Monday, August 31, 2015

"Deflate-Gate" Idiocy

Our President has established...or perhaps I do him a disservice and he simply attitude in the country where no one is ever responsible or suffers consequences for anything.  The NFL for some reason never had officials in total control of Game Balls.  Seems like an oversight to me.  And not a particularly egregious one, but an error nonetheless.

But that error was discovered last year in a manner that threatened to bring mirth and derision down on the league for failing to oversee one of the most critical tools of the game...the ball.  What to do?  What to do!  For some inane reason, "Our Bad!  We'll fix it!" did not come to their collective minds.  Instead, they focused on how to blame someone...anyone...else.  Who could they possibly put on the hot seat that already had erred in the past (ala the guy who already has a record so everyone will certainly believe that he transgressed again)...Hello, New England Patriots.

The League made a bunch of assumptions (always a really bad beginning for any action): 1) that the "under pressure" was deliberate; 2) that the staff of the New England Patriots reduced the pressure; and 3) that Brady both knew and condoned it.  Of course, there is no proof of any this.

If you inflate balls indoors, with warm air, and then take them outside into winter or late fall weather, the air pressure goes down.  That is why we have to re-inflate our auto tires in the late fall and winter.  If the balls were inflated indoors to the lower legal limit called for in the rules, as soon as they were taken out to the field, that pressure would drop.  No rules were broken.  The League didn't have any provision requiring or even suggesting that the officials check ball pressure prior to or during a game.  Is that New England's fault?  I have no recollection of anyone proving that any ball-boy or anyone else on the Patriot's staff did anything with the ball pressure.  Did any confess?  If so, I missed that headline.

Finally, I have 5 friends who played Quarterback at various levels, up to and including top University teams.  All of them say that they could not tell pressure in a ball: a ball they liked in cold weather sometimes turned out to have higher air pressure than another that they did not like.

As a side note, some point out that Brady "destroyed" his phone when he got a new one.  Well, he had given the league the emails that he thought had anything to do with the matter before, and he was fully aware of how easy it is to get data off any electronic device even when you think you have erased it, so his decision to completely destroy his phone after he had gotten a new one seem like good common sense to me...and I am not a star subject to a desire of many to know the most insignificant details of my life.  He did a smart thing.

So...this action by the National Football League is not about Justice, ...or much as it is about their desire to save face and direct attention away from their failure to supervise game balls properly to someone or something else...and it was the New England Patriots turn to be in the barrel.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Iranian Nuclear "Deal": Part III

If you wrote this as a fictional novel, not one publisher would touch it; they would claim it is too unbelievable for any reader to think that any leaders of any major country could possible be so blatantly naive...or inept.

Apparently News Reports that one of the major "side" agreements to the overall "agreement" provides for the Iranians to self-inspect their military sites.  Perhaps a review of past history of Iranian adherence to promises made might be in order?  Feels a little bit like the Police allowing a known Drug Distributor checking his own premises and/or warehouse and assuring them that there are no drugs being moved in or out of leaves a shock of disbelief at the core of your being.

Yet...this is precisely what Mr. Kerry and Mr. Obama are approving as sufficient assurance that Iran will not develop a nuclear device.  What they actually are trying to get approved constitutes an express lane for Iran to develop the "bomb."

There are only three possible explanations for this:
1.  As previously suggested, everyone on our side of the table is naive and inept;
2. America's representative at the table are anxious to have Iran eliminate all opposition to controlling the Middle East; or
3. Mr. Kerry and Mr. Obama are so blinded by their narcissistic need for a legacy that it is the creation of any agreement that is important, not the content of that agreement.

If the reports of this side agreement's contents is confirmed, then it strikes me that the act of recommending approval of our government to the "deal" would constitute treason.

I further suggest that if confirmation is obtained, the same charge would be in order against any Representative or Senator who votes to approve the "agreement."

Each of my Senators and Representative have been put on notice by me in writing that I will hold them directly accountable for the results if they vote for the United States to accept this agreement.  And I suspect a lot of folks around the country will be watching and noting their own Senators' and Representatives' vote on this matter.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Only the government wins...

Our President, and the current leading contender for the Progressive Liberal Democrat Party nomination for President in a year or so, Mrs. Clinton, have come out in favor of increasing the minimum wage for all workers in the United States.  They claim that this would at least partially solve the pressure of the cost of living for people who are apparently "stuck" in entry level positions historically known for their minimum wage levels.

They suggest two things: 1.  That the plight of these workers is the fault of the opposition; and 2, that this increase will benefit the poor and the middle class.  Both assertions are demonstrably wrong.

As to the first assertion, for the last 22 years, Progressive Liberal Democrats have held the Office of the Presidency for almost 64% of the time (14 years).  During most of that time, they controlled the Congress and had the opportunity during that period to both discuss and create an action plan to solve the now declared plight of the Middle Class.  As our current President stated with such smug, quiet impudence when he first took office and was rejecting the suggestions of the opposition regarding the health care plan, "We won."  Yet, the Middle Class has not progressed during his time in office either.  Looking, as an example, at the plight of the Black community we see that the unemployment rate for them is higher than when Mr. Obama took office.  Previously, Mrs. Clinton's husband held the office of the Presidency yet the middle class did not increase or gain economically.  The same is true for Mr. Carter's sojourn in the Oval Office.  Yet, with all that opportunity, Mrs. Clinton wants the nation to believe that the fault lies with the opposition!  That is patently absurd.

The second assertion is similarly flawed.  And the reason is so obvious that one is tempted to call the assertion a purposeful deceit.  Consider the following:

When the minimum wage is forced higher by government action, all other pay levels must be adjusted to keep the step system defensible to all employees.  When the cost of labor goes up, prices rise.  This increase in the price of goods and services, eliminates any apparent gain in wages.  It is a wash.

Well, that is not actually true...both the business sector and the Middle (and all other working) Classes lose.  Why?  Because the Federal Government Income Tax is a graduated you earn more money, you pay a higher percent of your income to the Federal Government.  So  everyone but the Government loses when wages go up.  But the Federal Government wins big time!  And they have the nerve to tell you, "Hi, I'm from the Federal Government.  I'm here to help you!"

Hypocrites all...and in this case, especially Mrs. Clinton.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

"Trump" is an idea, an attitude, but not a President

I must admit that our Federal Government has infuriated me for a minimum of six Presidential terms of office.  We have descended morally, financially and civilly.  I have watched misbehavior in the White House (always, I am sure, present to some degree at different times) become endorsed as acceptable and understandable and not cause for censure by the multitudes.  Our Federal Representative and employees have shown disregard for responsibly balancing the federal budget and for actually working an honest work day properly for some pretty good wages.  And now we see all our Elected officials lying with unprecedented frequency with not one hint of embarrassment.

But when anyone shouts out in anger and disappoint, stating these facts out loud, the media and multitudes shout them down as being "disrespectful."  Seriously?  Such behavior warrants respect?  In what Universe?

And into this remarkable state of affairs comes one Donald Trump.  He doesn't work for people; people work for him.  That has been true for most of his life and he has made money...a lot of money. He has gotten quite used to his word being law and, to quote a recent, once successful actor, "winning."

He has, like many of us, become unhappy with our government.  And he states his anger with no filter.  What is most wonderful to many of us is that the media actually reports these comments.  And these are comments we have made for years to each other and not one reporter, not one elected official has ever done more than nod in what was supposed to be seen as sympathy, ... and then ignore us and our anger.  To see the consternation on the part of media at this is makes me feel wonderful at not being able to shut down his comments.

So...why am I uneasy?

Because anger, when unchecked, becomes the ignition for mob attitude and behavior;  such anger becomes the rationale and excuse for excesses that go beyond those that are the immediate source of that anger.  It can be watching a back-fire you thought would stop the big blaze suddenly turn into an even bigger danger.  Be careful what you wish for...

Trump's comments are expressions of frustration...but they are not solutions.  When asked for specifics, he replies with a torrent of comments which all come down to two things: "I'll build a wall" and "Trust Me."  The first is only a first step to protect our borders and is by no means comprehensive.  "Trust Me"????

We are completing 6 1/2 years of an administration that was elected on the basis of "Hope" and "Change."  Everyone I have spoken to interpreted those words as meaning what each individual saw as hope and as change.  Turned out that no one ever actually demanded that our "President" tell us how he defined those terms.  That has not turned out very well.

Now I watch a firebrand and hear him saying "trust me."  I don't think so, Skippy!  Been down that road before and I won't do it again.

But that ignition is still operating and I watch, hear, and read the tremendous emotion of his followers, acolytes and minions declaring that "the whole thing needs to be turned down."  They are the reverse image of the followers of our current "President"; facts mean nothing, questions are not allowed, discussion is useless, and behavior is crude and uncivil.  Any challenge is perceived as personal, not related to policy of accumulation of fact.

We have a President right now that sees his power as exponential, by-passing Congress on everything, including items that are clearly withing the purview of Congress; who is so thin-skinned that whenever anything...anything...he says is challenged in any way, you can see the rise in both blood pressure and  pulse rate.  Mr. Trump has the same reaction to any challenge, only his verbal skills are far more crude and direct; Mr. Obama will internalize that and then seek retribution in some way that does not leave any evidence.

I don't want a hot head in the oval office.  I don't want a liar in the oval office.  I am looking for a President that is honest and has a sense of NOT being the smartest person in the world; one who will always welcome questions and disagreement...both of which expand understanding and lead to better decisions.

Does anyone who has watched the ideas and attitude that is "Trump" feel that such attributes apply?

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Iranian Nuclear "Agreement": continued

Apparently the Administration is presenting the Iranian Nuclear "Agreement" to Congress in a manner and form that looks more and more like the AHCA (Obamacare) on steroids.  Anyone who remembers that debacle recalls Ms. Pelosi declaring, "We have to pass it to find out what's in it."  Sure!  Did that ever work out.  As I recall, there were...and many errors in that bill that it continues to reward our citizens with pain and disappointment.  Not only were there technical errors that required a subservient Supreme Court of the United States to abandon legal analysis and assume the role of proof reader for Congress to bail them out, but the failure to thoroughly think through how the new bill would affect everyone left many with higher costs and higher deductible after being "promised" that this would not happen.

But...back to the Iranian "Agreement"...notice that we now know that two diametrically opposed conditions have been established; 1) We have a written agreement that when carefully read and analyzed fails to provide for inspection of Iranian Military locations under any conditions; and/or 2) We have been told of two "secret" side agreements, not subject to examination by Congress or known to U.S.citizens that are alleged to proved some sort of examination of Iranian Military sites under written conditions and terms that will NOT be made available to Congress, although promises have been made that oral assertions as to the contents will be made known to our "Representatives" (as if they really do that..."represent" us) in classified sessions.

So...the real and proper choices for Congress would be the two following scenarios:  First, judge the Agreement ONLY on the written portion presented and made public, fully available to all to read and interpret; and, Second, judge the Agreement on assertions of "Trust Us" made by the Administration without their even knowing (according to their sworn testimony before Congress) the written details, but relying on assertions by the AEIA...the equivalent of Ms. Pelosi's assertion, "We have to pass it before we can know what is in it"...except that in this case we will NEVER know what is in the secret side deals.

I don't know what others think, but I have already contacted my Congressional Representative in both he House and the Senate informing them that I still have not forgotten their passing the Healthcare bill without reading obligation on their part that they failed to perform...and that any vote by them to approve the Agreement with Iran would constitute a far worse abdication of their duty to protect the country.  The written "Agreement" is inadequate; the alleged side "secret" agreements must be considered inadequate until and unless they can be examined in their written executed forms for specifics and analysis.  Minus such detail, there is no way any individual would bind him or herself to such obligations...why would any official do the same to an entire country?

This entire matter only serves to reveal the incompetency and amateurishness of our Administration...and perhaps also their desparation.