Saturday, November 12, 2016

Dance Me To The End Of Love -- Leonard Cohen -- RIP -- November 12, 2016

Dance Me To The End Of Love, Leonard Cohen

The Political Page

A great weight has been lifted off my back.  I feel alive once again.

My wife and I are talking again. 

I am now watching MSNBC in the morning. Again. But that won't last long.

I will watch the 60 Minutes interview with Donald Trump. I haven't watched 60 Minutes in ages, not since the episode in which they checked out automobile service stations taking advantage of motorists -- that was back in the early 60's I believe.

The Political Page

The 2016 presidential election will be studied for years -- or at least until the midterm elections, a little less than two years from now.

The number of hits to my blog site must have spiked this past week based on the number of robotic-generated spam the site was getting. That occurs occasionally and then it tends to fade away. 

It's difficult to decide how much to write about the election but there is one story that has not yet been reported in the national press. It needs reporting.

I submitted my thoughts to the reporter at The Wall Street Journal who writes on fracking in the US. There will be a gazillion ways to slice and dice the reasons for Trump's win, but the bottom line is this: of the swing states / battleground states, in the end only five mattered, going into the election:
  • Florida turned out to be a non-contest: Trump
  • Virginia was probable tainted: Hillary
  • North Carolina somewhat of a surprise: Trump
  • Ohio not that much of a surprise based on previous contests: Trump
  • Pennsylvania: huge, huge surprise; actually flipped "during" the night, first Hillary, then not: Trump
I am pretty convinced a reader had it right: Hillary lost the national election due to losing Ohio and Pennsylvania. She might have lost Ohio regardless, but the reader suggests strongly that might not have been the case in Pennsylvania. The data is a bit hard to wade through but it's there.

Early this morning a reader sent me a story that validates that the election was lost/won in rural America. That may be, but rural America makes up most of the red states -- everything but the west and east coasts. The GOP owns those states in national elections. The question goes back to Ohio and Pennsylvania. I don't think there are enough farmers in either state that their votes alone could defeat a popular candidate favored by voters in the big cities. My hunch: there were a lot of non-farmers in rural and urban areas in Ohio and Pennsylvania that understood the importance of the Utica and the Marcellus. The farmers were incredibly upset, but they needed their urban brothers and sisters, families and friends in the big cities if they were going to win.

Hillary's pledge to ban fracking, made in Flint, MI, was her Achilles heel. Her campaign realized the mistake; the issue was never brought up again, as far as I am aware, certainly not in Ohio or Pennsylvania.

On a side note: in addition to the linked article above about rural America voting for Trump, here's another article in The Dickinson Press. But again, demographers and historians can slice this story any number of ways, but the bottom line remains:
  • give Pennsylvania and Ohio to Hillary, and she wins the national election
  • Pennsylvania flipped late in the evening when the rural votes came in 
  • the natural gas counties in Pennsylvania went overwhelmingly against Hillary who had vowed to ban fracking
By the way, during the silly season:
  • Hillary: I'll ban fracking!
  • Trump: I'll build a wall!
What was more likely to happen? And not once did Hillary talk about making America great again.


Of all things, there is a most interesting op-ed in The Dickinson Press today: so much wrong when it came to Trump.

[Be careful: it was not that Trump was wrong; the op-ed is about the pollsters being wrong.]

Many Hillary supporters are taking solace in the fact that at least they were on the "right" side. They are heartbroken, depressed, and openly weeping over their loss, but then they recover, stating, "at least, my friends all feel the same way I feel."

Before The Next Teardrop Falls, Freddy Fender

This from the linked op-ed:
There are now two concerns, however, that I need no polling to show are real. First, we clearly have a large number of Americans who believe they cannot be honest with pollsters. That speaks poorly for the health of our democracy that people live in fear they cannot be honest.
Second, without reliable data on public opinions, we risk becoming more tribal. Anecdote will become data and anecdotes are obtained from friends, family, and tribe. Public policy needs to be shaped by more than "my friends like it." Without reliable data, that will happen more and more.
What caught my eye was this:
We risk becoming more tribal. Anecdote will become data and anecdotes are obtained from friends, family, and tribe. Public policy needs to be shaped by more than "my friends like it." 
Wow, he is so incredibly correct.

Gerhard Herm discusses the "tribe" to great extent in The Celts.  The Celts were perhaps the most successful group in western Europe if measured by their influence. But they were never able to establish their own nation. The Celts were unable to organize themselves into a nation. They were a multitude of tribes. Herm suggests (and many historians agree) that Julius Caesar was the greatest military strategist in the history of the world. Caesar was the only one able to defeat the Celts, once and for all. He did it by carefully studying the Celts and realized that their Achilles heel (to use that phrase again) was the fact they could not organize under one leader. They were tribal.

It's incredibly interesting -- at least to me -- that The Dickinson Press stumbled upon this -- the US going tribal. In fact, this has been recognized for quite some time, except it was known by another name: Balkanization.

Speaking of books and reading, I've been blogging a bit about Dante's Inferno now that I am reading upon the advice of a reader. It turns out that Dante's Comedy was/is composed of three parts: the Inferno, the Purgatorio, and, the Paradiso. How long did Dante's journey take, visiting three realms of the dead? About six days -- from the night before Good Friday to the Wednesday after Easter in the spring of 1300 AD.

For most thinking Americans who were paying attention:
  • the inferno: from 2008 onward, possibly beginning in 2000, ending when the "silly season" began in 2015
  • purgatory: starting about the time the presidential campaign (the "silly season") began in earnest, early 2015
  • paradise: it began at 3:00 a.m. Central Time, November 9, 2016
Energy -- It Could Be Worse

All that "frustration energy" we see in the "Love Trump Hates" protests in Portland, Dallas, Miami would have been transformed into "gloating energy" had Hillary won.

I have no trouble with the "Love Trump Hates" protests. To hear about those nocturnal protests the next day beats listening to non-stop "love" fests by the media from the beginning of the day with MSNBC morning shows to the end of the day with Colbert's gloating. I'm in bed well before the protests really get out of hand, and then I wake up to news that Trump is still the president-elect.

That "frustration energy" driving protests? It could be worse. We could have "gloating energy" driving the news cycle 24/7.

By the way, the "Love Trump Hates" protests will end when the Soros funding dries up.  The funding is "seed" money to get the movement going, but the money is not infinite. If the "critical mass" does not light a sustaining movement, the movement will die. I give it two weeks.

And the proof will be in the pudding. I expect the presidential inauguration balls in January, 2016, will be must-attend balls by everyone, regardless of which party one supports. The Hollywood elite will be falling all over themselves to be photographed at any number of NYC balls; Washington, DC, balls; west Los Angeles balls. It might remind folks of the JFK inauguration. Trump won't go into this "small."

Before this is all over, there are going to be a lot of comparisons between Melania (second FLOTUS to be foreign born) and Jacqueline Lee Bouvier, French in everything but birthplace. JFK and Jackie put their children front and center before the American people. Barack and Michelle warned the media that their children were off-limits. Don and Melania have placed their three older children on the transition team.

Back To Leonard

1. He was right up there with Bob Dylan. In fact, there is no denying that Leonard Cohen is the better poet. But that doesn't take anything away from Bob Dylan "winning" (I prefer another word; I just don't know what that other word is) the Nobel Prize for literature. But, wow, look at Cohen's discography. I always thought his best album was Ten New Songs ... but that was 15 years ago. Since then, four more albums, and all as good or better.

2. Both Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen have left us and will leave us with books and interviews and newspaper articles that will provide joy for decades. I've said this before, but The Artist Formerly Known As Prince left us with nothing in terms of conversation, interviews, books, etc.

3. I had a third point but I forgot what it was. My wife interrupted me with stories about her friends who are weeping uncontrollably over Hillary's loss.

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The Market
Obama's Final Tour

Headlines from Drudge:
  • On last foreign tour, Obama must find way to explain Trump
  • Europe reels from year of crises
  • Is Muslim from the Midwest set to take over the Democratic National Committee
  • Trump packs transition team with loyalists and family (this is news?)
  • Stocks best week since 2011
  • Russian warship flotilla off Syrian coast 
  • Cher is leaving the US 
A Hint For Heloise

I have three slow cookers: an old Crock-Pot; a new Crock-Pot; and a new Black and Decker slow cooker.  For small "projects" I prefer the old Crock-Pot, but I can't believe it does not have a light on it to show that it is on. The electric outlets in our kitchen have a "breaker switch" with a low threshold; it is not uncommon for the "breaker" to shut off electricity to the outlets.

I needed something to tell me if the Crock-Pot was still on.

Simple. A "night-light" in the sister outlet.

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