Monday, June 27, 2016

Headlines I hate

Trump Could Trigger The Longest Recession Since The Great Depression, Report Says
This is just poor journalism.

Fictional examples:
Trump could be best ruler in the history of the world

Moon could harbor alien invaders

Kraft American Cheese could cause dementia
All of 'em are true.
None of 'em is informative.

"could" - a lazy, wishy-washy verb... just bad journalism... and bad writing.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Trump's gibberish: he doesn't understand his own positions

Mr. Donald Trump celebrated the Brexit vote by claiming this would mean more tourists for Britain and his luxury golf resort in Scotland.
This may be true... BUT...

One of Trump's signature campaign issues is America's trade deficit.
Does he not realize that the collapse of the British Pound and the Euro will only INCREASE that deficit???

Yep - folks like me will be spending cheap vacations in Europe and the UK - spending American $$$ overseas.
Meanwhile Brits and Europeans will be staying home - NOT spending money in the U.S.

The same logic applies to goods & services: it'll be cheap for the U.S. to buy stuff from UK & Europe.
It'll be expensive for UK & Europe to "Buy American".
Result? Trade deficit soars.
Mr. Trump, do you understand economics?

Do you understand ANYTHING?

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Not that it matters, but let's pretend it does

Donald Trump Questions Whether Hillary Clinton And Obama Are Actually Christians

On the other hand...
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.
[U.S. Constitution, Article VI.]
Note: The oath of office requires that the President "be bound by Oath or Affirmation to support this Constitution."
Mr. Trump is not the first candidate who does NOT understand this, nor the first to NOT know exactly what is IN the Constitution he may someday swear to uphold.

[p.s. I believe 'twas when he briefly trailed Dr. Carson in the polls that Mr. Trump decided to question Dr. Carson's Seventh-Day Adventist faith. ... seemed to work then, maybe he thinks it'll work again. ... He's a very STUPID man!]

The Trump Horror

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

A modest proposal

Mr. Donald Trump has called for a "temporary" ban on Muslim immigration to this country... and possibly surveillance of mosques.
I do not think he goes far enough.
Given that the Orlando shooter was born on Long Island to Afghan parents, it's clear that simply banning new Muslim immigrants is pointless.
We need to identify ALL Muslim immigrants to this country for the past 100 years... and their children, and their grandchildren... and DEPORT them all.

For that matter, the deadliest pre-9/11 terror attack on the U.S. - the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995 - was carried out by Timothy McVeigh, the son of Irish-American parents.
The Irish have been thorns in our sides for generations.
Time to round 'em up and deport 'em all!

Sacco & Vanzetti: Italian anarchists.
I'm pretty sure the Ellis Island archives will have records of all the Italian immigrants - most of them anarchists or Mafia members - readily available.
We should deport 'em all.

... and we've been in bloody wars with GERMANY twice in the past 100 years!
... AND they sent saboteurs to our country!
Germans? - OUT! NOW!!!

Please, Mr. Trump - LISTEN TO ME!

Just for fun - really!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The craven GOP

A few posts ago I used the word "craven" to characterize the GOP's attitude towards their presumptive nominee, Mr. Trump.
It occurs to me that I oughta define the word:
lacking the least bit of courage : contemptibly fainthearted
Yep - that's the GOP!

A blast from the past

A few years ago I declared my candidacy for President of the U.S. Turns out I didn't have the organizational skills to effect this. BUT - I think I did have the appropriate rhetorical skills. Here's an excerpt from my coming-out speech:
We, the People… who are we?

My esteemed Republican opponent will need to be reminded that America has ALWAYS been a land of immigrants!... and there has ALWAYS been a fear of immigrants. Benjamin Franklin deplored the presence of lazy, indolent, non-English-speaking Germans in 18th-century Philadelphia. Germans, Irish, Chinese, Poles, Italians, Japanese – all have been the targets of anti-immigrant hysteria. All were at one time viewed as “The Other” who threatened the American Way of Life.

Today, these “Others” are “Us”! – they are our fellow citizens, competing for – and winning – public office. Running Fortune 500 companies. Teaching our children.

We are today all Americans.

My Republican opponent, whoever he or she might be, will almost certainly be the descendant of immigrants. But when he or she goes to the grocery store, the mall, the ballpark, he is frightened by what he sees: LOTS of folks who look DIFFERENT! Many of them speak English with a FOREIGN accent… some of them don’t speak English at all. This frightens him … or her. He sees his world crumbling before his eyes, and again yearns for a mythical “Golden Age” in the past – a “Golden Age” that has NEVER existed.

I am the descendant of Welsh coal miners, German craftsmen, and Polish farmers. When I go to the grocery store, or the mall, or the ballpark and see folks who don’t look like me, who speak English with a foreign accent, or who perhaps don’t speak English at all – what I see is the source of America’s greatness.
After more than 200 years, WE are still seen as the “Land of the free and the home of the brave”. We – America - … this is still THE country to which people aspire – to build for themselves a better future, to become Americans.

Finally, my Republican opponent will seize on “FEAR” as the basis for his or her campaign. Fear of “illegal immigrants”. Fear of Iran, or of North Korea… Fear of “The Other”.

My Republican opponent will cast “The Other” as Existential Threats to America.

I believe America is stronger than that!... and by building his campaign on Fear of “The Other” my esteemed Republican opponent will demonstrate just what he REALLY thinks about America: he - or she - believes the United States is a weak, vulnerable, beleaguered country, on the brink of failure, defeat and collapse.
I think I pretty much nailed that.

Thought for the day

The sooner you fall behind, the more time you have to catch up.

Happy 70th Birthday, Mr. Trump!

Thoughts for the day

Things are the way they are because they got that way.

Unless things change they are likely to remain the same.

You are where you are because you're not someplace else.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Just sayin' it again (I do this often)

9 December 2015:
Just for fun: an open letter to the GOP
This was/is a critique of establishment GOP folks lamenting Trump.

Hey, folks: you brought Trump on yourselves!
Don't now pretend he's a buffoon - he is YOUR creation!!!

Not a big surprise: Trump doesn't understand English

Donald Trump: ‘I am the least racist person’
There are two words here that Mr. Trump clearly doesn't understand: "least" and "racist".

I'm betting there are more simple English words he doesn't understand.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

2nd and 3rd careers

One of my loyal readers recently commented on a post:
You could have a second career in the entertainment business.
I responded:
I HAVE a second career in the entertainment business... it just doesn't pay!
Yesterday I got a request from a former colleague - an engineer - to add her to my LinkedIn network. I did, but this is pointless. My LinkedIn job title is "productive bum". Do folks not look at this before they ask to join my network? I've also received several recent LinkedIn "endorsements" for stuff like "structured problem solving" and "experimental design". Wow!... like I can do any of that anymore!

In addition to my career in the entertainment business, I also have a career as an "independent scholar": documenting Gilbert & Sullivan productions in America - mostly in the late 19th century, but also extending into the 20th century.
I'll be delivering a paper on "H.M.S. Pinafore & the California gubernatorial campaign of 1879" at a conference in November.
... and I'm giving a talk at Harvard in October on "The Mikado in America: Conflicts & Controversies".
(Nope - this 3rd career doesn't pay either.)

I continue to invest in retirement one lottery ticket at a time.

Odd phone calls

Recently we've been getting phone calls - about 2/week - telling us about programs to reduce our student loan debt.

Why are we on this call list?

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Identity politics

What are you first?
A Republican?
An American?
The answer for many of the GOP elite seems to be, "Republican"!

They have all condemned Mr. Donald Trump at some point during the past several months - stating explicitly that Mr. Trump is unqualified to be our next President.
But now they flock to him - explicitly to support the GOP!

"Craven" is a word that comes to mind.
"American" is not.

Ryan endorses!

Speaker Paul Ryan, After an Awkward Courtship, Endorses Donald Trump
WASHINGTON — Ending weeks of reluctance to embrace his party’s presumptive nominee, Speaker Paul D. Ryan endorsed Donald J. Trump for president on Thursday in a modest but unequivocal backing of a candidate whose views Mr. Ryan has frequently condemned.

In a column in his hometown newspaper in Janesville, Wis., Mr. Ryan said speaking with Mr. Trump had persuaded him that the billionaire developer would help him realize the conservative agenda that the speaker is trying to advance.
... and what is that "conservative agenda"?

My wife put it succinctly:
"Make poor people poorer, make rich people richer."