Labor Day 2015

Sitting here, the television on with a football game on, and not one labor commercial to be heard.  It is only Saturday, maybe tomorrow or Monday one or two will show up.  The success of the United States economy was based on the middle class created by Labor Unions.

As we watch the U.S. economy reach full employment, full employment is now 5.1 percent, it used to be 4 percent when i first took Econ 101, macro economics with Dr. Mandelstam.  The difference is quite large, but I do not get to make the rules.  What we have not seen for most of the working people is wage pressure.  Except for one sector, Information Technology people, Big data handling people and those who know how to design the systems used to learn about your lives.

Do not feel bad if you are not in those positions.  Although I like to tell people it is all 1’s and 0’s, the important part is what to do with the one and with the zero.  It takes a lot of work to reach a level of competency that you should be paid what you are worth.  But, not many people have the ability to think logically.  Lawyers are sort of an exception, but they do not think the same way as an IT person.  Multi-lingual people tend to be, because computers use special languages to function.

But, then not all multi-language people are computer people.  So, once again, generalizations do not work.  But, computer people need an ability to function with many different computer languages.  Something that is rewarded with a higher pay scale.  Except in the federal government.


With our favorite daughter — Chelsea [formerly Bradley] Manning — now heading to a male-only prison it is time to help the world with some basic transgender information. (I have heard I might know something about it.)

First, most transgender people have known they have the wrong body for their entire lives. The best research shows that the brain is correct– it is just that the body got it wrong during the fetal hormone wash. That is when we are all female and then a blast of hormones makes the final adjustments to the brain and body. Usually it works out with the brain and body matching. Sometimes it does not. Some have a female brain and a male body. Others have a male brain and a female body.

Second, if you are transgender, or some place on the rainbow of gender not matching the brain, it is a very difficult time until you find out what is going on. Fortunately, young people such as our daughter Chelsea know earlier than those who grew up in the Baby Boomer generation. The talk of the ignorant about choosing to be gay or transgender is more of them are afraid because they envy big penises and their mothers. Most, up to 80%, of grade 1 to 16 transgender students attempt suicide (European research) due to the pain of being in the wrong body and of discrimination (bullying).  About 40% are successful. Transgender people do not “attempt” suicide. They already have the attention and do not want it.

Third, transgender is gender, male or female or in between (trans 202 We are not binary male or female). Just like the rest of the world. It is the body that is mixed up, not the brain.

Fourth, transgender is gender not sexual orientation. Orientation is what turns you on. At least one transgender person I know is very lesbian. Transgender people are gay, lesbian or bi, just like the rest of the world.

Fifth, transgender people are over 100% more likely to be killed walking down the street than the rest of the population (FBI stats). And, it is usually not a nice killing.

Sixth, transgender people just want to live their lives like everybody else. However, it is difficult when there are those who want to destroy them. Slights or discrimination can be a daily event.

Seventh, male to female surgery is about $20,000, the results are usually very good. Female to male surgery is at least $50,000 and not often successful. You may know or work with a transgender person and not know it.

Eighth, most transgender people do not have surgery, the cost is very high.

Ninth, most transgender people are underemployed if not unemployed.

Tenth, transgender people do not have equal rights in most of the US and the world.

We all need to provide support for Chelsea Manning, there are a lot who want to hurt her.

And that’s the wonderful thing about family travel

— Dave Barry

Road trip!  This is the best idea ever.  Road trip to Iowa.  Now I used to do that when my parents would bundle all of us children up in the car and with Mom in the passenger seat, we would go west from Detroit to Chariton, Iowa.  The purpose was always to see Grandma and Grandpa, my mother’s father and her step-mother.  In to farm country we went.  For Thanksgiving, and sometime during the summer for the Iowa State Fair.  Great stuff.

Now I know things have changed over the years, such as having a complete interstate highway system.  And Sirius radio so you do not go freakin’ nuts trying to find a radio station to change the noise pattern from highway roar to C&W truckin’ music.  And, there are no more Howard Johnson’s.

Doing the road trip in the van makes a lot more sense than in a bus.  You get to see the world as you drive by in a car.  In a bus the view is not the same.  You get to stop in gas stations every 300 miles (or less depending on your bladder).   Stopping in places lets you see prices.  Visiting towns or cities lets you see for yourself the price of gasoline and milk.  Critical knowledge points for those times when some smartass asks you what the price of milk is.

Doing the up close and personal with real people, like those working for a living, right now allows a lot of time in the future to remember these experiences when giving speeches.  I will say that having time to talk with HRC is something  important for those doing the personal contact thing, each of these people will have fine memories to share for a long period.  Personally, I would like to have the experience, just as I would with Obama.

This morning I was talking with someone, a federal employee, about waking up early and writing for Trail Mix.  She asked what the latest post was about and I told her Hillary’s announcement [. . .].  She asked If I was going to write support articles, I told her no.  I have no reason to write those here, but I would be writing things to remind her of who we are and to keep her aim at our level.  Also, posts about the Republican clown car; but those would be too easy so I would not do too many.

Are You Old Enough To Remember Peace

Tell a lie often enough and it might become believable. A lie travels around the world before the truth starts. There was peace in my lifetime.

The last is something I can say occurred in my lifetime, but it was only for a few months at a time, and it was so long ago most people were not alive then. Do you remember the 70’s, late 70’s? How about the Reagan era?

The U.S. has not been at peace in so long that it is “normal” to be losing American mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives and friends to enemy fire. The folded flag from the coffin is a last remembrance. How many loves of the dead throw the flag in the trash? How many mount it, along with the Purple Heart Medal, in the family room? How many cannot talk about the loss because most of America no longer feels the pain?

At the beginning of the Bush II war on Iraq I started posting the numbers of dead Americans on my website as a small way to let those visiting my website know that Americans were being killed in action and not being reported in the media. In the 60’s and early 70’s the evening news always had graphics for American dead AND North Vietnamese dead. It was a gruesome reminder everyday of the slaughter that was occurring in a beautiful country turned ugly by war. Right now I challenge everyone to find the number of Americans killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan (also Pakistan for collateral KIA).

Tell me the last American military action that ended with the success promised by the war president in the White House at the time. I cannot think of any success in the Middle East, even Turkey is having problems. South East Asia? Philippines are definitely no longer under the control of the Spanish, but that was a long time ago and not under the last forty years of presidents. Caribbean? Please. The U.K. would have taken care of Grenada.

Am I willing to back Obama on this adventure? No. I am sure that the leader of the country is killing his population with poison gas. Is it something America can take care of? Yes. But, it would mean we go in country and cleanse it of poison gas. That is exactly what is not going to happen, if we believe Obama.

A few cruise missiles and a few bombings of the presidential palace will not end the slaughter. Only the world going in and taking control of the country will. And, that is not going to happen.

Benghazi – the Movie

I now remember why I love Colorado.  Sure there may be a three foot blizzard with twenty foot deep drifts.  It might be twenty below zero and the wind howling above one hundred miles per hour.  But, when it quiets down, all is peaceful and quiet. The air is so clear, you can see one hundred miles. The night stars are so bright and shiny; the cold popping out ice crystals which shimmer and gleam in the moonlight as they float in the sharp air.

Right now I am looking at a destroyed canopy, broken and filled with snow, blocking my path to the wood pile.  The snow looking like soggy white blankets covering and smothering all that is nature and man made in the backyard.  Out front, the American flag is wrapped on its pole, choked in white, twisted in agony from its struggle to stay flying in the winter hell.

There is only one good thing in the air, more Hillary and emails, and the magic word has appeared to save her from the Republican onslaught – Benghazi.  Oh the name evokes such visceral emotions (on one side of the aisle only).  Such a name.  Poor Benghazi, it has been placed into Republican infamy.  America has Pearl Harbor and 9-11.  Republicans have Benghazi.

As soon as I saw that the Republicans went to the Benghazi attack, I knew HRC was on the mend.  It is like the fool who has one hand on the bird, but hears another in the bush.  The fool lets the one in hand fly away and can’t grab the one in the bush due to a shield of Benghazi wrapping her delicate feathers in steel.

Benghazi, a wonderful script, written without understanding how stupid it makes the screamer.  When will the deaf hear the screams of “you are an idiot”?  How will they ever see the script ends with our heroine standing on the worms of the losers.  Are they zombies, stuck on one thought?  Oh, but for Benghazi, our ‘not a candidate’ candidate would be lost, leaving us with men to contemplate for the power seat.

Give me a home where the Benghazi roam.  Nah, too weighted with irony.

Imagine 80 year old Saint Ronnie, on the top of the Jefferson Memorial, over looking the Potomac, in his loin cloth, feet planted well. with one near the edge of the dome.  His arms rising slowly while his unwashed followers (okay maybe they wash in the shower too much) stare intently, waiting for the signal.  Reagan carefully makes a megaphone of his hands around his mouth.  His eyes dull from just awakening from his morning nap.  Desperate for the sound, his followers breathe slowly.  Then you hear it.  “BENGHAZIIIIIII” A roar erupts and shakes the Mall as those believers stamp their spears and shout back “HILLARY”.

Eh, It makes great visuals.

Brevity is the Soul of Lingerie

— Dorothy Parker

While sitting watching the dreary Beltway weather forecast something popped into my head. What are the political implications of a Vanity Fair cover? Specifically that of a Republican woman? A woman who had previously changed her name, and not because she married?

Oh my have I heard crickets from the very people who would have been all over the airways if Big Dog had done anything like that. The explosion in Congress never occurred. Or at least is delayed. The RNC has gone missing.

The main political blast or rather, question, is from the Washington Post, “” That is a very good question. One I think will be answered once the Republicans show up with hat in hand trying to fund their campaigns for president.

Jenner, under the Bruce nom de plume (I understand what it means to live a under a name not of your preference), was a solid supporter of the party whose members consider her “confused” if not crazy or “sick and delusional” (no links, I viewed them so you do not have to). His millions, and gold Olympic medals, were well known.

Now? The self-declared Big Tent party will have a chance to show what they really are. Craven, “give me the money (but do not touch me)” or stick with the red meat crowd, “I will not accept anything from the freak.” Will a few photo ops with Caitlyn help the Republican candidates?

I do think there will be Republican candidates sneaking in the door of the mansion to ask for money. Maybe a sit down across the coffee table pics. Perhaps a handshake shot. All of which to show how moderate, if not sort of accepting, he is.

Will Jenner see the error of her ways and become a Democrat? I do not know. I do know Log Cabin Republicans and their false hopes of changing a party that still wants to return to 1840 — and Caitlyn will not fit in with them.

The acceptance of Caitlyn will be Republican generational. The cohort which is fine with gay marriage will be fine with her. The rest of them are holding their tongues, quite unusual to say the least.

I do hope she tells the RNC to go find another money fountain.

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