Friday, November 15, 2019

Hulu, Fubo TV, Apple TV, what's a Luddite to do....

Yes, Fredd the Luddite is going to cut the cable (or satellite, as it were).  Our DirectTV invoice has now climbed to $136.47/month, and we don't have any fancy package, just the basic stuff.

We've had DirectTV for about 20 years now, and have not really had a problem with it, other than no movie channels such as HBO and Showtime, Starz, none of that.  Had we opted into those premium channels, and our monthly bill would approach two C-notes a month; way too damn much.

Our daughter is pushing for Hulu with a Netflix account, and other than the $90 or so initial investment for the Roku box, it would run around $60/month, or 43% of what we are forking out now. Very attractive pricing, not only is Fredd a Luddite, but he's also a cheapskate. The missus, however, really wants 'The Hallmark Channel,' that airs those dopey predictable Christmas movies.  Hulu does not include the Hallmark Channel.  

Additionally, Hulu  does not include the Pac-12 Network, either.  Luddite Fredd the Cheapskate is addicted to his Oregon Duck football and basketball teams, and has been jones-ing on coverage for the last 20 years because DirectTV does not have the Pac-12 Network, either.

But Sling-TV has both Pac-12 and Hallmark, but not Fox News or Fox Business Channel (both of which Luddite Fredd cannot take another breath on this earth without).  

Apple TV has an enormous channel selection, but not Hallmark or Pac-12, but it has Fox News, but not Fox Business.  Then there's Disney + just hitting the streets, it looks great.

So many streaming services, all of them over half the price of our DirectTV account per month.  But none of them have everything we want.

What to do, what to do.......

Luddite Fredd is paralyzed with indecision.  But he's still a cheapskate.  And DirectTV is on its way out. 

Thursday, October 31, 2019

All of this effort from congress on non-bacon stuff

When local voters head to the polls, they vote their pocketbooks, for the most part.  And they vote for politicians who will bring home the bacon, and again, for the most part.

What kind of bacon have the Democrat members of congress brought home to their constituents who sent them to Washington D.C. to grab some of that bacon?

There's been really nothing that the majority party in the House can claim as any kind of accomplishment.  Not a damn thing.  And these Democrats expect that their constituents, who look in the fridge right before going to the voting booth, see not a single slice of that promised bacon, will send them back to Washington D.C. in 2020 yet again.  Democrat voters elected their guys and gals to pass legislation that will bring home jobs, projects and social justice (yes, they want that, whatever that means). You know, bacon.  

The Democrats in the House are only working on one thing: impeach the president over something, anything.  And this is not exactly what Joe and Jill Sixpack voted for when they handed the gavel back to Nancy Pelosi.  There is not one crumb of bacon involved in any of this nonsense.  

I am thinking that all of this impeachment foolishness will blow up in their faces.  Their hatred of Donald Trump will doom their re-election chances in November next year.

Which is OK with me.  

Friday, October 18, 2019

Elija Cummings remembered as a 'great man.'

Yes, a 'great man.'  Those words will probably be chiseled on his gargantuan tombstone in front of his enormous mausoleum, a tomb fitting of Great Men who have passed unto the hands of the Lord.

Because he was a Democrat, all of Elija Cummings failures will be swept under the rug, never to be discussed again.  Ever.  There is still the issue of the missing $1.5 BILLION dollars that was ear marked to ease the blight in his district of Baltimore, but not one penny of that $1.5 BILLION dollars was ever spent anywhere near Baltimore and has not been seen anywhere else, either.  Not yet, at least.  And certainly Baltimore remains the rat infested hell hole that it has always been, or for at least the last 50 years or maybe more.  I would think that $1.5 BILLION would go a long way towards solving at least a few of Baltimore's myriad of problems.

Had Elija Cummings been a Republican, this would be the issue chiseled into his tombstone.  "Where is the $1.5 BILLION, Elija?  Rest in Peace".  But none of that will happen, because Elija Cummings was a Democrat.  A black Democrat at that.  He will be remembered as a 'great man.'  A leader of the Civil Rights movement, who was there and was down for the struggle in Selma.

There have been other 'great men' who's reputation in America's eyes are that of ogre, criminal and malfeasant.

O.J. Simpson was a great man.  Huh, you say?  That double-murdering thug who beat the rap and is now the most hated man in America, THAT O.J.?  Yes, that O.J.  Nobody recalls that while a running back at USC he was setting rushing records en route to a Heisman Trophy.  Yes, that O.J. who when playing for the Buffalo Bills was the first man to rush for over 2,000 yards in a single season.  Yes, that O.J. who charmed his way into the movies and was seen in Hertz commercials hurdling over luggage and wandering up and down the sidelines on Monday Night Football, microphone in hand, yes that O.J.  We all loved O.J.

And now all of that is forgotten.  He is a hated double murderer, the scum of the earth.  But he was a great man, once.  Not anymore.

What about Richard Nixon?  Huh, you say?  The lying criminal ex-president who covered up the heinous crime of some of his stupid cronies who broke into his opponents offices seeking dirt?  Yes, that Richard Nixon.  Nobody remembers that it was Dick Nixon who was the avowed enemy of communism back in the 1950's during the Red Scare.  As vice president under Eisenhower, Dick Nixon was the lead man to beat back the commie scourge that was creeping into our government.  He was the great man to cede the presidential election in 1960 to JFK and not contest the Illinois vote count that then Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley conjured up from graveyards and death certificates on file in the Windy City.  Those votes from dead people, had they been tossed, would have put Dick Nixon over the hump. would have landed all of Illinois electoral votes into the Nixon column and not the JFK column, and he would have been elected president in 1960.  He chose not to sink the U.S. into that quagmire 'for the good of the country.'  (unlike Al Gore, who sued Dubya over the Florida vote...and we are still seeing the seething rage of the left owing to the decision going Dubya's way to this very day).

Dick Nixon is the man who, through 'ping pong diplomacy' opened up the Chinese markets globally after meeting with Chow En-Lai and other Chinese heavy weights.  Dick Nixon also ended the U.S. involvement in Vietnam, a war started by Democrats to feed what Eisenhower a few years earlier warned us about: the military industrial complex.

Yes, Richard M. Nixon was a great man.  But what do we remember him as?  "I am not a crook" crook.  And yet all he did was stick up for his guys, for better or for worse.

Yes, both of these guys were Great Men.  Orenthal James Simpson and Richard Milhouse Nixon. Not anymore.

Elija Cummings is now at the right hand of Jesus.  A Great Man.  I am still wondering where that $1.5 BILLION dollars is.  That kind of money demands an investigation.  But that will not happen, not to a 'GREAT MAN' like Elija Cummings.

I liken Elija Cummings memory to the likes of other Great Men, such as O.J. and Tricky Dick.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Sympathy for workers on strike...

...and I got none.  I particularly have no sympathy for public employees who go out on strike, like the Chicago Teacher's Union now on strike for more, more, more.....

These greedy bastard were offered a 16% raise over 5 years, not bad considering they only work 9 months out of the year, have some of the most opulent benefits packages available anywhere on earth, and can never get fired for any reason, except maybe murder - and even then, the union fights tooth and nail to keep these murderers on the payroll.

Nope, 16% pay raise?  Uh-uh.  No way Jose.  They want way more than that, in addition to guaranteed affordable housing forever, and a few other ridiculous demands, or they walk the picket lines.

The strikers at General Motors are slightly more sympathetic, but not much.  They are going up against a management structure of a private enterprise that determines their compensation, and that does not affect the general public directly: if GM's products are not available owing to a strike, we can always buy a Ford, a Chrysler, a Volkswagen or a Porsche.  No biggie.  And GM, should they choose, can just fire all of these strikers and hire scabs, completely legal. 

Not so with striking public unions: yes, like Ronald Reagan fired all of the striking air traffic controllers in the 1980's, that option is not on the table for public school districts.  And parents cannot simply enroll their children elsewhere in the event that their local schools remain on strike.  Nope, these kids are held hostage by these rotten public unions and there is nothing mom and dad can do about it, not really.

As contrasted with private companies and their unions, public employees are not striking against and demanding concessions from private employers.  No siree Bob.  They are demanding concessions from the taxpayers.  And yet we tax payers already put in place public employees to manage our public schools: the mayors of the cities.  These elected officials are our representatives regarding educational resources, and when public school unions decide to buck what the duly elected mayors have established as reasonable compensation, they are bucking us - John and Suzie Q. Public.

To hell with them, I say.  Fire the lot of them, send them screaming into the night and force them to eat out of dumpsters.  If they want to play hardball, well then welcome to the NFL.

Ditto with private company unions, just on principles.


Friday, October 11, 2019

California is now a 3rd World country

Yes, the Golden State has crossed that threshold: it is no longer simply a misguided state that is in need of adult supervision.  It has now progressed into a full fledged 3rd world country.

In-flows of illegals have swamped the social safety net long ago.  Emergency rooms at hospitals now resemble Cuban waiting rooms with sick illegal aliens piled to the ceilings waiting for a nurse practitioner to come by with a Band-aid and an aspirin (to treat a broken arm caused by another illegal immigrant pushing them down into the street after stealing their shopping cart filled with all of their worldly possessions).

The homeless (aka bums, hobos, vagrants, I've already covered this) are now everywhere you look in California (except Belair and Beverly Hills, I've already covered this as well).

The San Joachin Valley used to be the bread basket of America, and it's now dried up because politicians chose to protect the snail darter from extinction (huh?) and let millions of acres of productive farmland dry up as they diverted irrigation water back out to the ocean (huh?).

Forest fires burn out of control as politicians have buckled to leftist organizations such as the Sierra Club's demands that clearing brush and over growth from forests be halted in order to save the environment (huh?).

Now PG&E (Pacific Gas and Electric, the villain in "Erin Brockovitch") is cutting off electricity to around 800,000 Californians to preemptively avoid catching anything on fire during high winds and dry conditions (which California is known for most of the year).  

People in 3rd world countries have it better off than many Californians currently.  And we can attribute all of California's woes to their affinity to elect and re-elect liberal politicians state wide, from dog catcher to governor.  Year in and year out.

You would think they would learn.  Nope, no learnin' goin' on in The Golden State.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

'Homelessness" is a choice

You can call them whatever you wish: the homeless, the real estate-challenged, the un-housed, or put some other happy face on these wretches.

As for mean spirited, black hearted ol' Fredd, I call them what they have always been called by rational people: vagrants.  That, or bums, vagabonds, ne-er-do-wells, miscreants, hobos, I'm sure there are a few more accurate terms out there that don't come to mind right now.  In any event, these people who choose to live on the streets and sponge off of the crumbs of society have indeed made a choice: to live like animals on the mean streets of America.

America has many freedoms that other countries deny their citizens; the freedom of assembly, the freedom of speech, the freedom of religion and yes - the freedom to fail.  We don't demand that anybody succeed in anything.  We encourage success, but success is not mandated.  You can bomb out in life if you want to here in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave.

We Americans have also been generous to a fault in years past to accommodate those that are for whatever reason down on their luck.  Churches have historically reached out to the down and out.  Charities such as the Salvation Army, Goodwill and St. Vincent DePaul, all are still around and willing to lend a hand to those who need it.  There are still food banks, soup kitchens, warming centers and lots of Americans that donate to all of these charitable efforts even as we speak.

But the vagrants that choose (and yes, they choose) to turn their back on efforts to help them should not garner any pity or empathy whatsoever from polite society.  There is every manner of help for these vagrants should they want it.

But they don't.

There are many factors that put people out onto the streets; drug addition, mental illness, stubbornness in turning their back on their families and friends who want to help them.  Or just flat out laziness.  And a myriad of other factors as well.  All of them are choices, with the exception of mental illness, and often that is a result of poor choices in life leading up to what many would consider mental impairment.  You try and live in Chicago on a grate in January, and then tell me how clearly you are thinking lately.

Back in the day (25 years ago or so?) there were still vagrants here and there, but nothing like the infestation in major urban areas we see today.  Back then, vagrancy laws were in place and enforced; if you had no visible means of support, and you caught the attention of a law enforcement agent, you would be picked up and put in jail.  At that point, the police would attempt to find your family or loved ones to see if somebody could bail you out and vouch for your future conformity to laws on the books, such as loitering, vagrancy, disturbing the peace, trespassing or public indecency such as defecating or urinating in public.

What is now different today than it was in days gone by with regards to the explosion of vagrants on our streets?  Simple: we have bleeding heart liberal politicians who tie law enforcement hands in enforcing the laws that are still on the books: disturbing the peace, public indecency, trespassing and so on.  The local voters who put these politicians into office desire their neighborhoods and businesses be bombarded by the pesky vagrants; they must, since they vote into office these bleeding heart pinkos who desire more homelessness (vagrancy), not less.  Voters want more vagrancy, they must according to the numbers of vagrants we see on urban streets, so many that law enforcement agents must step over without so much as making eye contact.

Homelessness is a choice; and so is putting up with it.  Notice there is not one single bum living on a sidewalk anywhere in Belair, CA.  Or Beverly Hills.  The residents of these upper crust cities will not have it.  Nor do you see any bums on the streets of Snyder, TX, Gadsden AL or Goshen IN: small town folks don't put up with this nonsense, either.

Citizens of LA, Chicago, Salt Lake City, and San Francisco: you need to vote out your current liberal governments, and start policing up these vagrants.  Folks without visible means of support and the drug addicts/mentally impaired need to be incarcerated.  Just like days gone by.  Those who have any brains will get jobs to avoid incarceration, and those nuts/drug addicts will languish in prison.  Which is where they should be, not on the streets.


Saturday, September 28, 2019

Solving America's mental health problems, for the solution read on....

Starting in the 1960's, the U.S. slowly abandoned the concept of locking crazy people away in mental health institutions such as were run by Nurse Ratched in 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.'  By the 1990's, they were all shuttered and the inmates were turned loose to fend for themselves.

We as a nation chose this path and were of the opinion that it was better to have sociopaths, drug addicts, and the myriad of undesirables living among us rather than risk a few innocents getting caught up in the mental health system.  The abuses of courts and medical practitioners in committing otherwise sane and law abiding people to confinement in mental health institutes has run its course, and we will not return to those former Soviet/East German-style practices anytime soon. And we still are of this opinion as I speak.

And now we are seeing crazy/evil people shooting up schools, malls and work places.  We step over mumbling basket cases living on the mean streets of urban liberal cities.  "Don't make eye contact" is the best protection against these human debris, or so they say.  Ignore them.  That solution is not really working all that well anymore.

We are not considering bringing back the nut houses and insane asylums of the past.  But the former inmates of these institutions are now starting to cause great harm to many in polite society.  How does the law abiding citizen protect themselves from these miscreants among us?

Simple.

1.  Enact a national concealed weapon carry law that allows free people to protect themselves from those that would harm them.  Yes, the miscreants would also wind up with concealed weapons themselves, but should they choose to wield their weapons against others, they would meet deadly return fire almost assuredly.  Soon, the many miscreant evil-doers would find that their aggression against others will assuredly result in their own injury or demise and accordingly they will cease using force to enhance their positions at the expense of others.  It's difficult to say with any precision how many good people comprise society versus the proportion of criminal elements but in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, I would have to say that 90% good vs evil is roughly the number.

In short order, violent crimes committed by undesirables against law abiding citizens would fade to levels acceptable to our society.  Reducing that number to zero is simply not taking into account reality and human nature and we will as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west always have crime.  But we could live with the resulting lower numbers of  violent crimes such as murders, kidnappings, rapes, robberies, etc., as they most assuredly would plummet to levels not seen before.  The most aggressive scum bags would wind up in the morgue, while the marginal nut jobs would have a basic understanding that should they choose to harm others, their days would be numbered.

Will this proposal turn the country into 'the Wild Wild West?'  Where there are gun fights on every corner at all times of the day and night and that scenes from the 'O.K. Corral' will play out as a result of a minor disagreement or perceived insult?  No.  The Wild Wild West was never like that, either.  Polite folks were armed to the teeth back in those days, and the evil elements knew that drawing their guns on others almost always ended up in a hail of gun fire coming their way.

An armed society is a polite society.  Or, as NRA President Wayne LaPierre correctly puts it, 'the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun.'  No truer words were ever spoken.

2.  Enact national vagrancy laws.   It's no longer considered against the law to be a bum.  Or, as we used to call them, a vagrant, a hobo, a vagabond.  Someone with no visible means of support.  They are now called 'the homeless.'  Nuts to that.  We need to call them what they are, and that would be vagrants.  Vagrants with no visible means of support always resort to crime to prop up their chosen disreputable lifestyles.  And these criminals prey on the rest of us polite folk.  Bring back the days when these undesirables were rounded up and thrown in jail.  Regardless of whether they are nuts or not, they need to be incarcerated.  Many of these bums will in time understand that they need to get a job to avoid the slammer.  The crazy will languish in jail.  So be it.