Tuesday, January 22, 2019

President Trump

I'm sure it feels like much longer but we just passed the 2-year midway mark of President Trump's first term (only term?) in office. It has only been two-years!

Victor Davis Hanson has a nice article on why Trump's chances at re-election are better than you might think. The key line in the article for me was:
Whether or not they like Trump, millions of voters still think the president is all that stands between them and socialism, radical cultural transformation, and social chaos.
Look at what the current Democratic Party is doing to alienate Jews and Catholics. Two groups that used to be the backbone of the Democratic Party of the 60's and 70's are now being painted as "hate groups." Those groups could easily vote Trump in the next election or equally important - they could stay home. Support among blacks and Hispanics for Trump is also increasing as the Democratic Party becomes more and more radical.

I think many believe as I do that a President Trump was and is way more preferable to a President Hillary Clinton. And the current group of Democratic candidates seems determined to make Clinton look like a John Bircher.

I have to agree with VDH - Trump's chances at re-election are much better than you might think.

The Day the Democratic Party Died and New Democratic Party Was Born

Today marks an anniversary that I expect will receive little fanfare. The historical significance of the anniversary should not be underestimated though.

On January 22, 1973, former president Lyndon Johnson died and with him died the old ways of the Democratic Party. The backroom deals and arm twisting. The acknowledgement that the Democratic Party was first and foremost the party of the working man and his family. "God, country and a fair wage" could easily have been the motto of the old Democratic Party.

On that same day, 46-years ago the new Democratic Party was also born. On that day, 46-years ago, the Supreme Court handed down its Roe v Wade decision which in effect decriminalized abortion and magically turned it from a medical procedure into a woman's right in the process. Since Roe v Wade the Democratic Party has never been the same. Where do you stand on abortion is the first and foremost question any candidate for any office is asked. The abortion party has also become the protest party. "Judge - you and you wife have kids - so you obviously are against having abortions - therefore we must protest you and we must do it naked while throwing pies." Make no mistake this new Democratic Party is about abortion first - every other issue is secondary - including the economy and national defense.

Since January 22, 1973 the Democratic Party has not run a candidate for President who has not been pro-abortion. This includes John Kerry who said he's a Catholic but that doesn't make sense since the Catholic Church is staunchly pro-life. I'm not optimistic that I'll see a pro-life Democratic candidate in my life.

The fact that the anniversary of the death of the old and birth of the new Democratic Party does not get any recognition is not surprising. Nobody celebrates or notes May 30th as the birth of the Republican Party.

Monday, January 21, 2019

This Week in Musk World

Another busy week in Musk World.

Big news in that Tesla received permission to sell the Model 3 in Europe. Another big market but I still don't know what homologation really means. The Model 3 is one of the best selling cars in the US can you imagine the impact to the bottom line if the Model 3 also becomes one of the best selling cars in Europe?

Let's not forget the Model S which represented 37% of the large luxury cars sold in the US (see graph above). Will those cars also become status symbols in Europe? Even Cadillac now admits that Tesla is now the leader of that pack.

Status symbol may be what is required for the Tesla Model 3 or Model S to be successful in China where a glut of electric vehicle models and manufacturers supposedly exist.

Tesla's stock took a hit on Friday as Elon Musk announced a 7% reduction in workforce at Tesla. The layoffs are to cut costs and increase profits.

Tesla also continues to tease the Tesla Semi. The teases even include test drives for the lucky few.

Reminder - the Tesla customer referral program which gives a friend 6 months of free supersharging ends February 1st.

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- Tony Mendez "Argo" spy who smuggled US hostages out of Iran during crisis, dies at 78.

- Governor Charlie Baker wants sports betting in Massachusetts. I want it too.

- Interesting - death is weirder than you think

- Conan O'Brien on the temporary nature of fame

- The massive mystery of Saturn's rings

- Identical twins get different results on DNA tests from 5 companies.

- Nice profile of Patriots defensive coach and the next had coach of the Miami Dolphins Brian Flores

Top 5 - People from History I'd Like to Play Pool With

Here's the Top 5 historical figures I'd like to play pool with:

1. Martin Luther King Jr. - ever since I've seen the photo of MLK shooting pool I've wondered what it would have been like to play with him.
2. Willie Mosconi - who wouldn't like to play with the greatest pool player of all-time? Just let me break every once in a while and I'd be happy
3. Jackie Gleason - The stories, the drinking and the laughs would be epic with the "Great One".
4. Paul Newman - just seemed like such a genuine guy
5. Joe Rogan - comedian, MMA analyst and podcaster. Also said to be a big-time pool enthusiast.

This is my list and it assumes people like Jesus, Benjamin Franklin and Einstein didn't play pool.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

AFC Championship Game

The Wikipedia entry to the left only seems like it's true. It has been 8-straight years that New England has been in the AFC Championship.

Fact checking some other myths surrounding the Patriots 18-year reign. Have a little issue with the last one - the "everyone thinks we suck" one. The negativity and hot takes from the local media (with some notable exceptions like Tom E. Curran and Mike Reiss) has been disheartening to the point that many people have simply stopped listening to the naysayers. The negativity from the Boston Globe towards the Patriots has been especially pronounced since Red Sox owner John Henry bought the paper. This negativity is hardly imagined.

The silent majority of Pats fan appreciate the unprecedented success and the greatness of Brady and Belichick.

Tom Brady has completely rewritten the post-season record book and it's not even close. In just Tom Brady's last 16 playoff games the Patriots are 12-4 and he's thrown for 5,284 yards with 32 TD's and 14 INT's. Keep in mind that these 16 games all came after Brady turned 35-years old! Interesting look at how Tom Brady keeps his competitive fire going.

Yesterday was also a pretty big anniversary in Boston sports history.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

AFC Championship Game

To the left is the cover of a 30-page special section of the Kansas City Star for tomorrow's AFC Championship game.

What are the people at the Star trying to say here? That Tom Brady is Thanos and his five Super Bowl rings are the five Infinity Stones? [Spoiler Alert!] Don't the people at the Star know that Thanos won? Are they saying Tom Brady is going to simply snap his fingers and make the Chiefs disappear?

Are they saying Patrick Mahomes is a woman? They know that Captain Marvel is a woman - right? NTTAWWT.

My hunch is the guy who did this artwork must be a Patriots fan. Troll level - awesome!

At least they didn't make any Endgame allusions. Because that's for the Super Bowl (which is of course the end game of the NFL season).

Do better KC Star. Do better!

Metal Detector Guy

A guy with a metal detector on the beach gets lots of people curious enough to greet him with the same question, over and over. "Do you ever find anything good?" The metal detector guy (sometimes its a woman) is always friendly. "Sometimes." "Every once in a while." And if the metal detector guy is extra friendly or if he just craves some sort of human contact he may launch into a list of some of his best finds.

I'm suspicious of the metal detector guy.

I would think that if the metal detector guy was as successful as he tries to make it sound - he would be less willing to share. I imagine if metal detector guy was finding valuables on a regular basis he'd be more likely to tell people he never finds anything - just to keep others from poaching on his metal detecting beaches and special places. If I saw a guy intently using a metal detector and when asked if he ever finds anything good - answers "Never!" I might be tempted to go out and buy a metal detector because that guy is on to something.

I'm suspicious of the metal detector guy.

Friday, January 18, 2019

John Wick Chapter 3

Looks awesome!

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Kevin Hart really should do a live TV show on another network the same night as the Oscars just to torpedo the Oscars ratings. That would be funny... Why Netflix pricing will keep going up... This week I vow to use the phrase "Greetings my jumentous fellow" and smile while saying it. Jumentous means "smelling like horse urine" but if you smile people will think you're complementing them... Completely agree with Ben Shapiro on this... With apologies to Marshawn Lynch, any time I read "beast mode" in print - my mind reads it as "breast mode". Once I realize my mistake I wonder why there's no "breast mode". I want breast mode... Interesting look at Paramount Pictures. Makes me want to re-watch The Kid Stays in the Picture... Growing up Catholic many of the nuns I ran into explained their celibacy by saying they were "married to Jesus". I always wondered - if that's the case how do priest explain their celibacy? Are they married to Jesus too?...   

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- Disturbing report on the Navy's preparedness and operation. Thanks Obama!

- Speaking of Obama - the "Alt-Right" Vanity Fair makes the argument that maybe we didn't get Trump because Hillary was such a bad candidate but maybe instead we got Trump because Obama was such a bad President. Interesting - maybe the article should have ended with Matthew 10:36

- Spinning ice circle in Presumscot River in Maine has people thinking alien crop circles. Maine's most famous resident Stephen King was not reached for comment.

- Cell phone account fraud is a big new threat. At the very least you should have a PIN with your cell provider that needs to be provided before any changes can be made to your account.

- Cool - Jason Reitman to direct Ghostbusters sequel set in the original story universe.

- Clint Eastwood getting some head in the 1960's

- Toyota bringing back all-new Supra sports car in 2020

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Norse Mythology

BBC Radio has produced a version of Neil Gaiman's Norse Mythology.

And it's free to listen to!

But hurry it's only available for one more week.

Gavin Smith

The above video was silly, fun, good natured and involved gambling. In short it seems to sum up poker pro Gavin Smith who just passed away at age 50.  He was also a man who had his share of flaws and demons.

Nolan Dalla has a nice remembrance of the man. And I'm sure we'll see many Gavin Smith stories in the days and weeks to come.

Battle of Cowpens

Today is the anniversary of one of the most significant battles in the history of the United States and nobody seems to notice. A short history of the Revolutionary War could read like this:

- The British surrendered at Yorktown after being surrounded by the Continental Army on land and bottled up by the French fleet at sea.
- The British were stuck at Yorktown because they had been so long occupied in the South by battles like the disaster (for the British) at Cowpens
- Cowpens was made possible by Valley Forge and the victory over the Hessians at Trenton
- The French navy was brought into the war because of the overwhelming victory over the British at Saratoga.
- Trenton was made possible by the Continental Army slipping out of Long Island where they really should have been trapped and destroyed by the British
- Long Island was made possible by the victory over the British in the siege of Boston which in turn was made possible by the guns taken from Fort Ticonderoga and by the start of the war at Lexington and Concord.

Of the above - the Battle of Cowpens (which happened 237 years ago today) is probably the least remembered.

If it is remembered it is probably the version that was put forth in the Mel Gibson movie The Patriot. In the movie there is a battle without a name in which Gibson's character asks his irregular infantry to get off two shots and then retreat to trick the British into chasing after them. This is the same basic "plot" to the Battle of Cowpens. The Jason Isaacs character of the dark-hearted Col. Tavington is loosely based on Col. Banastre Tarleton who led the British troops at Cowpens. Unlike the battle in the movie, however, in real life Tarleton (nee Tavington) escapes to fight another day.

One other note that may only interest me. In the movie The Patriot, Gibson's character uses straw soldiers to convince the British to let captives escape. In real life this trick was used but it was used by the British to allow the "captive" loyalists to escape Boston via ships in the harbor under the cover of "troops" placed overlooking the city on Bunker Hill. The troops later turned out to be straw dummies.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

It still bugs me that the Patriots last second loss in Miami cost them home-field advantage this Sunday against the Chiefs... Good news - science says that drinking coffee is good for your long term life expectancy... If Andy Kaufman were alive today I'm convinced that instead of Tony Clifton his alter-ego would be an equally obnoxious extreme SJW... Interesting - how does Netflix actually make money?... One aspect of the projected bone-chilling cold in Kansas City this Sunday is that it should negate much of the home-field advantage for the Chiefs. Tough to be loud when you are literally muffled in extra layers of clothes... I'll never look at Adam Gase the same again... Any Democrat who used Cindy Sheehan's grief over the death of her son for political purposes should be made to face and answer to the Angel Moms who have had a child murdered by an illegal immigrant...

The Fleeting Impermanence of Fame

An interesting article on how famous people fall out of the collective memory. They used John Lennon as the example but the example that came to my mind was John Wayne. My youngest is a junior in college and a couple of years ago I learned she had no idea who John Wayne was!

When I thought about how this could be I realized that she didn't grow up with John Wayne re-runs on TV like I did. In fact she grew up with little TV at all. Her generation may have started with Sesame Street type shows but then transitioned to video games and then streaming TV like from Netflix. How many John Wayne movies are on Netflix? And how appealing would those movies be to her generation even if they were available?

Another example would be Al Jolson. In the 1920's he was America's most famous and highest paid entertainer. Today, if he's remembered at all, he's remembered as the guy who wore blackface. And that's certainly not the sort of non-PC thing this generation would discuss.

Fame certainly is fleeting.


A playoff record that will NEVER be broken. Tom Brady - the best to ever play the game!