A fairy tale about the economy

This just in: Once upon a time, there was a country made up of 1,000 individuals.

These individuals worked together to create an economy for themselves.  There were hard workers that tended the crops and hard workers that minded the banks.  There were lazy people at the top, living off of inheritances and there were lazy people at the bottom, living off of the government.

There was a wide range of incomes.  The richest person in the land had $100 million in the bank. He’d made some of his money through hard work; some was inherited and some was perhaps a bit shady.  The next richest person had $1 million in the bank.  He owned nearly every company in the country.  There were several people with $100k in the bank.  About 50% of the population had no savings.  The average income in this country was $50K a year.

This country had a government consisting of 1 person.  This person made all of the decisions that any government was expected to make.

One day, the richest person in the country approached the government and said, “I will give you $5 million if cut taxes on businesses.”

The government readily agreed to this.  It cut taxes on all of the country’s businesses.  This caused it to borrow $100 million from China to make up for the lass over the next few years.

The results appeared to be spectacular.

The richest person now had $200 million due to lower taxes.  This caused the average wealth in the nation to go from $50,000 up to $150,000.  The newspaper, which was owned by the richest person, ran headlines that read, “Tax cut triples the average wealth of our citizens!!!”

No mention was made of the newly acquired $100 million debt to China.  No mention was made of the fact that only 1 person in the country actually benefited from this debt.

The government certainly didn’t say anything.  It quietly accepted its payment from the nation’s richest person and acted like nothing had happened at all.

A couple of years later, the country’s economy started to feel the strain of making payments on its China loan.  Since taxes were cut, there was no money left for healthcare, pensions or infrastructure.  The country’s people became poorer and poorer; even as the rich became richer and richer.

In the end, the country’s economy collapsed.  Those with money were able to bail out and live elsewhere.  Those that were left behind…well they lost everything as China showed up to collect their debt and there were no resources available to stop them.

The End.

Up, up and away…

Jim

 

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The motive matters

This just in:  I have a lot of political opinions.  However, I usually vote based on Character rather than Position.

Here are a few examples…

Republicans claim “Gun control is useless”.  In fact, they won’t even support a measure to research the issue.  Now, what is their motive?  My belief is that they have 2 motives here.  First, they want the NRA money and endorsement.  Secondly, they want the gun owners that actually believe this statement.  In short, they are allowing people to be killed at the rate of 30,000 per year so they can get some extra votes.

Republicans claim that the “Free Market” is best for healthcare.  Why?  There are two reasons for this.  First, “Free Market” appeals to the uneducated.  They hear this term and think “God Bless America”.  They think the Free Market is fitting in every situation; a belief suitable for someone short of a high school diploma.  Secondly, Obamacare is not their idea.  Republican, Mitt Romney oversaw socialized healthcare in MA where it is still a huge success.  He opposed it nationally because credit for doing that would go to the Democrats.  So, the Republican party is willing to let healthcare kill people or cause bankruptcy for elders so they can get votes.

These are just a couple of examples.

I can hear it now.  “They both do it!”

To this I say, “Beware of the false equivalency.”

I have started posting ridiculous things the GOP is doing along with the comment, “Do you think both parties do this?”  Trump lying in yesterday’s Op-Ed is an example.  No, both parties don’t do that.

However, to an extent, I agree that both parties are misleading.  I saw Hillary misrepresent the cost of national healthcare so she could slam Bernie Sanders.  She lost my vote that moment.  Not because she was against healthcare.  Rather, because she showed she was willing to lie and not do the obviously right thing in order to get votes.

Also, both parties take positions to get votes.  In a way, that is their job description.  However, misrepresenting the situation is a problem.

For example, Yesterday, Trump had an Op-Ed posted where he slammed the Democrats on healthcare.  Fact checkers found lies and misleading statements in nearly every sentence.  He did this for votes.  However, by misrepresenting the truth, he is getting votes from people that want better healthcare that he has no intention of providing.

He should say, “I want the Free Market to rule healthcare” and then make his case for it honestly.  Let people hear his position and compare it to the opposition’s position.  In this way, we can all make good decisions.

For example, the Republican Party should say, “We oppose gun control because many of our voters support it.  We clearly understand that this will cause tens of thousands of gun deaths but its a price we are willing for you to pay.”

I know this is a Pollyanna position for me to take. However, I know it’s within our grasp.  The internet, which is notorious for allowing the spread of misinformation, may, someday, be the very thing that says, “Here are the results of your search and we have annotated those that are fake or misleading.”

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

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Ramblings from an unfocused mind

This just in:  Every now and then, I just need to clear all the temporary files in my mind.  The result is a random flood of unrelated things with no attempt to weave them into a story.  This is one of those days.

Let’s begin…

When I travel, I allow myself one stop at Popeye’s Chicken and one stop at Taco Bell.  The result of this well-intentioned effort on restraint is that I stop at Popeye’s once and buy enough food for everyone on the block…and one plastic fork.  Today…it was $20 at Taco Bell.  The last few bites were slow going down but still awesome.

51% of of our Senate represent 44% of our population and 26% of our country’s GDP.  Yes, they represent the poor states; those states that have made bad investments in themselves and their economy.  Instead,they rely on the Blue states to subsidize them.

When I read for fun, it’s usually “hard” Science Fiction.  There has to be a couple of spaceships and some sort of war.  Neal Asher is my author of choice.  However, I am now reading a book about two little girls that are solving a neighborhood crime.  It’s called “The Trouble With Goats and Sheep.”  I’m really enjoying it!

I’m going to San Diego to watch Navy play Notre Dame.  It should be a lot of fun as a few of my Naval Academy classmates will be there.  The game will be a horror story as Notre Dame will probably score like a basketball game.

Yesterday, I left my hotel room in the morning as MSNBC was interviewing people about Kavanaugh.  The question was, “Who is more energized by this; Republicans or Democrats?”  I came back 10 hours later are this was still the question they were discussing.

The New York Times ran a story about Trump’s history of tax evasion and tax fraud.  The result:  His fans still love him.  Go figure.  This guy belongs in jail and my hope is that he dies wearing Folsom Orange.

I’m taking a class on “influence.”  Chapter 3 was about the downside of influence.  It talked about traits like Narcissism and how those are basically used for evil.  As an example, the course used Donald Trump.  By the way, this was recorded about 10 years ago.  The course says avoid Narcissistic people because they lie all the time and promise you great things but have no substance.  Pure Trump.

A UN Climate report came out and said, “You have 11 years until the end of the world.”  Everyone in the world is terrified.  Not Trump.  He continues to think Climate Change is a Chinese hoax designed to somehow hurt American manufacturing.

Last word on Kavanaugh…The Republican Party said the following 2 statements (paraphrased here): “We believe Dr. Ford” and “Dr. Ford was a hoax.”  They wavered between these two, depending on the audience.  The Republican Party also defines “Mob” as “Angry women that raise their voices and make old white men uncomfortable.”

As I write this, MSNBC has moved from “Who is the most energized” to “Live coverage of people wading through water while carrying puppies.”  It seems to me that the major news outlets have three modes: (1) Politics because no one is dying right now, (2) Plane crashes because a bunch of people died at once and (3) Hurricanes because “Who doesn’t like watching roofs blow off?”  Honorable mention is the occasional mass shooting (or…act of terrorism if it was committed by a non-white.)

I’ve been doing some work in Canada recently and I would like to report that Canadians are as nice as we think they are.  They look at Trump and understand that we had a temporary lack of good judgement and they will wait patiently for sanity to return to the lower 48.

I guess that’s enough of a data dump for now…I still have a Burrito Supreme that’s not going to eat itself.

Up, up and away…

Jim

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The Lazy “Single Issue Voter”

This just in:  Today, in an ongoing attempt to understand why ANYONE would vote Republican, I’ll be complaining about the Single Issue Voter.

Let’s start with this:  A single issue voter is one that is intellectually lazy.  They pick a single issue and then cling to the one party that sings the most promising song with regards to that issue. They are like that horse with blinders on.  They pretend that a candidate that supports their issue does not support anything else.

The biggest Single Issues…

Abortion:  Ignore the fact that no one likes abortion.

Some people actually believe to know the will of God.  They can’t name the capitals of the various countries in the world but when it comes to God…they have complete understanding.  The know for a fact that God, while creating a universe, every now and then looks over to make sure we and not having abortions.  In philosophy courses, they refer to a belief in God as “Mystery therefore Magic.”

Now, maybe they are right and God is anti-abortion.  I certainly don’t know one way or the other.  However, the Republican Party wants this vote so they say, “We will work to stop abortions.”  Score 1 for the GOP.

This ignores that making abortions illegal does nothing to stop abortions.  This ignores the fact that this same God Fearing Party is taking kids from their parents at the border.  They are in a constant battle to stop feeding the poor and needy.  In short, they do what it takes to get the vote “Let that baby be born!” and then turn their backs on it.  The GOP has very little to do with the common good.  They call those efforts “liberal”.  But, this is ignored because Pro-Life people are single issue voters and their intellect stops at the womb.

Gun Control: Ignore the fact that everyone wants to end needless gun deaths.

The GOP has discovered that single issue voters that like their guns, will vote for the party that allows virtually unlimited gun ownership.  The GOP has convinced this type of voter that any effort to stem gun violence is equal to the government taking away everyone’s guns.

The intellectually lazy does not look at the facts.  They don’t want to hear about solutions or how other countries are handling this.  They are too lazy (or fearful) to listen to the other side.  They say things like, “If we make laws to control guns, only the bad guys will have guns.”  By this logic, we shouldn’t have any laws because only the good guys will follow them.

Might = Right:  This is a biggie.  The old white males that make up the majority of the Republican Party grew up in a world where the United States won WWII.  They like it when the U.S. flexes its muscle.  When Trump put up tariffs, they cheer because they see this as being “tough”.  Ask them who is really paying for those tariffs.  Ask them what the basic economic terms “elasticity” or “Marginal Cost” mean and they stare at you like a cow.  They have no idea about economics but they like the idea that we are being tough.

White Superiority:  The truth is that we are a nation of immigrants.  The truth is that one of the major issues holding back our economic growth is a lack of labor.  We need immigrants.  However, there are single issue voters that think we are a nation of White People.  They think whites invented stuff.  Whites won the wars.  Being white means being a true American.  They will vote for the political party that subtly supports this idea.  How is it done subtly?  We blame immigrants.  We build walls.  We back off of treaties.  We call acts of terror by whites….crime and by non-white…terrorism.  Trump sees hate at a rally and claims “both sides are equal.”

Christianity:  I was probably 7 years old, sitting in Sunday School when I had the realization that I was studying a fairy tale.  I would ask, “Why would God want Abraham to kill his son?” and get back, “It was a test.”  I knew that was bullshit.  And yet, there are those that think that they not only know the will of God, they also know that God chose America to be the promised land.  God intended for the United States to be Christian.  Now, again, I have no way of knowing if this is true or not.  But…I’m quite certain that absolutely no one knows this to be true.  However, the single issue voter will vote for the party that will keep the other religions out of town.  That would be the Republican Party.

These five issues alone will bring a lot of voters to the Republican side of the table.  The Republicans don’t necessarily believe in any of this stuff but that act like they do and that’s enough.

There are other issues: Education, Global Warming, World Peace, Healthcare, Infrastructure, Taking care of each other, World Trade, Pursuit of the Truth, Space Exploration, the Disappearing Middle Class, Income inequality, Money in Politics.

There are just soooo many important issues and yet….they are ignored by the intellectually lazy.  The GOP goes after the low hanging fruit that is the Single Issue Voter, because their level of ethics allows for them to do that.

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

 

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The Shame

This just in: “Every nation gets the government it deserves.” – Joseph de Maistre

Last night I had a dream.  I was some sort of Terminator-type guy and I was fighting off an alien invasion that was enslaving mankind.  In the end, I saved the world.  There was a brief celebration and then everyone turned against each other to see which of them would be the new leader and thus, the new “enslaver of mankind.”

At this point, I turned my back on the populace and walked away knowing I had accomplished…nothing.

I think the moral of the story is that the enemy is within.

Our government is in a shambles.  I can’t blame Trump.  I can’t blame the Republicans.  Why?  Because if we get rid of them, the “system” that gave birth to them will endure and thus…produce replacements that are just as bad.

What do I mean when I say “system”?

I think if I had to choose one issue…it would be the absence of accepted facts.

Pick any issue.  Let’s use tariffs.  I think we should know exactly why the tariffs are in.  We should know exactly how these affect our target (China) and our allies.  We should know how they affect us.  We should know how, as a tool, tariffs stack up against other options that may achieve the same goal.

We don’t clearly know any of this.

What about the tax cut that was passed?  What about immigration?  What about NATO or the Paris Accord?  What about Kavanaugh?  What about auto emissions? What about Net Neutrality?  What’s the impact of income inequality?  Can we do better with healthcare?

Suppose we knew exactly the impact and various solutions to these and many other issues.  We could then make good choices.  Perfect decisions come from perfect information.

This brings me to the title of this post: Shame.

The “Shame” is that we are completely able of finding the answers to these issues and making them public.  We are smart and capable.  We can do this.

But we don’t.

We don’t because people are “influenced” to turn the other way.  It could be “vote this way for me and I’ll vote that way for you” type of thing. It could be “I don’t’ want Trump to give me a nickname.”  It could be, my billionaire campaign contributor won’t back me if I don’t vote a certain way.”  Once influence, the fact are often hidden as they may contradict a desired action.

These types of influencers are what got a tax cut passed that is adding trillions to our debt so the extremely rich have even more money.  These types of influences gives us a circus for Supreme Court nominations where 90% of Kavanaugh’s history is kept secret even from the Judicial committee’s Democrat members and the FBI is directed to apparently “not find anything.”

What’s that you say, “We don’t know what the FBI was directed to do.”  That is true.  So I ask, “Why don’t we know exactly what the FBI was directed to do?”

We now have permission to lie.  We have permission to hate.  We have permission to ignore science.  We have permission to scam the tax system.  We have permission to ignore the plight of women and minorities.

And with this permission came an astonishing revelation:  We have been waiting all along for this to be okay. 

The most shameful thing of all is that the mirror has been turned towards us and the picture is not pretty.

That Shame may also be the hidden blessing.  I can pretend that my face is not dirty so long as you don’t make me look in the mirror.  When confronted with the fact…maybe I’ll decide it’s time to bath.

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

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Git’er Done

This just in:  Back in my Navy days, we had a saying, “You can expect what you can inspect.”  In other words, to be able to effectively judge something, you must be able to objectively measure it.

If someone tells you, “I worked really hard yesterday,” you really have no way to judge that unless you have the ability to measure what a day of hard work really is.

I know this is kind of obtuse, but it gets me to where I want to be: My Daily To-Do List.

Let’s back up a bit.

Two-hundred days ago, I woke up in a hotel and thought, “Life seems to have less meaning for me than it should. I’m wasting too much of my time reading news and such on the internet; all the while, not really accomplishing much.”

So I made a list.  This list consists of 20 items, each of which would add value to my life-experience if I did it.  I next set a goal.  I would work to achieve at least 50% of the items on that list every day.

What’s on the list?  Writing a blog is one item.  Push-ups is another.  Reading a book is on there as is meditating.  Hitting golf balls is there along with pull-ups, calling a family member and having 2 tablespoons of vinegar.  It’s very diverse but each item means something to me.

I keep a record of how I do.  This way, because I can inspect, I can expect.  I can set goals and see how I’m doing.

For example:  I give myself points for various activities.  1 point is equal to approximately 1 calorie.  I have made 95,000 points since the list started 200 days ago.  There are 95,000 calories in 27 pounds of fat.   In other words, I would be a bit fatter than I am now, unless I cut back on eating…and I hate to cut back on eating.

Yesterday, I went to Costco.  My wife is out of town so I had to fend for myself.  The result was that I had a 2-foot slab of ribs with a side of roasted chicken for lunch.

Anyway…back to my list…

In 200 days, I have done 5,700 pushups and 5,100 pull-ups.  I have not missed a single day of doing my core training and yoga (30 minutes every morning) that is supposed to keep my back healthy and me out of the ER.  I have completed over 100 hours of online lessons in physics, math and philosophy.

My weight is down about 7 or 8 pounds.  Not bad considering that I’m doing a lot of exercise and eating all that I want.  Not quite true…skipping desert is on my daily list.

I’m not saying you should make a list.  I think we’re all different.  Different things work for different people.  However, I will say this…ever since I make this list 200 days ago, I’ve never felt like I’m not adding value to my life experience every single day.  And…I feel physically healthier as well (an unintended side effect).

So there is my blog today.  I’ll take credit for that on my list.  Then…I’ll go and save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

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Why I think Kavanaugh is lying

This just in:  I don’t care what Kavanaugh did 35 years ago; at least not nearly as much as I care about what he is doing right now.  Right now, he is lying to Congress and that is a felony crime.

I think he is lying for a couple of reasons I’m going to lay out right now.

Reason #1:  He is acting like he is guilty.  If I’d been accused of the type of conduct he is being accused of, my first action, as an innocent person, would be to insist on a thorough investigation.  Anything short of that would leave lingering doubts about the type of person I was.

Saying there have been 6 Background Investigations is nonsense.  If a BI was so conclusive, why would there ever be a 2nd one, much less 5 more.  When conditions change, a new BI is warranted.

Saying, “We have signed notes from a couple of people” is about the same as saying, “I climbed a tree and nearly touched the moon.”

Reason #2: Kavanaugh has skin in the game; a lot of skin in the game. He will get the job of a lifetime if he is appointed so there is a lot riding on this.  Additionally, anything short of his getting the job will leave him tainted as “The man that lost the job because of a 35 year old sex offense.”  His reputation is on the line along with the job.

Reason #3: The woman has nothing to gain.  In fact, she has already lost a lot.  She’s lost her privacy.  She’s exposed herself to death threats and hate mail.  She is demonstrably non-political.

Reason #4: The Republican Party is rushing this through.  Why?  Because where there is smoke, there is fire.  The longer he is sitting on the hot seat, the more stuff about his past is likely to be exposed.  They act like it’s important to fill this seat on the SCOTUS as soon as possible.  This ignores the fact that they just allowed a seat to be left open for several months so that Trump, not then President Obama, could fill the seat.

Those are reasons I think he is lying.

Here are a couple of reasons I think he should not get the job:

  1. His opening statement yesterday made it clear that he is going to hold a grudge against the Democrats.  So much for non-partisan judges.
  2. He will end up Judging Trump which means that Trump is picking a SCOTUS justice that will get him off of the hook.
  3. He is emotionally unstable as demonstrated in yesterday’s hearing.
  4. He is lying to Congress.

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

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The Conservative Fantasy

This just in:  I sometimes write just to help my mind flush out an idea or solve a problem.  One thing that has always escaped me is, “Why do conservatives want to be conservative?”  Today, I’m going to explore that.

I may be right but I’m probably wrong.  So…let’s see what happens.

Republicans are seen as the party of “Conservatives”.  One of their rallying cries that never fails to gather enthusiasm from their base is “We are the party of family values!”

What does that mean?  Does it mean that only they value families?  Does it mean that they think marriage should be as it has been traditionally; between a man and a woman?  Does it mean that they long for the days of Leave it to Beaver; where there as a strong father figure and a woman that stays at home wearing pearls?

I read something yesterday that made the argument for the Leave it to Beaver scenario.

It went like this…

Family values means there is a strong male figure that leads the family.  He makes the tough decisions.  He earns the money.  The wife is subservient; her job is to keep house and raise the children.

Does this fit?

Conservatives tend to claim to be “God Fearing.”  This feels a lot like needing a strong father figure that will take care of things.

Conservatives tend to vote for authoritative figures; typically equating wealth with strength.  Could Trump be their “God” or their “Father”?  I certainly see a lot of parallels.  Trump acts like he is the boss.  He acts like his word is law.  He acts like only he can save us.  Sounds a lot like vision of what a Father should be to his family.

Suppose this is right.  Suppose conservatives do like to have someone or something they can look to as their “protector”.  Who cares?

I don’t.  At least I don’t until the politicians get involved.

Here is what happens…

The Republican Party rallies their base with “We are the party of Family Values.”

Recall that is says, “We can take care of you”.

Next, the Republicans say, “The government should be small”.

Now, this is the exact opposite of “We can take care of you” but it is exactly what you want your party to say if you are rich and want to have regulations relaxed and taxes dropped so that you can be even more richer.

I’m certain that the Republican base would disagree with this.  I’m equally certain that the Republican base loves Trump.  So…you can probably understand when I care very little about what the Republican base thinks.

I care only to the extent that I’m trying to understand.  Why are there any Republicans?  Why do they elect people that represent the exact opposite of what the base says they stand for?  Why do they change their views and principles to stay loyal to a president that shifts with the tides?

I must admit, I like the idea of Mom staying home and Dad going to work.  I equally like the idea of Dad staying home and Mom going to work.  I think a family does better if someone is there to raise the kids.

So, if this is what we want…what should we do?

I will give you two choices…

Choice #1: Do what the Republican Party is doing now.  They just passed a huge tax cut that does nothing for anyone that is not rich.  This further increases the income inequity between the rich and everyone else.  This causes poverty to spread even as the economy grows (because that growth is going to a very few people).  As poverty spreads, not only do both parents need to work, they need to work multiple jobs.  Plus, kids getting out of college are so far in debt that they can’t afford to start families; in fact, the often move back home.  Older people re-enter the workforce to pay for medical bills.  Etc…etc….  In short…we can have a small government that benefits a small portion of our citizens.

Choice #2:  Pass laws that end income inequality.  Tax the rich and redistribute that wealth throughout the country.  This is not stealing from the rich.  It’s putting an end to the rich stealing from the rest of us.

The true path to family values goes through a world where the middle class can afford to own a home and raise a family.  We are not on that path right now.

Hmmmm…..

Having written all of that, I’m not sure I solved anything.  But…it does give me pause.

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

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How I Would Interview Trump

This just in: Trump says/does two things that I think he shouldn’t be allowed to get away with.

The first thing he does is make grandiose generalities about his performance; things like “I’m saving Social Security.  The Democrats want to destroy it” or “No other president has accomplished more than I have.”

The second thing he does is justify his positions by claiming some unseen crowd has told him that this or that is the right thing.  For example, “Sessions is a terrible Attorney General.  Many people have told me I should fire him” or “A lot of people are telling me that this North Korea thing has gotten much better since I stepped in.”

Let’s face it.  I could do this.  In fact, anyone could do it.  Any person on the street can tell you “I have done more to improve healthcare than anyone ever.  In fact, everyone I know agrees with me.”

See how easy that is?  It’s not true but it’s easy.

And it works because no one is challenging him.  This means that when he says and does ridiculous things that his supporters want to believe is true, there is no one standing up and saying, “The King has no clothes!”

This is where I come in.  I would be the best and toughest interviewer ever.  Lot’s of people have told me this.

Let’ do a trial run…

Trump:  I am saving Social Security.

Me:  What specifically are you doing to save it?

Trump:  Lot’s of stuff.  Stuff the Democrats hate.  I’m getting a lot of positive feedback on this.

Me:  Name a couple of people that are giving you this positive feedback for doing something that you are unable to describe.

Now, since Trump is making all of this up as he goes along, this could get to be really fun.

Trump: You know that Hillary wanted to crush Social Security.  They won’t tell you that.

Me:  How was she trying to crush Social Security?  Who won’t tell me that?

Trump has no idea how Social Security works.  He has no idea how healthcare works.  In fact, I would not be surprised if he knows less about every aspect of his job than say…a college freshman that is considering majoring in Political Science.

My point is…Trump is pretending to do his job and we are letting him get away with it.

Yes, it’s entertaining to watch…but is that enough to justify the long-term damage he is causing?

Someone needs to challenge him.  It won’t come from the right because, let’s face it…they fear his wrath.  They fear getting one of his pet names.  His base won’t challenge him because they want him to be right.  If they were to pay attention and discover that he is never right, then that would mean they have been following a false messiah.  It’s best to just keep pretending and not look too deeply into truth of things.

My hope is that the midterms toss out enough of the Trumpublicans that those remaining will take note; that they will say, “Hey!  This guy is dangerously incompetent and riding his coattails is not helping me keep my job.”

I know I’m right on this.  Everyone says so.

Up, up and away…

Jim

 

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Golf Tips From a Lifelong Hacker

This just in:  In keeping with my tradition of blogging about stuff I know nothing about, today I will talk golf.

My skill level?  On a bad day…I’ll shoot 105.  The last time I played, I shot a 92.  Tiger Woods has nothing to fear from me.

Here are my tips…written as if I know something.

If you golf right-handed, your right hand should be just tight enough so that it can move with the club.  Act as if you are holding an egg with it.  This “super soft” grip applies to the back swing as much as the downswing.  A tight grip may cause you to let that hand get involved with swinging the clubhead through…which is not what you want to happen.  The soft grip also reminds you to relax.  Tension at any point in the swing will change the path of the club.

On the driving range, spray foot powder on the club face.  It dries quickly into a white powder.  When you hit the ball, you can tell where it struck the club face.  Are you to close?  Is the ball too far forward in your stance?  This trick can help a lot.  Before, I would hit a good one and then a bad one and have no idea where I went wrong.  Turns out, this trick gives you a lot of information.  It’s the single best trick I have learned.

Take a lesson where they will digitize your shots.  I did this and told the instructor “I’m not looking for help.  I just want to see how far I hit each club when I hit the club well.”  The instructor spent the hour on his phone while I dialed in the correct distance for each club.  Now, if I want to go 150 yards, I don’t try to muscle a pitching wedge because I know a smoothly hit 9 iron is what I really need.

On your drive, stand with your feet no farther apart than they are when you hit your irons.  I used to have a super wide stance with my driver.   The plan was to have a strong stance so I wouldn’t come up and out of my shoes when I swung as hard as possible.  Turns out to be a bad idea.  A wider stance inhibits your rotation and thus…messes up your shot.

On the putting green, use two balls and ignore the flags.  Don’t putt at a hole/flag.  Instead, putt one ball at the other.  Since a ball is a much smaller target than a hole, you will have to be more accurate.  It’s been my experience that this alone shaves about 5 to 10 putts a round off of my score.

So, there you have it.  I don’t know what a real golfer would think of these hints.  It really doesn’t matter to me.  My game is becoming more and more consistent as a result.  So…at least these work for me.

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

 

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