Predictable

Stalin said, “Kill a man, it is murder.  Kill a million, it is a statistic. ” It would appear that a man decided to create some statistics; he killed 59.  Let’s try to keep these victims from becoming nothing more than a number.  Those who have died and those who survived were and are real people.

The news media give us the numbers and the name of the killer.  Personally, I’d rather that they not ever mention the name of the man.  He should remain anonymous to the public forever.  It would send a message to any future killers.

Everything possible should be done to keep the victims from being statistics, mere numbers.  I’m not sure how we could do this, but we could start by giving them a little respect.  No one should treat them as political pawns.

It is totally predictable that Hillery and other liberals should use them to convince us that there are not enough gun laws.  Predictable as it was, it surprised even me at her speed.  Her response was within micro-seconds.  Their exploitation of their death is shameful and unforgivable .

You want to argue against or for guns, let us at least wait until we have a time to grieve a week or so.

As a final note, let me leave you with a thought.  Laws do not prevent anything.  Civilizations have had laws against robbery from the very beginning.  Yet we still have robberies.  We have always had laws against murder.  Yet we still have murders.  We have laws against driving at excessive speeds.  Yet when I obey them, people pass me up left and right.  (Oddly, I have even had police officers get angry at me.)

The best we can hope for is to discourage those who would break the laws.  No one can stop the criminal, no matter what the laws.  If we made laws against guns, there would still be guns.  More important, there would still be murders.  The worst part is… most of the murders are done by those who lead countries… like the Soviet Union, Cuba and Venezuela.  Strange that the liberals are not anxious to rid the world of leaders like those in North Korea and Iran, though threaten the obliteration of millions.

They don’t seem to mind them making their own statistics.  It’s not surprising.  It’s totally predictable.

 

Problems and Solutions with Commercials

I am coming up on my seventieth birthday.  I’ve seen my share of commercials and I have had a chance to draw a few conclusions.  In my youth, most TV shows were a half hour.  That meant about 26 or 27 minutes of program and 2 or three minutes of commercials.  Nowadays, it’s about forty minutes of program and twenty minutes of commercials.

Though the program takes up double the time, the actual program time isn’t even fifteen minutes longer.  If this keeps up, the commercial content will soon exceed the program content.

In the old days, we would have to hurry to step out to the kitchen and return with a sandwich before the program started.  Soon, I will be able to return with a 3 course meal.  I might even have time to finish eating it too.

I understand production costs have increased.  The stations are now broadcasting in color and stereo sound.  The images are larger and sharper which requires much more sophisticated equipment.  Yet, the cost of such equipment has plummeted.  The effective cost of equipment might have doubled, though I doubt it.  It does not justify the additional advertising.

There are, of course, many other costs to consider.  The payroll for the casts has certainly skyrocketed…to the degree that producers would prefer giving out large value prizes to contestants over paying a cast of half a dozen actors in a series.

The audiences were much smaller when I was a child.  I don’t know the exact differences over the years, but in my lifetime, the US population has gone from less than 50 million to over 350 million.  Back then, we didn’t all have TV’s.  Now each house has two or three.  Maybe the casts of the programs are a little greedy.  I don’t know.  I suppose some of the blame can go to the producers.

It isn’t just that the commercials are longer, they are also more annoying.  In general they have but two aims.  They want to get our attention and they want us to remember their name.  They will go to any extreme to do this.  This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Stupid plots
  • Horrible noises
  • Minimum clothing
  • Repetition
  • Irritation

 

They also resort to another trick.  They reduce the volume of the program material.  For quite a while people complained to the FCC about stations increasing volume during commercials.  The stations countered that the FCC does not allow the volume to go beyond certain limits.

What they say is true.  Having a background in electronics, I am well aware that stations can be fined for allowing the audio to exceed proper levels.  However, this does not stop the stations from decreasing the volume during the program.  It has the same effect.  I turn the volume on my TV up to hear the program, and then I must turn it down during commercials.

Commercials have also become nearly R rated.  Continually, they push the limit so that year by year, it gets worse.  When I was a child, no one had to explain why two naked people were sitting in matching bath tubs… outside.  It would be bad enough if they limited such commercials to non-family time programing, but they put the things right in the middle of the day.

Finally, one thing I have noticed about commercials is that they claim that their product weakness is its strength.  I know that is not worded well, but you will understand after a few examples.

  1. Exxon advertises safe ships… after the Valdese incidence.
  2. BP claims safe drilling practices… after their drilling rig caught fire.
  3. Wells Fargo Bank advertises honesty and integrity.
  4. All three main TV broadcasting news networks advertise news. (actually propaganda)

 

We do, of course have countermeasures to all these changes.  Before I go through them, let me state that I would not resort to such measure if I wasn’t being pushed to it.  However, as the commercials become worse, I must resort to some methods to fight back.

First, most of us now have some means of recording programing.  This is kind of neat.  It saves time.  I can watch a one hour program in about forty minutes.  Moreover, I can skip those parts of the program that boarder on R rating.  I have found that such parts rarely add anything substantial to the plot and it saves time when I skip them.

By using the fast forward, it basically negates all of the problems of the commercials.  I don’t have to re-adjust the volume and there is no need to explain matching bathtubs.  Most of all, it sends a signal to all those advertisers that their methods have no effect on me.

In some cases, you might want to watch something live, such as a football or baseball game.  In such cases, I push the pause button at the start of the ad.  Then I wait a minute or two and fast forward over the commercials.  In most cases, I need to repeat the process, but I find it well worthwhile.  (That will make the Super Bowl advertisers happy.)

On some occasions, I do like to push play and watch the commercials.  (As when they show the running with the bulldogs.  I really like that one.)  When the desired commercial is over, I press fast-forward again.

Of course, there is always the mute button, but this does have a little disadvantage.  You must watch the advertisements to tell when they are over.  It is always possible to remember that most advertisements are sold in fifteen second slots.  Moreover, most commercial breaks are at least two minutes.

This means that you can walk off and do other things after you’ve muted the TV.  In the event that you miss a little program material, you can rewind a little.  If you can’t, it’s likely no big deal.  There isn’t much on TV these days anyway.

Repeating History

Media consensus  seems to be that we should again wait to be attacked before defending ourselves, as with Pearl Harbor the first time.  This time, if a rocket falls on Pearl Harbor, if we are unable to stop it, there will be a difference, that is, besides the difference of loss of life.  This time we won’t be able to use the harbor for a hundred years, maybe longer.

Infomercials on Fox Business

I get it.  TV needs advertising.  It does get a little annoying when they show ads posing as news.  For a constant hour straight, during what was passed off as news, FBN talked about nothing but the new I-Phone and how wonderful it is.  According to them, we all need to go out and buy one immediately, if not sooner.

Sorry, I’m not going to spend a thousand dollars for something when I already have a cell phone that works just fine.  It has a camera, a calculator and even helps me find my way around town.  I even use it as a hot spot from time to time.  (It works better than my regular Internet connection in my home.)

I don’t need a $1000 phone.  I don’t want it, even if it were given to me and I certainly don’t want a news program passing off an hour ad as business news.

However, it does make me wonder.  There must have been some kind of compensation for FBN.  Just how did Apple pay Fox Business Network.  My first thought was that Apple just wrote a check to the network.  On the other hand, maybe they just provided phones for each of the those working for the network.

Of course, I could be wrong.  It is just a conclusion.  …but if I am wrong, just why did the network give a Apple a free one hour long commercial?

Shoes Talk

I am sure that the democrats and the media (possibly the same thing) looked high and low for something to make Pres. Trump look bad during his recent visit to Texas.  Really, a pair of shoes.  I don’t think a choice of shoes can be called a deadly sin.  Really???  For that matter, considering where she went, I don’t think it was a horrible choice.

My main complaint about the woman is that she ages one year for every two of mine.

As a side note, Pres. Trump wrote a one million check for the the storm victims.  Considering he has four-billion, it might not have been that painful.  However, I would sure like to know what kind of checks the democrats and media have donated.  I am sure many of them could write a $100,000 check without it causing too much pain on them.

Then again, I guess they are too busy looking for faults in others.

http://www.amazon.com/author/story_teller

A Few Words About North Korea

Nowadays, we have big long runways.  Commercial jets usually have about 10,000 feet for takeoffs and landings, generally twice what they need.  Yet, every now and then planes do run off the end of the end runway.  Most of the time, this results in disaster, maybe even the loss of lives.

One of the first things a pilot learns is that every foot of runway behind him is useless.  No pilot wants to see that he just might run out of runway.

So, what does this have to do with North Korea?  We keep putting things off and we are quickly running out of runway.  One day we will come to the end of the runway and it will cause destruction and the loss of life.  We will realize that when Los Angeles is vaporized.  Indeed, it might put the US economy into an economic spiral that we just might not be able to come out of.

Worse yet, we will become sitting ducks for China and Russia.  Personally, I don’t like the idea of having to learn how to speak Chinese.  It would take me years just to learn the characters.  I’m not too keen on learning Russian either.  They use the Greek alphabet.  It too is confusing.  There is a real reason for the adage, “It’s Greek to me.”

Putting a stop to North Korea efforts is not an option.  If we don’t stop them,  we will reach a point where all options are taken from us.  If you enjoy your first amendment, you might want to consider that.  Those who part the press will enjoy your first amendment rights right up to the point when you lose it, and it will be greatly your fault.  You certainly can’t blame me.  I spent 9 years protecting your rights while you were busy frittering them away.

Remember this little fact.  Those who do not stand behind President Trump decrease the possibilities of a peaceful settlement.  To put it more bluntly, they help to ensure that millions will die.  Throughout history, appeasement has never successfully stopped a warmonger.

The idea is to provide the best bluff possible.  If the bluff fails, then the peaceful approach fails.   If the peace fails, it ensures war.  That crazy nut over there can start a war all by himself.  Less than a half hour after he makes the decision to start shooting, millions will die, especially if we do nothing.

It Doesn’t Take a PhD

To get rid of Obama Care they need to vote to repeal it.  Should take one day, maybe two.  A simple provision should be made for those who have learned to depend on the law.  It would continue the law for two years.  Those that don’t want to depend on the law should be able to leave it any time.

That gives us two years to do it right.  One bill for pre-existing conditions; one vote in each house; up or down.  The second bill; one vote: include 26 year-olds on the policies.  The third bill….  …and so forth and so on.  It actually does not take someone with a doctor’s degree to figure it out.  I suspect even a high school graduate could do it.

They keep telling us it’s complicated.  Sorry.  I don’t believe that.  What I do believe is that it would be resolved tomorrow if the senators and representatives had to go through all we do.  (Note:  They should be required to do their own paperwork, no cheating by paying someone else.)

While they are piddling around, I am paying $940 a month for my wife.  Thankfully, I am on Medicare or it would be double that.

Oh yes.  By the way, I need to find another insurance company.  Humana is canceling my wife’s policy at the end of the year.  I guess the premiums are still too small.

What I think is that no one within the confines of the D.C. city limits cares one iota.   While they argue, I go broke.  What I think is that I am not alone.  I might have to get another job just to pay her insurance.  The problem is that I don’t think I can find one that will pay be enough.

Maybe it is about time to start sending letters to our congressmen.  I’m not sure it will do any good, but let’s just try it and see.