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This and That

This and That - Miscellaneous Comments

This is going to be a short one, covering various subjects.

First of all, this is one of those weeks where everything I do takes too long, I don't seem to learn quickly enough or nothing works. This past week I have been trying to do some analysis but nothing is registering. On Thursday and Friday I went back to the dashboard project to get some data updated and do something tinkering with it. I did find some things to correct but there are other things (process, for example) that I'm not happy with and I'm not coming up with a good solution. And that new kind of Excel array that I'm not familiar with, I still haven't quite fully grasped it. I'm still going through on line "tutorials" to get a better understanding.

But I did finally get something going on my drawing. I couldn't get started because our company had a conference and I needed to make sure I got up early enough to attend. It was actually interesting and I might post some thoughts on the conference. But despite the interesting speakers, at the end of the day, I was tired. So I was too tired to draw but I was also "lacking confidence" (is that the right feeling?) to start drawing on a blank piece of paper. Each time, it's "Will I be able to do this successfully enough?" I finally got started and I maybe halfway through.

The last thing I want to touch on tonight is the nastiness of politics this week. The debate between Trump and Clinton was on Monday night, which I was too tired to watch (besides I was doing something for work). I read that Trump lasted through the first 30 minutes and then he "hit a wall". At some point he did start to flail around, and yeah, it did seem around the 30 minute mark. All of the pundits, both the Democrats and the Republicans, said Clinton decisively won. But my concern is: his supporters probably don't care. They will still vote for him. When he said nasty things about the Mexicans, they were cheering. When he said derogatory things about John McCain, it made no difference. Threats of violence started to show up at his rallies; his supporters were unfazed. His lies does not matter to them; they still think he's the greatest thing because he represents change. The deeply religious still support him, even though he is a twice divorced man and really does not appear that religious.

I fear his supporters are not thinking through this strategically because they are so desperate for change that they will take anything. Except the change might be: we lose democracy. He is authoritarian and can't be controlled. He is high risk. Remember George Bush? I wouldn't be surprised if his supporters are the same set of people who voted in George Bush the second time around. Remember how a year after the 2nd election we had Hurricane Katrina and then everybody thought: "he's really bad!" Well, I believe his supporters are making the same kind of mistake. They didn't think through the lack of evidence for WMD and they are not thinking through the repercussions of a Trump presidency.

And millennials, voting for Gary Johnson is not the answer. He is libertarian which means tax cuts all the way and no government support for services such as education and healthcare because libertarian believes in no government. Those are things that cut against the millennials.  At first I thought they were smart (and tolerant) because they supported Bernie Sanders and believe that the main source of our problems are the large businesses and Wall Street. Now, I'm thinking they are not strategically smart. They need to read up on what Gary Johnson stands for.

So, in the debate Hillary hit Trump on his taxes, saying that possibly one of the reasons he does not want to release his taxes to the media is because 1) he may not be as wealthy as he says, 2) he may not be as charitable as he claims, or 3) he has not been paying taxes because of those years where he had to turn over his taxes, the forms showed he paid no taxes. On that last point Trump said something like, "That showed some smarts." Now, I don't think his supporters will be offended by his not paying taxes but I'm hoping the general populace will.

The other notable thing during the debate was that Hillary brought up his treatment of woman and named a 1990's Miss Universe as an example when he called her "Miss Piggy". Well, this one must have gotten under his skin because all week long, the topic was about his treatment of Miss Universe and women in general, culminating in the 3 am Friday tweets on Miss Universe. Who gets up 3 o'clock in the morning and deliver insulting tweets? What kind of person is that?

This debate showed how easily it was for Clinton to get under his skin. It also showed that he was unprepared for the debate. Do we really want someone so easily needled as President? Do we want someone who will approach the Presidency much like George Bush, unprepared and ill-informed?

And then Saturday night, New York Times came out with an article saying that the newspaper received his 1995 tax forms and the forms showed close to $1 billion dollars in losses. With that $1 billion in losses, he could carry forward those losses up to 15 years (18 in total but 3 of the years could be applied retroactively) so that he would not have to pay taxes. Two things come to mind: 1) he is not that great of a businessman if he generates $1 billion in losses - that's actually a sign of a poor businessman; 2) he has not been paying taxes for some time that would support our military men, help provide education for our children, help in general investment in our labor force and provide funding to invest in our infrastructure. Instead it was the little guys who have been bearing the brunt of the burden.

I hope Trump's supporters what this means for them. He is part of the rigged system. For over 20 years he has been part of the rigged system and not once did he try to help change that system. And now he wants to change it? Are you sure he is telling the truth? He's been lying about everything else, so why would he start telling the truth about changing the system that has treated him very favorably? Please start thinking critically.

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