So you blink it seems and you’re 50. Traveling this weekend, my oldest son is getting married in Oregon (how can this happen, seems like yesterday I was spending a gajillion dollars on Huggys size 8 for him)……….So long story short the blog will be written on a plane. Bear with me we’ll get it.
This week’s vlog covers 4 topics that caught my eye:
— Robots – The Jetsons Coming Soon? (special guest Bill Gates)
— North American Math Programs Suck – Or Do They?
— Email Servers – Pot Calling Kettle Black
— Presidential Debates – RunBuck Fixes It All
Hope it brings you a chuckle.
** ARTICLES REFERENCED IN VIDEO **
– Ontario Article – http://gizmodo.com/remember-when-peop…
– Ontario Article – http://news.nationalpost.com/news/can…
– Gates Reference – http://axisoflogic.com/artman/publish…
– Bush’s Private Email Server – http://europe.newsweek.com/george-w-b…
– Presidential Debate Moderation – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/p…
Hashtags: Only On Fridays, Robots, DARPA, Discovery Based Learning, Clinton’s Email Server, Bush’s Email Server, Political Debate Moderation
The scene is twilight in Green Bay, Wisconsin. My parents, son Brock and I are walking back to the hotel after a couple of hours perusing the Tall Ships regalia. The road has been blocked off because Trump is actually having an event at the complex next door…..Imagine the pandemonium you see in a glimpse on the news snippets, then multiply it times a thousand……A huge running event is going on, cops gathered at every street barricade…And the noise as we got closer was crazy. Trump protesters were gathered across the street from the venue chanting, drums beating…..cops lined along the sidewalk behind them.
My mother spying this shouts, “I’m protesting”, no one who knows her is surprised. What is surprising is my 11-year-old yelling in response “I’m going too Grandma!”……My normal response in a situation like this is the same as both of them, but not the case this time. I’m nervous………..a lot! My child is out there protesting, Im scanning the eyes of every person coming within a hundred feet of him looking for any weird behavior or vibe. “God help them if they get close to him” keeps running through my head…..they’ll get 225 lbs of father fury!
The craziest things were
the comments as the Trump supporters went by……..”loser”…..”get a job”…..”Hillary’s a criminal”……..among some of the kinder quips. Even more suffocating was the feeling behind the voices of vitriol and hatred. It was absolutely amazing to me. You could feel it.
This post isn’t about Hillary, Trump, Bernie or any other politician or candidate. It’s about all of them. It’s about our political climate……..it’s volatile. This climate has gotten progressively worse in the past two decades. I could casually insert either candidates name into a conversation with a stranger in the town I live in and run a 60% / 40% chance of that stranger going off on some diatribe, hate filled, spittle flying rant about what a loser I was. All that based on two sentences and one name coming out of my mouth……It’s mind boggling to me.
Of course it’s not everyone or everywhere, but it’s an epidemic…..and we have to solve it.
My question to you all is how did we get here as a whole? And more importantly how do we get back to a place where there are differing opinions but also the ability to respect those opinions?
It seems in some ways a long time ago or in others like it was last month, I would wake up super early to see what Uncle Mike had written on his blog “Only on Mondays“. Eager to see what the subject was, and foaming at the mouth to join the banter that was sure to follow.
Mike had a gift in writing, able to lead other people to see points of view differing from their own. He also had a great talent for recognizing the human condition, no matter how upset or opposed a person was to an idea or subject (spittle flying at times) he had this knack of calming you down and having you focus on the subjects and ideas. Laughter and intelligence were his super hero powers. He always made every voice be heard, because in a community every point of view is important………Be civil and respectful of one another, but be heard.
At the last Simpson reunion Mike asked me to guest write, it was one of the biggest compliments that I have ever received. As it turned out at the time also quite daunting, holy crap!!! Put my written self out there in front of my family and the world?! Ummmmmmm that would be a big NO, better to leave the writing for a whole bunch of people gifted at it like Uncle Mike or my brother Tim. When Mike would ask again, I would always play the too busy card. “I’ll get to it Mike I promise.”
I think I surprised my brother Tim in our phone conversation this weekend. I felt this great pressing importance to start the blog back up. “Yeah right Todd”, I think was the initial response. After discussion, it was decided that we’re both going to take turns writing. And like Mike, we will be talking to a whole bunch of you begging to have you guest write occasionally. Subjects are not limited to politics, they can be about anything. I know we’re both excited about the endeavor, a little nervous too …..Never noticed how large Uncle Mike’s shoes were, they’re huge.
And Uncle Mike, I finally got to it. You and I are going to be talking a lot.
I miss you.
When I lived in Slidell, LA (suburb of New Orleans) I can still recall the time when Todd and I were horsing around in the spare bedroom in a mixture of wrestling and bed jumping I believe. Anyway, nature called and, as 4 to 6 year old boys tend to reckon, going to the bathroom to relieve ourselves was just too far. So, we decided to pee out the window. Another thing about young boys, their aim aint so good. Before two shakes of lambs tail there was more urine on the wall than out the window. A wall with an outlet. Sparks ensued as both Todd and I lept away (proving false the myth that a stream of urine can conduct electricity).
Why do I mention this urination debacle? The lesson learned. All experiences lead to gains in wisdom. In this case, don’t pee out a window. With that in mind I think we should look at the 12+ month journey in WI attempting to recall our governor. What did we learn?
- Echo Chambers (BAD). You can’t change your thinking if everyone you ‘listen’ to thinks like you. Before the election the Democrats felt attacking Walker was enough to swing votes. Personally I felt the negative campaign would not address the core issue the swing voters seemed to be worrying about (the economy). Perhaps if the DEMS had listened to some of the GOP platform and embraced parts (reducing government, admitting pensions need fixing, etc.) the vote might have been different. As it was the DEMS came off as protecting existing programs that the majority, it seems, feel is bloated.
- Independents Are The Key (INTERESTING). Never has a vote been so polarized. What was interesting however was that even with all the clouds hanging over Walker (and there are some) more people voted for him than his original run for office. Why? It seems since then more independent voters have decided warts and all they will take a person hell bent to shrink government over one protecting programs. Lets not kid ourselves those that typically vote DEM or GOP didn’t change their mind over the last 12 months. It was the independents that flipped.
- GOP Win = Double Loss for DEMS (?). I suspect that Walker will now get re-elected as the base has been galvanized. The recall process may have played into the GOP’s hands. Took their core issue (size of government) and put it up against the DEM flagpole (Social Programs, Rights) and won. What is going to disrupt a repeat in 12 months? Not much I expect.
Another interesting factoid, while 400,000 more voted in the recall (2.5M vs 2.1M) than back in 2010, Walker widened his gap over Barrett in most districts. Strange. You would think that the gap would at least narrow due to various foul play angles on Walker. Drives my points on #2 and #3 above. My favorite graph showing this is the 2nd link in the Rabbit Holes section.
In summary, I think the DEMS need to start pondering why they would lose a recall against a candidate with so much baggage. There is something in their platform that independent voters feel so strongly about that they would rather stick with Walker than change horses. Till the DEMS do that … the overall trend of upsets will continue … at least in WI.
For some time I have been getting static that no one can pronounce my company (it is LEVERAGE-n-c). So I have been toying with new names. Then one hit me. It seemed great. So great that I reserved two website names and hired a graphics group to come up w/ logo/font ideas. $600 later I realized no one liked that name either. DANG IT.
Why do I mention my ‘re-naming’ woes?
Well, it seems very similar to me to the core message formulation for Obama and Romney. One has to figure a TON of hand wringing is going on trying to figure out what each candidate’s core message is. AI think their positions are:
- Smaller social programs
- Bigger Defense
- Less Regulation
- Same size (or bigger) social programs
- Smaller Defense
- More Regulation
- Do you think the current government does to much or too little (or just enough) for us?
- Do you want to be more, less, or stay the same in terms of our military spending? Social spending?
- Do you want more control, less control, or o.k. with current controls on businesses? Stated another way do you think controls are blocking business growth in the US?
Whats missing from that list? Money. Neither party has a core platform on how to control of our current spending versus income and then insure it doesn’t get out of control. So if I were to run for office here would be my position:
- Put our government in a dynamic box
Lets look at the two key words in that sentence.
- Box – In a given year you can’t spend more than you take in. If you have more spending than income you have to pass taxes or cut the programs (or both). So on Day 1 of being in office you are passing legislation to either cut a given program or pass a new tax to support it. Do this for ALL programs.
- Dynamic – Each year you can ‘box’ yourself out. Want a bigger box? Fine, pass more taxes. Want less taxes? Fine get a smaller box.
Wouldn’t it be funny to see a national commercial from Romney or Obama that went after that angle? Instead what we see is the earlier drivel. Which is saying (for either party)
“Hey, I want to do this, and I don’t want to pay for it.”
One of the biggest crocks I have ever seen.