Thursday, 28 February 2019

Defining a Natural Right

If someone comes up and proposes a right for you, but it involves someone else doing this 'right' for you....it's simply not a natural right.

Natural rights occur when you need to protect yourself, from the actions of others. 

So it's like talking about about living wages or setting some national right for minimum wage....in the end, you need someone else to perform the right, so it's not a natural right.

Or you could be discussing about having the right to national holidays....when can only occur, if someone else is set to perform the right.

The right to healthcare?  Well, it's not a natural right because someone has to be in the middle and performing this right. 

The right to equality?  Again, someone has to be in the middle to perform the right, and that person is simply not you. 

Just something that you might want to pause and think over when some naive dimwit comes along and wants to chat over 'rights'. 

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

He Will Arise Story

In the past month or two, out of South Africa....a pastor did a 'up-and-rise' episode, where he'd announced that so-and-so who was dead (actually in a casket, provided by a local funeral company) would be brought back to life.  A bunch of folks showed up, and sure enough.....with a few words out of the Bible....the dead guy 'arose'.

It was one of those theatrical 'arises', the guy did some jerking motions, and seemed a bit puzzled after arising. 

Naturally, this has set off a bunch of hoax comments, and three funeral-related companies (one apparently provided a vehicle or delivery hearse) to up and sue the minister and his church.

This triggered commentary from the CRL Rights Commission of South Africa (Commission for the Promotion and Protection of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities: "There are no such things as miracles."

After that trip of mine last year to South Africa, I came to several observations of the nation, and one of those was that it's ripe or fairly accepting of 'hocus-pocus' type events, and probably a quarter of the nation would easily accept some fake stuff very easily.  It's not an insult....it's just the way that things have developed over the past quarter-century.

Course, this government commission wandered into the middle of this....being a commission to deal with religion, and then they up and say.....'no such thing as miracles'. 

Monday, 25 February 2019

The Affect of Andrew Yang on the Democratic Party

I've probably watched at least four hours of interviews of Andrew Yang (Democrat, entrepreneur, and 'capitalist-socialist').  My general take is that if you lined up a hundred young Democrats (say age 18 to 30), without an agenda or identity issue (not Latinos or black), then roughly sixty-percent of the group (particularly college kids) would sign up and vote for Yang.

He doesn't have a significant amount of money, and I have my doubts that he will run in fifty primary states.  My best guess is that he's around to be a major part of voting in six to eight states (particularly California).  I think Yank could go and take four key states in the primary period, and readily prevent anyone from being the 'winner' of the primary prior to the convention.  In fact, it's possible, he might dilute enough votes that the leading contender for the Democratic nomination arrives with only sixty-percent of the votes necessary to win, and the Democrats enter a brokered-convention with a fair amount of intrigue.

His five key programs that will attract voters:

1.  Dumping ro-bo calling.  Probably over three-quarters of Americans are furious with the practice.

2.  Holding drug companies accountable. 

3.  Legalization of marijuana.  Right now....I think with the 18 to 30 year old group, you could find 50-percent of those folks favoring it.

4.  He's pro-nuke energy. 

5.  He want a national VAT, and to dump city to city sales taxes.  Depending on your population, that would be your 'cut' of the VAT.  States and cities would be furious over the change....but you can find a lot of people who hate the city to city competition. 

My suspicion is that someone from the two top contenders is going to bend over backwards, and sign up to Yangs ideals, and suddenly come from behind to be the Democratic candidate for President.  Yang will end being a VP candidate, and present an interesting argument over November election. 


Disco Revival?

Last week, I was traveling around in the local area (Wiesbaden) and here was a big poster up.....band concert coming up.....'disco revival'.

I stood there for a moment....having one of those life moments where you think about something that hasn't been around in thirty-plus years.

When I left Alabama in 1977....I'd still never experienced disco, or really heard the music.  Two years of Frankfurt (1978 and 1979), were the only time where you heard the music and questioned it as a legit musical trend.

By 1980, arriving in Tacoma, Washington....disco was practically dead at that point (at least in Washington state).

For Germans, disco probably never really died off....it just bounced around for forty years, and some folks have this idea that it's simply been evolving and morphing into some alternative style for the past forty years. 

On the Topic of Reparations

When you go and drag out the Indians and blacks to discuss the reparations angle.....then try to equate this to an amount of money....is it equal? 

Some people will argue no, and suggest that blacks probably deserve more.  Some people will suggest that Indians suffered more, and their reparations angle should be more.  Should it be even?

Indians will say that they suffered longer....from 1492 to present day.  Blacks will say they suffered from the early 1700 when they started to be brought into the new world, and that it marginally lifted up in 1865, and that they should be paid all the way to today.

So if you paid out x-sum.....are you over with reparations?  Well....no.  If nothing really changes for Indians or blacks, I could see reparations version 2.0 coming up in about twenty-five years.  And by 2100....you might see reparations version 3.0 coming around.

What's the amount of reparations?  A check for $2,500 to each person?  A check for $9,000 for each adult?  If you went to a tribal location in Arizona and handed out a $10,000 check to each individual.....how quickly would the money disappear?  In three days? 

How to get over this whole topic?  I'd invent a tax credit of a maximum of $100,000.  Upon age 18, and having a job which you'd normally pay an income tax.....I'd offer a deal on the table that you could take from your $100,000 'bucket' a sum (a credit) that you could apply against the tax income.  Example: you made $40,000 this year, and you could take $15,000 from your reparations bucket and apply that to lessen your income and lessen your taxation.  A smart guy would save the bucket till age 30 and readily apply it yearly to adjust their income.

The bold part of this strategy.....you need to go procure a job and actually earning a real income (not flipping burgers).  You'd have to apply yourself and make an effort to hold down a job. 

Those saying it's unfair?  Fine....double it to $200,000 of a tax 'bucket' income.  The construction of this means that you really need to excel in education, and job-skills....to make full use out of the 'bucket'.  It's a creation for 'winners'....not 'losers'. 

Then say at the end of this....this is a one-time deal and no one can utter reparations ever again, for any reason.  If you used this 'bucket' up in two years?  Fine. 

The Simple Way to Make Idiots 'Happy'

For roughly three weeks, I've been watching dimwits get all whiny about their tax refund checks.....the refund is not what they were used to.  In some cases, it's thirty to fifty percent of the normal refund amount.

Oddly enough, they aren't talking about taxes going up....just that the refund is much less.

For all those years in the Air Force, I was 'trained' by IRS to go and take this great tax refund check (often in the 1,000 to 1,500 dollar range) and spend it on crazy stuff.  It was a yearly habit in April....get the 'mad-money' and spend it.  I suspect the bulk of these people are grumbling because April is coming up and half of that mad money is simply not there.

So, the government ought to do the corrective resolution to this.  Raise the monthly deductions on people (at least $150 extra a month), and then 'bless' everyone with a $2,000 refund check as being the norm.

I know, it's stupid and you ought to budget better, but this is how stupid people have become.  Could you go off on your own and raise your monthly deduction by yourself.....without involve Congress or the President?  Well....yes.  In fact, you could fix this in less than three minutes, and your boss wouldn't really care if you did this.

Sunday, 24 February 2019

Being Affluent or Not

The word 'affluent' got brought up in the past couple of days, by Bill Mahler (HBO's comedian) over redstate people who just aren't as clever or affluent as bluestate people.  Naturally, it begs questions.

Where did the word affluent come from?  Around two-thousand years ago, the Latin language folks came up with this word, and it was supposed to mean (in the beginning)....'to flow' or that things could happen with this event or prospect occurring.  Eventually, the Latin word got taken over by the French (old French, not that modern stuff), and they gave it a kind of slang term meaning....that you don't move up in life or be someone of status, unless you had affluent things going on (flowing).  Somewhere down the line....some British folks got sophisticated and started to share the word in the UK, and it was a status-type word, where you were someone clever, smart, witty, sophisticated, and with profits somewhere in the background.  Two old Brit gals on the street could talk about up-and-coming Mister Jameson in a respectful way, hinting that he was affluent, and would get a 'fine' wife one day. 

The trouble with Mahler's meaning and use of the affluent, is that we are in a 'Twilight-Zone' situation with most Americans, and a lot of folks are affluent without even knowing about it.

You could be living in a double-wide trailer home, with a Ford F-150 truck in the carport, and be affluent. 

You could be living in a cottage in upstate Michigan, with $22,000 a year rolling in from your waitress job, and be affluent.

You could be making $1.3 million playing for the San Diego Padres as a relief-pitcher, with a trampy girlfriend, and NOT be affluent.

You could be a Detroit dope-dealer making $300k a year, and living out of a crack-house, with a brand-new $60k car in the drive-way, and having vacations in New Orleans each year, and think you are affluent. 

You could be a mobster for the Akron, Ohio mafia, and be absolutely sure about your affluentness. 

You could be an idiot who got $120,000 in student loans back in the 1990s, and still today....at age 47....still be paying off that stupid loan....feeling absolutely no affluentness.

You could be an electrical engineer driving an Oldsmobile 88 model (the last one made in 1999) and feel some surge of affluentness each morning as you rev up the engine....drive the forty-two miles to work, and hum along with Led Zepplin tunes coming out of the twelve speakers you installed in the car.

What Bill missed here is that affluentness is a mathematical 'estimation' of where you were, how far you traveled, and where some nifty end-point exists in your mind.  Only you can prescribe your affluentess scale number.  You might be a one.....you might be a ten.

Does being affluent make you a conservative or a liberal?  No.  That's the sad thing about this whole discussion and argument.  That seventh-grade nutcase in your class, that you regarded as a potential psychopath?  Well....he might today be the carpet-king of Jefferson City, TN and fairly affluent.

What is a Life Energy Coach?

The term came up today in the news, with the Smollett episode. 

At some point, prior to the fake MEGA attack, Smollett had gone to his two Nigerian (fake) associates, and wanted to bulk up like they were.  If you go and look at pictures of the two....they look 'Hulk-Hogan-like'.  Naturally, they hype that they've got the nutritional program, the work-out exercise, and the stamina to look this good.

Smollett....a couple of weeks prior to his MEGA episode, had come to view the 'look' and the $3,500 often discussed (payment for the attack)....actually was for the life energy coaching business.  The brothers were going to help Smollett train, eat, and look fantastic.  No, the money wasn't for the fake assault.  At least, that's what the brothers say.

The brothers were basically life energy coaches.  In Alabama plain-speak....someone to 'kick' your ass, make you eat spinach and low-fat foods, drag you through the dirt to live off 1,200 calories a day, push you to spend two hours a day working out, and to yell at you over health habits. 

Most of us don't have $3,500 to throw around, and if we did.....we sure wouldn't have life energy coaches (we would have spent it on resodding the yard, a gas-grill, or a week-long trip to Aruba). 

It is a modern-day development where life energy coaches now exist....some with special certificates, and some who've developed a national image (having appeared on the Today Show, or Doctor Phil).  I think if you'd told your parents back in the 1970s that you were intent on becoming a life energy coach....they would have thought it was a basketball team or rugby-type sport situation.  After the long explanation, your dad would have suggested grain sales, professional golfing, or agricultural implement belt dealer.  He would have been blunt in that this life energy coach business....sounds 'fakish' to him.

The potential for this to be a major skilcraft?  I'd question that.  I spent 90 minutes last night looking around and browsing over people who got into this.  Most had some type of two-year degree in nutritional science or physical rehab, and then they went onto to get three or four certificates to round out their resume.  Their anticipation is that people just can't go and diet or train on their own anymore.....they need someone to 'yell' at them, and pester them daily.....to stay on some plan to evolve themselves.

How did we get into physical work-outs or body changes prior to this life energy business?  I can remember the 1980s and 1990s....where people simply made up a 90-day plan....stuck with it, and about half of them reached the end-point with success, and out of that group....maybe a quarter of those folks found enthusiasm to continue the nutritional diets and significant work-out routines.  So the bulk of folks just never stayed with the program.  This life energy coaching business is the solution to overcome that shortfall. 

A permanent thing?  I have my doubts.  But I suspect these two Nigerian (fake) guys probably have two-hundred people calling up and trying to get signed up with their program. 

Saturday, 23 February 2019

Taking Care of 'Problem-Children'

After looking at all the various American ISIS characters who went off to the war, and now voicing some intent upon return.....I've sat and pondered over this dilemma for several days.

Several of these folks are just naive young ladies who got all hyped up on religion and lost their perspective in life. 

My suggestion is this.  There are a number of islands in the Pacific which are territories.  I'd lay out a four-year gradual return.  We fly you (at our expense) out to Hawaii, and then onto one of these Pacific islands.  Each week, we fly or charter-boat out two bags of groceries (again at our expense) and you get checked out by a US Navy doctor every month to ensure no health issues.  Limited internet, no phones, and limited access to the public. 

At the end of four years, if you behaved yourself....we give you a two-year probation period in the US.  Screw this up?  Go become a jihadist?  We send you back to the island for another four-year tour.  Then we repeat the probation period again. 

Bill Mahler Chat

Bill Maher (of HBO “Real Time” fame) did a speech this week, and chatted over the need of Amazon to go into the heartland and produce jobs in redstate America.

The logic?  Bill will suggest that companies need to have a vision that involves “spatial geographic inequality.”

Yes, he makes the chat about the existence of clever and affluent people living in urbanized cities (blue regions) and that the redstate populations aren't connecting to the clever and affluent people.

For probably thirty years, this division in the Democratic Party has been going on.  You can pull up voting maps, with counties displayed, and by the mid-1990s....the Democratic Party had 'air' leaking out of their voting trends, and each county that the Democrats won.....the Republicans won two other counties. 

The idea that Amazon or any of the other top 500 companies will be picking rural America to base their operations?  Zero-percent chance.  Oh, there might a couple of companies that accidentally discover Huntsville, Alabama.....or Dayton, Ohio.  But the majority of companies will say that putting the Amazon second headquarters in an area like Kingsport, TN or Vicksburg, MS....simply isn't going to happen.  Amazon will pull out their top ten priorities, and to be honest....there's likely to only be thirty cities in the nation that provide what they want. 

For Bill's vision to work, you'd have to assume that this trend will never reverse, and I'm not sure that's true.  Eventually, black urban areas are going to finally ask what exactly did the Democratic Party deliver upon, and how well did the promised effort effectively work?  The answer may be a problem to explain. 

Also, you come to this false dividing line....the clever and affluent people having a better life or better circumstances?  I suspect that a quarter of the blue-urbanized people are disgruntled.....questioning their better lifestyle and wondering about the value of their blue political landscape.  The fact that the blue state people of California and Illinois are on a trend to leave, and depart the state?  That might be worth discussing as well.

It is a thing to ponder, but this idea of convincing redstate people to go through some life experience and become bluestate people?  It's hard to imagine this easily happening. 

Friday, 22 February 2019

1920 Election

This is a map of the US voting....county by county, in the 1920 election. 

This is the end-point where Wilson leaves office, with dismal feelings about the past two years (because of his 'illness'). 

The election?  It was mostly about bringing newspaper-editor-turned-Senator Warren G. Harding (GOP), against Governor James Cox (D) of Ohio. 

Cox got 34-percent of the votes, and basically only did well in 13 southern states. This is the election where Harding basically campaigned against President Wilson (D), instead of James Cox.  Most all of his speeches were designed to be anti-Wilson, not anti-Cox. 

The suggestion of a third term with Wilson?  This came up in the summer period....prior to the convention.  Wilson was still in marginal health, and it's a serious question over where he (or his wife) got this idea.  Had Wilson been in great health, and not gone off into a deterioration situation.....with the war having gone well, it's possible that Wilson could have pulled out a win. 

Hoax Story Unravels

For two weeks, I've been watching this Jussie Smollett episode play out.  Yesterday, cops laid out the charges of a fake report (fake assault), and there's going to be some court action.  The idea of a year in a Chicago jail?  Possible, but I doubt it.

My curiosity is over why you'd go and do something like this.  The cops, through various witnesses, finally came to the 'why', and it leads back to the salary.

The experts say that Smollett was paid $65,000 per episode of Empire.  Like a lot of shows, the producers will reach a stage where the number of actors involved in the show.....will be added up and in some simple way.....they can't afford to have the top twelve actors of the show appear in all 18 episodes of each year.  So they break the news....the show will continue on and you will still be character 'X', but instead of 18 shows (for Smollett, $65,000 per show)....he probably was being told that things were fine but he'd only appear in fourteen shows (my humble guess) in the next season.  And if you add the numbers up, he was taking a $280,000 pay-cut for the next season. 

In his frame of mind, he figured that if he hoaxed up an assault...got some pity, that they'd raise the show level back to a full 18-episode season. 

Now?  I think off Empire, he's finished.  If he does a year of jail-time.....it'll help the producers to drop the character. 

Lost respect?  By the time he pays off the lawyers, fines, and settles the mess, there's likely no cash reserves left, and Smollett will end up as a Uber-driver.  A pretty sad fall for a guy to suffer. 

Thursday, 21 February 2019

The Trump-Bernie-Schultz Electoral College Dilemma

Out of 535 Electoral College votes....you need 270 to win the Presidency.  Once the College meets up and casts their one and only vote?  It's done.  The situation is handed to the House of Representatives, and they are called upon early in January (with the new House), to decide....state by state....upon the the Presidency.  Here?  You need 26 states to vote.

So you can do the various dynamic scenarios.

If you have five Republicans and two Democrats....the odds are that the five will GOP guys will vote for the Republican candidate.  What happens if one Democrat and three GOP members go to Schultz?  That state's vote (even if Schultz won only 15-percent of the votes in the race) will be one single Schultz ballot.

Could Schultz come up with 26 states like this?  I have my doubts. 

Could Bernie come up with 26 states like this?  Normally, I'd say zero chance.

Could Trump come up with 26 states like this?  On the first ballot....no.  In fact, this could drag on for two or three weeks, with various GOP and Democratic House members promised various things....to deliver a vote.

A bigger mess than we have today?  More than likely.

I would suggest that more than 100 Republican House members are very capable of voting for Schultz, to avoid a second Trump presidency. 

The hostility brewing if Schultz came out to win in this scenario....with only 20-million votes?  A massive amount of frustration would be directed at both the Republican and Democratic parties. 


The Word Inexorable

You've pulled out the chainsaw, and gone to work on a tree in the yard that has bothered you for years.  While it is 60 feet away from the house.....the tree is around a hundred-feet tall.  For the most part, you believe you've taken enough precautions and angled the cut to be at the right angle to either swing sideways or opposite of the house as it falls.  So in some dramatic moment....three minutes into this cutting effort, you now stop and realize that it's taking a lean that bothers you.  You stop and stand back for about sixty seconds....trying to envision a corrective action.  But by the end of the sixty seconds....you now reach a INEXORABLE level. 

Yes, things are now unpreventable and unstoppable.  That's the basic definition of inexorable. 

About twenty seconds later, the tree takes a half-inch slant....toward the house.  And twelve seconds later, it crashes into the living room. 

You stand there admiring the last two seconds, the increasing lean, and inexorableness of the situation. 

Throughout life, we are drawn to these moments of inexorableness. 

The bar-fight that you probably witnessed in 1984, where some unkind words were uttered about some guy, and a reaction occurred.....with  a six-member drunken group engaging in a brawl with another six-member group....was a moment of inexorableness.  Once the insult was laid down, and it was countered with another insult....avoiding the brawl was physically impossible.

This could be the $300 truck that you bought last week, and upon reaching the peak of some hill and heading downward....you come to realize there's no real brakes, and the next sixty seconds will be a remarkable and inexorable experience. 

We tend to live for these moments....savoring them, and recollecting our thoughts later about the peak moment of inexorableness. 

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

National Holiday Chatter

Back around five years ago, Senator Bernie Sanders had this idea....making election-day....a national holiday.  It basically went nowhere.  In the past week or two, it's been picked back up and several folks are talking about this idea.

My observation?

First, you'd only have this once every four years, so it might not be as painful as you think.

Second, I'm not sure if you made it a holiday....if you'd create a higher percentage of people showing up to vote.  There's no reliable study to suggest this.

Third, the fact that many states offer absentee voting or early-voting.....it may not really mean much.

Fourth, if you had a three-day weekend possible.....would you even stay around the local area?  Some guys might tell the wife that it's a casino-weekend, and they drive off to Vegas for the whole weekend.

Odds of happening?  I'd put it between zero and five-percent.

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

A Bernie, Trump and Schultz Election?

Let's suggest that Hillary doesn't 'arrive' to run, and this ends up as a simple socialist versus capitalist versus Starbucks kingpin.  The likely outcome:

1.  Bernie and his team can crush most of the normal Democratic voters and their non-socialist candidates.  Without Hillary....Bernie ought to clear through the lesser-known crowd easily.

2.  Schultz doesn't need to match the money count for Trump or Bernie....he just needs to use social media in a smart way, and win toward roughly 20 of the fifty states (my humble opinion).  His strategy is to take just enough of the Electoral College to ensure a second-place vote (after Trump).  In this strategy.....Bernie needs to take eight to ten states.  The election goes to the House because there is no Electoral College winner, and the top two candidates would then advance for a House situation.  If you have a choice of Trump or Schultz......House-wise, I think 25 states can be procured with the state-by-state 'count', for Schultz.

3.  For Schumer and Pelosi, I doubt if either want to deal with Bernie, as President....so their 'hope' is based on Schultz winning in the end.

The Alma Story

This is one of those historical essays that I'll write and tell a particular story that you probably haven't ever heard of.

So....in 1862....out in Kinniconick, Kentucky....Mollie Alma Bridwell was born. Considered a fairly clever teenager....around the age of 16 to 17...she got converted into the Wesleyan Methodist Church during a revival. 

For most who've never been to a revival....there tends to be a lot of intense talk.....heated chatter....and continual prayers for lost souls (a lot of them).  Alma's take probably went to the extreme level. 

Her family was doing well, and two years later....she went off to the ladies college in Millersburg. Upon graduation, an aunt who lived way out in the Montana Territory (very unchristian surroundings) tried to convince the six other sisters of Alma....to come out give life a go in the territory.  Alma was the only one who seemed up for the adventure.

She ended being a teacher in the local community.  Later on....she moved over to the Salt Lake City Methodist seminary. There, she met up with Kent White, a student in the seminary, and married.

Over the next decade or so....she and Kent did well....living in the Denver area where Kent was a minister for the local church.

Around 1907, there was some friction going on with the Methodist and Pentecostal community, and someone with farmland had decided to start up a religious community in  Zarephath, New Jersey.  The name of the new religious 'movement'?  Pillar of Fire Church.

I know....it's a catchy name.  In simple terms, these Pillar of Fire folks felt that the Pentecostals were simply not fired-up enough.  Yes, as radical as you might see Pentecostal folks of today....in this era....they were actually seen as laid-back and 'chilled-out'.

Alma became the bishop and chief spokesperson of the Pillar of Fire Church.  The curious path ahead for the church?  Well....they were to be by 1918....solidly hooked up to the Ku Klux Klan (KKK).  Yep....real solid with them. 

It would be correct to say that virtually everything Alma preached upon....revolved around white Protestant women and the Bible mandating supremacy, and suggested immigrants were not of the same level.

Throughout the 1920s and 1930s....the Pillar of Fire Church continued on.  Alma attended Klan rallies and cross-burnings. As many of the religious figures were doing in this era....Alma didn't hesitate to suggest prophecies were underway, and key events were to occur.

What aided growth of the group?  In the late 1920s.....they went out and purchased a transmitter and radio equipment in Colorado, to send their message across central Colorado.

All of this continued on for the most part until 1946 when Alma passed on.

The church today? Still in existence, but with mostly a neutral theme.  I kinda doubt that the vast majority of members have ever heard of the racism slant or the KKK attachment. 

Bernie, 2020

Done.  As of today, Bernie is in the 2020 race.

What does it mean? I will offer six observations:

1.  From the nationwide list of sixty-odd million potential Democratic voters...at least 25-million would be hardcore Bernie supporters.  It differs state to state though.  In Alabama, Bernie pulled 76,000 in the primary of 2016, with Hillary pulling a 4-to-1 lead over him. 

2. Primary-wise, With the exception of South Carolina....Bernie, I think, can win three of the first four primary states...which gives him a dramatic lead in the first round of the primary season.

3.  With Bernie there, it's basically a capitalist versus socialist election, and a quarter of the typical Democratic base will be angry and frustrated about this dividing line.  I hate to suggest it, but some of those people will go and vote Green Party.

4.  Bernie will be 78 years old in the fall of this year.....meaning for November of 2020....he'll be 79 years old.  It's hard to say this is a positive.

5.  If I were Hillary Clinton.....I'd look at the situation, and go right back out in 2020, to run against Bernie....with a 50-percent budget compared to 2016, and run mostly on social media and journalists helping me.  It's crazy, but she knows she can beat Bernie in the primary. 

6.  All of this will give the insiders to the national Democratic Party a headache, because they see it as being an open door for Trump to easily win.  Why spend big money on Bernie? 

Illegals Chatter

Back around 2014 (five years ago), the Pew organization did a survey and suggested that 11.1 million illegal people were in the US without a visa or working-papers.  Yale and MIT did a survey and eventually concluded that 22-million non-US citizens existed in the US, without a visa or working-papers. The true number?  Unknown.

The general figure thrown around (state by state) is that roughly one-quarter of the total non-citizen illegal population....reside in California.  If this were true, you can figure it's around three million spread around the entire state.  Texas comes in second with around 15-percent (note, these percentage numbers are from 2014, and it's difficult to say it's still somewhat accurate today). In the case of Texas, you could be talking about nearly two million illegals in the state.

What you never see on TV, or discussed by any politician...is the evolution of jobs which were simply safe-guarded and reserved for the illegal migrant.....done at a more 'reasonable' price (figure only 70-percent of the salary, with no social security, no taxation, nothing). 

The economy?  It's basically faked-out.  It's not a true economy.  Part of this issue then goes to the lesser Americans....standing there and in marginal conditions because a minimum of five million jobs or positions of work....aren't being filled in the actual landscape.  The money isn't being filtered to state or federal taxes.  You could walk into a city like Austin, TX....with 10,000 jobs being accomplished in a non-legal way, and certainly not public work. 

This has been accepted for well over fifty years and various politicians (from both the GOP and Democrats) don't want to fix or hinder this economy. 

Ok.....but what did change over fifty years, was drug cartels, and the MS-13 gang out of El Salvador, which moved into virtually every single metropolitan city in the US.  Adding to it....cops found that even if they arrested the non-citizen....charged them....forced them to do two years of prison and sent them home.....they returned (sometimes within a week). 

If it weren't for the drug-cartel guys, the MS-13 folks, the assault/crimes, and the returnees....the politicians might be able to just grin and chat for hours, with no real resolution. 

The wall business?  Let's be honest on that.  It's probably at best.....one-quarter of the entire resolution required.  You'd have to put blunt pain upon Americans individuals hiring non-papered immigrants.  You'd have to have a national ID card.  You'd have to bring severe pain to people registering to vote when they aren't a US citizen.  You'd have to put an end to sanctuary city chatter.  You'd have to lay out a landscape where anyone (Russians, Chinese, Bulgarians, etc) had just as much a right for immigration entry.....as Mexicans or Hondurans.   Trump is simply keeping it simple, but the plain truth is....it's not going to be enough.

'Starbucks' Reality

This is when you are paying more for a Venti-cup of Starbucks (the 20 ounce cup, $2.45), than for a gallon of gas ($2.04 in Alabama for unleaded).

Think about that.

Twenty-five years ago, you could have walked in and asked for a extra-large cup of coffee from some Joe-Blow gas station, and it would have been 40-cents max.  Now?  You are convinced that $2.45 for a Venti-cup of coffee makes perfect sense.

Saturday, 16 February 2019

The 'Santa-is-Dead' Syndrome

Viewing the general landscape of America today, I would suggest a new mental health syndrome exists.....which I will call...the 'Santa-is-dead' syndrome. 

There are immature folks....most between the ages of 18 and 30....who believe that on any given moment of the day, that something can be said to unhinge them and cast them into a world of doubt.  So imagine if you went to a six-year-old kid and just told them Santa died this morning (heart-attack from over-eating, or he fell down the steps into the North Pole basement). 

How did this syndrome start?  I think it actually started in the 2000 to 2010 era.  It might have been via some movies, TV programs, or just idle chatter of young kids.  Then along came college professors who motivated the syndrome to advance further, and social media to help turoboize it.

The reality now?  Highly immature kids who seem to have a 'vote', can't handle much pressure or stress in life, and lack common sense. 

 

Friday, 15 February 2019

2020 Senate Race

There are 34 Senator spots up for grabs....the GOP holds 22 of them.  The Democrats hold 12. 

So far, there are only two incumbent Republicans retiring....meaning a higher risk for those two states (

The Alabama race?  It's likely a lose situation for the Democrats, with a plus-up of one seat there.

Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky (Mitch ought to retire but won't), Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, South Dakota, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wyoming....are all considered safe for the GOP.

Maine's Susan Collins?  She likely loses.  It wouldn't surprise me if she declines to run and annouces this by December.

Colorado and Arizona are both in the 50-50 situation for the GOP. 

For gaining Democratic seats?  Michigan and New Hampshire are the more likely places where the GOP could put effort and time.

The strategy of Trump campaigning in various states?  In the case of Alabama and Michigan....it's the big dynamic and ought to bring the GOP those two seats. 

The 2016 Coup

“I was speaking to the man who had just run for the presidency, and won the election of the presidency, and who might have done so with the aid of Russia, our most formidable adversary on the world stage, and that was something that troubled me greatly,”
-- Andrew McCabe, to 60 Minutes

It's one of those quotes that you read over a dozen times, and try to imagine how this intelligent guy fell into this line of thought, and what sequences occurred over his past twenty years.....to make him this 'stupid'.

I lay a lot of the blame on the news media that evolved out of the 1990s, and worked to convince people of false realities.  Some of the blame ought to go over to both the Democratic and Republican Parties.....for creating a fake reality of politics and theatrical-type 'fears'.  Then you have to go and ask about his education acquired from Duke University (1990), and St Louis University (1993).   Did the professors 'gift' him some marginalized logic or thinking process?

The sad thing here, is that this guy and another wide assortment of characters....were all lining up to conduct a 'coup', and 'save America'.  Never once did anyone in this group stop and think over the consequences.

So you come to the dramatic end of the coup business, where the conspirators and the news media need to stand up and admit their stupidity, and they don't seem to be able to produce that moment of regret.

Here's the obvious left at the end....all of these remarkable and clever individuals....hyped up still....that Russia is the evil one in the room.  In all likelihood.....all of them still believe that today. How much brain-washing was required, to get them to that level, and keep them there....even today?  And these people still linger there, trying to be part of some future in government work? 

Thursday, 14 February 2019

Explaining Ineptocracy

Let's say that a deteriorated socialized 'republic' came to exist.  This would be triggered by public discontent, confusing political statements, journalists behaving more as provocateurs, social chaos, and economic events spiraling into various directions. 

In the midst of this chaos, you....the voter...would decide upon radical changes and revolutionary paths to the future.  You would go and vote upon leaders who were in simple terms....the least capable of doing the actual job. Maybe they were good at speeches, but you weren't able to determine their real qualifications.  Perhaps their resume were just four lines, and these were mostly people doing work that they were not qualified for.  Maybe these were gifted bus-drivers, who would quickly progress up the line to be President of Venezuela.  Or perhaps they were medium-level investment portfolio handlers who would invent their own political party and run for President of France. 

In simple terms, they were the least capable leaders, who had the least favorable plan for moving ahead.  But because people were confused, and unable to really get solid answers....the radical path ahead made perfect sense. 

So in the days, weeks and months ahead....the chief act of this government (not just one person, but literally hundreds of the least capable)....was to take, confiscate, and redistribute the wealth....mostly to just enrich themselves or the friends who got them elected.

This form of government?  It's called Ineptocracy. 

Some people have the opinion that we've entered a Ineptocracy in the past two years.  Some people have the opinion that we've been in a Ineptocracy for at least ten years.  Some people believe for the past fifty years or more, we've been in a Ineptocracy.  Some believe that Britain, France, and Germany....are today in a Ineptocracy.

An evil thing? No, Ineptocracy is simply the solution to a rocket-science type problem.  It appeared to you that only one individual in the room looked and behaved like a rocket-scientist, so he or she is the logical person to lead the group.  It's like some corporal coming out of a war situation.....walking into a pub....delivering a five-star speech, and no one asking what they really did prior to the speech (like that moustached Austrian guy at the Hofbrauhaus in Munich). 

In all matters, common sense ought to prevail, but it seems to be in limited or marginal quantities. 

Reading the Green Deal

I sat this morning and read the AOC 'Green Deal'.  You can view it over at the government site.

My observations:

1.  It reads like a first-year college research paper.  There is a question about 20 lines into the paper, which is supposed to lead as a question to a paragraph: "Is getting to a greenhouse gas emissions neutral society in 10 years possible?"  The answer below it.....doesn't explain how to reach the neutral society in ten years....it simply says it's politically possible.

2.  It cites a test poll that says 92-percent of Democrats and 64-percent of GOP voters support the Green Deal.....however, it never says who did the poll, or where it was conducted.

3.  It talks a great deal about expenditures and investments, but doesn't really say where the money slips into actual programs, to what levels, or where success (an end-result) will be.  It does hint that this would all occur in ten years....but why ten?

4.  At some point, it says in very clear and blunt language.....a guarantee will exist (one assumes here a right) to: (1) a job with family-sustaining wages, (2) family and medical leave, (3) vacations, (4) retirement, (5) security, (6)  High-quality education, (7) High-quality health care, (8)  Clean air, (9) Clean water, (10) Healthy food, (11) Safe, affordable, adequate housing, (12) An economic environment free of monopolies, (13) Economic security to all who are unable or unwilling to work.

I sat and that piece several times....you'd have to make this into a Constitutional piece, and right off the bat....you'd start to ask about the economic security angle to those who were unwilling to work.  If fifty-percent of society chose not to work....what would happen? 

The comment to high-quality health care?  Well....this alone would get into the trillions.

Guaranteeing people a vacation?  Where?  Are we talking about a five-day trip to the Ozarks in a camp-ground?  Are we talking about a Hawaii beach front hotel for $250 a night? 

Healthy food?  Don't we offer via Piggly Wiggly food already?  Are we talking about free food?  Are we suggesting that Potato Chips be banned because it's not a healthy food?

I hate to suggest it, but it reads like some three-page research paper, that was due on Monday and you were starting this on Sunday afternoon while sipping Bombay Sapphire Gin.  It's not really clear where the goals lead onto, how the money really fits into this, and whether or not people would agree to the end-product.   

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Real 'Harm' versus Imaginary 'Harm'

I sat and watched a 20-minute video clip this morning, which a intellectual did their best to convince you that they were an intellectual, but by the end of the twenty minutes, you were firmly convinced that the fake intellectual was hopelessly lost. 

The debate of this twenty-minute conversation was real 'harm' versus imaginary 'harm' (I know that wasn't the intention of the intellectual, but you couldn't help but notice this remarkable problem).

In the real world, real 'harm' is mostly represented by literally hundreds of scenarios.  You could be walking in some woods, and find yourself facing a bear.  You could be walking along a Florida canal, and be confronted by an alligator.  You could be driving through the city of Birmingham....having car issues, and realize with a dead-engine that you are in the part of town at 10 PM, facing real 'harm' potential.  You could be jumping off the side of some overhang into a lake....only to find a four feet depth of water. 

Imaginary 'harm'?  This is where someone says something....maybe ten brief words, which set you off and freak you out.  Imaginary 'harm' could include telling a 8-year old kid that Santa doesn't exist, and they spend the next five years talking to some school nurse about this conflict in their life.  Imaginary 'harm' could involve some customer service representative telling you 'no'....your complaint isn't going be resolved, and you spend at least twenty hours over the next month detailing your 'pains and suffering' from the encounter to just about anyone who will listen.  Imaginary 'harm' can include someone who fell for ease of credit, and wakes up eight years later....wanting cry over $300,000 in debt but can't really show any gains or value from the purchases....but now want to spend countless hours dwelling on the terrible financial mess that they are attached to.

Somehow, society has allowed imaginary 'harm' to merge and it's seen as something now to require public attention.  As days go by....fewer folks buy into the imaginary 'harm' chatter.  I would even go to the extent of suggesting that intellectuals (who seem to say they are smart) seem to be the ones who mostly get pumped up for imaginary 'harm'.  People in rural environments or small towns?  They've faced real 'harm' in various ways, and can't really imagine 'harm' of a fake nature.  It doesn't make any sense to them.

Where is this whole discussion going to in the future?  Eventually, the imaginary 'harm' people are going to figure out that two-thirds of society just doesn't give a damn about their woes, sorrows, and suffering.  Some might even reach a point of saying that life in the US has become like some Irish pub in Tralee, Ireland....where a dozen drunk Irish men sit around for hours...giving you some John Steinbeck-classic story over their life, their women, their failures, and their falls from grace.  Eventually, real people get tired of the tales of woe and sorrow, and walk out of the pub.  That will likely be the same scenario in America, where people just turn and face away from the imaginary 'harm' crowd....letting them know that these failures or falls from grace....just aren't worth discussing anymore.   

Monday, 11 February 2019

What If Money Didn't Matter In An Election?

One of the odd features of the 2016 national election is that Hillary Clinton's entire campaign (from her to the PACs) went through $1.2-billion (NY Post numbers).  Donald Trump?  He spent approximately half that amount.

Up until this election, it was accepted that money mattered and the higher spender.....generally won.

So the question to ask....does it now make any difference?

Some people will say that a fair chunk of the money goes to polling....to tell you where the people stand in various states....on various issues.  Yet in the 2016 case, the polling people failed....miserably.

In the 2020 case?  One might look at this campaign as a Trump adviser and suggest that real campaign money be centered on the thirty states that he won, and to a much lesser degree on the next five states where he came fairly close....basically forgetting about California and NY entirely.

So Trump could under-spend again (say fifty-percent of what a Democratic candidate would spend)? Yes, and here is the bolder statement....it's pretty good odds that only marginal candidates will primary against Trump in the GOP primary.....so he won't have to spend more than forty-million flying around the US to speak at a once or twice a week campaign rally during the primary. 

Clinton spent, with her money, DNC money, and PAC month....near $750-million.  I have my doubts that Trump will even spend one-third of that amount in this 2020 election. 


Sunday, 10 February 2019

2020 Election: Capitalism versus Socialism?

If you had stood up ten years ago and said that an entire Presidential election could be on the topic of capitalism versus socialism....you would have gotten laughed out of the room.  But here we are in the early part of 2019, and it appears that the entire strategy of President Trump....is to get the Democratic Party attached to the socialism agenda, and have a campaign just on this.

Part of this can go to the Bernie Sanders 2016 campaign, where he talked a good bit on socialist ideals.  Part of this can go toward 'ideals' generated and talked about via CNN and MSNBC.  And part of this revolves around an 'unfairness' angle that has lingered in the public view.

You can imagine rural folks sitting around the TV in the spring of 2020....asking themselves what all this socialism chatter is about, and having their nephew educate them by explaining the 'cow-theory': you have two cows. The government takes them and puts them in a barn with everyone else's cows. You have to manage all the cows. Then the government gives you as much milk as you need.

Grandma is impressed by this talk by her nephew, but Grandpa asks....what about capitalism? Junior talks about this: you have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull.

Well....Grandpa gushes at this point....that makes perfect sense.

But then Junior gets onto bureaucraticism: you have two cows. At first the government regulates what you can feed them and when you can milk them. Then it pays you not to milk them. After that it takes both, shoots one, milks the other and dumping the milk down the drain. Then the government requires you to fill out paperwork accounting for the missing cows.

Grandpa agrees....that's typically how the US government works.  But hold on....Junior isn't finished yet.

Then Junior gets onto Facism:  here, you have two cows. The government takes both, then the government hires you to take care of them, and finally, the government sells you the milk at the price which fluctuates each week for no apparent reason.

All of this unsettles both Grandma and Grandpa.  They look over at Cuba, North Korea, Venezuela, and Greece.  All use socialism and all have a decaying landscape.

Across the US, this worry....an actual image of starving people in Venezuela....identifying the Democrats to something that they really can't talk to, or push to the side.  It will eventually trigger a negative reaction.  The 2020 election?  You could see some massive Electoral College swing with over 350 votes for Trump and 'capitalism'.  At the end of that election, a number of Democrats will stand up and ask....where the hell did this conversation start from, and then everyone will look at Bernie and the 2016 election.  Blame will be dumped there.

Saturday, 9 February 2019

The End of Air Travel (AOC Green Plan)

One of the odd things from this week was the proposal that air travel would end in ten years after the 'Green Deal' goes into effect.

Over the past 24 hours, I've spent a fair amount of pondering time....examining how this would work.  AOC never explain the 'how' part to this proposal.

I suppose you could add a 700-percent tax to air tickets, or draft up massive regulations that would terminate most of the airlines....but what's the real results?  Some massive grid of railway travel?

How would foreigners arrive in the US?  Only by ship?  We would revert to the 1940s methods of getting from NY City to Atlanta.....over a train or bus network? 

Would AOC ground Air Force One and limit the President to just boat travel and railway expeditions?

All of those airline folks?  With 27,000 flights a day, and probably between 700k and 900k people in the industry....just let go?  What do you do with the airports?  Just shut them down, and turn the parking lots into playgrounds?

Would we ground helicopters as well? 

This type of chatter from AOC is the kind of thing that you'd expect from an eight-year-old kid.  The sad thing is that it's a college graduate that uttered this. 

How the Virginia 'Losers' Mess Will End

Over the past two weeks, I've sat and observed almost daily how the Governor fell into this blackface discussion....then the Lt Governor fell into a sexual assault accusation....then how the Attorney General also fell into a blackface discussion.  The general perception by the public is that all three must resign.  The fourth guy in line?  A Republican, who sits as the Speaker of the Virginia Legislature.  Note, the three guys in question.....are all Democrats.

So this is how it'll end, and you got to see part of this game yesterday....as a Virginia House bill came up to start an impeachment against the Lt Governor (the only one of the three who might have violated a law).  Some suggest that the draft will easily pass, and a 60 day countdown would start up with the procedure to impeach the guy (he is black, if that matters....and generally regarded as someone who might be in national politics in ten to fifteen years).

I think as you get within a week of impeachment starting up, the Lt Governor will resign.  The Governor will still be around but he'll have a list of twenty-odd people to appoint to the position of Lt Governor (he can appoint the replacement, without a vote).  That replacement, I will virtually guarantee you, will be a woman.

Once this lady assumes the role of Lt Governor, within ten days....I think the Governor will resign, and she will move up.  Then she will select a replacement to Lt Governor, and it'll be a woman as well.  Finally, a week or two after that....the Attorney General will resign, and a woman will be appointed into that position.

So come August, all three 'problem-children' will have been replaced.  Women will occupy the positions in question (my humble theory).  It might be a sad story over Justine E. Fairfax (the Lt Gov) having to dismantle his future, and never become a Senator, and potential future VP....but his episode in the sexual assault thing really screwed up his future. 

Three women resolving this entire Virginia mess?  Yes. 

Friday, 8 February 2019

'Green Deal'

The odd piece of the Ocasio-Cortez 'Green Deal'?  Basically, to pay for it.....you have to use capitalism, commerce, and government revenue.  After you've downsized capitalism, commerce and government revenue....the new deal will eventually dissolve away.  This is one of those moments when you pull out some high grade whiskey, draw upon two shots....and try to imagine yourself riding a stagecoach, and relying upon candles for night time activities. 

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Essay #3: Mass Movements and Boredom

"There is perhaps no more reliable indicator of a society's ripeness for a mass movement than the prevalence of unrelieved boredom."
-- Eric Hoffer

One of the cornerstones to a charged up movement is that you have a group of people with no real 'life'.  They aren't members of bowling club, a church, a weekend softball league, or bear-hunter's association. 

When Eric Hoffer wrote True Believer in the 1950s....he had done a fair amount of study over revolutionary groups and found that those who ran in and joined in the early stage.....really didn't have much of a life.  They were bored.  A mass movement or revolutionary group....was a relief to boredom.

You need a purpose and an identity.  You need something that gets you out of bed and peppy....when boredom is the reality of your life.

When you go and look at the Antifa groups, or the young social justice warriors.....they all have the same basic element....a bunch of members who don't have much of a life or enthusiasm for anything beyond their 'club'.

My brother (the engineer) often makes the analysis that guys need a good eight to ten hours of hard physical labor to get the boredom out.....to prevent them from doing stupid things (like tipping cows over at 11PM, or drinking to 2 AM in a honky tonk).  It's probably true that if people just got that boredom all pumped out.....they'd quietly avoid mass movements or social justice warrioring. 

Essay #2: Mass Movements and Hatred

Hatred is the most accessible and comprehensive of all unifying agents.  It pulls and whirls the individual away from his own self, make him oblivious to his own weal (a bruise left upon the body after a slap or hit) and future, and frees him of jealousies and self-seeking. 
-- Eric Hoffer

In a true mass movement, you need something to 'hate', resent, avenge for, or just something to bother you on a day-by-day or week-by-week basis.  Just being satisfied and happy....won't achieve a long lasting attachment to a movement.

The neat thing about having this hate or resentment....being in the company of others....you can sit and talk about your hatred, and find companions who feel like you do.  A team of 'haters'?  Well, it's a great thing.  They can come out to some meeting and get all hyped up....getting the adeline flowing, and feel a certain charge.  You don't get that with 'love' people or happy people.

So you start to look around and notice that social media has created various 'hate-groups'.  They seek your attention and look for charismatic folks with hate-charm, and push them to the front to further the talk and escalation of more hate.

You can create songs around hate....comic dialogs based on hate....movies driven by hate....and even sports hype to generate hate.  The NFL, with the Colin Kaepernick kneeling business helped to generate hate, which translated into lesser TV rating, fewer fans, and a very likely NFL strike in 2021.  News story generations can be contrived in such a way that a hate-fan base will feel great happiness in the hate story, and drive the movement along to the next agenda. 

As long as people are oblivious to the hate hype and continue to fall for the 'trap'.....it proceeds on.  The minute that you have people stop in mid-stream and start to ask questions over the hate.....then you have a problem. 

If hate swivels up and slows down?  The mass movement is in trouble. 

Virginia, Blackface, and Intrigue

Over the past two weeks, I've sat and watched this episode with the Virginia Governor, and Lt-Governor.  Both are democrats and it's just rather odd that some downfall would occur like this. 

First, you would think that in the vetting process...both (the Governor with the blackface episode and the Lt-Governor with the sexual assault episode) should have laid this out prior to running, or someone should have spoken about this.

Second, both intend to stay on and fight for their cause. 

Having grown up in Alabama in the 1960s and 1970s....I have to admit this rare fact....you just didn't have plays or parties going on, with blackface being used.  Maybe I didn't hang out with the 'right' crowd.  But you just didn't notice things like that.

This sexual assault story?  Once you sit down and read the whole story....it just reminds you a lot of the Michael Douglas 1987 movie....'Fatal Attraction'.  You walk into some situation....bump into some lady who is not completely 'normal', and wake up to realize you got a mess on your hands.  I feel sorry for the Lt-Governor, but I think every single guy in America....by age 18, should watch 'Fatal Attraction' and write down a dozen personal rules about situations to just walk away from and avoid like the plague.

Why so many people latching onto this scandal-drama?  Well....the public, mostly because of social media and stupidity, are behaving like a herd of cows.  While there was a time when the controllers of the internet could herd the cows in one direction.....I suspect we've entered the stage where the herd can flip and turn quiet well now.....on their own.  Just one hint of a scandal, and that can move out and reach one-million people in a matter of six hours.  Politicians are just not prepared for this type of environment where some little small scandal item from 1984 pops up, and they have to launch into a defense.

The odds that the next Governor's race in Virginia will be a freak show?  I think it's going to be hard to sign up for a race, and have everyone drilling down into your past....to find your sexual assault or your blackface incident to show up.  A simple DWI from 1982, or a financial mess with 22 credit cards in 1998, or four-week visit to a 'fat-farm' in 2002.....all could lead to some public 'casting of the stones' on the candidate.  Just admitting that you routinely bet $50 on NFL games, or that you dated a Russian-model for a year in the 1990s....would be enough now to disqualify your candidacy. 

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Warren, Fake Indian Heritage, and Gullibility

Today, after this business came out with Senator Warren and her registration with the Texas bar association years ago as an American Indian.....I sat pondered over this.

Imagine yourself standing there and needing some lawyer, and you walk into this private office area, and here are a couple of American Indian paintings, a picture of the Indian warrior gal with some chief, and a stamped certificate noting her Indian heritage.  For most folks (at least from Alabama), this would have triggered you (the customer) to ask about this heritage.

Course, the lawyer gal would have told you some 3-line story about grandma such-and-such who was fifty-percent Cherokee, and how you were proud of the heritage.  But then the Alabama in you....would gone on to ask how Grandma was 50-percent Cherokee.   The 3-line piece simply wouldn't worked.  You'd basically be asked for the two-page story, which Warren would not have prepared herself for that chat.

The problem here is that so many Americans are just plain gullible.  You could make up some story that your Uncle 'Joe' ran off and joined the circus in the 1950s, and folks would believe it.  You could make up a story that your dad was a Mennonite who escaped the family farm in the 1960s, and fought in Vietnam.  You could make up a story about yourself, in that you took a month off in 1989....went to Alaska, and shot two grizzly bears.  People are simply gullible enough to believe these stories.

In fact, the further you can take this....like in some university or US government job.....the more dramatic that the story can be.  There are probably 350,000 guys walking around the US today and claiming that they earned a Medal of Honor (since the Revolutionary War, there's only been 3,522 people awarded the Medal).

You can go over to a major American public university and ask them to state how many American Indians are attending, and find out that at least 300 students from the University of Alabama.....are American Indians.  Factual?  It's doubtful.

But that's the thing about this whole business.....people are gullible enough to believe just about anything you make you make up.  You could take two weeks of leave from the office....disappear totally, and show up in two weeks with bandages and wounds on yourself.....telling folks that you went on some safari to South Africa and got attacked by lions.  Folks would be all driven to believe the story and ask you to relate the lion attack story.

There's a problem here, but we seem to really enjoy being entertained.

Trump and the SOTU Speech

I normally don't watch these State of the Union speeches.   As a kid, I can remember two or three by Nixon, a couple by Reagan, maybe one of Clinton's eight speeches, and maybe bits and pieces out of the last twenty years. 

From the Trump speech yesterday, there were three things that I kinda noticed.  First, it was a direct and blunt statement to socialism.....which I think he's going to label the 2020 election about socialism.  Those Democrats showing up in the primary in early 2020....have a script already written out to hype socialism....which I have doubts that the bulk of Democratic voters outside of metropolitan areas will sign up to.  If Trump's team just runs ads of Venezuela and what socialism is all about.....then their candidate probably won't even cross the 60-million vote point. 

Second, as much as Pelosi tried to appear focused and busy in the background.....I just kept looking at her as he spoke.  I suspect a lot of people did.

Third, it just seemed like every paragraph to his speech....had some honored guest of Trump in the background and getting mentioned.  An agenda to each single person?  Yes.  You can't help but notice that angle.

As for the short opposition speech from the Georgia candidate for governor?  Meaningful....but it just wasn't as dramatic.   And the forty-odd people behind her?  I would avoid that in the future when you do another opposition speech. 

Mass Movements and Suddenness

"It is a truism that many who join a rising revolutionary movement are attracted of the prospect of sudden and spectacular change in their conditions of life.  A revolutionary movement is a conspicuous instrument of change." 
-- Eric Hoffer

This is the beginning of a seven-essay series I'm writing from True Believer, the 1951 book written by Eric Hoffer, which drills down into mass movements and how various agenda groups 'stage' an event or two....to captivate an audience and drum up support for sudden change.

One of the odd features of mass movements is that they typically don't involve people over the age of fifty.  It's hard to convince older people of some event requiring you to stage a revolution for change.  This is the crowd with a skeptical nature....questioning the need for irrational behavior or the sudden arrival of some emergency.

A chief selling point of this mass movement strategy is that people are naive enough to think that sudden change (of any type) will bring about success or good fortune.  Statistically, you can't prove that statement though.

One of the great problems of this mass movement strategy is that you often find people who are in the midst of a great landscape, and they don't see a necessity to get hyped up for revolution.  These are the people least likely to buy into suddenness.  And on the other side of this....you have the group who are frustrated with disenchantment brewing.  This is the group that would like to doors opened and problems resolved.  Suddenness is easy to buy into with this group. 

Oddly enough, all of this attraction involves 'sudden-change'....not something that occurs in ten to twenty years.....but in a much shorter timespan.  This is usually where some individual is telling you that climate change is underway and unless you do something in ten years....the world will end.  A naive guy will buy into sudden change pretty easy at that point.  An older guy will be skeptical and ask questions. 

So when you are confronted with some agenda and it just seems to 'tingle' or swing back and forth....with urgentness and suddenness attached, ask yourself if this is real or fake. 

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

On the NFL

After the Super Bowl ended (I didn't watch, and must admit.....I haven't watched an NFL game in four years)....they got around to talking about the viewers.  It was the lowest watched game in a decade. 

What's really happened here?

Once the kneeling business, and continued attachment to social warrior 'tendencies' hit some serious strides.....people asked some general questions, and then departed as viewers or fans. 

Here's the thing about it.....very shortly (might be here in 2019, or 2020).....the salary structures are going to be discussed with ticket sales and decreased TV viewer ratings.  All of this will likely lead to a 10-percent cut in pay for the majority of players.  Hostility brewing? 

There's some talk about the 2021 players-owners contract and how this will go.  So 2019's season is awful critical.  Everyone needs to get fans back on board, and just plain stop talking social-warrior chatter.  The players and teams need one season where there is no negativity for fans to talk about.  The Colin Kaepernick 'saga'?  It needs to end.  Some team needs to just offer the guy a back-up quarterback contract, and Colin needs to accept it and move on with what is left in his career.  He might be able to squeeze four more productive years out of this mess. 

What happens if kneeling and social justice events continue into 2019 and 2020?  I'll go ahead and predict a lock-out/strike for the summer of 2021, and players get shocked that owners aren't rushing out to resolve this mess.  Yes, the entire 2021 season might not even exist.   For college players aiming to arrive in 2021?  They'd best start planning a plan-B type situation for that summer, and the fall.....looking for real employment to cover their bills.