Monday, 30 July 2018

Trump Anxiety Disorder?

I was sitting this morning and reading through a piece which talked about 'Trump Anxiety Disorder'.

This idea (hard to describe as a true medical condition....came from an essay written by psychologist Jennifer Panning.  The suffering here?  You come to a point of "feeling a loss of control and helplessness, and fretting about what's happening in the country and spending excessive time on social media."

The psychologists aren't saying how many folks they are treating, and my humble guess is that it's into the 300,000 (a fair number might be university students).

After hearing the whole chatter....I asked the would you handle this as a psychologist talking to some poor guy in a bad-off way?'d have to ask them to give up social media for sixty days (my feeling).  News?  Probably limit the guy to just local news  for the same period. 

As for Trump?  You'd go and talk to the guy every two weeks....suggesting that maybe a group setting would be better for them.  So you can imagine this group meeting.....ten folks with some moderator....kinda like a alcohol rehab group....meeting every Thursday night to talk about their Trump feelings.  A fair number of these would be women, in their forties....single.

Somewhere in the mix of ten folks....there'd be one Trump-guy....mostly pretending that he has issues....just to hang out and chat with single gals. 

The problem I see with the mental health issue is that Trump might be around through 2024, and that's a fair bit of time to be in some rehab group. 

But the other issue that bothers me.....are people really that fragile?  If you had suggested something like this back in 2000 or 2004....folks would have laughed.  Yet here we are.....fragile Americans in need to special help.

Oddly, what the mental health guys say is that this is just a mental's not causing folks to drink whiskey or take least not yet.  Personally, I think if they just went off to North Korea for two weeks, they'd get all this disorder stuff out of their head and think of other things to worry about. 

Mueller and Trump: 2011

It rarely ever gets brought up, but back in 2011....Mr Mueller had this problem with Mr Trump.

Mueller, at that time....was acting director of the FBI.  He came up and joined a private golf club in Sterling, VA....owned by Trump.

Initial fee?'s in the range of $100k.  Monthly costs?  $695 a month.  I know, it's hefty, but it's a private club and big-shots tend to show up.

If you were golfing every weekend, it'd probably be worth the money suggested.

In 2011, Mueller came to quit the club.  There's never been any real explanation over this.  What Mueller wanted was part of his initial fee back.  No one says how much (if any) of it that he got back. 

But you start to think over this.  As the acting director, he was making $175,000 at the time.  How did he afford the initial fee?  One might assume that he had enough pocket money to make this happen.  But if you go and figure the $695 monthly fee, and food/drinks for a Saturday out....he was likely spending $10,000 a year on his 'hobby'.....that's before we even get to the 'right' clothing or the 'right' equipment. 

Is this golf episode something that might come up in any court case?  Well....that's the thing, you just don't know how the returned fee business went, and if sour-apples might exist with Mueller. 

Sunday, 29 July 2018

Maximum Disruption

I noticed today....that Oklahoma Senator James Lankford (speaking on some ABC show) said that "Russia's aim is to disrupt American elections, including in the upcoming 2018 midterms".

You can imagine some guy....sitting in some farm and tractor implement store in Alabama....speaking tomorrow to some folks over this topic, and wondering.....are the Russians trying to get him to vote Democrat, or Republican?  Hours will go by as the guys stand there by the coffee machine....delaying actual farm work, as they debate as the evil Russians might be doing this.

Sitting in DC....five or six GOP senators will be sitting there and talking over how the evil Russians might be helping the Democrats to win the election.

Sitting in some lobbyist bar in DC.....three Democrats are talking over the evil Russians and how they are going to help the Republicans.

Sitting in Moscow is Putin and he's asking his people....who the hell started this stupid rumor?  One of the young guys admitted that he was drinking with a CIA guy and mentioned this as a joke.  Putin starts laughing. 

The problem here is that once the Chinese, the Germans, the Swiss, and the folks on Togo figure out this game.....all of them will start rumors that they are also going to disrupt the US election. 

Talking Debt

There's a piece written by Mitch Daniels which has attracted a fair amount of attention this morning.  Via a Fox article, his chatter is over this....Connecticut, California, New York, New Jersey and Illinois.....are reaching the stage where they will be insolvent. Chief cause?  Well....trying to fund pension programs which are beyond imagination.  In the case of California, it's a failing bond which amounts upward to $428 billion.  Daniels statement is that reality will soon hit the Senate, and in some dramatic way....they will have to save these five states.  The taxpayer, in his opinion, is screwed.

The timeline?  Daniels doesn't say, and the Fox host doesn't guess.  If you were asking won't happen in 2018, or 2019.  But I could see Illinois reaching a stage where they ask for some 'gift'....some ten-billion-dollar loan with zero-percent interest and ten years to pay it back.  The problem is that paying it back will likely be impossible unless they go and remedy their pension program in a massive way.  In some cases, the idiots were stupid enough to write it into their Constitution, and the judges will enforce it to remain.  Because of this issue, whoever is President at the time when this comes up....could render a dramatic 'no', and force the state deeper into a pit.

Trump at this moment of chaos?  He probably won't be their friend.

I think three dramatic things must occur.  First, each state has to remedy its pension (by law or Constitutional efforts) before you can come and request federal help, and that state supreme court must sign off on the pension change.  If the two groups won't work to achieve the matter, don't bother giving them a nickel.

Second, the amount of money given shouldn't go over the sum of twenty-five billion dollars per state, with a zero-interest deal for the first five years, and a 3.5-percent interest deal for the second five year period.  If they need a third five-year period?  Fine....attach the 5-percent interest onto it.

Third and final....write a simple federal law into the deal that once you take the federal loan to cover the pension can't go and get another loan via a credit group or bank for the same problem, until you've paid off the federal loan.

On the pension amount?  This is the curious thing.  When you've got some fireman retiring in California at age 55, and he's collecting $120,000 a year on a pension.....there's something wrong.  When you have some city finance chief for a town in Illinois retiring, and collecting $225,000 a year....there's something wrong.

So somewhere down the line, some idiot is going to have write and pass a 'limit-law' to say you can't collect more than $40,000 on pensions.  If a guy wants to take his promised money and invest into some 401k-type pension deal, then I don't have a problem with that.  But I doubt if any of these five states have the type of employees who would accept that deal.

Here's the bad news....Trump is likely around for 6.5 years and the odds of any of these characters approaching the Senate to beg for help?  They'd have to convince Trump to help them.....deep-blue Democratic voter states?  There's this odd likely chance that it'll be 2025 before they can ask for help and they will go and get even deeper into debt.

Austin in the News

I noticed this coming up today.....a report from the Austin, Texas’s Equity Office.  They say there's some problems brewing over existing Confederate monuments, some neighborhoods in the city of Austin, at least ten streets, and the city name itself.

The Austin name? comes from Stephen F. Austin, who happened to oppose Mexico's effort in the mid-1800s to dump slavery in the Tejas region.  Austin at the time said that freed slaves would become "vagabonds, a nuisance and a menace."

So, the question is.....would this discussion reach a stage where you'd have to rename an entire city?

Someone did a study and said that if you just went out and renamed one single costs around $5,000 to do the signs, maps, and paperwork required. But then you have to go and figure out the new names, and folks tend to get real creative.

Like.....some idiot could say Lee Street is a bad thing, and then you'd get sixty suggestions on the new street name (Barney Street (after the dinosaur), or Hippy Street, or Skywalker Driver, or Dallas Cowboy Avenue, or Stormy Daniels Street).

But then a whole city?

You'd have some idiots suggest Humperville, DaWaDaWaDaWa or Meth-City.  Or how about Batmanville, Dusty Rhodes (after the wrestler), or West Trump. 

The odds that it'd get this far?  You might be able to persuade folks to just accept a couple of street name changes, but an entire neighborhood being renamed?  I have my doubts, and there's zero chance that the city itself might change it's name. 

But we are at a stage with society where people are cynical and sarcastic.....willing to rename their city 'Kim-City' after North Korea's dictator, or Hooterville after the TV show. 

Saturday, 28 July 2018

The Lack of a Law

Generally, to be in violation of a law.....the law has to exist.  I know it's hard to believe.....but if you've gone and done something that is perceived as illegal, but there is no law written to define the action or how the court can handle it.....then there is no violation.

I've sat for several months looking over this action where Team-Trump is said to have worked on getting 'dirt' on Hillary Clinton, and maybe could have met with Team-Russia or Team-Fusion GPS undercover get this 'dirt'.

There's talk that maybe someone might have paid or promised something....for the 'dirt'.

CNN has spent literally hundreds of hours discussing the potential here on the legality of Team-Trump in doing this.

So the question....what 'dirt' law exists?  The answer?  None.

If you notice....neither the GOP or Democrats....are interested in writing a 'dirt' law.

All of this chatter?  Over some imaginary law involving 'dirt'?  Yes, more or less.  You can't go to jail, or be fined....without the creation of a 'dirt' law. 

Thursday, 26 July 2018

White House Press Briefings

I don't think I got around to watching an entire press conference from beginning to end....until 2010.  I'm like most folks....I'd watch the capsulated version via NBC or CNN, and you got the filtered version of what they felt you needed to know.

Between 2010 and 2016....I might have watched four or five of these total. 

So after 2016, for some reason (being a retiree, and having time)....I've actually started to watch at least two or three of these each month.  At some point last year, I was up to around ten of these in one single month. 

I've come to four observations:

1.  Probably some of the most stupid people on the planet.....are employed as journalists to cover the White House.  Nothing personal, and I won't name the individuals, but some of these folks ought to be selling tires, or managing apartment buildings.

2.  If you can't get to the actual question in twenty words or less....then it's not really a question.

3.  Follow-up questions are generally worthless.

4.  I'd really like to see the first five questions be from the general public, and limit the reporters there to just the same number.  The idea that journalists are smarter than regular people?  That's a joke.

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Socialism Chatter

Over the past couple of weeks, some hyped-up political folks have been talking about this new 'Bernie-era' opening up and Democratic-Socialism being the new chief sales gimmick.

So, you might need to go and dust off your understanding of what socialism is about.  In general.....socialism is a open 'menu' of economic and social systems, built around public 'ownership' and public self-management of the 'menu'.

For example, if the public came to say all university degrees would be free, or that the college loans would never have to be paid back....then it'd just happen.

Rather than letting the market manage and control the economy, you'd have public groups which would eyeball the situation and have control over banks and industry. 

What generally happens at this point of the discussion....some idiot would stand up and ask who pays for everything, and the answer is industry and rich people.

Then the same guy would ask....when you've taken all the money from industry and rich people....who will come and take money from, and the answer is.....the middle-class.    At that point, the conversation usually ends because no one really believes the end-result is what people talk about.

It would be different if folks actually made their own shoes.....lived off the grid....had two cows and did their gardening....rode everywhere on a bicycle, and never threatened to take anything from neighbors or the folks over in the other valley.  For some reason, most socialist episode end up in revolution (civil unrest), and they then revert back to the combo version of mostly capitalism with a base of socialism (mostly to hand out a few free gifts). 

This Democratic effort now?  Most working Democrats won't buy into this.  So I don't see this going that far.  Maybe the college crowd are stupid enough to fall for the gimmick but eventually....when they get jobs and grasp the whole concept, that will be the end of their 'thrill'. 

Kind of a vicious circle, if you think about it. 

Thursday, 19 July 2018

November 2018 Predictions

This is my list of seven predictions for the November election business:

1.  Joe Crowley is on the NY ballot, not as a Democrat.  He will in fact....beat Ocasio-Cortez and the GOP candidate....probably with 50-percent or more of the local vote.  The Democrats will be faced with a problem because he wants Pelosi's leadership chair, but he's not a pure Democrat anymore.

2.  From my homestate, Kay Ivey wins the election for Governor with near sixty-percent of the vote.  It'll be her last election, and set into play various folks planning for the 2024 election.

3.  Four Democrat Senate seats flip to the Republicans, and one Republican Senate seat flips to the Democrats: Losers.....McCaskill, Heitkamp, Nelson, Donnelly, and Heller (R).  I also think Tester (D) of Montana probably will lose.  So you can figure a four-seat gain (on the best scenario) for the Republicans. 

4.  The 3-way split for California will not be on the ballot.  You already see court challenges to remove it, and I think the whole attempt is doomed at this point.

5.  House situation?  I will go and predict three GOP House members losing their election, but at least five to eight Democrats who were considered 'safe'....losing because of Democratic voters leaving the party structure. 

6.  All of this leads toward a strategy meeting for the Democrats and discussions over how to bring voters back into the party.  The chief idea?  The big 2020 candidate will have to be either black or Latino.  It can't be Hillary.

7.  The Wisconsin Tammy Baldwin race.  Well....six months ago, I would have said she had a safe election and easily won for the Democrats.  Things have flipped, and I might go suggest that even a 6th GOP Senate seat win-plus-up is possible.  All of this, with Corker and Flake (the two fake GOP guys) out in January. 

All of this will worry Democrat Senators who have to run in 2020.  It's a smaller group than what you have today, but if they were to lose another three would be an incredible problem for long-term strategy-planning.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Russia and Trump Reset

Back in March of 2009, Hillary Clinton, then Secretary of State, arrived in Geneva for a big meeting and presented to the Russian Foreign Minister....a little insider joke....the 'reset button'.

This was supposed to be the signal that the Obama Administration was going to be different from the 'stupid' Bush Administration and rebuild relations with the 'evil' Russians.

To be honest with the Bush Administration....Russia was always on the 50-50 deal.....sometimes a friend...sometimes an enemy. 

In some ways, from Nixon on.....the idea was always to use the Russians in some 'theatrical' sense to plus up appearances, or to appear as some 'cowboy in a white hat' against the 'evil land baron'.

This week, everyone is hyped up the evil Russian scenario....because President Trump went by a different script than usual. Most people are sitting there.  They remember the stupid reset-button that Hillary presented.  They get 'bad Russia' stories each month through the news media.  Some stories are probably true.....some fake. 

In some ways, I think most Americans are fed up with the 'scripted' storyline over Russia.  Trump just walked in with his own version of the reset button, and the news media freaked out.  If he'd just bought some fake button kit and gave it as a joke to Putin....things would be fine.  Well....people just laugh over that suggestion. 

All of this 'evil' talk resembles some Seinfeld episode...a bunch of stuff, about nothing. 

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

How the Mueller Business May Fail

You have twelve Russians accused of hacking into campaign servers....all related to the Democrats.  Indictments?  On paper, and passed by some Grand Jury....stamped by a judge.  Without a extradition treaty?  None of this can go forward, and the Mueller-team can be happy that they've cornered team-Trump.

Well.  What if President Trump returned from Finland, and appointed an outsider to his office to write an extradition treaty with the Russians?  He would bypass the Justice Department and the State Department.  In fact, it could be finished in less than a month without the two groups involved. 

So the guy would go and copy.....word for word....the exact same treaty framework that is used for countries like France or Mexico (already stamped by the Senate).  Trump presents the treaty to the Senate to approve.  They freak out because it's going to trigger a mess.

Republicans and Democrats explain how this extradition treaty is doomed.  Then Trump reveals the curtain say it's the exact same wording as the one from Mexico or France.  The Senators look like absolute fools.  They now must sign this or face massive skeptical nature by the public.

Once signed, Rod Rosenstein gets called in and told to extradite, and he will try to refuse.  Fine....he gets fired on the spot.  Mueller will then realize that the whole episode that he's developed is cornered...he can't win. 

The 'Compromising' Story

I sat there last night and observed the Trump-Putin press conference, and there's probably twenty-odd things that you could observe.  Toward some point, some news journalists stood up and asked Putin....if he had 'compromising' material on Donald Trump.  Putin just started to grin, and then talk to a topic that had nothing to do with the question. 

The press?  Well, today....they've gotten hyped up to suggest that the answer was 'yes'.

I sat and pondered over this.  The plain blunt truth is that Putin has an entire library of compromising material over President Trump, President Obama, Hillary Clinton, George Bush, Senator McCain, and at least 20,000 present and former American characters.  Just the folder with Bill Clinton's compromising information alone is probably over 3,000 pages. They probably even have a folder for former Alabama governor Bentley and his paramour gal, which goes into the range of four pages.

Putin mostly grinned because he could just blow away the entire audience by admitting that he's got hundreds of thousands of pages of material, and it's way more than he could read in his entire lifetime.  He might have spoken up on some fistfight between Joe Biden and some associate back in 1959. 

The problem with the press is that they are just stupid enough to hear something and twist it one way.....not realizing the massive problem at the other end of the spectrum, and that most of the public doesn't buy their angle to the story anymore. 

Cold War Talk

I sat and watched about 20 minutes of the McLaughlin Report (7/15/2018), which feature Pat Buchanan.  The hype?  This Helsinki meeting with Trump and a discussion over the necessity (oddly enough) to recreate a cold war, which Pat points toward liberals for 'desiring' (my word for the humourous suggestion).

Back around the spring of 1992, I got this note from the Air Force personnel office that I'd been awarded the Cold War Victory Medal.  Basically, anyone who served between 2 September 1945 and 26 December the medal.  At the time, when I was given my medal....I displayed it to a couple of folks and it was commonly observed that the 'look' of the medal was some older lady sitting in a lawn chair with a sword, facing a rising sun, with COLD WAR written out.

Of all my medals, it kinda rates there with the Good Conduct Medal, which you typically got as long as you didn't misbehave or get arrested for a DWI. 

Most folks will suggest that from 1992 to the last year....we've been in Cold War II.  Some folks might even suggest that we are approaching Cold War III, where it's all mostly hyped up fake chatter over some fake war brewing.  Even this talk over NATO needing to only driven because of the fake war suggestion.  It's just odd, that conservative folks are almost to the point of agreement, and the liberal folks are to the point of hyping war potential.

The odds of some idiot sitting there now and designing Cold War Victory Medal II?  I would imagine there is such a guy, and that by the end of 2018.....another medal will be authorized (yes, I might actually get a second medal, having been retired for 19 years).

As for Pat's suggestion of this fake chatter over a non-existent Cold War?  It is the amount of disrespect by the public now....toward the news media, that drives this whole discussion.  Thirty years ago, the news folks could have driven this easily into your living room and convinced you.  Today?  I doubt if they can convince more than 30-percent of the nation of this 'doom' scenario.  Maybe that's the bigger story here.

This Park Idea

Folks in Alabama....sometimes do crazy things.

I was reading a piece today that the city of Birmingham, and the state Department of Transportation are going to have a discussion over this idea of creating a  10-block "pedestrian-friendly entertainment district."

Naturally, this would beg the question where, and the city is suggesting this to be UNDERNEATH the new interstate bridges being built for Interstate 59/20.

Right off the bat, they let you know that this walkway has a name....BHAM, but they just aren't sure about the purpose.  Some folks suggest a skate park.  Some folks are suggesting some kind of water landscape (like water fountains), and all of this would draw folks to come and visit other folks.....under the interstate.

In general, Alabama folks will mingle and socialize on front porches, back porches, patios, city parks, picnic grounds, state parks, national parks, and so on.  But it's the first time that I've heard the idea that Alabama folks would go and socialize under interstate bridges.

It just seems like some boondoggle where you'd go and wast six to ten million dollars to create a fake park, where mostly homeless folks would hang out, or dope-dealers would conduct commerce, or hookers would entice you.  Course, maybe all of this is supposed to lead to some unusual bar zone called the "UNDERPASS" with disco, country and rock all piped in and 8,000 Alabama folks hanging out under some interstate.  You just can't tell. 

Monday, 16 July 2018

Trump - Putin

After watching the whole press conference between the two, there are four observations I can make:

1.  Mueller better prepare now because Trump's going to light a fire to build an extradition treaty, then force the Justice Department to present evidence to the Russians.  You can figure that it'll take three to six months but I suspect a treaty will exist by spring of 2019.  I kinda have my doubts that the State Department and Justice Department will be happy.I think Mueller may have played the wrong hand here.  Somewhere out there, I would suspect that Russia laid out two or three more 'traps', and Mueller hasn't figured that depth of the mess out yet.

2.  Trade talk. might occur and wouldn't that be shocking?  What if the Russians figured out an industrial way to take off and take some Trump-magic over to their side?

3.  Cold War II over?  Putin says yes.  If it is over....why cover for NATO?  The pro-NATO crowd in Europe are probably shaking their heads over this.

4.  Trip to Europe score?  Out of a one to ten episode....I'd say it's a pretty safe '8'.  For the fall election damage.

My Circus Scenario

So with the twelve 'evil' Russian dudes who hacked into all the servers (three) and maybe broke in six-plus state listings of registered voters....what if the twelve volunteer to show up in court, and admit that act?

Then in the middle of this act, they admit that they helped to create an extra two-million Hillary votes out of thin-air, and that apparently....that was not enough.  So they reveal the states, and numbers.....then the experts suggest that instead of 30 states....Trump actually won 35 states.  The Electoral College?  Closer to 350 votes. 

The circus that we've seen for the past 18 months?  The tent would collapse in a matter of hours. 

Odds of this?  Unknown. But it's hard to believe that the Russians would go and do hurt Hillary. 

The Heat Question

I noticed this over the weekend, in some health report.....that a couple of researchers at Harvard University went out asked the question....are you more stupid during heat-waves?


What they say is that your brain is about thirteen-percent slower in extreme heat.

Naturally, you'd ask how this worked for an experiment.  Well, they found 44 college kids who were willing to be part of this experiment, and they were used in the summer of 2016.

Course, you would reflect upon this and your brain faster in cold weather?  And they didn't say that occurs.

Being from Bama, I reflected upon this.  You see, being around a number of folks in the summer months....I came to this idea of slower thinking way back in the early 1970s.  Although in my thinking....I put the blame on dehydration. 

But this ought to make you wonder...are we making more bad decisions in June, July and August?  Are we accepting more risks in these months?  Are we exposing ourselves to more hazards?  Are we accepting a higher potential for disaster in these summer months? 

My dad often operated with three mental stages....there were fun-to-risk situations....there were extreme-risk situations....and there were intense-to-ultimate risk situations.  On a farm, you could get away with things like this.  Looking back, it could be that these intense-to-ultimate risk situations all occurred in July and August....amid the summer stress of heat. 

So the question comes up in my civilization different today because a couple of guys sitting around in the African heat  for thousands of years....get up one day and just start walking north, and get out of the hot zone?  Did we advance as a society....because 'Marvin' and 'Larry' for the betterment of society....left the heat, for a more preferred climate?

It might be worth asking the question. 

Trump and the Odds of Getting a Royal Flush

In the game of poker, there is a statistical average on you getting a hand tossed to you....and it being a Royal Flush (meaning a king, a queen, a jack, an ace, and a 10....all of the same color).  It's a .19-percent chance.  A real poker player will tell you in 20,000 games of poker that he's might have come up two or three times. In plain language, it's just awful rare, to have a Royal Flush come up.

Today is 542 days since 19 January 2017.

It's reached a point where you just have to question how the guy (President Trump) can sit there and draw a Royal Flush almost daily, and the news media is basically whacking itself in the head because they can't slow the guy down, or derail his agenda.

The best and brightest of the Democratic on this whack-the-Trump game?  Some folks actually have a fairly routine visit schedule now to CNN to be the 'whacker', and seem to work hard at the fake 'whacks'.  It's still worth an occasional viewing, but it's almost demoralizing to see adults in this frame of mind, and unable to really do much other than some theatrical act (my term for it).

I sat and pondered at this dozen-Russian indictment that the Justice Department threw out there last week.  I can think of forty-odd Republicans (plus Bush I and II), who would have freaked out and this would have caused tremendous pain for them.  Trump?  It's like you were took a plastic hammer to his limo and just lightly whacked it.  Nothing much really came from that.

The news media efforts?  Most folks will stand a slight daze and talking over some admiration now of Trump.  It's like a guy getting thrown out of bed at 1 on department can't do a lot to save the place, and at 6 AM....the local TV news folks have come out.  Betty Lou is interviewing the stoic guy, and his take?  With the camera showing a totally burn-out house in the background....the guy says it could have been worse.  Then he says that he's already gotten invited to have a hearty-bacon-breakfast with the neighbors with fancy-brewed coffee....some widow gal offered up some NY City clothing for the guy to wear, and he's dreamed all his life of being on TV (while grinning at Betty Lou).  He just sees everything as one big long positive.  In a way, that's Trump whole scene.  Things just can't go negative.

Tomorrow?  Something will fall into a negative look.....then Trump will turn to the good Lord, and ask for another Royal Flush, and then remark that he's got such-and-such pardon ready to sign, or ready to flush out a bunch of crooks in the FBI.  Folks pour a cup of coffee, and get up....they feel some kind of 'Royal Flush' feeling themselves.  In a way, we are becoming a nation of folks on some kind of weird Trump-enthusiasm.

Sunday, 15 July 2018

The Dozen Russians Indictment

After you sit and pause over this Muller investigation and the dozen Russians indicted (on Friday) come to this odd thing.  Nowhere in this indictment is there some explanation over what the Russians did....beyond saying they sneaked, or broke into the three servers connected to the DNC, the House Democratic campaign, and the Hillary campaign.  There has been a suggestion by one single state that the Russians did attempt (successfully) to break into the voter listing of Illinois.  But no one says much after that.

Attempts on the 49 other states?  Nope, no one says that in this effort.

But then you start to dig, seven other states had attempted's just that the states didn't realize it.  Yes, the US government went to analyze things and said that Alaska, Texas, Illinois, Arizona, Florida, California and Wisconsin....had issues.  Why didn't they tell the states at the time?  Prior to 2016's race?  Unknown.  They just chose not to make any big deal out of this.  Why?

So I will tell you where all of this is going.

First, all of this chatter, if you accept it....means that the voting system can be hacked or manipulated (not that it occurred this time, and it won't be proven unless this gets into a court of law).

Second, by going at the voting listing, you are looking very likely at one key factor....real names/ be used to inject into second registrations.  You could take Joe Smith of such-and-such address, and register Joe in another state, so he'll be in two elections.  The problem here....which we have to worry about....what if 5-percent of registered voters are fake already, with Joe Smith-1 registered in this county, and Joe Smith-2 registered in another county....but neither are real.  With the Russian would just go and invent Joe Smith-3 in a third county, or another entire state.  In fact, there might be twelve Joe Smiths existing out of one single non-existent Joe Smith.

Third, all of this leading back to absentee ballots?  Yes.  That's the amazing part of the story.  As much as neither the Republicans and Democrats didn't want to tighten up the whole registration process....the Russians just walked into this 'candy-shop' and did their walk-around.  They know how the 'candy-shop' works, and intend to return.

Could you fake-register 40,000 additional ballots in each state for 2020?  Yes, of course.

Here's the nifty thing.....the Democrats desperately hope that these dozen Russians don't show up because if they do, and they tell you what their intention add fake voters, and show you how crapped up the system is.....then you'd have to go and fix it.

The fix?

1.  Official US ID cards, only for citizens.

2.  No registration for voting unless you have an official ID card.

3.  Dumping of the entire voting listing in each state and start fresh.

4.  Review the whole process for absentee ballots.

5.  Mandate some kind of face-to-face contact with registered voters and county clerks.

6.  Refuse last-minute registrations.

7. Mandate the security required for storing the registration data nationally.

Chance of any of this happening for 2020?  Zero.  Chance of a future hack to slant the US election process?  Better than a 99-percent chance.

Lack of Trust in Believability

This past week, I listened to a discussion over believability.  It was a long piece, but they made this significant impression over the fact that folks today....just don't have much trust or believability in what they see or hear. 

You could have some Senator talking about some great 'evil', and just sit there grinning because out of his eight-minute hype....he probably made one single point of believability, and the rest of this was mostly all 'BS'. 

You could have some sports authority giving a big long talk on something, and by the sit and analyze his commentary....coming to the position that 98-percent of his evidence is fraudulent or non-existent.

You could have some 60-Minutes 'talker' (I used to call their people journalists), who weaves up some story over nine minutes, and then you come to this opinion as the commercial finally comes was all fake news. 

I think things went this way in the 1990s with President Clinton, and then went deeper into the pit of non-belief, with President Bush and President Obama. Even with candidates like Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, you got more or less a double-dose of non-believability. 

Trump?  In a way, he's functioning like Mister Haney from Green Acres.  Haney was a farmer, turned salesman, turned con-man.  He knew the art of sales, and could easily have sold you a mixture of good and bad stuff.  In this case, we are at least entertained by Trump, and often surprised that whatever he's selling....seems to be working.

Can America function in this landscape of disbelief?  I have my doubts. 

A large percentage of folks don't have much trust in the FBI, the State Department, the CIA, various religious groups, Judges, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Democracy, their local cops, or the banks. 

You have various HR folks within companies who are viewing the approaching 'snowflakes' coming in for interviews, and rate them as 'losers'.  Safe-space talk?  Blacks lives matter? Non-belief.

Newspapers, long saddled with the responsibility of delivering voters to certain political parties?  They are slowly dying off because the public seems to be in a period of non-believability.

The problem here is that you have a fairly dysfunctional political system in existence today.....with people in a state of disbelief.  Both political parties have worked hard to commit people to a landscape of non-believability.  Just the image of Senator McCain on a Sunday talk-show last year.....was enough for a fair number of Republican-voters to start laughing. 

This past week, with FBI-super-agent Strozek's performance, people fell into a pit of non-believability. 

Have we hit bottom yet?  That's the thing about it.....I don't think so.  And that might bother some think it's going to get worse. 

Saturday, 14 July 2018

A Brief Moment Over Trump

A couple of days ago, on my German blog....I wrote up a piece on a developing show for the public TV system in Germany....called 'Germany Speaks'.  The basic set-up of this is the belief by the leadership and intellectuals of Germany....that Germans can't come to a rational centerpoint on serious topics. Yes, they have the belief that you can produce a situation....a dozen facts....some argument, and then everyone would reach some basic conclusion (agreeable).

I kinda laughed when this was laid out because it means that both sides have to be tolerant of the topic and the outcome. 

So the 23rd of September (Sunday) is the scheduled show.  There are six topics.  I imagine they will set aside roughly three hours on public TV that afternoon.  They've put out surveys to poll an attempt to bring in folks to some studio and discuss the issues. 

All six topics are loaded.  One of them is the intellectual idea being pushed by by various agenda groups to tax meat products more persuade people to eat less meat.  My brother.....the full-time engineer, part-time farmer....would likely ask what the heck they are smoking?  How would adding a six or eight percent tax on T-bone....result in you eating less?  German logic that anytime you tax something, people use less of it.  It is basically true that the cost of living is now so high, that no one is much interested in having more than one or two kids, and a growing number of folks suggest no maybe the intellectuals have a small point on this.

But one of the six questions is this: is Trump good for America?  Note, the question doesn't say good for Germans or for Germany.

The curious problem here for intellectuals in Germany....well....Hillary didn't win.  Since November 2016, this has been a problem for them to accept and hour-by-hour, the Trump situation bothers them.  Thanks to the use of public TV (ARD and ZDF)....they've kept their anxiety and stress at peak form (yes, 21 months straight now). 

In some way, via this public forum, they hope to get the right discussion going and a large segment of German society (even the 30-odd percent who just don't think this is much of a thing to worry or have anxiety over) convinced to go one single direction.

My argument, if I got dragged into forum?

1.  All elections, whether in the UK, Germany, France, Russia, or the US....have consequences.  Someone wins....someone loses.  In a democratic country with kinda have to suck it up and move on with life.

2.  This effort by the German public TV folks (ZDF and ARD) in early spring to do the comical news pieces on candidate Trump, and laugh over his speeches?  Did you really think that made your viewers aware of the real situation developing in the US?  Where did you get the update material? Washington Post, CNN?

3.  After the summer smoke of 2016 cleared, and you (public German TV news) went on the remarkable news hype of a 90-percent of a Hillary exactly do you think German viewers saw your coverage on the day after the election?   Every single thing you predicted....failed.  You couldn't even say why...other than suggesting that all these voters were 'stupid'?  How 'stupid' does that make the public TV news media in Germany?

4.  In the 500-plus days of the Trump administration and the three-million jobs created so far (anticipating another one-million additional jobs by spring 2019)....why did Bush or Obama not take the same route?  Facts please.  They each had eight years....yet they were not hyped up to do the job?  Really?

5.  After NAFTA went into affect, just how many US jobs left the US over the next decade?  The general talk by business analysts goes between one and two million jobs.  How do you think people remember the era?  So when candidate Trump came around and discussed the terminal nature of NAFTA....people paid attention.  Why didn't candidate Clinton discuss this?   She had well over a year, and could not bring herself to talk about this problem. 

6.  The tariff woes?  All President Trump laid out was a open tariffs for any party.  Ask the business folks of Germany (all industries) and the political folks....why they can't allow that to occur?  If they can't explain this in one hundred words or might need to fire them. 

7.  The American disconnect on the news media?  From Republican voters, barely 15-percent think that the news media in the US is unbiased.  From independent voters, it barely reaches 30-percent thinking they are unbiased.  Even Democratic voters will agree only to around fifty-to-fifty-five percent of the news media is unbiased.  Who reads the NY Times and Washington Post?  Ask them what their current brand value is worth....on the last time they sold their operations.  Who watches CNN?  Right now....the Food Network is pulling in more viewers. 

8.  A disconnect on Washington solving problems?  Here's the shocker....once you leave DC and go out into small towns and rural areas....the bulk of people tend to think that Washington is broken (they don't just mean the Democratic Party and the Republican Party....they mean the whole system). These people see Trump as a 'thug' against the entire system.  They want the 'bull' turned loose in a crystal shop. 

9.  Go ask around what the 'red-pill' and '#walkaway' situations are about.  These are former Democrats who are just fed-up and deciding on a new path as a Republican.  How many? There's no real way to estimate this, but one might suggest a million-plus Hillary-voters from 2016....have walked away.

10.  To the final emphasis here.  A German doesn't need to worry much about this.  In fact, to an American, it's odd that you want to drag this question up....instead of asking 'is Chancellor Merkel good for Germany'.  The last time I looked....more than 60-percent of Germans polled....wanted a change in Chancellor.  It's just odd how dramatic the public TV sector in Germany keeps wanting to hype the evil-Trump keep focus on something else.  You'd almost think.....well....that there was some stupid agenda tied to this forum question.  Silly me....where would I get some crazy idea like that?

Friday, 13 July 2018

This 'Hack'?

So, the simple facts....Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein came up today and announced that a dozen Russian intelligence officers were indicted by the Mueller team.  These dozen folks?  Members of the Russian GRU, or the intelligence-collection folks of Russia.

What they did?  They found some point to hack into the DNC Congressional Campaign committee server.

This led onto the DNC big server, and then the Hillary Clinton campaign server.

How did this all work?  You arrange one single email to flow in and it has an attachment.  You click the attachment, and then it says to the server that it's fine and ok for a 'friend' to be sharing out data.  Then the hacker can browse.  So they sat there and read.

Then if you follow Rod's suggestion....the GRU guys used an insider email and sent the same link-up email onto the DNC big server, and later onto the Hillary campaign server.

The odds that they did the same thing in 2012 and 2008?  Oh....well....yeah, it's best not to bring this up.  I'm sure the FBI-idiots don't want to admit that this might have occurred before.

So all the big strategy papers and internal gossip?  The Russians knew?  The passed-along questions that Hillary might have gotten before the debates?  Well, maybe the evil Russians got the passed-along questions, and passed them to evil-Trump.  Oh....yeah, they probably sat there grinning.

But now you might get around to an odd question....what kind of protection did the Hillary server, the Hillary campaign server, the DNC Congressional Campaign server, and the DNC big server have?  The likely answer?  I don't think the FBI guys or Rod would like to answer that. 

But let's get onto an interesting scenario.  Did the US, or our NSA....attempt to hack into Putin's network in 2011?   Oh, well....we would never do something like that...would we?

The dozen Russian guys? They are mostly laughing over the accusation.  Why do this....the day that Trump flies out to Helsinki to meet Putin?  Well, I'm guessing here that a IG probe will start up when Trump arrives back in DC, and asking Rod about the timing of this little episode.  Beyond that...this is an indictment that will just lay there.    The judge doesn't need to worry....there will never be court action.

And the Democrats?  Well, this is what they really have to worry about.  Out there, among thousands of emails....there's probably one or two fake e-mails with a second attachment to start up the next hand-shake situation.  So this will likely never end.  That's the amusing thing about this episode.  As much as the FBI will hint that they got their evil Russians....well, it might just go into round two or three.

NAKED GUN: 2018 Style

I sat this morning and watched about 40 minutes of the Congressional episode yesterday with FBI agent Peter Strzok. 

After you look back over the landscape, the basic story, and the are left with this image of some federal employee who is a fairly active at shagging some other federal employee, and spends a fair amount of time on text conversations with his fellow paramour.  I'd be guessing between one and two hours of every day was spent in text-chat....pretty nifty considering he's a government employee.

The problem is....normally, after something like this comes out (you being married and all), you end up going off (leaving the company or organization).  In Pete's case....he just lingers around.  He's lawyered up enough to figure you can't fire him.  He intends to stay around.  That means jokes being passed around behind his back, and marginal respect for the guy.  At some point, some FBI guy will say something that ticks Pete off and there's going to be some event to occur. 

Sessions?  He can't do much of anything.  He's stuck with a humper-dude....fixated on liaisons with the paramour. The House?  They don't seem able to do much either.  The President?  He's basically decided to make a reality show out of this, and feature the Humper and the paramour in some fake reality, which people will laugh over because they seem so serious while in the midst of a comedy routine.  In a way, it's the Trump production of Naked Gun with Leslie Nielsen.  As much as Pete appears serious....he's just playing Inspector Frank Drebin, with the hots for Jane Spencer (in this case, the paramour). 

Thursday, 12 July 2018

CNN 'Shock' or 'Outrage' Factor

Maybe it's just me, but it just seems like that in a 30-minute period while watching typically get at least three journalists or 'guests' who seem to be shocked or outraged. 

I admit, I try to limit myself to no more than 60 minutes a week of CNN.  Part of the problem is that they are mostly a Trump-network now....owned by the President and the bulk of the news delivered has to be Trump in some fashion.  Another problem is that they bring on so many guests to be 'experts', and they are trying to drag you along to some conclusion....rather than just laying out the facts.  Finally, I'll admit that CNN of not the CNN of 2001.  I'm one of those people who think their better work....was over a decade ago.

So onto the the topic of shock or outrage.

When I typically worked (yes, before retirement)....about once a month, you would walk into some situation where you were a bit shocked or outraged.  It typically would involve some soap-opera event where Lieutenant Joe was arrested for indecent drunken behavior or Airman Snuffy had accidentally destroyed a $3,000 piece of equipment.  You'd typically stand there with the associate, contemplating how this incident occurred, and the consequences that would follow.  Maybe you'd have a follow-up discussion the next day over the event, and then it'd all be forgotten.

So over my thirty-six year career of work....I probably saw around 500 moments of shock or outrage.

The problem with the CNN usage of shock or outrage....if you were watching eight hours a day of their'd reach the 500 number in approximately two weeks.

That would be like comparing a guy who drinks a Pepsi a day for thirty years, making for 10,950 events with the a guy who drank the 10,950 sodas in six weeks (meaning that he had 260 Pepsis per day).

The long-term consequence?  Well....once you get on the CNN program, it'd only take a couple of months to 'train' you on shocks or outrages being less of a big deal.  Maybe in a year....nothing much would really shock you or outrage you anymore (even if your wife threw out all the beef in the freezer and put you on a vegan-diet).

So you start to look at 2020 (18 months away) and wonder....if all your shock and outrage is maxed out, what exactly can CNN market or sell if Trump goes for another four years?  Yeah, that's a long pause for folks to ponder upon that little issue.

Then you start to look at regular people, who live in quiet spheres of life.  You go to some Iowa farmer and his biggest shock or outrage is when the bull finally found the weak point in the fencing and escaped.

Or you have some housewife who woke up to realize the neighbor is doing a $2,000 landscaping job with four hefty and chunky Mexican guys who all go shirtless in the summer heat.

Or like my brother....waking up to realize the fifty-year old freezer in the back of the house finally 'died', and spending an hour of time sipping coffee and expressing 'shock' that it didn't last another ten more years.

At some point, CNN will have to reset the shock/outrage factor, and cut about 80-percent of the 'RPM'.  Some doctor will come a Doctor Phil-character, and chat for sixteen minutes on how to survive without all the shock or outrage.

Then we will realize.....there just wasn't that much to be shocked or outraged over.

The Fragile Nature of Democracy

About five years ago....the Pew Research Center did a survey, and found that fifty-seven percent of  adults in the youth range (18 to 29).....had no real memory of Roe versus Wade (the Supreme Court case on abortion), which dated back to 1973.  The general belief was that even though they had a total lack of understanding over the historical event.....they just felt it was "right" to stage a position.

This would be kinda like having a national discussion over making all cars stick-shift, or automatic....but having a majority admit that they'd never driven a stick-shift in their life, but they wanted to participate in this national cause because they felt it was "right".

I sat in a class recently with a fair number of Syrians and Iraqis, and the topic of Elvis came up.  In German society, 99-percent of Germans will say they know of Elvis (even though he's been dead for 40 years).  With the Syrians and Iraqis?  Maybe two out of the dozen had heard of Elvis.  The rest?  Elvis was a total mystery.

You could go out today and ask a hundred adult Americans how the depression of 1929 started up, and if you were might have five people who have a basic grasp of the historical event to give at least a marginal answer.  The same would be true if you asked the same group about the 2008 financial crisis, and if they could give a simple three-line explanation as to what happened. 

I won't say that people are's just that they have a random memory scheme, and if something doesn't seem important.....then it's erased from their memory in a matter of seven days.  Go ask a hundred people to describe the basic script to Star Wars I (the original), and the vast majority will rattle off a 10-line description....even though they haven't watched the movie in thirty-plus years.  It was important in their mind to remember the Skywalker kid, the lusty princess, the Chewy-guy, and the Obi-dude with mystical powers. 

Most people by age thirty will readily admit that they've forgotten more than half of what they learned in high school.  I think if you tested fifty-year old college graduates....more than half of their knowledge base....which they paid $90,000 for....has evaporated. 

But in the midst of all of this....a political dynamic is at play.  The two parties and their 'gate-keepers' are busy trying to hype you up....over something that may not really be significant in your mind. 

For get forty people to show up for a pro-Mexican migration rally, against the evil Trump.  You might discover if you talked to the forty folks.....that more than half of them have never met a Mexican in their life, except at Starbucks, or Burger King.  You might even discover that only three of the forty have some type of friendship with a Mexican, on a first-name basis. 

Another get a hundred people to get hyped up over the Supreme Court nominee.  So you ask the hundred to name the nine current members of the find that only six can name all nine members.  Then you find that forty could name five members.  On Roe V. Wade?  Well, you might find that five of the folks think Roe V. Wade is a rapper out of Detroit, and Roe is short for something but they can't remember what. 

In the end, our fragile democracy is dependent....on a bunch of forgetful folks.....not remembering much, but being all fired-up over something (they just don't know what).

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Beware of the Evil Russians

There is a piece off Yahoo News (I usually discount them entirely for value)....but the topic is mid-term elections, and the suggestion by an 'expert' (Barbara Simons) that Putin has the opportunity to launch an assault on the election, and create a massive mess.

How?  The basic idea is that so many states (five) have switched to an entirely paperless voting procedure....that you'd just hack in and flip the votes. 

Course, in this article, they mentioned that the Russians have probed the registration listings in various states, and know who is, or is not registered.

I see several problems here.

First, the Russians might be brilliant enough to have an actual voter's listing, and have a couple of agents in the US who go and find people registered in two states or people who are illegally in the US and registered to vote.  They could go and blackmail the people into voting for Trump-candidates.  Blackmail, as we a serious deal and these folks would open themselves up to Russian agents. (I know it's a joke, but play along).

Second, the Russians might have the right people to stand in and manipulate the voting numbers, and ensure a Trump win for various candidates.  (I know it's a joke, but play along).

So, what we need to fix the system.

First, a national ID card and a mandatory national folks wouldn't accidentally register in two states and get Russian blackmail situations. 

Second, establish a national minimum security situation. 

Third, dump the registration rolls, and start fresh.

The sad thing here is that the Democrats will have to fall on the ground and agree to these procedures, or the evil Russians will take over the country, as Republicans.  (I know it's silly, but play along).

Yes, all this fake fix what they could have fixed a decade ago. 

A Supreme Court Story

There are dozens of bits of history sprinkled over the 1929 to 1942 period of American history, which rarely get any mention today.  So this is a short essay piece over this unique episode that occurred with FDR and his 'pack-the-court' strategy.

Shortly after his 2nd win, going into early 1937....FDR was a bit peeved over the challenges to his solutions via the court system.  The Supreme Court was actually hindering and preventing various things from occurring.  One could suggest that the court was heavily slanted by that point by GOP-appointed Justices of the 1920s, which would be true.

So what FDR decided to do....was to produce the Judicial Procedures Reform Bill of 1937.  He intended to pack the court himself.  How? 

Well....he'd just add more justices.

The draft bill would grant the President the power to appoint one additional Justice (for a max of six), for each member of the court over the age of 70.5 years old.  As far as I one has ever explained where the 70.5 number came from, and I suspect that he just looked over the court and figured this was the appropriate number.

So instead of nine could have had a total of 15 (if this all played out).

The odd thing least told by some that not only was the GOP against the bill, but various Democrats found the bill to destructive.  My guess is that some sat there and asked if this was logical....why couldn't some GOP President come up in ten years and mandate another six extra Justices, and put 21 potentially on the court.

What happened? of the Justices reviewed the mess and privately on his own....just started leaning to support any measure that FDR had come up.  This support, along with the effort by Senate Judiciary Committee by Democratic committee chair Henry F. Ashurst to stall the draft law....basically ended the threat to the Supreme Court.

A lot of this was not exactly front-page news, and probably understood by the bulk of American society.  In the decades after the event, historians got around to telling the story, and suggesting how close the Court to being heavily manipulated by FDR.

The 'Jesus' Factor on Supreme Court Justices

I sat and paused over the pick of Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court Justice seat, and the amount of air-time that the news geeks gave the topic.

Here's the thing....for 99-percent of us, in general, the pick really won't matter much.  Most of the cases you see in a normal year before the court, have little to zero influence on our lives.  If you watch CNN, you'd think that you were appointing some dictator over your neighborhood. But no, this pick or the past forty-odd picks....generally don't matter. 

Historically speaking, about every decade, there's one single case with some historical impact.  Since 1900 (120 years).....if you went reading, I'd say there are probably twelve to fifteen four-star cases, and the rest were cases which just didn't matter that much to the general public.

So what's going on?  Well....the 'Jesus' factor.  Everyone in the news media figures that you need one good 'Jesus' to fix law in America.  And that's mostly fake reality. 

Monday, 9 July 2018

Lost History

In the past week.....note that I don't watch it much anymore.....Jeopardy came up with this question:

Alex Trebek: In 2017, this ex-National Security Adviser pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.

Suzanne: Who is Kelly?

Trebek: No.

Steve: Who is Gorka?

Trebek: No.

There it ended.  The answer was Michael Flynn.

But this episodes demonstrates that no one has much attention to this whole Russiagate business, and that the amount of strategy and weight put by various elements.....has failed.

I suspect that you could go into a bar with 300 people sitting around and less than ten of the 300 would have answered this correctly.  In fact, the further you get from the beltway.....the less likely that people remember this. 

How Hillary Should Run the 2020 Election

This is my list of things that ought to be lined up:

1.  Bring Bill into Iowa in the summer of 2019, along with Chelsea.  Unlike 2008 and 2016....don't lose the Iowa caucus.

2.  Dump the Clinton Foundation as soon as possible.  Don't let it become an issue.

3.  Pressure the DNC not to allow any primary candidate into the system who are a full-up socialist.

4.  Find a creative way to repair the health care system....that lessens the cost.

5.  Find some likeable southern governor as the VP.  It ought to be someone who can talk for hours, and people find agreeable.

6.  Don't get into any public event where you might get frustrated and faint. 

7.  Take the positive spin of the economy and then talk about the bad tariffs. 

8.  Go spin a lot of time in Penn, Michigan, Wisconsin and Florida.  You really need to win those four states badly.

9.  Send Chelsea to college campuses, and hype the program there.

10.  Use social media more so, than the newspapers or CNN. 

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Hillary: 2020?

There's a piece in the NY Post which suggests that Hillary Clinton is getting ready for a 2020 Presidential run.  I's pretty crazy, but there are some elements to consider.

First, she still runs a super-PAC, and it's still active trying to get funding.

Second, in her messages to the public.....she never says it's over.

Third, I think she gets info handed down on the timing of the Mueller episode, and that the real court action against President Trump is timed for the fall of 2019.  In her mind, she could contemplate President Trump being in some weakened stage, and making the announcement in late fall of 2019....that he won't run.

Problems with this scenario:

1.  She's four years older, and less healthy.

2.  The low intensity campaign of 2008 and 2016?  Likely to repeat in 2020.

3.  There are at least three major players (two from California) that I see running in 2020's primary for the Democrats, and real competition is a no-go for Hillary.  She would need the DNC to tell them to step down.  In fact, she would need Bernie to swear that he won't run again.

So you add this scenario up.  Lot of Democrats are taking the red-pill or walking away from the party.  Lot of socialism talk by the far side of the party, which doesn't sell well.  A Trumpless campaign?

I would go and predict the lowest turn-out in sixty years (maybe even a hundred) if this turned into a Hillary race, with Trump out.  The fakeness of the GOP?  Troubles would increase and it'd just create a massive disconnect with the general public.

But, this all leads back to a Democratic Party without a strategy or vision.  And Hillary could easily lead the 'blind' party to an end-point.

The #Walkaway and Red-Pill Crowd Story

Five years ago, the Democratic Party had a scripted pattern, gifted journalists at their beckoned call, and fairly strong path to bring voters in to demonstrate power.

Today?  I'm not so sure.

There are two phonenomums at work.  There's the #walkaway group, and the red-pill group.

These are both former democrats who reached a level of frustration with the party theatrics and the strategy used at the national level.

So far, no one will state the numbers on the two groups.  If I were to guess on this, I would suggest that between two and four percent of the Democratic voters in 2016....have taken the red-pill or converted to the #walkaway group.  What that really means?  Somewhere between one million and 2.5 million voters are not going to help the Democrats in this fall election.

Now, you can absolutely make the case that in twenty-odd states, it's not going to matter.  It doesn't do much in states like Alabama or Tennessee.  In a state like Michigan, if you converted 80,000 Democrats over?  Yeah, it might matter.  In a state like California?  There might be four districts with a 20,000 shift, and that might be an issue for the Democratic candidates.

The problem I see is that you only see this beginning of the red-pill crowd, or the #walkaway group. What if the trend continues through 2018, and onto 2020?  What if you actually had five-million Democrats who weren't going to participate with the party anymore?

The bigger threat?  Well....I read a piece this week chatting over Latinos, blacks, and mid-20s youth were involved in the red-pill/#walkaway business.  What if 25-percent of Latinos and blacks were dumping the Democratic Party?

All of this brings me back to the national leadership, and wondering if they really know much about the general public.  All of this bitter anti-Trump agenda....what if it's dissolving the public trust in the Democratic Party?

Back in the 1990s, Time and Newsweek made some big coverage deal over a two-month period to suggest that the GOP was dying as a political party.  They worked hard to convince you of this episode, although it was mostly just fake-hype.  In this case?  With the internet existing....the red-pill and #walkaway group avoids the journalists and take their case direct to the American people.  In a way, they've become like Trump....using Twitter and Youtube to tell a story. 

It might be worth watching.   

Saturday, 7 July 2018


I am partial to westerns.  I think it came up from the rural life in Alabama, and Sunday afternoons when the local channel would occasionally feature a 1930s western film, and the story....the landscape....the characters....blended into an epic moment.

My favorite of all time is Shane.  For those who don't remember the Alan Ladd movie.....Shane was a highly skilled gunfighter, who had some kind of past that they just refused to tell you about.  Every dramatic moment of the movie....just wants to hint that he's more than capable of taking the worst of the worst.  But they avoid telling that storyline.

Shane enters this remote valley in the middle of nowhere in the Wyoming Territory, and rides into a fairly big mess where a local poor rancher and his wife are being intimidated.  There's a 'war' going on, and the evil cattle rancher from down on the other side of the valley has established himself as kingpin.  He's hired some terrible folks, with all kinds of skills, and their intent is to control the valley, and drive everyone out.

Here, Shane arrives.   He looks over the landscape, and the passion of these folks.  He's pretty much the only solution that can fix the problem.  There is a continual build-up from the first moment of the movie, until the end.  Shane has taken on the bad guys and won, although he's a bit wounded.  But you just pause to think....Shane has something left in him....that he could take on more of the fight if necessary.  Then he rides off into the sunset.

For some reason, I compare the Trump saga against Shane.

Folks were mostly pushed off into the corner, with fake gunfighters standing around and trying to hype up their skills. They wore white hats....they rodes various horses with speed....they seemed to pack a pistol.  But this evil rancher operation....they had the real hired 'thugs'....folks with Harvard degrees, talking chatter boxes who could appear on CNN at a moment's notice, and all the PR business ever desired.

Shane/Trump rode over the mountainside, and just hinted he'd take on the situation.

Shane/Trump wasn't like the Bushes (I, II or Jeb).  Shane/Trump wasn't like Romney, or the twenty-odd GOP guys of the past two decades.

Shane/Trump had spent decades in NY City.  He'd stood and been pushed around by the best in the business, and learned how to push back.  Shane/Trump knew fake journalists....ate lunches with them....spending hours learning their craft.  Shane/Trump stepped into the shadows of the wrestling world and learned theatrical skills. Shane/Trump knew that for every had to go push back in a fairly dramatic way and make the other guy suffer. 

Shane/Trump's weapon?  It wasn't made or delivered until 2006. That's the humorous part of this story.  Once the folks at Twitter activated their package....they gave Shane/Trump what he needed.  He didn't need reporters or journalists in the middle of his speeches or messages. He would put the theme or message direct to the voters themselves....there in their valley, where they sat and were waiting for the gunslinger to handle things.

Hour after hour, Shane/Trump worked.  The fake female gunslinger who had the 6-line resume?  She got finished off in November of 2016.  The suave and sophisticated gunslinger for MSNBC, with the fake damsel journalist at his side?  Their moment came and went.  The 43rd district gal who was supposed to have skill but marginal IQ?  It just never went anywhere.  The fake Indian?  Folks just laughed....the act just didn't work.  The mysterious stranger who kept suggesting he'd have something to take down Shane/Trump?  Well, he hasn't achieved much yet.  The graceful and charming gunslinger who had eight years of valley-duty and people thought he could do something?  Well, he doesn't seem willing to walk back into the valley.   The foreign guy with all the cash to buy up journalists and arrange pitfalls?  He'd never dealt with someone like Shane/Trump.  The fake good-guy with the Arizona drawl?  He got himself pushed off where most don't see him as a good-guy any longer.  All these folks wandering around with a 'thousand pieces of light' sticking out of their head?  No one pays them much attention any more.  The German fraulein who felt she could just outwit him with intellectualism and counter him on trade-deals in a corner?  Well, she got nowhere.  The fake Canadian intellectual guy?  He's mostly still in a daze over at the end of town.

At some point in Shane (the movie), Shane has to meet up with the Jack Palance character (Jack Wilson).  Palance, I always thought....gave his best performance ever as the 'bad' Jack Wilson.  There is this short dialog between the two:

Shane : So you're Jack Wilson.
Jack Wilson : What's that mean to you, Shane?
Shane : I've heard about you.
Jack Wilson : What have you heard, Shane?
Shane : I've heard that you're a low-down Yankee liar.
Jack Wilson : Prove it.

Shane has no limiting factor on confronting some fake guy, and even saying to their face....they might be some low-down Yankee liar.  Shane/Trump will use descriptions on folks almost daily, and it's reached a point of entertainment with some folks.

There is a sunset to this Shane/Trump 'movie', but you are living in the midst something unusual, and you ought to take a moment each day and marvel at the dialog, the landscape, and the cast of characters....even the 'poor ranch' folks.  You will likely never get a repeat of this in your life.

Friday, 6 July 2018

We Used to Talk

“Out on the road the other day I saw an affluent black man driving a BMW with two bumper-stickers. One was pro-NRA and the other one was a Tea Party sticker that read, ‘Don't tread on me'.  This left me very confused.”

-- Kimberley Johnson, feminist writer (HuffPost), in a Tweet

Normally, I don't care about what people want to Tweet on, or about.  About fifty percent of what I tend to notice is garbage remarks that someone had pop up in their mind, and didn't think much about.  Had they spent an hour pondering the episode.....they would have reached a conclusion, and just skipped broadcasting it to the world.

The trouble with Tweeting is that you just want blabber rather quickly, and not think much.

In this case, she wants to suggest that she is keyed 'in' on what black guys think, and they should not be pro-NRA or pro-Tea Party.  My humble guess is that she also would like to believe that 95-percent would always vote Democrat and most all blacks are anti-Trump. 

But I just don't see how in this day in can go around and 'label' folks. 

I got into a conversation one day with a black guy I worked with, and came to discover that he was also in DC comics as a kid.  Yes, he knew Green Lantern, Wally West, Arthur Curry (aka Aquaman), and Doctor Fate.  We got into a 20-minute conversation about comics, and the story-lines. 

I suspect if you gathered a group of a hundred black guys who are in the $30k to $70k wage least fifty percent own a handgun, and half of those are NRA members.   Course, for Kimberley, this might be an additional shock that she might not be able to handle. 

The trouble here is that folks tend to live in bubbles and never seem to go out and grasp the outside of their bubble.  It's ok for Republicans to sit down and have a coffee with a regular Democrat....discussing fatty bacon, poorly landscaped lawns, forgettable vacations, or the upcoming NCAA season.  Before all this 'war' business started was a pretty regular thing in the 1970s or 1980s for folks to discuss non-political stuff, and exchange bits of discussion. 

My impression is that Kimberley has lost that skill, and the best she can manage is to hang around folks who are like herself.  It's pretty sad, if you think about it. 

The Thousand Points of Light Quote

"It's your pasture now, and it's not so big--only three thousand miles from east to west, only two thousand miles from north to south--but all between, where ten thousand points of light prick out the cities, towns, and villages, there, seeker, you will find us burning in the night."

-- Thomas Wolfe, 1939, in the book "You Can't Go Home Again"

My brother, this week, brought up this phrase used by President Bush (the senior) back in the late 1980s, and how it was some key 'phrase' that you'd think about all the time.

Few realize, that while Wolfe was beginning to really pick up steam and be recognized in the mid-1930s as a great writer....he'd be dead by 1938, from TB.  He was 37 years old.

The book "You Can't Go Home Again", 700 pages?  It basically got published two years after his death, and most suggest that the majority of the book (maybe the quote itself) was some message that Wolfe wanted to convey as the goodness of America and folks who reside there.  In the book, Wolfe wants to say something about the fondness of memories, and that it's awful hard to relive those memories.  In a way, he was saying that when you think you've hit some lucky streak in life....enjoy that while you can.

I suspect that Wolfe would today be put in the top forty American writers of all time.  If he'd lived through WW II and into the 1950s?  He'd probably be ranked as either number one or number two of all time.

The $9-A-Bundle For Socks Story

I sat and read a piece today, which started me to pondering.

This older gal was responsible for clothing requirements for her husband.  Naturally, she was always the buyer and tracked prices.

So for years.....she'd always gone off to Wal-Mart and procured a simple six-pack of socks (I've bought the same socks myself on occasion)  for roughly $9.

In the past month, she went over to buy another six-pack, and the price had finally escalated to $15.  She noted, upon getting home and really examining the pack (it was the same company manufacturing them as always) now said on the side "Made in the USA Finished in El Salvador".

What did the label really mean?  It's hard to say.  I have a theory that the company felt compelled (maybe by Wal-Mart) that they really needed in some way to say "Made in the USA".  The trouble is....they couldn't really go and make that claim if it crossed the border.  So they ended up making all the raw material in some US state, and trucked it down to El Salvador where 700 women likely sit and earn $2.50 an hour, and then every evening....two tractor trailer-loads of socks get pushed out and head toward the Texas border and some big warehouse.

She was angry, and openly chatting about this frustration over escalating sock prices.  For years and years, she stated....the price had been the same, and she felt it was the Trump business which shifted her socks up $6.  Very unfair....was her message.

Here's the thing....back in the 1970s, you probably could have bought the same six-pack of socks for $3.90 at K-Mart.  These were all made at some sock factory in southern Georgia or western Kentucky.  Every six to eight years....the price went up another dollar.

In the late 1990....the golden ticket was established....NAFTA.  For this woman, things were now fixed up and resolved.  There weren't going to be any more US-manufactured socks.  The El Salvador crew could make them (the six-pack) for $5, and Walmart could pump the price up to $9.  If you quizzed her enough, she'd admit that the price has been locked down for twenty years, and she didn't mind if folks in Georgia or Kentucky lost jobs.  The fact that a million jobs just dissolved?  No, she doesn't care.

What would real real socks a six-pack, at Wal-Mart....if they were entirely made in the US?  I'd take a guess near $12 a six-pack to manufacture, and Wal-Mart would sell them near $19.

All of this is too much for some Americans to grasp.  They just want to blame someone because they can't buy socks at $9 for a six-pack anymore.  The truth is....they just didn't care about their neighbors, their lack of jobs, or the rigged-up economy that existed for the past twenty-five years.

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Snowflake 'Boot-Camp'

In a decade, I expect some psychological experts to gather and discuss at length the growing problem of weak-minded 'snowflake' behavior adults....reaching into the early to mid-30s, and unable to really make it in life.  I think the experts will eventually come to suggest that a 90-day boot-camp atmosphere is the only way to help these 'kids' recover.

The boot-camp?

Basically, you'd have to them in some rural setting, and get them up at 5 AM.  They'd have to be responsible for some farm-animals, and I would recommend a hearty breakfast around 7 AM with bacon (lot of it), some biscuits, gravy, and eggs over easy. 

Then I'd send them off to some general store atmosphere and force them to sit and listen to five guys talk about regular non-political things for three hours, but force the snowflake kid to just sit and listen....not to argue with folks.

Around lunch, I'd send over to bar-b-q shop, and offer up some Pabst Blue Ribbon beer.  In the afternoons, I'd find some cattle activity, or snake-pit, or maybe something slightly dangerous so that they didn't get all fearful of woeful things. 

Come early evening, I'd turn on the TV for an hour of Andy Griffith, then maybe an hour of Judge Judy. 

My guess is that around the 12th week, they'd get all this snowflake stuff out of their system, and you'd graduate them with a certificate. 

A What If Scenario

I don't tend to do a lot of 'thinking' over the 4th of July.   To me as a kid, it meant a day at valley in Tennessee, where you'd go for an afternoon of softball, stew, and gossip by local folks.  My dad made this a yearly activity when I was growing up in Alabama. 

In later years, you'd go to base events with an evening display of fireworks, and some musical entertainment. 

I doubt if in the 1776 era, folks sat around and discussed how the day would be marked or celebrated.  But this brings me to the odd topic of 'what-if', and if things had gone differently.

In this era of 1760, King George III was the guy who set the path for what we have today.....basically by screwing up and not grasping the mess at hand.

So, let us say that King George III woke up in 1760, and decreed that there would be representation in the House of Lords and the House of Commons for 13 'lands'.  Then let's suggest that he limited military personnel to be brought from England to America, and it to just 3,000 men to be spread around five key forts of America. 

The King might have then turned to the thirteen governors and, if you think you need soldiers for some reason to defend against's you who will form a militia, and it's you who will tax your own people for that militia, and it's you who will disband that militia when the threat is wrapped up.

Then an odd thing would have happened.  The revolution would have never occurred. George Washington would have likely be called up and been some Colonel of the Virginia Militia and never risen higher than that position.

The war of 1812?  It would have likely never occurred.

The Louisiana Purchase?  It would have likely never occurred. In fact, you could sit and draw a reasonable map of the US in 1820....which extended to the Mississippi River, and that was the basis of the entire country. 

France?  I think Napoleon would have gone to some idea of suggesting massive migration of French people into the Louisiana to Missouri region.  Thousands in the 1800 to 1820 period would have moved there and the European conflict would have been avoided.

Slavery?  I think the King would have slowly written up enough proclamations that no further slaves would have arrived after the 1810 period.  The bulk-cotton plantations would have been forced through various changes, and I think slavery would have likely ended by the 1840s.    No Civil War, and Lincoln would have never been 'delivered'.

WW I?  The King could have called upon the states (the eastern sector of the nation) to support the war-front, and we would have been there by late 1914.  By the end of 1915, the war would have ended because of the US participation in this war early on. Without the massive defeat of 1918.....Germany never goes through the bad years of the 1920s.

Somewhere in this 1920 to 1940 Australia, we would have gone to become our own nation, and likely forged some relationship with French-Mississippi region. 

Life would have been different. 

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Who Exactly is a Fact-Checker

I read some piece today....where people seem to state that they are 'professional' fact-checkers.  I sat there for about ten minutes.....trying to imagine this status, and how you got to this position.

Is there some college-degree for fact-checking?  No.

Is there some paid job with IBM or the NFL, for fact-checking?

Is there some job with the CIA for fact-checking?  I've never heard of them employing folks to be fact-checkers.

So I looked it up...for qualifications.  What folks say is that you need a degree in library-science, or possibly journalism. Then they say that you ought to have had several years (hint: a decade) in some field of information.  Some folks even said if your degree was in'd be Ok.

Then you'd get hired by someone, and that's all you do....fact-check. 

Is there much work in this?  That's the part that bothers me.  I can find no real commentary that you'd be hard at work for forty hours a week.  You'd just get handed some news piece, and someone from the head-office would this a fact?  And then you'd go and read for several hours, and come to some balanced decision that yes, it is, or no, it's not.  Beyond that, you might be sitting there a good bit each day.

I worked in a job once (for three years) where I basically came in....did about an hour's worth of work, and then sat there for five hours a day just reading newspapers, or trying to just act busy.  I get the impression that these fact-checkers kinda fall into that category.

An occupation that you could spend thirty years in?  NO, I just don't see that much value. 

What bothers me is that you also now have....fact-checkers to the fact-checkers....meaning that the first crew might be lying a bit or just not capable of fact-checking.  And if there is a group of fact-checkers checking can assume that there is also a group of fact-checkers who countering the fact-checkers, who are checking the fact-checkers. 

Way too much facts, if you ask me.

Pondering Upon Meddling

"Findings by the intelligence community that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election to help Donald Trump win were "accurate and on point," according to an unclassified report and accompanying statement by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released Tuesday."

-- Fox News, 3 July 2018

The one and only question to ask....what if they (the Russians) did meddle in 2016, and then you went back to find that yes.....they also meddled in 2012, 2008, 2004, 2000, 1996, and even 1992?

What if Barack Obama was the result of Russian meddling?

What if Bush was the result of Russian meddling?

What if the Russians meddle in the mid-term elections, and have helped John McCain win all of these Senate elections?

Man, when you reach this stage of might even be able to arrange for Roseanne to get doped up, say something stupid, getting her removed from the TV show, and then rearrange for her to appear six months later in a totally different show, and get fantastic ratings. 

Heck, you might even arrange the NCAA football business enough to allow the University of Alabama to continually appear as 'champions'. 

The Right-Wing Bernie

There was a piece out there yesterday, which kinda led me in circles.  There's some accusation that Bernie Sanders (you remember him from the 2016 campaign) while awful socialist in nature (he likes to admit it and grin while in agreement).....has been said by the new socialists appearing in public be too right-wing for them.  Yes, as left as you or I might observe Bernie.....they say he's too right-wing.

My brother notes that Bernie is civil in his discourse, and he thinks that where Bernie fails the left-wing socialist 'test'.    This led me to pondering process.

Is it possible that even today....Karl Marx (the guy who wrote the book on socialism and communism) would fail the test, and be called a right-wing guy?  It's possible.

Would Lenin fail the socialist test, and be called right-wing?  It's hard to say.

The general test?

Well, first you have to believe anything capitalist is you need to at least desire to live under a bridge and condemn capitalism daily.

Second, you need to believe that everyone that has money.....needs to be taxed to the extent that they are flat-broke like you, and that money is shared out with you and your fellow socialists.

Third, you need to believe that unions can only serve the greater good of mankind.  The fact that they might be corrupt?  Discount that real quick.

Fourth, you need to believe that the world would be a better place without the police. Police just get into the middle of everything and make it all worse.

Fifth, the answer to all problems always goes back to more government.

Sixth, you believe in open discussions as long as everyone talks about your subject, in the correct way, and agrees.  If they can't agree with need to end the discussion.

Seventh, you compare everyone you meet on some Hitler-scale, and disagreeable folks generally rate near a '8' on this scale.

Eighth, are always pro-marijuana.  You'd like to see it legalized, but not taxed.

Ninth, you generally enjoy periods of unemployment....the longer, the more entertaining it can be.

Tenth, you like the color black when picking clothing for public appearances.

Eleventh, you enjoy showing just a hint of violent character....up until the point where you end up at some protest with ex-Marines. 

Twelfth, you always cite that such-and-such European country is real socialist, and then always get shocked when you see a fair amount of wealth existing in that country.  You always get a bit embarrassed when admitting that you've never been to Europe, and the most socialist place you've ever been was San Francisco.  Course, then you admit you were awful doped up when walking around San Francisco, and you might have just dreamed a bunch of stuff up.

Thirteenth, you live in constant fear of turning right-wing.  It's bad enough that you often visit a mental health guy and talk over this stress in your life.  All he can suggest is to smoke more marijuana, and keep capitalist people out of your life.  Your doctor even hints that he might be capitalist because he drives a BMW.  You attend meetings in your early 30's to talk over your feelings and learn that other socialists are suffering the same stress. 

Fourteenth, you keep citing that western democracy has failed, but you never seem to talk about the Greeks, Plato, Aristotle, or that nutcase Socrates.  You generally admit that you never studied philosophy, or sat in a true history class.

Fifteenth, your day is consumed thinking of a large number of folks as being 'lesser' in terms of comparison to you.  It starts out with coffee, and then continues on through the morning.  By noon, you have to do a double-joint to continue your line of thinking.  You always see happy people as a threat, because they just aren't wise enough to see the terrible world up close and personal.

Finally, you get to some peak and collapse....when dad or mom cut off the $500 a month that they've been sending you to support your 'life-under-the-bridge' routine.  Then you have to resort to capitalism, and deliver pizzas. 

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Ten Things I Would Abolish

1.  The IRS.  Frankly, it ought to be a one-page form, and everyone who makes any money in the top 90-percent of society ought to be paying something....just a straight percentage.

2.  NCAA Bowl Committee.  Look, it's all political and you could just appoint six barbers from Houston to be the real selection committee.

3.  The Senate.  Frankly, they've developed into mostly entertainment creations, and can't really deliver on anything.

4.  The FCC.  Maybe in the 1930s to the 1960s.....they made sense.  Today, it's just a political machine.

5.  The 9th Court on the West Coast.  I'd like to split the court up into Alaska and Hawaii their own court.

6.  CNN.  Before 2017, they were marginally able to do news  It's the anti-Trump network. 

7.  NATO.  When the Cold War ended in 1990.....someone should have written up a declaration that NATO would dissolve within ten to fifteen years.  Today?  It's just a waste of money.

8.  NCAA Basketball.  Let's just make up a junior league for the NBA, and pay the players some salary. 

9.  Facebook.  If they were open and honest, I'd probably be pro-Facebook.

10.  The Conner Show (replacing Roseanne).  It's just a waste of time, and all it'll deliver is some fake laughs to the smaller crowd that remains. 

ICE? could abolish them....but the laws are still on the books....who would enforce them? Notice how they didn't say they'd abolish the laws? 

Dear Mr Dershowitz

My brother referenced a piece written over about Alan Dershowitz (the famed lefty-lawyer) who was now in some minor ways defending Trump, and found himself 'shunned' over in Martha's Vineyard by the anti-Trump crowd which gathers there each summer to heal themselves, find relief from the heat, and chat over the good years of President Obama.  Dershowitz says it's impossible for him to find any connectivity or hosts to greet him in the Vineyard area.

So I sat and pondered upon it.  Naturally, I came to the Bama conclusion:

Dear Mr Dershowitz:

Normally, we folks in Alabama don't go around and inviting celebrities, stars, or VIPs down to our neck of the woods, for varying reasons (mostly because we think they'd drink up most of the whiskey or take off with our damsels).

But in your case, we'd like to extend a welcome.

The truth is, we kinda admire guys who do stuff like what you did, and stepped way out on the 'plank'.  It takes a bit of courage, and crazy-style to go and defend President Trump like you did.

We want to say up front....we just aren't like those Martha's Vineyard crowd folks.  We kinda bask in the summer heat, and tend to socialize on the porch.  We do sip a good bit of ice tea and lemonade, and if you ask for the stout stuff....folks will quietly bring it out and freshen your drink a bit (extra is not a problem with us, but just don't say nothing about this to the Baptists).

For excitement in the summer, we tend to have five basic experiences: (1) fishing, (2) Baptist revivals, (3) fence painting, (4) NASCAR racing, and (5) softball.  I realize these might not fit into your style, but we also tend to get into wild stories on the porch about so-and-so parson who got arrested, or some gossip over the neighbor blowing up his garage by accident, or laying out how such-and-such governor had some mistress that he was paying $400,000 a year on salary.  These stories are usually worth sitting on the porch, and hearing in detail.

Occasionally, you might be in a highly cultured group, which chats about the 31 chapters of Proverbs from the Old Testament, or a wild personalized interpretation version of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, or some personalized WW II story from Uncle Lonny which seems to be half-true-half-false but we never care about the changing landscape or that he fought both the Germans and Japanese at the same time.

I won't go and say we got it better than those folks in Martha's Vineyard....but we don't hold a grudge against a guy like you.  And we kinda think that you deserve better treatment.

So, if you are tired of the Vineyard fake nature.....come on down to Alabama, and give us a chance.  We're save you a rocker on the porch, and keep up a tub of crushed ice for your drinks.