Monday, February 27, 2017

Unintended consequences in the USA


Simplistic answers to complex questions are being proffered by ignorant amateurs with zero experience and knowledge of government.  A few Iowans are beginning to wonder about Don Don’s impulsive and erratic style.  Just wait until Mexico (formerly the purchaser of 25% of America’s corn crop) decides it would rather do business with Argentina and Brazil.

Are automobile tariffs on someone’s agenda?  Forget that, what happens when even 1% of ‘illegal” aliens buy a $45 thousand SUV and drive it to Mexico and blow off the payments?  What happens to all those bankers?  Slap a tariff on China and the price of everything at Wal-Mart just doubled.  That airplane has parts from 25 different countries, so do those SUVs.

What happens when the Mexicans decide that they will no longer feel like blocking the Guatemalans, Nicaraguans, and other “illegals” that they have been keeping from reaching our southern border (is the wall done yet)?  Does Don Don know that the Mexican government has been cooperating in keeping about 100,000 a year from making the trip?

How’s the American tourist industry doing with European travelers this winter?  How about the Silicon Valley companies who are afraid of losing their brainiacs from foreign countries?  You think our guys wearing their ball caps backwards watching football will take up the slack?

See how you like it when Don Don gets to chose all the news that’s fit to print.


There are thousands of issues like these and Don Don is ignorant of all of them.  If you think that Don Don, Bannon, Miller, and Conway can run our economy like Don Don’s been faking his business, then you are in for some unpleasant surprises.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

It wasn't pretty before, but now?

I'm absolutely convinced that our Congress, as it presently exists, is an impediment to rationality, good policy, and the continuation of the USA as a viable country. They (both parties) thought nothing of spending their time on "National Nose Zit Day", or even worse! a law that any idiot can see is unconstitutional, just because it resonates with their equally ignorant constituency...  Anti gay rights or Flag burning amendment? Do we really want to be just like North Korea and Iran? And, as for taxes, Federal revenue as a percentage of GNP is projected to be the lowest it's been since 1950, but we're on the ruinous path to socialism... apparently just like it happened after WWII.
As my friend summed it up for me: "Remember when teachers, public employees, Planned Parenthood, NPR and PBS crashed the stock market, wiped out half of our 401Ks, took trillions in TARP money, and paid almost no taxes? Yeah, me neither." Nope, it was the corporations that spilled oil in the Gulf of Mexico, all the while giving themselves and their CEOs billions in bonuses,     He only left out, “ and started a war against a country 11,000 miles away because somebody wanted to be a war time president and his vice president was an oil billionaire.”

Social Security, which had a surplus for the last 60 years (which congress spent every penny of, on the "budget" and invested not one cent of), now that it is about to go upside down, is the major threat to our national budget.

I’m a nut case. I think that the slippery slope of allowing robots to fight our wars is wrong, stupid, immoral, and likely to end up like the Terminator or Battlestar Galatica series. Why not? Doesn't every military, having developed a new better weapon, assume that the enemy will NEVER get it?   How many Americans have been killed by the "bad" guys using the weapons we sold them?  I don’t see anybody putting toothpaste back into any tubes.  Once we screw up, we rarely back up.  But now?

Nut job conspiracy birthers forced President Obama to show us his birth certificate and Donald Trump took credit for it.  Thank You DonDon!  Now we need you to employ your massive intellect and dogged tenacity to confirm the existence of gravity; we don’t want to fly off the planet tomorrow.  Can you look into that bear in the woods thing too?  And by the way, why do you speak like an eight year old?  And the media are dishonest?  Says the man that gets his news from "Morning Joe".

According to Republicans (I don’t think I’ll call them conservatives any more.  That passing of laws about consensual sexual conduct and controlling women’s bodies did it for me.  What is conservative about government in your bed room?) spending money on  poor people, outside of our country is a bad idea but spending money on rich people inside the USA, as we have been, is a great idea.  The “middle class” in the USA has shrunk drastically in the last 30 years.  And I still think that the difference between billion$ and trillion$ is a qualitative not just quantitative point.  What tax payers are spending on Trump Towers in NY would go a long way to doing some real good.  Pick your favorite: veterans, infrastructure, health care, schools, basic scientific research, how about Flint, Michigan?  Right now, Congress as it is presently functioning is the single worst impediment to the future of our country, they spent million$ voting to repeal the ACA (knowing it was just a show) and on Benghazi, but are letting Michael Flynn off.   As for raising campaign dollar$, the Republicans and their mostly owned Supreme Court opened that can of worms with Citizens United; hold your breath till that gets better.

You’ve heard of the theory of an infinite number of universes, many almost exactly like this one?   You know, with you and me and everything exactly the same except in some of these universes strange things happen like your toast levitates, or a T-Rex appears in the NY subway.  This explains Donald Trump.  We’re in one of those universes.

We're Number One... In gun violence

In response to gun industry pressure, a veil was draped over tracing data:
Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.) introduced the amendment that blocked all gun tracing data.   Under the law, investigators cannot reveal federal firearms tracing information that shows how often a dealer sells guns that end up seized in crimes. The law effectively shields retailers from lawsuits, academic study and public scrutiny. It also keeps the spotlight off the relationship between rogue gun dealers and the black market in firearms.  Such information used to be available under a simple Freedom of Information Act request. But in 2003, under pressure from the gun lobby, Congress blacked out the information by passing the so-called Tiahrt amendment, named for Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.). The law removed from the public record a government database that traces guns recovered in crimes back to the dealers.

Oh, and BTW, bad as the Tiahrt idea was, it wasn’t even a bill that got meaningful debate.  It was a rider on an appropriations bill.  This is how crap like this happens.  A Congressman will wait for some really important bill to come along, a really good one that everyone wants to happen, then he’ll add his little, sneaky, ugly, nasty, despicable amendment to it.  TA DA! The will of the NRA is done, and he can pick up his check (or cash) from the lobbyist.

And in case you haven’t connected the dots on this one, remember that banning the government from reporting any data on all weapons, stops any meaningful analysis of their impact on society.  It stops NGOs and Universities from conducting research (grants) and further stifles meaningful debate.  Freedom of Information inquiries (a law) are powerless.  Yay, Todd Tiahrt!  We should put up a monument to you - in a cemetery.


NRA: Their strategy has been along to promote gun ownership, increase the number of guns, increase the profits of gun manufacturers... Who's to say that this isn't working? Who's to say that a massacre or two doesn't advance this goal?  Especially, since now they want your tax dollar$ to purchase guns, train teachers and armed guards and cover the guards salaries, and benefits, in every school in America, essentially turning our schools into the National Guard and not too subtle proselytizing for gun ownership to the next generation. And they worry about "tyranny".


You can not govern if your can't weigh options and choose new directions.  All those who have taken a pledge to never raise taxes are abrogating their responsibility to make policy that is capable of change in a changing world.  They should be removed from office by the ballot box.  Wingnuts shouldn't be allowed to own guns.  It's a self fulfilling prophesy, if you scream: "They're going to take away our guns!"  loudly enough, someone might want to take away you guns.  There was a guy in Grottoes, VA a few years back who was sure that the small planes flying over his house were scoping him out to take his guns.  So he shot at the planes.  Guess what happened. 

Monday, February 13, 2017

How I always get my way

Why Thugs Mug, or How the Free Market Works, Unilateralism: the New Religion

          The definition of Unilateralism:  I will make this next decision because:

            1.)        I’m more qualified due to superior: a.) Intelligence   b.) Knowledge  c.) I'm always right, or  d.)  I have the moral and/or political/monetary/legal power to do so (AKA: My lawyers are better than your lawyers [see: “monetary”].)

2.)        I doubt your ability to make either the right or the wrong decision in this matter, and I will not wait and see what you want, (I have lawyers on retainer, doing nothing for their fees until I sic them on you.  See “monetary”).

            3.)        I doubt that you’ll ever find out what I did, or if you do, that you’re capable (see “monetary” again) or likely to do anything about it (see “monetary” again, again).

            4.)        Me Me Me, you do not matter to me.

            5.)        I deserve to have my way more than you do (you probably don’t even want to get into this part; you’d have to talk with my mother, maybe even yours.)  I am not crazy.

            6.)        I trust only myself in this choice; (defined as: I want what I want.) .

            7.)        ERGO, QED, SLAM DUNK, I’m going to do it, sucker!
THE TOOTH FAIRY, INC.                                                     The Fathers have eaten a Sour Grape  Office of Deciduous Dentinal Apparatus                                      and the children’s teeth are set on edge      Flattery B. Bicuspid, Director of Operations                                            -Ezekiel: 18:2                            Molar B. Grinder, Information Specialist                                                                                                 20 Dentin Way, Suite 107734B                                                                                                                        The Galen Building, qwertyuiop                                                                                                                   Space Time Zone 2,345, 678GAL: Milky Way
To: Master Davis Brian Ferguson
Bedroom, House with recently repaired black roof:                                                                                           room is off the family room across from brother,                                                                                         Wyatt Daniel's, with a bathroom in between.                                                                                       Beige walls with blue wainscoting.                                                                                                                     Red rug and curtains.  (Dinos and movie Cars.)                                                                                               442 Edgewater Rd. Pasadena, MD,      21122                                                                                                  Space time zone 34,569, 2323,  werjdalutorej
Dear Resident:
It has come to our attention that a recent action by our staff, namely, Fairy, Firefly B. Twinkle, may have been in error.  Although we pride ourselves with an excellent record of accuracy here at the Office of Dental Apparatus, occasionally things do go wrong.  Here at the Division of [teeth,  mandibular abraders, chelae, and mHnxvkjf] we also take pride in our transparent corporate policy.  Thus, even though we collect the shed [ teeth,  mandibular abraders, Chelae, or mHnxvkjf] from several billions of [children, larval forms] each [year,  cycle, astral equinox, temperature inversion] we always strive for improvement in our services.  Hence this letter (with attached forms, # 77849AXB, and asdvksdful.).  Obviously we are forced to resort to this type of mass form letter for our voluminous correspondences.  Your indulgence is appreciated.
Please be so kind as to complete the attached forms (# 77849AXB, asdvksdful) at your earliest convenience.  The completed forms will be collected (and NOT by Fairy, Twinkle) on the occasion of your next shed [Tooth,  mandibular abrader, chela, or mHnxvkjf** ].  Since the information you supply will become a permanent part of your file; it is essential that you include your validated PIN #.  If for any reason you have forgotten you PIN #,  you may obtain a replacement number by completing Form # 67342,358 (also enclosed) along with a validated copy of your [Larval form, Child] Certificate as was supplied to you included with the remuneration for your previously shed dentition: (Larval form, Children’s Act - refer bylaw 2: section 3: paragraph 34,445 - subsection 697G).  We hope that you haven’t lost it.
The error in question: 
There seems to be some confusion on our end concerning exactly which [Tooth,  Mandibular abrader, chela, or mHnxvkjf**] is the one we collected from you during our last visit.  We appear to have more than one specimen here at our facility and to make matters worse, our Forensic Specialist, Pullem (Forceps) Skullboiler believes that some of these items are not necessarily associated with Homo Sapiens, but in fact appear to be from either a pig, Sus scrofa, or a dog, Canis familiaris.  If you would be so kind as to supply us with a photo or hand drawn sketch of your dearly departed dentition, we would be able make a correct determination and close our files.  We regret any inconvenience this issue may cause you.
Your prompt response to these requests (including all forms FULLY completed) will ensure the continuation of the kind of service you have come to expect from this office.  If for any reason you have further questions feel free to call us at our toll free number clearly marked at the top of Form # 67342,358 (also supplied during our last visit).  We really hope that you haven’t lost it.

Thank you again for your prompt attention to these matters.
                                    Information Specialist, Molar B. Grinder






Attachments:  Form # 67342,358
                        Form # 12313,214
                        Form # 77849AXB
                        Form     asdvksdful


                                    Bid them wash their faces and keep their teeth clean.

                                                Shakespeare, Coriolanus:  II, iii  65

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Fix it?

I recently spent about two hours repairing a pole lamp made in China.  I have repaired many things made in China and every time I have spent much more time and materials than the value of the original item.  Somewhere I have a rant about some poor Chinese factory worker making $2 a day dreaming of me (who used to make more than $20 an hour) spending an afternoon repairing the results of his labor of two minutes. 

In this case the threaded thumb screw on the adjustable arm holding the reading lamp had stripped (due to the crappy pot metal the whole thing was made of) and was flopping around.  I’d never adjusted the damn thing in my life so I decided to epoxy it at the correct angle and be done with it.  Well, the lamp was plugged into a socket under my two ton sofa and I’m and old fart with bad shoulders (old people shouldn’t fall down) so I rigged up some supports and glued the joint with the lamp on its side on the floor.  That worked but when I stood it up and tried to tighten the base, the Chinese concrete down there instantly turned into loose sand.  AHA, time to unplug the damn thing and take it out to my shop.

The rest of the repairs in the shop were uneventful due to the fact that I had all the replacement parts needed from several crappy Chinese lamps that have self destructed in the past.  Plugging the lamp back in was almost as difficult as the repair job itself.  We finally got it done but now we’re both sneezing a lot due to the ten year old dust bunnies we disturbed under the sofa.  It does weight a lot.

The image of Chinese workers, underpaid (or not paid at all if they’re slave labor) slapping cheap products together in minutes being repaired by wealthy Americans is an interesting one.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Boycott everything DonDon:

Boycott everything DonDon: 

Email and tell these fine folks that you will walk a mile in the desert barefoot and eat glass before you ever spend a penny in their stores.
Emails in blue are “Contact us” addresses:
Macy’s  http://survey.medallia.com/?mcy-tuwyt-com   ?Inspired to bug the poor schmucks that work for CEOs that love DonDon?   Or, maybe just inspire them to communicate with the CEOs?  Try these addresses too:    holly.thomas@macys.com , julie.striderfukami@macys.com , orlando.veras@macys.com,tracy.davis@macys.com , christine.olver@macys.com , billy.dume@macys.com, melissa.goff@macys.com , juliana.echavarria@macys.com , melody.regalado@macys.com , Nathalie.almonte@macys.com , andrea.schwartz@macys.com
 Zappos PR@zappos.com / ceo@zappos.com
 Amazon amazon-pr@amazon.com   and   https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/contact-us/general-questions.html?skip=true    and   jeff@amazon.com  (note: Mr Bezos' email is publicly available.)

Sample of what to say: "Hi. I’m a customer of [Store Name]. Unfortunately I can no longer do business with your company because it does business with the Trump family. If your company were to no longer to do business with the Trump family I would perhaps spend some of  my money at your establishment…  (Special note to Amazon: HEY Jeff! Your News Paper is [honestly, and rightfully] critical of DonDon, how about putting your money where your mouth is? ) 

DonDon's ego is a wonderful thing, even if it based on his delusions.


Thursday, February 9, 2017

It's really pretty simple; DonDon is insane

Proposed Supreme Court Justice Neil McGill Gorsuch is on record saying that he is “…disheartened and demoralized…”  by Don Don’s comments on judges and our judicial system.  He should have said that Don Don’s comments are a direct attack on our Constitutional form of government and that he, Gorsuch, has removed his name from consideration.

Friday, February 3, 2017


Why I quit.



 

For the few of you who noticed, and the even fewer of you who cared that I have quit Facebook; I post on FB one more time.  (You may mock me for my Trumpish lack of even the hint of irony in that statement, I deserve it.). What we deserve and what we get doesn’t seem to correlate with our actions much less our motives. Truth and facts have been destroyed.  I believe that there are no longer consequences to behavior that correlate in any way with lawfulness, truthfulness, decency, and/or utility to our civilization.  I believe that Fox News started it, but FB made it all far worse.  FB supplied the forum for fake news.  In their naive confidence in the 1st amendment and the decency of human nature, they believed that everything would be alright.  At this point, I would usually type: “HAHAHAHAH” (in my opinion, superior to “LOL”).  Apparently, human nature isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  We will see if the 1st amendment will survive.

 

Facebook was wrong and now that they know it and admit it, everything that they do is too little too late, we have Trump for a president, likely the worst disaster to befall America since Pearl Harbor.  I blame them for the Nazis now running our government.

 “I expect, we pray, I believe, it is to be hoped, many people feel, people of good will wish.  We expect, are waiting…. The office has a way of lifting…. it sometimes takes awhile, it’s not uncommon for these difficulties to occur, give him a chance.”
When was the last time you heard anyone refer to DonDon (other than Steve Bannon or Kellyanne Conway) without using these words? (I will always refer to Trump as DonDon, it best describes his often demonstrated maturity level).

Optimism is wonderful right up until you discover that it is masking an important perception of reality that presages disaster. Stop pretending; DonDon is what he is and he is what you will get.  He is mentally ill and is unlikely to recover sanity in the position that the ignorant people of the USA have placed him.

I have two rules for the future:

1)      Stop pretending.  Stop pretending that you understand, much less agree with, or can (will) support or oppose 99% of what you say or hear daily (outside of discourse while buying food and gas).  Anything deeper than that requires that we and those to whom we communicate use words with at least similar definitions; that isn’t happening. Stop pretending that DonDon is sane.

2)      Do not reward those who are incompetent, immoral, or just plain wrong by supporting them or their institutions.  Shop elsewhere.   I will not use FB.

 I have a new mantra:

“President Donald Trump is our only hope.  Our country and we its patriotic citizens need to remove all restrictions on our new president.  Hail.”

Facebook never got that sarcasm font so you’ll have to use your judgment about my last sentence.