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All Gave Some, Some Gave All

On this, tax day 2016, where half the population is grumbling and the other half is saying ,”Thanks for the assistance, suckers”, I thought it appropriate to provide a diversion, something to feel good about while Uncle Sam picks your pockets;

I am re reading American Caesar (I wonder if you New Zealanders know how close you guys came to getting invaded in 1942). There are not many WW2 veterans left. My uncle fought the Japanese with Admiral Halsey. My father in law was in his second year at Stanford when we were attacked at Pearl Harbor. He quit school, flew to Hawaii, and put his engineering background to use raising several of the ships sunk in the attack. Both are dead, and I could tell you exactly what they would think of the current batch of inferiors running for president.

I Knew It

Sometimes it really is Col. Mustard with the candlestick in the conservatory;

I thought I fell into the rabbit hole and could not get out, now all is right with the world. Newton’s laws; girls like guys with either fat wallets or a big dick (in that order), the ice cream diet never works, and food does taste better when it’s free, all still valid.

Now, don’t you guys feel silly?

Eat The Rich

After 6 seasons, Downton Abbey came to close last night. I was on board pretty early with this series, I like period pieces and the BBC has a history of doing fine work in this area. As an aside, season 2 of Poldark starts in a few months, do yourself a favor, go to your local library and check out season 1. Being a big fan of the books, this series translates well. Much grittier than Downton, Poldark makes a living out of squalor, the ruthlessness of the upper class, and the hardships of survival.

No one can say this last episode was not predictable, many loose ends were nicely tide in a bow, but I could not help but wonder how, with most of the staff moving on to better lives, how all those upper crust were going to take care of themselves (I can just see Lord Grantham starving to death, food 6 feet away, with one to serve him).

We all knew Edith was not going to be left a spinster so her good fortune was expected. But it was hard to believe that a momma’s boy like Bertie was going to marry a tainted lady. And Edith loved her job as an editor, baby in tow was bad enough but a working woman? It strains credulity.

I never understood why so many episodes were wasted with men of quality falling all over themselves trying to wed Mary. I thought she was a bit of a nut job and a snob, she got off far too easy sabotaging Edith’s life, no wonder she was not trusted within the family. Her eventual hook up with Henry was a bit ho hum.Then him and Branson going to together as car dealers, I can just see the Dowager having a stroke over the impropriety. Best line of the whole series was season one where Matthew says he will be working in town but can spend the weekends at Downton and the Violet asks ,”What is a weekend?”

I always had a bit of a soft spot for Mrs. Patmore, I guess she will be hooking up with Mr. Mason, although we never found out if her B&B went bust.

I was glad to see the Dowager and Isobel come closer, despite the differences, each needed each other and depended on each other to navigate the treachery of old age.

I was ambivalent about Daisy, figuring she made her bed now she can lie in it, but was happy for Andy. Hopefully she will get over herself and make him happy.

I thought Mosley and Baxter would hook up. I read somewhere that a Downton Abbey movie is a possibility [groan] that should be one of the new plot lines.

Lastly, all this misplaced sympathy over Barrow, despite all the evil he perpetrated in their lives. Yes, it showed redeeming qualities in the rest of them, but his new found fortune of being head butler at Downton, thus having power over all the other servants, not exactly cricket. And I can imagine what Bates was thinking about all this. He should take Barrow out to the woodshed, kick his ass, then explain the rules to his new boss.

And So It Begins

The MSM has been enamored with Trump mania, and why shouldn’t they be? A great story, a walking contraction spin 180 degree on the issues mob boss who can’t spell, can’t articulate how is going to make America great again, but will fight for you all the while taking your guns, your freedom of speech and your jobs (outsourcing them to Mexican illegals), the gift that keeps on giving has journalist all aflutter. But now that he can actually win something, the gloves are coming off. Ridiculing Trump without breaking a sweat, and you thought they were lazy before this;

The very epitome of low hanging fruit.

I guess he will be suing a lot of people,those unhappy Trump university students better wet their beak before Melania has to sell her furs.

The Window Is Closing

A couple weeks ago after tennis we were all chatting up the election and one of my very liberal friends brought up Michael Bloomberg in the context of ,”I can’t vote for Hillary, don’t trust her, but Bloomberg would be OK as a third party alternative”. It got me thinking about the possibility. Yeah, another NY liberal in the mix, hardly an alternative to the current fair, until you look a bit closer. What separates Bloomberg from the other 2 morally challenged conmen? Bloomberg has actually accomplished things on his own. Not like Trump, who’s daddy gave him a few million then said go play, not like Hillary who has gotten everything handed to her riding on her husband’s coattails, Bloomberg is a true American success story. He has built companies in numerous fields and he actually ran a municipality , New York City, not exactly Wasilla Alaska.

Scratch that one off the books;

Mike Bloomberg is unlikely to run for president as an independent if Hillary Clinton looms as the Democratic Party nominee, sources said Tuesday.

The former mayor has been considering jumping into the race, but “the likelier path is if Bernie Sanders was the Democratic nominee,” a Bloomberg insider said.

“[Bloomberg] doesn’t want to take votes from her and make Donald Trump president”.

Too bad, but I wonder which candidate would be hurt more. This also assumes that voters must choose either Trump or Hillary, but they always leave out the third option, just staying home on election day.

Bloomberg is not a conservative, but really, that option is long gone. Right now I would settle for someone with a little integrity, someone that is not a liar, someone that understands the American dream of success, earned it on his own, someone that is not an ideologue and can work well with others, someone who gets American Exceptionalism and would work to restoring it’s fertile fields so others can partake of that success.

Flirting With Disaster

I’ll say one thing about this election cycle, nothing is as it is or as it should be, up is down, circles are squares, the literal anchors, the bollards and cleats we use for grounding are missing and no compass today points to the north star. The comforts of falling back on opinions of trusted (in the past) pundits, those that validated that little voice in your head and gave you clarity, they are now spouting utter nonsense. Time after time, I read opinion pieces by folks who had never let me down in the past, now they are all speaking Mandarin, telling me that every instinct I had for conservative thought has now been placed on it’s head, I just don’t get it.

It drives me absolutely nuts that valued sources, many used in the past to calibrate my own right-thinking, have abandoned every conservative principal known to man and drank the kool Aid of Trump. I can’t say it hasn’t been amusing, but disconcerting to the nth degree, like that old movie Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, who is real and who is a pod taking on that new identity.

And because my political world has become unmoored I will link to the unthinkable;

Maher is still a cockmonkey (some realities still exist today) but General Hayden is right out of the Petreaus mold, an honorable patriot who walks the walk. Water boarding will not be brought back, and nobodies family will be targeted. Trump blusters, says stupid non practical and highly illegal things almost daily, this “torture” rant was one of them. But note the clear distinction between candidate Trump and President Trump, I would place the actions Trump wants done to those actually feasible at less than 10%.

And don’t think for a minute that The Donald gives 2 shits about civil liberties;

“One of the things I’m going to do if I win… I’m going to open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money,” Trump said during a rally in Fort Worth, Texas.
“We’re going to open up those libel laws so when The New York Times writes a hit piece, which is a total disgrace, or when the Washington Post, which is there for other reasons, writes a hit piece, we can sue them and win money instead of having no chance of winning because they’re totally protected,” he said. “We’re going to open up libel laws and we’re going to have people sue you like you’ve never got sued before.”

Write a press item critical of Trump and you will get hauled into court to divine your “purpose” for the article, analogous to Hate Crime legislation where thoughts can be criminal.

I know, it’s all rhetorical since the closest Trump will ever get to the WH is when Hillary invites him over next year to bring his check book.

Those that still trumpet America’s greatness must ponder this unsavory fact; in a few short months the people will choose the next president………..from 2 of the most disgusting, dishonest, unlikable, bereft and devoid of any honor, courage, or character befitting the most powerful person in the world. Not that it would alter our course over the cliff, but I am rooting for a brokered convention, just for the theater of it.

One Pro, One Con

In keeping with the old adage that ,”If I didn’t laugh, I would cry”, I present the work of some very creative people;

Winter Is Coming, that’s an understatement.

And now, something from the king of comedy, apologies to all you youngsters who missed out on Gleason’s genius;

I’ve said it before, I have never been this apathetic about an election, or the clowns running in it, so I will enjoy the show and hope that either a criminal indictment or a fist fight on stage makes the price of admission worth it.

Refreshing The Mrs.

Superbowl 50 comes to my backyard this Sunday, I predict it will be the highest rated/most watched Superbowl in history, it’s on the record. Lady Gaga is singing the National Anthem, ought to be epic.

It should surprise no one that for rabid football fans, it is not often (sometimes never, hey Santino? sorry) that your team, the object of your loyalty/obsession/passion, wins the championship. So when it does, nothing says ,”We’re Number One!!!” like given the wife (or whoever is handy) a flurry;

Cute commercial.

For anyone so inclined, you can use this post for any predictions or nuggets of wisdom.

I am torn over this one. I hate the Broncos (second only to the Cowboys) but this will be Peyton’s last game, win or lose. He deserves another ring just for his complete body of work. But Carolina has had a magical season, led by the ultimate prototype at QB. Netwon, the only real candidate for MVP, right now is the most potent most feared player in the NFL, and he knows it. I like Carolina, and am picking them to win by 14 on Sunday because they are flat out a better team. But we have seen strange things happen at Superbowls (like throwing a stupid pass instead of giving it to Marshawn Lynch);

So, who ya got this Sunday?

Oh, and bonus points if you can reference the title.

Trumpasm

Must be nice to get this excited about any politician;

Well, hell, let’s just lower the voting age to 10 and get it done. Must be the fabulous hair.

Call Me Mr. Frumpy

I know, another Trump post, I can’t help myself, he brings out the worse in me.

No doubt everyone has heard that Trump is skipping tomorrow night’s presidential debate because he is not up to tangling with a woman. He did not like Megyn Kelly in the last Fox sponsored debate asking him about his past comments denigrating women. Instead of answering the question like an adult he went on a jihad, both at the debate and later in the media, attacking Kelly, trying to get her suspended and fired. Not one to ever ever take the high road, he has continued slamming both Kelly and Foxnews as not being fair to him, even though Trump has more air time on Foxnews than all other candidates combined.

Here is my dilemma. In the last 40 years I have never sat out a presidential election. There has always been a candidate who was closer (sometimes marginally) to my political ideology then his opponent so it made sense for me to go to the polls and do my part. Dole, both Bush’s, Mccain and Romney, none gave me everything I wanted but all gave me a bit more than the other guy. And before yesterday I felt that I could hold my nose, admit that Trump was not even close to conservative, was arrogant/petulant/prone to allowing emotion over reason/not sufficiently versed in the mechanics of government, but could still pull the lever on him given the alternative. But given this last bit caviling, I am prepared to sit this one out.

I know the argument, staying home is a vote for Hillary, that is not motivating me. What is the real difference between Trump and Hillary anyway? Give me some actual policy differences. Yeah, yeah, it’s all about immigration. but here is the deal, all of Trump’s bold immigration moves require the approval of Congress and they are not going to stand idly by and allow Trump to deport 12 million illegals already here or ban ALL Muslims from entering the country, ain’t gonna happen.

So what else does he have? His “hire smart people” went right out the window for me with Katrina Pierson.

What I wanted from Trump was just a little humility, something that showed me he had the maturity and level headedness to be president. He could have deflected the Kelly thing so easily and turned it to his favor. Same thing with the National Review article, a better man could have addressed this, could have won them over. He needs them to win the election, he needs folks like me, he needs all those GOP voters that stayed home and did not support Romney, he needs the independents, but he is just too arrogant to unify or to be a conciliator.

Yeah, it’s early and he may yet become something that he is now not. But I doubt it.