The “Let Them Eat Cake” Division

Alas, the controversy is not about egalitarianism, in the case of Hillary Clinton, it is about holding the public mantle of egalitarianism while being part of the 1%.

Hillary claims that they left the White House “dead broke. ”

Absolutely true — if you accept that the had just emptied all of their bank accounts to put $800,000 plus down on a $5 million house, and $300,000 plus on another $3 million house. Technically, they had virtually no money in the bank, and they had large loans — but they also had about $1,200,000 in home equity.

Now, they are worth more than$100 million dollars, and it’s easy to see how. Just from speeches in the past two years at UCLA, the couple has collected more than $600,000 and at UNLV, some students are rebelling at a Hillary speech where she will be collecting $225,000.

Rushing to blunt the obvious hypocrisy, Bill doubled down by claiming that the couple shopped at the local market just like everyone else — but of course the local grocery in a $5 million neighborhood is pretty upscale, and populated by very upscale shoppers — although none were accompanied by Secret Service agents.

No, the rich are not like the rest of us, and the Clintons are, as the show, The Beverly Hillbillies used to say, are our worst fear fear — Poor White Trash with money!

The worst of all possible worlds.

Perhaps catching hypocrites is the new media Gotcha series, on par with the usual catching transit executives who do not ride their buses and trains.

It seems that there is a University of North Carolina professor (Professor Gene Nochol) who makes $205,400 a year for teaching one one course a semester. (I might add that he regularly trashes Republicans.) He gets an additional $7,500 as the Director of a Center, and when added to his wife’s salary they make more than $600,000 a year! They own more than $1 million in real estate!

Oh! Did I mention the Center that Professor Nichol heads? The Poverty Center!

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A New World

Science marches on — what can I tell you, it’s the weekend and so I think more about technology.

Two things caught my eye: the ReWalk Exoskeleton — approved earlier by the European Union, has now been approved by the Federal Drug Association, and it lets paraplegics walk. It is not a seriously visible harness worn outside the clothing that permits walking.

And

A robot Valet at a German airport that parks your car.

You take a ticket ($40, please), and park in a specified slot. A machine that looks like an unworldly forklift, picks up your car and deposits it in a parking slot, to be returned when you return to the parking facility.

9-0 Smackdown!

No need to sugar coat it — whomever took Constitutional Lecturer Barack Obama’s classes on the US Constitution should demand a refund!

When the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) tells the president that he exceeded his Constitutional powers, that is a REBUKE of momentous slap…the president could not convince a single liberal Jurist to agree with him. Not even those HE appointed!

Of course it is also a major rebuke to the Attorney General, whose job it is to advise the president, not that the president would listen to Holders advice and not that Holder would dare offer it to a “Constitutional Professor.” (Yes, I know that Obama was only a Lecturer, but he was declared a “Professor” after he was elected president, so that Chicago Law School could claim that one of their “Professors” was a president of the United States.)

Now here is something that you may not have followed (oops, Megyn Kelly just announced it…darn)..this was the 12th and 13th time the SCOTUS has UNANIMOUSLY voted against this administration!

Historically, administrations win 70% of their cases. This administration has lost a majority of SCOTUS decisions for several years.

So much for, “I taught Constitutional Law for 10 years…”

Management

The flood of children from Central America has many political causes, but one thing could have stopped it, and that is a secure border. Government and their selected private corporation botched the job. (Think the “Obamaca” website!)

You don’t remember it, but many government failures ago, back in 2006, the government hired Boeing Corporation(?) to construct a highly technical border electronic system of towers, cameras, sensors, etc. at a cost of $30 Billion. It was called the Secure Border Initiative, and it was a complete failure.

The plan was to monitor 6,000 miles of Canadian and Mexican Borders, and the Boeing component was only a part of the concept, but after the Boeing component, a $30 Billion component failed, the entire concept was scrapped.

There is a common thread arising in governmental failures — management without technical knowledge. Few of my grad students were near geniuses, and none could oversee a major project, but many could be in training to do so given requisite management skills. The problem, as I see it, is that from the top management down many levels, the ” management” can’t read code, and doesn’t understand the documentation of the process.

That being the case, the political and civil service management must take the word of the systems analyst and coders. In highly technical systems, management must be technical. In ANY management system, management can be lied to if they do not have technical oversight.

In this system, managements job is to walk around and ask, how are things going, to which the obvious answer is always, and without exception, “O.K.” — I have written earlier about School Board members who cannot read a budget, so they ask of the very people on the Superintendents staff who developed the budget, “Is that the right number?”

Of course the staff member smiles and says, (smirking) “Yes, Mr. Jones, it is correct.” I believe that school boards should employ a Business grad student who works for the board and can be fired for communicating with the District staff who prepare the budget!

When I took over the Los Angeles TV station, I didn’t tell my staff of my deep computer background, and we had a multi-million dollar computer system whose VP computing, and my IT guy combined almost every day to pull the wool over my eyes, either to get more funding for gold-plating, or to excuse problems.

(In my day, Fast Attack Submarine Commanders must serve as Department Head of EVERY department before assuming Command.)

Problems happen EVERYWHERE that management didn’t come up through the ranks, and is as true in the “Secure(sic) Borders Initiative, in the VA, as it was in Obamacare, as it is in school boards, and, in this case, naturally, of Border security, homeland security and the border.

If you want accountability in a technical sector, let the contract and hire the winning contractor’s nearest competitor to monitor the process!

Management failure is the cause of the many problems we attribute to politics — the border, the VA, Obamacare, and the IRS debacle demonstrate management failure.

Quick Hits

Political and media observers — and that’s what they are, observers — think that raising the minimum wage is paid by the employer, but wages are paid by the buyer of the product. Those politicians and media who get that far, believe that minimum wage impacts all in a business sector equally, and that’s true, but as prices necessarily rise, the more buyers say, “it’s not worth it to me,” business declines, margins decrease and a business automates, or moves to a more friendly climate.

Politicians and media think they can run businesses they have never seen, by directing the wages and work rules of workers they have never met, without anything bad happening.

Hubris!

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The “Women in Combat” is a subject currently being studied by both the Army and the Marines.

All “combat” is not equal, and before addressing the question one should read the diary of E. B. Sledge, in his book “With The Old Breed” — about sustained, brutal, frontal combat on Pacific Islands.

Being shot at, even patrol action, pales in the face of the description of the smells, taste and grisly pictures your mind will “entertain” for months afterward. No one who has been in combat, and I have, understands the difference between combat and sustained, brutal, and frontal combat.

That book will at least ground one in the worst case scenario, after which a better, more informed opinion may be held.

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Nearby, in Escondido, a Developer bought a dying Country Club Golf Course, where the diminishing number of aging members were unable to sustain the operation and he wishes to build 400+ home.

Obviously the homeowners circling the golf course want the golf course to continue, the City of Escondido has stepped in to try to declare the golf course “Open Space” without owning the property, and the owner has forced the subject to a referendum.

There are people, and even nations who covet their neighbors property — some use force to take land, some more sophisticated people use the law. In the US, there is a “taking” Clause, and even with the misguided ruling {Kelo v. City of New London, 545 U.S. 469 (2005)}, this would probably be held a “Taking.”

I have noted something I call a “visual prescriptive easement” where people who see a hill or valley without homes for seven years, tend to think they have the right to view that land vacant during their lifetime. When I was president of my local HOA (the world’s most thankless job, whose main job is the keep Nazis off the HOA) had an elderly couple come before the Board about a home builder who wished to build next door. They literally said, “That land has been vacant since we built here 20 years ago, it is beautiful and we want to continue to love it.”

(Sigh!)

Ambivalent

I am ambivalent — what concern of ours that thousands of people are being gunned down in Iraq?

On the other hand, is it our concern that some thug is beating his wife on a neighboring lawn?

If we saw a child drowning, it would be wise to first ask ourselves if we were strong enough swimmers, before losing two lives.

I suppose that everything is sort of a “play it by ear” — and that makes foreign policy really difficult because it is always pick and choose. We can’t be everywhere, can’t do everything, but we can do something…and my concept would be to keep really mean people think seriously about misbehaving.

That would be by electing to STOMP heavily on bad guys, once in a while, with vigor. With great vigor! Enough vigor that it gives EVERY bad actor pause before he acts, that he just might be one who draws the short straw.

This does not require that we jump in everywhere — we get to pick our spots.

There is a question being asked in the media, if Joe Biden was right years ago when he commented that Iraq should be three countries to avoid sectarian conflict?

The answer is “Yes” — more out of luck than brilliance in my opinion, although Obama said Biden was his “go to ” man on foreign affairs.

Iraq is falling into the Northern Ireland Catholic-Protestant model, with neighbor killing neighbor, just on a grander scale — more people, more territory, greater divisions, and much more firepower available.

The Kurds in the Northern third are secure and calm because their tribal armies are powerful, their populations are relatively homogenous, and they enjoy separate oil fields. Right now they are hosting a lot of people from the South who are fleeing the fighting.

Of course the political divisions are all based on religion, and that is the worst kind of civil war. Now Iran has their nose under the tent flap.

We have only two things to worry about — the oil fields and the Green Zone If we protect these two things, I don’ t care what happens to the rest of Iraq, but Biden had the right idea. Sunnis and Shia need their own territories with an agreement as to the division of oil money — but the world has been working forever to get the Palestinians and Israel to settle their two state problem.

Bah! We have sufficient problems of our own!

We didn’t get involved in the religious war in Ireland (fortunately), and I’ll bet we should stay the hell out of this one too!

Remembering Tony Gwynn

I did not KNOW Tony Gwynn, but I certainly have met him.

His wife, Alecia, was a student of mine in Computer Science at National University, and she asked me to install the first computer in her home.

Tony and Alecia lived close to me in Poway, less than a mile, but they lived in a much better neighborhood. The community was not gated, but each home was gated, and their neighborhood had many Major League baseball players living there — they still do.

While installing an early computer — it was almost certainly a DOS computer — I got to interact often with the family. Tony was about the happiest guy I ever met… he laughed early in about every sentence, and often. His laugh was infectious, and you found yourself in a good mood regardless of the computer installation process.

We worked in the living room of this beautiful home, filled with silver bats denoting his National League Batting Championships, and Alecia’ s collection of Black dolls, with their son, Tony Jr. popping in an out — a bundle of youthful energy.

So many star athletes marry one of those blond bombshells always available to those with serious money, but Alecia was the “ girl next door.” I always thought how smart that was, since the blond bombshells are just in it for the short run, while the girl next door is usually in it for love. Alecia and Tony had no airs, no following retinue, no staff. Even the front gate was always open when I dropped by to check on things.

Randy Jones, great Padre pitcher and Cy Young winner, lived several doors down the street, and he said on the radio that he would walk his dogs early in the morning but when he passed Tony ’s house he could hear the crack of a bat as Tony trained in his private batting cage.

I saw Tony play often. I was not a Padre fan, I was a Tony Gwynn fan. He was the ultimate baseball player, a star in batting, running, and a Golden Glove winner as well.

He was also a great human being. Considering the baseball and football news is filled with the crime blotter, Tony was a welcome change.

Aloha, Tony.