Sunday, 20 August 2017

The Temperature Has Risen to 451 Degrees

Back in the mid-1950s (1953 it was published)....we had this book to arrive from Ray Bradbury.  It's safe to say that Bradbury always wanted you to think about things....ponder....and realize consequences.

The book?  Fahrenheit 451.

The book centered around an American society which had fallen off the wagon....gotten itself into a terrible state of crisis, and decided that various ways of thinking could not be accepted.

The consequence of this society?  Burn books.

Various thugs were detailed out to the job of handling book destruction.  It's safe to say that their central theme was that books gave you various view-points, and that was an unwise thing.

I read the book Fahrenheit 451 in the late 1970s (after high school). At the time, I thought it would have been a great mandatory book to have read around age fifteen/sixteen....coupled with a civics class, and have an entire hour of debate over the wisdom or illogical sense of one single view-pont or burning books.  On the negative side, to me....it was a fantasy type book.  I felt that from the two or three readings that I had of Bradbury material....they required reflection, heavy thought, and a lengthy discussion afterwards....something I hated about this type of reading.

In today's environment....various groups want one simplified direction on your beliefs, your politics, your economics, your health management, etc.  And that one belief or direction....has to be within their template.

What Bradbury suggests is that you can go down this street, and reach a point where you do irrational things and suffer consequences.  Then you are at some point where you need a fire of 451 degrees or more....to burn a book.  Oddly, in this digital age....the fahrenheit topic doesn't exist.  You just go to burning, erasing, yanking, or destroying what is necessary for the core belief.

In the end, we may be standing around....wondering what this whole tirade was about and how we got to this point.

Friday, 18 August 2017

The 'Glue' War

If you go and ask most folks about the Spanish-American War....their knowledge level consists of a 3x5 card.  Maybe six lines at the very most.

Few will remember that William McKinley was President during this war.  Few will be able to cite the fraudulent causes to the war.  Most will say the key battle was the charge up San Juan Hill.

Oddly, in the vision of uniting the nation....thirty-three years will have passed, and the Spanish-American War become the healing point for the south, and demonstrated some unity and recovery among the GOP and Democratic Parties.

Various characters from Confederacy are brought back into the game (Joe Wheeler for example), and there is this unification factor that now shows one single nation existing....something that hadn't been demonstrated since 1776.

The war?  Few will realize that it lasted a total of three months, three weeks, and two days.

Yes, if you go and look at how the Rough Rider episode occurred....they had barely enough time to get folks signed up....hustled off to a brief boot-camp deal....put on ships, and delivered into Cuba for a brief three-week engagement.  After landing on 22 June....it is noted in history that US troops were already pulling out by 7 August.  Oddly enough, it might be worth mentioning....the chief problem after defeating the Spanish...was Yellow Fever.  Every day that the Army stayed....meant more deaths due to the fever.

When you go and read over the various statues erected (now part of the protest chatter)....if you go and view the history of most of the statues....they come after the Spanish-American War.  Without the war?  I would question if the majority of the statues would have ever been erected.

Only something to think about.

The Remainder of the Charlottesville Year

Upon pondering, I will offer up the script (WWE-style) for the rest of 2017 on the Charlottesville year:

1.  School and university students are returning back to the classroom, and I would expect internal conflict, brawls, and teacher-led discussion episodes to create total chaos.

2.  By the end of September, the first major brawl with dozens of students will trigger one high school to shut down for two to three days.  Others will follow.

3.  University brawling will occur to the extent by the end of October for a couple of universities to either suspend dozens of students, or shut down the campus for a day or two to halt violence.  Several professors will be brought in, and read the riot-act by the Chancellor....being told that they are on thin-ice and might be let go.

4.  Police will say they are under-manned to handle this type of conflict, and will be of no real use for high schools or universities. On campus shootings will likely occur because of the limited public service of the police.

5.  Some major brawl will erupt at a southern NCAA school by the end of November....at the local football game.  Protesters will end up in a fight with dozens wounded bad enough for ambulance trips.  The game will be suspended and the school will threaten to terminate the season.  Some football supporters will say it's not safe to attend games, stadiums will appear half-full for the last few games of the season.

6.  Protest crowds at several southern capitals will cause the legislative crowd to demand real police action, and several protesters end up dead because of attacks on police.

7.  The Attorney General will have hundreds of his people out to investigate high school brawls, college brawls, and protest reactions in southern capitals.

8.  At some point by Thanksgiving....it'll be noted that some NFL stadiums are now affected by the confederacy campaign, the protests, and the brawls.  The brand-name NFL will be damaged by the fan and protest actions.  TV audiences will be pumped up by the violence.

9.  The illusionists with the GOP and Democrats will no longer be able to message anything to bring calm to the public.  Even the MSNBC journalist crowd will admit that this has gone way beyond sanity.

10.  Only frigid weather and snow-storms will help to lessen the violence.  Temporarily of course.

Advice Offered

I noticed this question and answer episode over at the San Jose Mercury News:

Q: I’m a 50-year-old guy who’s been divorced for about a year. I’m beginning to date again, but I’m uncertain who pays for what. A friend tells me that he always pays for the first date when he goes out to dinner with someone new. But after that, he splits the check 50/50, unless there’s a special reason not to, like it’s her birthday. This sounds reasonable to me. But what should I do if, on the second date, the woman doesn’t reach for her wallet as I reach for mine? My friend says he just tells his date, “It looks like your share’s about $X” and hands her the bill. I’m not sure I’m that brave.

I sat for a while over the question, and deemed it an Alabama-essential question to answer.

Solution: First, you need to take a deep breath, and take this date number one gal out to a Burger King or local bar-b-q joint.  Pool hall hamburger or bowl of chili would also be acceptable.  The key emphasis here is that you you don't want to spend more than $15 (with the Cherry Coke or Pabst-Blue-Ribbon included) on BOTH of you.  You pull out a crisp twenty-dollar bill (fresh, just ask the bank teller for new ones that came in) to pay entirely yourself.  You want to demonstrate character, charm, and hospitality.

If things go south on this first date....you can figure it was a wise investment of the $15 and get over it quickly.  Also, if she were to note that she was vegan or had some negativity about bar-b-q....it's good to get this out there quickly, and you can move on.

My brother would likely suggest that the catfish menu option would be a better choice, but then you'd be talking about $9.99 each, and $1.50 for the tea....going well over the $23 range.  This would be the wrong move to show that you go out on the first date and splurge like that.

You should also take note how your date dressed for the dinner.  If she shows up in fairly upscale clothing and $80 shoes....you might have tangled up with some high-maintenance gal.  If she shows up in some $9 Wal-Mart football jersey and $10 loafers....you might have tangled up with some trailer-trash gal.  Being observant on the first date is fairly important.

Finally, if by the end of the first date....you come to realize your gal carries around a Walther PPK 380 in her purse.....says she's got a better sauce recipe for ribs than the bar-b-q joint had....is open to going to wrestling matches....enjoys attending state fairs....and sips mostly micro-brewery beer for the taste-level, you'd best situate the 2nd, 3rd and 4th dates real quick.

The Illusionists and Their Bag of Tricks

Over the past twenty to thirty years, I've had this impression of politics in America being fake or fraudulent.  It doesn't matter if it's Republicans or Democrats. It doesn't matter if it's at the national-level, state-level or city-level.  It doesn't matter if it's hyped up or down by news journalists, bloggers, lobbyists, or intellectuals.

In recent weeks, I've come to a new view of reality in America....that we are in the midst of a great magic show, with illusionists at work.  Charmers and soothsayers are hard at work....twenty-four-seven....to ensure your interest and dedication stay at some level which benefits them.

All the talk for seven years of some master-plan or repair solution over health-care in America....by the Republicans?  An illusion. It was fake.  It was like you had some shaman at work....in some trance-like sequence....talking in foreign speech and impressing everyone with the coming solution.

The Democrats?  They run the same illusion.  You can't dare go and fix health-care....but then you sit in the darken corner and admit that it's fairly screwed up and people are leaving the deal every month.

Journalists?  They work like some diviner who claims he's got the magic water-stick and can find the best place to dig a well.  At prime-time, with your cable-option, you can get the services of a fine 'fortune-teller' who predicts this party will fail, and this individual will fail....then the peanut-butter commercial comes up, or some advertisement over septic tank replacement.

The event this past weekend in Charlottesville?  You can generally say that fake-actors were hired and brought in for the protests....and it's appearing that maybe both sides had hired fake-actors (maybe as far away as California).  Who paid for the fake-actors?  Foundations, who are part of the illusion.  Why use violence in some illusion?  Because with video, you might get more hyped up and think that you can be part of the pro-illusion or the anti-illusion.  The odds of the same foundation funding both fake-actor groups?  Some folks are beginning to look upon this idea.

Some people will even go and suggest that a few deaths in the middle of an illusion is necessary....to keep the audience engaged.

It is an insult to your intelligence and at any moment....you might just wake up and grasp the whole 'voodoo-fakeness' of the situation.  Frankly, I think some folks have reached a level where it's just pure entertainment....like the Amish Mafia reality show, or some pretender analyzing the Kardashian world.  Some of the illusionists are gifted to the level of Charlton Heston or David Hasselhoff.

At some point tomorrow....the McCain-enchanter will go through some hand motion....give some fake talk on his 16th flip-flop of the month....and hype up some political agenda to 'bring-the-curtain-down'.

Across town, some Pelosi-enchantress will go through the same hand motion....give her fake talk on the evils of the Republicans, and hype up another agenda to 'bring-the-curtain-down'.

An illusionist can exist only as long as the bag of tricks is not depleted.  When that moment comes and there's just nothing left to entertain you with the bag of tricks....then you will turn and finally go home....for a long time.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Monuments-Removed-By-Us

I have this idea for a business.

I'd take a new truck, and attach a fairly good crane onto it....to pick-up Civil War statues for cities and parks.  You'd call up....give an estimate on the weight and size....maybe a picture....we'd give you an estimate (always in the $5,000 to $10,000 range).

We'd do the service at night....mostly around midnight to 4AM.

We'd handle the disposal....probably driving to some rural valley of Alabama and just dumping it into a field.

MRBU.  I'd run the company with a max of three guys....mostly all former Army or Marines.

The thing about this is that eventually....twenty years down the line, some interest would come up on such-and-such statue, with some folks wondering about it's location.  I'd let people know that for a price (usually $5,000 to $10,000)....I'd sell it to them and deliver to their property.  So I'd get the business....going and coming.

The Numbers Question

What is the actual quantity of Klan members, Nazis, etc....in the United States?

This is one of those oddball questions that might shock most folks.

For Klan membership....most people who are into the topic will say that the Klan has drawn down to membership organizations in roughly 22 states (more or less).  Actual member numbers gets sketchy.....but 8,000 appears to be high number thrown around.  Yes, just 8,000.

Historically for the Klan....their big period was in the 1910 to 1930 period, with what was estimated at roughly four million members.

The Nazis?  Well, this gets to being a very drawn out affair because various other groups are often thrown into this listing....mostly under the listing of white-supremacy or Aryan Nation types.  In recent weeks, the news media has even tried to throw Alt-Right into the same mixture.  If you go strictly Nazis and Aryan Nation/supremacy groups....it's probably less than 10,000 members nation-wide, and maybe another 20,000 who might have some rare or occasional intersest.  This topic....I will admit....is debatable.  You could have people who think in this direction but aren't members and might only show up for one event or demonstration per year.

So this whole hyped up sense that we have today is about twenty-odd-thousand people out of 300-million residents?  Yeah....that's the size of this issue.

To be honest....on the bean-counting game....there are probably more meth-dealers in America, than the Klan-Nazi crowd.

The Alt-Right crowd?  This gets into various interpretations and the news media makes it more of a amusing topic than a serious topic.  There aren't real organizations or chapters....it's just a loose-fitting group of individuals that might show up on one Saturday for a march, and then just disappear for six months.