King Putin

I predict that Vladimir Putin will name himself King (or Tzar) within the next year. He will get overwhelming support from the legislature, which will probably create an entirely new constitution for their new Monarch. The sham of the current voting system in Russia is just a waste of his time, so why bother. Plus, he had spent decades creating propaganda to dismiss democracy as a viable form of government. Russia was on the brink of collapse after the Soviet Union fell apart and many of the Russian people are grateful to him (right or wrongly) for rebuilding their country. Monarchs are still accepted forms of government throughout the world (there are 16 monarchies in which the King actually runs the government).  I see no downside for Putin and it would certainly fit his personality as an egomaniac (there is nothing like a crown for such things).

Compromise: a winning strategy or something to be avoided at all costs?

Over the past two years, the Democrats have doubled down on moving further to the left, without really having a comprehensive agenda (or specific goals, like ending child poverty, enacting term limits, border security, etc.). They are appealing to their current supporters and like-minded people who haven't voted before. However, the have done nothing to reach out toward those in the middle (they may make some gains in the middle, but it will anti-Trump and not pro-Democrats). If the Democrats win the House through this strategy, they will continue with more of that same (and will continue to be wildly unpopular and unsuccessful (the status quo for both parties is that they do not achieve meaningful goals, which explains why their approval rating is so low).  More of the same will lead to greater division in the country and will energize the right once again. What if the Democrats actually made compromises, like pledging significant investment in boarder security and a pledge not t…

Giant Failure

Over a year ago, I told the world of my plan to switch from being a Jets fan to become a Giants fan. There were a lot of reasons for this, but it came down to the Jets failure to run a decent organization or go to a Superbowl in my lifetime. The Giants, on the other hand were well run, professional, and win Super Bowls every once in a while. How did this work out?  Well the Giants, who were hoping the make the playoffs, finished last year 3-13, in last place; their worst season ever! This year, they are 1-6, tied for the worst record in the entire league. The Jets are slightly better, at 3-4, although things don't look great for their future either.

So, is the collapse of the Giants my fault...probably not. More likely, it is the vastly declining skills on Eli Manning and the teams failure to have an acceptable alternative (Teddy Bridgewater would have been perfect).  I watch the games, and it is true the O-line is bad, but Eli Manning is worse. He checks-down without considering t…

Democrats proudly doing nothing

What have the Democrats done in the past two years to get any Trump voters to change sides. His "base" continues to support him and candidates in his pocket. As Democrats move further to the left, they actually are losing votes and not gaining them.  Despite Trump's many failures as President (and his ridiculous and unethical actions), Democrats are not proactively doing much of anything. They have no plan that appeals to moderate, like increasing taxes on big corporations and also further lowering taxes on small companies. They are just hoping to get a larger turnout from their base, but the Republicans will do the same. If the Democrats don't take over the House (which I predict they will not), will they go back and fundamentally change their message and policies?

On the Road - Book Review

Sometimes the classics are classics for a reason.  I recently finished On the Road, by Jack Kerouac. Going into the book, I had no expectations and didn't even have an idea of what it was really about or why is was so renowned. However, I quickly realized that the style of writing was exactly what I love. It is written beautifully, without any extra words or unnecessary ramblings.  In essence, it is dozens of short stories, written across time, featuring the same characters, perfected blended together. The book chronicles the adventures of  Sal Paradise and his criss-crossing travels across the US in the 1940s and 50s. The motivations for travel (jazz, sex, adventure, love, destiny, etc) were sublimely etched on the pages, easily conferring feelings that I had no experience with or context to understand. But more than anything, every sentence seems to have a purpose and nothing is left unsaid. What makes it exceptional is a ranting, poetic style that usually emotes self-indulgence…

Margin of Error Is Important

I was recently reading this article, in Politico, about mid-term election polls. Throughout the article, they wrote things like "Blackburn led Bredesen by 3 percentage points", or "Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema with 47 percent to 45 percent for GOP Rep. Martha McSally".  They make it seem like that person is actually in the lead, but it wasn't until the very end that they wrote "All five polls had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points".  All polls have a margin of error and it is extremely important to realize what that means, which is that the results fall within a range, not an exact number. So the "leads" they talk about are statistically fiction and don't mean anything.  Realistically, the should say that Kyrsten Sinema may be leading by up to 5%, or maybe she is actually down by 1%, we have no idea, but it is likely to be somewhere in there (and depending on how the calculate the margin of error, you can determin…

500-year-view and a never ending battle

The names have changed, but over the last 500 years there has been a constant political battle.It has taken many forms, often depending on the wealth and resources of the country.
It is a simply battle, those with power/wealth against the people who work for those people.
In today’s CNN/Fox News style, the miserable and the outrageous get all the attention. Things that are good are dismissed because they are not good enough. Things that are bad are made to be the end of the world. We expect change quickly, but what if a culture takes several generations just to ingrain basic change. Look at the big picture and you will see a very constant and very slow increase in the quality of life for almost all people, across the world. The workers have constantly pushed for changes and (over time) gained much. 500 years ago slavery and indentured servitude very commonplace. There were no laws protecting workers, children, civil rights, or the environment. Extreme poverty has decreased signific…