A YEAR END NON-TIRADE

I have kind of given up being mad at a bunch of things- like the young man who cut me off, while I was trying to make way for an EMT truck and gave me the finger with the arm of his shirt saying, “Jesus.” I will no longer be apoplectic when I have to wait even 5 minutes for a table at a restaurant. Even the words “irregardless” and “issues” don’t bother me the way they used to.

This coming year, I hope to do one of two things; either not give a hoot about things, or find new things to be annoyed at. Let me try the first one on you. Old people talking about their health or complaining about the cost of things these days. I will no longer stop them and tell them that if they continue, they will be picked up by the rubber truck the following Friday. The bagel boys and their complaints about South Carolina bagels  being inferior to New York bagels. I will not go bonkers when my favorite football, baseball and basketball teams lose consistently.

I am not sure that will work, but I will try to control myself. The other possibility is that some new things might stick in my craw. I will not do the plebian thing and squawk about the new administration in Washington D.C. I will probably focus my disdain for the state government in Columbia. They may be corrupt as heck, but they cannot match Pennsylvania where two of the previous speakers of the House of Representatives shared a jail cell for a number of years.

I look forward to discovering how I will react to the traveling around the state and visiting rural school districts. It took us over 35 years to visit all of the rural school districts in Pennsylvania. There were over 200 of them. Since South Carolina has only 34, it will be an easier task. My hope is that we can be of some help to these districts. The frustration may be that we will not have time to accomplish what we did in Pennsylvania. That will probably be our biggest frustration. All of the other stuff will be secondary. I guess I will have less time to be angry at things.

Advertisements

WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM DONNY LITTLE HANDS?

Now that we know who, or what, is to blame for the victory in the presidential election, we can all settle down as the dust clears. The media is now blaming the Democrats, the liberals and the progressives, as well as Jill Stein. The Democrats, liberals and progressives are now blaming the media for its coverage of Donny.

The rest of the world is mostly blaming the Russians for their interference in our business. Donny is blaming a rigged election in “certain areas” for his loss of the popular vote, which he describes as a landslide. Although, his electoral vote is the 44th or 45th largest number of electoral votes, he insists that it was a landslide.

Everyone, except the victorious Donny campaign, blames the polls and pollsters for making such huge mistakes. Donny can say that he knew all along that the polls were squarely on the side of his opponent. Now the Democratic contender can blame the polls for sabotaging her campaign. This will be described in a great number of books to come out in 2017 each explaining how Donny won or how Madame Clinton lost. I am not going to be one of those Monday morning pundits. I do have some thoughts about what the new administration will do to show itself in a good light.

I feel severe bluster coming on. There will be bluster aimed at any number of objects-countries, businesses, ethnic groups, military men, media,  liberal groups, progressive members of congress, and probably members of his own party who don’t go along with him. If you think that President Obama made executive orders (actually very few), you ain’t seen nothing yet. Besides wiping out his predecessors work, he will try and become an emperor.

As with Richard Milhous Nixon, he will ask a right wing think tank to start looking into the possibility of creating a constitutional amendment to wipe out the 25th amendment of the constitution limiting the president to two terms. I’ll will bet you that he has thought of that long before I did.

He will continue to have his children intimately involved in the work of the government. He will divest himself of nothing. He will also shelter his tax returns from the public forever. He will claim a constant audit and advice from his accountant. Then Edward Snowden will become a hero and publish his tax returns on WikiLeaks. 50% of the people who see them will say, “I told you so,” while the other 50% will say, “That’s a Lie.”

93% of the poorest counties (there are about 3600 counties in the U.S.) are in Red States. 9 of 10 of the poorest states are Red states. All of these states get more money from the federal government than they pay in taxes. So, let’s figure this one out. If we assume that there will be cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Welfare, Food Stamps,WIC and other safety net programs, which states and counties will be most affected by the changes?

Donny will affect the stock market in several ways. When he says bad things about Boeing, the stock goes down. When he says good things about Boeing, the stock goes up. When he says bad things about Lockheed Martin the stock goes down . . . ad infinitum. Do you really think that he is not going to play around that way? Look at his new Secretary of Health. Here is a congressman, who either writes or supports laws that affect companies in which he has investments. Does that tell you anything? Yup, no ethics.

Donny really doesn’t like smart people who go to “liberal” colleges. He will find a way to reduce the amount of money going into Pell grants. He will also push for less government funding of scientific research. He will find a way to help out private religious schools and colleges. These are the people who support him. Funny, he is not a religious person and does not go to church, yet the fundamentalist Christians seem to like him.

The first 100 days of his reign will be a tornado of legislation, including things that you did not think were possible. If he gets frustrated enough with Ruth Bader Ginsburg, he will offer legislation to pack the court with two more positions. Then, there would never be any 5 to 4 votes of any kind. I have a feeling that Anthony Kennedy will move further to the left.

Trump will have his children sent to other countries on fact finding and trade missions. The outcomes of these visits will to expand the Trump brand in countries that have not had the experience of Donny Littlehands.

The Republicans in Congress will be afraid to counter Trump on almost anything that he wants. If they do, he will tweet them into oblivion. This will happen with some regularity until the legislator gives in to what Trump wants. The only way to counter this is a Twitter War. More good news to come.

MY HOME IS BANGALORE

 

Bangalore, actually Bangaluru is the capitol of the province of Karnataka Province in India. It is the home of classical Indian music, dance and cutting edge nightlife. It is also the home of a bunch of call centers. I guess I have a small shred of knowledge of call centers because my son runs them.

I am sure that sometime over the past few years you have had an encounter with one of these call centers. It was probably initiated by you because something happened to your computer and it was not working perfectly, or at all. A program may have been corrupted, or you just bought a new computer and it did not work like the salesman explained it to you.

If any of those things happened and you called the help desk call center, you got a person whose name may have been Robin, Alvin, Fred, James, or Frank. His real name was really Ravindra, Ramu, Sanjeev, or Seneil. For some reason, people like to talk to Alvin, rather than Ravindra. It seems to the call center person that an Indian name would start things off in a negative way. Actually, it is not the name that is the first thing that strikes you, it is the accent. Although most of us are familiar with Indian accents, we would more probably want to speak to someone with a Brooklyn accent.

The introduction by the first level technician is filled with pleasantries and then more pleasantries. “What is your name? How can we be of assistance?” “Yes” I say, “Would you please speak more slowly, I have a tough time understanding you.” “Yes, certainly, my name is ALVIN,  as in army, l as in lima, v as in virgin, I as in I and n as in November. Altogether my name is Alvin.” “How may I help you?” So far so good, right? You bet/

Now comes the first of the cultural differences between us. My name is Jean Jacques Crawb (that is the first of my mistakes; I should have said Bob Jones or something really simple). Does the word obsequious mean anything to you? I am not sure what the real meaning is, but to me it has always meant too much of somebody’s behavior. It might be over the top manners, too much thanks overdone questioning.

In this case it is all three. The explanation of my problem was one of the hardest things in the world for me to convey. I will try it with you. This is what I said. I was speaking to a tekkie from Microsoft Outlook. I told the fellow that I could not use the search function in my Outlook program. What came next was a series of statements and questions that could have only come from someone who may have wanted to be pleasant, but went well over the limit.

I am sorry that your computer is not working properly. It is my intention to take just a few moments to review your problem and to make your program operate properly. I will, with your permission, and your help take control of your computer, if you can see your way to allowing me to do this. With the control of your computer, I will enter into your software and discover the problem with your  program. I hope that you do not mind my taking control of your computer. We are well trained Microsoft technicians that have been trained for just such an occasion.

I was on the phone with these gentlemen for two hours. Somewhere around the tenth time of him excusing himself because he was unable to fix it and his attempt to continue with the phone call, he said this,” If you would be so kind to allow me to work on this problem over the next 12 hours, I will call you at 9:00 a.m. Eastern time to show you how I have discovered the problem and have repaired it. This entire job he was going to do for a year’s maintenance fee of $245. At that point, I had no choice. He was in the middle of fixing it.

The next morning, he did indeed call at 9:00 a.m. Eastern time. Would you believe it was not the same person? “I am sorry that we have not, as yet repaired your program. I will need a few hours to locate the problem and then fix it.” By this time, I had lost it. I demanded to speak to the supervisor. This was Ravindra, who did the same obsequious thing and wound up excusing everything that had happened to us since the beginning of time.

He told me that he was a second level technician and that he would be able to fix it. We have him some time and then he did not fix it and asked for more time. I refused and asked from my money back. He was caught up short by that. “Have we not provided the service that you have asked for?” “Yes” I replied, “but you did not fix the program.” He was aghast at my dissatisfaction. You see that he felt that since I was treated well by his minions that I was not going to be angry. He could not imagine that as beautifully as I was treated, I would want my money back. I asked for the office that takes care of the money. He transferred me and would you believe this person told me that he was a 3rd level technician and that he could fix it, if we could give him a few hours.

I felt my head explode. I did keep my cool and told him that all I wanted from him was to get my money back. He said it would be removed in 48 hours and even then asked if there was anything more that I could do. I said that he had done enough.

About two hours later, I got a call asking if there was anything that they could do to fix our problem. I just put the phone down. Later on that day I got this email.

From: <support@myphonesupport.com>

Reply-To: <support@myphonesupport.com>

Date: Tuesday, December 20, 2016 at 1:33 PM

To: Jean Jacques Crawb

Subject: Case Cancellation

Dear Mr. Crawb,

As the issue you had raised on 2016-12-20 20:10:43 [ Case Id 6461331601 ] is established to be remotely unresolvable, we are now formally cancelling the case. However, we solemnly assume that you were satisfied with the services provided to you in the meantime. If you have any feedback regarding MyPhoneSupport services, we would be more than glad to hear from you.

Please spare a few minutes to provide your precious feedback by answering five simple questions in our customer satisfaction survey. Your feedback will help us enhance our services to serve you better in the future.

To submit your response, kindly click on the link below:

Survey Link http://survey.myphonesupport.com/index.php?srvid=20161221000342-74776297&caseid=6461331601

Sincerely,

MyPhoneSupport Team

 

You cannot believe what I said in the survey

 

 

 

 

 

THE DAIRY KING

I believe that I have written about our three black cats in prior blogs. We have Mr. Random Numbers (16 years of age), Mr. P.S. (nine years of age) and Boo Radley (5 years of age).  Each of these felines has his own personality and characteristics. We have had cats for many years and have observed that they really are quite different from each other.

Yes there are some similarities, the purring, the rubbing up against legs, the desire for petting and the sleeping in your lap when you really don’t want them to. All of this has an overlay of the predator that cats really are. Since dogs were domesticated between 25 and 50 thousand years ago, they have humans down pat. They actually can tell your moods, your health and your need for them. Cats are not at all in that category. They were domesticated only 5,000 years ago and still have obvious predatory characteristics.

A number of years ago, we brought Inky Doo, the forerunner of the cats we have now to a vet in Harrisburg, PA. He was a very interesting guy and told us some things about cats that we never knew. One of the more interesting things was that scientists have a great deal of trouble discerning cat behavior because they always need a control group and cats are not interested in performing that task. They are “independent.” That’s another way of saying that they have not, as yet, been fully domesticated.

He also told us that when a cat is purring, it is not a sign that their defenses are down. You may have noticed that when a cat seems calm and relaxed and is purring, they can be up very quickly at some sound or sight. A cat’s defenses are down when they are absolutely quiet and not moving in your lap. It was a distinct change in our way of looking at our cats. It turned out to be the case, or we just created our own set of observations.

We have noticed that our cats have different tastes in food. We feed them all the same dry food “IAMS anti-hairball” stuff. They seem to be satisfied with it and have been pretty healthy over the years. Once in a while I feel sorry for them and pick up a treat or two.

Here is where it starts turning weird. For instance, I got two treats recommended by the people at PETCO. I was told that cats love this treats. One of them helps clean teeth and the other is just a simple treat.  All three cats seem to like the generic one. Only one of the cats likes the tooth cleaning one. I have tried with other treats and there is always a division between the cats and their likes and dislikes.

The one constant like is the youngest cat, Boo Radley. As with the others, he certainly likes milk (even if it is lactose free). However, he is also a fiend for certain kinds of dairy. For instance, he loves some yogurt that Carol eats and does not like others. Usually, when she finishes eating her yogurt, she allows him to lick out the plastic container.

He is not a fan of cottage cheese, but seems to like cream cheese. He does not like Muenster cheese, but loves Jarlsberg. It would seem that we feed him this stuff every day, but that is not the case. He does not climb up on our laps when we eat or the kitchen bar when we are eating there. Funny, P.S. tries to do that. Boo is also not a meat eater. If you have noticed, cats tear meat apart; they do not have the capacity as canines do of grinding the food. Boo is somehow not interested in any of that. He would prefer a small piece of mozzarella or other harder cheeses with no other things, like cranberries, or peppers or anything else. He is a purist.

Even though we have had him for over 5 years, he is still a bit skittish when there is a loud noise or a sneeze. However as the evening comes along, and we are watching t.v., he can be most often seen climbing onto Carol’s lap reaching one of his paws up to her face or neck, for her to pet him. After a while, he goes fast asleep and stays there for a long while.

THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE IS CONFIRMED

In August of this year, 2016, I surmised that Donald Trump, then running against Hillary Clinton, was the Manchurian Candidate. I was kind of funning you, but with a whisper of truth. I am now astounded that it may well be that it could be true. Donald Trump is in the thrall of Vladimir Putin.

Let’s take a look at the current facts, and I don’t mean alt right facts or truthiness. The CIA has concluded that there was indeed an effort made to influence the outcome of the election. There is no answer about what they did, but the CIA has not released the relative facts. It is important to know that FBI Director knew about this investigation before the election. He did not make his knowledge public. He did, however, make public, an investigation of the Hillary Clinton and then cleared her just before the election.

Although hackers did penetrate Mr. Trump’s emails, they did not forward them to Wikileaks.

Mr. Paul Manafort, let go as campaign manager earlier, because of his ties and work for the Ukraine and Russia (as his clients) is now back with the Trump associates.

The new proposed Secretary of State, Mr. Rex Wayne Tillerson is Chairman of Exxon Mobil. He is very familiar with Russia and with Vladimir Putin. He has spent more time with him than any American other than Henry Kissinger. He was awarded the Order of Friendship by Putin. It is a high civilian award in Russia.

Now let’s go back to the Manchurian Candidate.

 

This just came to me in a flash. There have been so many stories about Trump’s friendship with Vladimir Putin. They are evidently in a romance, or there is something more insidious going on. If you grew up when I did, there were plenty of thriller books about how those Russians raised youngsters in a special house to take the place of American kids and then send them to live in the United States. When these children grew up they would do spying things for the Soviets, or even be terrorists (if you have never seen the movie salt, do so).

 

The other possibility was the movie, The Manchurian Candidate, this supposed that a person was captured and brainwashed into doing bad deeds if he becomes the vice president of the United States, he would do away with the President and then be elevated to the presidency. I believe that was the 1962 film with Frank Sinatra and Laurence Harvey the new film with Lev Schreiber and Denzel Washington was pretty much the same. The bad person in these movies was really the mother of the Manchurian Candidate.

This makes a bit more sense when you see and hear the behavior of the candidate in both public and then personal interviews. It may seem adlibbed to most people, but it is entirely scripted. That is the trick of this brainwashing. When someone issues forth with a particular word or words, say Hillary Clinton, there is an automatic response. Even the hand movements are pre-planned. They are signals to his handlers that he is on track and they should not worry. All of this is programmed into the brainwashing program.

Trump’s many trips to Russia in 1987, 1996, 2008 , and 2013 (for the Miss Universe Contest) further proves that Trump had plenty of time to spend with his Russian handlers. It has been a long relationship with the Russians (first the Soviets). He has had many relationships with the oligarchs and with Mr. Putin for a long while. Putin has even given Trump small gifts of appreciation for his support of the Russian people.

To those of you who cannot seem to understand the actions of candidate Trump and his strange machinations, look no further than the term brainwashing and look at the movies, both the earlier one and the newer one. The answer is plain. Mr. Trump is now in the hands of the Russians and will act on their behalf if he becomes president.

LIAR LIAR PANTS ON FIRE vs HARRUMPH

Up to this point in our political history, we have conducted elections, both preliminarily and postpartum in a specific way. The talking heads both for and against a candidate, or president-elect or president, have maintained a certain amount of decorum. Yes, there have been bombastic bushkins on both sides of the aisle and in the 4th estate. I don’t recall the era of Westbrook Pegler calling Eleanor Roosevelt some pretty bad names, or the horrible newspaper stories about Thomas Jefferson, so I have little to compare our current situation with.

I have, however, been in the public sphere for many years. I have faced public criticism, both personally (at large taxpayer meetings) and in the press. I have been attacked personally, as has my family during a teacher strike and physically attacked by community members as a human relations coordinator trying to quell racial violence. So, I am not quite an amateur when it comes to public discourse.

I have also paid my dues by being on television defending the right of poor and rural school districts to sue the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania because of inequitable and unfair funding. My street creds, I believe, are germane to the current discourse.

It all became clear to me that things have changed during the debates among and between the 17 Republican candidates. It was obvious to me then, in comparison to the Democratic primary debates, that there were two different processes going on.

Mr. Trump changed the game altogether, while the other candidates on both sides were in a totally different game altogether. I will call their game, the Harrumph game, and Mr. Trump’s game was You Can Say Anything You Feel like Saying game. As I watch the current debates about the validity of the President-Elect’s actions, I am befuddled by the Harrumph Gang not learning anything from the election

It took me back to a time when I was on a stage in a school district as a young principal seeing a crowd getting angry about the raising of taxes. One gentleman (I use the term advisedly) got up and asked all of the administrators on stage what their salaries were. Since we are public figures, those numbers were always available. However, this person wanted to shame all of those on stage, and also anger the crowd even more.

All of the administrators answered meekly with their salaries, except for one. I was boiling inside. I knew this guy had made his fortune during WWII in black market tires. I could not bow down to this community resident. I told him that I would answer his question if he told me how much he made in one year. He was flabbergasted and sat down. I did tell the crowd what I made. However, by that time, since they really knew him, they had calmed down.

All of that to say that the Harrumph people are wrong to let any of these people get away with what they are doing. The answer to their abominable statements is to shout out “Liar Liar Pants on Fire,” and create a scene that people just won’t forget. Do you remember Mr. Trump saying “Not True” during most of the Clinton debates, while she was a model of decorum? She was wrong to play the adult. She had all of the information, but presented it in a calm and rational way. She did not want to get down in the mud and dance with him. She should have, even worse.

I was so frustrated with the press presenting themselves as above the fray. They treated this election, as they did other elections, with calm, objectivity and a sly wink of the eye to the Trump campaign. The press made Mr. Trump out to be the hero of the working person, someone who was really different than any other candidate and christened him as a non-political person. They were decidedly ignorant of what was happening.

Some political detectives saw what Trump was doing and listed the lies that he continually told (and still does, as do his surrogates). They changed truth to truthiness, did nothing to condemn incorrect statements and “doubled down” on the lies that had been manufactured. The press has still not caught up with the President elect.

Saw a bit of dialogue with the Conaway person and the Meet the Press person Chuck Todd. He allowed her to continually tell falsehoods and did nothing to interrupt her. That is a perfect time to say “Nothing you have just said has any validity. Either you are lying or you are terribly misinformed.” I would even go further to say “Wrong, Lie, Falsehood.” during her diatribe. She has no rule to her about the truth. The press or someone else should be saying “Liar Liar Pants on Fire.” Not to stop these people cold is to infuriate the wing nuts of the world to shoot up a pizza joint because the wing nut aw that Hillary Clinton was running a child slavery ring in that pizza place.

This is not a tsk tsk moment. This is a moment to rear up and challenge very validity of everything that they are saying or doing. Truth will win out with our help.

 

COACH WINS 500th

COACH WINS 500th

Jeremiah Faber has been the coach of the Ridgeland-Hardeeville High School, South Carolina basketball team for 32 years. He began his career in Hardeeville, when those two towns were separate high schools. All in all his coaching in Jasper County, SC, has included 748 games, of which he has won 500.

Carol and I began volunteering at RHHS last year, in October of 2015. Carol works with senior young women and I work with senior young men. Some of the young men I have and do work with were on the basketball team. That’s how I got to know coach Faber.

Since I have played and coached basketball, as well as being an athletic director, I have some understanding about how things work. Coach Faber is an exception to most of the things that I have seen about basketball coaches. It is not his demeanor on the sidelines, or his coaching techniques that astound me, but the way in which his teams play.

The 2016 young man is nothing like the guys I played with. They are bombarded with 24 hour news and are tempted by all sorts of negative things. I can’t really be sure how these guys are outside of the classroom or in their homes, but I know what coach Faber preaches, and he does preach.

Carol and I have been to twelve home and away basketball games over these two seasons. I was at an away game last night on my own because Carol had a sore back. I traveled 1.5 hours to get to the Colleton County High School to see the girls and boys games.

I have described the nature of the audiences in these games as 1955 crowds. There is no booing or hissing or any of the things that you now see every time there is a basketball game on t.v. The cheerleaders look and sound more like the cheerleaders at Forest Hills High School circa 1955. They don’t really do boomalaca, boomalaca, boomalaca, but they sit in the stands and cheer like crazy. They also give a half time performance and they are great.

Coach usually sees us before the game and shakes hands with me and Carol. He does not give us a fist bump. He knows we are old timers and would want the firmness of a handshake. Somehow it seems a bit more personal than a fist bump.

His demeanor is always warm and friendly and he has a wide smile for everyone. The community really seems to appreciate him.

There is something that he has taught his players over the years that is contrary to most teams that I have seen. His players do not argue with the referees at all. They do not frown at referees when a bad call is made (and there are bad calls). They do not talk trash to their opponents and do not engage in any rough stuff. Even when a flagrant foul is called against the other team or against them, they do not throw up their hands, attempt to get even with the other players or look at their coach for solace.

They just play basketball the Faber way. Since I know a number of the players, I can kind of kid around with them. The game is so fast now; that I sometimes lose what is going on. There was one time last year, when the RHHS team, for five minutes, might have given a D-1 college team some trouble.

Last night, at Colleton, the game was special. When the teams come out before the actual game and do their layup drill, I look at the other team to see what kind of match they might be. This team looked very tall and talented. Last year’s RHHS team was taller and bulkier. This year’s team is smaller, faster, and more willowy. There is no 6 ft. 7 inch player on this year’s team. Yet, they may be more remarkable for it.

Kamrin Waddy is a smiling senior young man who is a pitching prospect in baseball. He is about 6-1 and is a fierce competitor. He has no fear of dribbling into a gaggle of taller defenders and putting the ball into the basket. Last night was different. He came out on the floor and deposited 5 straight three point shots and sealed Coach Faber’s 500th victory.

Of course, Kamrin’s backcourt buddy Trei’von Anderson, a perfect complement, was the eventual high scorer. As the game turned into a rout and coach Faber substituted liberally, the other team seemed to lose their composure. The RHHS players did not. They showed no difference in play when they were ahead by 30 from when they are losing by 10. The substitutes all have the same serious demeanor. It all comes from coach Faber and god bless him for instilling that kind of thoughtful restraint in his players.

Best wishes to coach Faber and his 500 victories.