Double, double, toil and trouble

I have no spur
To prick the sides of my intent, but only
Vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself,
And fall on th’other . . .
– Macbeth Act 1, scene 7.25-28

GOP-led House Authorizes Lawsuit Against Obama

Blue Bronc

Blue Bronc

Oh but the spittle and froth coming from the mouths of so many Republicans is to be feared by so many lost in fog of their own making.  Can we mere humans grasp the lawlessness of our president?  No.  It is only seen by those who have seen the shimmering mirage of greatness created by their own masters.

Living in the bounded area called D.C. region, which tends to be a line scribbled on maps delineating about four million people.  But, it fails to circle a large white building with a big dome over it.  A building housing less than one thousand of the most powerful people on earth.

It is within that building that some of the nuttiest and craziest talk is emoted.  Shakespeare would have dozens of concepts to turn into plays, most likely about the folly of fools.  The bravado of the idiots must sound wonderful to their own ears.  But, this makes Macbeth’s acts seem reasonable.

Impeach the most lawless president ever? That is outright crazy talk.  Sue the guy.  That will teach him a lesson. And, it is a warm-up act for the big, full stage performance of impeachment.  Impeachment will show the black guy in the White House who is really running the country.

As fed up with war as the American public is, they have no appetite for the constant talk of the fools for impeachment.  Can the Republicans understand that most, probably the 70% (at least) of the populous who are not Republican by signature, do not see what they see. The citizens do not hear what they hear.  The voters do not feel what they feel.

Given that Republican gerrymandering has created safe districts for the fools, we have to live with them saying and doing things that if not for their protected seats would have them voted out or just plain ignored.  Grabbing the microphone to spew talk intended to have the American public joining them on their march to a new world order — it is that very talk that tells the people to do the opposite.

Americans are not in favor of impeaching a president for any reason, let alone reasons that are created by and make sense only to a handful of elected representatives, senators and listeners of certain television channels or radio stations.  Why do these creatures continually fall upon their swords while talking about standing up to a president?  They must see some reward, but I believe it is only personal and limited; nothing any other American can understand or feel.

Macbeth is trying to create some reason to do the foul deed when no reason exists.  Just like the jesters of the Republican party.

– Blue Bronc is a Trail Mix Contributor. Read more by this author.
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Are You an Independent? Take the Test.

Am I an Independent?

Nash 2.5

Nash 2.5

This is a question that you probably ask yourself many times a day.

Taking the simple test below will tell you with 99.5% certainty if you are, or are not, a loyal member of the non-party of unsuccessful presidential Candidates John Anderson and Ross Perot, and current U.S. Senator from Maine, Angus King.

(1) The two-party system in the USA is ….

  • (a) the direct result of our “winner-take-all” system of elections rather than the proportional representation characteristic of most other democracies which use a parliamentary system of government.
  • (b) God’s plan: all good people are Republicans and all evil people are Democrats.
  • (c) what was the question?

(2)  The immigration crisis in the USA can be solved by…

  • (a) a more flexible policy that will allow a quicker route to citizenship.
  • (b) building a wall with broken glass on top, landmines, and machine-gun towers.
  • (c) whatever.

Political Ideology(3) Russian imperial expansion can be checked by…

  • (a) a well-designed program of sanctions, in coordination with our European allies.
  • (b) invasion of and occupation of Ukraine.  (We will be welcomed as liberators.)
  • (c) I need to see some 10-second political ads before I can decide.

(4) The U.S. economy can be strengthened by….

  • (a) increasing taxes and creating programs that benefit the lower and middle classes.
  • (b) decreasing taxes that hurt “job creators”: big corporations and the 1%.
  • (c) all of the above.

(5) Global warming is…

  • (a) a scientific fact.
  • (b) a liberal myth.
  • (c) who cares?

If you answered (c) to three or more questions, you are an Independent.

More tests: Are You a Democrat? Are You a Republican?

– Nash 2.5 is a Trail Mix Contributor. Read More by this author.
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Are you a Democrat? Take the test.

Am I a Democrat?

image
This is a question that you probably ask yourself many times a day.

Taking the simple test below will tell you with 99.5% certainty if you are, or are not, a loyal member of the party of Presidents Bill Clinton, Andrew Jackson, and Martin Van Buren.

(1) Franklin Delano Roosevelt …

  • (a) ended the Great Depression and won World War II (with some help from the Russians).
  • (b) was a communist who didn’t warn the Navy about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

(2)  John F. Kennedy …

  • (a) was assassinated by right wing Texans, or rogue CIA agents, or the Mafia.
  • (b) was a Harvard playboy whose bootlegger father bought the Presidency for him.

Political Ideology(3) The Vietnam War  …

  • (a) was Lyndon Johnson’s biggest mistake.
  • (b) could have been won if it wasn’t for those damn pot-smoking hippie protestors.

(4) Environmental Science is …

  • (a) a good college major for your kids, so they can spend their lives doing meaningful work.
  • (b) just something your naïve kids will study before they wise up and go to law school or get an MBA.

(5) The suburbs are …

  • (a) a good place to raise your kids with lots of fresh air and green lawns.
  • (b) a good place to get away from the blacks, Jews, Irish, and Italians in the cities.

If you answered (a) to three or more questions, you are a Democrat.

Are You a Republican?

– Nash 2.5 is a Trail Mix Contributor. Read More by this author.
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Are you a Republican? Take the Test.

Am I a Republican?

Nash 2.5

Nash 2.5

This is a question that you probably ask yourself many times a day.

Taking the simple test below will tell you with 99.5% certainty if you are, or are not, a loyal member of the party of Presidents Lincoln, Eisenhower, and Nixon.

(1) Ronald Reagan was…

  • (a) a washed-up 1950s“B” movie actor who helped Joe McCarthy blacklist people.
  • (b) God’s anointed savior, sent to Earth to put things right.

(2) The 1964 Civil Rights Act was…

  • (a) the most important piece of legislation passed in the 20th century.
  • (b) a mistake.

Political Ideology(3) The greatest U.S. President was…

  • (a) George Washington
  • (b) Dick Cheney

(4) Science is …

  • (a) A method of acquiring knowledge based on empirical testing of assumptions.
  • (b) A liberal conspiracy.

(5) Immigrants who come to the USA seeking a better life for themselves and their children are…

  • (a) the foundation upon which our republic rests.
  • (b) worthless scum who should be shot at the border.

If you answered (B) to three or more questions, you are a Republican.

*****

Now we need a test that will tell you if you are a Democrat. Do you have any suggestions for test questions that we could use?

– Nash 2.5 is a Trail Mix Contributor. Read More by this author.
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The Eyes of a President

The office ages the occupant.  A truism of the Office of the President of the United States.  Academic studies have been done.  Also every few years a reporter does a eyes and hair photo montage or slideshow – showing the changes from freshly elected to end of office.

Blue Bronc

Blue Bronc

I think only the TV series “West Wing” ever did capture the day of a president in a visual manner that demonstrated the minute-by-minute stressful life he (and hopefully starting in 2017, “she”) experiences.  Thursday, Russian trained (and that may be stretching it) “Ukraine separatists” shoot down a Malaysian passenger airplane and roughly at the same time Israel gets tired of the rockets and in a routine well practiced over the decades, invades Palestine to clear out the bad guys.

Mrs. President hosts the Kids State Dinner on Friday and Mr. President gives a few remarks.  His eyes look like hell, almost like he did not get a chance to sleep last night.  His hair shows early greying, just like most of the other residents of the office.  But, he was gracious and charming as usual.obama_crisis

The specific “West Wing” reference is to “In Excelsis Deo (S:1,E:10),” when Bartlet learns of the death of a young gay man and instantly has to have fun with a group of children. There are other episodes that attempt to depict the dichotomy of life a president lives.

A Washington saying is that a politician is an ugly actor.  As one who has had to present a face for the voters not matched by mood or feeling, it is very true.  But I never had to handle the immensity of the trauma of Thursday, and most likely some serious conversations with many world leaders during day and night.  And then literally immediately change to entertain children.

I feel deeply for those world leaders who have to deal with a deliberate and horrible act by people acting in the name of the Russians.  It is sad, as those I know want peace and happiness after lifetimes of oppression and deprivation.  To have the “former” KGB operative back in charge, apparently leading a country desiring peace, back into the Cold War, is very sad.  It was seen when he took first took control and then as he ran everything “behind the scenes”.

– Blue Bronc is a Trail Mix Contributor. Read more by this author.
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Klick und Klack

An Ode to the Typewriter. Fearing spies, Germany thinks retro.

Blue Bronc

Blue Bronc

Ah, the good old days (I have no idea who to cite for that gem) keeps returning to our lives.  Why?  That is a question for many researchers, not a blogger.  What I like to see is those things of our industrial and pre-industrial age return, often with a subtlety that is a direct result of what is “today.”

People are responding to fast (see Moore’s Law) technological change by not changing. Many due to the cost of having the latest I-Phone and “2 year plan with 4-G” (4-G is fourth generation, or something you pay for but do not ever have access too).  Others, because they are barely getting the last “update” to work on their computer. 

busy-guy-300x264Ah, bought the tablet, eh?  Cool thing, unless you have to do heavy duty computer use.  More good stuff to buy, but what did you actually use to pay more than $20 per day to own?

How to sooth the angry mind and pass the day away in the cube farm?  Or while riding on the train?  Or for something to  listen to while waiting for “support” (support does not only apply to computer support from India), it can be like trying to find out why your online password to your online checking account failed to work after Sunday 6am when the system performed an “UPDATE”.  Listen to music. Old CD players,  I-whatever, MP3 players, CD discs played in computers, radio’s (for those near a window), or even an occasional 1980’s tape player.  Or even the “smart-phone” – yeah, sure those work in the tunnels.

typewriterWell, back to today, or rather yesterday.  While reading an article about the level of how pissed of Germany is with their “friend”, the United States (no mention of that commie, Kenyan, heathen, Buddhist, McCarthyrite, socialist, fascist, republican) it was typewriters.  An article from Germany regarding how the German government was going to (possibly) start reusing typewriters for sensitive transmissions that was of interest.   And, it made special mention of electronic typewriters (see IBM Selectric III) which would not be used.

With the return of the vinyl record to prominence, so it is with the typewriter.  Both do not require computers to operate or have a result.  The letter has as much protection as anything written in history that is not eaten or burned.  Whereas music is often used to promote social activity and therefore is preserved, often for generations.  Neither requires the use of electricity, which can be picked up by observers, to function.  And, the output of both can be fantastic, see 20th century literature and music from 1900 to today.

The reason for not using an electronic typewriter such as an IBM Selectric III is it has some smarts and electronics that can be “sniffed”, or some such spy term, to learn what was typed.  Ribbons can be burned.  Noise can be. . .  and we return to the “good old days” of Spy vs. Spy.

– Blue Bronc is a Trail Mix Contributor. Read more by this author.
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Israelis vs Palestinians

Nash 2.5

Nash 2.5

For decades we have watched the Israelis and the Palestinians locked in a seemingly unresolvable conflict.  One piece of small piece of (not very desirable) land claimed by two peoples, who are unable to live together.

An undesirable land?  They don’t have any oil.  It’s hot and dry, nothing grows without irrigation, and they don’t have even enough water for that.

It’s a good place to go out into the desert, get dehydrated, have hallucinations, and create a monotheistic religion (Judaism, Christianity, Islam), but not much else.

Every U.S. President since 1948 has come into office with an optimistic “mid-east policy” and has left with nothing of substance accomplished.   When I listen to President Obama or Secretary of State John Kerry today talking about Israel, all I can think is “I have heard ALL of this, many, many times before.”

So, I ask all Trailmixers: what can be done to resolve the Israeli/Palestinian conflict?

Any new ideas?

– Nash 2.5 is a Trail Mix Contributor. Read More by this author.
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Bloomberg Business Week: Israel Renews Gaza Bombing After Hamas Rejects Truce Plan
camp-david-accords-e1373413076691-320x202

The legacy of the Camp David Accords (Wikipedia): “The biggest consequence of all may be in the psychology of the participants of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The success of Begin, Sadat, and Carter at Camp David demonstrated to other Arab states and entities that negotiations with Israel were possible — that progress results only from sustained efforts at communication and cooperation.”

Okay, it’s time to start teaching our kids the three R’s once again

Kids from all over our United States are being subjected to state sanctioned loss of intellectual preparation that will paralyze their minds in the years to come. — Flatus

Flatus

Flatus

Here in South Carolina kids don’t need to read or write cursive. Or do basic arithmetic, like the kind we all use when comparing prices in the grocery store. I guess they are supposed to know that Columbia is where laws are made to keep unions from ruining our great state, and to keep intrusive things such as Medicaid out.

dumb kidsWe want our kids to stay at home. They can fill boxes at Amazon, do what they are told at a Michelin tire factory, plant two or three crops a year, or just hang out. None of them (those) jobs require a real education.

Watching the trial of the person who killed Trayvon Martin, Trayvon’s girlfriend was testifying when she had to admit that she didn’t understand cursive. It was an admission of ignorance on her part and was received that way by the jury. Quite simply, that immigrant child was never taught cursive!

Now, kids not just from Florida and South Carolina, but from all over our United States are being subjected to state sanctioned loss of intellectual preparation that will paralyze their minds in the years to come.  While we, the electorate, are steered to “more important” things.

education-cartoonWhat else have we lost in schools over the years? Art and music classes. Physical education, Foreign language studies, Social Studies, etc. Pretty important stuff, I think.

I want every American citizen, by the time they leave elementary school, to be able to read, as written, the scribed documents of our Founders as well as the Gettysburg Address. That alone is enough reason for every person in this country to be able to read and write cursive. And, hopefully, it will make them smart enough to ask for more.

Flatus is a Trail Mix Contributor. Read More by this author.
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Are You Talking to Me?

Supreme Court Plays Catch Up With Smart Phones

Stunning is more the word I thought of when the Supremes came down with a decision that requires police wanting to search a “smartphone” to acquire a search warrant. — Blue Bronc

Blue Bronc

Blue Bronc

One of the “miracles” of our world is that if you understand it you can be who you want, where you want and when you want.   I grew up with the computer age, adding to it and changing it and now appreciating how we are all part of it now.  I have been described as many things, including computer engineer or scientist (I can’t find that piece of scribbling anymore) or other such labels.

Science fiction used to be a lot of odd ball looking creatures within a morality play, Captain Kirk fights the good fight, loses and then with logic convinces the foam creature to play nice.  Now, we know that science fiction is only as lasting as the last computer system.

smart-phone-cartoonWhat happens if you are living in a world which is what was called science fiction less than *30 years ago?  You hold in your hand the computing power that once filled rooms and required a power station to supply electricity to make it function for a day.  You regenerate your computer just by placing it on a mat in the sun for a few hours or even minutes and once again you are in communication, sending email or text or computer programs around the world.

Each of us, every day, has more power and influence on this ball of rock in space than all or our ancestors combined.  Each of us can contact people of influence and power, who in all of time before us,  did not rely on our support or help to make decisions.  You, in high school or even middle school have more knowledge than any of my generation (old creaky critters in our 60’s and older) could have ever dreamed of.

Can any of you on the down slope of the bell curve of life even think of once considering  mailing (using the U.S. Postal Dept. or other country postal office) a suggestion of how to improve anything that the government does?  How about a letter to your congress critter or other elected official?  Right now the elected go to the people (children to many of us) in schools for ideas on how to do things, now and in the future.

Do you realize if the world is too abstract to even begin to know what I am writing about?  Software programming sent to India.  Legal drafting outsourced to Korea. 3D printers are making replacement body parts.  And, your ten year old granddaughter is writing an app for her “smart phone” to get herself out of the Calculus class (hopefully it is my “outta here” app” which I give away) she wants to skip today.

Ask yourself, and be honest this one time, “Am I as smart as or smarter than that guy/woman I voted for in Congress?”  Hopefully the answer is at least as smart.

Ask yourself, “do I know how to setup  a VPN so I can listen to Spanish radio or TV just like I am in Madrid?”  I am using Spain because it does not require a special license on the television set or home address, many of us do try to stay somewhat legal as we bounce around in time and space.  “Do I know how to change my privacy settings on websites such as Facebook? Or even your web browser?”

If you have no clue what I wrote about in the last several paragraphs, welcome to the “modern” world of the Internet.  Even if you are totally clueless and can only send an email to your mother (because she sent you one and told you to hit the big “reply” button),  just type and hit the big “send” button,”  you are beyond anything our forebearers could have imagined.

tjpcIn 1776 there was no thought that by hitting on a contraption filled with letters printed on buttons you could instantly send a message anywhere in the world. And, much of their world was literally “unknown,” as in unexplored or even imagined.  What we are today is great.  What will we be in another two hundred or three hundred years?  Damned if I know.  Right now I just hope I do have descendants, and if not mine some descendants from human kind conceiving code to make the machines work for the betterment of their life.

Computer driven technology is our way of life.  From what we eat, to how we drink, to what we wear, to how we even view our world on the flat screen television, it is all created or generated by a computer.  We can escape the computer life but only in certain ways.  Buy a boat and go out in the middle of the oceans, but you need tools to locate where you are.  Go to a “third world country,” sorry those untouched by technology are hard to find anymore.

The world is fascinating, but technology changes every day, which changes our lives every day.  That is extremely scary to many people.  What can they do to preserve life as they imagine it should be?  They rebel, join the Luddites, fight back and drag their feet.  Occasionally a group of them in power makes a decision that is surprising.  Stunning is more the word I thought of when the Supremes came down with a decision that requires police wanting to search a “smartphone” to acquire a search warrant.

Considering how many of the current crop produce decisions would be considered nuts by the original Supremes, that this group would actually conceive of a decision protecting a modern device that becomes more powerful every day, is something that required several readings.  For whatever reason they did it, whether out of ignorance and depending on a clerk for help, or they actually use one for communication and keep the password for their work computer on it, the decision was a great one.  One that will resonate if the TSA does more than require a “smartphone” to power on.

*Back to the Future

– Blue Bronc is a Trail Mix Contributor. Read more by this author.

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Fireworks and Darwin

When I was a kid in the 1950s, my whole town assembled at night on July 3rd, on the high school football field, and fireworks were fired from a nearby hill directly over our heads.  They were set to go off at LOW altitudes. 

Nash 2.5

Nash 2.5

The show always ended with a long series of increasingly powerful “aerial bombs,” that my WWII veteran uncle said was louder than the German artillery at Bastogne.  Kids loved this stuff, especially getting hit in the head with burning fragments of exploded bombs, or having your ears ring for minutes after the show was over.   Occasionally an unexploded firework would land in the crowd and people would back off, forming a circle with the sputtering and hissing rocket in the center.  Then parents would scream, “Don’t touch it!” as the kids inched forward.

Needless to say this was all EXTEMELY dangerous, but the 1950s was an innocent time when kids didn’t wear bicycle helmets, and the iron laws of Charles Darwin determined who survived into adulthood.

firecrackerFirecrackers were hard to get in those days; you had to know someone who had vacationed in Florida and had brought (illegal!) fireworks back from “the south” where LIFE WAS CHEAP.   Every year, as the 4th approached, lurid stories would appear in the newspaper or on TV about kids who “lost an eye” or “had a finger blown off” and sometimes they would show actual pictures of dismemberment!   (Anyone who thought this was a disincentive did not understand the psychology of kids in the 1950s.)

These days, I live in Maine where fireworks are legal and kids in my neighborhood have been setting them off every night for the last two weeks.    Unfortunately, they almost always do this under “close parental supervision.”  What’s worse is that the local municipal fireworks display has been made so safe, it’s boring.  You have to stand a couple of hundred yards away and watch the explosions from a distance; no burning fragments on your head, no ringing ears.

What’s the fun in that?

From youtube …  “Dangerous Fireworks.”

– Nash 2.5 is a Trail Mix Contributor