Monday, 31 December 2018

The Truth About the Wall

After much thought, and pondering....I have come to five observations about the Trump-Wall.

1.  Upon reaching such a wall....if you are young and fit, you can probably scale the Wall.  Folks over the age of thirty...those in poor physical shape....won't be able to scale it.  In a way, it's sending a message, if you are an older guy, or a out-of-shape gal....don't bother attempting to sneak into the US.

2.  For the smuggler crowd who tended to lead folks through some 'secret' trail.....your entire strategy and long-term success is now dependent on scaling the wall.  The odds of taking twenty folks (paying customers) and getting them over the wall?  I might suggest that smuggler crowd will thin out and only those in the age group of 15 to 25 years old....will be smuggler 'bosses'.

3.  Somewhere along this whole wall business, I suspect that some sensors or detection devices will be installed, and it'll just add more difficulty in entering.

4.  A mythical 'legend' will start up over the wall.  Just in some fake legend-status.....folks will discuss the matter and start to have second thoughts of making the trip up to the border.

5.  At some point, Mexico will react, and have to build an entire wall along it's southern front, and start to protect it's own integrity. 

Sunday, 30 December 2018

How I See Ocasio-Cortez (OC)

In a few short days, Ms Ocasio-Cortez will arrive in DC, and take up her job for the next two years. I tend to expect the news media (particularly CNN) have her up for opinion-pieces at least once every single week. 

But I also expect that reality will dawn upon Ocasio-Cortez as she realizes that she is merely one of 435 members, and a number of her associates (from the Democratic group).....will see her as some 5th-grade kid operating a candy shop.

I will forever remember this scene at the end of the movie 'Being There', where you realize that Chance has hit the big time and doesn't really grasp the world he's entered.  I see this fifth-grade kid mentality being in the same landscape. 

Some journalists will suggest that her arrival is 'fresh' and uplifting.  Some people sitting back in the homes will be laughing over the description and wonder how juvenile the journalist is. 

Saturday, 29 December 2018

On Vacations

My brother brought up the topic of vacations this weekend.  As a kid in Alabama, you more or less....went on 'farm-adventure-trips'.  My dad had three basic ingredients for his vision of a vacation: (1) the time away from the farm could be three days and two nights, (2) some element of this trip had to be tied farming, and (3) you tended to leave at 4 AM on day one. 

For me, the most interesting trip was the one where we ended up at the 'Arch' in St Louis and actually rode to the top in that train-vehicle.  I stood there for an hour admiring the 'Arch' and the amount of effort it took to construct it. 

For me, the road-trip was 50-percent of the enjoyment of the trip because you got to see a lot of the country.  Around a dozen years after the 'Arch' trip....I had a two-week period of leave with the Air Force, and drove from Louisiana....out to Arizona/Vegas, and then got onto Highway 1 in California and drove all the way up to Seattle.....then returned via the Rockies.  After that, I got the road-trip thing out of my system.

The most chilled-out vacation I ever took?  Around twenty years ago....I got talked into a trip to Denmark and rented a 1890s-built farm house about three miles from the Danish beach area for two weeks.  Yes, this place had this odd mildew smell, but this was the two-week period where it only rained one single afternoon, and I rode a dozen times on a bike out to the beach.  We brought tons of beef in a cooler and bar-b-q'ed almost daily.  I probably had the lowest blood-pressure of my entire life at the end of that two weeks.

The most challenging trip?  I had that 2017 Dubai-New Zealand trip which had nearly forty listed items tied into that 17-day period....from airline reservations, parking reservations for the car, hotels, car rentals, tours, shuttle bus pick-ups, etc.  I probably spent well over a hundred man-hours in the planning stage and executing the arrangements.    I had a binder in my carry-on bag which listed out times, phone numbers, emergency arrangements, maps to nearby restaurants, etc.  My dad's arrangement business?  Other than a packed bag and a box of cheap cigars.....that was it.  Whatever happened.....happened. 

Question of the Day

If Hillary had never married Bill Clinton....never gone to Arkansas....never bought cattle futures....never bought that Whitewater property....never developed the Clinton Foundation....and never been installed that stupid bathroom server for her State Department job....would she be President today? 

Short answer in my mind? Yes.

It was Bill, his ambitions, the Arkansas years, and all that hype that made her into such a marginalized individual for national office. 

Without the evil intent.....she's be a nicer person, and less 'shady'.  She would have married some fake GOP guy, and eventually pretended to be like John McCain....a 'Republican in name only'. 

Now I'll go back to slide down twelve shots of Jacky D's for this crazed moment of pondering. 

Friday, 28 December 2018

The Trump Tax Return ''Torture"

When the Democrats arrive in January and get the whole hype of getting to Trump tax returns....there's a law which covers this.  It basically says that the heat of committee (not his agents, or lawyers, or staff members).....but the Representative himself or the one who will go and read/review. 

Here's the thing....each yearly return, for probably over twenty years.....has been in the 500 to 700 page situation.  So even for a CPA-House Member to sit there and read the one single year in'd be talking about an entire month.  For a non-CPA-House guy?  Just go and imagine the pain and torture of grasping this 500-page document. 

Making a 1,000 Mile Walk With a Kid

In the last three months....looking over this migrant 'trek' up through Mexico and leading to the US border, there are a lot of problems and poor-detailed news stories laid out over the event.

So I look today at the second kid who has apparently died from heat exhaustion from this trek (while in US possession).

Most people aren't aware of it, but in Arizona (one of those places where I lived for three years)....there's roughly 110 people (on average) that dies from heat exhaustion, heat stroke, or dehydration.  No one goes down into details but I would take a guess that the bulk are people who didn't grow up in the state, and moved down into the region.

Folks getting all hyped up and angry because 110 people die each year in Arizona?  No.  No one seems to get angry. 

TV folks will often comment about the necessity of carrying water on you, and avoiding the sun in the mid-day. 

In 2017, an all-time record occurred, with 155 heat deaths reported in the state.

Most Americans will admit they've never been to Arizona and can't really imagine a typical July day where the heat might reach 110-degrees. 

From my period in Arizona, I came to four observations by the end:

1.  Concrete and asphalt radiate heat, so if you were walking or jogging in the mid-day period in Tucson (in July)'s probably closer to 115 degrees radiating around you. 

2.  Just staying out of the direct sun makes a ton of difference. 

3.  Never drink beer or wine as your dehydration choices. 

4.  Just walking around for two hours in direct sunlight at noon, with a 110-degree enough to get you going toward dehydration and heat stroke. 

So dragging a six-year old kid along on some 1,000 mile trek to cross the US border?  All you are doing is throwing a set of dice on a gamble that he might survive or he might die.  To walk only at night?  It might be a better choice but then you have to gamble on stepping on a rattlesnake.  So none of this makes much sense. 

The Half-Way Point on Gov't Closure

Until the Democrats sit down (likely to be at least late February), and talk over the 'mess'.....nothing is going to happen.  I don't think President Trump will have an issue in going 100-plus days.  The folks affected? There's probably 2,000 government employees in the DC area who are seriously in trouble by mid-January, and another forty-thousand who cannot survive 60-plus days without a pay-check.

So I'm going to suggest the mid-point resolution likely to come from Nancy Pelosi or her replacement (yes, it's possible that Nancy gets fired by the Democrats by day 60 of this shutdown). 

Basically, the Democrats will agree to fund one-billion dollars for the Wall in 2019, and sign up to a 2020 budget 'promise' of 1.5 billion to be funded.  The President, I think....will earmark the money to only go toward Texas and Arizona Wall construction....leaving New Mexico and California without the Wall, and making part of the 2020 election to wrap up the last of this project (figured to be 2021 to 2023).

The odds of a 100-day shutdown?  Actually, it's probably better than a 50-50 bet.  But this will give Amazon a chance to hold a job-fair and go to recruit these desperate DC folks.  That Arlington Amazon operation will require near 25,000 folks and I just don't see some massive number of new folks moving in and taking these jobs.  I think the bulk will come out of this shutdown situation. 

Monday, 24 December 2018

Living Elsewhere Story

There's a study that was done, which basically says that half of all Americans would be interested in moving overseas (meaning another country).   There was one shocker attached to this study.....this wasn't really attached to a political motive, it's just that people had this interest in going elsewhere.

The thing is.....this is just a thought process that people have.  They go off on some trip to Ireland or the Philippines....then they get some thought that it'd be great to just go permanently there. It's like some guy taking the wife to the isle of Aruba for a week, and they both get this funny idea that it'd be terrific to live on some island.  Military folks go off on career 'tours' and get all enchanted about Italy, Turkey or Iceland....then for years, they daydream about moving elsewhere.

I once spent seventy-two hours in Ireland.  I returned and for years had this vision of living in Ireland.  I can say after two weeks of driving around New Zealand in 2017, I felt that 'thrill' over the idea of staying there.  The two weeks I spent on Crete in the 1990s?  That went in the same direction. 

But after reading this article on the study....I came back to this one phrase...."would be interested".  It doesn't mean they will move....just that they fantasize about this idea and discuss it occasionally at the water-cooler with other co-workers or neighbors.  I worked with a guy who spent four years living in Japan.  He could sit and spend hours chatting over Japan and all the 'wonders' (which included Sake, and Highballs (Japanese soda mixed with whiskey).  He was overly enchanted with the extent that he'd probably even be willing to live under bridges there as a welfare case, if he had the chance.

Here's the can ask a hundred people around age 25 about this 'movement' idea to another country, and fifty-percent might suggest they'd like to up and move beyond the US border.  So you go and look for the guy or gal forty years later, and 99-percent are still living within the US.  Oh, they might have moved from Texas to Idaho, or from Florida to Michigan....some might have three to five times.  But there's just not that many folks that moved beyond the border.   So what this study really touched on....was the fantasy involved.

Back in 1982, I sat one evening and watched the movie 'Summer Lovers'.  It's a marginal two-star movie about some American young couple who goes off to Greece and ends up in some threesome deal with another woman.  I barely remembered any of the script....but the whole landscape of Greece was spilled out out on a large screen, and for years....I had this vision of leaving all things behind and moving to Greece. 

People are just that way....most everyone has that fantasy place they'd like to live. 

Shutdown 2019?

What I see happening:

1.  The Senate right now doesn't have the votes to pass the budget. 

2.  We will arrive at early January with a new House and no budget. 

3.  Around 23 January (four weeks of shutdown), Pelosi will go on a massive blame-discussion....finding that nothing has changed with the President.

4.  Around early Feb, Amazon will have a job-fair in Arlington....finding 50,000 government employees interested in quitting their gov't job and joining Amazon.  At least ten-thousand will be offered a salary within 10-percent of their government salary, and depart for Amazon in Arlington.  Another 2,000 government employees will be picked up for the NY City Amazon operation. 

5.  By late Feb, near day sixty, Democrats will be in chaos and wanting Pelosi replaced.  Her House Speaker job will end by 2nd week of March.  A deal will be made for half the five billion to be funded in 2019, and half in 2020. 

6.  The twelve-thousand government folks who departed for Amazon?  Their positions for the most part won't be filled. 

7.  Less than 300 miles of the Trump-Wall will be built in 2019. 

Sunday, 23 December 2018

The Elitist-Intellectual-PC Crowd

I sat and watched an interview this week.....a guy who'd decided that the San Francisco 'Valley' area had become too much for him, and he packed up the family and left.

His chief complaint?  He got to a point where people around him seemed to be elitist.  They had the 'magic' phrases, the agendas to discuss, the hyped-save-the-world attitude on turbo, and the need to sell you on their politics. 

So the interview turned and discussed where he went and how things fell into place there.  Basically, the guy opened up and said whatever you believed in or were interested about.....was 'cool' to the new associates (non-Californians).  These were people with regular lives, and zero interest in special political agendas.

The intellectual crowd were bound and determined to be 'right', and if you weren't going in their direction....then you were anti-intellectual (plain definition: stupid). 

If you had suggested thirty years ago that San Francisco would develop into a community like this, most people would have laughed at you.  Yet, all of the little conditions fell into place, and it's become an odd 'pit' for those who attempt to survive there.

In some way, it's become a tribal-land where the tribe is enforcing it's perception upon anyone who attempts to reside or function there.  You have to wonder where this is going to end up in twenty years.

Friday, 21 December 2018

US Troops Out of Afghanistan Story

Shocker?  No.  President Trump pulled another rabbit out of the hat and triggered the Secretary of Defense to react....announcing his exit.

So what's the end-story to Afghanistan?

Back in August, someone sat and added up the total cost of the Afghan war, the rebuilding stage, the continual 'baby-sitting' cost, and came to around $1.07-trillion (yes, trillion) dollars.  In fact, around two weeks ago....three characters who were deep into some contract deal with the Pentagon were brought up on charges....involving an Afghan project and massive corruption.

Are we any nearer to peace in Afghanistan?  No.  Have we fallen into the rut that the Soviets fell into?  Not quiet, but it's obvious that we aren't getting anywhere.

Did the Pentagon get the long-term strategy wrong?  The Pentagon, from 9-11 to this week....felt some obligation to 'bring' peace to Afghanistan.  The term 'bring' is questionable but on paper....there were various formulas and devices to construct some 'better' Afghanistan. 

Trump's view?  I think he looked at the money spent and asked the spent a trillion dollars and what do you have to show for it?  It's not a pleasant answer.  Mattis?  In his view, we were always at some point where people felt things would turn and go into a more positive direction.  The problem is that this was an everlasting 'curve' just never saw this great positive direction.

The 3,000 US troops left now?  Most will fall into the category of trainers.  It's not the end of all US support, but I think money-wise, this is an indication that we just aren't going to waste billions more on the country. 

Thursday, 20 December 2018

US Troops Out of Syria Story

Shocker huh?

Well....when was the last time you heard about some ISIS guys taking control of cities in Syria?  What a year, at least?  Recruitment in Europe to get dimwits to go and join the ISIS war?  That grounded to a halt as well?

So why were we there for the past 12 months?  Mostly because of the Kurdish situation.  Is there any reason for the US to protect the Kurds?  No.

And why did the Pentagon feel some urge to save the Kurds?  From what?  A massive Turkish invasion?

The more you piece together this future in Syria, with the Kurd mix, the Iranians, the Russians, and the Turks....the less wise, this entire game became.  Those idiots with the Pentagon wanting US troops to stay?  They wanted a vast conflict boiling over and creating the perfect Bush-like storm to require Pentagon services.  Trump said no....we have no purpose left to accomplish, end of the story.

It was that simple.  And all this hype by CNN now?  Yeah.....they are engaging in misinformation and guiding you to another Bush-like war zone.

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Meth Story

If you gaze over at a map of Afghanistan.....on the far west of the country, there's this community called Ghourian.  Over the past hundred years, there's not much of significance that ever happened in this valley region.  Population?  Around 54,000 residents....more or less.

In the last year or two, Ghourian has gotten itself on the map and kinda recognized.  If you follow TRT (the Turkish national news network)....they've gone and reviewed the town of Ghourian and found that they have a curious side-job that has erupted and gotten themselves on the map.....production of meth.

Yes, TRT says (you have to wonder how they arrived at the numbers) that four out of five households in Ghourian....are in the meth-pipeline.  They either make it or deliver it.

The customers?  This is the curious part of the story.  Ghourian is about an hour's drive from the Iranian border.  The primary customers for the Ghourian meth?  Iranians.

How big of an issue is this?  If you did the math and suggested that 30,000 of the city residents are involved in this.....putting forty to fifty hours a week into meth production and delivery to 'sales representatives' in Iran.....then there's an abundant flow of meth going in, and it has to be influencing rational or irrational behavior within Iran.

But then you look back at Ghourian, and kinda wonder.....with all that meth 'cooking' going on, and lack of labs....the meth is likely cooked in some guy's house, or the back of his bakery, or gas station.  In simple terms....he's in contact with the stuff and his judgement capability is pushing 'zero'.

All of this, if you add it up...would make for a great 'Breaking Bad' TV show....set in Afghanistan, with some CIA guy cleverly devising this as a method to bring down the Iranian government over the next ten years.  Imagine one out of every five Iranians under the age of forty.....addicted to meth.  Imagine a whole nation, where things are fairly screwed up because most people you are doing dealing with, from the local judge and the local doctor....are whacked out on meth.  And here in the middle of this is some 'Walter White-Afghan guy'. 

Saturday, 15 December 2018

This Russian Agent 'Thing'

Since late 2016, there's been this Russian agent or collusion thing going on.  Virtually every single day....there's some journalist wanting to tell you about the Trump folks and some Russian agents/spies.

This week, I sat there and finally asked would one know that they were talking or dealing or meeting with a true Russian agent/spy? 

Is there a badge or special ID?  Does the guy have a Russian flag lapel on his jacket?  Does the guy give you the ultra super-secret handshake like the Mennonites do or the Knights Templar? 

How would you know that the guy you met at the bowling alley to chat over insurance is, or is not a Russian secret agent, or you might be engaging in some collusion thing?

Is it possible that Russian collusion has been going on for eighty years?  Is it possible that Russian collusion occurred to get JFK into office?  Did some Russian agent work to get Harry Reid win his initial campaign?  Did the Russians help Carter win, and then lose?  Did the Russians help to arrange Bill Clinton's marriage to Hillary? 

The problem here is that you have no idea how far the whole Russian spy thing might go, and the other truth is that it might be just something that occurred in the past five years. 

What someone ought to do is start a spy reality comedy show.....Ivan has gotten a secret ID and attempting to infiltrate various American political 'landscapes' and industrial companies. 

What Makes the Clinton Foundation Unique?

The Foundation was capable of saying that roughly 15-percent of the money being used....went to rent, operational costs, internal salary, travel costs, etc.  Year after year....this could bounce from 10 to 15 percent.  It was the general average of most of charitable foundations that were considered 'good'.  The bad foundations?  Well....they were the ones that spent the bulk....sometimes 80 to 90 percent on operational costs, and NOT the charity.

But there's this one odd feature about the Clinton Foundation.  They hired people to perform the charitable actions....make speeches....attend conferences....write white-papers, etc.  And those charity-action people were not part of the operational costs.  They were the charity expenses.  You could have twenty people soaking four-million dollars a year on travel, meetings, and salary.....with it all counted as actually charity expenses....not operational costs.

How much was spent this way?  Unknown.  What work or accomplishments were done this way?  Unknown.  You could attempt some audit over the past ten years, but once you come to individual X....noting his $120,000 a year salary and $40,000 spent on travel and hotels....there's not likely to be some detailed report to say he did anything constructive for the entire year, or that he spent 160 man-hours a month actually working.  It'll just be a pit of budget reports and little else. 

Friday, 14 December 2018

Timmy and Lassie

Could Timmy and Lassie be produced today? 

I sat and pondered upon this.  In today's world....Timmy would have drug issues by age connected to some nutcase girlfriend with green hair....detained by the cops at least once for setting bales of hay on fire, and Lassie would have a reputation for attacking poodles down the street.

The sad thing is that we can't make TV shows like that anymore.  Timmy has to be a has to be a has to be down-and-out, and Lassie cannot be a friendly dog.

Lots of past shows fall into that category.  Go and imagine how Bonanza would work today.  Or how about Three's Company?  Or even even My Three Sons?

It says a lot about society, and how far we've fallen.

Thursday, 13 December 2018

My Description of the View

Back around 2010, I had a 'snow-day'....meaning it was bad enough on weather, that everyone stayed home.  So for the first time (and last time), I sat and watched the View in its entirety.  It's an ABC-produced show.....mostly designed for women.  The theme, as I figured out in ten to have four female moderators and a 'chat'. 

A slanted chat?  Well....yeah, it's geared seem like an open chat, but the political method here is to have one single voice from a conservative view, opposed by three on the other side.   

A necessity to drive toward mostly a political the midst of the morning, and repeat this each and every day?  Yeah.

Around a year after that, the topic came up in conversation in the vault that I worked, and a guy who'd watched a couple of the shows noted the nearest comparable show....WWE-wrestling.  I laughed in the very beginning.

He pointed's all chatter like some WWE-wrestler would make, to get the audience hyped up.  Occasionally, some of the wrestlers are 'let-go' or sent off, and new fresh faces are brought keep the crowd all hyped up.  The chatter is all scripted, and leads onto fresh new chatter the next day (which is the same dynamic of WWE-wrestling).

He was basically right.

I know that women who watch the View will get all frustrated and angry over the description....but if you task them watch WWE for about a month.....they will eventually come to agree....they run a theatrical operation closely pattern after the wrestling world.  And you have to wonder....if they realize it. 

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Oscar's 'Crap'

Frankly, I'll admit that I haven't watched an entire episode of the Oscar's Award Show....since probably 1990.  There are few of these movies that I actually go out to the theater to watch, and to attempt to run some three-hour Frankenstein-like awards's a joke.

So when the Kevin Hart business came up this week, I pondered over the mess.  The solution to future shows?

Have some kid push a table out to the middle and let him ask the Amazon Alexa box each time....who won this or that.....just let Alexa do all the talking. 

No jokes.  No stage dramas.  No three-hour shows.  We can get this show over in 90 minutes.  Just let Alexa run the show. 

Migration Story

This week, some PhD group laid out their research and said that there are approximately 750 million people on the Earth....who'd like to migrate and seek asylum....somewhere else.

Naturally, there are various groups (pro-asylum in doctrine) who'd like to create these doorways to make this possible.

What the PhD guys didn't lay that if you asked the 750 million folks about 'where' they want to go, it usually ends up being the US, Canada, the UK, France, Australia/New Zealand, and Germany.  No one cares about going to Mexico, Greece, or Peru....or for that matter....roughly a list of 120-odd countries.

Even if you had some path just ten million folks a year on this migration these seven countries....most would suggest a limit.  That limit in the case of the UK?  Probably 100,000 max.  For Australia or New Zealand.....they want questions answered over your English ability and past criminal behavior, and they might go and accept a limited number (I doubt if New Zealand would take more than 10,000). 

All of this migration chatter is leading to a smuggling gimmick where people are just paying money and figuring if they arrive....with no passport, the pain of forcing people to return will be too much and you will have to accept them.  Jobs?  Well....this is the fantasy of the whole story.  Most of these people have no skill other than flipping burgers or physical labor like mowing grass.  The same folks will be angry after five years of one-star employment, and shake their heads over the whole migration business. 

What really triggered all of this?  The internet.  People sat there and looked at these wonderful lives being lived out in Germany, Australia, and the US......then figured they could easily fit into that image. 

A bigger mess coming in the next decade?  You just don't see this being easily resolved. 

Sunday, 9 December 2018

2019 and What I Expect

My list of ten things I expect to happen in 2019:

1.  BREXIT will occur, with the treaty thrown out the door, and most Brits shaking their head over all the chatter that occurred about some trade situation with the EU.....which doesn't apparently happen.  The US concludes a trade agreement in six weeks and it opens up a number of unexpected doors for Americans and Brits to travel, trade, and expand on industrial relationships.

2.  The budget situation is not worked out, and President Trump ends up in the spring shutting down the government.  The Democratic House will think they hold some control over the situation, and find by the sixth week of the shut-down....that the President has no enthusiasm for their game, and by day 60....a massive negativity exists with federal workers running out money while sitting at home.

3.  The past dozen-odd folks who headed finances with the Clinton Foundation over the past 20 years....will find themselves in Grand Jury rooms, and having to explain details....which seem to suggest they never understood how the Foundation worked and that outsiders seemed to run the money aspects more than they did. Money-laundering?  Well, the end-result will suggest some small and limited efforts at money-laundering (unconnected to Hillary or Bill).

4.  Senator Feinstein of California will retire by mid-summer and the new incoming Governor (Newsom) will appoint himself into the job.

5.  At least fifteen Democrats will announce themselves for the 2020 primary season.  At least ten of them will only participate only in four races (lacking the money for a more serious effort).

6.  Macron will settle back into limited appearances in public.  Bastille Day in Paris (the 14th of July) will be a mess with Yellow Jackets showing up in 200,000 range.

7.  A minimum of one new special prosecutor is appointed to review the email server episode of Hillary Clinton.  Charges will come up but it'll be some junior employee who issued orders on the behalf of Secretary of State Clinton.

8.  Arlington, VA residents complain about escalating housing costs with Amazon folks taking root.  A 20-percent rise in apartment rental costs will be 'average' by the end of 2019.

9.  President Trump decides that he's accomplished everything on his plate, and will not run in 2020.  The wall?  The Democrats will see wall funding as the massive threat to get the budget back on track, and by day seventy of the shut-down.....will agree to fund one-quarter of the wall cost.

10.  Some coup unfolds in Saudi Arabia and for forty-eight one will be sure of who is in charge or who was 'whacked'.

Thursday, 6 December 2018

If Global Warming is Coming

In recent weeks, there's been a lot of chatter about global warming, and the great catastrophic events coming.  The chief topic that accompanies this....we need to redistribution of money....mostly to go to poor nations (never West Virginia or the hill-country of Kentucky, or Selma, Alabama).

After much reflection, I've come to the better's basically too late, and we need to put the money into transport (of some type) and just leave the Earth.

I've watched just about every single episode of Stargate, Star Trek, and Lost in Space (probably totalling 3,000 hours), and feel that it'd just be a better investment to haul up and leave (like when the trailer is no longer inhabitable or when neighbors have made a mess of things).

So what's our priorities in finding a new planet?

1.  No bug-people.  I've come to notice that things tend to go badly when you have to deal with them.

2.  Preferably a planet with 24 to 36 hour days.  If this is a planet with 134-hour'll be a problem for me to adjust my sleeping hours to 60-plus hour per day.

3.  Preferably a planet with no snakes.

4.  Preferably a planet with ongoing climate change business.  The climate needs to be rock-solid and not changing sixteen different ways every year.

5.  Preferably a planet without any Amazon ten-foot tall women.  It'd just draw a guy's attention around the clock and make it hard to concentrate.

6.  Preferably a planet with no cable new networks or political business going on. 

7.  Preferably a planet with no giant eels or forty-foot alligators.

8.  Preferably a planet with no tornadoes.

9.  Preferably a planet with freaky monsters that you might have seen off a hundred of the Stargate episodes. 

10.  Preferably no robot creatures. 

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Knowledge Essay

Everyday that you walk are forced into a situation where you have to retain a fair amount of knowledge....not only to survive, but to conduct most all of the little taskings in your life.

If you take a 1936 car....there's about fifteen general things that you needed really know about the car, and maybe eight total controls that mattered on the car (brakes, accelerator, lights, key, horn, fuel display, speedometer, heat control, and window 'roller'). 

If you take a 2018 car....after you've read the ninety-page will reach the conclusion that there's about three-hundred significant things about the car that you need to know and remember.  The sixteen different warning symbols on the dash?  Well....yeah, you need to remember what exactly they mean.  The forty-odd controls now at your disposal?  Their significance matters.  Every year that passes.....they add another two or three characteristics that add dynamics onto the way you operate the car.

GPS devices?  There's probably a hundred features now that matter (you could program it to tell you where all the Sonic-burger 'joints' are located as you pass through town after town).  You could use your GPS capability on the smart-phone to tell you about gas prices along the sixty-mile route to work and where you ought to stop to fuel up and save 4-cents per gallon.

Your refrigerator? You might have the newest model with forty features connected to some massive memory device. 

Your heating system in the house?  In my house, the system (from 2007) has seven control items, and I can arrange it to drop the temperature after 10 PM by fifteen degrees, and 'wake-up' at 5 AM to heat the house back to normal.  Some folks have AC units which work in the opposite fashion.

ATM machines used to be dirt-simple, with only four options (besides dispensing money).  Even their functionality has increased.

The problem is that you now need expertise there to answer very technical questions.  In 1975, if you'd stopped at some hardware store for a home-project....'Dandy Dave' would have been able to answer every single question and you would have left in eight minutes with the right items.  Today...'Dandy Dave' is gone, and you have his nephew 'Leon'.....who barely got out of high school, and he only knows of four types of hammers, while there are officially 23 models and types of hammers in the 'real world'.  'Leon' is worthless but he's all you got.

The burger kid at McDonalds?  In the 1975, that kid knew the entire grill operation and any problems could be resolved in three minutes.  Today, the kid has to call some technician out to repair the grill....mostly because it's too complicated for the real world.  Same way for the coffee maker, the soda apparatus, and the fryer.

We each now walk around with 40,000 index cards of information that we have to survive and operate all the gadgets in our life.  Will this actually double in the next twenty years?  It's possible. 

Criticizing the Criticizer

I sit and watch around three to five hours a week of YouTube lectures.  Often, after opening up for have these 20-year old types stand up and open up with criticism on the lecture guy and it's the left-wing versus right-wing type of dramatic situation.  The 'kid' wants to make some melodramatic moment for his 'cause'.

In 99-percent of these breathtaking moments....the student basically drives a 'stake' through their own argument and you end up watching some theatrical defense of a fifth-grade kid wearing adult clothing.

So I often sit there wondering....the kid has at least a year or two of college....maybe even closing in on four years of university time.  Can't he sit and develop his basic argument and present it with a fact or two, and avoid stupid commentary, or protest-like singing, or yelling enough to shut down the lecture?

A lot of these university kids have tuition and living costs that amount to $25,000 a year and you would sit there and think about the limited capability that they are getting out of this deal.  A hundred years ago....debate was an actual class and you had to show some marginal skills in graduate.

After you've seen enough of these, you just shake your head.  They obviously want to shut down the lecture....there's too much information flowing from the lecture guy.  There are ideas being suggested which 'just blow the mind' of the kid trying to oppose or hinder the hecture.  You can sense that they'd really like to stop this lecture chatter because some people in the audience might fall for this stuff and move away from the kid's beliefs. 

As each one of the episodes kinda wonder.....if the kid realizes his dramatic failure at this lecture, does he go back to his professor 'mentor'....the guy giving him the basic for his arguments, and admit failure....or does he just go to the routine of marking his criticism of the lecture as a 'win'? 

It's a sad thing to consider, but we are perhaps pumping out idiot university graduates, with huge debts, and debate skills are still that of a fifth-grade kid. 

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

The Odds of a Government Shutdown

In this period of 2009 to 2013, being a government employee.....this 'threat' continued to come up and began to really affect morale of personnel around me.  I look at the approaching threat of a shutdown, and think this might go longer than ten days....maybe even past the thirty-day point.

So some observations:

1.  Within the DC area, there are a heck of a lot of people who work for the government and have themselves in a massive mortgage mess....with fifty percent of their check going to car payments and their mortgage.  These are people who have enough 'extra' money laying around to handle a max of thirty days, and after that.....they go into emergency mode.

2.  If this were to go 45 to 60 days?  I could see banks having to send out warning notices and getting fearful of a massive collapse.

3.  If Amazon was up and running with their new headquarters?  That's a curious thing.....I think they could go and recruit 10,000 new employees and have them hired in seven days.

4.  If the shutdown went past 60 days?  A whole new door opens up with a 'all or nothing' political fight. 

Monday, 3 December 2018

Harris Running?

If you read the front page today.....Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) says that in the next couple of weeks....she will come to a decision on a 2020 presidential bid.

My take?

She has three problems.  First, beyond the borders of California....she's virtually unknown.  In the south and midwest, she won't be able to run a four-star campaign effort. 

Second, the Iowa-affect.  I think she falls into the category of being less-than-desirable with most Iowa Democrats.  Confrontational and prosecutor-like.....that's not an agreeable value to run a campaign there.

Third, personality-wise.....having seen her confrontations in the senate, she's a very difficult person on handling conflicts.  In a debate, she'd really lose votes.  A Trump-Harris election?  It presents a tough dynamic to figure. 

So if she goes forward....I think she's there mostly to run as VP.  Otherwise, there's not much in wasting time and money in 2020.

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Hugging Story

My brother and I got into a discussion over a marginally serious event in the Alabama home-town....over excessive hugging, which got the local non-Alabamian doctor arrested on charges.  The gals being hugged, felt it was overly dramatic and maybe borderline 'wrong'.  The country prosecutor apparently accepted their version and so....some version of a court case will open up over lusty hugging versus general hugging. 

Generally, I would take the position that the less hugging you do....the better off you are, but some folks think that a hug-a-day is Ok.....unless you grab ahold of someone in some inappropriate way.  In Alabama, we don't really have fancy rules over hands in the middle of a hug. 

But my brother keyed into the topic that we'd be better off if the local channel (WHNT) ought to have a Doctor Phil type program that takes on Alabama topics.

I paused over this.  The problem is that most Alabama folks have a variety of problems that might shock folks nationally, and the Alabama Doctor Phil might be pretty weird.

For example....we have a lot of veterinarians in Alabama, and they've all got four-star stories over critters, fallen mules, killer-cows, and hunting dogs.  They'd take up a number of these local Dr Phil shows.

Then we have fallen Baptist ministers....who huffed on some magic 'smoke' and did some indecent acts with the Wurlitzer organ lady at the church.  Or they went to some conference in Tampa and got caught with a guy in ladies clothing.  Or they fell into some demon spell and hooked up with a Beverly Hills ventriloquist lady who does a sermon-episode with puppets. 

We also have NCAA obsessive folks who spend near $6,000 a year on personal attendance at various games (sometimes as far away as Texas), and chat only on NCAA football. 

We also have former female high school associates that suddenly show up twenty-five years after graduation and want to let you know that they've been obsessed with you ever since the senior year, and they are finally free of that idiot husband that they dumped.  You kinda stand there and admit after three don't remember them or their name.  They'd like to talk to Dr Phil about this problem now.

We also have those folks who've gotten into some obsession about mennonites, often dressing up to look like them, and using mennonite-language accents.....while driving modern cars and violating the general standards of the group.  In simple terms, they just want to look fake-mennonite.  They could probably go to the WHNT Dr Phil and talk about their problem.

There's also those folks who woke up one morning after being a Democrat for thirty years of their life and suddenly jabber away that they feel 'changed' they could possibly vote for Trump.  They've talked this over with neighbors who think they've suffered a stroke or had some emotional breakdown. 

Finally, you've got those Alabama folks who approach age fifty-five and start talking about this wild idea of moving to Alaska or Idaho.  You, as a concerned relative or neighbor, want to get them some special help, and maybe this Alabama-style Dr Phil could get them back into the right state of mind. 

Yeah, we probably need such a Dr Phil.