Sunday, 30 September 2018

The AMX Story

For one brief year, I owned an AMC Javelin (the AMX version).  My dad (after the radiator hose came loose on the old Oldsmobile and scolded him to the ninth-degree) had come to agree that it had to go.  This was spoken about 24 hours after visiting the emergency room, and getting some pain killers and special salve. 

A week passed, and we drove around for one afternoon and looked at three or four car lots in the region, and here in the Muscle Shoals area was this practically new AMX sitting there.  I figured there was zero chance that he'd sign up to this car....which it was an odd episode where he had no problem.  First, it was a muscle car....V8, with 210 horsepower (yes, it burned a hefty amount of gas).  Second, it looked like some 'fireball' or some vehicle inviting trouble.  Third, and most serious of all....it was AMC (my dad was sold on Fords).  The Oldsmobile?  I think on trade-in value....we got a $100. 

The story with this AMX?  The sales guy sat there and laid out this epic story.

Such-and-such guy with money....laid out cash to buy this AMX for his precious 16-year old daughter in the spring of 1975 (in Franklin county).  The family actually flew up to Detroit and picked up the car (some grand adventure).  Somewhere in the spring of 1976, the daughter ends up in relationship and pregnant.  Her dad decides to resettle the daughter into a church-atmosphere and the AMX has to go....so they bring it to the dealer and gets it back onto the market.  Perhaps in some way, the car was an invitation to trouble.

So I drove this car for roughly one entire year.  When I went off to the Air Force....with the tour to Germany....I figured that was enough and told my dad to go ahead and sell it.

Looking back, that car burned gas like crazy.  If it weren't for the farm gas-tank that my dad had.....the monthly gas bill would have driven me crazy.  I doubt that I got more than 13 mpg. Image?  Absolutely....it was a car that gave you an image. 

Saturday, 29 September 2018

Recessions and Their Necessity

All total, from 1776 to present.....we've accomplished (on the books) a total of forty-nine recessions.  Yes, it may be hard for some folks to accept but the odds are....if you are fifty years old today and will likely make to 75 old years old.....you will have lived through ten recessions. 

While folks do agree on the lengthly recessionary period of 1929 to the summer of 1938....being awful bad, it officially....on the books....represents two recessions.  Yep, that's a shock for most folks.  We actually started to come out of the 1929 recession in the spring of 1933.  There is some brief moments (months) where people perceive things improving.  But by spring of 1937....recession was back in full bloom, with two major factors: companies were stalled (seeing no real profits), and there was a massive attempt by the federal government to balance the budget (which overwhelmed Senators).

The recession of 1873?  No one ever goes back and discusses the five-year period where unit strikes and bank failures were regularly discussed in various newspapers. 

Should we fear recessions? No.  They are often tied to poor money management, bad decisions led by speculation, and insiders trying to gain against a market.  They are in a way.....a corrective period which needs to be like a 'magic pill' to flush your system, and get the 'bad' out.  You feel better after the flush, and that feeling will typically last five to fifteen years....before the next recession. 

The odd thing right now?  We are told that the last recession ended in the summer of 2009.  If you figure a 15-year cycle, then we are five to eight years away from this next 'flush' cycle.  The necessity to blame Trump on the next recession?  Right now....it's a 99-percent likely event.  But it's quiet possible that the Trump period will end, and we get a year or two into some Democratic period.....waking up to realizing speculation reached a major point and a flush was necessary.

A National Circus, Over a Misdemeanor?

It is a odd, and remarkable piece that I noticed this morning.  Someone went and asked the Montgomery County Police Chief (he'd be the 'law' for the area that Kavanaugh and Ford lived in as teens) about this whole discussion, and to offer a legal opinion.

What he said?  The Maryland law that existed in 1982 basically said that this type of assault and attempted rape (that Professor Ford hypes the story on).....were regarded as misdemeanors in 1982.....and by law at the time, it's all limited to a one-year statute of limitations.

So this hype and long discussion?  About a misdemeanor?  That's the real bottom line to this.

An entire circus atmosphere, over a misdemeanor?  Even if you found five people to vouch for Professor Ford's actual event, what exactly comes out of this?

Friday, 28 September 2018

If the FBI Got Into the Kavanaugh Investigation

If you pull up this scenario suggested by the Democratic group in this hearing.....there is a scenario which would follow if the FBI took this to the next level and investigated this completely.  I'll out how this script would work:

1.  You'd detail around twenty agents to go and spend approximately 60 to 90 days...gathering data.  You'd bring them into a room, and lay out approximately forty primary witnesses, and then suggest a secondary level of another 200-odd witnesses. 

2.  At some point, another two-hundred-plus people would show up and demand that they get a chance to provide testimony....a statement. 

3.  Near the end, an administrative team would show up and help to funnel everything into a 1,500 page summary of facts and statements.  A closing statement?  No...just a summary.  The FBI does not have the capability or the authority to conclude 'TRUTH'.

4.  Approximately 2,000 copies of the two-document summary would then be published and given over to the Senate and it's support staff.  They would be given an entire month read summary. 

5.  You would find that NOT ONE single member of the Senate would have read the entire 1,500 pages.  It's very likely that NOT ONE single member of the support staff would have read the entire summary.  The party would have paid some special team to go and read it for them.....to do a summary of the summary.  Some Senate members might even whine that the 40-page summary of the summary....was TOO much, and demand a summary of the summary of the summary.....to get it down to three pages. 

6.  They would then convene and announce that FBI summary really didn't settle anything because they need someone to assure them Kavanaugh is 'clean' or 'dirty'. 

Time wasted?  By this point, approximately six months.

The fact that Professor Ford can't present a single witness at this party to substantiate part of this whole story?  In a nutshell, that is the whole basis of the story, or the lack of a story.  The story about a fear of flying?  Well.....yeah, that was a pretty good story but it now seems mostly false.

Thursday, 27 September 2018

How Arnold Became Governor

Yesterday, we had a slight discussion in a German class that I'm taking over Arnold Schwarzenegger, and a brief moment on his seven years as governor.  Few folks ever sit down and ask.....how did Arnold reach this post, and you have to go back and spend an hour reading over some rich California political history.

So this starts with Pete Wilson winning the governor's chair and taking office in 1991.  Most folks will say that the Wilson era went along a scripted sequence, with few if any scandals.  Interestingly enough, on the first go-around, Pete ran against a young Feinstein, winning with a four-point difference (you can look up the county by county map, to note that most of her votes came from the L A or San Francisco region along the coast).  Four years later (1995), Wilson won with 15-points.  Then the Pete Wilson era closes out.

In 1999, the Gray Davis era begins (20-point win over the GOP front-guy).  In some districts around the state, Davis even takes 80-percent of the vote.  Folks are hyped up.  Davis burns through the first four year period with various promises made, and strong measures to suggest results met up with the promises.  Along the way, he spent eight billion in unfunded educational measures...getting results on paper, but moving the state into a difficult financial situation.  The artificially created electrical crisis?  Well, this got a lot of mileage and wasn't really Davis's fault....but he never seemed to get a hand onto the mess and people kinda wondered if special interests were at play.

So you come to this interesting 2002 governor's election.  The discontent plays big among the voters for the entire year prior to the election.  Gray Davis wins the election by roughly 5-points.  But there is this odd factor at play....only 36-percent of the registered voters showed up to vote in this election.  Yes, if Bill Simon (the GOP guy) had gotten 400,000 people to show up....he would have won the election.  Adding to this story, Davis spent an all-time record of money on campaign ads.....which ran mostly along a very negative episode.

The discontent?  It rumbles over this result and roughly sixty-percent of the public is fed up.  So they go and make an effort for a recall-election.  Oddly enough, there is a recall rule which says to be a valid recall.....you have to get 12-percent of the number of voters from the previous election.....to sign the petition.  Note, NOT the registered voter count.....but the folks who voted in the past election.

So this creates this curious scenario.  With such a low voter turnout (only 36-percent of the registered voters showing up).....they easily reached 900,000 folks who signed the petition, and the Gray Davis era is finished.

Eleven months into the 4-year term, Gray Davis is finished.  Another election is held and Arnold is the GOP guy.....winning by 17-points (major wins in the L A region).  Arnold goes on in 2006, to win with a 16-point edge. 

If the electrical crisis hadn't occurred?  That's the thing about this whole story....for the public, that was the last straw.  One odd factor in this whole story.....this is occuring all before social media or Facebook came along.  The internet was not a factor in getting Gray Davis out.  This more or less comes via talk-radio and newspapers. 

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Talking Victimization

“Now, I have said this over and over again a different way. Everybody wants their life to have meaning. Everybody wants to matter. And a lot of people feel overwhelmed, powerless, and like they don’t matter – and one of the faster ways to make yourself feel like you matter is to become a victim, member of an organized victim group. ”

-- Rush Limbaugh, 2018

I don't usually quote Limbaugh, and to be honest....at best these days, I can handle maybe a 20-minute routine of his.  But he sat and put this one thought together, which leads me back to one of the more critical books that I ever picked up and read.

'True Believer' was written by Eric Hoffer in 1951....comprising 176 pages.  You can complete the book in one single weekend.  It's a brilliant book, yet written at the level that even most teens can grasp the subject. 

Hoffer went to describe how mass movements build up....take root....trigger people to feel a need to save 'someone', or 'something', and the basis of some many movements....is simply because people are drawn to SAVE or to HAVE PURPOSE in their lives.

If you feel drawn to some victim....your attachment is mostly geared to SAVE that victim, or to HAVE A PURPOSE in their life.

Over the past decade, you continually see environmental 'save' somethings, or racial 'save' somethings, or immigration 'save' somethings.  People are drawn to these, to feel some great feeling of helping or saving something.  After a while, that feeling peaks out.  You eventually figure out that you aren't saving much of anything.

Victimization almost a daily event?  Well....yeah, that's part of saving something as well.  All fake?  Well...that's the thing about this....you aren't asking yourself about the information or how reliable the event is in terms of facts.  So, you could have a fake victim, and you'd be part of a fake 'save-the-victim' event.  Kind of comical, if you think about it.

How These Four Sworn Statements of Professor Fords....Line Up

It's a remarkable four line story.

Four individuals who know Professor Ford (of Kavanaugh fame), have signed documents to say that she did say to them that it was a drunk Kavanaugh 'kid' involved in this mess.  However, they are basically saying she told the story.....in the last three or four years.  One is her doctor....one, her husband, and the other two are friends.

The value here?  Zero.

I don't what the intention is, or how you reach some level of thinking that telling someone about something, then having them swear they heard you talk about it.....gets you much of anything.  Most judges would throw this out in three minutes. 

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

The Left-Wingers to Canada Scenario

For at least twenty years....a number of folks have hyped up some chatter that they might be moving to Canada (originally because of Bush, and then later because of Trump).  I've sat and pondered over this scenario.

First, I know it's a shock but Canada tends to go with one-third of the public shifting their votes about every five to ten years....going to right-wing conservative and then five years later.....left-wing liberal.  So you could make this big move up there and wake up five years later.....realizing that you are among some extreme conservatives.  Yes, it's bad enough that you'd have to leave Canada.  Return to the US?  Migrant to Belize?  Maybe resettle in Honduras?

Second, if you notice....no one ever seems to move (even if they've made the threat forty times on national TV).  I think most have driven across the border, checked taxation rates, and then laughed over the whole idea of moving there.

Third, the weather.  Yes....for about 90-percent of Canada, the weather is a big deal.  Maybe if you lived in Vancouver, it'd be OK, but for the rest of the nation...it's crap to have a six-month long winter.

Fourth and final....if you went did this really stupid thing....leaving most of your friends....who would socialize with or get hyped up with....in Canada?  Yes, it's a very lonely place.

So, have at it, but I just don't think this scenario will ever play out. 

This Kelly-Rosenstein Meeting

Everyone gushes over the Rosenstein topic from yesterday, but no one really sits and talks about this single meeting of Chief of Staff Kelly and Rosenstein himself. 

You can imagine them sitting down, and Kelly leading off: "You know Rod....all this chatter about you and this 'wire'....well, it's a problem."

Rosenstein would counter: "Well, yeah....but it's just gossip by those evil New York Times writers."

Kelly: "We thought about it, and we've decided that there needs to be a complete investigation done...like what we did to those FBI guys who were suspended or working in some basement office."

Rosenstein: "Gee, I don't think that's helpful because I'm managing Mueller, and doing all this work that Sessions can't or won't do."

Then Kelly would have just started laughing.

I don't think this is a firing....once you suggest that you might be willing to wear a 'wire' inside of the White House, your clearance is at stake.  I think that's the whole point of Kelly having this chat. And if you did this review and found the 'wire' comment has occurred, then Rosenstein can't retain his clearance. 

How did Trump's team reach this level of play?  I think they sat down and drew up a list of likely NY Times reporters who were connected to Rosenstein....then found found one or two who were outside of that circle.  They then agreed to funnel news to that new group, in exchange for them to plant this comment of Rosenstein and the 'wire'.  The insider crew?  They didn't grasp what was going on, and the outsider crew suddenly had some track to get their stories planted.  Presently, I'm guessing the insider and outsider groups are in conflict. The damage has been done.

Rosenstein?  Without a clearance, he can't function.  And just getting to this decision....you'd have to suspend the guy for 90 days.  The number three guy would step in (a GOP guy) and suddenly Session's little game falls apart. 

Mueller?  I will go out and predict that a meeting occurs between the new boss and Mueller within 10 days after Rosenstein retires (note, I'm not saying he's fired).  The new boss will clearly define the Mueller process, and give him roughly two to four weeks to wrap up the Russian collusion business.  Everything else?  Finished and put into a secure folder.  Anyone caught exiting the situation with collected data?  Their clearances will be revoked and they could be dragged into court themselves.

Somewhere around the end of October, the Mueller-adventure ends.  Sessions?  I think he's played out the game as far as he can and will quietly retire in the spring of 2019. 

It's interesting how this played out....Trump needed the NY Times to shake the tree, and once done....Rosenstein fell out of the tree.  There's no need for a firing....you just revoke the guy's clearance for the threat of wearing a 'wire'.  I can even imagine Rosenstein entering the work-area of Kelly yesterday, and some security guy going through his clothing to ensure no wire was being worn....just to send a signal on he would be treated from this point on.  It's an insult to get padded down prior to each meeting, but Rosenstein basically begged for the insult.

An odd ending?  Yes.  If Rosenstein had never made that wire threat....there's no threat to his clearance.  Threats by the Democrats to investigate this?  Maybe.  But there might be another special prosecutor hired to check the FBI conduct, and maybe former Obama staff members on FISA problems.  You can imagine that meeting between Senator Schumer and Chief of Staff Kelly. 

Monday, 24 September 2018

Seats

Folks appear all hyped up to get Congress involved to mandate or manage leg-room on air flights.  I sat kinda amazed that you needed to have the least capable people in the world.....brought in to fix something....especially leg-room.

The simple fix to this deal is to go and make them list the ticket for sale, and exactly how much room you get in chair 9B or 11A.  Yes, you let folks know that you can buy a ticket for 30 inches of legroom between Chicago and Philly....for $155, or you can buy 28 inches of legroom for $140.  Yep, up front.....you tell folks this.  In fact, you could offer up some 'leaning-seat' where you stand for the entire flight, for $100, and I would imagine that you'd get twenty people on each plane who'd be willing to buy a standing ticket for a flight.

Getting Congress involved?  The last thing on Earth you'd want to do....is get them to manage this solution for you.

Sunday, 23 September 2018

This Ford/Kavanaugh Effect on the Nation (or Lack of Effect)

If you go out outside of the beltway....to an average town of 100,000 people, every Saturday night....they face this unique dilemma which has some relationship to the Ford/Kavanaugh business.  You see, there will on any average Saturday night in this town....at least twenty-five private parties being held, with kids ranging from 13 to 17 years old, and alcohol being poured for enjoyable consumption.  You can figure that at least two-hundred-and-fifty kids are at these parties.

Between eleven and one....at least five parents will be called by friends, neighbors, or the cops.....to be told that their 'Junior' or 'Vicky' has passed out in such-and-such city park, or been found in badly drunken state with no clothing on.

At least ten of these young women in attendance (some as young as 13 and 14)....will admit under pressure from a parental interrogation that they've 'done' at least a dozen guys over the past six months.  Three or four young ladies might even go and admit thirty guys in the past year.  A couple of the ladies might even admit 100-plus guys by age eighteen.  They laugh when dad suggests this is pretty stupid behavior. 

Some young lady will tell of the young guy she latched onto while half-drunk....who convinced her that he was the quarterback star of the state university team forty miles away, and that she gave him full attention for over an hour.  Then weeks later, she will admit that she found out that he was a 17-year old guy from the next town over, and that she's pregnant from the fake-quarterback and drunken night of 'fun'.

Some kids (male and female) will admit by age sixteen that they have a drug and alcohol problem, and Mom has to convince Dad that the kid really does need to go to 'Sky-ranch-rehab-center' for four months of rehab, and their health insurance only pays 50-percent of the $18,000 cost.

Some parent will review their kid's Facebook chatter....to discover that the kid procured four kegs of beer for last weekend's private party at the city park, and that two kids got so drunk....that they required an ambulance trip.  Now this parent sits there in continual worry that the cops may call, and some prosecution effort may occur, and their 'Becky' might be facing six months in some state youth facility.

So all of these parents sit and view this televised soap opera out of DC, and have a different view on things.  In their mind, their daughter is some dimwit or junior-alcoholic with no capability to control herself, and they see a bunch of political folks giving fake-enthusiasm or fake-worry over how this one incident occurred.  But in this town, like in thousands of other towns, this is a daily worry confronting parents.  So this business of hype with Ford-angle?  It's not working, and it's maybe even having the opposite effect.

These are the parents who are putting tracking devices on their kid's cars.  These are the parents forcing the 15-year old kid to take a drug-test on Sunday morning.  These are the parents who are calling the cops on their son's friends for the alcohol being handed out to underage kids.  These are the parents sitting there with some young 16-year old girl who is pregnant but she can't be sure who the father is....because she passed out in the middle of some party.  And these parents are all angry because the system isn't working.

Saturday, 22 September 2018

Ford and the Fear of Flight

It's basically come out in the past twenty-four hours that this gal Ford, that has made accusations on Kavanaugh.....has the fear of flying.  So she's asked the Senate folks to give several days to drive across the United States.

I sat and pondered over this.

If you draw the map, it's roughly 2,800 miles and around 41 hours of driving.  So then you add in bathroom breaks, breakfast, gas-stops, and two-hour naps along the way.  This moves up to around sixty hours of driving.  If you did a true eight-hour hotel-stop?  You have to figure two of these, and you start to get up to 72 to 80 hours.

I worked with one single guy in the Air Force (out of thousands) that had a serious problem with flights.  His first flight....going down to San Antonio....simply didn't go well because of a storm in progress.  After that, he tried awful hard to just avoid flying....period.  When he got his first assignment overseas (to the Philippines)....he convinced some AF doctor to give him some heavy sedatives, and he basically slept the eight to ten hour flight.  He repeated the sequence again later in life when he got orders to Germany. 

If you went this California via Greyhound to DC route?  Well....it's roughly three entire days on the bus, with potentially twenty-five nutcases or drug-addicts sitting by you on this journey.  At any point, Professor Ford could be in fear of some assault onboard the bus.

All this activity, and the session being private with no public testimony?  Well....yeah.   The circus episode would basically be limited to a couple of senators and the professor. 

Forty One Years

A week ago (yesterday), it would have been 41 years since I got on the bus at Lackland (Air Force boot-camp) and left.    It came into my mind this week. 

Boot-camp during that period was six weeks.  Between the heat, humidity, and physical activities (normally only in morning hours), it was a miserable experience.  I think if anyone would have laid this out, I would have delayed going in for two months (fall weather).

I would have the last breakfast, and around 8 AM....the bus would pull up and I'd get onboard to spend a number of hours riding up to Sheppard AFB, Tx.  They would dump us out in some parking lot and we'd get a room-key, some linen, and a meal-card. 

This barracks was one of their mega-structures that was just about impossible to figure out anything but the floor area.  I probably spent twenty minutes walking in a full circle to find this room. 

I stepped into a plain simple room that I would share for a number of weeks with someone, and felt wonderful AC air chilling out the room.  I would open my small bag that had all my civilian clothing from the first arrival at bootcamp and discover that the sweat and smell made it just about impossible to wear.  So getting laundry powder and doing a wash was priority number one. 

This was a Friday.....so I had the entire weekend, and roughly forty dollars in my pocket.  It was a long weekend and other than a inprocessing time schedule for Monday, there was no real agenda. 

The negative with Sheppard?  As hot as it was in southern Texas.....it was just as hot there in northern Texas.  Fall really didn't arrive till the middle of October.  The base was a curious blend.....there was some modern structures there but they had buildings which had been put up in the 1940s and were still being used today.

Thursday, 20 September 2018

If Trump Doesn't Run in 2020?

While I figure the chances are still 75-percent chance that he'll run in 2020 and likely win, the scenario of him declining the opportunity and saying he's accomplished most of his goals exists.

How this scenario would work?

1.  By August of 2019, he needs to make a decision.  My guess either way.....there's going to be a minimum of five Republicans to run against him in the primary.  If he declines, he'll say so by late August 2019, and I think he's got one single person in mind to support and help win....Nikki Haley. 

2.  Haley would quickly show up in Iowa to make a few speeches and impress folks.  The Trump machine would help pick up funding, and tens of thousands of pro-Trump folks would send $100 to start this campaign. 

3.  Opposition within the GOP to her?  It'll be limited.

4.  She'll have the votes prior to the convention to wrap this up easily, and she will select New Mexico's governor....Susanna Martinez....as VP.  An all-woman ticket?  That's my prediction.

5.  Trump leading rallies in his 30 states of 2016?  That's the big factor....Haley can pretty much guarantee that he'll be out in front and be the chief organizer of her economic plan.  Everything on the plate today....continues on.

Sessions?  Gone and forgotten in a matter of hours after the election.  Charges out of this entire mess?  Thrown out.  People with convictions?  Given pardons by Trump.  The mess basically ends with the arrival of President Haley. 

A wild and crazy prediction?  Maybe.  But it's only if he says no....he won't run.  I still lean the other way.

Medical Story

Misjudging a step or two on the stairway in the house...my son took a harsh stumble and ended up making a trip to the doctor this morning (12 hours after the fact).  I might have gone to the emergency room last night, but that would be me making that decision.

I commented while on this drive over....things would be different in Alabama in this case.  As a kid, in the old 'era'....you would have been given a fair bit of whisky to sip down, while relatives would have thrown a bale of hay into the back of some truck for you to lay on while driving to the county hospital.  Four to six hunting dogs would have ridden with you in the rear, keeping you company.

Upon arriving at county 'general' hospital....some kind-hearted nurse gal (being a Baptist) would have done a prayer for you, then smelt your breathe with the whiskey and said it was the devil's work at hand.  The doctor (WW II vet) would have looked over the x-ray and then wrapped you up in some 25-pound cast assembly.

But in this German reality?  Well....you drive to some x-ray and bone guy (not the emergency room) and then sit and wait for three hours while they manage to find 12 minutes to do the x-ray and make some decision.  Sitting in the waiting area are fifteen-odd folks who all seem to be hurting bad, and you sense their suffering at double the rate of your own.

There's not going to be any nurse gal to pray over you.

At the end of the day....the Alabama method of handling this situation might have been more understanding and peaceful (mostly because of the whiskey). 

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Living in a Parallel World

If you sit and think about things:

You get up in the morning....go through some ritual....have your bacon and eggs...shower and shave....get dressed, and then you go to a corner near the door and pick up your Walther PPK pistol clip.  Thirty years ago, you traveled safely to work....today, you are convinced that threats exist and the only way to survive each day....is to carry the Walther PPK with you.  The fact that you might have to terminate some crazy 16-year-old kid who is all doped up on something and intending to kill six people at the gas station?  Well....it's part of the parallel world that you live in and accept.

You've attended such-and-such church for forty years and never had to think beyond the Bible or some prophecies.  Now you show up and there's chatter over climate change, your social behavior expectations, people criticizing others over their voting habits, and some suggestion that you might not be religious enough.  Well....you quiet down....less chatter and refuse to engage in general conversation.  That's the only way to survive in this parallel world that you accepted.

You work for a company where for years.....normal chatter was accepted, and over the past ten years.....political chatter has made you uncomfortable.  It's to the point where you don't talk with people much or care about their families or woes.  That's the only way to survive in this parallel world that you accepted.

You have relatives who you used to get with several times a year and enjoy conversations.  Today?  You avoid these meetings for the most part and you tend to stick with just sports, deaths in the family, or the weather.  That's the only way to survive in this parallel world that you accepted.

You are in a decent marriage with someone that you generally cared about.  Today?  Politically, you don't match-up well with that person.  You go to counseling and try to avoid talking politics or news.  That's the only way to survive in this parallel world that you accepted.

The list goes on and on.

This parallel world is like some science fiction piece from HBO....you are the alien guy who simply grins over things and tries to act cheerful.....but you survive only because you limit your actions and have accepted this parallel world as a doomed but last-resort place. 

Something is wrong here, but you just can't figure out what it is. 

Sunday, 16 September 2018

The Fake 2,975 Number

So how did the 25-to-50 death count in Puerto Rico get to 2,975?

Well....this is an interesting little story.  The George Washington University public health school.....did a 'independent study' to reach the conclusion that the total number between September 2017 to Feb 2018.....was 2,975.

Actual names and death certificates?  Well....NO.

They simply did a statistical average and arrived at a nice round number of 2,975. 

Could another university do the same independent study and arrive at 4,080 or 2,088?  Yes.  That's the amusing part of the story.

So it's a college thesis project that got sucked into some national news story?  More or less.

Is this even worth discussing?  Not really.


Friday, 14 September 2018

A 19-Hour Flight?

In the next month, Singapore Airlines is going open up a NY City to Singapore route....non-stop.  Hours involved?  The experts say roughly 19 hours of airtime.

I sat and pondered upon this.  You arrive at the airport....spend roughly three hours doing the bag-drag, ticket-counter, security check-out, and then sip through two beers while waiting for your boarding.  Then you take off and spend nineteen hours in the air.  Then you land....go through immigration, another bag-drag, ride the taxi over to the Singapore hotel, and sit down.  Total hours?  You can figure 26 hours minimum. 

So how do you waste nineteen hours in the air?  The longest flight I've ever taken in my life was Dubai to Sydney, with around 16.5 hours in the air.  I wasted four hours at the very beginning watching two movies and munching through a fairly decent dinner.  Then I sat at the bar (yes, they had an actual bar in the cabin) and sipped through two cocktails and a wine.  Then I slept for six hours.  I woke up....added up the hours, and realized that I still five more hours to go.  So I went back, reviewed my 200 movies on the menu and found something to watch.

The problem with nineteen hours on your hand....is that you can only sleep about one-third of that.  Boredom?  You tend to get maxed out.  Toss in the fact that sixty-percent of the passengers are in some cramped-up seating arrangement and begging for relief after ten hours. 

Drinking your way through the nineteen hours?  I can see a dozen-odd folks on each flight who will finish off six to eight wines, maybe a similar number of cocktails, and try to just blitz themselves to sleep.  Course, you might wake up five hours in the flight, with some flight emergency going on, and suddenly realize you are too drunk to really care. 

Will they even haven enough people to fly each day into Singapore?  That's another question I'd be interested about. 

Maybe this is a trend, but I'm kinda wondering how many people get all peppy and excited about nineteen hours in the air.....just one-way. 

Bloomberg in 2020?

So the rumor has started out....Micheal Bloomberg (billionaire) might run on the Democratic ticket in 2020, against President Trump.

I would offer these six observations:

1.  He'll have to develop a platform, and whether he likes it or not....it has to be combination of platform promises that Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton had in 2016.  So folks might be expecting something new and different, but I just don't see how you'd get around the various factions of the Democratic Party without using the same 2016 'magic'.

2.  From a primary review, and considering that at least a dozen Democratic candidates will be running....he's got problems in at least thirty states.  If you used the core of southern states (Alabama, Georgia, La, Ark, Tenn and Kentucky).....I don't see him winning.  In states like California?  He might face stiff competition.  In Iowa?  I'm not sure if you'd find that much interest.

3.  He would have to go and promise a continual business trend as in the effort of Donald Trump.  The minute you suggest getting tough on business, commerce, and reversing the jobs trend.....you lose respect of the general public.

4.  The black VP?  Well, here's the thing.....in order to get some black voters to return (it's near 30-percent on blacks voting for Trump now).....you have to go and find this mythical black 'magnet' for independents to feel hyped up about.  Corey Booker?  Marginally fitting the description.  Senator Harris from California?  Almost a joke.   You can virtually guarantee though....that it'll be a black VP candidate.  Would this convince black voters to return to the safe Democratic candidate?  No, I have serious doubts over that. 

5.  All of this primary business leading to no clear winner before the convention?  I would suggest that you'd have three or four Democrats standing there with ten to fifteen states each.  So the VIP leadership of the Democratic Party arranging things to fall into place?  Maybe. 

6.  The odds that you'd have two other wild-card independent folks running in the 2020 election, against Bloomberg and Trump?  Better than a 90-percent chance.  I could see someone just putting a massive effort into winning Florida alone, instead of Trump or Bloomberg.  You could easily be standing there in December 2020, with no one getting 270 votes, and this being a state-by-state battle in the House, to figure out the next President.  This being intentionally designed by the mid-term wins here in 2018?  Well....yeah, that's a possibility. 

Thursday, 13 September 2018

A Puerto Rico Memorial

For a couple of weeks, I've heard this 'chatter' about 2,975 local folks in Puerto Rico had died from the hurricane business (instead of the couple dozen widely reported in the month after the event).

So I have this nifty idea.  I think the Senators should get together and make a memorial-type statue in San Juan, and have all of the 2,975 names listed on the memorial. 

Course, the question is.....is there actually a list of the dead folks?  You know....the 2,975 folks? 

It ought to be a big memorial.....worth at least 10-million in my humble opinion, and ought to have some fancy night-lights and maybe a scripture or two written on it to remember the folks who died.

Google Talk

I sat and looked over political news this morning.....over how folks are hyped up over Google's executive talking after the November 2016 election, and how upset employees and managers were of the Hillary loss.  At some meeting, the bosses even talked on how voters needed to be 'educated' or taught how to handle voting.

After the 1972 presidential election (a dismal defeat for McGovern, with almost 20 points separating him from Nixon)....a lot of the leadership were consumed with a pro-McGovern attitude, and started chatting about 'stupid' voters and how they needed to educate society on how to handle voting. 

The thing that bothers me here....you see Google executives, along with those of Twitter and Facebook....resolved to some type of political games.

Would you expect that out of GM, Coke, Pizza Hut, Costco, or Honda?  No.

If this kind of behavior were coming from the Kansas City Royals, Dallas Cowboys or Chicago Bulls?  No, you wouldn't accept that either.

If this were Hollywood studios producing Marvel-theme movies related to politics or pro-Hillary type scenarios?  No, you wouldn't accept that either.

Would it bother you if your burger chain was all hyped-up and attempted to be a pro-Hillary burger chain?

Would it bother you if your toilet paper makers were all hyped and attempted to be a pro-Hillary toilet paper company?

If I were holding stock with Google, Facebook or Twitter.....I'd be asking questions about work-time and political-time, and how this amounts to some kind of profit. 

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

What was the Hillary 'Dirt'?

It's an odd part of this nightly news agenda story, which continually goes back to the Russians having 'dirt' on Hillary.  At no point, in the past eighteen months.....has anyone said what exactly the Russians had for 'dirt'.  It's amusing in a way.....it gets brought up, and then 'glazed over'.  No one ever asks....what dirt?

Did the Russians ever have real 'dirt'?  No one can say.

Did the Russians have fake 'dirt'?  No one can say.

Did the Russians think they had dirt and really.....it didn't amount to anything?  No one can say.

Did the FBI believe they had 'dirt'?  No one can say.

Did Hillary believe they had 'dirt'?  No one can say.

Did Trump believe they had 'dirt'?  No one can say.

One could write a 500-page book on the whole story, except never say precisely.....what dirt really existed....if any.

It's just an odd thing.  Here was the pee-dossier existing, but no such Hillary-dirt-dossier existing? 

Saturday, 8 September 2018

The North Carolina Story

This week, ICE (our border protection folks) came out to North Carolina and laid down a legal request for all voting lists in the state.  North Carolina?  They've gone to court to prevent the records going over to ICE.  What'll happen?  Some federal judge might be able to stall this for 60 days (my suspicion) but on appeals....ICE will get the records by the end of the year.

So what happens then?

They will NOT review for dead voters, or voters from other states who vote multiple times.

What they will review for?  Foreign students who are registered to vote and on a student visa (easy to check), and then look at names that pop up under work-visas. 

How many might pop-up?  One can only guess.  Wake Forest, Duke, and NCS attract foreign students.  I might be willing to bet that at least 500 will show up as registered to vote.  On the work-visa business?  I might suggest that 5,000 to 15,000 might show up in registered to vote.  All total?  You might actually get near the 15,000 to 20,000. 

But having this out in front and prior to the November 2018 election?  Well....if I was stupid and illegally registered....I would NOT be going to vote, and maybe in the Duke area and around the Raleigh area....folks might be too scared to show up and vote. 

The question is.....after you finish up the analysis and begin to go and pick up people.....like foreign students....then you do up charges, it's going to scare folks across the nation.  But I don't think ICE is done.  This will only be choice number one.  My humble guess is that by August of 2019....they've gone and picked two to four additional states. 

Over the next five years, ICE might continue and review all fifty states.  I hate to suggest it.....but you might find well over 50,000 foreign students in the US....who are registered to vote.  Foreign-work-visa people?  There might be well over 300,000 nationally registered to vote.

All of this...as it leads out into the public and people have a chance to understand the dynamics of fake voters, will simply infuriate the public on how corrupted the voting system has become. 

Thursday, 6 September 2018

The Odds That the Op-Ed New York Times Guy is Trump

Well....the Times does hint that they have some relationship with the guy, but they aren't very clear on 'HOW'.  So you are left to speculate.

Maybe Donald Trump had his geek-guys set up some fake email account, and for almost two years.....Trump late at night, has sent various bits of data and info to the NY Times....feeding them some insider info, and they've praised him continually on the privileged information coming in.

Is it possible that Trump himself is the insider?

I've sat and pondered this.  CNN folks and the Washington Post folks....seem to glee over the fact that they know the guy, but then....maybe it's all just fake stuff, and the NY Times simply plays along and thinks they got the real insider to the White House staff.

Of course, it sounds crazy....but Trump has learned to use the news media at almost every single junction.  Maybe he figured long ago....to use them for a long-term goal.

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Nike-Kaepernick Episde

My theory?

I think some insiders to Nike (not the board but way down the line)....were talked into a situation to help bring the share price of Nike down to the $35 to $40 range (currently at $79.60), and their tool was to convince the Board to go with a Kaepernick contract. 

Why?  Well...I think the logic is that around one-quarter of the normal customers will now avoid the brand, and it'll trigger some losses on profits (probably to be noticeable in the fall of 2019), after one-year. 

The share price will reach a stage where an unfriendly take-over is then possible...in essence, buying Nike at a discounted price because of the customer loss and profits.  Who?  I can only speculate, but it would not surprise if the buyer off in the distance is a Chinese brand looking to scoop up Nike at a cheap price. 

To be honest, I buy an average of three Nike shirts a year....mostly because of the quality.  I see the whole Kaepernick 'chat' as mostly a fraud, and you were dealing with a a good but average NFL quarterback.  Nike was convinced to make him into some icon figure, and think the negativity will just be a short-term thing. 

Sunday, 2 September 2018

The 3 Chief Questions of 2020's Presidential Election

1.  Can Gary Johnson pull 4.5-million again, with Jill Stein pulling 1.5-million Green Party votes nationwide?  My guess is that they can't.

2.  There are a couple of blue state wins for Hillary that were roughly two-percent wins.....can the Democrats repeat in those states? The states are Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire. 

3.  Will a 25-percent turnout for black voters for Trump make that big of a difference?

Funeral Hype

Out of the twenty-odd funerals that I've attended in my life....none ever involved 'negative-chatter' as part of the ceremony.  To be honest, with Air Force folks in attendance....if you had gone to 'negative-chatter', a fair number of us would have just gotten up and walked out of the chapel or church. 

I worked with one guy who'd gone back to the US for some funeral of a relative, and one of the living relatives spoke up after Minister had done his piece....'demonizing' two or three of the other relatives for bad treatment of the dead individual.  This being a black community....things apparently got hectic and the funeral just kinda ended at that point, and half the group escorting the casket out to the yard for a quick burial. Based on the description of the event, there was divided respect over the dead person, but enough to at least show up at their funeral. 

Other than two short clips....I didn't really observe the McCain or Franklin 'propaganda' festival.  I did observe a minute or two of Bush, and of Al Sharpton.

I'm guessing a bunch of political pretenders will all go now and write up funeral instructions that the President is not to be invited, and only special people may be on the invitation list. 

The effect of these two funerals on the bulk of American society?  Zero.  Franklin's funeral might have gotten forty millions to tune in for the first part, but I think by the halfway point....they'd probably lost a quarter of the viewers.

In the case of McCain, I would suggest few Democrats watched (having a negative opinion of the guy to start with), and even fewer Republicans watched.  Maybe a quarter of the folks from Arizona cared, but beyond that...it was just a wasted TV gimmick.

My impression of Bush?  While I greatly regret my vote for McCain in 2008....I think in the past year I've come to rank my vote for Bush in 2000 as a major mistake.  Even though Gore was really lacking, at least he was brighter, and perhaps more capable than Bush.  I suspect that a quarter of people who voted for Bush....feel this way. 

Saturday, 1 September 2018

2020 Expectations and the Black Vote

I've spent part of this week reviewing the black vote in 2016, and anticipating the 'slant' in 2020.  So I'll lay out my observations:

1.  If you use the Pew research done....2016 was an odd year for black votes.  Roughly 7-points lower than in 2012 or 2008.  One might get the impression that neither Trump or Clinton thrilled the general black population.

2.  Trump basically got 8-percent of the black vote that did show up in 2016.  Right now, if you use the various data collections....they suggest that he's in the 20-percent range on black votes.

3.  If you use CNN-data, then it suggests that black men are three times more likely (in 2016) to vote for Trump, than black women.  No one can really explain this particular detail. 

4.  Best estimate, four million blacks didn't vote in 2016.  In a couple of red-state wins for Trump....it probably mattered.

5.  If you use the theory that roughly 25-percent of blacks by 2020 will vote for Trump (three times the 2016 number), what states really matter?  The higher populated states with blacks?  Mississippi, Florida, Maryland, Louisiana, They all have 30-percent or more of their population as black.  Trump won three of these in 2016....leaving Maryland as the state with 'flip-potential'. 

6.  The one city that matters?  That's an interesting topic.  Detroit has a statistical number of 82-percent black.  It may not matter because Trump won Michigan, but it was a fairly slim win in 2016. 

So I would suggest that between the black and Latino 'plus-up'....there's probably well over two-million votes that might be flipped in 2020....if Trump runs again.