Sunday, 30 June 2019

Trump and Kim

Step by step...they are still maneuvering this situation toward some conclusion. 

If you figure Trump will likely be around til's fairly good odds that some type of treaty will be worked out...that simply says the War is over, and there's a new evolution taking place.  Yeah....a 12-line piece that simply agrees there is no real conflict. 

It won't happen in 2019.  2020 is questionable. 

But it'll open up the door for the US to pull out a certain number of troops (24,000 US troops in South Korea today).  My humble guess is that treaty will open up with 3,000 US troops leaving within sixty days, and another 10,000 a year down the line. 

The end-result will be a small contingent....maybe in the 3,000 range by the end of 2024. 

Trade will be established between the US and North Korea as part of this whole deal.

Some folks will be sitting there in shock....that Trump accomplished all of this, without any intellectual state department folks handling the process. 

Saturday, 29 June 2019

Being Irrelevant

I noticed this page two-type story this morning.  The Trump 2020 election national press secretary....Kayleigh McEnany....spoke up on Alyssa Milano (actress)....saying that women (probably men as well) simply "tune out  the Trump critic and that Hollywood's opinions on political issues are irrelevant."

Maybe a decade ago, the opinions of Hollywood types might have been worth something.  In the past decade, the public has generally tired of the juvenile behavior often seen with politics. 

If you are trying to hype your opinion based on your Hollywood status probably are burning a bridge or two to your career....where a quarter to half of the general public have zero interest in products you produce. 

Friday, 28 June 2019

One Odd Feature of the Two Debates

Maybe it's just me....but after you look at the twenty folks up there...did you kinda notice that that there are only three candidates from the south....and all three are from Texas?

Beto, Williamson, and Castro.  Oh, and there is a virtual unknown mayor from Miramar. 

Southern voters?  Well, here's the thing, there's not a lot to attract you over to Joe Biden, Bernie, or Warren. 

So would you look at Beto as a possibility?  Maybe. 

Hurting the southern vote situation?  I think the VP is absolutely destined to be the loser candidate from help balance black and female voters. 

Its Broke and We Want To Fix It

After viewing roughly 75 minutes of the first debate, and maybe 60 minutes of the second debate, there is this one trend that continues on with the candidates....the system is broke and we want to fix it.  I see five essential problems with this theme:

1.  Most of what they are picking....has been broke not just for the Trump era (since 2016)....but broke for years and even decades.  Yes, they are talking about things that were broke in the Obama era, the Bush era, the Clinton era, the Reagan era, and even back into the Carter/Ford era.  Throughout these periods, the House and Senate shifted back and forth.  Each had a chance to fix problems, and some even came to resolve the issue with a 'fix'.....then came later to realize that the 'fix' actually made the problem into something bigger and worse.

2.  The use of the term 'real' change?  This was used a couple of times in the debates.  Are we talking real change versus fake change?  Is real change even a measurable accomplishment?

3. Why didn't a lot of broke things get fixed in the 2008-to-2016 era under President Obama? 

4.  If you add up the fixing 'cost' gets up into the tens of trillions of dollars.  Where exactly will that money be found?  If you are saying new taxes, and it'll be taken from the companies.....will their product costs shift upwards, and be simply delivered to the customers?

5.  If you go down among Americans and ask them about non-government 'things' which are broke.....they will list out hundreds of things.  The NCAA bowl game process is broke.  The way that cable TV bundling is done, and you are forced to have CNN in the basic probably broke.  Parking fees are broke.  The security process at airports is broke.  The list goes on and on.  An average American will tell you about a hundred things which bother them.....which are broke, and there's just not much going to happen to resolve that. 

Sorry, but we've kinda earned the title of a broke nation.....and apparently are fairly happy with broke things. 

That Two Minutes of Beto-Spanish

During the first debate....for a few minutes, Beto switched over from English to demonstrate that he could talk their language.  I questioned the nature of this.

You can imagine some guys sitting at home, and suddenly thinking....what the heck....did 'Junior' flip the channel over to some Latino network, or did the cable company hit the wrong switch.

But this brings me around to the big we need an 'Amigo-President' or 'Gringo-President'?  And if we need one....shouldn't he be actually Spanish or Latino, and NOT some fake Irish-American guy who does a Latino act?

If Beto wins?  Some big push would occur where every school in America would start a Spanish class, and guys would be sitting around the water-cooler at work.....talking about their 'Novia' (girlfriend), or their puta (slut). 

Would President Beto show up for appearances with a cowboy hat, and boots? 

Would Blacks be able to adapt to a Latino-nation? 

For entertainment reasons, I kinda like the idea of bringing the Amigo-President to DC. 

My View of the 2nd Democratic Debate

I'll offer these nine observations:

1.  The more entertaining moment was after Mayor Pete did his explanation over the police-shooting in South Bend....defending his actions....then Swalwell jumped right in to suggest he'd up and fire the police chief right away.  Mayor Pete had a pretty nasty look on his if to say 'Buddy, don't get me deeper into trouble'.

2.  Winner of the night?  Andrew Yang.  Limited exposure, but he gave five-star answers and impressed me.

3.  Weirdest commentary of the evening....some two-minute chat by Mayor Pete on the Republicans and religious groups.

4.  Harris and the 'caged kids'?  They were caged in the Obama era....what'd she do about that?

5.  This talk at some point about moving from regular healthcare to Medicare-for-all?  I don't think it really sold well, and some folks who are happy....won't be happy with this new gimmick.

6.  Winners of the evening?  Yang, Biden, and Hickenlooper.  Bernie and Harris were OK, but didn't seem to have any 'pep'. 

7.  It just seemed to be a series of sound-bytes, and I felt drained out with the format, and ten the 50 minute point.

8.  You can probably whittle the group of 21 candidates down to around seven folks at this point.

9.  The only one on the stage that really looked like a statesman.....was Joe Biden.  It was painfully obvious.

So here in the end, the question for me....can I stand another double round of debates at the end of July?  I have my doubts.

Thursday, 27 June 2019

My View of the First Democratic Debate

I sat and watched about 75 minutes of the two-hour debate.  I'll make these nine comments:

1.  At some point early on (maybe 8 minutes into it), Beto responds at first in English, then flips over to Spanish.  I have no idea what he said.....but he was appealing to Latino voters.  I thought it was stupid, but obviously he felt otherwise.

2  Moderator-wise?  Too many.  But having ten folks up there....was way too many as well.

3.  Boring.  Along about minute 45....I started to lose interest.

4.  Lot of free stuff.  Tax increase to pay for this?  Into the trillions.

5.  The weakest of the evening?  Klobuchar, Castro, and de Blasio.  They should stand down and quit at this point.

6.  Surprise of the evening?  This John Delaney guy.  His comment on Medicare-For-All?  Absolutely correct.

7.  Did ten folks up on the stage screw up the debate?  YES.  I would limit it to four max.

8.  From this group, the only three that I see advancing with potential are Warren, Beto, and Delaney.  None of the remainder were even decent VP candidates.

9.  The chief topic of the evening.....over and that the system is 'broke'.  After hearing this for the 20th time in the first hour....I sat and thought over the chatter.  If it's's been broke longer than 2.5 years, and maybe longer than 20 years.  This triggered me to wonder.....who broke it and how did they break it?

It pains me consider that in 24 hours.....I have to watch a minimum of another hour of a marginal debate.  At least I'll get a chance to see Mayor Pete once more.

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

The Problem With Wealth Inequity

I noticed a couple of dimwit billionaires had some conference meeting today, and they hyped up that something out of the Presidential race (on top of reparations, relief for student debt, save-the-planet-carbon taxes, etc)....should be done to hand more money out because of wealth inequality.

There are three essential things that bother me when this discussion comes up: (1) the government is always seen as the 'middle-man' to get the wealth and redistribute the wealth, (2) there are tremendous odds that when you hand twenty-odd billion dollars out.....that it'll be immediately spent to drive folks with serious wealth inequality further into debt and cause increased inequality, and (3) the likely tool to take wealth is a tax.....which virtually every company and billion (and special interest group) has zero interest in a simple 10-percent minimum tax situation. 

If you add up everything that the Democratic contenders have chatted about in the past couple of goes up into the two or three trillion dollar range.  The increased taxation?  Once you bring this up with most middle-class Americans, they freak out.

It bothers me to some degree that you'd go to George....who mostly just lives with his girlfriend who earns a real paycheck for nursing forty hours a week), admitting that George hasn't worked a steady job in five years, and then via some wealth inequality'd hand George a check for $1,200 each month.  What'd George do to earn that $1,200?  Nothing....except being an adult and suffering from wealth inequality.  What will George spend the $1,200 on?  Mostly booze, drugs, and video-gaming.....or perhaps hand some 2nd girlfriend $300 a month for special 'favors'. 

I'd look at this game and basically quit working at age 35....just let the government hand me my wealth inequality check and hope this pyramid-scheme lasts for at least fifty years. 

How Mayor Pete Screwed Up

I would offer these five observations over Presidential candidate....'Mayor Pete' Buttigieg, and how he screwed up, and lost any chance of winning, or even getting a VP chance....or even a cabinet slot.

1.  The minute that he choose to run....he should have resigned from the mayor's office.  By staying around....anything that went wrong (like some cop shooting a black guy)....was going to demand your time and burn up opportunities.

2.  For all the stuff that Mayor Pete said that he did.....the one thing that he did as mayor....was a lousy job in handling black/minority progress in South Bend.  This event brings out the marginalized job, and begs the question of what he did over the past couple of years that really shows progress.

3.  In terms of real responsibility, this past seven years as mayor of South Bend, is it.  He has supervised more people than Hillary Clinton did over a twenty-year period....but in terms of identifying a real difference in South Bend in that period....he hasn't show much.

4.  The last you want to do in a dramatic public to allow uncontrolled confrontations to occur.  He did precisely that three days.  I was surprised....figuring the mayor's office would have had PR people attached to their office and control the interaction.  But no.....he went and did a two-star job with that confrontation.

5.  Finally, you come to handling public emergencies or chaotic events.  From my period in the Air Force, the one big thing that I don't make any decisions based on half-ass information.  You appoint someone to to dig through the mess, and a month down the assess blame, and improve the system.  If mistakes were made, you admit them.  But you don't go and do some rush to judgement and make things twice as bad as they should be.  In this case, Mayor Pete really screwed up badly. 

What happens now?  Mayor Pete will stand for election in South Bend, and probably win one more election....then move to run for governor of the state.  Maybe twelve years from now....he gets invited to be some cabinet secretary. 

Saturday, 22 June 2019

After Trump and 2024?

If you go and look down the long list of potential Republican possibilities in the 2024 primary season....there's one single candidate who likely walks in Trump's shoes and probably has the charisma and charm to match up to Trump....Dan Crenshaw.

Yes, the one-eyed former Navy vet who serves in the House today from the state of Texas.  He easily meets the age requirement, and gives four-star speeches. 

Able to speak Spanish?  Yes,that's a shocker. 

Ten years in the Navy, and served as a SEAL?  Yes.

Purple Heart?  Yes.

You can go and mark down ten different columns that he's got things checked off, and as long as he stays out of trouble while a House member.....I think he's got the inside deal to be President from 2024 to 2032. 

Friday, 21 June 2019

All This UFO Chatter

If you go and read through the news of the last couple of months, there's been a fair amount of talk by actual government folks (military included) on UFO situations.  Basically, in a short amount of time.....we'd come to the point where real people are suggesting in open talks....the strong possibility of UFOs.

My take?

I have zero doubt that ancient visitations occurred, and there's enough evidence laying around to suggest massive technology/knowledge existed (way over 12,000 years ago), and then via a catastrophic event or two (maybe dozens).....knowledge just disappeared. 

Face it....if you had a society who was 500,000 years more advanced than the Earth, or even 1,000 years more advanced....why bother announcing yourself?  You'd come to observe, take notes, and take a report back to your boss.  You wouldn't come down and try to be part of our culture or society.

Out there on some ship hovering over Alabama is probably a ship with twelve 'visitors' who watch Channel 19 morning news.....collect bar-b-q and taste-compare....observing the daily lifestyle of Judge Moore and former Governor Bentley....gather pecan pie recipes....and monitor cars parked at Baptist revivals.  They put up a 20,000 page daily report to their boss back on Zong, about regular folks and their behavior.  Occasionally, they might come down....enter into a bar....engage in conversation with trailer-trash women....discuss the NCAA upcoming season and the chances of Auburn being number one....and grapple with the MAGA expression and what it really means.

All of this coming to a point of worrying folks?  No.  That's the amazing part of the story.  Folks have been 'faked' enough.....that they believe it's all a joke. 

Ten Things I Expect by 2030

1.  Around half the people in California will be averaging 20 hours of black-out activity on a routine basis.  Neither the government or the grid-people will be able to explain who is to blame.  About a quarter of all California houses will have a gas-powered back-up generator set up and prepared to run.

2.  Black reparations will lead down a trail where $20,000 will be the assigned portion to hand out.  Massive anger will occur as some thought the amount would be in the $100,000 range per adult.  In exchange for the handout, the Republicans will shift low-income neighborhood money downward, and refuse to hand out inner-city money for projects.  That was the only way to pay for the reparation.  Over sixty-percent of those who receive the $20k check.....will have spent the money in ten days or less.

3.  Stormy Daniels will briefly run a club in Vegas called the Trump-Club.  It will close after six months because of a lack of clients.  Toward the last week or two of operation, guys in MAGA and KAG caps began to show up and start fights with non-MAGA hat wearers. 

4.  One state will spend time analyzing the voter lists, and find at least a thousand college students in their state who paying out-of-state tuition....listed on the state voter listing.  In order to quickly close the issue....the governor will offer a choice: (1) pack up and leave the university/state immediately, or (2) pay a $10,000 fine to the state.

5.  The NFL will come to admit that the Kaepernick business has ruined the business model, that ten clubs are now marginally profitable, and that merchandise (jackets, shirts, etc) profits are way down.  A discussion will start up to pay off six club owners and retire their teams.

6.  By mid-2020, CNN will admit that they can no longer use their business model to finance the network (because of decreasing viewers).  Google will step in and spend two years evaluating a Google-CNN relationship.....then eventually simply purchase them instead. GCNN will be the new term used.  Amazingly enough, the ratings don't change.

7.  Ten-percent of California businesses that exist today....will vacate and leave by 2030.  A lot of the blame will go toward property and income tax issues.  Other issues will include lack of affordable housing. 

8.  A US government and private foundation commission will come to agree that alien visitation is taking place on Earth, and that it's possible that over 10,000 beings on Earth....are not originally born here. 

9.  An effort by New York state to hand out driver's licenses to illegal aliens in the US will backfire as more than 10,000 non-New York American citizens quietly arrive, pretend to be illegally in the country and get a license by a totally false name.  These licenses will float around the US for an entire decade, and the state will be ridiculed for the mess it's created. 

10.  Some comedian will come up and announce his candidacy for the 2024 election as an independent.  He'll joke about this and actually get on the ballot in ten states.  The shock will be that he wins seven of these states and through this odd situation, the Electoral College is unable to proclaim either the Republican or Democrat.  It'll go to the House to determine the winner, where eight states are tied in representation, so they have no value in voting.   The same comedian will run in 2028, in all fifty states, and win 26 states....with just enough Electoral Votes to become President. 

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

If I Were Answering the NY Times

The New York Times went and asked all 21 Democrats running for President these 18 questions.....which I read over and felt it was marginally worth asking.

The Questions:

1. In an ideal world, would anyone own handguns? 
- If you lived in a land where they had a Constitution and it listed rights....ownership isn't the question.  You have roughly 3,000 people across the US who die daily via car accidents....should we eliminate ownership of cars?

2.  Would your focus be improving the Affordable Care Act or replacing it with single payer?
- The Affordable Care Act is considered a marginal success, and doomed because cost continue to rise.  What exactly gives you confidence that single payer will provide you the standard of healthcare you have now, at a lower price rate?

 3. Do you think it’s possible for the next president to stop climate change?
- No.  In fact, nothing over the past 500 million years has halted or stopped climate change.

4. Do you think Israel meets international standards of human rights?
- Who says that there is some standard existing?  Who exactly defined this?

5. Who is your hero, and why?
- Ironman.  He put the glove on and remedied this Thanos problem in this last Marvel movie.

6. Would there be American troops in Afghanistan at the end of your first term?
- No.  I'd launch missiles down on any target in Afghanistan and avoid placing a single American on the soil.  I'd have two-hundred drones circling the Earth, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, and have naval ships ready to launch cruise missiles to remedy the problem.

7. How many hours of sleep do you get a night?
- Normally 6...sometimes seven.  It depends on the cat's schedule and if he awakens me at 4:30 to observe his empty food tray and to do something about it.

8. Do you think illegal immigration is a major problem in the United States?
- If you have  a legal means of immigrating into the US....why would you go and illegally enter?  We even make all this immigration paperwork in your home country language.  Just fill it out, provide an ID and let us evaluate you before you start your journey.

9. Where would you go on your first international trip as president?
- Tonga.

10. Describe the last time you were embarrassed. Why?
- I was embarrassed that a bunch of folks associated with the news media were all upset on election night 2016.  They seemed to be behaving like a bunch of 12-year-old brats.

11. Do you think President Trump has committed crimes in office?
- No.  But I think the staff under President Obama might have.  We need an investigation to settle this issue.

12. Do you support or oppose the death penalty?
- I'd like to make a law that just says you can't kill no one.  I'm sure if we just passed one more law, that would fix all this business.

13. Should tech giants like Facebook, Amazon and Google be broken up?
- Yes.  And they should all be motivated (forced) to set their headquarters up in Missouri....preferably the Ozarks area.

14. Are you open to expanding the size of the Supreme Court?
- Yes.  I'd like to have 435 members, with one judge assigned to each district in the US.  You'd be limited to four years of service before being let go.

15. When did your family first arrive in the United States, and how?
- 1639.  We sailed in from London....hired up as Tobacco labor, and got settled on our cost two years start our own tobacco farm.

16. What is your comfort food on the campaign trail?
- Catfish, preferably with hush puppies and ice tea.

17. What do you do to relax?
- Watch Seinfeld.

18. Does anyone deserve to have a billion dollars?
- Is there anyone in existence who has a billion dollars in cash?  No, they have it invested and working magic with companies to produce some stupid product that people are stupid enough to buy, and continue working to expand that billion.  To merely suggest that the billion is 'fluid' is the most stupid question that a NY Times reporter could ask.

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

If AOC Doesn't Win Next November?

Well, I sat and contemplated that scenario today.  There's some good odds that a big-name Democrat or two will run, and knock AOC out of the NY primary system.

What happens then?

I suspect there are three scenarios likely to come up.

1.  Run for Chuck Schumer's Senate seat in 2022.

2.  Sign up to CNN's expert crew, sit around to analyze things, and run again in 2022 for her seat.

3.  Find a foundation, and hang out to run as President.

Monday, 17 June 2019

The Africans

News journalists have hunted down some of the African guys who crossed the Texas border into the US, and asked questions.  This crowd, unlike the normal Latinos folks....don't answer many questions, and have no interest in being noticed.  The fact that they have a fair amount of cash on pay the smugglers, and the Mexicans along the way?  This leads me to one curious scenario.

For the past decade in Africa, there's been a serious effort to build drug in different parts of Africa, there are drug-lords who run their operations supplying various drugs throughout Africa, and there is a suggestion of the flow going into Europe.  My suggestion is that the drug-lords have funneled capital to these young guys, and sent them to establish a cartel front in the United States.   Competition for the MS-13 gang and the Mexican cartels?  Yes. 

Maybe I'm wrong, but it's just odd how they have  'quiet' behavior on how they got to the US, and how they have cash on them. 

Eight Observations Over the 2020 Election

We are about six months away from serious campaigning but the Democratic debates start already here in June, so the season is heating up.  So ten observations to make:

1.  Trump has virtually no competition in the primary, and there's a pretty good chance that he won't make more than twenty public speeches/appearances from January to April.  So he's saving around 90-percent of his funding.  From July on in 2020, he'll have a massive chest of money sitting there.

2.  The effort to use mandated public tax submissions to restrict Trump from entering the state primaries or November election? Unless they make the rule for all state candidates, it won't work and the Supreme Court will settle this in quick fashion.

3.  I would presently give Joe Biden and Mayor Pete the primary odds of being the final candidate.  Warren, Sanders and Beto are secondary choices.  The only VP out there (virtually guaranteed) is Georgia's Stacey Abrams (the loser from the Governor's race). 

4.  Whether people believe it or not....a major shift will occur in the House, and I'll go and predict that the Republicans have a majority of ten to fifteen seats once the smoke has cleared.

5.  Fake news is discussed on a daily basis, and various people will have their Facebook accounts frozen because they passed around fake news. 

6.  Black males will go nationally at around 30-to-40 percent for Trump.  Double of 2016.  In some southern states, black females will move up to around 25-percent for Trump.  The Latino vote will double in several states.

7.  The top five campaign topics will be: the Census, college debt, immigration, the Wall, and anti-Trump talk.

8.  A large portion of the public will openly comment that election campaigning is now a full-time situation....365 days a year....year in and year out. Election fatigue will be openly discussed.

Odd Aspect of Iran-Tanker 'Attack' (If It Was)

This US Navy video (you can see it over at YouTube).....shows a non-descrip vessel alongside the tanker.  Counting the folks, there's one pilot, and around ten guys on the front half of this plain commercial vessel. 

This Iran boat that everyone hypes up not a military vessel.  There's no 50-cal gun...nothing.

I went down the list of normal Iranian military boats.  Nothing on the list really matches up to it.  Kinda odd.

Missile launcher type vessel?  No.  This is a light seagoing boat that might carry 20-to-25 people max.  Support role.  I don't even think it'd be classed as a deep-sea type boat. 

Bunch of civilian guys with some fake agenda to stir up trouble?  It just makes me wonder.

Is There Any Difference Between Foreign 'Dirt' and Domestic 'Dirt'?

It's a curious question.

Some American guy comes up to you....saying he's with such-and-such New Orleans foundation and has 'dirt' on some Republican candidate.

Some British pretender-spy comes up to you and says he's got the same basic 'dirt' on some Republican candidate. 

Is there any difference here?


Some barber from Reno (an American) and some French journalist from Paris....same 'dirt' aspects....same value?  Yes. 

'Dirt' is 'dirt'.  If you haven't figured that out might want to open up a beer and think about the implications. 

Saturday, 15 June 2019

Fake Doctor Stuff

I spent half-an-hour this morning reading over a fairly simple 40-line story written by a journalist who talked to a Yale professor gal....Brandy X. Lee.  The professor, an expert Psychiatrist....says that she's putting out a warning that President Trump's mental health (declining minute by minute)....has reached a point where the country is at a point of 'no-return' (destruction of modern civilization is at the brink). 

To be honest, I had to read this story four times, and sat for about eight minutes trying to grasp is Ms Lee is actually a intellectual, or just some fake intellectual with a degree of marginal value.  I eventually came to the opinion that she's another person with a marginalized education/degree, and she might do well to find a real job.

Course, if she'd suggested that more than one-hundred folks in include House members and Senators, along with some journalists....are in deteriorating mental health.....I might go along with that. 

Avoiding ethical standards?  There's a major standard that got set up in the 1970s for Psychiatrists, who says you can't make a general pronouncement of a person, unless you can meet them face-to-face and have a legit examination.  In this case?  She basically watched some TV clips and made her fake pronouncement.  It'd be the same thing to watch Road Runner or Donald Duck cartoons, and suggest that you've been a mental health case off their cartoons.  The sad thing here is that she works for Yale, and it's an example of the poor level of education that presently exists there.

How to Handle the Oil Tanker-Iran Business

After looking at the videos, the 200 'experts' chatting on the event, and the limited number of facts, I've come to five observations:

1.  While this Iranian military vessel comes up and they 'remove' (take) something off the side of the can't be sure of what they took.  There's no evidence left there, that you can pin onto Iran (at least not yet).

2.  Taking the crew off that rescue vessel (from the oil tanker being abandoned)....was just plain stupid.  It has no return value, and if you claimed that you rescued them....folks just sit and laugh over the suggestion of such.

3.  Oil prices will escalate over the next month.  Insurance rates go up, and shipping companies will ask for 25-to-50 percent more to transport out of the region. 

4.  Did Iran put the mines or shoot the torpedos (no solid evidence of either to establish truth)?  It's pretty stupid as a tactic, and likely to hurt your 'friends' more than the US.  It wouldn't surprise me if some third-party laid the mines out there and Iran gets the blame.  The fact that you could go to a dozen countries (even North Korea) and buy sea-mines via a commercial company?  No one has brought that up, but it's very possible.

5. Does this all give Saudi Arabia more evidence to get hyper on arming-up?  Well....yeah.

So my response would be simple.  Don't aggravate or attack on Iran.  Simply start a convey pattern to lead tankers out of the Gulf with three or four US vessels leading the tankers (set to every other day), and set a five-mile path of 'doom' for any Iranian military vessel coming near the convoy (just blast it enough that they get the message).  Move five US and Brit attack-subs into the area, and allow them to hunt any Iranian sub entering the convoy path, and destroy it (without announcements). All of this will lead folks to suggest a oil pipeline (from Iraq, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia) over to the Red Sea.

On the stupidity level....if this was an Iranian's a full-up '10', and doesn't really solve much of anything. 

Is There 'Dirt' on Joe Biden?

All this anger over Trump and his comment about accepting 'dirt' from foreign sources on his competition....should lead you to ask one funny there any 'dirt' on Joe Biden?

With all those years in DC, and past open life in the news....there shouldn't be any dirt. 

Yet, by Trump talking about have to worry or suspect that maybe Joe Biden isn't pure and clean.  Yes, Trump is faking you out in some minor way. 

The issue is that all these old Senators used to have a very limited path of 'dirt'.  With Mitch or's probably no more than a 3x5 inch card of dirt existing on either guy.

With Senator Warren....ever since we got that Indian DNA stuff out of the way, and she had a beer on TV....there might not be anymore 'dirt'.

With Senator Cruz?  His dirt list might be no more than three lines existing at this point (he probably went across state lines as a kid to buy beer).

But then we come back to Hillary Clinton, and you have this mystery over 'dirt'.  There shouldn't be any left, but if you asked someone their opinion....most would respond that there's likely sixty lines of text to cover additional new and unreported 'dirt'.

So presently, there's probably a hundred KGB guys working on the Joe Biden 'dirt' dossier and the worst they'v found so far is that he cheats on golf scores regularly, steals coffee cups off Air Force One when he rides, and very fond of Latino women who serve him Pina Coladas. 

On the Bill Clinton scandal-dirt scale....he'd only rank a '3' out of a one to ten score. 

Interior Bickering

The Pentagon is going out to buy/build two new Air Force One planes for the President.

However, this has become a hot topic now....because President Trump suggested a redesign of the colors on the plane.

He wants to dump the baby-blue color scheme, and go more 'colorful' (meaning something of a red, white and blue.

So, it's comical....yesterday, an amendment was attached to the Pentagon spending plan by a Democratic House member (Conn), which calls for congressional approval on “interior, paint and fixtures.”

Yes, you'd have a committee, or sub-committee in charge of Air Force One interior and exterior decoration.  You can imagine the hearings....the 'experts' called in.....the challenges involved. 

Will the amendment stand?  I have my doubts.  I just can't see Pelosi wanting to get into the middle of some interior/exterior decoration committee and having a public fight over a carpet change, from x-color to y-color. 

Ridiculous?  Yes, but that's the level of frustration that you have these days. Perhaps someone ought to suggest that all House and Senate interior/exterior schemes should be reviewed by the public, and they should face some public approval as well.

Friday, 14 June 2019

Index of Peace

Someone went and did a survey of 'peace' around the world, and built an index.  The US rating?  We were around 128 on the list of countries, in terms of safety and peace.

I sat and pondered over this index and the way they built it.

The problem I have is that if you went to an individual state (say Alabama, and in particular the northern third of Alabama).....we probably would have rated up there with Iceland (the number one country in terms of 'peace' and safety.

But once you push in assaults, shootings, murders, and various other non-peace events.....well....the nation of the US can't compete with Iceland (rural Alabama could).

Why so much lack of 'peace'?  I look at five issues:

1.  Drug abuse and the escalation over the past three decades.
2.  Seriously mentally-ill individuals who have two choices....roam freely among the public, and thrown into a prison-jail system.
3.  A national belief that we are the world's protector, and we willingly roam around looking for some 'mess' to solve.
4.  A national willing nature to let problem behaviors to develop and get worse.
5.  Lack of respect, across all lines.

But the idea of letting these PhD folks continue this trend, and toss the everyone into some big joint 'group'?  It simply promotes a fake survey and data in the end. 

The Ten Essential Problems With Politics Today in America

1.  You are told daily that such-and-such massive problem exists, and only Washington DC with the aid of such-and-such party....can save the day.  After you've seen forty of these odd 'saves', you obviously connect the dots and suggest that the solution simply changed problem 'X' to problem 'Y'.

2.  Getting people hyped-up twenty-four hours a days a week.....365 days a year, has given you what result? 

3.  People have begun to look at candidates (for any office, not just the Presidency) and begun to recognize that some folks have a six-line resume (enough to put on a 3x5 inch card). 

4.  Just about every single detail or path in now politicized.  Fifth-grade school kids now argue over politicized topics.  Seventy-year-old women at the local beauty parlor.....argue over politics.  Farmers who used to discuss weather, tractor maintenance, and cattle argue over politics. 

5.  If you gave a mental test or intelligence exam to 435 Congressmen and 100 Senators, most folks are convinced that a fair sum (maybe ten-percent) would fail.

6.  Virtually every single House member is working around the clock for his next election (two years away). 

7.  No one can explain the federal budget or where the money went in support of. 

8.  Some political agendas include the idea that a non-citizen has just as many rights as a voting-citizen. 

9.  Journalists are no longer journalists.

10.  The news is biased, slanted, or remarkably fake. 

Boredom Politics

In roughly two weeks, the Democratic 'debates' start up via NBC....over two nights.  I are fairly excited that this will be a Wednesday and Thursday night situation....with ten different candidates each night.

It's bad enough when you get like five guys up on a stage and limited to a two-minute response, but you get ten, and repeat this the next night?  I'll go ahead and predict this....that the audience watching on second evening will be half the size of the first night.  If you drew the card for the second night group?  You won't make any points and this will be the beginning of the end.

Moderators?  Five of them?  Yes. Lester Holt, Savannah Guthrie, Chuck Todd, Rachel Maddow, and Jose Diaz-Balart.  This will be another problem as they 'run over' each other in asking questions or moderating.

I expect this by the weekend after the 2-day event to be categorized as a mega-screw-up.  With this many folks, I think it'd been better to have just candidates up on the stage with one moderator, and just repeat this every other day for two weeks. 

Then add to this fury in that they will repeat this roughly a month later (unless this goes terribly wrong). 

Trump to watch?  That's another thing.....he'll be firing away on Twitter....minutes after some stupid comment is made, and the public will be viewing his comments against the NBC episode. 

Thursday, 13 June 2019

Draft Law on 'Dirt'?

Yep, like you'd suspect....the Democrats announced today that they are building a draft law which mandates that all candidates, upon getting 'dirt' from a foreign source.....must turn that 'dirt' over (suggesting the FBI).  If the 'dirt' comes from a US source?  They aren't that clear if that will be legal or illegal.  If the info comes from some barber from Tulsa, and he got it from an illegal Mexican.....well, that might be reportable, or it might be non-reportable.

Yeah, it's got the scent to it of being a failed law.

So in the midst of a debate, reporter 'Joe' could ask Trump if he has 'dirt' on the Democrat, and Trump could say 'yes'....then the follow-up question this from a Russian, a Brit, or some tow-truck driver from Iowa? 

Who will get this dirt?  They haven't said for sure, but it'd have to be a Justice Department guy, or maybe some FBI guy.  A bureau of 'dirt'?  Well.....yeah, you could say that.

Will this pass?  It'd have to pass via the House, and then the Senate, and be signed by the President.  Course, they might be shocked that Mitch says fine with the Senate and gets every Republican lined up.  The President might say sure, and even sign it in the Rose Garden.  Challenged?  I suspect the Russians will immediately challenge this in court and say that it's unfair that they got 'dirt' and can't hand it to someone to use.

You can just see that Ginsburg gal on the Supreme Court and trying to find some legality to this idea, and how foreign 'dirt' is different from US-generated 'dirt'. 

Do we really need more regulation on 'dirt'?  And will this provoke CNN into having a full-time 'dirt' analyst on the payroll.....talking daily about 'dirt'? 

School Story

There's this experimental school underway in Germany.....probably in the range of five to ten total across the entire nation.  The basic idea? come in as a kid (after the fifth grade) and have a long talk over your interests, and you build your own 'agenda' or projects.  Yes, self-learn.....self-taught.

Most people will suggest that it's fairly doomed, but I think it's a bold idea.  If you'd come to me with just the basic algebra book, without wasting hours and hours of marginal teacher-to-student time, I probably would have achieved 10th grade algebra by the sixth-grade.  I probably would have spent five hours a day in some library....reading over European history, and asking a lot of economic questions.  I came to some point by the 10th grade of seeing school as basically a kid-sitter service, and that a quarter of kids hit their learning peak around the 7th grade.  You got tossed into a room with these kids, and the teacher just resorted to the most marginal level of waste an hour. 

The idea is that you will have a computer network.....some mentors in the background to review your projects....and somehow grade you enough for each year.

The potential that half the kids will be ready for college by age sixteen?  I suspect that might come out of this idea. 

But here's the can line up forty find that at least thirty-five of them need continual monitoring and this luxury of 'freedom' simply can't exist.  You might be shocked that out of 10,000 twelve-year old kids.....there's forty ready for 1st college courses.  It'll be curious how this works out or if they abandon this after five years. 

When the News is the News

The Reuters Institute went out and asked a bunch of questions, and eventually came to this shocking result.....over the past couple of years, in general.....people don't want to pay for online news.  They aren't subscribing for services or newspapers, or 'special content'.

Naturally, you'd then ask....if you have some news group (TV, internet, or whatever) which doesn't get much revenue collected except for 'click-bait' or some special billionaire throwing money into the would you survive?  The answer?  You won't survive.

There is this problem brewing and you could feel it almost twenty years ago....too many groups pretending to be news organizations, and the news just doesn't have content or value. 

It's like asking the question about sports and sports-related news.  Can you dig eighty-eight different stories (of value) out of the Atlanta Braves for the month of May, from sixteen different news sources?  Answer?  No.  So you end up with five stories over some rookie which all basically say the same thing.  Or you get three interviews with the Manager which seem to be all the same content.  If you went back to 1975, there might have been a day-to-day assessment of games, but you might have only seen a total of five stories over an entire month on the Braves.

The same thing is happening with the NFL, the NBA, the NHL, the NCAA football crowd, and various sports.

If you go looking for Nancy Pelosi stories for May, there's probably a total of ninety stories out there, and maybe four have some general value.  The rest are.....'Nancy said' stories. 

Have we come to the end of the news being worth reading or listening to?  Not quiet yet, but I'd suggest various news groups are financially coming to a point where the big-money is gone, and million-dollar deals are going to happen at a lesser pace in the future for journalists.  People are going to start going back to landscaping work, painting their fence posts, fishing, and hobby-time. 

"I Think I'd Take It"

When asked if a foreign 'dirt' would come up on his opponent in the 2020 election, Trump responded....."I think I'd take it".  Naturally, this got folks all upset, and the news media countered that you need to turn this over to the FBI.

So the question to ask there a law that says you need to turn 'dirt' of a political type over to the FBI?  NO.  There is NO such law. In fact, I suspect if you ask the FBI....they'd prefer you not get them into dirt investigative practices.

The 'pee' dossier that Senator McCain delivered?  No such law exists for this type of material to be turned over to the FBI, or the Justice Department. 

If a US government employee or representative is being bribed or blackmailed into doing something?  Yes, there are laws for that, and it's generally required to provide that data to a federal law enforcement service.  If some Senator was doing favors for the Chinese?  If some action involved money or government favors, then that's illegal an you have to react.  But just plain regular 'dirt'?  No.

The problem here for the news media.....they are reacting to this, and the question draws this stimulating there 'dirt' on Joe Biden?  Is there 'dirt' on Mayor Pete?

I'm guessing that Joe Biden is quietly meeting with his advisers and discussing all the various 'dirt' items of the past forty years and wondering if the Russians know about this, or if some 'James Bond' secret agent for the Brits is building a dossier on him.  Mayor Pete?  Maybe behind all this gay business....we end up finding some kind of 'dirt' item that Mayor Pete is really bisexual (not gay) and having an affair on the side with some lady.  Or we find out that Mayor Pete did smoke a joint back in 1998 at a college party. 

In the end, all of this is proving the case that no one takes politics serious anymore, and it's all a big joke. 

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Trump and Oregon

It came out a couple of days ago that the Trump-2020 team is putting funding up for real campaigning in Oregon.  Some folks think it's crazy, but they admit that Trump has a tremendous amount of money in the bucket already....has very little primary action to worry about.....and he has to spend the money somewhere where there might be a chance of winning.

The 2016 situation?  Hillary won with just over 1-million total votes, while Trump pulled up short with 780,000 roughly.  The numbers say that 70-percent of the registered voters showed up in that race.

Odd factors?  Hillary actually lost in the primary to Bernie......Bernie had 360,000 voters show up, and Hillary only had 269,000 (14-point difference).

If you went through the 36 counties in the state....the majority went for Trump.  The blue counties?  Mostly based around Portland, Eugene, Albany, and Salem (ALL in the NW of the state).  All urbanized votes.

The truth is that Trump needs about 150,000 folks to flip their votes, or for another 5-percent of the registered voters to show up and vote this time around.

The improved employment rate?  From Feb of's gone down to around 4.3-percent (dropping by .7-percent).

Selling Joe Biden in the state?  My suspicion is that Hillary maxed out and Joe can't exceed 1-million votes.  Getting black males and some Latinos to flip over?  That might involve around a quarter of the votes that Trump needs. 

So I don't think it's impossible, and that it might be possible to flip those seven electoral votes over. 

Is the Democratic Primary Mostly Over (Before It Starts)?'s the thing.  Once you get past Joey B (Biden) and Mayor Pete, you seem to come to these three character that the news media project some 'light' upon ('Socialist' Bernie, Senator Warren, and Beto the 'White' Latino).  There may be 22 total individuals in the running, but if you sat around and listened to the general public talk about it.....those five are 'it', and Bernie, Warren and Beto seem to be way down on the list.

So these debates that are starting up this month?  A waste of time?  More or less.

It'll be interesting in certain California, to see if Joey B can beat Mayor Pete, or if some massive swing will occur with Mayor Pete. 

In the south?  None of the five really draw much appeal, and I think you are looking at a dismal number of folks coming out in the primary season to vote on the Democratic side.

The 2016 Bernie-Hillary vote?  It totalled at around 30-million total votes from the primary period.  If this primary period doesn't meet that number?  I would suggest that if it's anything less than 28-million, then there's a serious enthusiasm problem, and virtually guaranteed that Trump will win. 

Monday, 10 June 2019

Living in Third-World America

This is a curious page three story, and you have to sit and think about the implications.

So out in California, after the big fire from last year....a fine was established to Pacific Gas and Electric because of their contribution to the fire.  This amounted to $1.5 billion.

PG&E stood up now and said fine....but they are now going to a proactive stance and cutting off power in various regions, IF a red-flag situation exists because of potential wind and threats.

Saturday saw the first episode....1,600 customers/households were affected.  All in the area north of San Francisco (Solao, Yolo and Napa counties.  How long?  No one says much but I would take a guess that weather will be monitored and the wind velocity will play the key role.  You might be talking about six hours of downtime.....maybe on up to twelve hours.

Now, if you were a customer and facing this as a routine situation (where power might be cut for six hours at least three times a month)'d start to think of your situation as being a bit dire.  You don't exactly live in a first-world country anymore.  You might go to buy a $700 generator to provide electrical back-up and expect to spend at least $1k a year in fuel if you live in a heavily affected area.

Likely to influence people into leaving or moving?  I might have patience to play this game for a year or two, but eventually.....I'd just give up and leave California. 

Sunday, 9 June 2019

Did Hillary Arrange The 'Deck' of Cards to Ensure Trump was the 'Intended' Loser?

I was sitting and reading through a group of commentaries this past week, and there was a listing of the things that led onto 'spy-gate' (the fake dossier, the fake Russian involvement, etc), and there's this odd thing that you tended to notice.  A number of people were already starting their 'contribution' to a fake Trump scandal situation already in the July to September period of 2015 (minimum of four months prior to the Iowa Caucus).  We aren't just talking about journalists....we are talking about White House folks, and Justice Department/FBI folks.

The question is....did Hillary, her advisers, the White House insiders....all sit there and devise this scheme that they would help to lead a particular loser-candidate (like Mitt or McCain) to the point of just humberly losing the election?

So you'd need a handful of talking-dog journalists who were pro-GOP, to hype Trump a bit more than most of the others.

Then you'd need certain state primaries to really be set to Trump to easily win (early on in the primary).

Then you'd ensure that all the fake GOP pretenders went full-scale anti-Trump at the Convention point.

Then you'd bring on all these scandal items on Trump, with the dossier in full view.

Trump would either fold up or lose in a massive when they talked over the last four weeks prior to the election and journalists suggested that Hillary had a 90-percent chance of winning.

Then the shock occurred.....the 'intended' loser didn't lose?   Yeah, that's the suggestion several folks have been making.  What really helps here is that various pieces and parts that relate back to the FISA request documents involved various people....not one, two or three.  The fact that Joe Biden might have known of the scheme?  Well, that's been openly discussed but there's no proof. 

The embarrassing thing about this scenario?  Hillary did everything possible to ensure that Trump was the intended loser like McCain or Mitt, but didn't really think much about the type of individual that Trump is, or just how angry the general public is with regular standard politics. 

If all of this were true, and this whole 'spy-gate' scandal started up in late 2015?  It just makes you wonder about the quality of character for people working in the White House or supporting the Justice Department, and just how screwed-up they've become. 

Saturday, 8 June 2019

Letter of Appreciation Story

This is a page four type of story, over the Normandy celebration and Donald Trump.

So, in the midst of these VIP folks who showed up....there was some ceremony fixed up and someone had this remarkable 'certificate of appreciation' type letter fixed up.  It basically said 'thanks' for 99nd time for the valiant efforts of men who landed from Canada, the US, and the UK on the 6th of June 1944.  I say ''99nd time' because there's been a ceremony at Normandy Beach almost every five years since 1944, and a bunch of political folks (most all who had nothing to do with the landing) want to heap praise upon those who survived, and those who died.

So this 'certificate of appreciation' was put upon a stand and the VIP leaders were set to sign.  You would think that it'd just be four nations that mattered in this signing (Canada, the US, the UK, and France). 

Well....NO.  There's roughly fifteen folks who showed up and wanted to have a chance to sign the document. 

There were a whole bunch of flowery type words which consumed around 75-percent of this one-page letter/form.  I looked at the form, and the results.

So these VIPs showed up and signed up at the bottom, and it's pretty messed up with couple of folks having limited space for their normal signature block.  Then finally, Trump shows up.....with almost no space really to sign this worthless piece of paper which is produced every five years and has no legit value anymore.  Rather than trying to write a smaller signature block.....he goes to the top of the letter and just writes at the very top of the form.

Folks freaked out.

Yep, he did the impossible.....he found room at the top for his signature block.  The idiot who designed the appreciation letter?  He could have made a 8-line thank-you appreciation letter and left tons of room at the bottom.  They could have limited access to the four nations that mattered.  Instead, they invented a mess, and Trump simply corrected their stupidity.

Part of the reason why Trump seems to be popular, if you think about it.....for years, there's been this element of stupidity that was allowed to bloom and be part of the wonderful world around us.  We hated this stupidity and wanted it corrected.  Day by day, he's shrinking the size and shape of the stupid people. 

Friday, 7 June 2019

My Thoughts on Therapy Animals

Here's the thing....up until the late 1990s.....a couple of years after 'Desert Storm', some therapists came to this decision or idea, that therapy dogs/animals were the next best angle at getting to a person's 'problems'.  Scientifically proven?'s just that people react to this odd stimulus and it's a positive trend. 

After this trend started, I didn't think much about it until one day at the Pentagon....they had this incident occur where two therapy dogs meet up on the grounds, and got into some 'fight'.  After that, there was a review of this whole therapy dog regulation there, and people started to ask question about the science to this.  Other than doctors saying it had positive things.....there was no real science to it.

So my theory is this, and it leads to three central elements:

1.  Just in general, folks crave someone who cares.  Oddly enough, a dog fills that void in different ways.  The dog wants to be your 'buddy' or friend.  The dog wants you to be happy.  The dog wants you to walk them or brush them.  The dog wants 'happy-snacks'.  And the dog is pretty sure that you will house them in comfort (maybe give them the $29 dog-blanket, and allow them access to heated or cooled housing). 

2.  Lets just go ahead and admit this.....dogs are probably better companions than someone of the opposite sex.  Dogs never have a bad day.  Dogs don't whine about the boss.  Dogs don't get speeding tickets and pout about the $150 fine.  Dogs don't make scheduling demands about church-time, visits to their relatives, or suggest vacations to Aruba.

3.  Finally, dogs can perceive a bad day, and come up to you with a stick or ball, and you spend half-a-hour getting that frustration out/gone. 

I'm not going to say therapy dogs are the essential answer (you are simply swapping your lifestyle from one direction to another).  Certainly, the dog is better than having therapy burro, or therapy elephant.  But in the end, you might be better off with both a dog, and a spouse/GF/lady-friend. 


The Border Story

It's not a front-page story, and it'll be at least six to ten weeks before the networks start to really discuss this.  But over the two weeks.....a minimum of 500 African folks (we aren't talking US-blacks, but pure and absolute people from Africa) have been caught at the US border with Mexico.  If you do the general statistical game, you can figure at least 2,000 others made it safely through the border. 

How?  No one says much yet.  My guess is that someone in Africa (within the smuggling operations) found two or three older model freighters, and hatched up this dollars-for-a-seat idea (taking a guess of $2,000 a seat) for a two-week voyage across the Atlantic.  They probably have a deal to land in Belize or to the local port manager....dock for 24 hours and refuel....then release off 1,500 to 2,000 'tourists'.  The next day, they leave for Africa.  Within four weeks, they will be back with another load. 

All of this is dependent upon Mexico allowing non-Latin American folks to transit through and leave the country within X-number of days.  If these folks were stranded, it presents problems, and likely increases tensions among the neighbors. 

Making a big mess into a bigger mess?  Yes.  You could be talking about a dozen ships operating like this by the end of the year, and 10,000 Africans crossing the border weekly, on top of whatever number of Latinos were doing it before.

Where will they be heading once across the border?  Unknown.  I would take a guess that it'll be metropolitan type Atlanta, Chicago, Baltimore, LA, and Miami.  Homeless?  Probably so, but homeless in the US is better than staying in Africa.  But here it gets interesting.....if you already had several million undocumented Latinos on the black-market of jobs, and you separate this out so that there are several hundred-thousand undocumented Africans also on the black-market job.....won't this whole system end up in chaos and physical violence?  More than likely. 

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Gun Story

It came out this week that here....roughly four months after New Zealand enacted this 10-star gun legislation after the Christchurch mass force the hand-over of most all guns in the country....a total of roughly 1.5-million guns....that so far, only about 530 guns were handed over to the cops.

Yep....530 handed over.

It's an amazing story.  Almost every network hyped up the legislation and how this was going to resolve everything, and that virtually every single New Zealander was going to cooperate with this. 

Adding to this.....around the fall of 2020, there's a national election set for New Zealand, and I'm willing to guess that at least one or two parties will ask for the repeal of the gun law.

So all this hype?  Mostly for a failed program that the general public hasn't bought off on?  Yep.


I noticed in the news this morning that AOC (our favorite Congress-lady) came to use the expression 'sashay' in comments yesterday.

It's not a typical expression or word used in modern-day America.  In fact, you'd have to go and watch 1930s movie to hear it used a good bit.

Sashay typically means you are are out walking, and you've got some kind of weird hip and shoulder action, which might indicate you got 'lucky'.....won some poker game.....walking in some gaudy fashion to impress guys....or acting out some theatrical image.

For you older guys, this means your hip is swinging out in some funny way and your shoulder is literally throwing your elbow outwards. 

How AOC came to view and toss that word out there?  Unknown.  She must have been watching a couple of 1930s movies and caught the word. 

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Weed Ice Cream

I was in Amsterdam for a few hours yesterday, and happened to walk through the city and see this ice cream stand.....with marijuana-type ice cream. 

I was sitting and contemplating the attraction to it.....especially on a hot day, and maybe having two or three of these ice cream 'cones'.

Getting doped up on ice cream?  Maybe, but I'll bet you would have to consume at least three of these to get a buzz going.  And the taste? just can't beat least that's my humble opinion. 

The thing that gets first trip to Amsterdam was back in 1984, and you look at the pro-weed commerce angle....there's about a 1,000-percent movement in creating literally thousands of products and all perfectly legal. 

Monday, 3 June 2019

Voyage to Nowhere

This is the simple side of this cruise story of mine.

Ever since the 5th grade, I've had this interest in seeing Norwegian Fjords.  This goes back to loaned movies to the school of National Geographic pieces, and it was one of the top ten things I wanted to see in my life.  My wife had this interest in testing a we put these two together....found this tour company, and arranged a 7-day cruise from Amsterdam (flying there from Frankfurt), up to the Fjords for three days, and one day in Tilbury, UK.....then back to Amsterdam.  Nice cabin, full drink tab, etc.

Another element of this is the German TV series 'Love Boat' (they film three of these per year and give you the impression of a great life on cruises). 

So we arrived, boarded, and set sail at 5 PM on Thursday of last week.  We waved to folks on the dock (mostly a guy walking a dog.....two druggie-looking guys....and a woman riding a bike). Then we stood there for about 40 minutes as we backed out of the 'stall' and sailed toward the canal and onto the ocean.

Around 6 PM, we had this training to evacuate the ship and were introduced to two life-jackets in our cabin....that appeared to be of Wal-Mart quality (the $9.99 type).  There was something about 3-bells and 7 bells....that part I remember but not to the degree required. (ask Navy guys about this bell business)

Around 7 PM, I noted us pass (still on the canal) some industrial area.  It was the kind of landscape that made a great picture.  Then we entered into the ship, spent 70 minutes eating, and exited on the opposite side.  Then we kinda noticed this industrial area landscape on that side (the same area), and I commented to the wife, we'd turned around.  About ten minutes later, we 'parked' on some ramp area, and the Captain said.....well.....we struck 'something', and he was asking frogmen to come out and analyze the 'damage'.  What?  Well....he couldn't say.  I would suggest a tree trunk, a 55-gallon drum, or some Russian sub.  The wife didn't take well to the sub idea.

We stayed parked there till about 1 AM, and then sailed on.  At 8 AM (Friday), the Captain comes on the intercom and says.....things are fine, and he's going back to max speed (16 knots) to make up for 7 hours lost on 'damage' review.

Friday is fine.....but along about 12:30 that night (after midnight).....this intercom in the room goes active with 3 bells.  I was sound asleep, but I went into Desert Storm mode, and thinking 'fox-hole' or bunker.....then realized the ship situation, and went to grab the Wal-Mart life-jackets.  He says.....well.....shocker, at top speed, there's a vibration.  The gears are messed up and the propeller is not working well.  So he was cancelling the cruise.

Naturally, with the German wife....the next hour was spent listening to her grumbling.

Saturday?  It was turn-around day and we sailed on back toward Amsterdam.  New problem now.....what port do we land in?  Amsterdam and Rotterdam are issue in a two-day parking, but this was a repair deal and might be there five to seven days.  So we end up aiming toward a no-name port about 15 miles west of Amsterdam (in that industrial area). 

We land at 7 AM Sunday.  Here's the one knows nothing.  Not the Captain, the tour agents, or even the bartenders. 

Around noon, they announce that everyone stays onboard til Monday except the Dutch folks (they can leave the ship). The Brits have to wait until Tuesday when they can special buses to take them by ferry back to the UK. The Germans (including me) can exit Monday morning.  Then here's the plus-up.....all your money back on the trip, a free-trip voucher (must be used in 2 years), and 25 Brit pounds in free drinking credit.  So the other story came up.....folks were planning for our return trip and things would all be fixed on Monday.

Well....we get on this bus.  An hour later, we are in the port area of Amsterdam, and then get received by this Dutch lady.  She knows nothing, and says you need to get home on your own. Yep, we were 'dumped' by the ship.  My return airline tickets? Set for Thursday afternoon.....but no hotel deals from the ship folks.  So I buy $300 worth of train tickets to return.  The return of the money for the trip?  I'm about 99-percent it will happen.  But part of me is wife is 99-percent suspicious and doubts the money will ever come back.  I think they will pay me for the train tickets (at least they hinted that part). 

So, we went nowhere for four days.....saw the Fjords of the Netherlands (mostly the industrial area)....I sipped through 30 Gin Sours over four days (all watered down).....then the great adventure ended. 

What I took away with the trip?  Well....of 1,400 passengers.....probably 1,250 were Brits over the age of 60, and half of them were over 70 years old.  Food was bland, and the drinks all watered down.  No one working for the cruise line.....on the ship.....seems to know anything. If they do bring on a comedian for entertainment.....the guys jokes are mostly from the 1970s.  Fashion from the Brits ranged from modern clothing styles of the 1970s.  As for that German 'Love Boat' show?  Man, nothing came to work or feel like the show pretends. 

That was the voyage to nowhere. 

CO2 and Hardwoods

I sat this past week and was reading over climate change, CO2, and then came to this odd discussion which you never hear much about.

Plants (trees, grass, shrubs, bushes, etc) take up carbon dioxide (CO2), run through photosynthesis, and in the end....make glucose. 

For statistical averages.....for every six molecules of CO2....the plants take and create ONE molecule of glucose.  More CO2, more glucose.  If you doubled up on CO2, the plants would double up on glucose production. 

For a fast growing plant (or tree), the more CO2 it uses up.  So you could look at this idea and suggest....well, why not plant bamboo in massive quantities (one of the faster growing products in existence)?

But fast growing plants have the lesser life span.  As they die....between bugs, microbes and just plain release....all that bundled up CO2 goes back into the system.  So logic dictates....hardwood trees, which would live longer and bundle the CO2 for dispersal decades longer. 

Making the planting of hardwood trees a high priority?  No, it's almost non-existent in terms of talking over the CO2 issue in climate control.