't vote for her.

I sat and looked over the story.  It's amusing in some ways.  But the question is....are there a fair number of anti-capitalistic Democratic voters?  No one has ever done a survey or study to really say yes, or no.

If you went to most folks in a rural setting....they will tell you that they just don't know anyone....who seems to be anti-capitalistic.

I did work once with a guy, who had a mid-20's sister....who'd gone to this behavior in college.  She'd wrapped up her degree, and was marginally working....being mostly drawn to anti-capitalistic social groups, and living as near to 'hippy-status' as you could get.  The guy supported the sister, and occasionally have contact with her, but her tight little circle of support kinda frowned on him being around her.  I asked him if felt like a cult, and he grinned.....then suggested that out of the ten ways to recognize a cult situation....he saw at least four of the tendencies (shunning for example, was mentioned).

I generally don't have a problem with anti-capitalistic folks.  If they want to live in the woods, or under a bridge....fine.  If they want a little cabin in the woods, and live off the grid....fine. My opposing point comes when they show up and wreck havoc with some city or some structure, to make their point.

Another thing that will bother me is that the bulk of the group you see....are fake anti-capitalists....pretending to be one....while wearing a $300 pair of glasses, $100 tennis shoes, or driving a fairly new car.

If Hillary were correct....what can she do?  First, we'd have to establish how many exist within the Democratic Party.  My humble guess is that in some states (southern states to be precise)....it's less than 2-percent of the local Democratic voter base.  In the whole state of Alabama....we probably only have a hundred anti-capitalists.  In a state like Oregon?  There's probably ten-percent of the state Democratic voter base.  In Washington state....maybe even fifteen-percent of the state Democratic voter base.

But then the question is.....in these 'blue-states', with the better numbers on anti-capitalists.....didn't Hillary win all of those?  Oh....well....yeah.

Was there any blue-state that she failed to win?  No.

In fact....if there were just more anti-capitalists in Ohio, Michigan and Florida....well....she would have won the election.

Yeah, this is a pretty stupid thing for her to say.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Talking Thug

I sat and watched a piece today on YouTube where two guys were talking over President Trump and they came to this rare moment where they said....you know....he's the first thug-President we ever had, and they were proud of that belief.

I paused over that.  To be honest, other than Andrew Jackson....I don't think anyone could match up with thug-potential to President Trump.  Jackson....was probably twice the thug of Trump (probably Jackson would have pulled a pistol on more than one or two folks in his life, and wouldn't hesitate to get into a fist-fight).

The thing here is that if you lined up all the folks who voted for Trump....at least a quarter of them will tell you that they wanted a thug for President.  And they'd swear some allegiance to him today, in some weird way.

This Kanye West episode?   In this weird way, I think Kanye also sees this thug factor, and respects Trump because of it.  The fact that some blacks are moving toward Kanye's view of Trump?  Yeah....that's something that would not have happen with Reagan, Bush I, or Bush II.  In fact, if I were a Democratic plans guy.....looking at a 8-year period from Trump, I might have some fear that one-third of all Blacks might be charmed by the thug-view, and vote GOP by the end. 

So as you lay there tonight, and just looking over this whole weird experience.....just pause to think of Hillary sitting there, instead of Trump.  How big of a thug could Hillary have been?

The Ten Problems with the Democrats

I tend to see the Democratic Party in the US.....as being a 8-cylinder vehicle....with three cylinders misfiring....no tune-up in a decade....and a limited amount of fuel in the car in the car anyway, so it's not going far.  So this is my list of problems facing them:

1.  No real plan over immigration.  If anything....some kind of Dream-Act I, which would lead onto Dream-Act II, which would lead onto Dream-Act III, and so on.  Even some Democratic voters have figured out this game.

2.  No real mid-term path.  It's basically an effort to get enough House seats to force impeachment.  To be honest, it doesn't sell well in red states or red districts. I would take a wild guess and say that even 20-percent of Democrats are laughing over the lack of a mid-term path.

3. Pelosi.  Maybe in the 1990s....she had a brand-name.  Today?  Less so.  They need to move on.  Go ask a hundred Democrats in the south, and at least half will say that she's not a positive part of their sales pitch in southern states.

4.  Hillary remaining.  She's still there and part of the lack of a healing process since 2016.

5.  Bernie Sanders remains.  Among the far-radical elements of the Democratic voter crowd.....probably one-third of their base.....he's the ballistic missile of the party and carrying their future.  But to the other two-thirds....they mostly shake their heads and would prefer to find some Bill Clinton-style guy.

6.  The gun control topic.  When you go to urban areas like Memphis, Atlanta, and Houston....locals (even Democrats) will tell you that they will only sign up to some marginal solution or repair.  The hardline ideas?  No.  The rest of the nation?  It's hard to get any of the red districts to go on this path.

7.  Blacks taking the red-pill.  Between November 2016 and November 2020....I expect 10-percent of the blacks who voted against Trump to cross the line and either refuse to vote Democrat, or refuse to vote at all.  Some are asking questions and the Democratic Party can't really resolve the problems.  Is a ten-percent loss of black votes a big deal?  No....but it's a bad indicator of a trend over the next decade.

8.  Sales package with CNN.  Bluntly....the Democrats are hinged to both MSNBC and CNN selling their pitch.  As far as I can see....CNN has reached a stage where their prime-time message is marginal.  I think CNN still matters with crisis events, but no one really cares to watch an hour-long show each night on evil-Trump matters.

9.  The comedians, actors and prominent folks on their anti-Trump agenda.  It have been well focused in 2016, but now is laughed off by a majority of people. Go try and imagine this gimmick for eight straight years.

10.  Finally, as soon as the election wrapped up....some focus team with the party should have met....discussed their weak points and wrote the theme for 2017/2018.  A clear path should have been on everyone's minds.  Where is that solutions for the middle-class Democrat?  Non-existent?  This sole group....working-class Democrats in the rural regions of the nation....almost forgotten for two decades now.

T J Miller

I have a particular TV show (from HBO) that I enjoy.....Silicon Valley.

I'll be honest....there's maybe six different characters from the series, who make the show as successful as it is.  A few months ago....one of the actors....T. J. Miller (who plays Erlich Bachman) said 'enough' and left (4th year into the series).  At the time, there was some disagreement brewing between him and the crew (the cast and production team), and Miller said that he had bigger projects coming up.

So back about a month ago....while traveling on AMTRAK....he made some fake call to the cops and caused a big mess with a bomb-threat.  Cops eventually come to him and arrest him.  Charges are set up, and there's a major defense effort required.  If convicted?  Bomb threat charges usually carry up to five years in prison.  His defense? Drunk, and probably doped up.

What has been said in the past week is that Miller got so successful in the series....that he lost his moral compass....started to party excessively....coming onto the studio while unable to function...and made taping with him a miserable experience. 

In a way, Miller became Bachman.  In the series....at the end....he goes off to Tibet, and intends to stay there the rest of his life.

What I suspect?  The judge will sit through this....convict the guy, mandate a two-year sentence...but suspending one year of it if he will do drug-testing and out-patient treatment, with drug-tests required.  A year in prison?  It'll be a hard recovery situation with a guy who had so much going for him.  And the odds of staying off any drugs for a year?  Zero chance....so he'll end back in prison during the rehab phase (my humble guess).

You just shake your head over this.  The guy was making great money.....great opportunity ahead....and lost his compass bearings.

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Larry Summers and the Lack of History

Larry Summers talking today about an 'unsustainable' period of growth (GDP) for the rest of the Trump era:

“Yes, we are growing at a reasonably rapid rate, but it’s taking unsustainable fiscal deficits to drive us to that point. It’s taking unsustainable increases in credit to drive us to that point. It’s taking unsustainable increases in asset prices. You can always generate a sugar high. The real problem for us is not achieving growth, but achieving sustained, healthy growth with a financial environment that’s sustainable.”

Here's the thing....the US has a history when GDP growth existed....well over 30 years:

Year, CD-rate, GDP-rate

1965, 4.88-percent, 6.5-percent
1966, 6.14-percent, 6.6-percent
1967, 5.95-percent, 2.7-percent
1968, 6.39-percent, 4.9-percent
1969, 8.95-percent, 3.1-percent
1970, 9.06-percent, .2-percent
1971, 6.06-percent, 3.3-percent
1972, 5.65-percent, 5.2-percent
1973, 10.71-percent, 5.6-percent
1974, 12.06-percent, minus .5-percent
1975, 7.89-percent, minus .2-percent
1976, 6.31-percent, 5.4-percent
1977, 6.96-percent, 4.6-percent
1978, 11.28-percent, 5.6-percent
1979, 13.97-percent, 3.2-percent
1980, 17.74-percent, minus .2-percent
1981, 17.98-percent, 2.6-percent
1982, 15.12-percent, minus 1.9 percent
1983, 10.17-percent, 4.6-percent
1984, 12.08-percent, 7.3-percent
1985, 9.6-percent, 4.2-percent
1986, 7.83-percent, 3.5-percent
1987, 8.19-percent, 3.5-percent (Black Friday Year)
1988, 9.28-percent, 4.2-percent
1989, 10.40-percent, 3.7-percent
1990, 8.57-percent, 1.9-percent
1991, 7.17-percent, minus .1-percent
1992, 4.42-percent, 3.6-percent
1993, 3.39-percent, 2.7-percent
1994, 6.78-percent, 4.0-percent
1995, 6.71-percent, 2.7-percent
1996, 5.75-percent, 3.8-percent,
1997, 5.90-percent, 4.5-percent
1998, 5.67-percent, 4.5-percent
1999, 6.07-percent, 4.7-percent
2000, 6.94-percent, 4.1-percent
2001, 5.45-percent, 1.0-percent
2002, 2.16-percent, 1.8-percent
2003, 1.30-percent, 2.8-percent
2004, 2.66-percent, 3.8-percent
2005, 4.62-percent, 3.3-percent

As you can tell....the Bush era was the point where numbers were starting to decline, and continued on into the Obama era.

Not that I really cast doubts on Larry Summers....but he has not real concept of what the US did prior to the Bush era.  Part of this blame?  Going naturally back to CD rates and all the 'free' money of the Fed.

Women in Positions of Authority





I've sat and watched this 30-minute video at least three times over the past month.  Jordan Peterson, about three months ago, was invited over to the UK, and did a interview with a Channel 4 journalist over women's pay and the unbalanced nature.

The interview probably is one of the best opportunities you will ever have to see a journalist actually stumble badly, and lose a one-sided conversation.

The topic here is the unfair nature of women's salaries, and how they aren't given a leadership opportunity in the business world.  I do tend to agree....up until the 1980s....this notion probably deserved attention and public attention.  Over the past twenty years, much less so.

With over thirty-odd years associated with the US military, I've had numerous chances to observe leadership dynamics with both men and women in charge.

Dynamic leaders (no matter what the sex is)....tend to have five successful tendencies.

1.  They lay the game plan of the organization, and explain your part in the success ahead.  In doing so, they share that success. The folks who had always a secret game plan?  They tend to get less support because no one really understands anything.

2.  They aren't exactly the nicest people in the world.  You don't get ahead by pretending to be nice, or being always agreeable.

3.  Risks are part of the plan ahead.  If you are unwilling to take risks....you won't be put into positions of authority.

4.  You go and find the right people to fill positions....based on qualifications, history, and demonstrated tendency to take on tough tasks.  The matter of their sex, their university degree....matters to a lesser extent. If you picked a number of losers to be in key positions, then it says something about your desire to get ahead.

5.  These people will always have a goal, a plan, and a path.  If you have none of the three....then it's doubtful that you will be invited to take charge.

Dynamic women chiefs and bosses?  I've had a couple.  I've had a couple who were utter failures at leadership.  The same can be said for gentlemen in positions of authority above me.  Some were utter failures as well.