Saturday, March 28, 2020

A few holes in an Ancient Alien theory

Zecharia Sitchin has several books out about mankind's beginnings based on his study of the cuneiform tablets dug up from the ancient Sumerian haunts in the Middle East.  Accordingly to his theory, the 'Those who came from the Stars,' the Annunaki, traveled from the Orion constellation to earth many thousands of years ago in order to mine gold here on earth.

Once they got here, they determined that the labor required to obtain the gold was just too much for their alien hands, and so they co-opted a local species of ape (our forebearers) to make it smart enough to do the slave labor involved in mining the gold, and once they trained the slaves, they could kick back and just count the ingots that their slaves dug up.

Or words to that effect, that's the Sitchin theory.  Now, I can buy that these aliens may have appeared eons ago, and that they may have had a hand in altering the DNA in our ancestors to some extent, but what I don't buy is that they couldn't figure out how to extract gold from our planet without help.

This is a civilization that traveled through space hundreds of thousands of light years away, and once they got here, they climbed down the ladder from their space ships with a pick ax, a pan and a shovel and got frustrated at how hard gold mining was.

Gimme a break.  These guys given their technology could have melted a mountain or two with their ray guns, contained the resultant lava in their tractor beams, isolated, refined and extracted the gold from the lava, all from the comfy confines of their environmentally controlled space ships.  No need to get their hands dirty, or maybe their tentacles, whatever.

For them to monkey around with the DNA of some aboriginal primates, wait a few generations for these primates to wise up enough to take orders from the Annunaki masters, that really doesn't square with common sense.

A guy can only swallow so much malarkey.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Italy is NOT the United States

Not even close.

I've spent quite a lot of time in Italy.  Not recently, but the times have not changed all that much.  My first sojourn into this backward country was a real shocker, however.

As a young soldier in the U.S. Army, I took a 30-day leave to travel around Italy along with two of my army buddies.  We took the train from Munich, West Germany and headed south to the land of wine, pasta and sunshine.  What a heaven on earth to spend a long vacation, or at least that is what I figured would be the case.

The train trip was uneventful, until we got off at the train station in Bolzano in the northern part of the country.  I had to relieve myself and went into the public restroom facilities at the train station.  This is where the stark differences between Italy and western civilization diverged: the urinal was just a ledge against the wall, and the "toilet" was simply a couple of concrete wedges to place your feet located in between a 6" hole in the floor.   And toilet paper?  None to be found.


I was a 21 year old corporal (actually what is called a Specialist 4th Class, same same), and had been in the service for 2 years by then: I knew how to cuss like a sailor, spit and hawk loogies with the best of them, and how to generally act like a miscreant.  But this took me by complete surprise.  What the hell was this?  I might as well have looked for a stand of bushes, it would have smelled better; the fetid stench inside this 'facility' would have made a buzzard puke.

The whole country is filthy.  The restaurants, the buses, the cabs, the people.  Filthy dirty.  And we adjusted to this culture quickly.  We rented a car, and noticed that nobody obeyed the street signs, stop signs, and drove on the sidewalks if they needed to, which they all seemed to.  

When in Rome, as they say.  So we threw out all of our western politeness that our mom's taught us, and actually had a pretty good time down there.  What the hell.  In 1976, we could buy a 750 ml bottle of white wine for approx. 25 cents, as the lire to the dollar exchange rate was quite attractive at the time.  We lived like kings for a month.

Now the place is ground zero for the Wuhan virus.  It is spreading like wildfire, with no end in sight.  I am not shocked.  Their health care system is probably no different than their train station restrooms: let's just say they are 'lacking.'  

Just like their justice system.  They treated a shy college kid, Amanda Knox, like she was Charlie Manson.  They trumped up ridiculous charges of her murderous rampages (of which she had nothing to do with), and kept her in jail for the better part of two years before she was finally exonerated.  Yes, justice in Italy is probably very similar to health care in Italy.

I can't say that I can see much hope for them in their fight against this viscous scourge.  They are just not the types to prevail if they can't even provide toilet paper in their restrooms.  They can't even provide toilets in their restrooms, much less toilet paper.

Of course, things may have changed since I was there.  Probably not, though.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Coronavirus panic is good for Fredd, sadly...

Yes, the more wide spread panic about the Wuhan virus, the better off Fredd will be.  I never thought that I would be on the same side as Chuck Schumer, David Muir and Nancy Pelosi, but here we are.

I completely divested my portfolio from the equities market, and now it is in my best interest that the stock market tank like never before.  The more it goes down, the better off I will be once it hits such rock bottom prices that I will get back into equities at bargain bin prices.

Thank you, ABC anchor David Muir.  Thank you Chuck Todd, and thank you Wolf Blitzer.  You guys are driving home the panic about this Wuhan virus that can guarantee that the stock market tanks like 1929, like 2008.  Yes, and you are hoping that it also tanks Donald Trump's likelihood of getting re-elected in 2020.

I like rooting for America.  I have been long in stocks for many decades, but now I find myself rooting for destruction and desolation with the rampage of this Chinese weaponized virus (as long as I keep to myself, I'm 65 and of prime target to this insidious scourge).  

What a state of affairs.  Ask me if I value Donald Trump's re-election over the value of my portfolio.  Go ahead, ask me.

I know that answer.  The Donald better have some real moving and shaking on those teleprompters tonight.  I gotta say that I am with me, and not with him, if forced to choose.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Free stuff for everybody! It's appeal is limited....

If you have been listening to what all of the Democratic contenders for the nomination for president are shouting from the mountain tops, it all boils down to a basic, fundamental message: "if you vote for me, I will enact legislation to transfer other people's wealth to you."

No, of course they don't put it exactly that way, but there is no other possible understanding of what they propose than this essential philosophical tenet of socialism: spread the wealth around.  And in order to spread wealth, you have to take it from those who have more and give it to those who have less.  Duh.

Our political system protects anything you say on the stump, regardless whether it's true or not, doesn't matter: political speech is protected in this country.  Scalawags of all kinds know this, and accordingly will say absolutely anything that sounds good to their potential constituents.  If in the end after all the ballots are counted, they wind up with 50.000000001 percent of the votes, that's all that matters.  They win.

And who doesn't like free stuff?  I like free stuff.  You like free stuff, everybody likes free stuff.  Unfortunately, nothing on earth is free; somebody pays for it, that's just the way it works.  If you don't pay for whatever you got, then it's free.  Free to you.  But it wasn't free to whomever got stuck with the tab.

This drives me crazy, the fact that a lot of people listening to these socialist politicians believe it.  The ignorant among us, they really do.  But thankfully, there are also those listening to these messages that know how this country works: people put forth effort that others value, and they are rewarded with the fruits of their labor.  If their labor is less valued than other's labor, they get less fruit.  Conversely, if their labor is more valued than the next guy's, then they get more fruit.  It cannot be explained any plainer than that.

I was listening to Dean Cain (who portrayed Superman on the old series 'Lois and Clark' which ran on ABC from 1993 to 1997), now turned broadcast personality, while he was on location in Red Lake, Minnesota this Super Tuesday morning asking a young woman who she was supporting and why.  

"I am supporting Elizabeth Warren, because she is fighting for economic justice.  People are frustrated that they see the stock market going up and up, and yet this wealth has no impact on their day to day pay checks.  It's just not right, and Elizabeth Warren will fix that."  I paraphrase her answer here, but that is the jist of what she truly believes.

This young woman basically believes that the gains in the stock market should be shared among the proletarians, with no consideration as to who has skin in the game.  Free stuff for everybody, that's only fair.  No thought is given to stock holders, who worked for that investment money that they risk in the market, no thought whatsoever ("you didn't build that!!").  And what about when the market goes down?  Does this woman think that those paychecks of her ilk should be exempt from those losses?  I think she does.

And Pochahontas, Bernie, Slow Joe, and every other Democrat in the field (maybe not so much Mini Mike, he sort of gets it but not really), they all tout Medicare for all (free health care), free college tuition, forgiveness for all student debt (more free college), $15.00 minimum wage (free wages for work that is not worth $15.00/hour), and lots of other free stuff.

The rub is that none, and I mean NONE of this stuff is free.  Somebody pays for all of it, every damn penny of it has to be paid for by somebody: doctors and nurses don't work for free, they get paid, and do not give away their talents, health care is not free.  $15.00/hour for $5.00 worth of work does not mean that they get free $10 bucks an hour.  The employer pays that, again, not free.  Lenders forked out big bucks to college students in the forms of loans, which they expect a return, they didn't loan out 'free money' to these kids, it was real money and this real money is not an entitlement to these college kids who signed those papers.  College professors, and their heated/air conditioned classrooms cost money, none of that stuff is free.  Somebody paid for all of that, not free by any means.

For these politicians to stand on their stumps and promise free stuff to everybody only resonates with some; those who don't have stuff.  The other people listening have stuff, and know that these politicians have painted targets on their backs as chumps whose stuff they will confiscate.  The appeal of free stuff is limited only to those who believe in unicorns frolicking in meadows filled with rainbows and gum drops, and that there should never be a tear drop in any eye ever.  

The rest of us know that only elbow grease generates stuff.  And elbow grease ain't free, never has been and never will be, and we also know that there ain't no unicorns frolicking in idylic meadows, and we have seen a lot of tears in a lot of eyes, that's life in the Big City.

A pox on these politicians who are promising to take stuff from one group and give it to another in exchange for their vote.  An oozing, pus dripping pox.