Chickens and Roosts and Dogs and Boycotts

121216-uspreselection2-1050x600As Monday dawns, the chatter from the weekend has been about Russia “tampering” with the US election. This has people posing all kinds of scenarios from a Manchurian Candidate to outright fraud. Of course, nothing is further from the truth, but neither side lets go of a good conspiracy theory if it feeds their confirmation bias and gets people to donate money to their cause.

Consider for a moment a couple of things, internationally countries have always “tampered” with other countries elections to very little avail, but also always deny it. In 1960, the Soviets were very clear that they preferred Kennedy over Nixon, and while they were not accused of directly interfering, they were accused of doing things that favored Kennedy. Which was weird because Kennedy was the hardliner who kept talking about the “missile gap” and the need to contain communism. As we would later learn, the Soviets were flat out scared of Nixon and believed that he would not have hesitated to start a war, whereas they believed Kennedy was bluster and bluff, especially since he knew that there was no “missile gap” but it appealed to voters he needed.

In the end, there is something rather amusing about the same Administration that openly admits that it tried to influence another countries election – a close ally –  and in fact spent your money to do so, but failed, crowing now about how Russia tried to “influence” our election. You can’t really have it both ways. Either you stay out of it and accept the outcomes or you try to influence them and then whine about how the chickens come home to roost.

For whatever it’s worth, I do not personally believe that Putin or Russia influenced our election in any meaningful way. People who support Trump aren’t going to be big fans of the NeoSoviet Empire. But it does raise an interesting thought process and parallel to 1960. Of the two candidates, which is more likely to actually start a war with or over Russian interests? Trump or Clinton? When you consider the personalities and behaviors, you’d have to consider Clinton the greater danger to “world peace.” Perhaps the Russians learned something from history that we forgot?

The City of Modesto is trying to move forward with two ideas for “serving” the homeless population that aren’t going as well as they had hoped. One is an idea to have small shed-like shelters where homeless folks who have pets can stay, thus allowing them to keep their pets.  The so-called “low barrier” shelter would also allow for couples to room together in the sheds which would be housed on the property belonging to The Salvation Army, which has already declined (along with the Gospel Mission) to be the designated operator of the “low barrier” shelter. What should it indicate to us when the two leading agencies, the two best positioned to be the lead agency, have declined the offer to do so?

Now again, I have some practical experience in this matter and I can assure you that the idea of the “low barrier” shelter is a horrible idea. It sounds good on paper, and back when we opened the shelter in the early 2000’s we were being pressed to provide for “animals” that were pets and we were assured some homeless people would never abandon them to stay indoors instead of out in freezing conditions. 121216-photo-home-01I am certain that there were a very few. But I also know for a fact that the costs involved with providing kennels and care for pets FAR EXCEEDED any budget we ever had for operating the shelter. That was before you even considered the liability insurance required to operate such a unit. How many homeless folks do you believe are taking their pets to regular vet visits, up to date on their shots and for that matter, have paid the City of Modesto to license said pets? It wasn’t going to work then, and even if the City manages to find a non-profit dumb enough to take this on, it’s really just one dog bite or disease spreading from a lawsuit that will finish the non-profit and cost the City far more than they ever imagined.

This is the real problem with dealing with homeless populations. Most of the ideas are “pie in the sky” feel good ideas that are based more in feelings than in practicality. If you or I have to move and the new place we go to won’t take our pets what do we do? Why should homeless people be any different? The answer you will get is that somehow or another – with no evidence whatsoever to support the idea – that allowing them to keep their pets will help end homelessness. Until they try to move into an actual home that isn’t owned by the City. Then they’ll most likely have to give up the pet. Which we’ve already been told they won’t do.

The truth is that in almost two decades of working in the homeless services non-profit world, I saw numerous people move from the street to homes. One managed to stay more than six months. One. Why? Because most people who want to “end homelessness” don’t understand the dynamic in place to begin with. Those who are on the streets and really want to get off them find the help pretty quickly. They aren’t homeless because they choose to be, they have had some disaster or catastrophe that forced them to desperate circumstance and they want out. Then you have those who aren’t as much “homeless” as they are mentally ill. Dual-diagnosed used to be the term, substance abuse combined with mental illness means that dealing with them in a normal social situation is virtually impossible. The last group are those who have adapted to life on the streets and have no real desire to return to social constructs of how they should live. You can force them back into society, but they don’t last long. They don’t like your rules or restrictions. In a way, they are true libertarians.

In any case, the reason the City can’t find anybody to run this “low barrier shelter” is because it is – at its core – a fundamentally flawed and very bad idea. The reason that the Day Center is hitting snags is simply the budget. The City will want the agency to raise the funds to operate it. The non-profits are already stretched to the breaking point when it comes to raising their budgets. Why take on more, especially something that isn’t going to ring the bell when it comes to tugging at donors purse strings?

A while back I begrudgingly accepted that women were going to placed on submarines. I wasn’t happy about it. To this day I think that it was a very, very bad idea. But the Navy, hell bent on practicing social engineering, forged ahead and did it anyway. Now, fast forward ahead to a couple of years later and what do we find? That the Navy has the same problem NASA has when it comes to sending women into space – it’s dangerous – particularly to females. Even when everything works right.

It turns out that females are particularly susceptible to the chemical containments contained in the air aboard a submarine. Those contaminants are the natural byproduct of making what is – in essence – artificial air. This is on top of the problems that could be caused by the social aspects of having women and men locked in a steel tube 300 feet long and 42 feet wide for upwards of 90 days at a time. By the by, that steel tube also contains a nuclear reactor and possibly nuclear weapons.

What’s worse is – as I long suspected – the Navy knew all of this years ago and went ahead with its social engineering anyway. Just as they knew that privacy – at least as conventionally defined – is non-existent on a submarine but also sent the women in anyway (see previous discussion HERE).

Now again, this has nothing to do with abilities to do a specific job or task. It has to do with the FACT that submarines are not designed to be, nor are they truly modifiable to be, co-habitational. They are designed to, as the report reminds us, provide the strategic defense of the United States. ANYTHING that distracts from that mission should be eliminated. 

As I said, NASA is having some of the same issues. Space is dangerous. Radiation, fake air and contaminants all effect females to a greater degree than males. I don’t care if it’s “not fair,” it’s reality. NASA already limits female astronauts time in space for these very reasons. Going to Mars, as we seem hell bent on doing, is not going to be easy in the first place, and even if we get there, the chances of biological reproduction being used to colonize the place are very low because of the damage that will be absorbed just getting there.

The boats will come home back to port every 90 days or so. But how much cumulative damage will there be? And, since the Navy knew this would happen, how much money will be spent on medical treatment for the problems created, along with future VA claims? All in the name of “equality” which never existed in the first place?

img_9670-1024x683The 2016 ArmyNavy game was… really enjoyable. Even the Navy loss doesn’t put much of a damper on things since both teams played as well as they could and Army just reached out and took the game. From the opening moments with the combined choirs singing the National Anthem and reminding us that the men and women in that stadium were all willing to lay down their lives for us, to Navy’s 4th string QB running crazy for a TD, to the shots of the Army Chaplain praying the rosary on the sideline in the closing moments, it was wonderful.

Congratulations to Army on their victory. It was well earned and deserved.

In the middle of the game, we got the news that reminds us of why this game matters so much to us. More American troops will be going into harms way in yet another undeclared war that serves the interest of politicians.

A couple of thoughts about the broadcast in general though. First, Vern Lundquist and Gary Danielson were just awkwardly uncomfortable interviewing President-Elect Trump. It was clear that Danielson was not a Trump voter, and the harder he tried to push Trump, the more he failed at it. The media today is taking shots at Trump for “insulting” the quality of the football being played. He didn’t say anything about it that the pregame shows haven’t said for years. This is not SEC or Pac12 of B1G 10 football. It’s two teams that play a ground game and can’t throw it to save their lives. We all know that. We’ve all said it. Trump also added to his comment that the spirit at the game was unlike any of the “many games” that he goes to. On both points he was correct, even if we think that we don’t want to hear it.

The overall broadcast was sloppy, with several live mic comments that weren’t supposed to happen (“There’s a couple of troublemakers behind me”) going live over the air. Perhaps it was the emotion of the moment, but by the time we got to Vern Lundquist’s goodbye speech – even though he isn’t actually retiring, just leaving NCAA Football broadcasting –  it was clear that the broadcast had lost the bubble. Lundquist, by the by, is one of the best in the business, but in a year that saw Dick Enberg and Vin Scully retire for good, it just seemed to fall flat, especially since Lundquist isn’t really retiring.

I was recently informed that the new Star Wars movie is just progressive propaganda and that it is going to be boycotted. Good, says, I. Maybe the crowds will be smaller and I can get a decent seat.



Posted on December 12, 2016, in 2016 Presidential, American, City Council, Elections, Football, History, Homeless Issues, Modesto, Modesto Neighborhoods Inc, Navy Football, NCAA, Social Issues, Soviet Union, Space - The Final Frontier, Star Wars, Submarines and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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