Friday, June 30, 2017

Republicans back to Repeal and maybe replace

This would be a disaster for everyone.  Insurance companies have been bailing due to uncertainty and inaction of Congress.  Repeal with no plan would just make that worse in the short term.
Long Term? These people had over 7 years to come up with a plan, how are we supposed to trust them to come up with one now?
I want to see the new plan before they get rid of the old one.
This is not about improving health care its about giving tax cuts to the wealthy. Repeal would make the former worse for everyone, even those not on AHCA.  However it would let them say they did something to the voters while keeping the donors happy with the tax cuts.

Dont let them get away with it.

Oh and in case you missed it earlier I found another article going over an aspect of Trump Care I haven't heard people talking about much. Removing the requirement for large employers to offer employee health insurance

Thursday, June 29, 2017

President Trump manages to lower the office of the Presidency even more

This is infuriating.
The Grand Old Party offered this stupid jerk up as the best of them.
He barely even tries to govern, delegating key responsibilities like national defense, and spends more time goofing off and trying to line his pockets than actually running the country.
He has attacked the media, the military, and seems incapable of rational debate.  He keeps getting personal and complaining about people complaining about what he himself say and keeps tweeting over and over.
The latest personal attack is still not enough to get the party of rich old white men to do anything.  A cautious platitudes but we can expect no action.  Had this been a Democrat they would be up in arms and calling for impeachment.  Yet we can all see he is using the office to line his pockets, violates the emolument clause, breaks his oath of office on an almost daily basis and is actually trying to destroy this country.
So why does anyone support him?  The only reason is they think they have something to gain and that is more important than the USA.  No wonder most Republicans are afraid to attend Town Halls.

The last Great Republican

Many people would say the last great Republican President we had was Ronald Reagan.
He certainly was the first one I voted for.  However while he did some good things he is the oen who started the Laffer Economics or Trickle Down Theory that helped skyrocket our national debt and hurt the economy.
In my opinion the last great Republican President was  Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Read more about him here

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Remember to see if your representatives are hosting a Town Hall this break

A lot of representatives, especially republicans are not holding Town Halls anymore.  However if your lucky enough to have a rep who wants to listen to his/her constituents please go and voice your opinions and ask your questions.
Remember they work for you.
Use this site to find one in your area.
And you know what? If they wont hold a Town hall host one yourself.
Put it out there and notify the media.  If your rep wont show up you can talk to your neighbors and maybe find someone else to vote for.  Maybe someone who will actually work for YOU.

The republican party does not care about Health Care

Watching Morning Joe  and you know what? He is right here and so is Lawrence O'Donnel,
The Republican party (Not saying all Republicans but certainly the leadership and many of them) do not really care about Health Care, they just want it as a talking point before moving on to what they consider more important matters.
Just look at the facts.

  • They have been saying Repeal and Replace Obama Care for over 7 years, yet never in all that time did they come up with an actual plan.
  • The House comes up with a plan that is so rushed and half baked it fails to get past their own party in the first vote and they then punt to the Senate hoping they will fix it. They did this so they could "move on to more important matters such as tax reform"
  • The Senate comes up with a plan in secret meetings that most of their own party refuse to support. They tried to do it so fast so they could have a talking point and say "We did something!" before the July recess.
  • The so called Health Plan is really just a tax cut to the wealthiest Americans and Insurance and Pharmaceutical companies and CEOs.
  • Both plans break the promises President Trump made on the campaign trail when he said he would not cut Medicaid, Medicare or Social Security and that premiums and deductibles would be lowered.
I am not saying this should be easy but for crying out loud if something is important to you wouldn't you actually work on it? This has been like high school students cramming the night before finals who never studied the rest of the year!

Despite this being 1/6 of the economy and vital to the lives and well being of millions of Americans they just do not seem to be willing to put  serious work and thought into it.
If I was Paul Ryan or Mitch McConnel or heck anyone on say the Health and Human services committee or had been complaining about it for so long I would have actually worked with my colleagues and come up with a plan during those 7 years.
Wouldn't you?

All this is about is wanting to complain about something you have no clue how to improve and wanting to make the other guys look bad so you can look better.  It is not real leadership and it shows they really do not care about governing and trying to help America, only line their pockets and those of their biggest donors.  the biggest effort here was how to cut taxes for those groups and we will see much more effort put into the tax cut plan when they move onto it.

Please remember this and VOTE in 2018!  Lets kick as many of these people out as we can and get some people who are honest in.

Monday, June 26, 2017

The Insurance Mandate is back and more severe than ever

So The Hill reported that the Senate added a clause to the Health Care bill today.
If you have a lapse in coverage for more than 63 days your not eligible for coverage at all for 6 months.
The House version charged you 30% more on your premium.
These are to replace the tax penalty the AHCA had that was cited as the 'Coverage Mandate' that Republicans said was bad ad they wanted to repeal.

Now no one likes the mandate but to be fair to insurance companies without a requirement young and healthy people, especially men are less likely to get insurance.  That would mean insurance companies have more sick people and fewer healthy people they an bill and so profits would go down.  In fact it might very well be unsustainable at all.

However the 63 day requirement shows just how out of touch the GOP really is.
Most employee health insurance does not kick in till 90 days, plus there is the time your looking for a job.  So if you lose a job or even quit one to take another (say a promotion with a new company) this means you will likely have no insurance for at least 6 months.

How is this better for Americans?"
My suggestion is to combine both of those so people have the option of a 30% hike in premiums or wait 6 months.  The republican party said this was to give us more choice right?

Frankly Medicare for all or Single Payer looks better and better the more the GOP talks,

Related Medical Cost stories.

Party politics is more important to our leadership than our Democracy

There is a lot of blame to go around on the Russian Meddling.  However it really boils down to partisanship.
We need Mitch McConnell and the gang of 8 to testify under oath before the Senate Intel Committee on why they dismissed the warnings and why instead of trying to weaken the House Ethics Office their first action was not trying to secure our elections. 
If it wasn't for leaks we would know nothing about this and they would continue to do nothing!

There is a lot of blame to go around on the Russian Meddling. The Obama administration played it soft for fear Russians would do worse and Republicans would claim Democrats trying to swing the election. The Republicans did not and apparently still do not take it seriously, because it was in their favor.

A set of links for details on what has been reported so far.

As a veteran who served during the Cold war it appalls me how Russia is allowed and even encouraged to meddle with our elections.
For many people Health Care, jobs and the overall economy are the most important threats to Americans.  Those are important issues but to me government corruption and party over country is the most serious threat to our country. If we fix that everything else can get worked out.
We MUST clean house before we can see lasting change and the country can have honest debates over policy.
Please join me in replacing our corrupt congress with new blood who wont take PAC money.
Brand New Congress may be our last best hope to peacefully reform the government.
They don't have to replace everyone but if they get a majority they can enact real change.

Also please sign my petition to get Congressional leadership to testify on the record about what they did last year.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

It is not Murder!

Darn it Senator Orrin Hatch is right we cant accuse the Republican party of Murder.
Even though the GOP Taxcut plan disguised as Health Care will kill an estimated 43,000 people a year it is not legally murder as  they plan to do it by passing a law.
Depraved Indifference still stands though.

As long as they keep an insurance based system in play it will never work.  No matter how much you subsidize it or how many taxcuts you give to CEOs of insurance companies.
Real Reform? Take the insurance companies out of play and let them be an optional extra.
Also let Health Savings Accounts roll over from year to year so people can save up for major medical events. And of course Medicare for all, the deductions we already make for insurance from our paycheck would be better spent on Medicare rather than profiting an insurance company.

My Thoughts on Health Care

Take this snowball Senator

Senator Inhofe became infamous when he took a snowball onto the congressional floor and said that was proof climate change was a hoax.
Here is another graph showing  waht almost everyone can see for themselves.

What is most concerning is not just the upward trend but how sharply it goes up in recent years.
Even the oil companies wanted us to stay in the Paris Accords becasue they know climate change is real and needs to be addressed.

I personally dont see some of the most dramatic claims happening.
However just a few degrees overall temperature has resulted in rising sea levels, increased and more severe storm activity (heat helps drive storms, especially hurricanes) and harsher summers.

We need to do something about it and get people in government who think about the future rather than the next news cycle..
My page on The Environment

How come Congress has forgotten who pays taxes?

Listening to these people talk it seems like they have forgotten who they work for and who pays taxes.
Are you as tired as I am of listening to them dodge questions and spin themselves dizzy?
They make decisions they say are for the people yet spin and often outright lie to us when asked for specifics. In truth it is all about them and the big money donors and lobbyists lining their pockets.
We HAVE to clean them out of office and replace them with people who wont sell out.

Saturday, June 24, 2017


#GOPGreedOverPatriotism They used to be the party of Law now they are just sellouts. Russia, Turkey, Big business over small business and individual lives and rights.
The latest we hear is that Mitch McConnel blocked President Obama and the CIA from trying to get a bipartisan response against Russian election meddling.
And dont forget that last week he invited Insurance and Drug companies to participate in the GOP effort to repeal Health Care. He felt the interests of those groups were more important and they deserved a seat at the table over the rest of the Senate (even most of the republicans) and of course the American people.

My personal priority is the corruption but for most Americans its Health Care.
We ALL need to remember what is happening now when its election time again.
Dont sit at home thinking your vote does not matter.  You can help sway local elections. Even if the electoral college overrides your vote for a President the popular vote still sends a message.

We are running out of time so have to fight for every chance we can get to save the country from pillaging by politicians who put party and pocket over country.

Another anti-PAC money candidate joins the fight for 2018!

From Roll Call Erik Paulsen will run as a moderate democrat and wont take PAC money.
That means if he wins he wont be owned by lobbyists.
He believes we need to worry about the environment, Health Care and Internet privacy from the article.
Good luck Minnesota!

A feel good story about people making a difference

Loved this article on CNN.
Ever missed out on a job you really wanted and felt you would be great at if given a chance?
Imagine that feeling every day, over and over again and you'll get an idea how these people must have felt before this opportunity came along.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

My review of Pyramit 3/104 Dungeon Fantasy Role Playing Game

Pyramid #3/104 Dungeon Fantasy Role Playing Game came out today.
Lucky for me I get complementary copies for this year so I was able to enjoy it.
One of the articles is It's a Quest by Christopher Rice.
I did not expect to like it all that much but if anything life has taught me to look deeper than the surface or title.  The first part addresses the Sandbox GM and the Railroad GM and is the most useful part I think.
It points out the vulnerability of Sandboxing in that you need at least 1 active player per 5 players.  Not sure I agree with that number or that you also need at least one passive player but the point is a valid one.  Without an active player this style of gaming will fail.  It goes on to talk about ways to get players engaged and work with their motivations.

The rest of the issue is good as always and I love the solo adventure.  Takes me back to the days of the Death test series.

Putting the major parties into persepctive

The GOP represents corporate America and the extremely wealthy while the Democrats represent the common worker.  At least that is how its been represented for decades.
Some workers vote for Democrats because they think this is true (and it used to be before Citizens United) and some wealthy vote for Democrats because they feel the same thing.  Even if they are not working for low wages they know that labor is vital to the economy they also depend on.

That is all old news but today I just came up with a comparison that hearkens back to a Town hall I attended. The Democratic party is the mob running the labor unions to funnel those pension funds into their pockets. The republican party represents the old school companies and Robber Barons  that want child labor, no overtime, and long work days we had before organized labor.

Is there a reason any of these are good for you? Are they good for America?
I say NO! Both will destroy America and not just the working class but everyone as they continue to burn America down.

We need a change to BOTH parties.  My last best hope for a peaceful nonviolent solution is Brand New Congress.  If they fail to make a significant difference I think we see a civil war by 2030.

Health Care bill shown to the public

So H.R. 1628 made it out of the exclusive GOP committee and the full test is here.
To be honest I have not yet read the entire thing, its very long and as typical of these things not designed to be readable by people who are not lawyers.
However it look to be about as bad as what came out of the House.
Basically the goal here is not to reform or improve Health Care but to give tax cuts to the very wealthy.

Politifact article on the bill and its usual Fact Checking.
The whole point of writing tihs in secret and trying to pass it with Reconciliation is to create a purely partisan law.  republicans made every effort to cut democrats out so they own this. Remember that come 2018 and 2020 this is an example of how Republicans govern.  Secrecy, hypocrisy and anti-christian processes and goals are the how they want to go.  They spent the last decade as  obstructionists and now that they have all the power continue the assault on America.

Republicans still promoting child abuse

Saw this on Samantha Bee about NY protecting child molesters.
Seriously we see this all the time, just check out the FBIs crime stats and you will see how the states with the highest levels of child abuse are GOP controlled ones.
Can anyone explain in a rational way why?

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

A candidate making an honest speech about issues he feels strongly about rather than political spin

Can we have more people like this please?
Rob Ryerse on Health Care

Support Brand New Congress and subscribe to that channel to see some great people who are going to Congress to serve rather than line their pockets.

PS: Updated my list of candidates 14 Brand New Congress candidates announced and running.
I hope to announce 2 for Oklahoma in the next week or so.

An Open Letter to Senator Lankford

Dear Senator Lankford,
I hope this letter reaches you for it is very important to me.
After the Alexandria shooting you asked us to tone down the rhetoric.  The thing is however for many of us it is not just rhetoric but life or death issues that we struggle with every day. Both parties have betrayed the American people and sold out to corporate interests. Our anger is real, not just rhetoric and if you can understand and choose to deal with it we may yet save our country.
I suspect most of your constituent are contacting you about health care and many on climate change and the environment as well as jobs.  These are all important issues to me as well. However the most important issue to me and the thing that helps me fight through my pain and motivate me to volunteer for my PAC is the betrayal of my government. Even though I cant find a job and am desperately waiting to see if disability goes through in time it is my anger at President Trump and the support he enjoys from the GOP. I find it hard to push past my depression enough just to keep myself alive and do certain basic things that could extend my life, pride kept me from asking for disability until it was probably too late.  Yet my anger and hatred can still motivate me to try and keep him from destroying my country.
It is not just rhetoric but life and death and a betrayal of a country I still love and want to protect.  I am not alone, the shooter in Alexandria in my view did not want to kill anyone, I doubt anyone is that bad a shot.  Instead I think he had given up on life an wanted to make a political statement as his last act. Unlike right wing conservative extremists he did not bomb a church, kill a little Muslim girl with a bat, shoot up a gay night club, or any of the other things that seem to be more and more common every year. Nor did he, like the desperate and hopeless (or yes some of the mentally ill) go on a random shooting spree.  Instead he made a patriotic act of defiance and went for the leadership. I would prefer not to see any of that but if we have to see more people killing people out of anger, frustration and sheer desperation I hope you understand why I feel it should be more of the latter than the former. It is not immigrants, the GLBTQ community, minorities, or different religions that are destroying America it is our leadership.
All right I hope I have established how important I think this issue is so now on to laying it out for you.
President Trump is guilty of lying with a frequency we have never seen before, he violates the Emolument clause, attacks the media, uses his office to advertise his properties and line his pockets, pushes away our allies and embraces our enemies.  All while the GOP sings his praises, makes excuses for him and has become our modern day Nero with Trump as the mother.
I do not regard the Democrats as much better but right now you are in charge so the responsibility is yours. Having met you once I consider you intelligent and I think actually care about the country.  I don’t side with your views on many issues but I hope I am right and you care for this country.  I am not bothering with Senator Inhofe or Rep Frank Lucas as I do not have the same impression and hope for them. Heck I can even see the difference when I call your various staffs.  I am volunteering for Brand New Congress as I think it is the last hope for peaceful government reform. However your in charge now and maybe, just maybe you can help stop the violence or even civil war I see us headed towards.
As you sit on the Intelligence committee you have access to more information than I do but let me list what I as a civilian see.  President Trump did not win the election as a conservative republican; he won as an anti-establishment candidate against a corporate and establishment democrat. He had the lowest approval ratings of any previous President and many people did not trust him.  Yet people were desperate for change and he promised that.  They should have known better and the GOP should have been able to choose someone else instead of him as the best they had to offer. Both parties failed America. People are still desperate and tired of being lied to and politicians choosing party over country. I appeal to you to impeach him as soon as possible and curb his excesses as much as possible until he becomes  unpopular enough the GOP is willing to do so. I appeal to your sense of morality and patriotism as regards the following issues.
Turkey: He and Flynn asked to hold off helping the Kurds against ISIS because Turkey wanted that and both were taking money from the Turkish government. Flynn was directly paid and Trump has a hotel they reportedly increased support for. As a member of the Intelligence Committee I suspect you can easily check out how true this is. If true I consider this treason as we are at war with ISIS.
Russia: There are so many people around him with ties to Russia it is amazing the GOP does not seem to care.  Some of these may indeed be legitimate, however why does he fight investigation so hard?  Why did so many of his people withhold that information on their security forms? Why did both Sessions and Comey testify under oath that he never asked about election meddling? I was disappointed to see you not press that issue. We have reports of financial ties to Russia and China and I do not for a moment believe he will put the countries interests over his business ones.  Do you?
Allies: He treats our allies as corporate rivals, treating handshakes as arm wrestling contests, shoving a Prime Minister to get in front of the camera, lectures them in front of the NATO 9-11 memorial with barely a mention of the sacrifice they went to on our behalf at that time. I can barely walk and yet I would have walked with them rather than follow in a golf cart. There is more but you are aware of that.
Emolument and Graft: He is in violation of this every day.  Diplomats and companies stay at his properties or pay club dues (which he doubled at Mara Lago) for access.  He used the White House to advertise his property and has the taxpayer funnel money into them for his weekend getaways and even official functions such as meetings with ambassadors. Turkey moved their convention from the Ritz to his place. China just happened to grant him and his family Trademarks. His brand is growing and he is getting more and more wealthy and yet we do not even know how deep his foreign ties are because he hides his taxes. He approved DAPLE while holding stock in the company, he wants to sell off public lands to his friends and make the bankers wealthy by deregulation (even though it will likely cause another recession when we have to bail them out again).
Maybe the country could survive his bungling of foreign affairs and general incompetence but that the GOP protects him on the above is enraging. And it will cost them.
Thank you,
Rory Fansler veteran of the Cold War.

 PS: I had more to say but it was already 2 pages. I hope he gets it but his staff are really awesome.
The other guys Sen Inhofe and Rep Lucas staff are downright surly when you call them.  I have the feeling they dont pass anything along.

Monday, June 19, 2017

About those Coal jobs

So President Trump said he was going to bring back coal jobs.
He also blames environmental and minor safety regulations as the reason those jobs went away.
Trouble is, like almost everything else he says that is a lie.
Coal jobs have been in decline for a long time and started that under Republican watch.
Coal Countries decline has a long history
Cheaper forms of energy such as natural gas make coal mining less profitable and automation has cut down on the number of workers needed for the same amount of production.
Coal industry leaders recognize that significant jobs will never return.  So what can we do?
Republicans can subsidize coal jobs like they do for oil but as they get more bribery money from oil and gas companies that seems unlikely.
And for he fiscally conservative but ethical republicans that would not sit well anyhow.
We are also losing manufacturing jobs and not so much to foreign site as due to automation.

That is the real key.  We need to invest in long term job growth for new industries.
John Oliver monologue on Coal
Coal Industry Jobs as an overall part of the Economy

Right Wingers say left Wingers are too violent and need to tone down the Rhetoric

So members of the GOP are demanding Democrats and the Left change the tone
Ted  Nugent, the guy who said at a concert President Obama should suck on his assault rifle and Hillary Clinton should be hanged now says maybe we should tone it down.
Karen Handel running for a GOP seat in Georgia had an ad that a vote for Jon Ossaf is a vote for more violence.
Rep Chris Collins said Democrats need to tone down the rhetoric.
Griamonte? body slammed a reporter for asking how he would vote on Health Care.
The GOP had a reporter arrested  for asking questions in the halls of congress.
A lot of other Republicans are saying similar things, though with more class and diplomacy, including my Senator James Langford.

The thing is they have been pushing the hate for years.  Candidate Trump even offered to pay legal fees for people who would assault protesters at his rallies. He has encouraged hate crimes and told the FBI to avoid investigating right wing extremists by specifically cutting funding for those projects.

The President wont speak out when people are killed by right wing conservatives during many of the mass shootings and the recent stabbing in Portland.
 The Conservative movement has been spreading hate and now that the left are getting upset.
Now when the anger is directed at them they want to play the victim card and cry how unfair it is?

Now I am not saying the Left are all good guys, nor am I at this time condoning the Alexandra shooting.  I think we still have a chance to peacefully reform the government. However that chance is slipping away and people are getting more angry all the time.

However I am tired of the hypocrisy of the Right wing and the GOP.  Your responsible for much of the problems we are having in America and have been blaming everyone you can, from immigrants working for less than minimum wage to over regulation and sucking up to the Russians and the Saudi's.  You put forth a bully for a President who treats hand shakes like arm wrestling contests, shoved a Foreign Prime Minister to gt in the front of the line and alienate our allies while catering to our enemies or those who have a more adversarial relationship with us. Choosing Saudi Arabia over Europe, Turkey over Australia and supporting ISIS to cater to Turkey (funny how Trump has property in turkey and the Turkish government moved a convention to his hotel).

Sunday, June 18, 2017

The GOP wants to decide on Health Care in secret

The GOP  Senate is trying to secretly write the new Health Care bill and pas it through the Senate without allowing the full Senate or the American people to see what it is until the actual vote.
This should concern ALL Americans, even the most Right Wing extremists as this touches so many aspects of the economy that it deserves a detailed deliberation.  Instead they hope to just push something through so they can go home on July 4th and say they did something.
Clear case of party politics and party over America.
The ones responsible for waht may very well be our new health care system are

Look at the Open Secrets profile of each of those and you see that most have deep ties to Financial companies like Goldman Sachs and Pharmaceutical and drug industries.  Think they have the people interests at the top of their mind?
Yet the GOP has decided that these 13 people will decide how Health Care works going forward.

Senator Warren directly asked about the bill and was told by the GOP Chairman he could not answer her.  I am calling my Senator to voice my objection and hopefully enough people do that to change Mitch McConnell's mind and make this more transparent.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

GURPS Classic: Bestiary out!

For those who dont know the GURPS Classic line are PDF reprints of GURPS Third Edition books.
There is typically very little change needed to make most Third Edition material compatible with GURPS Fourth Edition.  And Third Edition was a golden age for GURPS with tons of books coming out.
So GURPS Bestiary contains a lot of animals and creatures from various cultures. All of which could be used as is or minor attribute/stat tweeks if you want them to be realistic.
It also includes some notes on tactics and using them.

Clean Energy for a prosperous and healthy Oklahoma

So I started this petition and have 53 signatures so far but need more to get it taken seriously.  Though a couple of the names on it are pretty important in Oklahoma politics.
Subject: Clean Energy for a Clean and Prosperous Oklahoma


Washington has shown it does not want to lead America so it is up to States to show the way. Oklahoma has plenty of Wind and Sun to power clean energy and grow our economy and add thousands of local jobs.  All this while reducing taxpayers utility bills, earthquakes (from fraking), and pollution. Our energy companies can still produce and sell the oil to other states or countries while diversifying their portfolio for more stability and job growth.

That's why I created a petition to The Oklahoma State House, The Oklahoma State Senate, and Governor Mary Fallin, which says:

"Promote Clean energy in Oklahoma to benefit our economy and the environment."

Will you sign this petition? Click here:


Child marriage in the USA

New Hampshire Rep David Bates supports child marriage. His stated reason? Tradition.
New Jersey Sen Michael Doherty also supports it, his reasoning is to avoid teenagers having abortions.

Seems to me pretty despicable and short sighted to allow much less encourage this.
I think most of us get that but in case your like the Conservatives above who thinks its a good idea here are some reasons in hopes of reaching through to you.
  • Its immoral, I doubt that will reach those who are somehow for it in this day and age so moving on....
  • Forcing a girl to marry her rapist to avoid dealing with a criminal issue just encourages more violence against women.
  • It is essentially modern slavery and human trafficking.  You do believe in Justice right?
  • This increases child poverty and divorce rates. Even if you as a conservative dont care about the damage to these girls I appeal to your greed and point out that this costs taxpayers with increased health care and costs of dealing with legal issues.Promoting violence costs everyone.
  • Some argue that if the girl is not forced to marry she will get an abortion.  Ever hear of adoption? 
  • What kind of husband an father do you think a rapist would make?  Ok, I know appealing to a conservatives sense of morality or right an wrong is a wasted prayer but God tells us not to give up.  And when the conservatives put Jesus on the cross he forgave them, trouble is I am not as good a man as Jesus was so I find it hard to forgive such evil.
Policies like these are why so many progressives and liberals are disgusted with and hate conservatives.

PS: Those who object to my calling those who crucified Jesus conservatives I advise you to read your bible.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Today's Shooting of Republican leadership

It is still early on in the investigation but it turns out the shooter was a volunteer for Bernie Sanders.
I await the hypocrisy on the Right in this but am sure it will come.
To date most of the shootings and violence are from the conservative and extreme right side of the political spectrum.  The Left side are considered (often derisively) by the Right as weak pacifists.

The Left stand for humanitarian causes and civil liberty so violence form that side is far more rare and surprising when it happens.
It is a sign of the times and the frustration Americans have with our government that even leftist people feel the need to take up arms. I do not condone todays shooting, nor does Senator Bernie Sanders. However it was as predictable as 9/11 (I was in the military a the time and using planes as bombs was something we were briefed on as far back as the early 80s). 
What is good about his shooting and indicates it more an act of patriotism and revolutionary action than terrorism is that he attacked the leadership of our corrupt government rather than a night club or school.

Again I do not condone nor wish to encourage violence, but it is predictable and has been escalating and will likely continue to do so.  In fact the Trump administration is actively encouraging it, not just by its rhetoric and treasonous activity but by defunding and ordering the FBI and intelligence organisations to only investigate Muslim terrorism threats and ignore right wing home grown ones (which kills far more people on an annual basis).
Today's shooting was sad but at least it was done against politicians and not innocent civilians.
It was more an act of revolution than terrorism.

I expect we will see much more and hope that people who do feel they have no option but violence will focus and target it properly and not harm innocent civilians. That is the one good message we can take from today's shooting.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

All Hail Trump!

Wow, all that fawning and fake praise to make the president feel good was disgusting.
At least Mattis handled himself like a patriot.

Meantime the draft dodger continues to not care about Russia meddling in our election.
According to sworn Senate testimony by both Comey and Sessions he never asked or brought up anything on this issue. No one except Clinton thinks he won because of that meddling but he is willing to sacrifice our national defense for fear of people thinking he might be illegitimate,
Get over yourself and start defending our country you spineless coward!

How are we doing on Family values?

Interesting and I think accurate article on the DNC.
Meantime Doing some research and it is nice ot see Teen pregnancy rates have declined under democratic leadership, though we still have a long ways to go.
Here are some stats on that.

Teenage Pregancy

Domestic Violence

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Obstruction of Justice or harassment. A Managers Perspective.

So listening to the talking heads and various pundits today it strikes me as odd (though sadly not surprising) how various people interpret part of the testimony.

On The Obstruction Charge

Senator Jim Risch emphases that the words "I hope" are not an actual order.
James Comey replied how the words were not and he was  very specific about hat but it seems to have been missed by some people.
He probably never experienced this kind of activity himself but a lot of Americans have.
And we are taught about it in supervisor or managerial training and harassment courses at work.
Also it fits in many military settings.

When your boss asks you to a private meeting and tells you he would like or hope that you do something it is an implied order.  Some examples
  • I hope you can get this project done today.
  • I hope we will not have any more incidents like this.
  • I do not want to hear about this kind of thing again.
  • Remember that thing I helped you with?
I am sure you can imagine or maybe even think of more from personal experience.  I suspect even more if your a woman.  That implication rather than overt and plain spoken command or challenge is one we all have seen or heard about in corporate America at one time or another.

While it is possible for statements like this ot be perfectly innocent you have to ask yourself if there is a subtext to the words.

Signs you may be in an improper situation

  • Your boss asks you to stay after the meeting and specifically tells others who lag behind to clear the room.
  • Tone of voice and body language indicate there is more importance to the situation than the words themselves.
  • When you leave and your immediate superior is there and you say that needs to not happen again and he shrugs but wont say anything.
  • When you have had repeated awkward conversations before about loyalty and how much you value your job.
Common sense indicates the intent here was less than above board.
Some say Comey should have gone to someone else right away and that since he did not he must have felt there was no obstruction of justice.
Think about that though,  His immediate boss and the one above that were both at the meeting. Sessions is a lawyer and had to know it was improper and likely the subject of the conversation.
Anyone who has had to deal with a harassment case knows that they get messy and proof is hard to come by and this becomes a he said she said kind of thing.
We are taught to immediately document the incident which is what he did.
He also reported it to the only people he could trust in the administration.
No one could have done anything without more proof and bringing forward allegations would ahve just created more turmoil.  So Comey did the smart thing,  He waited, documented and gathered evidence and let it play out.

My take on the Comey Hearing

Sen Kamala Harris said something in the Comey meeting that I wish some others had as clearly stated.
When a robber holds a gun  to your head and says he hopes you hand over your money the operative word is not "hopes".
I experienced something like this myself once.
I was working night shift at a 7-11 and an armed robber stuck a gun in my side when I was making coffee and asked me to go to the register.  He pointed out how unfortunate it would be if anything happened with the kids playing pinball.  He asked me to open the register and give him the money and I made him ask me everything twice so I could later be as clear as possible to the police.
He did not need to tell me he was going to shoot me if I did not give him the money to make the point that was his intent.
Same thing with going into your bosses office with other people, he asks them to leave and you to stay and then tells you something he wants you to do.  He does not have to clearly state it as an order for the intent to be read and the circumstances to be intimidating.
Earlier the year of the robbery I mentioned above another robber had used that defense (I dont recall if it was successful or not) where defense intimated that the victim handed over his wallet but the guy holding a gun on him never explicitly asked for it so it was not a mugging.

Senator James Lankford (R-OK) did a good job, was a little partisan I felt but non balance asked intelligent questions and did not badger or waste Americans time with stupid questions or a speech.

Senator Jack Reed just hit a key point I am surprised took so long.  Bringing up the event where after firing Comey Trump invited the Russian ambassador and media into the oval and told them the pressure was  off. I wish my Senator had done that.

Senator McCain was surprisingly weird in his bit. Seems to conflate the email server investigation with the Russia meddling investigation. I guess he was trying to be partisan but it came across as confused and rather odd.

Overall this went much better than the waste of time the interview the day before with Rosenstein and Coates.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Why is White Collar crime given a free pass?

So Jeff Sessions is trying to force federal prosecutors to go for the maximum possible sentences on drugs.  And trying to override states rights for those who have legalized marajuna.
I dont understand why marajania should get you jail time when its less lethal than cigarettes.

More importantly however I have to ask, Why is a pot smoker a greater threat to society and deserving of more jail time than a wall street exec who caused a recession and housing crisis that made thousands of people loose their homes.
How about the Walls Fargo exes who created false accounts to defraud stockholders and their customers.  Jail time? Of course not its white collar crime so gets a free pass.  In fact shortly after being elected Trump moved to protect Wells Fargo by removing the whistle blower page from the White House site that was  set up to protect American Consumers.

Aren't we all tired of white collar criminals who cost us all billions annually getting away with it?

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Creating your own GURPS setting

I like to make settings and thought I would try and share my thoughts on how I do this.

Core or High Level Concept

  • Genre: Decide on the genre or even sub genre first, though elements of it may change as you go. Examples include (mix and match as you please) Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Space Opera, Hard Sci-Fi, Horror, Spies vs. Spies, Pulp, Swashbuckler, Modern, Mystery, Secret magic, Intrigue, Romance,
  • Inspiration: Part or all of the world can be based on inspiration such as a book, movie, art, or even a dream. This may not give you enough by itself to build a world but inspiration can add a unique flavor.
  • Adaptation: Based off some other work, books, games or a movie for example can provide a complete world.  This is easier and may require less time and work.  Also the players will have a better understanding of the setting which saves explanation, though it can also spoil plots.  Another danger is how faithful to the source you are and how others will react to that, especially if it is an ongoing setting (like a movie franchise or book series that is still being published).
  • Mechanics: Kind of a dry way to build it but basing the game off rules or game systems that you want to explore or use can set its own tone.  For example if the group wants to explore hacking, invention or detailed martial arts.

Sandbox or Plot Driven?

A sandbox setting is one where the players decide what they want to do and are playing in a giant sandbox (the world) and may take the game in any direction their abilities and desires allow.
Plot drive campaigns are based on an overall story and the players follow along the story.
Sandbox allows a lot more player creativity but requires that creative or motivation from them to make things happen. However a Plot or story based game requires far less work by the players who are mostly going along with the story and events and NPCs provide motivation and direction.  The risk of this type of campaign is stifling player creativity and ownership.
I prefer sandbox with some plot driven elements and I try to pull ideas from player concepts and disadvantages.

How Much to Build?

You need enough of the world built so that the players can do things but the more you build the longer it may take to get the game going in the first place.
The trick is to come up with a good background and concept and improvise as you go along but take notes and stay consistent. Design with a broad brush and fill in details as the game goes along. During a game if you have to improvise something it is easier to be consistent if your working to a framework that you already have in place.
Building it all in advance sounds good but beyond the time this takes you will find that a living world created and adapted as the campaign progresses is richer in detail and more interesting to the players.