Monday, October 31, 2016

FBI shrinks from getting their hands dirty

According to Fox last night, the FBI got a search warrant for the Weiner/Adebin laptop.  I assume they were investigating the charges against Weiner for sexting a minor.  After a WEEK, the laptop was turned over.   Hell, give me just an hour and every single bit on the hard drive goes bye-bye for good.  After looking thru the laptop the FBI discovered a deep pool of really ugly mud.  To avoid going for a swim in filth, the FBI decided they needed another search warrant to look into it.  They must have been hoping the courts would be slow.  Well the second search warrant turned up in time for the election.
   For me, the take out is :  ONE search warrant is all you need to search ONE laptop.  The FBI was stalling, hoping the matter would go away. 

   Afterthought:  They are now saying the laptop has 650,000 emails on it.  Best I can think, they backed up Hillary's server onto the laptop.  And that's a lot of emails.  That's 445 emails a DAY, for the four years Hillary was Secretary of State.   

Sunday, October 30, 2016

The economy is most important issue.

Why?  Because with a strong economy all other things become possible.  With a strong economy everyone can find a job, and the 10% of the working age population that doesn't have a job, or can't find full time work, or is on the official unemployment rate will all have jobs.  And they will pay taxes instead of absorbing welfare bennies.  Boosting tax revenue by 10% would do good things for the deficit, and provide money for all sorts of social bennies, better schools, more infrastructure, maternity leave, you name it, money makes it all possible.  A strong growing economy throws off money like a tree shedding its leaves in the fall. 
   A strong economy reduces crime.   It employs people.  The unemployed have the time and motivation to do a little burglary, deal some drugs, steal a few cars.  Put 'em to work and we will have less crime. 
   A strong economy improves civilian morale.  When the economy is strong people feel better about life in general 'cause they no longer worry about loosing their jobs.
   A strong economy gives the muscle needed to deal with Islamic crazies,  Vladimir Putin, the NORKS, and the rest of them.  Remember WWII, our economy won that one.  Starting from scratch the American economy poured forth the war material, aircraft, tanks, rifles, av gas, rations, army trucks, and nuclear weapons that doomed the enemy. American av gas fueled the RAF for the Battle of Britain.  Dodge army trucks and LL Bean shoepaks made the Red Army mobile.  British troops drove American Sherman tanks to victory at El Alamain.  Our economy was efficient and strong enough to keep running at the wartime pace even after 10 million men were taken out the economy and enlisted in the armed forces. 
   The economy has to grow 3% a year just to keep up with population growth.  It has to grow to offer jobs to each year's crop of new high school and college grads.  Obama has failed in this.  Under Obama economic growth has been 1.5% instead of 3%.  That's why so many new grads are still living at home and playing video games, they can't find jobs.
   We need a new president who will make the economy grow.  Open up all federal lands, and offshore waters to oil exploration.  Restrain the NIMBYs and BANANAs who are stopping every sort of construction.  Close tax loopholes and reduce the rates to keep business from fleeing the country.  Shut down the patent trolls.  Repeal Obamacare.  Repeal most of Obama's business killing regulations.  Stop pouring good money into greenie "alternate energy" ratholes. 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Musta been a lotta heat.

After FBI director Comey let Hillary off last month, it must have taken a hell of a lotta heat to make him change his tune, in public, so close to the election. I've heard that a lot of FBI people are still mad about letting Hillary off.  Maybe something really juicy turned up, and Comey had to fess up or they would leak it.  Certainly most Republicans, especially the ones in Congress, were unhappy about letting Hillary off.  The ones in Congress can make trouble for the FBI when budget time comes around. 
   There is talk that what ever it was turned up during the investigation of Anthony Weiner for sexting a teenage girl.  Weiner clearly has some kind of psychological hangup.  Some how, Huma Abedin, Hillary's close advisor, married the guy, and even had a child with him.  Make you wonder about Huma, how smart is she really, if she couldn't figure out that Weiner was a screwball.  And how smart is Hillary to rely on a woman who isn't very bright as a close advisor?
   And how did the FBI get their hands on what ever it is?  On Huma's computer?   Hillary should have given Huma some lessons about wiping hard drives clean.  Let's guess that "it" is an email from Hillary.  A lot of the stuff Hillary wiped off her server must have been emails to Huma.  And the FBI found them still on Huma's computer?  
   Come on FBI, let us see the dirt too.  It's selfish to hog all the mud to yourselves. 

Friday, October 28, 2016

Wonder how many early voters wish they had waited?

For the latest FBI blockbuster to come out. 

Heat makes light

The blockbuster announcement by the FBI today that they are re opening the Hillary email case is a result of heat applied to the FBI.  Enough heat will make some light.

Old USAF Cliche

"Any landing you can walk away from is a GOOD landing."   I never really appreciated this cliche until the time we ground looped in a Gooney bird at Takli Thailand.   We passengers were VERY appreciative and we all shook the pilot's hand.
   Betcha Mike Pence understands the old cliche now. 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Rail vs Air travel?

Europe and Japan take great pride in their high speed passenger rail.  I've been to both places, ridden the trains, and they are slick.  You board the trains in the center of town, no $100 cab ride to the airport, and you get a fine view of the passing countryside, and they drop you off in the center of town, where you can walk or take the subway to your hotel. 
   Why don't we have trains as nice in America?  Simple, the US is too big, train takes too long to get anywhere.  When I had business on the west coast, I could board a jet liner at Logan and be in California before lunch.  That's 3000 miles at 600 mph.  Even a science fiction 300 mph train would take all day.  A practical 21st century high speed train (150 mph) would take a day and a night. 
   The only place in America with cities close enough for train travel to compete with air is the Boston-Washington corridor up the east coast.  And, we have Acela, a medium high speed train.  Not as fast as the French TGV or the Japanese Hikari superexpress, but fast enough.  Acela can do the Boston New York run fast enough beat airline time, you can skip the taxi to the airport and the hour to get thru security.  Funny thing,  Acela fares are higher than airline fares. 
    Governor Jerry "Moonbeam" Brown out in California is trying for high speed rail the length of California.  It's gonna cost billions.  Real passengers will fly anyhow.  Good luck California taxpayers. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

They voted for this or that awful thing

Hourly now, I have negative TV ads claiming that this candidate or that candidate voted tax breaks for big oil, or supported the "special interests" or some other just plain awful vote. 
   Never do these ads mention the name or number of this dreadful bill the target is accused to voting for, or the date of the vote, or anything that would allow you to fact check the claim. 
   And in this age of Democratic footdragging in Congress, that puts off voting funding bills until the last minute and then voting thru a 5000 page "omnibus spending bill" to keep the government running for another three weeks, it's meaningless.   The Congressperson can vote for the omnibus and keep the government funded, and lay himself open to all kinds of charges, because an omnibus bill contains all kinds of bad stuff.  In 5000 pages they can and do hide funding for damn near anything.  Or he/she can vote against it, and get trashed from all quarters for shutting down the government.  All the feeders at the federal trough will rise up in righteous anger against anyone who threatens to derail their gravy train. 
   So I ignore all the "Did you  know so-and-so made some dreadful vote" ads.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

New engines for the B-52 fleet?

Aviation Week had a short piece lobbying for a B-52 re engine project.  From a technical standpoint, this might make sense, it would certainly give a nicer B-52 with more range, better takeoff power, and lower maintenance.  Especially if a modern engine with enough power were selected that would allow the B-52 to fly on four engines instead of the current eight.  As an old flight line maintenance officer, I can tell you, that maintaining four engines is a helova lot easier than maintaining eight engines. 
   But, speaking as a taxpayer, is it worth it ?  Engines are the most expensive part of an aircraft.  For a new airliner, the engines are a quarter to a third of the overall flyaway cost.  The Aviation Week article didn't breathe a word about cost.  The B-52's are old, so old that we ought to replace them all, right now, on general principles.  Does it make sense to plow serious money into a plane that ought to be retired, and probably will get retired in the foreseeable future?  Especially as the engines on the B-52 work, are reliable, and are efficient enough to give the old B-52 better range than any other USAF bomber, either in service or on the drawing boards. 

Shed a tear for the business jet business

Great Depression 2.0 put the kibosh on bizjet sales.  Aviation Week shows a graph with a big peak in 07 and 08 followed by a steady decline.  Naturally, as an industry spokesmagazine, Aviation Week is all in favor of more bizjet business. 
   In actual fact, the bizjets are mini airliners, nearly as expensive as a full size single aisle airliner.   Expensive to own and expensive to fly.  Only the biggest and richest companies have the money to play with them.  For the top brass of a big rich company, a company jet is a very nice perk.  Tax exempt too.  For the shareholders, employees, and other stakeholders, a bizjet is money wasted that could have gone to expansion, new product development, dividends, wages, and plenty of other useful ends.  In actual fact, the company brass can jolly well fly commercial, everyone else does. And since Great Depression 2.0 struck, the company stakeholder's views are prevailing over the views of top management. 
     In the real world, jet aircraft are so expensive that only air carriers who will fly them everyday can make economic sense for ownership.  No corporate flight operation is going to fly a bizjet as hard as a real aircarrier will.  If for some obscure reason the company bigwigs cannot fly commercial they could charter a bizjet for a lot less than it costs to own one. 
    And Aviation Week goes on at length about new and advanced bizjet models that might revive the market. 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Voting machines

The first all mechanical voting machines were introduced in the 1930's.  At that time it was thought that the machines would reduce scams like ballot box stuffing.  And the machines counted up the votes and displayed the sums on the back of the machine, so vote tallies were available as soon as the polls closed, and the poll workers didn't have to know how to add, subtract or count.  Lotta places bought them, and they lasted for decades.  I never heard of anyone trying to hack one.  Tools were needed just to get the covers off, and under the covers the maze of little whirring moving parts defied all but the most skilled and trained mechanics. 
    After decades of service, the mechanical machines started to wear out, and the manufacturers had gone the way of the buggy whip makers.   As cities and towns looked around for replacements,  because after voting on machines, going back to paper ballots seemed primative, and a horde of eager beaver vendors (Diebold!) were offering electronic voting machines.  These gadgets are basically low end desktop computers.   A program displays the candidates names to voters and records the touches they use to vote.  Groovy.  But these voting machines have all the weaknesses of Windows computers.  Anyone with access to the machines, before or after the election, can change the programming to help his party.  And this scam is undetectable.  They is no paper trail.  The machine's program is unreadable.  With the old fashioned paper ballot, the ballots were saved, and could be recounted in case of challenge.  
    We ought to go back to paper ballots.  Up here in NH, we still use them.  Works fine.  If counting all the ballots in a big city is too much work, buy ballot reading machines.  They work like the test scoring machines used in school and if the machine score is challenged, the paper ballots are still available to be hand counted. 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Who should I vote for? Hillary or The Donald?

Barring a massive miracle, one or the other will be president in a couple of months.  Voting for anyone else isn't going to accomplish anything.  Whereas the race between them is so close that your vote just might tip the election your way.
   Lets not look at the candidate's pasts.  They both have lotta problems.  But the past is past, what's done is done.  Constructive thinking is thinking about what each of them might do to America (for America?) if elected.  You ought to vote for the candidate that might provide the best future for the country.
  President Trump would cut federal taxes.  He would sign an Obamacare repeal bill. He would oppose monopoly mergers, like the recent InBev merger.   He would support Congressional term limits, he might not be able to get the votes to do it, but he has promised to try.  He has promised a federal hiring freeze.  President Trump would appoint real judges to the Supreme Court, judges who believe in enforcing the law as written and not writing new law from the bench.  Trump believes in the second amendment.   
   President Hillary would hike your taxes.  She would veto Obamacare reform.  If you like your Obamacare, you can keep your Obamacare.  She would play nice with Wall St, signing bills to give 'em tax loopholes and reduce regulation.  She would continue to set the Middle East on fire, al la Libya, Syria, Iraq, Boko Haram, Turkey, and ISIS.  You gotta figure that  as president she would keep on doing the same stuff she did as Secretary of State.  President Hillary won't freeze federal hiring, she thinks more government jobs are good for the Democratic party.  President Hillary would appoint Supreme Court judges who believe in "a living Constitution" a liberal idea that allows judges to make up law out of thin air.  Hillary believes in global warming and will sign legislation restricting citizen's rights to heat their houses, fuel their cars, and giving handouts to greenie scams like solar electricity and wind energy.   Hillary is a gun control freak.  
   If you call yourself an American citizen, you need to vote for one or the other.  Real Americans look toward the future, not back to the past. 

It's a Winta Wundaland

Snowed last night.  2 1/2 inches.  Photos taken outside my place up in Franconia Notch NH this morning.    Global warming strikes again.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Win10 Spy Disabler V 1.4, Making it work

Win 10 is very snoopy, and in factory trim reports everything about you and your browsing habits it can back to Microsoft.  Youngest son recommended Win 10 Spy Disabler freeware to tighten things up.  Nice little program, gives you all kinds of options on what you can kill.  Only problem, it never seemed to DO anything, no matter what options I selected. 
   I finally got the thing to work this morning.  The program window is too big for my screen (I'm a laptop) and the "APPLY" button was off the bottom of the screen and out of reach.  You cannot click on buttons that are off the screen. 
   Fix:  move the task bar out of the way.  My task bar is on the bottom of the screen where it belongs.  But in "Settings" there is an option to move it to the right hand or left hand side.  Which gives just enough more screen to show the "APPLY" button. 
   Win10 Spy Disabler ran to completion and offered to reboot.  Which I did.  And the laptop survived the experience.  Whether the program actually did anything is hard to tell. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

American Rifleman magazine rates candidates.

American Rifleman is the NRA magazine, widely read and trusted by NRA members, a numerous group of voters.  The October issue arrived, and it lists every candidate for public office in NH.  And it rates them, A thru F on their position on fire arms issues (gun control mostly).
   As a rule Republican candidates receive a A rating and Democrats Ds and Fs.  If you are wondering who all is on the ballot in your district, check out American Rifleman.   Candidates who neglected to return the NRA questionnaire receive a question mark rating. 

Office                  Candidate          Party        Rating
US Senate           Kelly Ayotte       R             A
                           Maggie Hassan   D             F
Governor             Chris Sununu      R             B
                           Colin Van Ostern D            ?
US Rep               Frank Guinta       R            A
                           Carol Shea-PorterD           F
                           Jim Lawrence       R           A
                           Anne Kuster         D           F

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Third Presidential Debate

So I jotted down some of the things they said while they were saying them to help me memory along.  Hillary was coming out strong against the "Gunshow Loophole".  Which sounds good, but there is no gun show loophole.  I bought a gun at a gun show some time ago, (Nice Marlin 30-30 lever action) and they did instant background checks on all of us purchasers. 
   The Donald said that his supreme court picks might well repeal Roe vs Wade.  I wouldn't have said that.  It offends about half the voters.  Roe vs Wade has been the law for nigh on 50 years now, and overturning it would cause as much commotion and bad feeling as imposing it did.  Then he got off on a riff condemning partial birth abortions. 
   They got onto building border walls.  Hillary suggested that we wait for improved technology.  Improved technology for walls?  They had wall technology down pretty good in Troy, and it hasn't changed much in the 3000 years since Achilles slew Hector.  If she is talking about electronic widgets, forget it.  We tried that in Viet Nam.  Didn't work.  Put your trust in a plain old chain link fence. 
   Hillary was selling the idea that Putin is trying to help Trump with his leaks to Wikileaks.  Why would Putin do that?  Hillary is a known quantity, she isn't very effective, she isn't very smart, she isn't very polite, her mandate from the voters will be weak.  As the dictator of a Russia competing with the USA, Putin would be much better off with Hillary.  As ex head of KGB Putin knows this.  It's been suggested that the reason they only leak Democratic dirty laundry is that the Replublicans have tighter security and the hackers were not able to break in.  If true, that's a good reason to vote Republican. 
   Hillary claimed that Obama cut the national debt.  That's a flat out lie, the national debt doubled under Obama. 
   Hillary derided all tax cuts as "tax cuts for the rich".  Well, since half the population pays NO federal income tax, tax cuts only benefit the taxpaying half of the population.  If paying income tax makes you rich, then I suppose so.  But cutting taxes is good.  It's good for the economy, it worked for both Kennedy and Reagan, its good for taxpayers.  And a mere 5% of the taxpayers pay most of the taxes. 
   The Donald failed to nail Hillary on what she has accomplished on all her years on the public teat.  The real answer is she accomplished nothing.  No bills, no laws, no treaties, no peace talks, nada. 
   And finally Hillary wants to forbid anyone on the no-fly list from buying guns.  The no-fly list is maintained by bureaucrats somewhere and is completely arbitrary.  Citizens get stuck on it and there is no way off.  I don't want to give faceless federal bureaucrats the power to take away citizen's second amendment rights on a whim.
  The Donald came on pretty strong.  He'd be better if he could stick to the subject, and not go rambling off about pet peeves that the voters either don't care about or don't like.  He did get in a fair number of solid slams on Hillary.  Hillary wasn't quite as good.  I'd give this one to The Donald, but just barely, a squeaker.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Leaf Peeping.

It was a lovely day, sun, warm, clear sky.  Leaves still bright.  I decided I had to get out and look.  So I drove over the Kancamagus to Conway, and back thru Crawford Notch.  Foliage was magnificent all the way.  Whole hillsides showing gold and red. Individual trees all bright red. I brought the camera, but I already have, and have posted, a bunch of pix of brightly color leaves, so I didn't take any more.  Plus a lot of really beautiful scenes don't photograph well, you have to be there and see them.
Good Trip.  At the right time of year. 

Selecting a "man-on-the-street" for inteview. NHPR style

NHPR newsie in Orlando Florida is interviewing a "representative" voter.  Didn't give his name.  It became clear listening to this guy that he is gay, and pretty much all his waking thoughts are about his gayness and how it effects his life, his relationship with his mother and family, and the world in general.  It's hard for me to take this guy as representative of the typical Orlando (or anywhere else) voter.  Real people have other concerns than their sexual identity in their lives,  stuff like jobs, sports, hobbies, cars, politics, computers, music and more.  All this guy could talk about was his sexual identity.
   Granted that being gay can bring unusual stresses.  But 95% of the population is straight, and has interests other than sex and sexual identity.
   I don't think this guy is representative of anybody except himself.  And the NHPR newsies were too dumb or too PC to figure that out.  Or they just wanted to put a gay guy on the air. 

Moderators, Presidential Debate type.

The last two presidential debates had dreadful moderators.  They asked dumb ass questions, they were profoundly ignorant of many simple matters, and they both tried hard to help Hillary and hinder Trump.   Chris Wallace ought to be better.  He is smart, knowledgeable and fair.
   Far as I am concerned,  Republican presidential candidates ought to be pickier about debate moderators.  They should veto any rabid democratic moderators like Candy Crowley along with other more ignorant newsies.  And since newsies are a fairly low grade lifeform, they ought to look for prominent Americans from other walks of life. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Free College. We used to have it.

I got one back in the 1970's.  My Air Force hitch was up, after a tour in South East Asia, and I enrolled at the University of Delaware for a Bachelor of Science Electrical Engineering degree.  I  had been stationed in Delaware long enough to qualify as a Delaware resident, entitled to resident's rates at the state university.  For residents tuition was super low, only a few hundred dollars a semester.  For a couple of semesters my text books cost more than my tuition.  My GI benefits covered tuition, books, and rent on my apartment.  Between that, and money I saved during my Air Force hitch, I graduated with no student loans to pay off and enough money left over to get married and take a honeymoon in England. 
   University of Delaware might not qualify as completely free in those days, but it was so cheap that anyone could afford it.   With Dupont and Hercules in the state, the engineering program at Delaware was good.  
   So when you hear Hillary campaigning for free college education, some one ought to ask her what happened to the ones we used to have. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Words of the Weasel Part 48

"Bottle of flammable liquid"   That's what the cops called it on TV.   In real life, we call them Molotov cocktails.  

Words of the Weasel Part 47

Heard on TV this morning.  "I was self medicating myself with alcohol."   Sounds a helova lot better than "I drank like a fish."

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Franconia Notch Fall Foliage

I took these pictures yesterday up in the Notch.

McDonalds is loosing it

I've been eating Big Macs and fries at McD's since forever.  Not so much lately.  Something has gone away, the Big Mac's are dry, cooked grey straight thru, the roll is soggy, and the fixings are tasteless.  The fries aren't as crisp as they used to be, and taste bland and mealy. 
   McD's used to be better.    Burger King is in the same hole.  Dunno what I am gonna do for lunch on the road.  Brown bag it I guess.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

No-Fly zone in Syria?

Been some loose talk about taking the heat off Aleppo by declaring a no-fly zone over the city.  Keep Assad and the Russians from bombing the place.
   Not a bad idea, but you gotta ask one big question.  Are we willing to enforce such a no-fly zone?  Which means shooting down Russian aircraft.  The Turks did that a while ago and the Russians got awfully testy about it.  Do we have as much guts as the Turks? 
   If we aren't ready to enforce a no-fly zone, it's better not to declare one.  Something you learn from parenting.  Never make a threat that you are not prepared to carry out.   

The Donald has a lotta enemies to overcome

Enemy Number 1 is Democrats (natch).  Led by Hillary, they hope they can win in November.  Many of them detest Republicans on general principles, kinda like how cats feel about dogs.  It's not ideology or philosophy, it's just plain hatred.
Enemy Number 2 is the MSM.  Everybody in the MSM, reporters, editors, anchorpersons, janitors are  Democrats.  Only being in the MSM they have a really really loud megaphone to broadcast their propaganda.
Enemy Number 3 is the business establishment.  They have a cozy thing going with Hillary, they have contributed to the Clinton Foundation (paid their bribes).  They need favorable regulatory rulings, tax breaks, tariffs, and other crony capitalism things.  They are pretty sure that Hillary will do this stuff for them, as long as they keep paying her.  They have no idea what The Donald will do if elected.  That's scary.
Enemy Number 4 is the RINOs.  Once elected, the RINOs find they like the Democratic tax and spend policies, especially when it results in spending in their districts.  They don't care about tax hikes, they figure they can blame them on the Democrats.  The MSM won't call them on it, and the voters won't fact check them either.
Enemy Number 5 is all the women in the country.  The Donald is a boor, they know it, and that tape last Friday confirmed it.  Plus any woman has gotta like the idea of a female president.
Enemy Number 6 is academia.  Every college prof, every grade school teacher, and every administrator is a democrat.  They consider it their plain duty to brainwash their students, your children, with leftist drivel.  You wonder why the "millennials" are so pro Hillary and anti Trump?  They are coming off of 16 straight years of leftist indoctrination. 
  Good luck Donald.  You need all possible luck. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Polls, more polls, and maybe some statistics

The TV is reporting that Clinton is up 9 % in the polls nationwide.  This comes after Debate #1, the Trump tape from 11 years ago, and Debate #2.  Bad news, if the polls are accurate. 
   My brother just got back from the great antique car show and auction in Hershey PA.  The show has been the second biggest thing in Hershey, after the chocolate company, for forty years or more.  He tells me the Trump signs were all over the place, not a Hillary sign to be seen.  Apparently car buffs are Trump fans.  Let's hope there are more of them.
   The pollsters got it wrong on Brexit.  They might get it wrong on the election.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

How was 11 year old tape located in time?

I can see how TV networks would want to keep video of all the shows that they put on the air.  But the tape that did so much damage to The Donald was an out take, not broadcast video.  How come it was saved, and how did anyone find it 11 years later, just in time to do The Donald a lot of harm?  How much rummaging thru dusty boxes of video tape was required? And how much viewing of aged video was done, and by who? 
   There is a story here. Wanna bet the MSM won't touch it with a ten foot pole?  "All the news that fits, we print".

Sunday, October 9, 2016

And I watched the 2nd Donald-Hillary debate

The Donald came on strong.  He answered some opening questions about THAT TAPE, pretty well.  He was able to move the discussion forward to some real issues, tax reform, Syria, repealing Obamacare, shutting down Obama's war on coal.  He also kept up a steady stream of zingers at Hillary. 
  Hillary was looking strong too, did not stumble or faint or show any kind medical problem.  She had a lotta zingers for The Donald. 
   Most of the questions sucked.  The moderators were a pair of newsies from ABC and CNN who tried to help Hillary and hinder The Donald as much as they could. 
   I think The Donald managed to erase some of the damage done by THAT TAPE. 

So I listened to the Trump audio tape.

Well, I've heard worse, actually a lot worse.  I was in the service once upon a time.  I played varsity sports in high school and heard a lot of crude remarks in the locker room.  But it's still kinda gross.  And the MSM are giving it all the air play in the world, hoping to sabotage Trump's campaign. 

The Odyssey of Humanity on Nova

Two hour show this Sunday.  Lots of  good video.  Lots of inane commentary.  Lots of astounding conclusions presented without any of the evidence to support them.  For instance, the voice over says that Neanderthal man lacked projectile weapons (bow and arrow, throwing spears) that Homo Sapiens possessed.  The voice over fails to mention any evidence for this bold claim.  Were there counts of flint arrowheads from Neanderthal sites and homo sapiens sites?  How does one tell the difference between a flint spearhead from a thrusting spearhead from a throwing spear?  It's an important issue.  Hunting with a bow and arrow is one helova lot more effective than hunting with just a flint knife or a thrusting spear, merely because the hunter doesn't have to stalk as closely and risk spooking the game.  With a bow and arrow the hunter only has to get within 50 yards of his prey.  Which is a lot easier than stalking to within touching distance ( zero feet). 
   Then the voice over goes into the old Bering Land Bridge theory, the idea that man crossed over from Asia to America when the oceans were low and the Bering Straits became dry land.  This is a land lubber's idea.  In real life Alaskan Eskimos used to cross the modern day Bering Straits in skin boats (Umiaks) until the Soviets made life impossible for them after WWII.  The umiaks were covered with walrus hide, a quarter of an inch thick, tough as fiberglass.  Eskimo umiaks are strong enough to take the thrust of a 40 horsepower outboard motor. 
   They did show a umiak on video, but the voice over clearly doesn't under stand the difference between rowing and paddling.   If your boat is strong enough to take the thrust of the oarlocks,  rowing will take you much further and faster than paddling.  Indian birch bark canoes were paddled because the birch bark isn't strong enough for oarlocks. 
   Then we see a truly impressive Pacific ocean catamaran.  Two masts, cabins, big crew, very impressive vessel.  It's a modern replica.  No discussion of ancient catamarans.  Do they have pictures? rock carvings? a salvaged wreck?  or what?  I'd love to believe that Polynesians reached Hawaii in such a craft, but I'd like a little evidence.  Plus no details of the impressive modern replica, like length, displacement, speed, how high she could point up into the wind, what each of the twin hulls was made of.  Or what the sails might have been made of.  The replica's sails looked like modern Dacron to me.
   Nova  had a lot of dramatic flashy video, made a nice TV show, but the voice over displayed so much ignorance as to discredit the whole thing. 

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Peak of Leaf Season

This weekend is as good as it's gonna get up here in the Notch.   I was going to add a couple of photos but the software weenies at blogger seem to have broken the photo upload code, again.  Way to go software weenies.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Sorry about Gretchen Carlson, but Britt Hume is cool too.

Gretchen disappeared off Fox's 7 PM  news show.  I assume that she was caught up in the Fox News/Roger Ailes sexual harassment affair, although I don't know that for sure.  I watched Gretchen's show for a long time.  But, I gotta say that old pro Britt Hume does even better than Gretchen did.  Britt makes the same show (same time slot) even more interesting.   Way to go Britt.

International Tax Scams

Want to avoid US corporate income tax?  If you are a corporation, open a branch or a subsidiary in some really low tax country.  The Bahamas and some other Caribbean island-nations are notorious.  Apple chose Ireland, a reasonable EU country that let Apple pay 12% instead of the US 35%.  Apple got such a good deal that the EU got on Ireland's case and demanded Apple pay a whole bunch more.  If the EU finds it was a scandal, where was the American IRS?  Uncle Sam was loosing out bigtime on the Irish-Apple deal. More so than the EU was.
   Once an overseas subsidiary is established, it's easy for the company accountants to direct all sorts of earning to the subsidiary.  Just running the bills thru the subsidiary can be enough.  Even if the product is made in the US, shipped in the US, delivered in the US, but the bills go to the Bahamas, it's income in the Bahamas, not the US.  We could tighten this up with some rules in our tax code.  Call it inverse domestic content, if say 50% of the product's content is US content, then income from selling said product is US income.  And we could ban transfer of intellectual property, say the rights to Disney films like Peter Pan, out of the United States.  Between movies and music and computer programs, and books and suchlike, the US earns a lotta money, probably more than we do exporting automobiles and steel.
   We probably need a world wide tax agreement, setting corporate tax rates the same all over the world.  This would reduce the incentives for US companies, cursed with the highest tax rate in the world, to move abroad.  To make this work, we would have to bring our corporate tax rate down to match places like Germany, Japan, and England.  And once we have the first world on board, we pressure the tax havens like the Bahamas to shape up. We tell 'em if they want to do business in the first world, they gotta adopt first world corporate tax rates.  If they don't listen, we tighten the screws on 'em.
  Wanna bet nobody running for president ever talks about this?

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Let's go with Pence for VP

I stayed up to watch the VP debate.   With both presidential candidates in, or near their seventies, and a world full of crazies, there is a distinct chance of the VP succeeding to the presidency.  So do either of these two guys, Republican Mike Pence, and Democrat Tim Kaine look like they could cut it as president?  Both of them are unknown to me.  Governors of states so far away from NH that I never heard a word about them before.  
   Of the two, Republican Mike Pence made a much better impression on me.  He seemed steadier, talked more of substance rather than just dishing up insults, which is all Democrat Tim Kaine did.  I feel the country would be in good hands with Mike Pence should something happen to Trump.  Not so much Tim Kaine,  Hillary won't be much good as president and Kaine will be worse. 
   Kaine spent the night repeating every distasteful thing Trump has ever said or whining about Trump's personal taxes.  Not very interesting, I have heard most of 'em, from Trump on live TV, or on instant replay with the morning TV pundits.   Pence talked about his successes as governor, they sounded pretty good, lowered taxes, lowered unemployment, created a $2 billion surplus in the state government.  Pence also talked about Republican plans to revive the national economy.\
   The moderator, a lady from somewhere in the MSM, I don't know her, used each question to pet the democrats and slam the republicans.  And the questions were light weight, just invitations for another flood of politician talk, feel good, commit to nothing speech or the kind that Obama is so good at. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

How should Boeing do its books?

What companies make, and report as income, depends on how they do their books.  For Boeing, the problem is accounting for the fantastic expenses of new product development.  Take the 787 program.  Originally planned to cost $5 billion to develop, it went ten times that, $50 billion in outgo (expenses) before a single 787 could be sold.  If Boeing had just reported the expenses in the year they were incurred, Boeing would have shown massive losses for five years in a row.  Which would have done awful things to its stock value, its credit, and its image. 
   Boeing used "program accounting" instead.  The horrible expenses of 787 development were held somewhere, off the books, until the 787 started to sell.  Now these massive expenses are divvied up on each 787 sale, after sales begin.  Which makes Boeing's books look a helova lot better during the development time.  The Wall St Journal didn't explain a few crucial details, like how long Boeing can take to write down the 787 expenses.  Clearly forecasting a production run of 50 years drops the expense per aircraft a lot compared to a production run of 10 years.  Boeing could argue that since the old 747 stayed in production for 50 years, the newer and more fuel efficient 787 might last as long.  And just where the expenses are recorded, (on the books, off the books, in the cloud, somewhere) is not mentioned.  The Journal does say that "program accounting" is legal.
   Spending $50 billion on new product development is clearly a good thing.  Without the 787 Airbus would take over the market.  We need a way for companies to make super expensive investments in plant, equipment, and new product development. 
   I'm not an accountant.  In my simplistic view of the world, you do the books every year.  You list expenses, and income, and report the profit or loss every year.  But looking at the Boeing case, maybe we need "program accounting". 

We ought to watch the VP debate tonight.

With both presidential candidates in their seventies or almost seventy, there is a distinct chance of a VP becoming president.  I know little to nothing about either of the VP candidates.  Watching 'em debate ought to tell me something. 

Cooler weather slows the flies.

Makes 'em easier to hand swat.  In the heat of summer I have to use bug bomb to kill 'em. 

Monday, October 3, 2016

Sucking up all the Oxygen

The New York Slimes claims to have three pages of a Donald Trump income tax return from twenty years ago.  They say that Trump took a loss of nearly $1 billion dollars that year.  Wow.  Not discussed, is how anyone, even The Donald, can stay in business after loosing a real $1 billion dollars in cash.  Clever tax men, and The Donald hires the cleverest, can gin up paper losses as required.  No discussion of this.
   And, why are we discussing twenty year old tax returns?  Especially twenty year old tax returns that passed IRS audit.  And the IRS is auditing this year's tax return, and they won't do The Donald any favors.  I'd sorta like to see The Donald's returns for 2015, but I can wait, the IRS can do The Donald more damage than the MSM can.  And the IRS would enjoy doing the damage. 
   The tax loss carry forward provision has been in the tax code for a long time.  I'm an amateur tax preparer (I do my own taxes) and I know about tax loss carry forward. When you loose money, you can deduct losses from previous years against this year's tax.  I've never lost enough money to take advantage of it.  And if you have $1 billion in allowed losses, you can carry it forward for quite a few years, especially if you haven't made much money in the succeeding years.
   Tax loss carry forward is a loophole that ought to be closed.  All it does is reward failure.
   I'm with Carly Fiorina.  Close every loophole, lower every rate. 

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Discipline for Wall St

Want to shape up Wall St?  Put some risk in the game.  Right now, they can play risky games, and when they loose, the tax payers bail them out.  FDIC and all that.  Since the risky games are high yield (except for when they become high loss) they keep on playing them.  Step one,  make it perfectly clear to everyone, that the next Wall St operation to go broke will stay broke, no bailout, anyone who gave them loans will loose, and the broke outfit's executives will be prosecuted for fraud.
  Make a list of risky games, credit default swaps, mortgage backed securities, commodities trading, and the like.  Either tax the bejesus out of them or make them illegal.
   Forbid banks playing the stock market.  Glass Steagall had it right.
   Discourage banks from lending to each other.  The purpose of a bank is to make loans for economic development.  Lending money to another bank doesn't develop the economy.  Loans should go to builders and businesses to build plant and equipment, buy inventory, or build houses.  If the loan doesn't create anything that you can see, touch, or pack in a truck, it  isn't developing the economy or creating jobs.  Which means the bank should not be doing it.  Discouragement can be taxes or worse.
   Forbid banks selling mortgages.   Mortgages are good investments, safe as houses they used to say.  The borrower is highly motivated to make the payments on time, if for no other reason than to avoid the things his wife will say when they get foreclosed on.  The collateral is fairly sound, and it's immobile, nobody can drive it out of state.  Make a mortgage and the bank has to keep it, until the borrower pays it off, like when he sells the house.  This way the banks won't make NINJA (No Income, No Job, No Assets) mortgages and, won't do balloon notes.  And they won't crash the global economy with mortgage backed securities.