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I'm always working on dumb projects and every once in awhile I come up with something that might be useful to someone. I've stored some of those on a page I call Handy Resources.

Uh oh. When he starts with dessert you know the main dish is going to be excruciating. Like epically boring.

Who wore it better?

This would be a good place to go into my "boy who cried wolf/rape hoax" deal again, and why Congresswoman Wilson is despicable.

Just kidding. I wonít put you through that. If you're feeling overstimulated or experiencing insomnia you could bring your heart rate way down by reading in on my Leany on Life Facebook page.

Warning: If you're not overstimulated, it will just bore you. If you're already lethargic you may well slip into a coma.

What's that you say? Why, no, as a matter of fact I don't know why I maintain two different forums for my worthless opinions. (LOL--you call this maintaining?)

It's fitting that she "culturally appropriates" the rodeo clown look, because they take refuge in empty barrels.

This guy usually has the worst cartoons. I get the feeling heís a great guy, kinda like your dad, who you love, but oh, those dad jokes . . .

This cartoon is okay, but I love how well he captures the likenesses.

Of Poetry, Harmony, and Dreams
I was once teaching primary kids about poetry. I was the music leader and songs are just poems set to music. I was telling them that the three elements of poetry are rhythm, rhyme, and repetition. And we were making up some rhymes. One of the kids raised his hand and pointed out that poems donít always rhyme. I said "Thatís true. Poems written by liberals donít rhyme."

All the leaders laughed and all the kids looked confused and we sang about popcorn popping on the apricot tree.

I made that smart-aleck comment because I had just read some "poetry" by some crazy liberal, maybe Rosie O'Donnell. She called it poetry. It wasn't poetry, but it certainly didn't rhyme. I'm not sure what qualified it as poetry.

To just
Space words
In an unusual
Does not constitute
Let's just get this straight, if it doesnít rhyme, itís not poetry.

Now, Iíve either piqued your curiosity or sent you away thinking Iím stupid or I don't understand poetry. Guilty on both counts. But if youíre still with me, hereís what weíre going to do. Weíre going to invoke the methodology of our old pal Bill Clinton.

It all depends on your definition of "rhyme."

All poetry must rhyme; that's what makes it poetry. I can hear you screaming, I can see you shaking your head. Just accept my premise for a minute. Just keep the definition of "rhyme" fluid for me for a minute. Can you do that?

In fact, just keep reading and accept all my premises trusting that I will explain them. Otherwise, I'm going to have to constantly interrupt the lyrical flow of this poetic post with caveats.

Now, the easiest kind of rhyming is to simply match everything past the last accented syllable in a line. Or, if you're writing country music, just slant rhyme the sucker using assonance. That's the simplest way to make things "rhyme."

Can we agree on this? Just because it rhymes (in that specific way), doesn't make it poetry.

We've all heard these painful sorts of renditions that Oscar Wilde said "springs from genuine feeling."

It's Christmastime with all the snow.
And off to Grandma's house we do go.
Now, if I weren't trying to be lyrical (or not specifically trying to chase off liberals and other close-minded people) I could just say that to be poetry it must have structure. But I think that calling it "rhyme" is more . . . well, poetic.

Remember, you're absorbing this trusting that I'm going to bring it all together to make sense. Let's base our new, more fluid understanding of rhyme on the concept suggested in this old saw: History may not repeat itself, but it rhymes.

Everyone understands that history doesn't repeat everything from the last accented syllable. What history does is form recognizable patterns. Is this helping? Let's inform our new understanding of rhyme with the term "echo." The concepts in history echo; they feel similar.

We good still? Have you internalized that concept? Good. Now we're going to add another layer.

One day in church I was appreciating the harmony of the music and absently watching the lady who was doing ASL interpretation for a deaf lady in the ward. And some tumblers aligned for me.

Harmony is a critical part of our musical experience. It adds dimension to the audio texture. Think of some of your favorites harmoniesóyou can borrow mine if you need. The last chords of Colorado Trail. If you sing the melody by itself that's nice enough. But put those chords underneath it and it opens a whole new dimension. It feels full, it feels complete.

I wondered if deaf people seek harmony in other aspects of life. They can't experience it in music. But our human experience would be lacking without it. Does their soul find other ways to fill that void?

So I started thinking about places that we can find "harmony." Visual patterns. Events. Relationships. Supporting elements through other sense that enhance experience. Things outside of the mathematics of audio harmonics that fit that same configuration that we identify as harmony. Harmony is mathematically related repetitions of a frequency. In a literal sense it is echoes.


Okay, now that we have those Cheerios floating around in the milk forming a couple of patterns, let's get back to poetryóverse.

In order for something to qualify as poetry it has to have a structure that is harmonic, that is "shaped" in a way that echoes.

The structure may be rhythmic, it may be repetition of a pattern. But the elements tie together, they have similarities, they have structure that is pleasing. Again, I like the term "echo." I did it with a sentence above: It feels full, it feels complete. I didn't say "It feels full, or complete." The structure repeated. It "rhymed." The words didn't rhyme, the structure did.

I've talked about tumblers aligning. I talked about Cheerios in milk forming a pattern. That's poetic. Because it "rhymes." The visual experience of tumblers aligning in a lock rhymesóit echoes, it mimics, it parallelsóthe concept of ideas coming together in your head. Thatís a metaphor. We used metaphors and similes and symbols because theyíre poetic. What Iím doing here is grouping those elements into a larger concept that I call rhyme.

(Irony is another literary technique. Like a treatise on verse that has absolutely no structure, cadence, rhythm, or meaning)

Now I'm going to keep plowing ahead without inserting a break. This discussion won't fit on a bumper sticker. Any liberals who weren't chased away when I insulted Bill and Rosie glanced down at this never ending-piece and found something else to look at on the computer in Mom's basement.

Newton wrote the Principia in Latin so that only certain qualified people could benefit from it. I don't speak Latin, so I preserve the sanctity of this privileged knowledge by presenting it in a form that only the highly boredom-tolerant elements of society will consume.

On to dreams.

I wonder if some of the conventional methods of interpreting dreams are flawed. It seems like fundamental to an understanding of the images we sense in a dream state is this idea: that dreams are echoes of our conscious experience. In that sense they aren't literal renditions, but they have similar patterns. Conventional approach is symbolic; that a plane represents freedom, that a coat represents protection.

Sometimes Iíll get a song in my head and I wonít know why. In those cases itís not a song that Iíve recently listened to. In a couple of instances I was able to track it back to a rhythm or an interval that prompted it. My chainsaw revving elicits a certain songóI canít remember what it is right now, but Iíll let you know next time I fire that sucker up.

Thatís what I mean. Echoes. Just that little scrap has a similar texture, so the pitch/rhythm/harmony is a portal to that song.

The images in dreams may be the same way. Youíre in an airport lounge but thatís just the image that was prompted by something else that has no relation to planes or lounges or waiting or traveling.

I swear this concept seemed to explain a lot of stuff when it came into my head. Once I try to get the combinatory play out of it, it makes a lot less sense.

Plowing ahead.

Another example. Every time I load the dishwasher I am transported to Colorado, where a friendís mother told me ďFrank, you just did the worst thing you can do for a dishwasher. It needs some food particles for the soap to cling to, so donít wash off the dishes before you put them in.Ē

Thatís a logical portal. Takes me to Colorado, which has nothing to do with dishwashers, but in this case is logically and obviously connected.

Now, I have a very rational, practical, functional brain. So Iím not a good example. But Iíll use my close personal friend to get a little further afield on this. When my CPF feeds his three cats he is transported to the TV room of his childhood friend. Every time. As it turns out he was once there watching his friendís brother pour two glasses of Kool-Aid and holding them side by side to get the amount equal. Thatís why partitioning one can of cat food into three dishes recalls that scene.

But my CPF (who is a nice enough guy, but that brain of his is just whacked) has other similar occurrences that he canít source. Doing design work on the CAD many of the operations where he is very focused on the task access specific scenes or images from his childhood. Scrolling through files in the CAD transports him to a dining room in the Capitol in DC in 1978. No one has any idea why. There are many, many other operations that have a similar effect.

I suspect that itís a pattern thatís similar and heíll never know why. Some theories on dťjŗ vu are along those lines. Your mind categorizes and what you see as specific is just part of a general category.

Youíve seen this is a very elementary fashion with sections of highway that are similar. Youíre driving west from Nephi and if you blink you could swear you were in Crownpoint New Mexico on a piece of road with the same contour.

All right. If youíre not asleep yet you might require some medical intervention. Good luck with that.

If anything here at all piques your interest, like if youíre crazy like my close personal friend, you might try looking up ďsynesthesia.Ē This article explores synesthesia in the context of lights and music. Might give you a feel for the basic idea of patterns crossing boundaries of various senses.

Sweet dreams.

A Suggestion was Passively Voiced
You know the deal. Imaginary characters, made up stories. Just practicing my craft. Or in this case, no particular person is practicing. My craft is being practiced.

Frank was intrigued. He wondered if Carson operated the way he did from instinct or if his actions were the result of a conscious program that he was aware of.

The new cutting tool had been prototyped and was ready for testing, but in the last week Carson had raised a concern about its impact resistance. In the meetings with his reports that week he had wondered if they should have a copper disc behind the cutting head, then he suggested that they do that, then he ordered that it be done. The rest of the group had doubts about its effectiveness as an impact cushion, along with concerns about the chemical compatibility with the binder. But, hey, it was research. Theyíd try it out.

Now Carson had brought it up again. They were in the weekly meeting that included Carsonís bosses and the decision makers on the project. Only this time it wasnít Carsonís idea.

"We are following a suggestion that we use a copper backing behind the tool head."

Frank didnít have a notepad, he hadnít brought his tablet to the meeting, and he didnít want to suddenly whip out his phone and start typing on it. But he had to remember that tactic. "It was suggested" that Frank feature that trick in his manuscript "How to Populate Your Bandwagon: Support Recruiting for Managers."

Maybe a manual like that already existed and Carson had read it . . . or had written it.

Oh, You Wonít, Wonít You?
As long as Frank was writing a book about tactics, he might include the one a friend of his told him.

Scott had a piece of property along the highway where he manufactured and sold add-on carports. They were made of steel tubing and sheet metal and provided an easy and inexpensive shelter for your car from rain, sun, snow and the like. Each shelter housed one car and was easy to erect. Frank was familiar with them; his neighbor had one.

One day a man approached Scott with an offer to buy the land his carport business was on. Scott considered it, but rejected it. He was happy with the income he was making and wasnít ready to cash it out by selling the land.

Okay. Offer made, not interested, everyone moves on.

Except the man who made the offer was on the City Council of the small town where Scott and Frank lived.

The next thing you know a new city ordinance was proposed. Those add-on carport deals were a hazard seeinís how on accounta cuz they could get blown around in a high wind. So in order to erect one it was hereby forthwith and heretofore proposed that if you bought one you had to pay an engineer to do a study and approve the construction, and you had to buy a building permit from the city.

The Mayor and the City Council passed the ordinance. It became official statute,

Scott didnít sell his land.

Speaking of Tricks
Frank was sitting in rehearsal Tuesday night. Miraculously another French horn player had shown up. The French horn part in symphony music typically consists of 196 measures of rest, followed by a French horn solo. So Frank, mediocre player that he was, was glad to have the burden shared.

But that night on the section where the two horns were playing the same note Frankís horn sounded off.

The next time there was opportunity, Frank whipped out his phone, opened the n-Track Tuner app, and checked his horn on that note. He adjusted his slides and tried again. He about had the note.

Then an ad popped up. Frank tried to find the ďxĒ in the upper RH corner of the popup to close it, thought the found it elsewhere, the orchestra was starting to play again, his part was coming up, the ad wasnít closing, he tried again to close the popup ad . . .

Finally Frank just hit the home button on his phone to close the tuner app. When he did he saw the fingerprint ID screen, then "Thanks for your purchase."

Frank was pissed the rest of the rehearsal. He checked his phone for new apps. When he got home he checked his iTunes account and his credit card account. Maybe it was nothing.

Saturday, four days after the incident, he had pretty much forgotten about it when got an e-mail from Apple Re: his recent iTunes purchase. For $8.53 he had paid to remove ads from the n-Track Tuner app.

He contacted Apple, reported the fraudulent charge, and turned off his fingerprint verification for purchases. Then he warned his kids about the trick. If n-Track Tuner was running the scam, others had to be, also.

"Itís funny," Frank said, "Iíve been using that tuner for years without a problem."

His son offered a different angle on the situation. "Youíve been using their app for years and don't want to pay for it?"

Frank laughed. Fair point. But not for eight and a half bucks. And even if it had only been 99 cents he wasnít going to give money to a crook.

(Actually, for 99 cents he probably would have let it go . . . principles don't kick in until about the two dollar mark)

Dishonest Brokers
Okay, Iím just going to have to write this and bookmark it so I can find it again every time I need it. Because I will need it again.

Yeah, tag or bookmark it somehow on this blog that my brilliant daughter observed was ďvery 90sĒ in its style . . .

So youíve got a mass shooting. Next, people start screaming about gun control. Itís as predictable as an upgrade rendering all the features you liked unusable,.

Iím going to state two things at the outset. One, I am an unapologetic gun enthusiast and ardent supporter of the Second Amendment. Two, I am going to try to offend as many people on both sides of the issue as I can.

Have we done enough pre-ramble? Hereís the deal: What we should do as a practical matter and what positions we have to defend are, sadly, two different things.

Letís orient ourselves on the topic this way (and you thought I was through with the pre-ramble to this). A local talk show host was talking about this yesterday, because every host, local and otherwise has talked about nothing else this week. All the usual suspects on the left were losing their minds and saying the NRA caused all of this. He was asking people to call in and offer suggestions about what we should do. Then the host re-framed the question without knowing it.

He said ďIf Wayne LaPierre were in your living room, or you were having dinner or drinks with him, what advice would you give him?Ē

So letís think about that for a minute. What measures should we take to curb gun violence? And what advice would you give the president of the NRA? Is the answer the same to both questions?

It occurred to me that they are two different things.

I called in to explain it, in my inimitable incoherent rambling manner, but the call screener was a dick and I had other things to do, so I hung up (denying the local listeners the opportunity to hear the sonorous dulcet tones of my voice).

So you fine (imaginary) readers get to hear about it.

The problem is that we canít have an honest discussion, because frankly everyone in the conversation is a dick. There. That should have offended everyone. Iíll start with my side. Somebody called in to the Glenn Beck program this morning with some honest concerns and Pat Gray ripped into him. The guy was former military . . . well, Army, so semi-military kind of . . . and wanted to have a dialog about the usefulness of assault weapons and such. I think the guy was sincere and wanted to have a discussion. Pat called his arguments stupid, shot him down at every turn, wouldnít even discuss what he wanted to talk about. I turned off the radio. It bothered me that Pat was being such a lout about it.

But the reason he did was because the people who typically ask those questions are dishonest. I donít think this guy was, but the left is dishonest. Not just on gun control, on every single thing they pretend to want to talk about.

So actually this post could be about the dishonesty in the dialog about everything. But gun control is an excellent example to use to talk about it.

I would advise Wayne LaPierre to not give an inch on his position. Not open the door to any suggestions about more strict gun laws. The reason is because those on the left are dishonest.

Hereís the way the left works. You are trying to buy a car they have for sale. You want to pay $5,000, but they are asking $9,000. You negotiate and finally agree to split the difference at 7,000.00.

Okay, you shake hands and the deal is done, right?

Not when youíre dealing with the left. If you agree to 7K they are going to say ďOkay, youíre willing to pay 7K, thatís good, but we want 9K. So they wonít stop until you agree to split the difference at $8,000. And once you agree to that, you know exactly what happens.

The left wants single-payer socialized medicine. If we give at all they donít come to meet us in the middle. Always, always, always, every single gosh-darned consarned time in tarnation, we give and they donít budge.

So what happens is we finally learn not to negotiate with them. We learn that. Stupid Republican politicians never seem to clue in that Lucy is going to pull the football away. Every. Time.

So they want ďcommon senseĒ gun measures. Bullcrap. They want to take away guns from everybody except police. Except they want to take away guns from police, too. In their perfect world the only people who have guns are the criminals. And maybe their private security. But they know they have to whittle away at that a little at a time.

I am all for ďcommon senseĒ measures. I, the avid gun enthusiast, am willing to talk and listen to idea about how to prevent these horrors from happening again. But I, the experienced optimist am not going to discuss any of those measures because I donít trust the people I have to discuss them with.

Youíve realized by now that Iím just going to ramble forever. I can do a three hour presentation with ten minutes notice. But if you need a ten minute presentation, Iím going to need three hoursí notice.

I wonít be offended if you leave. (Donít let the imaginary door hit you in your imaginary backside.)

I Know You
The call screener was a dick for the same reason Pay Gray was. Because heís tired of dealing with unreasonable people. So when I, the most reasonable, admirable, insightful radio talk show caller in history, call in he just automatically lumps me in with them based on his experience.

News Update
I got a news update on my phone that says the NRA is supporting legislation limiting bump stocks like the Vegas shooter used.

So . . . LaPierre listened to my reasoning self and not my advice to the NRA self.

Hereís my prophet self: The Nancy Pelosis and Chuck Shumers are going to take a mile from this inch theyíve been given.

Common Sense
In other words: More of my Same Drivel
Letís chat about some of the measures.

First off, Iím not through offending people.

Note to those on my sideóthe Second Amendment supporters. We sound stupid when we defend stupid things.

The caller Pat Gray talked down asked ďWhat would Sundayís shooting have looked like if the only rifles available were bolt-action .308s? Thatís a reasonable question. It has been posed by unreasonable people. But it is a reasonable question and there are good answers to the question. When you sound like youíre afraid to address the question, you donít strengthen your case.

Absolutely. What happened Sunday would have been much different if he hadnít had high-capacity, rapid fire weapons.

The truth is that those weapons do exist, so the question becomes taking those away from people. And when that happens they get taken away from the wrong people. Itís the same answer as to the question ďWhy do you need a semi-automatic assault rifle?Ē

I guess what frustrates me is that both sides issue their statements in a tone like they have it all figured out. Maybe they do. I certainly donít.

I understand the question. Yeah, what happened Sunday could not have happened with a bolt-action rifle, and with fewer firearms in his possession. And I can understand your question about why I need my semi-automatic assault rifles. My answer, which youíll probably find unsatisfactory, is that I have them because others have them. Iím not going to be driving a Smart car on a highway with 1-ton pickup trucks everywhere.

I get it. I do. I really wish we could have an honest discussion.

The problem is that it always comes back to taking away guns. And the technology is there. The toothpaste canít go back in the tube.

Iíve told you Iíd be the first on the list to give up my guns if there were a way to get rid of all the guns on the planet. I would be first on the list, but Iíd be the last one to actually surrender it. As long as there are guns on the planet, I will have guns.

But that takes us into silly territory. I can safely promise I will do that, because that scenario will never happen. Can never happen. Itís absurd.

Okay, Iím still working on offending my side. Letís continue.

One guy this morning was working out theories. There had to have been another shooter becauseóIím seriously not making this up--the guy had no military training.


How much training does it take to spray bullets randomly into a crowd. Just stupid.

As long as weíre talking about people who have no experience with guns who have it all figured out, letís talk about automatic weapons. Iím not going to educate you about the laws on those; if you care youíve already been misinformed elsewhere.

But if youíre going to shoot a lot of people you might choose an automatic weapon. If you were going to kill a lot of people a semi-automatic is what youíd choose.

You can argue that a semi-automatic weapon isnít any more lethal than . . . whatever. A hunting rifle. But youíd look stupid to anyone who has a brain.

Again. You are not going to take away my semi-automatic weapons.

Then thereís the anti-gun liberal who wrote the article about how she had had a change of heart and realize she had been wrong. Great. Iím glad. Welcome to the real world that understands that more guns can equal less crime.

But . . . (remember, Iím still offending here)

She said that you can change magazines fast enough that outlawing high capacity magazines wonít make any difference.

Thatís kind of true. But honestly high-capacity magazines makes it much easier than carry multiple magazines and changing them out.

Again, understand that I will never give up my high-capacity magazines. Never. But letís not pretend that things are a way they are not.

For example: The problem isnít the gun, itís the person (true). A person who wants to murder will find a way even if there arenít any guns.

Well . . . yeah, okay, but . . .

First of all, we live on a planet that has guns. So when you talk about ďeven if there arenít any gunsĒ you are talking about a fantasy world that doesnít exist. Or a world where the liberals have taken a lot of them away. Iím not opening that conversation.

But really, címon. Theyíll find another way every time?

A few years ago a waste of skin ďestrangedĒ husband waited for his wife across a church parking lot and shot her as she walked out of the building. Are you going to tell me he would have walked up to her with a bicycle chain if he didnít have a gun? This was a coward. Poisoning is unwieldy, so are most of the ways to kill people. Sure, people commit murder in a lot of ways.

But if you really want to efficiently kill someone, thereís no substitute for a gun. Thatís a fact.

Understand Iím on your side. Iím probably more pro-gun than you are. No, I am more pro-gun than you are, because Iím not defending stupid arguments.

When you defend your position with arguments that make no sense, you find yourself backing into corners.

Okay, more about the article.

The one guy (with the dick call screener) was saying that the article pointed out that something like 2/3 of the gun deaths are suicide. So see? Pfffft. Taking away guns wonít solve that.

Uh . . .

See above. Youíre feeling depressed, suicidal. If you have easy access to a gun thatís what youíre going to do. Poisoning yourself is dumb, cutting your wrists, hanging . . . all dumb. If you donít have easy access to a firearm maybe youíll come to your senses before you off yourself.

Easy peezy. Take away peopleís access to firearms.

Do you really want to go there?

Well, I guess Iím through offending people on my side. I could say a lot more . . . (I just sensed you tense up)

Note to the other side: You sound stupid. Period. See also: Michael Moore-on.

Sex Ed
Did I get your attention?

The liberals say we need to all turn in our guns. They point to gun accidents. They say that guns in a home are dangerous; most often the criminal just uses them against the home owner.

We say guns are a reality. The best way to deal with it is to teach people gun safety. Youíll always hear ďWe have guns in our home but weíve talked and taught and trained our children to use them safely.Ē


Now, when the liberals say we need to teach kids sex ed and they are going to have sex so why not teach them to do it safely, we protest that their approach is wrong.


Like the suicides. Them: Well, if he didnít have access to guns he might not have killed himself. Us: We need to take away access to porn.


I have no answers for you.

Pilot Error
Back when I flew a lot, I used to get Flying magazine. At the back of the magazine they always had a feature called Aftermath. In that they looked at an accident or incident and tried to break down what happened. The idea was to arm pilots with information and understanding that could save their lives.

I had a roommate who wasnít a pilot but wanted to be. One day he was reading my latest Flying magazine and got perturbed. ďPilot error! They always call it pilot error. What are they saying, that pilots are stupid?Ē

I had a different take on it. If there was an accident I wanted to know what the pilot did wrong, so that I would not do the same thing. The last thing I wanted was to buckle myself into the cockpit of a plane that was going to kill me and I had nothing to say about it.

I am looking for where the pilot screwed up.

Thatís whatís frustrating everyone about this one. How could it have been prevented?

If every single person at that concert had a concealed weapon that wouldnít have changed. Thatís usually where I goóthe only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

The guy had no history or background that would have pointed to him being a threat.

Thatís where my side always goes: mental health. Right, itís true that guns donít kill, people do. So letís single out the people who are not mentally stable and not let them own guns.

Thatís just common sense, right? But the implementation is really tricky. How do you determine whoís fit to own a gun? Doesnít that get back to the base issue of the Second Amendment?

I know I could give you a list of people I donít think should own guns . . .

Itís a very slippery slope. If someone has seen a therapist? If someone has ever been prescribed an anti-depressant? Run-ins with the law?

Where did we or the system screw up that allowed this to happen? Where was the pilot error?

Because itís so puzzling youíre getting a lot of conspiracy theories around this one. And some of them coming from places you donít usually see them.

Iíve heard all kinds of stuff. Iíve heard it was a false flag operation to implement gun control. Thatís what the Alex Jones crowd is saying (speaking of mentally unstable crazy people). But that one makes sense, (please donít think for a second that I am for a second buying it) because the only thing that would have stopped this is the kind of radical, drastic measures the left wants to take, like sweeping confiscation of enormous amounts of privately owned firearms.

Iíve heard (from the completely dismissible Alex Jones crowd) that the guy was some kind of FBI operative/ISIS who know what gun runner type of deal.

Iíve heard speculation that the mafia types who owned the casino threatened the guy and he did it to ruin the casinoís business.

People are just struggling to explain this one.

Coming Together
Iíve told you before, liberals and I are not that far apart. I believe liberals should not own guns. I believe liberals should pay higher taxes. I believe liberals should take drastic measures to keep from reproducing.

Buying or Selling
You remember (dear imaginary reader) my (brilliant) explanation about whether youíre stupid or evil depending on whether youíre buying or selling.

This is one of those times.

I think itís pretty clear that Nancy Pelosi is stupid. Honestly, something is seriously wrong with that poor woman. So that bodes well for her. The stupider the advocate of a dumb idea is, the more sincere they are. I mean, when she proposes things that just plain will not work, she may actually think they will. She may really want to solve the problem, but doesnít have the mental capacity to do it.

Chuck Shumer . . . that guy may break my matrix. Heís definitely evil. Actually, maybe the matrix isnít broken at all, and heís just so evil that heís able to carry out looking really stupid.

Sorry, thinking out loud there for a minute . . .

The point is, if you understand that your measures wonít accomplish anything but give you more power, you are evil for proposing them. (*cough Chuck Shumer *cough) Youíre selling a bill of goods. But a lot of people are probably just desperate for a solution and may not understand the complications of taking guns away from the citizenry.

Then thereís a group of people who are honestly looking for solutions with an open mind. Theyíre neither buying nor selling, just searching honestly.

I had a conversation with a guy at work following a shooting, and itís sick that I canít even remember which one. He is on the opposite side of the political spectrum from me and it was one of the better political conversations I have ever had.

He was sincere and I didnít have to question his honesty. Yeah, I told him stuff that I would never expect the NRA to concede to. We were both just baffled and wondering about a solution. And we were both open to listening to the other personís point of view.

Itís amazing what happens when two people can talk honestly.

The Scott Foster Effect and Hand Wringing
If you read my fictitious, fabricated, completely made up out of my imagination story about the company idea program, you'd get the impression that the Scott Foster character, that I created from my imagination, was kind of a douche.

Let's say, just for giggles, that we lived in some kind of ridiculous universe where someone like the (imaginary) Scott Foster character did exist. Chances are he'd never come across my whimsical little story, since there are literally dozens of web sites out there. But let's imagine that he did.

What's he going to say?

"Hey! You know that sneaky scheming unsavory guy who was always trying to screw over his co-workers? I think that's me."

Oh, really?

But what's he going to be mad about exactly? I accurately depict him as a douche and he's upset . . . about what again? If he doesn't want to be a douche, that's something he controls, not me. Maybe you're mad about being depicted as a scoundrel, but let's get out the pissedoffometer and see if you're as mad as I am about you screwing me out of my idea and implementing it as your own. (You schmuck.)

You recognize that situation as what I call The Concept I Have No Name for But I Always Reference as the Lady Wringing Her Hands About People Trash Talking Democrats.

If you're pissed off about being characterized a certain way you could get your little feelings hurt about people saying that about you. Or . . . you could not be that way.

Obviously this all tracks back to the same elusive concept as all the fleeting precepts that I'm trying to organize. What is true? If someone is depicting a person as a schmuck when he's not, that's grounds for being upset. But itís a completely different scenario than what weíre talking about here.

You know my advice about people disparaging you: It's all good.

If it's valid, you have an opportunity to improve and that's a good thing. If it has no basis, the person leveling it is a schmuck, and that's a good thing to know also.

(ďSchmuck is my go-to word to avoid overusing ďdouche.Ē ĎCause this is a family page. You know . . . if that family is composed of imaginary readers.)

So . . . my imaginary fictitious character could think about not screwing over his fellow employees, or I'm the schmuck for disparaging his fictitious self when he was selflessly trying to save the company twenty bucks and keep the peasants in their place.

911, will you hold?
You remember back in the day when we still had land lines and cell phones were fairly prevalent but not universal? Right around the 2000-2004 kind of time frame.

Well, somewhere in that time frame we had a fire at work. The people building the addition were welding beams up in the roof and the sparks were spraying down on a pallet of foam and caught it on fire.

I saw the smoke coming up from my second story window and dashed downstairs. The welders were unaware. Another employee and I started putting together garden hoses and trying move other flammables out of the way. The fire was spreading pretty quickly. So while the other guy sprayed water on the fire I grabbed my cell phone and punched in 911.

I explained the situation and the lady on the other end asked me where I was. I told her. And then she told me I was connected to the wrong dispatch and gave me another number to call.

Uh . . .

I called the number, we got the fire put out, and the fire trucks showed up. In that order.

Apparently because I was on a cell phone my calls were routed to a place that depended on my service provider and had nothing to do with my location.

I thought that seemed like a bit of a problem, so I penned a letter to the editor telling what had happened and questioning whether that was the best way for the system to operate.

A few days after the letter ran, my cell phone rang. I answered it (back in those days we answered numbers we didn't recognize). It was the local 911 dispatcher. She was upset that I had made them look bad by saying that I didnít get the response I had expected.

Okay. So, what part of my story was false? The problem was that I made them look bad and so I was a jerk and a bad citizen

I was polite, and actually pretty acquiescent. They do an important job and it was never my intent to cast them in a bad light, just shine a light on what could have been a serious problem.

The point is, what part of that was my fault? I guess telling anyone what happened. Because I didnít do anything to cause them to tell me they couldnít help me with the fire.

Anyway . . . I was walking through the addition the other day and just remembered and it occurred to me that the incident was a perfect example of . . . of . . . you know, that concept for which I have no name.

Party A does Action A. Party B observes Action A. Party B is the bad guy.

Just kidding.

I used to visit Townhall.com every day. And Iíd harvest the best Ďtoons and post them here. When you open google on my browser the Townhall site was the first one on the frequently visited dealies.

But I canít watch. I just canít.

Maybe Iíll transform this from a blog filled with hate speech to . . . I dunno, music or fitness or something else thatís just as entertaining to ignore.

Buying or Selling?
You may remember the big eclipse we had a while back.

Well, right after that people were selling eclipse glasses saying there was going to be another one the next day at 1:20 or something.

That made me sad on two levels. One, that people are evil enough to rip fellow humans off that way. And also that people were dumb enough to be ripped off that way.

You recognize this. There are two people involved in that transaction. One of them is stupid, the other one is evil.

And thatís how it works. Whether you are stupid of evil depends on whether you are buying or selling the nonsense.

Many sincere good-hearted people buy into destructive ideas, like, I donít know, like socialism. Oh, I just really want everyone to get free heath care and time off work.

Socialism does not do that. Socialism, when ďfaithfully implementedĒ causes poverty and despair. If you donít understand that, you donít understand socialism. If you donít understand that, you are just plain wrong. You are buying a flawed premise.

Now, if you do understand socialism, and you advocate it anyway, you are evil. You are selling.

I have spoken.

Speaking of Stupid
So some waste of protoplasm name Mario Washington assaulted someone on a BART car (Bay Area Rapid Transit). It happened on a Saturday evening at 7:30 (a while backóI donít post right away on the premise that something not worth doing is worth postponing). The good news is they caught the whole thing on their surveillance system. Got his face on camera.

Oh, but wait . . . the guy was a black man.

Dave Barry and I are not making this up. The city didnít release the photos of the guy because they didnít want to foment bad feelings toward a particular race.

Geez. San Francisco (shaking my head).

I just . . . I . . . wow.

Monday morning they finally released the pictures. Caught the guy within 2-1/2 hours

Do you think we are ever going to get to a place in our society where liberals donít see race?

Really, if you wonít release a photo of a criminalóheís not a black man, heís a person, who is also a criminalóbecause your thinking is that it makes people think black people are criminals, you, my friend, are a racist.

They guy assaulted a man because of the content of his character, not the color of his skin.

I have spoken.

. . . using Martin Luther Kingís words . . .

Ideas, Good and Bad

My faithful imaginary readers might know that I like to amuse myself by making up fictitious stories. Just make-believe tales about people in the workplace doing things that no real person would do, completely out of my imagination, without reference to anyone I know or work with.

Here's a sample.

In an earlier life Frank had worked as a designer in the automated control valves industry.

Automated control valves are very complicated systems that work within even larger complicated systems. Because of the dynamics of fluid moving through pipes careful engineering went into the placement and support of all the components. Every valve the company shipped had to have the location of the actual center of gravity marked on the valve.

As Frank was passing the assembly area he heard a clatter followed by loud swearing. He looked over where people were scrambling to pick up the pieces of the very expensive control valve that had just crashed into the workbench. The device used to determine the center of gravity of a valve involved hanging it precariously from a chain and adjusting a bar until it balanced.

Frank thought there must be a better way.

When he got back to his desk he sketched up an idea on a piece of paper. Throughout the afternoon he snuck some time in here and there to design his creation on the computer. That evening he stayed late after work just long enough to get the design into a version he could present to his boss.

The next morning Frank unveiled his creation to his boss, Bryan. Bryan was familiar with the time and trouble involved in the current way of measuring CG, and he was aware of more than one mishap with that operation, including one involving a worker getting injured. He praised Frank for his innovation and gave him permission to finish the design and build a prototype, as long as doing so didn't interfere with Frank's regular duties.

The company had an idea program whereby employees could be recognized and rewarded for ideas that helped the company. Bryan suggested that Frank submit his idea. If it worked it would save the company money and time, and increase safety, the stated goals of the idea program.

In the following week Frank finished the design, had a buddy in the weld shop fabricate the frame and convinced another friend in the R&D lab to rewire a couple of electronic bathroom scales to give the desired reading.

The guys in the assembly area gave the new method their stamp of approval and Frank submitted the idea.

After the committee reviewed the project Frank was given a cash award, part of which he used to take his buddies from the shop and his boss to lunch. The money was appreciated, but Frank also felt a sense of pride whenever he passed assembly and saw someone using his device.


To the right of reception desk in the lobby was a door leading into the administrative offices. Just on the other side of that door was the giant multi-function copy machine. Frank pushed through the door to go into the front offices and hit it right into Mr. Marks's cute little administrative assistant. "Sorry. I'm so sorry," he said.

"Oh, you're fine," she smiled. "I can usually get out of the way in time. Happens all the time.'

"That door really needs a window," Frank joked, and Marks's assistant laughed.

When Frank got back to his desk he thought "Why not?" He quickly typed up the idea, got his boss's approval, and submitted it to the idea committee.

About three weeks later Frank got a response from the idea committee. A window in that door would not do at all. Glass was a safety hazard (in a building with giant glass walls looking out onto the surrounding ponds and gardens) and besides, a window would break up the carefully crafted aesthetics of the front lobby.

Oh, well. He'd tried.

About a month later Frank was coming in to work through the front lobby. As he passed the receptionist desk to go to Engineering on his right he looked over and greeted the receptionist. Then he paused. There in the door to Administration, the door right next to the copier, was a neat rectangular window.

"Well, I'll be . . ." he snorted.

"What?" Mike Carr asked. He was on his way to Engineering, too.

Frank wagged his finger at the door. "I . . . not two months ago, I suggested that we put a window in that door."

Let me guess, Mike said. "It got shot down."

In response Frank shook his head, which Mike correctly understood to be an answer in the affirmative. "They said something like it messed up the look and feel of the place or something."

"That's Scott talking," Mike said. Scott Foster was the head of physical plant. Mike explained that he viewed part of his job as finding a reason to reject any ideas that involved his department. He figured that paying employees for their contribution was a big waste of money.

"Let me tell you a story." Mike put his arm on Frank's shoulder and guided him out of the lobby.

Out in the machine shop the power was run up in the ceiling, two stories above the concrete floor. This gave flexibility to move machines wherever they were needed by dropping a line anywhere. No need for a wall or pedestal or fragile floor outlet. Each main line ran down from an electrical box with a handle for shutting off the power.

Throughout the shop were scattered long 2x2 wooden sticks, with a metal rod in the end. The purposes of these was to reach up and shut off the power when needed. The poles could then be used to turn the power back on when whatever maintenance was done.

Mike Carr had submitted an idea to tie a rope to each handle, leaving it dangling down next to the power line. That way in an emergency anyone could pull the rope and quickly shut off the power. That would eliminate the need to try to find the pole and the dexterity required to guide it 16 feet up into a loop on a handle.

True to his form, Scott had rejected the idea. One of the reasons he gave was that the rope posed a safety hazard: if the rope were permanently attached someone could switch the power on when it was supposed to be locked out by pushing up on the rope.

"No!" Frank said.

"Swear to God, " Mike said.

"Wow. Oh, well, I guess, you know, how much would they have paid you for that idea anyway, right?"

"Doesn't matter," Mike said. "I submitted the story to Readers Digest. They ran it in All in a Day's Work and sent me a check for 600 bucks."

I'll Get to It
I know what you're thinking. You're thinking "Frank, why don't you turn all those little transposing wheels you've created into .pdf files that we can print off?"

But I'm thinking. "Geez, how come my special fonts disappeared and the flat symbols show up as lower-case b, if they print at all, and why do the colors render differently in the PDF than when I print from the native software?"

And you're thinking "No excuses, Frank. We want to print stuff out on card stock and cut it out and put it together with brads and carry extra stuff around in our instrument case, instead of downloading free apps that do it better on a little phone we already carry."

Give me a break, guys. Being irrelevant isn't as easy as it looks.

No Shortage of Buses
My faithful imaginary readers might know that I like to amuse myself by making up fictitious stories. Just make-believe tales about people in the workplace doing things that no real person would do, completely out of my imagination, without reference to anyone I know or work with.

Well, I thought up another one today.


While it wasn't remarkable for Frank to be at his desk at 7:30, it wasn't standard practice either. But that morning he was there, a half hour early, and an hour before most of Carson's employees showed up.

At 8:06 Frank got a group text from Rudy, the field sales rep, asking
"You calling into meeting."
He replied that his calendar didn't show one, could he get the information to join the meeting.

Larry and Carson each replied that they were coming.

Frank could only wait for the instructions. After all, Larry and Carson weren't there yet, either. As soon as they showed up he could just get on the call with them. He didn't know what else to do.

Frank was the first to acknowledge he wasn't a model employee. Well, maybe he was second to acknowledge it. Right after his boss, Carson.

Carson always told Frank was that he was doing a "fantastic" job. But he was quick to catalog Frank's failings to everyone else, then Frank heard it through the grapevine. What came through those channels gave some context to some of Carson's otherwise puzzling actions.

Frank had enough real failings that he didn't see the need for Carson to invent stuff to blame him for. But it fit with Carson's general habit of dramatizing reality--the guy would fabricate a story when the truth made better material. To Frank it seemed like extra work for no payoff.

After a couple of minutes with no response to his text, Frank made his way to Carson's office. By this time Carson was there, with Larry, sitting at the conference phone. When Frank walked in Carson said into the phone "Frank just barely got here."

Really, Carson? Not "Frank is here with us?" Not . . . something else?

"I don't have this meeting on my calendar," Frank said. A career of dealing with Dalton had taught Frank not to let himself get bent over in meetings.

Larry held his phone up pointing towards Frank. "You're right here," he said. "It says no reply."

"I don't know what to tell you," Frank said. "I didn't get any meeting invitation."

Frank was irked, but he figured he was being oversensitive. One little sentence clumsily spoken wasn't worth stressing over. It had already been a bad morning following a bad night in the middle of a horrible year. Whatever. Life goes on.

Frank mentioned the incident to Brandon after the meeting--"mention" being the French word for whining extensively. Then he went on with his day, always on the lookout for other things to be in a bad mood about.

Mid-morning Brandon poked his head in Frank's office. He told Frank he had apologized to Carson for not being at the meeting, explaining that he had never gotten an invitation and it was not on his calendar. Carson had replied "That's okay, you didn't really need to be there. We were just discussing the J-Pick."

Then he'd added "But Frank did. And he was late."

A career of dealing with Dalton and Allphin boiled over in Frank's mind. He was now operating from what John Goodman called a position of "Screw you." Only John Goodman might have used a stronger word.

Frank texted back to the original group that he had been here since 7:30 and the first he'd heard about the meeting was at 8:06 when Rudy texted. Then he e-mailed Carson that he would have joined from his computer that morning if he'd had the information, and pointed out that Carson and Larry weren't there at that point anyway.

Two minutes later Carson showed up in Frank's office door. "Hey, I guess I need to do a better job letting you guys know about meetings."

Frank didn't strictly adhere to John Goodman's policy. He didn't suggest that Carson could contact everyone on the conference call and retract his characterization of Frank dragging his slacker carcass in late to a meeting--a meeting that Carson himself was late to.

He just said "Yeah, I'm better equipped to attend meetings that I know about."

What the &#%* ever.

Let's start with Dessert

This one got re-made. The last one I think said "He makes me look less crazy" or something.

Recruiting, An Introduction
Mormon folklore holds that J. Golden Kimball claims he once heard the prophet swear. He and President Grant were looking over the drought-stricken cornfields in Southern Utah when Kimball said, "It's a helluva shame, isn't it Heber?"

"Yes. Yes it is," President Grant replied.


Through the open door that connected their offices Frank could hear Carson going on about something. "You know what he is? All he is is a . . . a . . . " Carson paused, then he called to Frank through the open door between their offices. "What's that word? What do you call someone who sells out his principles?"

"I'd call them a prostitute," Frank replied.

"Yeah. Yeah, that's what he is," Carson said, and continued explaining to those in his office why Senator Hatch was a pile of crap. Senator Hatch had cast a vote that Carson didn't agree with, and he was vociferously offering his opinion to anyone within earshot.

At the lunch meeting that day Carson took advantage of the larger audience to again explain why Senator Hatch was not worthy of his support. He said "Frank said it best. Frank said he's a prostitute."

Frank laughed. He looked at Jed and asked "Did I ever tell you about the time I heard the prophet swear?"

Recruting, Office Style
Carson was famous for his "recruiting" techniques, meaning that he was always recruiting people to his idea. He spent more time in his boss Darren's office than he did is his own.

A typical tier 1 engineering meeting would go as follows: Carson would present his view on a topic. "It seems pretty clear to me that the problem is worn fixturing in the finishing cell, don't you think?"

The engineers assembled in Carson's office would say things like "Well, I guess that could be one of the problems, but because it's cyclical it seems more like a supplier quality problem."

Yeah, but that could be a cause, right?

Finally someone would agree that yeah, that could be a possible cause, maybe.

Right after the meeting Carson would run to Darren's office and report. "You know, my engineers think that the problem is worn fixturing in the finishing cell. I think they make a good point. I agree with them.

Next day in the meeting "Darren thinks that the whole problem is worn fixturing . . . "

Okay, so what we know is that Carson and Darren believe it, and the brazing guys, too.

Not so fast there, Recruit. What we really know is that Carson believes it, and he says that Darren and the brazing lab guys are also on board.

Recruiting, One Thug at a Time
Corey had to run to the guidance counselor's office before fifth period. He was at the back door of the administration building and the office he needed was right up the hall from that door. Because he was short on time, he chose to use that quicker route rather than going to the main doors on the other side of the building and looping back.

Geographically that main door route made no sense. But the back hallway of the administration building is where the rowdies hung out during the lunch hour. Maybe they would all be on their way to class.

Corey opened the back door and found himself in the middle of most of the kids in the school who considered themselves bad. Apparently they were less concerned than he was about being tardy to fifth period.

They were milling around but mostly formed two groups, lining the sides of the hallway. A lot of them were leaning against the wall with one foot on the wall (in blatant violation of school policy).

Corey tried to avoid eye contact and just quickly walk through. But Artie ran up behind him and grabbed his cowboy hat.

Corey turned around and forced a chuckle. "C'mon, man, give it back."

Corey and Artie had been in school together since grade school. Artie was okay by himself, but in a group he was anxious to prove that he was as out of control as the best of them.

Corey took a step forward with his hand out. Artie seemed like he was going to give it back, but then threw it across the hall to a kid in a western cut shirt with the sleeves torn off.

"I don't got your hat, man," Artie laughed.

"C'mon, guys!" Corey said. He tried to fake a laugh. Gee whiz, fellas, this is a swell game, but, say, let's not get fresh.

Corey scurried to that kid, who threw it across to the girl in the leather jacket. Oh, good, one of the gentler sex. He beckoned to her to return it, but she just smirked and threw it back across the hall. "Oops. No hat here."

Once a person threw the hat it made no sense to appeal to him. He didn't have what Corey was after. Corey was reduced to running back and forth across the broad hallway saying "C'mon, man, cut me some slack here."

The hat finally ended up with the Mexican kid with the flat face--it looked like it had been run over or something. No one seemed to know his name, but nobody messed with him. Corey was weighing the relative merits of getting beat to a pulp by a gang of kids vs. losing a fairly expense hat that his dad had given him, when a teacher showed up.

"Just messin' witch ya, man," someone said as he walked away.

Nolan was one of Corey's friends, and he had a big cowboy hat, like the rest of their group. But nobody ever took Nolan's hat. Not anymore.

The advantage Nolan had was that he wasn't very intelligent. See, Nolan didn't understand that the person who took his hat and threw it to someone else couldn't help him. He didn't get it. That person doesnt have your hat, man.

No, the one time it had been tried, Nolan proceeded to pound on the kid who first grabbed his hat. He beat him until one of the thugs had run to get a teacher. In the short term it did cost him some damage to the hat and a couple of bruises the next day. But all of that big scary gang weren't much help to their fallen buddy. They never had come across someone dumb enough to not be afraid of their scarinesss; they had no plan to actually deal with a response besides running. For all their lack of scholastic achievement they understood that as a gang they could beat up Nolan, but there was a probability that individually they would get hurt in the process.

Recruiting, International Relations Style
I can't remember the news story that prompted me to re-write this tale a few weeks ago. But the initial one was the Lockerbie bombing. We ran around like a kid chasing his hat trying to find out who was responsible for that act of terrorism. Oddly enough, everyone we asked denied having anything to do with it. Shoot, I guess we'll keep looking.

That's because we're civilized. We understand that you can't punish someone who isn't responsible. That's just not right. It's not who we are (to quote the blessed prophet Obama, praise-ed be his name forever). Which is why people keep trying crap with us.

Israel is a little country surrounded by enemies. Being little, they have to recruit. "Hey, Jordan, we are giving you a job. Your job is to make sure no one attacks us. If someone does, we are coming after you."

But, dude, we ain't got your hat!

Listen to the words that are coming out of my mouth. If anyone attacks us, we are coming after you.

See, a civilized country like Israel is trying to run an economy and all that stuff, and they don't have time to run around tyring to find out which waste of space delusional wife abuser is going to try to blow up a bus this weekend.

But the whacked out loser countries, they know. Even if that particular Trashcanistan isn't the one doing it, they know who is doing it. If they are going to suffer for it they can make sure it doesnít happen.

So when something happens in Israel, one team goes to clean up the mess and another team runs out to blow up the pre-determined target.

The way this works is the pre-determined target is a bad guy. Sure, maybe he didn't do that particular deed, but he's expressed his desire to harm you, and he's helping those who did. Screw him.

Yeah, yeah, whatever, I understand the complications and political ramifications of implementing that kind of a policy. But nobody messes with the crazy one.

And wouldn't you pay for a front seat to see the country who stole the hat get beat to a bloody pulp?

Wise Guys
I can't remember the movie, might have been Good Fellas or something with . . what's his name, blue eyes, baseball player on Field of Dreams. Anyway, the kid got involved with the mafia and he said he loved being a Wise Guy. Maybe that was the name of the movie. Too lazy to Google it.

He said he loved being a wise guy, 'cause nobody messes with you. Someone who commits a random crime and finds out the victim was a member of the syndicate, knows they are done.

Of course there's all the getting shot up in restaurants and having the mob boss kiss you on the cheek and then kill your family.

But who hasn't wished some swift justice on a punk who has wronged you? For all of the disadvantages of being crazy, no one messes with the crazy ones.

My faithful imaginary readers know that that's the purpose of the Jack Reacher character. He gets to do the stuff in fiction you wish would happen in real life.

In real life if some loser smashes your car in a parking lot and splits, or rips you off at a car dealer, you just walk away with a trail of your testosterone leaking out.

That's why you read Jack Reacher novels. He just takes care of business.

More Trombone
In an earlier Chautauqua we talked about the harmonic series as it relates to the French horn, especially the fingering on a double. Today let's climb on the motorcycle and chat some more about that.

The gadget I put together to visualize that is an aid to why certain fingerings yield certain notes. The danger of laying it out all neat and tidy like that is that it gives the impression that when you hit that fingering in that register you get that note. Like striking a key on the piano.

Well, you can't play the French horn very long before you figure out that's not the case.

The device (gadget, graphic--I need a good word for the dealy flopper) does hint at a couple of reasons that is not the case. First, I've indicated places where the partial (or register) is flat or sharp. So all of the tones down from that will be slightly that way.

Next, notice that there is a partial on the seventh harmonic that's notated as Bb. It's called out as "very flat." But t we just gloss right over it, like it's not there. We can finger Bb as open on the F side, and it follows that we can finger everything down from that partial the same way we do any other.

But we don't. And that's what this Chautauqua is about. Hold that thought.

Every brass player should pick up a trombone and mess with it at some point after they become somewhat proficient and in preparation to being very proficient. The trombone is just a tube; no valves. But it's a tube that changes lengths, so it's a great illustration of what happens when you pipe flow through valves on other brass instruments.

Here's the point (and not a minute too soon!). When you mess with the trombone without knowing the slide positions you have notes you try to play that don't sound any note at all. I'm not saying they sound the wrong note, I'm saying they don't make any note.

Let's illustrate with an example. You're working your way up the scale without consulting a chart, you play, say, a first position Bb, then you want to move up the scale, so you put the slide out there and play what you want to be a C. And it doesn't really make a note.

You hear the note in your head, and you're playing it with your lips, but the slide is in the wrong place. So what you get is a sound that's not a note at all.

There may be a metaphor there . . . a situation that is not right and you know it's not right but you're trying to force things into place . . .

This may be something you have to try on a trombone to visualize. What's happening is that your lips and brain know the note and are trying to force it. It's not like a key on a piano. It doesn't just come out as a note that's wrong. Your lips and your brain won't let the tubing alone determine the note. They are trying to make a certain pitch, and the tubing length is fighting that.

So now we get back to the French horn. Still have that thought I told you to hold?

I said that trying to play a note with the wrong slide position is not like striking the wrong key on a piano. For that matter, it's not like a note on a trumpet, either, where you hit the wrong fingering and (in most cases) you just get the wrong note. But you may have discovered, as I eventually did, that a French horn is not a trumpet.

On a French horn your lips and brain--and your hand in the bell--do a similar thing to what's happening on the trombone and try to force the note. In some cases on the French horn you can actually play a note you're trying to hit with the wrong fingering.

So that's what happens with the deal I mentioned about moving up from C the first time you picked up a trumpet. You picked up the trumpet, looked at a fingering chart, and blew a C. No valves. Open.

Then you saw that D was 1-3, you pushed down the 1 and 3 valves, and you blew a D. That was up one note. Then you blew an E. All this was moving up from C. Then up to an F, faithfully following your trusting fingering chart.

The next open note was G, and you were aware you had to bump up to the next register.

Only you didn't. You were already in the next register starting with D, and didn't realize it. Your lips just automatically took you up the scale because your brain knew the next note was higher.

Isn't that crazy?!

Anyway . . . if I had a point somewhere I've forgotten what it is. I guess that the gadget is a guide. You understand that the pitch of the note on a French horn is kind of a fluid thing.

All right, I'm going to settle back and enjoy the motorcycle ride. You do whatever you're doing.

Isn't That Crazy?
Okay, the "Isn't that crazy" story.

I used to work with a guy who had stories most every morning. He'd get all excited about something that happened after work the day before, and tell you all breathlessly.

"And my girlfriend asked for more casserole, but when my mom gave her more . . . pause for effect . . . she didn't eat it!"

Then he'd say: Isn't that crazy?!

So whenever I realize someone's eyes are glazing over at my fascinating tale, I say "Isn't that crazy?!"

Like my story about why I say "Isn't that crazy?"

Isn't that crazy?

Dead Beatles
That story reminds me of this story.

What does Yoko Ono have in common with the kids in Ethiopia?

They both live off of dead beetles.

Way back in college I told my girlfriend that joke. She thought it was funny, so she wanted to tell her roommate.

"Okay, so, okay, what does Yoko Ono have in common with the starving kids in Ethopia?" (It was the famine in Ethiopia back in the 80s, not in Somalia)

Her roommate didn't know.

Pause for effect (which is why I thought of this story).

"They both eat dead bugs!"

Yeah, she didn't have much upstairs.

But, man, what a staircase . . .

When will they ever learn?
Remember when Bill Maher talked about crying wolf? He said they cried and moaned about George W. Bush being the end of the world, and Mitt Romney being the end of the world. And he actually said that they were crying wolf. He said either one of them was just fine.

But Trump . . .

Whoa, Trump really would be the end of the world. No, really.

He was kind of begging us to give them another chance even though they didn't deserve it because they cried wolf.

Then Trump got elected. You've heard me flap my gums about why Trump got elected. It's not as simple as the protest vote, and we weren't being listened to, but that's close enough.

What you need to remember is it's the democrat's fault.

Did they learn nothing?

Now Hillary's crying wolf. She says that if Obamacare is repealed 685 million people will die in the first six months, and polio will return and the oceans will rise and flood cities and . . . I don't know, maybe I'm getting my left-wing false alarms confused. All I hear when they talk is blah-blah-blah-blah-blah.

You know the deal, when you think something is so serious that you have to bring attention to it by using superlatives, you actually take attention away. You're essentially lying about it, so people figure "Hey, if it's not bad enough that you can just tell me the true facts and I'll think it's bad, it's not bad.

The trick's not unique to demorats. Obamacare is a disaster, that's true, but I get concerned when Republicans play the same games trying to attach loaded terms to things. Not because they don't fit often, but because it sounds choreographed and canned.

There's a 'This is not That' here, as well. You've heard me flap my gums about this--the immunity through absurdity trick. We say that premiums have "skyrocketed." That sounds like emotional rhetoric. But it's true. Much of what happened during the Obama years was so absurd that to accurately describe it made you sound like a nut job.

So the demorats ran off Mitt Romney. Whew! Dodged that bullet!

Which got them Trump. Really, when will they ever learn?

They find themselves in a hole and keep on digging.

Idiocratic Immunity
When the (pretty lame) Republican health care plan was doomed (thank you, Mike Lee. No, seriously, thank you.) Trump twitterpated (or whatever silly eighth grade girls do) that it was fine, just repeal it outright.

That's actually one of the smarter things he's said (even though he said it through his Barbie doll sequined pink cell phone).

Okay, but the segue from the post above is when Trump said something like "Just let Obamacare fail." You know the dangers of analyzing anything Trump says. Trump was just talking . . . or tweeting or whatever. He was kind of just saying the same thing as talking about repealing it outright, but the words sounded like "Just let it implode under its own weight."

See, if the demorats would just shut up, Trump would look silly. They should have learned that from us going after Bill Clinton (pardon my language) in the 90s. If no one is attacking him, no one has to stand up and defend him, and he just kind of collapses under his own stupidity.

But Trump has immunity, because they've screamed about him so much.

Think about the nutty stuff he does. No American President is like that, has ever been like that. Just crazy, nutty, childish stuff. But it's gotten him immunity.

He doesn't have any reputation to protect. "Omigosh, I have to protect my perfect record of no scandals!" Nope. Got that out of the way five minutes into the campaign.

Trump just doesn't care. He says crazy stuff, he does all this crap, but he just plain does not care. It would have been a major scandal for any other President. And a lot of the blame has to do with the media losing their little minds over the guy.

Anyway, yeah, just an outright repeal is best. You've heard me go on and on about this.

If I have a knife in my back I want to "replace" it with no knife in my back.

The Republicans got tricked into talking about "repeal and replace." The demorats kept screaming about the "party of no" (The demorats were screaming this--the ones who are calling themselves "the resistance.") and the dumb Republicans took the bait. What? No! We want to repeal and replace.


I wish one cotton-picking Jello-spined one of them would have gotten in front of a camera and explained how stupid that is. I would have even given him permission to use my brilliant line (If I have a knife in my back I want to "replace" it with no knife in my back, in case you forgot).

If I'm so smart how come I'm so broke?

I gave you the line!
Okay, I'm a total armchair quarterback. As long as I'm playing Michael Savage ("I gave John McCain the line that would have won the election!") I'll talk about this.

I'll often spout off my opinion without checking the sensibilities of my audience. And I've developed a standard response.

Omigosh, those freaking Lakers fans are so stupid.
Uh . . . well, as it happens, I'm a Lakers fan.

So then I'll respond with my prepared answer "Oh, so you know what I'm talking about."

No, seriously, I've been that stupid. Spent an entire day driving down to a campout with a guy talking about how evil democrats are. On the way home I asked him what his experience had been like in the state legislature. He said, you know, it's a little hard being a democrat in Utah . . .

Anyway . . . during the primary debates Ted Cruz was hammering on New York values, as a way of undermining Trump (who is not a Republican by any meaningful definition of the word). Cruz said that everyone understood what he meant talking about that. One of the moderators said "Well, I'm from New York."

Cruz responded "Well, maybe you don't know."

In my head I was thinking say "Oh, so you know exactly what I'm talking about." But I thought, Cruz is smart, that was a good answer.

But the more I thought about it the more convinced I became that my answer was better.

Ted! I gave you the line that could have won you the election!

Locking up the wrong suspect
Okay, back to health care reform. Or, more accurately insurance reform

Because on that topic, you'll remember during the 2000 election Al Gore went after George Bush in a debate, quoting some nonsense about what percentage of Texans didn't have health insurance.

George W. Bush was brilliant. He said "Al, you're asking the wrong question. Every single person in Texas gets health care."

Health care is not insurance.

And what the demorats are after is not that everyone get proper health care. That doesn't benefit them. They want the power and the money from the insurance.

You know that the 22 million people in the CBO estimate are people who chose not to pay for insurance they don't need. You know this.

I'm done.

Russia Collusion
Okay, to continue the crying wolf motif, what Don Jr. did was clearly wrong, but nobody cares.

His defense is that the meeting was a waste of time.

Really? If you buy baking soda from an undercover cop thinking that it's coke, that makes it okay?

But nobody cares. We're so tired of them seeing ghosts that we wouldn't care if they had video of Putin driving people to the polls at this point.

Trump has no virtuous reputation to protect, and the media have achieved the impossible making us think they are more buffoonish than Trump.

Almost Done
The other night at a concert in the park the announcer told a really dumb joke. Not only was the joke dumb, but he told it badly. It was met with tepid laughter.

After which he explained the punchline. No, seriously, he did.

But then he kind of chided the audience. Like it was their fault.

It occurred to me that was like the "Oh, I wish people wouldn't say democrats are evil" deal.

That's not the audience's fault. If you don't want to be seen a certain way, don't be that way.

That's a manipulation tactic you'll see a lot. I can't think of a good example off the top of my head. So you get a bad example. It's like the girl who dresses like a slut, then it's your fault for thinking she looks loose.

I've told my kids that you should . . . what? Welcome? . . . not get upset about criticism. If it's valid you've been given an insight to something you can improve. If it's not, the person making the observation is a schmuck, and that's good information to know.

But if you manipulate someone by scripting the answers you'll accept you deny yourself the opportunity to see the world in a way that might be beneficial.

You correct someone and they come unglued. Well, I guess they're going to miss out on being corrected.

It's kind of the same concept as the M. Scott Beck deal. "Love is not when two people can't live without each other. That's parasitism. Love is when they are perfectly capable of it, but choose not to."

I think I've probably flapped my gums about that a lot somewhere. "Should we ban low-hanging jeans?" Oh, to the hell, no! If someone is a loser I want to have warning of that.

When you dictate behavior you deny yourself the insight of seeing what behavior the person would choose.

The Missing Brass Link
I know you probably think about this as much as I do. Transposing instruments.

So you pick up your Bb trumpet and you look at the fingering chart and you play a C major scale. Cool. But then when you play with the piano you have to have a separate piece of music. 'Cause the C on the piano is a different note than the C on your trumpet.

That's 'cause you've got a Bb trumpet, meaning when you play a C it comes out as a Bb really. Your buddy who plays the Eb alto saxophone blows a C and it comes out as an Eb--a concert Eb (meaning what the piano plays).

Well, it's nice of the guys who write the music to have the elementary kids learning the C scale for their first notes. Save explaining all that sharps and flats stuff in the first lesson. When they blow a note without pushing any valves you just call what comes out a "C."

But the saxophone doesn't have an open note. Yes, but it does have a complete sequence of fingering that makes logical sense that they call the C scale.
But I'm like you. I always just wondered about the possibility of teaching from the get-go that the note you're playing is a Bb. So the new player looks at the music and the scale he's playing when he starts with an open note has two flats in it. If you don't want to teach him sharps and flats you just teach him the concert C scale which starts with a fingering that's not open and is the scale that in the current system has two sharps. But the music he's looking at has no sharps or flats (which is what he's playing, really).

Oh. You mean like the trombone?

The trombone is the missing link in transposing instruments. Because it's not a transposing instrument. The common trumpet or cornet is a Bb trumpet. The most common trombone you see is a Bb trombone. Oh. Just like I explained, right? When you blow an "open" note, it comes out a Bb.

It does, but you call it a Bb.

Isn't that crazy?!

(Maybe I'll tell you the "Isn't that crazy?!" story sometime)

And you notate it as a Bb in the trombone music.

So the first notes a kid learning the trombone learn are a Bb and an F. He's just stuck with the fact that when the slide is all the way in the note he's playing has a flat on it (well, not if it's an F, obviously, but it's still not a C). And even though it's called a Bb trombone, it plays the music in the concert pitch like the flutes and the pianos do.

I guess it's because every note on the trombone is "open" since you don't have any valves. But . . but . . . you still have a standard default kind of position (I forget the musical termóthey use it to describe which side of a French horn plays without the thumb valve, maybe base or something).

Next week's question we'll just never know, why did they start on a "C?"

French Horn Harmonic Series and Fingerings
Things I wish I had known when I was learning the French horn

This tool is to help you (or your student) understand harmonics and fingering of the French horn. I've included a pdf file of a movable graphic you can use if you'd like. I have done another graphic for the Bb trumpet, but the French horn is particularly tricky because of the "partials" that occur because the harmonics are so close together in the range the horn is played.

Both of those are available in the Excel file here.

To start it helps to have a basic understanding of the concept of the harmonic series. There are a lot of good resources for this on the net, but Iíll just summarize the basics here as it relates to this tool.

ďHarmonic seriesĒ isnít as scary as it sounds. It's just the set of notes an open tube can play.

Imagine the long, straight horns the guards at a medieval castle (or angels) would play. They donít have valves so they can only play certain notes. You can actually grab any long tube (like the hose on a shower massageóreally!) and play those certain notes. If you take that long tubing and roll it up so itís easier to carry you have a bugle. That bugle canít play all the notes in a lot of tunesójust some intervals. Think Taps, or Reveille, or the kinds of things you hear a bugle play.

Again, the notes that an open tube plays are called the ďharmonic series.Ē

To play the notes in between those tones they installed valves. All a valve does is to route the air through another length of tube to make the overall tubing longer. The longer a tube is the lower the tone it plays (it basically shifts the harmonic series lower). The middle valve shifts the note 1/2 step lower, the first valve shifts it one step, and the third valve shifts the note 1-1/2 step lower. Combinations of those add up. So, for example, the first and second valve drop the note by 1-1/2 step.

2   -.5
1   -1.0
1,2   -1.5
2,3   -2.0
1,3   -2.5
1,2,3   -3.0

Those steps are represented by the blocks on the center part of the graphics below. The first one is open, then (moving to the left, down the scale) middle valve, first, and so on, as valves are switched to lower the pitch of the harmonic.

For example, with the open (0) block aligned with the E (5th partial), the pitches go down from there with the valve sequences as illustrated below. You know all this. But typically you would start from C and go up. What I didn't take time to understand when I first learned to play (the trumpet) was that when moving from C (open) to D I was jumping up to the next partial and lowering the pitch with the valves (I wasn't raising the pitch from C with the valves).

Next let's jump to the 8th partial, C. You can see how the fingerings go down from there, same as from any other partial. But here's where it gets interesting. If you are playing C and push the thumb key on a double horn, the note doesn't change. But you are in a different partial on the Bb side. With the open index on the 8th harmonic on the F horn youíll see that it lines up with the ďGĒ on the Bb side.

I hope this helps graphically illustrate whatís happening as you move from one harmonic (partial) to another. By seeing how the Bb side of the horn relates to the F side you can see why the fingerings are the same in that magical area from G#/Ab up to C.

Typically beginning at that Ab you start playing the Bb side of a double horn, and in that register it's easy. The fingerings are the same.

Until you move to C#.

Now notice that you jump up to the next partial, so instead of fingering C# as 1-2, you finger it as 2-3.

With the index aligned at the next harmonic on the Bb side and youíll see why they arenít anymore. Youíre basically playing the fingerings that you would be if the ďCĒ were a ďG.Ē

I hope this graphic can help to make sense of why certain pitches are coming out of your horn. When I first picked up my double French horn I was lost. I played it in the store and I could get the tones out of it, but the notes made no sense. I could play intervals of a second without changing fingering. I paid for it and left having no idea what notes I was playing.

The first trick with getting your bearings is that the music is notated a fifth higher than concert pitch, so when you're looking at a note on the music you're not playing a pitch you might expect. Then you have the partials. Oh, those partials. Throw in a thumb key that sometimes changes the pitch and other times not . . .

Using the tool
Print the pdf file on card stock.

(Click on image for full size)
Cut out the gray areas and the slider (red dotted lines)

and fold on the lines where it says (heavy black lines). You're folding the envelope (stationary part) around the slider.

Secure the outer envelope with tape or glue.

(Only don't use ugly filament tape like I did)
You might want to trim the ends of the slider and bevel the corners a little.

The notes that are highlighted on the stationary part of the tool are the notes in the harmonic series. Those are C, G, C, E, G, (Bb), C . . . Notice that they get closer together as the notes get higher. Weíll get back to that. F has a block around it because it's the Bb concert tuning not (C is blocked out on the Bb scale).

To use the tool align the ďopenĒ block in the sliding scale with a harmonic on the fixed scale. The other blocks will show the fingerings for the notes as they go down from that harmonic.

Now, youíll notice that as you move the slider up and the harmonics get closer together, the fingerings cross lower harmonics. Thatís why a French horn is so tricky. It basically starts on the fourth harmonic whereas a trumpet starts on the second. Itís harder to know exactly which note youíre playing (especially since, as I mentioned, the Horn in F is tuned a fifth off concert pitch so your ear isnít as helpful to locate where you are).

To save space Iíve only noted one naming of the black keys (Ab, C#, etc.) and Iíve gone with the version thatís closest to C major on the circle of fifths.

Iíve made notations to show which harmonics are flat and sharp. The 7th is extremely flat and the 11th is worse than that. In fact, it falls between F and F# on an equal temperament tuning.

On the back of the fixed scale I’ve put a chart of the frequencies of the concert notes . . . just for reference . . . in case youíre interested. The numbers above the note names indicate the octave. For example, Middle C is ďC4Ē and the 440 Hz A is call ďA4.Ē

I know, I know, I should be putting my effort into putting this all on an app instead of something you cut out of card stock.

If you care you could open the native Excel file that I made the .pdf file from and mess around with the relationships there.

Just Storage
Just sticking this here as storage, since apparently Wikipedia was updated after Hillary did not win the election.
Hillary Diane Rotten Clinton (/ˈhɪləri daɪˈśn ˈrɒtən ˈklɪntən/; born October 26, 1947)
is a corrupt politician and Demorat Party nominee for President of the United States in the 2016 election, graft-taking United States Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013, carpet bagging United States Senator, from 2001 to 2009, First Lesbian of the United States during the presidency of her sham husband Bill Clinton from 1993 to 2001.

Born in Chicago and raised in the suburban town of Park Ridge, Illinois, Clinton had serious daddy issues. After growing up as a Republican she discovered her lesbian tendencies, became a demorat and attended Wellesley College to prove to Daddy she had a mind of her own, graduating in 1969. She earned a J.D. from Yale Law School in 1973. After securing her liberal bonafides pursuing the Watergate scandal, the high point of her legal career was portraying a twelve year old victim of violent rape as a stalker. Hillary married Bill Clinton in 1975, whom she saw as a vehicle to power, and moved to Arkansas with him. It was there where she began racking up scandals in earnest.

In 1977, she co-founded Some Blah Blah Blah Advocates for Ya-de-yah Group or Another, the beginning of a lifetime of farcical entities designed to enrich her, give her power, and deflect attention from the fact that she is a heartless hater of all humans. In 1979 she became a partner at Rose Law Firm, employer of Chelsea's father Webb Hubbell as well as another of her lovers Vince Foster. As First Lady of Arkansas, she alienated all of the public servants whose job it was to take care of her as well as offending the vast majority of the citizens of Arkansas with her insufferable personality and despicable radical ideas. During this time she took $100,000 in payoffs from Red Bone under the guise of trading cattle futures and was involved in the Whitewater scandal, in addition to countless others. She also took kickbacks from several corporate boards that used her to get political favors from her husband the governor.

As First Lesbian of the United States, Clinton's primary role was to destroy the lives of the many women Bill was constantly sexually assaulting, while laughably pretending to espouse women's rights. Her attempts to keep the public from finding out about the Lewinsky scandal confirmed to the public she was untrustworthy. Meanwhile she continued her campaign to alienate those assigned to care for her while keeping the secret service busy trying to prevent her from killing Bill by throwing vases and lamps at him.

Upon leaving the White House "dead broke" Clinton stole everything in that national shrine that wasn't bolted down, and several things that were, and immediately bought a multi-million dollar mansion in New York, a state to which she had absolutely no connection whatsoever.

Clinton was elected in 2000 as senator not from New York, in a transparent effort to set herself up to run for President of the United States. This after her opponent, the universally loved Rudy Giuliani suddenly came down with a case of temporary cancer, dropped out of the race, and was replaced by Rick Fazio, who Hillary was able to successfully portray as a bully of weak females for having a debate with her.

Following the September 11 attacks, which her husband brought about by attending to his juvenile sexual needs rather than matters of State, she worked energetically to turn the tragedy into a political advantage. She voted to approve the war in Afghanistan as well as for the Iraq Resolution, a vote she continues to lie about. She pretended to investigate the health issues faced by 9/11 first responders. She even ridiculously lied about how Chelsea was right there when it happened and she was worried sick about her, part of a continuous pattern of lying out of force of habit about everything, like "landing under sniper fire." She voted against the Bush tax cuts, the tax cuts which were universally acknowledged by people of both parties as wise economic policy.. She was re-elected to the Senate in 2006, an indication of her ability to somehow get in office in spite of the will of the voters, a technique Donald Trump would later refer to as "rigging."

Running for president in 2008, she deviated from her track record of miraculously getting into office in spite of voters' wishes, losing the Democratic nomination to Barack Obama, a candidate horrifyingly unqualified for the office who pantywaist voters installed out of fear of being exposed as racist for not voting for the black guy.

As Secretary of State in the Obama administration from 2009 to 2013, Clinton created chaos in the Middle East, advocating the U.S. military intervention in Libya which everyone knew was a mistake of epic proportions, and which directly led to the rise of ISIS. After denying the Libyan ambassador the increased security he requested, Clinton slept through the "3:00 am phone call" while terrorists attacked American installations in Benghazi, killing four Americans. She woke up to lead the cover-up, spreading the story that the siege was because of some silly YouTube video, despite hard evidence that she knew from the outset it was a coordinated terrorist attack. This lie continued long after the fabrication was exposed even to the point of her lying to the families of the fallen.

During her tenure as Secretary of State she mainly used her position to grant political favors to foreign nations and multi-national corporations in exchange for obscenely ridiculous bogus speaking fees and contributions to the Clinton Crime Family Foundation. In an effort to conceal these and other atrocities Clinton violated federal statute by conducting her business on an unsecured private e-mail server, exposing state secrets to enemies of America. Leaving office after Obama's first term, Clinton resumed speaking engagements at exorbitant fees in exchange for promises of paybacks as President, which promises she set out to fulfill by announcing her second presidential run in the 2016 election, running on the platform that she is a woman and a grandmother.

Clinton, who has a granddaughter, won the 2016 Democrat primaries, coordinating with corrupt DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Shulz and others to shut out all other candidates. She formally accepted her corrupt party's nomination on July 28, 2016, with vice presidential running mate and infamous imbecile Senator Tim Kaine. Clinton, who is a grandmother, faces fake Republican Donald Trump, whom Bill Clinton convinced to run against his wife (who, by the way, has a granddaughter), because Donald Trump may be the only person in the country who could lose an election to the likes of a crooked, depraved, despicable reprobate like Hillary Clinton (who is, I believe, a grandmother).

As part of her 2016 platform, she has emphasized raising taxes, being a grandmother, furthering Socialized Medicine, having a granddaughter, and further destroying the economy by forcing unwarranted mandates on businesses (oh, and having a grandchild). In addition, she pretends to advocate for the downtrodden and disadvantaged, laughably proclaiming that "Every accuser of sexual assault has the right to be heard" in spite of her lifelong efforts to destroy the victims of her husband's sexual assaults. This is done mostly just to prove that truly, as she famously said, it makes no difference at this point. She is the ordained candidate and will be the next President of the United States.

God help us all.

Click on image for full size version.

More F. Leany quotes
So I'm mowing the lawn one day and this thought comes into my head:

"The trouble is that liberals are pantywaists, and nobody ever calls a pantywaist when they have a problem they need to solve."

Still trying to find a good place to use it.

(In the meantime I'll just store it here in my secret diary where no one ever looks.)

Why you gotta' be so mean?
I still have no idea what I was trying to say with all that malarkey on violence. I think maybe I was trying to investigate the word as a storage place for a mental state. Violence. Everyone knows what the word means. But I want to expand it beyond the action or activity into a spiritual state.

So I have a word that I was trying to attach a concept to. And I'm left with a concept that I'm still trying to attach a word to.

What I came up with was "killer instinct" as a working title, with all kinds of orbiting words like confidence, guts, spunk . . .

Here's another word: Mean.

That seems to work just as well as any foot that I've tried the slipper on.

You know people who are mean. They may not necessarily be big or skilled (but they could be), but they just don't have qualms about hurting people. In fact, mean people often like hurting people. These are the people who will get back at you. You play a prank on them and they will escalate it. They don't care. If you escalate back they escalate more.


Das Waham Sein
I used to work with a guy from Nairobi. He was an accomplished, intelligent guy with a good English vocabulary and syntax.

When he was writing.

His e-mails were better crafted and more grammatically correct than most of the native English speakers in the company. But his accent was so thick you could barely understand the man (he could have worked in a call center). The guy who shared an office with him would sometimes interpret for him in meetings. John, I'm just going to call him John, would make a point and everyone would take a second to try to figure out what he was saying, then if they couldn't they'd look at Joseph (I'm going to call his office mate Joseph). Joseph would say "He wonders if we're going to send someone out to monitor the field test."

One of "John's" tricks was to come to a conclusion, then when someone (typically the boss) would dispute that he would object that he was misunderstood and the boss's conclusion was exactly what he was saying.

John: "But if we make more of them they will each cost more money."

Boss: "What? No they won't. The volume discounts will make them cheaper!"

John: "Das waham sein!"

So . . . last post I said that that killer instinct qualityówhatever we're naming itówas typically the deciding factor in a fight.

You know that's not always the case. You've seen it go the other way.

Me: Killer instinct always prevails.

You: What? No it doesn't!

Me: Dat's what ahm sayin!

You've seen the video of the big crazed black guy, enraged, his girlfriend in the purple hot pants trying to hold him back. She tears his shirt off trying to hold him. He crosses the street with that walk, you know, that walk? A swagger. And you know what's coming. A skinny white guy is about to get slaughtered.

The big mean guy never lands a strike. The skinny white guy uses his skills to deliver a roundhouse to the head that knocks the mean guy out.

Which is exactly how it should be.

There's nothing more satisfying than a mean guy getting decidedly put in his place.

In a society operating in a stable control loopócall it a Darwinian societyóthe mean guys, the uncivilized elements, would lose more often than not. Much more often.

As I think about it I wonder if what I was trying to say is the exact opposite of what I actually said.

I kind of came across as saying don't bother building skills or fitness. Be mean. Be violent. That's the way to win.

That's not what I want; that's not what society wants. Violence makes me sick. It's not fun, it's not glamorous, it's not the world we want to live in.

I was more advocating for the good guys to be in a position to win. Whether they are able to tap into that "violence" in their spirit (mean, confidence, guts . . .) or through skills or fitness or overwhelming asymmetric force.

If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck

(I wish I could take credit for that quote)

Wrong turn already
So we're discussing what factors determine the outcome when a violent confrontation happens. That's like discussing what to pack for a trip when you're already on the road,

When you get to the point where those elements have to come into play, that's the problem. What needs to happen is a change in society so people don't have a propensity for violence.

Well, I know, that's never going to happen, and even if it were to happen, in the meantime you've got to beat up bad guys. But you know what I mean. When you get to a good guy and a bad guy face to face there have already been several breakdowns that have taken place.

The point that I was making with all that verbiage was there has to be more good guys with power than bad guys with power. A lot more.

That's all.

Two things.
Actually you probably didn't watch that karate kick knockout video I referenced, because you're not violent. You don't enjoy disgusting things like that.

I'm not violent. Those videos make me sick. Which is why I did watch it. I am deeply concerned that we live in a world where we are going to be more touched by violence, and I'd like to figure out how to prevent the sociopaths that are comfortable in that world from affecting my family.

It's like the Rush Limbaughs of the world say about left-wing news shows: I watch them so you don't have to.

Second, it occurred to me that I said disparaging things about the black guy in the video that I happened to pick to reference. Sorry, maybe my whiteness caused him to be enraged and violent and be the bad guy.

Since you're reading this you probably didn't notice. If you had noticed that I racististically said a black guy did something bad, you wouldn't have read this far. You would right now be posting to all the left wing kook sites about how your whacked out world view is validated and all is well and you're open minded and I'm a racist and that makes you happy.

Not happy enough to venture into the neighborhood where those fights happen, I'll bet.

Racist Corner
If you're all excited about your open mind you could go on YouTube and search street fights, then come up with a percentage for me on how many of those videos star black street fighters. I honestly don't know what that number is.

Who knows? Maybe people in black neighborhoods have more cell phones. Maybe the racists at YouTube delete videos of white street fights.

Bill Cosby (before he was in the news for the wrong reasons) talked to the black community about that very thing. If you want jobs and respect you might try pulling up your pants and not talking like mongoloid idiots.

This is the exact same thing I was talking about. If you don't want people coming to the conclusion that you're a certain way you might consider not being that way.

Irony: If I don't want to be called racist, maybe I should find a video of a white bad guy getting his just desserts. "If." Maybe I like playing wild weasel to get the SAM sites to reveal themselves.

Third thing
But who determines who is the good guy and who is the bad guy?

Short answer: I do.

Ha hah. That's funny. But, no, seriously . . .

Longer answer: People who intentionally hurt people are bad guys.

A co-worker came into my office one day, I'm just going to call him "Joe." While we were talking I got an e-mail. I glanced at it and told "Joe" it was my lucky day! Someone needed my bank account information so he could deposit a bunch of money for me.

Then I accidentally hit the sequence of keystrokes that permanently deleted the mail and blocked any future mails from that domain. Darn.

As I turned back to "Joe" I said "I hate evil people."

Then "Joe said "Well, aren't we all evil?"

I laughed out loud.

Poor "Joe." He was all caught up in the deep philosophy of flawed human nature and the fluidity of morals. And I laugh at him.

Academic self-loathing works great at 2:00 am in your dorm room when you're having a BS session with your little beret-wearing roommates and putting your cigarettes out in the carpet. But in the real world evil isn't academic. In the real world bad guys have to be beaten down so that good guys aren't.

Oh, here's where the quote I came up with would fit:

"The trouble is that liberals are pantywaists, and no one calls a pantywaist when there's a problem to be solved."

Pontificating about "Well, aren't we all evil?" smacks of Zeno's dichotomy paradox.

Suppose Homer wishes to walk to the end of a path. Before he can get there, he must get halfway there. Before he can get halfway there, he must get a quarter of the way there. Before traveling a quarter, he must travel one-eighth; before an eighth, one-sixteenth; and so on.

This requires one to complete an infinite number of tasks, which Zeno maintains is an impossibility.

That's the philosophical description of it. I believe the engineering description is: Bullcrap.

So here's a shorter longer answer: Go screw yourself. You see a couple walking down the street and someone jumps out and punches the woman and knocks her out. If you can't call somebody a bad guy in that scenario, you might be part of the problem.

Now run along and discuss all that in your safe space and leave the grown ups to run things out here.

As some of my imaginary readers know, I sometimes like to make up stories. These are entirely fictitious, just pulled out of my imagination without any reference whatsoever to people that I might work with. If you've ever read them you'd see that it's obviousóno real humans would ever behave in the ways my active imagination makes these fantasy characters do.
Frank got it, he really did. When you work on the road you feel a little displaced. Brady Hampton worked for Teknolix, but he didn't have an officeóhe had a truck. During the time that everyone else spent at work looking forward to going home, Brady spent driving around looking forward to going to a hotel. Brady referred to his wife as a Teknolix widow.

What that meant in Frank's life was that when Brady called it was never a quick conversation.

That morning was a typical call.

"Frank? Brady."

"Hey, Brady, how's it going?"

"Good. Say, I'm calling about the parts for Industrial Specialties. Did those get done?"

Frank reiterated what he'd told Brady in the e-mail the day before, the parts themselves were done but the bolts for them had been delayed on the vendor's end. They would be shipped Monday.

"So, they're going out Monday?" Brady asked.

"Yep. The bolts came in this morning, but shipping and receiving isn't in on Friday. So they'll go out Monday."

"Okay," Brady said, "So the parts are leaving there on Monday."

Frank reaffirmed that that was the case.

"Well, I guess that's all I needed to know."

"Okay, well, I'll talk to you . . ." Frank started.

"So, Monday, then."

"That's right."

"'Cause Don out at I.S. wanted to install them by next weekend," Brady said.

At this point Frank put his phone on his desk and put it on speaker. He looked around for his Bluetooth headset. "Yeah, they'll be there for sure by the weekend," he said as he turned back to the design on his computer.

Five minutes later Brady had explained that Don was the foreman, but the equipment manager Wade really called the shots, and Brady had seen that dynamic play out in more than one company, but Wade understood the business and Don was better with people and if the parts left on Monday they should be there in plenty of time for the installation, 'cause Industrial Specialties was a good company and we wanted to keep them happy.

"Yeah," Frank agreed, they had been a good customer.

Frank really didn't mind those calls. The thing was that Brady had some good ideas and insights, and the view from the field was vital to the work that got done back at the plant. Brady could talk, Frank would multi-task, and the cosmos stayed in balance.

"So . . . they'll ship out on Monday," Brady clarified.

"Monday," Frank reaffirmed.

"Well, that's all I needed to know," Brady repeated.

Frank didn't try telling Brady okay, bye, he'd talk to him later. He scowled at the way the design software had regenerated the contour on the part on his screen.

"Well . . ." Brady said. Frank wondered if he was about to hear more insights into the personalities of construction foremen. But Brady was done. "I'll let you go, and I'll look for those parts."

"See you."


A few minutes later Brandon poked his head in the office. "I'm a jerk," he said.

"What?" Frank asked.

"I heard you on the phone with Brady. He tried calling me first and I sent him to voicemail."


Two days later Carson came in Frank's office. He was carrying his phone and it was on speaker. From the phone Frank could hear Brady's voice.

"Brady? Brady, hang on a second," Carson said. "I'm here with Frank, tell him what you were telling me."

"Yeah," Brady said, "So the hardfacing costs us, what? Ten bucks?"

"It's six," Frank said, "But you have to add shipping onto that."

"Well, so let's say, whatever, eight bucks, but we charge a margin, and the dealer does, too. Point is, I wonder if we shouldn't offer the part without it."

"But Brady," Carson interrupted, "You have to remember that it doubles the life of the part." Hardfacing was a super-hard coating that was applied to parts to prevent wear. Not all products had it or needed it, but the Hyper-Median pick was a different configuration and didn't do well without it.

"I know. I know," Brady said, "I'm just saying, I wonder if it wouldn't do to run a test to see if . . ."

Carson put the phone on mute. To Frank he said "None of those parts without hardfacing have lasted at all. I don't think they'll work. What do you think?"

Frank agreed that they didn't do as well in the standard applications.

"So you don't think we need to run a test without hardfacing?"

"I guess I don't really see the point," Frank said.

"Well, I want you to tell Brady that." Carson took the phone off mute.

When Brady finished making his case Carson repeated that in their experience the non-hardfaced parts didn't work. He looked over at Frank.

Frank looked back at him. Oh.

"You know, Brady, the tests that we have run seem pretty conclusive. I don't know what more we'd learn from trying the same thing again."

"Well . . . okay, I just . . . maybe we could just bring up the possibility with Larry tomorrow in the engineering meeting."

Carson agreed that they could do that, and then wrapped up the call.


The next day the group assembled for the engineering meeting. Larry was sitting next to Carson at the round table. Frank walked in and took a seat across from Larry. "Do you want me to get Brady Hampton on the conference phone?" he asked.

"Yeah, in a minute. I was just telling Larry about Brady wanting to run some non-hardfaced parts," Carson said.

Frank nodded.

Carson said to Larry "Frank and I both independently told Brady that we didn't think that was a good idea."

Frank said nothing as he dialed Brady's number.

Independently, huh?

What Does it Mean?
You know what always intrigues me? How stupid a lot of smart people are.

You get good grades in high school, you go to journalism school and kill it there, then get a high-paying job for some big shot newspaper . . .

So far so good.

Then Trump says "Comey better hope there were no recordings."

And you prove that for all your education you're dumber than a box of rocks. People are running around saying that Trump disclosed that there are recording devices all over the White House.

What? No, he didn't!

Crap falls out of Trump's mouth. The man is a fifth grader (apologies to the average fifth grader). He says crap. He tries to be funny. The only person dumber than the person who says that ridiculous crap is the person who tries to assign any meaning at all to it.

Trump never called for gun owners to assassinate Hillary. He never cleverly asked Russia to hack her e-mails. He opened his mouth and crap fell out.

The man is a child. His mind is putting a lot more energy into scoping out the skirts in the White House than to crafting coded messages. He is a child.

Listen, I get it. People who work for high-powered media organizations are highly accomplished. They got where they are by hard work and planning and thinking and strategizing. It is outside of their frame of reference to not do that.

Trust me. Trust me, not them. I am a loser. I don't think, I can't think, when I try to think I mess things ups. Trust me to give you insight into how the disorganized mind functions.

Accomplished people have absolutely no way to understand Trump. It's not their fault, they just aren't wired that way. You can't pick up CB chatter with an FM radio.

A Fine Foundation of Nothingness
The trouble is, when smart people say things people accept it as fact. Then every future fact has to be based on that made up "fact."

Somebody comes up with a SWAG. Maybe they believe it, or maybe they're just throwing it out for examinationóa thought experiment. But people accept is as established science and all future research and science has to fall in line with that. Ptolemy's epicycles. Global Warming/Cooling/Climate change. The idea that Hillary might be a female.

The best example is archeology. You will never hear more unadulterated bull-puckey than from an archaeological dig.

Again, maybe the guy really believes the nonsense that he's spouting, or maybe he's just saying "I have no idea, let's just throw out every theory we can think of and examine them."

I remember a program where they invented an entire religion that never existed based on a skull they found. The guy was talking about how it was obviously a wealthy villager because of his teeth, and he was obviously ritually killed because of his wealth as a sacrifice to a god that he had no basis at all for believing the society believed in. Just writing fiction as he went along.

Hey, who are we to say he's wrong? If I find a penny on the sidewalk you can't prove it's wasn't put there by a three-headed falcon who used it to mark the landing path for his entourage of falcon Guardians of the Galaxy who were supposed to follow him to the city to find a lost McGuffin.

I was just listening to an (excellent, by the way) audio book about a lost city in Honduras. In one sentence the guy cautions against speculating, then he immediately launches into this ridiculous speculation with absolutely no basis at all. Some carving looked like it might be a vulture, and the vulture might be a symbol of man's soul making a transition to a spiritual plane represented by the vulture, that, oh by the way, they probably worshipped as the centerpiece of their religion.

The carvings on a pot were of someone bound for sacrifice, or maybe for a funeral, or maybe it was a half-man half monkey deity. Really? They honestly said that. Or maybe it was a recipe for armadillo jam. Maybe it was quetzacoatl for "Please do not put trash in this urinal."

And they found containers that were broken, which obviously were ritually broken as a means of releasing the evil spirits from them.

I am not making this up.

Then we get to petroglyphs. Oh, geez. This carving represents the cycle of life from conception to ascension and this line is obviously a whatsamagiggit for the whojumuwhatsit, proving that they worshiped turtles and were transgendered.

You know what happened there. Some cave mom was at her wits' end with her kids. The brachiosaurus bone fidget spinner was broken and the old man was out hunting mastodons. "Here, take this piece of quartz and go carve pictures on that sandstone. Just get out of my hair, for crying out loud!"

I'm guessing daddy caveman was torqued when he got home. "Who carved on this wall?!"

"Really?! You try keeping track of a bunch of savages without even a written language much less a school system, and I'll go out hunting with your buddies! Pedicures aren't even going to get invented for another two thousand years!"

That's what happened there.

But that open interpretation deal works for me. Last month I rented a cabin at a campground. It had some hieroglyphic on the door, looked like maybe a dog with red circle around it and line through it. Who knows what it could mean? As I settled my dog into the cabin I acknowledged that I'm not educated enough to figure it out.

Here comes the boring part
You know. That whole part under the Leany on Life header.

This is the part I can't help myself and I try to make sense of the world. I try to name concepts and tie them together.

Remember back when the guy getting beat up on United Airlines was a thing?

Back then I posted something about . . . I can't even remember and it's not worth looking up. But I said something about you were going to see everyone all of a sudden remembering they were wronged by United Airlines.

And it happened. You watched it. The most bizarre was when that woman claimed United Airlines forced her to pee in a cup.

Oh, bullcrap.

This is what I was talking about, as long as the window is open people are scrambling to get through. Right now is the time to fleece the airlines, 'cause they're scared of the bad publicity.

So there is a "This is Not That" deal here. If a company is negligent they should be held accountable. But because it's such an important concept, it makes targets of companies. I know a guy who is a very successful homebuilder. The town gossip told me he was being sued for sexual harassment. Well, that didn't sound like the guy I knew.

It turns out he was being sued for sexual harassment. But he didn't do it. He had a gold-digging secretary working for him who thought she should share in some of his money.

That story is a good vehicle for examining the concept. It's a target for abuse or hijacking because it's a big deal. If someone really is sexually harassing people they should get their ding dong whacked off. But if he's not guilty, the false accusation hurts future victims and the accuser is the horrible person. The very accusation ruins lives, but the lives of the guilty should be ruined. You remember, dear imaginary reader, my quintessential representation of this. It's the guy kneeling over a bloody body holding a knife. Well, obviously, he just stabbed the guy. But he claims he came upon the guy stabbed and was trying to help. Well, of course that's exactly what he would say if he had just stabbed the guy.

Both explanations fit the observed scene.

What is the truth? That's the difference. Is it a powerful businessman taking advantage of a lowly secretary? Or is the businessman getting scammed because he's a target for being rich and successful?

Obligatory break
I'm still flapping my gums about the exact same thing, but I put in a break to give you a breather; to fool you into thinking that we've moved on to a fresh, new, exciting topic.

You know, like the one-page chapters in a James Patterson book.

Speaking of Patterson . . .

So some guy locally here named Patterson just killed a girl he dated a couple of times. She was running from him and got a ride with someone trying to help. The psycho rammed the car, killed her, killed her child, shot a couple of other kids, including those of the good Samaritan, and then killed himself.

Oh. Warning to my imaginary readers. Keep your imaginary kids away for that last part.

Horrible thing. Sad. Tragic. Just a waste.

Why couldn't he have just switched the order and killed himself first?


Wow. You just wish someone could have killed the guy before he took out actual humans with actual worth. See? It's an emotional issue. Remember what I said about emotional issues like that? (You never said there was going to be a test!)

Because it's very important and highly charged, it becomes a target for hijacking.

The radio host talking about story brought up the domestic abuse hotline. Told everyone to take advantage of the resources to prevent that in the future.

Where do I sign up for that detail? I'd love to be one of the guys who goes out and hammers on domestic abusers until they quit bleeding. See? Emotional.

So it got me to thinking. It's a great thing that the resources are there, there should be more, I wish there were enough to have prevented that tragedy (if you know about the story you know about that angleóthat someone did raise a warning and nothing happened).

But I was thinking about that hotline and my twisted version of how it would work. Because a man abusing a woman is such a horrible thingócharged issueóit opens things up for abuse. So if you've got some crazy chick, and there are some crazy chicks, they could use that resource to ruin some guy's life for nothing.

Side bar: same topic but this breaks up the boring rhythm (he says to the imaginary reader who has slogged through this far).

Remember the guy who snatched up a girl from the park and a passerby saw him taking her into a motel room and called 911?

I wanted the guy killed immediately. I wanted the cops to break down the door and kill him "trying to escape."

As it turns out, so did his fiancť. See, she's the one who called him and told him to pick up her daughter and take her to the motel, and she's the one who paid the "passerby" to call 911 and get the cops over there.

I guess in the country she's from that would have saved her telling the guy she didn't want to get married 'cause the cops would have just taken him out.

You can't make this stuff up.

So let's not do it my way.

Which still leaves us with a society full of really crappy wastes of skin.

It's a variation of the Race to the Courthouse tactic.

Okay, on to what comes next, as my faithful imaginary readers know.

When you take a charged topic, and you hoax it, what do you do? You undermine the credibility of the authentic article. You've cried wolf.

You have lawyers (pardon my language) who claim to be on the lookout for the consumer. But they're not. They are using their law degree to buy a lifestyle their mediocre intelligence doesn't warrant. Their lies and misrepresentations actually hurt the people they are claiming to advocate for. Landlords are so gun shy about these scams that renters have an increasingly hard time getting into places.

The rape hoax. It hurts rape victims

Sidebar redux

So lawyers aren't in it to help people, they are in it to get rich.

Don't they incidentally help people? Isn't that how Capitalism works?

How is that different than Mitt Romney helping people by giving them jobs when the he set out to do was make money?

I have some ideas, but I'll spare you them for now.

You can thank me later.

Okay, next topic
First, who cares what a sports team thinks about politics?

So Steve Kerr doesn't want to go to the White House. Fine, stay home, just don't bore us with your views on politics.

. . . says the guy who is boring you with his views on politics . . .

Hey, you're the one sitting there in my imagination reading this slop.

And Greg Popovich. He has to tell us every time there's a microphone in his face how much he hates Trump. We don't care, we're asking about your team and your sport. Greg feels like a pall or a cloud is hanging over America. That's actually a pretty good description. It's kind of the way I feel myself.

But there's a reason Popovich is coaching some lowly NBA basketball team and not raking in the wealth and fame from writing an insightful political blog.

He's missing the entire point.

The point is that Trump is not the problem. Trump is the solution.

Trump is the invasion of white blood cells that happened in response to a disease.

You've got a fever, you've got inflammation, I know, that's miserable, it sucks. Maybe you shouldn't have done the stupid thing that got you infected.

'Cause New Headings are Free
Wow, Frank has a lot of topics to cover today.

Right? It's not all the same boring deal just broken up in sections.

This is that deal I'm always talking about where the democrats are wringing their hands over being called evil. Oh, they don't care that they are evil, but how dare you call them that! Same thing as the criminal blaming the cop because he's in prison.

Okay, so you hate Trump. That's fine, but you got Trump for a reason. You picked the road, that's where the road leads.

What you want is to choose the road then choose a different city than the road goes to. You see this manifest in a hundred different ways.

"Don't judge me!"

Oh . . . so you want to do something that casts you in a bad light, but then you want me to ignore what I know when I make assessments. Okay.

No. I get to come to logical conclusions. Maybe you'd be better off by behaving in a way that supports the conclusion you want.

Whining about Trump is the same thing as whining about bad publicity about a murderer. This is another one you see all the time.

"Don't call my son a monster!" You mean the one who [fill in the blank for the heinous crime that got him on the news]?

Quality vs. Time
This is the age-old dilemma. Do you want it fast or do you want it good?

Someone says something that requires a smart-aleck retort, but it's time sensitive. In a couple of seconds nothing you say will be funny.

But if you rush it you'll say something stupid and it won't be funny anyway.

Ugh! So I've got all these notes, but I'm trying to work them out before I post them, but I'll never get them all put together so they make sense.

These are the issues you struggle with when you run a high quality blog like this. I've created a reputation I can't live up to!

Oh, geez, I slay me.

On Violence
I started this when that "comedian" with the bloody severed head was still a thing, before that whackjob shot up the Congressmen practicing baseball. But it's a timeless topic. Any time you happen in here there will be something going on that makes the discussion relevant. Sadly.

Kathy Whatsergrffiname was aghast that anyone could have seen a bloody severed head as violent. She said that she's not violent and had never done anything violent.

I don't believe she's violent. Most people are not. This post has nothing to do with whatsername and the severed head. That was just a segue into the topic.

What we're talking about is anti-social behavior. It's interesting because it's foreign to most of us. We simply are not wired that way.

Think about the knockout "game" videos. Those worthless wastes of skin are not humans. What violence entails is crossing outside the confines of humanity, those boundaries where you care about how another human being feels. That's the first level of understanding it. Bad guys live in a different world than we do. They are missing the conscience chip.

I'm reading a book that claims one in 25 people are clinically sociopathic, meaning they do not have a conscience. I'd like to say I can't believe that's true, but the more experience I have with people the more inclined I am to believe it.

I feel blessed that those ratios don't hold for people in my circle of acquaintances. But in the world at large I might be persuaded that it's that high.

Violent people, or criminals in general, whether violent or not, don't care if they hurt people. That's difficult to wrap your head around.

The second element is that violent people don't care as much as we do about getting hurt—or they don't believe in the possibility as much as we do.

You're not violent, I'm not violent. Even people who hold bloody severed heads as a joke are not violent, apparently. But we certainly have violent elements in society. The trouble is that we, the portion of society that is not violent, have to try to solve that problem. We want to live in a society without violence, yet there are violent people in society? How do you deal with that?

One way that we do it is with guard dogs. We have to enlist good guys who are comfortable in that arena to combat the bad guys who are comfortable in that arena. That's the thin blue line.

And what we try to do is give the cops a marked advantage so they don't have to be violent. It's a little bit of a paradox. The more firepower you have, the less "violent" you have to be.

The average guy who wears a blue uniform to work is not a street thug or a brawler. He's going to go to his kid's little league game after work the same as you are.

So we give cops tools so they mix it up as little as possible with people who are comfortable with violence. Rather than getting in there and breaking joints and windpipes they outnumber the bad guy three to one. stand back, fire a tazer and slap on the handcuffs.

A minimum of violence.

Years ago local deranged lunatic Dell Schanze (he was wealthy enough at the time to classify as "eccentric") got into a confrontation with a bunch of tough guys who were unhappy about him speeding through their neighborhood. He ended up in front a judge because he pulled a gun on them.

He told the judge that by pulling the gun he stopped anyone from getting hurt.

Actually, that makes an awful lot of sense. (That awkward moment when your common-sense doctrine is being preached by a crazy man)

In a fight everyone gets bloody. If you avoid the fight with a preponderance of force, no one gets hurt.

(They just get sued)

So when the cops are armed heavily enough that it's not a contest, you avoid the violence. From there we branch off into how to control the situation where you have a very powerful police force.

I honestly have no idea what I was setting out to say when I started this. I think it might have been to draw a contrast between civilized society and people who are comfortable with violence. And to make the observation that sadly we are going to have to learn to become more comfortable with it in the future the way society is going.

The Philosopher F. Leany
Last month I went to a handgun training course. At the beginning of the training they asked "Why are you taking this course?"

It's interesting; I hadn't really thought about it in depth.

I found myself answering that I didn't particularly feel in danger, but I thought it was important that more good guys had guns than bad guys.

(Add that to the large and growing list of brilliant Frank Leany quotes.)

And that's it. The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun. You saw that this week in Alexandra, Va. You can argue it's not true, you might even believe it. You can also expect to get a unicorn for your birthday. But until you figure out a way to have a world without bad guys in it, believing anything different is pure fantasy.

As long as there are bad guys in the world, people are going to die. Society's job is to make sure it's the bad guys that die, not the good guys.

A punk walks into a convenience store with a gun. He has decided that someone is going to die; he has created a situation where someone is going to die.

In my view I would much rather it be the punk than the father behind the counter trying to feed his family.

The math is brutal, but it's real. Once the situation has moved into the zone where a person is going to die, the best scenario is that the punk dies. No apologies for stating that.

You can't credibly claim to love flowers if you don't hate weeds.
  - Frank Leany

You're still here?!
I was going to sort through this and make it make sense. But you don't care. I certainly don't.

This is a compilation of stuff I posted on Quora (Dudemol) in response to questions like "What one technique can I learn in an hour to make me invincible in a street fight?"

Or something like that . . .

There are 12 things that determine the outcome of a fight between two unarmed combatants

  • Killer instinct
  • Killer instinct
  • Killer instinct
  • Killer instinct
  • Killer instinct
  • Killer instinct
  • Killer instinct
  • Killer instinct
  • Killer instinct
  • Size and strength
  • Trained Skills
  • Luck
I should find a better way to phrase ďkiller instinct,Ē but I think you know what I mean. Some people are just willing to hurt other people and donít freak out when theyíre in the crap.
Other terms for "killer instinct:" Courage, spunk, heart, guts, confidence (maybe?) . . .

Propensity for violence.

Itís whatever the person has who will stand up for himself, even in the face of odds that seem insurmountable. Imagine the big scary guy in the bar who is bullying people. Itís whatever you have that would make you mouth off to him.

Hey, I never said it was intelligence.

It's like Yogi Berra said: "Baseball is 90 per cent mental. The other half is physical."

This is the pivotal element of physical confrontation between human beings: Itís all psychological. Some people have the ability to tangle with a human being, knowing that they will be hurt and knowing they will be hurting another human being. Some people even love it. Others canít cross that line.

Thatís what makes a fighter. Period.

There are a couple of things at play here. First, society conditions us not to hurt fellow humans, even when that person is a useless punk who wants to hurt us. Second, and carrying more weight, for some reason we have a sense that if we fight back we make the bad guy fight harder. Not having those psychological burdens is ďkiller instinct.Ē

Adrenaline dump is part of it, just plain pants-filling fear is part of it, and lack of confidence is part of it. Being trained can mitigate those.

The warriors on the island of Crete are said to have had a philosophy about bravery: "The art of the hero wasnít about being brave; it was about being so competent that bravery wasnít an issue." Itís easy to debate academically from the comfort of our mobile device screens, but I would have to add this caveat: That competence has to include mixing it up with an opponent. The only people who are psychologically capable of fighting are those who have fought.

Interestingly, there are those who study martial arts precisely because they donít have that un-nameable quality. Some kid is getting bullied at school. so he signs up at a McDojo so he can defend himself. Building skills does build confidence, but having skills is not the same thing as having . . . Factor X, whatever that is.

Most people can learn it, but probably not within an hour. Others canít after years of martial arts training. That element that Iím not able to attach a name to can be learned, but I donít think it can be taught.

And you can probably cross into that state of mind if someone you love is threatened or you are enraged enough. But more likely in the face of a conflict youíll melt into a quivering puddle.

Preparation in techniques helps, if you have that killer instinct. Fitness helps, if you have that killer instinct. Itís mostly useless if you donít. (ĎKiller instinctí is a charged term, used here to mean 'the ability to not freak out while youíre trying to hurt someone who is trying to hurt you.' Maybe confidence is a better term, understanding that the right combination of arrogance and ignorance can look like confidence (which, in this case, is just as useful).)

Part of the idea behind martial arts is that it requires discipline, and the common street thug doesnít have the discipline to follow through with that accomplishment. So in a trained martial artist, in general, you should have a better human beingómeaning, one who isnít inclined to fight, but who is trained to. And, theoretically, that would mean that in a fight the good guy wins the confrontation.

That would be true if skills were the first nine things on the list, but they are not.

Killer instinct is.

Or being comfortable with violence or whatever you choose to call it.

Anybody See a Matrix Around Here?
I have no idea who Kathy Griffin or Griffith or whatever is. And I don't feel like my life is any more empty for that.

So her 15 minutes came in the form of holding a bloody severed Donald Trump head. She said she had no idea that anyone could possibly have seen that as violent.


As a faithful imaginary reader of this blog you know what's coming next. She did a bad thing. That puts her in the lower half of the . . . whatever I named my dumb matrix. So her choice now is: Did I knowingly do something bad, or can I claim stupidity?

She chose stupidity. ("Incompetent" on the graphic above)

Which isn't all that stupid, actually. What she wanted to do was to secure her bonafides as a hater of Donald Trump, a good career move given her target audience (imbeciles, 14-82 demographic). And they completely understood that she had to offer a bogus apology. This is going to be a huge bump in her career. Hey, now I've even heard of her.

Makes me think maybe I ought to look up her comedy. She's got to be pretty funny if she delivers lines like "I had NO earthly idea someone might find a severed bloody head of a US President in bad taste!"

Two more things. Her lawyer was getting all worked up and righteously indignant. "As an American citizen she has every right to express herself with whatever art she wants!"

Art? I guess it only makes sense that the lawyer of a comedian would try her hand at comedy.

But the funny thing is, she has a God-given American right to offer up the severed bloody head of an American President. But anyone who has an opinion about what she did is way out of bounds. That's how these people think. When they disagree with you, it's Freedom of Speech. When you disagree with them, that's oppression.

Thing two: You would have never heard a whisper of outrage if I weren't a woman.

I . . . it's just . . . really? I guess I should just let her comedy stand on its own.

What's that? Yeah, this is quite a pile of cartoons. Tt's been awhile since I posted them and some are ancient history.

I put a .pdf file here of a lead sheet for a song that I did. I just stuck it there so I'll have a link to it.

That's the beauty of being unknown. The most private place I can hide stuff is on my public blog.

Remember me?
Say, it seems like it's been awhile since I posted.

I honestly just haven't felt like it. That's actually an improvement; better than feeling driven to post opinions that don't matter for people who don't care. Almost like I'm maturing or something.

Interestingly enough, it seems like my last post was right after the inauguration . . .

As I think about it I'm coming to the conclusion that it's not a coincidence. I really have kind of lost interest in the whole bizarre thing because I still can't accept this is the world we now live in. If anything, the situation has become more important than ever, but I feel like . . . well, you know that junior high stunt when someone's chewing their food and they open their mouth to show you? "Train wreck!" I've gotta tell you, I've had to look away.

The election of Donald Trump was a much more historic event than that of Obama. Donald Trump is a far greater departure from the norm than Barack Obama was, in spite of Obama's whining assertions to the contrary ("They'll say I don't look like other Presidents!" Wah.).

The logical flow of prose would dictate that this paragraph outline the ways he's differentóhis background, experience, personality, style. But you don't need a paragraph. It's freaking Donald Trump. That's your explanation.

ADD Moment: Have you gotten to the point yet where you hear "Today President Trump . . ." and you don't feel like you're listening to a parody?
The man is crazy. If you know someone who disagrees with that assessment, you need to be very careful of that person. He is a lunatic.

But here's the deal: it just may be a lunatic we're looking for . . . in the words of the philosopher William Joel.

A lunatic is exactly what we're looking for. We tried sanity. It didn't work.

And that's what pisses me off. The disgusting thing about the whole absurd situation that the United States of America is in, is how we got here. Why have we come to a point where we actually need a Donald Trump as President?

It was a choice of starving or eating a crap sandwich.

I've been over this more times than you care to read about. Yeah, once. You know the deal. Desperate times call for desperate measures. The majority of the population of this right of center country got sick of being shut out of the process, got sick of being played for a chump, said "Enough." The democrats gave us Donald Trump.

Okay, just to clarify, sentences like "Donald Trump is a lunatic" or "The man is crazy" might give you the impression that I think Donald Trump is crazy. But I am really glad he's President. I really am.

I just can't watch.

I've always been proud to be an American. It means something. America is power and dignity and goodness. It's decorum and class. It's not that crappy sand-cast machinery that's manufactured in India. It's not that soggy cardboard that smells funny that they make in China. It's not the gritty germ-infested food you get in a grocery store in Mexico. Or mobs marching in the streets in Venezuela.

Call it patriotism, call it xenophobia. I like living in a place that's clean and classy and safe and orderly.

Does any of that sound like Donald Trump?

Donald Trump is a mess.

He's like someone you see rise violently to power in lesser countries, wearing a thrift store military uniform, crazy and unpredictable. No offense to Lech Walesa, but Trump reminds me of him; not the refined, experienced Senator or Governor who has a press secretary instead of tweeting his every emotion like an eighth grade girl.

Barack Obama, there's the image of an American President. Seriously. Dressed well, looked good, spoke well, good sense of humor, kind of a sense of boundaries and decorum. Too bad the guy was a crybaby and a socialist and a narcissist and inept and incompetent. Unprepared. Close-minded. A liar. A coward. An America hater. He looked like an American President should look. But he was a whited sepulcher.

And he gave us Donald Trump.

Once you finish this riveting blog post, go get a copy of The Empty Land, by Louis L'Amour. And get a highlighter. Read the book. Highlight passages, and put notes in the margins. Write a term paper on it as a metaphor for government.

Here's what's happened in the little Old West town called America. The bad guys took over. They ruled by bullying and intimidation. We wanted a sheriff who would reason things out, be soft-spoken and friendly, not used violence or gunplay. But the bad guys figured out that the citizens were chumps, and they could do whatever the Hell they pleased and no one could stop them.

We wanted a sheriff who was polished; we needed a sheriff who didn't play by the rules that the bad guys made up.

That's not the kind of town we want, but we couldn't sit still for the kind of town we had. The hope is that once the sheriff cleans up the town he'll move on, and we can get back to our quiet little town with schools and churches and a sheriff who sits on the jailhouse porch with his boots up on the hitching rail.

A guard dog is great to keep the bad guys away, but you always worry it's going to bite the kids.

Read the book. Quit wasting your time on a stupid blog. (That would be good advice for me to heed)

Careful What You Wish For
I'm starting to remember why I haven't blogged in a long time. Something to do with being incapable of distilling my thoughts into coherent writing.

So Bill O'Reilly gets ousted from Fox. Don't waste your money on that crystal ball advertised in the back of the comic book, you know what happens next. Like zombies rising from a swamp you get people coming forward saying "Oh, I remember that I was sexually harassed, too!"

You know the deal. The rape hoax. Sexual harassment is never acceptable. Roger Ailes is probably a huge pile of crap. I've heard some pretty reliable stories about his scumbaggery.

But we're not fooled. We know exactly what's going on here. Nobody who's pushing these allegations gives a flying crap about sexual harassment. They want Fox News gone. Sexual harassment is a very useful tool. You've seen them play this game. Global warming, poverty, women's rights . . . the left gets off on starving children and pestilence and misery because they're phenomenal tools for them to garner power.

Fox News is a threat to the left's monopoly on information, and their ideas can't survive inspection or debate.

Geez, if you need me to tell you this you've been in a coma for a long time. Thank you so much for choosing my blog as the first thing to read from your hospital bed once the ventilator came out.

Take Chuck Shumer (Please, take Chuck Shumer) (Geez, I slay me). The man's picture is in the Wikipedia entry for "Fool." Pick your own favorite from his greatest hits; the man would kill to have an IQ as high as Forrest Gump's. "This legislation shouldn't be rammed down people's throats without debate or bi-partisan support! That's not how we do things." Uh . . . it's exactly how you do things (you freaking moron).

Or Maxine Waters, talking about how we don't need a President who's not prepared for the position with no experience or ability to do the job who spends all his time golfing. Yeah! right! Wait . . . uh, who are you talking about? (You freaking moron).

These people are idiots. They are not misguided or subscribing to a different worldview. They are brainless freaking idiots, incapable of rational thought, and the last thing they need is a network that questions the absurdities they spout.

So, it's clear to everyone what's going on here. They got O'Reilly, they're going after Hannity. Then they're going to go after the next guy . . . and the next . . . and the next. And every time there's going to be a bunch of people coming forward saying that they all of a sudden remembered they were wronged, too.

You saw this with the guy who got dragged off the United plane. For three days everybody and their grandmother's dog had a story about how United had done them wrong, too.

Okay, for those of you who are not my imaginary loyal readers, let me explain the This-is-Not-That here. If someone is sexually harassed the person who did it should be punished. Like Hillary says. (See what I did here?)

But people shouldn't embellish a situation to try to get it more attention.

But wait, if it's a serious problem shouldn't we exaggerate it to give it more attention? Nope. Because that has exactly the opposite effect.

But the boy who cries wolf damages real victims.

That's people. They want to hop on a bandwagon before it leaves.

It's a funny thing—Remember back when Bill Clinton was being accused of all the bad things . . . that he was guilty of? The fact that he was such a scumbag worked to his benefit, because there was an endless stream of disclosures. A reasonable person watching would say "Oh, c'mon! Now you're just piling on."

This is not that. The Clintonista types who are trying to take down Fox News are not smart enough to understand these concepts, but it won't hurt them. When they really are piling on in this case it won't evoke sympathy for the ones they are attacking.

I may not have that all fully figured out yet.

Okay, case in point. "Clintonista" is a perfectly apt characterization of the type of people who for their own nefarious reasons would support a Clinton. But it has the sounds of a third world situation, like Peronista Argentina or Venezuela or someplace where the President wears a military uniform from the costume closet of a comedy show. That's what those peoole have done to this country. That's what pisses me off.
I can't even remember what I was thinking when I had the brilliant idea for this post . . .

But I will make this point one more time—for my imaginary readers who are wondering why I've only mentioned the This-is-not-That concept 23 times so far in this post. The reason a counterfeit can work is because there's an authentic article to mimic. Like piling on. In Clinton's case we werren't piling on; he really was that awful. But piling on is a real concept, so they were able to masquerade it.

Anyway . . . back to the laser-focus analysis of . . . whatever I was flapping my gums about.

So the left wants Fox News gone. But we already established that those on the left are idiots. In fact, that's why they want Fox News gone-because they can't survive the examination of their idiocy. And, being idiots, they aren't able to think through the consequences of their actions.

It's like the guy who was overrun with spiders, so he exterminated all the spiders at this place. Now, this guy didn't have the extensive and comprehensive background in biology and zoology that you and I have. Had he known what we know, he'd know that the Bleeb-jiggered fobble womp is the spider's natural prey. And after getting rid of all the spiders he found himself overrun with Bleeb-jiggered fobble womps.

America is full of conservatives. They go to Fox News because it gives them an alternative to the fake news that causes them a cosmic dissonance to listen to. It just obviously isn't right. America needs an alternative to the lies that are being foisted on us.

If you get rid of Fox News you're going to get something you like even less.

I'm not sure what it looks like, but I do have a basis for predicting that it won't be good.

Those of you thinking it would be utopia if Fox News were gone: Remember how getting your dream socialist in office got you Donald Trump? Do you like Donald Trump?

Well, that was your doing. You have the thanks of a grateful nation.


Two metaphors
. . . from the animal kingdom.

Years ago I was mowing the lawn and came across a deposit my dog had left for me. I shut off the lawn mower and was grousing while I cleaned it up. My little girl went over to the dog and whacked her on the nose. "Bad dog!" The dog had no clue what was going on.

Dogs have very small brains dedicated to sniffing out disgusting things for them to eat. Unless you administer the punishment right in the act of the crime, they don't have the capacity to make the association. Even then, it has to happen multiple times.

Life is like that. Consequences are delayed so that only intelligent people can benefit from the association.

Democrats are not smart enough to see that they gave us Donald Trump. They aren't smart enough to see what would happen in the alternate universe where they were able to take down Fox News. They don't get to benefit from that understanding.

And second . . .

The spiders and their prey. I was going to use wasps as the example, but they serve no useful purpose in the ecosystem.

Years ago when I bought my farm I decided I would live and let live. The wasps where there when I moved in, I would leave them alone. They would go about their business and I would go about mine and we'd be just fine.

Then my little girl was walking past a window, far away from the wasp nest in the window, and one stung her.

Change of policy.

Any wasps that I knew about died. I would wait until they were asleep or too cold to defend themselves and I'd kill them. I would kill their unborn young. If I knew about a wasp nest I destroyed it and killed all of its inhabitants.

Why? Because wasps are too stupid to know I mean them no harm.

I could live side by side with them, but they saw me as a threat when I was not. So they have to die.

I may have figured out a marketing strategy to get more readers, (cause, you know, it's such a benefit to me to have readers. "I lose money every transaction, but I can make it up in volume!")

Liberals may start reading this because that's the kind of line that they think precedes a headline. Then they can point back to my "hate-filled" blogs and pine about how terrible it is that people are allowed to have their own opinions.

They aren't smart enough to understand that the cruelest act I'll ever commit is being a nice guy, so their screwed up little worldview doesn't get validated.

Note to any imaginary liberals reading: The best is about to come.

My daughter once asked why God created wasps. I told her it was to satisfy Daddy's need to kill things.

(Oh, it gets better. Read on.)

Islamists are the wasps of the human world. They don't produce anything but pain and carnage. And they attack because they are stupid and evil.

Bees produce honey. They'll sting to protect their home and product of their labor. Wasps don't produce anything. They sting because they are evil creatures and they are too stupid to understand they aren't being threatened.

Now go run to Media Matters and tell them how horrible I am. And spell my name right. It's "Keith Olbermann."

These have absolutely no relevance anymore, but I saved them to post, so . . . you know the rules.

Inauguration Day

So apparently Obama is leaving office with a 273% approval rating . . . according to the reports I'm hearing.

But he also has a 45% disapproval rating.

Someone wondered what portion of that 45% were "racists/bigots who are still seething because a black guy was elected."


If you are one of the deranged lunatics who believes that the opposition to Barack Obama is because of his race, I'm never going to convince you of anything different.

So why do I keep beating that dead horse?

Because idiots keep making ridiculous statements characterizing opposition to the man as racism and bigotry from people seething that a black guy was elected.

Well, this is the last day. After today I won't. this is the last time I'll have to mention it.

Sweetest words: On the radio they described Obama getting on the helicopter and turning to wave. Then the commentator said "His tenure as President is over."


(I'm obviously a racist.)

So I'm explaining the way it is one last time. But I'm not trying to convince you of my position. Either you already understand or you never will.

But if you believe we are "seething" because a black guy got elected, my talking about it just convinces you all the more that you are right. And righteous.

Like my comments saying that "I hate that Obama is black." You read that and you go all social justice warrior and spend all night in your mom's basement typing up passionate retorts to all your little friends on the social media (dude, I'm all "the social media").

See, you don't have the intelligence to understand the concept, and you further don't have the intelligence to understand how stupid you look defending an absurd premise. So my continuing to talk about my position makes you screech your position (I'm seething, you're screeching).

Then everybody looks at you and your unhinged arguments and realizes I'm right.

Hang on . . .

Mom! Wait a minute! I'm typing up retorts to imaginary liberals! Oh, can you come down and get my laundry?

Okay, so . . . I know I'm not going to convince you I'm right. But your caterwauling is going to convince everyone else I am.


'Cause I like saying #ByeFailicia.

. . . and today's the last day I get to say it.

. . . except three years from now Obama is still going to be running around the country doing his Final Goodbye Tour.

Okay, so here are some extra points that go with the last post. Except they would have messed up the flawless flow of the prose of that post.

I'll concede that there are probably about 12 people in the United States have a problem with a black man as President. Racism isn't dead. Especially not after the left's frenetic efforts to revive it over the last 8 years.

But . . . two things.

1) the left has pushed race relations back a half century with their rape/race hoax. When everything is racism, nothing is.

2) The ridiculously low number of troglodytes who might have a problem with a black man as President certainly has no bearing whatsoever on our national politics.

Except for the other side trying to make it an issue (point 1) which then would prompt me to have you refer to point 2 and around and around.

Okay. Some of the deranged lunatics who are talking about people still seething about a black guy being elected President are not stupid enough to believe it. They are smart enough to understand it's not true, but have an agenda to push.

Let me 'splain
You, dear imaginary reader, have seen this Evil/Stupid matrix a hundred times. So I won't put it in a matrix . . . 'cause I'm too lazy to create a table.

Here is a fact: Mustang is manufactured by Ford.

Now, if someone says that Mustangs are manufactured by Ford, the reason he's saying that is because . . . well, it's true. It's the way things are.

So we've dispatched that whole side of the matrix. (I really should make a table. Nah. Why?)

Moving to the other side, the wrong side. If someone says that Mustangs are made by Chevrolet, well, that's just plain wrong. It ain't so.

So why would someone say that? Well, he might be stupid. Excuse me, ignorant or misinformed. He may truly believe that, gotten bad information, heard the right thing once and doesn't have the mental capacity to remember it.

Maybe he doesn't care enough to know. Is that a Chevrolet Mustang? Dude, Mustangs are Fords. Whatever.

Maybe he knows, but for some reason he's trying to pull one over on you. Maybe he knows you want a Mustang, but he's trying to sell you some crappy Chevy Nova. You sure this is a Mustang? Of course. Well, what's with the Chevrolet emblems on here? Sure, it's a Chevrolet Mustang. Oh . . and how come the word Mustang is spray painted on here?

Maybe he's trying to be funny. You know what would be freaking hilarious? If I said that Mustangs were Chevrolets. That would be funny, right there.

Or maybe he's trying to use humor to make a point. Obama is a great President. Yeah, like a Mustang is a great Chevrolet.

The only other thing I can think of is that he's delusional. So on the one end he's not educated enough to know. On this end (of the matrix you're imagining in your head) he's not intelligent enough to understand it, but he is educated way beyond his intelligence. "Chevrolet is from the Gaelic word meaning running water and the alignment of the constellations that start with the letters in Chevrolet and and blah blah blah blah a Mustang is a steed so therefore, technically any Mustang has to be a Chevrolet."

Point is, whatever the reason, if he's on that side of the matrix he's wrong. I forgive him if he's trying to be funny. I never personally have, but I understand that there are people who do that. So . . .

Other than that, beware of anyone operating on that side of the matrix.

Like peopleóidiotic, delusional, manipulating, or anyone not trying to be funnyówho say that if you oppose a socialist amateur who happens to be black you are seething.

'Cause I like saying #ByeFailicia.

So Obama is out and Trump is the President of the United States.

And people are rioting.

Like all the bigots/racists who were seething when Obama got elected.

Oh . . . wait. That never happened.

The people who are rioting in Washington are racists. They are bigots. They hate Trump because he is white. And the people who boycotted the inauguration (Oh, stop! You're breaking my heart! Please come to my party!) are racists and bigots.

What's that?

No, it can't be because of his personality or his policies. You're just saying that to cover up their racism. Why are you such a racist, you racist?

Sucks when someone mischaracterizes your position, doesn't it?

Okay, so wait, you're saying you have legitimate opposition to Trump (that warrants destroying property and committing other crimesóI'll let you explain that to me another time) but it has nothing to do with his race?

Bullcrap. The only thing you can possibly oppose about him is his race.

So, wait, I couldn't be opposed to Obama's policies or personality or preparation or temperament? Only his race?

You've reduced him to nothing but his race. You did that, not me. If I can only oppose him because of his race you can only support him for that same reason. You've posited that he has no other significant characteristic.

Oh, but we've have other white Presidents. You mean like those useless morons Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter? Yeah, you didn't see any conservatives opposing them.

Like, for example the way people opposed Bush.

And show me any opposition to Barack Obama that holds a candle to the crap that Trump has already taken two hours into holding the office. I'm done here.

Racist corner
One last time, the link to one of many incendiary pages about Obama's race and a great explanation from the Dennis Miller show about why Obama won.


Read this article called Do elections matter to Obama? Just do it.


Taking Advice
Yesterday Michael Barone wrote an article called Free Advice for the Democrats (You'll notice with relief that I didn't link to it. You can ignore it guilt-free (dear imaginary reader)).

My advice to the democrats? Keep going just like you are! No self-examination or correction necessary!

Among my vast reservoir of original advice, free for the ignoring, is this nugget:

Try to look at all criticism of yourself as useful. If the person is right, you have an opportunity to improve. If he is wrong, he's a schmuck, and that's good information to have, too.

You remember (dear imaginary reader) that in the autopsy following the 2012 election the Republicans did a massive analysis of what they had done wrong. And they were wrong. In this election the Clinton camp is doing a massive analysis of what everyone else did wrong. And, you guessed it, they are wrong.

Spoiler alert. Mitt Romney didn't do anything wrong, it was a cultural deal. Hillary dismisses it as a cultural deal when it was totally her philosophy and lack of appeal.
It feels good to lock up a suspect, closure and all that. But the danger of locking up the wrong suspect is that the criminal is still at large.

It's like the sagacious observation by Frank Leany in his imaginary book Philosophy or Something Like It. "If you choose the easiest answer instead of the correct answer you haven't solved the problem."

A correct diagnosis is kind of important, because if you're getting the wrong treatment you keep getting sicker.

So . . . yeah . . . a quotable and two analogies all saying about the same thing.

Anyway . . .

It's intriguing that Hillary suffers from the same problem as Barack Obama. Maybe it's a democrat deal.

I penned a brilliant piece some time ago about how Barack Obama (Praise-ed be His Holy Name forever) is a loser and would always be a loser. I said that's an interesting observation about someone who has attained the highest office in the land, but he would never advance because he always see his failures as someone else's fault.

Today Brent Bozell wrote an article that somewhat echoed those sentiments. Yeah, I did link to that one. Click and read or suffer the guilt.

In the Dead Horse Department
Tell me you didn't see this coming (dear faithful imaginary reader). This all ties in to the Rape Hoax and This is not That.

Gimme a minute while I try to remember how . . .

Interlude: I keep a store in my mind of stupid things that I've done in the past. Whenever my brain refuses to function I refer back to them to placate myself into believing that I've always been an idiot and it's not a horrifying degenerative condition.
Okay, so you've got Hillary viewing this as the voters are idiots and culturally opposed to voting for her. Setting aside the logic of that for a moment, let's look at the This is Not That aspect of that. You remember I've called it the counterfeit and the masquerade and other things. The idea is that for the counterfeit to work there has to exist the authentic article.

And it does. It exists in the defeat of Mitt Romney for exactly that reason. People didn't elect him because he wasn't the cool black guy.

Okay, so now the people who were so anxious to vote for a guy simply because he was black refused to vote for Hillary because she's a woman?

This is not that.

This is Not That is Hillary's main game. She's always trying to play on counterfeits, like the "vast conspiracy" that was trying to take down her husband. Yeah, that would have the same outcome as the two of you being skunks and the people rejecting you at the grass roots. But Hillary doesn't believe in grass roots. Everything she does is astro-turfed. Plants in audiences with questions, being fed debate questions, all that.

The other one, the one that best demonstrates the piggy-backing onto a real concept, is when she tried to say "You can't look at my e-mails because my mother died!" Yeah, that sort of hardship does afford someone a little extra leeway. But when you fake it . . .

Did you see that? Rape hoax.

When you try to hijack (that was the other term. Masquerade, counterfeit, hijackóremember past idiocies, Frank. You're not having a stroke . . . ) a concept that is valid, you undermine the concept. Sure, your mom dying is a horrible thing and it merits a little compassionóunless you clumsily try to use it to get away with a crime. Then all of a sudden we're suspicious of other people when they use the technique.

But honestly, and I hope that the Hillary campaign is too busy to read this blog today, because this would give her the information to turn it all around (unless Michael Savage has already given her the key to winning), Hillary is so incredibly wooden in her delivery. She is just so fake in her performance, precisely because it is a performance. She's just a bad actor, literally a bad actress, and people see through her stiff and stilted delivery.

And now . . .
. . . a story with only tangential relevance. Because I'm old and I get to tell pointless stories. Hey, if I've got to have hair growing in my ears I'm going to take advantage of what little benefits this stage affords me.

A close personal friend of mine was visiting a relative once to return a bassinet. This relative had kind of a thing for my close personal friend's wife. The guy had some health troubles and was sitting in the kitchen with a blanket on him when my close personal friend arrived with his wife.

They dropped the borrowed bassinet off in the front room and the relative said "Who is it? Come closer so I can see who it is? Who is it? Come closer."

They went in close and chatted, the guy said his eyes didn't work, they told him they were bringing back the bassinet that they left in the front room, and then the relative looked up and said "Oh, I see you brought back the little blanket with it."


So, the point is, if someone is playing games like that Ėlike Hillary invoking her dead mother to steer us away from her corruption, for example--there are two ways to deal with it. First way is to just let them do it. If it's worth it enough for them to trade their dignity for it, just let them have it.

The other way is simply to call them on it. Really? You can't turn over your e-mails because your mom died?

You'll find a lot of situations like that. The perfect example is the race card. Just identify it. Wait, did you really just tell me I'm not allowed to point out behavior in bad taste if the actor is black?

Next time you come across that crap, you'll know. Either simply identify it, or if it's harmless and costs you nothing understand it costs the player his dignity.

Moving into a Most-Racial Period
I can't stand listening to used car dealers yelling. That's my excuse.

Okay, I was listening to NPR, all right? The other stations were on commercials. (ADD momentóand it was a rare moment that NPR's commercials weren't in sync with them. They have just as many commercial time outs as stations that aren't paid for with my taxes.)

I just find it entertaining sometimesólike watching a ridiculous cartoon. But, just like watching a ridiculous cartoon, you can only take it for so long. (What? Yeah, I did rent Neighbors, and it was painful to sit through the entire show just for that 10-second funny part where the airbags launch him into the ceiling.)

Somebody from The Atlantic wrote an article titled My President Was Black. Someone on NPR was interviewing him and he said that Barack Obama at his core is an unflagging optimist. But he underestimated the deep-seated racism that is America.

I'm not kidding.

It's a funny thing. We weren't racist until we elected a black President.

That's what . . . intrigued me? Confused me? . . . about that exchange when the douche from the cast of Hamilton was bloviating to Mike Pence. I'm commenting on the guy's manners and all of a sudden someone's screaming "Racist!"

I asked the guy "Is that still a thing? I thought calling someone racist for disagreeing with you went out with the flip phone."

He said "Oh, racism is still a thing. Racial prejudice still exists."

Yeah, only nobody cares anymore. Nobody cares because of all the snowflakes running around screaming "Racist!"

It's like a car alarm. It's just annoying. It never means there's any threat or danger.

Black Bunnies?
My daughter was in a music class and they were talking about the pitches of the strings on a guitar. She named them the way her father taught her: "Easter Bunny Gets Drunk At Easter." The class laughed, but one girl said "Racist!"

Uh . . . against bunnies? Easter? Drunks?

Obviously, "racist" only meant "You said something edgy that some people might be uncomfortable with." So . . . what do you call the despicable human being who judges other human beings based on race? The word has no meaning.

It's just lazy language substituting for real thinking. But it's a shame that the consequence is that the car alarms only make people turn away, so the "burglars" are free to wreak destruction.

The Boy Who Cried Rape
The rape hoax. Or in this case the race hoax. You know, dear imaginary reader, this deal I bore you about over and over (and over) again.

Just last month some girl got raped in the parking garage at the U of U. I was ready to drive up and lend my imagination to the authorities to torture to death the guy who did it. (And you know what an imagination I have, typing a blog for my imaginary friends).

Only they never caught the guy. The reason they never did is because it never happened. They went through surveillance video and spend hundreds of man hours on the case and they concluded it never happened.

Okay, let's think about this. What is the consequence of that? Now, there are some out there who think that rape is such a horrific thing that they help by inflating the numbers. You know the deal, four out of five college girls will be sexually assaulted. They figure if the real number is two out of five, or whatever, they need to make it sound much more alarming than that so it gets the requisite attention.

But does it have that effect?


When you do that you undermine the credibility of the whole deal. So the girl who cried "Rape!" committed a crime against the victims of rape, the same way that rapists do. She undermined the credibility of real rape accusations.

"Oh, racism is a thing. Racial prejudice exists." Yep. But the villagers aren't listening anymore 'cause they're tired of chasing your imaginary wolves.

It's all good
Apart from the cultural destruction that the new meaning of "racist" has, the laziness drives me crazy. That's what I hate most about the new language. It's just so sloppy. Sloppy language from sloppy thinking.

"He's, like, totally, like, you know?"

No, I don't. As the speaker you have the responsibility to paint the picture for me with words.

Just bizarre that a vocabulary is so desperately inadequate that, like, someone would like, you know, like say, like, racist, for like something that was like, you know.

Four Lights!
When I heard that guy describing Obama as someone completely different from who he is, a scene from Star Trek, the Next Generation came to mind.

Jean Luc Picard is being tortured and he's shown four lights. He's told that all he has to do for the torture to stop is say that he sees five lights. He refuses. As he's being drug away he defiantly screams "There are four lights!"

That's the opposite of these people (like the NPR guy). They are looking at one thing and seeing something completely different.

Obama (and the left in general) have stirred up racial tensions to a level you have to go back to the 60s to find. The election of Barack Obama has set race relations in this country back at least a half century.

And the country is full of useful idiots running around adding to the chaos. Sure, whatever, five lights, six, whatever you tell me to say.

These people are so incredibly delusional. Absolutely incapable of seeing what's in front of their face.

The article in The Atlantic featured a . . . whatchamacallit . . . like, you know . . . a sidebar dealie . . . that screamed "Obamaís victories in 2008 and 2012 were dismissed by some of his critics as merely symbolic for African Americans. But there is nothing ďmereĒ about symbols."

You can say that again. Not when serious issues were affecting us that required more than a symbolic President. Wow. Whatever race the guy was, he was incompetent, and now we have ISIS, open season on cops, economic stagnation . . .

The delusional crap you'll read if you click on the link (dear imaginary reader) (I could secure the nation's nuclear codes by posting them on a link hereóit would guarantee not one person would ever see them ever) included this nugget.

Whiteness in America is a different symbolóa badge of advantage. In a country of professed meritocratic competition, this badge has long ensured an unerring privilege, represented in a 220-year monopoly on the highest office in the land.
Seriously? The man who holds that office only has that privilege because he's not white. How many lights do you see?

OMG. I can't. I just can't.

You Made Your Bed
Oh, yeah. And Trump. That's the other thing that electing a man because of his race got us. Now we have an insane person headed to the White House. From incompetent to insane. Frying pan/fire.

I know there are those who don't understand how the democrats are responsible for Trump. The argument that they are has three levels, on a continuum.

1. Indisputable. The democrats chose Hillary Clinton as their candidate. In addition to being politically completely out of sync with America (which voters don't give two craps about) she is a despicable human being and a crook. She may well be the only person in the known universe so horrible she could lose an election to someone as childish and unhinged as Donald Trump.

Republicans didn't make them pick her. That's all on them.

2. True, but disputed. The pendulum effect. By installing someone as radical as Obama, and by using the "racist" argument to make sure that anyone with civility and decorum won't oppose him, what do you think you're going to get? When people are discussing, people discuss back. When people start swinging, they get swung on. The tactics that work on sane people don't work against Donald Trump. That's his appeal. You bring a knife to a debate, we'll get a gun.

This is the crux of the argument and the part that Obama was whining about. "I uh I've been uh blamed for uh a lot of things, but, uh, I don't see how, uh, how this is uh, my fault." You don't need to make radical corrections unless the car is careening out of control. No one's surprised that Obama can't understand that. He doesn't understand much, as we've seen.

3. Whacked out conspiracy territory, but not necessarily untrue. Bill Clinton (pardon my language) convinced Donald Trump to run, some kind of mysterious voodoo happened and he got the nomination. The voodoo included democrats voting for Trump in the primaries and the media pushing him hard as the their favoriteóthe same media who had all kinds of trash to release on him once he got the nomination.

All this because Hillary was so horrible (see number one) that she had to have an opponent who was crazy, and unhinged, and childish and . . . how many thesauruses have been worn out between Hillary and Donald Trump? He was ordained because anyone else would easily beat Hillary Clinton (did you know she has a granddaughter?). The conspiracy theory hinges on the idea that he was somehow installed by the democrats because he was the only offspring of God who Hilary could beat.

But, as we saw, she couldn't even beat him.

But, hey, they've got it all figured out. It's because we hate women and we're deplorable. Just like we were racist for electing Barack Obama.

They've got it all figured out and good on 'em. They don't need to change a thing. They should plow ahead the same way they've been doing. No correction needed here. Keep it up, democrats!


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