Saturday, 24 June 2017

The Times Story

Back in 2015, I came across a fair amount of analysis over the financial status of the New York Times.  You can go back almost a decade into the past at that point and see various mistakes of the NYT's and their inability to survive.

I sat this morning and read through a NY Post article...a massive journalist release is likely to occur in the very near future with the Times.  It wasn't just enough to go after editors....there are more people on the list to let go.

The two essential problems in my belief?  First, the Times is attempting to survive in a high-cost environment.  They are stuck....they can't move the newspaper out of NY City....to some lesser or cheaper location.  If you go down the list of employees....you have to pay them for the lifestyle of living in NY City....which isn't cheap.

Second, the Times became over the past two or three decades....a lesser news journal.  The agenda business became more pro-Democrat than analysis over both political parties.  People reached a stage by 2010 in seeing the Times as a lobbyist unit, than a newspaper.

In some ways, the Times is going along the same path as the Washington Post, the Newsweek Magazine, and Time....along with dozens of newspaper across the US.  The customer base lost interest in supporting them.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

The Bergdahl Story

I sat and read over the newest Bowe Bergdahl episode.  He's the Army guy awaiting a court-martial after 'walking-away' from his post, and then was held by the friendly Taliban crowd for a long-while, until President Obama's team could make a trade.

The newest wrinkle on the story is that the defense teams wants the judge (military judge, remember) to send a 41-question form to the potential jurors on the episode.  Somewhere in the mix of the 41 questions....asks the jury members who they voted for in the 2016 election.  Naturally, the prosecution jumped in and challenged this with the judge.  The judge said he'd look over the challenge.

The potential jury members?  All Army members.

Typically, with the Uniformed Military Code of Justice.....no one within the military can be compelled to speak or be forced to declare who they voted for.

It's going to be some odd moment in the judge's office as he looks over this.  As far as I know.....no one has ever asked for identification of your past voting trend.....as part of a jury situation.  Once you allow this to occur.....you open up a mess for future court martial episode.

The amusing about this?  You could say literally anything if the judge goes forward....saying you voted for Hillary, Trump or some professional wrestler.  You could also refuse to answer the question and get yourself off the panel.  

The conviction potential?  If I were guessing here...I'd say it's a 95-percent of a conviction.  The question will arise if they go for the lowest number of years or maximum number of years.  The sad thing is that the guy was stupid enough to walk away and get into a prisoner status with the Taliban-crowd, and was a prisoner for a fair amount of time.  I might give him some sympathy for that period, but he's probably getting a minimum of ten years in some military prison in the end (as a minimum).

Some Advice

After viewing the Ossorf election results in the 6th district of Georgia (3-point margin win for GOP Handel)....I'm going to offer ten bits of advice to the national strategy team of the Democrats.

1.  Maybe in highly urbanized areas, this VIP or Hollywood star involvement makes a difference....but in lesser areas or rural regions, it doesn't go over that well.  I might refrain from using this tactic in seventy-percent of voting districts of the US.  I know your Hollywood types think they are an asset, but it's best to only use in limited situations.

2.  If you have a highly gerrymandered district....built to be 60-percent GOP....don't waste 50-million expecting to convince them to slide 10-percent of the votes over.  If the 6th district had been built with a 52-percent GOP voter trend....it might have been worth the effort but that's NOT the design of the 6th district.

3.  You might need to worry about the 2020 Census and results coming out of that.  I'm guessing that at least six states (minimum) will be redrawing their district lines because of representative losses/gains.  If you don't control the legislative process in those six states.....you can guess the outcome of the redrawing.  Adding to this....the Supreme Court is going to pick up the topic of gerrymandering and either give it a clear path ahead or some drastic interpretation (maybe only using county lines).

4.  Silently across the nation for well over twenty years....jobs actually was one of the top three topics on people's minds.  Job stability, job growth, etc.  What was in the Democratic message over this period and what did you actually deliver?  This perception by people outside of urban zones isn't helping you.  A total revamp of Democratic strategy is necessary and asking the question of how you can actually grow private industry and help jobs to be created.  And please don't immediately jump up and start talking 'green' jobs....it only makes people laugh.

5.  Tone down the Trump-negativity theme a notch.  If you go through to the summer of 2019....approaching the next election period (November 2019) and we find that the threat of impeachment never occurred, no Russian-hacking charges ever occurred, and no one in the Trump administration went to jail.....your entire theme will be laughed upon during the election period.

6.  Gone are the days when you could go to NBC, CBS, ABC, the Washington Post and NY Times to garner and attract public attention.  The Huff-Post threat?  Gone.  They've fired off all their 'silver bullets' and reached a point where profit margins are openly discussed and downsizing of staffs is a monthly topic.  Thinking that's just the national scene?  Note that the Birmingham News is now a 3-times a week publication.  Various regional newspapers which used to carry your message aren't being read at the level of the 1960s or 1970s.

7.  Rebrand yourself.  The time has come to set Nancy Pelosi into the retirement stage and reshuffle the leadership of the Party.  Fresh new faces.....people without attack-talk....different prospective.

8.  Fix healthcare, period.  Every single year since 2009.....the cost pattern of health care insurance escalated. For some people, with the better plans....it means a combined cost of the insurance and deductible of $18,000.  If you look two years in the future....it'll likely go beyond $20k a year.  The only thing that really got fixed in 2009 was that you forced the companies to accept everyone, regardless of condition.  Beyond that.....nothing in terms of affordability occurred.  You might want to openly talk about this failure and how it could be resolved.

9.  Know your voters.  If you aren't willing in seventy-percent of the voting districts around the nation....why?  Take a dozen of highly-paid strategists and fire them.....then go find some folks to replace them but send them out for four months of traveling around nation and get a new prospective on voters and their view of the situation.

10.  Eventually, every musical shuts down.  With the hyped-up nature of politics over the past thirty years, it's safe to say that a fair number of people are fed up with Washington DC, and the continual opera-like atmosphere.  They hit the mute-button on TV.....they refuse to buy various newspapers....they quit watching Sunday morning political-chat TV....and they ask questions which you really don't really appreciate.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

This Otto Warmbier Story

I've sat for several days looking over this story of the American kid who finally got removed from North Korea, and passed away in the US in the past twenty-four hours.  There are a lot of mysterious things over the Warmbier story, but the top one that interests me....is how he got to the point of being in a vegetative state.

My guess?  I think toward the conclusion of the court case.....they began to dope him up.  Guard A would be given some instructions, and in some shift change....give out a dope-dose.  Guard B would come on and get the same instructions.  Guard C would get the same instructions. At some point, Warmbier is permanently in a coma.  The guards can truthfully say they followed the precise instruction they were given, and the idiots above them will realize that they'd killed Warmbier without any intention. The sad fact is that they probably do this several hundred times each month to other prisoners and no one ever says anything about what was done.

My observation on traveling to North Korea?  Why not just select downtown Detroit for a week, and go on nightly tours of the no-go areas of Detroit?  Why not select the gang zones of Atlanta?  There's just no reason to go into North Korea.

Some Reality

I watched a short piece from the Monday night MSNBC show with Chris Mathews.  I rarely agree with Mathews although 30-percent of the time....he does come up with some blunt and true analysis.

So the topic was.....has Hollywood and the news media been insensitive to rural and working-class Americans?  For a brief seven minutes....it was a rare door open on reality and the realization that a whole group of Americans are just fed up (not just with politics, but the news media, entertainment, and public media).

I think if you went out and asked a hundred Americans in some small Iowa town about their view of Washington and politics.....more than half will just start laughing and comparing it to some third-world banana-republic.  The same opinion will be expressed about the Hollywood elite and maybe half the crowd noting they barely go out to two or three movies a year now.

Is this a new trend?  No.  I think it's been going on since the 1970s and about every decade....doubles up.  It's unfortunate at this point....we've reached a point where we refuse to read regional newspapers (making them economic failures), give more viewing to the History Channel and alternate networks and refusing to view various shows from CBS/NBC/NBC (causing chaos with long-term planning), and skipping the news stand with Time and Newsweek on sale.

Quietly, a message is being generated and sent out.  It's not a blunt or harsh message....just that folks won't listen to your theme or message, buy a particular product, view a certain show, or vote for your candidate.

I often point out the problem of the Democratic Party since the mid-1990s, and how they are unable to win more than 30-percent of counties in America now in national elections for President. Five elections have passed since this odd turn of affairs has occurred.  Does the DNC care?  No.  They have specialized groups which lead them to believe that will be enough to win elections.  It's a good formula in urbanized zones (like Atlanta, Baltimore, or Detroit).....it doesn't work well in most sections of Texas or Idaho.

I doubt that Mathews analysis really picks up viewers or changes much of anything.    

Sunday, 18 June 2017

The Levy Email

This past week, I got this personalized email from a big-wig (Cliff Levy) from the New York Times.  Basically, it was a personalized appeal that I needed to support and read the Times because only they had brilliant journalists.  The hint also....was that bloggers simply didn't have the sources for the news.....like the anonymous source folks.....to help give you a four-star story.

It took me about sixty seconds to assess that it was a rather weak and marginalized attempt to get me to subscribe with a newspaper known greatly for it's biased reporting and comical analysis.

The best quote from the email?  "Real reporting is vital in a media landscape full of deceptive or outright false news. And we can do it because we have the support of our subscribers".

Maybe a decade ago, I would have easily bought off on quotes or news from the Washington Post or New York Times.  In the past decade.....I've gone to a different plateau and ask a lot more questions.  Just say some news comes from the Times or Post.....doesn't mean anything to me.  I get this almost nightly now from public TV here in Germany, and find the handcuffed method of convincing me of things to be questionable.

How many people will buy off on this email from Cliff Levy?  My humble guess is less than a hundred people will subscribe.  I would even make the assessment that the Times has reached a point of desperation where it really needs another twenty-thousand subscribers.

Batman Story

I noticed this in comic news (I hate to admit it, but I am an old-time comic fanatic).....that DC has decided to introduce this bold new threat to the Earth.....seven evil Batman-characters (actual Batmen) from other alternate universes, will be coming to Earth and posing some new major threat.

To be honest, just about every single scenario in the book has occurred with the Batman and Superman franchise story.....but this goes off into some really weird and unusual direction.

Batman A, B, C, D, E, F, and G?  All evil and intending to do harm?

Do we get introduced to the gender-switcher Batman?  Is there a goofball-loser Batman in this mix?  Is there a fed-up-with-good-stuff Batman in the group?  Is there a nutcase Batman that will enter into these stories?  Is there some possibility that from some alternate universe that the Joker will emerge as a hero and help save Batman?

Why 490,000 Votes Mattered

The 2016 Trump-Clinton election comes down to three states that Hillary Clinton figured to win, and could not.

Michigan, 16 electoral votes, votes that Hillary needed: 11,000
Wisconsin, 10 electoral votes, votes that Hillary needed 23,000
Ohio, 18 electoral votes, votes that Hillary needed: 455,000

It's amazing over the last ten weeks of the Hillary campaign....there were only 71 stops or speech-episodes in this period.  Most of the stops?  Mostly on the eastern coast....and a couple of stops in Vegas and California.  She did stop a couple of times in Michigan and Ohio, but it appears to have barely helped.

So this entire episode today.....all over the lack of 490,000-odd votes?  Yes.

The number of stops for Tump in the final ten weeks?  106.  Why the lesser number for Hillary?  There's a one-week period for the pneumonia episode, and there are a number of days where there were only one single speech or appearance arranged.

One might reach the conclusion that the energy needed for a massive year-long campaign simply wasn't there.  This is one of the problems of modern-day elections and why youth might play a bigger role than people want to believe.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

What does Collusion Really Mean?

It's been hyped up in the news media for several weeks, so one might want to sit down and analyze what the heck collusion really means.

The plain definition is....a secretive effort, a conspiracy by multiple individuals, or an illegal plan to deceive others....usually to have some type of profit or positive outcome in the end, which they normally would NOT have had with normal non-collusion efforts.

Examples?

You plot with your nutcase liaison girlfriend to have some devious guy hook up with your wife, and the plan is to have your wife fall for the guy.....divorce you in quick fashion with no real pay-off....ditching you, and allowing you to marry up easily with the girlfriend.  Note, all of this is perfectly legal, in a court of law.

You plot with a dozen folks to hype up your ice cream stand with outstanding reviews and Facebook mentions....which pump up business and ice cream sales.  Again, all legit and perfectly legal.

You plot with four guys to buy some city property, which needs a code change to allow you to build a strip bar.  You go and have various talks with several city council folks and talk about your religion, outstanding charity work, and talk about some quiet piano bar club.  They approve the code change, and six months later.....you have the building up and feature topless women.  All of this?  Legit and perfectly legal.

So what does the House team hope to find?  'Bad' collusion would mean money got exchanged and people profited in some way.....meaning illegal stuff and jail-time.  Did money move around?  It's very doubtful.  Did the Russians offer free hookers or cases of wine?  Very doubtful.

Can a court case be established on collusion?  Look around?  Do you know of any Congressmen or lobbyists who've been prosecuted in the past decade for collusion?  A single one?  It looks good on TV.....like a Gunsmoke classic episode with bad-guys.  But seriously, is there anything illegal here? My guess is no.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Resolution Ten Crowd

While I was off on a short trip this week.....the fine folks at the Southern Baptist Convention passed a resolution referred to as "#10".....condemning the Alt-Right crowd/all forms of racism.....in accordance with the gospel.

Yeah, it's actually written into Mathew, Mark and Ezra.  Even Moses hyped up the issues of being Alt-Right and a member of the GOP.  Jesus wept at some point and noted that Alt-Right was a terrible thing....it's all in the scriptures....you just need to read between the lines.

Well......no, it's not there.

Some SBC dimwits made up some hype and went off to say that the Gospel was interpreted to mean this and Alt-Right was something that ministers need to talk negative about.

In a way, the move helps to lessen the appeal of the Southern Baptists and focus some members on the comical behavior of the organization.  It's pretty simple to just say adios and let go of the politicized organization.

The odds that Minister Bob or Deacon Joe will come to visit you after you stop showing up?  You can just bring up resolution ten, and that you think Jesus was actually an original part of the Alt-Right trend.  Minister Bob or Deacon Joe will stand there with some deer-in-the-headlight look, and realize their gimmick to paradise just isn't going to sell well.

In a way, the SBC folks are helping to dissolve the whole organization, with a long-term plan of non-existence.

London Fire

I sat this week and observed the news-feed over the London fire.  A number of things bothered me about this episode.

This was a building with roughly four apartments on each floor....one single elevator, and one single stairway.  In a fire situation, it was a no-win situation.  If you were above the fifth floor, your odds of getting out were severely limited.  If you were above the 15th floor....it's just about impossible odds of getting out.

This material added in the renovation phase from a couple of years ago?  It's been a big sales item in Germany, and I noted last year in Frankfurt.....they had a building which went quickly from a minor one-apartment fire to a massive fire.....same type material.  Luckily, this was a three-story building....not a multi-floor building.  My guess is that in roughly four months.....some PhD guy will come out and prove this renovation material is a major threat, and trigger a massive removal-type situation across Europe.  Billions will be spent to remove it from the exterior of buildings.

Then I come to this personal feeling....that you need some type of rope-harness deal in your apartment and a repel-type device that you could just hook onto a doorway and break a window and slide down.  It doesn't require rocket-science.  Some engineer ought to be able to fashion something that cost less than a hundred bucks and guaranteed to dump you 300 feet to the ground....safely.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

11-9 Syndrome

For several weeks, I've contemplated this new syndrome or mental issue which exists, and have decided the best wording for it is '11-9' syndrome (not to be confused with 9-11 syndrome).

For those affected?  These are people who woke up on Wednesday, the 9th of November....to realize that Hillary Clinton had lost.  The rage, the madness, the hysterics, the frenzy, the ferment and the mania displayed?  It's unlike anything ever seen.

Over the past ten days, the Feds swooped down onto Reality Leigh Winner, who had been some highly recognized and trusted Air Force member....who'd left the service and gotten a contractor job with a TS clearance, and decided that she needed to help punish Trump and bring justice to this world (judge and jury-mentality).  Prior to 11-9-2017?  She was perfectly normal.  The election affected her mentality and judgement. She had a lapse in common sense.

Across the spectrum, you can find hundreds of thousands of individuals with the same affect....11-9 syndrome has made them aggravated enough to say things that they'd never say.  In some cases, they've dissolved marriages or relationships.  In other cases, they've cut off fathers, mothers, sons and daughters.

Could 11-9 syndrome last a full four years?  Undoubtedly so.

If Trump chooses to run in 2021 again?  Would it continue?  I'm of the mind that it would continue on for another four years.

Treatment for 11-9 syndrome?  There are only two possibilities.  First, just wait for a Democrat to enter office.  Maybe it'll occur in 2021, or 2025....or maybe even 2029.  The second way is simply to turn off the TV.....chill out with some wine or beer.....and just refuse to watch any news for about six weeks.

In the case of Reality Leigh Winner?  She'll get a minimum of ten years of 11-9 'detox' and will be able to chill out in a comfortable federal prison.  Somewhere around the 4th month in the facility....without internet access or the ability to chat with 'her people'.....she will start to recover.  Without Facebook and Twitter, her world will revolve around other prison folks who have zero interest in politics, Trump or the 2016 election.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

CNN, Fake Stories, and Iran?

CNN came out this morning and wanted everyone to know that this whole Qatar-Saudi Arabia mess....is because of fake news, which....naturally.....goes back to the Russians.

I'd actually like to believe this....but then they kinda just dropped the ball and refused to talk about either story.  Yes, there are two stories and you would need to say both are fake and Russian-driven.

There are two stories to pick from and decide upon fake news potential:

1. Several members of the Qatar royal family were kidnapped and held for ransom by a group of thugs with Iranian background. The ransom was paid and equaled one billion dollars (so the story goes). The royal family members were released. Who were the royal members? Unknown. What’s the name of this thug-group from Iran? Unknown. Where did the cash go? Unknown. At best, this is a two-line story, but virtually everyone in Qatar and throughout the Middle East believes the story. Some people think it was just pay-back on activities of the royal family.

2. The ‘non-profit’ policy organization Counter Extremism Project....wrote up a piece and published a story on how Qatar has been financing and giving shelter to a dozen-odd terrorists. One reference suggests a life of luxury. These would be thugs probably tied to the Muslim Brotherhood....the group that Egypt hates with passion. Several things about this story are limited. Someone does fund Counter Extremism Project....but you don’t know who. Where they got this info on the dozen terrorists lounging around pools and luxury? Unknown. How they figured out some financial connection to the suggested terrorists? Unknown.

Both stories sound true but there are various pieces to them missing. CNN could step in with investigative analysis and in two weeks clear up both stories....proving them true or false. However, CNN has chosen to just brand the whole episode of Saudi, Egyptian, and Bahrain behavior is acted out only because of fake news. Either of the two stories could be fake. The CNN fake news story could be fake. And meanwhile, public confidence from within Qatar is shaken because of the nature of stability tied upon happy relations with all neighbors.

So this brings me to activities in Iran today....where some ISIS thugs showed up at two separate places and conducted raids.  One was at the shrine of Khomeini (kinda like the Statue of Liberty to some Iranians) and the other at the parliament building.  The parliament raid is still underway and no one says much over deaths so far.

Who paid ISIS to conduct the raids?  That might be interesting to know.  My best guess is that when it's done and the dead terrorists are rounded up....they won't be Iranians.  Shocker?

So, Iran might be looking at this Qatar episode, these two raids, and start to think about the 1,000-lb guerrilla in the room and who financed the guerrilla.  The curious thing is that on the crazy-scale....some Russian idiot on his own without any Putin input....could have paid for the attack.  Or Qatar's ISIS enthusiasts could have paid for it.  Or you could have some crazy Saudi private citizens who paid.   The thing....Iran is going to react.

Oil prices about to react?  That's the thing about this.  You start some minor misunderstanding....some bold words....a tanker sunk....then oil prices jump to $120 in one single day....maybe to $170 in a week.

Reality Leigh Winner

I've sat and watched this newest leak story unfold.  You can say five things about this and the young lady involved.

1.  This is another case similar in nature to Snowden and Bradley/Chelsea Manning.  They held clearances....felt some great purpose in life to 'save the world'....decided that they had the authority to share classified material....and were 'judge and jury' over their mission.

2. Winner will very likely claim at some point that Trump-frustration-syndrome was affecting her and that she wasn't totally responsible for the act (suggesting that Trump caused her to do this).

3.  Presently, with the one charge....it appears they will max out at 10 years if they go for the full-court episode.  Did she share other reports in the past (while in the Air Force)?  I'm guessing that the AF is now be reviewing the past year or two.  Some group will put several thousand man-hours into this past review.  For her sake, one might hope that it's just one single screw-up.

4.  She's 24.....doing likely ten years in prison if convicted and out by probably age 35 (figure the court case will not start until January of 2018 at the earliest).  It's the best years of your life lost but she would still able to restart.  Oddly, with all clearances permanently gone and the past six years mostly in the intelligence field....there's not going to be that many options on employment.  Maybe a fitness trainer, yoga instructor or such....in her mid-30s.

5.  Everyone used to worry about spies.  It would appear to me that leakers are more of a threat today than spies.  Maybe there needs to be training episodes required each month to remind people over and over....they aren't there to 'save the world', and that ten years in prison is a waste of a good life.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Sears T-Shirt Story

This got brought up by the Jerusalem Post today.....Sears, for a number of months.....has carried this T-shirt..."Free Palestine".

I sat and pondered over the political message and the weight of the message across most of America.

To be honest, if you brought up the topic of Palestine or Free Palestine....roughly 75-percent of adults wouldn't have much of an idea what you were referring to.

Maybe you mean a new soda called Palestine which will be given initially away for free.  Maybe you mean a new store for fashion trends.  Maybe it's for a comedian named Palestine who insulted Trump and got arrested.  Maybe it's even a new ice hockey team from Ottawa.

As much as people think that the public is that bright....it's mostly proven day after day that the public IS NOT that bright.

Sears in this sales gimmick?  Thirty years ago, they wouldn't have sold a t-shirt like this.  Today, in a moment of desperation....trying to appeal to various crowds....they will attempt to sell just about anything.


Understanding Qatar and the 'Mess'

Over the weekend, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt, Libya, UAE, Bahrain and the Maldives stood up and said 'enough'.....cutting Qatar off.  They aren't just talking politically.  They shut down flights from their countries into Qatar.  An embargo of goods appears to be on the agenda as well.

Over what?  For a long time (over 40 years), there's been this suspicion that someone was funding the Muslim Brotherhood....but officially, no one was sure about who was paying their bills.  Adding to this....the sponsorship of ISIS over the past six years has also been on people's minds.

In the past couple of months, it appears that someone came onto the scene, and laid out some banking notes or information, and it all points back to Qatar.  We apparently are not talking about a little bit of help or a short-period of help....it goes much further.

So, what's happening today in Qatar?  Lot of panic buying of goods....groceries....food.  Whatever was in the grocery stores is mostly gone.  Warehouses that were stocked up will be empty of food by the end of this week.  It's anyone's guess when deliveries will start back up.  Bringing food in?  It'll have to be shipped in or flown in (but not from the listing countries above).

The potential friends to help them?  Iran and Turkey area mentioned.  Turkey probably would love to be an insider sales partner but you'd be talking about two or three weeks for them to react and hustle up freighters there with food.  Tons of money to be made.  For Iran, it'd make perfect sense but they might be asking about the Muslim Brotherhood deal and if they were targeted along the way.

All of this brings up the delicate topic of the 2022 World Cup of soccer.....Qatar was the chosen location.  I'm guessing that enough legal papers were signed that the World Cup bosses really don't want to think about relocating the games.  But if these seven countries were to chat about this and work up negativity on Qatar, then you might see a dozen more countries refuse to play soccer in Qatar in 2022.

As for the real question here....who provided insight into the sponsorship and money business?  Oddly, you don't see a single news service tackle that.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Trying to Do Andy Griffith in 2017

This weekend, I pondered upon someone coming up today and trying to remake Mayberry and do an Andy Griffith episode in today's atmosphere.  I doubt if they'd get past twelve episodes.

Andy?  He'd be a failed student at Liberty University, who quit and spent six months trying to make it in Nashville.  On the final night before leaving Nashville, before returning to Mayberry....he got drunk and banged out three tunes in sixty minutes to some guy for $500....enough to pay his ticket home.  Andy remembers nothing of the night but all three tunes went over the next year to make $20 million for the country guy now made into a star. Andy returns to Mayberry mostly as a failure but just in time as the old police chief dies in some trailer on the south-side of Mayberry while 'hugging' some trailer-trash gal.  Andy agrees to the chief's job but admits he knows little to nothing about the job.

Barney?  He's be some Gulf War-vet who has PTSD and goes nuts about every three weeks from some drug that he's taking.  What no one knows is that he got there in Iraq a month after the war ended, and ended up as the custodian to one of Saddam's palaces, and was mostly there to water the plants, arrange for clean-up crews, and ensure Army guys hanging out there don't break anything.  He's convinced Andy to let him tote several military assault weapons in the police-car but no ammo.
Aunt Bee?  She's a cigarette-smoking ex-bartender from Tulsa who tinkers with motorcycles, makes apple pies from scratch, and has some mysterious past from San Francisco (claiming to have known at some point Charles Manson).

Otis?  He's been on sixteen different alcohol rehab adventures.  He's under study now by a Swiss PhD guy with radical ways of treating this.  Otis's wife is a die-hard far-left liberal who mostly drives Otis to drink.

Floyd?  He has a secret history of dressing up as women.  He's secretly written a dozen romance books and flies into the Bahamas once a year for two weeks while he writes another successful book.

Gomer?  He's mostly a gas-sniffer and comes in and out of brilliance about four hours a week.

Goober?  He's PhD character who flipped out and gave up a life in computer design to just repair cars.

Ernest T. Bass?  He's mostly a crazy nut, who can't be put away in a home.

And Helen Crump?  She's a fireball teacher who does crazy stuff and never seems to get arrested or fired.

The show would be watched intently for two or three episodes and then folks would say that it just isn't the same as the old show.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

The Actual Paris Accord

I'm probably one of the few around that has sat and read the whole Paris Accord document.  I spent an hour this morning reading over it.

You should note....while 175 pages....it's in Chinese, French, etc....so the real bulk of this....in plain English, is 25 pages (more or less).

So, there's nothing there on pollution or cleaning up creeks, rivers, lakes, etc.  There's nothing there on cleaning up air pollution, unless you count carbon as the air pollution (a serious science blunder if you do that).

What I would generally say is that it looks like some club-agreement, that members would promise on something to be part of the club, but it doesn't really demonstrate anything of a serious nature other than working on carbon.

There is a piece in article 2 which chats on keeping temperatures at such-and-such range....but the method for which you'd achieve this....isn't really demonstrated in the document.

If you were to ask me about actual impact and using this document to reach some certain stage of mankind....then if this is "IT".....it's an awful weak document.

If you did have an hour and just wanted to understand the episode better....go and read through pages 27 to 51 of the PDF document.

To have some idiots go into Richard Burton dramatics over this....is a bit humorous in nature, but that's the world we live in today.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

The Other 25 December Folks

There are four characters in history, which I've sat down and read over some odd connections:

Horus.  Horus was a Egyptian 'God-like character' from the period of roughly 3000 BC.  Horus lived, at least as much as history has recorded him.  Oddly, he's born on 25 December....from a virgin-birth.....noted by a connection in the sky that is often referred to as the 'three kings' where three particular stars line up in a row.  He's also known for being at a young age, and instructing others by age 12.  Sometime after the age of thirty.....he was noted by history as having his own religion, which had a dozen individuals attached to his as his 'chiefs'.  It should be noted that he healed the sick and also accomplished a couple of miracles (at least history records this fact).  His nickname among the writers of the time?  The lamb of God.  Somewhere along age forty, he got into a conflict with some folks and ended being hung up and thus died.  Legend has it....after three days dead....Horus returned to life.

Attis.  Attis was a Greek who lived around 1200 BC.  He also was born on 25 December....oddly enough....from another virgin.  He's noted for a handful of miracles.  He developed a cult group in western Turkey, and oddly enough....came to be prosecuted by other cults in the region which eventually led to his death.  Again, oddly....after three days dead....he arose.

Krishna.  Krishna was an Indian from the period of 900 BC.  No, he wasn't born on 25 December, but it is widely noted that he too was a virgin-birth situation, and led a fairly established cult.  He too....ended up dead.  He also returned to life after a couple of days.  It should also be noted that he was an accomplished miracle creator, at least among his followers.

Dionysus.  Dionysus was a 25 December situation, from a virgin-birth, and is widely known as an instructor in youth.  This was around 500 BC, in Greece.  Miracles?  Yes....it's widely noted in history notes of some legendary feats accomplished.  The water-into-wine episode?  He's the first guy to have been noted having accomplished this. Greeks at the time, noted him as the "Alpha and the Omega".  He originates from a small town about a two-hour walk NW of Athens, Greece.  His return after dying?  Yes, he's another guy who returned from the dead.

It's an odd thing.  Dionysus, Krisha, Attis and Horus....all from different time-periods.  All with the same legendary feats....mostly all born on 25 December....all performed recorded miracles....all were instructors at some point....all developed followings....all died in complicated situations.....and all returned from the dead (at least history records this).

The thing about this is that there's just too much similarity between the four.

Today, I got around to a fifth character in my studies.....a Persian guy from the period of 1200 BC.  His name?  Mithra.  Yeah....born on 25 December, from a virgin-birth, and created a religious following.  Yeah, he also had 12 significant people who were under his leadership.  Yeah, history does record a handful of miracles accomplished, and strangely enough....precisely after three days....he returns from the dead as well.

The odds of five or six guys having all the same character, same story, same birthdate, and same return from the dead?

Observation over Griffin

I've waited twenty-four hours, after the smoke has cleared on this Kathy Griffin episode in the US to offer an observation.  Frankly, the NY Post offered the best words yet....someone in a 'bubble' who was unable to note how stupid a stunt could go.

In destruction values, I'd say over the next twelve months....she's wiped out about 70-percent of her income (my humble numbers).  She'll make some TV appearances, and maybe do a special somewhere....but she can probably erase the majority of her schedule.

My advice....go take 18 months off, and travel outside of the US.  Get a new prospective on life.

The thing about this is that people (in particular since the election) have continually shown that they are 'bubble-people', and just thinking/reacting in some unusual way.  If you suggest to them that this kind of behavior toward President Obama would be viewed as extremely hateful....they mostly just grin.  It's almost child-like.....they don't expect any punishment or retribution to occur.

I look at the loss of common sense over the past decades as the biggest factor in this episode.  If you look over news and events....you just see people wandering around and thinking that they can survive without using common sense.  These are the same people who have a public career, and then jeopardize it by becoming political....attaching themselves to some idea and then feeling shocked when a quarter of their income drys up...from a loss of fans.

In Griffin's case, I'd suggest packing a suitcase and quietly going off to Europe for a rest....maybe a year-long rest.  You've done something that requires a review of your attitude and behavior.  Frankly, turning yourself into this 'beast' over the past decade....doesn't say much.

Monday, 29 May 2017

Two Islamic Stories

So, the first story.  There's this guy named Arthur.  He's from Florida, and for a couple of years....he identified himself as a neo-Nazi.  There's no real history on this, or details how he got to be a Nazi-like dude.....but most folks agree that this was his 'thing'.

So, in the last couple of weeks....Arthur found religion.  Arthur got himself all into a new religious group...Islam.

Yeah, converting over from neo-Nazi to Muslim is pretty unusual.  To be honest, I can't think of a case ever....occurring like this.

Arthur had this problem though...he was living in some apartment with at least two other guys (maybe even a third).  Once Arthur laid out this new religious thing....his friends/room-mates.....didn't really take this serious. They joked about it.

Eventually, Arthur couldn't take much more....and killed two of the guys.  Cops come onto the scene.  No denial over what he did.  They had to be killed because of the insult to Islam.

My humble guess is that several investigators will pour over the case, find some kind of drug activity connected to this, and that Arthur will be lucky if he avoids the death sentence.  The thing is.....there just might be some mental issues with Arthur, and he gets off all charges by going to some mental facility.

The second story?  Some high school kids are supposed to graduate and have a prom in two weeks.  In this group of American kids....are a couple of Islamic kids.  The Islamic kids want the prom rescheduled  til the period after Ramadan (we just started this in the last three days).  Well....the school isn't that open to the idea.  Lot of folks have reservations, and plans.....so waiting two more weeks isn't practical.

Law-suite against the school?  Maybe, but I seriously doubt that it would change anything.  The kids say that one of the Ramadan rules is no music to be heard during Ramadan.  It's a curious interpretation.  I'm kinda wondering why no-cellphone usage can't also be applied for this period from sun-up to sun-down.  The use of any electronic device?  Same way ought fall into effect.

What happens when these students go on in life and find that companies aren't willing to bend over backwards when Ramadan occurs?  It's hard to say.  The Koran does give the 'waiver-deal'...meaning if you live around westerners.....you can use their lifestyles, their food, and their rules.  Oddly, people don't seem to want to seek out that waiver.    


Sunday, 28 May 2017

2020 Election?

To be honest, I'm of the mind that Trump will not run for re-election in 2020.  Chief reason?  Most of what he expected to change will start to be seen in 2019 and he'll see no reason to do another four years.  I think his physical health is being challenged by this daily routine and that will add into the mix as well.

So, what's the landscape look like?

Twenty-two democrats are said to be exploring a run:  Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Saunders, Cory Booker from NJ, Cuomo of NY, Tim Kaine, Mark Cuban (the business guy), and then fifteen lesser folks.  Hillary?  Potentially, yes.

Age ought to take out Joe Biden, but some folks aren't sure.

The odds of Obama coming back to run again?  Legally, he could run after sitting out for four years.  For Democratic Party, it'd be a win-win but a fair number of DC crowd would like their chance at the 'glory'.

For the Republicans?  VP Pence, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, and a couple of governors.  If you went and measured up accomplishments and 'shine' over the past five months....Haley is probably the shocker.  If she stays at the job until late 2019 before exiting for a campaign....she might have a fair number of topics to put her in the top of the group.

The news media in all this?  They are expending every single silver-bullet that they have and I think the general trust by the public will be viewed in fairly negative numbers by 2020.  The real loser over this four-year period.....will be the national news media.

For the Democrats talking about this great lesson learned from the Hillary loss?  In the end (2020), it'll be mostly a myth of some change.

The Characteristics of a Terrorist

“He said that Muslims couldn’t exercise their religion peacefully in France.  He spoke with words that didn’t belong to him. He was under a spell, like a cult.”
         -- Mother of Adel Karmiche, Islamic terrorist who killed a priest in Normandy, France in 2016, in a NY Daily News article

I sit and read an awful lot over terror acts and the gentlemen behind them.  The fine details.....often have to be gained through hours of reading and analyzing.

There are generally five descriptive reminders that you can use for the bulk of these individuals involved in terror attacks.

First, most all of them are under the age thirty.  You might find a handful of 30-to-35 year old guys....but there's virtually no one over the age of forty.  If you were to go and look over the list of terror attacks and the descriptions of the 'players'....the vast majority are between 18 and 25 years old.  For the most part, you'd say they are immature young men.

Second, it is painfully obvious as the mother described her son Adel from this Normandy attack....he at this point in his life a full-up recruited cult member.  The cult owned him....body and soul.

Cults work hard to ensure ownership over their 'team-members'.  It's personal property to them.  Cults don't care about the guy, just that he serves the cult's purpose.

Third, almost none of the terrorists that have been seen in the past twenty years....had a real occupation.  Some pretended to be students.  Some were legit drug-dealers or small-time thugs.  You won't find carpenters, roofers, plumbers, mechanics, or dry-way guys among them.  This is one of the odd features of this whole racket.  These are mostly what you'd kindly refer to as 'losers'.

Fourth, most of the individuals noted in this category have drug usage noted.  They aren't just a once-a-week weed-smoker....they smoke daily and probably two or three times a day.  They probably pop captagon pills or occasionally use type of uppers.  Even during the act of terrorism...if you did a drug test on all of these guys....they are pumped up on something.

Fifth, in the suicidal phase for these young men.....all aspire to do some greater good to be known for. They've lost so much touch with reality, that they can only dream of the after-life as their ticket to success.

Normally, folks would get all hyped up against cults....but no one wants to touch that topic in this case.  So, we will simply continue on.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

The Montana Story

I walked a good bit yesterday....in the woods around my house and settled upon one mental topic....the Montana election.  After a day or two of surveying the Montana special election for an empty House seat in DC....I've come to three basic observations:

1.  As much as the Democratic Party says that they learned from the Hillary loss in November and have a bold new strategy on the future....I don't see it.  It's either non-existent, or just a painted-up version of the old strategy.

2.  This fight, brawl, scuffle, duel, melee, skirmish or shove (pick whichever based on the news network you watch), really didn't change much of anything.  If this had been some Italian or Russian reporter, they would have shoved back, and a full-scale fight would have erupted.   To suggest that 20,000 Montana folks would have seen this comment and changed their voting strategy....was an embarrassing suggestion by the news media.  Idiots in some urbanized community like Baltimore might do something like that....but not in Montana.

3.  For the hundreds of thousands of Democratic donor funds which got shoved into Montana to win at all cost?  Total waste of money.  Out of the 235 seats that the GOP controls....I would take a guess that at least 180 of them are in extremely safe districts, and it's a total waste of funds to go "all-out".  At best, my humble opinion, is that there might be thirty districts across the US where the right money and right Democratic candidate might make a difference.  The problem is....find those districts...then finding the right Democrat...and then running a pumped-up enthusiastic campaign with no errors.  In the 2018 election? It would shock me if the Democrats were able to take more than  five additional seats.  The chief reason?  I'd go back to the 'right Democrat' mix.  Where are these guys?

The sad thing about this whole woeful story is that the national Democratic Party apparatus is hurting Democratic chances with a lot of bogus talk and TV opera business out of DC.  It's like watching a last-place NBA team, which desperately needs to go recruit new faces and bring in young talent with some optimistic views.  Ten Senators need to just retire or avoid being weekly guests on Sunday chat shows.

Friday, 26 May 2017

What College Is and Is Not

When you make some determination to go off and attend university somewhere, there ought to be logical process or thinking involved.....but because of the juvenile behavior thinking in the mix....you lose some perception and common sense along the way.

College is not a social club for misfits or loser-attitude teenagers.

College is supposed to make you think....to perceive....to ask questions....to determine facts and balance out an end-result.

College is not a union.

College is usually a place where you end up meeting folks from different walks of life, some with religious convictions....some with far-left-wing convictions....some with communist ideology drilled in.....some with dreams of becoming a forest-ranger....and some with dreams of becoming President of the United States some day.

College is not a clique of borderline misfits, and if you think you've bumped into some....you are in a loser university.

College is where smart professors teach you the art of logic and thinking.

College is not a mob-club that allows students to run the system.

College isn't a place where free-space is restrained.

College is not a semi-professional sport association.

College is generally the only place where you can practice geometric equations, lab experiments, debate skills....screw-up....and learn from your mistakes without any harm.

College is not a place where attendance means success in life.

College is a place where you could bump into a Chinese gal, a British-eventually-to-become-a-Lord, an alcoholic Scot, a flirtatious Swedish gal, an Einstein-like Japanese guy, an migrant from Libya, and a mentally insane German....all in one single day.

College is not a safe playground where you play silly games all day.

College is supposed to be a dividing line about maturity, acceptance of logic, a taste of debate, and an open door to knowledge.

College isn't a thug or riot-training environment.

At the end of this period of attendance....you should have learned something and discovered a wide expanse of knowledge.  You ought to be able to listen to arguments and find points to agree or disagree.  If this isn't your situation?  Fine, get an occupation and move on in life.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Beware of Politicians with Hyped-up Child Policies

“The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation.”
          Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf

Someone brought up this quote today, and it's an interesting philosophy that the Nationalists Socialists practiced.  As long as you convinced people that you had their best interest at heart....you got a blank check from the public.

I am reminded of the effort to bring everyone onboard to some federal dynamic on school lunches.  In the end, a bunch of food was dumped onto plates that kids wouldn't eat, and everyone patted themselves on the back for achieving this purchase of wasted food.

It was like the big craze to give laptops to kids, but you never saw any improvement in grades or comprehension.


Monday, 22 May 2017

The Collude Factor

"From my perspective, having worked with the Trump campaign, I’d be stunned that they were organized enough to collude with anybody."
         - Rick Santorum

This quote came up from the weekend, and I have to admire it.

Just the term "colluding" is a problem for most folks.  Go ask a guy to define it.  It means to conspire or come to a secret understanding that multiple sides can agree upon without divulging the agreement.  It'd be like you getting your neighbor to agree to a fake hostility situation so you could convince your wife that you really need to sell this house and move somewhere else.

Money exchanged in collusion?  No, not necessarily.

Are there Senators from both political parties acting in a collusion-like way?  Yes....almost daily.  Are journalists behaving in a collusion-like way?  Yes....hour by hour.

To be honest, we probably can only function as a country today, by collusion.  What do you think the France did in 1776....they colluded with the Americans, to ensure the defeat of the British.  Banks collude with people to ensure their survival.  Farmer collude, car mechanics collude, and even doctors collude.

Santorum is simply speaking the truth in that the team around Trump really wasn't that bright, but they lucked out because Hillary Clinton was so inept at running for President.  Toss in the Russian meddling, and people just tired of politics, and you've got the sum and total of the 2016 election.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Hillary, Putin, and the Rest of the Story

The Dailycaller put the basis of this story together, and the pieces of the puzzle finally fit.....but it's a story that the news media probably print or discuss, and it leave you mostly amused.  I'll tell you the story in the fashion that Paul Harvey would have explained it.

At some point about a year into the Obama Administration, this plan of revolution was put into effect.  Some charming individuals from the tech-world, the State Department, and lobby groups affecting the White House figured that they had some great 'weapons' to bring change.  YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, social media, etc.

A list of countries were laid out and targets of change.  The list: Yemen, Syria, Tunisia, Egypt, Iraq, and Libya.  The list expanded out and to a lesser degree included Morocco, Bahrain, Algeria, Iran, Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Sudan, and Somalia.

Then, the smart intellectual folks decided to go ahead and include Russia.

The Russians were going to have a legislative election in December of 2011.  Following that, they'd hold a presidential election in March 2012.

Russian elections are typically scripted out with some minor opposition in public places.  But by late 2011....social media had gotten into the middle of the election and getting opposition groups focused and more dynamic. For Putin and the gang....this was a major problem to deal with.  They'd never had the internet and social media used as political weapons.

Who was making speeches highlighting the free and open election topic for the US?  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  She was the face of the episode.  She went to interviews around Europe and chatted up the opposition to Putin.  This won her all kinds of commentary and positive thoughts with the elite and intellectual crowd of Europe.

The two elections eventually passed in Russia.  A lot of frustration was the end-result.

So, Putin sat there.  Rather than to jump into the Obama election of 2012....the Russian view was that Hillary, the Clinton Foundation, and the American meddling needed a 'spanking'.  They evaluated the tactics used against the 2011/2012 Russian campaigns....the internet, bloggers, fake news, bias reporting, Twitter, Facebook, etc.

As the end of 2015 arrived and the heated American campaign started up....Hillary suddenly found that Bernie Saunders had a lot of hype by various bloggers.  Reports of her health issues, the email server, the deals, Bill's affairs, etc.....were now circulating on a daily basis.  Oddly, if the Clinton machine had dug around....they would have found little of this came back to the GOP or lobbyists connected to the GOP.

By convention time, the threat of Bernie was over.  But the problems of fake news was now hyped up.  Oddly, the French, the Brits, and the Germans were all worried about fake news (note, they never said Putin-retaliation).

So November came, and the Clinton machine failed.  Why?  The same tools used against Putin in 2011/2012 were used against Hillary.  It was simple and pure retaliation.

The news media and various lobbyists have hyped up the fake news business, and gone ballistic trying to connect Trump back to the Russians.  Tens of thousands of hours have been wasted on public debate over this, and a lot of frustration exists with the idea that Trump and Putin are working together.

But here's the silly thing.....the GOP could have found some idiot retired barber from Tulsa and ran the guy, and the Putin retaliation against Hillary would have been at the same level.

Who to blame?  The news media and political players are set to say some type of talk or agreement occurred with Putin and Trump.  Weeks and months will pass on this investigation which people seem to suggest impeachment will come.  By the end, some idiot will stand there and say that Russia went and did the whole thing without any connection to Trump....simply because Hillary pursued the 2011/2012 social revolution change in Russian politics.  Yes, Hillary started this mess by meddling in Russian politics.  Every weapon that the US used in the 2011/2012 Russian elections?  Used in the 2016 American election.

So you sit there and seem amused?  CNN and the New York Times?  They can't tell this story because it really goes back six years and starts with the Obama camp meddling not only with Russia....but really meddling and creating tensions in Egypt, Syria, and Iraq.  A whole lot of meddling with no thought that maybe some of these people would come back to interfere with the US election.

Is this over?  Maybe.  I doubt that Trump intends to mess with the next Russian election and maybe Putin is satisfied enough to just say 'enough'.  Hillary?  Did she learn anything?  I doubt it.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Examples of Sponsorship of Civil War Statues/Memorials

I spent two hours looking over the topic this week.  Few people ever grasp who paid or sponsored the placement of Civil War statues/memorials.  Examples:

- The Ozark, Alabama Confederate Memorial....paid for by the United Daughters of the Confederacy group.  Finished in 1910.

- The Phoenix, AZ Confederate Soldiers Memorial....paid for by the Sons of Confederate Veterans.  Finished in 1999.

- The Caddo Parish Memorial....paid for by the United Daughters of the Confederacy group.  Finished in 1906.

- The Sam Davis Memorial in Pulaski, Tenn (I've actually been to this one).  You won't find it on Goggle maps.  It was paid for by the local Sam Davis-supporters.

- The Stonewall Jackson statue in Charleston, WV....paid for by the United Daughters of the Confederacy.  Erected in 1910.

Generally, if you go down through the bits and pieces, it's roughly twenty to fifty years after the war ended that the majority of these statues went up.  For some reason, in the period of 1900 to 1915....there is an upswing, which I think is due to the 40th and 50th anniversary period.  Some of the statues rests in federal parks (Arlington Cemetery for example).

A complete listing of all of these?  Based on my reading, and my general background of the topic....I'd say that what is listed over the internet is maybe fifty-percent of the actual number.  In most counties of both Alabama and Mississippi....you will find a minimum of one to two statues/memorials.  If someone did an absolute complete listing....to include all fifty states....I suspect it'd get fairly close to 2,500 statues and memorials.

Civil War Memorials and Evolution

For a number of months, I've been watching various efforts unfold in the south that revolved around the dismantling or removal of Civil War memorials honoring southern figures.

For those who don't think much about it or read up on the topic....the vast number of statues erected in the south up until 1865....would probably total less than a dozen statues.  From 1865 to the 1915 era, you can probably count around 150-odd statues and at least 600 memorials (not exactly a statue), which will prominently cover either southern generals or politicians.....or some generic CSA soldier. The odd thing about all these statues erected is that they were generally paid for by private donations or the efforts of a few private citizens.  It's almost impossible to find a statue that was paid in some fashion by a state government or city.

The background on the property?  Most cities gave an internal vote and allowed a foundation group to erect a statue on public property (usually near a court-house or in a city park).

The erection of most of these Civil War statues came to a conclusion after WW I.  You might find a few that were put into place....but the massive bulk of all of these were prior to the 1920 era.

Taking them down?  If they are on public property....a simple vote can bring them down, but the statues in my humble opinion would have to be turned over to the group who sponsored them in the first place.  My guess is that they'd take the statue....find private land in the region and put them up again. Public anger would be triggered but to think getting rid of the statue fixes everything....would be a joke.

We are at some crossroads on erecting statues.  My suggestion would be that we need to just stop putting up any statues of people because you'd come back to some evolutionary period in the future where you'd have to remove some statue of a guy from the 1970s for some oddball reason.

So, we need to aim for statues mostly of dogs, horses, cattle, and such.  Generally, a horse statue never gets anyone upset and you can't blame much onto a horse.  Same for dogs as well.

As for Stone Mountain, Georgia?  Well, that's going to be an interesting case.  Eventually, twenty years down the line....it'll be a major political topic and involve half the state in some effort to dismantle all of Stone Mountain's carving.  If you think politics is heated now....just wait on the Stone Mountain episode to occur.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

The 2018 and 2020 US Election: The Rest of the Story

Over the past month, there's various cards being laid upon the table and you can reasonably lay out the strategy for the November 2018 mid-term election and the 435 seats.

The Democratic strategy from this point on....is figure out the twenty-five weakest GOP members in urbanized areas.  The chief topic in this areas for the next 18 months will be the coming Trump 'impeachment'.  You need a simple majority of House members to send the papers onto the Senate.  Right now, with the GOP membership....there's a zero chance of this happening.

So you can imagine this continual chit-chat....on and on....trying to interest a majority of what would be independent voters to agree on some Trump impeachment being necessary.  The odds?  You might be able to win ten to fifteen seats....not enough to change the outcome.

The real worry of the Democrats for 2018?  It's an odd race for the Senate.  Out of 33 seats up for grabs....ONLY 8 belong to the GOP.  For the Democrats?  It's 23 seats.  The odds of five to eight seats flipping to the GOP?  It's a 50-50 shot.  I'm betting on six seats going to the GOP, and only two losses for the current GOP.  That is a four-net situation.

The 2020 election?  This becomes more interesting.

There are a lot of signals that Bernie Sanders isn't finished yet.  There are signals that Hillary Clinton is not to be written off.  For a lot of the Democratic crowd who are ready for a bold new leadership scheme....this puts the bulk of them into a difficult situation.

No one can be sure of Trump's desire to run in 2020, or just step back.  If he announces by summer of 2019 that he won't run....then this entire impeachment gimmick of the Democratic Party is screwed up and doesn't help their agenda.

If I were the leadership of the Democratic Party....I'd start to look at the strategy of the past two decades and decide to revamp the whole game.  It's time to play in the rural communities and talk heart-land politics.  But if Hillary and Bernie are part of 2020....well....just get ready for some crazy election to occur, and the next Trump-character to arrive on the scene.

I read this week that the "Rock" (Dwayne Johnson) suggested he might run.  If you go down the states that Trump won....I think the Rock could take each one of those.  For the Democrats?  They might have to break out some other fake Democratic character, and run a Trump-like campaign.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Trump and Intelligence: The Rest of the Story

For a couple of days now, this Trump-Intelligence story has been blasting away.  If you sit and review the whole story....pondering enough....you come to three observations.

1.  It is rather odd that the news media worries about the loss of intelligence data.....when Hillary's 'keepers' cut and pasted hundreds (perhaps several thousand)....secret and top secret lines onto emails which went to the bath-room server, and were read by countless numbers of secondary 'customers'.  No one mentions that loss of intelligence, for some odd reason.

2.  The guys who passed the stories onto the news media over the past couple of days?  They all have clearances and have signed documentation that they would never divulge classified data.  Oddly, they'd now done that.  The news media doesn't refer to the jail time that their 'buddy' might get for the behavior.

3.  If Trump were handing over the nuke codes, or the actual capabilities of the F-15, or discussing the operational rates of the Navy submarines.....it might be worth getting hyped up.  Basically, this was a discussion over terrorism, and data related to just that one subject.  Would he have shared the data with the French or Germans?  Who says that he hasn't already done that?  You can't be sure of nothing with this story.

As long as no charges ever occur with Hillary or her twenty-odd people who committed serious bad handling of classified information, I don't think there's much to get hyped up about.  Besides, those Senators who've passed out classified data?   Have any of them been really investigated?

If and When Impeachment Comes

After a fair amount of reading and pondering, I have come to four observations about this entire impeachment talk.

1.  Since 9 November 2016, oddly enough, there's been impeachment talk.  Within twelve hours of Trump being declared the winner, I can recall at least two chatty 'experts' noting that the impeachment would occur.  The simple fact is that you would need two-thirds of the 100 Senators to convict and remove the President.  That means you'd have to find at least 18 Senators who are Republican to cross the line.  You can talk all you want about impeachment, but those 18 Senators would be more or less finished for all future elections within their states.  More than enough people would consider the GOP 'brand-name' to be finished and do just about anything to bring those individuals back home (in the permanent sense).

2.  The journalists hyping up their anonymous sources, and weekly chatting about impeachment?  Oddly, they are the same ones who were in July, August, September, and October.....telling you and I that Hillary was safely ahead, and would be winning by 10-percent or more.  Same folks.....so you have wonder....if they didn't know what they were talking about in the months before the election of 2016.....how can they be sure of much today?

3.  The insiders dishing out anonymous information?  At some point, they will be brought into a room and be told that tapes now exist of them passing information onto journalists.  They will be given a rare chance....to stay on and keep their job, with no charges filed against them....by handing false information and helping the journalists to write pages and pages of false reporting which will end up creating a massive public joke.

4.  To bring charges of impeachment, you have to have the charges read, and a majority of House members (remember, the GOP controls the House right now) must vote in favor of handing the papers over to the Senate.

Where all of this leads onto?  The entire House election in November of 2018 will be about impeachment charges, period.

You will be sitting there in amazement as dozens of TV ad's each week in September and October of 2018 hit you over Trump.

The problem is that you have the GOP members talking about platforms, agendas, taxes, jobs, growth, and the military....while the only theme from the Democrats will be the impeachment.

Ask yourself....which is the positive message?  If by the summer of 2018, there's over one-million new jobs created in the United States....how will the impeachment theme sell over those jobs and new tax credits?

Maybe it's just me, but you'd have more success over dumping the DH rule in baseball, than impeaching Trump.

Mentality of Abandoning

There's a pretty decent article over at the Atlantic today....which goes into a long essay and chats about Americans who are deserting towns and regions throughout America....because there's no jobs and no future.

What the writer goes on to talking about....is that a guy will wake up one day and realize his 'anchor' (his community) has nothing to offer, and it's time to hit the road.  Where the guy goes is much of this essay because it's not rocket science over where you choose to escape to, or try to find a future.

I look upon this whole experience as abandonment.

From 1929 to 1942....you can find hundreds of thousands who woke up one day to realize that factory job was gone, and there was no future staying in their community.  Some not only abandoned their home and town....some even abandoned their family, in hopes of finding something (anything).

Over the past couple of decades, most folks have launched themselves into anchoring down....buying property....handcuffing themselves to one particular church....making long-term connections to the community....building their whole life into the big puzzle of the region itself.  So walking away from it has to be fairly difficult and complex.

I live in Germany today, and it's a place where you just don't desert your home-region.  Germans will think of a move from the west part of Frankfurt, to the east part of Frankfurt as a massive move (a 4 mile move at best).  Don't even come up and suggest that they'd have to move from Frankfurt to Eltville (25 miles away).....they'd get all hyped up and frustrated about such a suggestion.

Some people are born with the capability of just accepting a radical move, and just get on with their life.  Some folks are opposite, and they will never be able to form a connection to their new neighborhood or new town.

The Atlantic piece is worth reading and does highlight part of our problem today....nothing is really secure.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

The Good and Bad Food Agenda

I noticed in the news this weekend that the new Sec of Agriculture sent out an order....curtailing the school lunch guidelines implemented under the Obama administration.  If you remember the whole gimmick put up....a lot of nutritional talk was tossed into the middle of school lunch programs, and you had to serve 'good' food.  At no point, did any idiot ask....would the kids eat healthy food?  So, statistically speaking....they added up the amount of food served, and later tossed into the garbage....an 82-percent increase from the old program to the new Obama administration program.

Naturally, since this new order went out.....it's got some former Democrats in the system all upset because it's just not right to feed kids garbage food.

At the center of this argument is this one single topic that people fail to really seize upon and grasp.  Once you say that the meal has to fit within a one-dollar or a $1.25 situation....it's pretty limited what you can serve in terms of good food or bad food.

I had an Air Force chow hall guy explain this whole game to me years ago.  The budget was set for every chow hall at the time....to roughly five dollars per day....per individual.  This made three hot meals a day practically impossible.  So they depended on the commissary system to sell them cut-rate and discounted items as low as possible.

If you look over at each school dining system....they are given an impossible task.  By the time you figure up some meat item and a fruit....you've spent most of your money.  I sat and watched some news piece with a gal explaining how their school went to some nutritional taco salad......but the journalist stood there and asked a couple of kids about the marvelous new item and half of them weren't that keen on the item and were dumping it.

The thing is....if you said you were serving a baloney sandwich, a cup of fake juicy-juice, and an apple....the nutritional expert would be all upset over the nutritional aspects.    In this case, you can't make anyone happy.  It's best to at least have the kid's stomach full....even if it is marginally healthy food.

My guess, in four to eight years....some Obama-like President will return, and we will go right back to the nutritional food gimmick, and start to see massive amounts of food dumped back into the garbage again.....repeating the whole cycle once again.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

The Russian Game Unfolding

This week, I sat and read through several accounts of the federal investigator crowd going after former Trump-adviser Paul Manafort.  A month ago, they went and requested bank records of Manafort.

The game at hand?  There's a discussion that this is all part of the Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Congress even says that they want Manafort to come be testify.

Back around a dozen years ago, Manafort was hired as a lobbyist and consultant for some pro-Russian folks over in the Ukraine....a year or two later, he's working for some Russian folks in Cyprus (at least the news folks say that).

The thing is....these are all businessmen, not Kremlin guys or the KGB.  It's the same type business as if some Chinese hotel owners hired you, or some South Korean cookie makers, or some Saudi oil guys, or some Brazilian cattle folks.  Lobbying is lobbying.

What makes Cyprus unique in this story?  It's one of those EU countries where you can walk in....present a lot of cash for investment purposes, and get residency or a passport.  With a Cyprus passport, you can enter any EU country without any visa.

Back around a decade ago, a lot of billionaire-type Russians started showing up in Cyprus, and dropping their investment money off there.  To be honest, you'd rather do that than put it into some Russian bank and have the government looking over your capital.  But these Russians dropped so much money into the Cyprus economy, that the banks got heavily into some investment problems, and it proved to be too much.

My guess is that the billionaire Russians reached a point where they wanted to chat with a lobbyist from DC who might lead them to the right lobbyist (the insiders to Senators) and have some laws written so they can bring money in and buy into US investment opportunities.

So, in the middle of this congressional hearing....when Manafort is asked how he helped the Russians....he's going to explain the system. Then he'll suggest to the Senators and Congressmen....that they know the lobbyists of the Russians and took their money.  At that point, the meeting will abruptly end, and everyone will sit in their office realizing how Trump led them down this path.

The news media?  They can't tell any part of this story without explaining how both Republicans and Democrats are also insiders to the Russian interference.  In a way, it's a woeful tale.  But it is amusing just how far they got without realizing who they were dealing with (Trump, or the Russians).

Monday, 8 May 2017

Trump and Kim Jung Um?

The odds of Trump and North Korea's Kim Jung Um meeting?  A year ago, I would have said one in a billion.  Right now....maybe one in six.

My scenario....it'd have to be arranged in China.  Some private residence with Chinese guards.

You can imagine Trump sitting there with Kim.....chatting up golf and luxury condo stuff for a while, and eventually they get around to the nuke missile business.

After a while, Kim starts to realize that Donald is a pretty regular guy.  By the end of this visit, they both agree on more future talks.  Kim comes to visit Washington, tour the capital....watch a live NBA basketball game or two....and eat a few pizzas.

After a year, there's some fancy treaty signed by Donald and Kim, and everyone is so shocked, that the Nobel Peace Prize folks accidentally go crazy and nominate the two for some award.

Well....it could happen that way.

Ten Observations about Star Trek

If you count up the five different Start Trek series....I've watched about five-hundred episodes.  After a while, there's some things that you notice.

1.  It seems like no one ever has to go off to the latrine and spend some sitting time after eating some pretty solid chunky food.

2.  No one seems to have any necessity for duct-tape.

3.  Everyone in Star Fleet appears to be some male model.  No chunky women, no beer-gut guys, etc.

4.  No one on board ever drinks Pepsi or Coke.

5.  You never seem to see any bad behavior occasions from the crew where you need to have Lt Jones punished or sent to the brig.

6.  You never see any of the quarters for the junior guys onboard.

7.  You never seem to see any mental nutcases onboard.

8.  You never see a BX or shoppette onboard.

9.  No one ever talks NCAA football, which means that it must have just gone away at some point.

10. There's never any uniform inspections, which just strikes me as curious how you can go so long without jumping on folks.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

President Benjamin Fitzpatrick?

At one point, Senator Benjamin Fitzpatrick, former governor of Alabama....came very close to becoming President of the United States.  So this is the story.

In the long hot summer of 1860....the Democratic Convention was held and turned into a big mess.  The guy who was easily slated to win the nomination....Stephen A. Douglas (Sen, Ill, Democrat).  All he had to do was walk in and hustle up a few oddball representatives at the convention.  The representatives from Alabama and Louisiana?  They said the normal platform which read mostly that slavery was bad and would be dealt with one day....was not acceptable.  You could go back over five decades and find the same wording in every single Democratic platform.  The party intended to do little to nothing about the issue.

So, a fair number of convention members refused to vote for Douglas.  He never got more than 151 votes.  The party went through 57 ballots.  Douglas could not get the nomination.

The Democrats adjourned and left Charleston....in a fury.

They would meet a month later in Baltimore, and run an entirely different convention....refusing to seat some Alabama and Louisiana folks.  This time, Douglas won on the 2nd ballot.

The Vice-President?  Benjamin Fitzpatrick....Senator from Alabama.  At the age of 39, he became Governor of Alabama.  Three years later (after leaving the Governor's position), Fitzpatrick was appointed as temp fill-in for a dead Alabama Senator (serving one year).  Three years later, he filled another temp fill-in for another year in DC as Senator.

So, things were stacked up in 1860 for Douglas to easy win and Fitzpatrick to be his VP.  Because of the break-up of the Democratic Party in this election.....Lincoln beat Douglas, and the rest is history.

If the Democrats had not broken up their vote?  Douglas would have won, but gone on to have Typhoid Fever in 1861, and die in the summer of 1861 from the fever.  Alabama's Fitzpatrick would have assumed the Presidency and likely served out that three-and-a-half years, plus another four (if re-elected).

Rarely does this ever get brought up....but he's about the only Alabamian to ever get that close to the Presidency.

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Small Town America

About once or twice a month, I'll see some piece in the news talking about the heartland, and 'small-town' America.  I've come to the opinion that most people really don't know what small town America really means.

Small town, America....is where little league games happen on hot Saturday afternoons, with ice cream later.

Small town, America....is where you know your barber, your mechanic, your plumber, and your neighbor on a first-name basis.

Small town, America....is where you trust your local politician not to cheat you too much or siphon off tax revenues to buy a modern-age statue of a penguin.

Small town, America....is where you go to funerals of people that you've known for thirty years and considered a friend.

Small town, America....is where you go fishing a dozen times a year with your high school friend and your wife's cousin Larry who does transmission repairs.

Small town, America....is where your kids are safe and the porch light is turned off by 9PM.

Small town, America....is where you do charity socials for folks who need cancer operations and don't have much money to cover all their expenses.

Small town, America....is where you attend a local church but never appreciate the minister standing on your front porch and chatting about Moses to you.

Small town, America....is where you get drunk once a year at the high school reunion meeting, and meet with a bunch of guys who are losers just like yourself.

Small town, America....is where pumpkins are grown and part of decoration in October.

Small town, America....is where you keep a gun in the closet by the door, but haven't fired it in twenty years....and its likely that the ammo will malfunction anyway, if you do fire.

Small town, America....is where Wal-mart has yet to arrive.

Small town, America....is where a catfish restaurant sits on main street and you can still get a all-you-can-eat deal for $9.99.

Small town, America....is where your Uncle Barney still tells WW II stories, although half the time he is in Africa fighting the Nazis and half the time he's in the Pacific fighting the Japs.....and the reality is that Barney was 18 in 1945 and had barely gotten into basic training when the war ended. 

Small town, America....is where your wife has tinted her hair and you think she's a new woman entirely. Later, you put on some Barry Manilow music and get her to put on the Madonna outfit that you bought via the internet.

Small town, America....is where your septic tank has failed but you have 44 guys ready to tell you how you can replace it yourself without paying Walt's Septic and Supply to do it for you. After failing miserably, you pay Walt's Septic and Supply to quietly fix what you screwed up and just let your reputation stay intact.

Small town, America....is where a parade occurs each fourth of July with veterans and kids involved. Later you grill some steaks and drink some fresh lemonade. And that night, you watch some kid light up $100 worth of fireworks, which accidentally set fire to some farmer's field and you spend two hours stomping out the field fire.

Small town, America....is where the only murder in the past decade was the local Baptist minister who got shot by some guy who came home early from work to find his wife in a inappropriate position with the minister.

The truth is that we all live in Small town, America....and we really don't care to move or be somewhere else.

Monday, 24 April 2017

The Hawaii-Alabama Essay

Last week....the Attorney General (our former senator from Alabama) got into the news by referring to Hawaii as "an island in the Pacific".  Hawaii folks got all peppered up, because of this lack of 'respect'.

I sat and pondered over this story for a while.  There are three odd aspects to the story.

First, if you went to the 4.8 million Alabama folks....for those over the age of eight, and asked about where Hawaii was located, it's very likely that 90-percent would just point out into the Pacific and say "there".  They might accidentally point toward Japan, the Philippines, or perhaps even Tonga. Ten-percent (the remainder) might point toward the Gulf of Mexico or down near Aruba.

Yes, we do have a geography location problem in Alabama.  It's mostly because if you've never been there....you can't reference the local area.  You can ask most Alabama folks to identify the four border states, and 98-percent will get that correct.  Once you start asking about where Idaho or Montana is located....most folks just point out west on the map.

I would imagine that my brother (the Alabama engineer geek) has met more Chinese in his life than Hawaii folks.

Second, to be fairly honest about this....Hawaii is made up of eight islands.  Most lecture instructors from Alabama will point this out and even define that they were all part of some single land mass back around 12,800 years ago...then all hell broke loose and water rose 400-odd feet.

Third, if you asked the 4.8 million Alabama folks if they'd ever met a Hawaii guy ever....in their life.  Their response (probably 99-percent) will be no.  Probably over 99-percent of Alabama folks will talk up meeting Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, or Tennessee residents.  Some will refer to Arkansas folks as the nicest folks on the face of the Earth.  Then after a couple of comments, you get down to the number of folks who've ever met anyone from Wisconsin or Utah....and less than ten-percent of Alabama folks can say they've met such a person.

From the 20-odd thousand that might have met some Hawaii folks.....they are mostly former military folks who spent time on the isle, or politicians.

Maybe this is worthy of some controversy, but on the scale of hyped-up frustration or hostility....to an Alabama guy....this is maybe somewhere between number 10,500 and 11,000 on the scale of things. In Alabama, we worry more about summer revival activity with a broken-down AC unit in the church, dry counties converting to wet counties, and Governors behaving like nutcases.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Science Stuff

Both in Europe and the US yesterday (Saturday), there was a massive science-geek protest....mostly to ensure pressure on governments to continue research.  The slant on the US protest in DC, across from the White House?  Anti-Trump.

I sat and looked at the hyped conversation by the science-geeks.  They have a big problem.  While there are some great science research projects underway....there are also tremendous wastes of money.

You have idiots who approve studies on Facebook friends (whether they are real friends or not), how long it takes to fully urinate, checking out bee-sting sensitivity on different parts of the body (maybe it might hurt more if they stung your ass), why rich people cheat on taxes, and why monkeys will take risks when bored.

Here's the thing....it's readily apparent that you've got way too many scientists in the civilized world, and they need to pay back college loans (that's my humble opinion).  Maybe up until the 1960s.....we had some control and competence over the money handed out, but that has disappeared over the past couple of decades.

Various governments (it's not just the US) are reviewing their spending and making cuts.  So, there's likely to be less money in the future to study monkey urine, best ways to wreck a new car, or assign risk-factors to chainsaw usage.

Maybe in some way, we ought to go and send out the scientists to figure out why college costs have escalated and how to assign blame for that, or maybe ask scientists to explain why climate change science is settled, while the 500-odd other sciences are unsettled.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

University Topic

When I attended university in the 1980s....there were generally three requirements.  First, you needed pay them before the classes started....in cash, check, or money-order.  Second, you had to get form signed by the Air Force which would pay for 75-percent of the tuition.  And third, you needed to visit some counselor to ensure that you had some plan.

To be honest on the third requirement....there probably never was a plan within my scope of things, but the these counselors didn't really care one way or the other.

This week, I noted in the news that Kennesaw State University (within the beltway of Atlanta) had gone and added another seminar onto the requirements to attend.  This had something to do with privilege and interracial relations....note, NOT rank and privilege as most military folks would quickly have misunderstood and chatted on for an hour.

The university had gone out and hired some outside training counselor to ensure folks were hyped up on privilege and interracial relations.

So, you'd all come into one big room....I assume twenty-five-odd folks.  Then they'd say to you.....you folks who identify as white.....need to go to this room, and you folks who are of color....need to go to another.  By dividing the group....you'd create an "environment" of understanding and support.

I sat and read through this piece.

The contractor consultant was counting on folks playing his or her game.....getting up and going to room X or room Y.

Me?  I would have sat there with my coffee while everyone got up and just stayed in my seat.  Eventually, the instructor guy would have asked about my status.  I would have said that I was translucent in nature....not white or of color.

It probably would have confused the consultant a good bit, and I would have been told that I wasn't grasping the game being played.  Frankly, I see this as an hour or two of time wasted.  You could just as well chatted about limiting alcohol consumption....how to handle a firearm, or how to handle a rattlesnake situation.

No one said much over how much this seminar cost in nature.  I'd hate to think that you had to pay $25 for something like....without any value.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Church Story

Typically, it's just about impossible to get thrown out of a Baptist Church.  As long as you show up.....avoid sleeping during sermons.....and don't openly criticize the minister or Jesus....you are fairly set as a member.  This morning, I opened up local Alabama news and noted that the Governor, and his Paramour gal (with her husband) were kinda kicked out of their Tuscaloosa Baptist Church. Yeah, shocker.

At some point last year, after all this affair business came out with the Governor and the Paramour....the church minister got all worried.  Oddly, he calls for a meeting in his office with the parties affected.  Mrs Bentley didn't really care to attend (wouldn't blame her).

The minister wants everyone to lay out their part of the episode.  Now in the real world....most Governors would not have attended, and if they had.....a lawyer would have accompanied them.  So it's hard for me to figure out why Bentley showed up and started talking....other than perhaps him having dementia.

So after Bentley finished up his whole story on the affair.....Mr and Mrs Mason talk about their part of their affair. No one says how long this whole description of the affair took....maybe three minutes...maybe three hours.

Some guys from Alabama would have described their Paramour situation in thirty words or less.  A few might have used a thousand words, been kinda graphical (hands waving around), and the intensity involved (like a University of Alabama versus Auburn football game).  Then you'd have that one single Alabama guy who'd talk for three hours about this original meeting, the Paramour clothing choice, his fantasy world, telephone chats, licky-spity kisses, pancake breakfast meetings at the Waffle House at 4AM, five-inch heels, and lusty stuff best not to be told to Baptist ministers.

Then you come to this moment of talk with Mr and Mrs Mason.  Mr Mason would be in a dire Baptist situation if he acknowledged that he knew about the affair before it even started.  Usually, that would be an unwise situation to lay out....as if planned from day one.

Then you have to wonder what Mrs Mason said to the minister, and how she described her part in the affair.  Typically, most Alabama women would limit their chatter to maybe forty words.  Then you might have that one gal who'd get all chatty and spend twenty-five minutes describing the emotion, fervor, energy, and vigor involved.  She might have described the Governor as her "George Clooney".
The minister?  He might have been a bit disgusted with all this sex-chat stuff and wondered how these three characters attended his weekly sermons and got all hyped up over lusty stuff.

At the end of this meeting.....according to the journalist.....the minister asked the Governor to not attend the church any more.....taking away his deacon status/Sunday school teacher position.  Then he turned to the Masons, and just said it'd be best not to attend his church anymore.

The thing I see is that typically, you'd want to sell your religion on forgiveness.  You could have asked the Governor and the Masons to kneel down....pray for thirty minutes....ask to have the devil cast out of their lives, and then ask for forgiveness over the three.  Oddly, the Minister didn't care to do the standard Baptist gimmick on the three.

My take?  Way too much lusty stuff going on.  This was probably one of those meetings that didn't really fix anything, and probably made things worse.

At the end of this.....at least a hundred thousand Alabama Baptist members can sleep secure in knowing that their illicit affair didn't get discovered and they didn't get dragged in to admit with the choir director last weekend in some Mobile hotel, or have had a ten-year affair with the Minister's wife.

On the positive side, it does demonstrate that Alabama folks are awful passionate, and hot-blooded....probably more so than those Mississippi folks.