Sunday, 15 October 2017

Trump Playing Four-Dimensional Chess

Just to explain the Trump-Iran nuke deal in simplicity....it works like this:

1.  You have a draft-law which Senator Bob Corker (R, Tenn) wrote with Senator Cardin (D, Maryland) that deals with the Iranian Nuclear Treaty situation.  It basically says that the President will certify or decertify the deal and that the Senate will not have an open vote on the treaty written. In essence, the Senate didn't want to discuss the way that the treaty was written.  It'd only cause trouble.  President Obama didn't want this problem, but it passed with 99 votes for and one against (Senator Tom Cotton, Republican).  So the President (Obama, at the time) certified the treaty and passed the mess onto President Trump. 

2.  President Trump will decertify the treaty.  That means because of the Cardin-Corker wording in the law....the Senate now has 60 days to discuss this and go into some direction, or do nothing. 

3.  In the view of the intellectual world, and the EU (especially the Germans), something needs to be done to resolve this or go back to the nifty treaty written.  Well...it's not Trump's dilemma.  It's the Senate's job, which it avoided in 2015.

4.  What happens next?  If the Senate cannot reach another conclusion....another fake draft bill....in this sixty day period period (between now and Christmas), then the thing falls apart and no treaty will exist. Remember....only the Senate can be the final word on treaties....NOT the President. 

5.  President Trump is merely pushing the buttons of Corker, Cardin, and forty-odd individuals who are hyped-up for keeping the treaty on the books. 

What I think will happen?  Corker leads the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and he needs to write up a simple twelve-line piece that says the Senate will accept responsibility of the treaty, then go and get McCain lined up, with the two independent Senators, and one mystery GOP senator....sign off the bill and then get the house to go along with this. 

Oh, but you also need the bill to pass the House....where you need twenty-four GOP members to vote with each Democratic House member.  You probably won't find 24 members this friendly.  If Trump threatens to veto the House/Senate draft?  Well....you'd need two-thirds of a vote in each, and it'll be a truly amazing thing that get that many votes lined up. 

Hmm, yeah, that might be a problem....unless of course you agree to tie this to some tax reform package, health-care reform deal, or Wall-construction package. 

Yeah, you can see where this Iran-Treaty business and the Corker-Cardin-Law is heading.  You will have to deal with Trump to fix this treaty business, and if you don't....it's not Trump who gets blamed.  It's the Senate.

It took Trump a year to learn how to play the Senate games.  At this point, I think he's mastered it completely, and they are standing there in some daze.  The thing is.....how many more stupid creations did the Senate create in the past decade....like medical care deal or this Corker-Cardin-Law? Trump might have a dozen of these lined up on the white-board and preparing to drag them along. 

The Research Project

I sat and read a piece from the Daily Caller today.  A George Soros foundation group went out and spent a fair amount of money to hire three researchers to go and survey 'working-class' Americans in five cities....in an effort to develop the strategy for the 2020 national election.

Open Society Foundations?  It's simply a network of groups that use money to build agenda politics.

So the study got published.  The aim of this...curiously....is to look at the plain white working-class voters, and why they drifted over to Trump.

I looked at the five cities involved in this....it's an odd group. Tacoma, Washington (I lived there for a while), Phoenix, Arizona (I lived near there for a while), Brooklyn, NY, Dayton, Ohio, and Birmingham, Alabama (I grew up near there).  Why these five?  Unknown. Maybe it's just luck.  They talked to four-hundred folks.

Birmingham is an unusual place.  Typically....if you were middle-class and working-class....you probably work in Birmingham but you don't live there.  Most folks have moved out of Jefferson County if they have the capital.  People tend to worry about crime....thug behavior...corrupt city officials...and city bankruptcy behavior.  People that live in the county and city?  They vote Democrat on a solid basis...it's been that way since the 1950s.

Tacoma is an unusual place.  From the crowd under forty, I'd say that sixty-percent regularly smoke marijuana.  The industry of the city revolves around three things: (1) the base/Army post situation, (2) the port, and (3) Boeing crowd.  It's a fairly solid Democratic vote.

Brooklyn, NY?  It's an unusual place.  Folks worry about the economy and crime.  You can go back over the past six elections, and they tend to vote Democrat in every single election.

Dayton, Ohio?  It was a one-percent win for Trump over Hillary in 2016. 

Finally, I come to Phoenix.  Phoenix has a general history of voting more so for Democrats than Republicans. 

In the end after the Soros group reads through this business....my suspicion is that they see the need to create a Trump-equal....or a Trump-copy, and just mouth-off everything Trump promises.  The problem is that you'd have to talk about jobs....a topic that hasn't been something that Democrats could deliver upon.  Talk of cutting government services and trimming the budget?  No....it's merely a topic that gets some light discussion and never occurs.

The value of this research project?  I'd have my doubts.  Maybe if they'd gone into small towns in Iowa and Mississippi....to glean a broader prospective, it have had more value.  In this case?  Just more urbanized topics to sharpen the current Democratic message. 

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Thirty Pages

I sat and read over three or four stories early this morning over the FBI, the Lynch-Clinton documentation from the tarmac meeting to discuss Hillary, and the likely review to come out of this.

Basically, the FBI kept saying for months that no documentation existed from the Lynch-Clinton tarmac meeting in late-June of 2016.  Then in the last week, they found thirty pages of material and handed it over.

The basic story?  Lynch said that the whole meeting was just a casual meeting with Bill coming out to her VIP jet sitting on the tarmac in Phoenix, Arizona....to discuss grandkids, golf and travels.  Yeah, I know....it just sounds kinda hokey but she's more or less sworn to that story.

Why on board the jet?  I'm guessing it was out of the way from the public and they suspected that no one would spot Bill entering it.  It wasn't reported by national press (yeah, that's another odd part of the story).  It was the local Channel 15 reporter who spoke to the story, that swept the nation.

The thirty pages?  I'm guessing that there's three or four emails, with one final report over the entire trip that Lynch took, and the final report is likely a quarter of this entire thirty pages, with only three lines having to do with Clinton.

I seriously doubt that anything will come out of the thirty pages. 

Why Bill had to meet face to face?  He has some magnetic personality and thinks he can charm folks with that casual southern charm.  So the face-to-face meeting had to be part of the whole game.  Since there are no other witnesses to the meeting....you simply have to assume what Lynch wrote....is entirely true. 

Ethically?  Well, it's one of those episodes that really makes Lynch look bad.  A regular person with ethnics would have looked at the potential troubles and just said 'no'. 

So you can imagine the next couple of days while some folks pour over thirty pages and come to realize that there's really not much to say....Lynch bumped into Bill....maybe two lines of commentary about grandkids and golf, and she wished Bill good health.  A lot of drama, over nothing much.

Friday, 13 October 2017

Kerbow Family Connection

Over the past couple of years, I've spent some time looking at one single stretch of the family tree which ran to the Kerbow name.  It's an odd name....French in origin.

So, the story goes to this period around 1731 when some French Huguenots boarded a Dutch ship called the "Billender Townsend" out of Rotterdam, Netherlands. Jean Kerbo (spelled slightly different) boarded, and ended up in Philly.

The thing about this Huguenot group.....they'd lived in the Pfalz region of Germany for several decades....mostly because of religious persecution.  A lot of this religious fervor that occurred, comes out of the Thirty Years War period (1619-to-1650 era).  The war started originally between the reformers and the Catholics.  Halfway through this war, the religious side of this conflict mostly ended and it became a single community opposing another community....mostly over revenge-killing.

The family arrived in Philly on 8 October 1731.  What's generally said is that family united with other Huguenots in the Maryland region....going south into North and South Carolina over the next decade or two.  By the 1860 period, one division of the family had moved into Minor Hill, Tenn.  That's where my connection occurs.

The religious side of the family?  If you go through things, this whole religious thing kinda 'dryed-out' after one generation in the US.

The original area of France?  If you gaze at a France map....it's on the southeastern side...about forty miles south of Nancy, in a region called Haute-Saone....a county-like area that is about forty by forty miles, and mostly all farms. It's about a 20-minute drive to the Swiss border, and there's nothing urban there....this is pure farming territory today.

The population shift for Haute-Saone?  Well, that's an interesting story.  From mid-1800s to 2005...it was a dramatic shift....dropping from the 400,000 level in the 1800s to 210,000 by the end of WW II.  Most of the shift?  This was a pure farming area, and lots of people left for industrial jobs by the mid-1800s to early 1900s.

Today?  You only find the Kerbow name around the US, to a smaller degree in Estongia and France.  My guess is that the bulk of the family left in the 1600s/1700s, and some ended up in Estonia as well.

Added note:  There are at least six different spellings to the name (Kerbo; Kerbow; Kirbo; Curbo; Curbow and Kuehrbeaux). 

Trump and UNESCO

Back in the 1920s, under the League of Nations....there was this long discussion to make the world a better place.  So the intellectual crowd came to this idea that if people just understood accomplishments and culture of other people....the world would be a mighty fine place, with no wars.

So the seed to UNESCO started up.  After WW II, the idea really took off.  If you asked UNESCO what their goal is?  "To contribute to the building of peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, the sciences, culture, communication and information".

To run, they require a fairly big chunk of money....shocker?  It wasn't that way in the 1950s, but you can imagine the past three decades with a fair amount of growth.

My description would be the intellectual's intellectual organization for the UN.  There are probably over forty different groups under the organization, with highly-paid members, who want to draw people into their focus.

At different points over the past two decades....they've come to irritate a number of governments.  Most of this would be considered 'pokes' by UNESCO against various countries.....and some going to the opposite way.  Even WikiLeaks in 2012 got into the middle....suggesting that UNESCO is a human-rights joke.

The UNESCO World Site gimmick?  It's a who's who of sites around the world that revolve around culture, and the need to be preserved.  Sadly, once you get your site onto the list....there's a UNESCO intellectual group who want to help micromanage your site.  An example here?  The San Antonio Missions (five of them in the center of the city).  If you came up and wanted to make big alterations to the area around these, you'd find some UNESCO folks wanting to have approval process.  This occurred in Dresden when the city said they were going to build a bridge across the river, and UNESCO said they wanted a historical-feeling-type bridge and the city said it'd be just a simple regular bridge.  UNESCO removed the World Heritage status to show their anger.

Can UNESCO survive without the US?  Yes.  Can the finances be a problem? Well, the US kinda quit paying into the pot back in 2011 over an issue.  So they've had to already downsize anyway. 

Thursday, 12 October 2017

On the Topic of Autodidacticism

As a kid, I had this reading interest.  Already by age ten...I had an interest in history, geography, cultures, etc.  I was lucky, this rural school I attended....had a decent library.  It might have been on a twenty foot by forty foot room....but they had an ample amount of books.  Added onto this, my mom would take me by the county library, which had a larger selection.

I never thought much about this interest or curiosity of mine...even after I left home and went off to the Air Force.  They offered various training segments, instruction in odd things (assembling and disassembling rifles for example), bigger libraries, and I simply broadened out my prospective.

I had what you'd call autodidacticism. Autodidacticism is typically a behavior where you are self-educating yourself, proceeding through life with some instructors, or an entire lack of instructors. Autodidact people tend to pick and chose their interest.  They are typically terrible students for the system used in most schools today.

An Autodidact kid might come up and shock you because he's actually interested in ancient Rome.  He wants to know about the construction of the Colosseum.....it's intended purpose....how they operated....who came out for the events.....and how the Colosseum fits into the spiral of the Roman Empire.  Naturally, 99-percent of high school teachers can't answer these questions.  In fact....probably over 50-percent of college history professors....can't answer his request.  This is the kid who reads forty books over the period in question....memorizes the names that matter....and has some poster over his bed of the Colosseum.  At some point, the kid will grow up....travel to Rome, and stand in awe of the Colosseum for several hours.

Autodidacts tend to skip regular college because they really can't provide an adequate education.  If they do attend college, you tend to notice that they may pick and choose various classes which don't fit to any major.  For example, you might have some kid who picks two or three economic classes just to understand capitalism, it's history, and the logical anti-capitalist motivation.  Beyond that, he has no other interest.

This is also the kid who might take a community college class on how to build a log cabin, but never actually go beyond that point or ever build a log cabin.

Education went through some odd periods.  The Catholic Church picked up education and operated a number of instructional programs, and ended up starting the college system as we know of it today.  Up until the mid-1800s....if you went to any US or European college program....what you found was a simplistic program built upon five central themes....debate, ancient history, Latin, philosophy, and theology).  Engineering and science got added in the mid-to-late 1800s. 

What you found a huge growth pattern upon in the 1800s were Autodidact people developing their interest....going out to study things on their own, and building a reputation as an expert. 

You can find cases where people would travel for miles to hear so-and-so speak to some topic, or some expedition to Africa, or some new medical idea. 

Oddly enough, if you peel away a lot of the Batman character displayed over the past twenty years....he's a Autodidact.  He is self-taught to some degree, and using masters to provide an education in other areas.

The world ahead for the Autodidacts?  That's an interesting topic.  The internet basically offers this vast landscape to go and learn odd knowledge that was difficult in the past to gain.  You can sit now via a YouTube lecture and get a two-hour lecture by some noted British professor from Cambridge on Roman war techniques.  Or you could sit and hear a sixty-minute talk by some Japanese professor on herbal remedies that were commonly practiced in Japan's 1600s. Or you could hear some gifted guy talk about horse-shoe procedures and how they differ from one culture to another.

In some ways, we are opening up a vast door now for Autodidacts.  They could go way beyond anything that we'd ever dreamed of. 

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

The Worry Story

The WattsUpWithThat crowd wrote up an interesting piece today....over a university study piece (by Chapman University)....studying 'fears' of people.

The study crowd says that climate change/global cooling.....really isn't high up on the list of fears by Americans.  Shocker, eh?

In fact, more Americans believed and feared paranormal things (like ghosts)....more than climate change.  I think if you did the same survey on Germans....it'd be the exact opposite.

On the top fears or worries for Americans?  Number one: corruption of government bureaucrats. Amusingly enough....fear of Trumps reform of the Healthcare Act came up as number two on the fear list.

Fear of North Korean nukes?  Way down as number nine.  In fact, folks worried more about not having enough money (ranked five on the list).

I sat and pondered over the listing. 

From the list of the top ten fears that most Americans showed fear over?  I kinda have to admit that I don't sit around and worry much about any of these. 

Oh, I worry about snakes if I'm in a snaky area and there's high grass.  I worry about food poisoning if I'm at a questionable one-star restaurant.  I don't worry much about ghosts, cannibals, meteors, wild dogs, or angry elephants.  I do worry about nutcases who talk to themselves, Brahma bulls, driving in snow-storms, real Nazis (not the fake Nazis), and people who appear to have leprosy.  I don't worry about meth-heads unless they seem totally out of control.

The problem I see with this survey business is that they aren't really going out into country settings and asking regular people about this stuff.

Most folks from where I grew up would hype up their worry over tornadoes, their car transmission failing, the county voting to go dry, their wife finding out about their mistress, the water heater failing, meth-heads, corrupt cops, and some Alabama governor making a play on their wife or girlfriend.  Folks worrying about climate change?  I doubt if it'd even make the top forty worries.

This worry discussion?  I guess someone worries about what makes you worry. 

My Idea for a TV Show

I have this idea for a television script.....with all the fake reality being played out in politics today in America.

So, various people have threatened to leave the US....to mostly Canada....because of the Trump win.

My script idea is to take some guy, and his family (of course) and go through the Trump exit.

The guy would discover about ten minutes into the show that Canada won't accept him (some marijuana charge from the 1980s).  Eventually, he'd settle on Costa Rica.  The family would haul all of their belongings onto a 1982 school bus and drive down through Mexico.

Eventually, they'd arrive at the designated immigration point for Costa Rica....to discover the town that they are encouraged to settle into....is El Trump.  There's some unease with dad as he discovers this.

The rest of the plot would revolve around the family discovering that secretly....each of them had some attraction to Trump-like thinking.  At the end of the first season, they'd all stand and admit....they were Trump enthusiasts but just never knew it.  And now, will they leave Costa Rica to return?  Or will they bring Trump-enthusiasm to Costa Ricans?

Europe Rehab Story

For a week, off and on, I've been following this Harvey Weinstein story.  To be honest, on my rating scale....in terms of real news, from one to ten....it's rating near a '1'....meaning that it's not really news. 

It's basically a story of a wannabe big-wig for some Hollywood studio who sat around for three decades hitting on women and no one said much of anything.  Not the women, not the studio, and not the journalists (they actually had the story available for a decade). Now, for some odd reason....one gal mentioned something, and the NY Times did a fantastic 180-degree turn to briefly tell the story.  Why?  That's a complete unknown.

Now?  I read off TMZ that Harvey got on a private jet and flew off to Europe yesterday.....heading to a private rehab clinic that does sex addiction treatment.  No one says much over where the clinic is located.

I sat and pondered over this.  To be honest, most places where you'd go in Europe....folks would be generally hyped up over lusty stuff.  Desensitizing you from sex addition?  It's a curious thing to imagine.

This might be some Swiss clinic on top of some mountain....with Swiss therapists who get all chatty about internal feelings and harmony with nature.  Maybe two a day....you go and have goat cheese, with some glacier water....then you roll around in some freshly cut hay to chill out.

This might be a Finnish clinic by some lake....with Finnish therapists who get all chatty about your intellectual side, and how you need to use such-and-such Finnish technique to control your urges.  Then the lunch folks will wheel out some bear meat, moose steaks, and 9-percent beers, letting you sweat out things in some sauna and then jump into the icy waters of the lake.

Or this might be a British clinic in the midst of some rolling hill area of England....with Brit therapists  getting all chatty about Shakespeare, Francis Bacon, and Herbert Spencer.  They'd bring you into some room with two Scottish thug guys who assault you a bit, and insist upon proper manners when dealing with women.  After that, they'd bring you over to a pub....give you a hefty gammon sandwich with an ale, and then make you watch six hours of BBC every night.

Personally, I have my doubts about how this will improve any guy but at least he can say that he's been to a clinic and done the rehab program. 

The Lifestyle Story

This got brought up today with WattsUpWithThat.com, and I thought it was a a bit amusing.

In Europe, the university system goes out and does a lot of research that US universities would not touch....let's say for political reasons.

So the folks at Cambridge University....wanted to know how Conservationists think and react....in the real world.  These are the people who get peppy about saving the world, cramming global warming/cooling down our throats, and get all chatty about climate change.  It would be logical then to assume that they really take this stuff serious and live stoic-climate change lives.  Well....NO.

From the group of Conservationists selected....they are just plain regular people.  They are no different from the anti-climate change crowd, which ought to freak journalists out.

You would think that lifestyles would change and people would be different. For example....Conservationists fly frequently....as the college discovered...on average of nine times a year.  You can figure two of those are for vacations, and the rest for conferences that they need to attend.  All of that....does more damage....if you buy into their argument.  But even they aren't buying into their argument.

These are also the same people who eat fish/meat five times a week.  They don't convert to vegan like you'd suspect.

Buying carbon offsets on their airline tickets? Never.

I sat and pondered over this story.  It's like some heavily-consumed anti-alcohol guy doing his big chat, and you find out a year later that he still sips two shots of brandy every night before bed, or you have someone trying to convince you to reseed your yard but the guy lives in some upscale condo surrounded by concrete. 

What happens now?  I'm guessing that some anti-climate change people are going to start forcing the Conservationists to modify their lifestyles, and live the way that they chat.  The less meat thing?  That probably won't go well....and the suggestion of only attending one single conference a year....maybe at a campsite in Bolovia with no room-service or wine?  You can forget about that.

Just something to think about.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Murders and Numbers

2016 number of homicides (with any type of weapon, to include knives, hammers and axes) in the state of Alabama: 407

2016 number of homicides within the city of Birmingham and the county of Jefferson, Alabama: 151

2016 number of homicides within the city of Mobile, Alabama: 43

2016 number of homicides within Tuscaloosa, Alabama: 20

Yeah, More than half of the state's murders....came from one single county, and two urbanized cities.

2016 homicides in Utah?  A total of 90 for the entire state.  Of that, nine involved people shot by cops. 

One of the 90 Utah homicides, actually was a woman who ran off a road....killed by a tree impact....with a vehicle repossession guy attempting to retake her vehicle.

So, when you see some journalist or intellectual try to talk about guns, and banning of guns....then you need to ask more questions...dig deeper into the whole story. 

Have murders in Alabama really increased?  You can go back to 1960, and find that 406 people murdered. In 1964, we actually got down to 316 for the state.  Over the past seven years in Alabama?  We actually averaged around 300 per year. 

So, you get to the point of trying to write some script or law to remove automatic weapons.  If you go down the list....from the 4,000-odd people on the Alabama homicide list....you might have saved five or six.  If you'd banned knives?  It'd be way over one-hundred....maybe going to two-hundred. Seems like you go for knives first, if you were logical about this.

Science Beyond People

I often go and read through science reports, which lay out a lot of odd information.  Today, I went to a curious piece by Watts Up With That.  Their big article: hurricane forecasting and how the public can't read or grasp what the weather information is saying.

This University of Utah study went and looked at the normal methods.  Typically, there are summary displays which show the possible paths of a hurricane with a 'cone' and boundaries.   Most folks, as they found out....really can't read the path-business or understand the 'cone'.  If Joe the weather guy says that a hurricane is likely to hit their city or county....well, that's different.

For a lot of intellectual people walking around and thinking that the world is all tuned to their knowledge base, or even cares....the big shocker, most people don't really grasp graphic charts or fundamental information unless they get this on a daily basis.

When you see a pollen-chart come up every single day of the week for five years....you can assume that most people grasp that chart and what it means.  When you plot a tornado warning area...it's because they've seen this enough times....over and over....know that they are in a watch area or a warning area.  You can ask most folks to define this, and I'd take a guess that 98-percent of adults in the south can define the difference.

But hurricanes?  You so rarely see them.

Even if you explained this in detail....some folks have the idea that a category two hurricane is really not a big deal.

Lack of education?  No.  I'm of the belief that people retain only X-amount of information for things that they regularly worry about or the topic comes up at least once or twice a year. 

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Epic of Gilgamesh: Poem Three

If you follow my essays, this is a series of twelve pieces over the epic poem series of Gilgamesh...written over 4,000 years ago on some clay tablets and were stories told around the campfire there in Sumeria. I'd suggest that you go back two days ago and catch poem one before reading this one.

Today, we follow our two heroes, Gilgamesh (king of Uruk), and the rural backwoods guy Enkidu....who got civilized by a local harlot gal, and then took up a fight with Gilgamesh over some young brides.

In poem three, we find our two guys standing there in the rural court area of Uruk, with the senators or elders wanting to give Gilgamesh advice prior to this big journey.  Not a lot is written over the advice....it's probably mostly words about not sipping booze or wine with folks you don't know....don't pick fights with bad-ass folks....and watch out for harlot-women along the trail.

At some point after this meeting....Gilgamesh decides to visit his momma....noted as Ninsun (sounds like Nissan but different).  She was a Goddess, in absolute form.

Most folks tend to go back and look up the literal translation of Ninsun, and it tends to be the lady-in-charge-of-wild-cows. 

Most guys sitting at the fire and listening to this....particularly from rural areas, would have this image burned into their mind over some sturdy and big-boned gal who tended the nut-case cows of some valley who'd go and chase guys down.

Anyway....Ninsun gave some advice as well to Gilgamesh.  At this point, Ninsun think so highly of this friend of Gilgamesh....she makes him a son.  There's not much written down over how Enkidu felt about accepted in the family...one has to assume it was accepted without much talk.  That's how stoic guys are.

Then Gilgamesh hands out some words to the elders about how to run Uruk while he's gone.  This is sparse in terms of what was said.  One might suspect that he made sure they didn't do nothing stupid.  Then, the boys leave for the big adventure.

End of poem three.

To be honest, I kinda think poem three is weak, but there was probably more made up with Ninsun, and her Goddess business. 

Epic of Gilgamesh: Poem Two

Part of my series on the ages old story of Gilgamesh (you need to go back a day or two to review poem one)....this is my rendering of poem number two (without the poetry stuff).

As we last left our three characters (Enkidu the unsophisticated rural guy, Gilgamesh the thug king, and Shamhat the harlot gal with slutty behavior).....Shamhat had just brought Enkidu into a camp of shepherds.

Naturally, most audience members listening into the story are a bit thrilled, because this is probably their chief occupation, and it's a bit thrilling for their craft to be mentioned in a story.

There on the first day in the camp....the shepherd guys are introducing Enkidu to the local refined food.  It's safe to say....it was a bit gourmet-like in nature, probably very fatty/greasy, and the spices and pepper-usage were a bit too much for Enkidu. But he was never a guy to turn down a free buffet-dinner.

After a while, the shepherds have a vote and appoint Enkidu to the head position of night watch.  To be honest, this is the worst job of a shepherd and Enkidu probably didn't grasp that until the end of the first shift. 

As days passed.....one evening....some guy with no name (there's always that type of character in a Steinbeck novel)....comes passing by.  A bit of conversation starts up between Enkidu and the stranger.  Guys in this case typically talk about weather, sheep, women, and 'stuff'.

The stranger brings up a new topic though....Gilgamesh (the king) and his treatment of new brides.  The talk gets hyped up and Enkidu is all disturbed that such guy is taking advantage of these fine women.

In a flash, without much thinking....Enkidu decides to take off to Uruk.

To be honest, Enkidu wasn't much of a traveler....probably had no idea where Uruk was located....and didn't have a map or compass.

No one says much over days or weeks passing....that part of the poem that just leaves this out.  We an assume that it took more than a day or two.

So our hero....Enkidu arrives at this capital city and plants himself at the entrance of a wedding chamber.  As Gilgamesh prances up to the doorway.....he finds Enkidu blocking the door.  It's a bit of a shocker.  Typically....no one ever blocks doorways in the kingdom.

A fierce fight erupts.  The poem doesn't really give this much coverage.  It ought to have been a sixty-line moment, and a lot of fist-to-fist coverage spoken about.

What we can say is a pretty good fight occurs, and there's a pause....mostly because both are tired-out and not able to fight much more.

Enkidu notes that Gilgamesh was fairly strong.  Both guys admire each other....a bit of sweat has fallen off each other.  Gilgamesh says that he Enkidu ought to be friends.  Note, he didn't say 'special friends'....just that they could hang out with each other.

Gilgamesh talks up this epic adventure idea....going off to the Cedar Forest.  Enkidu asks what's big about this Cedar Forest, and Gilgamesh responds that there is this monster called Humbaba (some kind of monster demi-God).  If they together were to defeat Humbaba....legends would be told over both.

Enkidu looks over this talk and the Humbaba creature, and he kinda thinks this ain't very smart.  He's advising Gilgamesh against this idea.  Some old guys in the Kingdom....mostly Senator-types (like Senator McCain) also note that they don't think this hunting down Humbaba idea is that smart.

Gilgamesh is not to be deterred and our dynamic duo run off in search of the Humbaba.

End of Poem Two.

It should be noted that there's almost no mention of the Shamhat gal (the slutty gal training Enkidu in poem two), and there's never a name given to the newly married gal that Enkidu saved from Gilgamesh.  It should also be noted that no mention of the stranger's name who suggested this adventure to Enkidu was mentioned.....or if he had a limp or any warts.  The party down at the Shepherd camp?  The alcohol consumed at the camp?  Well....it's best not to mention that part, I guess.

The Campus Story

It's page three news and begs questions....but it came up in the past week with the University of Missouri putting out a list of instructions on how to run or host on-campus events for the general student population.

In the middle of the guidelines....they 'nudge' the students to some degree and suggest that you (the students) ought to ask yourself...."If my event is potentially triggering, have I consulted with someone from the counseling center?"

Then it asks students...is this event of such a harsh thing for your lifestyle or mental side.....should you go ahead and have a counselor present to help you make it?

Finally, the university asks in a simple way....do you know where your 'safe' space is located?  It kinda reminded me of the Air Force days when you had to know your storm shelter, and that some Major might run up to you and try to test you on where the nearest tornado shelter was located.

In some ways, the university is admitting that the kids attending now (over the age of eighteen) are not mature enough or capable enough to make rational decisions, or interpret data that you hand out. 

Then you look over at this counselor business.  With a campus of 20,000 students....how many counselors would require?  Three-hundred?  Five-hundred?  If Dalton-the-student did call you up and state some personal emergency over at the campus cafeteria....that they were out of vegan-food, how would you prioritize your arrival?  Be there in six minutes?  Expect me in sixteen minutes?  Or would you just advise Dalton over the phone that jello is a good substitute?

If these kids are this immature....can you even allow them to buy a six-pack of beer?  Or to purchase a pack of Marlboros?  Could you even trust the kid to handle condoms or date some slutty gal from out-of-state? 

It seems like to me the answer here is simple.  You need to pause kids at 18, upon graduation from high school, and force them to get a job in the real world....waiting for a year before going off to college.  Maybe even two years of waiting. Perhaps they ought to even consider developing an Army boot-camp system where you go through twelve weeks of intense training to bring your maturity level up two or three notches. 

The atmosphere up at Missouri?  It makes me curious if they have some kind of maturity problem across the state and got a bunch of kids pretending to be eighteen-years-old, when their behavior level appears to be 12-years-old.

It's a pretty bad situation when a campus leadership position is there to suggest you can't handle reality but we'll accept you on campus anyway. 

The Problem with Stupid Intellectuals

"Some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals believe them."

-- Orwell, from Notes on Nationalism (1945)

Maybe up until a decade ago, I could sit and watch a debate or discussion by a couple of intellectuals, and be somewhat 'entertained'.  But I reached some stage where it often pains me to watch intellectuals, journalists, scientists, political figures and provocateurs engage in discussions.

If you sit there and bring up poverty....the end-game of the discussion usually centers on what you want to 'give' the folks in poverty.  Yeah, it has to be a 'gift' or some government promise in the end.  Job-training or a craft-skill crash-course?  Birth-control knowledge and reasonable cost methods for the control?  Classes and knowledge on how to manage money once you get it?  None of these usually get brought up.

If you sit there and bring up gun control....the end-game of the discussion is usually centered on all weapons being banned (like the Australia method).  Hunters and farmers?  Left out of the discussion.  The mere fact that probably 90-percent of Republicans and Democrats in urban areas like St. Louis, Memphis or Birmingham have pistols in their car and house, and they have no desire to give them up?  The fact that most of these mass shooters from the past twenty years have legal or illegal drugs/prescription drugs in their system?  These are things never brought up in these discussions.

If you sit there and talk over fixing health care costs....the end-game of the discussion is that the dozen-odd things which make health-care expensive....cannot be discussed.  Generally, the talking intellectuals just want everyone to be included, and subsidy coverage for the poverty-class to be the support structure to keep this going.  We won't talk about drug companies, law-suit craziness, or the cost of medical schools. These are topics forbidden in any discussion.

If you sit there and bring up tax reform.....the end-game is a wild debate where no one really wants to pay taxes.....not the private wealthy guy....not the companies....and not working-class guy.  Why the government can't downsize it's spending budget?  Don't bother bringing that up.  Also, don't bring up state-by-state allocations.  There are literally hundreds of topics under this situation, which are just laying off in the shadows of the conversation.

If you sit there and bring up climate change....the end-game is usually to create a wealth distribution gimmick where rich industrialized countries pay the lesser countries.....for something, but you aren't sure about how this really works. The fear-factor about peer review?  Don't bring that topic up with the intellectuals.  The fact that they were fairly settled on the science in the mid-1970s with global cooling, and then a dozen years later....insisted that the science was settled in the late-1980s.....global warming was the absolute problem....then said a dozen years later, nope, the science is settled on climate change.  The fact that 500 sciences exist in the world, and only one is settled apparently, never dawns on most scientists talking the subject. 

An apology to the scientists and intellectuals.....you could do better, if you used your knowledge combined with common sense.  But you've yet to reach that level.


Saturday, 7 October 2017

Epic of Gilgamesh: Poem One

A long time ago, off in the lands of Mesopotamia....in the age of Sumerians, we had a bunch of pretty creative folks.  That's over 4,000 years ago, and likely going way past that point.

The locals of the time got around to the art of telling stories....more or less to entertain folks.  You do that when there's no TV, radio, or internet.

Now, it has to be said that these were of the Hemingway or Steinbeck type story-tellers....that they got hooked on a decent story, and there have been literally dozens of variations of the story told.

So, we come to what is referred today as the 'Epic of Gilgamesh'.  It survive mostly because we've found tablets which lay out this story.  This version which survives is done in the poem method, and it makes some folks think that it was done to preserve the story in one simple constructed story and prevent forty different stories being manufactured.

The original version?  Translated into English....Surpassing All Other Kings.

The first tablet lays out the story, and I'll tell in a basic fashion....without the poetry or fine words...just in plain-speak....southern-style.

Out yonder in the lands....there lays this land of Uruk.  There was a king of the region and his name was Gilgamesh.

Folks tended to respect Gilgamesh because he was two-thirds god and one-third man.  Now, usually some engineer or intellectual guy from the audience would halt the story-telling and say you can only fifty-percent X and fifty-percent Y.....or you could be one-quarter this, and one-quarter that....etc.

Well....you just have to accept the fact that Gilgamesh, for the purpose of this story....was a one-third, two-thirds kinda of guy.

Course, this would bring up the next question....how would you know that he was only one-third man?  Well, it's just a story....don't get all tangled up on this.

So, we get back to this story.

Its safe to say that things weren't great in the land of Uruk, and some folks felt that Gilgamesh was oppressive in nature.  At this point from the audience, the engineer would ask....you mean like Trump?

No....not like Trump.  Gilgamesh had invented some method of understanding that it was fine if he slept with women on their wedding night.  No one is saying he had 'seconds' or 'thirds'....that he had this understanding.

Questions from the audience would arise again....what if there were twenty women getting hooked up this Saturday?  Well....this is just a story.  There just isn't any king-like guy going around and hooking up with twenty women in one night.

Now I should point at this point that the tablet where this part of the story would have some more details....is a bit broke, and we are left to wonder what the heck happen to Gilgamesh on these special nights., but the information just ain't there.

Guys were complaining as well....mostly over too many physical tests or events...or through too many construction projects in his land.

So, as folks pleaded with the Gods (plural) to fix this Gilgamesh business....they responded.....more or less.

Way out in the rural regions of Uruk...there was this rather non-intellectual guy...a plain regular sort of dude, who went by the name of Enkidu.

Legend has it that Enkidu had a pretty nifty beard, and had a fair amount of body hair (something women admired in those days).

The few folks who knew Enkidu....spoke of his preference for the life of simpleness, living under the stars, and sipping spring-water.  Some local hunter had a problem with Enkidu because he was always springing his traps.  We don't know what kind of critters the hunter was going after but it appears to be small game....not tigers or lions.

The hunter guy then told the sun-god Shamash about Enkidu.

No one knows much about this sun-god dude but he was popular.

An arrangement was made with Shamash, who felt that Enkidu could be brought into the real world....taught a few things....put on some clothing....become more sociable.  In order to make all this happen.....Enkidu is introduced to a gal called Shamhat.

It's safe to say that Shamhat was a bawdy gal....a lady of the evening....or a harlot.  The poem doesn't go into details.  We don't get the description like Steinbeck would give....golden flowing hair.....legs that drive a man crazy....or million-dollar lips.

It's hard to say how young men around the campfire and hearing the Gilgamesh story imagined Shamhat.  It was probably a five-star lust scene and guys just making up different images of her.

Shamhat had the sole job of teaching Enkidu manners.  As the story goes....after seven nights in some tent with Shamhat....Enkidu emerged half-way to being civilized.  How this is possible, is left out of the story, and probably discussed later by various men sipping wine and offering observations over Enkidu.

Enkidu left out of the love-tent business and headed off to a shepher'ds camp to get the rest of the lessons.

What's generally said then, as we conclude chapter one....is that Gilgamesh woke up from some dream about the arrival of someone to change his life.  No, it's not Shamhat, if you were thinking that.

End of the first poem over this story.

Now, I admit...there's a whole lot of information left out and I suspect that there are other tablets out there with a better version....probably racier and a bit more sensual in nature, but that's the one and only version dug up so far.

Money Laundering

After the hype of the Vegas shooting....the term money-launderer has been uttered a couple thousand times.

For the benefit of folks who don't grasp the amount of money being shifted around in the underground economy......some numbers ought to be mentioned.

In the first decade of this century....it's generally believed that one trillion got moved out of China alone.

It's believed that three-quarters of a billion got moved around by Russians to situations outside of Russia.

It's estimated that almost half-a-billion dollars left Mexico. 

It's estimated that a third-of-a-billion dollars left Malaysia. 

Its estimated that a quarter-of-a-billion left Saudi Arabia. 

You can add it up, but generally....it's around fifty billion dollars a month during this entire decade....that money had to move around without being noticed.

Around the US?  No one ever wants to sit down in front of Senators and talk over the issue, with numbers.  You have to figure that at least 100,000 individuals are working around the clock....to launder money in the US. 

It has to go into fake companies or business operations, or fake apartment buildings, and come out clean at the other end to be used for real cash assets for people.....or be moved overseas where it's laundered into another country's banking system.

What you need to take out of this?  For a period of a decade (2000 to 2010)....roughly three trillion dollars were likely moved around the globe quietly by a number of individuals.  And I would imagine for the period of 2010 to 2020....it's probably double that amount. 

Maybe the End of the Bergdahl Episode

This past week, if you went to page two news out of the US....there's this story over Sargent Bergdahl.  He's the guy who felt the Army was doing him wrong, and just decided one day to walk out the back of a Army post in Afghanistan....then being captured by the law-lords of the region, and held as a captive for five years.  Thankfully, President Obama and team decided to trade some Gitmo folks for him.  Sadly, the Army didn't feel any positive stuff over his adventure and charged with some crimes.

This week, Bergdahl said he'd accept a guilty deal without a lot of court action, over the charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. Generally, you could get five years max for desertion, and life in prison for misbehavior before the enemy.  The judge will make the final decision. Some folks feel that he ought to be shot.  Some folks feel like the guy, having spent five years in some Taliban-like prison deal....ought not get much more than five years of Army prison.

Why avoid the court action?  I think he had five years in the Taliban-like setting and got his rational sense back into his system. 

What I'd give the guy?  I'd give him a fifteen-year prison sentence, with five of those hooked to credit with the time in the prisoner setting with the Taliban folks, leaving him ten full years in the Army prison.  If you look over his attitude and intelligence level....it's kinda obvious that the Army should have dumped him by the fourth month of service.  He just wasn't Army-material.  Taking him off to Afghanistan?  Big mistake on their part.  Maybe if he'd gone through a six-month long boot-camp period and really gotten orientated about the team-concept.....things would have worked out.  He wasn't motivated or capable of handling Army-life.  I'd take a guess that a quarter of the American population would not be capable of handling three years in the Army. 

As for his future after leaving the Army prison-life?  I just don't see this guy doing much more than flipping burgers or stocking shelves at some grocery. 

Friday, 6 October 2017

Pepsi and Nasty


In the last two weeks, the mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, has made it into the news almost daily because of events there and the anti-Trump theme.

Carmen Yulin Cruz.

Yesterday, she did an interview wearing a 'nasty' t-shirt.  It's supposed to be some kind of message, but it's hard to say what.

Typically, you were appearing in front of me, in some leadership role or executive role....wearing a t-shirt saying 'nasty'...I would likely have tainted or misguided thoughts.  For some reason, the image and 'nasty' would burn into my my mind.  After that....every time I saw the person...I'd be thinking 'nasty'.

Forty years ago....no mayor would have gone out and worn something like this, period.  Today?  It's a provocative lifestyle and people want to entice you or draw you to some fake conclusion.

After a while, you look at the whole image of the photo, and then you latch onto the Pepsi machine on the right-side of the image. "Nasty" and Pepsi?  A subliminal message?  Something to do with titillating or wicked thoughts?

Now I'll start thinking something sensual every time I see a Pepsi machine, and think of the word "nasty". I'll probably have to go and visit a mental health expert now.

The Plane Story

I noticed in today's news that the passenger gal who got all upset about two dogs being carried in the passenger area for a flight, then got dragged off by airport security when she made a case of dogs on board...intends now to carry forward a legal situation with the airline (Southwest). 

Southwest says (at least that's their position)....that they are awful sorry that the lady ended up getting off by airport security and they've been trying to have a chat with her. 

Some people were leaning toward the gal in this story...until it came up three days later that she was a professor of Islamic studies at a prestigious US university.  Folks who know the Islamic religion well....also know that Muslims tend to be anti-dog (a good bit).  The idea of riding in a cabin for two hours?  It might be unsettling.

Why she complained in the first place?  She says she had to be on this flight, because her elderly father being sick.  In her defense, she says she's got a serious allergy issue with dogs.  Actual proof of the allergy?  Well, that will pop up in court and there might be a discussion about the nature of this. If she has the paperwork, then the judge is going to ask how she intended to travel while knowing dogs might be part of the deal.  She might not be able to answer that one.  All future air travel with this gal?  Well....yeah, it's best not to ask about this either. 

The folks handling this on the plane?  Well.....I ponder upon this.

Back thirty years ago (1980s), you could walk out to the airport and tended to find generally nice folks standing there and flights were a special thing.  It didn't matter how bad the food was, the bitchy-nature of the stewardesses, the funky smell in the airplane bathroom, the weird nature of the ticket-lady, or the lateness in taking off (folks didn't say much if it was two hours late). 

In the past fifteen years....something has occurred with air-travel and it's not the same experience.  Part of this is the cheap nature now, and you have all those Greyhound bus dimwits who pay the $150 for a round-trip deal from Atlanta to Detroit, and the whole nature of the experience is gone.

Folks whine about the food, the knee space, the amount of bags that people drag onboard, the after-shave that 'Bob' is wearing, the funky grandma-smell from some of these older women, the drunk-level of guys onboard, the slutty dress and attire of some women (the boobs literally just falling out of the apparel), and any flight being more than 25 minutes late is now a big deal.  Some folks just get disturbed if the stewardess appears to be over the age of fifty and a bit chunky. 

The front-desk folks and the airport security staff?  Well, they really don't want to let some idiot go and make some type of negative experience out of the deal.  I noted a video from last month that I watched where some anti-Trump gal got hyped up over a young guy sitting next to her, and she tried to get the staff to remove him (he had a pro-Trump-shirt on).  There was one brief attempt to calm her down, and then they called for security.  She was going to exit the plane at that point....no questions or begging would help.

I look at this professor and I see the same situation....you get one chance to calm down, and then the security folks step in.

All of this brings me to my point...the public probably needs a reminder now....that just getting from point A to point B is the test of flying around the nation.  You want to get there safely, and you'd best not find 688 reasons to whine over the conditions or the attire of the fellow-passengers, or their dogs.

The issue is that we seem to want to draw a line and let people know how we feel....trying to force change or force others to accept our vision of things.  The sad thing is that once this starts up....you might have a guy like me standing there and noting your slutty attire as being too obvious, or me suggesting a dry-county approach to alcohol on board the plane.  Note as well, I'd be perfectly happy for dinner options on a plane if you just handed out Mountain Dew and beef jerky.  The dog thing would be acceptable to me, as long as it was a border collie (not one of those poodles). 

Thursday, 5 October 2017

The Time Travel Story

I noticed this story off Fox News today.  There's this guy up in Wyoming, who appeared in Casper on Monday night looking for the cops.  Cops found him, and he wanted to let them know that Earth was going to be attacked, and that he'd come from the future (2048) to warn them of the attack.

Normally, police in Casper don't get many time-travelers.

At some point, they decided a alcohol-test was necessary for the time-traveler dude.  End-result?  .136

A fair amount of alcohol.  Course, he wasn't driving, so DWI is not possible.  Drunk and disorderly?  Well...he wasn't disorderly.  I'm guessing he'll rest out the next twenty-four hours and then get released.

What he said while in this stage....aliens are coming in 2048.  He was originally aiming for 2018, but landed in  2017 instead.

The thing about this is that thousands will read the story, and just wonder about this.  Was the guy for real?  Are there aliens invading in 2048?  Did the guy really travel through time? 

This guy....as fake as he might be....just earned himself a title for the rest of his life....the 'time traveler'. 

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

My Three Gun-Control Ideas (Each Potentially Failing)

I enjoy reading at times the various ways that people want to FIX things, and how each generally goes to create a new and more creative problem in the end.  So my top three ideas:

1.  Limit all magazines to six rounds only.  Rifle, shotgun, hand-gun, etc. 

Most gun-control enthusiasts think that this will have a quick and easy return value.  No study has ever shown that it works.  Getting people to accept the six-round limit?  If you owned the larger magazines....you would not cough them up. The other amusing side of this is that you could go out and buy sixty six-round magazines, and just keep swapping them out as you ran out of bullets.

2.  Cash for guns.

Generally, the gun-control enthusiasts think that people will walk in and turn their gun in for $100 to $150 in cash.  In reality....the people that generally do this are the ones sitting there with a broken gun or a weapon with a age/trust problem in it working.  When the gunsmith says he'll need $250 to fix a weapon, that they bought for $350 ten years ago, the $150 offer might make sense to hand in. Otherwise, it's a waste of money.

3.  Removing military rifles from the public.

From what era are you talking over?  Are you talking about M-1 rifles from WW II era? Are you talking about the M-16/AR-15 from the Vietnam era?  I'm guessing most folks think the AR-15/AK-47 are the evil weapons and just dumping them would make sense.  The fact that most all of the 500-odd people killed so far in Chicago for 2017....were not shot by AR-15/AK-47 weapons?  Well....it's best not to bring this up.

So, I'm going to put a radical idea.  Requiring that all bullets/ammo manufactured and sold in the US...have a compound added.  A chemist could sit down and figure out the type and amount to use. The compound purpose?  To dirty the chamber in a fairly short period of time....requiring a complete cleaning after approximately ten shots fired.  If you didn't clean the barrel by the 15th round....it would create a problem for the barrel to be 'blocked' (thus damaged).  This would not affect any Constitutional situation or take away anyone's rights....but it would make gun cleaning a fairly repeatable task.  Military assault rifles?  It would make them completely ineffective for any mass shooting. 

The 12.5 Million Story

The general experts agree that roughly four-percent of the US population are psychopaths....meaning that they lack conscience and empathy.  They are very capable being manipulative, violent and usually end being criminal.  There's a grading system for psychopaths, and the higher grades (30 or more), means you need special care and probably a full-time facility.  So you eyeball the numbers and come to realize that 12-million Americans could potentially reach the stage to be a threat.....like the guy in Vegas.

Three years ago, it was generally estimated that around two-million Americans were fully addicted to pain-killers and opioids.  Some were at the full extent of not being in control of their mental capabilities.

The Americans with mental disorders, having hallucinations and delusions?  It's estimated at roughly nine million Americans have psychotic disorders that range from 'light' to 'significant problems'. 

So you add these three groups up.....threw in the full-up crazy folks, and you have around 25-million Americans that you need to worry about.  To be honest....you could cut this group down to about half that size and just say that lesser group wasn't a big deal.  You stand there admiring this landscape....12.5 million Americans who could potentially kill you, your family, your neighbors, your friends, and your work-associates.

If you pose these kind of numbers to the public....most would suggest that something has to occur revolving these people and guns.  But you'd also have to start talking about denying the same crowd the right to vote, the privilege to drive a vehicle, and award them guardianship by some mental facility. 

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Days of 'Whatever'

A couple of months ago, I got all interested in Evergreen College (public college in Washington state) and their various issues with out-of-control students.  I've essayed two or three pieces on the college and their woes.

Yesterday, I sat and read over two particular days of each calendar year that the college seems to recognize in some fashion.

There is the Day of Absence...which is recognized as a local community day for discussing and getting hyped-up about 'identity groups'. Naturally, if you were white....you aren't among the 'identity groups'.

You can join up with various groups....just to mostly sit around and talk....excessively from what I can figure.  All of this is supposed to lead in some way to anti-racism.  The evidence of such?  Well....it's best not to ask for facts or evidence.

The second day in question is the Day of Presence.  This one is interpreted in various ways by different people.  It's mostly the day after the Day of Absence discussions and supposed to be when students show 'strength' and 'power'....although again, it's best not to ask how or why, nor should you suggest any debate over the topics.

After some reflection, I came to ponder this idea...that this college needs a full calendar of days to think, discuss and reflect a lot of things.

They need a day of pestilence (to reflect upon disease), a day of Apocalypse (to reflect upon coming evil times), a day of Anhedonia (to reflect upon the lack of pleasure), a day of gluttony (to reflect upon over-eating), a day of fragility (to reflect upon the chaotic times upon us), and even a day of fatuousness (to reflect upon the sad state of stupidity in the world today).

There's probably over 250 days required for folks.  You could have a day of harvest (to reflect upon the hard work of farmers), a day of asininity (to reflect upon craziness around us), a day of indomitable (to reflect upon stoic nature), and perhaps even a day of beer (to reflect the essence and wonder of beer). 

Banana Republic Mayor

I sat and watched some CNN piece yesterday.  The San Juan mayor in some critical talk...hyping up the hurricane mess and that the President was not doing anything to help the poor Puerto Rican folks.

Folks were out of water.  Folks were starving.

The problem is....I noticed this rather quickly....she's standing in front of tons and tons of food and water.  Image-wise, in about twenty seconds, she made her entire statement a 'joke'.

If she had made the statement against a brickwall, or standing by some statue.....it might have made sense.  But once you stood in front of pallets of food/water, and you said that stuff wasn't getting to you....it was a 'joke'.

What's happening in Puerto Rico?  Tons of supplies sit at the port.  Around 20-percent of the drivers necessary to deliver it.....do their job.  The rest are union-drivers and hyped to make some kind of negotiation angle and stalling on showing up to deliver the goods.

The US Teamster's Union?  They are recruiting and preparing to send down drivers to drive the trucks. What will happen if they attempt to drive the vehicles?  I'm guessing there's going to be trouble, and you will end up with a armed US National Guard convey team to escort every single truck.  That image will be another negative one for the isle.

So you have to wonder....why would any idiot want to stay on an island like this.....so corrupt, and so screwed up?

Saturday, 30 September 2017

If You Were Going to Kneel Over Stuff

It's a short list that came to my mind....but obviously the NFL millionaire players are thinking of a single topic to knee for.  Some other suggestions?

1.  Making people pay a fee or tax on health insurance that they don't want to purchase.

2.  Doctors who hand opioids over to patients like 'candy'.

3.  494 people shot and killed within Chicago since 1 January (only up to 30 Sep 2017).

4.  Asset forfeiture policy of the US government.

5.  Global warming, global cooling, or climate change.

6.  MS-13 and the drug empire in the US.

7.  The poverty rate of 13.5 percent in the US.

8.  The student debt of $1.2 trillion dollars.

9.  Corrupt nature of both the House and Senate (both parties).

10.  The unrealistic salary structure of NFL players to ordinary Americans.

Course, I realize that these individuals have no understanding of this whole kneeling business, but it might be curious to have different kneeling tricks for different topics. 

How to Look Like an Idiot

I sat and read through some huge criticism piece over the tax deal via the Trump administration and the spokesperson who said that some folks might want to use the $1,000 coming back on this deal....to remodel their kitchen.  So the criticism was laid out....to blast this....you can't do a remodeling job on your kitchen for $1,000.

I sat last year and watched a German removation show where the expert walked into a home, and laid out the project....with the goal of 1,000 Euro or less (roughly $1,200).

So, here's thing....it's all self-help....which you mostly do over a two-day weekend...maybe stretching into a second weekend.

You remove the cabinets from the wall....sand them down a bit, and then paint them.  Course, you probably need a second guy to help lift and screw these back into place.

Fresh paint on the walls?  Yes.

New cupboards?  Yes.

A new light or ventilator-light-unit?  Yes.

A new faucet?  Yes.

Done.  All of this easy enough for a couple to do.  No fancy work.  No $4,000 required

The criticism?  All pretty stupid if you ask me....mostly by idiots who want to pay some guy $4,000 to do the same work.

Why is Puerto Rico in the Crapper After the Hurricane?

First, let me admit that I've never been to the isle in my life.  I have worked around five or six Puerto Rican folks while in the military and did have various conversations with them over this strange and mysterious island (ask a hundred folks, and you tend to find only about one-percent who've been to the island), and most Americans still think it's an independent country.

All this electrical trouble since the hurricane?  Well....if you go back through business news over the past couple of years....their national company has had some issues and had their bonds judged to be near junk-status.  If you bring up maintenance and upgrades?  Well....it's a marginal amount of work and you get the impression that they are surviving with a two-star program providing electricity to the country.  Stateside electrical companies willing to come in and help?  You'd have to arrange ships to bring the trucks and personnel....then agree that you'd likely never get any financial pay-back from the national electrical organization.

Then you come to the island's own junk bonds.  Yeah....they've been junk-status for more than a year or two.

I asked one work-associate back in the 1980s about the lifestyle of the island, and his emphasis was....just about everything on the island is connected to corruption.  The cops, the legal system, the drug-scene, etc.  In his explanation of things....there's two economies working in Puerto Rico.  One is legit and paying taxes....one is strictly non-legit and avoiding taxes.  You'd really have to screw up badly to be caught and face punishment....that was his opinion.

The unemployment rate of Puerto Rico?  For the past year.....roughly ten-percent.  But here's the nifty part of this story.  The rate has been dismal for over a decade.  If you had any skills or college education, you left the island.  Back around 2000, they had near 3.8-million people on the island.  Every year....thousands have left, so they don't count toward the current 10-percent unemployment situation.  Right now, they sit at 3.4-million.  If you follow what's been said over the past week, I'd take a guess that at least 150,000 will leave Puerto Rico by Christmas and likely never come back.  By spring of 2018, add another 150,000 onto that.  They will likely shrink below 3.0-million by July of 2018.   The best and brightest?  Yes, they will be the ones gone.

If you were an American company looking for a potential industrial site there....why?  Maybe cheap labor but it'll hard to find competent or highly educated people for the operation.

For Trump, the best solution here would be to activate 5,000 Guardsmen for six months of duty to help put the grid back back into operation and clear roads.  Then you might go and offer some tax incentive package for some manufacturing companies to come in and set up shop for ten years.  But beyond that....the corruption factor remains.  And I doubt that this will ever correct itself. 

California and the Gas Car Ban

It came up this past week with a draft proposal by a legislative guy in California (Democrat of course) to halt all new gas car sales by 2040.  You could still sell gas in the state, but the idea is that new gas car or diesel car sales....would halt.

The possibility of buying a new car in Vegas or Phoenix and driving it across the border?  Wasn't mentioned, but would likely be the best way to avoid this game.

The intent is to go the way of Germany (already aiming in 2030) for electric car sales only by 2030.

The problem with the California idea? 

If you live in San Diego or San Francisco itself....you probably can live this lifestyle.

If you are one of the guys working in LA, and driving 200 miles round-trip to work each day?  No, you probably can't make this work.  Oh, I agree...the majority of cars would have the 300-mile range by their advertising talk......but there's this California view of things.

For roughly six months out of the year.....the temperature in the mid-section of the state is 85-degrees minimum and on up to 95-degrees, so you'd have the AC unit on the car going 'full-blast'.  On an electric car.....that will eat up juice rather quickly.  You don't see Tesla talking over the rate of battery decrease....but I think an engineer could quickly add up the numbers and say that you'd lose one-third of your battery juice on the AC unit by itself.

Course, you could just open the windows like most California drivers did before the 1970s and bear the heat.  But I doubt if you'd like that idea.

The traffic jam atmosphere in the five major urban areas of the state?  That also adds to the whole concept. 

Naturally, I could see hybrid-cars being a better solution here.  It'd make more sense.  But they skipped right over those in this draft idea.

Will it pass?  On the first go-around? I'd say no.  But by the end of 2019, I'll predict that it's a big deal and passes.  The public might over-ride the law with a public vote.

California is a fairly unique place to live.  People don't live near where they work.  You can figure the average guy drives a minimum of ten miles (one-way) each day to work....some even up to 120 miles one-way.  You can see these folks sitting there and trying to estimate if the 300-mile range would work or not.  It might make some folks just say 'enough' and leave the state.   

How We Got This Way

After looking this week over the NFL mess, continued political bickering, Reality Winner, and public dysfunction....this is one of those essays to review how exactly we reached this point.

1.  The loss of McGovern in 1972.   Most have no memory of the era and what happened.  It was the mid-term with Nixon and the Democrats went and got the intellectual's intellectual to run against Nixon.  I've finished a great book by Thomas Frank this week, entitled 'Listen Liberal' which goes into detail about this one moment in American history.

It was a fairly low turn-out....55-percent.  When they finished the Electoral College count, it was dramatic....520 votes for Nixon and a mere 17 votes for McGovern. 

There was a review after this election to understand what happened.  The Democrats decided that they had the right guy, but the wrong audience.  Working-class Americans, union folks, and simple America....weren't smart enough to handle intellectuals.  So the Democrats latched onto a new direction....they would build the candidates to be designed for themes, urban topics, and agendas for 'smart' people.  I know....it is silly if you think about it.

Most of the effort in the 1980s failed.  Then came Clinton.  The highly educated and intellectual Clinton....had the accent and ability to be two characters.  In this case, it worked.  It almost worked later with Gore.  With Obama?  He could squeeze out two accents and voice his way to fit both groups, but every part of his platform was geared toward the urban crowd...mostly the same with Clinton. Hillary?  She couldn't really do the two voice trick, but her theme and chat was to the urban and brighter audience....not working-class Americans.  Trump?  His style, his words, his platform?  All geared toward working-class Americans.

2.  Part of the shift in the 1970s was to hype up bringing in the right people to be college professors, and use them as instructors for the new future.  As you go into the 1980s and 1990s....those individuals who came out of the system...leaning to the new agenda....were fresh new high school teachers. 

Over the past decade, these were the teachers who taught young minds like Reality Winner, and Manning. 

Today, these are the students showing up and playing their 'snowflake' role at the university system....trying to say they are smarter than the professors and know better....when they are probably not even mature enough for the atmosphere.

3.  The art of division.  It doesn't matter where you go today....into a religious setting, a sport setting, a family reunion, a Thanksgiving dinner, or office party....it's now set to be divided.  The recent Goggle story of the attempts to politically hype up employees and create a division in the work-place?  Just another example.

4.  In 1975, your news came primarily from Newsweek, Time, the local paper, the three networks, Paul Harvey, and the Sunday political chat shows.

In 2017, Time and Newsweek are virtually dead.  The NY Times and Washington Post survive mostly without substantial profit because of owners subsidizing them.  Paul Harvey is gone.  So you are left with Facebook, Twitter, cable news, something called 'Drudge', and twenty-odd political chat shows that go way beyond Sundays. 

5.  Most political platforms are written into a method that make no sense.  You work to convince people that solution 'X' will be the final word on solving a big mess. You wake up three years after implementing solution 'X', which was fairly complicated and contrived....to realize that it merely solved this problem and then created a whole new fresh problem which is now as big as the previous issue. 

In the 1980s, 1990s and past decade, this made sense.  But year after year....people are now asking questions and becoming more capable of looking at the whole solving problems routine.  If you can't resolve things....why make this into some dramatic opera?

6.  The invention of Common Core.  You were basically told that there is this great and highly developed teaching method called Common Core.  Intellectuals all flock to it.  It's marvelous.  Then you sit and try to grasp what the discussion is about.  Hours pass, and you eventually reach a point where you just don't grasp where this is better or how it'd improve much of anything.  You are briefly told.....you aren't intellectual-enough to grasp this. 

In this method, you get downsized and pushed back.  Just accept the intellectual discussion and things are fine.  Something about this seems crazy, but these intellectual people must know what they are talking about.

7.  Young people doing stupid things, with no real grasp that this will lead to a court visit...a judge reviewing your actions....and potential jail time.  Legal costs?  Never imagined.  You have literally thousands of individuals who are walking the thin-line....waiting to visit some jail or prison....over something that seems like a political-cross to bear.

8.  Inability to accept conversation or debate.  If you had suggested in the 1970s that a significant number of educated individuals would be unable to have conversations or debate on a topic of importance....most would have laughed.  Yet here we are.

High schools and the university system are slowly drifting away from debate skills.  In another dozen years, you will have a large segment of American graduates who can't debate, can't discuss topics with co-workers with true positions, and believe there can only be one single side to things.

9.  Capitalism is evil.  It's a common theme today....yet you look at the guy talking about this: (1) a $700 smart-phone, (2) $400 theme-prescription glasses, (3) a $25,000 car, and (4) $100-shoes.  The guy talks excessively about evil capitalism.  Maybe if he was wearing Indian moccasins, lacked a smart-phone and lived under a bridge....it'd all make sense.

10.  The division of the nation is based upon urban-America versus working-class America.  The two groups have totally different character, charm, and dreams.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Explanation Over Reality Winner

For a number of months, I've been watching this arrest episode unfold with this former Air Force Intelligence NCO....who'd gone to the NSA as a contractor.  The gal?  Reality Winner.  I know....it's an odd name name. 

So it finally came up today as to what 'flipped' her out and triggered her to download classified material....walk out and pass it on.

What she says now is that she was sitting int he office one day, and Fox News was played on her TV.  She got all hyped up....filed some formal complaints....nothing was done. 

So, this was some act of revenge....over Fox News in her work-place.

Back in the old days....in intelligence vaults....we didn't have TV running.  I can remember this period and we'd beg for radio or cassette background music, and be told over and over....'NO'.

I can then remember the magical day when the security guys said....well....you can have piped in radio music.  It was like a year later.....oh, yeah, we can allow you to have CD's played.  Then a year later, the base woke up to realize their router system was made to some degree to have network channels running.  Then I woke up one day to have my boss entertaining the idea of buying a big-screen TV for the office.  All within a short five or six year period....the technology came.

As for this 'Fox News Syndrome' that Ms Winner has?  How would you handle this?  Watch enough 'CNN TV' to get it out of your system, but then your office-buddy tells you that they have 'CNN Syndrome' now? 

Frankly, after looking at the fragile condition of Ms Winner....you have to wonder....would we be better off to dump all the radio, and TV business, and go back to the way it was in 1988?  Maybe dump free internet access, Facebook access in the workplace, and eliminate problems ahead of time?

As for Ms Winner?  I'm of the mind that she'll end up with twenty-odd years of prison time and likely leave prison by age forty-five.  The good thing about prison life?  Well....you don't need to worry about TV news, cable connections, or Fox.  Life is pretty simple and you get into routine after six months. 

All This Social Platform Business

I sat and pondered last night over a topic which circles around the NFL and this social platform discussion going on.  And I have this odd feeling.

Right now....we are watching players, coaches and owner kneeling....mostly over racial injustice, racism, or BLM-topics.  Everyone is hyped up....either for or against the use of the National Anthem as some 'tool'.

But what if you didn't really end with this one single topic?

What if some folks felt that their social platform topic....some Nazi-like theme....needed to be discussed at the NFL game with the National Anthem playing....and fans (maybe a player or two) did a Nazi-salute?

What if some folks wanted a pro-Leprechaun social platform topic, and just launched into a Irish dance as the National Anthem started playing?

What if some climate change enthusiasts wanted a climate change social platform topic, and just held both arms stretched out....as if 'pushing back' while the National Anthem started to play?

What if women at the stadium squatted....in a protest to all the NFL players who batter their wives and girlfriends....while the National Anthem started to play?

What if men held the middle-finger salute up....to protest pro-women feminist agendas....while the National Anthem started to play?

What if three-hundred male college students would show up and pull their shirts off as the National Anthem started up....to protest higher tuition costs?  What if three-hundred female college students removed their tops at the same time (topless)....to also protest higher tuition costs?

Not to encourage anyone, but if you start to think about what the NFL has done....it's opened this Pandora's Box.  You could have eight-thousand Green Bay fans show up in arctic-like conditions and the vast majority in some provocative maneuver during the National Anthem, and the sports team spends thirty minutes analyzing the various positions, themes, and social agendas.....to explain to the poor sports fan all of the various groups and their agendas. 

Is that really necessary? 

I can sit now and imagine forty thousand fans at some stadium this Sunday....angry at the NFL, the teams on the field, and the coaches....then raising their middle-finger in the air while the National Anthem plays and the camera crews trying desperately to avoid any scene where the cameras would show the 40,000 fans in this profound moment....making their own social platform statement. 

The Reality of Safe Spaces

As a kid, I grew up 'under-privileged'. You only had one single 'safe-space' to go to.....the barn. 

You'd typically enter the safe-space of the barn and have utter quietness to relieve you of your stress. The landscape within the barn?  Typically 1800s-like scenic charm.  There was a single light installed, for night-time safe-space requirements....if you desired.  A bale of hay lay there for you sit and get over your anxiety or stress.  Typically, between the hay smell, and manure scent of the barn....you got over your anxiety in a matter of twelve minutes (in July, eight minutes was max).

As I look at these college teens with their stress issues and the need for 'safe-spaces'....I tend to think of the barn and how it'd easily solve the torment in the minds of these kids.

I was reading today on some episode which had developed in the last week or two at Reed College...a private university near Portland, Oregon.  It's not a place where you'd typically go (tuition with room/board is near $61,000 a year).

Reed College has an odd requirement....you need to take western humanities as part of their program.  This is mostly a semester where you sit and hear a lecture on Socrates, Plato, the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Roman Empire, etc. 

The kids got all hyped up....disturbed...over the lecture business.  In affect, they were falling apart and some needed physiological counseling (so they claim, but I have my doubts).  Their chief complaint?  After you read through everything, they just didn't like all this hype over a bunch of old white guys like Aristotle or Shakespeare.  They were at the point of having panic-attacks. 

Being all bothered and hyped up?  You get that idea.  Course, they don't have enough barn-like space for safe-space demanding folks.  My brother would likely suggest that someone needs to wheel up some hay-wagon with a few bales on it and have a cooler of Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) offered up with some Earl Scruggs or John Hartford banjo music in the background.  Thirty minutes on the hay-trailer would return inner-peace to the disturbed students.....well, in my mind anyway.  But you'd probably need forty thousand of these hay wagons across America, to make this work.

There seems to be an awful lot of students who either aren't capable of handling reality, or they are super-smart, thus deserving of a degree with no real study required (they could actually teach the professors/instructors). 

On the Topic of Escalators

As a kid from the rural landscape of Alabama, I always had this fascination with escalators.  I was probably 12 or 13 years old when I 'rode' my first one.  In the period of 1978/1979 while in Frankfurt, I rode dozens.

For me, this was a mechanical curiosity.  You'd stand and admire the weight on one escalator and what amount of power it took to lift sixteen people to some second floor.  Then you'd admire the dependability and the fact that they rarely broke down.  You'd also reach a point where you wondered about the safety involved and the dangers.

While living in the DC area around 2010 to 2013....we had the episode where the escalator 'broke' and went into maximum turbo on the way down....literally throwing folks off down at the bottom. The escalator mechanics swore up and down....this was supposed to be impossible to occur.

For a long while, the longest escalator that I'd ever ridden was in a subway station in Munich....taking roughly 90 seconds to reach the ground surface.  Then I came to DC and rode the Wheaton Station escalator....which takes roughly two minutes to ride to the top (around 250 feet).  You can figure that that escalator was hauling a minimum of a 150 people in a rush-hour period, so there's a ton of 'power' to make this deliver.

I sat today and was reading up on the North Korean Pyongyang Metro system, and they have a single escalator there...where it can take almost four minutes to ride from the bottom to the top.  Figuring the load there?  Potentially, you might be talking about 500 Koreans riding on it in a rush-hour 'minute'.

If I were eighteen today?  I hate to admit it but out of the ten-thousand odd professions that I'd probably like to get into...would be the escalator technician work.  It's kinda like nursing....you'd be guaranteed work for the rest of your life.

So Who Did Pay for the BLM Facebook Ads?

It was a page three item today....but it kinda came out that Russians (not the government, but just plain civilian Russians)....oddly came to Facebook and bought ads for....BLM (Black Lives Matter).

It also got brought out that Facebook delayed on showing Congress the ads for a fair amount of time and then finally delivered them. 

Regions affected?  Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore, Maryland.

So some folks looked over all the ads that were presented.  It's an odd thing....they don't really slam or support a candidate.  Yeah, that's a shocker.

What were they hyped on?  Topics.  Gun control, immigration, and BLM.

If you were a Democratic Senator and hoping for all kinds of material to hit on the evil Russians?  The evil Russians were picking the same topics that special agenda folks pick (the Soros crowd).  Yeah, you can't really talk much about this because it'll just make the agenda folks look bad as well.

Amount spent?  $100,000 says Facebook.  That's it.  Hillary Clinton spent $623 million, and the evil Russians spent about $100,000.  So are we saying that the Russians are better at campaigning with their lousy $100,000 than Hillary with $623 million?  It's a pretty crazy mixed-up world. 

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

The Iron Curtain: 2017

"We are headed towards a society which resembles, in many ways, Eastern Europe under communism. Where every aspect of your life was political. And you could not express a view that was contrary to the prevailing political view, and you were monitored. Except now the monitoring isn't necessarily being done by the government, it's being done by your co-workers who are going to out you on social media. It's just a very depressing direction we're heading, when every aspect of our life is put through these political litmus tests."

-- William A. Jacobson

I sat and read a piece today by Mr. Jacobson, which I think accurately described the type of environment that is starting to exist in America today.  It is a reconstructed society, which seems to look a lot like the old Eastern European society under the Soviet Union (before the Wall came down), which we referred to as the Iron Curtain.

In the old days....the Iron Curtain was this thin imaginary line that existed between east and west Europe.  On one side, you could pretty well say whatever you wanted, with various university groups attempting to hype the negativity of the open society, western values, the evilness of capitalism, and talking about the better lives which could be lived 'elsewhere'.  On the other side...you didn't voice anything unless you were pretty sure the individuals around you were 'safe' and wouldn't report you to the authorities.  People lived empty and gloomy lives in this atmosphere.  Marginal lives were lived because that was the only path to take.

Over the past week, I've gazed at the NFL business, and been somewhat amused.  The players, coaches and owners....want to put you to a litmus test.  Their view was that you would respect them for their behavior....that was really the only choice.  The idea of being a business and mixing politics into that business?  Never obvious....they seemed giddy about the whole act.

At some point, I sat and watched a two-minute commentary by a guy who said that the NFL and players were thinking that they were 'too-big-to-fail'.  It was like the bankers of 2008, and their great fall.

In this case, I tend to agree that unless something occurs in the next two weeks....I think the fan-base of the NFL probably has been terminated by at least one-third.  I sat and watched twenty-odd videos this morning of various people burning their NFL hats....their team flags....and even burning tickets for games remaining in this season.  It's obvious that this stroked a raw nerve with them.  Can the NFL survive without that third?  Go tally up the salary charts and incoming money.  It'll reach a stage in roughly 18 months where the union will go ballistic because the owners can't offer the same trend of salary....not to NCAA-incoming rookies, and not to the regular players.

But I go past that point.  When you look at a college campus and add up the politicization that exists today....would a parent be willing to put up $80,000 for four years of indoctrination?  Would a Iron Curtain-type education even be worth something after you graduate and go out into the real world?

The intellectual thugs and managers of commercial world who want this Iron Curtain environment?  This drags out various agenda and makes you wonder if you'd create a whole bunch of spies within an organization....reporting back on other spies....and people wasting one-third of their creativity and work-time on something with zero-value?

To have stood up five years ago and suggested that we'd be entering some Iron Curtain-like stage in America....I would laughed.  Today?  It's not that weird of an idea.  The sad thing is....we are trying to convince ourselves that we really desire such an environment.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

How I See This NFL 'Script' Being Played Out

First, let me note that I've more or less in the last five years.....gone to zero NFL games watched.  In the 2010 to 2012 period....yeah, I probably watched a total of twelve games a season.  As for fan paraphernalia?  Other than a Braves shirt in the 1980s and a Braves hat in the 1990s....nothing else in my life.  And I've never been to an actual NFL game....ever.  Nor would I imagine myself paying $100 for a ticket.

By late November, an emergency meeting is held secretly by the owners and NFL management crowd.  The TV folks say one-third loss on viewers and discounted advertisements are occurring.  The normal $3.5 billion check for the season?  They step around the topic but will admit it'll be closer to $2.5 billion for this season.  Talk over future contracts with TV units?  Really screwed up and no one from the NFL wants to talk about it.  The fan paraphernalia expert says Christmas sales will be lagging and there might be a 50-percent cut on profits.  Ticket sales?  All bright.  Chief reason?  Most all tickets were sold in the summer period, way ahead of the first week.  Some teams have 100,000 tickets that were left and didn't sell in September, October or November.  The chief worry by the NFL?  The playoff game tickets and viewers.

By late January 2018, the playoff game tickets are deemed a success...although they sold over 100,000 tickets at 50-percent discount.  They had full stadiums and that's all that mattered.  Viewership in the playoff? Figured to be 30-to-40 percent from normal numbers....discount advertising occurred.

By late February 2018, the Super Bowl is deemed a success.  Full stadium.   Fan paraphernalia is deemed as massive failure.  T-shirts won't sell and truckloads were taken to garbage dumps to be quietly buried instead of sold at 75-percent discount.  Viewership is reported to be 60-percent of the 2016 Super Bowl.

By April 2018, General Managers meet and discuss contracts.  Long term contracts are more or less dumped.  No one wants to write a normal long-term deal.  The NFL draft?  The NCAA players are shocked because the amount of money talked about is twenty-percent less than last season.

By July 2018, three NFL owners are putting their teams up for sale.

By September 2018, the kneeing continues.  Ticket sales were slow in the summer and half the teams have over discounted their tickets by 10-percent.  Tickets are now occasionally being sold with three beers as part of the deal.

By October 2018, six games are played on one weekend with half the seats in the stadiums empty.  Teams are attempting to give away tickets to teens in the local areas....to fill the seats.

By November 2018, Fan paraphernalia is down to 40-percent of the normal sales level.  Some leather jackets are being sold at cost, with almost no profit for the team.  Owners meet.  There's a fear that their typical profit margin is affected now.  The TV folks talk of a $1.8-billion payoff.  Talks over better deals in the future are a lost cause.  The union wants a full-up meeting to talk about how things can be fixed.

By January 2019, the playoffs are seen as a thing of doom.  Tickets are sold at 60-percent normal playoff value.  Some sports bars are now talking about soccer and fan appreciation of the sport.

By March 2019, the Super Bowl is deemed a success....having filled the stadium.  Fifty-five percent of the normal viewers are noted and agents are now talking to players about a possible 10-percent cut across the board, and no contracts to be written for more than one single year.

By April 2019, NCAA draft episode is a major disappointment.  Offerings are 60-percent of what they were in 2016.

By August 2019, there's talk that five teams are openly discussing six-game ticket options for sale....with a full-price on two, and 50-percent price on the rest, with a discount on a leather jacket.  Some owners are worried over the fact that Trump will win the 2020 election and they won't be able to survive financially over another four-year period.

By January 2020, owners now meet and discuss the idea of cutting salaries across the board....by 40-percent.  The union says no.  A strike looms.  NFL owners don't care.  Strike starts by summer of 2020.  There is no season for 2020.

By March 2021, several NFL owners make a last pitch.  The union thinks they are bluffing.  The NFL is declared dead officially by November 2021.  Players are at a loss to explain plan B.  The networks have shifted to soccer.  And NCAA football is openly discussed as being finished....unable to show any reason to continue on past the 2021 season.