Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Naive Realism

       Remember what was dubbed by the media as Bush Derangement Syndrome after George W. Bush squeaked by in his presidential victory in 200 and reelected in 2004? Bush Derangement Syndrome was an intense and irrational hatred of Bush 43 alleging he was corrupt, stupid, greedy, racist and every other stereotypical epithet thrown at conservative by members of the political left with less than stellar critical thinking skills. The epidemic at the time count as the tragedy. The current purple-faced rage against the impending presidency of Donald Trump is the farce.
      Do not get me wrong. Observing the Trump Derangement Syndrome contagion has been amusing. On election night alone, the political left went from crowing over the first woman president to increasing discomfort over how well Trump was unexpectedly doing to full blown meltdowns as he won the White House. Even the absurdity of the subsequent riots were entertaining, if for no other reason than the mobs were full of professional protesters engaged in the outrage of the moment. Especially since said outrage was over losing a free and fair election. So you can probably see how one could consider Trump Derangement Syndrome a fare.
       It is not all about Trump. The political left turned it ire on Trump's supporters early and often. (Which is also how many of them vote, but I digress.) These attacks are nothing new, nor is the type confined to politics. I spent quite a bit of time in the late '90's immersed in Christian apologetics, and the motif is much the same. Many discussion devolve from a legitimate difference of opinion to trading insults as excuses for opponents' belief.
       There is a term for this in sociology. The belief someone disagrees with you because he is stupid, mentally ill, or morally degenerate is called naive realism. I would say it I prevalent in politic. Then I would extend its prevalence to the internet. Finally, I would just declare it is everywhere people are. It is a natural result of the human desire to never be wrong. If there is a disagreement, there must be something wrong with the other person.
       The problem is often no distinction is drawn between knowledge and intelligence. Knowledge is what one knows. Intelligence is the capacity to learn knowledge and understand it. One can be a genius in one's field of knowledge and poor in another. Witness Dr. Ben Carson. He was a brilliant neurosurgeon, but believed the Egyptian pyramids were built as grain silos. At least he did not believe the pyramids were intended as UO landings sites. There is a difference between one being wrong, and being wrong and you are stupid because one is wrong.
       The best way to avoid falling prey to naive realism is to avoid discussing politics and religion. If you cannot resit, you will have to grow a thicker kin. Either way, take heart when subjected to naive realism, it often means your opponent has run out of intelligent counter arguments. So there is that.   

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Tara the Android

       Tara the Android has been floating around the internet so long, you have probably already heard the truth behind her origins. But it is all still an interesting story to tell. The uneasy feeling you get from watching “I Feel Fantastic” will always cast a little doubt on whether she was simply a creative engineering project or something more sinister.
       “I Feel Fantastic' was first posted on YouTube in 2009 by user CreeyBlog. CreepyBlog never uploaded any other content. It may not matter. “I Feel Fantastic” has collected six million views and counting. The video has appeared on countless lists of creepy things found on the internet in order to rack up those numbers.
       Little was known about the video. The only text associated with it was a reference to the Greek myth of Pygmalion. Pygmalion was a sculptor who believed all women were tainted and unworthy of love. He made his own vision of the perfect woman out of ivory and fell deeply in love with her. The goddess Aphrodite took pity on Pygmalion and brought the statue to life. How can this story relate to Tara the Android?
       The internet being a wild frontier of untruths, rumors spread quickly after “I Feel Fantastic” was posted. The most popular is Tara the Android was built by a serial killer who dressed her up in his victims' clothes. He alleged hated their fearful screams of pain, so Tara the Android says “I feel fantastic” instead. The choice of “Please leave! Run! Run! Run!'” should be obvious. The shot of the backyard from the video—an odd inclusion, admittedly—is where the victims are supposed buried. Some rumors added the grotesque element the victims were buried alive with a microphone. Tara's singing is to the sounds of their screams as they suffocate.
       The truth is much more mundane. Tara the android was created by John Bergeron to be the first artificial pop singer. He built her for about $2,000 using a dental school's mannequin. Bergeron originally advertised Tara the Android on a website hosted by the now defunct GeoCities servers. It would appear Tara the Android did not sell, as nothing appears to have been any updates or developments since.
       So how did CreepyBlog acquire the video? Your guess is as good as anyone else's. Considering the user name, one can assume CreepyBlog wanted to preserve the mystery and so posted as little as possible about it. Perhaps CreepyBlog even spliced in the odd fitting shot of the backyard in order to boost the serial killer rumor. As noted, the truth is out there and not hard to find. Tara was a failed business venture by Bergeron. But do not expect to hear it from him. The poor fellow, who lives in Vermont, has been routinely contacted by curiosity seekers from the internet over the last few years and refuses to talk to them these days. Questions of whether he is a serial killer appear to have annoyed him. Go figure.
       Even knowing the truth, I still think the video is disturbing. The primitiver voice synthesize the tonal music, and weird lyrics are enough to make me uneasy. Tara is too artificial in her appearance and movements. The video was filmed at night with the unexplained cutaway to the backyard. It is no wonder Tara the android did not sell. Who would want her around? She is nothing but nightmare fuel.

Friday, November 25, 2016

The Bar Bet


       Two guys are sitting in a bar on the top floor of a skyscraper.  one guy turns to the other and says, "I'll bet you $100 I can ump out that window, float for thirty seconds, and climb back in without falling."
       "That's impossible," the other guy says. "You're on."
       The bartender stops to watch as the two guys approach the window. the guy who made the bet opens the window and climbs out. Sure enough, he floats for thirty seconds without falling, and then climbs back in. He demands his $100.
       The other guy is stunned. "Double or nothing says if you can do it, I can, too!"
       "You're on!" the first guy agrees.
       The second guy climbs out the window and plummets forty stories to his death. The first guy quietly walks back to the bar and orders another drink. The bartender hands him his drink and says, "You sure are mean when you're drunk, Superman."

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving

      It is Thanksgiving. Therefore, it is time once again for that curious exercise in narcissism known as the holiday selfie. Less than a month has passed since Halloween so posting a holiday selfie feels even more egotistical. Oh, well. I did it anyway.
       I enjoyed a tasty Thanksgiving. There were two different, full turkey dinners with all the fixings and several dessert choices. One was for lunch, and the other for supper. Both were cooked by a group of southern ladies who definitely knew what thy were doing. As a bonus, there are leftovers. I was compelled to ask for the insight of religious scholars whether gluttony still counts as a sin if one is really, really skinny. I have received no solid answer yet, if anyone wishes to tackle the inquiry.
       This Thanksgiving, I am Thankful finally enjoy some peace after a tumultuous decade of poor health and a family tree more Dutch Elm disease than anything else. I have not been so hale and hearty in years. I am also enjoying a circle of friends like I have had in a long time. Yes, as a politically minded soul, I am also thankful I will be spared Hillary Clinton for four years.
       It is all good. I hope everyone else had a blessed Thanksgiving. Even though it is consider a secular, national holiday, Thanksgiving is based on the practice of feasting in celebration of God's blessings.    

Happy Thanksgiving!

       Why you should call it "dressing" instead of "stuffing."

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Booth & Hamilton: Theater of the Absurd

       November 22nd is a day associated with the assassination of John F. Kennedy. But JFK's assassination has never particularly interested me, and I have even visited Dealey Plaza near the fortieth anniversary back in 2003. I was playing the visit by ear. I just happened to be in Dallas at the time. Perhaps it is my aversion to immerse myself in too many conspiracy theories, but I find other presidential assassinations far more interesting. In particular, Abraham Lincoln's.
       It might be obvious why Lincoln's assassination is on y mind right now, but first a related anecdote. A few days before delivering the Gettysburg Address, Lincoln saw his eventual assassin John Wilkes Booth playing a villain at Ford's Theater. A gentlemen seated with the president  noted a particularly heated bit of dialogue.
       “He seems to be reciting those lines to you,” he told the president.
       “He does talk very sharp at me, doesn't he?” Lincoln acknowledged.
      It is fairly common knowledge Booth was an actor, but it is not so well known that was a famous actor. While it is true John lived in the shadow of his brother, Edwin, John was still popular. The East Coast upper class certainly knew who he was. One might be inclined to make a Jeff and Beau Bridges comparison or maybe the Baldwins it is difficult to say when there was no tabloid fueled celebrity culture like there is these days.
       John was a Confederate sympathizer, although he never joined the Confederate Army. He is often branded a coward in this regard. I am curious how deep his political motivations went. There is some merit to the idea John killed Lincoln as a way of separating himself from his more talented and well-regarded brother. Someone with enough fortitude to assassinate the president is difficult to all a coward.
       Flash forward to this past weekend when Vice-President-elect Mike Pence took in a showing of the hit Broadway musical Hamilton. Pence was booed by the audience and lectured publicly about inclusiveness by the cast. One can argue whether taking such an action against an elected official is appropriate—I say no—but what is clear is how on edge Pence's secret Service detail must have been.
      Fortunately, a comparison of Booth and Hamilton is essentially “first time tragedy, second time fare.” Thankfully, farce sums up pretty well the celebrity reaction to conservative gains in the political arena, particular to President-Elect Donald Trump. Seriously...how many of those ding-a-lings who promised to move to Canada if trump won are actually leaving?

Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Progressive Bubble

       Saturday Night Live has compelled me to post one of its clips several times this season. The show is no longer the must see show it once was, but it can still serve as an on point cultural barometer. My fellow conservatives are often critical of SNL's progressive bias. Considering last week's somber cold opening sincerely mourning Donald Trump's election as president, the point is difficult to argue. But as a rebuttal, I present “The Bubble” from last night's episode.
       “The Bubble” is a sharp jab a progressive elitism's tendency for intolerance of contrary ideas, absorption into like-minded entertainment, and adoption of patronizing, often contradictory views on race and gender. The humor is biting towards progressives and not for the first time. Even in last week's installment, the second sketch featured Dave Chappell and Chris Rock exposing upscale, white progressives watching the election returns as sheltered and clueless.
       I will take a step back here and declare much of last night's episode mediocre. The problem is not clear. Kristen Wiig was decent, but I never cared much for any of her characters. If I made a list of former cast members I would like to see return as host, Wigg would rank slightly about Anthony Michael Hall near the list's cellar. But I is only fair to note SNL suffers from weak writing when it airs three new episodes in a row, too.  Check the clip out. As always, a trigger warning is probably necessary for the satirically impaired.             

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Electoral College Conundrum

       No conundrum actually exists with the Electoral College. I just needed a similar word beginning with "c” in order for the title to sound right. This post is not a violation of my pledge for no further commentary on the election. This post is a comment on the post-election. Admittedly obtuse, but it is the lawyer in me shining through. Everybody hates lawyers for good reason, right?
       A grass roots movement of Hillary Clinton supports has began an effort to lobby members of the Electoral College pledge to vote for Donald Trump to switch to Clinton. The movement is asking the Electoral College to do something it has not done in its existence—deny the presidency to the election's winner. There is virtually no chance such a reversal will happen. The best evidence is the possibility has not motivated Clinton to form a transition team to select a potential staff just in case, nor has it slowed Trump's transition effort. Clinton supporters, many of whom are probably Bernie sanders supporters instead, know this, as quite a few have resorted to making death threats against electors. Because progressives are tolerant a non-violent.
       The rationale to reverse the election results mostly boils down to Clinton winning the popular vote while losing the Electoral College. The argument is moot on the surface because popular vote is not the deciding factor in electing the president. The same people who urge reversing the election results because of the popular vote would not be doing so if Clinton and Trump's roles were reversed. But it has been a popular thing with the losing side since the messy results of the 20000 presidential election. The left is still bitter about Al gore losing sixteen years later.
       Nevertheless, it is reasonable to ask if the Electoral College should be abolished as the means of electing the president versus to popular vote. The Founding fathers did not think so. They set of the system to keep large states from exclusively electing the president. Considering how Clinton’s large numbers are coming from densely populated, mostly coastal cities, you can see the founding Fathers' rationale is validated. A candidate would only need to campaign in a select few highly populated areas in order to win. The president would then pursue the interests of those populated areas and ignore the interests of other, less densely populated areas in order to assure re-election.
       While it is true the Electoral College system does often compel candidates to focus on a few swing states every election, they are swing states because they could realistically be won by either candidate. Thanks to shifting cultural and demographic winds, the number and location of swing stats changes every election cycle. Densely populated areas generally do not change as rapidly. The electoral college is the fairest way for the entire electorate to have its say. The fact that both conservatives and progressives have won the presidency, it is evident the system works.
       The bottom line is yes, the Electoral College could conceivably hand the election to Clinton. There might even be an elector or two who reneges on his vote for Trump as a matter of conscience. But 99% of electors have honored their pledge since the beginning of the Electoral College. The Electoral College has never revered election results and is not likely to do so when it meets December 19th. You probably do not want them to do so, anyway.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Stick a Fork in Post-Election Analysis

       The election has been over for a week. The final results are carved in stone. You are sick of talking about the election. I am sick of talking about the election. We are all sick of talking about the election. It is about that tie w start talking about the actual turkey we are going to eat next Thursday as opposed to the two turkeys we could have elected president last week. So this will be my final word on election analysis.
       The election boiled down to one thing. It was not that the polls were wrong. It is not that America is a racist country. It was not that America is a misogynist country that will not elect a woman president. The election boiled down to the fact their were lots of people angry and they were ignored by everyone except Donald Trump.
       Yes, a billionaire real estate developer and reality show star was the better champion of the working class. The irony is tough to swallow. I sympathize. Until about nine o’clock on election night, I did not seriously believe it was possible. In hindsight, things look a little clearer. Pollsters underestimated the swarm of Trump votes that would come across the nation period, much less from deep blue strongholds like Michigan and Pennsylvania who felt left behind by the Democratic party. Well thy should, too. Hillary Clinton made little effort to reach out to them until it was too late.
       But it was not only neglect making Trump supporters angry. T was the constant accusations of racism and misogyny leveled at anyone declaring support for Trump. When faced with such a massive and brutal barrage, of course those who supported Trump were going to keep it to themselves. The election of Trump was, as Michael Moore of all people noted, a massive middle finger directed at the politically correct culture that insist there is only one way to vote and anyone does not vote that way I deplorable.
        The media and entertainment business played a vital role in causing the massive, but silent trump vote with their personal attacks and clear bias against Trump supporters. It was difficult to find mainstream media that was not openly aiding Clinton as late as prime time election night. Will they learn anything before next time? Considering much of their post-election reactions, it would appear. Regardless, I am tired of talking about it, so I am now done.

Monday, November 14, 2016

You Were Fine Until You Saw the Pale Horse Rider

       If I thought it was odd Saturday Night Live was in a deeper state of mourning in their first post-election episode than they were in their first episodes after 9/11 and Sandy Hook, I had not seen anything yet. The expected tears and long shot hopes the Electoral College will reverse the election results are there. They are for every losing side in an election. But the reaction I am witnessing now is an unprecedented state of what I will generously call mourning even though whining is likely a more apt term.
        Do not get me wrong. Some of the backlash against Donald Trump's victory over Hillary Clinton is a serious matter. There have been riots all over the country causing injuries and damaged property. You do not have to look too far to find stories of people being beaten by Clinton supporters for wearing Trump campaign gear or even simply admitting they voted for him. It is evil—and definitely not what America stands for—to beat a person for what he wears or for who he casts a ballot. Keep in mind as well 0% of those arrested during the riots in Oregon were not citizens of the state and did not vote there. They were professional agitators paid to terrorize in the wake of a free election.
       Nor am I talking about the poor souls who have been brainwashed by academia, the media, and entertainment to fear conservatives. They genuinely believe conservative are racist homophobes itching for the chance to destroy their lives. They believe this contrary to the history, recent and not so, but since the teaching of history in our educational system is so warped, it is difficult to blame them. For these folk wallowing in ignorance not all of their own doing, I feel pity.
      What I am talking about here is not the roving mobs who only believe in democracy when their candidate wins. It is the weepy Millennials, any of whom did not bother to vote in the first place, acting act in the most pathetic of ways. Have we really reached the point our kid need grief counseling because of election results? Must midterm exams really be canceled to preserve the delicate snowflakes' fragile psyches? I though safe spaces for students to avoid hearing contrary opinions was bad. Over-sheltering the rough edges of life has been taken to a whole new level.
       It happens, kids. Sometimes your man—or woman, this case—loses. It will not be the end of civilization as we now. There will be no ethnic purges. You will be free to live and love as you wish. Accept it, because it is reality. Losing is another part of reality, and something you must learn to deal with. Banish the notion everyone deserves a participation trophy merely for showing up. Understand that with victory comes the agony or defeat. You must be magnanimous in both. Hopefully, you will all learn this before next time around.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Hallelujah Hillary Clinton Lost

       I have been brutal in my criticism of the more violent Hillary Clinton supporters who are upset over her loss, so how about a lighter look at how celebrity culture is mourning? The entertainment business went all out for Clinton without a clue how each admonition a Clinton vote is the only moral vote put another nail in her campaign's coffin. The vast majority of Americans do not care to be lectured by sketchy, out of touch celebrities from their palaces in Los Angeles.
       The clueless celebrity culture continues well past the election. Witness the cold opening of lat night's Saturday Night Live embedded above. The show swore off comedy for its opening—some say it has sworn off comedy for its entirety, but I digress-to feature Kate McKinnon, dressed up as Clinton, playing piano and singing a mournful version of Leonard Cohen's “Hallelujah.” The 82 year old singer/songwriter passed away this week. The musical tribute compares his death with the defeat of Clinton.
       If that sounds laughably over the top, that is because it is. Clinton lost an election—not for the first time, I might add. She did not die. Nor will the country be completely destroyed because Donald Trump will now serve as president. I have heard people defending the performance as a call for unity. I do not buy the explanation. It features a defeatist tone with call to remain strong against the implied evil of trump and his supporters. So, no...celebrity culture has yet to embrace the reality most of America lives under. This sort of thing happens when live in closed off enclaves. They tend to get a little brainwashed.
       All that said, McKinnon is a talented singer. Take away the baggage from her performance, and it is truly a beautiful rendition of “Hallelujah.” She has been playing Clinton throughout the campaign as an awkward, out of touch with people candidate who is nevertheless confident of assured victory. It is a humorous portrayal, though clearly not as mean-spirited as Darrell Hammond or Alec Baldwin's impression of Trump. McKinnon probably will not have much call to bring back her impression unless Clinton's blame game tour catches attention with its absurdity or an investigation into the Clinton Foundation uncovers some explosive stuff.              

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Why Hillary Clinton Lost

       Hillary Clinton supporters are continuing to riot across the nation in protest of Donald trump's victory last Tuesday. One can only assume their fer Trump will destroy the country has compelled the to beat him to the punch. On a slightly more serious note, the narrative is the riots are motivated by protest against the alleged racist, misogynist attitude of white America that caused the “incorrect” candidate to win the White House.
      No one will honestly argue there is no racism or misogyny within the American public or that some of Trump's supporters fit into one or both those groups. But it is grossly unfair to claim won because of this. Clinton lost the election on her own for multiple reasons which I will now discuss. They need to be discussed because frankly, I am irritated at the lack of thought being exercised in examining Clinton’s loss. Even the Democratic National Committee is fighting among itself rather than taking an honest look at what went wrong.
       Clinton was a terrible candidate to follow Barack Obama. You do not follow up a young, hip black guy with a 70 year old white woman no one likes. Sometimes it seems like the political left believes they are so entitled to run the government they can nominate a chunk of granite and count on their usual base of support simply by demonizing the opposition as a hindrance to social progress.
       Maybe the left believed Clinton was entitled to be president because she was a woman. But does anyone really consider Clinton a feminist icon? Her daddy paid her way through private schools, a private college, and Yale Law. She did not build a political career from the bottom up on her own. She married Bill Clinton. If she had never been his First Lady, she would have never been in a position to run for president. Clinton is the antithesis of a woman who has succeeded in opposition to the alleged patriarchy.
       Let us not forget as well her husband is an admitted sexual predator and possible rapist who Hillary tolerates because of her own ambition. She has supposedly intimidated women to keep allegations of Bill's sexual escapades quiet so as not to ruin her chances at winning the White House. No one seriously believes Bill and Hillary are in anything but a sham, loveless marriage for the pursuit of their individual financial and political gain. There is no way this reality connects with women.
       Let us talk about financial gain. How does a Senator and Secretary of State earn $240 million in sixteen years? The only possible way is for the 'charitable” Clinton Foundation to actually be a n international money laundering scheme involving State Department favors in exchange for foreign donations. How could it be that blatant? Because Both Clinton believe they are above the law and entitled to power regardless. The air of corruption surrounding her in particular is impossible to miss.
       How about incompetence? Even Clinton allies thought using a private email server was a security risk. Classified information was shared regularly over a period of yeas. The server was likely compromised by foreign powers. So many people associated with the mes plead the Fifth Amendment, yet Clinton came out of it all clean. No one rally buys that, however. Clinton herself blames the FBI for her loss. Not that she committed any illicit acts herself. She is above the law, after all. But the investigation should have stopped as far as she is concerned. She is above the law, I remind you.
       It is impossible to ignore Clinton is not a likable person in the first place. Even her surrogate on the campaign trail often stumped for her with the notion that you did not have to like her in order to vote for her. Many who have worked with her, including Secret Service agents, say she is a condescending, profane won who treat others like garbage. Who rally cannot sense the contempt she has for thews she thinks are beneath her—which turns out to be pretty much everyone. You must consider the possibility her famed ground game which gave some 45 million direct impressions of Clinton wound up giving bad impressions of her, driving voters to Trump.
        But Clinton's loss cannot all be chalked up to character flaws. Her health issues were a big problem. It is difficult to believe after all the oddities witnessed on the campaign trail there were not lingering health issues fro a couple injuries in the last few years. We all saw her pass out in early September and be thrown into the back of a van like a sack of flour. Health concerns resonate with votes when said health issues affect the potential leader of the free world.
       Well, there you have it. A simple discussion of why Clinton lost. I have been pouring over boring election data for days now. I could have offered up a more academic analysis of how Clinton ignored blue collar workers in what she believed were safe state like Michigan and Pennsylvania or how she did not make an outreach to Hispanics under the assumption they hated trump enough to vote for her in droves.  I may still write a deeper analysis somewhere down the line, but it really boils down to people will not vote for you if you do not ask them to. Asking for votes still might not have worked for Clinton. But what I have written is the basic reasons why Clinton lost aside fro the shallow accusations of racism and misogyny within the electorate.                  

Friday, November 11, 2016

The Call for Unity Goes Unheeded By Angry Progressives

       Angry anti-Trump protesters are continuing to riot in major cities all over the country. I say riot because there is violence and destruction of property. When people are beaten and cars are overturned, it is a riot, not a demonstration. All this because Hillary Clinton lost an election fair and square. Yes, these people are upset our electoral system worked exactly as it was designed. The same electoral system that put Barack Obama in the White House twice. It is a sign of a healthy democratic system when sometimes the other guy wins.
        Unfortunately, the political left and its allies in the media and academia have pollute young minds with the idea conservative thought is inherently racist, misogynist, and prejudice against the poor, so an election between a progressive and a conservative is always a battle of good versus evil. The idea has been drilled into the public so much, neither side of a the political spectrum blinks because of the lack of critical thought that goes into the attacks on conservatives. It is just a given these days.
       It is times like this we see the damage done by knee jerk accusations of racism, misogyny, and homophobia against conservatives. When a conservative wins the presidency, he has been smeared as the next Adolf Hitler and the leftist masses believe it without question. They will never let the facts get in the way. Donald trump was not elected by racist white men. He received sizable votes from blacks, LGBT, and Hispanics. In fact, Trump gained more black and Hispanic votes than did Mitt Romney in 2012. but the reality is contrary to the accepted narrative. Therefore, reality is ignored.
       Reality is ignored in more ways than one. What will violently protesting the election results accomplish? Clinton will have 229 electoral votes both before and after. Nothing is going to change the outcome. Trump will still be the next president.
       Trump called for unity and a coming together in his acceptance speech, but the call has gone unheeded. There is no way to know how long passions over the election results will run high enough to motivate thee violent protests. One assumes the inauguration will be a brutal low point. The protests may even rage at some level until then. It is sad, but true the same people who feared Trump would destroy the country if elected president are destroying the country themselves now that trump has been elected president.         

The Delicate Snowflakes of Progressivism

       Conan O’Brien earned a BA in History from Harvard in 1985 and remains a history buff today. You can see it in the books he frequently reviews for Serious Jibber Jabber and in many comedy bits. He knows full well there have been many divisive elections in our nation's past with more acrimony between sides than could ever burn in the harts of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton supporters. I guarantee he was an adamant Clinton supporter himself disappointed by the election results, but handling defeat maturely.
       All that makes this comedy bit poking fun at progressives who cannot handle the trump victory that much funnier. Nevertheless, a trigger warning is probably in order for the satirically impaired, especially if your emotions are still running high from Tuesday.      

Veterans Day

       Even the simplest freedoms come with a high and often

unacknowledged cost.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Pondering a President Donald Trump

       Like everyone else, I did not see it coming. Even the campaign staff itself seem reigned to losing the white House to Hillary Clinton as late as seven o'clock last night. Virtually every statistically sound national poll out there had Donald Trump losing to Hillary Clinton by a margin between three and six percentage points. Yet here we are today with President Donald Trump ready to take over at the end of January.
       For the sake of accuracy, I was first and foremost #NeverHillary, which made me #MaybeTrump. I was never #NeverTrump, but I long dobbed he could secure the nomination. That said, I supported trump in the South Carolina primary last March. The Republicans in Washington have been enormously disappointing in recent years in spite of their increased numbers in Congress. My support for Trump was a call for the status quo of the party to be shaken up. Now I a going to get the chance to see it happen even though there was no point until Florida and Pennsylvania began swinging his way last night.
       In spite of all the claims Trump was the worst possible Republican candidate, I cannot imagine Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio winning deep blue states like Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, states which wound up being crucial to the Republican return to the White House. Only Trump had the capacity to do that. I will be curious to see how the #NeverTrump crowd reacts to this fact in the days and weeks ahead. Not to mention how well Trump did among women, blacks, and even Hispanics.
       I have trepidation, of course. We just just elected the first president in American history with no prior political or military experience. Trump probably does not have a consistent philosophy with which to guide policy. But this will most likely mean he will rely on this around him to develop and implement policy. Considering Trump's larger than life ego, this may mean high level bureaucrats will will implement policy. Hopefully, Mike Pence will exert much influence as vice-president.
       Trump certainly has not been politically correct on the campaign trail, but I suspect he was largely playing to crows. He may very well be a gaffe machine whose novice political skills will allow some shady thing to go on under his nose. But Trump will be fun to watch for this armchair political scientist. I was dreading four to eight years of constant Clinton sandals. But now even my rock solid cynicism has given way to some hope for the future.

Wherein I Eat Crow


      Well, when I am wrong, I am wrong in spectacular fashion. Fortunately, I am not wrong all that often. Ahem. At least I am in good company. The only poll out there with Donald Trump winning the White House was the often mocked Los Angeles Times poll that has been debunked as a perpetual outlier. Because of this, I am going to consider its accurate prediction as a happy accident. I am only going to eat one crow. Hekyll rather than his old chum, Jekyll.
      I want to write more later today on my thoughts about Trump's victory and what the net four years might be like. More data must be made public for me to comment intelligently. Yes...intelligently. Because I have done such a great job with that so far. I will be back with that either later today or maybe even tomorrow.
     Right now, I would like to comment on how I spent my evening following the election coverage. I was flipping between television networks while keeping open several browser tabs with sites offering real tie results. I was also checking out the Reddit thread on the results. It was switching through network coverage and refreshing the Reddit thread that was most amusing, particularly as Trump' chances of winning improved.
       Reddit went from giddy over the probable Hillary Clinton landslide to”Um...Trump is doing better than we thought h would” to full blown panic. Around midnight, Clinton supporters began desperately calculating what states she would have to pull out of the fire. Went it reached the point they were openly discussing flipping Arizona, a last minute surge in Wisconsin, and the Congressional district in Maine, I knew it was all over but the shooting.
     The networks were just as amusing. There were meltdowns everywhere. Even FOX News had an on air group therapy session with Brit Hume, Megyn Kelly, Juan Williams, and Tucker Carlson as they contemplated life under President Trump. The networks seemed to be suffering from a serious case of denial considering how slow they frequently were to call states for Trump even when he was ahead by ten thousand+ vote with 99% of precincts reporting. May be they merely wanted to prolong the image of a horse race.
       It was a fun evening for a politics junkie like me. You would have to enjoy much of it even if you d not are much about the war without bloodshed that is the election season. This time around, it was one for the ages. Thank goodness t is mercifully over.         

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Election Predictions


Click the map to create your own at 270toWin.com

       (You can click on the map to see it in full.)    
       It is time once again to put on y political prognosticator's hate and offer my best guess for what will happen in tonight's election. My political prognosticator's ht is much more likely to enjoy a good night than a Make America Great Again hat, unfortunately.
       Like everyone else, I am calling the presidential race for Hillary Clinton. I am not happy about that. I supported Donald Trump in the South Carolina primary and voted for him this morning. Trump wold give the establishments of both parties a much needed jolt. I am also not keen on suffering through another four or eight years of Clinton scandals. It would be nice if more people came around to these conclusions too. Alas, even tough the polls have tightened in recent days, they have not tightened enough. The result will be much closer than most think, but Clinton will still come out on top.
     Take heart, folks. My track record at predicting president elections is an abysmal one out of three. I predicted John Kerry in 2004 and Mitt Romney in 2012. The only race I have gotten right so far while blogging was the 2008 contest That one was a forgone conclusion in favor of Barack Obama over John McCain, so it probably should not count. But if it did not, then I would never have predicted a presidential race correctly. So it counts. I will also throw in I called the Brexit wrong. Predicting voter behavior is one of my weakest political science skills.
       The Republicans will keep both the House and Senate, but with slimmer margins. 

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Remember, Remember the 5th of November


 "Good evening, London. Allow me first to apologise for this interruption. I do, like many of you, appreciate the comforts of everyday routine, the security of the familiar, the tranquility of repetition, the totality of television. I enjoy them as much as any bloke. But in the spirit of commemoration, where upon important events of the past, usually associated with someone's death or the end of some awful bloody struggle, are celebrated with a nice holiday, I thought we could mark this November the 5th, a day that is sadly no longer remembered, by taking some time out of our daily lives to sit down and have a little chat. 

       There are, of course, those who do not want us to speak. I suspect even now, orders are being shouted into telephones, and men with guns will soon be on their way. Why? Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn't there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. 

       How did this happen? Who's to blame? Well, certainly, there are those who are more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable. But again, truth be told, if you're looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror. I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn't be? War, terror, disease. They were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you, and in your panic you turned to the now high chancellor, Adam Sutler. He promised you order, he promised you peace, and all he demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent. Last night, I sought to end that silence. 

       Last night, I destroyed the Old Bailey to remind this country of what it has forgotten. More than four hundred years ago, a great citizen wished to embed the fifth of November forever in our memory. His hope was to remind the world that fairness, justice, and freedom are more than words; they are perspectives. So if you've seen nothing, if the crimes of this government remain unknown to you, then I would suggest that you allow the fifth of November to pass unmarked. But if you see what I see, if you feel as I feel, and if you would seek as I seek, then I ask you to stand beside me, one year from tonight, outside the gates of Parliament, and together we shall give them a fifth of November that shall never, ever be forgot."

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

A Periodic Reminder

      One may insist the spirit of this post runs contrary to yesterday's advice to “let dead leaves fall,” but I did vow months ago to make a periodic reminder of the status of my personal belongings. While it is important to let go of the little things, it is also important to keep your word. I weighed the two concepts and decided keeping a vow is more important under the circumstances. What good is a person who fails to keep his promises?
       You may recall when I intervened in the Darlington County sheriff's race I had been abandoned to a nursing home by Team Chavis while they kept all of my personal belongings, surrogate for the campaign said all of my belongings were actually boxed up. Anyone with two brain cells to rub together knows this claim is false. No reason exist to keep any of y stuff if Team Chavis has no intention of ever contacting me again. But I called their bluff and will continue to do so. I have friends in Hartsville who are willing to retrieve my stuff. All they need is the go ahead fro Team Chavis. It is a go ahead that will, of course, never come.
       This is the character of your new sheriff, Darlington. He does not care about doing the right thing. He only cares about the sense of self-worth he derives from wearing a uniform. I will continue to serve as a source of truth for this matter.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

November

       November has arrived. Even in South Carolina, where a sweatshirt is all you need many cold days, there is a chill in the air. I like it that way. The seasons need to change, but not too an extreme. I have adapted this concept to add to my philosophy of life. Life must change, too, but not to extremes. I have reached the end of about a decade's worth of far too extreme change. Things have now settled into a normal flow of ups and downs. For that, I am thankful.
        Convenient I am grateful, since November is the month with Thanksgiving Day. It is bemusing how Thanksgiving is celebrated as a solely secular holiday when it is actually based on the biblical practice of enjoying a feast to give thanks to god for His blessings. I have certainly been blessed more in the last year with friends, security, health, and more peace than I have in a long, long time.
       I cannot honestly credit personal strength for what serenity I have obtained. It is easy to let go of bitterness when life is comfortable. There is not much I can suggest for anyone else other than take a cue from the time of the year. We are now well into autumn. My best advice fro here is to be like a tree in autumn and let the dead leaves fall.